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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Mar. 10, 2023): Friday night doldrum

AEW Rampage (Mar. 10, 2023) emanated from Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA. The episode featured Saraya’s crew spray painting Riho, Sammy Guevara pulling a fast one on Action Andretti, and more.

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

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

Sammy Guevara vs. Action Andretti

Andretti brought the action early to push the pace. Sammy gained control with a jumping knee to counter Andretti in the air on a springboard leap to the outside. Sammy did snow angels in the ring as the referee made his ten-count. Andretti reentered the ring at 9. The match continued with Action rallying for a 450 splash.

Sammy roared back with an over-the-top DDT, but Andretti rolled out of the ring to safety to prevent a pinfall. Sammy had the idea for a table dive, however, Andretti flipped the script to land a flying splash onto Sammy through the timekeeper table. Andretti was one move away from victory. Daniel Garcia ran in to shove Andretti off the turnbuckles. Sammy hit the GTH finisher for victory.

Sammy Guevara defeated Action Andretti.

Darby Allin wants to stay true to himself. He is a little too real, too crazy. He wants to go out in a blaze of glory, and there are a few things more he wants to accomplish in AEW. Allin will make that a little more clear next week.

Jungle Boy closed a chapter of his life by closing the casket on Christian Cage. One thing he did learn from Christian is how to pick your spot. Momentum is hard to come by and easy to lose. JB put the champions on notice. He’s watching very closely and will see one of them very soon.

Will Hobbs is the new TNT champion thanks to QT Marshall. QT’s word is his bond. He teased the scoop on who really broke into Wardlow’s car in the premiere of QTV next week.

The Acclaimed vs. Starboy Charlie & Jack Cartwheel

Billy Gunn was ringside. Squash win via Mic Drop combo.

The Acclaimed defeated Starboy Charlie & Jack Cartwheel.

Afterward, Daddy Magic and Cool Hand were on stage with a JAS shirt. The Acclaimed blew them off.

Dynamite in Winnipeg will be a night of firsts for Chris Jericho. First time JAS in the ring with House of Black, first time in years in the ring with Kenny Omega, and the first time to become AEW trios champion. Jericho guarantees wining the gold.

Preston Vance vs. Konosuke Takeshita

Jose The Assistant was ringside. Don Callis was on commentary. Perro Peligroso and Takeshita went back and forth then flattened each other on a double discus elbow collision.

Takeshita took control for a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kick out by Vance. Takeshita maintained pressure for his running knee finisher. Jose placed Vance’s foot on the ropes to break the pin. Takeshita popped Jose in the kisser. Back in the ring, Vance was waiting to smash a discus lariat. Kick out by Takeshita. Vance couldn’t cinch tight a full nelson, so Takeshita escaped. Vance went for another discus lariat, but Takeshita countered into a backslide for victory.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Preston Vance.

Swerve Strickland underestimated Keith Lee. Limitless took out Trench and Parker Boudreaux. Swerve hasn’t thrown every bullet in the chamber. He has something more in store, and Lee won’t see it coming.

The Briscoe Brothers are 13-time ROH world tag team champions. Mark decided it is time to move forward without Jay. He came up with an idea for the Supercard of Honor PPV on March 31. Mark suggested a ‘Reach for the sky’ tag team ladder match to determine new champs. The first entrants are the Lucha Bros.

Recap of Stokely Hathaway’s predicament of a future match against Hook.

Hype package for the main event. Riho beat Nyla Rose to become the inaugural AEW world women’s champion. Four months later, Nyla won the title from Riho. Now, it is time to renew the rivalry. Mark Henry appeared on screen for his signature line, “It’s time for the main event!”

Nyla Rose vs. Riho

Marina Shafir was ringside to provide physical interference. Nyla overwhelmed Riho early with the power advantage. Riho comically tried to suplex Nyla. No chance. Nyla countered for a delayed vertical suplex. Riho rallied to land a flying double stomp, but she couldn’t keep Nyla down.

The Native Beast went beast mode for a powerslam and guillotine knee drop. Nyla went high-risk once too often and missed a swan dive. Riho was energized and suplexed Nyla. Yes, that’s right. Riho hit a bridging northern lights suplex. Nyla was able to kick out, and the match continued.

In the end, Shafir hooked Riho’s foot in the corner. Nyla tried to capitalize for a powerbomb, but Riho escaped for a fancy roll-up to win.

Riho defeated Nyla Rose.

Afterward, the sore losers stomped Riho. Saraya, Toni Storm, and Ruby Soho entered the scene passing Nyla and Shafir on the ramp. Nyla and Shafir didn’t care about Saraya’s spray paint plans and let them proceed freely. The mean girls turned Riho green to close the show.

Grade: C+

This show was dull. The action was fine, but there was no reason to watch this episode of Rampage. It lacked sizzle. There was no hook to demand my attention, and I don’t mean the man Hook. Nothing from the broadcast motivated me to write.

That’s not to say there was nothing good on the show. Action Andretti had a heck of an outing. He showcased slick skills. The flying splash through the table was one of the top highlights. AEW scored nicely when they identified Andretti as a talent to sign.

The cheap finish was pedestrian. JAS once again triumphed through strategic cheating. It feels like a holding pattern that doesn’t do much to advance the story. The was zero feeling of finality that Andretti and JAS will move on from one another. On the positive, Daniel Garcia is learning sports entertainment well from Sammy Guevara. Sammy’s snow angels were worth a chuckle, as was Garcia rubbing his hands together after the win like cartoon villain Snidely Whiplash.

Konosuke Takeshita versus Preston Vance was meat and potatoes. This was hyped as a hoss fight, but they didn’t demonstrate the hoss style in the ring. It was a standard match. At least Takeshita earned a win. That’s a plus to keep his star rising.

Riho versus Nyla Rose had an interesting little versus big dynamic. Riho shocked with that northern lights suplex. That was the top highlight of the night.

A few sequences, including the finish, were not executed well. Nyla was not nimble enough nor was Riho large enough for those fancy mat rolls to look clean. The show ended with a whimper when Saraya, Toni Storm, and Ruby Soho arrived with spray paint. There was no heat. The trio walked out nonchalantly to report late for arts and crafts class. It would have been fine in the middle of the show. There was value in roping Riho into the story and observing the interactions with the Vicious Vixens. However, it was dull as the finale.

Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, and Swerve Strickland all dropped tasty morsels of information to create anticipation. All three teased with intrigue about future plans. Note to Swerve from Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, “Guns are meant to be shot, Harley, not thrown!”

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

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