Rampage TV Report for 2/3/23
Arena: Nutter Center
City: Dayton, Ohio
Last Week’s Rating: 458,000 overall; 0.14 in 18-49 demo
It’s Friday Night, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
The Elite vs Ethan Page, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy, Trios Titles
Backstory: The opposition challenged the Elite on Weds
Don Callis joined JR, Tony & Excalibur on comms as Nick and Isiah got us going in the ring with smooth chain wrestling focusing on armdrags. Until Nick hit one off the top then tagged his brother to hit a double team chestbreaker/facebuster then tag in Omega to face off with Hardy.
Also, there was a dude dressed as Cactus Jack front and center in the crowd.
Hardy went for the Twist of Fate early, Omega missed a V-Trigger and was sent off the apron into the barricade. And immediately gripped his shoulder.
Page tagged himself in to hit a bodyslam then drag Kenny to the heels’ corner – I guess – until Omega used a hurracanrana to bag the tag. Both Bucks in, double dropkick then a wheelbarrow kintaro crusher by Matt & Kenny.
Nick then hit a dive over the top through his brother’s legs to take out Kassidy & Page. The latter of whom rescued Hardy from locomotion suplexes only to eat one himself. Matt then beat down Hardy in the middle until Page grabbed the leg, leading to Hardy bagging two after a Side Effect.
Page demanded the tag, got it and began targeting Matt’s back as the first break beckoned.
Then mimicked Hardy’s top rope legdrop and ate a superkick. Tag to Omega, cross body, Polish hammers into you can’t escape.
Isiah and Hardy dumped the Bucks off the apron then triple-team squashed Kenny in the corner. Then set up whisper in the wind but the Bucks met Isiah mid-flight with a superkick party.
Omega and Hardy then took each other down with lariats, Nick and Isiah came off onto each with stereo sentons, Kassidy hit a swinging flatliner on Nick, Matt took him out, Page=Matt then Kenny blasted Page with a V-Trigger.
Very good so far.
Nick and Isiah slugged it out in the middle, the younger man getting the better, dumping Nick in the corner, Nick avoided a splash, hit a step up strike and a bulldog; the Elite readied a BTE Trigger but the illegal men were dragged out, leaving Isiah to hit a destroyer on Nick.
Page and Isiah hit a double-team version of Ethan’s armdrag up into a powerslam, Hardy added a Twist of Fate, last second save by Matt Jackson.
Omega in with a V-Trigger, quickly dumped outside, Hardy knocked Page off the apron by mistake, Kassidy caught Nick with a cutter for very nearly three.
Though he was left alone with Hardy checking on Page on the outside. Omega walloped him with a V-Trigger from behind, Matt knocked Hardy off the apron, OWA then a triple BTE Trigger bagged the win.
Excellent opener. If you like bing, bang, boom matches.
WINNER: the Elite
Lexi backstage with Ricky Starks. Starks accepted the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet. He’ll do anything to get to Jericho. ‘I always find a way’. He vowed to embarrass Jericho and beat him once more.
Jarrett and Co. package. They talked crap about Paul Walter Hauser and Danhausen. The Best Friends and Danhausen responded with their usual ‘comedy’ which totally undermined any heat. Danhausen wants the Golden Globe back. He thought it was an Oscar.
Swerve Strickland vs Brian Pillman Jr.
Backstory: Swerve wants to remove nepotism from AEW in his feud with Dustin Rhodes, Pillman’s first on his list
Unlike the opener, these two received their entrances. Strickland came heavy. Including ‘Trench’ who I mistakenly called ‘Tench’ on Wednesday.
Right to a lockup, Pillman athletically tried to free himself from an arm-wringer, Strickland fluidly came through with a dropkick into his cartwheel headscissors. Before re-starting with another aggressive lockup, Swerve again working the arm; Pillman this time managed to free himself with a kick to the face.
Swerve vaulted over a rebounding Pillman; Pillman then walked over his back as Swerve ducked-under too early.
Then hit a dropkick through the ropes to bring the break.
Very smooth and athletic so far but doesn’t feel much like a contest.
Slugging it out as we returned, Swerve landed a huge right to knock Pillman down in the corner. He then hit a backbreaker but ate a superkick as Pillman bagged two.
Before taking Swerve onto his shoulders. Strickland slipped out then hit a kick to the back of the knee, leaving Pillman down and unable to put weight on it. Swerve hit his running kick to the back of the head for two of his own.
