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AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
FEBRURAY 9, 2024
RECORDED AT THE FOOTPRINT CENTER IN PHOENIX, AZ
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Matt Menard
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– The opening of Rampage aired as Excalibur welcomed us to the show. He was joined by Tony Schiavone and Matt Menard.
(1) THE UNDISPUTED KINGDOM (Roderick Strong & Mike Bennett & Matt Taven w/Adam Cole & Wardlow) vs. BEST FRIENDS (Orange Cassidy & Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero)
Best Friends attacked Undisputed Kingdom on the ramp as they made their way to the ring. Cassidy waited in the ring for Strong as the two faced off. Cassidy threw his sunglasses at Strong, who bailed to the outside as Cassidy charged toward him. Cassidy hit a double dropkick on Bennett and Taven as both teams entered the ring to face off. The ref regained control as the bell finally rang.
Bennett went on the attack as he pummeled Trent. Trent tried to make a comeback but was quickly cut off. Trent took Bennett down with a double knee stomp, then chopped him across the chest before tagging in Rocky. Rocky worked on Bennett’s arm until Bennett was able to make the tag to Taven. Taven took Rocky down with a dropkick but not before Rocky tagged in Trent. Trent draped Taven across the ropes which allowed Rocky to jump across his back.
Strong tagged in and charged at Trent who caught him in a series of German suplexes. Strong caught Trent off the middle rope right into a backbreaker. Undisputed Kingdom made quick tags as they cut the ring in half to keep Trent in their corner. Trent finally tagged in Cassidy who hit a crossbody off the rope onto Taven. Cassidy hit Stundog Millionaire on Bennett, then a DDT on Taven. Bennett caught Cassidy with a spinebuster. Things broke down from here as each wrestler hit the ring and took one another out. [c]
Taven was perched on the top rope as Cassidy attempted a superplex. Bennett came in from behind to drag Cassidy off, then hit him with a low blow. The Kingdom hit a spike piledriver on Cassidy. Trent was singled out next by the Kingdom, followed by Rocky. Rocky took flight through the ropes to take out both men, then threw Bennett back inside the ring. Taven cut off Rocky but was caught in a hurricanrana. Rocky kicked Bennett across the face, then followed up with a series of clotheslines on both Bennett and Taven. Strong took out Rocky with a running knee, then hit him with a brainbuster to allow Taven pick up the win.
WINNERS: The Undisputed Kingdom in 10:00
– After the match, Rocky was further attacked by the Undisputed Kingdom who powerbombed him through metal chairs.
(Moynahan’s Take: Good opener, which felt like it could have easily aired on Dynamite or Collision, which actually means something when it comes to Rampage.)
– Highlights were shown from this past week’s Dynamite match between Hangman Page and Swerve Strickland. [c]
(2) THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matthew & Nicholas Jackson) vs. MONDO ROX & ROBBIE LIT
Young Bucks entered with new music and graphics, and were still decked out in the blood soaked suits we saw at the end of this week’s Dynamite from their attack on Sting, his sons, and Darby Allin. Matthew started things off and gave Lit a fist bump before going on the attack. Matthew took Lit down with a running clothesline before tagging in Nicholas. Nicholas hit Lit with a kick across the face then came off the top with a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo with the help of Matthew. Nicholas threw Lit into his corner to tag in Rox.
Rox ran into a kick from Nicholas who tagged in Matthew. Young Bucks took out both opponents before Nicholas kicked Rox with a low blow outside of the ref’s view. The Bucks hit the EVP Trigger for the win,
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 2:00
– After the match, the Bucks took the mic and told the fans to show them respect and told them to call them by their God-given names, Nicholas and Matthew Jackson. Matthew apologized for Nicholas being a hot head. They congratulated Darby and Sting for winning the tag titles but said they received an injury report from Dr. Sampson that Darby and Sting, he said, were injured after their title win, and added that the Bucks were praying for them to get well soon.
Matthew said they were focused on getting their tag titles back and would climb their way back into the rankings with competitive matches such as the one they just had. The Bucks said they’d wrestle on this week’s Dynamite then told the fans they loved them. Excalibur then announced the Bucks would face Top Flight on Dynamite.
