Date: September 24, 2022
Location: Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York City, New York
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
It’s the biggest Rampage of the year as we are in New York City for a stacked two house show. The card is headlined by a battle royal (shocking I know) for the #1 contendership as we have a title shot to get through before Full Gear. Other than that, there are a bunch of grudge matches so let’s get to it.
House Of Black vs. Sting/Darby Allin
No DQ and Sting/Allin pop up behind the House (Brody King/Buddy Matthews with Julia Hart) during their entrances to start the fight on the stage. The bell rings and they fight to the ring with the House taking over without much trouble. Sting gets surrounded but manages to fight them both off, only to be driven hard into the corner. A super Code Red gives Allin two on King but a suicide dive (and a fast one at that) is cut off by a raised knee.
Sting goes up but gets shoved through a table, with his head hitting part of another one, because that’s something you want to see happen. Hart gets back up and handcuffs Sting’s arms behind his back as we take a break. Back with Allin slipping out of Dante’s Inferno on the stage and climbing the set, which can’t end well. The Coffin Drop off the set takes out a standing Matthews but King pulls another one out of the air into the sleeper.
The two of them crash off the stage and through some tables, leaving Matthews to grab Sting’s bat and go after the still handcuffed Sting. Matthews sits Sting in a chair, where he laughs a lot until the lights go out. Normally that would be a bad thing…..but the GREAT MUTA comes out and slowly makes his way to the ring, where he dragon screw legwhips Matthews (still looks great). The mist hits Matthews, which knocks him into Hart, sending her through a ringside table (or part of it as that was a nasty landing). Sting breaks the handcuffs and Death Drops Matthews for the pin at 11:01.
Rating: C+. This was all the Muta appearance and that is not a bad thing. The rest of the match though, which was pretty much little more than a bunch of brawling and table spots, was something that you’ve seen done around here quite a few times. At least they had a reason to continue to feud, even if it was for a one off cameo. Now find something else for everyone to do.
Hook/Action Bronson vs. Jericho Appreciation Society
Bronson raps the team to the ring. Parker kicks Hook in the face to start but Hook spins out of a hiptoss and gutwrench suplexes him down. Bronson comes in for the shoulders and corner splash before handing it back to Hook. This time doesn’t work as well as the Society takes him into the corner to stomp away. Hook pretty easily suplexes his way out of trouble and hands it back to Bronson for a running powerslam for two on Parker. Everything breaks down and stereo Redrums finish the Society at 5:07.
Rating: C-. What were you expecting here? Bronson is a big guy and not a wrestler so they put him in there against a couple of goofs who are there to do nothing but lose. The match wasn’t supposed to be anything competitive and it was never going to be, but at least they kept it short so it didn’t drag on too long.
Samoa Joe/Wardlow vs. Tony Nese/Josh Woods
Mark Sterling is here with the villains. Wardlow and Woods slug it out as the other two brawl on the floor. A spinebuster plants Woods and a Cactus Clothesline sends them both outside. Joe hammers Nese down in the corner before avoiding his moonsault. The MuscleBuster finishes Nese at 2:24. Well that was nothing, but at least Nese got his weekly appearance in.
Post match the beatdown is on for Joe but Wardlow comes in for the save (which favoring his leg a bit). Sterling jumps Wardlow with a title belt, earning himself a three movement Powerbomb Symphony. If Wardlow was hurt, you wouldn’t know it based on that.
Jungle Boy is ready to move on from Christian Cage.
Jungle Boy vs. Rey Fenix
Fenix rolls at him to start and tries an early Black Fire Driver, only to get caught with a dropkick. It’s already time to strike it out until Fenix kicks him to the floor and we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy hitting a clothesline to cut off a comeback attempt. A brainbuster gives Jungle Boy two and there’s the suicide dive to drop Fenix again.
They get back in with Jungle Boy nailing a superkick into the poisonrana. That’s not enough to even put Fenix down, as he is right back up with a rolling cutter for a double knockdown. Jungle Boy gets another fast two before they fight out to the apron. Fenix knocks him to the floor but dives into a superkick to put them both down again.
We take another break and come back with Fenix getting the better of a slugout and hitting a Gory Bomb swung into a cutter for two. Jungle Boy pops back up and huts a running elbow to the back of the head for two, meaning it’s another double breather. Fenix hits Two Amigos but the third is countered into a Samoan driver to give Jungle Boy two of his own. Jungle Boy gets kicked down again, setting up a good frog splash to give Fenix two more. The springboard spinning kick to the head in the corner sets up the Black Fire Driver but Jungle Boy reverses into a small package for the pin at 17:47.
Rating: B. Take two guys who are capable of working this fast paced and exciting style and let them do their thing for the better part of twenty minutes. That’s a great way to fire up the crowd and it worked well here. Jungle Boy gets a win to boost him back up after losing to Christian Cage at the pay per view and Fenix is bulletproof so this went rather well.
Respect is shown post match but Christian Cage, with his arm in a sling, is back. It’s a ruse though as Luchasaurus pops up behind Jungle Boy and the beatdown is on. Christian blames Jungle Boy for the arm injury so he’s introducing him to the right hand of destruction. Christian wishes Jungle Boy’s mom and sister were here watching this, as Luchasaurus hits a chokeslam. That’s still a long time before Jungle Boy gets to Christian again.
We look at the Jericho Appreciation Society’s celebration for winning the Ring Of Honor World Title. The REAL celebration is on for Dynamite though, even if Daniel Garcia doesn’t seem convinced.
Eddie Kingston vs. Sammy Guevara
Tay Melo is here with Guevara, who calls Kingston fat to make them start fast. They fight around the ring with Kingston getting the better of it without much trouble. A poke to the eye rocks Sammy and they head to the apron, where Sammy backdrops him to the floor. The kick to the chest drops Kingston again and we take a break.
