It’s Friday night, and you know what that means? No, not a Mask vs. Career match between “10” and Andrade El Idolo (because someone was not Tranquilo).  It’s time for AEW and it’s a doubleheader with Rampage for hour one, and the Battle of the Belts IV for hour two. The great philosopher Jerry Reed once said, “We got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.” So let’s go into the action.

(Author’s Note: Because of the double hour, the recaps will be a little more condensed than usual, especially with Battle of the Belts. If it looks like something is really good to sink my teeth into, it will be in-depth with the coverage. Otherwise, I might be brushing up on my haikus. You’ve been warned.)

From the Entertainment and Sports Arena live in Washington, D.C. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho, and Jim Ross have the call for…

Courtesy of AEW

AEW Rampage

William Regal joins at commentary much to Jericho’s chagrin as we start with the First Match of the Night…

Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. La Faccion Ingobernables (RUSH & Private Party)

W Morrissey, Lee Moriarty, and Stokely Hathaway are at ringside to watch the fallout of this match (or something…I dunno).  Blackpool Combat Club is in complete control, but Rush turns the tide, and then Private Party utilizes their aerial moves, and Rush keeps Tranquilo with Moxley during Picture in Picture.  As Rush whips Mox on the outside with an electrical cord. there appears to be some discord between Private Party and Rush, which results in miscommunication as Quen gives a boot to Rush by accident as Mox ducks out of the way.

Tag to Castagnoli who cleans house in the ring, and gets both members of Private Party with a Giant swing (Kassidy goes for the ride, and Quen rides his shoulders, and good Gods what do the Swiss do there to train these dudes?).  The end had all wrestlers throwing big bombs, and Private Party tried the Silly String double team but Castagnoli catches Kassidy and nails him with a press to a European uppercut.  Yuta ends it with a Bicep Slice to Quen gets the win.

Your Winners via Submission:  The Blackpool Combat Club

Regal says it best:  Thank you, gentlemen, and goodnight.

There is a video package to highlight the current AEW Trios Champions, The Death Triangle, and it’s pretty cool, but check it out yourself:

And now it’s time for…

Courtesy of AEW

Tony Nese & Josh Woods (with “Smart” Mark Sterling vs. The Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.)

Yeah, you know what happens next.  So therefore here is your first Haiku in Review™:


No Blonde Ambition,

As Technical Beast and Nese

Beat Varsity bad

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Tony Nese and Josh Woods

After the match, Sterling says he filed a trademark and says that Nese and Woods are now known as “The Varsity Athletes” and Garrison and Pillman can’t use it anymore (which I hope everyone understands why I do the “™” symbol for my stuff.  I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.  I have an MBA, after all.)  Then that leads to the second weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in my life inside of a wrestling ring by Sterling:

“My groin has been on fire since National Scissoring Day…”

Again, I can’t make up any of this.  In any case, your tag team champions The Acclaimed have arrived, and after some rapping and clearing the ring it’s time to Scissor Me, Daddy Ass!

To quote Dr. Strange:  That feels weird, but I’ll allow it.

Eddie Kingston has a short promo on how he feels about Sammy Guevara, and between his suspension and El Idolo’s, I came up with a new show (or at the least a new tag team name): Everybody Hates Sammy™.

Curious about how far that goes, but let’s get to the next match, which is…

Madison Rayne & Skye Blue vs. Tay Melo & Anna Jay

Rayne is in matching attire like Blue (reversed ballcap and crop top sweatshirt) and Tay Jay are just the tops in Sports Entertainment if you believe what Jericho says.  Me?  I believe I have another Haiku in Review™:


Tay and Jay are just

Okay as they display tag

Play. Then the Queen Slays.

Your Winners:  Tay Melo and Anna Jay

Swerve Strickland says next week he wants to hurt Billy because it ain’t “Daddy Ass,” it’s Father Time that will take him down,  and time’s a-ticking.

Mark Henry is backstage with both teams on the upcoming Trios match.  For The Dark Order, it’s more personal, as this is the anniversary of Brodie Lee’s passing. Put over their leader Lee, and want to gain the Trios belt in his memory. PAC interrupts and says all due respect to Brodie Lee, but they’re the best Trios in the universe because “Cero Miedo para la Triangulo de la Muerte.”  

That’s pretty close to what they’re saying, and even Henry agrees that’s been enough talk because It’s time for the Main Event…

Courtesy of AEW

AEW World Trios Championship: Death Triangle (c) (PAC, Rey Fenix, & Penta El Cero Miedo) vs. The Dark Order (“10”, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds)

It’s a lucharific start and the Dark Order uses their power to stop the aerial tactics of Death Triangle early.  “10″ lands with a delayed suplex to Fenix, and then Penta comes in and now he gets isolated, making him un Cero in Peril.  PAC gets in to turn the tides. Death Triangle is back on offense, but then Fenix gets tagged back in and he’s back to getting in trouble with The Dark Order until…

Ads (sigh!)

