This week’s AEW Rampage featured Scorpio Sky defending the TNT Title against Frankie Kazarian while Death Triangle were in tag team action as well.
For the second week in a row, Rampage aired at 5:30 pm ET on TNT in the US due to NHL playoff coverage.
It’s Friday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Exaclibur, Taz and Chris Jericho this week. No Ricky Starks.
Death Triangle (Rey Fenix, Penta Oscuro & Pac) vs. The Butcher, The Blade & Marq Quen
Penta and Blade exchanged strikes, Pac tagged in with a kick and Penta jumped off the top with a dropkick to the groin or maybe the leg. Butcher picked up Pac while Pac was in the heel corner, then Butcher hit him with a lariat and a slam onto the apron. Jericho named Butcher and Blade as the Sports Entertainers of the Week during the match. Pac hit a dropkick to the knee, then Pac went up top and hit a missile dropkick off the top. Quen tagged in, Pac gave him a hiptoss and Fenix tagged in for the first time. Quen with a headscissors, then a kick to the chest and a jumping overhead kick. Fenix lifted up Quen, who hit a dropkick. Fenix with a lifting, spinning slam of Quen. Fenix did a twisting leap off the top, then an armbar and a stomp on the body. Butcher got involved to stop Fenix from attacking, so Quen kicked Fenix into the barricade. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.
Blade was in control of Fenix with a headlock leading to Quen and Butcher knocking Fenix’s partners off the apron. Butch tagged in with a leg drop. Quen tagged in and hit a 450 Splash for two with Pac making the save. Quen hit a somersault dive off the top onto Pac and Penta on the floor. Blade with a knee followed by Butcher hitting a clothesline for two. Excalibur screamed about how it was a close nearfall, but I doubt anybody watching this thought that Fenix would lose. Fenix did his comeback with a hurricanrana followed by a back heel kick to the head. Penta got the tag with a diving cross body block off the top, Slingblade neckbreaker on Butcher and a rollup move on Quen leading to a DDT on Butcher. Pac tagged in with kicks to the body, a toss into the air and a snap German Suplex for two with Quen getting his feet on the ropes. Penta and Fenix saved Pac from a double team attack, Pac gave Quen another German Suplex and Pac hit a running uppercut in the corner. Penta tagged in followed by a Fenix tag leading to the Fear Factor double team move with Fenix doing a double stomp into a piledriver by Penta. Fenix and Penta hit dives over the top onto Butcher and Blade on the floor. Pac went up top and hit the Black Arrow splash for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Death Triangle (Rey Fenix, Penta Oscuro & Pac)
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match with an obvious result since Death Triangle are a pushed trio while the other three guys are part of Andrade’s midcard group that usually loses every TV match. There was that good nearfall for Butcher and Blade for a two count, but as I wrote I doubt anybody thought that would be the finish. They did a nice job of setting up the finish of the match with a lot of cool moves by the faces before Pac hit the Black Arrow for the win. Death Triangle is certainly one of the best trios teams in AEW.
The lights went out. The House of Black trio of Malakai Black, Brody King and Buddy Matthews appeared at ringside. They stared at Death Triangle. The lights went out again and when the lights were back on, the House of Black was gone.
Analysis: It’s obviously leading to a six-man tag team match. I assume we’ll see House of Black vs. Death Triangle at Double or Nothing later this month.
Shawn Spears vs. Bear Boulder
Spears did the “ten” hand gesture, Boulder picked him up and Spears ran the ropes leading to Boulder catching him with a powerslam. Boulder with a corner charge, Spears avoided a charge and Spears punched Boulder repeatedly. Bounder connected with a running splash. Spears did an eye gouge, then he had Boulder on his shoulders and Spears hit the C4 slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shawn Spears
Analysis: * Spears has to face Wardlow in a Steel Cage Match, so it’s a way to put over Spears against a bigger guy. The C4 on the big man was an impressive move.
Post match, Spears hit Boulder with two chair shots to the back. Spears delivered a message to Wardlow saying “the giant killer is cometh.”
Analysis: Wardlow will face Spears in a Steel Cage on Dynamite in two weeks. It should be a win for Wardlow.
Tony Nese and Smart Mark Sterling (with a neckbrace) were interviewed by Lexi Nair. Sterling said that he’s not going to be in the match with Nese against Danhausen and Hook. Nese said that this is fine because he destroyed Danhausen and he can beat the two of them by himself. Nese told Sterling to put $10,000 on them.
