It’s Friday, you know what that means! Well, what it’s meant the last few weeks is a lacklustre card leading to a poor rating, but AEW are determined to adjust that with this week’s Rampage. They’re doing this with one hell of an appetising match on paper to kick off the show as Jon Moxley will take on Konosuke Takeshita. The rest of the card isn’t much to look at but hopefully we’ll get some good action between The Bunny and Hikaru Shida. Anyway, with all that said, let’s waste no more time and get straight to the wrestling! Commentary this week begins with JR, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone.
Entrances on YouTube to give the two men in the ring as long as possible and the bell rings after JR introduces us to Rampage. Moxley and Takeshita lock up in the middle of the ring and they end up in the corner with Takeshita backing away. Moxley grabs wrist control and takes Take down next and stays on top on the mat despite being taken down too. Takeshita gets to his feet and then both men exchange shoulder tackles and then chops but neither man goes down. Moxley switches to elbow strikes so Konosuke does the same and they remain even, so Moxley goes low and kicks the knee of his opponent. Takeshita is hurt briefly but fires right back with a leg lariat, but Moxley almost snatches him into a paradigm shift afterwards. Takeshita escapes and the two men share a moment of respect as the crowd sounds their appreciation. Moxley offers a handshake and after a moment's hesitation, Takeshita goes to take it but gets slapped instead. Takeshita fires back but is soon backed into the corner where Jon hits him with a barrage of elbow strikes and a bite. He switches to heavy chops that echo through the arena but Takeshita fights back, starting another strike exchange that Konosuke wins after a hurricanrana and Mox spills to the floor. Takeshita follows him with a Tope Con Hilo and we see Don Callis watching on from the sky box. The two men brawl into the crowd, and we go to break as they do so, but Moxley ends up dropping Take with a heavy elbow. He follows up with a brutal boot across the jaw but Take fires back soon after with one of his own to bust Moxley open. They head back into the ring where Moxley nails a cutter.
When we return to the match, Moxley hits a huge piledriver, but Takeshita kicks out at two. Moxley decides to just do it again but Takeshita escapes with a back body drop and then skins the cat to nail Moxley with a huge lariat and follows it with a beautiful Takeshita line. Moxley rolls out to the apron and Take follows him, catching him with a DDT and then a slingshot variant back into the ring but this time it’s Moxley who kicks out at two. Moxley counters out of a blue thunder bomb, looking for a juji gatame or a kimura, but Take fights him off with a knee to the head and we transition to yet another strike exchange. Takeshita rocks Mox but runs right into a King Kong lariat. Moxley tries for a paradigm shift but Takeshita escapes again, this time with a backslide for two but he follows that with a huge knee strike and a sheer drop brainbuster for an even closer two count. Take takes Mox up to the top rope as the crowd sound appreciation once again, but Moxley fights him off as he goes for the superplex, Takeshita avoids yet another paradigm shift and nails Moxley with a huge elbow strike before rolling him through into a German suplex attempt but Moxley turns it into a sleeper hold. Takeshita fights out with a blue thunder bomb for yet another two count. Takeshita takes an elbow strike but nails a German Suplex and holds on for another two count and then he heads to the top rope, but Moxley gets his knees up on the frog splash and follows up with hammer and anvil elbows and he pulls out the Death Rider and Takeshita kicks out at one! The crowd go absolutely wild, but Moxley follows up with jumping knee strike. Takeshita kicks out at two this time, but Moxley quickly transitions into the juji gatame after delivering the BCC stomps. Takeshita flips the script and ends up stomping Moxley into the mat instead. Moxley fires in some brilliant up kicks to escape and then rocks Takeshita with elbows to the back of his head and neck until Moxley locks in the Bulldog choke and after another struggle, Moxley gets the win. This was a match of the year contender.
The winner doesn’t get time to rest though as a familiar song hits the Arena and out comes Hangman Adam Page, answering Moxley’s request from Dynamite. He marches to the ring with a mic in his hand towards a bloody Jon Moxley and tells him that he’s not cleared to wrestle because of his brain which gives him a great excuse for not thinking straight tonight. Hangman attacks Moxley and is giving him an ass whooping. That is until Wheeler Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli come out and despite not really getting involved, that lets Moxley grab Hangman and yeet him into the ring post. Hangman sells his concussion once again as he struggles to stand after.
Another excellent video package. Belt Hobbs now.
A very brief congratulations to Hook who debuted a year ago today, and what a year it’s been!
Stokely pretends he’s a newsreader and tells us everything sucks before suggesting that Lee Moriarty was cheated out of his FTW title match. Fun.
Title time! Bunny brings Penelope and Shida brings her Kendo stick. The match begins with a stare down as The Bunny tries to play mind games with the Regina di Wave champion. Bunny skips around and avoids the first lock up but on the second one, Shida muscles her to the floor. Bunny starts a strike exchange and regrets it as Shida takes over with elbows and a sliding elbow before hitting a body slam and then trying a springboard knee strike and missing. Commentary draw attention to her tweaking her knee and Bunny hits a running knee lift, so Shida replies with an enzuigiri. Bunny avoids a splash then holds a submission over the top rope, letting go at four as we go to break. Shida fights back and tries to suplex Bunny into the ring, over the top rope but Penelope saves Bunny without the referee seeing and Bunny retains control throughout the break as Penelope continues to take liberties until the blackout break.
