Arena: Indiana Farmers Coliseum
City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Last Week’s Rating: 411,000 overall; 0.11 in 18-49 demo
Say what you will, Rampage has a very loyal audience. Though an aging one – per Wrestlenomics – as it creeps toward Raw in that category.
It’s Friday Night, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Cole Karter vs Darby Allin
Backstory: Genuinely forgotten ‘til they showed a clip but Karter was the one playing Sting, costing Darby a match vs Lethal
Sting knew what was up, heading backstage despite Darby being outnumbered by Karter and Nick Comoroto. The latter of whom got battered by a baseball bat courtesy of Allin before the match even started.
He then absolutely obliterated Karter with his killer tope and was generally bossing things until being crotched while perched atop the buckle and powerbombed against the apron.
‘This crowd is stunned at this turnaround by Cole Karter’ explained Excalibur. They continued to be ‘stunned’ for the entirety of Karter’s offense.
The NXT dropout then flung Darby to the corner and powerbombed him again, then threw a dropkick. Next heading outside to fling Allin into the ringsteps. Karter then threw knees to the head. What sounded like a ‘You look green’ chant kicked up.
After several minutes of Karter dominance, if I wasn’t recapping this, I’d already have turned it off.
Back from break, Darby avoided a splash in the corner, Karter replied with a knee to the face. Darby slipped behind – chop-block, kick to the face – but was dropped again as boredom began to turn to frustration among those in attendance. Allin targeted the hand, Karter threw more shots to the face, Darby fired up, hit a Code Red and bagged a two.
Heading to the top, he was crotched once more and dropped with a very sloppy avalanche Falcon Arrow which saw Darby’s head land in Karter’s lap (Pac and Omega this was not).
Finally, Allin slipped behind, hit a Scorpion Deathdrop and a Coffin Drop as one of the ‘four young pillars’ scraped a win over an absolute nobody. Darby is far too giving.
WINNER: Darby Allin
Straight to Renee backstage with Keith Lee. Who noted it was an ongoing negotiation with he and Swerve. Shane Taylor then turned up (apparently an ROH guy) who accused Lee of always abandoning family and challenged him to a tag match vs him and ‘JD Griffey’ at Final Battle – for which he’d need a partner – as a smiling Swerve slipped up behind Keith. Lee asked ‘Can I even count on you dude?’ as Strickland continued to grin.
Footage of Ten turning on the Dark Order aired – Silver and Reynolds said he’d made the biggest mistake of his life.
From mid-ring Renee introduced the tag team champs – who included a ‘this ain’t TNA’ line in their rap. Are they sure?
Excalibur reminded us they’d promised to offer a shot to the second-best team in the company (themselves being the best). Bowens then recounted that Jarrett et al had interrupted their scissoring on Wednesday. But that wouldn’t help them ‘cut the line’. Because there’s a team who’ve been waiting a long time for a shot.
A loud ‘FTR’ chant played.
Before they could get to that, the Gunn Club came out. Then Jarrett’s music played. Dutt shrieked that they deserved a shot.
Billy Gunn interrupted to reiterate that they’d said they want ‘the best’. Bringing FTR out to stroll right through the heels right to the ring. They and the Acclaimed shook hands to cement the deal.
Please God don’t have the Ass Boys cost FTR to setup a bloody ROH match.
We were shown a video recapping the apparent feud between Shida, Penelope Ford and the Bunny. I was aware of one brief interaction. That does not constitute a feud. At least not a good one.
Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal vs Private Party
When Jeff Jarrett is all over tv and Miro can’t even sniff it, you have to ask questions about both the booking and talent evaluation. Matt Hardy accompanied PP to the ring.
Lethal began things for the J’s, facing off vs Cassidy, who hit an athletic armdrag but was quickly bundled into the heels’ corner. Jarrett came in, as did Quen, he and Cassidy hit a Whisper in the Wind for two. Quen was wrestling with his upper torso completely covered.
Cassidy mimicked Jarrett’s, sorry Flair’s, sorry Fargo’s strut. Jeff is nothing if not original.
To be fair – he does look damn good for his age.
Matt Hardy and Dutt bickered outside, Singh got involved, distracting the ref and allowing the heels to take advantage as the ads arrived.
Isiah then hit a springboard cutter on Jarrett, bagged a tag to Quen who hit an athletic springboard cross body to Lethal, then a dropkick before walloping Jarrett with a dive. Silly String to Lethal was next. With Jay down, Quen headed to the top but missed a 450, bagged a rollup but Jarrett snuck in while Aubrey was distracted to hit a sort-of combo Stroke/Lethal Injection (Jarrett just held Cassidy in place).
Remember when Private Party beat the Young Bucks in their very first tv match? How different the company’s approach is these days.
