Arena: Enmarket Arena
City: Savannah, Georgia
Assuming we are getting Bucks/FTR III at All Out, Wednesday’s title change was… interesting. With the Bucks being initially penciled in to win the IWGP belts at Forbidden Door, the best guess is that each side would’ve had two sets of belts to brag about, two claims to be the best in the world, and one win against the other: perfectly matched, let’s see who the true champs really are.
But to set up such a clash of the titans, both needed to be at the top of their games. Despite not taking the pinfall, Wednesday’s loss damages that. Guess we’ll see what happens between now and then.
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs Kings of the Black Throne
Backstory: Faces made the challenge on Wed (incl Hangman) but changed from trios to tag on Thursday.
This was the 50th ep and we had the old Dynamite trio of Tony, Jim and Excalibur, plus Jericho on comms.
This one began with very slick chain wrestling, including a quick pin attempt from Reynolds. Until a vicious kitchen-sink from Black changed things, Brody blind-tagging in but Reynolds avoiding a chop in the corner and tagging in Silver. Who squared-up to King, tried a shoulder charge which Brody laughed off, then several more with the same result, leading to a diving one which took the big guy to the mat. Very briefly.
Popping right back up, King knocked Silver right back down.
Some slick double-teaming from the Dark Order saw them briefly take control, dispatching Malakai with a slam and King with an enziguri. But Reynolds was then caught mid-dive by Brody and spiked outside just as the break began.
We returned with Reynolds in trouble, finally getting the tag as Silver attacked Malakai with a running uppercut, an Angle slam, 1, 2, kickout. Silver’s offensive flurries are great. After quickly tagging back in, Reynolds ate a boot running in on Malakai in the corner, then another right into a huge clothesline from King.
After Black missed with a moonsault to the outside, Silver and Reynolds hit their usual double-team flurry to Brody, culminating in the flip-over pin from Reynolds but at the last second Malakai came off the top for the save. Blasting Silver to the outside with a heel kick, Malakai then fed Reynolds to King for Dante’s Inferno: arrivederci.
Very good opener. Fun to watch; not so fun to take notes on.
After the inevitable victory, Darby Allin attacked Brody, and Sting had a looooong stare-down with Malakai while the other two brawled.
WINNER: The House always wins
Miro promo – asked if he should tear out the ‘pagans’ spines’ (H.O.B.). Wondered if Malakai spat the mist to destroy him… or recruit him.
Jonathan Gresham vs Lee Moriarty, ROH World Title
Backstory: Gresham turned on Moriarty last week because he’s tired of sitting at home, presumably his couch sucks
Caprice Coleman joined on comms. The champ ‘hasn’t returned my phone calls.’ So Gresham’s gone up in my opinion. On the subject, he came out with all of Tully Blanchard Ent.
Offering a handshake with a sarcastic smile, Gresham quickly bailed to the outside. Returning briefly, Moriarty blasted him with a knee and he bailed again. This time the youngster pursued him, introducing him to the guard rail, flinging him back inside and stalking his prey.
Good stuff from Moriarty who came across as genuinely pissed.
With the ref’s back turned, Gresham hit a backhand to the balls and kind-of? took advantage, beginning with slow mat-work in the middle, then repeated headlock takeovers to go to break with a bang.
We returned to the ref counting 2 on a Gresham pin, Moriarty then exploding with a rebound boot to the face and knees to the face before Gresham again targeted the arm, as he’d done from the start. Moriarty hit a beautiful dropkick and a ‘Tiger-Mask-style suplex’ for a close 2.
A bunch of chain wrestling bought Gresham a 2, the pair then exchanged two-counts. Then the Octopus-Stretch-out-of-nowhere (not as fun as the RKO) led to the tap.
An impressive outing for Moriarty who was excellent against Danielson earlier in the year.
However, the prestige spots on Rampage are the opener and the main event. This went on second.
Add to that the fact that the guy-who-does-a-weird-dance-down-to-the-ring-before-he-loses is considered a legitimate challenger for their World Championship and those wallets’ll be opening themselves come the 23rd.
