AEW Rampage tonight comes to us from the Moody Center in Austin, Tx. After last week drawing 284,000 & 0.07 in the 18-49 demo. Lowest ever audience; joint-lowest demo. Out of timeslot yes, but there was nothing on that show to draw viewers in. Dave Meltzer noted that the show started at 388,000 and lost over 100,000 viewers during the second segment.
Quick update – per Fightful Select, AEW Fight Forever apparently has a June 27th release date.
BCC (Mox, Yuta, Claudio) vs Best Friends & Bandido
Already in the ring – of course – Bandido faced off with Mox, things going badly as the former champ stomped away. Before Bandido ducked and dodged until hitting a dropkick then tagging Trent as Yuta came in on the other side.
A fistfight ensued, Trent hit a nice armdrag to counter a hiptoss then a lariat as Yuta bailed outside. Where Chuck stomped away like a heel before receiving a deserved chopblock from Yuta for cheating. Quick tags from the BCC: Claudio in, the Swiss dropping Taylor via delayed suplex, Mox in again to boot the gut, grab a cravate then tag Yuta.
The youngster missing an attack in the corner – Mox and Trent back in, chops and strikes, half-and-half suplex, another, a third as Mox kept popping up for more until collapsing. The heels outside where the good guy trio hit stereo dives. Things going well until Claudio blocked a Trent springboard via uppercut, Beretta in the wrong corner.
You know what comes next. Ads.
Desperate to tag, Trent bagged two out of a backslide, Mox in – kicks in the corner, big lariat, Trent in trouble until avoiding a rushing Mox and landing a tornado ddt off the ropes. Bandido in, just gaining his balance to hit a tornijo and hurracanrana to Claudio – crowd loud – the luchador to the apron – Rey-style hurracanrana into a pin for two.
A pretty weak chop/fist fight ensured before Bandido looked for his delayed suplex, Claudio slipped free but ate a pumpkick – Yuta in but caught off the top right into the delayed suplex before the Friends came in to hit a double team then the stupid hug.
Taylor hit a piledriver and seatbelt for close counts, Mox blasted Bandido via clothesline, Beretta took him out via running knee, he was taken out by Claudio as Yuta rolled Chuck up for two. Claudio back in to block awful waffle, Mox Death Rider, Castagnoli propelled Yuta onto Taylor as the youngster bagged the win.
Very fast lucha-style match. A little spot-heavy but non-stop action.
No proper follow-up on the big show-closing angle from Wednesday – no promos, no Elite appearance, nothing.
Kyle Fletcher promo, objecting to Orange Cassidy being the International Champ when he’s not international. I suppose it is a reason at least.
Jade Cargill vs Dani B, TBS Title open challenge
JR was a little too honest about Cargill stepping up her level of competition.
As they bothered to tell us that Taya Valkyrie was suspended for going after officials. This is why they suck at storytelling. You’re supposed to tell us that immediately so we anticipate her return.
Jade won quickly
Afterward, Mark Sterling made another open challenge…
Jade Cargill vs Jennasis, TBS Title open challenge
Jericho told us Jennasis was paralyzed and had to learn how to walk and talk again. Jesus. Poor girl.
This win made Jade 59-0, Sterling made another challenge: Taya Valkyrie returned to lay out the third challenger then Jade with Road to Valhalla. ‘Now, who’s that bitch? I’ll see you at Double or Nothing.’
They made the match official immediately.
Winner: Jade Cargill
Acclaimed & Daddy Ass vs Varsity Athletes & Ari Daivari
As very bad editing made Taya and Jade immediately transform into the Acclaimed. Who remain popular with crowds.
Caster got the better of Josh Woods, then a t-shirted Billy Gunn ran through Woods via shoulder block as Jericho wondered if this was the best run of his career. 1998 might disagree but otherwise it’s hard to argue he’s ever been more popular.
I could write all this because there was a lot of posing and no action. Culminating in Billy removing his t-shirt. Before snatching Tony Nese into a side slam for two.
Caster in trouble in-ring as Gunn destroyed Daivari outside, Bowens ran through the other two via chops and an elbow strike, kick to the gut, over the shoulder fameasser, count of two. Broken up by Woods.
Who was flung into the barricade by Gunn who remained outside. As Nese nailed Bowens with a crisp spinkick, but ate a thrust kick, then the Arrival, then the Mic Drop. As the Acclaimed won.
Keeping the #1 contenders hot as we build to the culmination of this scorching trios titles feud.
Winner: Acclaimed & Daddy Ass
Deep breath, QTV time. QT signed them up for the International Title Battle Royal. Then remembered Will Hobbs is supposed to be the star as they mentioned he was on the poster for Collision. They talked about who Hobbs could beat on the show, immediately turning it into ‘comedy’ by naming Buff Bagwell and the Blue Meanie.
