It’s Friday night and you know what that means? No, not to troll an eco-warrior and then get caught by Romanian police in a sex traffic sting because you used social media to broadcast your whereabouts for said trolling (seriously, Google it if you need a laugh). It’s AEW Rampage, and not only do we have (sigh) a title fight for the All-Atlantic title between Orange Cassidy and Beretta, but Swerve Strickland is looking to drop some bars on Wheeler Yuta in the main event.

Before the show starts, there is a quick In Memorium to Don West.  Then it’s on to the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Paul Wight from AEW Dark Elevation have the call. Kip Sabian joins on commentary for the First Match of the Night for the…

Courtesy of AEW

AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs Trent Beretta (with Chuck Taylor and Danhausen)

As the match gets underway, both men shake hands in a show of respect, and …they shake some more, as Cassidy is not letting go.  Then they hit the ropes and Cassidy goes for his pockets but Beretta blocks him.  Cassidy continues to play mind games with the Best Friend and then Beretta tosses him out of the ring. Taylor is nearby and picks up Cassidy and sends him on his way back to the ring.  Cassidy then sends Beretta out, and he gets back in the ring and tosses him back outside.  As Cassidy is down on the floor, Danhausen “kicks” him until Taylor tells him to cool it.  Beretta hits a tope suicida and almost collides with his tag partner, but he slows the momentum down and then they Got to Give the People What They Want©!  Cassidy follows with his tope to make Beretta crash to the guardrails to the outside and Sabian is loving how they are tearing each other apart.  He sends Cassidy to another guardrail and charges until he signals Beretta to stop.  He charges anyway and crashes into the guardrail  Now Cassidy puts his hands in his pockets for a running dropkick to a kip up

During Picture in Picture, Beretta takes it to his friend with a superplex and then follows with a chop to the chest.  Cassidy “chops back” before winding up for a huge chop of his own.  They trade elbows and a superkick by Cassidy stops him in his tracks, but Beretta returns fire with a lariat and follows with half and half suplex.  He goes back on the attack, but Cassidy reverses his offense with a Michinoku Driver.  Cassidy almost goes for the Orange Punch but is starting to have second thoughts. He attempts the Beach Break and is blocked. Beretta manages a sunset flip into a cover for a two count.  A DDT by Cassidy still can’t put him away, so he follows up the top rope with a diving DDT and that gets another two count for Cassidy. Sabian is loving the fracturing partnership.  Now Cassidy has the arm pad off, but Bereta blocks the Orange Punch.  He picks him up, but Cassidy reverses for a crucifix pin for a count of two. Beretta comes back with a spinning tombstone piledriver for a two count, and then in one motion lifts Cassidy to nail a spike piledriver for another two count.  Suddenly, to Sabian’s surprise(!), Penelope Ford comes out and distracts  Beretta long enough for Cassidy to hit the Beach Break and cover for a two count.  He finally pulls the trigger and finishes Beretta off with the Orange Punch for the pin and the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall, and Still AEW All-Atlantic Champion:  Orange Cassidy

Sabían and Ford are both pleased with the results, as Beretta walks away frustrated past Cassidy, and Taylor and Danhausen follow behind.  Cassidy looks at Sabian who saunters down the ramp happy as a Chesire Cat at what took place.

Schiavone spoke with Darby Allin last Wednesday on Tony Khan booking him a TNT title shot versus Samoa Joe next week on Dynamite. Allin says everyone doubted he’d be a pro wrestler and he proved them all wrong.  But now he’s not sure everyone is behind him and feels they don’t believe he’ll win. He even asks Sting if he doubts him, and the Stinger gives Allin some tough love and lets him know to get his head in the game and shut out the naysayers.  Bottom line is that the only thing that matters is he focuses on regaining the title next week, and Allin nods in assent.

And now we head back to ringside for…

Kip Sabian (with Penelope Ford) vs. Atiba!

A couple of things:  I won’t do a Haiku in Review™ for this match because the wrestler Sabian faced is a wrestler from the Rocky Mountain Pro indie promotion and is an up-and-comer to watch in the ring.  Secondly, even though this is a squash, Sabian is using this match to send a message as he delivers a double stomp to Atiba, and then has Ford throw him an arm pad similar to Orange Cassidy’s.  He then pantomimed Cassidy by taking it off and using his Orange Punch finisher as he covers Atiba for the three count.  

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Kip Sabian

Backstage Lexy Nair is with Preston Vance( or “Perro Peligroso”, as he wants to be addressed) and José the Assistant. Vance says he has no remorse for leaving The Dark Order high and dry and ever since he turned his back on them he’s moving on to bigger and better things.  He concludes that if he knew that by shedding the mask and the “stupid hand gesture” plus making Negative One cry would lead him to move up the ladder, he woulda have done it years ago.  Jose then advises the interview is over.  


Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Jon Moxley, and he lets us know that it was inevitable there would be a showdown one day between him and Hangman Adam Page. The difference is, Mox explains, that while Page was laid up after the King Kong Lariat, he slept like a baby because the Blackpool Combat Club works harder, trains harder, and delivers harder than everyone else. Page is not cleared to wrestle yet, but Max says “big deal” as he’s been hurt for ten years. He then challenges  Page to a match on the January 11th episode of AEW Dynamite if he can get cleared. This is a tough business, Mox says, and he will remind him how tough it is before suggesting “keep your hands up, bitch.”

