Date: April 28, 2023
Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
We’re on at another weird time slot as the playoffs continue to wreck havoc on the AEW schedule. As usual, it’s hard to say what you are going to get from Rampage, though I would assume a heavy focus on stories that aren’t going to matter much elsewhere. Things do happen around here, but it would be nice if it felt more important. Let’s get to it.
Bullet Club Gold vs. Ricky Starks/Shawn Spears
It’s a brawl at the bell and they all head to the floor to keep it up. White chokes Spears with a camera cord as Starks chops Robinson inside. A White cheap shot from the apron lets Robinson take over though and we go to a break. Back with White chopping Spears in the corner, with Ross liking the physicality.
Spears manages to fight over to the corner though and the hot tag brings in Starks to clean house. It’s right back to Spears but the C4 is broken up with a rake to the eyes. A Sky high gives Spears two on White but another C4 attempt is broken up as well. The Blade Runner finishes Spears at 9:47.
Rating: C+. Putting White in a team right off the bat isn’t exactly making me care about what he does and tying him in with the Bullet Club again doesn’t help. Starks isn’t exactly getting much higher up the ladder by teaming with Shawn Spears, making me wonder what the point of a lot of this is. The match itself was good enough, though the rest is only so intriguing.
The Hardys and Hook are mad about the Firm kidnapping Isiah Kassidy. The Firm pops up on screen to demand to know when the Firm Deletion match is taking place. We’ll make it next week on Rampage, and then Big Bill chokeslams Kassidy off camera.
Naturally Limitless vs. Brady Pierce/Charlie James
Dustin punches Pierce in the face to start and snaps off the powerslam. Lee comes in for his half of a double backdrop before knocking James down. There’s the Uncle Phil toss to James before Dustin tells Lee to throw him at both guys. The pop up Spirit Bomb finishes James at 2:08. Total dominance.
Post match the Mogul Embassy comes out for a staredown.
Tay Melo interrupts a Sammy Guevara interview and yells at him for agreeing to lay down for MJF. It’s his turn to listen instead.
Anna Jay vs. Ashley D’Amboise
Anna gets in a few shots to start and bends Ashley’s back around the post as we take an early break. Back with Ashley fighting out of a suplex but getting dropped with a neckbreaker. The Queenslayer finishes Ashley at 5:43. Not enough shown to rate as more than half of that was in the commercial but Jay’s dominance continues.
Post match Julia Hart pops up to brawl with Jay, who bends her around the post as well.
The Outcasts are ready for Saraya to beat up Willow Nightingale on Dynamite.
Billy Gunn/Acclaimed vs. Cameron Stewart/Dante Casanova/Ryzin
Fameasser, Arrival, Mic Drop finishes Stewart at 52 seconds, a lot of which was Gunn standing there looking at Stewart.
Jay Lethal and Cash Wheeler are ready for the main event.
Here’s what’s coming on upcoming shows.
Jay Lethal vs. Cash Wheeler
Mark Briscoe is the guest enforcer and Jeff Jarrett/Satnam Singh/Sonjay Dutt/Dax Harwood are all here too. Lethal gets knocked outside to start before coming back in for an aggressive lockup. Some slams let Lethal put him down but Wheeler armdrags him into an armbar. Back up and it’s too early for Lethal Injection, meaning Wheeler can clothesline him to the floor as we take a break.
We come back with Lethal grabbing an abdominal stretch as we see Wheeler’s bruised ribs. Briscoe doesn’t let Dutt cheat and Wheeler escapes, only to get caught in a hot shot. Lethal gets in a strut but Hail To The King hits raised knees. Wheeler slugs back and grabs a powerslam into a DDT for two on Lethal. The ribs give out on a piledriver attempt though and the Lethal Combination drops Wheeler. The Lethal Injection is countered into a Gory Bomb but Dutt gets on the apron for a distraction. Briscoe goes after Dutt but Lethal sends Wheeler into Briscoe for the big crash. Now the Injection can finish Wheeler at 12:18.
Rating: C+. The match was good enough and now that we have the Tag Team Champions losing out of the way, we can move on to the title match. Hopefully this doesn’t lead to Briscoe wondering why Wheeler hit him, as I don’t think I can take another story where watching the tape would solve everything but no one does it. It was a perfectly sound match, even if it didn’t feel all that important.
Overall Rating: C. And that’s being about as generous as I can be. This show felt a lot more like a bad Ring Of Honor show than anything else, as it was just a bunch of midcard stuff that didn’t have anything worth seeing. It was a rare case of me feeling like I was wasting my time watching an AEW show and I have a bad feeling that is going to get worse around here, especially when Collision comes around. Certainly not a bad show, but a total “here’s an hour of wrestling that fulfills a requirement” show, which is often a lot worse.
Bullet Club Gold b. Ricky Starks/Shawn Spears – Blade Runner to Spears
Naturally Limitless b. Brady Pierce/Charlie James – Pop up Spirit Bomb to James
Anna Jay b. Ashley D’Amboise – Queenslayer
Billy Gunn/Acclaimed b. Cameron Stewart/Dante Casanova/Ryzin – Mic Drop to Stewart
Jay Lethal b. Cash Wheeler – Lethal Injection
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