Date: January 20, 2023
Location: Save Mart Center, Fresno, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
We’re still in California and this week’s Dynamite is going to be a bit tough to follow. There is a good chance that we are going to get some solid matches though, as tends to be the case around here. Rampage can be rather fun when it comes to focusing on some of the lower level stuff and that might be what happens again this week. Let’s get to it.
Opening sequence. This is in fact Rampage.
Jungle Boy vs. Ethan Page
Isaiah Kassidy, Stokely Hathaway and Matt Hardy are here with Page. Chris Jericho rants about the fans singing along with Jungle Boy’s theme song as Page tries an Ego’s Edge out of the corner to start. That’s broken up and Page is sent to the floor, where he pulls Kassidy in the way of a dive. Back in and Page catches Jungle Boy on top but a dropkick puts him right back down.
Hold on though as Hathaway interferes but blames Hardy, allowing Page to whip Jungle Boy into the barricade. That works so well that Page does it again, though he does mix it up by going to a different side of the ring. Jungle Boy gets posted hard and a gorilla press drop back inside makes it worse as we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy firing off some chops but his back gives out to leave them both staggered.
Page slams him down again and mocks Hardy a bit, only to have the Twist Of Fate countered into a failed Killswitch attempt. Jungle Boy hammers away in the corner but a Hathaway distraction lets Page hit a Twist Of Fate for two. The frustrated Page sends Jungle Boy outside in front of Hardy but cue Hook to even things up a bit. Page uses the distraction to grab a rollup, along with Hardy’s hair for leverage. Hardy shoves him off though and a sunset flip gives Jungle Boy the pin at 10:11.
Rating: C+. Jungle Boy continues to pick up wins and move up the ladder a bit, though at some point he needs to actually win something that matters. Beating Page is good, but that is only going to take you so far. For now though, this was perfectly acceptable, though I could go without seeing this Page/Hathaway own Private Party/Hardy’s contract deals ever again.
Post match Hathaway and Page yell at Hardy, who says he didn’t cost him a match. Page says Hardy can make this up to him in a tag match on Dynamite. Hathaway: “Until then, Matt Hardy, YOU’RE ON TIME OUT!”
Here is Ortiz to find out what is going on with Eddie Kingston. After blaming the House Of Black for having Kingston to the point of hitting a woman with a chair, Ortiz calls Kingston out. Cue Kingston, chair in hand, so this could get violent fast. Ortiz wants to know why Kingston has not been talking to him, but now he wants to hit a woman with a chair. Kingston was raised better than that and their mentor Homicide taught them better than that. Something in there was too far for Kingston, who cuts Ortiz off with a chair shot. Another shot leaves Ortiz laying and Kingston leaves. They kept this fast and that is a good idea.
Darby Allin wants Buddy Matthews for the TNT Title on Dynamite.
Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack
They fight over wrist control to start as commentary talks about PWG. Some flips don’t get either of them anywhere so Mack hits the Samoan drop into the missed standing moonsault. Cage is back up with a running kick to the face, followed by the enziguri in the corner. There’s the German suplex into the corner and a running boot in the corner rocks Mack again. A Rock Bottom onto the apron lets Cage pose as we take a break. Back with Mack kicking him in the face and grabbing a Sky High for two. Cage is fine enough to come back with an F5 for two of his own and a powerbomb into the Drill Claw finishes Mack at 9:07.
Rating: C. It was fun, but the video game criticisms of Cage make all the more sense every time you see him in the ring. He hits one finisher after another, often on the apron to make it worse. I get the appeal of having him around, but watching his matches are only going to be so interesting. Mack basically got squashed here and that doesn’t bode well for his future, though he’ll probably get signed anyway.
Jim Ross wishes the Jacksonville Jaguars good luck tomorrow. Well ok then.
Jade Cargill/Leila Grey vs. Vanity Twins
Leila shoulders Jaida down to start and it’s off to off to Jordyn, who gets caught in the corner for the running dropkick. Jade comes in to throw Jordyn around, setting up Leila’s neckbreaker. An X Factor hits Jaida but Jade wants back in. Jaded finishes Jaida at 3:17.
Rating: D+. Yeah remember how I complain about how Jade’s matches are the same over and over every time? This was a squash with no doubt about who is winning, but how much different is that compared to most of Jade’s matches? Every time he is in the ring it isn’t about wondering if Jade is winning, but rather how long before Jaded retains the title.
Video on Action Andretti vs. the Jericho Appreciation Society. Daniel Garcia promises to take him out.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Action Andretti vs. Daniel Garcia
Sammy Guevara is on commentary and if Garcia wins, he replaces Guevara in a tag match on Dynamite. Garcia jumps him to start but gets chopped in the corner for his efforts. A hurricanrana takes Garcia down and Andretti kicks him off the apron. There’s the big running suicide dive but Garcia blasts him with a clothesline.
We take a break and come back with Andretti fighting back and hitting a neckbreaker. Andretti goes up so Garcia bails outside, only to have Andretti jump to the apron and hit a moonsault from the apron. Back in and a split legged moonsault gives Andretti two and they trade kicks to the face.
A torture rack neckbreaker gives Andretti two more but Garcia is back with a pumphandle slam for the same. Andretti catches him with an elbow in the corner though and a top rope corkscrew crossbody drops Garcia again. The running shooting star press finishes for Andretti at 10:37.
Rating: C+. Andretti is a perfectly fine plucky young good guy but it still feels like we are waiting on Jericho to beat him. There still isn’t anything that makes Andretti feel that much better than a lot of people around here, but he does work well in this role, at least for the short term. Garcia losing doesn’t change much at the moment, but maybe he gets annoyed at Guevara and something spins off from there.
Overall Rating: C+. The fact that the show is an hour is still the best thing it has going, as there isn’t enough on a show like this to make it go two hours. The wrestling is good enough and it does advance a few stories, but the show still feels like it is just a big side trip away from everything that matters on Dynamite. For now though, a perfectly fine use of an hour, even though nothing particularly stood out.
Jungle Boy b. Ethan Page – Sunset flip
Brian Cage b. Willie Mack – Drill Claw
Jade Cargill/Leila Grey b. Vanity Twins – Jaded to Jaida
Action Andretti b. Daniel Garcia – Running shooting star press
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