This week’s AEW Rampage featured an AEW World Title match with “Hangman” Adam Page defending the gold against his rival Adam Cole in a Texas Death Match.
It was a live episode of Rampage this week since they were also taping the one-hour Battle of the Belts 2 special after Rampage. They were in Texas, which may be AEW’s favorite state other than Florida since they have done a lot of shows in that state.
This week’s Rampage also aired at 7pm ET on TNT in the US since TNT had an NBA game later in the night in the usual 10pm ET timeslot. I think 7pm ET before Smackdown is better for AEW, but I don’t know if they will move there as a permanent change.
It’s Friday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Taz, and Ricky Starks and they were missing the yeller Chris Jericho.
The Blackpool Combat Club group was in action first with Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta got a decent reaction with William Regal joining him and Regal went to commentary for this match. Jon Moxley was up last for the team and he got a huge pop as usual. Their opponents known as the Gunn Club (or Ass Boys to some people) were already in the ring. Excalibur said that Gunn Club are 24-0 in trios competition. That’s a lot of Youtube wins because I don’t remember many matches on TV.
The Blackpool Combat Club – Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta & Jon Moxley vs. Gunn Club (Billy, Colten & Austin Gunn)
Austin tripped up Yuta, then Yuta was ready for a neckbreaker and caught Austin in an armbar. Austin broke free, Colten tagged in going for a dropkick, but Yuta avoided it and got a knee drop. Yuta with some strikes followed by a bridging submission on the legs. Bryan tagged in with a kick to the leg followed by the surfboard submission on Colten leading to some forearms. The big man Billy tagged in, Bryan with a kick to the leg and Billy overpowered Bryan, but Billy missed on a corner splash when Bryan moved. Bryan with a running kick, but when Bryan wanted it again, Billy hit a running back elbow to knock Bryan down. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.
The match continued with Colten applied a side headlock, Bryan elbowed out of it and Colten hit a dropkick. Austin tagged in, he charged, Bryan tripped him into the turnbuckle and Austin did a comedic bump to the mat. Moxley tagged in for the first time against Colten with Moxley hitting two clotheslines and a half-n-half suplex on Colten. Moxley nailed Austin with a forearm, Moxley hit Austin with a back elbow and Moxley with a clothesline on Colten. Moxley hit a superplex on Colten off the top rope. Moxley hit a double DDT on Colten/Austin at the same time. Colten with a boot to the face, Billy tagged in, Billy hit a back elbow and Moxley with a clothesline. Yuta tagged in and he jumped off the top with a cross body block on Billy for two as Austin made the save. Bryan hit the running knee on Austin and Moxley hit a Cutter on Colten. Bryan and Moxley ran the ropes with Billy knocking them both down with a double clothesline. Yuta faced off with old man Billy, who got a hold of Yuta and hit a huge sleeper slam move for a two count. Billy went for the Fameasser, Yuta avoided it, he got a rollup using his body and bridged back to pin Billy for the win after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Blackpool Combat Club – Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta & Jon Moxley
Analysis: *** A good tag team match where the result was never in doubt. I like how AEW continues to push Yuta as a guy continuing to improve and coming across as a threat in every match he has. It wasn’t a decisive win for Yuta, but he found a way with a rollup where he used his body as leverage. Moxley was barely in the match while Bryan had a small role. It was more about focusing on Yuta. They only had one spot where it looked like Gunn Club might win. I think maybe two or three spots like that would have been better.
The trio of Yuta, Moxley and Danielson celebrated the win.
The Butcher vs. Barrett Brown
Shawn Spears is on commentary. The Butcher faces Wardlow on Dynamite, so this is a way to give Butcher a win.
Brown started on the top rope, he tried a missile dropkick and Butcher no sold it. Butcher hit Brown with forearms, then a chop and a clothesline. Butcher hit a Powerbomb for the pinfall win in under one minute.
Winner by pinfall: The Butcher
Analysis: 1/4* Easy win to put over Butcher. They want to make him look strong going into the match against Wardlow. That should be an easy win for Wardlow on Dynamite.
Dustin Rhodes did a promo saying Rampage is kicking ass right now. Dustin talked about how he’s been on this one last ride for quite some time. Dustin said that he took out Lance Archer, he made it to the top five and proved that he’s still got it after five decades in the business. Dustin knows that this war isn’t over. Dustin wanted the fans to listen for just a second. Dustin said he was making a challenge against one of the best wrestlers on the planet, it’s a dream match of his and he’s challenging CM Punk. Dustin said he’s challenging Punk on Dynamite in Pittsburgh and the crowd cheered at first, but then they booed because they wanted to see it in Dallas in front of them. Dustin said he knows they’ll blow the roof off the son of a gun. Dustin told Punk to accept it.
