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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (May 26, 2023): The Shida & Bill show

AEW Rampage

AEW Rampage (May 26, 2023) emanated from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The episode featured Hikaru Shida teaming with Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Big Bill Morrissey doing the monster mash, an international melee, and more heading into the Double or Nothing PPV.

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

Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Chris Jericho were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties. I couldn’t hear any of them, since Fite TV only offered the broadcast in Spanish with Thunder Rosa and Alvaro Riojas.

The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass vs. Los Ingobernables

The scissor boys had early control until Los Ingobernables made it an ugly fight. They isolated Max Caster. Hot tag to Papa Pompis (Daddy Ass). Billy Gunn hit a Fameasser on Preston Vance, but Jose The Assistant placed Perro Peligroso’s foot on the ropes to break the pin. Caster sent Jose into the ring for the Scissor Me Timbers leg drop from Anthony Bowens. The Acclaimed cleaned up for the Mic Drop combo on Dralistico to win.

The Acclaimed defeated Los Ingobernables.

After the match, the Acclaimed and Daddy Ass challenged the House of Black for the AEW World Trios Championship at Double or Nothing.

The Gunns & Ethan Page vs. unnamed opponents

Not quite an expressway to squash city, but the Firm was never in trouble. Page hit the Iconoclasm, and the Gunns followed with the 3:10 to Yuma.

The Gunns & Ethan Page won.

Afterward, Page mocked the injury to Isiah Kassidy. The Firm will have a 3-on-2 advantage. Not so fast. The Hardys came out ready for the fight. Kassidy announced that Hook would be his replacement at the Double or Nothing pre-show.

Dustin Rhodes and Keith Lee are in the Blackjack Battle Royale with their eyes set on Swerve Strickland and Brian Cage.

Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Hikaru Shida

The former enemies worked well as a unit. The Vicious Vixens managed to isolate Baker. Hot tag to Shida running wild. Tag back to Baker. The babyfaces low-bridged the Native Beast to tumble out of the ring. Shida took out Rose with a knee drop off the apron. Shafir used a judo throw to take down Baker, but she made an arrogant cover on the dentist. Baker countered for a crucifix position to hold Shafir in place for Shida’s Katana knee strike. Baker finished with the Lockjaw submission.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir.

The Outcasts popped up on the big screen standing over the injured Jamie Hayter. Baker and Shida ran to the back.

Hype video for the main event. Enough talk. Mark Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

Lee Moriarty & Big Bill Morrissey vs. Best Friends

Hot tag to Trent to suplex Moriarty all around the ring. Trent tried his luck on a suicide dive, but Bill goozled him for a chokeslam on the apron. Best Friends rallied with a Sole Food suplex combo on Bill. Best Friends shared a hug.

Bill regrouped for a Boss Man swinging side slam. The Firm dumped Trent on a teamwork slam. As Bill exited the ring for Moriarty to make the pin, Chuck comically entered behind Bill’s back for the save. Later, the Best Friends super double suplexed Bill off the turnbuckles. Bill had the last laugh with a big boot and chokeslam on Chuck to win.

Lee Moriarty & Big Bill Morrissey defeated Best Friends.

The Lucha Bros, Bandido, Komander, the Varsity Athletes, Butcher, Blade, and Kip Sabian were conveniently in the front row for the main event, and they also happen to be in the Blackjack Battle Royale. After the main event, Bill shoved Bandido. Chaos erupted with a massive melee. Orange Cassidy, Brian Cage, Keith Lee, and Dustin Rhodes took turns joining the party. Swerve Strickland was last to arrive. He taunted Lee as the show closed.

Grade: B-

This episode of Rampage was a fun show, but nothing was riveting. It tied up loose ends to finalize the PPV card. The action was solid overall.

Hikaru Shida and Big Bill Morrissey were the stars of the show, in my opinion. Shida’s fiery attitude rocked the ring. The Katana combo finish with Britt Baker was super cool. Bill was a mammoth among men. He demonstrated powerful offense and even made moments feel big whenever Best Friends managed to best him on exchanges. A 7-footer on the receiving end of a superplex was quite the visual. I like that Bill and Lee Moriarty were victorious. Best Friends didn’t need the win for any particular reason. The upset gave the results a little flavor on an otherwise predictable evening.

The closing fracas was amusing. Once the cameras showed all those wrestlers in the front row, it was a sure sign that chaos would follow in the end. AEW did not disappoint. It has become one of their signature PPV teases during go-home week.

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

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