Date: November 25, 2022
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, Excalibur
It’s time for the other Chicago show of the week and we have a title match this time around. The Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles are on the line as FTR defends against Top Flight, which has me wondering what is next for them at Final Battle. Speaking of Final Battle, it might be smart to announce something for the show. Let’s get to it.
Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles: FTR vs. Top Flight
FTR is defending. Harwood takes Darius down to start before quickly handing it off to Wheeler for some chops. Darius armdrags him into an armbar and it’s off to Dante, who gets forearmed in the head over and over. It’s back to Darius off a blind tag for a heck of a DDT and a near fall. Top Flight gets in some double teaming to take FTR down and they all brawl to the floor as we take a break.
Back with FTR missing right hands and getting dropkicked down. Stereo clotheslines send the champs outside but they’re right back in to take over. Wheeler gets two off a top rope splash but Top Flight sends him outside. Darius hits a tornado DDT into Dante’s top rope splash for two more. Wheeler is back in to uppercut Darius, who Spanish Flies him down. That just earns him a brainbuster from Harwood, who gets small packaged for two. A blind tag brings in Wheeler and Dante misses the Nose Dive. The Big Rig finishes Dante at 11:15.
Rating: B-. They were flying through this and Top Flight continues to be worth looking at most of the time. On the other hand you have FTR, who are worth looking at no matter what they are doing period. It’s nice to see them in the ring, even if it is in one of these thrown together tag matches with no build. Good opener and very fast paced.
Post match the Gunn Club comes in for the staredown.
We see Powerhouse Hobbs in what appears to be his hometown and the places he grew up. Hobbs Hobbs talks about how there is a side of him you don’t know. He’s coming to take something from you.
Here is the Jericho Appreciation Society for a chat. After a bit intro, Chris Jericho talks about how much work and effort he has put into winning the Ring Of Honor World Title. Not even Claudio Castagnoli coming out on stage for a cheap shot can shut him down. So who is going to uncrown the king of the Ring Of Honor?
Cue Castagnoli to say he needs to stop Jericho. That doesn’t work for Jericho, who mocks Castagnoli over the Blackpool Combat Club falling apart. He needs the title shot, so Matt Menard throws out the offer: Claudio gets a title shot, but if he loses, he has to join the JAS. Jericho likes the offer so much that it makes his nipples hard and he repeats the idea. Castagnoli is in. It’s hard to imagine Jericho keeping the title, but Castagnoli losing one more time is never out of the question.
Toni Storm isn’t happy with losing the Women’s Title but she never saw is as the interim anything. She broke her face winning the title and she’ll do it again to get it back. Tony: “I’m glad the interim was stripped from her title reign.” JR: “Bury that title forever.”
Darby Allin vs. Anthony Henry
Sting is here with Allin and JD Drake is here with Henry. Allin gets knocked to the apron to start but comes right back in, setting up the heck of a suicide dive to drop Drake. Back in and Henry drops Allin throat first onto the apron, setting up an STO onto the same apron. We take a break and come back with Henry grabbing a neckbreaker out of the corner for two. Allin is sent outside for a hard lariat from Drake so Sting hits a clothesline of his own. Sting whips him into the barricade but Henry hits a superplex. Allin reverses a suplex into the Scorpion Death Drop though, setting up the Coffin Drop for the pin at 8:13.
Rating: C. I’m still not sure why we need a break in the middle of an eight minute match but that is an AEW staple. Other than that, Allin coming from behind and beating someone else is a nice thing to see almost every time. Henry isn’t exactly a star but Allin beat him without being in any serious jeopardy.
Athena rants about all of the bad things that have happened to her as of late but she isn’t going to apologize to Aubrey Edwards. After scaring the interviewer off, Athena talks about how she was wondering when Mercedes Martinez was showing up. She has beaten trash bag wrestler after trash bag wrestler and now she wants the Ring Of Honor Women’s Title.
Hikaru Shida vs. Queen Aminata
Before the match, Penelope Ford and the Bunny come out to watch, which is enough of a distraction for Aminata to get in a cheap shot. Shida is right back with the Falcon Arrow and the Katana for the pin at 1:18. Well that was quick.
The Dark Order is ready to fight with or without the missing 10. Rush/Butcher/Blade are ready to fight, no matter where 14, 27 or 10 are.
FTR talks about how great their 2022 has been and Harwood challenges….Bryan Danielson for Dynamite. I didn’t have that one coming.
Dark Order vs. Rush/Butcher and the Blade
There is no 10 and Bunny is here with the villains. It’s a brawl to start as the Order is down 3-2 early on. Silver Angle Slams Blade but his dive to Butcher is pulled out of the air. Rush gets in a shot of his own and we take an early break. Back with Silver hitting a standing Sliced Bread but Rush breaks up the hot tag. Cue Negative 1 and 10, the latter of whom charges to the ring to stare down Rush….and then deck Silver. Evil Uno charges to the ring but is held back as Rush hits the Bull’s Horns for the pin at 7:22.
Rating: C. The match was just a backdrop for the angle, which is for some reason about the Dark Order and Rush. 10 has teased jumping for months now and has finally done it, which doesn’t exactly make me care about him all that much more. Maybe they have some twist in the story to make it better, but I’m not exactly getting my hopes up.
Post match 10 blasts Silver with a discus lariat as Negative 1 is distraught. Evil Uno gets beaten up and has his mask ripped open as he is already bleeding from the forehead. Alex Reynolds is put through a table. 10 goes up to Negative 1, takes off his mask, and throws it at Negative 1’s feet. Rush, 10 and company pose, with Negative 1 crushed, to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. FTR being the best thing on the show isn’t a surprise, but other than that we had the pretty obvious Final Battle main event set up and….what else that mattered? That’s Rampage in a nutshell: something kind of big/good starts the show off and then most of the rest of the show feels a few steps down. Not a very good show here, but the opener was the usually solid FTR showing.
FTR b. Top Flight – Big Rig to Dante
Darby Allin b. Anthony Henry – Coffin Drop
Hikaru Shida b. Queen Aminata – Katana
Rush/Butcher and the Blade b. Dark Order – Bull’s Horns to Silver
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