Sengoku Lord, started as a promotional title for the Sengoku Enbu mobile game, hell some of us may remember when Ryusuke Taguchi portrayed Sengoku Enbu for a while back in 2018. So even though it’s not considered a big show historically, these have been elevated, and this card looks solid.
With how they’ve build Shingo’s newest challenge, Yujiro trying to drag down Okada and Hiromu trying to deal with family betrayal…this is a heavy storyline show.
OH! Before we jump into the show, New Japan showed this new graphic for NJPW Strong, a show on Friday’s at 10 eastern, on NJPWWORLD.com. No clue what exactly it is…but it could be interesting.
Now on to the show!
- Yuya Uemura vs Taiji Ishimori: Ishimori wins via Yes Lock @8:00 – **
- Toru Yano, Gabriel Kidd & Tomohiro Ishii vs Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi: Makabe wins via German Suplex Hold @10:25 – ***
- SANADA, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs SHO, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto: SANADA wins via Skull End @10:30 – ** 1/2
- Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs DOUKI, Taichi, ZSJ, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @12:55 – ** 1/4
- Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Cobra Clutch @13:45 – ***
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs El Desperado: Shingo retains via Last of the Dragon @17:05 – ****
- IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Double Gold Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs EVIL (c): EVIL retains via Everything is Evil @33:55 – **** 1/4
Yuya Uemura vs Taiji Ishimori
Aside from Yuya wavering during a Springboard Crossbody (he saved it, but it was noticeably almost a botch), the match wasn’t offensive. The main problem with the match is the fact that these two are very clunky together. Everything looked to take an extra second or a lot of double clutching or mishandling of sequences. Not saying it always needs to be smooth, but extra time or extra attempts at grabbing an arm break immersion as much as a Triple Lindy off the balcony.
So the match never looked overly competitive, even when Taiji got caught a few times. Glad it was the opener.
Toru Yano, Gabriel Kidd & Tomohiro Ishii vs Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi
Well Gabriel Kidd going right after Makabe made this match more interesting than it had any rights to be. Taguchi and Yano added their usual comedy effects, hell Taguchi actually got the Double Irish Whip into his Butt play to go off without a hitch. So it was just a surprising match all around.
Since it started around Makabe and Kidd, it ended with those two, and the Young Lion brought it fairly well to the Unchained Gorilla. He had a few decent upset spots, and even got the advantage in a few strike exchanges. Eventually though, he just pissed off Makabe too much, so he put the young wrestler in his place.
After the match Makabe stared down Kidd for a while. Kidd fought back to his feet to continue to be defiant, and it seems like Makabe challenged him to a singles match to prove himself. That could be interesting.
SANADA, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs SHO, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto
Well, this was a match. SANADA got to be cute with the Paradise Lock, which he hasn’t really done a lot since the return from hiatus. As for the rest of the match, sure it wasn’t bad, but there’s not much to work with. Maybe we’ll see Goto and Naito work toward something, maybe YOSHI-HASHI will try to prove himself in the future with a win over Naito or something. But for now…this did nothing really.
IF it did anything, it just makes me wonder what they’re doing with SHO since YOH is injured. After taking Shingo to his limit for the NEVER Openweight title, SHO gets tapped out by Skull End. So I’m not sure if this is their way of trying to keep him in the Junior Division by having him pick up losses to heavyweights.
Match was decent enough to get us to intermission, but nothing special. Though after the match Naito continues to abuse the referee and even SANADA attacks him a little. So it gets the point across that even though they are fan favorites, LIJ is not a face stable.
Video package hypes up Summer Battle in Jingu Stadium on August 29th. Only the second time they’ve done a show there, and the first time since 1999.
Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs DOUKI, Taichi, ZSJ, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki
Okay, unpack the cluster time! ZSJ and Taichi are still saying that Tanahashi isn’t a worthy partner for a challenge, so this is of course furthering that storyline. Wato has had his issues with DOUKI and Kanemaru, with Kanemaru getting the better of him. Suzuki wants a one on one fight with Nagata, and the grandpa throwdown is the best thing in this match. Tenzan made the save for Wato when he was getting jumped, so Tenzan is basically along for the ride to watch Wato’s back.
Much like the stories, Nagata versus Suzuki is what we all want. Their constant ignoring of everyone else, and everyone letting them just hit each other, is the most entertaining portion of the past tag matches. Interactions with Taichi/ZSJ and Tanahashi/Ibushi are fun, but a little played out already. Wato is getting build as a decent mid carder or eventual Junior threat. This match really just suffered from clunky spots and bad pacing.
There was a stacked Senton spot for Tanahashi, where Kanemaru was ontop of Taichi, and it looked like Tana kinda missed. A lot of the everyone slide in and get your crap in moments seemed awkward and off by a few beats. While it was still entertaining for the story implications, the match was a forgettable cluster.
Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada
Yujiro came out with a believable plan to try and drag Okada down to his level. A decent bit of powdering to lure out the Rainmaker, gave a few openings to Yujiro. This was a much slower match than we’ve come to expect from Okada, but at the points Yujiro was leading, it makes sense. His offense has never been very high energy since adopting the Tokyo Pimp persona.
