AEW Rampage results (7/28): Powell’s review of a Tag Team Battle Royal for a shot at the AEW Tag Titles, Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose, Komander vs. Kip Sabian, The Kingdom in action

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Rampage (Episode 103)
Taped July 26, 2023 in Albany, New York at MVP Arena
Aired July 28, 2023 on TNT

The Rampage opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. Excalibur and Tony Schiavone were on commentary, and Justin Roberts was the ring announcer. The wrestlers were already around the ring for the tag team battle royal…

1. A Tag Team Battle Royale for a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles. The teams were Brian Cage and Big Bill (w/Prince Nana), Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal, Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh (w/Sonjay Dutt), Luther and Serpentico, Matt Menard and Angelo Parker, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy, The Butcher and The Blade, and Brother Zay and Ethan Page.

The first man eliminated by Luther, who ate a big boot from Bill. Luther’s partner Serpentico was out next thanks to a clothesline from The Butcher. Singh caught Zay and tried to toss him over the ropes. Zay got his legs caught up in the ropes for a moment and then Singh eliminated him. Sydal was eliminated by Menard. Parker was ousted by Jeff Hardy.

Page was eliminated by Singh. The Hardys shoved Singh into Lethal, who fell from the apron to exit the match. Page and Lethal fought their way to the back as they cut to a picture-in-picture break. [C] Menard was eliminated by Bill. Daniels was thrown out by Butcher and Blade. Singh threw Matt Hardy over the top rope and Hardy’s back hit the apron hard on his way to the floor.

Jeff Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Singh. Bill and Cage took shots at Singh. Hardy tried and failed to eliminate him. Bill and Cage teamed up (kinda) to eliminate Singh (Cage’s clothesline grazed the big man). Jeff Hardy was eliminated by Butcher and Blade.

The final two teams were Bill and Cage, and Butcher and Blade. The fans chanted for Bill while Excalibur noted that Bill is a New York native. Blade put Cage down with a neckbreaker. Blade hit Bill from behind. Bill no-sold it and the crowd chanted “you f—ed up.”

Blade stuffed a chokeslam attempt and hit a Stunner before Butcher blasted Bill with a clothesline. Cage stepped in and saved his partner. Butcher and Blade got the better of Cage until Bill put them down with a double clothesline. Bill splashed Butcher and put him down with a big boot.

Bill played to the receptive crowd. Cage and Bill performed a powerbomb and clothesline combo move on Blade, and then the both eliminated him. Butcher fought both men successfully for a stretch and put Cage down with a backbreaker. Bill eventually held up Butcher and then chokeslammed him while Cage hit him with a clunky clothesline. Bill and Cage threw Butcher over the top rope and eliminated him to win the match…

Big Bill and Brian Cage won a Tag Team Battle Royale to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: I assumed that these guys or the Hardys would win this match. I’m happy they didn’t rush into the Hardys earning a title match just by winning a battle royal. I don’t know how much time the Hardys have left, but AEW really needs to get their story right if they are going to eventually give them another tag title shot. The match was pretty basic battle royal fodder with a lot of punching and kicking early. It got a little better once they cleared some people out, but this was pretty forgettable.

They cut right to a Kingdom video package. They spoke about how Ring of Honor was their home and they did right by the company. They spoke about facing The Briscoes at Final Battle. Bennett called it the proudest moment of his career. He said Tony Khan purchased ROH. Bennett said he heard Khan’s speech about what ROH meant to him and he knew it was in good hands. They said they got the call to come back and they have a second chance to show what ROH meant. Bennett said they are the OGK, and Taven said “You will call us The Kingdom”…

Powell’s POV: That’s a lot of Ring of Honor talk on an AEW show, but I guess you can’t really tell the story of The Kingdom without talking about ROH. They came off as good guys who care about the legacy of ROH. They’re typically heels, so I’m not sure if this was meant to be a character shift.

Excalibur hyped the remaining matches… [C] Back to back videos aired for Saturday’s AEW Collision, and Wednesday’s 200th edition of AEW Dynamite…

2. Komander (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford). After some back and forth action, Komander performed a flip dive onto Sabian on the floor going into a PIP break. [C] Sabin performed a springboard moonsault onto Komander on the floor. Back in the ring, Sabian hit a cannonball and a standing shooting star press for a near fall.