Analysis: That’s cool as a match to do on Dynamite as CM Punk will continue to rack up the wins. They don’t really put Punk against guys that are any threats to him. Dustin will work hard and have a competitive match while the crowd will be into it.
Ruby Soho entered for a match while her opponent was already in the ring.
Analysis: I saw a stat that Ruby hasn’t had a match on TV in about three months prior to this match. That’s sad. That’s AEW, though. They only put one women’s match per show, so a lot of them don’t get TV time regularly although they are on the Youtube shows.
Women’s Owen Hart Cup Qualifying Match: Ruby Soho vs. Robyn Renegade
Robyn pushed Soho into the corner and shoved her in the face. Soho tried to get going, but Robyn did a hair pull taking her down. Soho with forearms, then headbutts (into her own hands) and a leg drop. Robyn blocked a headscissors attempt leading to Robyn hitting a superkick. Robyn applied a chinlock as the match went to a picture in picture break.
Robyn remained in control for most of the break until Soho hit a belly to back suplex. Soho with a clothesline, back elbow, some slaps and a running kick to the head. Soho used the legs to send Robyn face first into the turnbuckle. Robyn left the ring, then her twin sister Charlotte Renegade took her place in the match. Soho and the referee Bryce Remsburg didn’t realize there was a switch. Soho went up top, she jumped off with the knees up and then Charlotte got the knees up to block. Charlotte put Soho on her shoulders, Soho got out of that and hit a No Future kick to the head. Charlotte rolled out of the ring and under the ring. Robyn went back in with a rollup for two. Soho got a knee to the face and a neckbreaker slam into the mat. It was kind of like Cross Rhodes without an arm hook before the move. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho
Analysis: **1/4 Just an average match with Soho selling for most of it before making the comeback. The Renegade girls doing the switch made it look like maybe Soho might lose, but the cheating twin move didn’t work. It was giving me Bella Twins flashbacks from their early days, which is not a good thing.
Post match, Ruby and the referee Remsburg both realized it was two women as Robyn left with Charlotte.
There was a rundown of what’s coming up in AEW. Saturday’s Battle of the Belts 2 lineup:
* TNT Championship: Scorpio Sky (c) vs. Sammy Guevara.
* ROH Championship: Jonathan Gresham (c) vs. Dalton Castle.
* AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Nyla Rose.
Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite:
* Wardlow vs. The Butcher.
* Hook’s Dynamite debut.
* Women’s Owen Hart Cup Qualifying Match: Dr. Britt Baker vs. Danielle Kamela.
* Men’s Owen Hart Cup Qualifying Match: Jungle Boy vs. Kyle O’Reilly.
* Dustin Rhodes vs. CM Punk.
* Coffin Match: Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo.
* Tony Khan “will make a huge announcement.” Tony loves announcements.
Next Friday on AEW Rampage:
* Daniel Garcia vs. Eddie Kingston – Everyone banned from ringside.
* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Marina Shafir.
It was time for the main event interview with Mark Henry talking to “Hangman” Page and Adam Cole. Page said that Cole has been a thorn in his side for a long time. Page said that tonight, he ends Cole’s obsession with him and that championship. Cole said that this is the worst night of Page’s career. Cole said he’s going to destroy Page, end Page and remind the entire world that Cole is better than Page. Henry: “It’s for the main event.” The crowd chanted along with it.
Analysis: A solid promo by both guys.
Adam Cole made his entrance with his hands/wrists taped up and he was wrestling in black pants instead of trunks since it’s a Death Match. There have only been two Texas Death Matches in AEW history before this. “Hangman” Adam Page got a big ovation. He was also wrestling in pants and had some cowboy boots on. Page tossed two chairs into the ring.
AEW World Championship Texas Death Match: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Adam Cole
Note: The only way to win a Texas Death Match in AEW is by knockout or submission. Good job by Justin Roberts announcing that before the match.
