9/9 AEW Rampage results: McGuire’s review of Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara in a tournament match for the vacant AEW World Championship, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Dax Harwood for the ROH Championship, Serena Deeb vs. Madison Rayne, ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe appears

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

AEW Rampage (Episode 57)
Taped September 7, 2022 in Buffalo, New York at KeyBank Arena
Aired September 9, 2022 on TNT

The opening video aired and it included MJF. Jim Ross said hello to everyone and introduced the commentary team of him, Chris Jericho, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone. We then went to the ring without having introductions for our first match.

1. Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara in a tournament match for the vacant AEW World Championship. After some slaps, Allin worked a head-lock. Allin ultimately stretched Guevara and then worked his arm. Allin went for a splash in a corner, but Guevara moved and took control. Guevara landed a chop. The two went to the top rope and Guevara hit a super-plex before hanging on and getting in another suplex. When he tried for a third, the two spilled to the outside. Allin went for a suicida, but Guevara caught him with a pseudo RKO. We then went to our first commercial break [c].

Back from break, Guevara hit a super-kick. Guevara went tot he top and went for a shooting-star, but Allin moved and hit a Code Red for a two-count. On the outside, Tay Melo distracted Allin and and Guevara kicked Allin. The married couple made out, but Allin broke it up with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Allin took off Guevara’s wedding ring and stomped on his hand. Allin gave Melo the ring and Guevara hit Allin with a knee. Guevara put his ring back on his finger and flipped everyone off.

On the apron, Guevara hit a double springboard cutter for a two-count. Guevara went to the top and went for a Coffin Drop, but Allin moved. Anna Jay ran down and distracted the ref while Guevara hit a low blow and power-bombed Allin onto Allin’s skateboard. Guevara landed the GTH and won the match.

Sammy Guevara defeated Darby Allin via pinfall in 11:06.

After the match, Sammy and Tay kissed in the ring while Jay raised their hands. We then got a recap video of MJF’s Wednesday comeback.

McGuire’s Musings: A good opening match. I don’t know if I’m a fan of Guevara going over, but we now have BCC and JAS in situations where either they face one of their own or one of the other in the finals of the tournament. Allin sort of missed the skateboard, and thank God for that, because we all know how much he loves to take those brutal bumps; if he would have landed squarely on it, who knows if he’d be able to walk today. I keep forgetting Anna Jay is a real, live, human being talent on the AEW roster, so each time I see her run down to help the faction out, it takes a couple seconds of confusion before I’m like, “Oh, yeah. Isn’t that something.” Anyway, this was tame by Darby standards and because those two work so well together, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to seeing another round somewhere down the line.

Back from break, Samoa Joe made his way to the ring. Joe had a mic and said it feels so good to be back in AEW. He apologized for being away and said he owes the crowd more violence in the future. Joe said he’s open for business, but Smart Mark Sterling came out with Tony Nese and Josh Woods. Sterling said his athletes have been training and Nese has more abs than Joe has had matches in AEW, which was funny. Sterling said Woods saved his life on Dynamite and because of as much, Woods deserves a shot at Joe’s title. Joe said Woods deserves a shot at his title and it’ll happen tonight. Sterling said they aren’t going to do it in Buffalo and instead, they’re going to do it in Albany at Rampage next week.

We then got a video from Miro. He called out God and was angry. He said another tournament is out there, but he’s not involved and he’s essentially really pissed. He made it clear he wants a belt. Back to the ring, we went.

2. Serena Deeb vs. Madison Rayne. Deeb took Rayne down to begin, but the two were back on their feet soon. The two traded move and pin attempts before Deeb told Rayne she was in the company before Rayne was and then worked a ground-and-pound. Rayne rolled up Deeb for a two-count and then landed some chops, taking Deeb down. Rayne tried a Front Chancery, but Deeb countered with a slam and pounded the hell out of Rayne’s knee, winning with a single-leg crab.

Serena Deeb defeated Madison Rayne via submission in 3:56.

Backstage, we got an interview with Jade Cargill. Cargill said “cut this shit,” but they bleeped “shit” this time. Cargill said Athena thought she’d come in and do something, but she did nothing. She said she’s giving out work for anyone who wants to come and get it.

McGuire’s Musings: That women’s match was a lot shorter than I thought it would be. Considering how Rayne is the Shiny New Thing in the women’s division as both a coach and wrestler, it’d be good to see her get some momentum. I half-expected Deeb to go over, but not like that. Still, I thought the match, while too short, was really pretty good and if these are two of the main coaches in the division, that division is in good hands. I wonder if this means we’ll see Deeb built up for another title shot now that the women’s division has been somewhat re-shuffled with Thunder Rosa out. Elsewhere, the Joe promo was fun, and a match between him and Josh Woods is giving fabulously nostalgic Ring Of Honor vibes, so hopefully they get the time they deserve on Friday. On the other side, Miro’s promo was awfully fiery and because he seemingly keeps mentioning his wife, I’d be surprised if we don’t see CJ make an appearance sooner than later.

