It’s Friday Night and you know what that means? No, not to get preempted by NBA or NHL hockey playoffs for a change. AEW Rampage is back at its regularly scheduled time, and as the Double or Nothing pay-per-view is this weekend, this show has a main event where it can raise the stakes for the AEW International Blackjack Battle Royale, and Big Bill and “Taiga Style” Lee Moriarty want to send a message to Orange Cassidy’s buddies in Best Friends.

We come to you (taped) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho, and Jim Ross have the call as we start with the First Match of the Night being…

Courtesy of AEW.

The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens, Max Caster, and Daddy Ass Billy Gunn) vs. LFI (Dralistico, Preston Vance, and Rush, with Jose the Assistant)

Dralistico offers to scissor Bowens at the start.  He takes him up on the gesture, but he kicks the Acclaimed member in the gut.  Dralistico goes for his lucha moves but Bowens gets a leg lariat, and tags Caster in.  He and Vance tie up and the Perro Peligroso tosses Caster around like a rag doll.  Gunn comes in and the veteran tag specialist tells Vance in so many gestures to “suck it,” and then gets a fallaway Slam to the big guy.  He slams Vance in the corner, and just before all The Acclaimed attempt Scissor Me Timbers, LFI sneak attack and throw them outside the ring and slam them into the barricades.  Even Dralistico dumps Bowens into the fans and beats him down.  Once the dust settles, Caster is singled out and during Picture in Picture, he is an Acclaimed in Peril with La Faccion in control and keeping him isolated in the corner.  Dralistico nails Caster with a thrust kick in the corner, and then he whips him to the ropes, and both land dueling clotheslines that keep both men down.  Caster gets the hot tag to Gunn and he is a Daddy Ass en Fuego (never thought I’d type those words, but here we are). He nails a Fameasser to Vance and covers but Jose drapes his leg on the bottom rope to break to count.

Well, that dog won’t hunt and he grabs Jose and he and Bowens nail Scissor Me Timbers to keep the Assistant out of the mix.  The Acclaimed get ready to celebrate but LFI spoils it with the numbers game once again.  Dralistico nails a springboard lungblower but Bowens retaliates with The Arrival, and Caster delivers the Mic Drop for the three count.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  The Acclaimed

After the match, Bowens gets on the mic and says they’ve been running rampant within the AEW Trios division. They’ll challenge The House of Black for the Trios Championship and since it’s Vegas, they know the house always wins but never bet against Black because everyone loves The Acclaimed.

And for the next match, which is…

The Gunns (Austin and Colten Gunn) and “All Ego” Ethan Page vs. Some Local Jobbers

Yeah, this match screams Haiku in Review™, so without any delay…


Page and Gunns are tough

Beating jobbers. Trios end

With three-man action.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  The Gunns and Ethan Page

Now Page has the mic and taunts The Hardys, claiming they took out Brother Zay with the chair shot and will be a handicap match at Double or Nothing. Now the Hardy’s come out to retort and say they will take them on regardless of how many are on their side. Zay comes out wearing a neck brace and says the doctor told him he’s not cleared, but he has a replacement…in Hook. With the odds evened up, they make their way to the ring, and Page and The Gunns retreated.

Lexy Nair is backstage with Naturally Limitless; Dustin Rhodes and Keith Lee.  They learn that the Mogul Embassy will be in the Blackjack Battle Royale, and they can’t wait to get their hands on Swerve Strickland and Brian Cage.

Now for some women’s tag team action as we now have…

Courtesy of AEW.

Dr. Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida vs. Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose

As Baker walks down the ramp for the intros, she stares daggers at Jericho, and The Ocho claims it’s not his fault her man Adam Cole didn’t do a better job of protecting her (even though we all know it was completely his fault).  This is also significant, in that we have three women who all have held the AEW Women’s title at one point.

Shida is showcasing her aggressive side since aligning with Baker and Hayter as she stacks up Rose and Shafir in the corner.  She suplexes Shafir into Rose and then tags in Baker and she takes Shafir to school.  But The Problem has a few tricks up her sleeve as she gives a boot to Baker and Rose chokes out the Doctor in the corner.  During Picture in Picture, Baker is a DMD in Peril as Rose and Shafir effectively cut the ring in half and that leads to…


We come back and Rose attempts a splash that misses the mark.  Shafir goes for a kick to Baker that also misses, but the Doctor gets the hot tag to Shida and she is a Bushido en Fuego.  Tag back to Baker and as Shida tries to hold off The Native Beast, she nails a spinning neckbreaker to Shafir and covers, but Rose overpowers and slams Shida on top of her back.  Rose drapes Baker on the top rope and attempts her signature guillotine knee and she only gets air.  Baker sends Rose out of the ring and Shida follows with a Meteora to the outside.  Now it’s Shafir and Baker trading pins.  She gets Baker in a pinning combination but then Shida comes back in with The Katana to knock her out silly, and Baker finishes with The Lockjaw.

After the match, The Outcasts appear on the screen admiring their handiwork, looking down on Jamie Hayteras she clutches her bad shoulder.  Toni Storm is holding a steel chair and she wanted an edge in anticipation of their championship match at Double or Nothing.  Baker and Shida run to the back, and this feud is far from over

It’s time for the Main Event and it’s between…

Courtesy of AEW

Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) vs. Big Bill and “Taiga Style” Lee Moriarty

Excalibur points out a bunch of wrestlers sitting at ringside that will be featured in the Blackjack Battle Royale this weekend.  Best Friends want to tune up in anticipation of the match, and even though Bill and Moriarty aren’t part of The Firm, they decide they want to continue their tag team work.

As for me, this match doesn’t scream Main Event for me, so this is a perfect time for another Haiku in Review™:


Bill and Taiga are

Impressive over Best Friends.

Choke Slam by Big Bill.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Big Bill and Lee Moriarty

After the match Bill and Moriarty go up to Bandido and slap him around, then the Luchas Bros comes in to defend.  That brings out all the guys that will be in the Battle Royale as it becomes a regular Donnybrook. Orange Cassidy comes to help Best Friends, then Brian Cage comes out, followed by Naturally Limitless as they give him his comeuppance.  Then Swerve’s music hits and Lee climbs up the ramp to handle his former tag partner.  The chaos is still continuing as the show fades to black.

AEW Rampage - May 26, 2023

Final Thoughts

Great trios action to start the show by The Aclaaimed/LFI.  Shida is showing life as she is now part of Baker and Hayter’s group.

The main event did not thrill me, but the attack afterward did.

Check back for more as we cover the Double or Nothing PPV, and see you in seven!