12/16 AEW Rampage results: McGuire’s review of Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara, Britt Baker vs. Skye Blue, Dustin Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor vs. The Butcher, The Blade, Kip Sabian, and Trent Seven, Wardlow in action

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

AEW Rampage (Episode 71)
Taped December 14, 2022 in Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Aired December 16, 2022 on TNT

Jim Ross welcomed everyone in and noted how the commentary team will feature him, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone. Both wrestlers were in the ring for the opening bout and the bell rang right away.

1. Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara. Guevara attacked Moxley to begin the match and stomped a mud-hole in him. Moxley eventually fought back and hit a bunch of chops. Daniel Garcia was shown watching the match on a TV in the back. The action spilled outside and Guevara chopped Moxley while Moxley sat in a chair. Moxley came back by draping Guevara over the guardrail and clotheslining him. The two got back in the ring and Moxley landed a hell of a cutter.

With Guevara on the top, Mox landed a super-plex from the second rope. Moxley went back to chopping Guevara but Guevara fought back with chops of his own. The two then traded forearms. Guevara hit a corkscrew dropkick and posed as Moxley rolled outside. Guevara went to the top rope but Moxley cut him off and worked a back-rake. Guevara returned the favor and somewhere ELP smiled. Moxley bit Guevara but Guevara fought Moxley off the top, onto the apron where Guevara hit a double-stomp before we got our first PIP [c].

Back from break and Guevara had ripped the ear ring out of Moxley’s ear. Guevara, as a result, worked Moxley’s ear and even bit him to the point where Guevara had Moxley’s blood on his tongue. Guevara kept his focus on the eat. Tay Melo rubbed Moxley’s blood on her face and Sammy and Tay made out with them both having Moxley’s blood in their mouth. Moxley interrupted it with a dive to the outside. Back inside the ring, Moxley hit a series of punches to Sammy’s head.

Moxley went for a German Suplex but Sammy landed on his feet and went to the top, where he landed a leaping cutter for a two-count. Guevara went for the GTH, but Moxley countered. It didn’t matter because Guevara countered out of that and sunk in the Walls Of Jericho. Moxley rolled out of it and kicked Sammy in the head. The two got to their feet and traded elbows. Moxley hit a curb stomp out of nowhere for a good near-fall.

Moxley set up a table. Guevara cut him off, kicked Moxley and put Moxley on the table. Guevara went to the top and hit a Swanton, breaking the table. Guevara rolled Moxley back into the ring and went to the top and hit a cross-body block, but Moxley rolled through and stomped on Guevara before hitting a piledriver for a two-count. Moxley sank in a bulldog choke, but Guevara rolled out of it. Moxley landed a lariat, but Sammy followed that up with a Death Rider. Sammy went to the top and hit a Senton for a good near-fall.

Sammy put Moxley on the top rope and went for a super-plex, but Moxley countered. Still, Sammy came back with a Spanish Fly off the top. Moxley then rolled through the Spanish Fly to make Sammy essentially pass out via a bulldog choke for the win.

Jon Moxley defeated Sammy Guevara via ref stoppage in 15:34.

After the match, Moxley grabbed a microphone and called out Hangman Page. Page ran to the ring and Moxley met him on the ramp. The two brawled and Hangman went for a Buckshot Lariat in the ring, but instead hit a member of security. From there, the two were finally split apart by security to end the segment. We then got a Saraya video and Saraya played up that she’s bringing someone with her to the Kia Forum.

McGuire’s Musings: Another great effort from Moxley. Holy hell, another better-than-great effort from Moxley. You know the formula for making Rampage a formidable program? Throw Moxley on there and let him go. The ear stuff was gruesome and it did not stop, which made the drama consistent after the first break. Moxley kicking out of his own finisher and a Senton from Sammy was quite the moment. What I loved about the match was the difference in pace between the first and second halves. Things began slow with the two working somewhat of a New Japan style, trading chops and the like. But by the time it picked up, it was spot after spot and it worked. I loved the Mox/Takeshita match; I actually liked this one more. Oh, and let’s not ignore Moxley looking straight into the camera after winning saying he’s “The Best In The World.” I’m not saying, but I’m just saying.

Back from break, FTR were in the ring. Cash started out by saying last week sucked. Cash said Dax broke his ass bone and Dax mooned the crowd. Cash said they feel like they let the fans down. Cash said that kills them because all year, the fans have lifted them up. Cash said it was one of the best years of his life and they owe the fans eternally for that. The crowd chanted “You deserve it.” Cash said it was a legacy year. Cash said a couple of kids with daddy issues have their attention. Cash said the Gunn brothers won’t kill their legacy. Dax spoke and talked about how after their match with the Briscoes, his daughter told him people like him. Dax said he couldn’t figure out why people like them. Dax said since he was eight years old, he just wanted to make people feel the passion he has for pro wrestling. Dax said on Wednesday, they’re going to do what Daddy Ass should have done a long time ago, which is kick their ass. The segment ended and we got a Jade Cargill video.

2. Britt Baker vs. Skye Blue. The two locked up to begin and traded arm-locks. Baker worked a head-scissors and hit an under-hook suplex for a one-count. After an arm-drag from Blue, the wrestlers reset and Blue rolled Baker up before kicking her in the back. From there, we got our next PIP [c].

