The John Report: AEW Rampage 04/07/23 Review
This week’s AEW Rampage featured Hook defending the FTW Title against Ethan Page, Darby Allin in action and more.
It was a live show this week with a live Battle of the Belts show immediately after it. I did not review Rampage last week due to being way too busy. As usual, I’ll do play-by-play for one match and summary style for the rest.
This is AEW Rampage from the Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
It’s Friday night and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross.
FTW Championship: Hook vs. Ethan Page
Hook is 25-0 in AEW. This is a rematch from Dynamite. It’s FTW rules meaning Falls Count Anywhere and anything goes in this match.
Ethan kicked Hook out of the ring. Hook sent Ethan into the barricade. Hook quickly grabbed a table from under the ring. They went fighting into the crowd with some punches being exchanged. They showed Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy watching on a TV backstage since they screwed over Ethan on Dynamite. They kept fighting in the crowd with JR saying it’s an “All-Star lineup” on AEW’s shows on this night. Not really. Anyway, Hooked over Ethan with ten forearm shots to the chest. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Ethan kicked Hook to knock him over the barricade. Hook grabbed a chair, but Ethan stopped that and tried a move through the table. Hook escaped it and hit a clothesline. Ethan sent Hook into the ring post. Ethan picked up Hook and hit a powerslam through the table. Ethan went for a cover on the floor since it’s falls count anywhere and got a two count. Ethan did the worst chair shot attempt because I think Hook avoided it in the wrong spot, so Ethan missed him wildly and Ethan hit Hook in the ribs with a chair jab. Ethan hit the ropes and the chair hit him in the head, which looked comedic. Hook hit a Twist of Fate on a chair, which JR called a DDT and Excalibur got it right. Ethan came back with a pump kick. Ethan tried a move through the table that was in the corner, but Hook countered it and applied the Red Rum submission for the tapout win. It went about nine minutes.
Winner by submission: Hook
Analysis: *** It was good for a brawl with no rules. This was longer than most Hook matches as he found a way to pick up another win. They spent most of that match brawling into the crowd, which is a way to get the fans into the match more. At some point, it would be nice if AEW booked Ethan to actually win matches and not look like a moron in most matches because he’s actually good, but it didn’t happen here. Hook wins again to remain undefeated.
Post match, Hook gave Ethan a T-Bone Suplex through a table to pop the crowd.
There was a QTV segment where they made bad jokes about things. At least Harley Cameron is a ridiculously hot woman, so she adds something to the segment. At the end of the segment, Harley told QT Marshall to “break a leg” as good luck and Marshall laughed: “Who am I, Dante Martin?” Ouch.
Matt Menard and Angelo Parker of the Jericho Appreciation Society with “Daddy Magic” talking about his nipples hard as usual. Parker claimed that tonight, The Acclaimed join the Jericho Appreciation Society. Max Caster & Anthony Bowens of The Acclaimed entered with Billy Gunn. Max did one of his raps going into it but it was not that edgy.
Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Max Caster & Anthony Bowens (w/Billy Gunn & Jake Hager) vs. LSG, Bobby Orlando & The Infantry
Bowens started off with a kick. Menard and Parker did a double team elbow drop. Caster and Bowens did their Scissor Me Timbers leg drop off the middle rope. The Acclaimed did a scissor gesture without the JAS guys. Bowens hit The Arrival and Caster hit a top rope Mic Drop elbow for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Max Caster & Anthony Bowens
Analysis: 1/2* Just a squash match to put over the contracted guys against the indy guys.
Post match, the JAS trio attacked The Acclaimed with Hager slamming Gunn while Menard and Parker beat up Bowens and Caster. Excalibur was shocked that heels like the JAS weren’t genuine about wanting The Acclaimed to work with them. A double DDT by JAS ended it.
Analysis: AEW has this obsession with stories where people try to own contracts of others and trying to have guys join groups. It was just a way to have JAS get some heat by beating up The Acclaimed. That should lead to The Acclaimed winning the match.
Swerve Strickland did a backstage promo saying he has joined forces with…you’ll have to wait to find out. Swerve said it will be a good one.
