Claudio Castagnoli will put up his Ring of Honor World title against Dustin Rhodes in the main event of Friday's AEW Rampage.
Rhodes challenged Castagnoli last Friday as the champion issued an open challenge as he wanted a match. Rhodes will be looking for his first taste of ROH gold while Castagnoli is looking for the second defense of the title.
The final quarterfinal match in the AEW Trios title tournament will take place as House of Black (Aleister Black, Buddy Matthews & Brody King) will take on Dark Order (Alex Reynolds, John Silver & a mystery member). The winners will face Best Friends next Friday in a semifinal.
The TNT title will be on the line as Wardlow will defend against Ryan Nemeth in another open challenge match.
In a mixed tag team match, AAA Mixed Tag Team Champions Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo will defend against Ortiz & Ruby Soho.
Additionally, there will be promos from TBS Champion Jade Cargill and FTW Champion Hook.
This week's show was taped in Cleveland, Ohio, with Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho and Excalibur on commentary.
Dark Order (10, John Silver & Alex Reynolds) defeated House of Black (w/ Julia Hart) to advance in the AEW World Trios Title Tournament (9:03)
Danhausen and the Best Friends were shown watching in the crowd as they will face the winners next week on Rampage live from Chicago.
10 and Brody King started the match. 10 tweaked his knee and then made the tag to John Silver. Buddy Matthews and Malakai Black tried to double team Silver to no avail. Reynolds and Black had a stalemate which led to all six men brawling in the ring and on the floor.
During the split-screen break, the match settled into the House of Black working over Reynolds. Reynolds got the tag to 10, who took down Matthews with a Blue Thunder Bomb and Black with a spinebuster. 10 got the full nelson on Black, but Matthews broke it up with a gamengiri and a meteora off the tope rope. Silver and Reynolds went for their rapid-fire double team on King, but he overpowered them.
10 went for the full nelson on Black. Black countered by attacking 10’s knee, ripping off his knee brace. Black locked on a kneebar, but Miro’s music played and yeah, they did a music distraction roll-up finish in AEW. Matthews and King ran down to attack Miro, and Reynolds rolled up a distracted Black for the pin.
After the match, the House of Black jumped Miro in the ring and beat him down 3-on-1, but Sting and Darby Allin came down to even the odds and chased off the House of Black.
This whole thing did nothing for me.
– Lexi Nair interviewed Hook, who didn’t care about 2point0 challenging him for the FTW title and left. Angelo Parker and Matt Menard came in after Hook left to challenge Hook again.
Wardlow defeated Ryan Nemeth to retain the AEW TNT Championship (1:31)
Chris Sabin joined Jay Lethal’s group on the entrance ramp to watch the match and scout Wardlow.
Both Wardlow and Nemeth are from Cleveland, but only one of them was hugely over as a babyface. Nemeth ran down Cleveland and Warldow on the mic until Wardlow headbutted him. A clothesline and four powerbombs later, Wardlow pinned Nemeth with one foot.
– Lexi Nair interviewed Andrade El Idolo, Rush and Private Party in the back. I could have sworn they broke up weeks ago. Andrade told Private Party that losses have consequences after they lost to AEW Tag Team Champions Swerve In Our Glory last Friday.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Ashton Day (1:02)
Hobbs destroyed Day with three clotheslines and a horrific spinebuster. After the match, QT Marshall and The Factory jumped Ricky Starks in the back and laid him out as Marshall promised Hobbs they would.
– Lexi Nair tried to interview Jade Cargill and the Baddies. Leila Grey started to talk until Cargill shut her down and kicked her out of the group. Cargill challenged Athena for All Out, and Athena ran in and attacked. The match was later made official.
AAA Mixed Tag Team Champions Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo (w/ Angelo Parker) defeated Ortiz & Ruby Soho to retain the titles (8:35 aired)
After the split screen break, Ortiz floored Guevara with a clothesline and got the tag to Soho. Soho hit a charging boot in the corner on Melo for a near fall. As Soho set up Melo for a superplex, Guevara tried to break the move up. Soho got on Guevara's shoulders and took him down with a poisoned rana. Melo came off the top on Soho with a crossbody for a near fall.
Soho hit Melo with the No Future for a near fall, but Guevara broke up the pin. Ortiz got the tag and brawled with Guevara in the corner. Anna JAS ran in and tossed Soho into the ring steps. Guevara then sprung into the ring with a double jump cutter on Ortiz (who was suddenly bleeding) and got the pinfall.
– A 30 second clip aired of CM Punk talking over his injured foot with the trainers after the unification match on Dynamite. Punk said he didn’t feel anything other than his foot giving out. This was supposed to be an update on Punk’s condition, but it was a nothing segment.
Claudio Castagnoli (w/ Wheeler Yuta & William Regal) defeated Dustin Rhodes (w/ Arn & Brock Anderson) to retain the ROH World Championship (12:27)
Rhodes gave an impassioned promo before the match. Castagnoli apologized, but said he would shatter Dustin’s dreams.
Caprice Coleman joined the commentary team. Regal also joined the commentary team, chasing Jericho away.
Rhodes went for a sunset flip, but Castagnoli dropped down and cradled Rhodes for a two count. Castagnoli caught Rhodes with an uppercut, but Rhodes came back with a Manhattan Drop and a boot. Rhodes went for a crossbody, but Castagnoli dropped down and Rhodes flew to the floor.
After the last split-screen break, Rhodes broke up a crossface with a side slam. Both men exchanged blows, and Rhodes countered an uppercut with a backslide attempt. Castagnoli blocked the backslide, so Rhodes turned around and hit a lariat. Rhodes clotheslined Castagnoli to the floor and followed up with a cannonball off the apron. Back in the ring, Rhodes hit a hurricanrana off the middle rope, then a Code Red for a near fall. The crowd chanted “you still got it!” for Rhodes.
Castagnoli came back with a hot shot and a clothesline for a near fall. Castagnoli gave Rhodes the giant swing for a near fall, then transitioned into a crossface. Rhodes cradled Castagnoli, then hit a spinning powerslam and a sloppy piledriver for a near fall.
Arn Anderson gave Rhodes the sign to go for the kill. Castagnoli went for a leapfrog over Rhodes, but didn’t quite clear him and accidentally gave him a low blow. Despite Anderson’s urging, Rhodes didn’t go in for the kill though. Castagnoli recovered enough to catch Rhodes with a pop-up uppercut for the pinfall.
The main event was good, but overall this was a pretty disappointing show. The Dark Order needed a much stronger win in the trios tournament, not a fluke win. The rest of the show felt like Dark or Elevation.