It’s Friday night and you know what that means. No, not to float a “weather balloon” in the wrong part of the United States, or start using common sense in the Utah Legislature (trust me: they’re a special sort of stupid). It’s time for AEW RAMPAGE and not only is the Trios belt on the line with The Elite but in the main event, Rush looks to make his mark on “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels ahead of his match with Bryan Danielson

We come to you from the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio (and forgive my inner Quintessential Studmuffin when I say, “Dayton, Ohio.  Amazing where some people choose to live”). Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Jim Ross have the call.  Don Callis is joining at commentary because your First match of the night is for the…

Courtesy of AEW

AEW Trios Championship:  The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) vs. The Firm (Ethan Page, Matt Hardy, and Isaiah Kassidy, with Stokely Hathaway)

We go right to the action already in the ring, so there is no Kansas intro for you fans at home.  Nick and Kassidy start with quick exchanges going move for countermove. Then it’s the Young Bucks with their patented double team action, and then a tag to Omega and he faces Hardy.  Omega blocks the Side Effect, and Hardy evades the V-Trigger but he manages to send the Best Bout Machine outside.  As he sets up for a moonsault, Page knocks down Omage, and then sends him back into the ring so he can take the credit and the glory of the pin.  Omega manages to tag the Bucks back in and The Elite showcases some triple team action (even tho Omega botched the leg lariat/cazadora move).

Nick wipes out the opposition on the outside with a tope suicida, and Mark is in the ring offering a series of suplexes.  It isn’t long until the veteran Hardy lands with a Side Effect that gets a two count, and Page demands that he gets tagged back in.  Hardy reluctantly agrees and during Picture in Picture, Page, Hardy and Kassidy work their triple team magic in the corner, isolating Matt and he is a Buck in Peril. Hardy rams his head to the turnbuckle in succession followed by a powerbomb but Nick breaks the count.  Hardy climbs up the top turnbuckle as he goes for his signature leg drop until Page tags himself in yet again, but gets a superkick for his troubles from Matt.  A hot tag to Omega and he is an Elite en Fuego.  He gets Page in a steamroller and then to a corner moonsault to cover for a two count.  The Firm attempted to triple-team Omega.  Hardy uses himself as a table as Page attempts to whip Kassidy into the corner, but too much time passes and he receives a Superkick Party.  Now everyone is throwing live ammo, and the bodies are dropping all throughout the squared circle, and during the course of this melee, Hardy catches Page with friendly fire that sends him to the outside.  Kassidy is all alone in the ring until Omega nails with a V-Trigger from behind and follows with the One Winged Angel then The Elite delivers the BTE Trigger to put it away with a three count.

Your Winners, and Still AEW Trios Champions that Carry On My Wayward Son:  The Elite

Lexy Nair is backstage with “Absolute” Ricky Starks about the Jericho Appreciation Society laying the Garcia/Guevara Gauntlet.  After Starks notes he and Nair have the same taste in wardrobe, he says he’s okay since it’ll get him closer to embarrassing Jericho and beating him once again..

Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, and company trash talk Paul Walter Hausen and that they still have his Golden Globe.  Best Friends and Danhausen are upset they used “the Emmy” to hit his head, and Danhausen promises that they will be cursed.

(Author’s Note:  It’s stuff like this I try to explain to friends and family what I do for a living.)

Next up is…

Swerve Strickland (with Parker Bordreaux and Trench) vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

There’s nice pop from the Ohio crowd for the Cincinnati favorite.  Both men are evenly matched but there are points Pillman outwrestles Strickland.  Pillman sends him out with a baseball slide dropkick, and he is not happy as the son of the Loose Cannon skips away. During Picture in Picture, Strickland gets back in the ring and Pillman still takes it to Strickland, but then he yanks his knee to jam it, and now Strickland is in control and slows the tempo of the match, targeting the bad wheel of Pillman and then…


