Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 09/16/22 Review

aew rampage sept 16

This week’s AEW Rampage featured Samoa Joe defending the ROH TV Title in the main event while Matt Hardy faced Darby Allin and the build for next week’s huge shows continued.

This is AEW Rampage from the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. This was taped after Dynamite on Wednesday. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

It’s Friday night and you know what that means. Jim Ross was on commentary with Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and “The Wizard” known as Chris Jericho. They went right to the action with the introductions for the first match on Youtube.

Darby Allin vs. Matt Hardy

This is Matt’s first match on TV in over one month since creative has had nothing for him. The good news is brother Jeff Hardy should be back soon. They shook hands to start the match since they are both faces. Allin was in control early with a side headlock, Hardy broke free and hit a shoulder tackle knockdown. Allin with a crucifix pin attempt for two. Hardy went to the floor, Allin tried a dive, but Matt hit him with a forearm. Allin was on the floor as well as he sent Matt back-first into the steel steps. Allin jumped off the top rope with a senton bomb while Matt was by the apron, but Matt moved and Allin hit the ring apron hard. Matt picked up Allin leading to a Powerbomb into the turnbuckle and ring post. They went to a picture-in-picture break for the next 90 seconds.

(Commercial)

Hardy was working over Allin’s back as the show returned. Allin pulled the leg for a trip leading to a jackknife cover. Allin hit Matt with a running back splash in the corner two times. Allin went for a move off the ropes, Hardy avoided it and hit a Side Effect slam for two. Hardy hit another Side Effect slam. Allin countered a Twist of Fate attempt into a backslide pin attempt for two. Allin countered a Hardy move leading to Allin hitting a reverse DDT that’s called a Scorpion Death Drop when Sting does it. Allin went to the turnbuckle, Hardy grabbed him and Matt picked him up leading to a sitout Powerbomb for two. Hardy went up top, he did a moonsault, Allin moved and Matt hit the mat hard. Allin hit the Code Red for the two count. Allin hooked the leg leading to the Last Supper pin attempt for the three count. It went 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Darby Allin

Analysis: *** A good match that was competitive from the start. Matt is moving slowly in his late 40s so the end is near for him in the ring most likely after one more tag team run with his brother, I assume. I liked the story of Hardy working on Allin’s back throughout the match. It was a close finish with both guys getting nearfalls, but Allin managed to get the win with his Last Supper pin attempt. No story going in or out of the match. It was just a way to give Allin a win.

Post match, Allin and Hardy touched knuckles as a sign of respect.

After Allin went to the back, the lights went out. The lights came back on and Brody King was in the ring with Julia Hart. King decked Hardy with a clothesline. King told Allin and Sting to come out there now. King talked about how they may have cut the head off the snake (a reference to Malakai Black being granted a release by AEW), but there is still plenty of venom left in the fangs. King said next week at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Darby & Sting vs. House Of Black (King and Buddy Matthews) in a No Disqualification Match. King choked out Matt Hardy just because he’s mean. The lights were out, Sting and Allin went to ringside and King/Hart were gone. Allin and Sting helped Matt Hardy back up.

Analysis: That means they are still using the House of Black name for the group even though Malakai Black isn’t in it anymore. That rivalry between King and Allin has been going on for a long time now, but I guess it will continue.

(Commercial)

Eddie Kingston was shown doing a promo talking about Sammy Guevara. Eddie said that Sammy’s a horrible, rotten human being. Eddie said Sammy makes him sick, so that’s why Eddie will beat the piss out of Sammy at Grand Slam Rampage next week.

Analysis: A lot of big matches at the two Grand Slam shows next week. Kingston and Guevara was going to be an All Out match, but that plan changed due to some issues they had during some promos they did. Now we get to see the match.

Let’s Hear from Claudio Castagnoli

Claudio said that the ROH World Title represents honor and the Blackpool Combat Club is a symbol of excellence. Claudio said they are a team, a family and they make eachother better. Claudio noted that Wheeler Yuta will win back his ROH Pure Championship. Claudio talked about the tough match he had against Dax Harwood to keep his title. Claudio spoke about the BCC members Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson fighting eachother for the AEW World Title, so that means the BCC will have two World Champions in its ranks.

