The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation Episode 26 (“A Story for the Women”), August 30, 2021.
From Milwaukee, WI.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Eddie Kingston, and Paul Wight.
TONIGHT! Sammy Guevara helped get Fuego Del Sol a contract, and now the two team up to face Chaos Project! Brian Cage battles one-half of the Acclaimed, Anthony Bowens! Jora Johl hopes to earn his first win with the HFO as he faces Kal Herro! And in what better be the main event, Julia Hart and Big Swole try to get their hands on Diamante, but she brought Nyla Rose to this tag team grudge match!
PLUS – Hikaru Shida, Emi Sakura, Thunder Rosa, Dante Martin, and Daniel Garcia!
BUT FIRST – Tony Khan announces that Hikaru Shida and Emi Sakura have joined the Casino Battle Royal, where the winner will get a future title match. Schiavone: “Against Dr. Britt Baker, DMD!… or perhaps Kris Statlander.” Hey, don’t give away the ending there, Tony!
Opening match: Daniel Garcia (2-4) vs. Tylor Sullivan (debut). Garcia’s music sounds a lot like Kingston’s. The strategy of “go for the big guns whether it works or not” seems to be getting Garcia over.
Garcia takes down Sullivan and pounds on him, adding a back elbow to big boos. Running chop in the corner and back body drop, but Sullivan fires off a forearm only to earn a shotgun dropkick. Sharpshooter wins it at 1:02, and he hangs on for a few seconds to make a point. NR
CM Punk vs. Darby Allin is happening at All Out!
FIRST WIN ALERT: Jora Johl (w/Matt Hardy) (0-5) vs. Kal Herro (0-3). I mean, I’m pretty sure I know which one’s getting that first win, but let’s just play along anyway. Hardy eats all the heat during the entrance and tells Johl not to preen to the crowd, and even commentary notes that’s unfair to Johl.
Lockup, and Johl with a headlock as we go International~!, with Johl catching Herro only for Herro to escape and land a shoulderblock. Herro works the arm as we get a Fanny Pack chant (Herro’s that one), and while they make the ropes Hardy slaps Johl awake. It works, as Johl takes down Herro with a lariat and AA. Pump kick gets it at 1:16. FIRST WIN ALERT! Hardy may be too over to pull a DiBiase/Virgil story with Johl. NR
Emi Sakura (4-6) vs. Ashley D’Amboise (0-7). They’ve added the We Will Rock You cadence to the beginning of Sakura’s music. Sakura has a butler, and that is her trainee and Choco Pro wrestler Lulu Pencil. Thanks, YouTube chat!
Code of Honor is offered by Sakura, and she catches D’Amboise’s arm and bites the wrist. HA! Sakura stomps away and rakes the eyes on the ropes, then stomps the head. Big chop in the corner, then a hairpull throw. (Kingston: “Wait, wrestlers have honor? Since when!?”) Sakura kicks D’Amboise around and and rakes the back before setting up the Romero Special with the dragon lock. Sakura tosses D’Amboise aside and tanks some forearms before chopping her to knock her back a few times.
An enzuigiri finally gets D’Amboise on the offensive, and a suplex takes Sakura down for two. She shouldn’t have posed and should’ve hooked the leg. Sakura chops away, but D’Amboise gets a jawjacker only to be dropkicked before she even stands up. We Will Rock You corner crossbody sets up the tiger lift into a major delay into a backbreaker. Lariat floors D’Amboise, then she gets an arm wrench and a series of gut kicks. Tiger backbreaker again gets the pin this time at 4:07. She was toying with her. 1/2* Sakura checks her time on Lulu’s pocketwatch.
Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) (#5 women, 19-4) and Diamante (11-7) vs. Big Swole (14-3) and Julia Hart (5-8). Oh, COME ON. This is the match with the story that has been brewing over a few weeks and you can’t make them be the main event on a YouTube show where you can arrange the matches in any order you want? Really lame. It’s not hard to give some credit to your own work. Especially since the crowd reacted well to all four women.
Swole and Diamante start, and Diamante charges Swole and forearms her down. Good, it’s a feud. Swole backs Diamante into the corner, but Diamante keeps Swole on her back and goes ground-and-pound before working Swole over in the team corner. Nyla in, and she slams down Swole and adds a legdrop for one, brother. Nyla throws Swole into the corner and gets shoulder shots to the gut, and Diamante tags herself in with a step-up kneesmash. Nyla throws Diamante onto Swole for two. Diamante smashes Swole with crossface blows, and Nyla enters to get some CLUBBERIN, TONY, THEY BE CLUBBERIN.
