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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Sep. 2, 2022): Go-home sizzle

AEW Rampage (Sep. 2, 2022) emanated from Now Arena in Chicago, IL. The show featured Hangman Page and the Dark Order competing against the Best Friends in the trios tournament, Ricky Starks teaching QT Marshall a lesson, and more in the go-home to All Out.

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

Excalibur, Jim Ross, and Chris Jericho were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

AEW World Trios Championship tournament: Best Friends vs. Dark Order & Hangman Page

Hangman was an injury replacement for the Dark Order team. Don Callis was on commentary. The Elite were observing backstage watching a monitor. Danhausen cursed the cowboy, then the referee ejected Danhausen.

The bout started with chicanery, hijinks, and hugs. The action turned serious once Hangman went on a roll by tossing Alex Reynolds onto the Best Friends on the outside. Page continued by catching Orange Cassidy for a fallaway slam then leaping for a slingshot plancha. Unfortunately, the Best Friends made sure that Hangman landed on Reynolds. Trent and Chuck Taylor played dirty for a double chokeslam to Hangman through the timekeeper table.

The match progressed with a variety of near falls. Cassidy connected on a Beach Break. Best Friends executed their teamwork pyramid splash. Hangman crushed the Deadeye piledriver. Chuck blasted the Awful Waffle piledriver. Those covers were all broken up by teammates.

For the climax, Hangman went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Chuck ducked. Hangman ran the ropes into a Superman punch from Cassidy. Chuck clotheslined the cowboy over the ropes. John Silver swooped in for a roll-up on Chuck to win.

Dark Order & Hangman Page defeated Best Friends.

Backstage, the Elite made pensive facial expressions about the fact that they have to wrestle Hangman in the trios tournament final at All Out.

Hype package for Eddie Kingston versus Tomohiro Ishii on the All Out pre-show. Kingston will prove to Ishii that he belongs.

Fenix vs. Blake Christian

Alex Abrahantes was ringside. Short but athletic contest. Fenix went on an offensive run to finish with the Fire Driver.

Fenix defeated Blake Christian.

Daddy Magic and Cool Hand finally had a face-to-face with Hook. What if Cool Hand exposes the myth of Hook? Hook took his shirt off ready to rumble. Daddy Magic kept the peace. There’s a time and a place to get a taste. That will be on the All Out pre-show when Cool Hand challenges Hook for the FTW title.

Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo vs. Ortiz & Ruby Soho

Sammy and Tay entered wearing the AAA mixed tag titles around their waists. Ortiz and Soho started aggressive by bending the mixed tag rules. Tay retaliated by kicking the ring steps against Soho’s arm. Double suplex to Ortiz to work him over.

Hot tag to Soho running wild with back-heel trips and headbutts. Both teams utilized teamwork offense. Sammy and Tay were able to connect on a DDT to Soho. Ortiz made the save on the pinfall. Sammy and Tay tried for a double suplex to Ortiz, but he escaped to German suplex Sammy. Meanwhile, Soho rolled up Tay for victory.

Ortiz & Ruby Soho defeated Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo.

Afterward, Ortiz and Soho put their hands on the AAA belts. It was later announced that an official round three between these teams will take place on the All Out pre-show. This time, the AAA Mixed Tag Team Championship is on the line.

Hangman was confronted by Callis in the locker room. The Invisible Hand was proud of Hangman handling business by screwing friends (Young Bucks) over for power and money.

Mark Henry moderated a sitdown between Jade Cargill and Athena. Cargill was tired of ungrateful wrestlers demanding shots at the TBS Championship. This isn’t charity. The Baddies started calling Athena by the name Number 37, which represents Cargill’s 37-0 once she beats Athena. Athena chirped back about standing up for the ladies in the locker room. She will defeat Cargill to win the title at All Out.

The Acclaimed are going to take the tag team gold from Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. Lee advised that the time for jokes was over. Swerve was annoyed at the trash-talk. The champs consist of rock, gravel, and stone. Last time Swerve checked, rock beats scissors.

