This week’s AEW Rampage featured Darby Allin vs. Bobby Fish in the main event while Jon Moxley was in action against the exciting young superstar Dante Martin in the opener.
This is AEW Rampage from the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri. It was taped after Dynamite on Wednesday. Check out the brand new AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
It’s Friday night and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Taz and “The Wizard” yeller Chris Jericho. It’s another “Road Rager” show that means nothing except different colors I guess. William Regal was on commentary as well for the first match since it was a Jon Moxley match.
Jon Moxley vs. Dante Martin
Martin wanted a handshake, so Moxley did a hard slap to his hand. Moxley applied a hammerlock into a side headlock takedown. Moxley ran over Martin with a shoulder tackle. Moxley with another side headlock, then Martin got some offense going with a headscissors along with kicks to the legs. Moxley with an elbow to the head, then Martin off the ropes and he hit a dropkick that sent Moxley out of the ring. Martin jumped off the top rope teasing an attack, but Moxley moved out of the way. Martin with some chops after Moxley let him do them, then Moxley hit some harder chops and Moxley did a hard whip into the turnbuckle. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.
Moxley was in control as he locked in a Texas Cloverleaf submission, but then he reached back for more of an STF-style submission briefly. Regal said he invented that move, so let’s call it more of a Regal Stretch. Moxley hit a running knee for a two count. Moxley went to the middle turnbuckle, so Martin did a somersault into a hurricanrana takedown. Moxley hooked the arms of Martin into a butterfly suplex for two. Martin with a headscissors that sent Moxley to the apron and Martin kicked Moxley off the apron. Martin with a springboard cross body block (using the forearms to attack) on Moxley on the floor for two. Back in the ring, Martin hit a cross body block off the top for two. Martin went for the Nosedive moonsault off the ropes, Moxley moved and Moxley applied the Bulldog Choke submission. Martin managed to get to the ropes to break. Martin managed to hit a Sliced Bread neckbreaker off the top rope for a two count. They each went for moves, there was a counter and Moxley hit a Cutter. Moxley went for a lariat, Martin moved and Martin connected with a sunset flip for two. Moxley hit a stiff lariat for a two count. Moxley elbowed Martin in the jaw (it really doesn’t look like that but that’s the idea) repeatedly, then he hooked the arm and Moxley applied a hammerlock submission with a body capture. Martin tapped out to give Moxley the win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ***3/4 A very good match as usual from Moxley while Martin always delivers when he’s in a longer matchup because he’s such a talented young guy. Lots of back-and-forth action to show that Martin could compete with Moxley even though I doubt anybody watching this thought that Moxley would lose to a guy just over one week before his Forbidden Door AEW World Title match. Martin had some big moves in the match like the Sliced Bread neckbreaker off the top along with some moves off the top as usual.
Moxley celebrated the win while also bowing at Martin as a sign of respect. Regal left commentary with Jericho telling him to “get the hell out of here.” That was funny.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland were interviewed by Tony Schiavone, who asked if they are on the same page after Swerve eliminated Lee in the battle royal. Lee gave Swerve some time to explain himself. Swerve said they were both there to win singles titles and this was an opportunity at a title shot. Swerve said he thinks Lee would have done the same thing while Lee said he saved him. Swerve told Lee they had an agreement. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs walked in to remind them that they have yet to beat Ricky and Hobbs. That was it.
Analysis: It sure seems like this is going to lead to Strickland going heel soon.
There was a promo from House of Black and Death Triangle. Penta faces Malakai Black in the All-Atlantic Title tournament, so that’s what it was about.
It was time for The Acclaimed and Gunn Club. Max Caster did a pre-match rap making a January 6 reference (check the news), then he had a line about how he had something to say, but somebody made him sign an NDA (a non-disclosure agreement so that’s a reference to Vince McMahon) and funny how Austin Gunn winked at the camera at that point. He made a reference to St. Louis being a murder capital as if that’s a good thing. That led to Gunn Club/Ass Boys saying the wrong city and Anthony Bowens is the one that gets it right.
