Rampage – February 10, 2023: Finding Their Groove
Date: February 10, 2023
Location: County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
We are still in Texas with less than a month to go before Revolution. That should make for a few interesting weeks but this week’s lineup doesn’t exactly offer much in the way of hope. The Blackpool Combat Club is here though and that is one of the better things Rampage could do. Let’s get to it.
Here is Dynamite if you need a recap.
Blackpool Combat Club vs. Butcher and the Blade/Kip Sabian
Sabian drives Yuta into the corner to start but a sunset flip gets Yuta out of trouble. Yuta is sent outside and Castagnoli comes in, with Butcher getting to come in as well for the power staredown. They yell at each other and slug it out, with both of them staggering. Moxley and then Yuta come in to take turns on Butcher as Jericho talks about the Impractical Jokers cast stealing his baseball bat.
Sabian is able to grab a flipping Stunner on Yuta for a breather and Blade gets to stomp away. That doesn’t last long and it’s Moxley coming back in to bite Sabian in the head. Moxley goes for the Kimura and elbows at the head, only to get kneed in the face. Sabian sends him outside and we take a break.
Back with Moxley fighting out of trouble and handing it off to Castagnoli for the running uppercuts in the corner. A running dropkick puts Blade down and Sabian has to save him from the Swing. That means the Swing has Sabian in trouble and the Blade gets caught in the Sharpshooter. Butcher makes the save but gets cuttered and we hit the parade of big shots to the face. Castagnoli plants Blade for two with Sabian making the save. Moxley cutters a springboarding Sabian out of the air and Castagnoli finishes with the uppercut at 13:27.
Rating: B. This was similar to last week’s Elite match, as there was no reason to believe there was an upset coming, but it was a lot of fun to watch. That’s the kind of no pressure match that could do a lot of good around here as you get star power, entertaining action and nothing that really matters. Very fun stuff here and it’s not like Sabian and company are hurt by the loss.
Darby Allin promises to not go after the TNT Title again as long as Samoa Joe is champion. He and Sting have something planned though.
We get a short sneak preview of a sitdown interview with Adam Cole. He’s interested in facing some people on the roster.
Ricky Starks wants Chris Jericho again and he’ll beat up Daniel Garcia to take his first step there.
Here are the Impractical Jokers with Chris Jericho’s bat. It’s a lot smaller than they were expecting but here is the Jericho Appreciation Society to beat them down. One is put on a table, with Hager powerbombing the other through him.
Dustin Rhodes says Swerve Strickland crossed the line by mentioning his family. Rhodes has been doing this longer than Strickland has been alive. Rhodes: “What are those three triangles on your chest? They look like Doritos, and I like Doritos!” He’s coming for Strickland’s blood and soul so here are Parker Boudreaux and Trench to beat him down. Strickland comes in to say the match is on for next week.
Ruby Soho vs. Marina Shafir
Vickie Guerrero is here with Shafir. They go to the mat to start with an exchange of arm cranking. Back up and Soho hits a running forearm as we take a break. Back with Soho hitting a kind of reverse fisherman’s suplex but missing a top rope something. No Future is countered so Soho hits some headbutts. Destination Unknown finishes Shafir at 6:40.
Rating: C. They didn’t have time to do anything here, especially with half of the match in the commercial. Soho continues to be the What If in the originals vs. newcomers feud and odds are we’ll get to see something develop there soon. Shafir is fine in this role and Soho beating her feels like a bit of an accomplishment. Granted Soho beating anyone at this point is a bit of a surprise.
Post match Saraya and Toni Storm come out to talk to Soho but Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter run in for the big brawl as Soho looks on.
Mark Briscoe is feeling real good about wrestling again on Dynamite next week. Mark Sterling comes in to offer his services but Briscoe “will be flying solo on this excursion.” The brawl is teased but Josh Woods comes in for the staredown, saying this isn’t Sandy Fork.
Jungle Boy vs. Ryan Nemeth
Jungle Boy knocks him outside for a suicide dive in less than ten seconds. Back in and Nemeth rolls through a high crossbody for two, setting up a DDT. Nemeth gyrates a bit so Jungle Boy hits a sliding forearm to the back of the head for the pin at 1:24. Well that was efficient.
Post match Brian Cage comes out for the staredown.
Ortiz isn’t going to let Eddie Kingston become a follower of the House Of Black.
Stokely Hathaway and Danhausen are ready for Lee Moriarty vs. Orange Cassidy.
Hangman Page is livid over losing to Jon Moxley again and says it’s not over yet. Kip Sabian comes in with Penelope Ford to mock Page, who lunges at him before walking away.
All Atlantic Title: Orange Cassidy vs. Lee Moriarty
Cassidy is defending with Danhausen and Stokely Hathaway here too. Moriarty grabs a hammerlock to start and even steals Cassidy’s glasses. As Cassidy slips out, JR sends best wishes to Jerry Lawler, with Jericho immediately talking about how much he loves Lawler. Cassidy uses the hands in the pockets to escape but gets shouldered down. That means some lazy kicks from the mat (Jericho: “Like Inoki against Ali!”) before Cassidy is sent to the apron.
Some rams into the buckle rock Moriarty but Cassidy misses a top rope clothesline. A European Clutch gives Moriarty two and he slams the arm onto the apron as we take a break. Back with Cassidy hitting the top rope clothesline, allowing Excalibur to rapid fire off the preview for next week’s shows. The Stundog Millionaire rocks Moriarty but he blocks the tornado DDT. Cassidy grabs a sleeper but Moriarty drops backwards for the break.
The Border City Stretch is blocked so Moriarty elbows away at the shoulder instead. With Cassidy on the floor, Danhausen goes for his low blow on Hathaway, who blocks it with the cast on his left arm. Cassidy hits his dive onto Moriarty and grabs the top rope DDT back inside. The Orange Punch is countered into a hard lariat but Cassidy Beach Breaks him for two. Now the Orange Punch can connect but the arm is too banged up. Moriarty gets the Border City Stretch, only to have Cassidy roll him up to retain at 11:27.
Rating: C+. Rampage as something like the Orange Cassidy Show isn’t the worst idea, as the fans love him and he holds the most worthless of the AEW titles. It really only has value to Cassidy and having him beat one midcard challenger after another is a fine way to go. That was on full display here and the formula still works.
Post match Satnam Singh comes in for the staredown but Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal run in from behind. Lethal hits Cassidy and Danhausen with the Golden Globe. The Best Friends try to come in but get beaten down as well. Jarrett loads up the guitar….but the Acclaimed and Billy Gunn run in with chairs to end the show. What an odd choice for the save.
Overall Rating: B-. Good show here, though the ending was more than a little head scratching. What matters is that Rampage is starting to find itself again. AEW has made it pretty clear that they have no long term interest in making Rampage important so just do something like this every week: a few big names, feature the people who aren’t on Dynamite that often, and just have a good time. If that’s all Rampage is going to be, I can think o worse uses for the hour.
Blackpool Combat Club b. Kip Sabian/Butcher and the Blade – Uppercut to Sabian
Ruby Soho b. Marina Shafir – Destination Unknown
Jungle Boy b. Ryan Nemeth – Sliding forearm
Orange Cassidy b. Lee Moriarty – Rollup
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