Ahead of next Saturday's Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view, ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham will defend the title against Lee Moriarty on Friday's Fyter Fest edition of AEW Rampage.
Gresham and Moriarty teamed up against Tully Blanchard's Gates of Agony last week but Gresham never tagged in, eventually revealing himself as one of Blanchard's new stablemates.
Private Party will take on the Lucha Brothers for the first time since October 2019 in tag team action. This will be the first action on AEW TV for either team since last month.
After issuing a challenge during Wednesday's Dynamite, Dark Order's Alex Reynolds & John Silver will take on Brody King & Malakai Black of the House of Black.
Athena & Kris Statlander will team up against a team to be announced as the build to a match against TBS Champion Jade Cargill and The Baddies builds.
The Gunn Club will also explain why they turned on The Acclaimed last week.
This is the 50th episode of AEW Rampage along with Fyter Fest, night two of week one.
This was taped in Savannah, GA, with Jim Ross, Excalibur, Chris Jericho and Tony Schiavone on commentary.
Kings of the Black Throne (w/ Julia Hart) defeated Dark Order's John Silver & Alex Reynolds (8:18)
Kings of the Black Throne is the name Malakai Black and Brody King use in PWG while teaming up.
Black and Reynolds started out, and Reynolds kept up with Black on the mat. When Brody King and Silver tagged in, and Silver was able to knock King down after three flying shoulder tackles. It only took one tackle from King to send Silver down.
Silver and Reynolds used double team moves to send both King and Black to the floor. When Reynolds tried a dive onto King on the floor, King caught him and drove him into the ring apron. The House of Black had control as the show took a split-screen break.
Reynolds ducked a kick from Black and got the tag to Silver, who took Black down with a flying uppercut. Silver got a near fall after an Angle Slam. Reynolds tagged back in and ate a boot from Black and a lariat from King for a near fall. Silver saved Reynolds from the Gonzo Bomb, and Silver and Black double-teamed King.
Reynolds got a near fall with a jackknife after on King a german suplex from Silver. Black came off the top with a dropkick to break up the fall. Silver went for the spin doctor on Black, who escaped and hit the Black Mass kick on Silver to send him out of the ring. Black and King hit Dante’s Inferno on Reynolds to get the pinfall. This was a very good match.
After the match, as the House of Black walked to the back, Darby Allin flew off the top of the entrance tunnel onto Brody King. Sting came out and had a staredown with Black on the entrance stage (which Excalibur referred to as a "chess match") while Allin and King brawled through the crowd.
– In a pre-taped promo, Miro wanted to know if his god sent the House of Black to destroy him…or recruit him?
ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham (w/ Tully Blanchard and Tully Blanchard Enterprises) defeated Lee Moriarty (w/ Matt Sydal) to retain the title (9:01 aired)
This match had an ROH presentation with Bobby Cruise as the ring announcer and Caprice Coleman on commentary.
Moriarty sent Gresham to the floor twice and followed him out the second time to brawl around ringside. Back in the ring, Gresham tried to take control by working over the arm, but when the ref turned his back, Gresham hit Moriarty low to take control. Gresham took Moriarty down with a side headlock several times and the show took another split-screen break.
Back from break, Excalibur referred to the match as a “chess match” and having been in many chess matches myself, I disagree. Moriarty got a nice throw/suplex out of an armbar. Moriarty hit a great dropkick and got a single underhook suplex with a bridge for a near fall. Gresham kept going back to attacking Moriarty’s arm. Moriarty got another near fall off a cradle, but Gresham trapped him in an octopus and stretched him for the submission.
After the match, Tony Schiavone interviewed Gresham, who promised to be on AEW Rampage every week. Gresham called himself the best technical wrestler. Claudio Castagnoli (who has never held a world championship) came out and taunted Gresham from the stage.
– Christopher Daniels called out Jay Lethal in defense of Samoa Joe. That’s probably a Rampage match next week.
Kris Statlander & Athena defeated Charlette & Robyn Renegade (0:25)
The Renegades are twin sisters who have wrestled on Dark and Elevation. Athena and Statlander hit them both with dropkicks before the bell. Athena and Statlander took Robyn out with a Codebreaker out of an electric chair drop, and then Athena hit Charlette with the “O-Face” (her top rope cutter) for the pinfall.
