6/17 AEW Rampage results: McGuire’s review of Jon Moxley vs. Dante Martin, Jade Cargill vs. Willow Nightingale for the TBS Title,  Darby Allin vs. Bobby Fish, Max Caster, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn vs. Bear Bronson, Bear Boulder, and Leon Ruffin


By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)

AEW Rampage (Episode 45)
Taped on June 15 in St. Louis, Missouri at Chaifetz Arena
Aired June 17, 2022 on TNT

The opening video aired and Excalibur welcomed everyone in. He then introduced the commentary team of Taz, Excalibur, Chris Jericho and William Regal. Jon Moxley’s music hit and Mox made his way through the crowd. Dante Martin then made his entrance.

1. Jon Moxley vs. Dante Martin. Martin stuck out his hand for a handshake. Moxley slapped it away. The two locked up and then Moxley worked Martin’s wrist. Moxley landed a takeover into a side headlock. Moxley hit a shoulder block and it took Martin down. Moxley went back to a side headlock. Before long, Martin fired up and hit a series of kicks before landing a dropkick that sent Moxley to the outside. Back in the ring, Martin chopped Moxley a few times. Moxley came back and took Martin down with one strike. Martin tried to fight back, but Moxley through him into a corner as we got our first PIP [c].

Back from break, Moxley sank in a Texas Clover Leaf. Moxley then hit Martin with a series of knees. Eventually, Martin flipped onto Moxley, who was on the top rope, and brought Moxley down. The two went to the second rope and Moxley hit a butterfly suplex for a two count. Moxley landed a series of elbows, but Martin fought back and Moxley was on the outside. Martin hit a springboard splash and rolled Moxley back into the ring.

Martin landed a high cross-body for a good near-fall. Martin went for the Nose Dive, but Moxley moved and then worked a choke hold, but Martin climbed to the top turnbuckle. Martin hit an Avalanche Sliced Break for a two-count. On their feet, the two traded strikes before Moxley hit a cutter. After a sunset flip, Moxley landed a lariat for a two count. Moxley hit a series of Anvil Elbows before sinking in a submission for the win.

Jon Moxley defeated Dante Martin via submission in 11:58.

After the match, we got an interview with Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. Lee asked Swerve to tell him why he shouldn’t beat his ass. Swerve said he’s out to win gold and it was a singles competition. Lee said he saved Swerve. Swerve came back by saying they were Shaq and Kobe. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks came into the frame and told them they had yet to beat them. That was the end of the segment.

McGuire’s Musings: The match was lackluster. I’m not sure why they keep feeding Dante Martin to pretty much everyone. The guy needs a win on TV if only to placate those who don’t watch Dark or Dark: Elevation. At this point, I’m almost starting to think he should go on excursion to GCW or NJPW Strong or something of the sort. He just has too many losses, and this performance, with all due respect, felt uninspired. Meanwhile, Moxley is Moxley, so that satisfies a good portion of the viewing audience, but all told, the first 15 minutes of this episode is and was forgettable.

Back from break, we got a House Of Black promo. Death Triangle chimed in with Penta saying Malakai is a clown. Pac then said Penta is going to send Malakai packing. Max Caster then made his entrance with his team. His rap included shots at WWE and the Jan. 6 hearings.

2. Max Caster, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn vs. Bear Bronson, Bear Boulder, and Leon Ruffin. The Gunn Club jump-started the match and Ruffin was taking a beating in the ring. Austin stomped Ruffin before Colten got the tag and hit the Quick Draw. Caster then landed the Mic Drop and that was it.

Max Caster, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn defeated Bear Bronson, Bear Boulder, and Leon Ruffin via pinfall in 1:16.

After the match, we got an interview with Hook, who said nothing. Danhausen showed up and said he and Hook are going to annihilate NJPW LA Dojo prospects next week. Willow Nightingale made her entrance.

3. Jade Cargill vs. Willow Nightingale for the TBS Title. Stokely Hathaway sat in on commentary. Cargill was named Jericho’s Sports Entertainer of the Week. The match started with Jade throwing Willow. Willow hit an enziguri, but then Cargill lifted Willow. Cargill then moved when Willow leapt at her. Willow was on the outside and Kiera Hogan attacked her as we got our second PIP [c].

Back from the break. Willow was in control and hit a Cannonball for a two count. Cargill came back and landed a Pedigree. After that, Cargill landed Jaded and got the pin.

Jade Cargill defeated Willow Nightingale via pinfall in 6:04 to retain the TBS Title.

After the match, the heels beat Willow up, but Athena ran down for the save. When Cargill gained control, Kris Statlander came down to clear the ring. We then went to a Jay Lethal/Satnam Singh promo. Lethal said they are putting in the work and called Samoa Joe a lazy champion. Singh’s debut on Rampage last week was then championed. Excalibur ran down what we know of the Forbidden Door card. FTR vs. Rapongi Vice vs. United Empire, in a winner take all belts, will take place at Forbidden Door.

