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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Oct. 14, 2022): Maria’s Kingdom

AEW Rampage (Oct. 14, 2022) emanated from Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Canada. The show featured the surprise arrivals of Maria Kanellis, Mike Bennett, and Matt Taven, Chris Jericho’s next challenger for the ROH world title, Hardy Party contracts on the line, and much more.

Let’s jump right in with a recap of the show followed by reactions.

Excalibur, Jim Ross, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary. Dasha Gonzalez handled ring announcer duties.

Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Butcher & Blade

William Regal was on commentary. Bunny was ringside. Hangman Page watched Moxley in action from a backstage monitor. The bad guys used tag team tactics to isolate Claudio. Hot tag to Mox for a cutter to Blade and a suicide dive to Butcher. Moxley continued his run with a superplex and piledriver. Blade kicked out on the cover. Mox stomped his head, but Butcher made the save with a running crossbody. As B&B picked up Moxley for a teamwork finisher, Claudio ran in to snatch his partner’s body like a sack of potatoes over his shoulder to carry to safety. Both teams duked it out in the center of the ring. The Blackpool Combat Club landed double lariats, stomped heads in, and closed for victory. Mox planted Blade on a Death Rider DDT, while Claudio pinned Butcher on a Ricola Bomb.

Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli defeated Butcher & Blade.

Afterward, Moxley cut a promo with Claudio as hype man for the AEW World Championship defense against Hangman next week on Tuesday night Dynamite. Mox threatened that if Hangman doesn’t step up then the cowboy will get stepped on.

Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee are focused on regaining tag team gold. Swerve yucked up his win over Billy Gunn and Mark Sterling stealing the scissor gimmick. Lee was more serious. He viewed Swerve’s actions as a reflection on himself. Lee did not approve of cheating. He cautioned that Swerve is swerving in the wrong lane.

Dark Order will recover from the heartbreaking trios loss to honor Mr. Brodie Lee. Jose The Assistant interrupted trying to convince 10 to join the AFO. 10 wants to be left alone, so he challenged Rush. If 10 wins, then AFO will leave him in peace. Dark Order put hands together for a hooray, then one more hand joined in. The camera panned back to reveal Stu Grayson. He wasn’t going to miss the Dark Order in Canada.

Jericho Appreciation Society celebration

Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Daddy Magic, Cool Hand, and Anna Jay were in good spirits with the family back together. Daddy Magic’s nipples were hard at the idea of JAS being together forever. Garcia explained screwing over Bryan Danielson. He learned heart, guts, and fighting spirit from his hero, but he learned how to win from his mentor. Garcia came to that conclusion after Jericho hit him with the title belt to win their tag match last week. That’s when he realized that sports entertainers beat professional wrestlers every single time.

Jericho talked up beating every ROH champion that has ever existed. Enter Dalton Castle and The Boys. Castle is a former world champ, and it makes him sick to see the title around Jericho’s waist. Castle was pumping peacock power through his veins and challenged Jericho for next week on Dynamite. Le Champion accepted. All honor the Ocho.

Hype package for Toni Storm versus Hikaru Shida for the interim women’s championship on Dynamite to determine who is better.

Anna Jay vs. Nyla Rose

The Native Beast carried in the stolen TBS Championship for an unofficial title bout. Vickie Guerrero, Marina Shafir, Daddy Magic, and Cool Hand were ringside. Vickie seduced Cool Hand then snapped his suspender straps. Excuse me! Nyla’s power was too much for Anna to handle. Anna had a feisty attitude for a running neckbreaker. When she applied the Queen Slayer choke, Nyla shed her off. Anna went for a flying attack. Nyla caught her to finish with the Beast Bomb.

Nyla Rose defeated Anna Jay.

Afterward, Jade Cargill and the Baddies arrived on stage to take back the TBS title. Security blocked the Baddies, so Cargill pummeled those peons. Nyla and crew ran away with the gold during Jade’s rage.

Ari Daivari wanted to buy the FTW title for $50,000 in the envelope that Hook ripped up. Since that offer was declined, Daivari will take the title by beating Hook next week on Rampage.

Ethan Page vs. Isiah Kassidy

If Page wins, then Matt Hardy’s contract belongs to the Firm. If Kassidy wins, then Private Party are free. Stokely Hathaway, Marq Quen, and Matt Hardy were ringside. Page attacked with a cheapshot before the opening bell. He powered through Kassidy until arrogance got the better of him. Kassidy rallied for a tornado DDT and tornillo to the outside. Hathaway blocked Kassidy’s path to buy Page recovery time. Kassidy took flight and missed a swanton. Page pounced for a Twist of Fate then the Ego’s Edge to win.

