2/24 AEW Rampage results: McGuire’s review of “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, Action Andretti vs. Sammy Guevara, Toni Storm vs. Willow Nightingale, Lance Archer vs. Bryce Saturn


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

AEW Rampage (Episode 81)
Taped February 22, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona at Footprint Center
Aired February 24, 2023 on TNT

Jim Ross welcomed everyone to the show as pyro shot from the stage. He was joined by Tony Schiavone, Excalibur and Chris Jericho on commentary. We went right to the ring without entrances or introductions to get things started.

1. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis. Don Callis sat in on commentary. Matt Jackson and Mark Davis started the match and Aussie Open took control early. Fletcher tagged in and kept control with a chop. Matt got a boot up and Matt ultimately took both Aussie Open members out. Davis tagged in and Nick Jackson followed suit. Davis cartwheeled and slammed both Bucks in an impressive spot. Davis got a two-count on Matt.

Matt got to his feet and kicked Davis. Things broke down a little as the Bucks worked over Fletcher and then double-clotheslined Davis over the top rope to the outside. The Bucks tried dueling splashes, but Aussie Open caught them and slammed them on the apron. Aussie Open then slammed the Bucks together via their backs. Aussie Open posed and we got our first PIP [c].

Back from the break, Fletcher was working over Nick Jackson. Davis tagged in and chopped the hell out of Nick. Fletcher tagged in and went to the second rope, but Nick got out of any move attempt and took out both members of Aussie Open. Matt received the hot tag and Matt fired up against Fletcher. Before long, Matt hit a Sliced Bread on Fletcher and went to the top for a moonsault … until Matt instead jumped onto Davis, who was on the outside.

Matt went back to the top rope and landed an elbow drop on Fletcher inside the ring for a two-count. “This is awesome” chants broke out. The Bucks hit a combo bulldog/kick to the head on Fletcher. Matt draped Fletcher over the second rope and Nick hit a Senton for a two-count. Davis returned to action and was welcomed with a Face-Buster. Fletcher returned the favor for his partner on the outside when he hit a brain-buster on Nick Jackson, who was on the outside. Davis clotheslined the hell out of Matt and then officially tagged in.

Aussie Open went for their finisher, but Matt got out of it. It didn’t matter, though, because Aussie Open came right back with a series of strikes and a double-team move that resulted in a good near-fall. Fletcher tagged in and kicked Nick in the face. Fletcher came off the second rope, but Nick caught him with a clunky cutter. Matt then received the hot tag, but Davis shut it down with a lariat.

Things broke down and Aussie Open went for the double forearm, but the Bucks moved and hit a series of super-kicks. The Bucks went for the BTE Trigger, but Aussie Open moved. Both Aussie Open guys clotheslined the hell out of the Bucks and all four guys were on the mat. Fletcher and Nick exchanged elbows on their knees until they clotheslined each other on their feet. Davis pulled Nick to the outside and Matt pulled Fletcher to the outside. The Bucks hit a series of splashes on Davis and Fletcher on the outside.

From there, the Bucks set up for the Meltzer Driver, but the lights went out. When they came back on, Fletcher hit a jumping tombstone. Aussie Open then hit the double forearm and their finisher on Matt, but Nick broke things up at the last tenth of a second. Davis accidentally clotheslined Fletcher and because of that, the Bucks hit a pair of super-kicks and the BTE Trigger on Fletcher. That was enough to get the Bucks the win.

“The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson defeated “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis via pinfall in 16:15.

After the match, the lights went out again and House of Black surrounded the ring. The crowd went nuts and the HOB got on the apron, but the lights went out again and when they came back on, they were gone. We went directly backstage after that for an interview with Trent and Chuck Taylor. They were quickly attacked by Big Bill and Lee Moriarty. The Gunns were with Bill and Lee. Trent was hit in the head with a pipe.

McGuire’s Musings: The match was very good and admittedly came in very, very slightly below my way-too-high expectations. I say that only because there were a few moments when the replay cut away and I’m only to assume we actually missed out on a few minutes of the match on the broadcast. We got more than 16 minutes of it, so I’m not complaining, but if there’s more to see, I want to see it. Damn it! Anyway, I loved how the teams managed to work their own styles in their own ways. Yeah, it was more Bucks than Aussie, but Aussie got a lot of love here and deservedly so. After watching them on New Japan programming for a little while now, I was happy to see them respected in such a noticeable way here. I say run this back with 10 more minutes, some belts on the line and no deleted scenes! OK. Apologies for the exclamation points.

When we returned from the break, Orange Cassidy came in to check on Taylor and Trent backstage. That cut back to the ring quickly, where Toni Storm made her entrance.

2. Toni Storm vs. Willow Nightingale. Storm attacked Willow early on, but Willow eventually hit a shoulder-block to take Storm down. Willow then landed a series of clotheslines. Willow slammed Storm and then hit some hard chops. Willow went for another chop, but Storm moved. It didn’t matter, though, because Willow still found a way to take Storm down. Storm got up and pulled Willow down by her hair. Storm then hit a hip attack that took Willow outside, where Storm continued beating Willow down. Storm threw Willow into the guardrail and we went to our next PIP [c].

Back from break, Storm landed a wild hip attack and a tornado DDT for a two-count. Willow fired up and came back with a Cannonball and Death Valley Driver for a good near-fall. Saraya appeared on the apron and Willow brought her into the ring until Storm chop-blocked Willow. Storm then hit a Storm Zero for the win.