Yujiro did counter the Cobra Clutch a few times by biting Okada’s hand, so that was clever and falls into kit perfectly. Gedo did try to get involved with the wrench, which allowed Yujiro to hit Okada with the Pimp cane, and then Miami Shine…but only for two. There were a few teases to Pimp Juice, and Yujiro got closer than I think most of us were expecting, but Okada winning was pretty widely anticipated.
One of Yujiro’s better matches in a few years, but that’s also not saying much.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs El Desperado
Desperado continued his plan from New Japan Road, and focused on Shingo’s left knee. Dragon Screws, Knee Breakers, Chairs to the knee, Stretch Mufflers, Indian Deathlocks…all of Despy’s offense was focused on the injured leg and trying to take the base away from the power fighter. It was a great plan, that Despy played into really well through the match.
Shingo’s selling is amazing, where he knows how to sell awkward movements in the ring, he sent a message to Desperado early in the match when he had him in the ropes, blocked a kick, grabbed both legs and Double Dragon Screwed Despy from the ropes to the mat. This was fun to watch since it told a great story of Desperado trying to methodically cripple the champion, while peppering in cheating tactics, with Shingo fighting from underneath most of the match.
He only needed to hit it once, and once he did, Shingo retained the title after Last of the Dragon. The beauty in this match is Shingo’s ability to sell the injury and the story. Always making sure to sit out on certain moves, to alleviate pain on his knee, leaning to the good side to carry the burden of weight and moving around the ring, sometimes scooting around the ring, because he really couldn’t move well. Desperado did well, but these last few matches really help to get across how fantastic Shingo is at everything.
IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Double Gold Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs EVIL (c)
Hiromu cuts deep immediately as he comes out with the jacket that EVIL was holding while he was injured. So that tells you exactly where his head’s at with how betrayed he feels. EVIL continues to not go back into Awesome Kong’s closet, so he looks much better. Dick Togo comes out as his second, looking really sharp. White suit, black shirt, plum tie, shades and a black beret…they come off like a meme with a dad trying to teach the kid about fashion, but the kid just learned about Hot Topic. Personally amusing, but it brought my interest up immediately.
As for the match, it built slowly in a beautiful way. EVIL controlled a little bit of the early goings, including hitting his Homerun Chairshot, but Hiromu started building momentum. It seemed like Hiromu was pulling a lot of inspiration from all over the place. After countering a Darkness Falls attempt on the apron, Hiromu hits the Death Valley Driver on the apron. This was a great turning point, where even the fans in attendance became more animated.
After a big Senton to the outside that wiped out two Young Lions and EVIL, Dick Togo starts making his presence felt more often. Hiromu dispatches him nearly every time and starts surprising EVIL. Hiromu counters Everything is Evil is The D, a Wheelbarrow Flatliner, Victory Royal, Dragon Sleeper and generally hitting a beautifully frenetic pace. Landing Time Bomb and Time Bomb #2, it looked like Hiromu was going to actually do it; but Dick Togo pulls Red Shoes out of the ring after the two count.
From there EVIL and Dick (kek, Evil Dick…okay I’ll be an adult) hit the Magic Killer, Dick goes to the top rope, most likely to hit his Diving Senton, but Hiromu pushes EVIL into the rope to have Dick land on his…well…you know. The last glimmer of hope was quickly extinguished by EVIL hitting a low blow, Darkness Falls and then Everything is Evil.
Hiromu brought all the fight and then some that EVIL could handle, and EVIL needed a good bit of help to stop the “little brother” of his former group. Afterwards, Taiji Ishimori picks the bones and makes his challenge to Hiromu for the Junior title…and Naito eventually comes out to stop the beatdown and challenge EVIL under the pretext of “okay you had your fun, time for me to take them back”.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
The last two matches were great, and if it wasn’t for the excessive, though expected, interference, that match would’ve been much higher rated. For a show that basically has stayed on the tour because of crossover promotion with a mobile card game, this was a damn solid show. Shingo has to be an early front runner for MVP at least through Tokyo Sports, if not most other places. EVIL is doing a great job with his character progression and telling stories with his matches, instead of focusing on breakneck workrate.
Okada recently said in an interview that he doesn’t have any designs on the double championship because he feels it diminishes the prestige of the Heavyweight championship. So maybe, if Taichi and ZSJ really double down on not accepting Tanahashi’s challenge; maybe we get Ibushi/Okada as a possible challenge? Plus all of the other threads from the 10 man do bode well for future stories and tours leading toward the G1 Climax.
With the announcement of a new Friday show on NJPWWORLD and the Jingu Stadium show…it’s a good time to pay attention to New Japan.
Mitchell’s NJPW Royal Quest II Results & Report! (10/1/22)
NJPW returns to the UK!
NJPW + FTR + UK = A classic in the making!
NJPW returns to the UK, and FTR is coming with them! Cash & Dax defend the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against the NJPW Strong Tag Team Champions, Aussie Open!
- Gabriel Kidd VS Dan Moloney; wins.
- Great-O-Khan & Gideon Gray VS Michael Oku & Ricky Knight Jr; win.
- Kanji & Jazzy Gabbert VS Alex Windsor & Ava White; win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; wins.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS JONAH & Bad Dude Tito; win.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, Hikuleo & Jado VS Bullet Club; win(s).