‘On June 17th, the real story begins.’ Of course, that line was said not by Hobbs but the real star of the show – QT Marshall.
The Hardys & Isiah Kassidy came out to the ring, Ethan Page interrupted and was very entertaining here. Asking who confirmed to Isiah that ‘those girls were cute’ or told him moaning was a marketable gimmick. In fact they were going to become a team – the Moan Event. I love Ethan.
Distracting them as the Gunns attacked from behind because babyfaces are dumb and fall for the same thing multiple times. They trapped Kassidy’s neck in a chair and hit a stomp off the top. If it stops the moaning, that makes them babyfaces to me. A six-man was then added to DoN. I yelled ‘OH NO’ out loud.
All this young talent and we have to cram the Hardys on the show. Jeff also talked about getting the tag titles so presumably that’ll happen at Wembley.
Jericho demanded time to address Adam Cole. Reiterating that Cole’s a coward and not a man of his word. If Cole were here, he’d ‘beat his ass’. As Cole appeared on the big screen – promising to beat Jericho’s ass every week.
The Ocho then removed Cole’s ban before challenging him to an unsanctioned match. He ripped up the document, only to find Cole was right outside the building, he came in to go after Jericho.
Back from break, Cole’s music played as he marched down through the fans. As Jericho ran to meet him. Shouldn’t he be fleeing since he was so scared of him he had Cole banned?
Shouldn’t the good guy whose girl got attacked in front of him make that unsactioned challenge? Why did Jericho suddenly rip-up the ban? Yet another story which is all over the place.
Your stereotypical wild brawl was quickly broken up by security.
At least they carried something from the ‘A’ show over to Rampage I suppose.
And presumably skipping right to unsactioned means Cole and Jericho aren’t continuing past the ppv (on Weds an angle was cut where Britt was going to interrupt Max and insinuate Cole was his next challenger).
Bishop Kaun vs Dustin Rhodes
Backstory: Rhodes & Keith Lee saved Dark Order from a Mogul Embassy beatdown last week
So two or three weeks ago Dustin had promo time devoted to plugging big things when AEW reached his home state. This is the result.
Kaun jumped Rhodes as he came through the ropes, before Rhodes sent him outside via lariat, chopping him around ringside and hurling him into the barricade.
By the time I looked up again from noting all the matches announced for Dynamite, Rhodes was bleeding from the head and Kaun was on top. As we went to break.
A Samoan drop bought only one for Kaun as Dustin fired-up, firing rights, lariats, kick to the gut, drop-down uppercut, snap powerslam, Rhodes absolutely pouring blood. Ten punches in the corner, code red, count of two. Piledriver, same result.
Kaun blocked a suplex, setup a pedigree, Rhodes backdropped out, Kaun held on into a sunset flip for two. Shotgun dropkick pushed Rhodes to the corner, Kaun missed a splash, ate a bulldog, Final Reckoning, pin.
Very good after we returned from break, though only had a few mins.
Immediately it’d finished, Bryan Cage dismantled Dustin. Swerve joined to observe, as Keith Lee finally decided to show up. Quickly destroying Cage and Kaun in the aisle, he headed for Swerve in the ring, again very slowly, Swerve smiling as his minions returned to attack Lee from behind.
Kaun hit a chair shot to the back, Cage – just about – hauled Lee up onto his back before dumping him onto the chair. Then positioning him in a seated position on another chair for a Swerve Stomp. Since Excalibur told us right before this that they’d previously broken a cinder block over his head, why should we be concerned?
Heel attacks are supposed to scale up in intensity, as are matches – which is why you shouldn’t start with a cinderblock or an unsanctioned match.
With another two hours of weekly tv coming, Tony Khan really needs help creatively.
Winner: Dustin Rhodes
- Lucha Bros vs Claudio & Yuta, ROH Tag Titles
- Cole/Jericho contract signing
- Orange Cassidy vs Kyle Fletcher, Int’nl Title
- FTR promo
- Tony Khan announces the location of the 1st Collision (and implicitly whether Punk’s returning)
- Taya Valkryie vs Lady Frost
- Ricky Starks promo
- House of Black vs Blake Christian, Metalik & Another Random Guy, Trios Titles, HOB Rules
- All four Pillars ‘will speak’
Added to Double or Nothing:
- Hardys & Isiah Kassidy vs the Gunns & Ethan Page, if Page’s team loses – his contract will be owned by Matt Hardy
- Taya Valkyrie vs Jade Cargill, TBS Title
- Adam Cole vs Chris Jericho, Unsanctioned Match
- I guess you can call it a win when they announce ppv stuff on Rampage – though fact it’s notable says a lot
- Ethan Page
- Just a bunch of matches – no reason for any
- Obvious outcomes
- Hated Jericho going from being scared of Cole to challenging and rushing to brawl with him
Appreciate you reading. Have a great weekend.