The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation Episode 39 (“Tag Team Appreciation Night!”), November 29, 2021.
From Chicago, IL.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Eddie Kingston, and Paul Wight. THEY BROUGHT THE A TEAM!
TONIGHT! The Sakura/Mizunami war continues as Emi Sakura teams with Nyla Rose, Diamante, and The Bunny to face Ryo Mizunami, Leyla Hirsch, Julia Hart, and Skye Blue! Meanwhile, the Varsity Blonds team with Alex Reynolds and John Silver to face The Acclaimed and Chaos Project! And the HFO and Dark Order collide once again as Matt Hardy, Blade, and Isaiah Kassidy face Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Alan Angels!
PLUS – Jay Lethal’s first win, Tony Nese prepares for Rampage, TayJay team up again, and Santana and Ortiz bring the bulldozer!
So, let’s begin.
…Yo, I said, LET’S BEGIN…
…that’s better. Ten minutes late, but I’ve been at indy shows where they’re still setting up the ring at bell time. Still, I blame QT Marshall.
Opening match: Emi Sakura, Nyla Rose (#3 women), Diamante, and The Bunny vs. Ryo Mizunami, Julia Hart, Leyla Hirsch, and Skye Blue. Vickie Guerrero and Mei Suruga join the heel side. They can’t even be bothered to put up individual records, and frankly that’s okay. Nyla and Hart get the music. Some day, they’ll have Emi Sakura vs Ryo Mizunami and I’ll be ready for it.
Mizunami and Bunny start. Bunny skips around Mizunami and forearms her, but Mizunami tanks it and fires back, much to Kingston’s delight. She then runs Bunny over before slamming her, but the legdrop misses, brother, and Bunny gets a kneelift. Nyla in, but Mizunami breaks through the double team and spears both. Corner clothesline and Kobashi chops to Nyla, and Hirsch is in with a clothesline of her own. Hirsch and Mizunami chuck both Skye and Hart into the corner for dropkicks on Nyla, then they toss Diamante onto Nyla, getting Hirsch two.
Nyla with a clothesline and slam on Hirsch, then she piefaces Skye Blue (the hometown girl) before bringing Sakura. She does the same thing, drawing Skye in and allowing some chops to Hirsch. This sets up the We Will Corner Clothesline, then the butterfly backbreaker gets two, Skye saves. Sakura runs them together and ties them up in a dual bow-and-arrow, leading to the heels all getting submissions and posing. We get back to Hirsch and the tagged-in Nyla, who clubs away. Hirsch escapes a slam and fires back, but a shoulderblock goes nowhere. Vickie low-bridges Hirsch, allowing Suruga some shots with her scepter.
Back in, Nyla with a neck crank and she corners Hirsch to bring in Diamante for a high knee. Nyla throws Diamante onto Hirsch for a splash for two. Hirsch tries to fight back, catching Diamante in a Saito suplex for the double-down. Hot tag Blue, and she unloads on Sakura. SUPERKICK follows, then a leg lariat in the corner. Gamengiri by Blue and she goes up, but Nyla tags in. Nyla catches a kick, but Hart chop blocks Nyla and gets a low bulldog for one. Hart goes back up top, leaping over a charging Nyla and dropkicking her into the corner before getting a small package for two. Back up top, but she dives into a gut chop from Nyla. Beast Bomb ends it at 6:39. I think the match could’ve had 2-3 more minutes in it. **1/4
Battle of the Belts is coming, January 8, 2022.
Tay Conti (39-6) and Anna Jay (8-4) vs. Alice Crowley and Missa Kate (first time teaming). “Paul, do you and Eddie have a secret handshake?” Eddie doesn’t like the idea of two people just being friends. No word as to why.