Back with Sammy in trouble until a Melo distraction lets him hit a running knee to the face. The double springboard cutter gets two on Kingston but the GTH is broken up with elbows to the head. The rapid fire chops in the corner rock Sammy again and there’s a suplex to make it worse. Sammy is right back with a superkick but Kingston half and half suplexes him. The spinning backfist sets up a spinning backfist which sets up a spinning backfist which sets up the Stretch Plum to give Kingston the win at 7:23.
Rating: C+. This was a match that was set up for a few weeks now and then they finally paid it off. After all of the drama. Kingston gets a win back to make up for some of his recent losses and it isn’t like Guevara losing is going to hurt him. Perfectly fine match and they gave Kingston the win that he needed.
Post match Kingston won’t let go so Jerry Lynn comes in to try reasoning with him. Security pleading with him doesn’t work either, so the referee reverses the decision to give Sammy the win. The frustrated Kingston beats up security. Fair enough, and Kingston won the match definitively in the first place so this doesn’t really hurt him.
Quick Dynamite recap.
TBS Title: Diamante vs. Jade Cargill
Diamante, with Tina, is challenging and goes right at her to start. Some chops in the corner set up some left hands and some rollups give Diamante two. Jade kicks her in the face but gets kicked down again. A baseball slide sends Cargill outside but she pulls a dive out of the air. An F5 onto the apron plants Diamante and Jaded retains the title at 2:34. Of all of Jade’s dominant wins, this was the most recent. Please find something interesting for her to do already because this is getting old.
Post match Trina turns on Diamante, ending their…..five minute on-screen relationship?
Golden Ticket Battle Royal
Evil Uno, 10, Rush, Jay Lethal, Lance Archer, Penta El Cero Miedo, Hangman Page, John Silver, Butcher, Isaiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Danhausen, Chuck Taylor, Trent Baretta, Brian Cage, Ari Daivari, Matt Hardy, Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, QT Marshall, Blade, Kole Carter, Dalton Castle, Dante Martin, Lee Moriarty
For the World Title shot on October 18. Page gets jumped from behind during his entrance so we take a break to restore order. Back with Penta superkicking Daivari out and Danhausen curses Carter, allowing Trent to throw him out. Marshall gets cursed and then clotheslined out before Hager is out. Cage dumps Chuck and knocks Castle off the apron, right onto the Boys. The Boys offer a distraction so Castle can dump Cage and Archer knocks out Chuck. There goes Castle, with Garcia and Moriarty following him out.
We take a break and come back with Private Party saving themselves with the Silly String. Then Butcher and Blade jump them from behind but Hardy gets to hit everyone. Blade, Private Party and Hardy are all tossed, with Uno and Butcher following them. We’re down to Silver, Rush, Page, Penta, Archer and Lethal but Rush dumps Silver. Penta kicks Archer out and we’re down to four.
Lethal gets tossed over the top but Satnam Singh catches him (Dalton and the Boys did it better). That’s enough for Lethal to toss Penta but Page tosses him out, leaving us with Rush vs. Page. They fight to the apron and the Deadeye knocks out Rush to give Page the win at 13:14.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t the most thrilling battle royal and Page was one of the only viable options for the win. That being said, Page vs. Moxley for the title in Cincinnati works well for me (the fact that I have a ticket to the show is a detail I assure you) and will be perfectly acceptable as the big TV main event before we get to the major pay per view build. Not much of a battle royal here though as AEW continues to run these far too often.
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs are ready to fight.
Ricky Starks vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Lights Out, meaning anything goes. Starks gets a special video entrance about how absolute he really is. Starks goes right at him to start and hammers away, sending Hobbs bailing out to the floor. A clothesline drops Hobbs again and Starks sends him into the steps. Back in and Hobbs hits White Noise onto a knee to take over, meaning it’s already time for a table. Instead of setting it up, Hobbs just throws it at him before tossing in some chairs.
We take a break and come back with Starks hitting a DDT for two but Hobbs hits him low (Jericho freaking out about how unfair that was is good for a laugh). Hobbs sets up two chairs but Starks kicks him low to break it up. Starks turns the chairs back to back but gets backdropped onto the edges, because that’s a spot we need in wrestling.
A running powerslam onto the chairs gets two on Starks and they fight up the ramp. Starks misses a charge into the set so Hobbs breaks off a piece of the set. That takes too long though and they fight back to the ring, where Starks hits him in the face with the set pipe. Roshambo onto the chairs (at least Hobbs’ feet touched them) finishes Hobbs at 11:47.
Rating: B. This was a fight and Starks won in the end to avenge the All Out loss. That’s how this should have gone and they did a very nice job of making Starks feel like a star again. Other than that, this was all about violence and they did that well enough to make it work for a main event.
Overall Rating: B. The good was good and the bad (minus the battle royal) was short, making this one of the better Rampages in a long time. This felt like a Dynamite as they had a lot going on and it felt important. I have no reason to believe that AEW will do it again for Rampage going forward, but I’ll take it for a one off. The crowd was clearly getting tired in the end, but even a tired AEW crowd is better than most fans elsewhere.
Sting/Darby Allin b. House Of Black – Scorpion Death Drop to Matthews
Hook/Action Bronson b. Jericho Appreciation Society – Stereo Redrums
Samoa Joe/Wardlow b. Tony Nese/Josh Woods – MuscleBuster to Nese
Jungle Boy b. Rey Fenix – Small package
Sammy Guevara b. Eddie Kingston via reversed decision
Jade Cargill b. Diamante – Jaded
Hangman Page won the Golden Ticket Battle Royal last eliminating Rush
Ricky Starks b. Powerhouse Hobbs – Roshambo onto chairs
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