Chris Jericho got up from commentary with the fans chanting “you tapped out” to him. Jericho reminded Claudio that the Jericho Appreciation Society is a symbol of excellent. Jericho mentioned he’s a seven-time World Champion (one in AEW, six in WWE) and he should be in the World Title match next week and it’s not because he tapped out. Claudio said that’s exactly why he’s not in that match. Jericho said he’s been a World Champion in WWF, WWE, WCW (that was in a WWF ring for what it’s worth) and the first-ever AEW World Champion. Jericho said that the one place he’s never been World Champion is in Ring of Honor. Jericho said that seven isn’t enough for him, so he’s going for the Ocho (that’s eight) and that’s why he’s challenging Claudio for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship this Wednesday in New York City where he was born at Arthur Ashe at Grand Slam. Claudio said that he has been waiting for this moment for a long time, so he’s on. Claudio said he’s going to beat the hell out of Jericho.

Analysis: There’s a big match for next week. Easy set up with Jericho doing the promo and it’s a fresh match as well. I hope that at some point Claudio gets a meaningful feud instead of just random matches that are set up on one promo, but that’s all he seems to get in AEW.

Jade Cargill and the Baddies were interviewed by Lexi Nair. Kiera Hogan said that this winning is getting boring, Leyla Grey wondered who is left and Jade said no one is left. Jade said that she will step on anybody that’s in her way and Jade said she is that bitch. Diamante issued a challenge to Cargill saying she knows the baddest bitch from the 305 and left.

Analysis: That’s another win for Jade, who also never really gets feuds. Cargill just wins random matches.

Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian) vs. Willow Nightingale

Ford’s husband Sabian still has a box with him. I don’t understand the point of it for the last year. Willow is bigger, so she ran over Ford with a shoulder tackle. They exchanged some nearfalls. Excalibur had to speak quickly about matches taking place instead of calling the match as Willow hit a chop and body slam. Willow hit a diving cross body block for two. Ford avoided a cross body block followed by a splash on the back while Willow was against the ropes. Ford with a knee drop on the apron.

(Commercial)

Willow got some offense going with a corner splash followed by a kick to the crowd. I could see a few fans clapping as they piped in fake crowd noise. Willow hit a spinebuster for two. Ford ducked a move by Willow leading to a Cutter for just a two count. Jericho claimed Ford is more dangerous than ever, so she’s the Sports Entertainer of the Week. Thrilling. Ford jumped off the top, Willow moved and Willow did a pounce tackle into the ropes. The crowd came alive for that. Ford with a kick to the face and a head slam into the mat. Ford with an Indian Death Lock submission with a bridge while holding the neck for the tapout win after about eight minutes.

Winner by submission: Penelope Ford

Analysis: ** An average match where the crowd didn’t care that much about either wrestler. Once again it was a match with no story, which is a running theme in AEW. I guess Ford gets more TV time than Willow so that’s why she won although neither one is really used that much.

The Dark Order guys were interviewed with “Hangman” Adam Page joining them. Page apologized to his friends for screwing up in the trios tag team match. They all talked about how they are in a battle royal for a shot at the World Title. Rush and Jose the Assistant walked in with Jose saying Page steals the glory from them. Rush said he’ll eliminate all their asses.

Ethan Page (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Danhausen

Ethan with a boot to the face. JR said that Ethan is underutilized. You can say “poorly booked” like I have been saying for over a year. It’s the booking, Jim. Danhausen with a slap, so Ethan gave him a shoulder tackle. Ethan hit the Ego’s Edge launching Powerbomb for the pinfall win in under two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ethan Page

Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for Page. Some comedy with Danhausen involved, but Ethan put him away easily. The crowd seems to like Danhausen, but I would be hitting fast forward if I didn’t have to review the show.

Ricky Starks did a promo saying Powerhouse Hobbs has Ricky’s full attention. Starks said he will see Hobbs personally in New York City. That’s nice.

