Episode 16 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Karl Anderson with the Elite by his side, the return of Riho, and Eddie Kingston shaking the house with the Pentagon in tag team action.
The main event was the Pentagon and Eddie Kingston versus Jack Evan and Angelico. Alex Abrahantes was in the front row. The crowd was pumped for King and Penta. Loud chants of “Eddie!” “Were followed by strong chants of” Cero miedo!
Kingston hasn’t let the fans down. He did the show by dancing like TH2.
As the match progressed, Angelico trapped Kingston in a tricky submission, so the Pentagon ran to kick Angelico in the head.
This led to Kingston slamming Evans to hot tag his best friend. The Pentagon hit Evans and Angelico with slingshot blades. The Pentagon continued with a dropkick to Evans then a monkey flip to send Angelico crashing into his partner. The Pentagon intended to finish, but Angelico kicked the masked man to save Evans.
TH2 rallied with a daredevil combo. Evans showed he came from the sky with a standing corkscrew moon jump.
Kingston was back in the ring for a half-and-half suplex against Evans. The Pentagon completed TH2 with a piledriver package to Evans.
Kingston and Pentagon duo gained momentum ahead of Wednesday night Dynamite. If they can beat the Young Bucks, they’ll earn a title shot.
Here is the Dark: Elevation programming with notes (watch, competition, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time for Dynamite:
- JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth vs. Gunn Club (showcase)
- Valentina Rossi vs. Penelope Ford (showcase)
- Serpentico vs. Brian Cage (showcase)
- Wheeler Yuta vs. Karl Anderson (showcase)
- Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson and Dustin Rhodes vs. Adrian Alanis, Liam Gray and Justin Corino (showcase)
- PB Smooth & Matt Justice vs. The Acclaimed (squash)
- KiLynn King vs. Riho (competitive)
- Aaron Rourke and Jake Logan vs. Varsity Blonds (squash)
- Katalina Perez vs. Thunder Rosa (squash)
- Blade vs. Chuck Taylor (Competitive)
- Private Party & Matt Hardy vs. Alan Reynolds, 5, & Colt Cabana (competitive)
- Hikaru Shida vs. Reka Tehaka (showcase)
- Pentagon and Eddie Kingston vs. TH2 (competitive)
All competitive matches are good for viewing. The main event is my pick at the top. The Dark Order was nice with the crowd behind them. Riho chopping down a tree was a lot of fun. Taylor found an aggressive streak against Blade. For the rest, Cage’s power play was a delight and Shida was back in action to deliver his signature moves.
Watch the show here.
Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight took care of the commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
The show opened with a video of Eddie Kingston and the Pentagon making the shutdown at the end of Dynamite. Kingston set up Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, and the AEW Locker Room.
Gunn Club defeated JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth. Billy and Colten represented the Gunn Club. Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi had a front row seat. Tag Billy to clean the house. He went to get a Fameasser. Nemeth countered in a gyrating daredevil attempt, however, Billy reversed in the Fameasser for the win.
Penelope Ford defeated Valentina Rossi. That was even until Ford stepped up the pressure for a firefighter to win.
Brian Cage defeats Serpentico. Will Hobbs, Hook and Luther had a front row seat. Luther intervened a few times. The Taz team had no reaction to Luther’s flight. The action spills over onto the stage. Cage cold Luther then powerbomb threw Serpentico into the ring.
Cage followed with a Drill Claw to win. Hobbs and Hook showed their support for Cage’s success, but it seemed like tension was in the air within Team Taz.
Karl Anderson defeated Wheeler Yuta. Young Bucks and Luke Gallows had a front row seat. Yuta’s speed had Anderson on her heels. Yuta fell under the spell of Gallows, then went straight into an Anderson spinebuster. Yuta rallied with a flying shotgun dropkick. He ran the ropes while dodging a clothesline to embark on a suicide dive. Bad move. Gallows grabbed Yuta for a spinebuster on the ground. The Bucks added a double superkick. Back in the ring, Anderson closed with a flying neck cutter. After the match, Nick Jackson ran the ropes by stepping on Yuta’s chest.
Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson and Dustin Rhodes defeated Adrian Alanis, Liam Gray and Justin Corino. Arn Anderson had a front row seat. Hot tag to Dustin to clean the house. Johnson connected on a flying attack to knock all three opponents down to the ground.
Johnson discharged a push kick to set Dustin up for the Bulldog victory.
The Acclaimed defeated PB Smooth and Matt Justice. Max Caster’s rap referred to Devin Booker’s broken nose, prostitutes and Joe Biden. Caster and Bowens picked up the big Smooth man by working his knee. Justice ate the pin after a twisted teamwork slam and then a flying nudge from Caster.
Riho defeated KiLynn King. The taller king laughed at the height difference during a strength test. Riho responded with a mid-section kick. Riho scored a flurry of attack, but King grabbed a flying crossbody to counter with a ribbreaker. King inflicted a penalty, then Riho took control with a hold on the ropes for a 619. Riho connected on a flying crossbody. King kicked and then hit a suplex. King took a high risk and missed a moonsault. Riho jumped for a double knee to win.
Varsity Blonds defeated Aaron Rourke and Jake Logan. Julia Hart had a front row seat. The bad guys attacked before the bell, but the Blonds quickly returned him with a double clothesline out of the ring. The Blonds followed with a running dropkick from Brian Pillman Jr. and a suicide dive from Griff Garrison to the ground. Back in the ring, it was time for Garrison with a record forearm. Pillman took to the air for a springboard clothesline for victory.
Thunder Rosa defeated Katalina Perez. Rosa worked her game using a Russian leg sweep to advance to a Peruvian tie submission victory.
Blade defeated Chuck Taylor. Bunny had a front row seat. Taylor gained momentum during the physical fight with an Awful Waffle slam. Blade has been kicked out. Taylor hit his target on a flying foot. Blade was kicked out again. When Taylor tried to finish off with a piledriver, Blade escaped for a roll-up. The cutlery master hooked his feet to the ropes with Bunny’s help to hold them in place while the involuntary referee counted the three. After the match, TH2 ran to stomp on Taylor. Orange Cassidy also ran to chase the bad guys.
Private Party and Matt Hardy defeated Alan Reynolds, 5, and Colt Cabana. Pre-match punches saw the Dark Order stand on their own. The momentum continued into the game. 5 was the engine for the Dark Order to fill with energy. 5 climbed the turnbuckles, but Hardy pulled on his leg. This allowed Private Party to knock out Gin & Juice for the win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Reka Tehaka. The former champion was in trouble after receiving two headshots and a Samoan fall, but the brilliant samurai bounced back with a rotating knee from Katana for the victory.
All struggling on this episode of Elevation. AEW has put together some interesting showdowns on paper. Riho against a tall opponent in KiLynn King provided a classic babyface fight. Hikaru Shida had an exciting fight as Reka Tehaka leaned over the features of Samoan wrestling. I was delighted to see Wheeler Yuta after seeing him in other promotions. He struggled pretty well considering he was an improvement talent to get beaten by the elite. Hope Yuta has a competitive fight to show off her skills.
I love the concept of Dustin Rhodes directing Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson as a trio. Now AEW just needs a line-up division to make sense of the veteran and two youngsters.
Chuck Taylor fought with an advantage due to Blade using brass knuckles to knock out Orange Cassidy on Dynamite. Even though the Elevation match was recorded in advance, I appreciate the attention you pay to him continuing the feud instead of falling into disarray.
Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out the most for episode 16? What was your favorite match?