Two titles will be defended on Friday’s AEW Rampage, in addition to Trios’ title tournament.
AEW Tag Team Champions Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland) will defend against Private Party seeking their first-ever AEW title reign.
FTW Champion Hook will defend his newly won gold against Zack Clayton, an AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation regular who is also on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
In the tournament to crown the inaugural AEW Trios Champions, the Trustbusters (Ari Daivari, Slim J & Parker Boudreaux) will face Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta & Chuck Taylor) in an opening round.
Athena will look to continue her impressive streak thus far as she takes on Penelope Ford en route to what she hopes will be a TBS title match against Jade Cargill.
In addition, ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli will speak about what’s on his mind and what the future may hold.
We kick off with the action filmed last Wednesday in Charleston, West Virginia. Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho are on the phone.
Claudio Castagnoli promo
Castagnoli yelled into the crowd, Ricky Steamboat, one of his former trainers and influences. He said he felt weird for not having wrestled, so he set out to an open challenge for next week and that’s where the returning Dustin Rhodes came out.
Rhodes said they have a long history of some hard-fought battles (while both being in WWE). He said he has dreamed of taking the World Heavyweight title and if Castagnoli is up to the challenge he will bring “The Natural” and the best he can to the match.
It was no surprise that Castagnoli accepted. We are busy for next week.
– Ruby Soho and Ortiz were reminded by Lexy Nair that they have some unfinished business with Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo. Both backed up that statement with fervent words and it looks like that will be for next week as well.
AEW Tag Team Champions Swerve In Our Glory defeated Private Party to retain the titles
Keith Lee and Isiah Kassidy have history, as Kassidy was Lee’s first victim in his AEW debut. A large sleeper was teased, but Kassidy managed to escape.
Kassidy and Marq Quen have had an interesting history in AEW. They won the Young Bucks in the inaugural Tag Team title tournament, but due to injuries and being stuck in the various incarnations of the Hardy/Andrade Family Office, they’re not as far along as I thought they would be a pair. years ago.
The challengers held their ground early on with Kassidy taking down Swerve Strickland on the outside of the ring with a tornillo dive going into halftime.
Lee’s strength was on display after he got the hot tag when he threw Quen and Kassidy across the ring. They’ve done a good job highlighting how strong he is, which I hope translates into a good singles run at some point. He nearly impaled Quen with a jump that propelled Quen into the ropes and back.
After a flush side kick to Quen’s head, Strickland nailed him with what he calls a JML Driver to take the clean win. Both teams showed up after the game out of respect.
– Lexy Nair was at The Factory playing dominoes. Out of nowhere, Powerhouse Hobbs came in and turned the table. He was upset that The Factory didn’t take out Ricky Starks, but QT Marshall promised he would, “hand to god”. Okay then.
FTW Champion Hook defeated Zack Clayton to retain the title
Clayton, who has won one match on AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation in 13 outings, came out last Friday to take on Hook’s open challenge. You see, Clayton (aka “The Reality”) is in a Jersey Shore spin-off because he’s married or in a relationship with J-Woww? I think?
He ran through West Virginia, played New Jersey and was beaten with the Redrum in about 15-20 seconds.
After that, Matt Menard and Angelo Parker were backstage. Long story short, they wondered what if the FTW title was in the hands of a sports entertainer. Given Menard’s various injuries from Blood & Guts, it appears that Mr. Parker is next.
Looking forward to when we get longer Hook matches. It’s time. Please.
– Lexy Nair asked Billy Gunn about the attack by, er, his sons last Wednesday. Gunn said he’s bringing some friends — The Acclaimed — to Dynamite next week and he’s going to give them a beating… or something like that.
I’m not sure about you, but two sons who choose not only to arouse their father, but also to punch him, it seems to me, I don’t know, right?
– They re-enacted the end of the show (and by that I mean the last 30 seconds or so) where Andrade and Rush decided to attack Dragon Lee and expose him. I’ll say more about this another time, but AEW has a problem with not breathing for moments. The triumphant return of Kenny Omega was the moment. The turn could have been postponed until tonight during a promo.