(Moynahan’s Take: YOUR RAMPAGE SQUASH OF THE WEEK. An impressive new look from the Bucks after some questionable backstage skits the last few weeks. Let’s hope they can ride this to another strong heel run. The post-match promo was much better so it’s a good start.)
– A video package aired hyping tomorrow’s International title match between Orange Cassidy and Tomohiro Ishii on Collision.
(3) MISTICO vs. MATT SYDAL
Both wrestlers shook hands before trading a series of moves which ended in a stalemate. Sydal tok Mistico to the mat as Mistico fired back and did the same to Sydal. Mistico flew through the ropes to take out Sydal on the outside. Back inside the ring, Sydal hit a spinning back kick before synching in a submission bow and arrow. Sydal followed with a standing spinning moonsault for a close count. [c]
Mistico hit a crossbody off the ropes for two. Sydal came back with a rising knee to Mistico’s face, then dropped him to the mat for two. Both wrestled traded shots in the center of the ring until Mistico slammed Sydal down and climbed to the top rope. Mistico went for a moonsault but Sydal got his boots up for the block. Mistico fired right back with a powerslam. Sydal went to the top as Mistico followed. Mistico hit a Spanish Fly off the top for the win.
WINNER: Mistico in 9:30
(Moynahan’s Take: While the outcome wasn’t a surprise, the finish certainly caught me off guard. It seemed as though these two were just getting started or simply never kicked things into the next gear in time for this to be as good as it could have been.)
– Renee was backstage with Brian Cage and Prince Nana. Cage said he was looking for Hook who was nowhere to be found. Nana said Hook must be home as Cage suggested he would face two guys on tomorrow’s Collision. [c]
(4) KRIS STATLANDER & WILLOW NIGHTINGALE vs. SARAYA & RUBY SOHO (w/Harley Cameron)
Statlander and Saraya locked up as Stokley Hathaway joined commentary. The two worked the mat as Statlander escaped a headlock and nailed Saraya with a dropkick. Soho made the tag, as did Willow. Willow caught Soho, then took her down with a Russian leg sweep before locking her into a submission. Willow hit a fisherman’s suplex for two. Statlander and Willow made quick tags as they worked over Soho. Willow whipped Soho into opposing corners before getting swept off the middle rope by Saraya behind the ref’s back. [c]
Willow dropped Saraya and finally made the hot tag to Statlander. Statlander came in on fire and took out both Soho inside the ring and Saraya on the apron. Statlander nailed Soho with a powerslam for two. Soho was able to knock Statlander with a knee strike across the face before tagging in Saraya. Willow was thrown to the outside as she came in to help. Saraya hit a knee strike on Statlander for a pin attempt that Willow broke up. All four women traded moves until Saraya accidentally hit Soho. Willow clotheslined them both as Statlander made the cover on Saraya for two.
Saraya and Statlander traded blows until Statlander hit a roundhouse kick, then the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Statlander missed a charging knee in the corner but made the tag to Willow. Saraya went to tag Soho who took her hand away and dropped to the floor. Soho went to leave as Cameron got in her way. Soho knocked her out as the crowd chanted her name. Willow hit Saraya with her powerbomb finish for the win.
WINNERS: Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale in 12:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A fine main event for a feud that feels like it’s lasted 6 months at least. We at least finally saw some advancement with Soho leaving Saraya to fend for herself.)
– After the match, Statlander, Willow, and Hathaway celebrated in the ring until Sky Blue appeared. The lights went out and when they came back on, Julia Hart appeared by Blue’s side. The lights went back out as Hart and Blue disappeared.
FINAL THOUGHTS: In what feels like forever, the majority of the crowd looked like they stayed for much of Rampage. Not having to turn out the lights this week was a good indicator. That said, tonight’s show was a solid one, even if the Mistico/Sydal match didn’t live up to my expectations. Somewhat Rampage related, I also like how AEW shows have begun to be a bit more proactive with match announcements for upcoming shows; at least it’s felt that way to me. Back to this show, each match is worth checking out, but definitely go out of your way to see the new Young Bucks in-ring presentation. Until next week, stay safe everyone!