Arena: Wolstein Center
City: Cleveland, OH
Last Week’s Rating: 461,000 overall; 0.12 in 18-49 demo
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
House of Black vs Dark Order (Silver, Reynolds, 10), R1: Trios Tourn.
Backstory: Hangman was supposed to be in the Order’s corner, having turned down the Bucks to do so, though he wasn’t out there
Jericho, Excalibur, Schiavone, JR on comms, Brody and Preston Vance in the ring. Testing their strength, the big guys grappled then threw themselves at each other, neither shifted.
Though Vance ‘hurt his knee’ and tagged in Silver.
He and Matthews hit the mats to grapple, the Aussie then catching Silver coming off the top but Silver escaping and sort-of kipping up before flinging Murphy to the outside, leaving Reynolds and Malakai to square off. After a brief sequence, Malakai did his sit-down pose, staring at Reynolds, leading to all six throwing fists, the illegal four spilling to the outside as the ads arrived.
Best Friends were in the crowd again, Murphy landing a diving stomp to the arm of Reynolds, then taking a cheap shot at Vance’s knee, sending him off the apron. Ten then came back in, running through the Order with clotheslines, a blue thunder bomb and a spinebuster, then locking in the full nelson on Malakai until Matthews interrupted with a meteora.
A Silver thrust kick and double team from he and Reynolds laid Matthews out but Brody was having none of it, running through the pair until Vance clotheslined him over the top, going to work against Malakai until his knee buckled and Black locked-in a knee bar.
Then Miro’s music hit as he sent Murphy flying via back body drop onto the ramp (somehow not a DQ) allowing Reynolds to roll-up Malakai. Distraction or not, would not have had Black take the pin.
Annoyed at his interference, the House attacked Miro until Darby & Sting ran them off.
Presumably, the Order are headed to the finals where Page will have to sub for Vance.
WINNER: Dark Order
Lexi was with Hook, who ‘really d(idn’t) care’ about 2.0. Amen brother. Shouty and Switchblade turned up 2 seconds after Hook left, blathered about Hook not having to be a ‘scared young man anymore’.
Wardlow vs Ryan Nemeth, ‘Open Challenge’ – TNT Title
There aren’t enough swear words in the world to adequately convey how stupid this is. Just because you call it a title match doesn’t make it mean anything. Not one single extra person is going to watch this thinking the belt’s on the line. In fact, it actually hurts the title. Because it’s Ryan f****** Nemeth.
Who even got his entrance and some mic time for heat so cheap it was free.
You know who won.
Lethal’s crew, along with Chris Sabin, came out to observe.
Andrade et al w/ Lexi. He and Rush criticized Private Party for losing last week. When they complained that La Faccion did the same, the Mexicans blamed it on Dragon Lee.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs Ashton Day
Big guy vs No-name, in a squash. Tell me, where’ve I seen that before? Oh yes, last match.
Spinebuster. 1,2,3. Crowd almost silent, riled briefly as Hobbs mimicked Starks’ pose.
The Factory appeared on the big-screen, beating down Starks. If he can’t deal with them, no chance vs Hobbs.
WINNER: Will Hobbs
Jade, Leyla, Kiera were interviewed. Leyla started to interrupt and Jade sent everyone away, asking Athena to come and get these hands. She instantly attacked, almost as if she were waiting just off-screen. AEW have been told to cut-down on the swearing, so half of Jade’s act’s been taken away. This lasted all of 30 seconds, despite advertising a Jade segment.
Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo vs Ortiz & Ruby Soho
Backstory: The JAS broke Ruby’s hand; been feuding with Eddie, Ortiz & co. for months
So apparently Eddie Kingston’s just returned from a legit suspension due to a squabble with Sammy. Regardless of who’s to blame, the Spanish God stays among controversy.
The ladies kicked things off, Melo immediately working Soho’s injured arm. She and Sammy did get light boos but the crowd were much quieter than during Dynamite.
