Date: July 1, 2022
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone
We are done with Forbidden Door and that means it is time to start moving forward. In this case that means we need a new challenger for Jon Moxley’s newly won Interim World Title. We can find that out tonight in what sounds like a Royal Rumble for the #1 contendership. That should be enough to carry the show so let’s get to it.
So this is a two ring battle royal, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, there are two rings with a separate battle royal going on in each. Once there is a single person left in each, they will have a two man battle royal for the shot. It is also Royal Rumble style entrances and it’s Hangman Page/Powerhouse Hobbs in blue and Darby Allin/Tony Nese in red (note that both ring skirts are red AND blue though, because Ring #1 and Ring #2 was too complicated of a system) to get things going (this is going to be a nightmare to follow).
Nese kicks Allin down and poses as Hobbs powers Page around. Page low bridges Hobbs to the apron as Ricky Starks is in the red ring. Team Taz starts double teaming Page as Allin springboards into an elbow to Nese. Smart Mark Sterling grabs Allin’s leg for a distraction, only to have Allin backdrop Nese out. Allin dives onto Nese for fun as Butcher (looking slim) is added to the blue ring. John Silver is in the red ring and starts to clean house until Page helps him with a double suplex on Hobbs.
Page hugs Silver and they tease throwing each other out. Max Caster is in the blue ring and raps about various Detroit references and promises to make Tony Khan hug him. Silver dances as Anthony Bowens shouts the city name. Rush is in the red ring and gets to clean some house as the Blade is in the Blue ring to give Butcher some extra help. Penta Obscuro is in the red ring and he gets in a fight with Rush in the aisle. Both of them get inside and Silver is eliminated. Swerve Strickland is in the blue ring and kicks Caster out as Keith Lee is in the red ring. We get a Swerve vs. Lee staredown across the rings and take a break.
Back with Matt Hardy in the blue ring and Dustin Rhodes coming in to the red ring. Penta and Rush fight to the apron and eliminate each other. A chair is pelted at Penta’s head for a bonus as Frankie Kazarian is in the blue ring. Hardy is out as Dante Martin is in the red ring. Starks has to be saved from Martin and Konosuke Takeshita is in the blue ring. Takeshita gets to clean house and Kazarian is gone.
Brody King completes the red ring, giving us a final field of King, Hobbs, Lee, Rhodes, Martin, Starks and Page. Orange Cassidy finishes the blue ring, giving us Cassidy, Allin, Takeshita, Butcher, Blade and Strickland. King tosses Martin as Cassidy starts cleaning house in the other ring. Takeshita stares him down and hits a chop But Cassidy tries a DDT….and we cut to the other ring. Dustin is out and so is Takeshita, the latter of which at the hands of Butcher and Blade.
Then, nearly twenty minutes in, we get a SPLIT SCREEN to show both rings for all of five seconds. As I try to get my head around that, Swerve tosses Cassidy and Lee knocks out Hobbs. Starks dumps Lee and Butcher/Blade get rid of Serve. Page fights back on King and Starks, with Starks being low bridged out.
King knocks Page out to win the ring though, quickly followed by Allin getting rid of Butcher and Blade to win his ring. King immediately powerbombs Allin and throws him into the other ring (not an elimination), followed by one heck of a Cannonball. Allin manages to get him to the apron but King pulls Allin to the apron with him. The sleeper knocks Allin out and King drops him down to win at 22:47.
Rating: C-. The setup really, really didn’t work as it was way too hard to keep track of everything going on. Between the rapid fire cutting between rings and the ramp and having ten different people in either ring, it was too much going on. I like the concept of a two ring battle royal, but if they need to do this again (and something tells me they will), they need to fine tune the heck out of the thing. A split screen/wide shot throughout would help, but more importantly, find a better way to remind us which ring is which. Again: Ring #1 and Ring #2 would work just fine. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be.
As for the match itself, King is a perfectly fine choice as he can give Moxley a run for his money while not being the most serious challenger. Just having a World Title around is a good thing and Moxley getting his first title defense out of the way is smart. King is a good monster and the title match should be the kind of hard hitting fight where he can Moxley can both excel.
Hook isn’t talking in another interview so Alex Marvez asks if he is a go with the flow type person. That’s too far for Hook, who grabs Marvez by the shirt and says that’s other people’s problem.
Young Bucks vs. Yoshi-Hashi/Hirooki Goto
Non-title, though I thought the Bucks said it was a title match on Dynamite. Nick and Goto start things off but everything breaks down in a hurry, with Goto and Hashi clubbering Nick down. Matt comes in for the rolling northern lights suplexes before hitting one on both Goto and Hashi at the same time. The Bucks hit a big flip dive to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Goto and Matt getting the double tag so Goto can clean house. Matt takes Goto down and Nick hits a running knee to the face for two. Hashi is back in for the save and it’s a running Blockbuster/Russian legsweep combination for two on Matt. Hashi seems to kick Nick away without making contact but the GTR/powerbomb combination that gave them the win on Sunday is broken up.
The four way knockdown gives them a breather and Goto hits the fireman’s carry backbreaker. Hashi kicks Nick in the face and it’s a superkick/fireman’s carry backbreaker combination for two. The Bucks have had it though and it’s the BTE Trigger to Hashi, followed by a springboard crossbody to Goto. The Meltzer Driver finishes Hashi at 10:39.
Rating: C+. It was a short form Bucks match so you should know what you are getting here. That is only going to get you so far, and it wasn’t like you would expect the champs to go down. This felt like a way to say that there were going to be New Japan names on the show and little more, which isn’t the worst idea for this audience.
Jonathan Gresham is ready to face Tully Blanchard’s monsters next week on Rampage. Gresham is tired of his name being out of the discussions of the best and that is changing next week. Time to start building towards the Ring Of Honor pay per view, because we had a focus on AEW for all of two hours.
Nyla Rose is tired of Toni Storm running her mouth so she is ready to crush her. Storm is sick of her too.
Toni Storm vs. Nyla Rose
Marina Shafir is here with Rose. Storm tries to start fast and is quickly knocked down with a hard clothesline. Rose works on the arm until Storm fights up, only to have Shafir low bridge her to the floor. We take a break and come back with Rose hitting a running splash in the corner, setting up a missed Cannonball. Storm is back with the running hip attack and a double DDT plants Rose and Shafir on the floor.
Back in and a high crossbody gets one on Rose but the Beast Bomb is countered. Rose sits on her chest for two but Storm slips over the shoulder to escape another Beast Bomb attempt. The turnbuckle pad is ripped off and Rose superkicks Storm down for two. Rose misses her top rope knee though and a German suplex gives Storm two more. Shafir has to be kicked off the apron and it’s a pendulum DDT to give Storm the pin at 9:50.
Rating: B-. These two work well together and that is one of the best things that can be said about a pair of wrestlers. Storm isn’t exactly a speed wrestler but she knew how to work well against a monster like Rose. That is a formula that will always work and it certainly did again here. Go with what works and you should be fine in the long run.
Post match Shafir jumps Storm but Thunder Rosa makes the save, with Excalibur declaring them Thunder Storm to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Issues with the battle royal aside, this was a fun enough night of Rampage as the main event was good and it had some star power with the Bucks. I’m not thrilled with Ring Of Honor getting the focus next week but you have to build up Death before Dishonor somehow. Pretty nice show here and again, that one hour rung time makes all of the difference in the world.
Brody King won the Royal Rampage last eliminating Darby Allin
Young Bucks b. Yoshi-Hashi/Hirooki Goto – Meltzer Driver to Hashi
Toni Storm b. Nyla Rose – Pendulum DDT
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