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
- Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
[NJPW has scheduled Royal Quest II for “On Demand,” coverage will begin when video is available]
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
This one has been a long time coming! Music City Mayhem saw the United Empire win a Six Man Tag, but they pinned Alex Zayne. Can Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis beat Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood 2v2? Or will the #ForeverTripleReign continue for the joint ROH, AAA & IWGP Tag Team Champions?
Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino
Speaking of title fights, The Commonwealth Kingpin just retained his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against David Finlay, only to find Tetsuya Naito AND Zack Sabre Jr. are after him! Will Ospreay be able to keep his focus tonight? Or will #SHOOTER hit a bull’s eye and add himself to that title picture?
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/30/22)
The Acclaimed are on a Rampage!
Everyone LOVES the NEW AEW World Tag Team Champions, The Acclaimed! Except for the Andrade Family Office! Will Max Caster & Anthony Bowens lose their titles after just getting them?
- AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade; The Acclaimed win and retain the titles.
- Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol; Moriarty wins.
- Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale; Hayter wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds; Rush wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade!
The Open Challenge was answered in a big, BIG way! Max Caster & Anthony Bowens aren’t just facing one team, but TWO teams, both under the Andrade Family Office. Will Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy and the menacing mercenaries make El Idolo proud? Or will it be a Mic Drop from the #ForeverChampions?
Justin Roberts makes the introductions before The Acclaimed make their entrance. “Yo! Listen! Listen! Yo! Yo! Everybody loves the new champions. Even Adam Lavine was in our DMs! Philly knows Private Party sucks! Y’all need to hop off Matt Hardy’s nuts. Tonight, yo, our hands go up. Y’all’re losers, and that’s why your band broke up. Y’know Acclaimed been winning. We run your who team into the ground like Ben Simmons!” Bowens takes over to say, “PHILADELPHIAAAA~! The Acclaimed have arrived! SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” And they do! But will Platinum Max & the Five Tool Player stay golden with the odds stacked against them?
In this kind of Triple Threat Tag, only two teams are active at any time, so Bowens steps up against Kassidy. The fans sing “OH~ Scissor Me, Daddy~!” for The Acclaimed. Matt Hardy is watching backstage, quietly cheering on Private Party. Bowens and Kassidy circle, tie up, and Bowens wrenches an arm. Kassidy rolls, kips up, wrenches back, and has a wristlock. Bowens slips through, wrenches back to a hammerlock, spin and snapmare to a ghost pin, TWO! Kassidy gets a backslide, TWO! Bowens runs in but Kassidy sweeps the legs to a cover, ONE! Bowens returns the favor, ONE as Kassidy goes Matrix! But Bowens schoolboys, TWO!
Things speed up, Kassidy RANAS Bowens, and fans are torn while Kassidy talks trash. But Butcher & Blade tell Kassidy to focus and he rushes Bowens, only for Bowens to ELBOW, JAB, CHOP and SUPERK- NO, Kassidy goes Matrix again! Bowens says it was that close. Kassidy offers a handshake, Bowens shakes hands to show respect, but then Butcher & Blade reach out for a tag. Kassidy says no way, homies. He swings on Bowens but Bowens gets around and puts him in the Acclaimed corner! Caster tags in, Bowens feeds Kassidy to a takedown. Caster then shifts to get a leg, he stomps it, and he makes scissor fingers.
Caster drags Kassidy up, ducks his haymaker to CHOP and DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Caster SCISSORS Billy! Caster brings Kassidy up to a headlock but Kassidy powers out. Bowens sneaks a tag, Caster sunsets and Bowens runs in, NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up, Quen runs in but Caster tackles him. Bowens goes up top and Caster drags Quen over. Bowens says it’s scissor time! SCISSOR LEG DROP! Fans fire up while Private Party regroups. But then Butcher & Blade attack! The ref reprimands but they don’t care, they’ve had it with the champs! Blade stomps Bowens, Butcher stomps Cater, then they drag Kassidy over to their corner.
Blade tags in, he drags Kassidy up but Kassidy fires off hands! Blade knees low, he whips Kassidy to the ropes but Quen is there for some SILLY STRING- NO, Blade SHOVES Kassidy down to the floor! And Butcher BLASTS Quen for good measure! But Bowens fires off on them both! Haymakers and CHOPS back and forth, but he runs into a DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Butcher DECKS Caster while fans boo and Billy protests. The mercs mug Bowens while AEW goes picture in picture.
Blade digs his boot in, tags Butcher, and Butcher digs a knee in. The ref counts, Butcher lets off, but he drags Bowens up to CHOP! Bowens staggers away but Butcher stays on him. Cover, TWO! Butcher knees Bowens in the back, tags Blade, but Bowens fights back again. Blade CLAWS Bowens’ eyes! The ref reprimands but Blade whips Bowens to ropes to LARIAT! Blade mocks the scissor fingers, and he SLAMS Bowens’ arm down. Blade taunts Caster then goes back to Bowens. Bowens kicks from below! And fires off haymakers! Blade rakes Bowens’ eyes again! Blade drags Bowens up, reels him in, and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO!
