Date: December 2, 2022
Location: Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We are eight days away from Final Battle and the card is in need of some work. There are a few matches set but nowhere near enough to carry a full pay per view. Maybe we can get something new added tonight, but you never can tell with this show. At least the wrestling tends to be fun so let’s get to it.
Darby Allin vs. Cole Karter
Before the match, Allin beats up Nick Comoroto with the baseball bat to cut him off. With that not being enough, Allin dives onto Karter on the floor but an apron powerbomb cuts him off. Back in and a buckle bomb rocks Allin again as we take a break. We come back with Karter missing a Stinger’s Splash but hitting a jumping knee to the face. Allin goes after the knee though and grabs a Code Red for two, leaving them both down. Karter drops him again and goes up, only to miss a 450. A hammerlock Scorpion Death Drop sets up the Coffin Drop to finish Karter at 7:41.
Rating: C+. Well they certainly did get rid of the loose end from a bad segment from a few weeks ago. Karter is the definition of “I’m not sure why he’s here”, as he has a good physique and nothing else that makes him stand out in any way. He’s certainly ok, but bringing him in felt like just an excuse to sign someone else. Pretty decent match though, as Allin does his signature style and as usual, it works.
Keith Lee is in the back when his former partner Shane Taylor comes in to interrupt. Taylor accuses Lee of always walking away, so let’s do it at Final Battle: Taylor/JD Griffey vs. Lee and whomever he can find. Taylor leaves and a grinning Swerve Strickland comes in. Lee hopes he can trust him. Why Taylor didn’t want to do this one on one isn’t clear, but having Taylor around is a good thing.
We recap 10 turning his back on the Dark Order and joining Rush last week. The Dark Order is crushed and La Faccion Ingobernable is rather pleased.
Here is the Acclaimed, with Billy Gunn, for a chat. After a rap of various topical statements, Bowens talks about how everyone wants a title shot, but there is one team that has been waiting for a very long time to get a chance. The fans think that might be FTR and since the Acclaimed are fighting champions…..and here is the Gunn Club to interrupt. The Gunns don’t think much of the champs but Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh interrupt. The villains argue but Billy cuts them off, saying they want the best. Cue FTR for the handshake with the Acclaimed and a match seems set.
Video on Hikaru Shida vs. the Bunny, who will face off next week for Shida’s Regina Di Wave Title next week.
Private Party vs. Jay Lethal/Jeff Jarrett
Singh, Dutt and Matt Hardy are here too. As commentary reminds us that Jeff Jarrett last wrestled on TNT 21 years ago, Kassidy flips out of Lethal’s headlock and armdrags him down. That earns Kassidy a trip into the corner so Jarrett can come in to stomp away. Jarrett gets taken into the corner as well and it’s time to start in on the arm. As the seconds get in a staredown on the floor, Kassidy is sent into the steps and we take a break.
Back with Quen getting the hot tag to clean house, including a suicide dive to Jarrett on the floor. There’s the Silly String to Lethal but he avoids the 450. Quen is fine enough to grab a rollup but Jarrett makes the save, setting up a Stroke/Lethal Injection combination for the pin at 7:07.
Rating: C. So we have Lethal and Jarrett having a perfectly competent tag match that wasn’t much in the way of interesting and probably drew more TNA chants than AEW would like. I’m still not sure why Jarrett is wrestling on this or any AEW show, but it had been a full 21 years since he had wrestled on this channel and thankfully that has been rectified.
Saraya sits down with Renee Paquette and still can’t believe that she got back in the ring at Full Gear. She was amazed that her brother could be there for the match and will be back in the ring soon. Not much to say here.
Athena vs. Dani Mo
Athena decks her to start and hits Two Amigos into a swinging neckbreaker for two. Mo’s superkick has no effect so Athena forearms her in the face, setting up the over the shoulder backbreaker spun into a Codebreaker for the pin at 1:27. Total squash to get Athena ready for her ROH Women’s Title match at Final Battle.
Post match Athena sends her out to the floor and beats her up some more. This is FAR better from Athena than whatever she was doing before.
Juice Robinson wants Samoa Joe for the ROH TV Title at Final Battle. There’s your “you know this guy and now he’s getting a random title match” random title match.
The Factory is ready for the lumberjack match with Orange Cassidy. The Best Friends, dressed as lumberjacks, seem to be more ready.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows, including FTR vs. the Acclaimed for the Tag Team Titles on Dynamite.
Darby Allin wants the TNT Title and gets a shot on Dynamite, with promises of no Sting.
All-Atlantic Title: Orange Cassidy vs. QT Marshall
Cassidy is defending in a lumberjack match…but the Best Friends and Danhausen can’t bring their axes to the ring. Eh they’re lumberjacks and they’re ok without them. Cassidy starts fast with the dropkick and Marshall is on the floor ten seconds in. The Best Friends throw him back inside, where he throws Cassidy outside too. That earns the Factory some lazy kicks but Marshall pulls Cassidy’s high crossbody out of the air back inside. Some backbreakers drop Cassidy and he gets thrown outside again.
Hold on though as Ethan Page stares at Matt Hardy and then ejects him. Does he have lumberjack rights over Hardy too? We take a break and come back with the lumberjacks coming in and getting cleared out. The distraction lets Marshall hit a handspring enziguri, only to get caught with the Stundog Millionaire.
A pop up right hand rocks Cassidy but he’s fine enough to hurricanrana his way out of a powerbomb. Marshall loads up a powerbomb on the apron but gets cursed by Danhausen. Another lumberjack brawl breaks out on the floor, leaving Cassidy to hit a heck of a springboard dive. Cue Penelope Ford (JR approves) for a distraction so Kip Sabian can push Cassidy into a cutter for two. Not that it matters as the Beach Break retains the title at 9:32.
Rating: C+. Fun match, but nothing that Cassidy hasn’t done before. The stuff with the lumberjacks was the usual for a match like this but I’m not exactly going to get excited over the prospects of Kip Sabian getting a title match. Fine for a Rampage main event, even if it was hardly a classic.
Post match Cassidy goes after Sabian, because it’s his turn to be reheated again. Everyone brawls until the lights go out and the House of Black appears. Carnage ensues and the House stands tall to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Rampage is an interesting subject, as the wrestling is usually completely watchable, but you need to accept that most of it means absolutely nothing. This show’s goal tends to be to set up things for either Dynamite or the next pay per view, which doesn’t exactly seem to be the best use of one third of your weekly television time. We got some stuff set up for next week’s Dynamite/Rampage/Final Battle and if that is what Rampage is for, good for it. I’m not sure if that’s the best use of the show, but I guess you can call it a direction. Maybe?
Darby Allin b. Cole Karter – Coffin Drop
Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal b. Private Party – Lethal Injection/Stroke combination to Quen
Athena b. Dani Mo – Backbreaker spun into a Codebreaker
Darby Allin b. QT Marshall – Beach Break
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