AEW Rampage tonight comes to us from the Viejas Arena in San Diego, CA . After last week drawing 436,000 & 0.11 in the 18-49 demo.
You guys see that report about Punk and Steel having creative input for Collision? Cannot believe Steel’s even being brought back, let alone this. Don’t know how it’s possible to have any form of discipline in the company if it’s true – he’s basically being rewarded.
Vikingo vs Komander vs Dralistico (AAA Title)
Say it with me – ‘Already in the ring’, the challengers went after Vikingo who ducked and dodged until all three took turns jumping over the others cross-body style while they were on all fours. Did not look like wrestling or combat.
Dralistico flung the champ into the barricade then hit a boot to Komander before coming in via springboard senton to bag an early two. Earning him chants of ‘pero’ from the crowd as he threatened to leave up the ramp.
Vikingo still down outside, Dralistico threw open hands and knife edges, Komander briefly fought back but was trapped between the ropes (more correctly, he very clearly held himself in place) as Dralistico came off the top via stomp. Before Vikingo hit a crazy dive onto the heel.
Following up with a gamengiri in the corner then the implosion hurracanarana and his outside-to-in phoenix splash for dessert. Count of two. Dralistico elevated Komander outside, he and Vikingo went nose-to-nose before teeing off with open-hands and forearms. Until Dralistico ate a corkscrew kick as the champ bagged two.
Dralistico brought Komander back in, hitting a thrust kick in the corner before posing atop the buckle to boos. But missed a running boot, Komander partially hit a springboard hurracanrana then Matrix’d under Vikingo amid a flurry armdrags and dropkicks. Rapid sequence, very well executed.
Before rope-walk diving his way onto the other two brawling on the outside. Then heading up top again with Dralistico down inside. A rope walk 450 seeing the subsequent pin broken up by Vikingo, who avoided a splash in the corner, then hit a corkscrew reverse hurracanrana onto Komander, who ended up on an apron adjacent table.
Where Vikingo springboard 630’d onto him. Dralistico flung him inside, readying a powerbomb, but Vikingo turned the tables to hook the pin out of a hurracanrana.
I guess it depends on your taste. I do like some Lucha – the Bros are among my favorite guys – but there was enough sloppiness here to provide ammo for the genre’s detractors.
Komander did keep the rope walking to an impactful minimum here.
They showed Aubrey Edwards’ problems with the J’s, including Karen Jarrett hitting her with a guitar at the ppv. And of course that group can’t be off tv for a week.
Talking to Lexi, they were interrupted by Mark Briscoe who said they wouldn’t be suspended cause then Jarrett and Karen couldn’t get the ‘ass-whuppin’ they deserve.
Aubrey then stepped into the picture, putting a really fake-looking choke on Karen as the four brawled. Guess we’re getting a mixed tag.
AEW have young, up-and-coming women on the roster who never get tv time. Even the current champion, fresh off snagging the title, got as much time this week as Mrs Jarrett.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Action Andretti (New Japan World TV Title)
The poster boy for AEW’s inability to follow-up on pushes was out first. Excalibur tried to put across that this was the only place you’d see three different promotions’ belts defended on the same show. That might be the problem.
Zack went for the arm early, seeking wrist control, torquing Andretti down into an arm-wringer on the mat. Andretti tried to flip out, Zach held on to the wrist. Andretti tried a monkey flip, Zach held on again.
About as different from the previous match as you’ll get so far, as Andretti finally flipped his way free then hit an armdrag from the top, following up via dropkick and a spinning springboard splash.
Count of two.
Hurracanrana from the top, Zack to the outside, Andretti drove him into the barricade via tope, flung him back inside; Zack caught him on the apron into a body scissors focusing on the shoulder, using the ropes for leverage.
Sabre continued to target the shoulder with hammerlocks and stomps. Then uppercuts to the face before going back to wrist control, Andretti fighting back with open hand chops but being rolled through into a submission wrenching back on the shoulder.
Back up to their feet, back to wrist control, Sabre made Andretti carry his weight to add torque until being snatched up into a suplex. Action hit a springboard enziguri for two. Looked for a fireman’s carry but his shoulder couldn’t take it – Sabre took advantage again with a drop toe hold and stomp to the injured joint.
Action returned fire again via enziguri, hit a stinging slap to the chest in the corner then headed upstairs. Where Sabre again targeted the shoulder, fought off Andretti only for the youngster to spring straight back up and haul him down via hurracanrana.
Sabre fired kicks to the injured arm, Action popped a thrust kick, poisonrana, running dropkick, split leg, count of two.
