By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Rampage (Episode 91)
Taped May 3, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland at CFG Bank Arena
Aired May 5, 2023 on TNT
The Rampage opening aired and then Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary. The wrestlers already in the ring for the opening match…
1. El Hijo del Vikingo, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Powerhouse Hobbs, QT Marshall, and Aaron Solo (w/Harley Cameron). Vikingo executed an early springboard missile dropkick on Marshall. Fenix checked in and Ross noted that he’d been battling injuries. Ross said he spoke with Fenix, who is feeling a hell of a lot better.
Hobbs and Penta checked in. Penta caught Hobbs with a thrust kick, but Hobbs came right back with a big clothesline. Fenix performed a springboard into the ring and was blasted by Hobbs with a forearm shot. Vikingo leapt at Hobbs, who caught him and powerbombed him.
Marshall worked over Penta at ringside and got some “QT sucks” chants. Marshall ran Penta into the ring post heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] The babyface trio performed a triple stereo dives spot onto their three opponents on the floor.
Back inside the ring, Vikingto performed a shooting star press on Solo and then Penta and Fenix followed up with a double team move. Fenix had Solo beat, but Hobbs broke up the pin. There was a series of rapid fire spots involving each wrestler that left all six men down.
The heels each performed moves on Fenix and then Solo covered him, but Vikingo and Penta broke up the pin. A table was set up at ringside. Vikingo performed a Destroyer on the apron. Marshall rolled onto the table, but Cameron rolled him off for boos.
Hobbs picked up Abrahantes by the neck at ringside. In the ring, Penta held up Solo while Fenix performed a top rope double stomp that drove Solo into Penta’s Penta Driver. Penta covered Solo and pinned him..
El Hijo del Vikingo, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix defeated Powerhouse Hobbs, QT Marshall, and Aaron Solo in roughly 12:00.
Powell’s POV: Watching the match, it’s almost as if Hobbs is a badass and a star who is being held back by his sidekicks. Crazy, right? Marshall and Solo are talented in their own right, but Hobbs is the star and I just don’t see any sign of chemistry between him and his allies. The match was well received by the live crowd.
Footage aired of MJF throwing a fit backstage after AEW Dynamite concluded on Wednesday. MJF, who was upset about having to defend his title in a Four Pillars four-way match, took out a member of the crew and threw various objects around… [C]
Lexi Nair stood outside Chris Jericho’s dressing room and knocked on the door. He asked if she was alone before opening the door. Jericho apologized for not being able to perform his commentary duties on Rampage due to an unprovoked attack by Adam Cole on Dynamite. Jericho said he was working to make sure that Cole is not allowed in the same building and he would have more to say about that on Wednesday’s Dynamite…
Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Jade Cargill, who made her entrance while her opponent was already in the ring…
2. TBS Champion Jade Cargill vs. Gia Scott in a non-title match. Cargill performed an early fallaway slam. Cargill followed up with a big kick and then hit her Jaded finisher for the win.
TBS Champion Jade Cargill defeated Gia Scott in 0:35 in a non-title match.
After the match, Leila Grey joined Cargill inside the ring while Mark Sterling stood on the apron…
Powell’s POV: More of the same with Cargill destroying another non-contracted talent. Cargill’s entrance may have lasted longer than the actual match.
Lexi Nair tried to interview Mark Briscoe, but Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh showed up. Briscoe looked annoyed. Dutt asked Briscoe if FTR would accept the challenge of Jarrett and Lethal to an AEW Tag Team Title match. Briscoe said he’s never known them to back down for a challenge. Lethal wondered if he could talk to FTR about doing the right thing. Briscoe said he had a match and excused himself…
Mark Briscoe made his entrance while his opponent was already inside the ring…
3. Mark Briscoe vs. Preston Vance (w/Jose). Briscoe performed an early Blockbuster off the apron. Briscoe went for a dive onto Vance on the floor, but Vance moved and Briscoe landed on a couple of chairs that were set up back to back. Vance ran Briscoe into the barricade a few times heading into a PIP break. [C]
Briscoe fired back after being dominated by Vance during the break. Briscoe performed a couple of clotheslines. Vance tried to fire back with one of his own, but Briscoe ducked it and spiked the head of Vance on the mat. Mark went for the Jay Driller, but Vance pushed him into the corner and ended up turning him inside out with a clothesline.
Vance grabbed a chair from under the ring, but the referee stopped him from bringing into the ring. Vance speared Briscoe and got a two count. Jose slid the chair to Vance, but the referee stepped on it. Vance low-blowed Briscoe while the referee argued with Jose. Vance covered Briscoe, who kicked out. Ross said Briscoe had balls of steel.
