The John Report: AEW Rampage 12/09/22 Review

aew rampage dec 9

This week’s AEW Rampage featured Jon Moxley in action against Konosuke Takeshita in an outstanding opening match, plus Orange Cassidy defending the All-AEW Atlantic Title.

As usual for Rampage, I’ll do a summary review of the matches and then play-by-play for one match. This week I’ll do that for the first match. Last week’s Rampage was one of the worst wrestling shows I reviewed all year, so at least the first match this week will make it better.

This is AEW Rampage from the H-E-B Center in Austin, Texas. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. This was taped after AEW Dynamite.

It’s Friday night and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone.

Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita

They started with some mat wrestling, then it turned into a chop fest as Moxley and Takeshita exchanged some hard shots to the chest. It turned into an exchange of forearms, Moxley kicked the knee and ran the ropes leading to Takeshita hitting a jumping side kick. Moxley went for a move, Takeshita got out of it and they had a staredown. Moxley wanted a handshake, then he slapped Takeshita in the head and Moxley did some dreaded face biting. After more strikes being exchanged, Takeshita hit a hurricanrana. Moxley to the floor and Takeshita hit a somersault dive over the top onto Moxley on the floor. They showed Don Callis watching in a private box with the announcers pushing the story that he’s watching Takeshita. They went brawling into the crowd for some reason and the referee didn’t even attempt to enforce a countout because it’s AEW, so they went to a picture-in-picture break.


The show came back after Moxley hit a Cutter. Moxley hit a piledriver for two. Moxley was a bloody mess and they showed Takeshita hitting him with a boot to the head that bloodied Moxley. Guys do boots to the face several times per match in AEW, but that one cut Moxley because I think a toothpick could cut his head at this point. Anyway, it was obviously a blade job because Moxley needs to do that every other match he has. Takeshita did a skin the cat spot back into the ring leading to a clothesline. Moxley went for a strike, Takeshita ducked it and Takeshita hit a leaping clothesline for two. Moxley to the apron, Takeshita with a DDT on the apron and then back in the ring, Takeshita hit a leaping DDT for a two count. Moxley countered a Blue Thunder Bomb with a side headlock. Moxley hit a charging Takeshita with a stiff lariat. That’s the same move that gave Hangman Page a concussion, but no flip bump by Takeshita – it was just a regular back bump. Takeshita hit a jumping knee to the face followed by a brainbuster for a two count. Nice nearfall there with the camera finding a shocked female fan. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. They battled on the turnbuckle, Moxley went for a suplex off the top, Takeshita landed on his feet and hit a forearm to the face. Takeshita countered a choke attempt with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Takeshita hit a deadlift German Suplex for a two count. Takeshita went for a Frog Splash off the top, Moxley blocked it by getting knees up and then elbow smashes to the head. Moxley hit the high-angle Paradigm Shift for just a one count. The fans popped huge for that kickout. As Takeshita tried to get back up, Moxley hit a jumping knee. Moxley held the arms leading to some stomps to the head (those look gentle) and the fans were booing, which the announcers ignored. Moxley went for an armbar, Takeshita rolled out of it and Takeshita stomped on Moxley with fans chanting “yes” for it. Moxley with some up kicks while on the ground and Moxley hit Takeshita with forearms to the back of the head/neck leading to more boos. Moxley went for the Bulldog Choke, Takeshita tried to fight it, but then Takeshita slowly passed out in the hold and Moxley got the win. It went 14 minutes.

Winner by submission: Jon Moxley

Analysis: ****1/4 This was an awesome match. It’s nice to see a match of this quality on Rampage for a change. Moxley being bloody is a common look for him. Takeshita was a terrific signing for AEW because he’s a guy in his late 20s that is already very good, but he’s going to get better. There were a lot more pin attempts for Takeshita in the match to show that he came so close to win several times. Moxley rarely loses, so of course he won, but it would have felt like a big deal for Takeshita to beat him. At some point, they have to book Takeshita to get a big TV match win over a guy like Moxley or Claudio to really make him a bigger star. I didn’t like the spot where they were brawling on the floor for a few minutes. You can have a 14-minute match without ignoring rules that much. If Moxley wants to throw punches at the guy for a bit then just do it around the ring, but you don’t have to ignore the countout rule. I understand Steve Austin did it a lot in the Attitude Era, but 1998 was a long time ago. You can tell smarter stories now. Anyway, it was still a great match. Takeshita is really impressive and Moxley is consistently good.

Post match, “Hangman” Adam Page went down to the ring to confront Moxley with Page. Hangman said that Doc Sampson won’t clear him to wrestle because of his brain, so he’s got a good excuse if he’s not thinking straight tonight. Hangman hit Moxley with a forearm, they left the ring and Moxley sent Hangman into the barricade. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta tried to stop Moxley. Moxley sent Hangman into the ring post leading to Hangman selling it like it rocked him. The AEW doctors at ringside helped Hangman back up.