Back from break, we got a quick promo from Powerhouse Hobbs, who said he is the Mon-Star. From there, it was the Mark Henry segment. Regal said he hired Dax out of obscurity 13 years ago. Claudio added Dax is exactly the type of competitor he wants to be in the ring with. Dax said Claudio is a hell of a wrestler. Dax said this is how he feeds his family and tonight, he will be the ROH Heavyweight Champion. Henry told everyone it’s time for the main event.

3. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Dax Harwood for the ROH Championship. The two observed the Code Of Honor and locked up. After a series of moves, the two traded chops (Dax) and uppercuts (Claudio). They went for suplexes and Dax suplexed Claudio over the top rope for a tough landing on both parts, most notable Dax’s back on the apron. From there, we went to commercial [c].

Back from break, Claudio threw Dax into a corner and Dax slid on the mat into the ring pole to the outside. Claudio hit a running dropkick and rolled Dax back into the ring. Claudio worked an abdominal stretch. Claudio landed a clothesline for a two-count. Claudio put Dax on the top rope and the two traded blows. Eventually, Claudio dropped to the mat and Dax landed a diving head-butt for a two-count. Claudio went for the Neutralizer, but Dax rolled through and hit a pile-driver for a two-count. Dax went to the top again, but Claudio cut him off wit a series of uppercuts. Claudio then landed a super-plex for a good near fall. Our final PIP began [c].

Back from break, Claudio went for his lifting uppercut, but Dax countered into a backslide for a two-count. Dax came out of that by hitting a slingshot Liger Bomb for a two-count. Dax hit two German Suplexes before putting Claudio on the top rope. Claudio turned and landed on Dax for a two count after Dax tried a belly-to-back suplex. The two got to their feet and exchanged blows again. Claudio took a bunch of European Uppercuts and fell. Claudio got in his swing. Claudio sank in a sharp-shooter.

Dax reached for the rope, but Claudio stopped him. From there, Dax sank in a sharp-shooter of his own. Claudio countered and hit a series of elbows to the side of Dax’s head. Claudio went back to the sharp-shooter. Dax tapped out after a few seconds and sold abdomen pain.

Claudio Castagnoli defeated Dax Harwood via submission in 20:13.

McGuire’s Musings: A well-worked, hard-fought match. I expected a little more of the chop vs. European Uppercuts stuff, but this worked just as well. Dax looked great in defeat, despite taking a ton of nasty-looking bumps. You have to think someone, somewhere is going to put a singles title on him at some point. My only hope is that it comes sooner than later because they could really capitalize on the momentum he’s built as one of the most respected and beloved wrestlers out there. I don’t say that in a greedy way, of course; I say that in a feel-good way. AEW is obviously a company in desperate need of a few good, warm stories, and Dax finally getting some singles shine would help everyone forget the stains that the company endured this past week. But that’s the future. As for this match, it was everything anyone would hope it could be – tough, technical, honest and a struggle. Very good stuff here.

And a very good Rampage. TK said he’s going to start loading up these cards sooner than later and this one certainly played into that. Gone is the Trustbusters hour and in is the star power of Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara and Claudio Castagnoli, among others. This didn’t feel like a B-show for the first time in a little while, so hat’s off to everyone who made it that way. I’ll have more to say, as it seems to go, in my audio review.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. 1. I will never be a fan of wrestlers making matches via a promo.
    2. Give Dax a singles title and watch the “no matter what AEW does I’ll find something wrong with it” idiots come out and say its something negative in regards to FTR.
    3. Sammy and (especially) his wife are getting go-away heat. Hope Tony realizes that because Sammy isn’t allowed to.
    4. Enjoyed the show. Deeb is awesome, Claudio is a beast, and I look forward to the Samoa Joe match next week, despite the ridiculous aforementioned “wrestlers can make matches” BS that happens far too often.

  2. Certainly today’s show is a better template for the expectation of what Rampage could establish on a weekly basis.

  3. @MJoseph regarding your second point, I am a big AEW fan but I would have a problem with putting a singles title on Dax. FTR are the best tag team in the world, and they never wrestle in tag matches as it is. What about Cash in all of this? Forget singles titles, let’s see them booked as the dominant tag team in the company. Right now, they are barely even booked as a tag team.

  4. Forgot this was on last night, but watching it this morning it’s maybe the best hour they’ve done, start to finish, on Rampage. Nothing seemed to get overly convoluted and we didn’t have constant interference, post match shenanigans, etc., instead there seemed to be a clear focus for each match and segment.

    Make Rampage the show that mostly focuses on the TNT belt, the Women’s World belt, and maybe the Tag Team belts.

  5. One other nice touch was they set an important match up in quick and effective fashion on Rampage for next week on Rampage, rather than Dynamite, giving people who schedule to watch Rampage as it is broadcast or soon after something to think about for the following episode. That’s the thing about pro wrestling, no matter how bad things might seem when hitting a low point, there is always a chance for it to come back with strong intention and consistent programming. See the troubled state of WWF during 1993-1995 and then building back to being very competitive starting in late 1996, surging through 1997 and onward.

    Of course if things are mishandled a company can instead go the way of WCW in its’ final stanza.

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