Blade is annoyed but he drags Bowens up again. Rampage returns to single picture as fans rally. Bowens endures a chinlock but he fights his way up. Bowens throws body shots, runs, but Blade hits a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Blade drags Bowens up, scoops him, and he carries him over to tag Butcher. The mercs combine for a LEG DROP SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, TWO! Bowens is still in this and Hardy tries to will Private Party back into this match. Butcher bumps Bowens off buckles, tags Blade, and Blade brings Bowens around. Bowens throws more body shots and forearms, but Blade ROCKS Bowens!
Blade runs, but Bowens ELBOWS, JABS, CHOPS, and SUPERKICKS! The Five Tool Combo finishes and Bowens crawls for his corner! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster first! Bowens dodges Butcher, BOOTS him away, but Caster is down! Bowens ELBOWS Butcher, runs in, but into a back drop! So Quen tags in! Quen GAMANGIRIS Butcher, springboards and CROSSBODIES Blade! Butcher runs in, Quen ducks to go up and up and QUEBRADA! Direct hit on Butcher! Blade pops Quen up but Quen DROPKICKS! Quen kips up and tags Kassidy! Private Party double whips Blade to a corner, Kassidy hurries to triangle jump STUNNER Butcher!
Quen sets up, Kassidy runs in, PARTY IN MOTION! Quen FLIES onto Butcher! Kassidy then feeds Blade to Quen and Kassidy goes up top! HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL!! Cover, Caster breaks it! Fans cheer as The Acclaimed are still in this but Hardy is stressed. Quen rushes Caster but Caster back drops him up and out! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster! Kassidy runs in, but into a fireman’s carry, TOSS to a GUTBUSTER! And then a gut wrench POWERBOMB! Cover, Bowens breaks it! Butcher tosses Bowens out now and the mercs drag Kassidy up. They double whip, Kassidy slips around and shoves them into each other!
Butcher falls out, Kassidy sends Blades out then takes aim. Bowens sneaks a tag as Kassidy springboards to PLANCHA! Down go the mercs! Caster climbs up now, to SUPER CROSSBODY everyone!! Fans are thunderous as Caster puts Blade in! Bowens fires up, THE ARRIVAL! The MIC DROP!! Cover, The Acclaimed win!!
Winners: The Acclaimed, by pinfall (still AEW World Tag Team Champions)
A massive first defense for Caster & Bowens, and they come away the champions! And they SCISSOR~! Will this victory only make the celebration on National Scissors Day that much bigger?
Backstage interview with The Firm.
Lexi Nair is trying to get a word with Stokely Hathaway and the Gunn Sons, Austin & Colten. They are talking among themselves but she speaks up. Austin & Colten had some “harsh words” for FTR last week. Oh, you mean Mr. Mustache and Mullet Man? Well, since the Gunn Sons get TV time and they don’t, Colten & Austin will gladly things. Austin wants to know how FTR holds the “Ring of Horror” tag titles- No, the Ring of Honor tag titles. Oh, right. Well, they also have the “Triple A Batteries” titles. No, no, Triple A. And the IWGP R2D2 titles. It’s just IWGP. But speaking of those, FTR is currently in London to defend those.
“Well, regardless,” Colten says, “they don’t have what we want, and that’s the AEW titles.” Austin says that’s right. Also, FTR has been holding on to their #1 contenders status for like eight years now and have yet to make moves! So the Gunns will make the move everyone else in AEW does, and that’s leap frog FTR to go right for the champs! Top Gunns, out! Will Austin & Colten’s need for speed get them to the top? Or will they crash ‘n’ burn against The Acclaimed?
Backstage interview with Jade Cargill & The Baddies.
Lexi Nair says that was an incredible win last week at Rampage: Grand Slam, where even hip hop legend, Trina, anointed Jade as the NEW “Baddest B*tch.” Jade knows that, “Lindsey.” But that’s besides the point. “All you whack ass, fat ass-” Leila Grey says Jade should chill out, but Jade says she’s gonna say what she wants! She’s so bored because AEW hasn’t brought her any kind of competition. But then Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir & Vickie Guerrero walk in. Vickie reminds Jade that the last time she faced Nyla, Jade won but didn’t pin her. That doesn’t matter! Jade beat Nyla! And Marina, too! Vickie has the Problem Solver stand down and Nyla speaks up.
“What’s the matter, Jade? I’m not one of your precious little numbers? Scared of a little one-on-one?” Oh, one on one? Okay, Jade will give Nyla what she wants, but on Jade’s time. Now get outta her face! Vickie takes off her scarf and throws it at Leila, telling her to cover herself up. The Vicious Vixens head out, and the Baddies wonder what’s wrong with how Leila’s dressed. Will the Native Beast be the one that finally ends the undefeated streak?
Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol!
Someone else with title aspirations is #TAIGASTYLE, who ditched Matt Sydal to join Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s faction on retainer. Moriarty wants the ROH Pure Championship around Daniel Garcia’s waist, but will he stomp out the Fire of the Sun first?
The bell rings and fans rally up. The two tie up, Moriarty headlocks and grinds then shifts to a cravat. Fuego endures but Moriarty pushes him down. Fuego keeps himself up, but Moriarty sweeps the arms to then roll Fuego into a snapmare cradle, TWO! Fuego gets up into a CHOP, headbutt and EuroUpper! Moriarty grins, he wrenches Fuego and whips, but Fuego reverses to mule kick! Fuego runs, handsprings over Moriarty’s dropdown, but Moriarty DROPKICKS Fuego down! Moriarty grins again while fans boo. Moriarty stomps Fuego at the ropes again and again until the ref counts. Moriarty lets off, to then stomp away again!