Analysis: The story they are trying to tell is that Moxley injured Hangman with a clothesline because Hangman got a concussion, so they keep fighting about it. The reality is that the only reason there was a concussion is because Hangman did a flip bump to sell it rather than the back bump that Takeshita did against Moxley. It’s not like Moxley did anything to hurt the guy. It’s just that a flip bump can be dangerous if you land on your head/neck like Hangman did. Anyway, this will probably lead to one of their Lights Out matches that AEW likes to do.

A video aired about Powerhouse Hobbs talking about how he lived a life that you want nothing to be part of and a life that you can’t handle. Hobbs said that he’s going to take every single thing that means something to you. Okay.


Stokely Hathaway delivered a video talking about Lee Moriarty should have beat Hook in a match because Hook’s match wasn’t under the bottom rope. I guess it’s a storyline that I haven’t paid attention to.

Regina Di Wave Title: Hikaru Shida vs. The Bunny (w/Penelope Ford)

I have never heard of the Regina Di Wave Title before this week. I’m sorry if that upsets anybody. I watch a lot of wrestling and know a lot, but I can’t know every title. Excalibur tried to put it over as a big deal. Good to see The Bunny back in action after dealing with a neck injury for most of the year. The Bunny had Penelope Ford with her with both of them wearing some face paint for some horror looks. The Bunny got some offense by doing a leg scissors around Shida’s throat while stretching her against the ropes. They went to picture-in-picture break.


Bunny remained in control with a running kick. Shida hit a reverse DDT with an elbow to the gut. Ford slid a kendo stick into the ring during the referee’s count, so referee Aubrey Edwards stopped counting. Bunny accidentally kicked Ford in the head and Shida hit Bunny with double knees on the floor. Shida hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Shida hit a spinning kick for the win after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Hikaru Shida

Analysis: **1/4 This was okay to put over Shida in a dominant way. They got seven minutes and only four minutes of the match was shown in full screen. Sadly, that’s the norm in AEW for their women’s division most weeks. Last week’s show only had a two-minute women’s match. Anyway, Shida winning was the expected result, so no surprise that she got the win. The Bunny looks great and is very talented, but they never really book her well.

Jamie Hayter stood on the stage with her AEW Women’s Title to stare at Shida since they will wrestle on Dynamite next week.

A video aired about the ROH Women’s Title match between Mercedes Martinez and Athena. The video was brief. The storyline barely got any TV in the last month.

The Firm – Lee Moriarty & Big Bill (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Clayton Bloodstone and Izzy James

Big Bill is the former W. Morrissey who is the former Big Cass. I guess they felt the need to put “Big” in his name again. Sometimes people with William as a first name go with Bill, so that’s what he did. Moriarty got a big boot to the face on Bloodstone. Moriarty did submissions on both opponents on the same time. Bill hit a corner splash and a running boot to the face. Bill hit a Chokeslam on James for the pinfall after two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Firm – Lee Moriarty & Big Bill

Analysis: * A squash match to put over Bill and Lee. At least typing “Bill” is shorter than “Morrissey” so I approve of the shorter name. Now that’s some analysis!

They interviewed FTR with their three titles including the ROH and IWG Tag Team Titles. They talked about facing The Briscoe Brothers in a Double Dog Collar Match and Dax Harwood said they’ll finish their history.

Eddie Kingston and Ortiz talked about how House of Black attacked them. Kingston just said “I don’t care when or how, let’s go.” They barely got any time to say anything.

The All-Atlantic Championship match was next.


The main event interview took place by Mark Henry talking to Kip Sabian and Orange Cassidy in the split-screen. Sabian claimed he was not cleared to compete. Orange just asked if they can get started. Danhausen walked into Mark’s screen to say his catchphrase, so Mark did his line and Danhausen said Mark can do his line.

There was a rundown of the ROH Final Battle pay-per-view on Saturday at 4pm ET/3pm CT. Excalibur talked really fast as usual.

roh final battle chris jericho claudio castagnoli

These are the Zero Hour pre-show matches.

* Willow Nightingale vs. Trish Adora

* The Kingdom vs. Top Flight

* Matt Menard & Angelo Parker vs. Shinobi Shadow Squad

These are the PPV matches.

* ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Claudio Castagnoli – If Castagnoli loses, he must join the Jericho Appreciation Society

* ROH Tag Team Championships Double Dog Collar Match: FTR vs. The Briscoes

* ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship Match: Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Brian Cage & Gates of Agony

* ROH Pure Championship Match: Daniel Garcia vs. Wheeler Yuta

* ROH World Television Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs. Juice Robinson

* ROH Women’s Championship Match: Mercedes Martinez vs. Athena

* Blake Christian & AR Fox vs. Dralistico & Rush

* Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland vs. Shane Taylor & JD Griffey

They showed a promo from Taylor and Griffey talking about their history with Lee saying Keith is their last hurdle.

Analysis: I won’t be reviewing Final Battle. I’m not going to be home when it’s on. When I get home from plans I have it will be right before NXT Deadline and I’m reviewing that live on Saturday. I don’t think I’ll have time on Sunday to watch Final Battle either. I actually have never reviewed an ROH PPV. True story. We will have results on TJRWrestling.

Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite “Winter Is Coming” episode:

* Best of Seven Series: Death Triangle (2) vs. The Elite (1) Match 4

* House of Black in action.

* Ruby Soho vs. Tay Melo.

* Winner Takes All For the AEW World Championship and Dynamite Diamond Ring: MJF vs. Ricky Starks

Analysis: The rundown of matches takes so long. You can put another match on this show in the time it takes to mention everything.

All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta & Danhausen) vs. Trent Seven (w/Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford)

The chosen opponent from Kip Sabian is a few British wrestler Trent Seven, who used to work for NXT UK. Trent is well-known as a veteran wrestler. They mentioned Seven had 11 championships in seven different promotions. Way to have that stat ready about a “mystery” opponent.

Cassidy did his glasses pose while Seven twirled his mustache. Cassidy did some comedy spots and even gave the referee high five. They left the ring with Seven chopping the ring post after Cassidy ducked. I like how “veteran” wrestlers are stupid and try to do chops by the ring post. Ford ran to the back after Sabian took a bump. The Butcher and The Blade with The Bunny got their full entrance since they are Ford’s friends. Trent and Taylor fought with Butcher and Blade leading to break, so all of them went to the back.


Seven hit a superplex off the top for a two count. They did a spot where Orange avoided a charging Seven, who took out Sabian by mistake on the floor. They exchanged some moves including Seven hitting a sitout sidewalk slam for a two count. Seven hit a short arm lariat with Orange doing the flip bump that I mentioned earlier, but he landed it perfectly like most wrestlers tend to do. They did some counters leading to Orange hitting a Tornado DDT. Seven hit a twisting piledriver for a two count where you could see Seven took the whole bump on his ass. Orange got a rollup for two. Orange came back with the Orange Punch and Beach Break for the pinfall win after 12 minutes. JR said: “Cheers young man, thanks for joining the team.” I don’t know if that means AEW has signed Trent Seven.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with Orange finding a way to win again while Seven put up a fight. It’s the usual story where the guy that loses gets a lot of offense and Orange puts them away to keep his title. Orange wrestles on Rampage nearly every week, so as one of the six people that watches this show, I get used to it. AEW likes to bring in people to do the job. They really like the “mystery opponent” idea that is done several times per month. They like doing it more than using some of the people that sit in the back in catering all night. I don’t know if they’ll sign Seven after this or if he’s already signed.

Post match, Kip Sabian attacked Orange with repeated stomps while Ford kept the referee Bryce Remsburg from stopping it. Seven seemed reluctant to join the attack, but then he stomped on Orange a bit. Dustin Rhodes randomly made the save since they were in Austin, Texas where he lives. Dustin hit a body slam on Sabian on the floor, some punches for Seven in the ring and a powerslam. Dustin helped Orange back up. Orange celebrated with his title. The show ended there.

Analysis: I have nothing against Dustin or Orange, but why not end the show with something to promote the ROH Final Battle show that was taking place the next day? They barely showed most of the wrestlers on that card other than short promos.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Konosuke Takeshita
  2. Jon Moxley
  3. Orange Cassidy

The Scoreboard

This Week: 6.75 out of 10

Last Week: 4.75

Final Thoughts

The show was a lot better this week because of how great the Moxley-Takeshita match was. I highly recommend it. It was a typical Moxley match where he bled within the first five minutes, but Takeshita is so talented and the fans are totally behind him. They need to start giving Takeshita some big wins since he signed with AEW. Takeshita lost, but he won the crowd. That’s important. Watch Gladiator. That was probably the best match on AEW TV this week. Hangman Page continued to go after Moxley should lead to a big match between them.

I thought the main event with Orange Cassidy beating Trent Seven was okay. Other matches were kept short with W. Morrissey going with the new name of Big Bill now because they can’t call him Big Cass in AEW.

They could have promoted ROH Final Battle a lot more than they did. As I wrote in the review, I won’t be reviewing Final Battle. We’ll have results on TJRWrestling most likely.


Thanks for reading. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport