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Rampage TV report for 05/13/2023

AEW Rampage tonight comes to us from Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, MI.  After last week drawing 294,000 & 0.09 in the 18-49 demo.

*****

The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs Butcher, Blade & Kip Sabian

Backstory: None

‘Yo Butch, you a bitch my man, got the worst moustache since Vince McMahon’ was the highlight of the pre-match rap.  Before Kip & Bowens set it off, the latter dropping the former via shoulder block, thrust kick and over-the-shoulder fameasser.

Caster & Blade in – bodyslam, Scissor Me Timbers – leading to Caster being dumped outside by Butcher before the heels mock-scissored and Kip launched a moonsault to the outside, very nearly knee-ing Bowens in the head.

A loud ‘We want daddy’ chant as the heels worked over Bowens on the wrong side of the ring, the crowd into this opener.

Ads.

A Kip cannonball continued the assault.  A Butcher backbreaker bagged two, Bowens still cut-off from his compadres.  Until striking via thrust kick, making the crawl, Gunn in, all three heels hit with right hands until a powerslam to Butcher allowed Kip & Blade to strike from behind.

Caster in illegally to dropkick and pancake Kip, leaving him prone for a Fameasser, Blade making the save at two.  Bowens in – Arrival, Mic Drop, victory.

Nothing match; hot crowd – pretty good analogy for the Acclaimed who remain far more popular than their storylines and involvement should suggest.

Btw, this is the same Butcher we were supposed to believe could win the Int’nl Title a few weeks back.

Winner: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Seems AEW haven’t yet given up on QTV.  Ostensibly as a vehicle to air the frustrations of higher-ups.  Since this week hyped the 60,000+ tickets sold for Wembley as Solo whispered to Harley that it only seats 8,000 (Tony Khan last week got into it with a – admittedly dubious – journalist about seating plans).

‘Btw has anyone heard from the champ?’ asked QT in an example of fiction emulating reality.  Cut to what looked like a low-budget porn film as a barely clothed Cameron ‘interviewed’ a bare-chested Hobbs on a couch.  His story isn’t over, ‘all that matters is who’s holding the pen’.

Insider references and the real star getting a single sentence.  Seems a great use of tv time.  Poor Hobbs.

Toni Storm vs Allysin Kay

Backstory: None

They replayed Shida getting one over on the Outcasts and hyped Dynamite’s trios match as Storm made her entrance.

Kay had a flurry early, stomping Toni down in the corner until Saraya grabbed the boot; Ruby threw a cheap shot too as Saraya shouted ‘that’s what we do baby’.  It sure is.  The exact same thing.  Every.  Single.  Week.

Both then stomped away outside after Toni hip-attacked Kay off the apron.

Kay stun-gunned Storm across the ropes, hit a neckbreaker and lariat for two.  Storm came back with a tornado ddt, Kay countered Storm Zero as Ruby and Saraya simultaneously hit the apron to prevent the cover.

Storm hit a German, hip attack, Storm Zero.  Spraypaint.

I’d be very happy to never see the Outcasts ever again.

Winner: Toni Storm

Backstage, the Gunns complained about not getting a rematch, promising to win back their tag titles.  Ethan Page interrupted to ask for help.  The three headed off together.

Kyle Fletcher vs Action Andretti

Backstory: None

An Aussie-riddled Rampage continued as Kyle Fletcher made his entrance.  Action Andretti now rolls with Darius Martin for some reason.  Related, have AEW actually acknowledged what happened to Dante on tv?

‘He’s gotta become known for more than ‘I beat Chris Jericho’’ was JR’s verdict on Andretti.  Sums it up perfectly.

Both worked in and out of an armbar, Action using his athleticism to slip out then launch a top rope armdrag and hurracanrana off Fletcher’s shoulders.  A tornijo bagged two.  Before Fletcher blasted him off the apron via leg lariat.

Ads.

Andretti landed on his feet out of a half-&-half, hit a bodyslam and clotheslined Fletcher outside, following via tope suicida, sending him straight back inside, missing via split leg and eating a thrust kick.  A sheer-drop bagged two for Fletcher.  Crowd quiet.