The ref counts, Moriarty lets off and Fuego goes to a corner. Moriarty runs in in to SHINING WIZARD! Moriarty reels Fuego into an arm-trap SAIDO SUPLEX! Moriarty mockingly applauds at the fans, then he looms over Fuego. Fans rally, Moriarty wrenches and hooks Fuego up, for a FACEBUSTER! Stokely likes what he sees as Moriarty clamps on the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Fuego taps, Moriarty wins!
Winner: Lee Moriarty, by submission
The fans boo as Moriarty holds on past the bell, and Moriarty lets go when Fuego stops tapping! Moriarty says this is HIS time, but Fuego’s not done suffering! Morrissey clamps on a claw and deadlifts Fuego by his head! And then holds him up with one arm! For a SKYSCRAPER CHOKE SLAM!!! Fuego just fell from the sky, will The Firm dominate AEW sooner rather than later?
Backstage interview with Hangman Page & The Dark Order.
Lexi Nair stands with The Cowboy, as well as Evil Uno & Preston Vance. She notes that last week on Rampage, Hangman won the Grand Slam Golden Ticket Battle Royal and is now headed to Cincinnati and an AEW World Championship match with Jon Moxley. Hangman says his match with Mox is just a few weeks away, and this is one Hangman has been looking forward to for a very long time. Uno says that everyone will be in Hangman’s corner for this. But wait, here come Andrade and Jose. Jose points out that if you look back, look what happened when Vance got eliminated. Jose uses his tablet to play the footage on the TV.
Jay Lethal triangle jumps, aiming for Hangman, but Hangman ducks and Vance takes the hit. Jose says it’s Hangman who eliminated Vance! Uno says that’s ridiculous logic. Andrade says he just wants to help Vance. This week is a big opportunity for Vance. What does Vance say to a 1v1? If Andrade wins, Vance gives up his mask. Deal? Vance shakes hands, but then he then pulls Andrade in. Vance has his own condition: If Vance beats Andrade, Andrade leaves AEW for good! High stakes between Number Ten and El Idolo, who wins for the Dynamite Anniversary?
But wait, the Firm walks in now? Stokely says they haven’t been snitching cuz they don’t like snitches, but… Jose says if Stokely wants to speak with El Idolo, he has to go through Jose. Oh, so Jose’s the boss? Ethan Page thought the boss was Andrade. And if he is, then maybe pay a little more attention to them. Be more firm with Private Party. Because Ethan knows there’s some “contract tampering” with their new-old friend, Matt Hardy. Stokely says that’s a bit messy. Andrade asks Jose what that’s about, and Jose does admit Hardy’s sniffing around. Will El Idolo crash the #HardyParty before it begins?
Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale!
These two got into it during the Lumberjack match on Dynamite, and now they’ll settle things here on Rampage! Is Hayter gonna hate on the ever energetic Willow? Or will Willow show everyone how to deal with a Hayter?
The bell rings and Hayter rushes Willow, but Willow dodges and hits a THESZ PRESS! Fast hands, but Hayter returns those! Willow gets back on top to rain down HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Fans fire up with Willow, and she waistlocks Hayter. Hayter switches, Willow switches, but Hayter stomps a foot. Hayter elbows Willow, runs and RAMS shoulders, but Willow stays up! Willow shakes her head and Hayter is annoyed. Hayter runs, she RAMS Willow again, but Willow stays up to flex! Fans rally for both Hayter and Willow, Hayter runs again but Willow follows to run her over!
Fans fire up, Willow scoops and SLAMS Hayter, for a SENTON! Willow sits Hayter up to run and BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Willow drags Hayter up. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect and Hayter survives. But Willow powers up, runs and CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” while Hayter goes to another corner. Willow runs in to CHOP again! Britt protests, the ref does count, and Willow whips. Hayter reverses, only for Willow to handspring through! But Hayter BOOTS Willow down! Rebel & Britt are happy now and Hayter HIP TOSSES Willow to a corner. Willow sits up, for the METEORA!
Hayter lets the ref check Willow while fans rally and duel. Rampage goes picture in picture as Britt talks trash on Willow. Willow swipes at her but Hayter drags Willow away. Hayter snap suplexes, covers, ONE! Hayter clamps on a chinlock and she leans on Willow. Willow endures, but Hayter thrashes her around! Hayter wrangles Willow but Willow fights up. Willow throws body shots, but Hayter throws her down by her hair! The ref reprimands but Hayter soaks up the heat. Hayter stomps Willow around, then drags her up to CLUB back down. Willow goes to ropes and Hayter storms over, but into a back elbow.
Hayter CLUBS Willow again and Willow goes to the corner. Hayter mocks the fans rallying up, then she brings Willow around to bump off buckles. And again! Britt likes what she sees but the ref reprimands. Hayter “apologizes” but it’s just a distraction so Britt can pull Willow’s foot against the crossbar! Willow gets free but Hayter storms up again. Hayter pulls Willow’s hair to grind her head into the ropes! The ref reprimands, Hayter lets off and she whips Willow corner to corner hard! Willow bounces off buckles and hits the mat, but Hayter digs her knee into Willow’s face. The ref reprimands, Willow pushes Hayter but Hayter CLUBS her down.
