AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with another episode of Rampage; or as I like to call it, the quiet before the storm! The next Dynamite is one of those shows with a subtitle to it which means it’ll be stuffed with big matches and important storylines, and the Rampage after that is going to be TWO hours long instead of the usual one! As if All Out didn’t exhaust me enough already! Well in any case, we’ve got this nice one hour show to get through between now and then, so is another action packed fun-sized wrestling show, or did they move everything worth watching to the Arthur Ashe Stadium shows? Let’s find out!!
The Lucha Bros Vs. The Butcher and The Blade
The Lucha Bros are accompanied to the ring by Alex Abrahantes while The Butcher and The Blade are accompanied by HFO
I wouldn’t say that The Butcher and The Blade are a BAD tag team, but they do need the right opponents to make them shine which is why their most memorable match was against The Young Bucks; one of the best teams out there when it comes to carrying a match. The Lucha Bros easily prove themselves to not just be great workers but great champs as well as they put on a darn good show with The Butcher and The Blade here who give them a decent run for their money; mostly through cheap tricks and overwhelming force. Actually facing them in a fair fight is pretty much a non-starter as The Blade starts things off by trying to keep up with Fenix, but just can’t get a hold of him and tags in The Butcher. His strength makes him a bit tougher to overcome, but Penta and Fenix’s teamwork cuts him down to size, so it’s time for the Heels to get dirty. Penta has a hold of The Butcher and Fenix goes up for a top rope move, but The Blade knocks him off the ropes; giving The Butcher a chance to get some offense on Penta. Fenix tags himself in to cut The Butcher’s momentum, but then he ends up on Butcher’s shoulders for an assisted Knee Strike with The Blade. So far so good for The Butcher and The Blade, but once things settle to a more civilized tag match, The Lucha Bros get the advantage again with some good strikes from Fenix, Sling Blades from Penta, and dives from both of them to The Butcher and The Blade who had rolled outside the ring. It’s not until a MASSIVE Cross Body from The Butcher that their momentum is halted and the Heels can finally get some heat. Penta eventually gets the hot tag to Fenix and both teams start trading some big moves. A Fear Factor from The Lucha Bros, some sort of Backdrop move from The Butcher and The Blade (looked kind of like FTR’s Big Rig), and eventually Penta is trying to get to the corner for a tag when The Butcher and The Blade make their most dastardly move yet! Fenix DOES get the tag, but The Butcher is there immediately to knock him out the ring while The Blade TIES PENTA’S MASK TO THE RING POST! Penta is forced to sit there and watch as The Butcher and The Blade start to overwhelm his brother and he is ultimately forced to remove his mask and land a Super Kick while covering his face! The kick lands squarely on Butcher’s jaw, and Fenix gets the pin to win the match! It’s not over yet however as Private Party run in and attack Penta and Fenix, the former still without a mask and covering his face, when Proud N Powerful run in to make the save. The masks are always a soft spot for me and a quick way to get me to boo someone, so having this work into the finish of the match was a pretty solid way to cap it off. It’s not even in the same LEAGUE as the Bucks match at the PPV, but for a title defense on the B Show it was pretty good!
Anna Jay Vs. The Bunny
Anna Jay is accompanied to the ring by Tay Conti while The Bunny is accompanied by HFO and Penelope Ford
This feud between the Dark Order women and The Bunny with Penelope Ford has been moving along the last few weeks but without much of an end goal in sight, so this is just the latest in a series of back and forth wins and losses between them. The story here is that Anna Jay is the stronger wrestler but that her recently recovered shoulder is vulnerable and The Bunny works it over throughout the match. It goes on for about four minutes before Anna manages to get the lead and so Ford gets on the apron for a distraction. Tay takes out Ford rather quickly, but there was still a distraction and Bunny gets a waist lock. Anna reverses it however and gets a roll up to get the pin to win the match, at which point The Bunny and Ford start attacking both of them. The Bunny is holding Tay so Ford takes out her brass knuckles and bashes her in the face with it right as Anna Jay starts to get back up and so she eats a knuckle shot as well. It was fine for the few minutes it was there, but we’ll surely be getting better matches than this as the feud progresses.
