NJPW can’t wait to get on the road again!
The Summer Struggle is over, but NJPW is picking up speed into Autumn! Who takes pole position for the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Round Robin Tournament?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado; Taguchi & Wato win.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori & Gedo; Takahashi & BUSHI win.
PLAY BY PLAY
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado!
Minoru Suzuki has the NEVER Openweight Championship and the Dangerous Tekkers still have the IWGP Heavyweight Championships. With Roppongi 3K vacating the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, Kanemaru and Desperado want to jump back on them! Will Suzuki-Gun get even more gold at the end of the New Japan Road?
The teams sort out and we start with Wato calling out Kanemaru. Fans cheer as we get Jingu revisited, and Wato fires off at the bell! He kicks and elbows Kanemaru but Kanemaru hits back and rakes eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kanemaru clubs and runs. Wato hurdles, back elbows, kicks and sobats! Fans cheer as Wato elbows and whips Kanemaru corner to corner. Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Wato shoulders Kanemaru away, BOOTS Desperado, then throws forearms. Wato springboards but Desperado trips him up! Kanemaru sucker punches Taguchi and Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi on the far side.
Tenzan protests but Desperado gets in his face. A ring count begins, Wato gets up at 4 and crawls over at 8, to get in at 10 of 20. Kanemaru is on Wato to suplex him high and hard! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru stomps Wato, drags him back up and dig an elbow into his neck! Tag to Desperado and Desperado stands on Wato’s head. Red Shoes reprimands but Desperado talks trash to Wato. Desperado stays on Wato’s head without holding ropes, then lets up to bring Wato up. Wato CHOPS back, but Desperado shrugs it off. Desperado slaps Wato around, Wato CHOPS and CHOPS, but Desperado rakes eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Desperado tags Kanemaru.
Kanemaru drags Wato to the apron, Taguchi runs at Desperado but his kick is blocked! Desperado kicks Taguchi while Kanemaru DYNAMIC DROPKICKS Wato in the head! Red Shoes reprimands them both but Kanemaru puts Wato back on the apron for a stiff elbow! Desperado holds Wato in place for Kanemaru’s guillotine knee drop! Kanemaru drags Wato to center, covers, TWO! Fans cheer Wato on but Kanemaru puts him in a camel clutch! Desperado intercepts Taguchi at the ropes, Taguchi fights but is put in a chinbar and armlock. Wato endures, fights out of the clutch and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki-Gun stands down but Kanemaru digs his heel into Wato’s head. Red Shoes counts as Kanemaru is on the ropes so Kanemaru stops at 3.
Kanemaru stomps Wato, fans rally up for the young GrandMaster, and Wato CHOPS back! Kanemaru eggs Wato on so Wato CHOPS again! Kanemaru enziguris Wato down! Tag to Desperado, Desperado taunts Taguchi before he drags Wato up. Desperado scoops and slams Wato hard and fast! Desperado drags Wato up for another fast scoop slam! Then he DECKS Taguchi! But he runs into Wato’s back drop! Fans cheer but Wato has no one to tag now! Tenzan checks on Taguchi but Desperado stomps Wato. Desperado drags Wato away, whips him to ropes but Wato reverses to jumping sobat! Fans fire up as Wato and Desperado crawl! Hot tag to Taguchi!
Kanemaru gets in but gets a hip attack! Taguchi powers up the Funky Weapon to hit hip attack after hip attack on Desperado and Kanemaru. Taguchi fakes Desperado out for a TRIANGLE PLANCHA! The fans are fired up with Taguchi as he drags Desperado up and into the ring. Desperado flounders up as Taguchi springboards but Desperado gets under. Taguchi comes back but misses in the corner! Desperado runs into a boot, but counters the Funky Weapon with an atomic drop! Desperado runs in but Taguchi boots! Taguchi fakes Desperado out this time! And then when Desperado runs in, HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO! Taguchi keeps his cool as he drags Desperado by his leg.
Taguchi drops a leg on the knee, then clamps on an ANKLE LOCK! Desperado flails, reaches, but Taguchi keeps him from the ropes! Taguchi reels Desperado into chicken wings but Desperado desperately resists! Taguchi gets both arms, for DODON- NO! Desperado victory rolls, but Taguchi sits on it! TWO!! Taguchi mule kicks and runs but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR!! Both men are down, fans fire up and Desperado rolls, tag to Kanemaru! Kanemaru hurries after Taguchi, whips him corner to corner, and then runs in, but Taguchi elbows back. Taguchi runs but whiffs with the hip attack! Basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!!
