Arena: DCU Center
City: Worcester, MA
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Best Friends & Orange Cassidy vs Lethal, Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh
Backstory: One of those lame interrupted interviews where a challenge was made
My God Trent’s ripped. An immediate roll-up saw Lethal kick out, countering with pinning combo’s of his own, then Trent replied once more. Nice quick sequence with both guys trying to win early. Slick wrestling.
Tagging in, Orange drew chants from the crowd, then a loud gasp as he called-in Singh.
Dutt tagged in instead, proceeding to take off his jacket, unbutton his shirt, hand his jacket to the ref and then tag straight back out to Satnam, who manhandled Orange into the heels’ corner, crossbody’d both Friends as they came to help, then tagged in Lethal to viciously stomp Cassidy in the corner as the ads arrived.
Returning to a standing switch, Cassidy leapfrogged Lethal, tagging in Chuck who hit a belly-to-belly before tagging in Trent for the soul food half-&-half as Jericho compared Taylor to Bobby Eaton. To be fair, he went out of his way to put all the guys over.
After interrupting their hug, Singh was double dropkicked off the apron, only for Lethal to strike with a double Lethal Injection. That hug in the middle of a match makes them look geeky enough without being caught-out twice by the heels.
Cassidy tagged in: cross body from the top, tornado ddt, Dutt tagged back in, mimicking Orange’s weak kicks; Cassidy broke his pencil in response, then Dutt ate (drank?) an Orange Punch and a pinfall.
Fun opener, nothing special but enjoyable.
Post-match, the heels attacked only for Wardlow to make the save. Do you think if he begs hard enough Max’ll take him back?
WINNER: Best Friends & Orange
Recap vid from FTR vs Briscoes. You barely saw the latter.
Ethan Page vs Leon Ruffin
Backstory: Apparently this is a rematch from a recent Dark where EP got the 1,2,3
I happen to like Ethan Page. Looks good, can work, can talk. But in AEW he’s a high-level enhancement talent. Wins when the cameras are off; loses when they’re on. Meaning this was enhancement vs enhancement. And enhancement + enhancement = a waste of my time, your time and tv time.
Nothing match. You know the outcome.
WINNER: Ethan Page
Cole Karter was with Lexi. QT offered him a spot in the Factory, seems he had an off-screen connection with them before NXT. Then they made another ‘sleep with the fishes’ ‘joke’. Considering how much AEW loves to mention beating NXT, they sure do expect their audience to watch it. This is as insider as it gets. Anyway kids, the message here is: get fired for a drugs violation; you’ll be skipped straight to the front of the queue.
Matt Sydal vs Lee Moriarty
Backstory: Uncool ‘dad’ Sydal scolded Moriarty last week for cheating, ‘punishing’ him in typical bad-parent fashion by making a threat he can’t follow through on
Noticeably, the crowd began to filter out during this contest.
Moriarty mockingly put up a peace sign with a cheesy grin during Matt’s entrance. About sums it up.
Yet Sydal was still stupid enough to offer a handshake, Lee responding aggressively with a headbutt, wicked uppercuts, and a front chancery until Sydal struck with a jumping knee as the break beckoned.
A hurracanrana was rolled through by Moriarty into a two count, then blasting his ‘teacher’ with a hell of a lariat and knees to the gut until Sydal responded with a weak-looking question mark kick and a lightning spiral for a close 2. Just as Stokely Hathaway made his way down the ramp to interfere while Moriarty feigned an ankle injury, allowing Lee to crotch Sydal on the ropes, hit a flatliner which Sydal kicked out of but an immediate Border City Stretch brought the tap.
This was a well-worked match in which the crowd were chanting ‘Evan Bourne sucks!’ Sydal might guarantee a good match; he also guarantees no-one’s going to care because his character’s so immeasurably lame. People could be seen leaving/going to concessions even as Matt was in the match-winning hold, and the guys were having to yell and grunt because the crowd was so quiet.
