AEW Rampage Recap and Comments (August 19, 2022): Best Friends Built for Threesomes

AEW Rampage (August 19, 2022) sourced from Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, WV. The show featured Claudio Castagnoli taking on an open challenge with an interesting answer, two title matches and best friends proving they are built for the trio tournament.

Let’s start right away with a recap of the show, followed by reactions.

Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho commented. Justin Roberts performed the ring announcer’s duties.

Claudio Castagnoli posted an open challenge for the ROH World Championship next week. Dustin Rhodes stepped onstage to answer. He promised to give Claudio the best Dustin Rhodes of his life. Recognizing the burning desire to become world champion, Claudio accepted the competition.

Ortiz and Ruby Soho have unfinished business with Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti. They’ve been wanting to get their hands on them for months.

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee (c) vs. Private Party

Isiah Kassidy approached Keith Lee, so Limitless threw him over the ring. However, Kassidy landed on his feet. He fired off a few quick attacks, but Lee put him down. Tag to Swerve. Kassidy matched Swerve’s smoothness on the exchanges to land a catapult tornillo out. Private Party Controlled Swerve. Hot tag to Lee to steamroll through the competition. Lee crushed Marq Quen with a huge shoulder tackle. Tag to Swerve for a kick to the back of the head. Quen wouldn’t quit, so Swerve ended up with a JML driver.

Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee defeated Private Party.

Afterwards, it was clear that Private Party earned Lee’s respect with their effort on this evening.

QT Marshall and the factory were lounging around playing cards and dominoes. Will Hobbs stomped in to knock over their table. Hobbs was angry because the factory didn’t take care of Ricky Starks. For Hobbs, word is a bond. QT calmed down his troops and promised to get the job done.

FTW Championship: Hook (c) vs. Zack Clayton

Clayton dropped his mouth during his entrance about being an entertainment superstar. When the bell rang, Hook ducked under a clothesline to secure a Redrum choke for the win.

Hook defeated Zack Clayton.

Backstage, Daddy Magic and Cool Hand were impressed by Hook’s performance. Daddy Magic asked if that tough guy wanted a taste. Cool Hand passed on the FTW title as rich in pro wrestling history, and he wondered what if the belt was held by a sports entertainer.

Billy Gunn warned his sons that their attack on him was on the wrong person at the wrong time. He’s going to give them a beating as a lesson. Billy brings friends. Everyone loves the Praised.

Footage broadcast of Andrade’s attack on Dragon Lee at the end of Dynamite. Andrade and Rush tore the luchador’s mask to pieces. Los Ingobernables blamed Dragon Lee for the loss. Nick Jackson went into the ring for the save.

Because Hook won his match so quickly, a standby match was scheduled.

Buddy Matthews vs. serpentico

Julia Hart was on the ringside. Matthews tore up Serptentico quickly. The masked man jumped in front of a flying hurricane, but Matthews caught him to take a powerbomb in the corner. Matthews ended with a pump handle death manoeuvre.

Buddy Matthews defeated Serpentico.

After the match Miro’s horns blared. He came on stage wearing Malakai Black’s skull mask. Commentary wondered if Black was getting spanked. Miro rushed to the ring to smash Matthews. A punch kick knocked Matthews out of the ring.

dr. Britt Baker DMD, Jamie Hayter and Rebel left because they had no role for the… Everything out PPV. Baker again tried to divide Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm. Baker will watch and wait for the winner.

Penelope Ford vs. Athens

Athena was smart at dodging and dodging, but Ford eventually controlled the pace with aggression. Ford also had a nifty Matrix reverse bridge in a stunner. Athena finally grabbed the win by dropping Ford into the barricade and then fleeing from a diving firecracker.

Athens defeated Penelope Ford.

