AEW Dark: Elevation arrived on the wrestling map in 2021. The YouTube-exclusive show featured both AEW up-and-comers and established indie veterans. Much like AEW Dark, Elevation relied on pre-taped matches and maintained storyline continuity with AEW’s other programming.
The year 2022 saw the Jacksonville-based promotion tape 51 Elevation shows in various venues across the country. Established veterans such as Claudio Castagnoli, Jay Lethal, Matt Sydal, and Emi Sakura worked many Elevation tapings, resulting in a plethora of great matches.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the best AEW Dark: Elevation matches of 2022.
Emi Sakura vs. Toni Storm (AEW Dark: Elevation – July 25, 2022)
The AEW fanbase will likely agree that Emi Sakura needs to be put on national television. She’s incredible inside the squared circle. She’s also trained dozens of Joshi stars, including current AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida.
Sakura’s match with Toni Storm is one of the many great matches on AEW Dark and Elevation in 2022. The pair brought their A-game to the ring in this AEW Women’s World Title Eliminator match.
Athena vs. Jody Threat (AEW Dark: Elevation #85)
Athena apparently found herself in hot water for working an extremely stiff style against Jody Threat on AEW Dark: Elevation last year. However, one may change their opinion after viewing the match for a second time.
Did Athena work a stiff style? Yes, she did. Did Jody Threat hold her own? You bet. Jody displayed incredible resilience in the face of unbridled aggression – resulting in one of the best squash matches in AEW.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Konosuke Takeshita (December 26, 2022)
There’s no denying that Konosuke Takeshita had a spectacular 2022. The Japanese sensation put on some incredible matches on almost all of AEW programming. His performance turned him into a fan favorite.
One of Konosuke Takeshita’s overlooked matches came against Frankie Kazarian on AEW Dark: Elevation. This was a classic display of a rising star trying to prove himself against the more established veteran in Kazarian.
The match would’ve been even better had they got more than five minutes.
Hikaru Shida vs. Emi Sakura (AEW Dark: Elevation #78)
This match pitted the student in Hikaru Shida against the teacher in Emi Sakura. The bout had Shida’s Regina Di WAVE Championship on the line. This match saw a fine blend of athleticism and psychology.
The pair packed a lot of action into this 7-minute bout. The storyline was tied into Shida’s real-life relationship with Sakura as the pupil and the teacher. Truly a superb match that deserves far more recognition than it gets!
Minoru Suzuki vs. QT Marshall (April 26, 2022)
Minoru Suzuki has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous men in pro wrestling. A pioneer in shoot-style wrestling, Suzuki never misses to leave a path of destruction in his wake, something which Puroresu’s “Murder Grandpa” did against QT Marshall.
Their match was the highlight of AEW Dar: Elevation’s 60th episode. Marshall tried to keep Suzuki at arm’s length. However, he was dismantled by the more experienced and vicious veteran. Suzuki used his patented sleeper and Gotch-style piledriver combo for the win.