Whoa.  Sign me up for watching that match!

Sanjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, and Jeff Jarrett cut a promo as they run down The Acclaimed.  Lethal says their nonsense is over and they’re going to take their AEW tag titles. Jarrett adds that he’s been in the business for over thirty-plus years, and he has more experience than either of them combined.  He also promises that he will end their tag title reign and then their careers.

Next up is another title match and this one is for the…

Courtesy of AEW

AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) (with Red Velvet and Leila Grey) vs. Kiera Hogan

This came about because Cargill decided Hogan was a loose end that needed to be eliminated and made sure she was no longer a part of her Baddie squad.  The match itself is a one-sided affair with Cargill firmly in the driver’s seat.  She sends Hogan out of the ring, and Grey props her up and holds her for Cargill to slap her stupid…but Red Velvet blocks her.  Cargill is not happy she disrespected her like that, but she goes back to finish Hogan with the Jaded finisher, but she reverses into a bulldog and then nails her with a hip attack.  Hogan follows with short superkicks to Cargill as she falls back into the corner, and then she runs around the ring and nails a sliding dropkick.  Hogan goes up top and connects with a crossbody to cover Cargill for just a two count.  Hogan goes back on offense but gets turned around now Cargill delivers Jaded for the pin and the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall, and Still AEW TBS Champion:  Jade Cargill

After the match, Red Velvet walked out on Cargill and gives her such a side eye that leaves no doubt there’s more dissent in the ranks of the Baddies.

Jamie Hayter cuts a promo on her fight with Shida and the AEW Women’s champ lets it be known no one can stop her.  Not even Saraya.  She tells her to bring a tag partner next week on Dynamite to face her and Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D in tag action just so she can prove to her and everyone that Hayter hits hard.

Nair catches up with “Smart” Mark Sterling and the Varsity Athletes, Tony Nese and Josh Woods.  He is sick of tired of Bryan Danielson has meddled in affairs of MJF, and no one messes with his best client. He and Nese are doing this pro bono, and The Premier Athlete promises a beatdown in Seattle in front of Danielson’s hometown crowd.

Mark Henry is with Yuta and Swerve on final remarks before they mix it up. Mox says to the Blackpool Combat Club are there to destroy and that is what Yuta will do tonight. Swerve notes that their Club is missing a few members, but assures that his Mogul Affiliates group is gritty and dirty and they will be violent. Yuta says he’s speaking his language and he’ll take on Strickland (instead of the rejects from Tattoo Redo) alone and asks his Combat Club members to take a knee as he gets violet

Well, that’s been enough talk. It’s time for the Main Event, and it is…

Courtesy of AEW

Swerve Strickland (with Parker Boudreaux and Granden Goetzman) vs. Wheeler Yuta

As the bells rings, both men start jockeying for position, and the early part of the match is fast-paced and Yuta comes out on top with a scoop slam and a senton but just barely gets a one count.  Yuta then goes from a single-leg crab to an STF and then transitions to a bow and arrow to stretch Strickland’s back.  He releases and then nails a dropkick to a diving Strickland midair.  Strickland rolls out for a powder, and Yuta nails a tope.  The Affiliates stare down Yuta, but he doesn’t flinch.  Yuta attempts to go back in the ring, where Strickland superkicks him off the mat

During Picture in Picture, Strickland picks apart Yuta and targets his knee/leg to hobble him further.  He follows with a series of backbreakers to Yuta, but the ROH Pure champion fights back and goes up top with a flying elbow strike.  Yuta gets a one-legged kip up to a German suplex with a bridge on Strickland for a two count.  Yuta is hurting, and Strickland kicks his kneecap and lands a brainbuster to cover for two.  Then we get a series of pin cover switches between the two men and Yuta manages with a modified Samoan Drop to cover for a two count.  Yuta is still clutching his leg trying to get some feeling back into it.  He starts with some corner offense but pulls up suddenly on account of the previous damage.  Strickland takes advantage and fires away with body shots in the corner and then dropkicks the inside of his knee.  He then goes up the top turnbuckle, but Yuta catches him with a desperation enzugiri.  Then he rakes Strickland’s back and nails a huge superplex and lowers the boom with Combat Club-style hammer and tong elbows to the side of his head.  Yuta attempts the Seatbelt, but Strickland gets out and drops the House Call on the side of his head to cover for one, two…so close.  Strickland back up into the ref to knock him out temporarily, and then Yuta whips him to the corner but gets reversed.  Yuta leaps up anticipating Strickland to follow behind, but he pulls up and nails a low blow to his…err, little Wheelers, and he delivers the JML Driver to cover for the one, two, and three.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Swerve Strickland

No doubt this is Swerve’s House as the show fades to black.

AEW Rampage New Years Smash 12/30/2022

Final Thoughts:

This is a much-improved Rampage, with Cassidy/Beretta bringing some more drama into their friendship as Sabian continues to stir the pot turning Cassidy’s running mates against him.  Yuta/Strickland had the match of the night, and it truly is Swerve’s house.  Even Cargill losing control of her Baddies was actually interesting to see, too.

Here’s hoping they can keep this momentum moving forward as we see you in seven!