Taguchi survives but Kanemaru keeps on him. Kanemaru back suplexes for a BIG atomic drop! But Taguchi tanks it?! Kanemaru attacks his butt but Taguchi just powers up! Taguchi fires up and eggs Kanemaru on! Kanemaru runs, but he fakes Taguchi’s Discus Hip out! But then Taguchi jumps again to hip attack Kanemaru down! Both men are down and fans are fired up! Hot tag to Wato! Wato drags Kanemaru up, whips him corner to corner but Kanemaru reverses. Wato goes up and out and shoulders back in. Wato forearms Kanemaru away, springboard flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Wato keeps going and fans rally behind him. Wato wrenches, hooks Kanemaru up, but Kanmearu resists the Mouse Trap!
Wato kicks and whips, Kanemaru reverses and Desperado cheap shots! Kanemaru dropkicks Wato down, Desperado brings him up fast, dropkick back suplex combo! Kanmearu keeps going, scoop to dragon sleeper, INVERTED DDT! Cover, TWO!! Wato lives and fans cheer but Kanemaru keeps his focus. Kanemaru goes up while Desperado whips Taguchi into railing. FLYING DDT!! Cover off Deep Impact, but Taguchi returns to break it! Desperado goes after Taguchi and throws him out. Kanemaru scoops Wato, but Wato blocks the suplex. Wato ducks to SPINNING CRANE KICK! Fans fire up as both men flounder to opposite corners. Desperado gets in, drags Wato up and SLAPS him! And SLAPS!
Desperado shouts to Kanemaru but Taguchi springboards in, MISSILE HIP ATTACK! Taguchi calls upon the powers of Strong Style, BUM-A-YE!! Wato hurries after Kanemaru, wrench and hook, MOUSE TRAP DRIVER!! Cover, but Desperado breaks it! Taguchi and Wato grab a man each, but Kanemaru victory roll counters! Taguchi breaks it in time but that means letting Desperado go! Desperado DECKS Taguchi, goes after Wato, but Wato dumps him out and sweeps the legs! Taguchi adds a HIP ATTACK! Taguchi and Wato coordinate on Kanemaru, but Kanemaru fights out. Wato ROUNDHOUSES Kanemaru! And FLIES out onto Desperado! Wato is on fire as he and Taguchi coordinate again. DODON BUSTER to CORKSCREW SENTON!! Cover, Taguchi and Wato win!!
Winners: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato, by pinfall; 1-0 in the tournament, Suzuki-Gun is 0-1
An incredible start to this round robin! Wato and Taguchi rise up as the former champions drop down! Who joins Taguchi and Wato at the top of this block?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori & Gedo!
Speaking of Junior Heavyweight gold, the Ticking Timebomb lost his singles championship to the Bone Soldier, but he won’t let him have any more! Will Hiromu and Bushi bring these belts back to LIJ? Or will Gedo help Taiji become Mr. Junior Heavyweight?
The teams sort out and, after the Low Sweet and LIJ fist bump, it’s Bushi and Gedo to start. They slowly circle as fans rally up. Gedo and Bushi end up in the opposite corners, Gedo spots Hiromu sneaking in while Bushi is ready for Taiji! Bushi DECKS Taiji while Hiromu stays back. Bushi then kicks Gedo low, Hiromu comes in and they double whip. Hiromu mule kicks, Bushi dropkicks a leg out and Hiromu basement dropkicks Gedo in the head! Taiji gets in, kicks Bushi and runs, but LIJ hurdles him to kick low and shotgun dropkick! Taiji bails out, Gedo returns, and Bushi pulls on Gedo’s beard! Red Shoes counts, Bushi lets go with one hand. Red Shoes counts again, Bushi YANKS on the beard!
Gedo drops to his knees but he still has beard hair, but then Bushi grabs on the beard again. Tag to Hiromu, he climbs up, and fans cheer as Hiromu drops ax handles on the beard! Hiromu “apologizes” to Gedo but then grabs the beard himself! And swings Gedo around and around by it! Hiromu lets go and Gedo tumbles to a corner! Hiromu drags Gedo back up by the beard! Bushi comes in, they double whip Gedo and then double hip toss to TU LO SABE! Hiromu swings on Taiji but Taiji stays back. Hiromu corner clotheslines and snapmares Gedo for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hiromu paces, drags Gedo up by his beard again, and Red Shoes counts. Hiromu YANKS then fireman’s carries! Gedo bails out, Taiji SEATED SENTONS!
