The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation, Episode 32 (“Joey Janela Will Literally Fight His Entire Childhood”), October 11, 2021.
From Philadelphia, PA.
Your hosts are Tony, Paul, and Eddie.
TONIGHT! It’s an 8-man tag as Shotty Lee, Brock, Chucky T, and Wheeler face Butcher, Blade, Kassidy, and Quen! Joey Janela continues his quest to face everyone he grew up watching as he takes on WCW’s Crowbar! And Emi Sakura steps up in difficulty for the first time in the US as she goes against Ruby Soho!
PLUS – FTR, Santana/Ortiz, Tay Conti, and Penelope Ford!
Opening match: Penelope Ford (w/The Bunny) (14-4) vs. Notorious Mimi (debut). Kingston being spooked by everyone’s pyro is one of the better running gags. Tony’s late showing up. Wight and Kingston: “NO RULES!”
Bunny goes for Mimi’s ankle as they circle, and Ford knocks her down and stomps away. She puts her in the corner and works the gut, adding a Hammer Throw. Charge eats elbow, and Mimi with a middle-rope crossbody to send Ford to the outside. Mimi follows, but Ford puts on the brakes before hitting the steps and kicks Mimi before moonsaulting off the stairs. Back in, Ford stomps a mudhole and tries to walk it dry, but Mimi vaults over a charging Ford with a Brisco rollup for one. Mimi fires with forearms, but Ford with the facebuster and Mutalock to win at 2:10. Wight and Kingston joking on commentary was the best part. 1/4* Note to Kingston: “Penelope” does not rhyme with “Antelope”.
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Santana and Ortiz (10-3) vs. Adrien Soriano and Matthew Omen (debut). Tony’s back for this match. Wight: “Dad’s back, better behave.” Kingston: “Yeah, we didn’t do a good job without you, DAD!” Omen and Soriano have Gabriel Hatter as their manager.
Ortiz and Omen start, with Ortiz getting a leg lariat and clothesline. Santana in, and the Inner Circle get a double powerbomb. Enzuigiri by Ortiz and lariat by Santana, then Ortiz flies into Soriano before getting on all fours for the cannonball from Santana. Spin Cycle wins it at 1:11. They were blowing through the opponents so fast I had trouble keeping up.
Long Island is more important than you.
FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) (w/Wardlow) (#4 team, 22-3) vs. Leon St.Giovanni and Lee Moriarty (first time teaming). If this gets time, this has a chance to be good. And yeah, the new FTR music is absolutely Midnight Express inspired. Wight tries to put over Wardlow’s physique, but Kingston wants him to focus on the match. Tony mentions Moriarty’s new contract.
LSG and Wheeler start. Wheeler with a single-leg takedown and headlock takedown, with LSG stacking him for one. Neckscissors is escaped, but LSG with a headlock takedown of his own. He kicks Harwood’s hand away, but when Harwood enters, Wheeler rakes the eyes behind the ref’s back. Armdrag and twist by Wheeler, but LSG with a dropkick and Moriarty comes in. Wheeler escapes and brings in Harwood, who gets a headlock. They go International~!, with Harwood trying to block an armdrag only for Moriarty to get one from another angle, much to Harwood’s chagrin. Harwood slaps Moriarty after a Code of Honor then bails out when Moriarty charges, but Moriarty chooses not to follow.
Wheeler trips Moriarty as Harwood re-enters, and Harwood with a big chop and snapmare. Moriarty avoids the elbowdrop and gets an armdrag, bringing in LSG to keep the arm work. Harwood backs him to the corner and gets a short right and uppercut before chopping LSG. LSG comes back with a back body drop and dropkick, but Wheeler with a cheapshot from the apron and Harwood lariats LSG down. Wheeler in, and he stomps away on LSG before landing an uppercut as Kingston namedrops Dennis Condrey. Half-crab by Wheeler, who steps on the other leg of LSG, and Harwood adds leverage before they switch off behind the ref’s back. But the referee realizes they didn’t even TRY to do a tag and chases out Harwood, giving LSG a chance to small package Wheeler for a visual pin, then a two when the ref turns around.
Wheeler with a lariat to get back in control, but LSG with an arm-trap Stunner for the double-down. Harwood cuts off the hot tag, but misses an avalanche and it’s hot tag Moriarty. Forearms for Harwood, another for Wheeler, then an enzuigiri meant for Harwood nails Wheeler. Moriarty with an up kick, then he reverses the Big Rig into an X-Factor on Wheeler before DDTing Harwood. LSG sends Wheeler packing and dives after him, but Wheeler sends him into the post. Back in, Moriarty with Torpedo Moscow on Wheeler, then La Majistral on Harwood for two.
