Rampage – August 4, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 5th August 2023
Date: August 4, 2023
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho
Rampage is in a weird place as it has become something of a short bridge between Dynamite and Collision. There is usually one important match on the show though and in this case it is going to be a fight that takes place in a parking lot. I’m not sure what else that is going to leave but hopefully it works. Let’s get to it.
Hardys/Keith Lee vs. Kip Sabian/Butcher and the Blade
This is fallout from Royal Rampage. Ethan Page/Brother Zay are here with the Hardys/Lee while the Bunny is with the villains. Sabian shoulders Jeff down to start but Jeff is right back in to work on the arm. Matt comes in for a splash in the corner but gets dragged into the wrong corner so Blade can chop away. A Side Effect gets Matt out of trouble and he does his ten buckle rams in the corner. Jeff comes back in but gets pulled outside for a double teaming from the weird team of Blade and Sabian.
We take a break and come back with Jeff getting beaten up even more, but a jawbreaker gets him out of trouble. The big tag brings in Lee to clean house, including throwing everyone around at the same time. Sabian is thrown at his partners to take both of them out before everything breaks down. Lee’s big spinebuster plants Sabian and Jeff adds the Swanton for the pin at 8:53.
Rating: C+. Perfectly fine six man tag here and it worked out well. Lee getting to be the battering ram that gets the tag at the end worked well, though I’m not sure I want to see him getting to stand next to the Hardys every week. For a one off match though, it could have been a lot worse. Just a nix six man with the good guys beating up some villains and that is a pretty much guaranteed win.
The Kingdom talks about their history with Dam Cole, who did all kinds of things with them, but then just vanished when he moved on. Roderick Strong should be worried about this.
The Young Bucks want back in the tag division. The Hardys come in and the match is made for Dynamite.
Anna Jay vs. Skye Blue
Matt Menard and Angelo Parker are here with Jay. They go technical to start with Blue’s headlock not getting her very far. Jay is send outside before coming back in so Blue can fire off forearms. A basement superkick hits Jay again, allowing Blue to take a quick bow (as she has done more than once now). Jay sends her to the apron and hits a running spinning kick as we take a break.
We take a break and come back with Blue fighting up and hitting a high crossbody. A running knee against the ropes gives Blue two but Skyfall is broken up. Jay grabs a Downward Spiral for two but Blue is right back up with Skyfall. Parker and Menard offer distractions though and Jay pulls her into the Queenslayer for the tap at 9:13.
Rating: C. Jay was showing some fire here but it’s almost weird to see her beating Blue at this point. Blue has steadily been falling back down the card and I don’t remember the last time Jay won a big time match. Not a bad match, and maybe Jay is getting a push out of nowhere from here?
Kris Statlander, while doing squats with Renee Young (as in Young is on Statlander’s shoulders) says it pickles her egg when someone hits her with her own belt. As for tomorrow night, Mercedes Martinez better “clean out the gutter, wash the card and caulk the tub” because Mama’s coming home on Collision. Uh….well it was different.
Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight are in the parking lot and announce that Pac is injured and unable to wrestle, but the Lucha Bros are still going to fight the winners of the Parking Lot Fight on Dynamite.
Mogul Embassy vs. Logan Cruz/Tyshaun Perez
Prince Nana is here with the Embassy. Fox wastes no time in hitting a missile dropkick to both of them at once, setting up the big running flip dive to the floor as Swerve stands there and watches. Back in and Swerve hits a top rope elbow to the back, followed by an assisted sitout powerbomb to Perez. Fox hits an Iconoclasm into a cutter and Swerve’s brainbuster sets up a 450 to finish Cruz at 2:18. That was a slick squash with the Embassy looking very good.
QTV isn’t happy with losing to the Acclaimed and Johnny TV is missing in protest. We see a clip of Johnny TV issuing an open challenge to anyone who has been on television. He also did the splits and slid backwards down a red carpet.
Big Bill and Brian Cage are ready for FTR and the Tag Team Titles.
We recap the Blackpool Combat Club vs. the Best Friends in the Parking Lot Brawl.
Blackpool Combat Club vs. Best Friends
Parking Lot Brawl. Before the match, the Club checks through the trunks of cars for Orange Cassidy. The fight is on fast with Taylor sending Castagnoli into a side mirror while Moxley uses a fork to bust Trent open. Castagnoli suplexes Taylor onto the hood of a car and Trent dives off a car onto Moxley, who gets carved up with a fork. Some shots with a broken spoiler put the Friends down but they flapjack him onto the trunk of a van (as it is opening).
The spoiler goes over the Club’s backs and Castagnoli gets crushed by a car hod. Moxley is back up and Trent gets crushed under the hood, with Chuck being dropped onto it. A trash can to the head rocks Trent again but he fights back up with some forearms. Chuck is back up with a street sign and some forking of his own.
We take a break and come back with Castagnoli being dropped onto a piece of barricade and crushed with a backsplash off a car. Moxley makes the save but Trent is back with a Dudebuster to Castagnoli on top of a car. Trent and Moxley slug it out on top of a car until Moxley Death Riders him onto a windshield. Then Chuck grabs a barbed wire 2×4 and lights it on fire, only to have Wheeler Yuta pop out of a car.
That lets Moxley hit Trent in the ribs with the 2×4 so Yuta can screwdriver him in the head. Cue Sue in the minivan, with Orange Cassidy on top. The chain is pulled out but the Club beats Cassidy down without much trouble. The Club opens the door and tells Sue to leave before Castagnoli ribs the door off the minivan. Chuck is dropped onto the door and Trent is stomped onto a windshield for the pin at 18:01.
Rating: B-. it was a hard hitting violent brawl with a lot of blood, but the whole thing only worked so well. Not only did it feel like it just kept going, but it came off like they just wanted to recreate the first one with one spot or idea after another. You knew the Sue stuff was coming and while it’s funny once, having it be this big saving grace moment feels so out of line with the violence they have been focusing on for a long time. Throw in Moxley and his stupid fork and there were several moments here that held down the stuff that did work.
Overall Rating: C+. The main event was the focal point and it is going to be well received for the violence. Other than that though, this wasn’t the strongest episode from top to bottom. It continues to be a show where you don’t feel like you missed much if you skip a good chunk of it and that isn’t the best feeling. Thankfully it’s just an hour long and far from bad, but this show rarely feels important and that is going to catch up to them at some point.
Hardys/Keith Lee b. Kip Sabian/Butcher and the Blade
Anna Jay b. Skye Blue – Queenslayer
Mogul Embassy b. Logan Cruz/Tyshaun Perez – 450 to Cruz
Blackpool Combat Club b. Best Friends – Stomp onto a windshield
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