Hayter stands on Willow’s back to use her like a skateboard! Willow shakes Hayter off but then Hayter straddles Willow to CLUB away on her! Hayter drags Willow up to UPPERCUT against ropes. And CHOP! Hayter has control as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns, and Willow fireman’s carries Hayter! Hayter flails to get free, and she ripcords. Willow ducks the Hate Maker but Hayter elbows Willow away. Hayter then hits an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and fans fire up! Rebel and Britt are worried, but Hayter drags Willow up. Hayter CLUBS and ROCKS Willow, then gut wrenches. Willow slips off, shoves and POUNCES!! Hayter ends up flopping out of the ring! Britt is there to check Hayter and then claims that is cheating! But fans fire up with Willow and she brings down the straps! Willow goes out after Hayter and puts her in the ring.
Britt & Rebel are creeping, but Willow’s glare scares them away! Willow gets in the ring but Hayter stomps away on her! Hayter tells the booing fans to shut it, and then she drags Willow up. Hayter EuroUppers, then whips Willow. Willow reverses, fireman’s carries, and hits a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Hayter survives and Britt breathes easy. Willow stays positive and she goes up a corner. Fans fire up, but Hayter has the ref check her so that Britt can anchor Willow! Willow CLUBS Britt away but Hayter waistlocks! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Hayter holds on, ripcords, HATE MAKER!! Cover, Hayter wins!
Winner: Jamie Hayter, by pinfall
Hayter flexes but give a big assist to Britt Baker, DMD. With their friendship stronger than ever, will Hayter & Baker take over AEW?
Wardlow and Samoa Joe speak.
The AEW TNT Champion says, “Together, the power, and the mayhem, and the chaos is limitless.” The ROH World Television Champion says, “What stands before you is WARDJOE! It is a creed and it is a call, to all that battle, to all who seek to stand before all, that all will fall, and all who think they’re ready for what we will do… will be left wanting.” Will there be no stopping this Two TITAN Power Trip?
Ryan Nemeth is in the ring.
The Hollywood Hunk introduces himself, and he wants to set things straight. First off, Rocky Balboa is not real! Secondly, Ben Franklin was nothing but a two-pump chump who moved here to DIE. He will give Philly credit, they do have a long-standing wrestling tradition. What was it again? Extremely Crappy Wrestling? Is that what it was? Wait! Here comes HOOK! We were expecting to see the FTW Champion, and now he has even more of a reason to show up with someone talking crap on ECW. Hook gets in the ring to CLOBBER Nemeth! And then he drags Nemeth up to bump him off buckles, and then SAYANAGI with authority!
Hook then sits Nemeth up to give him CLUBBING crossface forearms! Nemeth is a ragdoll as it is but Hook puts on REDRUM!! Nemeth taps fast but passes out just as quickly! The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil just showed everyone you do NOT insult Extreme Championship Wrestling with him around. But wait, as Hook heads up the ramp, The Trustbusters walk out. Ari Daivari has Sonny Kiss and “Jeeves Kay” (AKA VSK) with him. And Jeeves, being the butler, has an invitation for Hook on a silver platter. Jeeves leaves it on the ground for Hook and the Trust Busters leave. Hook snatches up the letter and takes his leave, what is Daivari Dinero planning now?
AEW shares footage of Swerve’s visit to Rolling Loud NYC.
As Keith Lee let us know last Wednesday, Swerve had this prior engagement to attend, hence the champs defending against other teams. But despite the good time Swerve had with the hip hop and rap stars of today, he is still furious about that loss at Grand Slam. Will Swerve look to be the rock that smashes National Scissors Day this Wednesday?
AEW looks at Jon Moxley VS Hangman Page.
The Blue Eyed Battler says, “I remember this building. I remember Hangman Page.” That is to say, it was last year’s Dynamite Anniversary that these two did battle in the Casino Ladder Match. “They say he’s the future of AEW. Okay. I’m the present. I am the here and now.” The Cowboy says, “So I’ve won the Golden Ticket Battle Royal on Rampage and I am the #1 contender to the AEW World Championship.” Moxley says, “Cowboy Sh*t, right? Yeah, we’ll see.”
Hangman says, “The one thing that I need almost as much as the AEW World Championship, is the people. The people have always been behind me, they light a fire under me. They keep me going.” The cameraman hates to break this to Hangman, but their title match is in Cincy. “Aw, sh*t.” The Cowboy knows he’ll be walking in as the enemy, but will he find away around homefield advantage? Or will this title stay with the Blackpool Combat Club?
Mark Henry talks with tonight’s main eventers.
The World’s Strongest Man says to the Dark Order that LFI, La Faccion Ingobernables has been trying to poach Vance from them. How do they feel about that? And what is their course of action tonight? Silver says that honestly, LFI’s little man crush on Ten is starting to come off a little bit creepy. Alex Reynolds says that all this stuff, this poaching attempt, will not affect The Dark Order. They’re a real family, and they are one. And because of that, “Mr. Rush,” tonight the Meat Man beats you! Andrade says okay, “piqueno,” calm down. Tonight, LFI shows everyone who they are. They are winners! The Dark Order doesn’t deserve Ten!
