Arena: Footprint Center
City: Phoenix, Az
Last Week’s Rating: 287,000 overall; 0.07 in 18-49 demo
Those are both record lows. With the obvious caveat that it was out of timeslot. Though it did 0.14 in the demo for the same show last year.
It’s Friday Night, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
Young Bucks vs Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
Straight to the ring, Matt and Mark Davis setting us off as a Kyle Fletcher cheap shot immediately put AO on top. Davis got two with a cocky cover from his knees
Before a Nick tejeiras took out both as the Bucks celebrated. Certainly faces, at least this week.
(Callis joined on comms as the announcers mentioned Omega/Ospreay for the second week running while Omega’s friends just happen to be facing Ospreay’s. Hmm…)
Nick grabbed a headlock, the Bucks both in as Davis dropped each individual with a bodyslam then hoisted up both at the same time.
(Omega was out at ringside. It’s just been reported by the Observer that his contract is injury-extended and would’ve expired in Jan.
He’s also in the new (remastered) Yakuza Ishin game if anyone’s interested.)
Matt slipped out of a running powerslam, dropkick to the midsection, Nick chestbreaker, Matt with a flipping facebuster and again the Bucks had the ring to themselves as the crowd cheered. But were caught on stereo dives and dumped back-first across the apron, then crashed together backs-first while in bear hugs.
The Aussies on top, Nick in the wrong corner, being blasted with chops by Davis. Nick slipped out, dropped Davis across the ropes then springboard hurracanrana’d Fletcher off the top. Scrambling, he made the tag as Matt unloaded on Fletcher with a flying clothesline then used the chest of Davis to sliced-bread Fletcher.
Then dived outside onto Davis before dropping the elbow onto Fletcher for two. Crowd enjoying this.
Bulldog/dropkick combo from the Bucks, Davis knocked back outside off the apron, Fletcher hung off the bottom rope to be squashed via Nick senton, Davis just made the save.
Nick hit his punt kick to Fletcher but was caught and brainbustered on the mats at ringside as Davis destroyed Matt with a wicked lariat. Nick slipped out a double team but was drilled in the corner with a basement elbow as AO hit a double team move (like a back body drop out of a Razor’s Edge).
Nick countered another attempted double team into a cutter, rolling through to tag his brother who was immediately wiped-out by another Davis lariat. Both Bucks in, both ate superkicks by AO, the Bucks desperately avoiding the killing blow at this point, hitting a superkick party, missing a BTE Trigger but being dropped once more by brutal lariats.
Nick and Fletcher fought up from their knees, Nick stumbling back to tag his brother, both illegal men dragging the opposing legal man out through the ropes as the Bucks hit dives on either side of the ring.
The Bucks had the Meltzer Driver ready, the lights went out, allowing Fletcher to turn it into a tombstone of his own, getting a visual pin as Davis counted.
Matt was drilled with ‘coreolis’(??), Nick stopped the count just before three. Still in trouble, the Bucks ducked a clothesline, Davis took out Fletcher, superkick party, made Davis piledrive Fletcher by kicking his legs out then drilled the latter with the BTE Trigger for the win.
This was fantastic. Impossible to keep up with. But fantastic.
Then the lights went out again, the HOB surrounded the ring. They went out again and the trio were gone. I believe that’s what’s known as false advertising. Boos from the crowd who had been chanting for the HOB.
WINNER: Young Bucks
Lexi with the Best Friends ahead of next week’s battle royale. They were immediately attacked by Big Bill, Moriarty, the Gunns and a lead pipe. The latter of which was by far the most interesting of the heels.
They actually followed up on this after the break. The Friends still down and a very serious Orange Cassidy demanding to know who did it.
Toni Storm vs Willow Nightingale
Willow’s reaction easily eclipsed either Saraya or Storm. Who attacked from behind as the bell rang, clubbing the back but being dropped by a Nightingale shoulder block and series of lariats. A senton followed for two.
Then a bodyslam, an angry Willow pursuing Storm corner-to-corner until Storm pulled the hair then dropped Nightingale off the apron via hip attack, whipping her around ringside into the apron and the barricades.
Well in control as the break beckoned.
And avoiding a Willow corner-cannonball as we came back, countering with her usual brutal hip attack then a ddt from which Willow kicked out at two. Psyching herself up, Willow this time blasted Storm with a cannonball in the corner, DVD, very close two. Bringing Saraya to the apron to be dragged in by Willow, literally in her hands in front of the ref as Storm attacked the knee from behind then hit Storm Zero for the win.
