Rampage – March 31, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 1st April 2023
Date: March 31, 2023
Location: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, Chris Jericho
It’s time for the show that is stuck in the middle of the biggest weekend of the wrestling year. In this case, it’s going to be hard to find something that gets a lot of attention and there is a very real chance that AEW might punt here and wait for more eyes to be on them. Let’s get to it.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Sammy Guevara
Guevara has Tay Melo with him. Guevara gets on commentary’s nerves to start but Takeshita knocks him back a bit. Takeshita takes the leg out to put Guevara down and even strikes his pose as we see Darby Allin watching in the back. Guevara drops Takeshita over the top rope and hits a big top rope flip dive to take him down again.
Back in and Takeshita kicks him to the floor instead, setting up the big no hands flip dive. They both go up top with Guevara biting his way out of a German superplex. There’s a running stomp to bring Takeshita out of the Tree of Woe and we take a break. Back with Takeshita reversing a brainbuster into one of his own and grabbing a German suplex.
Guevara flips out of another one though and catches Takeshita in a standing Spanish Fly for two. Takeshita pulls him out of the air for a Blue Thunder Bomb for two and goes up top. That’s cut off by Guevara but Takeshita knocks him off the top. A hard clothesline connects but Melo grabs Takeshita’s ankle, allowing Guevara to hit the GTH for the pin at 9:41.
Rating: C+. This was about Guevara getting his win to match the rest of the Four Pillars, meaning that he might be on the way to Double Or Nothing for a World Title match as well. For now though, what matters is that Guevara keeps his momentum, but Takeshita taking another loss isn’t the best thing to see. Just let him beat someone important, please?
And now, QTV (JR: Really?”), with a discussion of who should be the next challenger for Powerhouse Hobbs. That doesn’t last long so QT Marshall talks about debuting the Dirt Sheet Driver, which he stole from Japan, so “the marks already love it”. Maybe he could hit it four times in a row and call it the Dirt Sheet Symphony. This is still rather bad.
Matt Hardy has drawn up Ethan Page’s contract for his match with Hook on Dynamite. Page doesn’t know what’s in it but signs (as Hook has already done). Hardy even winks at the camera as Page signs.
Best Friends vs. House Of Black
Trent hits a standing Meteora on Black to start and drives him into the corner. Chuck comes in but Trent gets knocked off the apron, leaving Chuck on his own against both monsters. King lariats Chuck down for two and sends Trent outside to keep up the beating. We take a break and come back with Trent getting the hot tag to clean house.
Trent hits the big running flip dive to drop King on the floor, followed by a missile dropkick to Black for two. The half and half Soul Food combination drops Black again but King is back in to…get low bridged to the floor actually. Everyone heads outside and King powerbombs Chuck through the table. Trent hits King with a chair and it’s a double DQ at 9:24.
Rating: C. The match was only so logical as I’m not sure why the House Of Black was needing this long to take out the Best Friends. The House Of Black has a bad tendency to not fight like monsters and they only did so much of it here. It’s not like the Best Friends should be squashed, but this was more even than it should have been.
Post match the beatdown stays on so Orange Cassidy comes out for the save….and gets laid out on the stage by Buddy Matthews.
Video on Keith Lee vs. Swerve Strickland. Note that the team split in November and they haven’t had a singles match yet.
Marina Shafir vs. Taya Valkyrie
Cue Jade Cargill and company to watch as Shafir goes with the grappling to start. Taya powers up and knocks Shafir away, setting up a quick Road To Valhalla for the pin at 2:37. More of the same from Taya.
Post match Mark Sterling sends the process server (Tootie) to the ring to sue Taya, who gives her Road To Valhalla as well.
Anna Jay is ticked off at Julia Hart for mocking her broken ribs. Jay: “I have a fat a** and a bad attitude.” She promises to choke Hart out. Jay is a lot of things, but a good talker isn’t one of them.
Juice Robinson is ready to beat up Action Andretti on his way to facing Ricky Starks.
Here’s what’s coming on future shows.
Action Andretti vs. Juice Robinson
Andretti starts fast by climbing the corner for a springboard armdrag. Robinson takes him into the corner and chops away while shouting about Ricky Starks. A headscissors drops Robinson though and we take a break. Back with Robinson hitting a gutbuster and driving a knee into the ribs. Robinson whips him into the corner as Excalibur talks about how Robinson has been using his power to keep control (point for telling the story). Andretti manages to send him outside for an Asai moonsault, setting up a springboard clothesline back inside. Robinson kicks him in the face though and hits the forward DDT for the pin at 9:02.
Rating: C+. We’ve pretty much reached the point now where Andretti is little more than a jobber to the stars, which is about all you could have expected from him. He wasn’t going to become the next bit thing off of one upset win so just being around is about all he could have expected. As for Robinson…he’s just kind of there as well and seems to be someone that Ricky Starks happens to be dealing with at the moment. Maybe that gets better, but for now he’s just ok.
Post match Ricky Starks runs in to chase Robinson off to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Pretty ho hum show here with some decent action. There’s only so much you’re going to be able to get with Guevara as the top singles star in action on the show, but at least they did seem to set up something with the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy vs. the House of Black. Other than that, a watchable yet not exactly must see show, which is pretty much Rampage to the letter.
Sammy Guevara b. Konosuke Takeshita – GTH
Best Friends vs. House Of Black went to a double DQ
Taya Valkyrie b. Marina Shafir – Road To Valhalla
Juice Robinson b. Action Andretti – Forward DDT
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