Then hoisted Pillman upstairs, Pillman cam back with shots to the gut, Swerve slipped off, Trench distracted the ref, Boudreaux tripped Pillman who Swerve immediately DVD’d onto the apron then hit his foot stomp from the top to win.
That finish always looks silly, the opponent has to sit up straight like a kid on the carpet.
Swerve then gave the ‘hoodies up’ command and his minions began working over Pillman. Dustin Rhodes broke it up.
This was disappointing and was another of those AEW finishes which makes the ref’s look like morons.
WINNER: Swerve Strickland
HOB video package re: Eddie Kingston. They said Kingston joining was an assumption by the fans. They don’t want him, nor he them. But basically took credit for Kingston attacking Ortiz.
Kinda done with the endless talking.
Saraya & Toni Storm vs the Renegades
Backstory: Saraya & Storm are on a quest to defeat any homegrown talent
Saraya got comfortably the biggest reaction of anyone so far (bearing in mind the opener didn’t have entrances). Schiavone very carefully talked about the heels not ‘starting with us (AEW)’ without mentioning WWE.
Storm and Robyn got us going. Renegade fired stiff shots and chops until a Thesz Press broke it up. JR liked that one. Storm took the ref and Saraya launched a series of vicious knees to the face before a Storm hip attack sent Robyn crashing to the mats at ringside.
Tag to Saraya, she maintained wrist control while repeatedly knocking Renegade to the mat with clotheslines. The former Paige was very animated here. She crushed Robyn in the corner then hit a wicked bicycle knee to the chin for two.
Storm back in as Ross put over last week’s Hayter/Sakura match.
Toni disparagingly toyed with Robyn; Renegade came roaring back with stiff strikes and an enziguri before finally tagging her sister. Charlette took both heels down with lariats and splashes in the corner but quickly ate a Storm shotgun dropkick then a hip attack in the corner. Saraya hit a thrust kick, Storm the Storm Zero, victory.
I like these two as heels. They aren’t trying to be liked, yell verbal abuse and work aggressively. Also liked the Renegades again. They weren’t given much here but they hit hard and work a realistic style. A cut above many who appear regularly on tv.
Saraya should continue working tags till she gets her wind back too.
Post-match, the victors sprayed the letter ‘L’ on the Renegades’ backs. Saraya made the loser sign in case anyone missed the point.
WINNER: Saraya & Storm
Adam Cole package. Excellent promo with a fired-up Cole talking about how desperate he is to return and be the best wrestler in the world. He doesn’t yet know who his first opponent will be.
Rush vs Christopher Daniels
This is not remotely a tv main event.
Grappling out of a lockup led to a stalemate, Rush began working the arm, Danielson shook him off. Then did so twice more, neckbreaker, lariat, count of two.
A leg lariat sent Rush bailing outside where Danielson pursued him with a tope. Twice tonight we’ve gone to break with the babyface on top. Has to be a record.
Things had changed when we returned: Rush booting Danielson around the ring as we were told his minions had been attacking Danielson during the break. They did so for what seemed like several minutes as the ref enoyed a vigorous conversation with El Toro Blanco.
Peligroso hit a kick to Jose as Danielson ducked, Danielson used it to bag two with a roll-up. Hit a lariat, chop, sit-out powerbomb then began clubbing Rush’s head with elbows. The Mexican came back with chops and a thrust kick, Daniels hit a DVD for two.
Then locked in the koji clutch. Vance put Rush’s boot on the ropes. The ref might as well have been wearing a blindfold at this point.
Daniels planted Rush with a uranage, Rush got the knees up on the BME, flung the vet into the buckles with a belly to belly, spent about five minutes psyching himself up then launched Bull’s Horns to bag the win.
They made sure here to erase any doubt that Danielson would win on Wednesday. If there was even a shred to begin with.
An interference-riddled whimper of a main event.
- Rush vs Bryan Danielson
- The Elite vs Top Flight & AR Fox, Trios Titles
- Jamie Hayter vs the Bunny, Eliminator Match
- The Acclaimed vs the Gunns, Tag Team Titles
- MJF vs Konosuke Takeshita, Eliminator Match
- Ricky Starks vs Angelo Parker
The point of wrestling is to keep people guessing. Who will win? Who will turn? Who will return? Who will debut? What will happen next?
This was a show which needed no questions. Though it did have some good wrestling.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!