AEW Rampage results (5/25): Murphy’s review of Pac vs. Rocky Romero, Willow Nightingale and Kris Statlander vs. Anna Jay and Alex Windsor, Isiah Kassidy vs. Rush, Samoa Joe vs. Dom Kubrick

By Don Murphy, Contributor (@DonThePredictor)

AEW Rampage (Episode 146)
Taped May 23, 2024 in Bakersfield, California at Mechanics Bank Arena
Aired May 25, 2024 on TNT

The Rampage opening aired. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho and Big Bill were on commentary. Ring announcer Justin Roberts handled the introductions for the opening match…

1. PAC vs. Rocky Romero. A good back and forth exchange to start. The action spilled to the outside with PAC hitting a standing moonsault on Romero as the show went to its first picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, the two exchanged forearms and kicks. Romero gained the advantage with several big offensive moves, including a tornado DDT and a dive onto the floor. PAC retaliated with a kick out of the corner and a big boot in the opposite corner. He followed up with a release German suplex into his Brutalizer submission hold for the win.

PAC defeated Rocky Romero in about 7:00.

After the match, PAC met Penta El Zero Miedo, Ray Fenix and Alex Abrahantes on the stage. PAC took the microphone and said that it didn’t matter what hoops Jay White and the Gunns made them jump through. He added that Penta and Fenix will see the Gunns on Collision and that the three of them will see the Death Triangle at Double or Nothing for the Trios Championship.

Don’s Take: As expected, a good match for what it was. PAC’s program with Jay White could mean so much more but neither has been booked particularly well. In fairness, PAC has recently returned from injury, so he needs time, but Jay White’s booking fails have been well-documented. As a result, we’re left with a meaningless Trios match for meaningless titles.

Chris Jericho took off his headset and grabbed the house microphone. He spoke about his upcoming defense of the “For the World” Championship at Double or Nothing in a three-way match with Hook and Katsuyori Shibata. He said the match will be contested under “FTW” rules which means mayhem. He added that Hook and Shibata have learned so much and while facing two opponents is more difficult, he faces adversity head on just like the fans should. He said that he’s beaten both Hook and Shibata previously.

Shibata ran out and brawled with Big Bill up the ramp as Jericho stood at the announce desk with his back to the barricade. Hook emerged from the crowd and choked Jericho from behind. The two brawled from behind and fought to the backstage area. [C]

Don’s Take: I may be in the minority, but I am digging Jericho’s disingenuous persona. It’ll be fun to watch him when he finally snaps.

Renee Paquette was backstage with Hook and Shibata. She asked if they will both be on the same page at Double or Nothing like they were tonight. Hook said he’s on no one’s page but his own and he’ll take back his title from no matter who is standing in front of him.

Samoa Joe entered the frame. Hook asked him why he’s not more focused on getting his own title back. Joe said that heavy is the head that wears the crown and when the time is right, he’ll get his crown back. He added that when he was in the ring with Hook, he thought he saw something and he’s aware of what Shibata can do. He said that instead of using Shibata as an ally, they’re bumping chests and running into a fire with no results. He concluded by saying that Hook and “Speak and Spell” have sat under Jericho’s learning tree but have learned nothing.

Hook turned to Shibata and said, “see you Sunday.” Shibata used his translator to say that after he wins the FTW title, he’s going to see Carrot Top in Las Vegas because he’s funny…

Don’s Take: I chuckled at the “Speak and Spell” line. I also usually get a kick out of Shibata’s comedic one liners but I felt this one was a bit out of place given Hook’s and Joe’s intensity.

2. Samoa Joe vs. Dom Kubrick. Matt Menard took Chris Jericho’s place on commentary. Kubrick was billed as making his AEW debut. This was a complete squash with Joe hitting the muscle buster for the pin.

Samoa Joe defeated Dom Kubrick in about 1:20.

Don’s Take: I like the idea of essentially having Joe go back to the beginning and being a killer. It will be interesting how this later chapter evolves.

Renee Paquette was backstage with Deonna Purrazzo. Paquette asked Purrazzo to respond to Thunder Rosa’s challenge to pick a time and a place for their match. Purrazzo picked the Double or Nothing Buy-In pre-show. She said, “let’s start the show by ending you.”

3. Isiah Kassidy vs. Rush. The Private Party security guard walked out onto the stage with Kassidy but didn’t accompany him to ringside. Rush attacked Kassidy to start and quickly hit his double kick finisher in the corner. He put his foot on Kassidy’s chest for the pin but took it off at the one count. He stayed on offense, attacking Kassidy on the floor, whipping and choking him with the ringside cable. Back in the ring, he teased another double kick but stopped and hit a regular kick instead. The show went to a picture-in-picture break [C].

Don’s Take: Choking someone with any kind of object should result in a DQ or some kind of punishment? Right, Bryan Danielson and Justin Roberts?

After the break, Kassidy made a comeback hitting a series of moves. Kassidy hit a swanton bomb for a near fall. Rush regained the advantage with a headbutt. The two exchanged chops. Kassidy got the better of the exchange until Rush threw him to the floor. Rush rolled Kassidy back in the ring and hit his double kick finisher in the corner once again for the win.

Rush defeated Marq Quen in about 9:00.

Don’s Take: AEW has started and stopped pushes with Rush before, so we’ll see if this goes anywhere. We all know Rush is talented but his reputation as a “team player” has been less than stellar. If all works out, he has the potential to be either a top-level heel or babyface.

Arkady Aura was backstage with Brian Cage, Bishop Khan and Toa Liona. She asked Cage if Bowens pushed him to his limit. Khan said the Mogul Embassy is dead and they are back to their winning ways. Cage said it doesn’t matter if it’s a singles match, a tag team match or a trios match, there’s no one better than Cage and the Gates of Agony… [C]

Excalibur ran down the Double or Nothing lineup…

4. Willow Nightingale and Kris Statlander (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Anna Jay and Alex WindsorExcalibur noted that Windsor was the top female wrestler on the independent scene. Jay took the early advantage over Statlander. Statlander retaliated as she and Nightingale took turns on offense on Windsor. The babyfaces stayed on offense for a good stretch in the early part of the match.

Excalibur hyped the following matches for Collision: The Lucha Brothers vs. The Gunns; and Bryan Danielson and FTR vs. Satnam Singh, Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal. Heading into the break, Jay and Windsor had the advantage on Statlander, including an attack on the floor. [C]

Windsor held the advantage coming out of the break, but Statlander hit a German suplex and made the hot tag to Nightingale. Nightingale cleaned house. Down the stretch, Nightingale missed a cannonball in the corner allowing Jay and Windsor to regain the advantage. A pin attempt on Nightingale was broken up by Statlander. Statlander battled both Jay and Windsor, knocking Jay out of the ring with a kick. Nightingale clotheslined Windsor and hit her power bomb finisher for the win.

Willow Nightingale and Kris Statlander defeated Anna Jay and Alex Windsor in roughly 9:00

After the match, Mercedes Mone ran in and attacked Nightingale. Statlander attempted to make the save. Mone appeared to go for the move formerly known as the Bank Statement but Nightingale pulled Statlander away. Mone and Nightingale brawled with referees running out to break it up. Mone grabbed the TBS title and held it overhead as the show went off the air.

Don’s Take: So, let me get this straight. AEW paid Mercedes Mone, who has her in-ring debut on Sunday night, a king’s ransom to work for their company. And the big go-home angle to promote the match was aired on their C show on a late Friday afternoon heading into a holiday weekend? They’ve completely dropped the ball on Mone’s debut thus far and while I know there will be the AEW and Mone defenders, I can’t say I’m all that surprised.

Another episode of Rampage with the expected content of decent wrestling and little else. I’d like to say that there’s hope that the show will eventually get better should it get picked up as part of whatever the new TV deal is, but at this stage, I’m not optimistic.

That’s all from me for tonight. I will be back tomorrow night to cover Collision. Until then!


Readers Comments (6)

  1. We had a conversation some months back when you complained about nothing happening on a go rampage and I said everyone knows dynamite I’d the real go home show. Now aew does something on the final rampage before DON and you complain about that to. Cant have it both ways

    • Not that he needs my help, but I’ll defend Don on this one. When you don’t do anything other than four to five random matches on Rampage for months, then out of nowhere you run an angle on a Friday afternoon edition, I think it’s more than fair to point out the obviously flawed decision making. Just because they finally did something on Rampage with zero warning doesn’t make it a wise call if you’re trying to sell a PPV.

      • I’m not saying it was wise I’ve just seen the same criticism since basically ranpage started from a lot of people. Any time they do something relevant it’s why are you doing it on the c show? When it’s the normal 4 matches it’s why does nothing happen on this show? I guess you’re saying they need to build the show up a bit before they do something that important? I can see that argument

        • Build up the show or at least advertise the segment properly.

        • “I guess you’re saying they need to build the show up a bit before they do something that important”

          That’s exactly it. I would have been less down on this segment if either:

          1) Rampage was in its regular spot. It’s still not ideal but at least your core audience that watches weekly sees it.

          2) The PPV was the next night. If you want to make that the final on-air image before the PPV, I have no problem with that.

          3) They actually advertised Mone to appear. At least now you’re telling me something may happen and I should tune in.

    • It’s a fair point, because in a sense, you’re right. I’ve consistently spoke about nothing happening on Rampage and it being a throwaway show. So, in the one sense, you’re right, they finally did something meaningful, so “shut up Don.”

      This is where the point falls off the rails. To Jason’s point, they’ve consistently conditioned the audience that Rampage is a missable show. If they want to make it meaningful, they need to gradually build in some things. For example, Wheeler Yuta only defending the ROH Pure Title on Rampage and calling himself Mr. Rampage. That kind of stuff I like. It’s small but it provides a hook.

      In this case, the show is not in its normal slot so whatever audience you do have is already depleted. And it’s on a holiday weekend so you’re losing even more people.

      All that being said, why would they pick that specific circumstance to decide now’s the time to have a major angle? Why is now the time to feature the star they paid a boatload to on the eve of her first in-ring appearance? It just doesn’t make sense.

      To me, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have run this angle on Dynamite. And then move May/Storm vs. Saraya/Cameron to Rampage or Collision. In summary, I’m all for making the show more meaningful, but you can’t go from 0 to 90 in one shot.

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