Welcome to the AEW Rampage review. This show was taped on Wednesday in Cincinnati after the live Dynamite show.
This is AEW Rampage from the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
The Rampage intro video aired with some pyro going off on the stage. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show with Mark Henry, Taz and Tony Schiavone. JR is filling in for absent Excalibur (getting married) and Tony filling in for Chris Jericho.
The wrestlers were already in the ring to start the first match.
Andrade El Idolo (w/Chavo Guerrero Jr.) vs. “The Bastard” Pac
This is Andrade’s second match in AEW after starting 1-0. It started as a slugfest as they exchanged forearms, Andrade bounced off the ropes and hit a shoulder tackle. Pac dropped down after running the ropes, so Andrade hit him with a dropkick. Pac got some offense going with an armdrag, then a running headscissors to send Andrade out of the ring and Pac hit a twisting dive over the top onto Andrade on the floor. Pac makes it look so easy. Pac whipped Andrade into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Pac with chops for a snapmare into a one count. When Pac ran the ropes, Andrade hit him with a running boot to the face. Andrade jumped over the top with a DDT on the ring apron, which is the hardest part of the ring as we know. Pac was on the floor, so Andrade jumped off the middle rope with a twisting plancha onto Pac on the floor. That was a sweet move. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. They battled by the turnbuckle, Pac was upside down against the turnbuckle and Andrade did a double foot stomp with Andrade bumping to the floor right on his feet. That looks as painful as the move because that’s not a good bump to take on your legs. Anyway, Pac collapsed to the floor with Tony telling us it was a 90-second commercial break.
Andrade with a backbreaker into an elbow drop. Andrade with a slit-legged moonsault off the top for a two count. They went up top, Andrade wanted a move off the shoulders, but then Pac turned it into a hurricanrana off the crowd. Pac with a pump kick, Andrade got a back on him and then Pac hit a superkick. Both guys were down selling. Pac with forearms while Andrade was on the apron, Pac wanted a sunset flip Powerbomb, but Andrade did a moonsault onto his feet. Pac with a superkick. Andrade went for a double foot stomp by the turnbuckle again, Pac moved and then Pac hit a top rope moonsault onto the upper body of Andrade. Pac does that move a lot better than Andrade’s fiancée Charlotte Flair. She’s good, but Pac is so amazing in the air since he hit his body on Andrade whereas Charlotte’s version just hits the arm on the body. They were back in the ring with Pac hitting a 450 Splash off the top rope for a two count because Andrade got his right hand on the bottom rope to break the count. Pac up top, Andrade avoided it and did a handspring into a Pele Kick to the head. Pac avoided the DDT, then a snap German Suplex and an overhead belly to belly suplex into the corner! That was so good. Andrade caught Pac on his shoulders, but then turned it into a crucifix pin attempt for two. Pac applied the Brutalizer submission on the mat, Andrade’s random suit buddy “Jose” got on the apron with a taser or something. Lucha Bros went down to the ring to knock out Jose, which the referee was looking at and that allowed Chavo hit Pac with a double axe handle. Chavo may have had an object. Andrade got the cover for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade El Idolo
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a great match. I didn’t like the finish, so that will keep it under four stars. They got a lot of time, each guy hit some big moves and you got the feeling that it could end at any time. I assume if they got to do the match at All Out then it might have gone this long too. Andrade really got to show off what he can do, which is nice because AEW barely books him in matches since it’s only his second match. I like Pac more as a heel, but he’s still one of my favorite performers in AEW. It would have been better if Andrade picked up Pac and hit his double underhook DDT because then it looks like a more devastating win instead of the cheap win. The cheap finish was likely done to protect Pac and set up a rematch soon.
Post match, Chavo had an iPad in his hand, so I guess that’s what he hit Pac with. Jose told Andrade what happened. Andrade hugged Chavo and then he hit Chavo with a forearm. Andrade didn’t like that. Lucha Bros hit Chavo with a double superkick. Chavo was sent into the ring and applied the Brutalizer on Chavo, who was screaming in pain. Pac held on for about 30 seconds while Chavo was hurting in the ring.
Analysis: I guess that’s the end of Chavo as the manager of Andrade. Perhaps they are bringing in Ric Flair to put him with future son-in-law Andrade. I don’t know what the plan is, but it makes sense.
A Darby Allin and Sting interview was next.
Let’s Hear from Darby Allin and Sting
Darby Allin and “Uncle” Sting made an entrance to a good reaction from the crowd. Tony Schiavone was in the ring for the interview. Allin didn’t like Tully saying that Sting was riding Darby’s coattails. Darby called Shawn Spears a “generic piece of shit” and said without Tully, he is absolutely nothing. Sting took the microphone from Tony. Sting screamed out loud to a big pop. Sting mentioned Tully rode Slick Ric and Arn Anderson’s coattails for years. Sting wondered why should they wait, why not do it in Cincy?
Tully Blanchard showed up on the stage for a promo. Tully said he was never the guy that rode coattails. While that was going on, Shawn Spears showed up for a cheap attack by pulling Allin out of the ring. Spears hit a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Blanchard celebrated it saying that was just like they planned it.
Analysis: It’s a way to give Allin a win over Shawn Spears and then they have Sting face Tully to cater to the older fans.
Comments from Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson
There was a promo from Adam Cole talking about how The Elite was a brotherhood that was special. Cole said that they showed how powerful they really are. Cole said he trusts them with his life and they trust him. Cole said that Christian Cage and Bryan Danielson are special, they are respected and they have an incredible body of work, but they won’t be able to keep up with him. Cole noted that he wasn’t even in his prime yet, and he’ll wipe the floor with Bryan Danielson. Speaking of Danielson, he said that The Elite is insecure. Danielson said he’s going after Kenny Omega and he’s seen how great he is. Danielson spoke about how he’s excited to get in the ring to wrestle. Danielson would love Kenny to be his first match and if not then it can be somebody else. Bryan: “I’m here, and I’m game. Let’s go.”
