It’s Friday night and you know what that means. Yes, more NBA  and NHL playoff means more scheduling fun on this AEW Rampage.  This looks to be a good show (finally!) as the Blackpool Combat Club brings that ultra-violence to the Best Friends and Bandido, and in the Main Event will have Dustin Rhodes step up to face Bishop Kaun of The Mogul Embassy for some hard-hitting action, Texas style.

We are (taped) from The Moody Center in Austin, TX. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho, and Jim Ross have the call and our First Match of the night is…

Courtesy of AEW

The Blackpool Combat Club (Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, with Bryan Danielson) vs. Best Amigos (Chuck Taylor and Beretta, with Bandido) 

The action has the Best Friends outpacing the BCC members at every turn, and then Best Amigos kick it into another geat as Beretta and Taylor launch with stereo tope suicidas and Bandido follows close behind with a springboard moonsault.

Things are looking good for the Best Amigos, but when Beretta goes for a high-risk maneuver on Castagnoli, he catches the Best Friend on the way down with a European uppercut, and as he drags him to the Combat Club corner…

Now Excalibur claims we’ll get Picture in Picture, but they is no other picture (way to go, Monkeys in the Truck but they had a nice plug for The Flash movie.  So there’s that.

As we come back from the commercial, Beretta fights up, but Castagnoli keeps him grounded still.  Tag to Moxley and he whips him into the corner, and Beretta counters his offense with a tornado DDT.  He crawls to the corner and a hot tag to Bandido makes him an Amigo en Fuego.  He nails a huracanrana to Castagnoli but gets a two count for his trouble.  Tag to Yuta and he and Bandido slug it out back and forth until Yuta attempts a crossbody but gets caught by Bandido and he nails a vertical suplex, and then Best Friends follow up with a combo and Sole Food/half and half suplex and the Best Amigos know You Got to Give The People What They Want©!

Taylor goes for the Seat Belt submission on Yuta, and Castagnoli breaks the hold.  He nails a running European uppercut, Mox delivers with the Death Rider, and Yuta adds the cherry on top with an assisted splash that ends it for the Best Amigos.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  The Blackpool Combat Club

Kyle Fletcher wants the AEW International title and makes the case in a video promo why he is worthy of the title instead of Orange Cassidy.

Hey, I was sold long ago.

What I’m not sold on is the next (and I use the term loosely) match with is an…

Open Challenge for the AEW TBS Championship:  Jade Cargill(c) vs …

Ok, so I’m a little tapped out on my Haiku in Review™ and I just don’t have the energy to find a squash recipe.  This is the gist:  The first opponent for Cargill was Danni Bee, and she gets beaten with a bicycle kick to extend the champ’s win streak to 57-0.  Sterling says that’s not enough, and comes the next opponent, Genesis.

(Author’s Rant:  This was reported in some spoilers as Cargill was facing Jennacide, who wrestles for the NWA.  I was actually excited about this until I saw it was a different person.  I don’t blame Genesis, but I blame everyone else for reporting the wrong info.  This is part of the reason why I hate spoilers when they get their facts incorrect.  Also, how in the blue f*** does anyone mix up “Jennacide” with “Genesis?”  It makes me want to bludgeon someone with my cocktail shaker!  Bloody amateurs, I tells ya!)

Anyway, back to the “match” and Cargill with a spear goes to 58-0.  Another victim comes down the ramp until Taya Valkyrie comes down and lays out the champ with The Road to Valhalla.  Apparently, Valkyrie is back from her suspension, and she challenges Cargill again for her TBS Championship match at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view.

Can ya feel the excitement?  No?  Is it because the next match is…

Courtesy of AEW

The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and”Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn) vs. The Varsity Athletes (Josh Woods, Tony Nese, and Ari Daivari)

Yeah, *Now* this is a perfect opportunity for a Haiku in Review™:


Austin loves Acclaimed

And Varsity Athletes get

Mic Dropped. Scissor Me!

