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Rampage TV Report for 05/26/2023

AEW Rampage tonight comes to us from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV.  After last week drawing 293,000 & 0.09 in the 18-49 demo.

*****

Rush, Preston Vance & Dralistico vs the Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Backstory: None

Since Rush smashed through a world title contender last week, his team must be winning right?

Re: the ppv ‘This card has so many car crashes booked…’  JR keeps being too honest.

Bowens and Dralistico set it off.  The latter avoiding lariats, hitting a hurracanrana but eating a thrust kick and the over the shoulder fameasser.  Caster and Vance in – Vance ducked a couple leapfrogs but snatched into an armdrag.  Recovering by catching and dumping Caster to the corner via fallaway – tag to Billy.

Who now seems to be making a gimmick of taking his shirt off.  After a test of strength, all six in then quickly out as they brawled around ringside.  Bowens and Billy taken out, Caster bearing the brunt of a 3-on-1 in the ring.

Ads.

They were all brawling outside again as we returned.  Dralistico and Caster legal in the ring, chopping and striking with Caster in the heels’ corner.  Dralistico missed a running knee, both then crashed together hitting clotheslines – Caster tagged Gunn who ran through the heels with lariats, hit a Fameasser to Vance but Jose very obviously (you could see him on camera preparing to do it) put Vance’s leg on the ropes.

The ref somehow did not see it.

Gunn and Bowens gave Jose scissor me timbers.  Vance hit a discus lariat to Gunn, kickout at two, Rush downed Gunn in the corner but Bulls Horns cut-off by Bowens, Dralistico hit him with a lungblower but Bowens came back quickly with the Arrival, Caster hit the Mic Drop.

Win.

Bowens talked about how they’ve been ‘running through this trios division’.  Liar.  He referred to gambling and quipped ‘never bet on black’.

‘We know this Sunday’ that the trios titles are up for grabs.  Said Excalibur.  DO WE?  Anyway they put up a graphic after so it’s official.

On a limb here, but don’t think this trios title match will live up to those at previous ppvs.

Winner: the Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Ethan Page & the Gunns vs Braxton, FrescoMatic & Watson

Backstory: None

‘This trios division is rapidly gaining momentum’ said JR.  Jericho agreed that it was one of the most valuable titles in the company.  At least heels are supposed to lie.

They showed footage of Page & the Gunns’ attack on Isiah Kassidy last week.

The heels distracted Guy A (they never named them), he was beaten down in their corner – stomps and etc.

Nice double team flurry from the Gunns.  Ethan in to pose and posture before being caught via jawbreaker.  Guy B in to throw some shots until being blasted by a Page pump kick.  As Guys A & C were taken out at ringside by the Gunns.

Page flung Guy B into the 3:10 to Yuma for the win.

This was an absolutely embarrassing presentation for a major company on tv.  They literally never named any of the guys.  Not once.

Page took the mic to say they showed the Hardys what a real trio can do.  And the Hardys are now down to two since they took out Isiah.

The Hardys came out.  So did Isiah – to say the dr. hadn’t cleared him – Excalibur and Page had already told us he was out so yeah.  Hook’s music hit, he’ll replace Kassidy.  Hook and the Hardys were over with the crowd.

Winner: Ethan Page & the Gunns

Lexi with Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee.  They implied Rhodes and Lee were going to get to Swerve & Brian Cage in Sunday’s battle royal.  Lee was serious here, not speaking like Shakespeare – ‘can’t wait’ his only words.  Which was a nice touch.

Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida vs Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir

Backstory: None

Jericho had a great subtle line about being a ‘big fan’ of Shida, implying he wasn’t of Britt.

Shida smacked Rose with a knee in the corner then suplexed Shafir onto her.

They stressed the women’s title match Sunday.  As Britt came in to hit a slingblade and bag two on Marina.  Shafir hit back with a chop and a boot to the chest, taking Britt to the heels’ corner where Rose choked her then tagged in as the break beckoned.

Baker avoided a kick from Shafir, Shida in, nice enziguri, a right for Rose to knock her off the apron before wailing away on Marina.  A final big elbow strike rocked Shafir to the corner where Shida continued to pound away.

Then launched a missile dropkick to bag two.

Tag to Britt who hit a neckbreaker.  Rose broke up the pin by bodyslamming Shida onto it.  Then set Britt up for the guillotine, Baker avoided it with help from Shida, they bridged Nyla outside, Shida hit her with a meteora off the apron.

Inside, Britt held Shafir for Shida to hit her with the Katana then clamped on Lockjaw for the win.

Shida looked good again.  The good girls celebrated together.  As the Outcasts were shown standing over a re-injured Jamie Hayter.  Who was clutching her shoulder and moaning.

Winner: Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida

Best Friends vs Big Bill & Lee Moriarty

Backstory: None

Most of the Battle Royal entrants were watching this.

Taylor and Moriarty began with slick chain wrestling from Moriarty.  Chuck quickly tagging out: series of standing switches, headlock takedowns and counters – Moriarty got the better of Trent too.

Confusingly, the Friends then became total heels for a couple minutes, Trent trying a cheapshot before Taylor distracted Moriarty from the apron.  Both then crushed him with splashes in the corner and a double-team delayed suplex.

Sizeable William hit the ring to batter Taylor outside with a clothesline then fling Trent over the top.

Ads.

Trent got the tag, launching Germans to Moriarty, ending with a release.  Then tried a tope into Bill.  Mistaaaaake.  He was planted into the apron via chokeslam.  Bill tagged his way in, missed a splash in the corner, the Friends hit their soul food combo then hugged.

Moriarty knocked Chuck off the buckle; Trent ate a Bossman slam from Bill.  Tag to Moriarty, double team powerbomb combo into a pin which Chuck broke up (Bill was nice enough to not interfere despite he and Taylor entering and exiting at the exact same time).

Bill was crotched on the buckle, the Friends hit a superplex, Bill kicked out.  Chuck readied a piledriver, Moriarty stopped it, booted Beretta outside, ate a Taylor piledriver, Taylor was then booted and chokeslammed as Big Bill bagged the win.

They clearly have some level of plans for the heel team here.  I’d certainly take em over the current #1 contenders.

Pretty good action.  Like Bill better in a team than as a solo.  Moriarty impressive here.

Post-match, Bill picked a fight with Bandido and AEW ended the show before the ppv with a mass brawl as they often do.  Cassidy’s music hit as he crapped on his gimmick by sprinting to the ring to ensure the Friends weren’t beaten down further.

They then told us who else might actually win by having Cage and Lee (with Dustin) come out to their entrances.  Swerve eventually got his too after allowing Cage to eat a 2-on-1 beating at the hands of Rhodes & Lee.

The commentators said he was ‘smart’ for not going to the ring.  He’s a f’ing heel!

Fitting end to the show.  I need a drink.

Winner: Big Bill & Lee Moriarty

_________________________________________________________________________

 Added to DoN:

  • The Acclaimed vs House of Black, Trios Titles (the ppv graphic didn’t even have the Acclaimed on it – this show is so disorganized)
  • Buy In – Hardys & Hook vs the Gunns & Ethan Page

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Shida had some nice flurries.
  • Main event was decent

 *****

  • Changing & adding ppv matches last min on a show without a fixed start time that draws ¼ of the Dynamite audience
  • The nothingest of nothing matches
  • Announcers can embellish, they can’t outright lie (unless they’re heels) – and excepting Schiavone, they did it all night
  • They did nothing to promote Sunday’s major matches outside of running down the card

 

Appreciate you reading.  Have a great weekend! Enjoy DoN if you’re watching.

 

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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