Arena: MVP Arena
City: Albany, NY
Last Week’s Rating: 429,000 overall; 0.14 in 18-49 demo
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Matt Hardy vs Darby Allin
Backstory: Hardy challenged Darby on Weds
JR welcomed us, along with Schiavone, Excalibur & Jericho.
This feels like a match we’ve seen a million times already. Don’t know that it is, but it feels like it.
Wrestling was the order of the day as this got going: lockup, both looking for the advantage, both working the arm, Matt yelling ‘delete!’ for each arm-wringer. After flipping out, Darby was run-through by Hardy, responding with a crucifix pin for two but caught with a shot to the face going for a dive through the ropes.
Turning the tables, Allin flung Matt into the steps at ringside, heading to the top with Hardy sprawled on the apron, but missed the senton. Be feeling that when he’s sixty. Along with being drilled back-first into the ring post.
Zeroing in on the back, Hardy landed shots to the lower spine, Allin rebounding, repeatedly flinging his body into Matt in the corner until being snatched into the Side Effect, Hardy beckoning to a crowd that sounded a little tired but were up for a ‘delete’ or two. Fighting back, Darby countered the Twist of Fate into a backslide, then slipped out of a suplex into a Scorpion Death Drop as the ref began his count with both guys down.
JR was doing an excellent job putting over the pair, sounding genuine as he did.
Crucifix Bomb from way up after Matt caught Darby atop the buckle. Hardy to the top, missing with a moonsault, Code Red from Allin then the Fuller Leglock for the victory.
Matt took an awful lot of this match. Unlike Jungle Boy the other day, Allin had no injury coming in.
Good opener though.
Afterwards, the lights went out, Brody King was out along with Julia, laying Hardy out then challenging Darby & Sting to a no-DQ tag match next week. Can’t say this feud feels evergreen, but it’s a pre-built match to add to next week’s card.
WINNER: Darby Allin
Eddie Kingston promo package, challenging Sammy Guevara for next Friday – ‘gonna beat the piss outta you in Queens’. Kingston’s beard has grown a bit.
Claudio & Yuta in-ring interview: after next week, the BCC are guaranteed two world champs. Not so fast. Claiming dibs on his eighth world title reign, the only company’s title he’s never held, Jericho challenged Castagnoli, also for Grand Slam.
Except these guys took about ten minutes to say that.
Jade interview along with Kiera & Leila. The usual – no challengers left etc. ‘The red hot’ Diamante interrupted to make the challenge, claiming she was bringing a mystery Miami woman – ‘the baddest bitch’ – with her for the match next week. Jade’s also got rid of Stokely.
Penelope Ford vs Willow Nightingale
A test of strength didn’t go well for Ford, Willow snatching a side-headlock, making Penelope wave to the crowd while in the hold. Two quick roll-ups brought two-counts for Nightingale, a heavy chop and bodyslam leading to a diving splash/cross-body for another two.
After she missed with a Pounce, Ford took advantage, planting Willow on the apron, springboarding out of the corner, dropping knees-first as the ads arrived.
Not that it’d helped much as we returned, Penelope in trouble, Nightingale burying her with a spinebuster for yet another two. Willow went for a clothesline but Penelope Matrix’d/bridged out, snapping back up into a cutter for two of her own as Jericho proclaimed her Sports Entertainer OTW.
Missing off the top, Willow blasted Penelope with a Pounce, right into the ropes, could’ve gone badly. Backslide for Nightingale’s 90th two-count, pumpkick in response from Ford, who then applied the Indian Deathlock for the tap.
Decent action but as with Hardy/Allin, it felt like they were trying to get both over at the same time: one dominating the match but the other winning.
WINNER: Penelope Ford
Hangman w DO & Lexi. Grand Slam Golden Ticket match next week, winner gets a world title shot in the future. Didn’t we just have a bloody ladder match for that?