What we saw was good action, ruined by the standard garbage finish in these two’s matches.
After the bell, Ruby Soho saved Nightingale from being spray-painted and Jamie Hayter got into it with her fellow Brit, beating Saraya backstage. Apparently, Ruby was ‘again caught in the middle’. Not really sure how.
On the plus side, AEW need to have more people beating established opponents. On the other, Willow is the latest victim of their start/stop booking, not appearing on tv for the best part of a month (perhaps linked to what happened to Anna?)
WINNER: Toni Storm
Lexi with the Acclaimed and Billy after Dynamite. Cue another heel attack, the J’s this time as Singh devastatingly slightly moved Billy Gunn towards a wall at a medium pace.
Fittingly, a Jade Cargill promo was next. She challenged ‘all competition’ including ‘your favorites’ (i.e. she’s run out of opponents). Good promo tbf.
Lance Archer vs Bryce Saturn
On the subject of start/stop, Lance Archer was so hot and cool and different when he debuted. Nothing was done with him. Now he’s lucky to appear on tv.
Did get a hell of a pop from the Arizona faithful as he came down with Jake Roberts. A wicked throw, charging shoulder in the corner, series of slaps to the chest, nasty elbow strike, running cross body, devastating lariat, 1, 2, 3.
Unlike the HOB, no Blackout needed.
Great to see Archer back; no faith they’ll do anything with him.
WINNER: Lance Archer
Very quick video package with Dustin Rhodes and Keith Lee challenging Swerve and the Mogul Affiliates for next week. Again, not exactly what they advertised on Dynamite.
Daniel Garcia cut a promo on Sammy’s behalf. Andretti promised he was the real deal and ‘the sight to see’.
The Firm promo as the they basically forced Matt Hardy to face Hook as Stokely quickly ‘had to take a phone call’.
Surprised at first, Matt countered back, along with Isiah, firing up and promising that he was so confident of beating Hook that if he loses, Hook gets a match with Stokely and the Firm will be banned from ringside. Page, being a dumb heel, was convinced by this.
Sammy Guevara vs Action Andretti
Backstory: Andretti stopped Guevara interfering last Friday, allowing Ricky Starks to beat Daniel Garcia
Athletic start with AA flipping out of a hurracanrana then clotheslining Sammy outside before launching into a clothesline off the barricade.
Back in the ring, Guevara fired back with a step-up knee but Andretti muscled him up impressively into a falcon arrow out of a sunset flip.
Then followed Sammy back to ringside and was introduced to the barricade. But continued to counter everything Guevara threw by turning a suplex into one of his own, hitting a kick from the apron then a 450 to the floor as the ads arrived.
Excellent start, Andretti looking very good.
There were barely a few minutes left as we returned. Looked like they’d been going all-out during the break.
Sammy got a knee up to block a moonsault then hit an over the shoulder/face-first drop (never seen anything like it) from which the youngster just kicked out. Before heading upstairs, missing with a shooting star, dropkick and kip-up frm AA, springboard punt, Guevara dead weight as AA looked for a GTH, Sammy landed on his feet.
Fading, they exchanged yay/boo elbow strikes, AA missed an enziguri, Sammy hit a knee strike, thrust kick, another knee strike, then was plucked out of the air into a Spanish fly from a dead sprint. Bagging Andretti another close count.
From the apron, Andretti kicked Garcia at ringside then blasted Sammy with a running dropkick but was slugged by Garcia as he went for a moonsault. Straight into the GTH as Sammy stole the win.
Unlike the other tainted finishes this week, this one was very well done, clearly behind the ref’s back.
Hell of a match. And a reminder of how great Guevara is.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara
- The second Tag Team Casino Battle Royale
- Hook vs Matt Hardy (if Hook wins he gets a match with Stokely Hathaway)
- Toni Storm vs Riho
- Orange Cassidy vs Big Bill, All-Atlantic Title
- MJF and Danielson promo
- Jericho vs Peter Avalon
- Face of Rev Ladder Match (Takeshita, Ortiz, Action Andretti, Sammy Guevara, Will Hobbs, Eddie Kingston, AR Fox, Komander (a Lucha guy making their debut) – Samoa Joe on comms, winner gets title shot
Added to Revolution:
- the Elite vs House of Black, Trios Title
The best Rampage I’ve ever seen?
This was a very good hour of wrestling with two quality matches, a solid women’s match and a fun squash with Archer.
Still have reservations about the long-term quality of the booking though.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!
- The Bucks vs Aussie Open
- Sammy Guevara vs Action Andretti