Taiji knocks Bushi off the apron before going back to his corner. Tag and Taiji goes after Hiromu with a rain of rights. Taiji puts Hiromu on the ropes to choke! Red Shoes counts, Taiji lets go at 4, but then snapmares Hiromu down for a neck crank! Taiji claws at Hiromu’s neck and shoulders and even smothers him into the mat! Hiromu endures as Taiji clamps on harder, but Gedo is untying the buckles! Taiji lets go of Hiromu to clobber Bushi again. Taiji dumps Hiromu out, scares Red Shoes, and Gedo uses his leather belt to LASH Hiromu on the back! And then on the front! And again on the back! Gedo keeps whipping Hiromu with his belt, but lets up when Red Shoes finally gets away from Taiji.
Taiji fetches Hiromu into the ring, covers, but Red Shoes knows about the foul play so he won’t count. Taiji paces in frustration before he drags Hiromu up. Taiji wrenches, Hiromu CHOPS and CHOPS back! Taiji kicks low, then whips Hiromu into the exposed buckles! Gedo and Taiji mock Hiromu as Taiji stands on Hiromu’s arm. Taiji slams the other arm off the mat, then tags in Gedo. Gedo drags Hiromu up, wrenches and double wristlocks Hiromu to the mat. Hiromu endures, reaches for ropes and gets a ropebreak with his foot! Gedo complains as he lets go, then drags Hiromu up to wrench back to a hammerlock. He throws Hiromu shoulder first into the bare buckles! Hiromu scrambles away, Gedo hurries after him and mocking asks, “Where’re you going?”
Tag to Taiji and they go after the bad arm. Taiji wrenches the bad arm back to a hammerlock, wrangles Hiromu to the mat, and knees away on the bad shoulder! Taiji grinds on the hammerlock but fans rally up. Hiromu endures as Taiji drags Hiromu up and throws him back into the bare buckles! Taiji keeps Hiromu up and tags in Gedo. Gedo elbows the shoulder then wrenches on the hammerlock again. Hiromu fights up, fights back with body shots, but Gedo pulls hair! Gedo whips Hiromu into the bare buckles! Hiromu writhes as Gedo mockingly tells him, “Get up.” Fans rally as Gedo toys with Hiromu. Hiromu slowly gets up as Gedo keeps kicking at him. Hiromu fires back but Gedo rakes the eyes! Gedo kicks low but Hiromu catches it, for a DRAGON SCREW!
Both men are down and fans rally up! Hiromu crawls, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi climbs up and aims at Gedo, missile dropkick! Bushirooni, but Taiji attacks! Taiji and Gedo double whip, Bushi ducks the clothesline and shoves Gedo into Taiji, for a DOUBLE-RANA! Taiji bails out, Bushi spins Gedo for a DDT! Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool and drags Gedo back up. Fisherman’s neckbreaker denied, Gedo pokes Bushi in the eye! Gedo whips but Bushi comes back with a huricanrana! Gedo bails out but Taiji gets in to KNEE Bushi down! Taiji tags in then aims and runs corner to corner, double knees! Taiji snapmares and SHINING WIZARDS Bushi! Cover, TWO! YES LOCK! Bushi scrambles around and gets the ropebreak with his foot! Taiji lets go in frustration but drags Bushi back up.
Taiji gut wrenches but Bushi fights out and waistlocks. Taiji elbows free and runs, but into Bushi’s dropkick! Fans cheer while both men are down. Hiromu is back and gets the tag! Hiromu whips, forearms and puts Taiji on the ropes to kick the ropes! Hiromu runs and shotgun dropkicks Taiji down! Fans cheer as Hiromu has Taiji in the fireman’s carry. Taiji fights out, shoves Hiromu to an open corner and runs in. Hiromu dodges, comes back and corner clotheslines! Hiromu runs but Taiji shotgun dropkicks him down! Taiji runs corner to corner, Hiromu OVERHEAD throws him, but Taiji lands on the ropes! But Hiromu grabs him for a bomb, only for Taiji to rana counter!
Taiji runs, blocks Hiromu’s boots and puts him on the ropes to enziguri! Taiji runs side to side, SLIDING GERMAN! Taiji is fired up and fans can’t help but cheer as he takes aim at Hiromu. Taiji says bang, but Hiromu denies Bloody Cross to fireman’s carry. Taiji lands on out of the swing, blocks the superkick and KNEES back! Taiji runs, into Hiromu’s clothesline! Hiromu runs, Taiji reel shim in, SNAP GERMAN! But Hiormu is right up to GERMAN Taiji back! Fans cheer as both men flounder up and double clothesline! Neither falls, Hiromu runs but Taiji LARIATS! Now both men are down, and Gedo sucker punches Bushi! Gedo facelocks Bushi to grind him down!
