AEW Dark Elevation recap (September 12, 2022): Butcher & Blade ax The Factory
AEW Dark: Elevation Episode 80 is in the books! If you missed the live stream, click here for the Cageside Seats stream. The Excalibur and “Daddy Magic” announcement team Matt Menard called the action this week. The Butcher doesn’t have a baker, but he and Blade are certainly ready to make candlesticks with two opponents. Let’s get straight to the point!
Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir vs. JC Storm and Joelle Clift
As a team, the Beast of Burdens is 6-1 going into this game, and they were accompanied by their manager Vickie Guerrero. As a team, JC Storm and Joelle Clift are 0-0, as they have never teamed up before tonight. As much as I love Mr. Ménard, he needs to spend less time laughing at his own jokes and more time taking action. Nyla Rose rolled to a vertical suplex and hit a Gordbuster on Clift before scoring to Shafir. Rose put Clift on her shoulders and Shafir immediately nailed her on the head from there. Ménard: “Can someone watch her? Good night! Impressive.”
Julia Hart vs. Tiara James
Hart brought a 16-3 record and the best entrance music on Elevation to the ring. Ménard: “Quickly became one of my favorite artists, I must say.” I don’t mind him saying it because I have been for a while. James was making her AEW debut here and unlike many of Hart’s opponents, she showed no fear. She just stood there in the middle of the ring like, “Come on, let’s strap in.” Hart responded by stomping his foot, bringing it to the ground, then dribbling his head across the canvas like a basketball. James tried to shoot for a response but was whipped to the mat by his hair and hit with a standing moonsault. Hart picked her up before the three count, hit a clothesline from behind, then locked her Hartless submission. James is Hart’s last victim I’d like to see more of when she’s not feeding the wolf.
Dante Martin and Matt Sydal vs. Serpentico and Zack Clayton
Excalibur called Zack Clayton and Serpentico “an unlikely duo”. You are right ! Unfortunately, Luther still decided to accompany them to the ring. Since they had never teamed up before, they were 0-0 for this game. This would not be the case for their opponents Martin and Sydal. They brought records of 58-33 and 41-33 but their record as a duo was not shown. I’m sure AEW knows this – why not use it? Ménard: “Who doesn’t like Serpentico? Come on.” I think I’d love it even more if Luther left and never came back. Martin took a dive out to eliminate all three heels. He immediately returned to the ring and hit a Nose Dive on Serpentico for the pin. Did Clayton even land a shot for his team? I don’t think he did! It was all one minute max.
Athena vs. Emi Sakura
Sakura has a 19-9 record in singles competition and was already cackling at the top of the entrance ramp. The more she giggles, the better. She really needs a lackey to take her crown and her dress. Athena brought a 7-2 record to this contest. Sakura offered a handshake, Athena didn’t believe it, and it quickly turned into slapping and shoving. Athena called for a Greco-Roman knuckle lock, Sakura overpowered her and bridged her on her neck, but Athena flipped her up and down, splashed her in the corner and kicked her with an elbow. Sakura flipped it upside down and started her “we’ll rock you” stomp and clap. The dive crossbody connected and Athena appeared to be down and out. Backbreaker by Sakura. Tea stain sitting on it in the ropes. Athena finally fired with a forearm and was kicked in the stomach and head. Athena dropped to her knees to block his next move and threw a chop. Knee to the body, roundhouse kick and shotgun kick for Athena left Sakura on the floor. Athena: “Get up!!” Back drop by Athena. Sakura with five chops in a row. Athena yelled at her, hit a powerbomb and kick to the jaw, went to the top rope for the Eclipse and pinned her. It was the only pin attempt of the entire match and the only one needed. A great physical battle between these two!
Brody King and Buddy Matthews vs. Isaiah Prince and Kubes
It’s time for some more House of Black action! The lights went out again, and when they came back on, Hart was accompanying the 8-3 Matthews and the 12-5 King to the ring. The lights went out a second time and when they came back on we saw all three of them bathed in a blue glow in the middle of the ring. Kubes and Prince were already waiting in the ring during all of this to make their tag team debuts. Ménard: “I am very confused. Who is Kubes? I don’t think it matters Papa Magic. Both are just here to die. King took both men down on his own and the referee did nothing to stop him. (Would you?) Matthews tagged in and he kicked Prince off the ropes before giving Kubes a cannonball into the corner. King placed himself somewhere in all of this and gave Kubes a pump handle driver before making the easy pin. If you like gloriously one-sided violent squash, this is it.