Page apologized for what happened at the PPV. The DO accepted, they’re all in that match. Silver said he’s gonna feel like he’s in a chocolate factory after winning. Jose interrupted, again talking up Ten. Rush promised to beat them all, particularly Page.
Ethan Page vs Danhausen
Backstory: Page challenged DH, starting his quest for All-Atlantic Title
Quite why defeating someone who tends to lose in 30 seconds springboards one toward title contention, I’m not sure. Excalibur tried to explain the stupid storyline involving the Firm.
Danhausen as usual got a nice response from the crowd.
Wicked boot to the face from Page as JR and Jericho talked him up on comms. After mimicking the Curse, ‘Hausen slapped him, Page responded with the Ego’s Edge.
WINNER: Ethan Page
Starks promo, explaining that Hobbs throwing QT etc at him ‘threw him off but now he has his full attention’. ‘Think about all the people you love’. Promised to see him ‘face to face’ in NY. Very good promo.
Samoa Joe vs Josh Woods, ROH TV Title
Backstory: Interrupted Joe, demanded match, sky is blue
I don’t care about ROH, or its titles, or Josh Woods. I’m absolutely sick of having to sit through Ring of Honor stuff on Rampage. It’s been six bloody months.
Apparently, the crowd agreed, staying glued to their seats until Joe’s music hit. Ian Riccaboni joined on comms; Bobby Cruise ring-announced.
Starting slowly, this one finally crackled to life after a slap from Woods woke the beast, leading to a slugfest in the middle, jabs from Joe, Woods blocking the headbutt, twisting Joe’s arm as he fell through the ropes, whereafter Nese dropped the arm across the ropes on the other side.
Greeted by a triangle hold as we returned, the attack on Joe’s arm continuing, allowing Woods to fight out of a Joe sleeper, dropping Joe arm-first for two slaps of the mat. A Manhattan Drop, boot to the face, senton combo saw Joe fight back, the crowd only alive when he did. Snap-powerslam out of the corner, kickout after 2 by Woods.
The commentators again did a great job talking up Joe.
After a distraction, Joe was blasted with a kick to the face, a sloppy-looking knee to the face/GTS-like move for another two (is that a sign?), Woods on top, attacking Joe as he sagged in the corner but being blasted with an STO before being hoisted up top. MUSCLLLLLLE BUSTER! Uno, dos, tres.
Continuing the theme: one guy dominated, the other won. You can’t get everyone over at once.
Post-scuffle, Sterling and Nese joined Woods in attacking Joe, until that handsome bastard Wardlow continued his heated feud with Sterling. The two big guys eyed each other before clinking belts. Yet another contest added to next week’s Rampage – a tag – as they shook hands, ending the show.
WINNER: Samoa Joe
- Jon Moxley vs Bryan Danielson, AEW World Title
- Swerve in our Glory vs Acclaimed, AEW Tag Titles
- Storm vs Athena vs Baker vs Deeb, AEW Women’s Title
- Pac vs Orange Cassidy, AEW All-Atlantic Title
- Chris Jericho vs Claudio Castagnoli, ROH World Title
Next Rampage (2hrs):
- Hook & Action Bronson vs 2.0
- Sammy Guevara vs Eddie Kingston
- Jade Cargill vs Diamante, TBS Title
- Hobbs vs Starks
- Rey Fenix vs Jungle Boy
- Darby & Sting vs HOB, no-DQ
- Golden Ticket Battle Royal for future AEW Title shot (Penta, Archer, Lethal in addition to the guys mentioned during the show)
Boy I really haven’t missed this show. Perhaps not watching is part of why I’ve enjoyed Dynamite so much the past two weeks? Anyway, nothing happened, you don’t need to watch it but they have done a good job building and filling next week’s double card. Which is loaded. Though this does illustrate just how much great talent they have. Perhaps we could see more of it on Fridays in competitive matches?
- Starks promo was the best thing on the show and it lasted about .30
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!