We come back to the beating of Fenix, but he manages to get Reynolds to powerbomb Silver, and he nails a double stomp to “10.”  He tags in Penta for a splash to all three Dark Order members, and then he cleans house and gets a lungblower to Reynolds for a near fall.  Now PAC is in with a snap German suplex with a bridge, but Silver disrupts the count.  The Death Triangle clears the ring, and then The Lucha Bros double team with a diving leg drop to Reynolds’s…err, little dark orders (and you’re not the only one affected Sterling!).  Reynolds is isolated, and he is a Dark Order in Peril as PAC hits with a snap suplex during Picture in Picture, as he gets the brunt of the abuse in the Death Triangle corner.  Reynolds weakly fights back, and PAC shoots him to the ropes and he gets desperation stomp to The Bastard’s back.

He crawls to his corner for the hot tag to “10” and he is a Powerhouse en Fuego.  But it doesn’t last as Death Triangle lands with stereo superkicks and The Lucha Bros nail Risky business to “10” for a two count.  He reverses to a suplex and tags to Silver and he and PAC tee off, and Hungee nails with a brain buster for a two count.  The Dark Order gets Fenix with a Pendulum Bomb and then covers for a close two count.  From there it’s just lucha goodness, and then a discus lariat by “10” finds the mark in Penta for a cover of one, two…Death Triangle breaks the count.  Jose the Assistant comes out to distract the ref, and then Rush is on the other side to give PAC the timekeeper hammer.  He ponders it briefly in his hand and then uses it to smash Reynolds on the side of his head. One Brutalizer and they get Reynolds’ shoulders pinned for the one, two, and three.

Your Winners, and Still AEW Trios Champions:  The Death Triangle

Rating for AEW Rampage:  3.5/5

There’s no time to celebrate as we now head to Hour Two, which makes it the…

Courtesy of AEW

Battle of the Belts IV

And PAC barely has a moment to catch his breath because up next is the first match of the Battle of the Belts, and it’s for the…

AEW All-Atlantic Championship: PAC (c) vs. Trent Beretta

Commentary talks of how PAC must be just spent from the Trios match, so does he have enough gas in the tank to wrestle in a singles match?

As the bell rings, both men fire away, and Beretta takes it to the champ.  Now fatigue is setting in for PAC as Beretta is firmly in the driver’s seat, and nails a spear to him on the outside of the ring. He rolls him back in to pin for a two count.  PAC goes out and gets a thrust kick to Beretta to create space.  Now the Bastard gets a table but Beretta cuts him off and sets him up for a splash, but the All-Atlantic champ ducks away.  PAC retaliates with a superplex and during Picture in Picture PAC is back in control picking apart the Best Friend.  Beretta is in the corner and PAC rushes but he gets a desperation stomp to his midsection.  A half-and-half suplex by Beretta and a hip attack to a tornado DDT is enough to cover PAC for a near fall.  Beretta turns PAC inside out with a clothesline and pulls him up for a piledriver for another near fall.

PAC sends him out of the ring and then lands a nasty sheer drop brainbuster to add more damage to both men on the table set up on the outside, and PAC has a laceration on his back as a result. 

PAC sets up for the Black Arrow, and Beretta gets his knees up at the last second.  As PAC is reeling, Beretta goes for the spear and the champ gets a knee up. Beretta manages with an inside cradle for a close two count.  Up top, Beretta gets PAC with an avalanche half-and-half suplex, and PAC tumbles so far Beretta scrambles to cover but gets a two count.  He attempts his Dudebuster finisher, but PAC reverses to the Brutalizer, and he almost fades but gets a boot to the bottom rope to break the submission.  The fans are jazzed by the match, with chants of, “Fight Forever!”  Then PAC gets that damn timekeeper hammer again, and as Beretta pulls him back in the ring, he hits him in the head out of sight from the ref, and he falls on Beretta for the three count.

Your Winner, and Still AEW All-Atlantic Champion:  PAC

After the match, Orange Cassidy comes out and attacks PAC, and he is fired up and looking for revenge after the Atlantic champion put him on the injury shelf for a number of weeks.  

Tony Schiavone is backstage with ROH Champion Chris Jericho, “Daddy Magic” Menard, and “Cool Hand” Parker. They all say after this last AEW Dynamite for Daniel Garcia to come home.  They’re not mad at him, just disappointed. Jericho says he was taught a lesson in sports entertainment, and he will desecrate the legacy of ROH and still be Ring of Jericho Champion. All hail the Ocho!