He escapes a Victory Roll and Bubba Bomb from Harwood, getting a casadora cradle for two. He goes to the apron and springboards in, but Harwood catches him. Moriarty escapes a suplex and gets the O’Connor Roll for two. Wheeler with a shot as Moriarty’s kicked off, and Harwood with the brainbuster for the pin at 7:29. Whew. ***1/4
AEW Elite GM App ad.
Tay Conti (w/Anna Jay) (#3 women, 33-5) vs. Dani Mo (debut). TayJay has their own music, which much like Shawn Dean’s is Street Fighter influenced. Mark Henry goes to commentary.
Conti opens with an STO into the Seio Nagi Trio. Rolling armbar follows, but Mo stacks her for two. Snapmare by Mo, then a single-leg dropkick. Jack-knife cradle gets one. Conti with an arm-trap roundhouse kick and swinging gutbuster, but Mo dodges a charge and tries a handstand rana… only for Conti to alley-oop her into the buckle and get a German on the way back! Pump kicks in the corner, and the DDTay ends it at 1:49. Why do they take Eddie Kingston off commentary and replace him with Mark Henry? Do you really need to justify that salary?
Joey Janela (w/Kayla Rossi) (9-4) vs. Crowbar (debut). Yes, THAT Crowbar. And Janela has a mic as he comes out, saying Philadelphia is the birthplace of extreme… but too bad it’s gone soft since ECW’s days. The fans are idiots, and the only smart Philadelphian is Ben Simmons because he wants to leave. He promises not to do another hardcore match in AEW, and ESPECIALLY not in Philly. And then Crowbar gets an entrance. Wight and Tony stare in disbelief at the transformation he’s undergone.
Janela meets Crowbar int eh ring and fires away, but Crowbar returns fire and gets a kick and clothesline. Cross-chop, but Janela meets him with a back elbow only to be caught in a double-arm overhead suplex. Dropkick and Janela bails and decides to walk off… but The Blue Meanie appears to chase him back! Crowbar meets him at ringside and sends him into the guardrail before throwing him onto the floor by his beard. Crowbar removes the decoration on the guardrail and climbs it, landing a Vader Bomb.
Back in and out, Janela tries to hide behind Rossi, which allows Janela a cheap shot when Crowbar walks off in disgust. He then sends Crowbar into the front row and sets up a chair, running the full distance and leaping off the chair over the guardrail onto Crowbar! Back in, Janela works Crowbar in the corner and gets a Hammer Throw and running uppercut. He charges into a drop toe hold by Crowbar, and Crowbar follows with a delayed front suplex. Crowbar goes up top, but Janela cuts him off with an uppercut and chop before following him up. Crowbar knocks him off into the bottom rope, and as the ref checks on Janela’s knee, Rossi catches Crowbar with a Frankensteiner off the ropes!
SUPERKICK to Crowbar, then another, and Janela with a brainbuster for two as commentary thought it was the finish. Janela goes up, mocking RVD, but the Five Star airballs. Crowbar with a Sky High for two. Grounded rockinghorse by Crowbar, but the ref checks with meanie as Rossi slides in a chair. Crowbar steals it after a whiff from Janela, and Crowbar with a Northern Lights on the chair. But Janela escapes as the referee admonishes Crowbar, and the Death Valley Driver wins at 6:15.
Sonny Kiss tries to attack post-match, but Rossi catches him and Janela with a SUPERKICK. Rossi goes up top, and she lands a twisting moonsault onto Kiss! Janela is really good at doing these smoke-and-mirrors matches with older wrestlers. *3/4 (For the record, if the crowd seemed muted for this match… they were literally muted. Information from the people in attendance indicates that the crowd was more interested in cursing out Ben Simmons at times. Never change, Philly.)
Emi Sakura (w/Lulu Pencil) (7-1) vs. Ruby Soho (2-1). I can say that this was the most anticipated match in the YouTube chat beforehand. Pencil drops the crown when Sakura hands it to her. Ruby gets a big pop. Commentary discusses the new TBS Title.
Sakura with a quick kick and hairpull slams on Soho, but Soho with a jawjacker and forearm. Sakura blocks a kick and rakes the back, but Soho with an STO for one. Hammer Throw by Soho, but Sakura sends her to the apron and chops her. Drop toe hold on the apron and Pencil with some chops to Soho that Soho no-sells with a side glance. Back in, Sakura with a Mongolian chop and double-arm backbreaker… and she picks Soho up at two?
