Arena: Veterans Coliseum
City: Portland, OR
Last Week’s Rating: 470,000 overall; 0.12 in 18-49 demo
Slow news day huh? Mr. Regal better hope his new contract is iron-clad.
Tony Khan also had a hell of a line about everyone ‘being nice’ to him in the past twenty-four hours.
It’s Friday Night, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
JR welcomed us with Wild Thing already belting out, Moxley almost to the ring, the fans who still haven’t learnt better having their high-five attempts ignored.
Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley vs Top Flight
Backstory: Darius lost to Mox, TF elim’d Claudio from a battle royal, Claudio & Mox beat Top Flight
Barely had he made it through the barricade when he was blasted by a flipping Dante Martin. Danielson tried to respond but was caught by the brothers and dumped outside.
Finally inside, Darius and Moxley went at it, the latter running through the youngster with his shoulder; Darius popped up to slap Mox, who staggered, tried to come back but ate a dropkick instead. Count of one.
With Mox in their corner, the two tagged in and out, Dante hit a standing moonsault for another one-count. Before Mox dragged him across the ring to tag Danielson. Who hit a million kicks in the corner – the crowd chanted ‘Yes!’ for every one.
Across the ring, chops in the opposite corner, ten punches, hurracanrana from the top – Dante landed on his feet, flipped over a darting Danielson then struck with a dropkick, allowing the tag to his brother.
Who came off the top with a shotgun dropkick that sent Danielson all the way to his own corner. Moxley in, Dante tried to interfere, Mox cut him off, all four guys in, a standoff with the vets back-to-back in the middle.
They got to sluggin’, Dante elevated outside by Mox and introduced to the barricade. Then sat atop a chair and Yakuza-kicked off it. Meanwhile, Danielson setup Darius atop another chair, in the corner at ringside, the BCC hit double running dropkicks.
Another electric crowd.
Slowing things down, Danielson hooked a Romero Special on Dante – even that drew a huge reaction from the fans. Then hauled him back into the Dragon Sleeper. A stiff chop preceded the tag to Mox, who booted the air from the youngster, several times, then set him atop the buckle, superplex, count of two, right into the juijigitame before quickly tagging back out to bring the break.
Hell of a start.
On his knees in the middle, Dante was being booted by both vets until ducking the last, bagging a tag, Darius came in on fire, ducking, dodging and striking: step-up enziguri after avoiding both in the corner. Until being caught by Danielson, who struck with a heel kick, then slapped the youngster down while demanding ‘You wanna fight with the BCC?’
More high, stiff kicks to the chest – ‘C’mon is that the best you’ve got!’ replied the youngster, catching the next one, firing back with very stiff chops of his own, Danielson vaulted out of the corner, Martin was ready with a standing Spanish fly.
Though he couldn’t get the tag, cut off by Mox, until striking with a cutter through the ropes: Dante instantly bagging two with a cannonball off the top. Mox slipped behind with waist control, Darius came in, Mox grabbed him too but Darius flipped his older brother to land behind Mox, bringing Danielson in.
On whom Darius used Mox’ chest to hit a swinging ddt, before Dante dropped Moxley with a half-&-half into a Rock Bottom. Two only.
Frustrated, Dante soared with a beautiful frog splash, Moxley rolled through, h&a elbows, KKL at the ready; Dante slipped under, victory roll, 2 and a half. Mox immediately popped up to this time land the KKL, a woozy Dante kicked out as Excalibur put that over as the move which dropped Hangman Page – nice touch.
The crowd were absolutely wild at this point.
Defiant, Dante slapped Mox, who hauled him to the corner, tagged Danielson, looked for the Death Rider, Dante slipped free and bagged a tag: Mox through the ropes, Darius struck him with a thrust kick, Dante the same inside on Danielson.