Max Caster & Gunn Club (Austin & Colten Gunn) vs. Ruffin It (Leon Ruff, Bear Bronson & Bear Boulder)
You may remember Leon Ruff from NXT while Jericho made a joke that Ruff has to eat some sandwiches to be similar to Bear Country, who are much bigger. Gunn Club and Caster did a “scissor party” with Jericho wondering what the hell was that? I’m old too, Chris. Austin knocked down Ruff with a chop, Colten tagged in to send Ruff into Austin with a quick draw neckbreaker. Caster tagged in also and he hit a top rope elbow drop for the pinfall win. It was just over one minute.
Winners by pinfall: Max Caster & Gunn Club (Austin & Colten Gunn)
Analysis: 1/2* That was boring, but at least it was a quick match. The pre-match rap was longer than the match. Caster & Gunn Club usually lose TV matches, but they got to face guys who are almost never on TV, so they get to win. Yawn.
Hook was interviewed by Lexy Nair about having a match against somebody from NJPW Dojo. Hook didn’t say anything, then Danhausen walked in saying they will annihilate and eviscerate them. Hook said he’s got this. More riveting television.
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (w/Stokely Hathaway & Kiera Hogan) vs. Willow Nightingale
Excalibur tried to put over Willow as a threat, but nobody watching believes that. Hathaway joined commentary. Jericho said Cargill is Jericho’s “Sports Entertainer of the Week.” Willow managed to get a kick to the head, but Cargill no sold it and did some squatting while Willow on her shoulders. Willow went for a running attack, Jade moved and Jade kicked Willow out of the ring. They went to break.
The match returned with Willow getting a rollup for two. Willow with a backsplash in the corner followed by a cannonball for a two count. Jade hit a Pedigree called a double underhook facebuster and then the Jaded slam for the pinfall win after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill
Analysis: ** It was a decent match with about half of it taking place during the picture-in-picture break. Willow had some power moves that rocked Jade a bit, but this was another match where you know Cargill has no chance of losing. After they came back from break, Jade hit two moves to win easily. The finish could have been built up better.
Cargill is now 33-0 in her AEW career.
After the match, Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan beat up Willow a bit. Athena’s music hit, so she was on the top rope and hit the O-Face on Hogan (Eclipse was a much better name for that top rope Stunner), but Jade hit the Pump Kick. Kris Statlander ran down for the save, she knocked Hathaway down and Cargill left.
Analysis: It’s a way to set up Cargill with a couple of opponents in the future like Athena and Statlander.
A promo aired featuring Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt. Lethal ripped on Joe for being a lazy champion. Sonjay said that all of India is celebrating over Singh’s debut last week. Singh said they are just getting started.
It’s AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door on PPV on Sunday, June 26 with these matches as screamed by fast-talking Excalibur:
* Interim AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi.
* AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Miro vs. Pac vs. Malakai Black or Penta vs. NJPW representative.
* Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki & Sammy Guevara vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta & Shota Umino.
* AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm. That is not an AEW/NJPW match. Both are in AEW.
* Winner Takes All IWGP Tag Team Titles/ROH Tag Team Titles: FTR vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan vs. Roppongi Vice.
* IWGP US Championship: Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy.
Analysis: It’s a good card, but I wouldn’t say great although match quality is strong. In terms of storylines, it’s not that strong. I assume they add IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jay White vs. “Hangman” Adam Page that could also include Adam Cole to make it a triple threat. Another match I hope they add is Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Bryan Danielson, which was teased when Sabre ripped on Danielson in a promo recently. It’s also weird that there’s no Young Bucks match.
This Wednesday on Dynamite:
* Will Ospreay & Aussie Open vs. Orange Cassidy & Roppongi Vice.
* Penta Oscuro vs. Malakai Black.
* Jon Moxley & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Chris Jericho & Lance Archer.