Now let’s go to the next match of the night, and this is for the…

AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) (with Baddies) vs. Willow Nightingale

For Cargill, she has been reigning 583 days without a loss to her belt and counting.  I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a “Goldberg” style chant to her name.  Eh, but what do I know?

Nightingale is on offense early in the match, and hits a tope to The Baddies on the outside but misses Cargill.  She rushes at the champ and Cargill grabs her and slams her head to the steel steps.  During Picture in Picture, Cargill just picks apart The Babe with the Power, which leads to…

Ads (SIGH!)

We come back to the ring, and Nightingale lands with a clothesline and then a tilt-a-whirl head scissors takedown to the champ.  Now she gets a Cannonball in the corner and lands a missile dropkick to Cargill to cover for a two count.  Nightingale attempts the Doctor Bomb, and Cargill reverses and attempts a pump kick that also misses. Nightingale attempts another head scissors takedown, but the champ has it scouted and in mid-twist slams her to the mat and then delivers the Jaded finisher to seal the deal.

Your Winner, and Still TBS Champion:  Jade Cargill

Excuse me!!!  It’s Vicky Guerrero with Nyla Rose, who grabs the TBS championship and absconds with it.  Now the Baddies are running to get it back, and Cargill ain’t got time for this mess.

Lexy Nair is backstage with Ethan Page, Stokely Hathaway, and Matt Hardy about some contract tampering…with Private Party?

Now, Nair is backstage with Hook about a letter offered by The Trustbusters, and then he rips it up.


Now Toni Storm and Shida have words for Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter, and ….yeah, I’m tapped out.  Here’s what they said:

Now for the Main Event of the Battle of the Belts, and they send it to Bobby Cruise, who is wearing a neck brace after Jericho’s attack, to announce this match is for the…

Courtesy of AEW

Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship: FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) (c) vs. The Gates of Agony (Toa Liona and Bishop Kaun, with Prince Nana)

As Ricky Starks joins Commentary, they note the match will be under ROH rules, where there will be a 20 count to return back to the ring, and the Code of Honor must be adhered to before and after the ring.  Good luck with that.

The fans pop huge for FTR, as Harwood and Kaun tie up.  It’s a power-for-power match until a short arm clothesline by Kaun stops things fast, but soon Harwood gets back on track.  Now FTR double-teams Kaun to keep him isolated until Wheeler gets the business end of a clothesline and the tide turns with a tag to Liona.  Liona picks apart Wheeler, who tries a sunset flip but splashes on his chest.  The Gates of Agony double team with a corner splash by Kaun to a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall.  Wheeler is sent out, and he gets thrown to the guardrails.  Kaun rushes and Wheeler sidesteps him as his momentum makes him crash into the hard steel.

During Picture in Picture, The Gates of Agony continues to decimate Wheeler and Prince Nana gets in on the act.  It looks bad until Liona overshoots his target on the top turnbuckle, and that creates the opportunity for Wheeler to get the hot tag, and Harwood Fights Like an Eight Year Old Girl en Fuego.  Liona attempts with an Asian Spike but it gets stopped, and then Harwood attempts with a crossbody but he’s caught in midair until Wheeler kicks him in the back to make Liona land on his back for a near fall.  Now FTR gets the rope-assisted DDT, but Liona gets the tag to Kaun and he gets a front lungblower for a two count.  Now FTR double team again with a spike Piledriver but Liona breaks the count.  As the match breaks down Liona fights on but then FTR delivers the Big Rig finisher, but Kaun interrupts the pin cover again.  Harwood rolls up Kaun,  but Nana gets on the ring apron to distract the ref until Harwood gives a meeting of the minds to Nana and Kaun,  and then Harwood backslides Kaun and the ref is in position to count the one, two, and three.

Your Winners, and Still ROH World Tag Team Champions:  FTR

Proving to be sore losers, The Gates of Agony attack FTR, and then Cage comes out to add more injury to insult.  Wardlow runs out to make the save, but it isn’t long before the numbers catch up.  All of a sudden, Samoa Joe’s music hits, and now he evens the odds.  After the ring is cleared off, WarJoe stands tall with FTR as the show fades to black.

Rating for Battle of the Belts:  3.75/5


Final Thoughts:

Two Thoughts.

First, Rampage had a great First Match and Main Event.  The middle just needs to be shored up better (but my Haikus were on point).

Second, Battle of the Belts had solid matches overall (even the Cargill/Nightingale match), despite a lack of title changes.  FTR are great as closers.

My only regret is I couldn’t pull the hat trick of haikus.  Eh, next time.  So See you in seven!