Rampage – July 21, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 22nd July 2023
Date: July 21, 2023
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
We’re in for one of the more unique shows this week as this was taped after Blood & Guts, meaning it’s a double ring. Therefore, we’re getting the Royal Rampage two ring battle royal, which was rather well received for the most part last week. Other than that, the road to All In/Out needs to get started so let’s get to it.
So you have a red ring (with Darby Allin in at #1) and a blue ring (with Swerve Strickland in at #2). Those rings have a Royal Rumble each (with one minute intervals) and the winners eventually go one on one for the All Out TNT Title shot. Jay Lethal (Red) and Nick Wayne (Blue) are in at #2…..as Excalibur has lost his voice. Allin and Wayne take over to start as Excalibur’s voice suddenly pops in (I wonder if that’s in post production) and Jericho gets in the interesting bit of three of these entrants being from the Seattle area.
Minoru Suzuki (Red) is in at #3 and teams up with Lethal to beat on Allin as Brian Cage (Blue) is in at #3 to help go after Wayne (Red and Blue are now getting alternating entrances rather than coming in at the same time). Cage plants Wayne as Ethan Page (Red) is in at #4 to go after Lethal until Komander (Blue) is in at #4. Komander walks the ropes and steps over Cage’s shoulders to DDT Strickland in a cool spot. Butcher (Red) is in at #5 as we still haven’t had any eliminations.
Big Bill (Blue) is in at #5, with Chris Jericho going into MJF’s story of slamming Bill for a nice chuckle. Page gets rid of Lethal but Lethal grabs his hand, allowing Suzuki to toss Page as well. Butcher and Suzuki slug it out, with Butcher actually getting rid of him as Blade (Red) is in at #6.
We take a break and come back with Brother Zay (Blue) having come in at #6. Toa Liona (Red) is in at #7 and the three villains throw Allin into the corner. Matt Sydal (Blue) is in at #7 and teams up with Zay to clean a bit of house (still no eliminations in Blue). Bishop Kaun (Red) is in at #8, giving us Butcher/The Blade vs. Gates of Agony as Allin tries to recover. Zay is tossed and Butcher and Blade follow to clear things out rather quickly. Matt Hardy (Blue) is in at #8 and hits a DDT on Bill. Allin has to dodge the Gates as Matt Menard (Red) is in at #9.
Sydal is out as the Gates stare Menard down for some reason. Instead Menard goes after Allin in the corner as Jeff Jarrett (Blue) is in at #9. Angelo Parker (Red) is in at #10 to complete the first ring (Toa, Kaun, Parker, Menard and Allin). Jake Hager (Blue) is in at #10 to complete the second ring (Matt Hardy, Big Bill, Jake Hager, Jeff Jarrett, Komander, Brian Cage, Nick Wayne, Swerve Strickland) and we take a break.
Back with Allin slipping out of a quadruple powerbomb and dropkicking the Gates to the apron. The Gates dump Menard and Parker and Toa tackles the heck out of Allin. Hardy gets rid of Jarrett but gets F5’d into a cutter, allowing Bill to knock him out. As Komander and Hager were apparently eliminated during the break, Swerve dumps Bill to get us down to three in the Blue ring.
Actually make it two as Wayne just jumps to the Red ring (which I guess you can do) and helps Allin get rid of Kaun. So we’re down to five total (Cage, Wayne, Strickland, Allin and Toa) until Wayne and Swerve get rid of Cage. Swerve drops Wayne out and All low bridges Toa, leaning we’re down to Swerve vs. Allin for the whole thing.
Allin sends Swerve to the apron but cue Prince Nana to hit Allin with a skateboard. Swerve powerbombs Allin onto the skateboard (wheels up because of course) and they go to the apron, but Allin slips out of a suplex to get back inside. Allin hits a spear through the ropes (not over so he’s fine) for the win at 28:32.
Rating: B. I really didn’t care for last year’s version all that much but they put this one together far better, with the cameras cutting just enough to keep track of everything going on. Allin going wire to wire is a very Allin thing to do and him getting the big title shot in Chicago will work well. Good stuff here and it never felt long, so well done on fixing what was wrong last year.
Acclaimed/Billy Gunn vs. QTV
Billy and Johnny TV start things off and don’t go anywhere, so it’s off to Marshall, complete with a very bandaged back. Bowens comes in for the jumping Fameasser and we get some scissoring to send us to a break. Back with Gunn getting the hot tag as everything breaks down. Bowens gets to clean house but Johnny clotheslines Billy and Max down. Solo adds a top rope double stomp for two on Billy but Bowens is back in with the Arrival. Max drops the Mic Drop for the pin at 8:47.
Rating: C+. See now this is a good use of QTV. They can do their backstage stuff and wacky segments but then put over a bigger team in a decent match. Why that needs to involve Powerhouse Hobbs and drag him down is beyond me, but there is a place for goofs like them. The Acclaimed and Gunn get a decent win before their Trios Titles match tomorrow as well, so this was the right way to go.
Post match Bowens says they’re winning the titles tomorrow.
Video on Marina Shafir vs. Kris Statlander for the TBS Title.
TBS Title: Marina Shafir vs. Kris Statlander
Statlander is defending. They go with the grappling to start until Shafir grabs a suplex to take over. Some right hands on the mat have Statlander in trouble but she’s back up with an electric chair drop (good for three replays). Back up and Statlander hits a running knee in the corner, setting up a delayed vertical suplex (again with the three replays). Shafir gets a standing Figure Four but Shafir reverses and hits Friday Night Fever to retain at 5:02.
Rating: C. This was just a quick “hey here’s a title match” match and it went as well as could be expected. Statlander is still in the mode of having to reestablish herself and the best way to do that is stacking up wins. Shafir is fine as the grappler/MMA woman of the division and she did fine here, but there wasn’t time for this to get anywhere.
Overall Rating: B-. About half of this show was one match which went well so you could only complain so much about it. If you ignore that some of the wrestlers were working both the ROH PPV and appearing here at the same time (which must be the most difficult issue to overcome in history), it’s a completely entertaining enough show. Granted that’s mainly due to something that won’t be around every week, but I’ll take what I can get.
Darby Allin won the Royal Rampage last eliminating Swerve Strickland
Acclaimed/Billy Gunn b. QTV – Mic Drop to Solo
Kris Statlander b. Marina Shafir – Friday Night Fever
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