The John Report: AEW Rampage 02/24/23 Review
This week’s AEW Rampage featured The Young Bucks in tag team action, plus Sammy Guevara facing Action Andretti in the main event.
As usual for Rampage, I’ll go play-by-play for at least one match and just summary style for the rest.
This is AEW Rampage from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. This was taped after Dynamite.
It’s Friday night and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Jim Ross, Chris Jericho and Tony Schiavone.
The Young Bucks (Matt & Jackson) (w/Kenny Omega) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
I’ll go play by play here. Don Callis was on commentary for the first match replacing Tony. Davis and Fletcher did a running kick and senton splash combo. Matt broke free from both guys, Nick tagged in and hit a cross body block off the top. Nick did an armdrag/headscissors combo followed by the Bucks eating dropkicks. Davis body slammed both Bucks individually and then a double body slam by Davis. Matt kicked Davis in the gut, Nick tagged in and hit a dropkick. Fletcher in illegally to take a neckbreaker and the Bucks double clotheslined Davis out of the ring. Both Bucks tried dives to the floor, they were caught and Aussie Open each hit slams onto the apron. Aussie Open slammed the backs of both Bucks into eachother. They went to a picture-in-picture break for 90 seconds.
Davis worked over Nick with some hard chops to the chest that were very loud. Fletcher made the tag, but Nick broke free and hit a top rope hurricanrana to break free. Matt tagged in with a leaping clothesline followed by Matt hitting a Sliced Bread neckbreaker. Matt with a body slam on Fletcher and a cross body block off the top onto Davis on the floor. Matt jumped off the top with an elbow drop on Fletcher for two. Nick tagged in with jumping kicks leading to a bulldog/dropkick combo. Bucks hit a clothesline/kick combo and Nick hit a Senton Bomb off the top on Fletcher for two with Davis making the save. Both Bucks were in the ring for way longer than the ten seconds that is legal. Nick kicked Fletcher, then a facebuster on Davis and Fletcher gave Nick a brainbuster on the floor. Matt kicked Fletcher down and Davis hit a running lariat on Matt. Everybody laid down for a bit. Davis got the tag as if being legal matters in AEW, Fletcher hit a corner clothesline and Davis hit a running forearm. Davis did a double team slam on Nick for a two count. Fletcher tagged in with a kick to the face. Fletcher jumped off the ropes, but Nick hit him with a cutter. Matt tagged in with Davis hitting him with a clothesline. Matt broke free, Nick was back in with a lot of kicks and the Bucks accidentally kneed eachother. They didn’t even sell it as they hit double superkicks and then Aussie Open hit double clothesline. Matt hit a dive onto Davis on one side and Nick jumped off the top onto Fletcher. The Young Bucks went for a double team move, but then the lights went out. When the lights came on, Fletcher hit Matt with a jumping Tombstone while Davis clotheslined Nick on the floor. Aussie Open with a double clothesline on Matt and a double team slam for two as Nick made the save. They did a bullshit spot where Davis held Fletcher, then the Young Bucks kicked Davis and he piledrove his own partner Fletcher. That looked ridiculous. Bucks did a double superkick to Davis. Bucks hit the BTE Trigger double knee on Fletcher for the pinfall win after
Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matt & Jackson)
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a great random tag team match with no story going into it, nor did anybody watching this think that Aussie Open had a chance to win. I still liked most of it especially towards the second half. If The Young Bucks had tag team matches with actual ring psychology instead of spotfests then I would praise them more. Aussie Open did get a lot of offense and looked credible, so that’s nice. The lights out distraction was a tease that it was House of Black because we are to assume they can control lights in arenas.
The lights went again as House of Black surrounded the ring while The Elite were in the ring with their Trios Tag Team Titles. The lights went back off, then back on and House of Black were gone.
Analysis: I get that it’s all about mind games with House of Black scaring The Elite. Why not have House of Black win some big matches to get a title shot instead of just doing it this way? Winning matches should earn title shots.
Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor aka the Best Friends were interviewed about the tag team match next week, but then The Firm guys attacked Trent and Chuck. It was Big Bill, Lee Moriarty and The Gunns. Trent was got hit by a pipe to the head.
Orange Cassidy and Danhausen checked on their Best Friends Trent and Chuck after the attack. Referee Bryce Remsburg told them it was Big Bill, Moriarty and The Gunns that did it.
Analysis: A new rivalry, I guess. They can have a tag team match between the two groups.
Toni Storm (w/Saraya) vs. Willow Nightingale
Storm did a cheap attack early, but Willow came back with clotheslines and a senton splash. Storm did some face gouging and a hair pull. Storm hit a hip attack on Willow to knock her out of the ring. Storm sent Willow into the barricade leading to a break.
Willow missed a corner attack, so Storm hit a hip attack in the corner and a DDT for two. Willow managed to hit her cannonball corner attack followed by a Death Valley Driver for two. Saraya with a distraction, Willow foolishly brought her into the ring, Storm with a chop block and a Storm Zero wins it after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Toni Storm
Analysis: **1/2 It was okay with Storm getting the win since she’s getting pushed with Saraya as the mean girls. Willow is liked by the crowd, but AEW doesn’t seem like they want to push her any time soon. The finish made Willow look foolish because she let Saraya cause the distraction leading to Storm picking up the win.
