Arena: UBS Arena
City: Long Island, NY
Before we get started, Dynamite was five stars simply based on Anna Jay’s outfit: good God those boots. Also, yeah, Cole vs Dax was fantastic. They genuinely made me question who’d win, and honestly, that’s all I ask from a wrestling match. Plus, MJF/Wardlow; the BCC vs JAS; the likely tag team triple threat. Good stuff coming.
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Death Triangle vs Butcher, Blade, Marc Quen
Straight to the ring, Penta and Blade kicked things off, Blade on the receiving end of not one, but two ‘zero miedo’s’ before a brief exchange saw a stiff kick from Penta and a tag to Pac. The Bastard held the legs open as Penta delivered a diving footstomp from the top to, well, Blade’s blade.
Well on top, Pac was distracted and attacked on the outside by the Butcher, dropped back-first – very safely tbf, across the apron. Whereupon, Jericho named Butcher and Blade his Sports Entertainers of the week for improving both their physiques and ring skills (the latter doesn’t scream ‘Sports Entertainer’ but what do I know?).
Fighting back, the Bastard struck with a shotgun dropkick from the top, kipping up, leading to tags to Quen and Fenix respectively. A very athletic exchange followed, Quen getting the better of it with kicks, flips and headscissors, very little of which looked like it was designed to hurt an opponent in a wrestling match. There’s no oomph to what Quen does.
Flung to the ropes, Fenix was sent to the outside by the Butcher as he attempted his to swing back through into the ring, which is when the break came.
Quick note, there was no Starks on commentary this week.
Coming back, the heels were controlling Fenix, cutting-off the ring. A combination side-slam/legdrop from B&B led to a sloppy 450 from Quen which got the first two-count, the Private Partier then taking aim at the other two with a smooth-looking springboard dive to the outside. Alone in the ring, things didn’t look good for Fenix: A Butcher lariat saw another two.
Kyle O’Reilly was shown in the crowd taking notes ahead of his clash with Rey next week, just as Fenix fought back with a spinning kick to the head after his patented swing back between the top and middle ropes.
Tagging his brother, Penta struck with a top-rope cross body, a slingblade, thrust kicks and a flipping DDT, before tagging in Pac who arrived with kicks and a brutal German to Quen. Showing the youngster how to do it, a Black Arrow followed the fear factor for the victory, as the Lucha Bro’s took out B&B with stereo dives.
Then it went it dark. House of Black briefly appeared in the ring before the lights went out again and they disappeared.
This was fine. Dead crowd though.
WINNER: Death Triangle
Shawn Spears vs Bear Boulder
Backstory: Spears will face Wardlow soon in a cage
Nice of Shawn to dress in all-white on Wednesday. You know, like his role model ‘J-E-double-F’. Nothing Spears does is bad; none of it is interesting.
Even after being part of that segment before a red-hot crowd, Long Island could not have cared less about Spears here, his attempt to warrant a ‘TEN!’ from the crowd not even drawing a ‘t’.
After a brief display of strength from Bear, Spears showed his, taking the big fella onto his shoulders for the C4, which brought victory for Spears. Customary chairshots followed.
At least we can now retire the term pointless. It climaxed here.
With Lexi, Smart Mark Sterling – decked out in a neck brace and etc. – said he and Tony Nese’s match with Hookhausen wasn’t happening, he’s ‘not a wrestler.’ Nese said he could beat them by himself, telling his manager to put $10,000 on it when they got to Vegas.
Ruby Soho vs Riho, OH QF
Backstory: Winner will face Red Velvet or Statlander in semis
Not a fan of Ruby’s entrance, Riho put her fingers in her ears and shook her head. Cute.
Starting slowly, Soho worked the arm before a shoulder block sent Riho to the mat. Matrix-ing up out of a pin attempt, a magistral brought a quick one count for the import. A couple of counters later, Riho struck with a flying headscissors and a double foot stomp.
Attacking Ruby in the corner, Soho caught Riho between her legs, sending her face-first into the buckle for two. Heading to the top, Ruby missed with a double foot stomp, selling her knee afterwards.
Back to her feet, Riho blocked No Future, countering into a single-leg crab into a bridge which saw Soho get the ropes as the ads arrived.
Still on top when we returned, Riho hit a running knee in the corner and a northern lights for another two. After exchanging strikes atop the turnbuckle, Ruby rolled through a diving cross-body but Riho kicked out at dos. Attempting a Bladerunner, Soho saw it countered into a crucifix bomb for another near fall as Riho kicked the mat in frustration.
Fighting back, Ruby grabbed two near-pins with a vicious backdrop-driver and a kick to the face, then finally ending things with the Bladerunner.