Post-match, Tully proclaimed Gresham the best technical wrestler in the world; Claudio had a problem with that, and we’ve got our presumed main event for the ppv (this was confirmed later). Hard to see Gresham holding onto his belt given Castagnoli’s stature since his arrival. Not to mention the idea of two world champs in the same faction.
WINNER: Jonathan Gresham
Christopher Daniels promo on Samoa Joe’s behalf.
Athena & Statlander vs Renegade Twins
Backstory: Athena & Stat continue their quest for Jade & the TBS title
Squash time. Launching immediate stereo dropkicks, Athena and Statlander had this won before the bell even rang. It did just in time for the O-Face and the victory.
Leila Grey started talking trash and was about to get obliterated until Jade and Kiera Hogan attacked in what must’ve been the most devastating five-second moves in history given how quickly and completely the good girls were laid out.
I speculated last week about tag titles for the ladies. It’s equally possible they’re bringing back the tag tourney they’ve done in the past, but something’s cooking with all the pairings they’ve set up.
WINNER: Athena & Statlander
Stokely Hathaway interrupted Sydal and Moriarty backstage, said Moriarty should be doing more. Sydal countered by announcing Lee would face Dante Martin next Friday, Dante then entered and the two shook. Moriarty could do worse than take Hathaway up on his offer; he’s an excellent talker.
Then the Gunn Club were in the ring to explain why they ‘turned’ on the Acclaimed.
The better question would be why Billy prevented his boys from laying a beatdown twice only to then just do it anyway. There’s a term for tales with red herrings which don’t make sense, existing only to ‘fool’ the audience: SWERVE BRO!
Anyway, the Acclaimed arrived sans promo, beelining to the ring and only afterwards laying the verbal smackdown, challenging the ‘Ass Boys’ to a match, which they declined. Acclaimed were as over as anyone before a crowd that was either dead over both nights, or very small.
And after all was said and done, we never did find out why. Guess it’ll go down with whoever raised the briefcase on Stone Cold in ‘99. Or who drove the white hummer.
Lucha Bros vs Private Party
Backstory: Continues the LB vs Andrade/Rush feud w Andrade sending his underlings at the Bros
There was a little disunity between PP and Andrade in the pre-match promo, as he hadn’t been returning their messages.
From the get-go, Private Party tried to double Penta but after a brief spell in their corner, he ducked and dodged, tagging in his brother for a thrust kick party and the ‘uno, dos, tres’ kicks which PP ducked, following-up with stereo dives to the outside. Quen then went topside but missed, Fenix striking with the rolling, leaping cutter for the first pin and a count of 2.
Another thrust kick party and this time the ‘uno, dos, tres’ landed but Cassidy distracted the Bros. PP then hit silly string and Cassidy a cutter to Fenix, causing him to fall from the apron, leaving Penta alone as the final ads arrived.
Still isolated as we rejoined, the crowd were behind Penta as he finally got the tag and Fenix exploded with speed and grace only Nick Jackson and Dante Martin can hope to match. Then he showed his vicious side with brutal slaps and chops in the corner to Cassidy, who pushed him off but Rey rebounded with an enziguri, bringing in Quen who hoisted Fenix onto his shoulders for Cassidy to dive off with a cross body for another count of 2.
Quen tagging in legitimately, PP hit a weak looking inverted atomic drop/enziguri combo and then Penta slipped trying a cross body from the top. The crowd booed. Penta tagged in with a thrust kick to Quen and DVD’d Quen onto Cassidy in the corner, then got a close 2 with made in Japan.
While trying to distract Penta, Jose was dragged down by Alex Abrahantes and the two brawled, Penta then struck with a thrust kick to Andrade on the apron and with the ref distracted, Rush’s interference backfired, leading to Fenix hitting the Black Fire Driver for the win.
Hit and miss. Never felt like it got into a flow.
Afterward, Andrade and co. bickered.
WINNER: Lucha Bros
- Jericho vs Kingston, barbed wire ‘everywhere’ & JAS in shark cages
- Varsity Blondes vs Christian & Luchasaurus
- Brody King vs Darby Allin
- Best Friends vs Mox & Yuta (interesting pair)
- Moriarty vs Dante
To sum-up succinctly: a solid show, but nada mas.
- The opener was fun but nothing to go out of your way for
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!