Afterward, Hathaway offered his business card; Moriarty accepted. Hard to blame him, a literal mouthpiece would be a better representative than Sydal.
WINNER: Lee Moriarty
Britt Baker promo. Did a good job sewing discord between ThunderStorm. Nice to hear Baker actually cut a promo outside of the usual catchphrases.
Mr. Schiavone beckoned Claudio & William Regal to the ring. Waking-up the fans. Castagnoli, an incredibly genuine, beaming smile on his face, thanked the fans in 4 languages and called out Wheeler Yuta to loud ‘Yuta’ chants. Ranting about ‘sports entertainment’, Jericho interrupted. Yuta cut him off, saying he beat ‘your boy’ Garcia last weekend. Long story short, Yuta manipulated Jericho into giving him a match Weds. with Jericho’s title shot on the line.
The youngster was very good here: composed, confident and convincing. While Jericho put on a clinic in playing the dumb, vain, easily manipulated heel. Extremely entertaining segment which the crowd greatly enjoyed.
‘Trash Boys’ music video. Catchy tune. ‘Yo, you shoulda shot blanks from ya Smokin Gunn’. ‘We got 2 words for ya: dumpster match.’ Slick build into a match that plays off Billy’s past. Like it.
Anna Jay vs Ruby Soho
Backstory: Ruby et al chased-off Jay after the Sammy/Dante match Weds, Tay Conti slammed Ruby’s arm in a car door a few weeks back
Tony Schiavone’s a national treasure. ‘Announcers, who thinks Wheeler Yuta can beat Chris Jericho? Raise your hand.’
The lights over the crowd were noticeably down because so many people had left. Those that remained were pretty into this however.
Cagey start with Soho grabbing a headlock. Felt like she should’ve come out all guns blazing. She did strike with a wicked-looking knee to the face moments later, but then spoiled it with an overly-choreographed spot requiring her to hang upside down in the corner while Anna kicked her in the injured hand (like the old Ultimo Dragon spot), which she’d had no problem using to support all of her bodyweight.
Returning just in time to see Anna removing the brace on Ruby’s arm, she tried to use it as a weapon but Aubrey snatched it away, Ruby throwing shots with her off-arm but couldn’t lift Anna and ate a thrust kick, but fought back, lifting Anna for a suplex but the momentum didn’t last, her arm immediately targeted once more.
Soho ‘struck’ with those really bad looking rapid-fire headbutts, some kicks and strikes, knee to the mid-section, great looking kick to the side of the head and a back-heel trip for a two-count with the crowd behind her.
A Gory special immediately brought her back to earth, Jay grabbing a two, though beginning to snap at her failure to get the win, threatening to choke out random fans as she did Wednesday, then locking in the Queenslayer which Ruby transitioned out of into no future but Jay kicked out.
Pretty good match so far with a simple but effective story.
Finally, ref distracted, Anna used Ruby’s wrist brace for additional leverage; Ruby passed out in the Queenslayer.
Tony Khan got his Drake on this week: ‘Former WWE wrestlers, do you love me? Are you signing? Cause you’re never gonna leave from beside me.’ In Ruby’s case, let’s hope she didn’t delete Hunter’s number.
WINNER: Anna Jay
- Jericho vs Yuta, Winner faces Mox for title the week after
- Undisputed Elite return (Guessing Cole’ll be put in middle who he chooses for trios tourney)
- ThunderStorm vs Britt & Hayter
- Christian vs Matt Hardy
- Orange Cassidy vs Jay Lethal
- Hobbs in action
- Acclaimed vs Gunn Club, Dumpster match
- It’ll be live
Battle of the Belts III (Sat 6th Aug)
- Claudio vs Takeshita, ROH title
It’s now beyond safe to say Rampage isn’t even pretending to be an ‘A’ show. They tried for a few weeks, then gave up. It’s Dark: Elevation with some lipstick. The middle dragged badly but the tentpoles were good and the Yuta segment was excellent.
- The Yuta/Jericho segment. Fantastically entertaining.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!