We come back and they’re trading blows, but Strickland gets the upper hand with a backbreaker, but Pillman manages to return fire with a superkick for a two count.  Pillman goes for a fireman’s carry but Strickland escapes and drills another kick to the bad leg. The House Calls finds its way to Pillman’s head, and Strickland covers for another two count.  Strickland sets him up on the top turnbuckle, but Pillman drops him down. Now Pillman goes to the other side and as Trench distracts him,  Bordeaux trips him up, and Strickland uses that opportunity to nail him with a DVD on the ring apron and then finishes him off with a double stomp for the pin and the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Swerve Strickland

After the match, his Mogul Affiliates attack, and as Strickland wraps a chain around his fist Dustin Rhodes comes out with a turnbuckle hook to chase them out of the ring.

We get a promo from Malakai Black with some cryptic speak, on tearing Eddie Kingston and Ortiz apart and proving that every human is corruptible.

(Author’s Snide Remark:  I don’t need Black to prove me that.  I learned that in Catholic School for nine long years…in Utah.  Yeah, take a few minutes with that one, folks.)

The next match is…

Saraya and Toni Storm vs. The Renegade Twins

The story here is Storm and Saraya want more of Baker and company, and they’re developing some bad attitudes as a result. As for this match?  My Squash-y Sense is tingling, so in honor of the Renegade twins, this deserves a Double Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe to commemorate this moment (since I do not recap squashes).  Anyway, a Storm Zero ends it and…

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Saraya and Toni Storm

After the match, Storm and Saraya spray paint an “L” on the Twins, for the losers they are.  How very NWO of them.

There’s another video package on Adam Cole working to get back into the ring


Mark Henry introduces us to tonight’s combatants, and Daniels is not intimidated by Rush, and will not be a stepping stone as he prepares to face Bryan Danielson on AEW Dynamite next week.  Rush promises the Fallen Angel that when you mess with the Bull, you get the horns.

Well, Henry says that been enough talk, since It’s Time for The Main Event…

Rush (with Jose the Assistant and Preston “Perro Peligroso” Vance vs. “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels

The fans are solidly behind The Fallen Angel, and this looks to be a fantastic match between two former Ring of Honor world champions. Rush comes out with a briefcase full of money that apparently MJF offered as a bounty for taking care of Danielson next week on Dynamite.

Daniels takes Rush to school early in the match and follows with a tope suicida to the outside.  During Picture in Picture, Daniels sees Jose on the ring apron and he knocks him off, but the distraction allows Rush to get in control.  The numbers game of La Faccion Ingobernable starts to catch up to Daniels as Vance softens up Daniels on the outside. Rush then comes out to add more damage to The Fallen Angel and pulls from under the ring with green cables, whipping and choking him.

Back in the ring Rush clothesline Daniels in the corners and stomps on his head, and then gives him a kick as he gets tranquilo in the center of the mat.  Daniels is sent out of the ring again, where Vance hits him with a fistful of MJF money.  Jose holds Daniels as Vance gives a big boot but Daniels gets out of the way at the last second.  Back in the ring, Daniels comes back with a Thunder Bomb for a two count, then elbows Rush to the back of the head but Rush fires back. Daniels nails him with a DVD and gets another two count, and then quickly switches to the Koji Clutch, but Rush manages to escape the submission hold.  Daniels sets him up and jumps on the turnbuckles for the Best Moonsault Ever but Rush gets his knees up at the last second to Daniels’ sternum.  He then nails The Fallen Angel with a belly-to-belly suplex and delivers the Bulls Horns in the corner and he covers as the ref counts for the one, two, and three.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Rush

La Faccion put their fists in the air, as Rush has a strong headwind going into Dynamite next week in anticipation of facing Danielson in competition as the show fades to black.

AEW Rampage 02/03/2023

Final Thoughts:

A strong start with Trios action and the main event with Rush/Daniels was solid match-wise.  The middle two matches were okay (Strickland/Pillman) at best, and pointless (Saraya/Storm) at worst.  But storyline-wise, the show delivered overall, and hence the three stars.

Until then, see you in seven!