Jose points out that Silver can’t ignore that Rush eliminated him from the Battle Royal. Rush tells the “little boy” that all this talk is too much. He’s not here to talk. Rush is here to fight! He’ll see you in the ring, perro! Andrade has Rush tranquilo and Mark Henry says it looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s time for the main event! Will Johnny Hungy prove LFI doesn’t win everything? Or will El Toro Blanco bulldoze through Silver to further damage the Dark Order?
BREAKING NEWS for Battle of the Belts 4!
After the controversial way The Bastard retained the title against Orange Cassidy, he must now defend the All-Atlantic Championship against Trent Beretta! And speaking of which, we hear from #JustTrent!
“Something my mom always told me growing up, ‘You never hit a man in the head with a hammer.’ Pac, you broke one of Sue’s rules. Orange, he’s not here. He’s hurt right now. And when you hurt one of our friends, we hurt you.” But legally, cuz they’re good boys. So in DC, Bastard, Trent’s gonna hurt you. “Hands in, boys.” Chuck Taylor, Danhausen and Rocky Romero put their hands in with Trent, this one’s for Orange!
Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds!
LFI wants to grow stronger by making the Dark Order weaker, and while Andrade takes on Vance in a Mask VS AEW Career match, this one is straight up about pride and machismo! Will Rush fire the first salvo in this faction warfare? Or will the Meat Man make ground beef outta El Toro Blanco?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Silver and Rush approach, and Philly cheers for “JOHNNY HUNGY!” Rush shoves Silver but Silver headlocks back. Rush throws hands, powers out, and runs Silver over. Rush stomps away, flexes to mock Silver, then runs. Silver stays low then hurdles to drop again. Rush leaps over, they both run, and Silver UPPERCUTS Rush out of the ring! Fans fire up as Silver flexes now. LFI regroups but Silver builds speed, only to roll and copy Tranquilo! LFI is furious now, and Andrade wants Rush to end Silver! Rush gets in, and he DECKS Silver with that right! Silver sits up in a daze, Rush stomps him back down.
Rush pretends to take something from Silver’s head, either a mask or his actual head, and he “punts” it into the crowd! The kick is good, and Rush goes back to Silver. Rush CHOPS Silver in a corner, CHOPS again, then whips corner to corner. Rush clotheslines then whips again to clothesline the other corner. Rush snapmares and basement dropkicks! Fans boo as Rush kips up to mock the #JoinDarkOrder hand. Silver goes to the apron and Reynolds checks on him, but Rush goes out to drag Silver of and whip him into railing! Rush then brings Silver around to throw hands, and he whips Silver into more railing!
Fans boo but Silver CHOPS and ROCKS Rush! Rush CHOPS back! Rush grabs camera cables but the ref reprimands. Rush snarls but he kicks Silver around. Rush puts Silver in the ring, tells everyone to tranquilo, but fans boo. Rush grits his teeth and gets in, he blocks a kick and he DECKS Silver again. Rush then stomps away on Silver in the corner! Rush runs corner to corner, only to stop short and BOOT Silver instead! Fans boo while Rush Tranquilos, and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Rush soaks up the heat, drags Silver up, but Silver throws hands. Rush HEADBUTTS Silver, then throws him out! It kinda catches Andrade by surprise, he was watching the crowd. Rush distracts the ref, and Andrade stomps Silver down! Andrade gets away and Rush soaks up more heat. Andrade mocks Silver, dares him to get up, and the ring count climbs. Silver drags himself up but Rush goes out after him, to SMACK him off the timekeeper’s table! And again! Then he CHOPS Silver onto the table! Silver gets up but Rush is after him again, to RAM him into the railing. Rush takes a water bottle to pour it out on his head, he’s getting hot in Philly.
Silver CHOPS back! And ROCKS Rush! Rush pulls Silver’s beard but Silver ROCKS him again. Rush grabs a trash bin and SMASHES Silver with it! Trash goes flying and Silver sputters. Rush stalks Silver back to the ring. The ref reprimands but Rush just shrugs it off. Silver CHOPS! Rush eggs Silver on so Silver CHOPS! Rush SLAPS Silver, then CHOPS him down! Silver sputters again but Rush kicks him around. Rush drags Silver onto the ropes to CHOKE him! The ref reprimands, Rush lets off at 4, and he argues with the ref. Rush drags Silver from ropes to say this is over. Rush goes up the corner, fans rally up, and Rush SUPER SENTONS but FLOPS!
Silver avoids disaster while Rush writhes! A standing count starts, Reynolds rallies the fans up for Silver, and Rampage returns to single picture as the Meat Man rises! Silver runs in to SPLASH Rush! Silver runs but Rush follows to SPLASH! Rush runs corner to corner but Silver follows to SPLASH again! Silver runs, but he suckers Rush in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rush gets up, swings, but into another GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up with Silver as he has a wild look in his eye! Silver drags Rush up, whips him to ropes but Rush reverses, only to jump into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Silver is seething!