Sakura toys with Soho, who fires back and chops Sakura before trying a slam. Sakura slides out the back and nails Cross Rhodes, then gets the corner crossbody. Big chop in the corner follows, but a charge eats boot. Soho catches Sakura and sends her into the middle buckle with her legs, then comes back with clotheslines. Back heel kick and running kick follows, then a Flatliner for two. Sakura with a NASTY chop into a Saito suplex, but Soho escapes the Queen’s Gambit before running into a backslide into La Majistral for two. Chop into a lariat gets two. Soho with the Riott Kick out of nowhere to win at 4:09. Aww, you couldn’t give this five more minutes? *1/2
Meanwhile, Crowbar says it’s been 20 years since he’s been on a stage like this. He sees that AEW encourages creativity and wanted in. He wanted to get back to AEW, and today he made it. He is so happy Blue Meanie came out to be in his corner, since they’ve spent so long in wrestling together. He thanks AEW for giving him one last dream. Meanie then says the honor was his, and when he was asked to show up, he got a feeling he hadn’t had in years. He says AEW is fantastic and that he admired both them and Crowbar from their beginning. They’ve been on so many shows together, and now he’s with Crowbar in his town – his wrestling debut, his ECW debut, his WWF debut, a WrestleMania, and now AEW with Crowbar. They both say thank you and share a hug.
Main event: Butcher, Blade (7-1 as a duo), Kassidy, and Quen (#5 team, 11-2 as a duo) (w/The Bunny) vs. Johnson, Anderson (3-1 as a duo), Taylor, and Yuta (0-0 as a duo, apparently) (w/Kris Statlander). Wight claims that Tony is scared of Bunny. No sign of Matt Hardy, by the way. Also no sign of Arn Anderson, who likely couldn’t get his gun through customs. Mark Henry says he doesn’t want to hold hands with anyone.
Shotty and Blade start. Blade with a side headlock and they exchange hammerlocks. Blade with a back elbow and shoulderblock, but Shotty with a dropkick and armdrag. Anderson in, and he gets a Manhattan Drop to set up Shotty for a neckbreaker, getting Anderson two. Blade cuts off Anderson and brings in Butcher, but Anderson fires away in the corner. Butcher regains control, though, but Anderson with a drop toe hold and front facelock. Yuta in, and he works the arm only to get slugged by Butcher. Quen enters with a big kick, but Yuta slips out of a slam and gets an armdrag of his own. Taylor enters, and the Best Friends get a double flapjack for one.
Crowd is 100% behind Taylor, but Kassidy with a cheap shot. He holds Taylor’s ankle, allowing Quen an enzuigiri. Kassidy in, landing forearms to Taylor, but Taylor sends him outside and brings in Yuta. Dropkicks to Kassidy and Blade, then a rebound shoulderblock to Blade. Kassidy elbows Yuta down, but Quen comes in and heels collide. Bridging German by Yuta gets two, Butcher saves. Blade suplexes Yuta into the turnbuckle and drags him to the HFO corner as the ref regains control. Quen tags in Blade and steps on Yuta’s throat, then works over Yuta with a chop.
Kassidy in, and Quen in, and Private Party gets a double back suplex try. Yuta escapes, getting an enzuigiri on Quen and Olympic Slam to Kassidy to get everyone down. Hot tag Taylor, and clotheslines abound. Kassidy tries to cut him off but runs into a uranage, and Taylor powerbombs Quen onto Kassidy. Butcher slugs down Taylor and brings in Blade, but Taylor with a double dropkick and Shotty with a springboard dropkick to Butcher. Heels bail in all directions, and Taylor and Shotty dive onto them in stereo!
Back in, it’s an Anderson spinebuster to Blade to set up a twisting frog splash from Shotty, Private Party saves. EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL as we brawl it out and HFO isolates Shotty, who tries to take both of Private Party by himself. Kassidy escapes a charge, but Quen is dumped and Shotty with a SUPERKICK to Kassidy. Kassidy goes to the eyes while in fireman’s carry position, and Butcher (who was tagged in during the chaos) with a Clothesline From Hell to Shotty to win at 6:31. All action, bell to bell, which is all you can ask for. **1/4
Give the women more time, but eh, isn’t that the rallying cry in all of wrestling?
BELL-TO-BELL – 29:34 over seven matches (average time 4:13)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT – FTR vs Moriarty/LSG
- Ruby Soho
See you tomorrow.