AEW Rampage results (7/14): Powell’s review of Athena vs. Willow Nightingale in an Owen Hart Cup tournament semifinal match, Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes vs. Angelo Parker and Matt Menard, Lance Archer vs. Trent Beretta

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Rampage (Episode 101)
Taped July 12, 2023 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at SaskTel Centre
Aired July 14, 2023 on TNT

The Rampage opening aired… Excalibur, Chris Jericho, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary… The wrestlers were already in the ring for the opening match…

1. Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes vs. Matt Menard and Angelo Parker. At one point, Menard sent Rhodes aggressively into a corner of the ring. Jericho said Jim Ross would love that move. Menard picked up a two count on Rhodes heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] Lee eventually took a hot tag and slammed Menard onto Parker. Lee followed up with his version of the Jackhammer on Parker and scored the pin…

Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes beat Matt Menard and Angelo Parker.

Powell’s POV:

A QTV segment aired. Harley Cameron was helped Aaron Solo stretch. QT Marshall asked if he was okay. Solo complained about Powerhouse Hobbs giving him a spinebuster. Marshall said he apologized to Hobbs after their falling out on AEW Collision and said he would fix everything on Saturday.

Marshall and Cameron spoke about her rap video. Cameron set up an over the top poolside video from Johnny TV, who challenged Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed to a trios match on next week’s Rampage… Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Taya Valkyrie, whose opponent was in the ring…

2. Taya Valkyrie vs. Izzy McQueen. Valkyrie speared McQueen once the bell rang. Valkyrie pulled McQueen’s arms behind her and then stomped her face into the mat before pinning her.

Taya Valkyrie defeated Izzy McQueen.

After the match, AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm and Saraya made their entrance together and joined Valkyrie inside the ring. Storm congratulated Valkyrie on her win while adding that she hasn’t had many of those lately. “The reason why you’ve been losing so much is because you’re a loser,” Storm said. “And the reason why you’re such a loser is because you’re Canadian.”

Valkyrie shrugged off the insults and questioned if Storm should be worried about her championship. Storm dismissed that notion. Valkyrie said they’ve never wrestled, let alone touched. Valkyrie called for an AEW Women’s Championship on Saturday’s Battle of the Belts VII show. Storm didn’t seem interested, but Valkyrie goaded her into the match… [C]

Powell’s POV: The match was a total squash. I got a kick out of Storm working up the Canadian crowd by saying Valkyrie is a loser because she’s Canadian, but it’s also tough to be excited about a challenger when the champion points out that they’ve lost a lot of matches lately. I’m also not sure how they want fans to feel about Valkyrie. She worked as a babyface initially, then seemed to be the heel against Kris Statlander, and is apparently back to being a babyface in the match against Storm. By the way, I will have a live review of AEW Collision and AEW Battle of the Belts VII tomorrow night while John Moore will be covering Impact Wrestling Slammiversary simultaneously, so I hope you’ll stop back and join us.

Footage aired of Hook at a restaurant in Manhattan. He looked into the camera and addressed Jack Perry. Hook said he heard Perry wants a shot at his FTW Title, which he held up and placed on the table. Hook said it Perry had his match and he’s done chasing his punk ass. Hook said the match would go down on Dynamite in Boston next week…

3. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Trent Beretta (w/Chuck Taylor). Archer jumped Beretta once the bell rang and dominated the early action. Beretta fired back with a shot to the face. Archer got pissed and went after him, but Beretta ducked and held the ropes down, causing Archer to tumble to the floor.

Beretta kicked Archer through the ropes. Archer stuffed a dive, but Archer caught him with another kick from the apron and then performed a moonsault onto him. Beretta and Taylor hugged. Archer returned to the ring. Roberts punched Beretta and then hit him with a short-arm clothesline while the referee’s back was turned heading into a PIP break. [C]

Beretta suplexed Archer and then hit him with a running knee. Beretta followed up with a piledriver and covered Archer for a near fall. Beretta threw strikes at Archer, who smiled and no-sold them. Archer knocked Beretta down with what Excalibur labeled a body block. Archer rolled him into a pin for another two count.

Beretta went up top. Archer ran up the ropes and threw a knee strike at him, which the broadcast team labeled a glancing blow. Archer followed up with a Blackout. Archer picked up Beretta and then put him right back down with a lariat before pinning him.

Lance Archer beat Trent Beretta.

