By Don Murphy, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@DonThePredictor)
AEW Rampage (Episode 115)
Taped October 18, 2023 in Rosenberg, Texas at Fort Bend Epicenter
Aired October 20, 2023 on TNT
The Rampage opening aired and pyro shot off from the stage. Excalibur and Tony Schiavone were on commentary…
1. Rocky Romero vs. Mistico in a “Two Out of Three Falls” Match. Basic chain wrestling by the two competitors to start. Mistico dove onto Romero on the floor. Back in the ring, Mistico tied up Romero for the submission win.
Mistico defeated Rocky Romero by submission in 3:00 to win the first fall.
Don’s Take: After the way the announcers sold the history between Romero and the former Sin Cara, this was disappointing.
Romero immediately took over on offense as the second fall began. Romero rammed Mistico into the ring steps on the outside. Back in the ring, Romero attempted to remove Mistico’s mask as the show went to its first picture-in-picture break. [C]
Romero remained on offense with a series of clotheslines before locking in an armbar. Mistico regained the advantage with several flips followed by a springboard arm drag. Romero blocked another attempt at a dive to the outside. Both exchanged blows on the apron until Romero countered with a high knee and snap suplex on the apron which sent Mistico to the floor.
Romero dove onto Mistico on the floor and brough him back in the ring with a superplex for a two-count. Mistico attempted to counter with a series of forearms but Romero countered with a back kick. Romero locked in the camel clutch but could not get the submission. Romero hit his “Sliced Bread” finisher for the win. [C]
Rocky Romero defeated Mistico in 10:00 to win the second fall.
The third fall was in progress coming out of the break. Mistico dove onto Romero on the floor and brought him back in the ring for a two count, Mistico hit a flying body press for another near fall. Mistico went for a moonsault but Romero got his boots up. Mistico hit a snap powerslam for another two count.
Romero hit another Sliced Bread from the top rope but only got a two count. Mistico hit a Spanish Fly from the top rope but took too much time in the cover for Romero managed to escape. Mistico hit Romero with a destroyer followed by his arm bar submission finisher for the win.
Mistico defeated Rocky Romero by submission in 19:00 to win the third fall and the match two falls to one.
Don’s Take: I’m not sure this lived up to the history between the two, but aside from the throwaway first fall, this had a nice build throughout the match. I’m not sure what Mistico’s AEW deal is, but wouldn’t mind seeing some more. Talent was never the issue – just the way he was booked. Let’s see if AEW can get more out of him than WWE could.
We went to a backstage segment from “Last Wednesday” where Stokley Hathaway moderated a conversation between Jay Lethal and Eddie Kingston. Lethal was joined by Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt and Satman Singh. Lethal once again demanded an ROH title shot, noting that they all knew the real Eddie Kingston who only wanted the title because it was held by his mentor Homicide. Hathaway booked Jarrett vs. Kingston in a Memphis Street Fight for Collision with the stipulation that if Jarrett beats Kingston, Lethal will receive his title shot. Kingston warned Jarrett that he knew all about the history of Memphis wrestling and referred to Jarrett as a “hillbilly bitch”…
2. John Silver (w/Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds) vs. Kip Sabian (w/The Butcher, The Blade, Penelope Ford) vs. Brother Zay in a Triple Threat for a shot at the AEW International Championship at Battle of the Belts VIII. Sabian and Zay started out while Silver retreated to the floor. Silver finally entered the ring while and attacked Zay while he was doing the “ten punches on the second rope spot. Zay dove onto Silver on the floor and attempted to do the same to Sabian but was met with a kick. [C]
Coming out of commercial, the action had picked up and all three are battling. Zay kicked Sabian in the face before diving onto Silver on the floor. Zay dove back into the ring and hit a springboard stunner on Sabian for a near fall. After an exchange between the three, Silver hit a snap German suplex on Sabian for a two count. Sabian dove onto Silver on the floor which prompted a brief altercation between The Butcher, The Blade and Penelope Ford. Zay dove onto the pile at ringside. Zay hit a Swanton Bomb on Sabian for the pin which was broken up by Silver with a kick to Zay’s head. Silver covered Zay for the win
John Silver defeated Brother Zay and Kip Sabian in a Triple Threat in about 8:00 to earn a shot at the AEW International Title at Battle of the Belts VIII.
