AEW Rampage results (3/15): Murphy’s review of Komander vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta vs. Dark Order, Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett vs. Action Andretti and Top Flight

By Don Murphy, Contributor (@DonThePredictor)

AEW Rampage (Episode 136)
Taped March 13, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden
Aired March 15, 2024 on TNT

The Rampage opening aired and pyro shot off from the stage. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Chris Jericho checked in on commentary. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…

1. Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta (w/Chuck Taylor) vs. Evil Uno and John Silver. The Dark Order were already in the ring while the Best Friends received a televised entrance. The announce team acknowledged the passing of Jackie Crockett earlier this week. Uno and Cassidy started off. The announce team talked about the upcoming AEW Tag Team Title tournament and how both teams were looking to get in.

After a brief back and forth, Silver tagged in and put his hands in Cassidy’s pockets. Weird. Beretta and Cassidy double teams both Uno and Silver. The Best Friends went for the hug, but the Dark Order broke it up. The Best Friends then pushed the Dark Order into each other for an inadvertent hug. Cassidy and Beretta ousted the Dark Order. Taylor entered the ring and the trio did a group hug, pulling the referee in to be part of it.

Beretta took over on Uno. Silver gorilla press slammed Cassidy. Cassidy recovered and hit Stun Dog Millionaire on Uno. Both teams took turns on offense and heading into the first picture-in-picture break, Uno had the advantage on Cassidy. [C]

Coming out of the break, Cassidy was delivering kicks to both Uno and Silver. Cassidy hot tagged Beretta who cleaned house. Silver and Beretta traded offense. The action went to the floor as Silver superkicked Taylor but took a spear from Beretta. Uno dove onto Beretta on the floor. Cassidy dove through the ropes and hit a DDT on Uno. Back in the ring, Beretta chopped Uno but then got double teamed by Silver and Uno.

The finish saw Silver attempt to piledrive Beretta but was caught by Cassidy with an Orange Punch. Beretta followed up with Strong Zero for the win.

Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta defeated Evil Uno and John Silver in about 10:00.

Don’s Take: Aside from the brief mention of the AEW Tag Team Title tournament, if someone asked me to show them a picture that defined Rampage, it would be this match. Matches like these don’t lack talent – they’re just meaningless.

After the match, Cassidy shook hands with the announcers at ringside, including Chris Jericho. Jericho was a bit reluctant but did so.

A vignette aired with Vincent and Dutch digging a grave and talking about how death and being buried can be the planted seed to rebirth. [C]

Don’s Take: Repacking Vincent and Dutch wouldn’t be a bad idea, unless it’s more of the same.

Backstage Saraya and Harley Cameron instructed the camera man to follow them as Zak Zodaic attacked two enhancement talents. Angelo Parker came in and punched Zodiac before the two were separated by security.

2. Toni Storm and Mariah May vs. Kayla Sparks and Little Mean Kathleen. Before the match, Storm grabbed the mic, introduced herself and introduced May as her protégé. She said tonight they will be performing a very special tag team match. She instructed the fans to please enjoy the show and to turn off all cellular devices. She concluded by saying if Deonna Purrazzo and her mystery partner wanted to get a closer look, then watch this….

May and Storm attacked Sparks and Kathleen at the bell. This was a complete squash with Storm and May each hitting a running hip attack on Sparks. The finish saw Storm hit Storm Zero on Sparks and allowing May to get the pin.

Toni Storm and Mariah May defeated Kayla Sparks and Little Mean Kathleen in about 3:00.

After the match, Deonna Purrazzo came out and introduced her mystery partner which turned out to be Thunder Rosa. Purrazzo and Rosa ran off Storm and May. Purrazzo grabbed the mic and said “that’s what I thought.” “I guess we’ll see you two next week. Bye”

Don’s Take: As I’ve said, I like that they’re not pivoting away from Deonna Purrazzo after just one attempt. Adding Thunder Rosa to this program intrigues me and I wonder if this is setting up Storm vs. Rosa at Dynasty. I’m wondering and hoping that the addition of Mercedes Mone will lead to some better and more consistent booking of the women’s division.

A video package on Queen Aminata aired. She talked about her upcoming semifinal match with Red Velvet in the ongoing ROH Women’s Television Title Tournament.

A graphic aired with the brackets for the first round of the AEW Tag Team Title Tournament. The finals will be decided at AEW Dynasty on April 21st. On one side of the brackets, the Young Bucks will meet Private Party. Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta will meet Powerhouse Hobbs and Kyle Fletcher with the winners facing Mike Bennett and Matt Taven in the same round. On the other side of the bracket, Ricky Starks and Big Bill take on Dante and Darius Martin while Carlie Bravo and Shawn Dean meet Malakai Black and Brody King with the winners facing FTR.

Don’s Take: I thought they’d load this up with every team under the sun but they capped it ten which is a reasonable number. Bravo and Dean vs. Black and King was announced for the upcoming episode of Collision.
3. Komander (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Konosuke Takeshita (w/Don Callis). Chain wrestling to start. Takeshita maintained the early advantage and took over on offense for several minutes. Komander made a brief come back but Takeshita retaliated with a German suplex as the show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, Komander had come back, moonsaulting onto Takeshita on the floor from the top rope before hitting a hurricanrana for a near fall. Takeshita responded with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Komander hit a Mexican Destroyer for a near fall.

Komander followed up with a second Mexican Destroyer but missed a shooting star press when Takeshita got the knees up. Takeshita hit a pop up power bomb, followed by a knee strike and a spinning falcon arrow for the win.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Komander in about 10:00.

Don’s Take: Ugh. All anyone could talk about coming out of Revolution was Will Ospreay vs. Konosule Takeshita. Ospreay is a star but Takeshita proved he could be a main event level talent. It’s one week and this match was good, but I’m hoping Rampage doesn’t become the norm for him.

A video aired on Serena Deeb where she reiterated her mission statement of becoming AEW Women’s Champion. [C]

Mark Henry previewed the upcoming six-man tag team match and proclaimed it was time for the main event.

4. Dante Martin, Darius Martin, and Action Andretti vs. Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett.  As soon as the bell rang, Strong attacked Andretti. Excalibur ran down the Collision lineup, including Bryan Danielson vs. Katsuyori Shibata.

Don’s Take: Amongst the hardcores, Danielson and Shibata might be considered a dream match. I’m really surprised it didn’t get more of a build.

Dante and Darius Martin took turns hitting offensive moves on Taven and Bennett. Bennett and Darius traded chops. The heels had the advantage on Dairus for a bit before he was able to tag out to Andretti. Heading into the final picture-in-picture break, the Martins and Andretti took turns diving onto the heels on the floor. [C]

Coming out of the break, the Undisputed Kingdom had the advantage on Darius Martin. Eventually, Darius made the hot tag to Dante who cleaned house. The finish saw Darius and Martin attempt to double suplex Bennett. Strong broke this up by hitting both with knee strikes. Taven and Bennett hit Andretti with a spike piledriver and Strong finished him off with his backbreaker finisher.

Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett defeated Dante Martin, Darius Martin, and Action Andretti in about 12:00.

The heels celebrated as the show went off the air.

Don’s Take: A cookie cutter six-man main event. Remember when we were all speculating what the payoff to the “Devil” storyline would be? That said, I am interested to see how Adam Cole and company react to Wardlow coming up short in his bid to secure the World Title.

An uneventful episode with surprisingly, no mention of Mercedes Mone’s debut at all. As I’ve said, it’s not the talent. They’ve got that. This show was built on the premise that everyone is watching wrestling on Friday night so what’s another hour? And that’s fine but you’re serving only a percentage of your base. Again, this issue may work itself out once the new TV deal is announced.

That’s all for this evening. I’ll check back in on Friday, March 29. Rampage will be running a live edition right after Dynamite on Wednesday, so Jason Powell will have you covered with the entire three-hour block. Until next time!


Readers Comments (5)

  1. Your points really hit home.
    No mention/recap of Mercedes, no attempt to capitalize on people looking for Smackdown, just one match (Storm and company) that had any story or hook for next time.
    Bookers are phoning it in.

    • They don’t have bookers. That’s the problem.

    • TheGreatestOne March 16, 2024 @ 9:45 am

      Booker (singular). Tony Khan is the one and only booker. Even the most pro-AEW sources now admit that he’s the only one making decisions and that a lot of people are upset because they’ll show up at TV and have absolutely no idea if they’re going to be on any of the shows or when they’ll get any kind of instructions.

  2. TheGreatestOne March 16, 2024 @ 9:43 am

    I’ll add one more. The opening match DID lack talent. Cassidy is a goof, Berretta is okay, but Pizzaria Uno and Lord Littlebrook Jr. are embarrassing. There’s no real defense for employing any of them.

    Storm, Takeshita, and maybe 2-3 others on the show are NXT caliber talent at the moment.

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