Jay and Kate start. Jay sends Kate into the corner and gets an elbow, and Tay adds one of her own. Snapmare by Conti, into a surfboard. Kingston is in a very bad mood right now. Kate tries a backslide, but Tay with the seoi nagi trio into a wrist-clutch roundhouse kick. Pump kick misses, though, and Crowley gets in. Jay is in too, though, and she gets the Booker T hook kick and corner elbow. Running leg lariat in the corner and she sweeps Crowley’s legs in order to get a somersault sliding kick for two. Tay pump kicks Kate ou tof the ring, and the Queenslayer to Crowley wins at 1:50. Someone give Eddie a hug.
Santana and Ortiz (#5 team, 13-3) vs. Brayden Lee and Isaiah Moore (debut). You know, ever since they’ve painted their faces, it’s taken me a couple seconds to figure out who’s who when they enter. That’s because I’m an idiot.
Santana and Lee start. They exchange waistlocks and Lee goes International~!, but Santana rolls through a hiptoss only to get dropkicked. Santana’s more mad than hurt, and he smacks Lee in the back of the head before getting an uppercut, snapmare, and vicious dropkick. Ortiz in, and Lee gets snake-eyed into the corner. Alley-oop powerbomb to Santana, and Ortiz lets Moore come in. Ortiz with a headlock, reversed by Moore, and Ortiz escapes with a back elbow and leg lariat. Moore with a rollup and Pele kick for one, but Ortiz goes up and over and gets a Northern Lights straitjacket suplex for two. Santana dives onto Lee for fun, then tags himself in to get a big boot on Moore. Enzuigiri into a discus lariat, and Santana pins Moore at 2:56. Santana looked amazing in his short time. 1/2*
Tony Nese (2-0) vs. Vic Capri. Okay, let’s see if Nese can have a squash. You could excuse Fuego Del Sol as he was a name, and Logan Laroux was clearly trying out, but Capri? We’ll see. Vic Capri, nicknamed “Ice Pick”, is apparently a Chicago mainstay.
Nese with a waistlock and push-off, then he poses. Nese gets a kneelift and slugs away, chopping Capri in the ropes. Capri tries to fight back with forearms, but Nese trips him and comes back with a Hotshot. Double jump moonsault follows, for two. It was an arrogant cover. He goes to the ground headlock as Kingston doesn’t understand what “premier” means. Capri avoids a blind charge and gets a running kick for two. Nese goes under Capri, keeps the wrist, and gets a pumphandle Michinoku Driver (!!) to win at 2:14. That’s a much better finisher than the running knee in the corner. 1/2*
Matt Hardy (21-10) and Isaiah Kassidy (22-14) and The Blade (20-11) vs. Evil Uno (28-15) and Stu Grayson (27-8) and Alan Angels (14-23). So in the YouTube chat someone was mocking WWE for having the same matches over and over, while they book the hundredth different HFO/Dark Order match. Eddie’s done for the night, so Mark Henry steps in.
The HFO attack during the Dark Order salute and isolate Angels, with Hardy getting 12-6 elbows to the back of the head. Snapmare and legdrops from Hardy, and Blade comes in to keep Angels in the corner with a boot choke. Kassidy with rights behind the ref’s back, and everyone adds a boot scrape. Kassidy chokes Angels as Bunny screams at him, then Kassidy adds a back elbow for two. Kassidy chokes Angels in the corner, then Hardy comes in and helps Kassidy by doing Poetry in Motion… only it’s Angels coming off Hardy’s back to rana Kassidy!
Hardy can’t stop him, Blade can’t stop him, Hardy still can’t stop him, but Blade and Kassidy pull Uno and Stu off the apron so there’s no hot tag. Angels walks into a Side Effect for two, Uno saves. Kassidy tags in and is sent to the top rope, but the Swanton Bomb misses for the real double-down. Hot tag Stu, and he gets an overhead suplex on Kassidy. Blade in and they slug it out, but Grayson with a lariat and kip-up. Nightfall is set up, but Blade escapes, only for Uno to enter with a big boot. Roundhouse into a reverse DDT gets two for Uno on Blade.
Big chop by Uno, but Blade elbows out and knocks Stu off the apron. Blade with a five-arm to Uno, and Hardy and Angels come in with Hardy pummeling him. Twist of Fate is set up, but Angels escapes and gets one of his own! He goes up top, and the frog splash gets two, Blade saves and EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL! Stu dives onto Blade with a tornillo as we’re back to Hardy and Angels. Hardy puts Angels up top and follows, but Angels fights out and knocks Hardy to the mat. He dives into a Side Effect try, but Angels escapes into a cradle for two. Kassidy with an enzuigiri from the apron, and the Twist of Fate… wins at 6:21?
Because when you have someone facing Bryan Danielson in two days, you absolutely have to feed him to the all-important Matt Hardy. Commentary claims Angels had him beat, but did he win? No. Horrible booking decision. *1/2
Jay Lethal (0-1) vs. Trenton Storm (debut). For those wondering about TNA’s influence, Lethal opens with the scale from Pomp and Circumstance, and Justin Roberts growls up “Elizabeth, NJ”. I mean, technically someone gets a first win, but guess who.
Storm with a cheap shot to start and he chops away. Lethal recovers with a hiptoss and cartwheel elbowdrop, then does the Fargo Strut and adds a chop. Lethal goes up and over, but Storm goes to the eyes and gets a cradle into a thrust kick for one. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, but Lethal elbows out and chops Storm. He catches a boot and floats under to clothesline Storm, then lands a dropkick. Reverse DDT set up into a facejam, and the Lethal Injection ends it at 2:12. FIRST WIN ALERT! Lethal doesn’t seem to have much anymore if this is any indication. 1/4*
Main Event: Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison) (19-5) and Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) (7-0) vs. Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico) (3-20) and The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (28-7). Excalibur, thinking about how chaotic this match will be: “Tony picked a heck of a time to ‘do his taxes’, didn’t he?” Reynolds and Silver should be considered for the Top 5 down the line. Caster time! “A ring full of losers – who is that, the Cubs?” “Y’all [Dark Order] lose more matches than Barry Horowitz.” “You’re like Aaron Rodgers: you’ll never get a shot!” That last line gets a huge pop in Chicago, as you can imagine.
Reynolds and Luther start. Pump kick by Luther and he brings Serpentico in, throwing him into… a boot from Reynolds. Reynolds with a running boot and he brings in Silver, as Dark Order gets a double drop toe hole and double dropkick. Garrison in, and he holds Serpentico open for Pillman to chop away and get a corner clothesline. Leap-up Stinger Splash by Garrison, and Pillman runs over Serpentico. Pillman tries a powerbomb, but Serpentico ranas out of it and Caster gets a clothesline from the apron. Caster tags in, and he holds Pillman open for Bowens to work him over with CLUBBERING.
Luther in, and he kicks Pillman in the ribs and tags in Serpentico. Serpentico and Pillman get noggin-knocked, then Luther Hammer Throws Serpentico into… no one, as Pillman gets out of the way. Hot tag to Garrison, and he gets a BACK body drop to Serpentico and dumps Caster. Bowens eats a snap kick to the face, and Garrison with Stinger Splashes to Bowens and Serpentico. Serpentico escapes a suplex, but Bowens with a SUPERKICK to Garrison only for Garrison to recover with a Discus Punch.
Silver tagged in, and he clears the ring. Serpentico sends Silver to the apron only to get caught, and Silver does the race around the ring. He goes up top, and a crossbody to Serpentico gets two. Silver backdrops Reynolds onto all of Serpentico’s teammates, but Serpentico with a cradle and tights for two. Silver trips Serpentico into the ropes and kicks the back of his head, and the Spin Doctor ends it at 4:42. This was all about Johnny Hungee. *1/4
Thoughts and prayers with Scott at this time… I’ll see you tomorrow.