Page got the first shot with a chair to the ribs. Cole left the ring, he got in a kick, Cole grabbed a chair and Page kicked the chair that Cole was holding. Page whipped Cole into the barricade along with a hard whip into the steel steps. The fans chanted “Cowboy Shit” for Page. They went brawling into the crowd with Cole trying to run away from Page, so Page punched him a few times as they went into the crowd. Shoutout to my good friend Kurt Zamora in the crowd right where they were fighting. Kurt offered a beer bottle to Page, but Page grabbed one from somebody else. Page hit Cole with a beer bottle and Page had a drink too. That was fun. Page was walking towards the ring, so Page chased Cole back into the ring. Page went up top with a steel chair, Cole thought he could connect with a superkick, Page stopped himself and then Page hit a moonsault onto Cole with Page hitting Cole with the chair. Page whipped Cole into the chair that was wedged against the turnbuckle. Cole was bleeding from the top of the head while the referee counted him down for ten, but Cole was back up before the ten count. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match continued with Cole in control. There was a steel chain that Cole wrapped around the top rope, Page fought back with punches and a forearm to the head, but then Cole used the chain as a clothesline to knock down Page. Cool looking spot that Page sold well. Cole opened up two chairs back to back in the ring, Cole hit a jumping kick to the face, Page was seated on a chair, then Page fought back and hit an Attitude Adjustment-like move that sent Cole’s back into the top of the steel chairs. Page tossed several chairs into the ring so that there was a pile of chairs. Cole with a kick to the ribs, Cole wanted Panama Sunrise and then Page managed to hit a Deadeye slam. Cole rolled out of the ring to land on his feet at the count of eight. While Cole was on the floor, Page went up top and Page hit a moonsault, but Cole was there with a superkick! That was awesome. I’ve seen Cole do that many times when guys jump off the top rope into the ring and Cole does the superkick, but it’s harder doing it on the floor, yet Cole did it perfectly. Page stumbled back into the ring, so Cole met him with the Panama Sunrise near the chairs, but not on the chairs. Page was up at the count of nine. They battled on the turnbuckle, Page with a headbutt and Page hit a fallaway slam across the ring with Cole landing onto some of the chairs in the ring. Cole did a nice job of selling that with his facial expressions while Page had a cut on his jaw where he was bleeding. Cole was seated on a chair in the ring, Page elbowed him a few times and Page sat on a chair with Cole. They exchanged punches, then it was like a hockey fight with fast punches, Page with a rolling elbow, Cole with a pump kick and a spinning kick to the face. Page with a kick, Page to the apron and Cole with a superkick. Cole told Page he’ll never be Kenny Omega because he’s a joke of a champion and Cole punched Page. Cole grabbed a chair in the ring, which led to Page recovering with a Buckshot Lariat to knock down Cole. That is Page’s finisher, but Cole was still moving. Page used his own belt to tie Cole’s right arm to the top rope. Page brought in a steel chair with barbed wire wrapped around it. Page thought about hitting Cole with the chair, but then he stopped and threw the chair down. Page untied Cole, which led to Cole hitting a low blow punch to the groin. Cole delivered two superkicks, then he ran the ropes and Page hit a clothesline to knock Cole down. Page wrapped the barb wire around his right arm. Cole with a superkick that knocked Cole out of the ring to the apron. Cole jumped off the ropes, Page avoided it and Page hit Cole in the back with the barbed wire that Page had on his wrist. Page put the barbed wire around Cole’s head, Page picked up Cole on the apron and Page hit the Deadeye slam off the apron through the table at ringside. A lot of the bump is Page driving his own knees through the table before Cole even touches the table, but it still looks impressive and it’s all about the sell. Page got back in the ring and to his feet before the ten count while Cole stayed down for ten. That meant Page won by knockout. It went 20 minutes.
Winner: “Hangman” Adam Page
Analysis: **** Awesome match by two of the best wrestlers in AEW. While I think AEW probably overdoes it with the weapons matches (this is the third Texas Death Match already this year), it was still fun to watch and I thought they used the weapons well. It was a decisive win by the babyface champion Page, who dominated the first half of the match and then Cole got a lot of offense after that. I don’t think the result was ever in doubt because it was another match between these guys to try to put an end to the rivalry. I think they did a nice job of making it different than their match at Revolution last month thanks to all the weapons that were used.
“Hangman” Adam Page celebrated with the AEW World Title while Cole remained out on the table at ringside. Excalibur plugged the matches coming up on Saturday night and that was the end of Rampage for this week.
Analysis: I assume AEW is going with Page defending the AEW World Title against CM Punk at Double or Nothing next month. It would be a face vs. face match, but it’s also a big one and it could be a title change.
Three Stars of the Show
- “Hangman” Adam Page
- Adam Cole
- Blackpool Combat Club – Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta & Jon Moxley
This Week: 7.5 out of 10
Last Week: 9
It was a good episode of Rampage that was better than what they were doing earlier in the year. Last week’s show was better, though. This one was carried by the Adam Page/Adam Cole match that was a Texas Death Match full of weapons. Page won a great match to put an end to his rivalry with Cole.
The Blackpool Combat Club looked impressive with Wheeler Yuta beating old man Billy Gunn and Gunn Club. Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson were part of the match, but it was all about putting over Wheeler.
They have another show tonight (Saturday) called Battle of the Belts 2, so if you want more AEW then check that out. I guess I’ll review that as well.
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