Analysis: Tanahashi in action on Dynamite? Hell yeah. I think Archer is there to take the pin since he’s barely on TV.
It was main event time with Mark Henry talking to Darby Allin on one side while Bobby Fish was with Kyle O’Reilly. Allin said that Kyle took out Sting, so Allin is going to take out Bobby, who is the closest person to Kyle. Bobby and Kyle didn’t think Allin could do it with Bobby saying it was not a good idea. Allin said that this isn’t a wrestling match. Allin said that by the end of the night, Bobby’s leg will be broken. Henry did his shout letting us know it was time for the main event.
Darby Allin vs. Bobby Fish
Allin didn’t have the skateboard with him, so I guess he’s more serious about this match now? Sure. Allin posed on the ropes like an idiot, so Fish kicked him in the back of the leg. Fish with a leg drag takedown that sent Allin out of the ring. Fish tackled Allin into the apron. Fish charged, Allin tried a leap over Allin, but Allin’s knee hit Fish in the head. They were both down on the floor. Allin was in better shape because he jumped over the top with a cross body block. Fish with a backbreaker. Fish missed a moonsault by a lot while Allin ran the rope and hit a suicide dive onto Fish. Allin was on the apron, but Fish was there to kick him in the leg to knock Allin off the apron. Fish did a leg whip into the barricade. If the referee did a countout then it would have been a countout, but it’s AEW. The referee was checking on Allin’s condition a bit. Fish did another leg whip sending Allin into the barricade. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Fish was still in control as he went for a suplex, but Allin countered with a reverse DDT. They had a good “shocked fan” reaction in the crowd. Allin hit a running corner splash, then Allin countered a submission into a pin attempt. Allin hit a Code Red into a pin attempt for two. Fish left the ring, so Allin jumped off the top rope with a Coffin Drop onto Fish on the floor. When Allin sent Fish back into the ring, Fish tackled Allin out of the ring. Fish whipped Allin into the steel steps. They battled on the apron with Fish giving Allin a German Suplex on the apron. Ouch. Darby loves taking these crazy bumps. They were on the top rope with Fish doing the Avalanche Falcon Arrow for a two count. Fish applied an Ankle Lock, Allin bridged back and did his Last Supper pin for the win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Darby Allin
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a solid match with Allin being aggressive right away, then he sold a lot and made the comeback to win. AEW likes booking tag team wrestlers like Fish to lose singles matches. It’s one of their favorite booking moves. Sometimes they win, but most of the time they lose. The formula for the match was simple with Allin selling for most of it before he got a counter move for the pin.
There were a few minutes left in the show as Fish attacked Allin with punches. Kyle O’Reilly walked out to the ring to help his buddy Fish and that’s when the lights went out. The lights came on to show Sting standing at ringside. Jericho: “How’d he get there?” Sting hit Kyle with a baseball bat to the groin and Sting got the chair from Kyle. Allin hit Fish in the left leg with a steel chair. Allin trapped the left leg in the chair, Allin went to the middle rope and hit a Coffin Drop off the turnbuckle. Allin was selling the left leg/knee injury. Sting put his bat against the leg of Fish and wrenched on it. Sting went into the ring to celebrate with Allin. End show.
Analysis: Allin did exactly what he said he would do by targeting Fish’s leg just like Kyle did to Sting. This should lead to a tag team match at some point in the future. Sting never loses in AEW, so they should win. This was booked well in terms of generating a big reaction from the crowd.
Three Stars of the Show
- Jon Moxley
- Darby Allin
- Dante Martin
This Week: 7 out of 10
Last Week: 7
A solid show with a great opening match with Moxley beating Martin while the main event between Allin and Fish was well done too. The two middle matches were short and forgettable for the most part. Moxley always has great matches while Martin continues to impress.
It was cool seeing Sting return at the end of the night. He’s been out for a while, so having him help Darby at the end of the show and get revenge on Kyle/Bobby was a fun way to end the night.
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