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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Dec. 15, 2023): Von Erich claw

AEW Rampage (Dec. 15, 2023) emanated from College Park Center in Arlington, TX. The Winter Is Coming special featured a guest appearance from the Von Erichs in action, a high-flying trios main event tearing down the house, and more.

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

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

Orange Cassidy & Von Erichs vs. Daddy Magic, Cool Hand Ang, & Jake Hager

Von Erichs entered to Stranglehold. Danhausen was wearing this hat of Hager. Hot tag to Marshall Von Erich cleaning house. Cassidy took out the biggest threat with a stunner and suicide dive to Hager. Marshall and Ang rolled on the mat with Marshall scoring a roll-up to win.

Orange Cassidy & Von Erichs defeated Daddy Magic, Cool Hand Ang, & Jake Hager.

Afterward, the bad guys stomped the heroes. Kevin Von Erich arrived to make the save. His boys slapped on double claws to Daddy Cool, while the man himself put the claw on Hager. Cassidy celebrated by putting his sunglasses on Kevin.

Mark Briscoe viewed his Continental Classic journey as his rookie year in singles competition. There’s no shame in his game despite being 0-4 in the tournament. Jay Lethal is also winless. What do they have left to fight for? Love of the game and honor. Old friends plan to give it their best against one another next week.

Will Hobbs & Kyle Fletcher vs. Hunter Grey & Paul Titan

Squash via Hobbs powerslam.

Will Hobbs & Kyle Fletcher defeated Hunter Grey & Paul Titan.

After the match, Don Callis called out the Golden Jets. Since his crew has entered the tag team division, there is nowhere for Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega to hide. Callis also instituted the new Callis Family Rules, like the Freebird Rules except using the entire Callis Family. Any two members of the family can beat the Golden Jets at any time.

Ruby Soho felt torn by distractions and that could be the reason for losing. Saraya claimed that it proves Soho is nothing without her. Soho shot back that if Saraya is so great then she can beat Riho by herself.

Anna Jay vs. Red Velvet

FABA was on full display roughing up Lil Cupcake. Velvet rallied, but Anna dodged a spin kick to counter for a Gory Special. Daddy Magic wandered down to the ring to support Anna. She wasn’t interested in his presence. It paid off for Anna in the end when Daddy Magic distracted Velvet. Anna slapped on the Queen Slayer choke to win. Anna was warming up to Daddy Magic again after victory.

Anna Jay defeated Red Velvet.

It’s time for the main event.

Top Flight & Action Andretti vs. Pentagon, Hijo del Vikingo, & Komander

Crazy athleticism throughout. The match got wild toward the end with a barrage of highlight moves on the apron. This sequence was insane.

All six were down, then they returned to the ring for a melee of punches and superkicks. Top Flight planted Penta and Vikingo on standing Spanish Flies. Komander was triple-teamed into a ragdoll flatliner from Dante Martin to win. Commentary put over how this victory should put Top Flight and Andretti on the radar for a trios title shot against The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass.

Top Flight & Action Andretti defeated Pentagon, Hijo del Vikingo, & Komander.

Grade: B-

Chalk up another week of rocking matches with entertaining action.

Seeing the Von Erichs appear in AEW was a blast. Even better was seeing Kevin Von Erich squeezing Jake Hager’s cranium with the claw. I bet Hager had fun taking that move from the legend. There is something about the claw that is cheesy but also perfect for the wacky world of professional wrestling. Out of all the times I’ve seen the Von Erich claw, I’ve never doubted its effectiveness. They set it up strong, the villain sells along, and it naturally lends itself to get lost in the moment for the ride. When Orange Cassidy put his sunglasses on Kevin, the world felt right. I appreciate how AEW produces moments like this paying respect to history.

The Von Erichs spoke about their appearance after the show. Ross and Marshall were grateful for the evening. The journey of wrestling has strengthened their bond closer as a family.

The trios main event was bonkers. For those viewers that enjoy the flippy style, be sure to watch Top Flight & Action Andretti versus Pentagon, Hijo del Vikingo, & Komander. They were bouncing around like Gummi Bears here and there and everywhere. Top Flight & Andretti are quickly rising up the charts in the trios division, and they deserve it. That team brings a high level of electricity in every match.

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

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