It’s Friday, you know what that means! It’s time for the fastest show in all of pro wrestling, and I could mean that very literally tonight, as we have an AEW Rampage show with four matches that you could easily see over in minutes. Wardlow defends the TNT title against newcomer Matt Taven, Jon Moxley has a title eliminator match with Daddy Magic Matt Menard, Tay Melo will battle with Madison Rayne and Keith Lee is “in action”. Obviously, something or some things will go long, but you could argue for a squash result in all four matches. A disappointing card on paper but let’s see if the in-ring action can exceed expectations in Uncasville, CT. With JR, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone on commentary, let’s get straight to the action.
Daddy Magic Matt Menard makes his entrance on YouTube as is Rampage tradition at this point so we can start the show (after the opening) with Wild Thing blasting throughout the Mohegan Sun Arena as the AEW Champion, Jon Moxley, makes his entrance. As he does, we’re reminded of the attack from The Firm on Moxley and also MJF eventually at the end of Dynamite on Wednesday. The bell rings and we’re underway with Angelo immediately on the apron and shouting at Mox to distract him. It works and Menard briefly gains wrist control but is met with a Moxley elbow and then we head outside and Matt is thrown into the barricade and beaten on the floor. Menard fights back but Moxley takes the match back into the ring where he takes Menard into the corner and beats him down with clotheslines and a bite but Menard fights back once again and gets more success this time as he gets the champion down with punches and attacks with stomps in the corner. Mox heads outside to grab a breather and behind the referee’s back, Parker attacks Moxley on the outside and then Menard wraps him around the ring post to send us to break. He does it again and then distracts the referee so Parker can do it again, this time head first. Menard takes Moxley into the ring where he retains control until Mox fights back with a back suplex.
We return from the break where Moxley beats Menard down in the corner but Parker gets involved again and Matt hits him with a Powerbomb and then locks him in a Boston crab and forces the champ to make the ropes which he eventually does. Moxley then fires back with a cutter to get a breather before the two men exchange strikes and Jon pulls out the King Kong lariat. He fires in some chops in the corner before a superplex gives him a two count, Mox immediately transitions to an ankle lock but Menard escapes and tries for a sunset flip and instead eats a Regal Knee. Moxley begins to stomp Menard into the matt, Parker comes in and is taken down with a cutter too. Menard tries a roll up for two followed by a DDT for another two count and the champion seems in trouble. Menard tries the BCC stomps and Moxley transitions to a rear naked choke and gains the submission victory immediately. Excellent finish.
After the match, Stokely Hathaway comes out with a mic telling them to cut his music and tells Moxley he knows he’s pissed off but he can’t do anything unless he fights Lee Moriarty next week. We get a video package for Moriarty before Jon responds, puts Lee Moriarty over and tells him he’s in with the wrong crowd and agrees to beat him up in Baltimore next week.
Jade does pull ups and tells Nyla she’s going to make an example of her.
Keith Lee comes out for his match and his opponent is in the ring waiting for him. No sign of Sneaky Swerve in his corner tonight. Serpentico is his opponent, four losses away from his hundredth in AEW. Keith hits a huge Powerbomb and that’s all she wrote.
Tony Schiavone hits the ring to ask Keith Lee about being number one contender with Swerve for the tag belts but before he can say a single word, The Acclaimed come out and refuse to rap because they’re all business. They say Billy Gunn has disappeared and Swerve might have something to do with it. Swerve then appears in a video on the big screen and he’s kidnapped Daddy Ass and long story short, Swerve is going to make sure that Billy won’t be ringside for the title match by breaking Billy’s fingers. Keith looks disappointed in his partner.
The No. 1 Contenders to the #AEW World Tag Team Championship, #SwerveInOurGlory have secured their shot against #TheAcclaimed at #AEWFullGear on Nov. 19 LIVE on PPV, but what on earth is @swerveconfident scheming?!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 29, 2022
Watch #AEWRampage LIVE on TNT right now! pic.twitter.com/n8gAxJyvfT
The JAS complain about losing at Dynamite after the show and it pissed off Jericho so he’s extending his ROH challenge to any former champion at all. Tay then challenges Madison. And we’re heading to that match now.