Hikaru Shida vs. Christina Marie
Shida brought a 63-15 record to this contest. Marie was waiting for him with an 0-1 record so far in AEW. She talked to Shida and got herself face pie, hit with a right elbow and a sliding elbow, then covered for a two count. Marie tried to jump on her back for a sleeper but Shida jerked her backwards into the turnbuckle, slapped her in the face, went up to play in front of the crowd, and got shot by Marie for her trouble. Marie tried to pick up Shida for a slam and failed Shida went for a vertical suplex and didn’t fail. The Buffalo crowd attempted to throw a count of Shida, then managed to count for all ten punches in the corner. She hit a meteor and katana headbutt for the pin and the win. Almost entirely one way and again, can’t complain at all.
John Silver vs. Ryan Nemeth
The would-be “Hollywood Hunk” himself Nemeth entered with a 6-15 record. I typed “Hollywood Junk” by mistake and debated leaving it as it would be more accurate. Silver entered flanked by Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds and Preston Vance – the latter two on crutches. All three waited on the ramp as “Johnny Hungee” made his way to the ring. His record for 2022 was 27-9. Silver dominated until Nemeth hit a dropkick as Silver climbed the ropes from the outside. Nemeth took him back to the ring for a count, threw his knees to the body and gave Aubrey Edwards a look like, “Are you gonna stop me? I don’t think so.” Well, she wouldn’t for two reasons – if it was a real sport, the referee isn’t supposed to stop the action unless it’s illegal, and since it’s not, she is supposed to let Nemeth beat Silver so he can shoot in response. Go for it, he did it. He finished the big comeback with a Spin Doctor for three. A little less squash than the last two fights…but only a little.
The Butcher and the Blade vs. the Factory (Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solo)
Since these matches were taped in Buffalo, you knew Buffalo’s own Butcher & Blade would be the main event. Before they could exit, QT Marshall flanked his team 4-8 in the ring and yelled at Justin Roberts for being an idiot. “I thought I said we would never come to this town. Nothing good ever came from Buffalo, New York. I can’t think of anyone, anything from Buffalo that counts as a shit. He barely needed to do that to convince their opponents, but he did it anyway. It was good to see Bunny join them in the ring this time around, and all three were wearing Buffalo Sabers jerseys with their ring names on the back. They hardly needed to flatter the crowd so much, but they did it anyway. Excalibur noted that they’ve never competed in Buffalo as part of AEW, so it’s fair to say this would be the biggest crowd in Buffalo they’ve ever been in front of.
Butcher and Comoroto had a host fight where they tried to beef up, and as you’d expect, Butcher had the upper hand. He tagged Blade and they hit a double clothesline, and Blade encouraged fans to raise the roof. Excalibur: “It’s like 1989 here!” Factory responded by cutting the ring to give Blade a two-on-one beating, and Marshall landed a punch from the outside to heat up the crowd even more. Butcher came back and hit a pumphandle suplex, Comoroto ran to stop a team double maneuver, and Comoroto set up Blade for a kick and a near pinfall. Marshall got in the ring to wrap his watch around his fingers for a punch, and he was caught and thrown out. Butcher and Blade immediately Soloed Drag the Lake for the pin. Fans were thrilled. One even held up a sign that read “Buffalo loves Garcia, Butcher, Blade & Bunny.”
What to watch/skip
This week’s Elevation Report is brought to you by Full Death. After a full week of nothing but AEW drama, it was nice to not think about it for 45 minutes and just enjoy the action. After it was over I paused to contemplate that it was recorded the same night CM Punk and The Elite were stripped of their belts, but during the show it was just pure fun. The best match was Shida and Sakura, but the most fun was the main event. No jumps this week. None.
Cageside’s commentary team! Share your thoughts in the comments section below and find me on twitter for even more wrestling discussions. See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark!