AEW Rampage results (2/2): Murphy’s review of Mistico, Volador Jr, Mascara Dorada, and Hechicero vs. Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Matt Sydal, and Christopher Daniels, Private Party vs. Top Flight


By Don Murphy, Contributor (@DonThePredictor)

AEW Rampage (Episode 130)
Taped January 31, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana at UNO Lakefront Arena
Aired February 2, 2024 on TNT

The Rampage opening aired and pyro shot off from the stage. Excalibur welcomed us to the show and the participants were already in the ring for the opening match…

Don’s Take: Before we get started, my sincere condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Carl Weathers, best known for his portrayal of Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies and his recent role in The Mandalorian, who passed away yesterday. As a big fan of these movies and their Creed spinoff series, it’s a sad day. To quote Rocky in Rocky IV, “I’ll never forget you, Apollo.”

1. “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy vs. “Top Flight” Dante Martin and Darius Martin (w/Action Andretti). Excalibur was joined on commentary by Tony Schiavone. Quen started off against Dante Martin. After several minutes of chain wrestling and double team moves by the Martin brothers, Quen was able to tag out to Kassidy. Kassidy came in and took Darius down with a pair of clotheslines before going after Dante as well. Kassidy super kicked Dante on the floor and dove onto him. Kassidy hit a stunner on Darius for a near fall while wearing a foam crown he got from the audience.

Quen tagged back in and he and Kassidy hit several double team moves on Darius. Quen went for the cover on Darius and grabbed the rope for leverage as he did in the last match. This prompted and Andretti to climb the apron and alert the referee. Darius rolled up Quen for a near fall as the show went to its first picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, Private Party had the advantage on Darius. Darius fought his way out and hit a Pele kick on Kassidy before hot tagging Dante who cleaned house on Kassidy for a bit. Dante hit a cross body on Kassidy for a near fall. The Martins double teamed Kassidy who fought back on both. Kassidy hit a DDT on Dante and tagged out to Quen who hit Dante with a shooting star press for a near fall. Darius hit Kassidy with a Spanish Fly, causing him to roll to the outside. Darius dove on to Kassidy on the floor. Quen went to dive onto Darius but was stopped with a kick. While Quen was stunned, Dante spiked him in center ring for the three count.

“Top Flight” Dante Martin and Darius Martin defeated “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy in about 10:00.

After the match, the Martins offered a handshake to Private Party, but Quen and Kassidy patted them on the head and walked away instead.

Don’s Take: Although the story was Top Flight getting their win back over Private Party, I was hoping they would double down on giving the heels back-to-back wins to give them some momentum. As I and others have said, AEW could have a really good tag team division, but they have to put in the effort to make it seem relevant. Right now, it seems like it’s just a series of matches and parity booking with no real direction. Plus, AEW is trending toward making Private Party heels, but they spent a good portion of the match working as babyfaces and playing to the crowd.

Renee Paquette was backstage with Sammy Guevara. Paquette noted that we haven’t seen Guevara since he and Jericho nearly won the tag team titles from Ricky Starks and Big Bill only to be stopped by Powerhouse Hobbs and Konosuke Takeshita. Guevara said the loss not only because they were robbed of the tag team titles, but because he now has a daughter and wife to support and the titles meant a better life. He said he was medically cleared and wasn’t going to wait for a match. He promised to find and take out Hobbs. [C]

Sonjay Dutt was backstage with Satnam Singh, Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett. They were waiting on Jay Lethal who was late to a team workout. Lethal showed up and Jarrett complained for him being late. Karen said she had a list of potential team names. Singh said he didn’t have to work out since he was undefeated and Lethal was the one who lost all his matches. Lethal called off the workout and Jarrett said that Lethal’s problem was that he was too nice. He added that they joined up because they were both “no-good, worthless, ruthless sons of bitches,” and they need to get back to that. Jarrett said he would run the meeting next week and would advise the group when and where it was.

2. AEW Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver (w/Evil Uno) in an Eliminator MatchDarby Allin joined the commentary team as Reynolds and Silver attacked the champions to start.  Silver and Reynolds worked on Starks. Silver power bombed Starks onto Silver’s knees for a near fall. Starks fought back but Silver hit him with a German suplex for another two count. Starks flipped out of a double back suplex and tagged Bill.

Bill cleaned house on Silver and Reynolds. Bill hammered away on Reynolds which brought Uno onto the apron. Bill kicked him off with a big boot to the head. This allowed Reynolds to dump him over the top rope. Reynolds attempted to dive onto Bill on the floor, but Bill caught him. He attempted to choke slam Reynolds on the apron but Reynolds fought out of it and Silver dove onto Bill.

Reynolds charged and kicked Bill against the barricade. Silver and Reynolds rammed Bill into the ring post. Back in the ring, Reynolds continued the attack but Bill hit him with the Boss Man Slam and tagged out to Starks.

Starks cleaned house on Silver for a bit and also got some offense in on Reynolds. Starks ran off the ropes and was tripped up by Uno. Uno missed a clothesline and Starks speared him. Back in the ring, Silver caught Starks with several kicks but Starks fought back and hit his Roshambo finisher for the win.

AEW Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks and Big Bill defeated Alex Reynolds and John Silver in about 6:00.

Don’s Take: A competitive showcase win for the champions as they head into Wednesday’s Dynamite to face Sting and Darby Allin. It’s also interesting that Starks and Bill are supposed to be heels but, similar to the opening match, also worked a babyface style. I’m predicting Sting and Allin going into Revolution as the tag team champions to face and drop the titles to the Young Bucks. If this is the case, I really hope they do right by Bill and Starks and give them something credible to do post titles as they’ve really made the best out of what they’ve been given.