Buddy Matthews defeated Serpentico
We have a standby match because the Hook match was so short. Who could have imagined it?
They also sell a CM Punk hockey shirt to commemorate his one year anniversary in the company. The timing is pretty good for that, isn’t it?
This was a squash that Matthews won with some sort of pump lever suplex. Time to get this guy going.
Miro then walked out wearing Malakai Black’s mask and he and Matthews got into a big fight. Miro stared Julia Hart down before stepping into the ring to fight more, which is a tough harbinger for CJ Perry/Lana to make an appearance soon. Miro killed Matthews for several minutes and stood up. Poor friend.
– The very busy Lexy Nair was with Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter and Reba. Reba pushed Nair aside and Baker said she can’t wait to see the sh*tstorm that is ThunderStorm implode. I have a feeling this Thunder Rosa/Baker/Storm/Hayter thing is past its sell-by date. Can’t we just get another interesting story for Baker?
Athena defeated Penelope Ford
Ford is fresh back from a long time on the shelf due to injury. Ford was rolling early, they went to a commercial break and Athena won seconds later after hitting the Eclipse. The bad guys (Leila Gray & Kiera Hogan) then attacked and TBS champion Jade Cargill came out with a sledgehammer. Let the Triple H gifs begin!
Cargill smashed Cargill’s wings with the hammer and Athena fought out of Gray and Hogan’s grasp. Cargill entered the ring, hit her in the stomach with a sledgehammer, and laid her down as The Baddies stood up.
I can’t remember where I saw this, but I saw an observation that Cargill didn’t feel like such a big star through the entire Baddies thing. Every time this act is out there, I can’t help but think the same.
I also feel sorry for Ford. She just came back and was treated more or less as an afterthought. Also the boxed Kip Sabian was shown in the audience.
– New additions to Dynamite: a Ricky Starks promo, Billy Gunn vs. Colten Gunn (billed as the first ever father vs. son match) and Britt Baker vs. Kilynn King. I think so?
– New to Rampage: House of Black vs. Dark Order in the Trios title tournament. That is it!
Best Friends defeated The Trustbusters to advance in the AEW Trios title tournament
I will do my best to remain neutral even though I was recruited to the Trustbusters earlier today by Ari Daivari. Seriously! (I’ve also been told I have a beautiful smile.)
This is a very strange tournament when you have Daivari, Slim J and Parker Boudreaux in an eight team tournament when FTR & Wardlow vs. Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt takes place at All Out. Why not just a tournament match?
The heels controlled most of the game. Daivari was there most of the time and Slim J got some call time too. I’ll say this for him: he can take punches well.
Orange Cassidy got the hot tag and ran wild on Daivari and Slim J before Boudreaux got in there. He took Cassidy downstairs and laid down Chuck Taylor and Beretta with double clotheslines and corner splashes. He missed one and all three Best Friends hit basement drop kicks in the corner.
The Trustbusters got rolling on Cassidy thanks to Slim J. Action poured out and all three took out Boudreaux, punctuated by an Orange Punch.
As Cassidy climbed to the top to finish Daivari, Sonny Kiss pushed Cassidy while distracting the referee. That led to Slim J hitting an inverted clothesline at the top of the rope against Cassidy for a near fall.
Danhausen seemed to curse Kiss and Slim J. He then turned into a double chokeslam as Cassidy knocked Daivari out with an Orange Punch. Beretta and Taylor simultaneously held Slim J while Cassidy stood on the shoulders and jumped off it with a splash to grab the pin. That was a great move.
Best Friends now takes on the winner of Dark Order vs. House of Black, with the winner of that match moving on to All Out to compete for the titles.
This was a fine episode of Rampage with the usual large amount of stuff packed. I still don’t understand the logic of not loading the Trios title tournament or having a 15 second Hook match, but that ship has sailed.