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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (June 9, 2023): Underdog #1 contender

AEW Rampage (June 9, 2023) emanated from The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, CO. The episode featured Skye Blue triumphing as an underdog, Matt Hardy making Ethan Page’s life difficult, a surprise for Karen Jarrett, and more.

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

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

Fenix, Pentagon Jr., & Bandido vs. Ethan Page, Big Bill Morrissey, & Lee Moriarty

Commentary justified the Firm reunion by claiming this match was signed before Matt Hardy acquired control of Page’s contract. The peak highlight was Pentagon lifting Bandido into the air for a Dirty Dancing corkscrew plancha.

Page was on cusp of victory after getting his boots up to block a moonsault from Bandido. As he lifted the luchador for the Ego’s Edge, Hardy Party interrupted. Jeff Hardy was disappointed that Page wasn’t using his good luck gifts. Page pulled him his Hardy Boyz arm sleeves.

Meanwhile, Bandido pounced for a 21-plex to pin Page.

Fenix, Pentagon Jr., & Bandido defeated Ethan Page, Big Bill Morrissey, & Lee Moriarty.

QTV. QT Marshall brainstormed how to make Collision edgier on Saturday nights. After a few rejected ideas, he decided on sending out Will Hobbs for a match on Rampage to give a preview of what to expect on Collision.

Will Hobbs vs. Caleb Crush

The QTV crew joined Hobbs. Powerhouse annihilated his opponent and finished with a spinebuster.

Will Hobbs defeated Caleb Crush.

Arn Anderson and Wardlow addressed Christian Cage’s attack on Brock Anderson. What goes around comes around, and it will be coming Christian’s way soon. Wardlow addressed his TNT title open challenge answered by Jake Hager. After he beats Hager, he’s coming for Christian and Luchasaurus.

Spanish Announce Project vs. The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Max Caster insult Angelico, Serpentico, and Papi Luther by saying SAP stands for Small Ass Penises. This match did a lot of playing to the crowd with pelvic thrusts and crotch chops, and the fans reacted loudly having fun. The Acclaimed took care of business to finish Luther with the Mic Drop combo.

The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn defeated Spanish Announce Project.

Karen Jarrett called out Aubrey Edwards. The referee arrived with Mark Briscoe by her side. AEW won’t sanction a singles match between them, so Edwards threatened to throw fists in catering. Briscoe spoke to the men in charge and had a solution. AEW will sanction mixed tag trios. It will be Karen, Jeff Jarrett, & Jay Lethal against Edwards, Briscoe, & Papa Briscoe.

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

#1 contender: Skye Blue vs. Nyla Rose vs. Mercedes Martinez vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD

The winner earns a shot at Toni Storm and the AEW Women’s World Championship on Dynamite. Marina Shafir and Hikaru Shida were ringside. When Shafir blatantly interfered to choke Martinez, Shida played sheriff to keep it fair by hitting Shafir with a kendo stick.

Commentary put over Blue as the underdog, and she shocked the world to pull out the win. The closing sequence began with Nyla going beast mode. Baker and Blue answered with double superkicks, then Baker turned to superkick Blue out of the ring. Nyla chokeslammed Baker. Martinez broke the pin. Martinez suplexed Rose, then Baker followed with a curb stomp. Martinez dumped Baker from the ring, so Baker pulled Martinez out from underneath. Blue sneaked into the ring for a Code Red on the unsuspecting Native Beast. Victory!

Skye Blue defeated Nyla Rose, Mercedes Martinez, and Dr. Britt Baker DMD.

The Outcasts were watching on a monitor backstage. Toni Storm spray painted an L on screen.

Grade: B-

Rampage was a fun evening of action. The opener had slick moves, and the closer had value. The other two matches were enjoyable to an extent, but it was mostly fluff.

Let’s hear it for the Blue. Skye Blue pulled the upset to become #1 contender. Honestly, I’m not all that excited for Blue to challenge Toni Storm, but I do have to applaud the choice. There’s long been chatter in these parts of using #1 contender opportunities to push a rising star into the mix as a surprise. Well, that’s what AEW did here. Even though Blue was the least experienced compared to the former champions, she picked her spot at the right time to create a moment.

The trios opener was hot until the screwy finish. Pentagon stayed true to form with cero miedo of Big Bill, and Morrissey stayed true to form by thumping the luchador to give him a reason to be scared. It took rapid-fire teamwork attacks to handle the 7-footer. I appreciate the strategy and the way it protects giants in that manner. The Hardy Party intrusion was contradictory to the story. They had previously said that they their goal is to make Page a better person. How does screwing in his matches achieve that goal? It doesn’t. If anything, it drives Page away with distrust. Also, nobody got the rub in momentum in victory. It was shaping up for either Page or Bandido to pick up a quality pinfall. Instead, Bandido scored the cheap win that doesn’t improve his stock at all in terms of rising the ranks as a serious threat for gold. The luchador remains a cool moves guy.

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

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