Toni Storm defeated Willow Nightingale via pinfall in 8:00.

After the match, Saraya and Storm went for the spray paint, but Ruby Soho ran to the ring for the save as Storm and Saraya went toward the back … but wouldn’t you know it … Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter cut Saraya and Storm off. A brawled ensued. Soho raised Willow’s hand and we got a recap of The Acclaimed story. As The Acclaimed were speaking backstage, they were attacked by Jeff Jarrett and his crew. We immediately went to a Jade Cargill video package and Jade asked who’s left (she wasn’t wrong). Jade said she’s been running the division for an entire year (again, not wrong). She then said she welcomes all competition and we went back to the ring.

3. Lance Archer vs. Bryce Saturn. Saturn stupidly tried to run at Archer as Archer walked down the ramp and you can expect how Archer responded to that. After some blows outside the ring, Archer threw Saturn around the ring after they got inside the ring and then hit a running elbow. Archer landed a bunch of chops and boots. Archer teased a choke-slam, but Saturn slapped his way out of it. The move wasn’t smart, but Archer fired up, landed a tough lariat and won.

Lance Archer defeated Bryce Saturn via pinfall in 1:45.

After the match, we got words from Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes – as well as Swerve. It sounds like we’re going to get some type of match involved Swerve, Lee, Dustin and others next week.

McGuire’s Musings: The women got the obligatory middle-of-the-show/longest-break-of-the-night match, but this one was much better than others. I’m always happy to see Willow being treated like a legitimate wrestler and Storm did a good job of doing that in this match. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out how Storm gets away with those hip attacks without giving her opponents whiplash, but that’s why I’m sitting on a couch, fat, watching this and waiting for pizza. The post-match brawl was fun and takes that group of women another step toward Revolution. Meanwhile, I’m not quite sure what Archer is supposed to be. The crowd loved him and cheered most every one of his moves. But he’s a heel … right?

We came back to the Mark Henry segment (which was live this week!). Henry called out Sammy for using a baseball bat. Daniel Garcia cut everything off and said the disrespect of Sammy has gone way too far. Garcia said he’s going to make it his mission that Sammy will get the respect he deserves. Action responded by saying Sammy proved to him that he’s a punk coward. Action said he’s going to prove he’s not just a guy who came in on a fluke victory and he’s the “sight to see.” He ended by proclaiming it will be “action, no words.” It was then TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT. Excalibur ran down the upcoming Dynamite card, which included an All-Atlantic Title match between Orange Cassidy and Big Bill. We’re also going to get Hook vs. Matt Hardy, the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match and Chris Jericho vs. Pretty Peter Avalon, among other matchups.

4. Action Andretti vs. Sammy Guevara. Sammy ran at Andretti to start the match, but Andretti moved and essentially showed Guevara up before throwing Guevara outside. Andretti then hit some chops and ran Guevara into the guardrail. Ultimately, Andretti jumped off the guardrail to hit a clothesline on Guevara. Back in the ring, Guevara cut Andretti off and hit a knee. Andretti didn’t care because Andretti landed a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. The action spilled outside again and Guevara ran Andretti into a guardrail. Andretti came back and suplexed Guevara on the floor. Andretti then hit a 450 splash off the apron onto Guevara before we got our final PIP [c].

Back from break, Andretti went for a moonsault, but Guevara got the knees up and spiked Andretti for a two-count. Guevara went to the top and went for a shooting-star, but Andretti moved and hit a dropkick. Andretti then landed a springboard kick for a two-count. Andretti went for a GTH, but Guevara fought out and the two exchanged elbow strikes. Guevara landed a thrust kick and a knee strike, but Andretti hit a wild counter-slam-type-thing and got a near-fall out of his efforts. Andretti landed a springboard Senton for a two-count. Andretti hit a springboard dropkick that was nuts and went for a springboard move, but Garcia hit Andretti without the referee seeing it. Guevara capitalized by hitting the GTH for the win.

Sammy Guevara defeated Action Andretti via pinfall in 10:07.

After the match, Jericho walked to the ring, clapping. The JAS celebrated to close the show.

McGuire’s Musings: I don’t know, man. We see it all the time on Al Gore’s Internet, but maybe – just maybe – Chris Jericho plucking someone from nowhere to be rocketed into somewhere isn’t always the best thing. I was convinced Andretti would get the win here to set up some type of match for him at Revolution between either Garcia or Guevara … but it was not to be. Here’s hoping they have something in mind for Andretti because that upset was a ton of fun against Jericho at Winter Is Coming and I’m not so sure they followed up with it in the best ways possible. Jericho is already married to Ricky Starks for Revolution, so … maybe we get a triple threat between Garcia, Guevara and Andretti? And from there the wheels turn? We’ll see.

In all, this was a better episode of Rampage than what it’s been recently (most notably, the lowest-ever-rated episode that went down last week). It was carried by the Young Bucks vs. Aussie Open, but with a match with that caliber of talent, you’d have to do something pretty special to get things wrong. The main event gave us a flat finish, but the women worked really well in the middle of the show, so all things considered, this could have been much worse (as in, remember that time the Trustbusters took over a Rampage?). If you have 20 minutes, check out the tag match. If you have an hour and love AEW, check out the whole show. I’ll be back with my audio review soon.


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