Arena: Arthur Ashe Stadium
City: Queens, NY
Last Week’s Rating: 470,000 overall; 0.14 in 18-49 demo
So Saraya’s not cleared for in-ring. Since she was clearly interested in Britt, perhaps she’s the person to finally tear Jamie Hayter away from Baker?
It’s Saturday morning, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
JR welcomed us along with Excalibur, Schiavone and new ROH Champ Chris Jericho.
Darby Allin & Sting vs HOB (Brody King & Buddy Matthews), no-DQ
Backstory: Long feud between the 2 sides, King made the challenge last week
Wasting no time, the faces appeared behind the HOB during their entrance, Sting and Matthews brawling on the ramp, Allin and King in the ring as Jericho wondered disgustedly ‘What kind of guy uses a bat?’
Darby took a huge chop from Brody that sent him flying over the ropes leaving Sting alone, the heels circling, a flurry from Sting keeping them at bay, Stinger Splash to Matthews after forcing him to the corner.
Cut off by King, he put Sting up for a superplex but Allin came in, hitting a Code Red off the top, accelerating into a diving shoulder through the ropes with Matthews on the apron. The Aussie then fought off by Sting, onto a table at ringside, Sting perched to dive but shoved off by Brody, crashing through one table, smashing his head on a second. Darby’s death wish is rubbing off.
Dragging the vet inside, Hart hauled out handcuffs as the break arrived.
Could really do without JR giggling with Jericho. Particularly when Excalibur’s already noted they’re going to talk about his despicable actions later.
Darby was in big trouble post-break, being beaten and battered on the ramp by the HOB, Sting still handcuffed in the ring. Dante’s Inferno was coming, on the ramp no less. Allin slipped out, climbing the scaffolding, Coffin Drop onto a standing Matthews, smacked by King as he got up, snatched up into that familiar choke by the Big Guy, only freeing himself by throwing himself off the stage, taking King with him, using the Big Fella as a crash mat.
Leaving Sting at the mercy of Matthews and Julia Hart, a nasty cut on his forehead. Bringing in a chair, sitting the veteran mid-ring, Matthews was about to tee off with the bat when the lights went out. Bringing out the Great Muta!
Seemingly on the US leg of his retirement tour.
Matthews stepped aside. Muta eyed Sting before hauling Matthews’ leg out the socket with a Dragon Screw. Julia Hart took a really nasty bump, missing the table at ringside, I audibly gasped, hope she’s okay.
A Scorpion Death Drop later, we had the first winners of the night. The ex-rivals sharing a moment in the middle.
Action packed opener. Not a huge fan of matches when the guys are so clearly hurting themselves but it started the show off with a bang.
WINNER: Darby Allin and Sting
Hook & Action Bronson vs 2Point0
Backstory: 2.0 have been baiting Hook, Bronson was in the crowd & helped his friend
Crowd noticeably tired as Bronson rapped Hook to the ring, an audible roar for the pair but far from the responses at the start of Dynamite.
Taz joined on comms.
Big boot from Parker, Hook escaping out of the hip toss, landing on his feet. Jericho said this could be one of Hook’s biggest challenges. C’mon man.
Tag to Bronson, big cheer, Menard in to greet him, trying to dislodge him with a shoulder block but Bronson running over both, crushing them in the corner. Guy’s got some acceleration.
Hook back in, being doubled by 2.0, two-count for Parker. Snap suplex getting a one, Menard back in, the crowd chanting for Bronson, a step-up elbow off Parker’s back by Menard.
Parker cut-off Hook from the tag, the youngster with a throw, freeing himself for the hot tag, more shoulder charges from Bronson, a ‘Queens’ Stampede, then a pounce, bouncing the heels around before tagging out.
Forget what I said at the start, Bronson was very popular with this crowd.
Hook back in, Redrum locked in on Parker, Menard in for the save, a Redrum waiting for him courtesy of Bronson. The good guys win.
Bronson looked very good here. Everything he did was believable. He didn’t do anything he couldn’t. And the crowd loved him.