Tay comes out with Sammy hanging off her lips, at least we’re all about equality, as Sammy becomes her eye candy in the corner for once. She’s followed by Madison Rayne and the match begins with Tay taking control with a lovely roll up but Madison responds with one of her own. We get some excellent counter mat wrestling before Tay goes for a Juji Gatame and Madison resists it. Tay slaps Rayne and it fires her up to fire back with her own strikes and then she hits a trip and a dropkick for two. Rayne tries to take control but Tay cuts her off on the top rope and then hits an avalanche back breaker to send us to break. Tay maintains control on the outside with strikes to the back and then is tossed into a barricade before taking a kiss break with Sammy. She continues to dominate both outside and then back in the ring, Rayne tries a roll up and gets two so Melo kicks her hard and tries for a submission.
We return to the match as the ladies are back on their feet after a strike exchange until Madison pulls out a delayed DDT to get a breather and cause a double down. Madison gains an advantage with strikes and then a neckbreaker for two. Melo fights back with a boot in the corner and the goes up top, Rayne cuts her off and hits an avalanche cutter for two. Tay gets rolled up again for two and then reverses a cazadora into a spinebuster for two. Tay tries a piledriver but Madison comes back with a sliding lariat for two and tries for a Cross Raynes but Tay escapes and takes over with a knee strike in the corner before finishing it with the Tay-KO. This match was way too long and also, Madison Rayne might be a good coach but she’s not a great wrestler unfortunately, at least not in AEW.
Lexy Nair asks what happened on Wednesday and Ethan blames MJF. Ethan then says he’ll be in the Eliminator tournament and he’ll beat Moxley which MJF won’t be able to do at Full Gear.
Mark Henry asks Matt Taven how he’s going to deal with Wardlow and instead of answering he talks about how great he’s been in the past. Wardlow mocks him and then says that he powerbombs people repeatedly and he promises to throw in an extra couple to welcome The Kingdom to AEW. Looks like there’s been enough talk, it’s time for the main event!
Entrances are made. My only comment is that Maria is a goddess. The match begins and Taven mocks Wardlow’s size and then tries to use his speed to gain an advantage. Wardlow’s agility serves him well until Taven hits a dropkick but spends too long celebrating and Wardlow manages to drop him and then gains control in the corner with shoulder tackles and then he tosses Matt to the outside. Wardlow drives him into the ring post and then the barricade before Maria distracts the ref and Mike tries to attack but Wardlow shrugs it off. The champ throws Taven into the ring and goes to deal with Bennett but Maria jumps down and gets in the way which allows Taven to take out Wardlow with a dive. Bennett throws Wardlow into the ring steps and we go to break as Taven dives from the top rope onto the knee of the TNT champion. Throughout the break, the left knee of Wardlow is targeted and attacked with multiple submissions and strikes, Taven has a particularly nasty looking dragon screw that he should have saved for the big picture. Bennett confuses everyone by ringing the bell to try and get Taven a cheap win too during the commercial.
When we head back to the action, Wardlow is trying to fight back from his knees but a low kick to the knee stops him and then Taven earns a two count from a running knee. Taven tries a stomp from the top rope but Wardlow catches him and hits one legged F10. He tries his wind-up lariat but Taven counters with an enzuigiri only to come off the ropes into the lariat anyway. Wardlow follows with a belly-to-belly suplex, Taven gets a boot up and then runs into a huge spinebuster. The champ tries to go for the powerbomb, Maria distracts and it works briefly until Wardlow fights back to the powerbomb and hits it. And hits it. And hits it. We get four total before Wardlow grabs the win with one foot on the chest of Taven.
The match ends, Bennett chop blocks the injured leg of Wardlow and beats him down until Samoa Joe makes the save and deals with him with ease.
All of a sudden, Powerhouse Hobbs heads out for the first time in weeks and that lets The Embassy appear from nowhere to attack from behind, Wardlow joins them and we end the show with WarJoe being decimated.
Chaos has just taken over, as #ROH World TV Champion @SamoaJoe comes to the aid of his #WarJoe tag team partner, but #Powerhouse @truewilliehobbs, and #TheEmbassy are seemingly operating their own agenda here on #AEWRampage! What a night of action it's been on TNT! pic.twitter.com/TAOjqN2BEV— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 29, 2022
That was Rampage, and as MJF would say, this show was m-m-m-mid. 3 out of four matches were entertaining but that’s the bare minimum you expect from an AEW show, including both the YouTube shows! A 6/10 for me but realistically, that’s as low as AEW gets these days without a disaster. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled for three years but if you set the bar high, it’s your job to try and reach it! Let’s hope for a better Dynamite (obviously) and Rampage (please) than this next week. Am I being too harsh? Or not harsh enough. Let us know what you thought of the show in the comments or let me know on Twitter @Knapphausen. Until next time, adios.
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