After the match, Leila Grey (who had been watching from ringside with other “Baddies”) confronted Athena. Athena and Statlander attacked Grey, but Jade Cargill and Keira Hogan ran in and saved Grey, taking out both Athena and Statlander easily.
It seemed like this might have been “the plan” Stokely Hathaway had in mind for Grey; she basically sacrificed herself so Cargill and Hogan could get the jump on the babyfaces. Cargill seemed more pleased with Grey than she was on Wednesday, at any rate.
– Lexi Nair interviewed Lee Moriarty after his loss. Stokely Hathaway interrupted to offer Moriarty his services as a manager, but Matt Sydal chased him off (but Moriarty did look interested). Sydal made a match for Moriarty against Dante Martin for next week. Martin appeared to shake hands with Moriarty. I hope they both turn on Sydal next week.
– Tony Schiavone interviewed Billy Gunn and The Gunn Club. Billy admitted to treating the Acclaimed better than his own sons, but sometimes “Daddy A** has to drop the hammer.” This brought out the Acclaimed, who weren’t there to rap, they were there to fight. (JR's disinterested "yo." "listen." on commentary never fails to crack me up.) Billy tried to get the Acclaimed to “scissor” him one more time, but Bowens hit Billy with a superkick instead. The Acclaimed clotheslined the Gunn Club out of the ring, and Max Caster rapped about Billy Gunn “being hung like a tadpole.” Bowens challenged the Gunns to a match “right now,” but the Gunns declined. The Acclaimed were hugely over as faces. This was great.
- Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs. Best Friends was announced for Wednesday's Dynamite.
- Lee Moriarty vs. Dante Martin was announced for next Friday's Rampage.
- ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham defending against Claudio Castagnoli was announced for Death Before Dishonor
Lucha Bros (w/ Alex Abrahantes) defeated Private Party (w/ Andrade El Idolo & Jose) (11:16)
In the pre-match promo, Private Party made it known that they were having a hard time getting ahold of Andrade, but they did see pictures of the wedding. El Idolo and Jose displayed all the masks they'd taken off of the Lucha Bros over the last few weeks.
Private Party tried to double team Penta early on, but Fenix and Penta came back with a series of superkicks. Private Party came back with a pair of dropkicks and stereo dives out of the ring on the Lucha Bros. Quen went for the 450 splash on Fenix, but he avoided it and hit a cutter for a near fall. Private Party got Penta with the silly string spinning DDT, then Kassidy hit Fenix with a springboard cutter to knock him off the ring apron.
After a split-screen break, Penta hit a slingblade and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to take control. He got the tag to Fenix, who threw Isiah Kassidy in a reverse powerbomb while leg dropping Marq Quen at the same time. Kassidy hit a crossbody on Fenix while he was on Quen’s shoulders for a near fall. Private Party hit an atomic drop into enziguri. Penta tried to come off the top ropes with a crossbody but slipped badly. Penta hit Kassidy with a gamengiri in the corner, then used a Death Valley Driver to send Quen into Kassidy in the corner. Penta got a near fall on Quen after the Made in Japan for a near fall.
Jose jumped up on the ring apron to distract Penta, but Abrahantes pulled him off the apron and they started to brawl. Penta superkicked Andrade off the ring apron.
Rush ran in and tried to attack Penta behind the referee’s back. The interference backfired, though. I think the idea was Rush threw Penta into Quen, but the momentum turned it into a Canadian Destroyer on Marq Quen. Fenix then hit the Black Fire Driver on Quen and got the pinfall.
After the match, there was dissension between Andrade, Rush and Private Party.
It didn't feel like Private Party and the Lucha Bros were on the same page during the main event. The four minute commercial break in the middle of that match didn't help, and the finish was a mess.
The Gresham/Moriarty match didn't do much to get me excited for the ROH pay-per-view, either. But the real draw for that show is the FTR/Briscoes match. Excalibur was heavily pushing that Castagnoli has never been a world champion, which probably makes him the favorite in that match next Saturday.
Rampage felt very much like a B-show this week.