WINNER: Hook & Action Bronson
Wardlow & Samoa Joe vs Tony Nese & Josh Woods
Backstory: Wardlow ran off the heels when they attacked Joe last week
Smart Mark was on the mic as we came back, saying that Wardlow’s been trying to powerbomb him for months now. So presumably that’s happening.
Big response for Joe, as usual. The faces headed straight for the ring, no acknowledgment of the other beside their matching colors.
Woods dropped Wardlow with a suplex, mimicking the symphony, paying for it as Wardlow hit a suplex of his own before clotheslining Woods, leaving Wardlow clutching his leg as both spilled outside.
‘Joe’s gonna kill you!’ bellowed the crowd as Nese headed to the top for a moonsault, Joe doing his legendary ‘step out the way’ spot. Crowd enjoyed that. But then getting hung on the top by Nese but not for long, drilling him with an STO out of the corner, hauling Nese to the top, Muscle Buster. 1,2,3.
This was over very quickly. Perfect. AEW have far too many matches that they drag out despite the outcome being obvious. This was exactly what it needed to be.
Post-match, the heels doubled the vet, Wardlow finally hobbling back in, running through both with a double clothesline, setting Nese up for the Symphony. Sterling entered to interrupt and was surrounded by the good guys. Three powerbombs followed, Joe hauling Sterling up after each.
Jungle Boy video promo, putting over Fenix. Back to dispassionate and monotone for the youngster. This is their first ever singles meeting.
Rey Fenix vs Jungle Boy
Could be the match of the night. Though personally I think Rey is above losing here, particularly since that’s pretty much all Death Triangle have done since landing the Trios Titles.
Big reaction for both, especially Rey.
Flying out the blocks, Fenix backed JB into the corner, who came out with a tejeiras, a dropkick and a kip-up. Fenix responded with a ridiculously athletic somersault armdrag after walking the ropes, following with a Hook Kick after swinging between them.
No-one uses the ropes better than Rey. Break time.
Stinging slaps from the Mexican as we came back, JB responding, knocking Rey down, Fenix slipped out of a suplex but Jungle Boy used the momentum to come back with a heavy clothesline, then a sheer-drop brainbuster. Westside Gunn was in the front row, perfectly placed to see JB’s elbow suicida.
Rey missed with a second hook kick, JB striking with a thrust kick and poisonrana (which looks awesome, really should be his finish), Fenix replying with a rolling, leaping cutter. Both retreated to the corner, using the ropes to haul themselves up, coming to the middle, exchanging chops, a double underhook bomb turned into hurracanrana by JB mid-move.
Another thrust kick from JB, who missed with a sliding elbow but again caught Fenix going for the hook kick and sent him outside. With both perched on the apron: heavy forearm from the youngster, who saw a sunset bomb off the apron blocked and was blasted with a running kick, striking back with one of his own as Rey flew at him off the apron.
Another scrap right in the center after the second break of the match, Fenix dropping JB across the knee off the shoulders, then hitting a Gory Cutter for the first pin attempt and two-count of the contest. A corkscrew kick left Jungle Boy struggling in the middle, Rey to the ramp, beautiful step-up escalera for another close count.
‘Zero Miedo’ chant as JB slipped out of the corner, this time hitting the sunset bomb, a sliding clothesline/elbow seeing his first two count. Three Amigos time, Jungle Boy slipping out of the last into a kind-of reverse ddt. With Rey down in the middle, Jungle Boy to the top, crotched as Fenix covered the ground in a split-second, nailing a beautiful frogsplash for nearly three.
A step-up spinkick in the corner ended with Rey carrying Jungle Boy on his back, poised to drop the youngster until he slipped out into a tight roll-up for the victory. After being visibly frustrated for a second, Rey relaxed and the two shared a handshake and a hug.
Christian’s music hit almost immediately, the crowd booing loudly. Luchasaurus’ music followed quickly, the dinosaur appearing behind JB. Rey must be a ghost because he’d somehow disappeared. The Big Guy dropped his former partner face first as Christian began to speak. He didn’t say much, blaming JB for his injury.