Ford gouged the eyes of Komander while Sabian distracted the referee. Sabian followed up with a slingshot suplex for another near fall. Komander came back by springboarding into a Destroyer. Komander walked the ropes and executed a shooting star press and then scored the pin…

Komander defeated Kip Sabian.

Powell’s POV: Those were some dazzling moves down the stretch. This was Sabian’s first televised singles match since the March 24 edition of AEW Dark Elevation. I feel bad for the guy. He wore that bag on his head while standing in the crowd for months. His gear and entrance still focus on the bag and yet the story never actually went anywhere.

A video package recapped the Jack Perry and Jerry Lynn angle from AEW Dynamite…

3. “The Kingdom” Matt Taven and Mike Bennett vs. Hayden Backlund and Myung-Jae Lee. The entrances of the local enhancement wrestlers were not televised. Taven and Bennett made quick work of them and Bennett got the win after they hit the Proton Pack on Backlund…

“The Kingdom” Matt Taven and Mike Bennett defeated Hayden Backlund and Myung-Jae Lee.

Powell’s POV: Maria Kanellis wasn’t with Taven and Bennett in the video package, nor in their corner for this match.

A video package recapped The Dark Order beating The Righteous in a Fight Without Honor at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view… [C]

Powell’s POV: It feels like Death Before Dishonor is getting more attention on television after the event took place than it did beforehand.

A brief video package set up FTR vs. MJF and Adam Cole for the AEW Tag Team Titles for AEW Collision…

Excalibur ran through the lineup for Collision and added Kiera Hogan vs. Mercedes Martinez, a CM Punk promo, and Samoa Joe vs. Gravity to the card…

Excalibur hyped AEW Dynamite for Wednesday and added “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis vs. El Hijo del Viking and Komander for the ROH Tag Team Titles to the lineup…

A video package set up the main event and then Mark Henry delivered his usual line without mentioning anything about the match… Entrances for the main event took place…

4. Nyla Rose (w/Marina Shafir) vs. Hikaru Shida. Shida brought her kendo stick to the ring. Rose attacked Shida to start the match. She teased hitting the referee with Shida’s kendo stick, but stopped short and handed it off to Shafir. Shida rallied and hit Rose with a knee in the corner. Rose threw Shida to the floor and joined her. Shida went for a huracanrana, but Rose caught her and swung her into the barricade going into a PIP break. [C]

Rose was dominant through the break. Shida rallied and performed an impressive suplex on Rose for a near fall. “The Outcasts” Toni Storm, Ruby Soho, and Saraya were shown watching the match on the backstage monitor. The broadcast team said the winner of the match could be Storm’s next challenger.

A short time later, Rose caught Shida on the ropes and chokeslammed her. Rose covered Shida for a near fall. Rose set up for her Beast Bomb finisher, but Shida countered into a huracanrana. Shida drilled Rose with an elbow strike and followed up with a falcon arrow for a two count. Shida set up for a spin kick, but Rose caught her with a clothesline.

Rose performed a senton splash. Rose went up top, but Shida shook the ropes and crotched her. Shida joined Rose on the ropes and headbutted her three times. Shida performed a falcon arrow from the ropes and had the pin, but Shafir put Rose’s food on the bottom rope.

Shafir climbed onto the apron. Shida took the kendo stick away from Shafir and hit her with it. Rose tried to capitalize on the distraction, but Shida stuffed the Beast Bomb and hit the Katana and scored the pin.

Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose.

After the match, Shida went to the ropes and made the title belt motion. The Outcasts walked onto the stage. Toni Storm held up the AEW Women’s Championship. Excalibur said Tony Khan just made Storm vs. Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship official for Dynamite…

Powell’s POV: If they were going to play up the idea that the winner might be next in line for a title match and then actually follow through with it afterward, why didn’t they give this match some juice by actually advertising it as being for a shot at the championship? It was a solid back and forth match. Shida has won three straight singles matches that have been spread out over the last five editions of Rampage. So the good news is that feels like she earned a title shot, but the bad news is that she was built up to the smaller audience that watches Rampage. In fact, she’s appeared on Dynamite just once this year when she and Britt Baker lost to Storm and Soho in a tag team match.


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