Rampage recap & reactions: Cowboy Combat Club

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AEW Rampage (Jan. 27, 2023) emanated from Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. The show featured Hangman Page pounding Wheeler Yuta in a statement to Jon Moxley, Jamie Hayter and Emi Sakura engaging in a rugged main event, and much more.

Let’s jump right in with a recap of the show followed by reactions.

Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Chris Jericho were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

Hangman Page vs. Wheeler Yuta

Yuta was aggressive from the outset by dropkicking Hangman when the cowboy wasn’t looking. Hangman laid it in thick himself with high-impact offense, such as a powerbomb on the apron, a superplex, an avalanche Death Valley Driver, and German suplexes.

Avalanche Death Valley Driver by #HangmanAdamPage!
Watch #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/SOBn95uKo2

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Yuta answered Hangman’s German suplexes with a triple German suplex shuffle. Yuta also had a cool German suplex sequence with one on the apron transitioning to one on the floor.

Devastating suplex by @WheelerYuta on the floor!
Watch #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/OFVyxs8Gir

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

The match progressed as a surly affair. Yuta’s best shot at winning came on a flying splash. Hangman kicked out at two and change. Fisticuffs erupted in the center of the ring. Yuta decided to bite Hangman, so the referee stepped in to force a break. That freed Hangman to execute a strategic Buckshot Lariat. Instead of the pin, Hangman sent a message to Jon Moxley with a Death Rider on Yuta. At least that was the intent. Hangman’s move looked more like a double underhook suplex than a Death Rider.

A CLEAR message sent to @JonMoxley by #HangmanAdamPage!
Watch #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/gDI2nGqUCT

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Hangman Page defeated Wheeler Yuta.

Ricky Starks and Action Andretti had comment after Dynamite in regard to losing to Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. It was a baseball bat that beat them. Andretti guaranteed that he can beat Sammy. Starks had Jericho down with the Roshambo on the floor, and, once again, it wasn’t Jericho who got the job done. It’s always JAS help. Starks will do anything to get hands on Jericho again.

“I can beat the good ole @IAmJericho. And that is the #ABSOLUTE truth.” @starkmanjones @ActionAndretti

It’s #AEWRampage on TNT! pic.twitter.com/IUoUBqu3iC

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Eddie Kingston is tired of fighting his demons. He quit on holding it back. Time for the real Kingston to come out now. If Ortiz didn’t like being hit with the chair, then do something. Kingston understands the House of Black now. He is ready to come home. They just have to accept him.

“House Of Black, I understand you.. I’m ready to go home.”
Have the mind games of the #HouseOfBlack taken @MadKing1981 into the darkness?

Watch #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/f7QODND7PC

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, & Satnam Singh vs. Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, & Danhausen

Sonjay Dutt and Orange Cassidy were ringside. Danhausen brought a ukulele to match Jarrett’s guitar. Lethal stole the mini instrument, so Singh can break it into pieces. The bout had solid tag team wrestling from the Best Friends with Lethal and Jarrett playing the role as booable scoundrels. The real attraction was Danhausen stepping into the ring against Singh. The giant felt no pain from Danhausen’s muscle offense, so Best Friends switched strategy to overwhelm Singh with rapid-fire hits. All four friends in the crew struck to pull Singh’s throat into the ropes one after the other after the other after the other for a quadruple blow.

#BestFriends @trentylocks @sexychuckiet and @DanhausenAD taking it to @hellosatnam while @sonjaydutterson gets wiped out!
Tune in to #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/0bSvsyzmXl

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

That was the beginning of the wacky end. Cassidy blasted Dutt with a superman punch. Danhausen had the guitar as a weapon, which was removed by the referee. Jarrett took advantage to wallop Danhausen with the stolen Golden Globe award. Singh stepped on Danhausen’s chest for the easy pin.

Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, & Satnam Singh defeated Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, & Danhausen.

Ruby Soho sassed Dr. Britt Baker DMD about taking the spotlight. Soho didn’t need nor want Baker’s help to beat Toni Storm. Baker chirped back that sides are forming in the women’s division and that Soho needs to pick a team.

“If you’re smart, you’ll know which side to pick”@RealBrittBaker @realrubysoho

Tune in to #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/czDHO1sZCc

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Will Hobbs vs. Tony Mudd

Hobbs mauled Mudd to finish with a Torture Rack slam.

#PowerhouseHobbs is NOT messing around. Total destruction here on #AEWRampage on TNT by @truewilliehobbs! pic.twitter.com/DgMC3GICxb

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Will Hobbs defeated Tony Mudd.

Top Flight has shown why they are the coldest tag team in the game. They came up short against the best in the company, but luck is changing with the win over the Young Bucks. Top Flight made a call to AR Fox with a challenge to the Elite for the trios titles.

