SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Sammy Guevara defeated Darby Allin to advance in the AEW World Championship Tournament: MINOR HIT
Good, but not even close to the best match these two could put on. The distraction finish might make others rate this lower, but I didn’t mind it much. The story going in was that Darby wasn’t going to bring Sting along, and the heel doesn’t really need to reciprocate. If nothing else, it makes me look forward to the seeing the beating that Jon Moxley is going to put on Guevara later in this tournament.
Samoa Joe – Smart Mark Stirling, Josh Woods, and Tony Nese Promo: MINOR HIT
Stirling was trying to make a case for Josh Woods to challenge for Joe’s ROH TV title. This probably worked better for long-time ROH fans than me.
Miro Video Promo: MINOR HIT
On its own, this was a spectacular promo. The problem is that we’ve seen similar promos several times from Miro now. How many times can he continue to complain about how his God abandoned him and someone else took his belt? Unless he gets more proactive about it, these are going to start getting stale.
Serena Deeb defeated Madison Rayne: MINOR HIT
A very short match. What we saw was good, but it never got to really sink in. I think these two could have had a better match with a story going in + more time.
Jade Cargill Backstage Interview: MINOR HIT
Solid follow-up from her win over Athena at All Out.
Powerhouse Hobbs Backstage Interview: MINOR HIT
Another solid promo to follow-up from a PPV win. I was surprised at how short the Ricky vs. Hobbs match was, but it’s not surprising if you consider how Hobbs was consistently presented stronger than Starks in Team Taz. Hobbs scored a lot of the key wins in their tag matches (even in Starks’s home town), and I remember an angle when Starks would go down to one chair shot, while Hobbs showed a lot more resilience. Of course, it would be great if AEW reminded the wider audience of this.
Main Event Promo: HIT
Pretty good work from Regal, Claudio, and Harwood. About as good as you can get to hype up a Rampage main event.
Claudio Castagnoli defeated Dax Harwood to retain the ROH World Championship: HIT
One of the longest Rampage main events ever, spanning two commercial breaks. I thought it was pretty darn good! Two veterans put on a television classic. One of Claudio’s best singles matches in his AEW career thus far.
Interesting remark from Jericho at the end mentioning that he had never been ROH World Champion before. Perhaps that’s a milestone he’d like to add to his career?
Commentary: MINOR HIT
Ross, Schiavone, Excalibur, and Chris Jericho tonight, and Caprice Coleman in for the ROH match. Not much to say here other than I’m surprised Ross was only brought on for the Rampage taping this week.
Overall Show: MINOR HIT
On paper, this looked like it would be a stellar show all round. However, it was carried by the main event. The opener and women’s match were a bit of a letdown considering who was involved, and the promos in between weren’t special. At least it didn’t feel like a C-show.