This was the match of the night. Excellent, breathless action combining superb athleticism and heated, physical exchanges.
WINNER: Jungle Boy
Footage of the JAS celebration on Wednesday saw a disgruntled Daniel Garcia try to speak but Jericho put him off for now, saying it was time to party.
Sammy Guevara vs Eddie Kingston
Backstory: On-screen, part of ongoing JAS/Kingston feud; offscreen, the pair had a confrontation which led to Kingston’s suspension & their ppv match being scrapped
Huge response for Eddie Kingston. Love his music. Sammy’s isn’t bad either.
This one should be great too.
Before we got going, Guevara grabbed a mic, telling Eddie ‘man-to-man, I’m sorry… I didn’t say this sooner: you’re a fat piece of s***’. (That’s allegedly what pissed off Eddie for their real confrontation)
Not smart, Kingston flying at the youngster, dragging him around ringside, hauling off with heavy palmstrikes and headbutts. Then dragging Sammy to the apron where Guevara back body dropped him to the floor to heavy booing as the ads arrived.
Guevara was targeting the back as we returned but missed off the top, Kingston throwing elbows to the face until a distraction from Melo allowed Sammy to strike with a knee to the face, step-up enziguri and a double-jump cutter for two. That cutter’s a little too delayed to look good.
One of the heaviest lariats you’ll ever hear – yes, hear – came next, then machine gun chops, the crowd still right behind the native, Sammy screwing up another double jump, hitting the deck but hauled up into a backdrop driver, setting up for the reverse elbow but missing.
Sammy took advantage, hauling Eddie up for the GTH, Kingston fighting out, half-and-half, then landing the Uriken right in the middle. Then another. And another. Hauling off with a slap before locking in the Stretch Plum, the ref calling it quickly as Sammy couldn’t defend himself.
Kingston though refused to let go, bringing a crew out, including Paul Turner, who overturned the decision, continuing the storyline where Tony Khan challenged Turner to tighten things up.
Tay was great dragging Sammy up the ramp, excitedly telling her groggy husband that he won as he looked anything but a winner.
Short and disrupted by ads but what we saw was good and it linked a couple of stories together. Eddie had to come out like a madman here and he did. To be continued.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara after ref overturned decision
Jade Cargill vs Diamante, TBS Title
Backstory: Diamante challenged Jade last week, bringing Trina with her
Still cannot understand why they hyped Trina so much. If this was in Miami it’d be a little more understandable. Perhaps they really want the rights to ‘Pull over that Ass’ Too Fat’ for someone’s entrance?
Diamante dived off the apron, Jade catching her, launching an F5 onto the apron, then Jaded for the win. Cargill seemed to legit hurt her leg in catching Diamante.
The crowd were behind Jade here. As was Trina, who cast aside Diamante and celebrated with the Baddies.
Cool finishing sequence. Otherwise, your typical Jade match.
WINNER: Jade Cargill
Golden Ticket Battle Royal for future World Title Shot
Backstory: Announced last Friday
For those wondering, Tony Khan explained that the Casino Chip grants a title match anytime, anyplace. While this grants a title match at a pre-stipulated time and place.
Hangman was out first – the only guy to receive an entrance – but blasted from behind by Rush, Butcher and Blade, the Dark Order in quick pursuit as the match went straight to break.
Paul Wight joined on comms.
All the other combatants had emerged during the break (why exactly did they bother signing W. Morrisey?). Daivari was eliminated first. Must’ve been one of the favorites given his track record of Rampage main events.
Page and Danhausen worked together to eliminate QT, ‘Hausen following quickly courtesy of B&B. Dante next, nasty spill onto his head. Then Hager, hooked out by the Best Friends. Dalton Castle, apparently part of the ROH Trios Champs, was saved by The Boys.
Garcia, Moriarty and Trent were next. More ads.