(Commercial)

There was a split-screen main event interview by Mark Henry talking to Samoa Joe and Josh Woods, who had Tony Nese & Smart Mark Sterling with him. Sterling talked about Woods winning matches while Joe has been on vacation and when Woods wins, he can send Joe on an extended vacation. Joe issued a warning to Woods and threatened Sterling as well.

They did a rundown of all the matches at Grand Slam Dynamite on Wednesday and Grand Slam Rampage on tape on Friday. Next week’s Rampage is two hours.

This is on Rampage next Friday:

* Action Bronson & Hook vs. Matt Menard & Angelo Parker

* Eddie Kingston vs. Sammy Guevara

* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill vs. Diamante

* Golden Ticket Battle Royal – They showed Jay Lethal, Adam Page, Lance Archer and Penta on the graphic. There will be a lot more wrestlers in it.

* Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks

* Rey Fenix vs. Jungle Boy

* No Disqualification Match: Darby Allin & Sting v. House of Black (Brody King & Buddy Matthews).

They mentioned the Dynamite Grand Slam matches throughout the show.

Ring of Honor Television Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Josh Woods (w/Tony Nese & Smart Mark Sterling)

The ROH ring announcer Bobby Cruise did the introductions and Ian Riccaboni was on commentary as well. They did some grappling in the early part of the match, Joe had a headlock and then Woods delivered a punch followed by Joe doing his own punch. They exchanged forearms, Joe delivered jabs, Woods came back with knees and Woods pulled on Joe’s left arm towards the rope. Sterling distracted the referee, so Nese pulled on Joe’s left arm. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

Woods was in control of Joe with an armbar on the right arm and Joe went for a pin attempt to get out of it. Joe applied a sleeper, but Woods wrenched on the arm followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Joe with an atomic drop, boot to the face and a senton splash for a two count. Joe sent Woods into the ropes leading to a powerslam for two. Nese distracted the referee and Sterling distracted Joe, so Woods got a rollup for two. Woods with a knee to the face followed by a slam off the shoulders into a knee strike to the face for a two count. That looked sloppy, but I guess it was effective enough. Joe with an STO takedown on a charging Woods. Joe hit the Muscle Buster for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Samoa Joe

Analysis: **3/4 This was a solid match with a simple story of Woods working on the left arm and Joe made the comeback to win. The pacing was pretty slow for most of the match. Joe also looked exhausted by the end of it because he hasn’t wrestled much this year.

Post match, Nese attacked Joe with a forearm to the back followed by some punches. Woods joined in the double team attack on Joe. Sterling tried to attack with the TV Title, but Wardlow made his entrance as the TNT Champion without his shirt off. Wardlow got a hold of Sterling for a Powerbomb, but Nese saved Sterling. Wardlow and Joe had a face-to-face staredown, then touched their titles together and that was it.

They added another match to Rampage next week: Wardlow & Samoa Joe vs. Josh Woods & Tony Nese. That’s an easy win for Wardlow and Joe. Anyway, Excalibur plugged Dynamite again. Joe and Wardlow shook hands. End show.

Analysis: Wardlow and Joe could both use a meaningful feud. Like I wrote with Claudio earlier, a lot of AEW stories are just random matches put together for a week or two and then people move on. There are so many champions and titles that have nothing interesting to do from week to week.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Darby Allin
  2. Samoa Joe
  3. Matt Hardy

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 5 out of 10

Last Week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

A weak show. Rampage was better the last few weeks and then it was back to being a boring episode this week. Even people on Twitter with names like AEWFan4Life2019 couldn’t put this over as a good show because of how boring it was. Samoa Joe beating Josh Woods was decent for the main event, but not really a big match. Darby Allin and Matt Hardy had a competitive matchup to open the show. Matt is really showing his age. At least brother Jeff should be back soon. Like I say most weeks, the issue for this show is they don’t have many storylines and it’s just random matches, so it’s hard to care about the matches.

I did like the Claudio-Jericho promo to set up the ROH World Title match next Wednesday on Dynamite. Jericho knows how to go get heat while Claudio is a likable face.

Next week’s Dynamite and Rampage will be huge shows in New York City, so I’m looking forward to it. The card for Dynamite is amazing while Rampage (a two-hour episode) has some good matches advertised too.

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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport