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KELLER’S AEW RAMPAGE REPORT
DECEMBER 8, 2023
TAPED 12/5 IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC AT BELL CENTER
AIRED ON TNT
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Tony Schiavone, “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard
-The Rampage opening aired. Then pyro blasted and they cut to the arena as Ian Riccaboni introduced the show.
(1) ORANGE CASSIDY (w/Danhaussen) vs. ANGELICO (w/Serpentico) – International Title match
Cassidy was accompanied onto the entrance stage by Hook, Danhaussen, and a child. The commentators discussed Cassidy being the winningest champion in AEW. As Angelico made his entrance, they showed a clip from ROH TV of Angelico beating Christopher Danielson, then Angelico and Serpentico double-teaming Daniels leading to Cassidy making the save, but Angelico giving Cassidy a cheap shot to the back of his leg a minute later.
The bell rang four minutes into the hour. Angelico bailed out at 2:00 after a flurry by Cassidy. Angelico went after Cassidy’s leg. Angelico grounded Cassidy with some creative mat holds and scored a two count at 5:00 before they cut to a double-box break. [c/db]
Angelico blocked a Stun Dog Millionaire and then clipped Cassidy’s leg from behind. Ricabonni said there’s a reason that move is banned in other competitive sports. Cassidy came back with a Stun Dog and a Beach Break, but he wasn’t able to make the cover right away. He pulled himself to his feet and then set up the Orange Punch. Serpentico grabbed Cassidy’s boot.
Angelico then caught Cassidy with a running pump kick. Danhaussen tripped Angelico running the ropes. Serpentico charged through the ring at Danhaussen, but Danhaussen moved and so Serpentico crashed to the floor. Danhaussen distracted Angelico with a threat of a curse. Cassidy rolled up Angelico from behind, but Angelico kicked Cassidy into Danhaussen on the ring apron. Angelico then landed an enzuigiri and then a twisting grapevine into an anklelock mid-ring. Serpentico had Danhaussen in a sleeper at ringside.
Cassidy reversed the leglock and rolled to the bottom rope. Angelico argued with the ref. Danhaussen punched Serpentico before he could punch Cassidy. Cassidy then rolled up Angelico for a two count. He followed with an immediate Orange Punch for the win.
WINNER: Cassidy in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Angelico brings something different style-wise to his matches and it worked well here with Cassidy. Danhaussen was entertaining and served a purpose to offset Serpentico.) [c]
(2) ABADON vs. TRISH ADORA
Schiavone noted that Adora is part of The Infantry in ROH. He said she is a U.S. Army veteran and former military police officer. Riccaboni said she is part of the New Japan Academy and competes against both men and women as the Pan-African Champion. The bell rang 21 minutes into the hour. Adora roundkicked the chest of a sitting Abadon at 2:00. Abadon sat up Undertaker-style. Adora kicked her in the chest again. Abadon kicked a charging Adora and took control. At 3;00 Abadon landed kicks and a running knee followed by her finisher driving Adora’s head into the mat with a leg scissors.
WINNER: Abadon in 3:00.
-The lights went out after the match. When they came back on, Julia Hart was standing behind her with her TBS Title belt. Julia lay the belt in front of Abadon, who picked it up and admired it in a creepy way. Julia shook her head no. The lights went out again. When the lights came back on, Julia and the belt were gone. Abadon slapped the mat in frustration and let out loud screams.
-Riccaboni hyped upcoming matches.
-A video package previewed the Willow Nightingale vs. Mercedes Martinez match. They aired soundbites from both.
(3) POWERHOUSE HOBBS & KONOSUKE TAKESHITA (w/Don Callis, Kyle Fletcher) vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & MATT SYDAL
Schiavone said he’s not sure if it’s worse when Calis comes to the ring or Christian Cage comes to the ring. Callis joined in on commentary. He called Daniels & Sydal “fresh meat.” Schiavone said he should show respect to Daniels & Sydal. Callis called Montreal “an ignorant town.” The bell rang 29 minutes into the hour. Daniels and Hobbs chopped each other mid-ring to start. Hobbs took control and tagged out to Takeshita, who dominated Daniels including a quick leaping senton off the middle rope.