Action was then hauled out of the air into a lock working on both shoulders, the joints pinned behind his back by Sabre’s legs. Forcing the youngster to tap. Great looking submission – absolutely brutal.
Liked the story of Sabre looking to keep Andretti grounded via wrist control; Zack’s matches are a little slow for me from the couple I’ve seen.
Guess none of the porridge served by tonight’s show is quite right for me yet.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
They pushed the debut of Collision and return of Punk again. And of course tickets for all the upcoming Collision events.
Willow Nightingale vs Emi Sakura (NJPW Strong Women’s Title)
Willow got easily the biggest pop so far as she came out. She might be the most over female in the company outside of Britt & Jamie (maybe Shida too).
JR sent best wishes to Mercedes Mone.
Immediately, Sakura charged the champ with shoulder thrusts. Repeatedly. Willow tried the same. No dice. Until Willow followed her into the ropes, knocking her down from behind.
Following up via suplex, taking Emi to the corner for chest chops, Sakura turned the tables, Willow avoided an onrushing Sakura by slipping to the apron. Where the two fought around a suplex – Sakura looking to bring Willow in; Willow looking to take Emi out.
Until Sakura slipped free and speared the champ off the apron. Before flinging her into the barricades and squashing her against them via running cross body.
Ads. Nice start.
Willow bagged two via shotgun dropkick from the middle buckle, hauled Emi onto her shoulders. Sakura slipped behind to hit a twisting CrossRhodes then that same running cross body – this time against the buckle – and a twisting Vader bomb for a close two.
Sakura bagged a rollup for two; Willow blocked la magistral. Both thought lariat, neither could again budge the other. Until both dropped after a mid-ring collision. Sakura hit a sit-out Jay Driller, Willow struggling to her feet, met with chops, pushed to the corner but exploding out via pounce.
Sakura left down in the opposite corner, squashed via cannonball. Another close count.
Nightingale pulled the straps down, looking for Dr. Bomb. Sakura blocked it, threw slaps to the face until being smashed via lariat. Whereafter, Willow snatched her limp body up into a fantastic looking Dr. Bomb to bag the win.
Easily my favorite match so far. Very physical.
Winner: Willow Nightingale
The ads here included the announcement of CM Punk’s return for the debut Collision. Complete with sound sweetening. There were only cheers and chants of his name.
Katsuyori Shibata vs Lee Moriarty (ROH Pure Title)
I don’t mind a dash of ROH stuff on AEW tv but it’s starting to creep in a bit too frequently again. They showed Christopher Daniels, Jerry Lynn & BJ Whitmer as judges.
Okay, Shibata beat Willow’s pop. But it was in the same ballpark. Big Bill came to the ramp with Lee but then headed backstage. As Excalibur explained the Pure rules – three ropebreaks, no closed fists.
Fittingly, the match went right to mat work, Shibata seeking a juijigitame, causing Moriarty to use a ropebreak early. To a grapple and waistlock, Shibata took Moriarty down, Lee bridged back up but remained in the waistlock until freeing himself and stomping down Shibata in the corner.
Shibata caught his boot, dragged him middle, Moriarty slipped free, hitting the ropes and rebounding with a dropkick to bring the break.
In a leglock as we returned, Moriarty used his second ropebreak.
To their feet, Shibata fired away with wicked shots in the corner, Moriarty came back with a running knee for two. Then had a suplex blocked and ate a knee to the gut after rebounding off the ropes. Shibata again put him in the corner, where he fired in forearms then his running dropkick. And a suplex for two.
Using his final ropebreak, Moriarty then transitioned to a rollup, Shibata kicked out at two but was immediately placed in the Border City Stretch. Managing to grab a cradle for two to break the hold. Then hit a stiff chop, into a sleeper, Moriarty dropped and was punted via PK as Shibata retained.
Figured this was going to end via submission since Moriarty used all his ropebreaks. Liked the second half of the show better than the first.
Afterwards, Daniel Garcia went face-to-face with Shibata, who held the belt up in his face. I’m already bored of Garcia, but trying to present him as a credible title contender? Ridiculous. When did he last do a single consequential thing on tv? September?
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata
- Jay White vs Ricky Starks (Juice & FTR banned from ringside)
- Orange Cassidy vs Swerve Strickland, International Title
- MJF promo
- Jack Perry & Hook vs La Faccion Ingobernables, Tornado rules
- If you like wrestling, wrestling, wrestling – this likely sated your appetite
- A variety of styles too
- Finishes were predictable, made worse by the insistence on them all being ‘title matches’
- Get Willow on Dynamite or Collision. She’s ridiculously over relative to her push – certainly far more so than the Outcasts for example
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.