Fans rally up as Taiji and Hiromu both stand. Taiji runs at Hiromu, tilt-o-whirl but Hiromu blocks and throws him off. Hiromu standing switches, ducks the elbow but misses the clothesline, tilt-o-whirl takedown! YES LOCK!! Hiromu endures, Gedo keeps Bushi out but Bushi gets away. Bushi attacks Taiji but Gedo attacks the mask! Gedo throws Bushi out, Hiromu scrambles and crawls, but Taiji shifts to roll him away from ropes! Taiji wants to relock but Bushi gets in to stomp him down! Bushi cheers Hiromu on before going back to his corner. Hiromu rolls but ends up in the open corner. Taiji runs but Hiromu OVERHEAD throws him into buckles this time! Both men are down and the fans rally up! Hiromu reaches, hot tags to Bushi and Gedo!
Bushi dodges Gedo but swings into a CROSSFACE! Gedo cranks back on Bushi’s head and neck, but Bushi crawls and reaches, and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Gedo holds on until Red Shoes counts 3! Gedo drags Bushi back up, jawbreaker and SUPER- NO! Bushi blocks the kick, gives a kick but Gedo blocks that. Bushi enziguris but Gedo ducks it, only for Bushi to come back with the heel kick! Gedo bails out, Bushi builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit into the railing! The fans fire up as Bushi drags the wrecked Gedo back into the ring. Bushi drags Gedo up and fisherman NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Gedo survives but Bushi calls for the end!
Bushi goes up the corner, fans rally up as he calls for it, but Taiji intercepts the MX with a CODE BREAKER! Hiromu gets in, Taiji dodges him to come back, only to get a POP-UP BOMB! Hiromu swings into Gedo’s COMPLETE SHOT! All four men are down and the fans rally up! Red Shoes checks on all four men but they’re okay to continue. Hiromu and Taiji bail out, Gedo is in the blue corner. Bushi runs in but Gedo dodges, Bushi stops short to avoid buckles and Gedo rolls him up! WITH TIGHTS! TWO, and Gedo is frustrated! Gedo waits for Bushi, to mule kick! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!
Taiji blasts Hiromu off the apron and intimidates Red Shoes again. Gedo gets his brass knuckles! Gedo aims at Bushi, but Bushi ducks and enziguris! Bushi gets Taiji for a BACKSTABBER! Then a CODE BREAKER for Gedo! Cover, TWO!! Gedo survives but Bushi says he’ll finish this! Bushi goes back to a corner, climbs back up, and leaps! Gedo ducks MX, pokes eyes and swings Bushi into Red Shoes! Gedo whips and pops Bushi up for a LOW BLOW! Then GEDO CLUTCH!! Cover, but Hiromu breaks it in time! Taiji runs in to shotgun dropkick Hiromu out! Taiji then TRIANGLE MOONSAULTS, but Hiromu catches him for a SLAM!
Hiromu goes after Gedo, SUPERKICK! Gedo wobbles, Hiromu holds him, Bushi sunset flips over them both, SUNSET GERMAN!! LIJ fires up and the fans join in! Hiromu and Bushi drag Gedo up in a double wheelbarrow, for a DOUBLE FACEBUSTER! Bushi covers, LIJ wins!!
Winners: Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI, by pinfall; 1-0, Bullet Club drops to 0-1
An incredible main event to close the first round! Taiji is far away from being Mr. Junior Heavyweight at this point, will he and Gedo recover in the next round? As for LIJ, will they continue on and give Hiromu his first time with the tag titles?
Bushi gets the mic for LIJ and shouts at Gedo and Taiji to say, “Too bad!” But Hiromu and Bushi won. “This league has just gotten started, but we’re going to win again tomorrow, and it’ll be our voices ending the evening!” EN SERIO, MAJIDE! LIJ really, really means it, but will they make it happen?
This Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship is going to go fast but it’s going to be great with how these two opening round matches went. I was surprised Wato and Taguchi won, but with three rounds before the finals, they could easily lose the last two to give LIJ and Bullet Club wins. Wato’s story should also really stay to going through the Suzuki-Gun ranks. He beat Douki, needs a proper 1v1 rematch with Kanemaru, and then could face Desperado as the heavyweights focus on the G1 Climax. I feel like the favorites are LIJ. Hiromu lost the singles title but he could get his first tag title reign alongside Bushi, as was probably the plan before Hiromu got injured. I also liked that Bushi was the one to give the promo, I don’t think I’ve seen him get that opportunity very often.
My Score: 8.5/10
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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