“Reach for the sky, bitch,” Vance said while setting up Briscoe for a move. Briscoe slipped away and ended up launching off a chair and hitting Vance with a move on the floor. Briscoe took out Jose and eventually hit the Jay Driller and scored the clean pin.
Mark Briscoe defeated Preston Vance in 11:20.
After the match, Briscoe’s family members were helped over the barricade and they joined him inside the ring for a post match celebration…
Powell’s POV: A well worked match. There was no reason to think that Vance would actually win, but it was laid out in a way that made him look very competitive. And it’s always nice to see a Briscoe family celebration.
Dustin Rhodes was interviewed by Lexi Nair in the backstage area. She mentioned that AEW will be in Austin, Texas on May 17. Dustin made her say it again and noted that it’s his backyard. Brian Cage jumped Rhodes and put his foot over his neck while Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana stood by. Swerve squatted down and spoke about the Mogul Embassy and told Rhodes that he would see him in two weeks. The heels scrambled when Keith Lee showed up… [C]
A video package aired on the Anna Jay vs. Julia Hart feud…
The following matches and events were added to the AEW Dynamite lineup: Anna Jay vs. Julia Hart in a No Holds Barred match, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Rey Fenix in a double jeopardy match (the winner gets a future shot at his opponent’s title), Christian Cage speaks, “House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews vs. Bandido, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor in an Open House rules match for the AEW Trios Titles, and FTR respond to Jarrett and Lethal’s challenge…
A video package aired on the Orange Cassidy vs. Daniel Garcia match for the AEW International Championship that will also be on Wednesday’s Dynamite…
4. Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Hook, and Isiah Kassidy vs. Stokely Hathaway, Lee Moriarty, Big Bill, and Ethan Page in The Firm Deletion. The heels arrived at the Hardy Compound. Page smashed the mailbox with a baseball bat. Broken Matt appeared as a hologram on a drone. There was some teleportation bit with the heels going from daylight to darkness.
Matt said he knew they would come and then he and Jeff shot off Roman candles. Lexi Nair and a group of referees arrived on the fighting grounds. Excalibur provided commentary. Multiple wrestlers used sticks and branches as weapons. Jeff used a stick to choke out Big Bill.
Two of the Hardy children drove a motorized vehicle toward Hathaway. Hardy and Page battled into a ring set up in the barn while they cut to a PIP break that became a full screen break. [C] Caprice Coleman was the in-ring referee and he made a two count when Page covered Matt.
Page barked that Matt took everything from him and lied to him. Page leapt from the ropes, but Matt kicked him and hit a Twist of Fate. Matt went for the pin, but Big Bill broke it up with a chair. They cut to Hathaway taking a seat in Matt’s theater room. The lighting changed. One of the younger Hardy kids showed up. Hathaway called the child a gothic baby.
Reby Hardy showed up and barked at Hathaway, and then Reby’s father Senor Benjamin showed up and tased Hathaway. The other Hardy kids entered the room and attacked him. Outside, Page poured gasoline on the Hardys. Big Bill had a lighter and looked at the flame like a pyromaniac and then Kassidy performed a Swanton Bomb onto a group of opponents and teammates. “Orgasmic Isiah, I knew you’d come,” Matt said. Kassidy responded that he always does.
Hathaway was in the ring with Reby and Maxell Hardy. Maxel performed a middle rope Swanton on Hathaway. Eventually, all of the babyfaces surrounded Page in the ring. Matt told him that it was all his fault. The babyfaces took turns performing moves on Page. Matt told Page that they could have been great friends under different circumstances. Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Page and yelled “Delete.” Jeff performed a Swanton on Page and then Matt covered Page for the three count…
Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Hook, and Isiah Kassidy defeated Stokely Hathaway, Lee Moriarty, Big Bill, and Ethan Page in The Firm Deletion.
Afterward, Matt declared that it was over. Jeff left the room while Matt called for “Brother Nero.” Jeff went outside and lit a a Hardy symbol dug in the dirt on fire. “Thank you, God,” Jeff yelled to the sky…
Powell’s POV: Well, that will require a second viewing. My first impression was that it was a bit of greatest hits version of previous Hardy Compound segments with a new cast of heel players. This isn’t going to be something that will win over anyone who didn’t enjoy the past Deletion videos. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the TNA versions upon first viewing, but I suspect that it those who enjoyed the Deletion videos will find some enjoyment in this. I will have more to say about Rampage in my audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).