Swole ducks a clothesline and turns a casadora into a Flatliner for one. Julia in (to a big pop) and she goes up, but Nyla catches her coming off with the Strongest Slam. She steps on Hart and brings in Diamante, and Diamante gets a splash with help from Nyla for two. Diamante flips off the camera before pounding on Hart and yelling at the ref. Shotgun dropkick in the corner by Diamante gets two. Hart goes headfirst into Nyla’s boot, and Nyla tags in to rake Hart’s eyes on the strand and chop away. Avalanche in the corner and Hart is slumped over, but it was a sucker-in and the cannonball by Nyla misses. Splash hits the knees and Julia goes up, nailing the splits bulldog for two.
Julia crawls over like a champ, and it’s HOT tag Swole, who runs over Diamante repeatedly (though Nyla is still legal, I think). Double-dodge headbutt for Diamante and spear for Nyla. Gamengiri by Swole, and an outside-in cutter gets two. Julia is tagged in, but Diamante knocks Swole out with an enzuigiri only to run into a SUPERKICK. Nyla returns with a hangman’s neckbreaker to Hart, but Swole with a leg trip into a JYD flying headbutt. Swole helps Hart up because they both need to work to get Nyla out, but Diamante pulls Swole away and slugs her. Hart looks around in confusion, which leads to the Beast Bomb for the pin at 6:34. Apparently, Diamante used a chain on Swole on the outside to stop the save. Yeah, I have no earthly clue why this couldn’t main event. **1/4
MEANWHILE, Matt Hardy is proud of Jora Johl. He knew he saw something in Johl, and he says fighting angry is how the HFO does it. He loves when Johl is angry, because he fights better. Johl then breaks the news that AEW will be in India, and Hardy will be going to India soon. When he returns, he’ll make Johl a big star and a rich man. And Matt Hardy will make even more money. (Johl, in Punjabi: “So, you know, he’s got a bit of a big head, but whatever, he’s happy.”)
Hey, have you heard CM Punk is back and we were all excited? He will debut at All Out against Darby Allin in Chicago. The more they hype this match, the more I think this will close the show instead of Omega/Christian.
Dante Martin (15-5) vs. Adam Grace (debut). So do we have a timetable on Darius’ return, and will it matter when he comes back?
Lockup, and Grace with a knee to the gut but Martin reverses. He leaps all the way over Grace and gets a pair of armdrags. Grace gets neck-scissors, but Martin kips up out of it and gets a hangtime dropkick. Grace with a jawjacker, but Martin gets sent to the apron and clubs him. Double-jump moonsault (though he had to pause because he almost slipped, saving the spot) and Grace bails to the apron, getting a Hotshot on Martin and pointing to his head. This goes as well as expected, as Martin catches Grace up top and pulls him off with a modified Death Valley Driver to win at 1:34. Never, ever, EVER point to your head. NR
Thunder Rosa (#2 women, 25-2) vs. Laynie Luck (0-1). Yay, Laynie Luck is someone I have met and consider to be a Very Good Person in the business! Glad to see her get this opportunity. But against Thunder Rosa? Not sure she has much of a chance.
They exchange waistlocks to start, with Rosa getting a hammerlock. Luck to a headlock, Rosa to a waistlock and O’Connor Roll for two, then Rosa with a crucifix drop for two. Dropkick follows. Running back elbow in the corner, and she chops Luck hard before removing her sleeve and doing it again. Uppercut, but a charge misses and Luck gets her own back elbows. Snapmare and crucifix gets two, and Luck tries again to get another two. Rosa with an Oklahoma Roll for two, then Luck blasts her with a knee for two (flossing before covering was a bad move). Forearm by Luck, but Rosa with a satellite into a Russian legsweep. Shotgun dropkick against the bottom rope gets two. Fire Thunder Driver is escaped, but Luck dances and walks into a pump kick. FTD on the second try wins at 2:48. A story? In a showcase match? Sure. 3/4*
MEANWHILE, Jade Cargill won’t talk to you, but Mark Sterling will. She won the fastest match in Rampage history, then conquered the red carpet at the Culture Ball. Everything comes easily for Jade, and it will continue when Cargill wins the Casino match. And that would make her #1 contender for the Women’s Title, but Sterling promises she’ll throw everyone out of that match. Bet on her, because it’s no gamble; it’s a guarantee.
Anthony Bowens (16-8) vs. Brian Cage (27-4). So how long is sensitivity training, anyway? Isn’t Max Caster due back soon, assuming he even wants to come back? Eddie Kingston has been replaced by Powerhouse Hobbs on commentary for this match, because Cage vs. Hobbs is due for Dynamite.
Bowens charges in with a dropkick, then goes up top. Blockbuster gets two. Bowens chops Cage in the corner, but Cage goes up and over and gets a cradle into a Claymore. Clotheslines follow, but Cage puts his head down and gets caught. Cage comes back with a swinging neckbreaker, though, and a running uppercut into a gamengiri into a release German suplex for two. Bowens elbows out of the F-5 and chops away, and the Olympic Slam gets two. Bowens calls for the end, but Cage elbows out of the uranage and gets a kneelift.
