clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Nov. 3, 2023): Lucha libre highlight machine

AEW Rampage (Nov. 3, 2023) emanated from KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. The show featured Pentagon, Hijo del Vikingo, and Komander tearing the house down in lucha libre combat, Daniel Garcia calling out the world champ, and more.

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

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

Lucha del Dia de los Muertos: Pentagon vs. Hijo del Vikingo vs. Komander

Non-stop highlights. First up is Vikingo walking the barricade for a cartwheel into a headscissors. His balance was shaky at the start, but the move went off without a hitch.

This sequence was bonkers. Vikingo leaped for a dropkick, which was countered by Komander for a powerbomb. Komander’s rope-walking shooting star press was intercepted by Pentagon for a Codebreaker. Vikingo sprang up for a crucifix bomb on Penta. Komander closed out the motion with a springboard Destroyer. Dios mio!

Penta showed his strength for a combo Gory special and package piledriver on the apron to Vikingo and Komander at the same time.

The finish began with Vikingo catching Penta for a swinging uranage. The mega champ landed a 630 senton, but Komander broke the pin. Komander hit an implosion phoenix splash on Vikingo, however, Penta broke the pin.

Pentagon muscled up again to execute a package piledriver to Komander while adding a leg drop on top of Vikingo. Penta pinned Komander to win.

Pentagon defeated Hijo del Vikingo and Komander.

Also of note, QT Marshall was backstage scouting these luchadores for a potential defense of his AAA Latin American Championship.

Sonjay Dutt wasn’t worried about Ortiz declining his invitation. Jay Lethal doesn’t need help to beat Eddie Kingston for the ROH World Championship. It is fast versus slow, fit versus fat, technician versus brawler. Lethal’s crew exited, and Ortiz strolled in. He will deal with those goofballs next week.

The Gunns vs. Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal

The veterans started strong, then the Gunns isolated Daniels. Hot tag to Sydal running wild. The Gunns were able to catch him for a 3:10 to Yuma to win. Afterward, the Gunns called out MJF with confidence that the ROH tag titles will be theirs at Full Gear.

The Gunns defeated Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal.

RJ City announced the return of Danhausen. The very nice, very evil one clarified that his return will be next week.

Ruby Soho lamented her lack of success in the ring. It’s gone downhill since Toni Storm left the Outcasts. Saraya piped in with a condescending tone that she is the biggest star of the Outcasts. If Soho sticks with Saraya, then Soho can be a star. The conversation transitioned to Cool Hand Ang flirting with Soho again. Then Daddy Magic stumbled in criticizing Cool Hand’s lack of killer instinct to bash Chris Jericho with a baseball bat. Cool Hand didn’t share the same cutthroat attitude as Daddy Magic. Ang exited to check on Daniel Garcia for his match.

Marina Shafir vs. Skye Blue

Blue was aggressive, while Shafir calmly utilized her MMA skills. Blue relied on tactics such as stomping Shafir’s bare feet and other ways to bend the rules. Shafir had control with a neck crank, so Blue bit her to escape. Blue rallied with a Code Blue to win.

Skye Blue defeated Marina Shafir.

Darby Allin imitated Lance Archer’s voice prior to their match on Collision. Archer can kill Allin, but Allin will never die.

Mark Henry ushered in the video package for the final bout. Daniel Garcia needs to get back on track, so he will treat every match like it is the most important. Enough talk. It’s time for the main event!

Trent Beretta vs. Daniel Garcia

Both competitors were solo for the contest without backup support. Trent dominated the first half with a moonsault outside, a brainbuster on the floor, and a superplex. Garcia rallied with a German suplex and a flurry of strikes. Intensity increased for an exchange of suplexes and furious fisticuffs. Trent hit a spike piledriver, but Garcia kicked out. Garcia uncorked an open slap to drop Trent. Garcia bust out a dance groove, and the crowd went wild. Piledriver to Trent, however, it couldn’t keep the Best Friend down. Garcia hammered the back of Trent’s neck then slapped on a crossface submission for victory.

Daniel Garcia defeated Trent Beretta.

After the match, Garcia was feeling froggy. He called out MJF for the AEW World Championship. Garcia stopped short of calling himself a wrestler, then he corrected as sports entertainer. The crowd reacted accordingly taking the bait to cheer the wrestler only to boo at the sports entertainer switcheroo.

Grade: B-

Even though the matches were sort of random, the action delivered better than expected. The show closed with sizzle.

Damn, that lucha libre bout was fire. The match is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but there is no denying that the highlight reel is awesome. The creativity and movement was excellent. Hijo del Vikingo did Vikingo stuff, which is always a delight. Pentagon’s timing on the interception Codebreaker was fantastic. Komander’s implosion phoenix splash blew my mind. Pentagon earned the win, and it has me wondering if he’ll be coming for QT Marshall. They had a blood feud with an ambulance match in AAA, so we’ll see if that carries over into AEW.

Daniel Garcia earned an impressive victory over Trent Beretta. I appreciate how Garcia used his dancing as a trigger for the finish rather than shoehorn it in for an easy pop. It gave the dancing more substance. Trent appeared to reference The Safety Dance in his promo, and that has me wondering about foreshadowing. The opening lyrics go:

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance
And if they don’t dance
Well, they’re no friends of mine.

That certainly sums up the issues between Garcia and Daddy Magic if there ends up being a split in the future.

How bout the cajones on Garcia? I love seeing young wrestlers step up to call out a real challenge. Obviously, the entire locker room wants a world title shot, but this scenario doesn’t hit right for everyone. Garcia had momentum on his side with victory and the fans backing him with support. The circumstances were in place to call his shot for a cool moment to close the show.

Quick thoughts on the rest of the broadcast. There were a lot of little moments bringing satisfaction. Danhausen’s walk through was amusing. Cool Hand Ang still flirting with Ruby Soho feels playful, although, she needs to hook him on the line a little bit so the attraction doesn’t come off one-sided. Saraya’s inflated ego was so over the top that this new chapter has my attention. Nice to see Ortiz continue his story after that great performance last week. Skye Blue’s attitude is interesting in embracing the darkness for good. I want to see Darby Allin imitate Lance Archer in regular everyday situations, like ordering a meal or buying stamps.

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

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats