City: Rochester, NY
Arena: The Blue Cross Arena
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Eddie Kingston vs Konosuke Takeshita
J.R., Schiavone, Excal. on comms
Very excited for this one, which began with a lock-up and a stalemate, then takedowns and reversals with the same result. Crowd solidly behind Eddie as usual.
Continuing slowly, both guys grappling, Kingston getting the better but not decisively enough to be on top. A clean rope-break saw Takeshita take advantage with a shot to the gut, awaking Eddie who responded with a knee to the gut and gut-wrench suplex.
After exchanging chops and strikes in the middle, Kingston thought better of it: a thumb to the eye leading to machine-gun chops in the corner (never like the look of those). Firing back with forearms to the face, Takeshita was this time cut-off by a headbutt, collapsing to the mat as Kingston sold his taped back/ribs after B&G.
More hard chops and mat work from Eddie until Takeshita exploded with a leaping forearm after being sent into the ropes, then a running elbow strike in the corner, culminating with a lariat out of the corner. The youngster in control as the pace quickened, a blue thunder bomb brought the first two count of the match.
Returning from break, the two were battling on the apron, Takeshita landing a German, holding on down to the ringside mats where Eddie used the apron to avoid a second, countering with a nasty exploder as the import crashed to the mat.
Back inside, double lariats resulted in another draw until the youngster was drilled rebounding off the ropes. Kicking out at 1, Eddie then planted him with a Liger bomb for 2. Looking for 3, he readied the Back Fist but was blocked, Takeshita striking twice then drilling Kingston with a perfect sheer-drop brainbuster which drew ‘oooohs’ from the crowd.
Clambering to their knees, they fought to their feet with strikes and chops, Eddie fading until landing a half-and-half which Takeshita shook off, coming straight up with a lariat, avoiding the Back Fist, missing with a jumping knee, Eddie hit the Back Fist, Takeshita replied with a jumping knee but was finally finished with a second Back Fist, Kingston collapsing into the cover.
‘That was an ass-kicking match’, noted Schiavone on comms. Have to agree: slow-building, hard-hitting, fantastic finishing sequence. More needs to be done with Takeshita, and this’d be a good jumping-off point.
WINNER: Eddie Kingston
Statlander/Athena package challenging Jade.
Gates of Agony vs Jonathan Gresham & Lee Moriarty
Backstory: GA interrupted Moriarty challenging Gresham a few weeks ago
Caprice Coleman joined on comms.
Gresham was knocked to the floor while still on the apron; Moriarty doubled via quick-tags from the GoA. Reaching for a tag, Moriarty was ignored by an apparently distracted Gresham.
Back from break, Moriarty finally shook loose, diving for the hot tag, only for Gresham to pull his hand away. ‘WHAT!??’ exclaimed Caprice, louder than capital letters can convey, ‘this is very uncharacteristic about our champion’. Gresham then left, hugging Blanchard on the way.
A discus lariat led to Moriarty being dropped gut-first across the knees. 1,2,3.
Another in a list of recent ‘Swerve Bro!’s. Particularly between teammates who haven’t even been established. Why do I care if one turned on the other? I don’t know them or their relationship. Judging by the reaction to all of this, neither did the crowd.
WINNER: Gates of Agony
Eddie Kingston promo. Called Takeshita ‘the future’. Challenged Jericho to a barbed-wire match: ‘every drop of blood, is a sin that you have committed Chris’. Wow.
Serena Deeb & Mercedes Martinez vs Kayla Sparks & Christina Marie
Serena’s look of disdain is fantastic. She beat-up both opponents by herself. Mercedes then tagged herself in, Deeb returned the favour, locking in the Serenity Lock for the win.
Your typical Rampage squash. With a twist. Serena walloped Martinez with a lariat and the Serenity Lock. Back-to-back turns.
Lastly, AEW barely has enough quality females for one division, and it seems they’re preparing for three given the tag-talk on comms?
WINNER: Serena Deeb & Mercedes Martinez
Gresham promo along with Tully. Said he’d done this because he’d been sitting at home since March. He’ll face Moriarty next week on Rampage. Shrug.
On Dynamite (13/7):
- Hager vs Claudio
- Bucks vs Swerve in our Glory vs Starks/Hobbs, tag titles
- Christian Cage & Luchasaurus’ weekly cheap heat seg.
- Anna Jay vs Serena Deeb
- Gresham vs Moriarty, ROH World Title
- The Gunns explain their turn on the Acclaimed
- Private Party w Andrade vs Lucha Bros
On Dynamite (20/7):
- Eddie vs Jericho, barbed wire death match, JAS in shark cage
Orange Cassidy vs Tony Nese
Backstory: If Orange loses he has to sign a petition to fire Swerve Strickland
Smart Mark is tons of fun, but this dumb stipulation isn’t main event worthy. For that matter, nor is Tony Nese.
So this one started the way most OC matches do: Cassidy going for the pockets, Nese attempting to ground him, on top while he stayed cool but making mistakes when he allowed Orange to get in his head.
Following the usual routine of duck, dive, kip-up, Orange was blasted with a clothesline by Nese, the former responding by out-grappling Nese, grabbing a 2 with a backslide. As Orange went topside, Nese rolled through into an impressive leaping uppercut, then dropped Cassidy across the knees from a press for a 2 of his own.
After the ads, Cassidy fought his way out of a body scissors but was whipped hard to the buckle. Then planted with a beautiful northern-lights into a bridge as Nese countered a tornado DDT. Continuing the beating, Tony laid-in shots in the corner, but Cassidy fought back, getting the better of an exchange of punches, sending Nese crashing from the top to the ring-mat.
Which is when Danhausen attempted to Curse Sterling, Nese making the save but paying for it as a waiting Cassidy landed a diving cross-body, a stuntdog millionaire and a Michinoku driver for a close 2. The crowd were into Cassidy but not the match.
Continuing to look impressive, Nese Matrix’d to avoid an Orange Punch, kipped-up to deliver a superkick, then planted Orange with a bridging German for 2. Not done, he blasted Orange with a spinning heel-kick for another close count.
Countering out of another suplex, Cassidy finally landed the tornado DDT, then another, then a diving one from the top. Which is when Mark Sterling hit the apron, quickly on the receiving end of those devastating shin kicks, which saw him drop to the apron, screaming in pain. This guy’s a hoot.
Taking advantage, Nese landed his cool-looking sit-out pump handle slam, but the crowd still didn’t buy it as Cassidy kicked out close to 3. With the ref distracted, Danhausen hit a low blow on Sterling, then Cursed Nese, leading to Cassidy polishing off the Premier Athlete with a less-than-refreshing Orange Punch.
It seems that Orange’s performance vs Ospreay made a fan of Ol’ J.R., who put Cassidy over all match long. Very good match to close the show.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
This was an episode which saw some very good wrestling dominated by the need to push the ROH PPV. Leading back to what was written here last week and previously: AEW has too many mouths to feed and only one father to feed them.
Hell of an opener though.
- Eddie vs Takeshita
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!