The John Report: AEW Rampage 03/25/23 Review
This week’s AEW Rampage featured Powerhouse Hobbs defending his TNT Title against Penta, The Acclaimed in tag team action and more.
It was a Saturday night Rampage this week due to college basketball that aired on TNT on Friday night. I am doing only one match in play-by-play and the rest get summary style.
This is AEW Rampage from the Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri (Kansas City). Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. It was taped after Dynamite.
It’s Saturday night and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross.
TNT Championship: Powerhouse Hobbs (w/QT Marshall, Aaron Solo & Harley Cameron) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes)
I’ll go play-by-play here since it’s a title match. They started out exchanging starks, Penta with kicks to the body and Hobbs hit a running body attack. Penta came back with a dropkick that knocked Hobbs out of the ring. When Penta tried a dive, Hobbs hit him with a forearm. Hobbs tossed Penta into the barricade. Hobbs punched Penta to keep him down. The referee wasn’t counting, but Hobbs still broke the count and went back out. Hobbs sent Penta into the barricade again. Back in the ring, Tony was trashing QT calling him a “despicable person.” Hobbs caught Penta trying a move and Hobbs hit a backbreaker. Hobbs choked Penta across the rope, Hobbs distracted the referee and Marshall tied Penta’s mask to the bottom rope. Alex untied the mask from the rope. Hobbs hit a suplex leading to a picture-in-picture break.
Penta hit a sloppy Slingblade neckbreaker followed by a backstabber for two. Hobbs came back with a sitout powerslam for a two count. Hobbs went for a slam off the shoulders, Penta landed on his feet and Penta kicked Hobbs out of the ring. Penta hit a somersault dive over the top onto Hobbs on the floor. Penta sent a charging Hobbs into the steel steps. Hobbs laid on the apron for the next spot, so Penta did a double foot stomp. Back in the ring, Penta jumped off the top with a double foot stomp for two. Marshall was on the apron, Alex took the chair that he had in his hand and Solo jumped off the top, but Penta was ready. Penta hit a piledriver on Solo. While the referee was looking at Solo, Hobbs hit Penta with the TNT Title – the referee never saw it. Hobbs hit the Burning Hammer slam for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Powerhouse Hobbs
Analysis: *** A good match with Hobbs looking impressive as usual against an athletic opponent like Penta, who is so skilled in the ring. I think working with guys as talented as Penta and Fenix last week will help Hobbs improve as a performer. Penta got plenty of offense, and nearly got the win until Hobbs’ friends got involved for the cheap win to put over the heel champion. I hope Hobbs has a meaningful feud for the title soon.
The announcers trashed Hobbs for cheating and said he didn’t need to do that. Powerhouse Hobbs celebrated with QT Marshall, who grabbed Alex. Rey Fenix ran out for the save with a hammer, so Hobbs and Marshall bailed.
Analysis: This is why you need a heel announcer on commentary. The heel announcer could have said that Hobbs cheated because he does what he has to do to keep his title. When you have three babyface announcers criticizing a guy, it’s repetitive. A heel announcer needs to provide the other perspective.
The announcers were shown on camera with the announcers saying it was a “loaded broadcast.” Nope.
A commercial aired for AEW All Access, the new “reality show” that probably has scripted elements like most of those types of shows. I doubt I will watch it. I don’t mind reviewing AEW shows. I just don’t care enough to watch “reality shows” that they produce.
They showed highlights of Kenny Omega’s win over El Hijo Del Vikingo last Wednesday on Dynamite. They mentioned Kenny Omega defending the IWGP US Title against Jeff Cobb this coming Wednesday on AEW Dynamite.
Analysis: Kenny won the IWGP US Title in early January and his first title defense is in late March. That’s not very impressive.
Let’s Hear from Ricky Starks
Ricky Starks was in the ring for a promo and he called out Juice Robinson. That led to Juice calling himself “Rock Hard” and saying if you want an ass kicking then that’s what you’re going to get. Juice teased going to the ring, then he stopped and Starks went after him. Starks sent Juice into the ring, but Juice left and Juice went into the crowd. Juice said that Ricky isn’t getting the ass kicking this week or next week in St. Louis because he hates Missouri. Juice said they’ll do it in New York City. It’s Long Island, but close enough. It’s on April 5th.
Analysis: It was decent. Ricky went from beating Chris Jericho multiple times and now he’s feuding with a guy that is barely on the show. I doubt Starks loses to Juice unless Juice cheats to win.
