Rampage – March 18, 2022: The Night Shift
Date: March 18, 2022
Location: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks
We’re on late this week due to the NCAA Tournament so I’m not sure what kind of an audience this show is going to have. The good thing is Rampage is rarely the show that features a lot of important developments, but it does offer some good action more often than not. Let’s get to it.
Butcher vs. Darby Allin
Sting is in Allin’s corner. Allin charges right at him to start but gets sent into the corner and out to the floor. Back up on the apron and Allin slaps him in the face. They change places though and Allin hits a hard suicide dive into the barricade. Back in and Allin starts working on the hand but Butcher knocks him down again as Jericho talks about how a hand injury could hurt Butcher’s music career. A hard clothesline drops Allin and they head outside, with Butcher glaring at Sting.
We take a break and come back with Butcher putting on a Texas cloverleaf but Allin makes the ropes. Butcher picks him up on the floor and swings him into the barricade/steps. Allin fights up and knocks him down for a change, setting up the Coffin Drop from the top to the floor, which is actually good for a countout win at 10:41.
Rating: C+. I can go with a curve in the end as it spiced things up a bit here. Butcher looked like a good monster and that is something that will always have a place in a wrestling company. Allin needs something a little bigger than a feud with Andrade and company though, like perhaps just a feud with Andrade for a change.
Post match the AFO comes in for the beatdown but the Hardys run in for the save. Matt issues the challenge for an eight man Texas Tornado match next week, with the answer coming later.
Dan Lambert and company brag about winning the TNT Title and beating up Tay Conti, though they’re worried that signing Paige VanZant’s contract on her gave the contract an STD.
Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet
The fight starts on the ramp and Velvet hits a suplex to take Hirsch down. They get inside for the opening bell with Velvet hammering away as much as she can. Hirsch knocks her into the ropes and starts choking away as we take a break. Back with Velvet firing off some kicks but a bit one is countered into a suplex. A German suplex sets up a cross armbreaker but Velvet makes it to the ropes. Hirsch goes for her turnbuckle connector but here is Kris Statlander to take it away. The distraction lets Velvet hit a spinning kick to the face for the pin at 8:00.
Rating: C. Velvet is someone who needs a good opponent to rein her in and Hirsch did well enough here, even if this was much more about the Statlander/Hirsch stuff. I don’t see Velvet going very far but she is a name that has been at least somewhat established around here. Not exactly a thrilling match but they have both done worse.
QT Marshall talks about his mom being so upset over what Hook did to him that she even called him. Apparently he went to the same high school as Bruce Springsteen and offers to give Hook the QT Marshall Certificate Of Accomplishment next week.
House Of Black vs. Fuego del Sol/Bear Country
Malakai Black sweeps Bear Bronson’s leg to start so it’s off to Fuego. Black kicks him down and knees Bear Boulder in the face. Buddy Matthews comes in for a few shots before Brody King gets to come in and wreck everyone. Bounder looks to stare the House down but it’s a series of strikes to set up King’s big lariat. Fuego comes in and goes after all three, including an enziguri to Black. King misses the big lariat but Matthews runs Fuego over. Black and King take out Bear Country, leaving Matthews to hit the former Murphy’s Law to pin Fuego at 3:19.
Rating: C. It was nice to see this be the squash that it should have been as I was half expecting it to go a lot longer than it needed to. The House of Black is a dominant enough faction and they looked good here, with Matthews and King getting the change to shine over the leader. I’m sure they’ll have to have their big showdown with Death Triangle whenever they’re all together, but I’d like to see where they go from there.
Penta Obscuro wants to destroy the House of Black.
Max Caster is ready to take out Keith Lee, with Bowens saying Lee sounds like King Henry VIII. Lee tells them to be prepared for pain because they are his stepping stone.
Keith Lee vs. Max Caster
Caster’s rap makes various Texas references, including saying people will remember Lee like the Alamo. Caster goes for the knee to start but Lee grabs him by the arm for some driving shoulders. Lee knocks him down again but Powerhouse Hobbs comes to the stage as we take a break. Back with Bowens choking Lee from the floor so Caster can get in some crossface shots. Lee fights up and Pounces Caster, setting up the Big Bang Catastrophe for the pin at 9:45.
Rating: C-. Lee is little more than signature moves at this point and while they still look good, this wasn’t a match I’ll ever need to see again. Caster isn’t exactly great in the ring in the first place and Lee can’t move very well anymore. It was longer than it needed to be and not very good either, making this a pretty weak main event.
Post match Hobbs and Starks go after Lee but Shane Strickland makes the save.
Overall Rating: C. Maybe it was the show being on so late but I wasn’t feeling this one as much as usual. Granted there is a good chance that they took things more slowly tonight because they knew no one was going to be watching and if so, fair enough. The wrestling was ok at best and the best thing about it was that it was only an hour, so this wasn’t one of the better Rampages.
Darby Allin b. Butcher via countout
Red Velvet b. Leyla Hirsch – Spinning kick to the head
House Of Black b. Bear Country/Fuego del Sol – Spinning Samoan drop to del Sol
Keith Lee b. Max Caster – Big Bang Catastrophe
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