Women’s Owen Hart Tournament Quarterfinals: Riho vs. Ruby Soho
Riho weighs about 90 pounds while Ruby probably doesn’t weigh much more than that. Riho covered her ears while Ruby’s music played, so that was funny. They shook hands at the start of the match. Ruby with a shoulder tackle, Riho got a pin attempt for two and Ruby came back with a kick to the gut. Ruby with a snapmare into a kick to the back. Riho with a headscissors takedown followed by a double stomp to the chest. Riho with a forearm that barely connected, Ruby with a back elbow and Ruby used her legs to send Riho into the turnbuckle. Ruby jumped off the top, Riho moved out of the way, Ruby sold the left knee a bit and then Ruby hit a headbutt. Riho blocked a kick attempt leading to a single leg crab, but Ruby got to the ropes. That led to a picture in picture break.
Riho was in control with a running knee followed by a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Riho went up top, they fought on the turnbuckle, Riho managed to send Ruby down and Riho jumped ff the top with a cross body block, but Ruby countered it for two. Ruby with an elbow to the face, Riho came back with a Crucifix Bomb and that got a two count. Riho charged, Ruby with an up kick and a backdrop driver for two. Ruby with a superkick for two. Ruby hit the Bladerunner neckbreaker for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho
Analysis: ***1/4 This was a pretty good match that was even most of the way. The winner wasn’t obvious, so that made it more enjoyable. It took Ruby hitting several big moves in a row to put Riho away, which puts over Riho’s toughness because it took a lot to beat her. Ruby winning is fine with me because AEW needs to keep pushing her.
Post match, Ruby Soho lifted up Riho and raised her hand. They bowed as a sign of respect.
Billy Gunn was shown talking to The Acclaimed and Gunn Club telling them they are a faction now. Billy said he knows about factions. Austin had a suggestion, but Billy told them no. Caster and Bowens had a silly hand gesture that Billy loved. Austin told “daddy” they had a catchphrase saying that they have two words and Billy said that will never work (hello DX – that’s the joke). Caster suggested “yo listen” as two words in a catchphrase and Billy liked that. Billy said he’s got them a match…this Monday on Elevation. The guys feigned enthusiasm and celebrated.
Analysis: That was mildly funny, I guess. I like Caster and Bowens a lot. Gunn Club aren’t as interesting, but we know AEW loves factions, so here’s another group.
Jade Cargill Interview
Jade Cargill, the TBS Champion, made her entrance with “The Baddies” Red Velvet and Kiera Hogan. Smart Mark Sterling joined them wearing a neckbrace and using a crutch. They were interviewed in the ring with Tony Schiavone.
Jade told Tony to “cut the shit” and they showed some more “Baddies” in the crowd. Tony said that Hikaru Shida won’t be able to face Red Velvet in the Owen Hart tournament due to injury. Cargill asked Sterling what happened to him and told Mark that nobody cares. Sterling said it was his opinion that Red Velvet should win by forfeit and move on. Tony Schiavone said that he was told by matchmaker Tony Khan that there will be a replacement in the tournament and she will face Red Velvet. It’s Kris Statlander, who is less of an alien than she used to be. What a sentence I had to write there. Anyway, Statlander stared at Velvet from a distance.
Analysis: They could have done this in 30 seconds, but decided to waste some time with a boring promo instead. Good for Statlander being in a TV match because it’s been a while since she had something to do.
There was a split-screen main event interview with TNT Champion Scorpio Sky on one side (with Ethan Page and Dan Lambert) and Frankie Kazarian. Mark Henry conducted the interview while noting that Sky and Kazarian were the first AEW Tag Team Champions together. Ethan Page complained about Sky giving Kazarian a title shot and Sky said he gave Kazarian his word. Kazarian said that this match is one on one. Sky told Ethan Page that he wants to put some respect on that title, so he told Page and Dan Lambert to take the night off.
There was a rundown of what’s coming up on Dynamite:
* Samoa Joe vs. “Joker” (mystery wrestler) in the Owen Hart Men’s Tournament quarterfinals.
* Dr. Britt Baker vs. vs. “Joker” (mystery wrestler) in the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament quarterfinals.
* Kyle O’Reilly vs. Rey Fenix in the Owen Hart Men’s Tournament quarterfinals.
