It's Monday, you know what that means! It's time for the very first AEW show of the year as AEW Dark Elevation premieres it's 44th episode from the home of AEW, Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida. With Tony Schiavone, Mark Henry & Paul Wight on commentary, let's get straight to the wrestling!
Ahead of her big match against Britt Baker for the AEW Women's title at Battle of the Belts this Saturday, Riho gets a warm up against Valentina Rossi. In typical Riho fashion, she gives up the size advantage in this match and Valentina tries to take advantage of that but Riho has to do this every match and pretty quickly, she's on top and following the Dragon Feint Kick she climbs to the top rope and hits a Crossbody for two. Rossi avoids a knee in the corner and once again she begins to take over. Riho fights her off on the top rope and hits the Double Foot Stomps before she finishes the match with the Somato.
Up next is the man who randomly distracted Darby after his match last week, Andrade El Idolo who faces off with JP Harlow. As expected, this match doesn't last too long and Andrade takes his opponent apart before getting the win with a submission he's calling La Muerta.
We get two women we have seen before but haven't been properly introduced to yet as 0-3 Megan Bayne faces off with 0-11 Leila Grey next. Bayne gets a big entrance as she has a Greek Goddess gimmick and is billed from Athens Greece and she has a good match with Grey here but after almost having the match won once and pulling Leila up, Bayne puts her away with a Tombstone Piledriver to get her first win in AEW.
Match 4 on the card for tonight is Scorpio Sky who has a match with Ray Jaz. Scorpio starts off on top but he's too keen to gloat and it lets Jaz back in. Scorpio manages to get the advantage back pretty easily and even Lambert gets involved with a cheap shot. Jaz makes a big comeback and nearly gets the win with a Float over Backslide but Sky kicks out and takes over before he ends it with the TKO.
Silver & Reynolds come out with the most beloved child in professional wrestling in -1 to fight Mike Orlando & Shayne Stetson. The Dark Order have no issues early on and they dominate the match. Orlando & Stetson try to take over and do manage to isolate Reynolds for a little while but Reynolds escapes to allow John Silver to run wild on both his opponents. Silver has it won with a brainbuster but Orlando breaks up the pin and then Silver hits the Spin Doctor to take out Orlando then tags in Reynolds to hit their quick offence and Reynolds gets the win with the Jack Knife Pin.
Jake Atlas makes his AEW debut next and Eddie Kingston replaces Paul Wight on commentary. This is the first we've seen of Atlas since he left NXT and it's great to see him back in a wrestling ring. Serpentico tries to jump Atlas early but that advantage doesn't last as Atlas fights back and almost gets the win with a huge Lariat. Serpentico comes back with a Superkick and then gets his own two from a Flatliner. Atlas though explodes out of the corner with a German Suplex, hits a running knee and then finishes the match with a Cartwheel DDT from the top rope. Fantastic debut!
We now get Skye Blue who hasn't made an awful lot of appearances since she signed with AEW but this is a pretty good one as she manages to dominate Angelica Risk early on. Angelica catches her on the apron though and manages to take control for a little while but Skye comes back with a Cross Body before she hits two rising knee strikes and then finishes Angelica off with a Full Nelson into a Facebuster.
Jay Lethal makes his AEW Dark Elevation debut in the main event against Troy Hollywood who is making his first appearance in AEW. Jay Lethal takes over the match from the bell and Hollywood has to punch him in the throat to get control. He hits a Gourd Buster but refuses to pin him and then Lethal catches him only for Hollywood to roll him up. Lethal kicks out and hits a Flatliner before climbing to the top. He misses his move and we get a back and forth and Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection but Hollywood manages to hit a Suplex. The crowd sound their appreciation and then we get another brief back and forth before Jay Lethal finally hits the Lethal Injection and gets the pin. Good match!
Well, that was a fun way to kick off the calendar year! See you tomorrow for AEW Dark & follow me on Twitter @0r4n93_C4551dy. Adios.
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