WINNER: Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
A clip aired of Renee talking with Saraya. She showed the goosebumps on her arm recalling her return to the ring.
Renee is phenomenal. So natural.
The Brit talked about how much her brother being there meant to her. ‘She helped me’ is what she said about Britt, without explaining any further. And talked about what Full Gear had done for the women as a whole with three matches on the show and a new champion. And that’s what she wants to be – the women’s champion.
Again she came off here as very humble, which is good. But she definitely doesn’t have the aura she should and nearly two weeks of barely being mentioned doesn’t help.
Athena vs Dani Mo
Athena had Dani beat early but picked her up and then threatened the ref. A roundhouse kick brushed Athena’s hair as Excalibur awed at her ability to shake it off. An off-the-shoulder drop across the knee, face-first, got the win.
She then flung Mo to the outside and beat her around ringside and threatened to punch Aubrey when a bunch of refs came down.
A Juice Robinson promo – he issued a challenge for Final Battle – for Samoa Joe’s ROH TV Title. They’re trying very, very hard to make ROH big enough to get that tv deal.
A brief recap of what MJF did to Regal on Weds.
Darby Allin promo. Said hed been settling some personal scores but now that was done he wanted his TNT title back. He’s going to have Sting banned from ringside for the match because he wants it to be just the two of them. After singing ‘Joe’s gonna kill you’, he insisted that Joe would have to do just that to beat him.
(Would have been much more effective if Darby had run through his past two opponents rather than squeaking by. Otherwise, good promo).
Orange Cassidy vs QT Marshall, Lumberjack Match, All-Atlantic Title
Backstory: Cassidy continued his gimmick of breezily accepting title challenges Wednesday
It’s the match nobody wanted for the title no-one cares about! The crowd barely even chanted along with ‘It’s time for the main event’.
(Excalibur revealed that Juice Robinson is officially signed with AEW.)
The Best Friends and Danhausen were dressed like literal lumberjacks and wanted to bring axes down to ringside. I suppose this title becoming a comedy belt at least differentiates it. After being quickly sent outside, QT popped back in and returned the favor: Orange began the kicks on all the heels.
But was caught by QT coming back in and hit with a tilt-a-whirl, then another backbreaker before Marshall flung Orange outside once more. Where Ethan Page demanded Matt Hardy attack him but Hardy helped Orange back in. They were filming these two arguing instead of showing the match as we went to, mercifully, the show’s final break.
The armband was off with QT down as we came back but the Factory ran into the ring, bringing the Best Friends in to stereo clothesline them over the top then hit them with synchronized dives.
QT hit an enziguri but ate a Stundog Millionaire before blocking a tornado ddt. Preparing the Diamond Cutter off the shoulders, Cassidy slipped behind, looking for Beach Break but was hit with a right then hauled up for a powerbomb which he turned into a hurracanrana. After this time hitting the tornado ddt, both were down.
A kip up was greeted with a big cheer from the crowd. With Orange Punch about to be served, the Factory dragged QT out of harm’s way. Marshall was about to piledrive him on the apron when Danhausen Cursed him – QT flipped him off – an appropriate response.
But the distraction worked – letting Cassidy hit a Beach Break on the apron. Orange then took out half the lumberjacks with a dive before climbing atop the ropes where Penelope Ford distracted him, allowing Kip Sabian to shove him off the top into a Diamond Cutter.
Cassidy kicked out, QT setup another but ate an Orange Punch then another Beach Break as Cassidy retained.
He then tope’d himself into Kip who began beating Cassidy up the ramp as a brawl broke out among the lumberjacks – none of whom the crowd could’ve possibly cared about.
Thankfully the lights went out and the House of Black appeared. Malakai and Matthews beat up the many, many people who should never appear on tv until Malakai stopped the other two from hitting Dante’s Inferno to Ortiz. After they hit it on Serpentico instead, Malakai kicked Ortiz on the outside so not sure what that was about. They can’t possibly be building dissension among the House already, surely?
What a mess.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
- Jade Cargill and the Baddies vs Kiera Hogan, Skye Blue and (I’m assuming Madison Rayne – Excalibur announced these at warp speed)
- the Acclaimed vs FTR, AEW Tag Titles
- Darby Allin vs Samoa Joe, TNT Title
- MJF Promo
- Shida vs the Bunny, Regina Di WAVE Title (Yes, ANOTHER title)
On Wednesday, Jade Cargill talked about the ‘regular consumer’ and their tastes. Tonight, it’s very probable the regular consumer would’ve found at least one wrestler in every match they couldn’t care less about. Tony Khan has to get over his aversion to beating ‘name’ wrestlers, because defeating Cole Karter and QT Marshall does nothing for fans or victors alike.
At least some of Wednesday’s matches look good because there’s not much else to look forward to in this company at the moment.
- Zip, zilch, zero, nada, nothing.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!