31st Jul2023

‘AEW: Rampage’ Review (Jul 28th 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 was broadcast from the MVP Arena in Albany, New York and featured Excalibur and Tony Schiavone on commentary. Now let’s get to the review…

Match #1: Tag Team Battle Royal – Winners: Brian Cage & Big Bill

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Big Bill was swarmed at the start of the match. Matt Hardy hammered at Big Bill in the corner. Satnam Singh folded up Matt Sydal like an accordion. Sydal and Brother Zay then teamed to hit the Gin & Juice on Serpentico. Big Bill tossed Luther over the top rope and eliminated him. Blade blasted Serpentico with a lariat and eliminated him. Brother Zay springboarded right into Satnam Singh’s arms…and Satnam wasted no time throwing Brother Zay right out of the match. Brian Cage and Big Bill stood in the corner and let the other teams do all the work. Matt and Jeff Hardy teamed up to eliminate Angelo Parker. Ethan Page launched into a cutter and stunned Lethal, but then Satnam flipped Page over the top. The Hardys ran Satnam into Jay Lethal. After Lethal was inadvertently knocked out of the ring and eliminated, he and Ethan Page brawled up the ramp. Big Bill finished off Matt Menard. Daniels was isolated by the Butcher and the Blade and then they eliminated the “Fallen Angel.” Satnam Singh grabbed Matt Hardy and hurled him over the top rope. Jeff Hardy staggered Satnam. Cage and Big Bill used double clotheslines to eliminate Satnam Singh. Butcher and Blade grabbed Jeff Hardy and flung him over the top. Butcher and the Blade and Big Bill and Brian Cage were the final two teams. They collided in the center of the ring and traded forearms. Cage was planted high on the back of his neck by Blade. Butcher and Blade used tandem offense on Big Bill until Brian Cage came to the rescue. Brian Cage nailed Butcher with a flatliner. Big Bill took down Butcher and Blade with lariats. Blade was eliminated by Cage and Big Bill, giving them the two on one advantage over Butcher. Butcher did his best to batter Cage and Big Bill with explosive chops. Butcher walloped Brian Cage with a big back breaker. Butcher hammered away at Big Bill. Butcher was finally taken down by an assisted clothesline. Brian Cage and Big Bill eliminated Butcher after a double clothesline, winning the match.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #2: Komander def. Kip Sabian

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Komander used an arm drag on Sabian. He followed up with a roundhouse kick, staggering Sabian to the center of the ring. Komander scored with a dropkick. Sabian retreated to the outside of the ring. Komander flew over the top with a tope con hiro. Komander connected with a back heel kick for a near fall on Kip Sabian. Komander locked on a submission and then transitioned to a pinning predicament for a two-count. Komander took flight and blasted Kip with a big elbow strike. Komander tried for a shooting star press after a rope walk but Kip moved and then fired back with a pump kick. Sabian followed up with an Arabian press. Kip crushed Komander with a cannonball in the corner. Kip splashed Komander with a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Kip grabbed the referee to distract him so Penelope Ford could jump on the apron and gouge Komander’s eyes. Sabian drilled Komander with a slingshot suplex for a near fall. Kip climbed to the top turnbuckle and tried to pull Komander up. Komander countered with a vicious springboard destroyer on Sabian! Komander walked the top rope and then crushed Kip with a shooting star press for the three-count victory!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #3: The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) def. Myung-Jae Lee & Hayden Backlund

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Taven smoked Backlund with a stiff kick. Bennett tagged in and nailed Backlund with a Death Valley Driver. The Kingdom finished off Backlund with the Proton Pack, with Mike Bennett grabbing the pin!

My Score: 0 out of 5

Match #4: Hikaru Shida def. Nyla Rose

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Nyla rushed Shida as Shida was making her entrance into the ring. Shida booted Nyla in the jaw and followed up with a dropkick. Shida nailed Nyla with a running knee in the corner. Nyla avoided a missile dropkick from Shida. Nyla dumped Shida to the outside. Nyla swung Shida into the steel barricade. Shida rocked Nyla with a question mark kick and then an ax kick! Shida suplexed Nyla for a near fall. The Outcasts—AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm, Saraya, and Ruby Soho, were watching the match on a monitor backstage. Shida hit Nyla with a running missile dropkick off the apron. Nyla choke slammed Shida off the ropes. Nyla hoisted up Shida for a Beast Bomb, but Shida had it scouted and escaped with a hurracanrana. Shida planted Nyla with the Falcom Arrow for a near fall! Nyla decked Shida with a lariat. Nyla splashed Shida with a senton. Shida ran up the turnbuckles and decimated Nyla with an avalanche falcon arrow! Shida went for the pin attempt, but Marina grabbed Nyla’s boot and placed it on the bottom rope to stop the ref’s count. With the ref checking on Nyla, Marina jumped on the apron with the kendo stick. Shida yanked it out of Marina’s grasp and then cracked Marina with the kendo stick. Nyla grabbed Shida as Shida had her back turned. Nyla wanted to hit the Beast Bomb on Shida, but Shida escaped and connected with the Katana. Shida pinned Nyla!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: /5

Hi all, before I get into the verdict I just want to point out a change to the rating system. Going forward ALL squash matches will get 0 points… Why? Well in the past I gave them 1 out of 5 but some matches across ALL the major wrestling companies are getting so bad that 2 points for a bad match is too generous. You may have noticed I’ve been slipping in some 1.5 score but now I think we’re going to have to reserve the 1 star rating for a truly bad match. So squashes get 0 points… Hope that makes sense! On to this week’s final verdict…

So for two weeks on the trot Rampage has opened with some kind of Battle Royal, last week it was single-man and this week it was tag teams. Can’t help but feel like both matches are filler rather than well-thought-out competitive matches – and the “winner gets a title shot” is not really a good enough excuse/reason for the match either. The second match of the show was quite a surprise, as Komander delivered his usual lucha style but Kip Sabian matched him and kept up with him throughout the match. But the real surprise was Komander getting the win! I’d be interested to see these two run this one back again in the future. Then we get to the third match of the night… What the hell? What was the point? Really?! The Kingdom get back on AEW programming, having lingered in ROH for the past few months, and it’s a quick, and crap, squash match. I do wish Tony Khan would just give us three good matches on Rampage rather than trying to always force an extra match on the card – which is ALWAYS a squash! Thankfully the main event redeemed the show after the terrible squash match AND improved on the women’s match on Dynamite earlier in the week, though there still seems to be something missing from a lot of women’s matches recently – things don’t seem to be gelling as well as they did in the past. Do we need a new women’s match producer in AEW?


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