This week’s AEW Rampage saw the AEW Tag Team Champions Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus put their title on the line against Private Party in the main event.
It’s Friday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Taz, the yeller Chris Jericho and FTW Champion Ricky Starks.
Jon Moxley made his entrance to a big pop in his home state of Ohio since he’s from the Cincinnati area. Moxley spent some time walking around the crowd before he got to the ring. Moxley threw a chair into the ring just for the hell of it. Anthony Bowens entered with Max Caster, who did a rap about how Moxley’s wife didn’t call him back. Caster had a joke about how the network called and told him to watch his mouth because Moxley swore on TV last week. Moxley hit Caster with a forearm to take him out.
Jon Moxley vs. Anthony Bowens (w/Max Caster)
Moxley with a German Suplex followed by punches that didn’t look that devastating followed by a slap/chop on the back. Moxley whipped Bowens into the barricade, the referee wasn’t counting them out and Moxley raised the referee Aubrey Edwards’ hand for bad refereeing I guess. They went fighting into the crowd for a bit. Moxley went for a move by the ring post, but Bowens pulled back to send Moxley’s face into the ring post. Bowens took control with punches followed by a Russian legsweep for a two count. Moxley countered Bowens with a knee to the head followed by a suplex into a slam. Moxley off the ropes, Caster grabbed the foot and Bowens took advantage with an elbow leading into a ripcord neckbreaker. Bowens with a neckbreaker. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
The match returned with Mox standing on the middle turnbuckle while Bowens was nearby, but Bowens broke free and hit a dropkick. Bowens hit a superplex for a two count. Bowens went for a move off the ropes, Moxley blocked it and Moxley hit a back body drop over the top to the floor. Moxley hit a suicide dive on Caster because Bowens moved. Bowens hit a creative-looking DDT off the ropes for a two count. They exchanged punches, Moxley with knees to the body, Moxley with another knee to the ribs and Bowens hit a combination of strikes including a thrust kick. Moxley came back with a hard palm strike followed by a piledriver for two. Bowens countered a sunset flip for two of his own, Moxley came back with his own pin attempt and Bowens hit a knee to the face for two. Bowens with a spinning slam for two. Bowens tried to cheat with the boombox, the referee took it away, Caster threw Bowens a chain, Moxley hit Bowens with a Cutter (because every AEW show needs many Cutter moves) and Moxley clotheslined Caster out of the ring. Moxley with a rollup for two on Bowens followed by a clothesline. Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift (not a nasty version) for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good, competitive match even though I doubt anybody watching this thought that Moxley was going to lose. It’s one of those matches where you can say they could have gone shorter because it was obvious Moxley was going to win, but I like Bowens and am glad he was made to look credible. Also, the story with Moxley is he had a three-month layoff before last week’s match, so you can say he’s rusty.
Bryan Danielson was shown looking at Moxley on the TV screen backstage. Danielson smirked towards the camera.
Analysis: Hopefully AEW saves Danielson vs. Moxley for the March 6th Revolution PPV. That will be great. They flew Danielson to TV just to stare into a camera for five seconds. Tough week of work.
A video aired about Nyla Rose and Ruby Soho having a match on Dynamite.
Andrade El Idolo went into the dressing room of Sting and Darby Allin. Andrade asked Darby where was his boss? Andrade said it was nice to meet him. Allin laughed at Andrade for thinking Darby works for Sting. Andrade and his assistant Jose had a contract. Darby said he respected him as a wrestler. Darby said money doesn’t mean a lot to him, so you can’t buy his dignity. Allin told them to get out of the room while pulling out a bat. Andrade told him to take it easy and he has to talk to his boss.
Analysis: I looked it up and Andrade hasn’t had a match on AEW TV since December 1, which was a loss to Cody Rhodes. I don’t get why they barely use this guy.
FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson (w/Arn Anderson)
Wheeler with shoulder tackles on Johnson, Anderson tagged in with an elbow on Wheeler and Johnson sent Wheeler into the corner. Harwood faced off against Anderson with Harwood saying he was like the son that Arn wished he had. Pretty funny line with Jericho saying Brock looked like Arn in the ring and he is amazed by second-generation wrestlers that look like their dads in the ring, then Taz goes “not mine” referencing his son Hook. Great line! Harwood and Anderson did a sequence where they avoided punches from the other guy and had a bit of a staredown. Harwood with a shoulder tackle, Anderson blocked a hiptoss and hit a clothesline. Johnson tagged in for a double back body drop. Johnson dropkicked Wheeler out of the ring and clotheslined Dawson out of the ring. Johnson hit a somersault dive on Wheeler on the top of the head. Ouch. Brock with back body drop that sent Johnson over the top onto Harwood. Back in the ring, Johnson hit a cross body block off the top for two.
The FTR heel side was in control against Johnson until Johnson hit a boot and neckbreaker on Harwood. Wheeler tagged in, Johnson broke free and Anderson hit clothesline followed by the double noggin-knocker. Anderson with a belly to back suplex, shoulders to the ribs and a gutwrench Powerbomb on Wheeler. Anderson knocked Harwood off the apron. Anderson got a nearfall on Wheeler. Johnson tagged in with a kick to Wheeler, Anderson with a DDT and Johnson jumped off the top with Frog Splash, but Wheeler’s foot was on the bottom rope during the pin attempt. Blanchard got in Arn Anderson’s face on the floor, so Arn punched Blanchard to knock him on his ass. Johnson got a lateral press on Wheeler, Harwood tagged himself and Harwood hit a spike piledriver (with an assist from Wheeler) for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)
Analysis: *** A solid match here with the experienced FTR guys working well with the younger team. Johnson’s aerial skills were impressive with him making everything look easy. Anderson also has a lot of power moves, so those two guys work well together. The faces got a few nearfalls near the end until Harwood tagged himself in and the spike piledriver was enough to get the win.
A video aired about the rivalry between Thunder Rosa and Mercedes Martinez. Rosa should get a win there.
There was a video about Serena Deeb’s vicious streak and then she was shown sitting on steps making angry faces.
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (w/Smart Mark Sterling) vs. Julia Hart (w/Griff Garrison)
Hart wrestles with an eye patch to sell the black mist to the face from Malakai Black on December 8. Cargill caught Hart with a backbreaker followed by an elbow drop. Cargill did some push ups and sit-ups, so then she kipped up and Hart got a rollup that didn’t get much. Hart with clotheslines that had no effect, two kicks by Hart and a handspring clothesline. Cargill managed to get Hart on her shoulders and Hart countered into a hurricanrana for two. Cargill hit a pump kick followed by the Jaded slam for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill
Analysis: 1/2* A squash win by Cargill. Hart got a bit of offense, but she had no chance here because they love putting over Cargill, who is undefeated in AEW. It was what it needed to be.
It was split-screen main event interview time with Mark Henry. Matt Hardy was with Private Party while Christian Cage was with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, who are the AEW Tag Team Champions. Christian called Private Party “dipshits” while Hardy said that his guys will be tag team champions tonight. Kassidy said they’d have a championship celebration. Boy said they’ve run through every configuration of the Hardy Family Office, so maybe Hardy isn’t good enough or leading them properly. Henry did his line with the crowd chanting along: “It’s time for the main event.”
Here’s what AEW has announced for Dynamite on Wednesday in Chicago:
* CM Punk vs. MJF for the first time ever.
* Ruby Soho vs. Nyla Rose.
* Pac & Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Malaki Black & Brody King.
Next Friday on AEW Rampage:
* Mercedes Martinez vs. Thunder Rosa.
* FTW Championship: Ricky Starks (c) vs. Jay Lethal.