Daniels rolled over to his corner and tagged in Sydal. Sydal won an exchange with Takeshita including a leaping reverse sidekick. Takeshita fired back with an attack in the corner seconds later as they cut to a partial double-box break. [c/db]
Back from the break, Hobbs landed a powerslam on Sydal and put his foot on his chest for a two count. Callis said Hobbs didn’t want to win there because their workouts consist of extended beatings of hapless opponents. At 8:00 Daniels tagged in and went on a flurry of offense against Hobbs. Hobbs came back with a spinebuster followed by a powerslam for a three count. Schivaone said, “You’re a horrible person, Don Callis.” Menard said he didn’t hate Callis.
WINNERS: Hobbs & Takeshita in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to have Callis make an appearance here on Rampage with his commentary. Hobbs & Takeshita is a formidable team and a full-fledged feud with Omega & Jericho seems like solid use of these four at this time.)
-They replayed the gruesome leg injury to Dante Martin, without any warning for squeamish viewers.
-Renee Paquette interviewed Dante and Darius Martin and Action Andretti. She asked about Penta challenging them for a Trios Match. Dante said they won’t accept Penta’s disrespect interrupting them, but he would accept their challenge. [c]
(4) BRYAN DANIELSON vs. DANIEL GARCIA – Continental Classic Tournament match
Danielson made his entrance first. Garcia came out, sans dance, and wearing his black trunks again. The announcers pointed out he returned to more basic trunks and towel look. The bell rang 44 minutes into the hour. Garcia took control for a sustained stretch starting at 3:00. Danielson made a comeback and landed a back suplex. They cut to a double-box break at 6:00. [c/db]
Garcia made a comeback during the break, but Danielson cut it off and back suplexed Garcia into a bridge for a two count. Danielson threw some Yes Kicks at Garcia’s chest and then went to the body stomps. Back from the break, both were down on the mat. Danielson was the first to sit up. Danielson blasted Garcia with a roundkick to his chest. Schiavone plugged All In tickets. Danielson and Garcia exchanged strikes mid-ring. Garcia landed a suplex and scored a near fall. He set up powerbomb, but Danielson countered into a triangle choke mid-ring. Garcia put his boot on the bottom rope to force a break.
Garcia ducked a running knee. Then he surprised Danielson with an inside cradle. He quickly applied a sharpshooter and then shifted into a full torque leaning back. Danielson reached over and broke free. Garcia landed a piledriver for a two count at 13:00. Riccaboni said this would be “a career-defining win” if Garcia pulled off a win here. Garcia kicked Danielson in the head. Menard said he was targeting the eye. Garcia then stomped Danielson’s head and body. Garcia paused and did his his hip thrust dance, but when he charged, Danielson landed his high knee and then landed stomps and then set up the LeBell Lock. The ring announcer noted only five minutes remained in the time limit. Garcia passed out seconds later to the hold. Danielson leaned over and spit on Garcia.
As Danielson celebrated, Garcia hung his head on the ring apron and contemplated the loss.
WINNER: Danielson in 15:00 to score three points in the Continental Classic Tournament.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. While it’s tough to justify Garcia being in this field storyline-wise, it’s matches like this that explain part of the reason Garcia was put in the tournament. They continue to tell the story of him being conflicted over which direction to take his in-ring style and career. It’s the one saving grace to having him in the tournament, as I said when the field was first announced and it seemed strange he’d be in this given his recent record.)
-The announcers showed the scoreboard where both Danielson and Brody King are at six points at the top.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Solid episode with an especially strong main event, with Rampage receiving a main event that was both a Danielson match and a tournament match.
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