McGuire’s Musings: The squash was expected, though I will say that I thought we’d get a more cutting line about WWE and Vince McMahon from Max Caster. The women, meanwhile, worked well, though most of the offense that Willow got all happened during the break. Even so, I was happy the match went more than five minutes and even happier that the crowd seemed to be behind Willow quite a bit. I can’t say we saw enough of the actual match to really weigh in on it. But … so it goes. The winner-take-all tag-teams for Forbidden Door is intriguing and it might just be the match of the night.

Back from break, the Mark Henry segment began. Darby said he’s taking down Bobby Fish because he’s close to Kyle O’Reilly. Fish chimed in and said stepping into a wrestling ring with him is not a good idea. Fish told Darby to take his face-painted BS and to sell it to someone else. Darby said by the end of the night, Fish’s leg will be broken.

4. Darby Allin vs. Bobby Fish. Fish jumpstarted the match by attacking Darby as he stood on the second rope. Fish hit a Dragon-Screw leg-whip. Fish drove Darby into the apron after action spilled to the outside. Fish ran at Darby, but it looked like both guys got the worst of it. Back in the ring, Fish hit a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker. Fish went for a moonsault, but Darby moved. Fish was on the outside and Darby hit his running suicida. Fish took out Darby’s legs and Darby fell on the apron. Fish then hit a dragon-screw leg-whip on the outside. Fish did it again before we went to the final PIP [c].

Back from break, Darby hit a hell of a Scorpion Death Drop. Darby ran at Fish, who was in a corner, but Fish countered … but then Darby landed a Code Red for a two count. Darby landed a Coffin Drop onto Fish, who was on the outside. Darby rolled Fish back into the ring, but Fish tackled Darby through the ropes and the two spilled to the outside. Fish threw Darby into the stairs. Fish kept working over Darby’s leg.

Fish sank in a standing ankle-lock on the apron and then hit a German Suplex on the apron. Back in the ring, Fish put Darby on the top rope and landed a wild Avalanche Falcon Arrow. Darby kicked out at two and Fish worked an ankle lock, but Darby rolled through and pinned Fish out of nowhere.

Bobby Fish defeated Darby Allin via pinfall in 11:48.

After the match, Fish kept attacking Darby while Kyle O’Reilly walked to the ring with a chair. The lights then went out and Sting appeared. Sting hit O’Reilly in the balls with his bat and handed a chair to Darby. Darby put Fish’s leg in the chair and hit a Coffin Drop onto the chair, which had Fish’s leg in it. Fish and O’Reilly sold their injuries as the show ended.

McGuire’s Musings: The best match of the night by a mile and it single-handedly saved the episode. I wonder why they laid it on so thick when it came to Fish, outside of the obvious revenge angle. Are they writing Fish off for a bit? Does this mean something new is on the horizon for O’Reilly? Or even Adam Cole? Anyway, I enjoyed this a lot. Darby always seems so reckless with some of his signature moves, but damn if they don’t look great. You gotta wonder how year 40 is going to look (and feel) for him, though. Combining that with Fish, who is a pro’s pro, and it will most always deliver. A very good and very worthy main event.

As for the entire episode … there was just a lot left to be desired. The optimist in me would say it was good to see Willow Nightingale get some love, both on TV and from the live crowd, because I tend to root for her. But the pessimism here outweighs the rest of it, be it the sluggish opening match, the needless squash or the uninspired movement in stories (whenever that movement happened, which wasn’t often). I’ll have more to say in my audio review, which will be available in a bit.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. >After the match, we got an interview with Hook, who said nothing. Danhausen showed up and said he and Hook are going to annihilate NJPW LA Dojo prospects next week. <

    Umm…way to not review what actually happened. But other than the "requirement" to almost always say how good the women were, I expect the "this episode was ok at best" or worse, and you never disappoint.
    BTW, the reason they did what they did with Fish is….well crap, nevermind, those of us who actually follow the show and don't just find things to bitch about know why that happened.

  2. “But the pessimism here outweighs the rest of it” – you should probably then just move on to review other products.

    This Rampage was a fine if not outstanding hour of wrestling. If you need something better than this to not be pessimistic then this product is just not for you.

  3. TheGreatestOne June 19, 2022 @ 10:12 am

    This Rampage was shit from start to finish.

    The voting here, which is a shamelessly Dub Good and Fed Bad site, even among commenters, is the shows was an F.

  4. The final match wasn’t bad but otherwise a very bland show barely better than an episode of dark. A sixty year old Sting has more presence with his formidable moment after that match than Wardlow pretending to be Kevin Sorbo against a bunch of commoner ruffians and cloning his action sequences. The difference is Sting has earned that reputation over years and years of hard work across many promotions.

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