Dustin Rhodes def. Gustavo
We found out at the end of Saturday's Dynamite that Dustin will be partaking in the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament. I have no idea why since it feels like he barely wrestles nowadays, but I can't complain about getting a potentially great match between him and Bryan Danielson in the first round. This was quicker than I thought it would be, but it did give Dustin a win before he faces Danielson. He can still very much hold his own even in his 50s.
Wardlow def. Will Austin
Damn, this crowd loved themselves some Wardlow. AEW has been booking him perfectly. He's been aligned with MJF for over two years and I still think it's too soon for them to break up. But if and when it does happen, it's going to be huge and cement Wardlow as a breakout babyface. This short and sweet squash was indicative of that. This was exactly what it needed to be.
Santana and Ortiz def. Jaka and Sean Maluta
Maluta has been doing enhancement stuff for AEW for a while and for WWE even longer. He plays his role really well and is smooth in the ring. Jaka had a decent outing here as well, though I could have done without him and Maluta scoring as much offense over Santana and Ortiz as they did. Nonetheless, this was a fun little sprint with Santana and Ortiz racking up another win ahead of their eventual opportunity at the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
Nyla Rose, Diamante and Emi Sakura def. Red Velvet, Ryo Mizunami and KiLynn King
I read recently that Mizunami has apparently relocated to the United States and will be full-time with AEW going forward. Oh joy. In all seriousness, I'm not as into her work or Sakura's as other people are, but they bring enough to the table that I can see the AEW women's division working with them and benefiting, such as in this match. The in-ring action was chaotic, everyone had a chance to shine, and it was a quality showcase for the ladies who aren't on Dynamite or Rampage often.
I may be in the minority here, but I am really digging these shorter shows for Elevation. It makes my job a hell of a lot easier. Joking aside, they're far easier to digest and don't overstay their welcome. The main event on this episode was obviously the best of the bunch and they made the most of the time they had, while the first three squashes were well done. Throw in a lively crowd and you have a thumbs-up edition of Elevation.