Back from break, Blue hit a thrust kick for a two-count. Baker came right back with a Slingblade and an under-hook butterfly suplex for a two-count. Rebel then gave Baker her glove, but Blue cut Baker off and rolled her up for a two-count. Blue went for the Code Blue, but Baker shrugged her off and then hit a stomp for the win.

Britt Baker defeated Skye Blue via pinfall in 6:15.

After the match, Baker sank in the Lock Jaw until Shida’s music hit and Shida ran to the ring with her kendo stick. Shida hit Baker and had a moment with Jamie Hayter as the two shouted at each other before Hayter rolled out of the ring. From there, we got the JR sit-down with Preston Vance, who said he was hand-picked by Brodie Lee. Vance said LFI sees the same potential that Brodie once saw in him and LFI are his true friends. Vance said Negative One turned into a snot-nosed brat and he should grow up. Back to the ring, we went.

3. Wardlow vs. Exodus Prime. Mr. Prime got a nice, little pop when he was announced, but you only get one Action Andretti situation a night, guys. Prime tried to hit Wardlow a couple times but Wardlow sold nothing. Wardlow hit a clothesline and tuned up the band. One power-bomb. Two power-bombs. Three power-bombs. Four power-bombs. Wardlow pinned him and that was it.

Wardlow defeated Exodus Prime via pinfall in 2:06.

After the match, Wardlow grabbed the mic, calling out Samoa Joe. Wardlow demanded Joe come to the ring and Joe appeared on the screen. Joe said Wardlow can’t dictate anything to the King of Television. Joe said he hopes he never defends his titles in the God-awful state of Texas ever again. Joe said in Colorado, Wardlow can have whatever he wants.

McGuire’s Musings: The women’s match was disappointing in that it went six minutes and a half minutes and we saw maybe three of those. Blue is progressing, though, and it’s good to see her being used as more than Dark jobber fodder. Shida hit the hell out of Baker during her run-in, so I wonder what that was about. The Wardlow match was what anyone might think it would be. Joe’s promo afterward had hella fire to it and it’s always a good time when Joe reminds us how good Joe really can be (those moments don’t come as often as they once did these days). It’ll do Wardlow good to be in the ring with him and because of as much, I’m kind of/sort of excited for that match. Meanwhile, the logic behind Preston turning on the Dark Order because Brodie was the one who hand-picked him and now Negative One is a brat is quite the choice. It’s not like we’re going to blow this off with a Negative One vs. Preston Vance dog-collar match … right?

Back from break, we got the Mark Henry segment. Trent Seven spoke for a second and Kip Sabian began to speak until Butcher cut him off and said he’s sick of talking. Blade chimed in and said they’re going to split Best Friends open. Mark Henry started to talk and Dustin cut him off, but Trent said something silly and that was the end of the segment because Henry said it was time for the main event.

4. Dustin Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor vs. The Butcher, The Blade, Kip Sabian, and Trent Seven. Trent and Trent began the match. Seven chopped the other Trent. The two exchanged elbows. Seven chopped the hell out of Trent but Trent came right back and both guys went down before things dissolved and Cassidy and Kip were left alone in the ring. They had a nice exchanged and Cassidy put his hands in his pockets. Butcher and Trent were then in the ring and Butcher hit a back-body-drop. Blade kicked Trent and we got our final PIP [c].

Back from break, Trent Seven and Rhodes tagged in and Rhodes power-slammed everyone. Dustin punched Seven a lot before hitting an elbow to the head for a two-count. Cassidy wound up with Butcher and The Blade. Trent hit a double dropkick on Butcher and Blade and he followed that up, alongside Chuck Taylor, with a flip onto the heels on the outside. That inspired a few more splashes, too. Bunny and Penelope came into the ring, but Cassidy and Danhausen pretended like the women attacked them. As a result, the ref ejected both women from ringside. Kip turned Danhausen around and punched him in the nuts.

Sabian followed that up with a punch to Cassidy. Things were still fairly broken down when Seven slammed Trent from the top rope for a two-count. Dustin got a tag and hit a Destroyer on Sabian. The crowd was up for Dustin. Dustin placed Kip in the corner and Cassidy softly kicked Sabian before Dustin kicked Sabian in the junk for real. Dustin landed a bulldog on Seven and got the win because of it.

Dustin Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor defeated The Butcher, The Blade, Kip Sabian, and Trent Seven via pinfall in 10:42.

The show almost immediately went off the air.

McGuire’s Musings: That was a fun-enough main event. I won’t even whine about the lack of tag enforcement, etc., because why bother at this point. Dustin in his home state is a lot of fun to see and it has an extra layer of poignancy considering how he announced he’s winding things down soon. That said, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he got the win here. And good on him for it. I can only hope that he gets one last epic match against one of the bigger AEW names before he calls it a day. But I digress. The program appears to be building toward Sabian vs. Cassidy again, and I’m OK with that because those two can produce a good-to-great match. In the meantime, I could probably do without some variation of the tag, six-man or eight-man tag matches that will lead us there.

In all, a good episode of Rampage and certainly a step up from where it was for weeks before last week changed things. I understand scheduling what’s probably going to be the best match of the night first because you want to keep people around and 10 p.m. on a Friday night is quite the ask. But AEW sacrifices its main event spot each time it does that (which is pretty much every time), and therefore, by the time 11 p.m. EST comes around, you just kind of find yourself waiting for it to be over. But that’s just me. I’ll have more to say on my audio review.


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