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AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
APRIL 28, 2023
RECORDED AT THE FLA LIVE ARENA IN SUNRISE, FL
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Chris Jericho, and Tony Schiavone
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– The opening of Rampage aired, and JR welcomed us to the show. He was joined by Excalibur and Tony Schiavone.
(1) RICKY STARKS & SHAWN SPEARS vs. BULLET CLUB GOLD (Jay White & Juice Robinson)
Starks and Spears sprinted to the ring as they went right after BCG. Starks teed off on Juice in the corner as Spears took it to White. All four men battled on the outside. White wrapped a cord around the neck of Spears as Starks took it to Juice inside the ring. Starks landed a few chops before tagging in Spears. Spears kept the offensive advantage on Juice, then tagged Starks back in. Spears made the quick tag back in as he mocked White.
Spears had Juice in the corner and landed a number of right hands, then hit a double ax handle on White. Juice was able to take Spears down, then threw him to the outside where White threw him against the apron. [c]
White had Spears in the corner as he landed a series of chops to the chest. Spears fired back before being taken out with a dropkick to the knee. Spears reversed a suplex on White as he finally made a tag into Starks who exploded on Juice. Starks perched Juice on the top rope and hit a superplex after tagging in Spears. Spears came off the top with a diving splash for two. Spears went for the C-4 but Juice gouged his eyes and tagged in White. Spears hit a pop-up powerbomb but Juice broke up the pin attempt. Juice and Starks battled on the outside as Spears nailed White with a thrust kick. White caught Spears with Bladerunner for the win.
WINNERS: Bullet Club Gold in 10:00
– After the match, all four men battled it out before Juice was able to bail out of the ring before getting hit with a spear.
(Moynahan’s Take: A strong opener that showcased White and Juice nicely. Spears and Starks also came out looking good here.)
– Lexy Nair was backstage with the Hardys and Hook. Matt talked about Isiah Kassidy’s disappearance before Stokely Hathaway was shown on the nearby TV. The Firm had Kassidy with them, and Big Bill was about to chokeslam him off some scaffolding unless Hardy agreed to provide info on the Firm Deletion match. Ethan Page demanded the match happen next week on Rampage. Hardy agreed and Big Bill still choke slammed Kassidy to the cement floor.
(Moynahan’s Take: This was…something else.)
(2) NATURALLY LIMITLESS (Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee) vs. BRADY PIERCE & CHARLIE JAMES
Dustin started things off with Pierce as he quickly took the advantage. Lee tagged in and worked with Dustin to take Pierce down. James tagged in as the crowd chanted Lee on. Lee immediately took James down then crushed him in the corner. Lee threw James across the ring as Lee took out both Pierce and James. Dustin tagged in and was thrown into Pierce and James by Lee. Lee powerbombed James and pinned him for the win.
WINNERS: Naturally Limitless in 2:00
– After the match, Swerve Strickland and the Mogul Embassy appeared on the ramp.
(Moynahan’s Take: Your basic squash to get over Dustin and Lee as a team. Finally some more traction to this Lee and Swerve feud happened after the match.)
– Lexy Nair was backstage again with Sammy Guevara to talk about him being left by MJF. Tay Melo quickly arrived and tried telling Sammy that MJF was not his friend. She questioned what he was doing and reminded him that his dream was to be the champion. She questioned why he would agree to lay down for MJF.
(Moynahan’s Take: I really liked this and kind of wish this happened on Dynamite because I think this was an important part of the MJF/Sammy storyline.)
(3) ANNA JAY vs. ASHLEY D’AMBOISE
Jay took D’Amboise to the corner in the early going but was caught with a series of arm bars. D’Amboise rammed her shoulder into Jay’s midsection before whipping her across the ring. Jay yanked D’Amboise’s throat across the top rope. Jay pulled D’Amboise across the ring post. [c]
D’Amboise took Jay to the mat as we returned from commercial break. Jay quickly turned things into a neckbreaker, then slapped on Queen’s Slayer for the win.
WINNER: Anna Jay in 5:00
– After the match, the lights went out and Julia Hart attacked Jay after they came back on. Jay was able to get the upper hand and threw Hart into the ring post before stretching her across the ring post.
(Moynahan’s Take: A decisive victory for Jay. A good post-match melee between Hart and Jay.)
– The Outcasts were backstage. They talked about Saraya facing Willow Nightingale on Dynamite this week.
(4) DADDY ASS & THE ACCLAIMED vs. LOCAL TALENT
The Acclaimed immediately attacked their opponents before the bell. Billy Gunn hit the Fameasser and The Acclaimed hit their finish for the win.
WINNERS: Daddy Ass & The Acclaimed in 1:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Your Rampage Squash of the Week.)
– Mark Henry was backstage with FTR and Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh. Lethal said he and Jarrett would be the next AEW Tag Team Champions. Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
– Excalibur announced Kenny Omega would face Jon Moxley in a steel cage match on the May 10th Dynamite. Orange Cassidy, Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, and Bandido will face the Jericho Appreciation Society on this week’s Dynamite. Ricky Starks vs. Juice Robinson, Saraya vs. Willow Nightingale, and a Tres De Mayo Battle Royal was also announced for Dynamite. The Firm Deletion match was also made official for next week’s Rampage.
(5) CASH WHEELER vs. JAY LETHAL
Mark Briscoe was announced as the special enforcer for this match. Lethal and Cash battled back and forth in the early going. Cash hit a huge upper cut before Lethal took him down with a shoulder block. Lethal played to the crowd, then slammed Cash down again to the mat. Cash took Lethal down with an arm drag. Lethal tried for Lethal Injection but Cash avoided it and speared Lethal into the ropes. Cash clotheslined Lethal to the outside. [c]
Lethal had Cash in the abdominal stretch. Cash fought his way out of it but was quickly whipped into the corner and then found his way back into the same abdominal stretch. Cash rolled up Lethal for two. Lethal went to the top but Cash got his knees up in time as Lethal took too long. Cash flung Lethal across the ring then nailed him with a series of rights and lefts. Cash followed up with a powerslam, then a spinning DDT for two. Lethal went for the pin but Cash powered out. Lethal fired back and went for Lethal Injection but Cash scouted it and slammed Lethal to the mat face-first. Dutt broke up the attempt as Briscoe got in Dutt’s face. Lethal pushed Cash into Briscoe which allowed him to hit Lethal Injection on Cash for the win.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 12:00
(Moynahan’s Take: I dug this one, which was a rare singles match from Cash Wheeler. A good way to continue to set things up for Lethal and Jarrett to challenge for the tag titles.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A jam packed episode of Rampage, and a solid one at that. At this stage, Rampage is Rampage but this was on the stronger side of things. If you’re going to watch one match, check out the main event. That said, nothing is must-see, but this week’s Rampage did end up serving as a storyline driving episode if nothing else.