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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (July 7, 2023): The Elite lose in upset

AEW Rampage

AEW Rampage (July 7, 2023) emanated from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The 100th episode featured the Elite suffering a surprising loss, Big Bill Morrissey uniting with Brian Cage as a wrecking machine, and much more.

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

Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Chris Jericho were on commentary. Dasha Gonzalez handled ring announcer duties.

Young Bucks & Hangman Page vs. Dark Order

Hangman did not hold back in the grudge rematch. He cleaned house on the hot tag. The Elite were styling and profiling on the Dark Order. Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and Evil Uno had moments of success, however, they were outclassed overall in this match.

The Bucks held up Uno for the buckshot lariat, but Reynolds and Silver grabbed the cowboy’s feet. The Bucks launched for suicide dives to clear the trail. When Hangman leaped ready to clobber, Uno pulled referee Rick Knox in front as a shield. Hangman stopped short from contact. Konosuke Takeshita came in to distract the referee. Uno hit a low blow on Hangman’s oysters, and Claudio Castagnoli ran in for a thunderous European uppercut. Uno scored the roll-up to win.

Dark Order defeated Young Bucks & Hangman Page.

Afterward, Takeshita and Claudio grabbed chairs with bad intentions in their eyes. The Dark Order stepped aside to exit the ring with no concerns about helping the Elite. Kenny Omega ran out with a chair to fend off Takeshita and Claudio.

QTV was pure gold this week. They were in a good mood about recent wins. Johnny TV sent in a clip of kicking the Acclaimed’s music into the trashcan.

Bonus video of pre-show chatter between Jeff Jarrett’s crew. Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh did the Hardy dance.

Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament: Matt Hardy & Jeff Jarrett vs. Sammy Guevara & Daniel Garcia

Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh, and Karen Jarrett were ringside. The start of the match was amusing with Hardy deleting Garcia’s dancing. Jarrett did some strutting, so Sammy strut back. It was a competitive match until Jarrett’s crew tried to cheat. Dutt distracted the referee as Lethal slid a guitar into the ring. Hardy refused to use the foreign object. Sammy shoved Hardy into Lethal, then he cleaned Hardy’s clock with a GTH knee strike. Garcia made a blind tag during the process and stole the pin from his partner. Sammy & Danny advance to the semifinals against Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin.

Sammy Guevara & Daniel Garcia defeated Matt Hardy & Jeff Jarrett.

Afterward, the bad guys beat up Hardy. Isiah Kassidy ran out for the save, but Singh chokeslammed him. Ethan Page ran out to fight for Hardy Party. Singh saved Lethal from the Ego’s Edge.

Hikaru Shida vs. Marina Shafir

The story was striking against submissions. Shafir was nasty on the mat doling out pain. The Shining Samurai exploded with intensity for a variety of moves. Shafir kicked out of the Falcon Arrow slam, but she could not solve the problem of the Katana spinning knee strike.

Hikaru Shida defeated Marina Shafir.

Kris Statlander is a fighting champion. She will defend the TBS Championship against anyone.

Mark Henry ushered in a video package hyping the final match. Enough talk. Mark Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament: Trent Beretta & Matt Sydal vs. Big Bill Morrissey & Brian Cage

The heavy-hitters ran roughshod early. Sydal took control on the hot tag with a flurry of feet. The action spilled outside. Trent speared Cage on the floor, and Sydal jumped off the barricade for a Meteora knocking Bill down to the ground.

The Big Machine caught flying attacks for tandem counter slams. Bill crushed Trent on a Boss Man slam, and Cage pummeled Sydal on a jackhammer. Sydal was the legal man and kicked out.

Sydal used his speed to give the monsters fits. Trent sprang up for a super German suplex to Cage. He added a piledriver, and Sydal followed with the Meteora. Cage kicked out at 2. The crowd was in a frenzy.

A double lariat from Bill was the game-changer. He chokeslammed Trent to take him out of the action. Cage lifted Sydal for a powerbomb, and Bill came over the top for a lariat to start the combo finisher. Morrissey & Cage advance to the semifinals against MJF & Adam Cole.

Big Bill Morrissey & Brian Cage defeated Trent Beretta & Matt Sydal.

Grade: B

Entertaining action all show long, and the matches felt important. Two were for tournament stakes, and the Elite versus Dark Order had a grudge attitude. I much more enjoy the fourth match being a real contest rather than a filler squash. A couple of the finishes were overdone with a heaping helping of shenanigans, but that has come to be the AEW style.

Color me shocked that the Dark Order beat the Elite. Upset city, baby! Even though the result was rife with interference, it should be amusing to see Evil Uno rub the pin in the face of Hangman Page. Alex Reynolds showed toughness once again kicking out of near falls that would beat a lesser man. He is a true glue guy for the Dark Order trio.

Big Bill Morrissey and Brian Cage were badass as a team. I thought Trent Beretta and Matt Sydal scored too much offense, but I have to overlook it as the price for putting on an entertaining show in the ring. They had the crowd erupting with energy. The Big Machine finisher was awesome. Bill is the perfect height for that lariat to kick-start Cage’s powerbomb. It is a shame we probably won’t get to see more of them as a unit once the tournament ends.

Daniel Garcia made a savvy move with that blind tag to take the pin. Sammy Guevara may be upset in the moment, but he should commend Danny upon watching the replay. Garcia was swift in covering Matt Hardy, while Sammy was out of position. If Sammy was still the legal man, that would have provided precious seconds for Hardy to recover enough to continue the fight.

The Ethan Page redemption train is full speed ahead. AEW could explain his evolution better with quick backstage scenes. Despite that, the fans are clearly behind Page as a babyface.

Hikaru Shida and Marina Shafir put on a nifty clash of styles. Shida’s babyface spark is perfection. QTV was fantastic. That group is hitting their stride with goofy banter and aloof attitudes. John Morrison’s trashcan kick was an outstanding way to maximize his minutes, or rather seconds, on screen. Last thought, what the heck was Kris Statlander wearing over her eyes? Those visor/sunglasses are hideously ridiculous. It makes me want to root against her.

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

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