The group consisting of Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh did a backstage promo with Lethal complaining about how things are unfair against them. Jarrett said he was screwed out of the International Title and Jeff said they’ll have gold sooner or later. Dutt said that one day you will be calling them champions.
Brody King (w/Julia Hart) vs. Jake Hager
King is one third of the House of Black group that are the Trios Tag Team Champions in AEW. It is only Hager’s second match on TV this year.
That’s called a very limited schedule. Each guy hit running forearms, King hit a two-arm chop and Hager went to the floor. Hager sent King into the barricade leading to a picture-in-picture break.
King hit a Bossman Slam for a two count. King took way too long to try a cannonball move, so Hager moved. King managed to come back with two boots and a discus lariat. Anna Jay attacked Hart by sending her into the ring post. King hit a sitout slam called the All Seeing Eye for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Brody King
Analysis: ** An easy win for King with Hager only getting one rollup nearfall in the match. It was a four-minute match that got three more minutes because they like to go to break during matches.
Swerve Strickland was shown backstage somewhere saying he’s going to finish this war with Keith Lee. Swerve was hanging out with rapper Tech N9ne saying he’s going to finish the war.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Leila Grey (w/Jade Cargill & Smart Mark Sterling)
The “story” is that the lawyer Sterling has a Cease & Desist order for Taya to stop using her Road to Valhalla finisher that is similar to Jaded. Keep in mind that Taya has been wrestling for many years before Jade.
Taya with a clothesline, Sterling distracted on the apron and Grey punched Taya in the back. Taya with a kick, knee, forearm and the Road to Valhalla slam for the pinfall win after just over one minute. Taya’s pinning style laying on top of her opponent was the best part of the match.
Winner by pinfall: Taya Valkyrie
Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over Taya by having her beat Cargill’s friend Grey.
After the match, Sterling the joke lawyer got in Taya’s face so Taya hit him with a forearm. Taya hit a Road to Valhalla slam on Sterling too. The fans popped.
Analysis: At least it’s a storyline for Jade’s TBS Title. They haven’t had a story for Jade for months, so it gives her something.
A video aired for the main event to try to make us care about the main event with The Acclaimed facing The Kingdom. Mark Henry shouted “it’s time for the main event” to end it.
There was a rundown of AEW Dynamite matches for Wednesday including Kenny Omega vs. Jeff Cobb, Adam Cole vs. Daniel Garcia and more.
The commentary team was joined by the Jericho Appreciation Society’s Matt Menard and Angelo Parker. There were only four headsets, so Parker wasn’t talking.
The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) (w/Billy Gunn) vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) (w/Maria Kanellis-Bennett)
Yo…listen…yo. Caster trashed The Kingdom saying Bennett is known for being cucked and mentioned Maria being in Playboy too. Bowens did the “scissor me, daddy ass” with old man Gunn too.
Bennett and Taven were on offense early with Taven hitting a dropkick off the middle rope. When Caster was sent into the ropes, Bowens tagged in with a neckbreaker. Caster and Bowens did their “Scissor Me Timbers” body slam/leg drop spot leading to a “scissor” celebration. That led to a picture-in-picture break.
The Kingdom were in control as they isolated Caster. Maria got involved, so Bennett hit a slam and Taven got a running knee for two. Gunn scared Maria to the back and Top Flight was there to make sure she went to the back. Anyway, Bowens got the tag leading to a leg drop to the back of the head. After Bowens had to deal with Bennett, Taven got a rollup for two. Bowens hit Taven with a forearm, Caster got the tag, Bowens hit the Arrival slam and Caster jumped off the top with a Mic Drop elbow for the win.
Winners by pinfall: The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens)
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match. The pushed team beats the guys that are barely on television just as you would expect. The teamwork by The Acclaimed was good as usual. Another match with an obvious result.
After the match, The Acclaimed celebrated the win with some scissoring that the fans liked. That was it.
Three Stars of the Show
- Powerhouse Hobbs
- The Acclaimed
This Week: 5 out of 10
Last Week: 5.75
It was just an average wrestling show. Powerhouse Hobbs beating Penta was pretty good match with a cheap win. The other matches were just average. They did advance the Jade-Taya story a bit, so that’s okay too.
It’s crazy how AEW programs the announcers to say it’s a “loaded” show when it’s nothing close to that. I think the fans know better, which is why the audience is so low for this show.
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