Rampage – April 7, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 8th April 2023
Date: April 7, 2023
Location: Ryan Center, Kingston, Rhode Island
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
We’re here for the first half of a double shot as it’s a live Rampage and Battle of the Belts back to back. That should make for a packed night and we’ll start here, including Hook vs. Ethan Page II, again for the FTW Title. Other than that, it’s Rampage so expect quite the variety tonight. Let’s get to it.
FTW Title: Hook vs. Ethan Page
Hook is defending and this is FTW Rules, meaning anything goes and falls count anywhere. Page isn’t wasting time and knocks him off the apron but Hook fights back. A table is pulled out and Hook hammers away against the barricade. They fight into the crowd and through the fans and Page gets the better of things, only to have Hook pound away with forearms to the chest.
We take a break and come back with Page knocking Hook over the barricade but stopping to yell at someone. The distraction lets Hook hit an exploder suplex and whip out a chair (to go with the table inside). That table isn’t good enough though as Hook would rather suplex Page through a table at ringside.
Page breaks that up and powerslams him through the ringside table instead. The powerslam gives Page two and Hook is thrown inside for the first time. Page chairs him down but another swing hits the rope, sending the chair into his own head. The Twist of Fate onto a chair gives Hook two so Page tries to send him through another table. That takes too long though and Redrum retains the title at 9:14.
Rating: C-. I wasn’t into this one as it was a bunch of brawling through the crowd and fighting on the floor. Hook can do better than this and I don’t get the interest in slowly walking through the crowd for five minutes, a table spot and then Redrum. I’m not sure why we needed a rematch after Dynamite but this should wrap things up for good. It wasn’t an awful match, but they didn’t really do anything.
Post match Hook puts him through the table.
And now, QTV. After implying that Powerhouse Hobbs used Wardlow’s stolen credit card to buy a car (“that huge sale this week”), QT Marshall is ready to win a title and mocks Dante Martin’s injury.
Acclaimed/Jericho Appreciation Society vs. LSG/Bobby Orlando/The Infantry
Billy Gunn and Jake Hager are here too. Bowens strikes away at LSG to start and Scissor Me Timbers hits Orlando. That means a four way scissoring, but Acclaimed changes their mind and does it themselves. The Mic Drop finishes for Caster at 2:04.
Post match the Society jumps the Acclaimed and Billy Gunn.
Swerve Strickland talks about Trench and Parker Boudreaux being down and says that he’s being involved in a merger. He’s joining forces with….you’ll find out later tonight. Note that Swerve said of course he got 51% of the ownership. There’s your second jab at/reference to WWE’s merger/buyout and the second that isn’t exactly funny. Maybe that’s not what they’re doing, but otherwise, why make that specific of a reference?
Darby Allin vs. Lee Moriarty
Big Bill is here with Moriarty, who gets rolled up for a quick two. That leaves Moriarty a little aghast so he takes Allin down with a test of strength. They head outside where Allin gets in a shot of his own and sends Moriarty into the barricade. Big Bill boots him down though and we take a break. Back with Allin dropkicking him into the corner but having to glare Bill down. That’s enough for Moriarty to pull Allin off the top and get two off a European Clutch. Back up and Code Red drops Moriarty, setting up a dive onto Bill. The Coffin Drop gives Allin the pin at 9:46.
Rating: C+. AEW is setting up the Four Pillars match and they’re doing it the old fashioned way: by having the people involved (or at least the challengers) win match after match. These guys are suddenly on rolls and want the World Title. Just keep it up on the way to Double Or Nothing and include some bigger names, and you have a hot main event.
Post match Allin goes to leave but here is Swerve Strickland to offer a handshake…..and then Brian Cage jumps Allin, because Swerve has merged with the freaking Embassy.
We get a sitdown interview between Taya Valkyrie and Jade Cargill/Mark Sterling over ownership of Jaded/Road To Valhalla.
Video on Julia Hart vs. Julia Hart.
Anna Jay vs. Julia Hart
Anna jumps her to start and they fight to the floor, with Hart whipping her into the barricade. Back in and Anna kicks Hart in the face and snaps her throat across the top rope to take over again. Hart gets whipped into the barricade and we take a break. Back with Hart hitting a standing moonsault for two on Anna but getting caught in the Queenslayer. That’s broken up so Hart hits a top rope moonsault press. The Queenslayer goes on again but they fall out to the floor for a crash. Anna gets back in but Hart throws in a chair for a distraction, allowing Hart to spray the black mist. A small package gives Hart the pin at 9:43.
Rating: C. These two are certainly trying and you can see some improvements, but it still doesn’t feel like the most natural match when either of them are in the ring. Both feel like they’re going through a list of things they decided to do rather than flowing naturally and that doesn’t help much. It was far from a bad match and they didn’t mess up anything horribly, but there is a limit to what these two are capable of doing right now.
Post match Hart goes to leave and runs into Orange Cassidy on the way to the ring for the opener of Battle of the Belts.
Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t much as the biggest story coming out of it was the JAS attacking the Acclaimed, which took place two days after the Acclaimed rapped about how stupid the team was. Other than that, the Embassy now has a story and Hook beat Ethan Page again. This show continues to feel like they just throw whatever doesn’t make it onto Dynamite on there (or in some cases something very similar) and that doesn’t make for the most interesting hour.
Hook b. Ethan Page – Redrum
Acclaimed/Jericho Appreciation Society b. LSG/Bobby Orlando/The Infantry – Mic Drop to Orlando
Darby Allin b. Lee Moriarty – Coffin Drop
Julia Hart b. Anna Jay – Small package
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