After missing a kick in the corner, Tay smashed Soho with a rising knee, Ruby striking back with an elbow, the guys tagging in, the pace quickening, Ortiz dropping Sammy with a pair of short-arm clotheslines and a double team with Ruby for nearly 2.
Jericho threatened to report Schiavone for bullying. He and Tony are great on comms. Unlike JR, Schiavone actually puts Jericho over as a heel instead of giggling with him.
Both guys were down as we returned, the ladies tagging in: Ruby striking in ground and pound, belly-to-back, running kick that looked weak, count of 2. Sammy knocked Ortiz off the apron, but was poisonrana’d by Ruby; Tay came off the top with a cross body for another 2. Guevara then interrupted Soho but was ddt’d by Ortiz, all four mixing and matching, culminating in No Future on Melo for another 2 slaps of the mat.
Sammy then got in Soho’s face but fled as Ortiz got the tag. Angelo Parker got up on the apron, distracting the ref. Soho was dropped by Anna Jay, allowing Guevara to strike Ortiz with a top-rope cutter for the pin. The lightest of boos from a crowd that must’ve reconsidered hanging around.
Four matches down: two nondescript; two finishing via interference.
WINNER: Sammy & Tay
Exclusive footage of Punk backstage after Wednesday. With the doctor, he said he didn’t feel anything in particular wrong with his foot, but the same could be said when he first broke it. This too lasted all of thirty seconds.
Dustin Rhodes vs Claudio Castagnoli, ROH World Title
Backstory: Claudio made an open challenge last week, Dustin accepted
Fun fact, last week was actually AEW’s millionth open challenge, meaning Dustin wins a prize! Can’t tell you what it is, but I know damn well what it isn’t: the ROH title.
Dustin came out with the Andersons; Claudio with Regal & Yuta. Bobby Cruise and Caprice Coleman joined the crew. Jericho threw a fit and left as Regal approached, joining on comms.
Castagnoli looks like he’s really leaned-up.
Rhodes ran through him to start, then dropped him with an arm-drag, Claudio responding by taking things to the mat. This one nearly ended early as Rhodes’ head whiplashed off the bottom rope, the vet taking a second on the outside.
Back in the ring, a nasty uppercut begat an arm-wringer, Rhodes responding with a Manhattan Drop and boot to the face for a 1 count. Taking a chance, Rhodes flew with a running cross-body but ended up on the outside as Castagnoli got out the way.
There were just a few minutes left upon our return, Rhodes clutched in a crossface, fighting his way up into a side slam, the pair teeing off in the middle until a kick to the gut from Claudio. Dustin sent him to the outside with a clothesline, attacking off the apron with a cannonball, then a leaping clothesline back inside. Two slaps of the mat.
The vet defied the years with a top-rope hurracanrana, following up with a Code Red for a close two-count. ‘You still got it’ broke out, as if Rhodes hasn’t been really good his whole AEW run.
Responding with a Big Swing but getting only a count of two, the champ locked the vet back into the crossface, Rhodes fighting out: snap powerslam, powerbomb, another 2. Crowd louder than they’d been all night but that wasn’t saying much.
What looked like a painful botch came next during a dropdown/leapfrog spot, Claudio taking Rhodes’ head right in the knackers, then hauling him up for the Uppercut to retain his title. Clunky finish, though you have to give CC credit for being able to do anything so soon after that.
You’d have needed an Omega/Okada or Shawn/Taker to save this show, and this couldn’t reach those heights. The action was good, though the break didn’t help. Nor did the fact that the result was never in doubt.
WINNER: Claudio Castagnoli
- Elite vs United Empire, Trios Semi-Final
- Bryan Danielson vs Jake Hager
- Storm & Shida vs Britt & Hayter
- Moxley promo
- Dark Order vs Best Friends, Trios Semi-Final (boy the other semi is the real final huh?)
Added to All Out:
- Jade vs Athena, TBS Title
A week in which title belts were undermined continued here: storyline or not, a weaker trio advanced in the tournament via interference, while two title defenses were made against ‘contenders’ we’ve barely seen all year. This is becoming a show that recappers watch so you don’t have to.
- Absolutely anything else
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!