By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
AEW Rampage (Episode 61)
Live from Washington, D.C. at Entertainment & Sports Arena
Aired live October 7, 2022 on TNT
Jim Ross said hello to begin things and noted that he has Chris Jericho, William Regal and Excalibur by his side. Jon Moxley’s music hit, he came through the crowd, and there we went.
1. Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta vs. Rush and Private Party. Castagnoli and Quen began the match. Quen landed a dropkick and posed and kept posing until Castagnoli hit a European Uppercut. Yuta tagged in and hit a boot with Castagnoli by his side. Kassidy tagged in and landed a few kicks before dancing and posing himself. As a result, Yuta grabbed Kassidy and stretched him a bit. Yuta mocked Kassidy and danced. Rush tagged in and swung his hair at Moxley so, naturally, Moxley tagged in. The two traded blows. Moxley hit a German Suplex and hit a clothesline before we got our first PIP [c].
Back from break, Jim Ross said, “Who the hell is legal?” and he echoed a lot of the wrestling world’s thoughts. Quen and Rush were working over Moxley, but Moxley worked his way out of all the nonsense and got the tag to Castagnoli, who landed a series of uppercuts on Kassidy. Castagnoli went for the swing, but Quen broke it up. In a wild spot, Castagnoli did the swing on Kassidy with Quen on his back. Wow. Things broke down a little and all six meant were in and out.
Yuta tagged in and hit a splash onto Kassidy, but Rush broke it up with a face kick. Rush followed that up with kicks to everyone. Rush went to the outside and Moxley landed a suicida. Inside the ring, Private Party tried to the Silly String, but Castagnoli blocked it on behalf of Yuta. After clearing the ring. Yuta sunk in a submission and Moxley posed a little prematurely before Kassidy tapped out.
Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta defeated Rush and Private Party via submission in 10:11.
After the match, we got a video hyping up the trios match for later in the night. Dark Order dedicated the match to Brodie Lee.
McGuire’s Musings: A good opening match with a lot of action. I was surprised to see Moxley take the middle because he’s the world champ, for one, and for two, he had two tag partners who are really good at taking the middle of those types of matches. Still, while this was predictable, it was fun, and the crowd seemed hotter than it did on Wednesday. The Rush/Moxley interactions only make me want to see them run that one back someday. But if that day comes, it’ll be a while from now.
2. Varsity Blonds vs. Josh Woods and Tony Nese. Tony Schiavone was in for commentary on this match. Garrison and Nese began the match and we had no televised introductions. The Blonds had the upper-hand for the first 90 seconds or so. Woods tagged in and he, along with Nese double-teamed Garrison. Nese and Woods hit their finisher and that was it.
Josh Woods and Tony Nese defeated the Varsity Blonds via pinfall in 1:46.
After the match, Smart Mark Sterling got a mic and bad-mouthed the Blonds. Sterling said he trademarked the term “varsity” in pro wrestling. Because of as much, he called Nese and Woods the “Varsity Athletes.” Sterling said if the Blonds ever use the term again, he’ll sue. Sterling said his groin has been on fire and The Acclaimed’s music hit. Caster rapped about saving the ratings and Draymond Green, which was timely (have you seen that video?!). The team scissored Daddy Ass, which is the best sentence you’re going to get out of this review.
We got a video of Eddie Kingston. Eddie said “I only get 30 seconds but MJF gets 15 minutes,” and that was the end of the video. We got a quick commentary desk shot and then the JAS music hit.
3. Madison Rayne and Skye Blue vs. Tay Melo and Anna Jay. Rayne and Jay began the match. Jay whipped Rayne down by her hair and then quickly tagged in Melo. Blue tagged in and landed a dropkick to the head of Melo. Jay tagged in, but it wasn’t until Melo interfered and slammed Blue on the apron that the heels took control and blew kisses as we went to our second PIP [c].
McGuire’s Musings: It was good to see Nese and Woods get a win, but boy, what the hell happens to Pillman Jr. and Garrison after this? I mean, dudes had their tag name just up and taken away from them. The Acclaimed appearance was fun and unexpected and I’m sure it popped the crowd because of those things. Fair play to that. Here’s hoping Nese and Woods get a true push in some manner. There’s just so much talent between the two of them.