Tony is interviewing Matt Hardy in the ring who is not in the best of spirits as his team has had TWO losses on the show so far. He at least announces a Penelope Ford and Anna Jay match for next week as well as an eight man tag between HFO and The Lucha Bros with Proud N Powerful, but then he points out a “fan” in the crowd in full Orange Cassidy garb who’s been giving him the stink eye all night! Whether or not that actually HAPPENED is immaterial as he and Jack Evans drag him into the ring to give him a Twist of Fate and to shave his head. Now obviously this is a plant, but if we’re supposed to believe it’s not then you’d think SOMEONE would stop this! Is the security in New Jersey just that bad!? Well someone EVENTUALLY comes to save the day well after the damage was done, and it’s Orange Cassidy who seems none too perturbed about what was just done to this fan of his as proxy revenge. I know he’s supposed to be “whatever” about things, but that was kind of a jerk move dude!
Britt Baker and Ruby Soho meet in the ring for a promo in the lead up to their match on the next Dynamite, and thank goodness too because her most recent feud definitely lacked in face-to-face animosity. They snipe back and forth at each other with Baker making fun of her hair, her tattoos, and even her frequent name changes. Everyone knows who Baker is so she doesn’t need to reinvent herself every time she shows up! Ruby fires back that she knows who she is and until now she hasn’t had the chance to show it, while also getting a dig at Baker for dating Adam Cole and also takes shots at Tony Khan for some reason. Baker is still a tough nut to crack so perhaps Soho is taking some cheap heel shots at Baker who still can’t help but get cheered, but I like the dynamic that they have and she proves to be a good foil for the champ. We’ll have to see how the match itself goes, but this is shaping up to be Baker’s best feud since winning the belt.
Miro Vs. Fuego Del Sol – TNT Title Match
The winner of this match also gets Fuego Del Sol’s new car
Fuego Del Sol’s one hope is to stick and move and it looks a winning strategy when coupled with Miro’s overly cautious style, but Fuego gets overconfident and dives over the ropes only for Miro to catch him with ease. When he tries to drive him into the post though, Fuego wriggles out and Miro’s head comes into contact with it instead, and he follows up with a Tornado DDT from the apron to the floor. He tries to go for another one but Miro tosses him into the crowd which SHOULD have been a one way ticket to a quick win, but Fuego is caught by the crowd and surfs his way back to the railing. Don’t feel too bad for Miro though as Fuego tries another jump at him but he instead catches the little twerp Miro and tosses him to the floor. Miro starts getting the heat and Fuego is in no position to keep trying his stick and move approach, but he eventually gets a bit of momentum and goes for a Springboard Cross Body… when Miro BASHES him out of the air with a Bulgarian Hammer! It is certainly not Fuego’s night even if he’s lasting a bit longer than he did last time, but he’s got enough gumption in him to try one last time to take out the champ! Miro grabs him for a DDT, but Fuego manages to slip out as Miro is going down and he follows up with a few stomps, kicks, and a regular DDT. With Miro slowly getting up, Fuego runs in for the Tornado DDT, but Miro uses his massive strength to stop him mid move and starts HAMMERING him in the corner with overhand fists! With Fuego nice and tenderized, he lands two big Pump Kicks and pins him to win the match and win the car. Not done with this puny mortal, Miro shoves Fuego’s car keys into his mouth and locks in the Game Over despite the match being over and it’s not until Sammy runs in that Miro breaks the hold and he’s knocked out of the ring with a Leaping Knee Strike! It looks like that’s going to be the next program as Sammy stands tall in the ring while an incensed Miro can only fume from the sidelines as the episode comes to an end!
Rampage is still a B-show to me as it’s mostly there for quick matches and promos that end up feeding into the bigger events on Dynamite and the PPVs, but for the most part they’ve done a good job of making it feel like more than that. This episode though felt exactly like a B-show; nothing particularly wrong with it, but it didn’t really grab me with superb matches or fiery promos. Still, it’s kind of nice that they kept things short and sweet here considering next week is gonna be packed to the gills with AEW action, and frankly after two hours of Dynamite it’s okay for this show to just kinda come and go. If nothing else, it certainly makes it easier for me to keep up with everything!