This week’s AEW Rampage featured Ricky Starks facing Lance Archer in the World Title Eliminator tournament while there was a tag team main event.
I will be doing a condensed Rampage review this week. Time is a bit of an issue and just a lot of writing of late including more tonight with the live Full Gear review that will be about four hours of content. It would be even more if I did the pre-show too.
It’s Friday night and you know what that means. It was a live show. They called this “Full Gear Friday” featuring a bunch of people that aren’t on the Full Gear main show.
World Title Eliminator Quarterfinals: Ricky Starks vs. Lance Archer
This started as a brawl in the backstage area that led them through the crowd and eventually into the ring. I like that it was more of a fight. Starks got the win with a Spear, which is a weird finish for a 200-pound guy to do on a 300-pounder, but I don’t see Starks lifting him up for his slam off the shoulders, so this was probably all they could do to end it. It went about six minutes.
Winner: Ricky Starks
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good brawl that turned into a match. The right guy won. Archer gets booked for a match every month or sometimes two months, we’re supposed to take him as a threat and then he puts somebody over. That’s fine. I like Starks a lot.
Starks moves on to the Full Gear pre-show to face Brian Cage in a World Title Eliminator Semifinal match. The winner of that faces Ethan Page in the World Title Eliminator Finals. I think Starks will win against Cage and then Starks-Page should be a tossup. It could go either way, but I doubt either of them beats the AEW World Champion next month.
FTW Championship: Hook vs. Lee Moriarty
This went way longer than most Hook matches since they got about nine minutes. They are two young guys with a lot of potential. They both have a lot of technical wrestling skills. Moriarty needs to work on his personality and standing out a bit more. Hook won with the Redrum submission. Hook is 16-0 in his AEW career as Jim Ross pointed out.
Analysis: **3/4 Easy win for Hook, but I don’t think it’s very smart to go that long because it made him look weak. I guess it’s a case of wanting to show us that Moriarty is getting better. Sure.
From the Rampage review on AEW’s website: Backstage, Jose the Assistant and Rush challenged John Silver to a match. Dark Order’s 10 walked off, leaving Silver solo!
Analysis: An exclamation point for that segment? No. Calm down, AEW website writer.
Athena vs. Madison Rayne
This only went three minutes with Athena getting the win easily. Rayne is just decent at this point, but doesn’t have much of a personality anymore like in her early TNA days. It’s not a good sign that the women’s match only gets three minutes.
Analysis: * The women’s division continues to get very little TV time compared to the guys. At least they have three matches at Full Gear.
After the match, Athena beat up Rayne, referee Aubrey Edwards tried to stop Athena and Athena knocked Edwards down. The ROH Women’s Champion Mercedes Martinez made the save, so Athena left.
Analysis: Some Twitter nerds were mad about Athena being rough during a match on a Youtube show, so they played into that with this attack. I guess we’re supposed to think Athena is really angry and out of control these days. That probably sets up Martinez vs. Athena at the ROH PPV Final Battle next month.
There was some Best Friends and Factory segment featuring some bad acting from both sides. They have a match at the Full Gear pre-show.
A video aired about House of Black so they are coming back soon. I would assume they go after the Trios Tag Team Titles soon either against Death Triangle or The Elite.
Eddie Kingston & Ortiz vs. Jun Akiyama & Konosuke Takeshita
This was basically a match that Eddie always wanted because he loves Akiyama, so it’s the main event of this show. Akiyama and Takeshita are from the DDT (Dramatic Dream Team) Pro promotion in Japan. Takeshita is really good and I hope AEW signs him because he’s a guy in his mid-20s that is very talented. The last few minutes were a lot of fun. Good action and nearfalls. Going into the match I figured Ortiz was there to take the pin and that’s what happened as Akiyama got the win for his team. It went about 12 minutes.
Winners: Jun Akiyama & Konosuke Takeshita
Analysis: ***1/2 A pretty good tag team match here. It was not as chaotic and unorganized as some AEW tags, so that’s nice to see. Not much to say in terms of story since it was just a way for AEW to get Akiyama on the show.
After the show, Eddie Kingston shouted for Tony Khan to make a match between Kingston and Akiyama, so it’s on the Full Gear pre-show called Zero Hour. Here’s the video featuring an awkward Tony Khan promo. I like Tony, but he should just have somebody else speak for him.
Moments ago #AEW GM @TonyKhan, at the request of @MadKing1981, made one more match for #ZeroHour: #AEWFullGear Pre-Show TOMORROW NIGHT Live at 7pm ET / 6pm CT#EddieKingston vs #JunAkiyama (@jun0917start)
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 19, 2022
Three Stars of the Show
- Jun Akiyama & Konosuke Takeshita
- Ricky Starks
- Eddie Kingston & Ortiz
This Week: 6 out of 10
Last Week: 5.75
The main event was really good and the opening match was fun. The Hook-Moriarty match was solid too. I just don’t think this is a very interesting show if you’re into wrestling for storylines since there’s very little of that. It’s passable entertainment and 6 out of 10 for a show like this is fine. I just think Rampage should be a lot better than it is.
Check out our in-depth AEW Full Gear review here. That’s all for me.
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