Lee Moriarty (w/Big Bill) vs. Darby Allin
They said that Allin got run over by a car in New York City on Thursday while he was skateboard, so he had a scar on the right side of his body. Allin went did a cradle pin attempt for a two count. When they left the ring, Lee charged and Lee crashed on the top of the barricade. When Lee went back into the ring, Big Bill hit a big boot on Allin that the referee didn’t see.
Allin hit a dropkick into the turnbuckle. When Allin was up top, Bill distracted and Lee tripped up Allin for a two count. Lee continued on offense with a German Suplex and a running kick to the head. They exchanged nearfalls with a bunch of two counts for both guys. Allin hit a Code Red on Lee and a suicide dive on Bill on the floor. Allin jumped off the top with a Coffin Drop for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Darby Allin
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match to put over Allin, who is pushed heavily in AEW while Lee is not. They did this like a lot of Allin matches where he’s selling for a few minutes before hitting his usual big moves for the comeback win. I admire Allin’s effort in his matches because he puts his body on the line a lot.
After the match, Allin was walking up the ramp when Swerve Strickland appeared. Brian Cage attacked Allin from behind and Cage tossed Allin off his shoulders onto the ramp. Swerve and Cage stood together while Swerve shook hands with Prince Nana. They celebrated over a fallen Allin.
Analysis: There have been stories about Brian Cage being a free agent soon, but maybe he’ll be sticking around in AEW. There are so many stables in AEW it’s hard to keep track.
There was a backstage sitdown segment with TBS Champion Jade Cargill with Smart Mark Sterling and Taya Valkyrie was there while RJ City was moderating it. They bickered about Cargill saying that Taya stole the move Jaded. Taya said that this move has been used for decades and told Jade she can’t decide who uses what and when. They argued about it.
Analysis: It’s another weak storyline where they argue about a move that two people use. I guess it’s better than no storyline, but let’s not pretend it’s that interesting.
A video aired Julia Hart and Anna Jay having a match in the main event. I don’t know why this is in the main event spot. Anna said that she has a “fat ass and a bad attitude.” What a gimmick.
Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite:
* Keith Lee vs. Chris Jericho
* Swerve Strickland vs. Darby Allin
Anna Jay A.S. vs. Julia Hart
I am pretty sure that Anna is a heel and I guess Hart is a face, but it’s not like House of Black really act like faces. Jay knocked Hart out of the ring, but then Hart came back to send Jay into the barricade a few times. Jay took control after a gentle neck snap and Jay swung Hart into the barricade.
Hart got some offense with kicks and a clothesline to the back. Hart did a nice job on the standing moonsault press. They did a spot with Jay trying to slam Hart off her back, but looked bad and awkward. Hart came back with a clothesline and back elbow. Hart did an upside down turnbuckle spot with a suplex. Hart hit a moonsault off the top for two. Jay applied her Queen Slayer submission with Excalibur screaming about it while the crowd was dead quiet. Hart tossed a chair into the ring, the referee Paul Turner removed it and Hart spit some black mist into Jay’s face. Hart got an inside cradle for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Julia Hart
Analysis: ** I’m all for AEW giving a women’s match ten minutes in a main event spot, but this wasn’t that interesting. They are young, so their best days are ahead of them. I guess we are supposed to be happy that Hart won as a face? They really didn’t try to establish the roles at all. The black mist is apparently a finishing move for Hart. A weak ending to the match, I thought.
Julia Hart celebrated the win while the announcers shilled Battle of the Belts right after this show. End show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Hook/Ethan Page
- Darby Allin
- Julia Hart
This Week: 5.25 out of 10
Last Week: No review
It was the typical average Rampage show. It’s difficult to get that excited about anything on this show. The JAS guys attacking The Acclaimed was so obvious. It’s a lame story.
The opener with Hook and Ethan Page was solid since they brawled around the arena before Hook put him away. Darby Allin got an easy win after selling most of the match and hitting a few moves. The main event with Julia Hart-Anna Jay had some rough moments. A weak main event in terms of the story and the wrestlers in the match. Anna Jay saying that she has a “fat ass and a bad attitude” might interest some viewers at least.
This was followed by Battle of the Belts. I have no idea if I’ll review that.
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