03rd Jul2023

‘AEW: Rampage’ Review (Jun 30th 2023)

by Phil Wheat

It’s Monday so you know what that means, it’s time for our weekly review of AEW: Rampage! This week’s show, which broadcast from the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, features Excalibur and Tony Schiavone on commentary. Now let’s get to the review…

Match #1: ROH World Championship Match – Claudio Castagnoli def. Komander

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Claudio Castagnoli hurled Komander into the corner turnbuckles. Komander dodged an uppercut, but Claudio came back with a big boot. Komander wiggled free of a suplex attempt. Alex Abrahantes was ringside, getting Komander hyped up. The ROH World champ flung Komander around via the Giant Swing. Komander rolled free from a Ricola bomb. Komander attempted a tope, but Claudio caught him! Komander hit Claudio with knee strikes to escape the champ’s grasp. Komander took Claudio down with an arm drag off the turnbuckles to the arena floor. Claudio charged at Komander and rocked him with a boot, sending Komander tumbling over the guardrail. Claudio hoisted Komander and threw him at the ropes. Claudio planted Komander with a DDT for a near fall. Komander countered a back suplex off the ropes by transitioning into a cross body on Claudio. The champ slammed Komander and then connected with a leg drop for a near fall. Komander reversed a powerbomb off the ropes with a hurracanrana to Claudio. Komander jumped off the ring post and flipped onto Claudio. Komander dodged a boot from Claudio, hanging Claudio up on the ring barricade. Komander walked the barricade and splashed onto Claudio with a shooting star press. Komander scored a near fall after a hurracanrana. Claudio blasted Komander with a European Uppercut. Claudio nearly decapitated Komander with a short arm clothesline. Komander wouldn’t stay down, though. Komander DDT’ed Claudio but Claudio kicked out at the two-count. Komander nailed Claudio with the Phoenix Splash after a double jump. Komander jumped off the ropes, but Claudio had it scouted and clobbered Komander with a European Uppercut! The referee stopped the match, awarding the victory to Claudio Castagnoli.

My Score: 4 out of 5

Match #2: Shawn Spears def. The Blade

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Both men locked up, with the Blade shoving Spears into the turnbuckles. Spears taunted the Blade after a cartwheel. Blade chopped Spears in the chest. Spears turned the tables and cracked the Blade with chops. Spears dropped the Blade spine-first on the ring apron. The Butcher wiped out Shawn Spears on the arena floor with a lariat as the ref was distracted by the Blade. Spears grounded and pounded the Blade after a body press. Spears stomped on the Blade’s temple. Spears scored the pin after a C4 to the Blade in the middle of the ring!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: QTV (Johnny TV & QT Marshall) def. Hardy Party (Matt Hardy & Brother Zay)

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Harley Cameron sung QTV’s “entrance song” as the team walked to the ring. Johnny TV and Matt Hardy started things off for their respective sides. Hardy wrenched Johnny’s arm over his shoulder and then tagged in Brother Zay, who continued to punish Johnny’s arm with a double stomp. QT Marshall tagged in and slugged Brother Zay with a stiff right hand. Brother Zay fired back with a hanging neck breaker. Brother Zay and Matt Hardy showed off some great synergy with tandem offense. Johnny TV connected with a high roundhouse kick to Hardy. Madd dodged a standing moonsault press from Johnny TV. Zay took down Johnny with a hurracanrana and then gave QT a taste with a cutter. Johnny TV wiped out Brother Zay on the floor with a tornillo. QT tagged in and hit a senton splash on Brother Zay. Matt Hardy tagged in and cleaned house on the QTV crew. Matt Hardy connected with a Side Effect on QT Marshall. Hardy powerbombed Johnny TV for a near fall. Hardy dropped an elbow on Johnny TV. Hardy DDT’ed Johnny TV for a near fall. QT countered a Twist of Fate with an elbow strike. Johnny TV followed up with a swift kick to the side of Hardy’s head. Hardy rolled out of the way of a corkscrew dive from Johnny TV. Brother Zay launched off the back of Matt Hardy and crashed down onto QT and Johnny on the arena floor. Hardy hit a Side Effect on Johnny TV. Brother Zay climbed to the top rope, but then Harley Cameron jumped on the apron to distract the ref. In the meantime, QT shoved Brother Zay off the top turnbuckle. QT swept out the leg of Matt Hardy and slammed his head into the steel ring steps. Johnny TV used a split legged moonsault on Brother Zay and pinned him.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Hikaru Shida def. Taya Valkyrie

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Taya used her power advantage to back Shida into the corner. Shida grabbed Taya’s wrists and took her down to the mat. Shida followed Taya to the arena floor. Shida pulled a chair out from under the ring. Shida set up the chair. She was looking to use it as a launch pad, to perform her flying knee strike, but Taya moved out of the way. Taya swept out Shida’s legs and then wrapped Shida’s legs around the ring post, attacking the knees. Shida finally made it to her feet. She attempted a suplex, but Taya fought out of it. Shida battered Taya with big elbow strikes. Shida rocked Taya with a jumping knee for a near fall. Taya shoved Shida off the ropes. Shida still managed to suplex Taya on the arena floor. Shida used a running meteora off the apron. Shida followed up with a running elbow strike for a near fall. Taya blocked the Katana from Shida. Taya went after Shida’s knees again, flinging Shida into the turnbuckles. Taya smashed Shida with a double knee strike in the corner. Shida countered the Road to Valhalla with a rollup and pinned Taya!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

This week’s Rampage opened strong, with a superb match between Claudio Castagnoli and Komander that delivered a brilliant clash of styles and saw Castagnoli really given a run for his money by Komander – whose spot-fest style might not appeal to some folks but, for me, brings a whole new level of excitement to AEW. In fact that applies to ALL of the current lucha-style wrestlers AEW has and it’s one of many things that makes the company stand out from its main competitor. Shawn Spears versus The Blade felt totally out of left field given both men have been absent from TV for some time. As for the QTV/Hardy match, the less said the better. The whole QTV thing needs to end and end now… And having Harley sing is making things even worse! Thankfully the main event made up for the QTV debacle, with Shida and Valkyrie putting on a great show to close out this week’s Rampage on a high.


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