Your Winners via Pinfall:  The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn.

Now Scissor me, Daddy Ass!

We get a segment from QTV, and this is a good time to bring up an…

(Author’s Additional Rant:  I do love my job, but I do not love this grouping or the segments involved.  Maybe one day I will explore in detail why I would rather deal with more painful things like watching reality shows or being subjected to the shrillness of a bachelorette party as a bartender.  I don’t have the time, money, or bandwidth to deal with this.  But enjoy if you want.)

Tony Schiavone is now in the ring with The Hardys and Brother Zay.  Matt lays out the trios match they will have as they face Ethan Page and The Gunns at Double or Nothing, and if he wins he will control Page’s contract. Now Page comes out from the back and confronted them on the stage saying he’s by himself.  He wants this beef with Matt and Jeff squashed, but he does want a hug from Zay.  As he pushes him away, Page clutches him harder, and that leads to a sneak attack from behind from The Gunns. They beat them down with a steel chair, and then Page says they’ll see them at the PPV.

We get a recap of the match with Roderick Strong and Chris Jericho where Cole was outside the building for the Falls Count Anywhere match and he made sure to knock down The Ocho to secure the win for Strong in his debut.  Jericho calls Cole a coward and not a man of his word and he’d beat his ass. Cole appears on the ‘Tron and promises to make his life a living hell. Jericho challenges Cole to an unsanctioned match.  He even goes so far as to rip up the agreement that prevented Cole from entering any arena.  Well, Cole takes advantage as he enters the Center and makes a beeline to the ring, which leads to…

Ads (This doesn’t annoy me as much as if it would happen in a match)

We come back and Cole makes his way down the arena.  Jericho takes off his headset at commentary and they have a proper hockey fight up the ramp until security breaks it up to everyone’s chagrin.  Guess we’ll have to wait until the PPV.

But now it’s time for the Main Event between…

Courtesy of AEW.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Bishop Kaun (with Prince Nana)

The Austin crowd gives a big pop for the Texas native Rhodes.  Keith Lee comes out with him and then heads back as Rhodes makes his way down.  After he gets in the ring and turns his back, Kaun attacks straightaway.  Once the bell rings finally, He takes it to The Natural, battling him in and out of the ring.  Kaun throws Rhodes headfirst to the cameraman at ringside, and his blond head cracks on the heavy equipment.

We then see Rhodes laid out with a nasty cut on his head and during Picture in Picture Kaun brings the pain to The Natural to the point where he is wearing a crimson mask.  He flips the switch comes back after the Mogul Affiliate with his patented drop-down uppercut and follows up into a powerslam.  He mounts Kaun with punches but Kaun trips him up.  He attempts another power move but Rhodes counters with the Code Red for a two count.  He nails Kaun with a piledriver and Rhodes gets another two.  Kaun fires back with a dropkick to the corner.  He measures him and charges but misses the mark.  Rhodes capitalizes with his patented bulldog and then delivers the Final Reckoning and covers for the one, two, and three.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Dustin Rhodes

Rhodes doesn’t get to enjoy the win for long as Brian Cage comes out to beat down Rhodes, delivering a powerbomb, and then Swerve Strickland comes out but Lee comes back and sends the Mogul Embassy scattering. As he enters the ring, he locks eyes on Strickland. He tells Lee to come after, but then the numbers game finally catches up as Kaun lands a shot with a steel chair to the back and Cage sends him down with an F5 to said chair on the mat. Then the Embassy props up Lee on the chair and Strickland goes up top to drive a double foot stomp for added measure.  The Moguls celebrate over the carcasses of the Naturally Limitless team as the show fades to black.

AEW Rampage - 05/19/2023

Final Thoughts:

Mogul Embassy is dominant again in the main event, and this feud has some legs against Rhodes and Lee.  The Best Amigos/BCC was a good match even though it was a tune-up for The Elite.  The rest was “meh” at best.

Until then, see ya in seven!