Post match, Saraya and Storm tried to use the spray paint on Willow, but Ruby Soho ran out for the save. Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker fought with Saraya and Toni Storm, so they went fighting to the back.
Analysis: The fighting to the back looked too fake to me. They were probably just told to quickly get out of there. I’d rather see it look like more of a fight.
The Acclaimed with uncle Billy Gunn were interviewed by Lexy Nair. They spoke about Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett being in the Tag Team Title match at Revolution, which led to Jay, Jeff, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt showing up for the cheap attack. Referees showed up to try to break it up.
Analysis: It was another backstage interview that saw faces getting attacked by heels before they could say much. We just saw it 15 minutes earlier. Why do the same thing again on the same show? I know the graphic said “last Wednesday” but that was a bit silly to have another interview attack. Be more creative.
Jade Cargill was featured in a video with the TBS Champion as Jade talked about being 53-0. Jade said that everybody is afraid of her while she’s running the division for a year. Jade said she welcomes all competition and said this is That Bitch Show (TBS).
Analysis: If she is running the division and she is undefeated, then why doesn’t she get to go after the AEW Women’s Title, which is supposed to be the most important Women’s Title in AEW? There I go asking logical questions again.
Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Bryce Saturn
Archer has publicly complained about not being used by AEW. Archer hit a back body drop on the ramp. Back in the ring, Archer hit a suplex across the ring. Archer hit a cross body block and lariat for the pinfall with one knee across the chest. It went two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Lance Archer
Analysis: * A squash match for Archer. It was nice of AEW to remember he still worked there after Archer publicly complained in interviews and on Twitter about not being used.
Dustin Rhodes and Keith Lee were backstage talking about facing Swerve Strickland and Parker Boudreaux. Swerve said if they want that match then they’ve got it.
Action Andretti and Sammy Guevara with Daniel Garcia were interviewed by Mark Henry. Garcia talked about Sammy deserved respect while Action said Sammy is just a coward. Action said he’s the “sight to see” so that’s his phrase. Mark ended it with his “it’s time for the main event” line.
This week on Dynamite
* Orange Cassidy defends the AEW All-Atlantic Title vs. Big Bill.
* Casino Tag Team Battle Royale.
* Hear from MJF and Bryan Danielson.
* FTW Championship: Hook vs. Matt Hardy. Big age difference there.
* Chris Jericho vs. Peter Avalon. Thriller.
* Toni Storm vs. Riho.
* Face of the Revolution Ladder Match for TNT Title Match: Eddie Kingston vs. Konosuke Takeshita vs. Ortiz vs. Komander vs. Action Andretti vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. AR Fox.
The fast-talking Excalibur went over matches at Revolution as well.
Sammy Guevara made his entrance with Daniel Garcia by his side. Their JAS leader Chris Jericho was still on commentary. Action Andretti is now a Rampage main event with a 4-0 singles record in 2023.
Action Andretti vs. Sammy Guevara (w/Daniel Garcia)
I’ll go play-by-play here. Action with a clothesline knocking Sammy out of the ring. Action sent Sammy into the barricade. Andretti with a forearm followed by a barricade clothesline on Sammy on the floor. Back in the ring, Sammy with a jumping knee and Action hit a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. They left the ring, Andretti kicked Sammy down and Action hit a 450 Splash off the apron onto the floor.
Action went for a split-legged moonsault, but Sammy got the knees up. Sammy picked him up leading to a slam into the mat that dropped Action on his head although action did get his forearms down. Sammy went up top, missed a Shooting Star Press, Action hit a dropkick and a springboard kick for two. They exchanged strikes, Sammy with a knee, superkick and a knee. Sammy charged and Action did a flipping cross body block into a spot for a two count. That’s a Cameron Grimes spot although others do it too. Action hit a springboard senton for a two count. Action kicked Garcia down before he did that spot. Action hit a running dropkick sending Sammy into the turnbuckle. Garcia clotheslined Action while the referee was looking at Sammy and Sammy hit the Go To Hell (GTH) knee to the head for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sammy Guevara
Analysis: ***1/2 A fast-paced match with Action getting a lot of offense throughout the match. Action can do a lot in the ring, that’s for sure. I think sometimes he needs to slow down a bit, sell moves better and tell a story instead of just doing spots. Most of the match was Action Andretti getting a lot of offense (probably 80% of the match) while Sammy only did a few moves and benefitted from Garcia cheating for him.
Chris Jericho went into the ring to celebrate with Sammy and Daniel. Excalibur shilled things coming up next week. End show.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Young Bucks
- Sammy Guevara/Action Andretti
- Aussie Open
This Week: 6.5 out of 10
Last Week: 6.75
The opening and closing matches were both very good. Everything else was just average. They don’t advance stories much on Rampage. You might get a good match or two, but that’s mostly it. Add in some meaningful promos and it would help a lot. Lots of pro wrestling shows all over the world have great matches. Try to give us something more.
I also didn’t like that they booked two different “heels beat up faces during an interview” segments on the same show. That’s lazy booking. They don’t stand out much if you do it twice. Please be more creative.
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