Back from the break, Rayne tagged in and hit a series of strikes on Jay, culminating in a suplex and a two-count. Blue tagged back in and hit a cross-body for a two-count. Jericho noted how this was the two-year anniversary of Brodie Lee’s last match in AEW. Jay kicked Blue and went for the Queen Slayer, but Blue slipped out and lifted Jay, but Jay countered and Melo landed a knee, which allowed Jay to sink in the Queen Slayer and get the win.
Tay Melo and Anna Jay defeated Madison Rayne and Skye Blue via submission in 7:47.
After the match, we went right backstage to the Mark Henry segment. John Silver said it’s a big night for the Dark Order because Brodie was the man. As the members were talking Pac interrupted them and Penta said they are the best trios in the universe. Pac said Death Triangle will remind everyone why they are the AEW trios champions. Henry said it’s time for the main event. Excalibur ran down the Battle Of The Belts card.
Swerve cut a promo backstage and said he’s not trying to have a banger of a match with Billy Gunn on Dynamite. Swerve said he will be there to hurt Daddy Ass. Swerve said Gunn will be done. Dark Order then got their entrance for the main event.
4. Death Triangle vs. 10, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver for the AEW Trios Titles. The match began with all six wrestlers brawling. Fenix and 10 ended up in the ring before all of Dark Order took control and 10 suplexed Fenix after holding him for 10 seconds. Reynolds tagged in and landed an elbow drop for a two-count. Penta tagged in and Reynolds landed a thrust kick before tagging in Silver. Silver and Reynolds hit another dropkick for a close near-fall. Penta and Silver traded blows and we went to a PIP [c].
Back from break, Fenix was pretty much beating everyone up. Penta then hit a cross-body on all three members of Dark Order. Penta cleaned house and Pac tagged in. Pac landed a series of kicks onto Reynolds and bridged into a pin, but the pin was broken up. The three dropkicked Reynolds in the head. Pac worked over Reynolds and tagged in Fenix, who hit a spine-buster and tagged in Penta, who leapt off the top to kick Reynolds in the butt. Penta kicked Reynolds a bunch and then sunk in an arm-bar. Penta pinned Reynolds against the ropes and chopped/slapped him. Pac tagged in and eventually suplexed Reynolds on the outside. We got our final PIP [c].
Back from break (again), Reynolds was still in there with Pac and Pac had control but Reynolds landed a double-stomp onto Pac’s back. Fenix tagged in, but 10 got the hot tag on his end and 10 cleaned house. 10 hit a spine-buster and the crowd chanted “10!” Penta stopped the momentum with a kick and Death Triangle teamed up on 10, culminating in a triple super-kick. Before long, Silver and Pac traded blows. Silver landed a deadlift brain-buster for a good near-fall.
Fenix tagged in and Silver punched him before tagging in Reynolds. Dark Order went for the Pendulum Bomb, but Fenix fought his way out. Even so, the Dark Order guys came right back and did hit the Pendulum Bomb on Fenix for a two-count. Reynolds and Fenix fought on the top and Penta got involved, landing slingblades on everyone. Penta landed a back-stabber on Silver. Penta went for the Fear Factor, but Silver fought out and all Dark Order members hit their finisher, but it was to no avail because the pin attempt was broken up. Jose the Assistant came out with an envelope and Rush handed Pac the bell hammer. Pac hit Reynolds with the hammer. Pac sank in a crossface on Reynolds and the referee called it.
Death Triangle defeated 10, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver via submission in 21:03.
The show ended right away.
McGuire’s Musings: I’m happy they got the time, but I do wonder if it went a little too long. 21 minutes is a third of the show and the way everyone played up it being the anniversary of Brodie Lee’s death, it felt like a title change was going to happen. The fact that it didn’t … I just wonder if that was the right call. Even as Battle Of The Belts begins right now, the crowd doesn’t seem as up as it could or should be. A lot of issues here. But we move on. Because that’s the AEW way. I’ll have much more to say in my audio review.