It’s Friday night and you know what that means? No, not to play the train blame game, nor go on a train ride anytime soon, for that matter. It’s time for AEW Rampage, and the feud with Swerve Strickland heats up as Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes are out for revenge against the head of Mogul Affiliates, Swerve Strickland.  You best believe that their hatred of Strickland is Naturally Limitless.

I should also mention in my humble opinion that no matter what you think of Strickland, he is as least 1000% better than Kanye West. Change my mind.

We are coming to you from The Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho, and Jim Ross have the call, and your First Match is….

Courtesy of AEW

Top Flight (Darius Martin & Dante Martin) vs. Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)

Top Flight and Aussie Open are in the ring when The Blackpool Combat Club come out for their ring entrance, and then Dark Order jumps them from behind.  They battle down the ramp to the ring, where Top Flight launch with stereo planchas, and now all four teams spill out of the ring and lay beatdowns.

We finally get some semblance of order as Darius is in the ring with Davis to officially start the match, where commentary notices The Kingdom is at ringside (possibly to scope the competition) while Aussie Open takes Top Flight to school.  They set up a powerbomb, but Dariushits a tremendous double huracanrana on the Aussies, and it’s time for high-flying finesse by Top Flight.

Darius backs up to the Dark Order corner, and Reynolds tags himself in.  He badmouths the Club due by extension to Moxley’s actions with Page and Evil Uno, and the Aussies focus their attention on him.  Now Castagnoli enters the ring and puts on quite the power display.  Silver Silver manages to muscle him to the ropes, but the Swiss Superman sends him out of the ring.  La Facción watches from a monitor backstage as the Blackpool Combat Club is in full control during Picture in Picture with Reynolds as a Drak Order in Peril.  Castagnoli ragdolls with a headlock, and then he tags back in Yuta and knocks down Silver from the ring apron.  Reynolds comes back with a stomp to his back, but Silver is not in his corner, so he gets the hot tag to Dante, and he and Darius are a Top Flight en Fuego against the Aussies who’re back in action.  Now all four teams are unloading the big guns, and the Aussies manage to flatten Darius with the pendulum powerbomb for a cover, but the remaining three teams come in at the last second to break the count.

Davis and Fletcher set up Darius, but a mistimed double team knocks the Aussies out.  Darius is on ice skates as The Dark Order takes advantage with a rapid-fire series of double team moves, and Silver finishes with a suplex to a cover, but Yuta stomps him and gets a seatbelt pin on Darius for the win.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  The Blackpool Combat Club

Yuta and Castagnoli’s celebration is short-lived as The Dark Order comes back and they fight up the ramp to the back and this feud is far from over.

Speaking of “far from over”, we get a video package of the hatred between “Hangman” Adam Page and Jon Moxley as they settle their differences once and for all at the AEW Revolution PPV in a Texas Death Match.

This will be the sleeper match of the night.  Mark my words.

Speaking of big feuds, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry cuts a promo ahead of his fight with Christian Cage and says they will end this in a Final Burial match.  Perry cuts the best line of the night, when he says to Cage, “Since you seem to be such a big fan of my dad, I’ll give the chance to meet him…when I put you in the ground!”

Damn.  I mean…damn.

While I process that promo, up next is…

Courtesy of AEW

Riho vs. Emi Sakura

Sakura is something of a mad queen in her intro as she faces her former protégé.  Honestly, these two are criminally underrated in the women’s division of AEW, and Riho isn’t even anywhere near the title picture like she was a few years ago.  I hope that gets rectified sooner than later.

As for the match, the fans are solidly behind Riho, but Sakura is vicious in her offense against the joshi favorite.  Riho return fire with knees to the corner and a Northern Lights suplex for a quick two count.  Riho chases after her to the outside of the ring, and she is caught by Sakura with a backbreaker.

She follows up with a running crossbody to Riho into a barricade, and Sakura is in the driver’s seat during Picture in Picture and then gets Riho in a surfboard and then…

Ads (Author’s Rant:  I swear, it’s nonsense like this that it takes all my restraint not to throw a glass into the TV.  It helps there’s a beverage in it with premium Mezcal to stave off my pitching arm, but one day…)

We come back and Riho tries to get some offense going.  She trips Sakura into the middle ropes and lands a Tiger Feint Kick and follows with a crossbody to cover for a two count.  Riho attempts another Northern Lights suplex but Sakura stops her with a splash in the corner and a lateral press for two.  Now Riho and Sakura utilize their speed for a series of near falls, but Sakura hits a wicked clothesline, but only gets another two count.  She goes up top for a moonsault but misses the mark on Riho. the former women’s champion attempts a double foot stomp but Sakura evades her finisher, and then Riho goes for a crucifix hold and she spins around Sakura and rolls up for the three count

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Riho

We get another video package on Ruby Soho, Saraya, and Jamie Hayter on the triple threat for the AEW Women’s title, and all three make the case on why they should be holding the belt.

and now for a case of why I do not like to recap AEW Dark’s sloppy seconds, here’s…

Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Serpentico

Yes, back by popular demand, this is another Haiku in Review™:


Too much Powerhouse.

Hobbs waylays Serpentico

For the next chapter.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Powerhouse Hobbs

After the match, Hobbs gets on the mic and as the winner of Wednesday’s Face of the Revolution, he says he doesn’t care about who he faces between Samoa Joe or Wardlow.  One way or another, they will be another chapter in his book.  

Renee Paquette interviews Konosuke Takeshita backstage. He states he hasn’t had many big wins since coming to AEW and thinks he needs to go back to Japan. Don Callis appears and says he agrees that he needs something to give him the edge, and offers his services.  He passes his card to Takeshita, and he looks hard at the offer given.  

Mark Briscoe cust a promo about riding solo, but he now has other brothers watching his back…The Lucha Bros.  They say that they’ll face Mark Sterling’s goons for the AEW Revolution Zero Hour free-per-view because they have Cero Miedo.

Excalibur runs down the rest of the card for Revolution, but I would suggest you read everyone’s predictions in the Countdown to AEW Revolution.  For now, it’s time for the Main Event…

Courtesy of AEW

Naturally Limitless (Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee) vs. The Mogul Affiliates (Swerve Strickland & Parker Boudreaux)

Interestingly, there is no Trench with the Moguls during the ring introductions.  Speaking of interesting, Lee comes out rocking a cloak with a hood combo, as he is seriously embracing his inner silver fox vibes.

They run out Strickland and Boudreaux, and as they pose for the fans, the Moguls blindside them and we have a Pier Four brawl.  The dust finally settles and Lee and Boudreaux are in the ring.  There is a lot of power on display, but Lee is more physical and, dare I say, limitless.  Now Rhodes tags in and continues on offense, but Boudreaux hits a nasty short-arm lariat that stops him in his tracks, and during Picture and Picture, he and Strickland isolate Rhodes in the corner and taunt Lee from the outside.

Strickland toys with Rhodes and kicks Lee off the ring apron. He goes back for more, but Rhodes catches him with a powerslam that creates space.  He gets the hot tag to Lee and enters the squared circle Limitlessly en Fuego.  Lee hits The Pounce to Boudreaux and sends Strickland back in the ring the hard way.  The head Mogul tries to kick at him but can’t take down the big man, and Lee nails a monster choke slam to Strickland.  Boudreaux comes back in the ring just as Lee sets up a superplex in the corner, and he also sends Rhodes out to the floor.  Strickland uses Lee’s chest to bounce off for a moonsault onto The Natural.  

They send Rhodes back in and Boudreaux hits a boot to the side of his head and Strickland follows up with a double stomp as he covers for a close two count.  The action becomes chaotic until Rhodes lands a flying bulldog on Boudreaux but Strickland counters with the House Call to the back of his head.  Naturally Limitless gets unique on offense, as Lee picks up Rhodes and launches him onto Boudreaux for a senton, and then Rhodes sends Boudreaux to Lee to deliver a jackhammer for the one, two, and three.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes

As we’re starting to wind down, there’s a shot of commentary and Chris Jericho promises Ricky Starks will get a beatdown like he did last Wednesday.  Little does he know that Starks is behind him.  He attacks Jericho and staff and refs try to separate both men as the show fades to black for the countdown to AEW Revolution.

AEW Rampage - 03/03/2023

Final Thoughts from The Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA.

A pretty good show with the four-way tag match to open up the show, and Lee/Rhodes were great against Strickland/Boudreaux in the Main Event.  I’m curious if more will come from this feud.  Also, Sakura and Riho need to be the women’s title picture, if I haven’t said it enough.

For now, see ya at the PPV.