Darius was caught coming at Danielson but quickly shook it off until being blasted with the Busaiku knee – Dante broke up the pin at 2.9. Allowing Darius to bag a rollup for another close count. Danielson popped back up, hit a discus elbow strike, kick to the head, Mox took out Dante a la Macho Man with a double sledge from the top to the floor, flipping him off after landing.
Leaving Darius alone to have his head kicked in, the youngster already out cold while being placed in the LeBell Lock (Danielson had a really nasty cut under his arm).
This was the best tag match I’ve seen in ages. Daresay it’ll be the best one on tv tonight. And did a ton for Top Flight – they get a little more competitive each time they face the BCC.
And the show even paused long enough to bask in the aftermath and put over the two big singles matches the BCC will have on Wednesday. Top notch opening segment.
(For those interested, the Rampage layout was the same as Dynamite with a different logo on the big screen.)
WINNER: Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley
Cut backstage to Hangman Page. Who had the papers proving he was good to go Wednesday. Though Page vowed that he was getting to the point where he wouldn’t have cared either way – he’d have fought Mox in the parking lot if need be.
Because this isn’t the sad story Moxley wants it to be, this’ll be the story of how after three-plus years, Jon Moxley finally ‘got his ass handed to him’. And the difference between the two is that Hangman wants Mox to remember ‘every single second of it’ – killer line – and if Mox can’t remember, he’ll send him a VHS copy to the dirty basement he and the rest of the BCC ‘get horny watchin’ MMA in’.
At the end of the night Page will be stood with his boot on Moxley’s skull, ‘wiping your blood off my hands to make sure I don’t catch something (a few boos for that line)… Mox I’ll see you at the Forum’.
Well all right then! This almost feels like an important show so far!
Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs the Renegade Sisters
Britt and Jamie came out separately – the latter getting a bigger reaction though the crowd were happy to see both.
The Renegades were attacked while being introduced as the crowd chanted for Hayter – Jericho wondered ‘if the Doctor’s ego can take it’ – Robyn hit double-knees in the corner, dropkick to the face – quick two count.
Both ‘sisters’ in, beating on the champ in the corner, Charlette absolutely drilled Jamie with a ripcord lariat. Have to say they’ve hit hard and crisply so far.
Hayter came back to counter a double suplex, dropping both sisters, kissing the bicep, stomping away in the corner, tag to Britt. The announcers here were completely ignoring the match, talking about how Saraya had pissed Shida off on Wednesday.
A slingblade brought the break.
We came back to Hayter clobbering Robyn to death in the corner. Robyn got the boot up; hit an enziguri to bag the tag. Charlette ran through Britt, caught Hayter coming in, hit a spinebuster to Baker and a fisherman with the leg hooked for two.
Not sure if Jericho knew they were back live – he could clearly be heard mumbling ‘that was bad’ after a sloppy move by Baker.
Hayter in to plant Robyn with the Haytbreaker, she and Britt struck with elbow strikes at the same time to Charlette, low lariat, Curb Stomp, very popular victory.
The Renegades looked good here. Certainly much better than a lot of the women AEW feature on tv.
As did the ‘heels’, who finished the match with nice tandem offence ahead of next Wednesday’s big one.
WINNER: Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter
House of Black package. A very esoteric promo about a man with a gun who doesn’t trust the world then gets mad at Malakai. The man with the gun being Eddie Kingston. ‘I miss my friend, I miss who you really were because the Eddie I know was a sadistic, violent bastard.’
Apparently ‘a year ago’ they threatened to turn Eddie’s eyes black and now he will ‘hear it because the sound will be deafening.’
‘You’re sick Eddie,’ added Matthews. Before Julia smilingly finished with, ‘We’re here to help you.’
It got there in the end but this verged on Bray Wyatt. It really would be nice if the HOB actually appeared on tv other than via video package.
Perro Peligroso vs Sonico
So, you put an American guy in a Lucha faction, take his mask, but gave him a Spanish name? And the entrance video still says ‘Preston Vance’.
The new name apparently means ‘Dangerous Dog’.
Spinebuster, lariat, win.
