Date: September 1, 2023
Location: Now Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
It’s the go home Rampage before All Out and since this is AEW, it’s time for a tag team battle royal because they love those things around here. In this case we need to crown new #1 contenders for the Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles as MJF and Adam Cole need first challengers. Let’s get to it.
Tag Team Battle Royal
Aussie Open, Butcher and the Blade, Outrunners, Best Friends, The Righteous, Dark Order, Gates Of Agony, Hardys, Wingmen, Darius Martin/Action Andretti
Both members have to be eliminated and the winners get an ROH Tag Team Title shot at All Out. The Aussies chill on the floor to start and Butcher double clotheslines the Outrunners. Said Outrunners are out in a hurry and we get the hoss fight between Butcher and the Blade and the Gates. Andretti is sent outside (doesn’t seem to be out) and gets sent into the barricade by the Aussies. Kaun (not out either) gets the same treatment and Chuck Taylor tosses Ryan Nemeth.
Peter Avalon gets beaten up by a bunch of people and then tossed to eliminated the Wingmen as well. The Friends get into a Hug/DELETE off with the Hardys and the rest of the battle royal stops to watch. Thankfully they go after all four of them as people go to the floor to keep up the fight outside. The Aussies get inside and toss Kaun but Toa gets Blade out. Fletcher kicks Toa out to eliminate the Gates and we take a break.
Back with Butcher firing of shots to the Righteous but getting kicked in the head but Andretti. The Righteous double team Butcher out as another team is gone. Jeff dives at Vincent for an elimination but Vincent helps get rid of Matt. The Dark Order toss Jeff (that’s an upset) and the Hardys are gone. Dutch gets kicked out to eliminate the Righteous as the ring is clearing out.
We’re down to the Best Friends, the Order, the Aussies and Andretti/Martin. The Aussies knock Andretti off the top for a NASTY crash into the barricade to get rid of him and Reynolds is tossed too (and comes up holding his knee). Taylor is tossed as well, leaving us with Silver, Beretta, and the Aussies. Silver is fine with standing back and letting Beretta go after both of them before adding a superkick to put Beretta down as well.
Beretta breaks up the Aussie Arrow though and low bridges Fletcher out to get us down to three (as Reynolds is still at ringside, holding his knee). Silver is sent to the apron and Reynolds makes a save (knee seems fine), leaving Beretta to pull Reynolds out. That leaves Silver to run in and knock Beretta out for the win at 11:39.
Rating: C. This was kind of a weird match as the Order came out of nowhere to win, with only the Aussies (and maybe the Best Friends) feeling like viable options at the end. The Kingdom feels like the next real opponents for MJF and Cole so not having them in here makes a bit more sense, especially if they weren’t getting the All Out title shot. Not a terrible match, but the final options weren’t the most inspiring choices.
Post break commentary talks about the match but here are the Aussies to get in a fight with Jericho. Sammy Guevara (with baseball bat) comes out for the save.
We get a video on Mike Santana, starting back with his debut along with Ortiz years ago. Shortly after his debut, his father passed away and everything started crashing down in front of him. Two and a half years later, he got into the Blood And Guts match and wrecked his knee, putting him on the shelf for over a year. Now he has a story to tell. No significant reference to Ortiz here so the team might be over again.
Nick Wayne/El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Kip Sabian/Gringo Loco
Penelope Ford is here with Sabian and Loco. Vikingo and Loco go to the mat to start before coming to their senses and popping up for the flips. Vikingo kicks him in the ribs and popping up for an anklescissors. Loco sticks the landing so Vikingo kicks him in the back of the knee and hands it off to Wayne. Sabian is in as well and gets caught with a jumping elbow but Ford offers a quick distraction. That lets Sabian take Wayne outside for an Arabian moonsault as we take a break.
Back with Loco’s springboard moonsault hitting raised knees, allowing Vikingo to come back in and clean house. With Loco in the corner, Vikingo jumps from an opposite post to the rope in between them into a dropkick to the back (geez). Vikingo pulls Loco up top for a springboard poisonrana and Wayne’s World hits Sabian. That leaves Vikingo to hit the 630 on Loco for the pin at 8:25.
Rating: B-. This was a way to get Vikingo out there to do his flips while giving Wayne a win. That worked out just fine, even if it was against one of the most random teams you’re going to find. Wayne knows how to do the gymnastics and the flips, but if that’s all he can do, he’s going to get lost in the shuffle around here very quickly.
QTV is now minus QT Marshall, who is defending the AAA Latin American Title but has let Johnny TV in charge. We see Marshall with the title before they talk various All In related news. Then TV throws his coffee at Harley Cameron by mistake before promising big changes around here. QTV minus QT could be a lot better.
Hangman Page vs. Bryan Keith
Keith is a bounty hunter, though I wasn’t aware there was a bounty on Page’s head. Page starts fast and knocks him into the corner, setting up a running elbow. Keith gets in an elbow of his own but Page blasts him with a clothesline. Back up and Keith hits a suplex but Page drops him again with the fall away slam. Page takes a bit too long to throw out his elbow pad so Keith gets in a shot to the face. Not that it matters as the Buckshot Lariat finishes for Page at 3:41.
Rating: C. Just a step above a squash here but it’s nice to see Page doing something. Even though he was at All In with a pretty prominent match, he doesn’t feel like someone who has been doing much of anything special recently. Beating Keith isn’t going to turn everything around, but it’s better than sitting around doing nothing.
Angelo Parker, Matt Menard and Daniel Garcia are fired up about their Trios Titles shot and Garcia starts dancing at Renee Paquette, who absolutely cannot keep a straight face.
We get a sitdown interview with Roderick Strong who won’t explain what Adam Cole did to start all of this. He’ll tell his own story on his own time on his own day. Then he walks out, with the Kingdom joining him.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Skye Blue/Willow Nightingale vs. Anna Jay/Taya Valkyrie
The hometown Blue is in Chicago flag inspired gear. Anna ducks Nightingale to start but gets kicked in the face and chopped in the chest. That’s enough to bring Taya in, with Nightingale quickly grabbing a suplex. Blue comes in for a double snapmare and a double kick to the head for two. A Backstabber cuts Nightingale off though and we take a break.
Back with Nightingale and Taya trading kicks to the head, allowing the double tag. Blue hits a running knee against the ropes to drop Jay and a kick to the head makes it worse. Taya spears Blue down but gets Pounced by Nightingale. A superkick sends Nightingale to the floor but Anna superkicks Taya by mistake. Code Blue finishes Anna at 8:32.
Rating: C+. This match actually got a bit of time, even if some of it was spent in the break, as usual. Putting Blue out there looking like the Chicago flag is about as good of a way to get the crowd cheering her as there is and it was a fine way to have a main event. Nightingale not losing again makes things even better.
Post match Taya jumps Blue but Nightingale chases her off to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show continues to be watchable at worst and mostly unnecessary viewing more often than not. The Dark Order earning a title shot at the secondary titles is the big drawing card of this show and that’s not exactly enough to make me want to see it most weeks. Collision has made this show a lot less important, but for an hour of wrestling television, there are worse options you could choose.
Dark Order won a tag team battle royal last eliminating the Best Friends
El Hijo del Vikingo/Nick Wayne b. Kip Sabian/Gringo Loco – 630 to Loco
Hangman Page b. Brian Keith – Buckshot Lariat
Willow Nightingale/Skye Blue b. Anna Jay/Taya Valkyrie – Code Blue to Jay
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