Friday's AEW Rampage from Duluth, Georgia, will be the final stop before Saturday's ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view.
Former AEW World Champion Hangman Page will return to tag team action, teaming with Dark Order's John Silver against The Butcher & The Blade. The latter attacked Silver and John Reynolds backstage Wednesday before Page made the save.
Ahead of his Saturday challenge of ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal will take on old rival Christopher Daniels in their first singles match in five years.
After losing to ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham last Friday, Lee Moriarty will look to rebound against Dante Martin.
Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter will be in tag team action against a team to be named.
In a continuation of their rivalry, The Acclaimed's Max Caster will face Gunn Club's Austin Gunn in a rap battle.
New matches for Saturday's show will also bee announced.
The show started with Butcher and Blade in the ring with John Silver and Hangman Page.
Hangman Page & John Silver defeated Butcher & Blade w/ The Bunny
Butcher and Blade dominated Silver in the early part of the show, but it wasn’t long before Hangman Page got a fantastic hot tag, hitting dives onto Butcher and Blade on the floor before hitting a flying lariat for a 2-count on Blade. Butcher pulled Hangman to the floor and whipped him into the guardrail and into the apron back and forth a few times.
This led to Butcher and Blade getting the heat on Hangman for the next few minutes. Hangman got a tag to Silver, who ran wild, hitting a flapjack on Blade and then an Olympic slam for a 2-count. Blade got busted open hardway, which strikes me as ironic, but it didn’t stop Blade from hitting a doctor bomb for a 2-count on Silver.
Hangman dumped blade to the floor and exchanged hard strikes with Butcher. Butcher went for a German suplex, but Hangman landed on his feet, hit a rolling lariat, and went for the Buckshot Lariat. Blade tried to pull Hangman from the apron, but Hangman moonsaulted over his head to the floor, leading to Silver being able to sneak behind Butcher and hit a German suplex. Hangman then hit the Buckshot Lariat on Butcher for the pinfall. That was a fantastic finish.
This was a really great opening match for Rampage, with Hangman Page showing why he is one of the top guys in AEW, as he was highlighted as the star of this one.
--A hype video aired for Wheeler Yuta and Daniel Garcia for the ROH Pure Championship. This was a quick promo but highlighted the feud between the two young wrestlers. It highlighted the accident Garcia was in leading to 6 months of recover for his leg, and how he was going to go to war for that Pure title.
--Claudio Castagnoli was in the ring to talk about his upcoming match with Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Championship. Castagnoli said that the ROH World Championship was one that eluded him his whole career, but that he knew he was the best because the fans have always supported him and treated him like he was the best. He said that he was going to win the title and prove that he is the best, living up to the fans expectations.
--A hype video for Wardlow aired, with Wardlow promising to beat up everyone in AEW, ROH, and any other locker room defending the TNT Championship against all comers.
Lee Moriarty defeated Dante Martin w/ Matt Sydal
Moriarty aimed to use technical wrestling to keep Dante Martin under control, but Martin was able to come up with several counters of his own, though Martin stayed one step ahead until Martin was able to roll Moriarty up with a La Magistral. Moriarty kicked out and took Martin down soon thereafter.
Martin hit a dropkick that sent Moriarty to the floor, but he paused instead of diving and let Moriarty back into the ring. Moriarty locked on a guillotine choke, but Martin got an arm in, so Moriarty responded with a headlock takeover and elbows to Martin’s face. JR and Tony Schiavone noted that the aggression from Moriarty served him well to let him keep his advantage.
Martin hit a flipping hurricanrana on Moriarty before hitting a flying crossbody for a 2-count as Stokely Hathaway made his way down to ringside. Moriarty was able to lock on the Border City Stretch on Martin and Martin had to grab the ropes to escape. Martin countered another move attempt from Moriarty with a half and half bomb, but Moriarty kicked out. Martin went for the Nosedive, but Moriarty dodged it and countered a roll up and grabbed the ropes for the pinfall.