Analysis: Good short videos featuring two big AEW newcomers. I’d love to see a Cole vs. Danielson feud at some point. I’m sure it’s coming, but they might want to go to Omega vs. Danielson first.
The trio of AEW Women’s Champion Dr. Britt Baker, Rebel and Jamie Hayter made their entrance. The babyface team of Ruby Soho, Riho, and alien girl Kris Statlander were the opponents.
Dr. Britt Baker, Rebel & Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho, Riho & Kris Statlander (w/Orange Cassidy)
Riho with a dropkick on Baker rocked the champion a bit. Statlander tagged in with a powerslam on her All Out opponent Baker. Rebel tagged in and took a dropkick from Statlander. Riho with repeated kicks on Rebel, who tagged out to bring in Hayter. Riho hit the 619 kick on Hayter for the two count. Rebel got in a cheap shot that the referee didn’t see, so Hayter hit a suplex. Hayter sent Riho into the turnbuckle to work her over a bit.
Hayter was in control of Riho, who managed to kick Hayter away and Ruby tagged in for the first time. Ruby with a back elbow, a running kick and an STO trip for two. Statlander tagged in with Hayter hitting a backbreaker on her. Rebel in for nothing, so Statlander hit a double suplex on Hayter and Rebel. Statlander got a pin attempt on Rebel, but Baker was there to break it up with double knees. Baker with a thrust kick. Statlander with a Falcon Arrow slam on Baker. Riho on Statlander’s shoulders, Rebel covered Baker to protect her and Riho hit a double foot stomp. Riho hit a dive off the top onto Hayter on the floor. Ruby was in with a Riott Kick on Rebel for the pinfall win. It got about nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho, Riho & Kris Statlander
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average tag team match. The first part wasn’t that interesting, but it got better by the end. The problem with Rebel being in a tag team match is that it’s obvious she’s the one that is going to get beat, so it becomes predictable. Anyway, Ruby picking up another win was the obvious result here.
This Wednesday on Dynamite in Newark, NJ:
* Adam Cole vs. Frankie Kazarian. That should be Cole’s first AEW win.
* Jade Cargill vs. Leyla Hirsch. Cargill should get the victory.
* Darby Allin vs. Shawn Spears. Darby gets the win.
The AEW Dynamite Grand Slam show on September 22 will have Malakai Black face a returning Cody Rhodes.
There was a split-screen interview between Brian Pillman Jr. and Max Caster with Anthony Bowens. Mark Henry asked them about the match. Caster and Bowens talked trash like heels. Pillman said we know Caster can talk, but he plans on outwrestling him. Pillman said that he’s in his hometown of Cincinnati and he’ll come at him at 100 miles an hour. That match is next.
The Acclaimed duo of Max Caster with Anthony Bowens entered for the main event. Caster did a pre-match promo referencing famous Cincinnati people and ripping on the women in Cincy. When Caster was about to say a swear word, Bowens had a good line about how Caster has to watch himself since he’s on thin ice. That’s funny. Brian Pillman Jr. made his entrance alone in some Cincinnati Bengals colors and got a big pop.
Max Caster (w/Anthony Bowens) vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
Pillman tackled Caster to start, then Caster to the floor and Pillman hit a running dropkick on the floor. Back in the ring, Caster manipulated the referee, so Bowens pulled Pillman down to the floor. Caster suplexed Pillman onto the edge of the ring apron. Back in the ring, Caster with a forearm. Bowens got in another cheap shot while Caster hit a knee drop. They showed members of Pillman’s family at ringside. Caster hit a belly to back suplex. Caster dumped Pillman to the floor, so Bowens got in cheap shots and tossed Pillman back into the ring. Caster with a back elbow followed by a dropkick to the back. Pillman got a comeback going with forearms and a running clothesline. Pillman with a corner clothesline, then punches while against the turnbuckle and Pillman’s leg was grabbed by Bowens. That led to Caster getting back into it with a punch. Pillman knocked Caster down. Pillman jumped onto Bowens on the floor to take care of him. Caster with a kick to knock Pillman off the apron. Caster with an elbow drop off the top, Pillman moved and Caster hit the mat. Pillman hit a springboard clothesline for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall:
Analysis: **3/4 This was good enough with the heel Caster controlling most of the action until the comeback for the hometown kid Pillman. I like how Bowens kept getting involved, so Pillman had to take him out to stop that and that led right into the finish. It was a simple story in this match, but it worked. The springboard clothesline right into a pin looked impressive as well.
Post match, Pillman hugged his family members at ringside. Shoutout Aunt Linda! She rules. They showed replays.
Bowens went into the ring to attack Pillman and Caster joined his tag team partner. Caster with a punch followed by Bowens hitting a DDT. Bowens had the boombox, but then Jon Moxley showed up for the hometown pop. Moxley hit Bowens with the boombox. Pillman with a thrust kick on Caster and Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift on Caster. Moxley hugged Pillman, raised his hand and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: A nice way to end the show with a happy ending with Cincinnati natives Moxley and Pillman celebrating together.
Three Stars of the Show
- Andrade El Idolo
- Brian Pillman Jr.
This Week: 7.25 out of 10
Last Week: 6
It was a better episode of Rampage this week compared to the last two weeks. The opening match being so good is a big reason why. The one hour of action flies by when you have a nearly 20-minute opening match. Andrade and Pac each looked great although I think it was a lame finish. The other two matches were just average but certainly passable.
They used the other segments to build to other things like Darby Allin vs. Shawn Spears on Dynamite.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. You can contact me using any of the methods below.