Date: February 3, 2023
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Rampage continues to be a bit all over the place as you know most of the card/lineup in advance but it still feels like a show that could go in a bunch of different directions. That could be the case again this week as there is some star power with the Elite around to defend the Trios Titles. Let’s get to it.
Trios Titles: Elite vs. Isiah Kassidy/Matt Hardy/Ethan Page
The Elite is defending and for the sake of simplicity, Matt Hardy will be referred to as Hardy and Matt Jackson will be referred to as Matt. Nick Jackson and Kassidy trade some flips and takedowns to start before Matt comes in to take over. Kassidy gets over to Hardy for the tag, so Omega gets the overly dramatic tag (Omega is a big deal, but spare me with the Hardy stuff at this point).
Hardy sends Omega outside and goes up but Page tags himself in to take over instead. Omega snaps off a hurricanrana and it’s the Bucks coming back in for a pop up hurricanrana. Everything breaks down and Nick hits a big flip dive to the floor. Back in and Matt rolls the northern lights suplexes on Hardy but Page makes the save as we take a break.
Back with Nick in trouble and Hardy going up, only to have Page tag himself back in. The delay lets Omega come back in to take over, including You Can’t Escape to Page. Everything breaks down and Kassidy tries to play Jeff Hardy in Poetry In Motion, only to get superkicked out of the air. Omega and Hardy hit stereo clotheslines, leaving Kassidy to hit a super swinging Downward Spiral on Matt.
Kassidy and Nick slug it out but the triple superkick is broken up. A Canadian Destroyer sends Nick into the corner and the Twist of Fate gives Kassidy two on Nick. Kassidy’s cutter gets two more on Nick but Omega is back in with a heck of a V Trigger sets up the One Winged Angel. The BTE Trigger retains the titles at 15:44.
Rating: B-. Good enough action here, but the lack of drama was impossible to ignore. No one was buying half of a tag team, plus a pair of guys who can’t get along, as a threat to the Trios Titles. I know Hardy is a legend but so much of the special feeling is gone whenever he does anything. That leaves Page, who is talented but not enough to overcome these odds. Not a bad match at all, ubt it was a bunch of waiting around for the Elite to retain.
Ricky Starks is ready to run the gauntlet to get to Chris Jericho because he’ll always find a way.
Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal/Sonjay Dutt/Satnam Singh brag about stealing the Golden Globe and using it to beat the Best Friends and Danhausen.
The Best Friends and Danhausen kind of swear revenge but Danhausen seems a bit confused.
Swerve Strickland vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
Parker Boudreaux and Trench (yeah Trench) are here with Swerve. They fight over arm control to start and then lock up until Pillman sends him into the corner. A running dropkick sends Swerve outside and Pillman takes a victory lap as we take a break. Back with the traditional exchange of forearms with Strickland getting the better of things.
A kick to the face gives Pillman two but Swerve hits his step up kick to the back of the head for two of his own. Pillman manages a neck snap across the top rope but the goons’ interference lets Swerve hit the Death Valley Driver on the apron. The Swerve Stomp finishes for Strickland at 8:18.
Rating: C-. Pillman Jr. is trying and looks so much like his dad that it’s scary, but he’s another case where it just isn’t working. The fire isn’t there and you can see it more and more every time he is in the ring. I know he is proud of his name, but being the Jr. version of his famous dad seems to be destroying his career. Granted it also would have helped if he hadn’t been thrown onto national TV before he was ready, but that’s a bigger AEW problem.
Post match the beatdown is on but Dustin Rhodes makes the save.
Malakai Black talks about poisoning Eddie Kingston. They don’t want him in the House of Black but they are glad he has gone to the dark side.
Toni Storm/Saraya vs. Renegade Twins
Storm and Robin start things off with a rather aggressive lockup until Storm hits a Thesz press. Saraya gets in some knees from the apron and the hip attack sends Robin crashing to the floor. There’s a whip into the barricade and it’s Saraya coming in for a running knee in the corner. A running knee to the face gets two on Robin and Storm grabs the chinlock. Back up and Robin is able to nail an enziguri, allowing the hot tag off to Charlotte. Everything breaks down and a quick Storm Zero gives Storm the pin at 5:08.
Rating: C. I know they’re jobbers and a lot of what they do is because of being twins, but there is something about the Renegades that makes me interested. They feel like they are giving it everything they have every time and that makes for a fun time whenever they’re out there. Saraya is starting to shake the ring rust off too, as while she wasn’t in there long, she looked smoother than she has recently. Maybe things are looking up for her.
Post match Saraya and Storm spray paint L’s on the Twins. Because they’re losers you see.
Adam Cole is ready to get back in the ring.
Video on Rush vs. Christopher Daniels.
Here’s what is coming on Dynamite.
Rush vs. Christopher Daniels
Jose the Assistant and Preston Vance are here too. They go with the grappling to start as Tony lists off Daniels’ ROH resume. Daniels knocks him to the floor and hits the required suicide dive. We take a break and come back with Rush kicking away at the ribs and Jose/Preston throwing money on Danielson’s back.
Some chops out of the corner give Danielson a break and a Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. The Koji Clutch keeps Rush in trouble but Vance puts the foot on the rope for the save. The Best Moonsault Ever hits raised knees though and Rush suplexes him into the corner. Rush hits the Bull’s Horns for the pin at 9:50.
Rating: C. As has been the case with a few Rampage matches in recent weeks, this was an “oh, ok then” match. Was anyone thinking that they needed to see this match before it was announced? They made Rush look more like a killer before the Danielson match next week, but that was about all you could get from this one. Again, not a bad match, but it had no spark or interest and that hurts things badly.
Overall Rating: C. I think it’s safe to say that Tony Khan’s attempts to make Rampage feel special are gone. Having the Elite in there for a pretty nothing title defense was nice, but you need more than fifteen minutes of important to make the show matter. It’s another week that felt like they just picked people who were backstage to be on the show and fill time, which shouldn’t be how a TV show feels. Completely watchable, but again, nothing you need to see and that hurts.
Elite b. Isiah Kassidy/Matt Hardy/Ethan Page – BTE Trigger to Kassidy
Swerve Strickland b. Brian Pillman Jr. – Swerve Stomp
Saraya/Toni Storm b. Renegade Twins – Storm Zero to Charlotte
Rush b. Christopher Daniels – Bull’s Horns
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