Rampage – June 30, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 1st July 2023
Date: June 30, 2023
Location: First Ontario Center, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone
We’ll close out the first half of the year with the first Rampage after Forbidden Door. This week’s Dynamite was a bit off (but still good) and now we get to see if Rampage is the same. The big draw this week is Claudio Castagnoli defending the Ring Of Honor World Title, which should make for something interesting. Let’s get to it.
Ring Of Honor World Title: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kommander
Castagnoli is defending and drops Kommander with a forearm to start. Kommander balances himself in the corner and snaps off a headscissors. The sleeper is broken up and Castagnoli plants him hard to break up a rollup attempt. The Swing sends Kommander flying again but the Riccola Bomb is armdragged to the floor. Kommander’s dive is pulled out of the air so he fires off some knees to the head to escape again.
Castagnoli isn’t having this though and kicks Kommander over the barricade for a nasty crash. Back in and a DDT gets two as we take a break. We come back with Kommander needing a super hurricanrana to counter a superbomb. Kommander spins around Castagnoli’s shoulders to send him outside, setting up the big flip dive. Castagnoli misses another running boot so Kommander (very slowly) walks the barricade for a shooting star to the back.
A top rope hurricanrana gives Kommander two back inside but Castagnoli drops him with an uppercut. Back up and Kommander climbs onto Castagnoli’s shoulders, jumps backwards, and then tornado DDTs him down. A double jump phoenix splash gives Kommander two but the rope walk shooting star misses. Castagnoli uppercuts him out of the air and that’s enough for a knockout via referee stoppage at 13:45.
Rating: B. This was some crazy amped up version of power vs. high flying as Kommander was doing all of his nutty stuff and Castagnoli finally just stopped it with straight strength. Kommander cut down on some of the ridiculous time it takes to set up some of his stuff here and it made for a more exciting match. Castagnoli just knocking him silly for the win was a great way to go and the champion looks as dominant as possible given how much Kommander threw at him.
Shawn Spears vs. The Blade
The Butcher is here with Blade. They go to the floor for a chop off to start with Spears getting the better of things. Spears thinks his chop was a ten and drops Blade back first onto the apron. Butcher gets in a cheap shot though and Blade drops Spears face first inside. More chops just wake Spears up though and he strikes away to take over. The left hands in the corner set up the C4 to finish Blade at 4:02.
Rating: C. They didn’t have much time here and neither guy is exactly the best choice to keep things fired up. Spears hasn’t been around much in recent months but I’m sure the Canadian crowd was happy to see one of their own. The match was far from boring and Spears had to overcome some cheating so it was a completely fine use of some time.
Video on the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament matches on Collision.
QTV vs. Matt Hardy/Brother Zay
It’s QT Marshall/Johnny TV with Harley Cameron and Ethan Page as the respective seconds. Zay works on Johnny’s arm to start before Marshall comes in to hit Zay in the face. It’s off to Matt for a double elbow but QT drives him into the corner for some alternating shots to the face.
Matt shrugs it off and hands it back to Zay for a springboard crossbody. Zay tells Cameron to call him until he is sent outside, setting up a heck of a dive from Johnny. We take a break and come back with Zay kicking Johnny into the corner…and right back to QT. Zay shrugs it off and brings Matt back in to clean house as the pace picks up.
A powerbomb out of the corner gets two on Johnny, followed by the middle rope elbow to the back of the neck. Everything breaks down and Johnny’s Flying Chuck gets two. Johnny can’t hit his flipping neckbreaker and it’s back to Zay, who hits a big dive onto both villains on the floor. Back in and a Cameron distraction lets QT crotch Zay on top. Starship Pain finishes Zay at 10:12.
Rating: C+. Well at least Marshall didn’t get the pin. I’ll take TV in here as the ace of QTV over Powerhouse Hobbs as if nothing else he feels like a more natural fit. Beating Matt Hardy and Zay won’t hurt them a bit, especially when it’s just a temporary thing with Jeff out of action. If they keep QTV on low level stuff like this, they’re a fine nothing heel group.
Post match Page offers a save but gets superkicked. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn make the real save.
Video on Hikaru Shida vs. Taya Valkyrie.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Video on Wheeler Yuta vs. Kenny Omega next week on Dynamite.
Hikaru Shida vs. Taya Valkyrie
Taya powers her into the corner to start but gets caught with a running knee. Shida hammers some right hands and knocks Taya outside, meaning it’s time for the chair. The launched knee misses but an enziguri connects back inside. Taya sweeps the leg though and wraps it around the post as we take a break.
Back with Shida barely able to stand but being able to hit some strikes to the head. The knee is fine enough to hit a jumping knee but Taya knocks her off the ropes. Shida gets in another shot to set up the running Meteora off the apron. The Katana is blocked and Taya hits the running knees in the corner for two. Road To Valhalla is loaded up but Shida reverses into a cradle for the pin at 10:36.
Rating: C+. It’s nice to see Shida getting a win for a change and the knee being fine enough to do some of her stuff didn’t even go too far. Taya has fallen hard since those losses to Jade and I’m not sure how much she is going to be able to come back from them. Shida is a rather successful star around here, but it’s another loss as Taya has yet to beat anyone that really matters.
Overall Rating: B-. The opener was good and the last two matches were certainly fine. This feels like a better than average version of the normal Rampage, with matches that don’t have much major impact on storylines and little more than some people getting in the ring. It’s a show that can be rather entertaining, but it’s not important or required viewing in any way.
Claudio Castagnoli b. Kommander via referee stoppage
Shawn Spears b. The Blade – C4
QTV b. Matt Hardy/Brother Zay – Starship Pain to Zay
Hikaru Shida b. Taya Valkyrie – Cradle
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