In the immediate aftermath, Kiera Hogan and Leila Gray ambushed Athena. Jade Cargill stood on the podium with a sledgehammer to smash Athena’s wing gear. Athena tried to fight free, but Jade hit her in the middle with the hammer. Athena was a down on the mat with Jade upright.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. Ari Daivari believed this trio tournament would be a walk in the park as the Trustbusters advance. The Best Friends shot back that these new belts were made for them as a real trio. Enough talk. Orange Cassidy interrupted Henry for stealing his line. Henry claimed it was his line, and Cassidy agreed. Henry concluded with, “It’s time for the main event!”

AEW World Trios Championship Tournament Quarter Finals: Trustbusters vs. Best Friends

Sonny Kiss was ringside. Best Friends treated Ari Daivari and Slim J early with strong moves. It was a different story when Parker Boudreaux was in the ring. Boudreaux broke easily. Trustbusters isolated Trent. Hot tag to Orange Cassidy cleaning house of Daivari and Slim J. OC called in Boudreaux. OC was goozled and crushed. Best Friends gathered at Boudreaux for a double clothesline and triple dropkick.

The Trustbusters were close to winning a frog splash from Daivari to Cassidy, but Best Friends broke the cover. The good guys worked to avert the looming threat called Boudreaux. Trent impaled Boudreaux into the guardrail. Cassidy followed with a Superman punch. They threw Boudreaux over the railing.

Kiss interfered with Cassidy. Slim J hit a diving reverse DDT. Cassidy kicked out on the pinfall. Danhausen appeared out of nowhere behind the barricade to curse the Trustbusters. That distraction yielded a double chokeslam for Slim J. Cassidy, who took a Superman punch with Daivari on the apron. Best Friends ended Slim J with a pyramid formation increased splash.

Best Friends defeated Trustbusters.


The best friends were right. They are built for trio action. It’s quite entertaining to use Orange Cassidy’s hijinks in small doses for Trent and Chuck Taylor to bear the physical burden. That saves Cassidy’s explosiveness for the roll to swing the momentum. Their pyramid splash maneuver was a blast to complete. In general, I’ll pass Cassidy as a solo act, but as a trio, I can get behind the Best Friends cheer. Their teamwork attacks have good rhythm and creativity to play fun matches.

At the very back of the line with the Trustbusters. The past few weeks of exposure have done enough to make me curious how they evolve. Parker Boudreaux did well with his power smashes. Unleash him in hoss battles!

The AEW tag’s title fight had cool moves for a big reaction. Keith Lee’s strength was explosive to become the star of the match. Private Party never really had the time to make me believe they could win, but they did win Lee’s respect. That seems like the stamp of approval for Private Party to rejoin the good side.

Angle was Angle. The match was so short that we learned nothing new. Hopefully Cool Hand of Daddy Magic will step up in difficulty. With Hook’s quick win, I like how AEW leaned into real sports with the standby match. Buddy Matthews destroyed Serpentico and was able to show off as a reminder of his skills. Too bad for Matthews that Miro hit him roughly. Miro in singles against the House of Black is going to be fantastic.

Penelope Ford looked good in her first serious test back from injury. The finishing flow felt fast in the sense of the story in the match. Athena was down, then boom. Two moves and the win. Admittedly, they were high-impact moves. Jade Cargill insisted that this feud is about to spiral out of control.

Dustin Rhodes answered Claudio Castagnoli’s open challenge and was a great way to use Rhodes as a special attraction. I came up as my favorite moment of the show. It was a totally unexpected surprise. The quick promo exchange sold me. The fighting spirit will be off the map. Giving Claudio an open challenge verbally is also a much better way to book his opponents rather than giving golden opportunities to wrestlers on televised release streaks.

Grade B

The promos were a lot of fun, especially the surprise from Dustin Rhodes. That’s making the most of the open challenge gimmick. The games were missing this week. The sizzle popped with a variety of cool moves, but the steak was subpar. Not much to say about two pumpkins. The tag team title fight and the women’s fight have never reached that second gear of competitiveness. The main event trio was the best of the bunch.

Share your opinion about rampage. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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