When we return to the match, Hikaru Shida is fighting back into the match with an elbow strike, but Bunny catches her with a beautiful thrust kick. Bunny tries to go down the rabbit hole but Shida counters to hit that move instead. The referee’s count is interrupted when Penelope throws Shida’s kendo stick into the ring, so Shida grabs it and chases after Penelope. This lets Bunny recover and grab the kendo stick from the ring, but Aubrey takes it off her. As she removes it from the ring, Penelope grabs Shida and Bunny aims a thrust kick, but Shida moves, and Penelope takes it instead. This lets Shida head to the apron and hit The Bunny with a knee strike and then a meteora to the floor. Shida hits the Michinoku driver, but Bunny kicks out at two so Hikaru hits her with the Katana and picks up the win. This was fun and Shida vs Hayter will be incredible.
Not only does @shidahikaru retain the Regina Di Wave Championship, but she also now gets a shot at the #AEW Women's World Champion @jmehytr for the title!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 10, 2022
It’s #AEWRampage on TNT! pic.twitter.com/3Q4sVqK3ql
Speaking of Jamie Hayter, she heads out to stare down Shida from the ramp with her AEW title in hand.
This is from the countdown show for Final Battle, but this match should be a lot of fun.
The Firm come out and Big Bill is infinitely better than W Morrissey although I am sad that I can’t make any more Smiths puns. They head to the ring where a couple of new jobbers that haven’t even been seen on AEW Dark (as far as I remember) await them. Lee Moriarty starts the match with a boot to Izzy James on the apron and then locks up with Clayton Bloodstone. He has a little trouble, but the distraction of Big Bill helps Lee take down Clayton and lock him in a submission. James comes in and gets tied up by Moriarty too at the same time until Lee lets him go and the ref forces him out. Moriarty follows up with an innovative looking dragon screw but Clayton kicks him away. Unfortunately, away is only to his own corner so Big Bill tags in and Bloodstone scrambles to do the same. Bill hits a big splash in the corner and then Lee puts Bloodstone on the top rope so Bill can kick him to the floor. James comes off the top rope into a chokeslam from Bill and Moriarty takes out Bloodstone some more with a tope suicida.
Lexy interviews FTR after Dynamite to ask them about facing the Briscoes and Cash says they may have lost their AEW title chance but they’re not going to sit and cry about it and they’re ready to fight. Dax says collars are for animals before calling FTR the most rabid animals and they say that they get to finish the legacy they started with The Briscoes at last year's Final Battle, at this one.
Ortiz didn’t like his interaction with the House of Black so he and Eddie will look for revenge.
Mark asks Kip about why he didn’t want to fight, Kip blames getting beaten up by Dustin Rhodes and Kip says his challenger is British. Orange Cassidy says he wants to get on with it, but Kip points out that Danhausen isn’t with Orange and asks where he is. Danhausen appears with Mark and tries to steal the line, but Mark stops him. Looks like we’ve had enough talk, its’ time for the main event.
Shane tells Keith that him leaving was the best thing that happened to him because Shane Taylor Promotions revolutionised the ROH six-man division. JD Griffey adds his piece and Shane promises that they’re going to be his limit.
Main Event time. Orange comes out first with his boys and Kip and Penelope follow him before introducing the controversial Trent Seven. There’s only enough room for one Trent in AEW though, so Orange has to vanquish him tonight. The bell rings to start the match and Orange goes for his pockets but Trent stops him to make him twirl a moustache instead. Cassidy goes back to the pockets and eats a chop for his troubles. Cassidy takes off his sunglasses before selling it and then takes another one for his troubles. Seven tries to hit a running chop but Orange turns it into a high five in one of the most innovative moments of the year. Huge pop. He high fives the ref too before giving Seven a thumbs up, Seven responds with a body slam and a big leg drop for two and Cassidy rolls to the outside where Kip stares him down. Best Friends back Kip down but Trent grabs Orange and chops him, he tries to do it again, but this time Cassidy ducks and Seven hits the ring post. Orange drops Kip with a right hand as well and Orange makes Penelope run away. Trent & Orange head back into the ring where Orange’s soft kicks come next but Seven responds with a DDT. All of a sudden, The Butcher, The Blade & The Bunny emerge with Penelope and Best Friends brawl with them on the ramp to send us to break. Trent begins to take over back in the ring and dominates throughout the break with heavy strikes and submission holds mostly. Eventually Orange manages to reverse a delayed vertical suplex and heads to the top rope only for Trent to cut him off and continue where he left off with strikes.
We return to the match with both men stood on the top rope and Seven nails a superplex to earn himself a two count. He follows up with strikes, but Cassidy manages to get to the apron and use the turnbuckle on Seven. Trent reverses and does the same to Orange who falls to the floor where Kip shouts at him. Trent tries a tope suicida, Orange pulls Kip in the way of it and then heads into the ring to hit Seven with a tope of his own. Cassidy tries for the Orange punch but Seven dodges and reverses into a snap German suplex but Cassidy comes right back with the stundog millionaire, Trent blocks a DDT to slam Cassidy to the mat for another two count and then he tries for a ripcord lariat, Orange avoids the first but not the second and it’s yet another two count. Trent looks for a powerbomb and Cassidy escapes to try for a Beach Break but can't get it and we go back and forth till Cassidy nails a DDT, but he heads up top and jumps into a right hand from Seven and then a twisting piledriver for two. Seven tries a burning hammer, Cassidy escapes with a roll up for two before finally hitting the Orange punch and the beach break for good measure as he retains his title again.
After the bell, Kip attacks Orange, Penelope stops the referee from intervening and Trent recovers to join in, but Dustin Rhodes makes the save in his hometown and clears the ring to send the fans home happy.
That was much better than last week. ¾ of the matches were good or better and ROH Final Battle is fully set to be a banger tomorrow. 8/10 for me, but what did you think? Let us know in the comments, let me know on Twitter @Knapphausen, and have a fantastic weekend. Adios.
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