Vance had gone too during the break. The Blade was next courtesy of Matt Hardy, who hugged Private Party to a cheer but all three were eliminated by Butcher. As was Uno. Which put Butcher on Hangman’s radar.
Silver flexed, which annoyed Rush, who flung him over the ropes, leaving Rush, Archer, Penta, Page and Lethal. Archer quickly removed courtesy of a Penta enziguri. Penta then seemingly did the same to Lethal but he was caught by Singh and returned to the ring, eliminating Penta after a Lethal Injection. Pissing off Hangman who blasted Lethal out of the match.
(I know I’ve said this before, but to me, Lethal isn’t near the level of Penta. He and Rey lose way too often.)
Two men left. Heavy chops exchanged, a Rush German from which Hangman landed on his feet but was nearly eliminated as both spilled to the apron. More chops exchanged, Rush setting up for a piledriver; Hangman reversing into a DeadEye on the apron, sending Rush tumbling to the floor.
Tuesday October 18th is the date for the title defense.
Your standard Battle Royal, containing waaaay too many scrubs considering a title shot was on the line.
Hangman was the right choice if they want the upcoming title match to be a big match. But they need to be careful about how often he loses. He’s done almost nothing since losing the title and doesn’t feel on the level of other former champs.
WINNER: Hangman Adam Page
Will Hobbs vs Ricky Starks, Lights Out Match
Backstory: Longtime friends, Hobbs attacked Starks’ injured neck, then beat him quickly at All Out
The Main Event. Presumably a make-good for having their time cut at the ppv. Though both are young stars with a feud worthy of the slot.
Befitting the match, this was a fight straight away, fists flying, Starks springing off the ropes into a Thesz Press, pursuing Hobbs to the outside, introducing him to the steel steps, then pausing to kiss a lady’s hand in the crowd.
An early Roshambeaux attempt was turned into an awkward looking neckbreaker which was maybe meant to look the same as the DeadEye where Starks injured his neck? If not, it just looked bad, Starks banging his head against the Big Guy’s back on his way down.
Returning from the final break, Hobbs was poised over a downed Starks, chair in hand. Setting it up in the corner, he stampeded Starks into it but Ricky blocked another, following with a tornado ddt after running up the buckles. A two-count his reward.
Just as Starks was about to use the chair, Hobbs struck with a low blow, crumpling Ricky as Powerhouse set up two chairs in the middle. Starks though slipped out, belting the Big Fella in the balls. Repositioning the chairs back-to-back, he set-up the Roshambeaux again but was backdropped ‘spine-first’ onto the backs. Though hit more around the ass. Didn’t look fun.
A running powerslam seemed like the end but Ricky kicked out. Crowd quiet after four hours. Out on the ramp, Hobbs snapped off a right hand, pursuing the smaller man up towards the tunnels. Almost out of it, Starks ducked a right hand but was planted into the tunnel attempting a spear. Hobbs ripped a light-fixture away as he loomed over Starks crawling back to the ring.
Missing with the light-fixture, he was Speared through a table, Starks afterwards cracking the light over Hobbs’ head. Roshambeaux for the win.
This was actually the first Lights Out match I’ve watched; they’re really not my thing. Fortunately, this didn’t have too much by way of barbed wire boards. Good action broken-up by too-long an ad break.
WINNER: Ricky Starks
- Saraya will speak
- As will MJF
- Moxley vs Juice Robinson, World Title Eliminator
Genuinely had to double check what day it was after watching this. Because it didn’t feel like a Rampage. And that’s a good thing, as DDP once said.
Meaningful matches involving stars. It’ll be interesting to see how this does in the ratings. In addition, there was a better mix of long, competitive matches and shorter ‘squashes’. Meaning the former had more impact.
Also have to note, it kind of gets unappreciated how excellent AEW are at having the good guys win. Yes, heat is important. But more important is sending the fans home feeling good about what they just watched.
Best Rampage in a looooooong time.
- Jungle Boy vs Rey Fenix
- Darby & Sting vs HOB
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.