Stokely Hathaway smiled at the finish of the match and offered his card to Moriarty, but Moriarty refused. Stokely Hathaway continued to smile, realizing that he was getting through to Moriarty. Matt Sydal grabbed the mic and said that he was going to face Lee Moriarty next week on Rampage.
This was a really solid match.
--A short video aired for Serena Deeb and Mercedes Martinez.
Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter defeated Skye Blue & Ashley D'Amboise
Baker took it to Blue right way, hitting a superkick to the head of Blue that rocked her. Hayter hit stomps in the corner leading to Baker choking Blue. Baker swept the leg of Skye Blue on the apron and hit a Twist and Shout off the apron to the floor on her. Baker and Hayter proceeded to kill Blue and Ashley D'Amboise, making the latter tap out to the Lockjaw in relatively quick order.
The Gunn Club and The Acclaimed Rap Battle
Colton Gunn got under the skin of Anthony Bowens a fair bit with his rap, ending with them telling The Acclaimed to suck it. Caster was vastly superior to Gunn, and Gunn started to tear up at the insults, which made it more amusing. The Acclaimed were declared the victor, and the Gunns attacked the posse of The Acclaimed and beat them down in the ring, leaving them laying after a garbage can shot to Max Caster.
I don’t know if I can call this a good segment, but to their credit, I couldn’t turn away.
--Christopher Daniels cut a promo on Jay Lethal, saying that Samoa Joe didn’t need him to talk for him and asked Mark Henry to get on with his catchphrase.
Excalibur ran down the card for next week’s Dynamite, next week's Rampage and ROH Death Before Dishonor.
New additions include Matt Sydal vs. Lee Moriarty for Rampage; Rush vs. Dragon Lee for the Death Before Dishonor main card; and three new matches for the Zero Hour pre-show: Shinobi Shadow Squad vs. Trustbusters; Colt Cabana vs. Anthony Henry; and Brian Cage & Gates of Agony (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Tony Deppen, Alex Zayne, & Blake Christian.
Jay Lethal (w/ Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh) defeated Christopher Daniels
Lethal attacked Daniels before the music was even off, but Daniels avoided it and hit a few moves to open the match. Daniels advantage didn’t last long before Lethal started hitting his suicide dives to the floor. Lethal was content to leave it at one dive before hitting the Chris Jericho style dropkick on Daniels to send him crashing to the floor.
Lethal then hit a second suicide dive on Daniels, driving him into the guardrail a second time, as Lethal held up two fingers. Sonjay Dutt attacked Daniels behind the referee’s back and Lethal brought Daniels back into the ring and locked on a chinlock. Daniels countered an uppercut attempt with a backslide, but Lethal kicked out and hit a backbreaker before hitting a cartwheel into a dropkick.
Lethal went for the Muscle Buster on Daniels, but Daniels fought out. Daniels went for a dropkick from the middle rope, but Lethal stepped aside, much like Joe would in the past, and hit a superkick to Daniels. Daniels hit a flying knee when Lethal caught his foot on something, allowing for a brief comeback, hitting an STO on Lethal.
Daniels hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Lethal for a 2-count before going for calling for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Lethal got up and hit the Lethal Combination. Lethal went for a flying elbow, but Daniels got the foot up and then rolled Lethal up when Lethal went for the Figure Four. Lethal kicked out and hit a boot before eventually hitting the Lethal Injection for the 3-count.
Excellent match to close the show, heading into ROH Death Before Dishonor. Satnam Singh gorilla press slammed Christopher Daniels on the floor before Lethal locked on the Rear Naked Choke on Daniels while Sonjay Dutt yelled about Samoa Joe and the show went off the air.
This was a very busy episode of AEW Rampage, with tons of matches and action, but I do think it managed to setup the ROH PPV quite effectively, while also promoting Fight for the Fallen next week, albeit briefly.