SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW RAMPAGE “FYTER FEST” TV REPORT
JULY 22, 2022
RECORDED AT GAS SOUTH ARENA, DULUTH, GA
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
AEW Rampage Announcers: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Chris Jericho, Tony Schiavone
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– The opening of Rampage aired, and JR welcomed us to the show. Ross was joined by Excalibur and Tony Schiavone.
(1) ADAM PAGE & JOHN SILVER vs. THE BLADE & THE BUTCHER
Butcher and Silver kicked things off right from the top of the show. Butcher and Blade cut off the ring early as they kept Silver in their corner. Blade and Butcher traded quick tags as they continued to keep Silver away from his corner. Silver finally blocked a suplex by Blade and hit one of his own. Page tagged in and took out Blade and Butcher on his own. He flew off the top onto Blade for a close two count. Butcher pulled Page to the outside, and threw him into the barrier, then the apron, and back to the barrier. Page was thrown back inside the ring as Butcher continued to hammer away. [c]
Silver tagged in during the commercial break and went to town on Butcher and Blade. Silver hit a back suplex on Blade, then made a cover, which was broken up by Butcher. Silver was double teamed until he made the tag back to Page. Blade was busted open in the melee, then thrown to the outside by Page. Page and Butcher clotheslined one another in the center of the ring. Page landed on his feet after a German suplex attempt by the Butcher. Page followed it up with a spinning clothesline. Blade initially stopped Page from going for his finish but Silver helped him out, which allowed Page to hit the Buckshot Lariat on Butcher for the win.
WINNERS: Adam Page & John Silver in 9:00
(Moynahan’s Take: An okay opener. The crowd felt a little flat, and this just felt like a big step down for Page, who hasn’t been featured very prominently as of late to say the least.)
– A video package previewing the Daniel Garcia and Wheeler Yuta match at ROH Death Before Dishonor aired.
– Claudio Castagnoli made his way to the ring. [c]
– Claudio was in the ring talking about tomorrow’s match between him and Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Title. Claudio mentioned that the ROH title was something that eluded him his entire career, but said he always thought he was the best because the fans have supported him. He ended by saying he would be the new ROH World Champion. Tully Blanchard Enterprises were shown looking on.
– A video package aired of Wardlow and the TNT Title. He said he welcomes anyone and everyone into Wardlow’s World.
(2) DANTE MARTIN vs. LEE MORIARTY (w/Matt Sydal)
Both men locked up and traded moves early on. Dante finally caught Moriarty with a takeover but Moriarty came right back and took Dante down. Moriarty followed up with knee strikes but Dante caught him with a floating dropkick. [c]
Stokely Hathaway was shown coming down the ramp. Dante hit Moriarty with a kick to the face, then flew off the top with a cross body for a two count. Moriarty caught Dante with a back elbow, then rolled him up for a two count. Moriarty locked Dante into his submission finish, but Dante slowly made it to the ropes for the break. Moriarty continued the offensive onslaught as Stokely looked on with delight. Excalibur noted the extra aggression shown by Moriarty.
Dante got a quick pin attempt for two, then hit the ropes and missed a moonsault. Dante rolled up Moriarty, who reversed and held the ropes for the win.
WINNER: Lee Moriarty n 9:00
– After the match, Sydal asked Moriarty if that is how he wanted to win. He said he believed in Moriarty but said now he believed he had to kick his ass, then challenged him to a match on next week’s Rampage.
(Moynahan’s Take: Good match, and a nice build for another match next week, which I think Rampage needs to do more of. Looks like Moriarty is on his way to a full heel turn, and an alliance with Stokley and crew.)
– A video package for the ROH Women’s World Title match on tomorrow’s PPV aired.
(3) DR. BRITT BAKER D.M.D & JAMIE HAYTER vs. SKY BLUE & ASHLEY D’AMBOISE
Baker and Blue started things off. Baker yanked Blue’s hair to help her pull Blue to the mat. Baker followed it up with a stiff kick to Blue’s face, then tagged in Hayter. Baker pulled Blue onto the apron, then hit a corkscrew to the mat. Blue and Baker were back in the ring as Baler taunted D’Amboise from the apron. Baker went for a pin but Blue kicked out.
Blue tried mounting a comeback, and was able to tag in D’Amboise. Hayter also tagged in hit D’Amboise with a thrust kick. Baker tagged back in and the two double teamed D’Amboise. Baker slid on her black glove, then climbed to the second rope. She hit a butterfly suplex, and Hayter followed up with a shot to the back of the head. Baker put on the Lock Jaw for the win.
WINNERS: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D & Jamie Hayter in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Really no reason why this lasted as long as it should have, and it was less than five minutes.)
– An Ari Daivari vignette aired, which said “coming soon.”
– Austin Gunn challenged Max Caster to a rap battle. Each side had a small entourage in their corners. Austin went first and went after a few personal digs, which included mentioning Caster previously dating Kris Statlander. The two went back and forth a bit until Caster unloaded on Austin and his wrestling skills. Austin had trouble making a comeback, then basically fell apart at the end. Caster was awarded the win as all hell broke loose. Billy Gunn threw out a number of people from the ring as the Gunn Club took the advantage. Billy threw Austin a metal trash can, who used it to take out Caster.
(Moynahan’s Take: This may have been entertaining for someone out there, but certainly not for me.)
– Mark Henry was backstage on split screen with Christopher Daniels and Jay Lethal. Daniels stood up for Samoa Joe as Lethal chimed in. Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
– Excalibur ran down new matches for the ROH PPV which included Shinobi Shadow Squad vs. TrustBusters, Colt Cabana vs. Anthony Henry, Brian Cage/Gates of Agony vs. Tony Deppen/Alex Zayne/Blake Christian on the pre show. An addition to the main show included Rush vs Dragon Lee.
(4) JAY LETHAL (w/ Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt) vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
Lethal attacked Daniels before the bell but Daniels had it scouted. Daniels took it to Lethal in the early going until Lethal hit a kick to the face to slow things down and gain the advantage. Lethal missed a moonsault attempt, and Daniels followed up with a scoop slam then a springboard elbow drop. Daniels missed a dive to the outside, which allowed Lethal to take Daniels out with a tope suicida. [c]
Lethal perched Daniels on the top rope, then went for a Muscle Buster. Daniels fought him off, then missed a drop kick attempt. Lethal nailed Daniels with a thrust kick to the head. Daniels came back with a knee strike which took Lethal down. Daniels hit a series of clotheslines, then took Lethal down with an STO.
Daniels hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Lethal countered Daniels’s follow up, which allowed Lethal to go to the top. He came off but stopped and went for a figure four. Daniels evaded the Lethal Injection and went for Angel’s Wings. Lethal countered that and hit Lethal Injection for the win.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 8:30
– After the match, Satnam Singh slammed Daniels to the mat as Lethal locked in a sleeper to add to the humiliation.
(Moynahan’s Take: A fine main event to give Lethal the win before heading into tomorrow’s PPV. I’m quite surprised we haven’t seen Joe in weeks, and am curious what the thinking behind that has been. )
FINAL THOUGHTS: I went into this episode feeling perhaps the least hyped I’ve ever felt for a Rampage show. The end result was fine, aside from the Rap Battle, which did nothing for me. That said, something should be done about this show, which is already against some challenges in its current time slot. It has felt very much an afterthought over the last number of weeks, and tonight, for example, ended up serving as a glorified ROH hyper show. While there’s nothing inherently bad about each episode, it just feels in need of a refresh. I think it’s safe to say that for now, there’s likely no impactful changes coming any time soon.