After having the best AEW women’s match in ages last week, not to mention drawing a crowd reaction dwarfing your average performance from the ladies, it’s a shame to lose Riho so early. When the crowd did make a peep during this one, it was for the import. Pretty good action.
Ruby helped Riho to her feet as we left the ring.
To hear from the Gunn Club and the Acclaimed. Leading the meeting, Billy said they could be one of the greatest factions but needed a coupla things: hand gestures – ‘ooh, ooh, father’, interrupted Austin, who essentially wanted to do a crotch chop. Settling on the Acclaimed’s ‘scissors’ thing, they moved onto the catchphrase.
Again the overeager kid in class, Austin was cut off again at ‘we got 2 words for ya’, Billy being more of a fan of Castor’s ‘yo, listen…’. Better yet, Billy had used his pull to get them a match: ‘on Dynamite?’, ‘Rampage?’, ‘Double or Nothing?’ Nope, ‘Elevation!’. Castor spit his water all over Billy in excitement as the five celebrated wildly and ‘scissored’.
These guys might be too much fun. The right amount of goofy.
The Baddies were with Tony (must be the earring) in the ring. Jade got about the best reaction so far. Velvet’s outfit did its best to elbow Anna Jay aside. Shida is injured, out of the tournament, Sterling believed Velvet should advance by default. Schiavone announced that instead, she’d face her old friend Kris Statlander.
On Dynamite: ‘Wildcard Wednesday’
- Jericho/Regal face to face
- O’Reilly vs Fenix, OH
- Britt vs Joker, OH
- Joe vs Joker, OH
- Hangman vs Takeshita (yes, please) w Punk on comms
- Wardlow’s 10 lashes
- Cole vs Jeff Hardy, OH Semifinal
- Velvet vs Statlander, OH QF
Frankie Kazarian vs Scorpio Sky, TNT Title
Backstory: Kaz had earned a title shot against Sammy, Sky promised Kaz first shot at the title if he let him take his place, now the former partners face-off after Sammy told Kaz he should no longer trust Scorpio
In the pre-match interview, Sky became increasingly annoyed with Page and Lambert, who questioned why he’d given Kaz the match. ‘Why don’t you two take the night off?’
Gue-onti were shown in the crowd as Kaz made his entrance. AAA belts over their shoulders.
Loud ‘SCU’ chants played as we started, both guys slapping hands before grappling to a stalemate. After exchanging arm wrenches, Kaz – who looks anything but his age – got a quick two with a takedown. Sky looked frustrated.
On the mat, Kaz controlled things with a short-arm scissors, Sky fighting out into a couple of roll-ups but unable to fight out entirely. A rapid sequence saw Sky position Frankie for the TKO, but Kaz slipped out, continuing until both crashed head-first, dropping simultaneously to the mat.
Gue-onti looked on disdainfully as Jericho put over Sammy’s jacket and Taz claimed the two were ‘loved’ before coughing loudly.
Continuing to be a step ahead, Kaz reversed a Russian leg sweep: a fisherman and bridge leading to a two before Sky sent him to the outside, launching himself tope con hiro style.
You guessed it, commercial time.
The trend continued when we returned. Both knew each other well enough to anticipate what was coming but Frankie was just a little better at it, remaining in the driver’s seat until being caught for the TKO as he attempted his springboard legdrop. Even here though, the veteran slipped out into a roll-up for two, then landing the aforesaid legdrop for another close count.
With the champ on the apron, Kaz slingshot-ted him back in, directly into a violent looking cutter to loud ‘ooohs’ from the crowd.
Looking for the end, Frankie kept going for the Chicken Wing but couldn’t quite get it locked, Sky grasping, clawing and kicking but starting to fade when Lambert came out and took the ref, allowing Page to strike Kaz with the belt. Sky, still almost unconscious, drooped limply on top for the 1,2, NO! Kaz raising his shoulder at the last split-second.
Just as the commentators were reasoning that Scorpio wouldn’t be happy with the ATT guys for interfering, the champ hauled a wobbly Kazarian up for the TKO to retain his title.
Very good action, excellent in-ring storytelling which at least somewhat woke a sleepy crowd.
In the aftermath, Page asked a visibly irritated Sky which side he was on, claiming he’d done what he’d done for their team. Seemingly on the brink of a split, it turned out to be a SWERVE BRO! Sky belting – literally – his former comrade in the head.
Mic’d up, a heel Lambert baited Sammy and ‘Whorehausen’, who rushed the ring as the heels fled from the other heels?
My head hurts. This belt feels like it’s been on a six-month-long bender and last orders are nowhere in sight. Rotten, rotten, rotten, rotten, rotten, rotten storytelling.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky
- The main event was good but, particularly given the ending, don’t go out of your way
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!