* Wardlow must take ten lashes from MJF.
* “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Konosuke Takeshita with CM Punk on commentary.
* Chris Jericho and William Regal have a face to face.
* Adam Cole vs. Jeff Hardy in the Owen Hart Men’s Tournament quarterfinals. Excalibur said that was the main event.
Next Friday on AEW Rampage:
* Red Velvet vs. Kris Statlander in the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament quarterfinals.
They mentioned Double or Nothing matches as well. Excalibur was talking really fast during all of this. Let the man breathe.
Frankie Kazarian made his entrance for the main event. Frankie barely gets any matches on TV, but they put him in this main event match. I assume he gets a lot of Youtube wins since he’s ranked #2 in the singles list, yet I don’t remember seeing him win much. I don’t watch the Youtube shows. Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti were watching at ringside with their AAA Mixed Tag Team Titles. Scorpio Sky made his entrance as the TNT Champion and there wasn’t much of a reaction for him.
TNT Championship: Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian
There were some “SCU” chants as they slapped hands as a sign of respect. They did some wrist locks to eachother, then Kazarian did a shoulder tackle and they had a staredown. Kazarian got a hiptoss leading to a short arm scissors submission on the left arm. Sky countered with a rollup and Sky wanted a TKO, but Frankie avoided that. Frankie ran the ropes leading to a collision spot to knock them both down. Kazarian got a backslide pin attempt for two. Kazarian with a Fisherman’s suplex for a two count. Sky sent Kazarian out of the ring and Sky jumped over the top with a somersault dive onto Kazarian. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match continued with Kazarian hitting a jumping leg drop to the back of the head. Kazarian jumped over the ropes with a pin attempt. Kazarian hit a knee lift into a clothesline combination. Sky with a kick to the chest, but then Kazarian knocked him down. Sky got Kazarian on his shoulders going for a TKO, but Kazarian countered with a cradle. Kazarian hit a springboard leg drop for a two count. Sky with a jawbreaker, Sky avoided a leg drop to the head and Kazarian used the ropes to slingshot Sky back into the ring for a Cutter for two! Great spot. Kazarian went for the Crossface Chickenwing, Sky tried to fight out of it and Dan Lambert ran down to the ring to go on the apron. Ethan Page went into the ring with the TNT Title and hit Kazarian in the back. Sky looked like he was knocked out as he landed on top of Kazarian for just a two count. Sky picked up Kazarian and hit the TKO slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Scorpio Sky
Analysis: ***1/2 A great match by two veterans that know eachother very well. Lots of counter holds in the match and I like how they were going for pin attempts right out of the gate. That slingshot Cutter by Kazarian was an incredible move. Sky winning was the right result since he recently won the title back, so it’s important for him to rack up the wins to look like a credible champion. The story is that Sky didn’t realize that Page and Lambert got involved even though Sky told them not to come to ringside. That was followed up after the match.
Post match, Sky tried to pick up Kazarian, who told Sky that Page and Lambert got involved. Sky had no idea it happened. Sky yelled at Page. That led to Page telling Sky he hit Kazarian for the team, then he wondered whose team he was on and Sky hit Kazarian with the title. Lambert said that he loved it when a plan comes together. Lambert ripped on Sammy Guevara while calling Tay Conti “Whorehausen” and wondered where they were going. Page and Sky were beating up Kazarian. Sammy went into the ring with the chair, so Sky and Page left. Sammy had the TNT Title in his hands. Sky and crew were in the aisle. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: It was a swerve. Sky acted like he didn’t want help, but he was happy to get the help because it meant he kept his title. It also meant that Sky was dishonest towards Kazarian, who was his friend and who Sky showed respect to. That was booked well.
Three Stars of the Show
- Scorpio Sky
- Death Triangle (Pac, Rey Fenix & Penta Oscuro)
- Frankie Kazarian/Ruby Soho
This Week: 7.25 out of 10
Last Week: 7
It was the typical Rampage show with a bunch of good matches, but nothing that really stood out that much. I think in terms of results, there was a lot of predictability. That’s most wrestling shows these days.
I liked Sky’s win over Kazarian to give Sky a credible win over a veteran opponent. Good story involved there too. The women’s match was fine with Ruby Soho hitting some big moves to put away Riho. Death Triangle showed off as they beat guys that had no chance, but it was fun to watch.
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