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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Oct. 6, 2023): Hikaru Shida sends message to Saraya

AEW Rampage (Oct. 6, 2023) emanated from Stockton Arena in Stockton, CA. The show featured Hikaru Shida focused on taking the AEW Women’s World Championship from Saraya, Eddie Kingston’s next ROH world title challenger being determined, and more.

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

Excalibur and Tony Schiavone were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

Hardys & Best Friends vs. Daddy Magic, Cool Hand Ang, Daniel Garcia, & Jake Hager

Isiah Kassidy and Anna Jay were ringside. I’ll let you guess which one had a fat ass and a bad attitude. Jeff Hardy and Garcia grooved in a dance showdown. Daddy Magic broke it up. That dance session did not make his nipples hard.

On the closing sequence, Garcia grabbed Matt Hardy’s legs for a Sharpshooter. Matt kicked free and knocked Garcia into Daddy Magic on the apron. That in turn knocked Daddy Magic crashing down onto Anna on the floor. Cool Hand and Hager ran over to check on their queen. Meanwhile, the good guys trucked a train of finishers on Garcia. Matt hit a Twist of Fate, Trent spiked Strong Zero, and Jeff landed the Swanton for victory.

Hardys & Best Friends defeated Daddy Magic, Cool Hand Ang, Daniel Garcia, & Jake Hager.

Eddie Kingston was interrupted by Sonjay Dutt sticking up for the disrespect toward Jay Lethal. Dutt wanted an ROH title shot for his man. Kingston agreed as long as Lethal proves himself. (Kingston later explained that he is down to fight anyone to defend his titles. He was just playing games with them, because they were in his face.) Kingston exited, and Stokely Hathaway entered. Big Stoke whispered a proposition into Dutt’s ear.

Danhausen is returning soon.

Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Levi Shapiro & Wise Guy Ruiz

The Blackpool Combat Club handled business. Claudio took Shapiro for a ride on the giant swing into a dropkick from Yuta. BCC finished with a rocket launcher splash for Yuta to earn the pin.

Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta defeated Levi Shapiro & Wise Guy Ruiz.

Garcia blamed the loss on being left alone to fight 1-on-4. Daddy Magic popped a gasket about Garcia being more concerned with dancing than winning. Ang was the cool voice of reason. He rallied the group together. They made a decision to leave Chris Jericho as a family. They lost this match as a family. Now, they’ll take Anna to the hospital as a family. Everyone gave Garcia the stink eye on the way out.

Pentagon vs. Lince Dorado vs. Johnny TV vs. Komander

The winner earns a shot at Eddie Kingston and the ROH World Championship on Collision. Kingston joined commentary to scout the action. Harley Cameron sang Johnny to the ring.

Hectic action in a lucha libre free-for-all. Johnny was the strongman manhandling luchadores.

Komander got in the groove down the stretch for a rope-walking dive to the outside. He followed with a rope-walking 450 splash to pin Lince for victory.

Komander defeated Pentagon, Lince Dorado, and Johnny TV.

Ortiz ripped on Santana once again. They were supposed to meet up face to face, but Santana slunk out in protest. He’s no tough guy. Ortiz claimed Santana was still the same sad little kid. Ortiz is intent on exposing Santana.

Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir vs. Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander

The Vicious Vixens attacked before the bell. They isolated Shida for much of the match. Hot tag to Statlander running wild. The mean girls regrouped to gain control on Statlander. Tag to Shida with pep in her step. The Native Beast roared back to set Shida up hanging over the ropes for a flying knee drop, but Statlander swooped in to scoop Nyla into an electric chair position. Shida took flight for a Doomsday Device.

The Shining Samurai unsheathed her katana to slice Shafir down. Instead of going for the pin, Shida sent a message to Saraya by finishing Shafir with the Night Cap cradle DDT. Shida is full steam ahead for her world title fight against Saraya on Dynamite.

Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander defeated Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir.

Grade: B-

Serviceable fights for Friday night entertainment. The action was rowdy, and there was just enough storyline interest to add value.

The women’s main event had a quality finish setting up Hikaru Shida with momentum for the world title bout against Saraya. Stealing the Night Cap was a nice touch to send a statement. It gets across the point that Shida is fully focused on winning gold for the third time. Those are the kind of momentum building moments I like to see to cultivate anticipation.

The four-way lucha libre bout was highlights galore. And yes, I count Johnny TV as a luchador, since he’s had so much experience in Mexico. That man was a triple champion at one point in AAA. The match had a lot of smiling moments, such as Penta’s thunderously loud chop on Johnny’s chest and Komander’s rope-walking moves. Komander is an interesting choice to earn the ROH world title shot against Eddie Kingston. That will be a clash in techniques with strong style and high flying. I’m curious how well Kingston can keep up with the speed. He may not need to though with his power advantage.

Down the line, I’d like to see Kingston defend against Johnny and Jeff Jarrett. Johnny and Jarrett are so off the wall as villains that it will be very amusing to see Kingston backfist them into the nether realms.

Ortiz was the star of the show, for my money. His promo was fire. Ortiz has shown a lot of passion in this brief feud thus far. So much so that it has me thinking Ortiz has a real chance to establish himself as a role player on the roster. When the feud is over, give Ortiz the ball to recruit a new LAX. As for the promo content, Ortiz shit all over Santana. I don’t know what to think. Santana has never really shown a weak side in the ring, but Ortiz didn’t seem like he was telling lies. Santana will have work to do to prove him wrong.

Quick thoughts on the rest. It was nice to see the Hardys back on the winning track. They need these fluff victories to keep their aura strong. I find great joy in Daniel Garcia’s dancing, but I’m not ready for a family breakup. I always like watching the teamwork between Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta. I hope we get to see them have a real run in the tag team division one day. I don’t know anything about Wise Guy Ruiz, but I love his name.

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

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