FTR and Wardlow hyped their PPV trios bout. Dax Harwood had a message to critics of the matchup. At this point in his career, every match is important to adding on his legacy. Harwood was amped to fight. His promo was cut off by Chris Sabin, who was flanked by Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh. FTR are an objectively great tag team with so many titles in their possession, however, the Motor City Machine Guns have something that FTR does not. MCMG have influence and respect from the AEW locker room. Dutt sassed at Harwood about fighting like an 8-year brat. Harwood took that taunt personal as a shot at his daughter. Wardlow and Cash Wheeler held him at bay.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. QT Marshall promised Will Hobbs that he was going to get the job done, and he’ll do it without the Factory. Word is bond. Ricky Starks had good news and bad news. Good news was that QT will be in the spotlight on television. Bad news is that QT will have no choice about being alone. Starks showed that he locked the Factory in their locker room. Enough talk. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

QT Marshall vs. Ricky Starks

QT tried to free his goons. Starks attacked. The fighting carried from backstage to the ring. Inside the ropes, QT targeted Starks’ repaired neck. QT scored offense with a suplex, leg drop, elbow drop, and mocked Starks’ signature pose. Starks turned the tide for a superplex, but pain radiated in his neck upon crashing to the mat. Starks picked up momentum for a tornado DDT. QT kicked out, then the Factory came calling.

Nick Comoroto handed QT a foreign object as other members distracted the referee. Starks ducked a punch then tried to spear QT. The Factory boss evaded, so Starks speared Aaron Solo through the ropes on the apron. QT went for a roll-up with his feet on the ropes, but the referee caught him cheating.

A clothesline from Starks sent both competitors over the ropes. Starks clotheslined Cole Karter on the floor and rammed Comoroto into the ring steps. As Starks re-entered the ring, QT kicked the ropes up into his groin. Starks proceeded forth for a backslide. After a kick-out, Starks ran the ropes for a spear, however, QT was ready to counter for a cutter. Starks refused to lose. Once back on his feet, he connected on a spear and finished with the Roshambo.

Ricky Starks defeated QT Marshall.

Afterward, Will Hobbs rushed to the ring for fisticuffs with Starks. Bryan Danielson confronted Chris Jericho on commentary. We’re out of time. See you at All Out!


This episode of Rampage was all about adding sizzle for All Out.

The opening trios tournament contest had a unique flavor. I thought there was too much fun and games at the start for a match of that magnitude. Once the action kicked into high gear, it was rock and roll. The false finishes had me on the edge of my seat. I went in thinking Dark Order & Hangman Page were a lock to win, but the Best Friends’ performance made me reconsider. The non-stop pace fit the nature of the burgeoning trios division.

I like that the Dark Order didn’t rely on Hangman to do all the heavy lifting. He was the primary source of momentum swings, however, it was John Silver that earned the sneaky pin to win. That shows that we have to keep on eye on those scrappers when they clash with the Elite.

Angry aggression added spice for the mixed tag rematch. Ortiz and Ruby Soho weren’t messing around. Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo had to rise to that level or else be eaten alive. Sammy did his pretty boy style as usual, but it was Tay who flipped the switch with a killer instinct. Round three should be an extra gear of madness.

Applause for QT Marshall. If a more popular wrestler had the same exact match against Ricky Starks, I think it would be viewed more positively. His counter cutter for the spear was great timing. Because QT has that stink of jabrone boss level status, it’s hard to get in the mood to believe he has a chance at success.

Several of the promos made up for lost time trying to add an extra emotional edge to build anticipation for the mid-card PPV contests. I’d give the best promo nod to Dax Harwood on this evening. His passion sold me, and Sonjay Dutt’s insult was perfect to light the torch of desire in Harwood’s soul. Swerve Strickland had the best line of the night downplaying the power of a scissor party.

Grade: B-

There was a lot more talking than usual to varying degrees of effectiveness, but there was still a lot to like with the trios tournament bout, the mixed tag grudge match, and various promos adding heat for All Out.

Share your thoughts about Rampage. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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