Arena: Charleston Coliseum
City: Charleston, WV
Last Week’s Rating: 528,000 overall; 0.17 in 18-49 demo
Holier-than-thou CM Punk made his return Wednesday. Doing ‘champ shit’ by burying a guy, knowing he’s unable to respond, rather than talking to him man-to-man. Hell, punching him in the face would’ve been better. He completely undercut Hangman in a way which could potentially damage his livelihood. Seems like all of his excuses about being a jerk because he was burnt-out & miserable at work were just that.
And if Meltzer’s to be believed, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Kicking-off with Claudio, the Swiss made his way to the ring, stopping for a moment with Ricky Steamboat, calling him a ‘legend’. Made an open challenge for next week, accepted by Dustin Rhodes, who was excellent on the mic as usual. But this makes yet another match with no build and an obvious outcome. For the ROH title, because of course.
BTW, can we change the name of the company to Open Challenge Wrestling? Because that’s all anyone ever does. It’s boring. Two of tonight’s five matches were the result of open challenges. How ‘bout using them ranking thingies and challenging the highest-ranked guy?
Ruby Soho & Ortiz were with Lexy, seems there’s a match coming with Sammy & Tay for next week. A bit over the top.
Swerve in our Glory vs Private Party, AEW tag titles
Backstory: PP challenged the champs last week
The champions grudgingly accepted this challenge, completely dismissing their opponents as worthy contenders. Didn’t seem like they were wrong as they played off the biel Lee gave Kassidy on his debut, double-chopping the little guy, tagging in Swerve for a sloppy exchange with Isiah, leading to a beautiful tornillo by Kassidy as the ads arrived.
Running through both Partiers single-handedly, Lee absolutely annihilated Quen with a pounce, tagging-in Swerve who hit a kick to the head for 2, then dismissed him with a ‘JML Driver’. PP did an excellent job making Lee look a monster. Evidently the big man agreed, offering fist-bumps and handshakes to the duo post-match.
The tag titles have been in steady decline this year. Challengers of this caliber don’t help. Title matches should mean something, i.e. I shouldn’t be able to confidently fill-in the ‘WINNER’ section before they happen.
WINNER: Swerve in our Glory
Powerhouse Hobbs interrupted the Factory backstage. After threatening them, the group promised to take care of Starks.
Hook vs Zack Clayton, FTW title
Backstory: Clayton challenged Hook last week
I’d like to believe that Hook was picturing anyone who’s ever participated in reality television while doing what he did to Clayton here. Redrum in under 30 seconds.
Switchblade (not that one) & Shouty appeared. Seems Angelo Parker is next. Yawn.
Billy Gunn promised to ‘spank’ his kids next week and is bringing the Acclaimed with him.
A replay was shown of La Faccion de-masking Dragon Lee on Wednesday, since we barely saw it as they rushed (no pun intended) off the air. If you want it to mean something, maybe don’t squeeze an unmasking on top of a former champion’s return.
Buddy Matthews vs Serpentico
This was a standby match. The folks in charge seemingly expecting Zack Clayton to go the distance with Hook. The show will now have more matches in one hour than Dynamite had in two.
The graphic told us Matthews has been here since February!!?
Matthews won quickly with a pump-handle variation. Explosive athlete, would love to see more of him.
Post-match, Miro attacked, bringing Malakai’s mask with him. Another staredown with Julia Hart in amongst battering Buddy, who barely got a lick in. God’s Champion was very over, methinks he’ll help the Dark Order win in the trios tournament, then team with Sting & Darby at the PPV.
WINNER: Buddy Matthews
Britt Baker et al. were with Lexy, said the ‘shitstorm’ that is ThunderStorm is about to implode. Meanwhile, the most recent female title-contender said and did almost nothing.
Athena vs Penelope Ford
Backstory: Ford’s return to TV after several months
Nice pop for Penelope as she came out. Jericho talked about Athena’s ring gear, telling us it was self-made.
Athena taunted Ford by exposing her face then darting out the way, snapping into a tight armdrag and a step-up knee strike before Ford responded by crushing her against the ropes with a dropkick to the back. Kip Sabian was shown in the crowd just as Ford landed a beautiful flip attack to the outside with Athena stranded on the apron.
We came back just in time to see Athena land a running dropkick into the railings, then hit the O-Face for the inevitable victory. It’s a shame we didn’t see more of this: both ladies are very athletic and it showed.
Afterward, Athena was attacked by Leila Gray & Kiera Hogan, leaving JaHHHde to smash her gear (sort of, it didn’t really work) with a sledgehammer before attacking Athena herself.
If they’re actually planning to have Athena defeat Cargill, they probably should have been preparing her, rather than forgetting she existed. And if they’re not, who the hell’s going to?
It’s as if the entire women’s division is glitching and they can’t stop it playing Britt vs Thunder/Jade vs next victim over & over & over.
Best Friends & Orange Cassidy vs Trustbusters, R1: Trios Tourn
Backstory: Daivari’s trying to recruit Cassidy, who beat him last week but was then attacked by Boudreaux
When the ratings’ down, on your second show, who ya gonna call…? TRUSTBUSTERS!
In an otherwise awesome-looking tournament, this is the only letdown. Even the Dark Order at least have a storyline reason to be in it. But what about Wardlow & FTR? Danielson, Cesaro & Yuta? To really establish a new title, it’d be great if all the top guys wanted in.
No reaction whatsoever to the ‘Busters entrance.
Slim J, who’s like a caricature of a caricature, squared off with Trent but was dropped via combination crucifix bomb by the Friends. After breaking up the fall, Daivari ate a dropkick from Trent as Boudreaux broke-in, knocking all three faces to the outside.
JR was basically having Athena’s finish over Boudreaux.
Back from the break, J was dropped via half-&-half as Cassidy came in with the kicks, diving cross body from the top, swinging ddt on Daivari before calling-in Boudreaux. The Friends were in too; Boudreaux again ran through all three until a triple dropkick sent him outside.
A frogsplash from Daivari grabbed a 2 in just the second pin attempt in a tournament match with championships on the line. Boudreaux was dropped on the outside with an Orange Punch. Sonny interfered, allowing Daivari to tag-in J. Danhausen then appeared with the Curse – this guy makes a one-trick-pony seem versatile – leaving J to be crushed by Cassidy as he dropped from the Friends’ shoulders, onto Slim as they held him in place.
At least the ending was good, establishing a unique triple-team finish as the tournament continues. I’ve seen all I care to of the Trustbusters.
WINNER: Best Friends
- Death Triangle vs Will Ospreay & Aussie Open, R1: Trios Tourn.
- Dax vs Lethal
- Punk vs Moxley, AEW World Title
- Ricky Starks promo
- Billy Gunn vs Colten Gunn (pushed as a 1st ever dad vs son match, is that a good thing?)
- Britt Baker vs KiLynn King
- Dark Order vs House of Black, R1: Trios Tourn.
- Dustin Rhodes vs Claudio Castagnoli, ROH World Title
Added to All Out:
- Casino Ladder Match (MJF wins, you heard it here first)
On Wednesday, I talked about leaving viewers with questions they wanted answers to. Tonight’s questions had easier replies: Are there any matches you have to see? No. Any unpredictable outcomes? No. Could you miss this show and still be good for Dynamite? Yes.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!