AEW Rampage (Feb. 3, 2023) emanated from Nutter Center in Dayton, OH. The show featured the Elite defending the trios titles, Saraya and Toni Storm being mean, and much more.
Excalibur, Jim Ross, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.
AEW World Trios Championship: Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks retained against Ethan Page, Matt Hardy, & Isiah Kassidy. Down the stretch, chaos broke out. Moves all around with all six men down. The Firm were quicker to recover and went on a run of offense culminating in a Twist of Fate from Hardy. That was the Firm’s best chance at winning, but the Elite were able to break the pinfall. Kassidy also surprised a flying Nick Jackson with a counter cutter in midair for a near fall.
Page and Hardy were down on the outside when Kassidy desperately needed to tag out. The Elite ran roughshod on poor Zay with a V-Trigger, One Winged Angel, and BTE Trigger to win.
This match went as expected with high-octane action and the Elite keeping the straps. The storyline to keep an eye on was Page’s behavior as bossy boss jerk. Even though All Ego flashed attitude at times, he cooperated in cohesive teamwork sequences with a desire to win. No doubt Page will pin the blame on poor Zay.
Swerve Strickland defeated Brian Pillman Jr. Competitive bout. Pillman started strong until his knee was jammed by Swerve. Strickland took control to pick Pillman apart. A babyface rally was thwarted by outside interference from the Mogul Affiliates goons. Swerve executed a Death Valley Driver on the apron and finished with a flying double stomp. Afterward, the bad guys put a beatdown on Pillman. Dustin Rhodes ran in for the save.
That match was better than I was expecting. I assumed Swerve would pick up an easy win, since Pillman hasn’t been on TV for so long. Pillman’s swagger was on point. He brought the fight to look strong. I didn’t like how Swerve needed cheating help to win. Pillman is an opponent he should be able to beat on his own. Unfortunately, AEW once again relies on the tired heel group cheat win that they are so fond of booking. Frankly, it’s been done to death in the promotion and feels stale. It makes Swerve look weak on this occasion. I like the possibilities of Dustin Rhodes assisting Pillman. A tag team down the line or even a trios unit with Brock Anderson would be interesting and a good way to feature Rhodes at this point in his career.
Saraya & Toni Storm defeated the Renegade twins. Even though the Renegade sisters were not an easy out, the mean girls handled their business to dominate. Storm finished with a piledriver for victory. Afterward, Saraya spray painted an L for loser on her victim.
Saraya and Storm continue to do a great job earning heel heat. Their recent actions makes it clear that they are despicable. It is easy to boo them as characters. I try to be stingy these days when saying AEW should sign someone, because their roster is so large as is. However, I really want to see the Renegade twins on a bigger platform, whether that be AEW or elsewhere. I believe they have a high potential for success wherever they eventually sign.
Rush defeated Christopher Daniels. In the words of Mark Henry, “It’s time for the main event!” Daniels was in peak form early, then Los Ingobernables roughed him up. They had zero regard for fair play and took improper shots on CD. The Fallen Angel outsmarted Jose The Assistant and Perro Peligroso to get back in the game. Daniels trapped Rush in a submission, but Rush’s allies placed his foot on the ropes for the break. Daniels went for the Best Moonsault Ever, and Rush got his knee up to block. A belly-to-belly suplex and the Bull’s Horns dropkick finished Daniels for the three-count.
Was this match good? Not really. There was so much interference that it was ridiculous. Was this match entertaining? Kind of, yes. The interference was so blatant that it became amusing. In a vacuum, it was a passable segment. In the larger context of showcasing Rush for his match versus Bryan Danielson on Dynamite, it fell short. Rush didn’t do anything to make me think he’s going to win. The story seems more about injuring Danielson rather than athletic competition. Even though MJF is paying Rush to hurt Danielson, Rush still needs to win to prevent Danielson from earning the world title bout.
Ricky Starks put his foot in his mouth letting JAS dictate a gauntlet match, but that’s okay. He will do what it takes to get at Chris Jericho again. Absolute always finds a way.
Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh proved that they can’t be matched by the Best Friends crew. Cut over to Danhausen and pals upset about being smashed in the head with the Golden Globe award. Danhausen was convinced that he was decimating the giant until they bamboozled him.
I’m sitting in the House of McDonalds, since my internet at home is out. Frankly, I can’t hear what Malakai Black is saying, so here is a copy of the description from Cain A. Knight, “Malakai Black says the House of Black doesn’t want Eddie Kingston. The goal was just to show how easily corruptible man is, and that’s what they accomplished with Ortiz and Kingston.”
Adam Cole worked harder than ever to return to wrestling. The thought of his dreams dying was motivation. Cole refuses to let anyone stand in his way to getting back in the ring.
Par for the course for a Friday night Rampage. Entertaining action with promos tying stories together. The Elite trios match was the best of the bunch.
Share your thoughts about Rampage. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?
Originally posted at: Read More