Running spin neckbreaker gets two for Cage. Wight: “I bet he wishes he had a partner to tag out to.” Bowens rolls to the apron, but escapes the Cesaroplex and kicks Cage down. He goes up, but Cage catches him in midair into the Drill Claw for the pin at 3:08! Great job of Bowens throwing everything he could at Cage and still getting crushed. *1/4 Hook heads down to the ring and Cage beckons him to come in, but it’s all a diversion as Hobbs follows and clubs Cage (who had Hook in a choke). Town Bidness follows as Ricky Starks comes in to play Hobbs’ hype man. “Who better? It damn sure ain’t YOU, Cage!” Bowens sticks around to laugh at Cage, but Team Taz walks off and tells him not to follow. Cage vs. Hobbs on Wednesday.
AEW Elite GM app ad.
Hikaru Shida (#4 women, 38-4) vs. Heather Reckless (0-1). Shida gets a decent pop on the way to the ring. Shida then mocks how shorter Reckless is.
Lockup, and yeah, Shida has a bit of a height advantage. She gives Reckless a clean break and asks for a test of strength, and yes, Reckless can’t reach high enough. Reckless shoves Shida – yeah, she had it coming – then goes on the middle rope to offer the test of strength back. So Shida yanks her off the top rope. Reckless fights back, but Shida stops a satellite and gets a backbreaker for two. Reckless drop toeholds Shida into the middle buckle and gets a pair of body attacks, into a bulldog.
She steps on Shida on her way to going up top, but Shida slaps her off the top and suplexes her back in… only for Reckless to try a small package for one. Shida with the Big Swing DDT on Reckless, but Reckless freaks out on a running punch… before getting hit anyway. Running knee in the corner sets up the Dominator and Falcon Arrow to win at 2:51. Kingston: “She done did the deal!” More toying with their prey. 1/2*
Main event: Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico) (10-19) vs. Fuego Del Sol and Sammy Guevara (first time teaming). I mean, if you’re telling me the only reason the women didn’t main is because it’s Sammy Guevara, I can see where you’re coming from. Fuego has new music, opening with a tornado siren, and the crowd loves it. He then pulls his phone out of his trunks and videotapes Guevara coming out to a massive ovation. (Kingston: “Oh, this is for the vlog thing?”) Fuego looks like he’s having the time of his life taping the crowd during his entrance.
Chaos Project knocks Guevara out of the ring before the bell and work over Fuego, who gets a double Asai moonsault. He and Serpentico start proper, and Fuego gets a monkey flip, corner spear, and rana. Dropkick and kip up leads to a Northern Lights suplex for two. Do Fuego and Sammy have matching tights? Luther trips Fuego, and Serpentico with a Flatliner to take over. Luther in, and he chops Fuego and lands a pump kick. Serpentico in, and he slams Fuego before trying to slam Luther onto Fuego. Plan B (Luther slamming Serpentico) goes better and gets two.
Luther back in, and he whips Luther into a back elbow on Fuego in the corner. Luther then tosses Serpentico into a cannonball on Fuego, getting two off of it. Serpentico back in and he slugs Fuego in the ribs before taunting Guevara. Fuego flips out of a dragon screw and lands an enzuigiri, and HOT HOT tag to Guevara. He runs over Serpentico with clotheslines, then gets an Olympic Slam and kip up. Guevara dodges Luther and gets an enzuigiri before getting a double-jump into a cutter (almost) for two, Serpentico saves.
Fuego gets tagged in, but Luther runs him over on the apron with a kick before trying to slam Serpentico onto Fuego. He misses, and Fuego trips Luther. Guevara back in with a twisting tope con hilo onto Serpentico, but Luther with an apron senton on Guevara! Fuego back with a rana off the apron to Luther, and it’s a double SUPERKICK to Luther. Back in, Guevara tries the Olympic Slam on Luther, but Luther escapes and gets a Steinerline. Luther goes up for a Vader Bomb, but Guevara catches him, PULLS HIM OFF ONTO HIS SHOULDERS, and while Fuego hits the TORNADO DDT OF DEATH on Serpentico, the Feast Your Eyes ends Luther at 4:40. They packed a lot into five minutes, lemme tell you. *3/4 And we’re out in 60 minutes.
- Good Brothers and Young Bucks vs. Jurassic Express and Lucha Brothers!
- Brian Cage vs. Will Hobbs!
- Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans!
- FTR vs. Santana and Ortiz!
Well, apart from doing the women wrong, this was a show I have no complaints about. It was quick, it featured a lot of talent getting over, and yeah, I’m willing to admit the fans go home happy with the biggest name getting the pin (and in impressive visual fashion). Let’s do this again tomorrow!
BELL-TO-BELL – 28:00 on the nose over nine matches (average time 3:07)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Nyla/Diamante vs Swole/Hart
- Sammy Guevara
- Big Swole
- Jora Johl for the first win
Tomorrow – more AEW Dark from the First Dance!