Renee Paquette was with Powerhouse Hobbs and Don Callis. She asked them for a reaction to Sammy Guevara’s comments. Callis said he was sick of hearing about Guevara’s family. He said Guevara may be medically cleared but he’s not mentally cleared because if he were, he’d know he wasn’t hunting Hobbs, he was being hunted by Hobbs. Hobbs said he also has a family so this isn’t new to him. He told Guevara that he better hope that Hobbs doesn’t find him first.

3. Willow Nightingale (w/Kris Statlander and Stokely Hathaway) vs. Queen Aminata. Chain wrestling by both to start. Nightingale took Aminata down with a shoulder block. Aminata responded with an inside cradle for a one count. Nightingale body slammed Aminata and splashed her for a near fall.

Nightingale hit Aminata with two clotheslines, followed by a dropkick from the second rope. Aminata rolled to the floor. Nightingale charged and Aminata swept the legs out from under her on the apron as the show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Nightingale missed a cannonball in the corner allowing Aminata to counter with a hip attack for a near fall. Aminata hit a head butt followed by a German suplex. Aminata missed a second hip attack in the corner allowing Nightingale to hit the cannonball. Nightingale followed up with a Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Nightingale followed up with her Doctor Bomb finisher for the win.

Willow Nightingale defeated Queen Aminata in about 8:00.

After the match, Statlander raised Nightingale’s hand while Hathaway was reluctant.

Don’s Take: Don’t get me wrong. I love long-term storytelling. But it’s not necessary in every case. This is one such time. They need to move ahead with either Statlander or Nightingale turning heel and aligning with Hathaway. As for Aminata, she’s becoming a Rampage fixure and I continue to be impressed though this wasn’t as good of an outing and some of the others. A couple of wins every now and then would serve her well.

Renee Paquette was backstage with Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor and Rocky Romero. Cassidy had asked for the time because he knew Roderick Strong would show up. Sure enough he did and was joined by Adam Cole, Mike Bennett, Matt Taven and Wardlow. Cassidy said that he and Strong would meet at Revolution but noted that Strong and his friends were doing things that made his friends angry. This resulted in a match set up for next week on Rampage, with Strong, Taven and Bennett meeting Cassidy, Beretta and Romero. Cole said he was tired of looking at them and was getting a migraine. [C]

After the break, Paquette was backstage with Willow Nightingale, Kris Statlander and Stokely Hathaway. Paquette congratulated Nightingale on her victory, but was interrupted by Saraya, Ruby Soho and Harley Cameron. After bickering between the two sides, a tag match featurning Soho and Saraya meeting Statlander and Nightingale was made for next week’s show. Soho and Saraya argued and Paquette told everyone to shut up.

Don’s Take: I like that AEW is at least trying to get viewers to come back by making matches for next week.

4. Mistico, Volador Jr, Mascara Dorada, and Hechicero vs. Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Matt Sydal, and Christopher Daniels in an eight-man tag match. Let’s see how this goes but I may be giving highlights if I can’t follow this too well. Some good high-flying action from Sydal and Dorada to start. That was followed by a series of chain moves by Menard and Volador and another series between Daniels and Mistico.

The CMLL team  worked on Daniels in the corner. Daniels and Dorada exchanged chops. Daniels hit a back heel trip and tagged out to Menard. Menard and Parker double teamed Dorada. Sydal joined in and hit a standing mariposa for a two count. Sydal put Dorada in a bow and arrow as the show went to its final picture-in-picture break.

After the break, Parker and Sydal worked over Dorada. Dorada hot tagged Hechicero who cleaned house on Daniels. The finish saw Daniels grab Hechicero in the Flatliner finisher. All eight men battled in the ring. Mistico sent Menard and Parker to the outside. Volador dove onto Parker while Mistico dove onto Menard. Dorada dove onto a large pile on the floor.

Hechicero reversed Angel’s Wings, hit a running knee in the corner and rolled Daniels up for the win.

Mistico, Volador Jr, Mascara Dorada, and Hechicero defeated Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Matt Sydal, and Christopher Daniels in about 12:00

Excalibur ran down the Collision lineup including Bryan Danielson vs. Hechicero, Eddie Kingston vs. Bryan Keith in a Proving Ground match, FTR and Daniel Garcia vs. Christian Cage, Nick Wayne, and Killswitch, and Queen Aminata vs. Serena Deeb.

For next week’s Dynamite, Excalibur listed Ricky Starks and Big Bill defending the AEW Tag Team Championship in a tornado tag match against Sting and Darby Allin, Chris Jericho vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Swerve Strickland vs. Hangman Adam Page for a shot at the AEW World Championship at AEW Revolution, Hechicero, Mascara Dorada, and Volador Jr. vs. Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson, and AEW Women’s Champion Toni Stom vs. Red Velvet in an Eliminator match. He reiterated that Tony Khan would have a big announcement next week (you don’t say).

Don’s Take: OK, AEW certainly doesn’t need another faction and I think we’ve all seen the promotion “invasion” angle a time or two. While it may not be ideal, I do like that they’re giving the CMLL talent a mission, rather than just saying, “here are some luchadors who are going to have a great match.” I also liked the consistency they showed by meeting some the talent involved in saving Jon Moxley on Wednesday. The story doesn’t do much for me, but I give them credit for at least trying to give them something more than a showcase match.

A decent episode of Rampage. We’ll have to see what AEW’s upcoming TV deal does to the show, but I do feel like the company is making an effort in small ways here and there to make Rampage more than a throwaway show, which I appreciate. Until next week!


Readers Comments (1)

  1. If they really want Sammy Guevara to be a babyface, one thing they could do is stop mentioning that he has a baby every second sentence. There is nothing more irritating than people who think they are the only people in the world who have kids.

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