Rampage – June 16, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 17th June 2023
Date: June 16, 2023
Location: Capitol One Arena, Washington DC
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Chris Jericho
Rampage has gotten rather interesting in the last few weeks as it feels like there is more effort being put into it. I’m not sure how long that is going to last with Collision coming in less than twenty four hours but I’ll take what I can get at the moment. The card looks rather stacked this week so let’s get to it.
United Empire vs. Chaos
This is the Will Ospreay (with Jeff Cobb/Kyle Fletcher vs. Rocky Romero/Best Friends) match that was advertised on Dynamite. Fletcher runs Trent over to start but Trent is back up with some chops. Ospreay comes in for a showdown with Romero, who grabs a pop up hurricanrana. Everything breaks down and Romero hits a big dive onto Ospreay, followed by Chuck hitting a big flip dive onto the other two. Trent hits a moonsault onto the two of them as well and rips at Ospreay’s face back inside. Cobb comes in and fires off the shoulders in the corner as we take a break.
Back with Chuck hitting Soul Food to get out of trouble, allowing Chuck to come in or some rolling German suplexes on Trent. Fletcher is draped over the top for a top rope stomp to the back but Cobb makes a save. Cobb drags Fletcher to the corner (because he’s smart) and comes in, only to get triple teamed down.
Soul Food into the half and half suplex drops Cobb but he breaks up the triple hug with a double suplex. An overhead belly to belly sends Romero flying and it’s Ospreay coming back in for something like a top rope Phenomenal Forearm. A series of strikes to the face put people down until Romero drops Ospreay with a running clothesline. Sliced Bread is broken up though and it’s Fletcher’s spinning Tombstone into the Hidden Blade to finish Romero at 12:32.
Rating: B-. This was less of the goofy Chaos stuff and that made it a lot easier to get through. Ospreay is in for a main event level match next week at Forbidden Door so he was the logical choice to get the pin after looking like a killer. It’s nice to have Cobb around again too, but he only got to show off some of the power game that made him famous. Good opener though, as the Empire is a rather awesome collection of talent.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Trish Adora
Taya goes with the power to start and sends Adora into the corner for the running knees. Some kicks in the corner set up the sliding German suplex but Adora slugs away with the forearms. A big forearm knocks Taya down but she cuts off a charge with a boot in the corner. Taya cuts her down with a spear and hits the curb stomp for the pin at 3:25.
Rating: C. Taya got a bit of momentum back with the win here and it’s nice to see that she is sticking around. She has an impressive power offense and that is something that can carry for a long way. Adora is someone who feels like she could be something, but as she is doing nothing but jobbing on Ring of Honor and around here, she has a long way to go.
The Hardys are ready for the Gunns on Dynamite because they’ve been doing this in four decades. Ethan Page falling asleep in the background was funny. Also, dig Jeff’s Shad Gaspard shirt.
Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal/Karen Jarrett vs. Mark Briscoe/Papa Briscoe/Aubrey Edwards
Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh are here too. Mark headlocks Lethal to start and then shoulders him down for a bonus. Jeff comes in for a right hand and the strut but a kiss to Karen allows Mark to come back. The women get the tag and Karen brings Lethal back in before anything can happen. This time the Briscoes hit a double three point shoulder for two but Mark gets sent outside.
We take a break and come back with Mark hitting a double clothesline, allowing the hot tag to Papa. Jeff goes after him and gets dropped with some clotheslines before Lethal is choked in the corner. Dutt gets dropped as well and a clothesline puts Jeff down. Jericho: “PAPA BRISCOE IS MY FAVORITE WRESTLER!” Now we get the catfight between Karen and Aubrey, with the latter grabbing some hair mares. Karen rakes the eyes and grabs the guitar but Aubrey takes it away. Lethal breaks up the big swing so Singh offers a distraction, allowing Aubrey to guitar Lethal. A Figure Four makes Karen tap at 9:40.
Rating: C+. The match was entertaining enough as Papa Briscoe continues to steal the show anytime he’s around. As for Aubrey vs. Karen….I’m still not sure why I’m supposed to be excited about a referee beating up a manager who has been around for all of a month but at least it was a short segment. Now hopefully everyone can move on, as the story should be done.
Taya Valkyrie is happy with her win and is tired of hearing about Kris Statlander. Cue Statlander, who will put out a TBS Title challenge for next week. Taya says she’ll be shaking in her furry boots.
Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita interrupt Mark Henry, with Callis promising to take out Bandido tonight and hyping up Takeshita in Spanish.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Bandido
Don Callis is on commentary as Takeshita misses the running knee. The 21 Plex is blocked and Takeshita sends him outside for a slingshot dive. Back in and Bandido loads up the delayed suplex but Takeshita is a bit too tall, meaning it’s just a regular suplex instead. Bandido sends him hard to the floor, which is enough for Callis to come down to ringside. The distraction lets Takeshita take over and we go to a break.
Back with Bandido slugging away at Takeshita and hitting the corkscrew high crossbody. A tornado DDT plants Takeshita again and a big moonsault to the floor makes it worse. Takeshita is right back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two but Bandido hits the one armed gorilla press. A frog splash gives Bandido two and they both go up top.
Takeshita blasts him with a lariat off the top (as in they were both standing on the top) for two but the running knee is blocked again. The 21 Plex is countered with a backflip though (that was impressive) but Bandido backflips out of a German suplex as well. Takeshita misses another running knee and a Code Red gives Bandido two. Back up and Takeshita hits the running knee, followed by another to the side of the head for the pin at 15:13.
Rating: B+. There are certain matches where you know they’re going to work as soon as they’re announced and that was the case here. How was Bandido vs. Takeshita, especially with a lot of time, not going to be awesome? They cranked it up even harder during the last few minutes and wound up having one of the better matches I’ve seen on Rampage. Takeshita gets a win over a proven star as he is on his way to a showdown with Kenny Omega, making this a match that was good on its own and served a longer term purpose.
Overall Rating: B. Again, where was this Rampage for months? They aren’t so much going with the important storylines but rather putting on good matches up and down the card. The worst match was a completely fine Taya vs. Adora match so things were certainly looking up here. Just do stuff that lets the audience have fun without making it feel like the most important thing in the world at the moment and it’s a very easy and entertaining hour long show.
United Empire b. Chaos – Hidden Blade to Romero
Taya Valkyrie b. Trish Adora – Curb stomp
Mark Briscoe/Papa Briscoe/Aubrey Edwards b. Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal/Aubrey Edwards – Figure Four to Karen
Konosuke Takeshita b. Bandido – Running knee
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