Didn't have time to watch Rampage this week? Take a seat, relax and have a read along as I let you know everything that happened on this week's episode, some detailed, some left to the imagination, on this review of AEW Rampage from Boston, Massachusetts.
Bryan Danielson vs. Trent Beretta
The show opened with a very good and competitive match between Bryan Danielson and Trent Beretta, with William Regal joining Excalibur and Taz on commentary. When the time comes that William Regal decides that he has had an enjoyable enough run in managing the Blackpool Combat Club, he can certainly find a career in commentary, such a smart analyst who doesn't miss a detail. Okay, maybe he was wrong in calling Best Friends the "half-wits."
I thoroughly enjoyed the opener of Rampage for the first time in a few weeks, it was a big display of just how talented and underrated Trent Beretta is. This is not taking anything away from Bryan Danielson, we know how damn good he is and he's earning the "best all-around wrestler" title from Lord Regal himself. The match had a few near falls and both Danielson and Beretta had multiple chances to cover their opponent in an attempt to win this match. Ultimately it would be Bryan Danielson who took the win in this match that makes me very interested in what is to come for both men. after he made Beretta submit, Danielson would celebrate on the ropes as we moved over backstage.
There was then a sequence of three promos and the first is an attempt to interview Hook, who sits on a bench eating a bag of chips and storms off but before he can throw the bag in the garbage can, out comes Danhausen with a "HA! Got you that time!" as Hook stares at him before taking off. After a commercial break, the TNT Champion Scorpio Sky is in the ring with Dan Lambert and Ethan Page, he's talking about the competition and it is evident that he doesn't feel challenged. Interrupted by Sammy Guevara with Tay along his side (who were booed by the crowd unexpectedly). There's a back and forth, what seemed like a diss battle between both sides, which leads to Ethan Page telling Sammy and Tay that they are bad for his image, the final decision is no title for Guevara, who tells them to wait and see what happens next week. Chris Jericho is on commentary now as the sports entertainer of the week, QT Marshall awaits his opponent in the ring.
Swerve Strickland vs. QT Marshall
We move along to Swerve Strickland making his entrance to a great theme song, it might not be "Ain't Nobody" but it's a good fit and a great display of his musical work. I didn't feel this match was necessary and it just seemed like this match was booked for the sole reason of getting Swerve more televised matches and I am okay with it.
I haven't been the biggest QT Marshall fan but I thought this match at least had a fair amount of time displaying and reminding us that QT can wrestle, even if the crowd didn't seem to care about who he was as long as they got to see Swerve Strickland.
It was a shorter match with Swerve showing off his speed and high-flying moves and QT taking a very expected loss in this one after Swerve hit the Swerve Stomp and covered QT for the win. After the match, Ricky Starks who was on commentary took to the mic and challenged Swerve to a tag team match next week in Starks' hometown of NOLA. It will be Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs teaming up to take on Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee. We quickly moved along to a promo for a match next week which will see the TBS Championship on the line when Marina Shafir looks to crack the code and dethrone Jade Cargill, she says she is begging for Jade to solve her.
Owen Hart Foundation Women's Qualifier: Willow Nightingale vs. Red Velvet
It's the underdog Northeastern University alumni, Willow Nightingale looking to upset Red Velvet and take her spot in the Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament. This was a fair match out of the gate with both competitors showing how badly they want to be in this tournament.
Red Velvet took advantage shortly after and Willow tried to fight her way back to the momentum she had at the beginning of the match, and the crowd was certainly behind her for this match. Willow would be struck by Red Velvet enough to be covered for a pin, but Willow kicks out and ends up delivering a suplex to Red Velvet, also with the result of a near fall. The viewership was the overall winner in this one but it would be Red Velvet who would take the win and advance to the Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament. I found this match could have used the time from all the promos we saw earlier and I don't think Willow Nightingale had the time to show just how much she is capable of. I'll be looking forward to Willow and Velvet being in the same ring again soon.
In typical Rampage fashion, we go backstage to Lexy Nair who is alongside Tony Nese who is shooting his mouth off about how Lexy gives all the enthusiasm and time to guys like Hook, Danhausen and that he is the best AEW signing in history, Mark Sterling comes along and tells him he may have seen his work with Jade Cargill and MJF and that Tony Nese looks like he needs proper legal representation, he and Sterling walk off to talk as we head to Mark Henry for the main event.
Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta
The main event with a very quick start as the ROH Pure Champion, Wheeler Yuta dives through the ropes and out of the ring attacking Jon Moxley on his way to the ring. This was a very offensive and physical match right from the opening seconds as Moxley and Yuta exchanged blows, chops, and punches to one another and it entertained the crowd the minute it started.
I loved the pace of this match and the not entirely legal, blood-drawing stomp to the head of Wheeler Yuta on the steel steps, it feels good to see a little bit of blood being spilled on televised wrestling for a change and it might be good for the soul. Not to mention that this was followed by a to the outside, top rope splash from Yuta putting Moxley through a table, which continued to fuel the fire of a solid Rampage main event.
Once back in the ring it was another display of competitive wrestling and I'm not sure the crowd knew who to get behind as they seemed to love both Moxley and Yuta every second. Trying to get a huge win here, Wheeler Yuta would go for another top rope splash and a quick near fall. Moxley would come back with a Lariat which brings the bloodied Yuta to the mat for a close near fall; that's when Moxley resorted to biting Yuta on the face on the top rope. Moxley in the seconds after would deliver a Paradigm Shift that Yuta somehow kicked out of, Mox doesn't look frustrated but determined and he attempts to choke out Yuta. The match ends with Moxley attempting a high-angled Paradigm Shift and Yuta barely kicking out but Mox moves quickly and finally puts Yuta to bed with a Rear Naked Choke. Regal and Danielson make their way to the ring and the three men stare down the kneeling crimson masked Wheel Yuta who is yelling for them to bring it, the crowd chants for Regal and Yuta to shake hands and with little hesitation the handshake happened, the ROH Pure Champion officially has the Lord Regal stamp of approval.
Overall, I thought this was a very entertaining episode of Rampage that was main evented by a match that could have easily main evented Dynamite or taken place on a pay-per view card. I think it is time AEW needs to push for a 2-hour Rampage time slot, it's getting a tad annoying with all of the promos, and the time can easily be taken to make these matches more entertaining. Match of the Episode: Jon Moxley versus Wheeler Yuta Favorite Match: Bryan Danielson versus Trent Beretta Best Competitor of the Episode: Wheeler Yuta Have a comment, idea, or opinion for AEW Rampage? Let me know on Twitter (@Skelter971).