Afterward, Taylor entered the ring and was roughed up by Archer, who then called for the mic. Archer called for Orange Cassidy, adding that he wants to face him for the AEW International Title at Battle of the Belts. Archer followed up by saying that if Cassidy didn’t come out, “both these bitches die.”

Orange Cassidy made his entrance while Excalibur said that Tony Khan told him that the Cassidy vs. Archer title match was official for Saturday. Cassidy entered the ring. Archer grabbed him by the throat. Roberts called him off, telling him not to kill the golden goose until Saturday. Roberts had the backpack containing the AEW International Championship and told Cassidy to come get it on Saturday if he has the balls…

Powell’s POV: Meh. This was a fine in term of setting up Archer challenging Cassidy quickly, but it’s tough to be excited about Battle of the Belts when all three title matches were rushed together in short order. They knew this special was coming, yet it felt like they couldn’t be bothered to give any of the matches a proper build.

A video package aired with Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, and Karen Jarrett talking, along with Ethan Page, Matt Hardy, and Brother Zay talking elsewhere. Long story short, the heels talked about entering the Royal Rampage match and Dutt confirmed that the babyface trio would also be involved in the match…

Konosuke Takeshita and Don Callis made their entrance. Takeshita’s opponent was already in the ring. Callis got a mic and stopped the referee from calling for the bell to start the match. Callis said that Takeshita’s masked opponent was a childhood friend and first training partner of Kenny Omega. Callis said Omega has a need to be surrounded by his idiot friends. Callis asked the man if he knew the Japanese word for kill. Callis yelled the word and then Takeshita attacked the opponent to start the match…

4. Konosuke Takeshita (w/Don Callis) vs. Mentallo. Excalibur backed up Callis’s story about Mentallo’s history with Omega. Mentallo got a little bit of offense in, including a German suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Mentallo went up top. Takeshita cut him off with a punch and ended up superplexing him. Takeshita sold knee pain before he got up and then performed an inverted piledriver. Takeshita went up top and performed a senton that led to the three count…

Konosuke Takeshita beat Mentallo.

Powell’s POV: We really should have been seeing a lot more of this from Takeshita since he joined Callis. The company should have had no problem finding time for him to destroy opponents in short order, but this was actually the first AEW match he’s had since Forbidden Door.

“The Dark Order” John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and Evil Uno were interviewed by Renee Paquette on the backstage interview set. Silver said they attacked Hangman Page because he deserved it. Silver said everyone leaves them and they are sick of it. He said they made Page a world champion and he abandoned them.

Reynolds said that while Page’s career was flourishing because of them, they became soft and weak. He said they were recently reminded that they were bred to be the lions of AEW. He said last Friday was their resurrection. Uno said they will no longer waste time on fake friends. “Are you Dark Order or are you not?” Excalibur asked… [C]

Mark Henry hosted a video that set up the main event… Excalibur went into auctioneer mode while hyping the previously announced AEW Collision, AEW Battle of the Belts VII, and AEW Dynamite matches… Entrances for the main event took place…

5. ROH Women’s Champion Athena vs. Willow Nightingale in an Owen Hart Cup tournament semifinal match. Willow was in offensive control heading into an early break. [C] Will performed a spinebuster for a late near fall. She followed up with a Dr. Bomb attempt that Athena stuffed. The broadcast team said Athena bit the leg of Willow.

Athena dropped Willow with a big elbow strike and covered her for a near fall. Both wrestlers got to their knees and traded chops as they got to their feet. Willow ducked chop and slammed Athena, who avoided a senton. Athena performed a standing moonsault for a two count.

Ruby Soho was shown watching the match on a backstage monitory while Excalibur claimed their were former partners and former best friends. Willow picked up another two count and then lowered the straps on her gear. Willow charged Athena, who chop blocked her. Athena powered up Willow, who slipped out. Willow fell onto her and got the three count.

Willow Nightingale defeated Athena to advance to the finals of the Owen Hart Cup tournament.

Excalibur hyped Willow facing Soho in the finals of the tournament for Saturday’s AEW Collision. He ran through the other Collision matches while Willow celebrated to end the show…

Powell’s POV: The finish looked awkward, but it was a good back and forth match. I found it odd that Excalibur was playing up Soho and Willow as being best friends at one point. If I recall, Soho was annoyed by Willow and eventually agreed to team with her, but it never felt like their characters became best friends. Even so, I like that there’s history between the two, and tonight’s win should also set up Willow with a shot at the ROH Women’s Championship. I wonder if that will happen at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view.


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