Andretti hit a superplex after leaping to the top, a springboard 450 bagging another two.  Forearm to the back, roundhouse; another Fletcher leg lariat cut him off before a Fidget Spinner bagged the win.  Fletcher mocking Cassidy with a weak thumbs up afterward.

Action Andretti beat Chris Jericho his first night in and has done ‘jack diddly squat’ since, to quote Juice Robinson.  And here lost to a tag guy from another company.  Let’s hope Fletcher’s attack on Cassidy Weds is building to something at or on the way to Forbidden Door.

Otherwise, AEW yet again gave wins and tv time to a guy from another company at the expense of their own talent.

Winner: Kyle Fletcher

Recap of Wednesday’s main event and show-closing angle.

*****

The Hardys and Isiah Kassidy were interrupted by the Gunns.  They and Ethan want a fight.  Kassidy interrupted with a sex noise, this gimmick breaking all sorts of records by becoming tiresome in week two.

Matt said he’d been trying to get away from Ethan for eight months but agreed to the match if they agreed to put control over Ethan’s contract on the line.  The Gunns did so.  Then vowed that the Hardys would never get their hands on the tag titles while they were around.  Before Austin mocked Kassidy’s sex noise as they left.  Enjoyed that.

Matt said they’d ‘delete the Ass Boys’.  Same old…

*****

Notable that when they promo’d tickets for Double or Nothing, there was just a single match they could advertise.

Swerve Strickland & Brian Cage vs John Silver & Alex Reynolds

Backstory: None

Slick, smooth chain-wrestling from Swerve & Reynolds got us going until Strickland avoided a rush in the corner, hit a tejeiras from a sitting position and flew upstairs thinking Stomp as Reynolds slipped out of reach.

Damn Swerve’s smooth.  Incredibly agile.

Cage in, pointing to Silver as Reynolds obliged.  A posedown ensued, the crowd firmly in favor of Silver – Cage didn’t like this much, aiming a cheapshot to the gut and whipping him in only for Silver to rebound via headscissor takedown.  The Machine returned the favor, the two tough to separate as each caught the other out of a cross body, Silver slamming Cage down and continuing to pose.  Momentum with him until Swerve bridged him outside then hit a pump kick from the apron as the break beckoned.

Silver in trouble as we returned, countering a Cage suplex into one of his own before both muscle-men made tags, the pace quickening as Swerve and Reynolds flew around the ring, a pair of running elbows and a neckbreaker taking Swerve out, a basement dropkick through the ropes doing the same to Cage, a pop-up knee-strike, tiger driver and pull-up piledriver resulting in only two as Swerve kicked out.

To the top, superplex ready, Prince Nana hit the apron, distracting Reynolds, Swerve missed a Stomp as Silver & Reynolds ran through their excellent double-team flurry ending in a German/jackknife-pin combo for two.  Cage afterward hauling Reynolds nads-first into the ringpost, Silver diving at him but being caught and held in place for Swerve to hit his running kick to the back of the head, tag to Cage, Reynolds bagged a cradle for a close two but was hit with a pop-up powerbomb then a double-team fireman’s carry slam/neckbreaker combo.

Which seemed like the finish only for him to kick out at 2.9.  Drillclaw ready, Silver broke it up via enziguri, Nana grabbed Silver’s boot in full view of the ref, the heels hit the Drillclaw and JML Driver to Reynolds and Silver respectively as Cage pinned the former.

Afterward, Keith Lee & Dustin Rhodes saved the faces from a further beating after the Gates of Agony hit the ring.

Not as good as it could’ve been despite some fun exchanges.  Crowd not really into it.

Swerve deserves much better.

Winner: Swerve Strickland & Brian Cage

 ________________________________________________________________

Next Dynamite:

  • Sammy Guevara ‘in action’, but will have to leave the building afterward ahead of:
  • Chris Jericho vs Roderick Strong, Falls Count Anywhere, JAS & Cole banned from the building
  • Jamie Hayter, Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida vs the Outcasts
  • Ricky Starks vs Jay White
  • Jack Perry vs Rush
  • Don Callis promo

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Would love to be able to put something here.

 *****

  • Matches felt like afterthoughts – no reason for any of them to happen
  • The last two sets of tag champs are also afterthoughts
  • Predictable outcomes
  • Way too much interference, again

Appreciate you reading.  Have a great weekend.

 


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Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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