Then ripped the mask off Sonico, the crowd booed loudly because Sonico is seemingly known in the area. Cheap heat continues.
The best part of this was Dasha’s pronunciation of all the Spanish words.
WINNER: Perro Peligroso
Cut to Darby with Renee after Wednesday. The Kingdom rolled up on him, Bennett cut a pretty good promo about his own credentials and ‘entitlement’. ‘If you want some…’, Allin then shoved the belt in Bennett’s face. Good segment.
Then another good promo pre-match about how Allin was ‘cosplay’ and he knew real darkness. Allin came back that their pasts didn’t matter, all that does is the TNT title.
Excalibur pushed Battle of the Belts. Then all of Dynamite. ‘You did it!’ exclaimed Jericho at the end.
Darby Allin vs Mike Bennett, TNT Title
This might shock some of you, but AEW signed a guy then did nothing with him for months.
Kudos to Darby for wrestling here – has to be sore as hell. Which Excalibur emphasized, noting that Allin was walking slowly to the ring rather than riding his skateboard. Jericho put him over as ‘possibly the most popular man in AEW’.
Commentary’s been very good tonight.
Darby stayed slunk in the corner for a good while after the bell rang, coat still on, staring a hole through Bennett. The announcers talked about Nick Wayne again.
Starting slowly, Bennett worked the arm with wringers, went for a cheapshot, Darby slipped behind and headlocked Bennett to the mat. Whereafter, Bennett backed him to the corner – rapid exchange of chops and strikes with Allin perched atop the buckle – crowd loud once more – until Bennett went after Allin’s already injured knee via superkick.
Allin bailed outside, hobbling, Bennett pursued him, flinging him around ringside. Until being dropkicked off the apron on his way in. Taven took a bullet by shoving Bennett out the way of the best (second best to Fenix?) suicide dive in wrestling, eating it himself. Jericho said Allin calls it a ‘lope’.
Bennett struck with a Russian legsweep off the apron to the floor as the ads arrived.
Darby’s a nutter taking that after Wednesday.
An exchange of chops in the middle, yay/boo punches; Allin was dropped by a stiff right from Bennett, DVD for two.
Darby slipped out of a piledriver, Bennett again targeted the knee, Allin reversed a pin attempt into a cradle of his own for two. Then pulled Bennett off the apron, sent him to the barricade, Taven kept getting in his face.
Darby sat Bennett on a chair at ringside, went to the top, came off with a shotgun dropkick. Crazy. ‘Holy S’ chant.
Back inside, Coffin Drop on the way, Maria crawled on top of her husband, taking the ref, allowing Taven to strike with an enziguri. Bennett got two.
More ‘Darby’ chants as he was set atop the buckle, Bennett looking for an avalanche piledriver. Darby fought him off, avalanche Code Red, Coffin Drop, the crowd chanted ‘1,2,3’ as loudly as you’ll ever hear.
Darby always gives too much to guys who are there to put him over. Though this wasn’t as bad on that front as most Cole Karter and was at least explainable after he was destroyed by Joe on Wednesday.
Good main event.
WINNER: Darby Allin
- Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker vs Saraya and Toni Storm
- Death Triangle vs the Elite, Match 7 of 7 for the Trios Titles
- Jon Moxley vs Hangman Page
- Bryan Danielson vs Konosuke Takeshita
- Jungle Boy & Hook (JungleHook, I s*** you not) vs Lee Moriarty and Big Bill
- JAS promo
- Anna Jay & Tay Melo vs Ruby Soho & Willow Nightingale, Street Fight
- Kings of the Black Throne vs Eddie Kingston & Ortiz
I can do this, I can do this. I… enjoyed… Rampage.
And how couldnt you with a crowd that hot and an opener that fantastic? The vast majority of the show helped build towards next Wednesday’s LA debut and the Preston Vance thing was kept mercifully short.
Almost makes me want to watch Battle of the Belts. Almost… 😉
- Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley vs Top Flight
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!