The Maestros Once Named JAS vs. The Hardys and Brother Zay
Kicking off Rampage, the competitors were all set in the ring for the opening bout. The ex-JAS crew gained the early lead, isolating Brother Zay until he could tag in Matt and Jeff Hardy.
Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, and Daniel Garcia soon found themselves on the back foot. However, a sneaky move by Jake Hager shifted the momentum back to them.
Daddy Magic intervened just as Garcia was about to perform his signature dance, much to the disappointment of the spectators. This bout mirrored last week’s eight-man tag match with the Hardys and Best Friends against the erstwhile JAS.
Control oscillated between the teams, making it hard to predict the outcome. AEW’s trios matches usually follow this script unless they’re completely one-sided, reminiscent of House of Black’s initial title defenses.
Distinct from the previous tag match, Garcia clinched victory for his team by pinning Brother Zay. Despite the triumph, there was visible friction between Daddy Magic and Garcia.
Result: Daniel Garcia pinned Brother Zay
- The audience’s uproar when Daddy Magic halted Garcia’s dance was priceless.
- Garcia’s finishing move on Zay was executed flawlessly. Zay’s reaction was reminiscent of RVD’s dramatic responses.
- Hager seems lost in the mix. Without Jericho’s presence, his association with this group feels ungrounded. His potential isn’t fully tapped into by AEW’s storyline.
Jay Lethal vs. Trent Beretta
In this week’s second face-off on Rampage, Jay Lethal met Trent Beretta. Predictably, Lethal’s entourage was present, making Chuck Taylor’s presence feel slightly inadequate.
With their penchant for speed, both Lethal and Beretta made this encounter exhilarating from the outset. Their dedication and energy made it seem like a main event showcase.
The duel could have been wrapped up swiftly, but its competitive nature, spanning two segments, added depth.
Lethal emerged victorious, celebrating his win amidst his squad.
Result: Jay Lethal pinned Trent Beretta after delivering the Lethal Injection
- Tony Schiavone’s remark about Karen Jarrett was both unexpected and comically impactful.
- Lethal’s tactical move on Beretta’s knee during a picture-in-picture segment looked authentic and Beretta played it perfectly.
- The post-match clip featuring Santana and Ortiz setting up a future match was artfully portrayed, enhancing the realism of their feud.
Skye Blue vs. Emi Sakura
Following the Santana and Ortiz promo, Sakura and Blue entered the ring. The match started with an exchange of powerful chops.
While Sakura showcased more might in her strikes, Blue’s agility with a headscissor takedown was a counter to remember.
The match saw Sakura, despite her aggressiveness, matching Blue’s vigor. Though Sakura has had increased TV exposure lately, victories have eluded her, and this bout was no different.
The young prodigy, Skye Blue, ended the bout triumphantly.
Result: Skye Blue defeated Emi Sakura
- A notable transformation in Blue’s makeup hints at a possible storyline progression since her encounter with Hart.
- Paul Wight’s presence in the commentary box was refreshing.
- The prolonged backbreaker by Sakura was both innovative and well-executed.
The Gates of Agony vs. Blackpool Combat Club
The main event witnessed four fierce competitors clashing. Toa Liona and Bishop Kaun squared off against Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta.
In the early minutes, Yuta, despite being lighter, surprisingly took control over Kaun. However, a ringside interference by Liona shifted the momentum.
Castagnoli’s entry was a game-changer. Yet, an unexpected twist could have been to let The Gates of Agony capitalize when Yuta was cornered.
Result: Wheeler Yuta pinned Bishop Kaun
- The nostalgia of split-screen interviews, especially Mark Henry’s iconic lines, was missed.
- Liona’s resounding slap on Yuta, coupled with the commentators’ reaction, was a standout moment.
- The versatility of BCC, seamlessly shifting roles between feuds, offers a unique angle for AEW’s narrative.
The Last Word
This Rampage edition delivered satisfactory wrestling, though it wasn’t crucial viewing for AEW’s ongoing arcs.
Beretta vs. Lethal stood out, but all matches were engaging. The one-hour format has its perks and drawbacks, making special episodes challenging without a significant twist.
Hints of Blue’s potential character development were intriguing. Her current persona retains its charm, but future shifts are anticipated.
For those craving a consistent wrestling hour, this episode fits the bill. Alternatively, recap videos and online updates should suffice.