Jay Lethal def. Jora Johl
Kicking off Elevation with someone who isn't even on the official roster (if I remember correctly) isn't exactly how I envisioned Lethal being used when he joined AEW in November. Listen, I'm glad he's making appearances at all, but it's not like these wins really mean anything. This turned into a fun little opener. Lethal hitting his finisher out of nowhere is always cool. Post-match, Matt Hardy threatened to kick Johl out of the A.H.F.O., though I assume a majority of viewers didn't know he was an official member to begin with. I'm curious if he'll be kept around as a member once Hardy is eventually excommunicated.
Red Velvet def. Skye Blue
These two originally faced off on a special Dark episode taped over All Out 2021 weekend in Chicago. I remember that because it was Blue vs. Red and because Blue scored the upset victory, which was followed by her being granted a spot in the women's Casino Battle Royale by Tony Khan. This didn't have a chance to leave first gear, but what we got from them was decent. Velvet avenged the loss and is likely headed for a rematch with Leyla Hirsch soon.
Frankie Kazarian def. Alan "5" Angels
Like Lethal, Kazarian being thrown in that random multi-man tag team match last week on Elevation was a waste of what he can do. He's still very good in the ring at this stage of his career and doesn't often get the credit he deserves. Angels is talented in his own right, so unsurprisingly, this was a super solid and well-worked match. Angels got to look credible in defeat while Kazarian picked up another win.
Nyla Rose, Diamante and Emi Sakura def. Kayla Sparks, LMK and Paris Van Dale
Rose, Diamante and Sakura continue to be a trio that appear together fairly consistently on the Dark shows but never on television. In fact, Diamante and Sakura are almost always exclusive to the Dark shows. I don't care about Sakura, but Diamante deserves more opportunities. This was a one-sided squash for the heels where they showcased their offense and that was all there was to it. On a side note, Sparks is the same girl who lost to Serena Deeb on Friday's Rampage (also taped last Wednesday in Bridgeport) and appeared on SmackDown that same night when she kissed in the crowd by Los Lotharios. Good for her for getting so more exposure lately.
Lance Archer def. Fuego Del Sol
Jake Roberts was nowhere to be seen at ringside, or Dan Lambert for that matter. Did Lambert only link up with him until he unsuccessfully challenged for the AEW World Championship? Did he have to be involved in that mini feud in the first place? At any rate, this was the fun squash I was expecting it to be as Fuego sells well for everyone and Archer killing dudes never gets old. This wasn't over immediately, but I did like Archer taking his time to dismantle Fuego.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch def. Willow Nightingale
I've become a big fan of Nightingale over the last six months or so. I know she was already appearing on the Dark shows a year ago, but I've gotten to know more about her through MLW and Ring of Honor and she's been really impressive. I'd love to see her signed by AEW eventually, assuming they actually do something with her. This was a nice little match and I appreciated that Nightingale got to score some offense before eating defeat at the hands of Hirsch.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) def. The Chaos Project
I arrived late at the building when the Elevation taping was going on, so I missed almost all of the Elevation taping and this was the only match I managed to catch in full. Lucky me, I guess. Chaos Project being in the main event of Elevation and Dark so much lately has been terrible. I mean, I could hear Luther screaming from where I was sitting and I was in the back of the building. The best thing I can say about this is that it didn't last longer than it needed to. It was largely bad comedy from Chaos Project, but it did give Uno and Grayson a win, if nothing else.
As noted in the previous paragraph, I arrived late to the building due to the atrocious parking on the outside of the arena, so watching this on YouTube was my first time seeing any of the matches. I'm disappointed I missed seeing some of these people live and I'm also slightly disappointed that of all shows AEW didn't use local independent wrestlers for Elevation, it was this one. I would've liked to see some familiar faces from the northeast independent wrestling scene in action, but oh well. This was a harmless 40-minute episode. No matches are really worth going out of your way to see, but at least the show didn't overstay its welcome.