“Step up or take flight!”@TopFlight612 is teaming up with @ARealFoxx to issue a challenge to #AEW World Trios Champions #TheElite @youngbucks @KennyOmegamanX for the Titles!

It’s #AEWRampage on TNT! pic.twitter.com/LKhgLe4QdT

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Dustin Rhodes had a rough month in his personal life. Coming back to wrestling is a way for mental therapy. Swerve Strickland interrupted to criticize the old head veterans stealing the spotlight. Swerve insulted the Rhodes family. Dustin’s patience was tested. Referees stepped in to prevent a physical altercation.

.@dustinrhodes gets interrupted by the #MogulAffiliates @swerveconfident @TheParkerB_#AEWRampage is on TNT! pic.twitter.com/Sd2f3ywBKM

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Hype package for the main event. Jamie Hayter will hit Emi Sakura hard. Mark Henry closed with his signature line, “It’s time for the main event!”

Red Velvet stepped to Jade Cargill. Velvet will be the 1 in 49-1 to give Jade her first loss.

Will TBS Champion @Jade_Cargill make it to 50-0?@Thee_Red_Velvet @HoganKnowsBest3 @Miss_LeilaGrey
Tune in to #AEWRampage on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/8kJ4N3AW0l

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

AEW Women’s World Championship eliminator: Jamie Hayter (c) vs. Emi Sakura

Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Rebel, Mei Suruga, and Baliyan Akki were ringside. Sakura had early control of the physical contest. Hayter exploded for three consecutive exploder suplexes.

JAMIE. HAYTER. #AEWRampage pic.twitter.com/8XVM3PGKNA

— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) January 28, 2023

Down the stretch, Sakura had Hayter in deep trouble. Sakura scored on a delayed vertical double underhook backbreaker, baited Hayter into a crucifix pin, and landed a moonsault. None of that was enough to keep Hayter down. Sakura unloaded stiff slaps across the face and to the head. Hayter powered up for a crushing lariat. Sakura ducked the ripcord lariat to counter for a backdrop driver. Hayter popped up to deliver a devastating lariat and finished with a ripcord lariat for victory.

#AEW Women’s World Champion @jmehytr is victorious after an intensely physical WAR in the main event of #AEWRampage on TNT! pic.twitter.com/0PxpSidBpA

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023

Jamie Hayter defeated Emi Sakura.

Hangman Page versus Wheeler Yuta was exactly the kind of fight I desire to open Rampage. It tickled the salivary glands for a slobberknocking good time. Hangman and Yuta clobbered each other in an exciting manner. This bout showed why there are weight classes in professional fighting. I feel like if Yuta had more meat on his frame then his force would increase. The hits would have been harder for Hangman to endure. And on the flip side, Hangman had more power to crush Yuta when it mattered most. Hangman seemed preoccupied at times staring off into the crowd. It was funny to see Yuta take advantage to strike offense, such as the opening dropkick. Hangman pulled it together in the end for a statement finish to usher in the era of the Cowboy Combat Club.

Jamie Hayter versus Emi Sakura was an unexpected delight. The matchup was thrown together with no spark. Sakura didn’t even get a chance to speak in the hype package. On paper, there was no intrigue. Once the opening bell rang, they put on a heck of match. The physicality was riveting. Sakura was so effective down the stretch that it made me wonder if she could pull off the upset as she racked up a string of near falls with little time remaining in the program. Hayter’s hefty lariats slammed that door shut. This was a very good main event. It could have been great under different story circumstances. Imagine if there was a sliver of hope in believing Sakura could actually win. That would have driven up the drama tenfold.

Quick thoughts on the rest of the show. Eddie Kingston sounded phony. He may have a trick up his sleeve for the House of Black. Best Friends looked sharp as a tag team. AEW needs a stronger heel roster in the tag division with so many babyface duos as fan favorites right now. I like how AEW treats Satnam Singh as a genuine giant in the ring. It keeps his mystique alive until he’s ready for regular duty. The bossiness of Dr. Britt Baker DMD showed why AEW needs three sides to this story of homegrown talent. Ruby Soho and Hikaru Shida shouldn’t want to choose neither Baker nor Saraya as allies at this moment. Let the pure babyfaces thrive as their own unit. Dustin Rhodes versus Swerve Strickland is a great stroke of matchmaking for a quick beef. Rhodes is beloved by AEW fans, and that will provide effective heel heat for Swerve to blaze bright when he does Dustin dirty.

Grade: B

The opener and main event were bonafide slugfests. The rest of the show chugged along setting up stories with effective promo scenes.

Share your thoughts about Rampage. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?


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