Don’s Take: Given the talent in this match, this could have benefitted from another five minutes. I have no reason to think Silver has a chance to win the title, but as with any Orange Cassidy match, it should be entertaining.
We went to an Ortiz promo. He said that last week Sanatana had the opportunity to say something of substance but doubled down on the same sad story. They showed clips of past Santana promos and Ortiz said that Santana created him. He added that if Santana wants him to be the villain, he will be the villain. The match was announced for next week’s Rampage from Philadelphia…
3. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta vs. “The Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith and Exodus Prime. Aside from some brief offense by Keith, this was a showcase win for Wheeler and Castagnoli. Castagnoli hit the giant swing followed by Yuta leaping off his shoulders for the win.
Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta defeated “The Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith and Exodus Prime in about 2:00.
Don’s Take: Castagnoli wore a “Death Jitsu” shirt, which may end up on my Christmas list this year. I’m not sure if they are faces or heels, but Castagnoli and Yuta challenging Ricky Starks ad Big Bill for the AEW Tag Team Championship promises to be fun.
Renee Paquette interviewed Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, and Anna Jay. Renee noted the ongoing bickering between Garcia and Menard. The two started to argue. Hager, Jay and Parker all said that the two had to end their beef. Menard said he hated Garcia’s dance but he loved him so the beef is over. Parker predicted the trio would beat the Acclaimed at Battle of the Belts VIII… [C]
The Young Bucks and “Hangman” Adam Page spoke backstage. They issued an open challenge to any trio for this Wednesday on Dynamite. The ROH World Six Man Titles would be on the line…
Excalibur ran down the Collision lineup including Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs. Wheeler Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli for the AEW Tag Team Championship, Miro vs. Action Andretti, FTR in action, Eddie Kingston vs. Jeff Jarrett in a Memphis Street Fight, and Bryan Danielson vs. Andrade El Idolo in what Tony Khan is billing a “Dream Match”…
Don’s Take: Collision will air live at 7CT/8ET. I will be jumping in on delayed written coverage for this show.
Excalibur plugged Battle of the Belts VIII, including Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver for the AEW International Title, The Acclaimed vs. Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, and Daniel Garcia for the AEW World Trios Championship
Don’s Take: Battle of the Belts VIII airs live right after Collision at 9CT/10ET. I will also be writing a review of this show.
Finally, Excalibur promoted Tony Khan having a gift for Sting, Hook and Rob Van Dam in tag team action, and The Young Bucks and Hangman Adam Page vs. Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Brother Zay for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles…
Mark Henry returned to plug the main event…
4. Skye Blue vs. Ruby Soho (w/Saraya). The two exchanged chops to start before Soho took over on offense. Skye countered with a takedown and thrust kick. The two fought on the apron with Skye slamming Soho down face first. Saraya attempted to interfere but was met with a knee strike. Soho countered with a kick. We went to our final picture-in-picture break. [C]
Coming out of commercial, both women were down and began exchanging blows in the center of the ring. After a series of near falls by both women they headed toward the ropes. Referee Rick Knox looked away as Saraya hit Skye twice with the spray paint can, allowing Soho to get the win…
Ruby Soho defeated Skye Blue in about 11:00.
Don’s Take: Well, at least they didn’t use spray paint, right? This was OK for what it was and Blue continues to evolve into a heel. As for the artists formerly known as the Outcasts, they are directionless and are in sore need of something more meaningful.
A decent edition of Rampage, which served to promote the weekend’s shows. As noted, I’ll be stepping in for coverage and look forward to reviewing both Collision and Battle of the Belts.