By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
AEW Rampage (Episode 77)
Taped January 25, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky at Rupp Arena
Aired January 27, 2023 on TNT
Jim Ross welcomed everyone into the show and noted that he’s joined by Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho. We went right to the ring because both guys were in there without introductions.
1. Hangman Page vs. Wheeler Yuta. Yuta jumpstarted the match and eventually worked an Octopus into a roll-up for a one-count. Yuta worked Page’s knee. The two slapped each other. They then traded chops. Page knocked Yuta down and went back to chops. Page clotheslined Yuta for a two-count. Yuta threw Page to the apron, but Page got back into he ring and slammed Yuta. Page then hit a lariat, taking Yuta to the outside, where Page landed a springboard splash. Page rolled Yuta into the ring, but Yuta came right back and hit a Tope on Page. Back in the ring, Page hit a Liger Bomb for a two-count. We then got our first PIP [c].
Back from break, Yuta tried to fight back and ultimately hit a shotgun dropkick on Page. Yuta landed a splash on Page in the corner and that turned into an elbow from the top. Yuta hit a bulldog for a two-count. Yuta went to the top, but Page cut him off with headbutts. Page then landed an Avalanche Death Valley Driver for a good near-fall. Yuta grabbed Page’s leg, but Page came back with a German Suplex. Page landed another one.
Page went for another one, but Yuta stopped him and hit a German Suplex of his own. It happened again. It happened again. Yuta went for another one, but Page got to the ropes and elbowed Yuta. Page then trapped Page’s leg in the ropes and the two fought on the apron. Yuta then hit a German Suplex on the apron and that turned into another one on the outside, where Page barely got over. Yuta went to the top and hit a cross-body on Page on the outside. Back inside the ring, Yuta went for a splash, but Page got the knees up. Page went for the Buckshot, but Yuta countered and came off the top for another near-fall.
Yuta went for the hammer and anvil elbows, but Page got out of it and landed a spinning lariat. Yuta wouldn’t go away, though, and fought back. From there, Page hit the Buckshot, but then hit the Death Rider, presumably to mock Jon Moxley, for the win.
Hangman Page defeated Wheeler Yuta via pinfall in 14:57.
We went straight from the match to a backstage promo from Action Andretti and Ricky Starks. They both called out the JAS and said the baseball bat didn’t work. We went to break.
McGuire’s Musings: This was very good. A hot opener and a match that I can’t imagine will be upstaged at any point tonight (though I have read the rumblings that the Hayter match, which is now the main event, is a hell of a match, so we’ll see). Yuta showed a lot of fire and looked great in defeat. That’s more magnified because the outcome was never in doubt, considering how Page is going into his showdown with Moxley on Wednesday. I half-expected Moxley to run down after the match to heat things up more, but alas, we wait. A good, physical match to open things up, though, and, frankly a Rampage main event candidate. Good stuff.
When we got back, Eddie Kingston cut a promo saying the real Eddie Kingston has to come out now. He said he understands the House Of Black and he needs to go home. We went back to the ring…
2. Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, and Satnam Singh vs. Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, and Danhausen. Danhausen brought out a ukulele to counter Jarrett, which was funny. Taylor and Trent took control of Lethal to start the match. Trent and Jarrett went at it for a bit, which Trent getting the best of everything. Taylor tagged in and Danhausen tagged in and Trent tagged in. Best Friends posed over Jarrett until Lethal came in to break it up. Before long, Best Friends tried to hug, but the heels cut them off. Singh came into the ring and Trent tried to chop him, but it didn’t work. Singh hit Trent to the outside and we got our next PIP [c].
Back from break, Lethal was working over Trent, but Trent got the hot tag to Taylor. Taylor went for a submission, but Jarrett broke it up and Jarrett and Lethal worked over Taylor until Taylor got the best of it. Taylor worked a figure-four on Jarrett. Singh, of course, broke things up. Danhausen tagged in to face Singh. Eventually, Danhausen got Jarrett’s guitar, but the ref stopped Danhausen. Jarrett then grabbed the Golden Globe and hit Danhausen with it for the win.
Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, and Satnam Singh defeated Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, and Danhausen via pinfall in 10:02.
Right after the match, we went backstage where Ruby Soho essentially told Britt Baker to off off. Baker came back and told Soho she has to pick the best side…
3. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Tony Mudd. Hobbs clotheslined Mudd to begin things. Hobbs kept hitting clotheslines. Hobbs hit his finisher for the win.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Tony Mudd via pinfall in 1:11.
Directly from there, we got a Top Flight video package. Along with AR Fox, they made a challenge for the trios titles…
Renee was backstage with Dustin Rhodes. Dustin thanked the fans for prayers. He was interrupted by Swerve. Swerve said he wants to take out Dustin and Dustin told him to step back. Swerve referenced Dusty and that’s when thing broke down. We went to commercial…
McGuire’s Musings: The trios match was fun, but to me, the biggest story is that Lethal was somehow able to compose himself to work another match after doing the Mark Briscoe match on Dynamite on Wednesday. That was wildly impressive. I understand the match here might not be for everybody because of the comedy, but I tend to like Danhausen and I’m sorry, but Jarrett is actually having a very good AEW run thus far. So, all worked out for the best, as far as I’m concerned. The Hobbs match, meanwhile, went as predicted. Swerve and Dustin, though? I’m way into that. Let’s see where we go with it.
Back from break, we got a pre-tape from Mark Henry because I guess that’s the segment we get now and live isn’t in the question…
There was a backstage interview segment with Jade Cargill and Leila Grey. Red Velvet, who was joined by Kiera Hogan, confronted Cargill and challenged her to a match for the TBS Title on Wednesday…
4. AEW Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter vs. Emi Sakura in an eliminator match. Hayter went for a couple tie-ups, but Sakura walked away from them. The women then locked up. The two traded chops. They went to the outside and Sakura ran Hayter into the guardrail a lot. Sakura chopped Hayter on various guardrails before rolling her back into the ring. Sakura whipped Hayter around the ring and chopped her before landing a cross-body. Sakura worked surfboard. We then got our last PIP [c].
Back from break, Sakura was chopping Hayter, who fought back with chops of her own. Hayter hit a series of Exploders and both women’s chests were all chopped the hell up. Hayter beat down Sakura. Hayter landed the Hate-Breaker for a two-count. Sakura came back with a chop and an extended back-breaker for a two-count. Hayter landed a running lariat for a good near-fall. Hayter placed Sakura on the top and landed a cutter from the top. Hayter went to the top and tried a moonsault but missed. Sakura rolled Hayter up for a two-count and then hit the Tiger Driver for a near-fall.
Sakura hit a moonsault for another good near-fall. Sakura slapped the hell out of Hayter. That ended with Hayter hitting a lariat. Hayter went for her finisher, but Sakura countered. It didn’t matter because Hayter ultimately hit the Hayterade for the win.
Jamie Hayter defeated Emi Sakura via pinfall in 12:31.
The show almost immediately ended after that.
McGuire’s Musings: All right, so yeah. This exceeded that opening bout. Emi Sakura should be a made woman after that – and perhaps I’m biased because I find myself in a habit watching these YouTube shows and Sakura has been a lot of fun on those. Here, though, there was no weird tea-time gimmick. This was a hell of a wrestler wrestling another hell of a wrestler. I absolutely loved this and both women’s chests looked like Bryan Danielson after … well, I guess after any Bryan Danielson match. But you get it. Go out of your way to watch this one. And if you have an extra 15 minutes, check out that opening bout, too. For a Rampage that felt like a throwaway coming into it, this was the most pleasant surprise I’ve come across in wrestling all week. I’ll have more to say in my weekly Rampage audio review, which will be up first thing Saturday morning, for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
Hangmadame Page looks like he’s still carrying some of that pregnancy weight.
Why is Hayter struggling with a fat midget in her mid 40s? That’s just terrible booking.
Greatestturd is your nurse at the nursing home holding a gun to your head and forcing you to watch? You are literally the old man yelling at clouds and telling the kids to get off your yard. What a loser. Just watching something so you can complain about it