Private Party made their entrance for the AEW Tag Team Title match. They are the number one ranked tag team somehow even though I have no memory of them winning a regular tag team match on television. The championship duo Jungle Boy & Orange Cassidy entered to a big pop with the fans humming along with the song.
AEW Tag Team Championships: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (w/Christian Cage) vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) (w/Matt Hardy & The Butcher)
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus argued with Gunn Club at ringside, so Private Party attacked them. The bell rang to start the match. Private Party hit their Gin N Juice double team move (hurricanrana into a Cutter because everybody in AEW loves the Cutter) on Boy for a two count. Quen jumped off the top with a double foot stomp on Boy. Both PP guys went up top, they jumped off and Boy moved, so the PP guys hit the mat. Boy fought out of the heel corner to bring in the big dinosaur Luchasaurus, so the heels bailed. Luchasaurus threw Blade into the apron, Luchasaurus slammed Cassidy on the apron, Quen grabbed Luchasaurus by the throat and Hady hit Luchasaurus in the leg with a steel chair because the referee didn’t see it. They went to a picture in picture break.
Luchasaurus was isolated in the heel side of the ring as Private Party drove Luchasaurus groin first into the ring post. Kassidy missed an attack on the floor and Luchasaurus hit Quen with a clothesline. Luchasaurus walked across the ring with the PP guys trying to stop him, so Luchasaurus hit a double clothesline. Boy tagged in, he sent both opponents out of the ring and hit suicide dives onto both guys. Boy ran the ropes leading to a somersault dive over the top onto both guys on the floor. Kassidy was back in the ring with a spinning kick to the head. All four guys were in the ring, the referee lost control like usual and they did a spot with Luchasaurus holding his partner Boy on his shoulder, Kassidy jumped off the top and Boy turned it over so he landed on top leading to Boy getting a two count on Kassidy. Jericho said he’s never seen that move before. That’s because it didn’t make sense with Luchasaurus holding his partner on his shoulders for his opponent to make an attack. The four guys were still in the ring with the referee losing control as usual and Kassidy hit a DDT on Luchasaurus. Boy sent Kassidy into Quen and got a two count on Kassidy. Boy applied the Snare Trap submission, so Quen jumped off the top with a Shooting Star Press to break it up. Quen tagged in, he set up Boy on the top, Quen sent Boy off the top and Boy hit a Canadian Destroyer on Kassidy. That was pretty wild and cool! Boy launched Quen into boot from Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus lifted up Quen for a Thoracic Express double team move with Boy pinning Quen. It went 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus
Analysis: ***1/2 Lots of fast-paced action here. This was fun. I liked the start of it with the heels doing the cheap attack leading to a big nearfall right away. It was a smart way to book the match to tell the audience that maybe Private Party could win while Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus were fighting back the whole way. I’ll take about a 1/4* off the rating for spending most of the last three minutes with four guys in the ring for a lot of it. I get why they do it to do cool moves, but it would be nice if they tried to enforce rules a bit. Anyway, Jungle Boy had some big moves like the Canadian Destroyer counter and the double team finish got the win.
After the match, Billy Gunn and his Gunn Club (Ass Boys?) sons Colten and Austin Gunn did a cheap attack on the champions. Billy sent Christian into the steel steps. Austin hit Boy with the title. Billy sent Luchasaurus into Austin/Colten, who hit Luchasaurus with the titles. Gunn Club posed to end the show.
Analysis: A cheap angle to end the show. It should lead to a title shot soon. I doubt Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus are going to drop the titles to Gunn Club.
Three Stars of the Show
- Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus
- Jon Moxley
- Private Party
This Week: 7.5 out of 10
Last Week: 7
There were three good matches. The lineup was very predictable, so that hurts a bit, but it’s a fun wrestling show because of the match quality. If you’re a diehard AEW fan that loves everything they do then you like this kind of show, but I wouldn’t call it something that was a must-see wrestling show.
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