Ethan Page defeated Isiah Kassidy.

Best Friends called out Death Triangle for a trios title match on Dynamite. The bout was made official.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. Brian Cage viewed this match as Top Guys versus top body guys. Shawn Spears shut Cage down as a charisma vacuum. Spears needs to right some wrongs, and it starts with FTR. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler never back down from a fight. Enough talk. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

FTR & Shawn Spears vs. Brian Cage, Kaun, & Toa Liona

Prince Nana was ringside. The Embassy utilized shady tricks to isolate Spears. Hot tag to Dax Harwood for a spinebuster on Kaun. Cage delivered a thrust kick to regain control. Kaun planted Harwood on an Air Raid Crash, and Cage landed a flying elbow drop. Spears made the save on the cover. The Pinnacle found their groove for a triple set of Sharpshooters to Cage, Kaun, and Nana. Liona rushed in to break it up. The action spilled outside. Liona collided into the ring steps. Spears DDT’d Cage on the floor. FTR executed the Hart Attack on Kaun, then Spears finished with the C4 Death Valley Driver for victory.

FTR & Shawn Spears defeated Brian Cage, Kaun, & Toa Liona.

After the main event, Maria Kanellis appeared on stage. The first lady of professional wrestling was joined by Mike Bennett and Matt Taven. She called out FTR for never facing the Kingdom for the ROH and IWGP tag titles. FTR were open to the challenge.

The Embassy attacked the Pinnacle. The Kingdom joined in. Wardlow and Samoa Joe evened the odds. The bad guys scattered to safety.

Welcome Maria Kanellis, Mike Bennett, and Matt Taven to the mix. That was a surprise I did not see coming for Rampage. Thumbs up to AEW for creating these kinds of moments. In general, the Kingdom should be positive additions as roster depth. Within this specific story, the OGK arriving makes a lot of sense to confront FTR. The matches will be good.

The main event was solid. FTR and Shawn Spears made the most of the Canadian atmosphere during the finish with a Hart Attack homage and the home territory hero earning the pin. Brian Cage got his shit in with Kaun and Toa Liona continuing to develop in the spotlight. Even though the result was never in doubt, the Embassy is benefiting from the exposure.

Coming into the show, I expected Spears for a duplicitous turn. Now that the squads are even in numbers, I buy in to Spears trying to make up with his Pinnacle pals. His performance in the main event convinced me when he wrestled without selfishness. A babyface run is probably for the better. Spears wore out his welcome as mid-card fodder for top stars. A shift in alignment should open more possibilities to be entertaining. The Canadian crowd was all in on his 10 gimmick.

The JAS segment covered their bases explaining Daniel Garcia’s actions. The idea of rejoining JAS is debatable, but what’s done is done. Garcia rolled into his current direction with more energy as a sports entertainer than the wishy-washy pro wrestler. His explanation was sufficient enough. Time to turn the page to the next chapter of Garcia’s story.

When Tony Khan purchased ROH, there were a few matches I was hoping to see. Top on the list was FTR versus the Briscoes. Thankfully, TK served that dish twice. After seeing Chris Jericho exchange a promo duel with Dalton Castle, that matchup shot to second on my list. Not many can outshine Jericho on the flamboyance scale. Castle is one such fellow. His promo was electric. Two over-the-top sports entertainers with legit wrestling acumen should produce a special affair.

Ethan Page versus Isiah Kassidy was disappointing. AEW crafted a story with a hook when the contracts of Private Party and Matt Hardy were on the line. I was legitimately curious to see how this contest would play out. There was potential for compelling action based on the story direction. The match turned out to be quick with not much drama. No exciting false finishes, no burning desire to fight for freedom. AEW had a chance to build up Kassidy to start rehabbing the image of Private Party as losers. Instead, he looked like a chump with flashy moves in defeat. Why would the Firm even want Private Party’s contracts after that? At least with Hardy, they can make money off his merch sales and find joy in demeaning him.

House of fire Jade Cargill is a winning formula. Seeing her cut the shit to wreck security guards was a rowdy scene. It is going to be a lot of fun once Jade gets her hands on Nyla Rose. This story is surging in the right direction to produce hot anticipation for the eventual showdown.

Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Butcher, and Blade had the best match of the night, in my opinion. The aggression was strong with a creative finish. News flash, slick. The Blackpool Combat Club reminded the world that they are still badasses. I enjoy the teamwork aspect of watching each other’s backs.

Grade: B

Rampage provided an enjoyable and effective show overall. The surprises created intrigue, and the story beats pumped up anticipation for the future.

Share your thoughts about Rampage. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?

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