The standing count is back while Rush is down but fans rally. Silver stands, snarls, and drags Rush up to suplex. Rush blocks, throws body shots and then pushes Silver. Silver KICKS! And KICKS! And runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! SUPERKICK! Silver wobbles into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rush can’t believe Silver survives and Andrade looks worried. Andrade tells Rush to finish this but Rush gives toying kicks to Silver. Silver stands and Rush eggs him on. Silver throws a forearm but Rush gives it back! Silver throws another but Rush does, too. Fans rally for Silver as the CHOPS start going back and forth!
Silver CHOPS, Rush DECKS Silver!! Rush snarls as he looms over Silver, then he runs, into a swing! But Rush gets around to backslide. Sliver slips off to KICK, KICK, SUPERKICK and BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Jose gets on the apron! But Reynolds YANKS Jose down! Jose clutches his knee after it bangs off the edge, but now Andrade distracts Silver. The ref reprimands Andrade, Silver tells Andrade to get in the ring then. But Andrade backs down and Rush SUPERMAN FOREARMS Silver down! Silver is sitting in the corner, Rush goes corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!
Winner: Rush, by pinfall
LFI gets the better of the Dark Order here tonight, Jose should get some kind of hazard pay for his assist. But then Andrade and Rush start stomping away on Silver! Reynolds gets in but he gets mugged, too! LFI has 3v2 advantage but here come Uno & Vance! They DECK Jose, fire off on Andrade, but Rush goes after Vance! Uno goes after Rush, but now Butcher & Blade rush out! The AFO are here to help their boss! Now the numbers are back in LFI’s favor! But wait! Here comes Hangman! The Cowboy dodges Andrade, BOOTS Blade, dumps Butcher out, then stares Rush down. They fire off hands, a revisit from how the Golden Ticket Battle Royal finished!
Hangman gets the edge with all his haymakers, then he whips. Rush reverses, Hangman goes up and out and loads up, but Rush bails out! Jose hobbles, Hangman figures what the hell. BUCKSHOT for the assistant! Rush is furious, and it is clear he and Hangman have unfinished business. So THIS JUST IN! Tony Khan makes it official for the Dynamite Anniversary episode! Hangman Page VS Rush 1v1! Will the Cowboy wrangle El Toro Blanco before taking on the AEW World Champion?
A great episode for Rampage to follow up Dynamite and the Grand Slam, as well as to help set up things for the anniversary week. The tag title match was a great opening match, and it did a great job propelling multiple stories. For one, Acclaimed retain, which I figured anyway. They’re surely going to defend against Austin & Colten next, since the Gunns called them out while also calling FTR out. Acclaimed will win there, too, and who knows how it goes with FTR. I don’t wanna say Tony Khan booked himself into a corner, but he’s come close. FTR can’t really lose since they have THREE different tag titles, but The Acclaimed are so popular that it’d be a shame if they lost.
Good segment from The Baddies and the Vixens. Nice character work with Jade; she wants stronger competition yet is hesitant when such a competitor steps up. Nyla VS Jade will be a great match, and with both Marina and Vickie, they’ll be able to cancel out with Kiera and Leila, meaning Nyla will have a fair(er) shot than most. Moriarty gets a quick win off Fuego, but the big thing is Moriarty’s new Heel aggression and Morrissey also getting his in. Assuming Garcia leaves the Jericho Appreciation Society to go full Face, he and Moriarty are gonna have one hell of a feud and match. Also I like that The Firm has to be the one to tell Andrade about Hardy wanting Private Party back, it adds another dimension to that faction’s identity.
Really good promo from #WARDJOE, and I like the idea that they’re going to be some new kind of Two Man Power Trip. They might not go for the ROH tag titles since FTR are technically Wardlow’s pals, but that also adds to the complexities of the AEW tag title picture. Unless Wardlow & Joe each go for other singles titles instead. That could be a way around it, especially with Jericho wanting to bury former ROH World Champions. Jericho VS Joe would be some awesome stuff. Hook whooping Nemeth was also pretty awesome. But I bet with the Trustbusters’ invitation to Hook, the options are A) join the Trustbusters or B) put up the FTW title. And I think we know which one Hook will choose.
Great stuff from Hayter VS Willow, fans love them both and those two can go. Again, there was wasted potential in just doing away with Hayter VS Britt as a feud. But whatever, Britt helps Hayter win, Hayter can have momentum while Britt’s nose heals up, and then we wait and see if they ever/never circle back to a feud. I mean, it could work, with Britt getting jealous of Hayter being just as beloved by the fans and getting opportunities for titles. Glad to see the feud of Death Triangle VS Best Friends continues, as now Trent gets a shot at Pac for Battle of the Belts IV. Not sure Trent wins that one, but it’ll be an awesome match.
And I like what we’re getting out of the LFI VS Dark Order feud. Good promo segment to set up Andrade VS Vance, but I don’t see Andrade leaving AEW so he’ll be taking Vance’s mask. Rush VS Silver was a great main event, but of course Heels win with Heel tactics. Reynolds and Jose should’ve been more careful with that apron trip-up spot, though, that was not a clean drop. Of course we get a brawl, and of course Hangman helps the Dark Order. Hangman VS Rush 1v1 is going to be an awesome match for the anniversary show, and it’ll help Hangman get some momentum going into the title match in Cincy. Great promo from him and Moxley, too, and Hangman was perfectly in character realizing he’s going to be at a disadvantage.
My Score: 8.7/10
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