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AEW Rampage live results: Tag Team & FTW title matches

The Trustbusters vs. Best Friends also battle in the Trios title tournament.
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Two titles will be defended on Friday's AEW Rampage in addition to the Trios title tournament rolling on.

AEW Tag Team Champions Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland) will defend against Private Party who are looking for their first-ever AEW title reign.

FTW Champion Hook will defend his newly-won gold against Zack Clayton, an AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation regular who is also on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.

In the tournament to crown the inaugural AEW Trios Champions, the Trustbusters (Ari Daivari, Slim J & Parker Boudreaux) will face Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta & Chuck Taylor) in an opening round match.

Athena will look to continue her impressive run thus far as she faces Penelope Ford en route to what she hopes is a TBS title match against Jade Cargill.

Additionally, ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli will speak about what's on his mind and what might be next.

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We're off and running with action taped last Wednesday in Charleston, West Virginia. Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho are on the call.

Claudio Castagnoli promo

Castagnoli shouted out Ricky Steamboat, one of his past trainers and influences, in the crowd. He said he felt weird about not wrestling so he issued an open challenge for next week and out came the returning Dustin Rhodes.

Rhodes said they have a long history with some hard-fought battles (while the both of them were in WWE). He said he has dreamt about holding the World Heavyweight title and if Castagnoli will accept the challenge, he'll bring "The Natural" and the best he can to the match. 

To no surprise, Castagnoli accepted. We're on for next week.

- Ruby Soho and Ortiz were reminded by Lexy Nair that they have some unfinished business with Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo. They both backed that statement with fiery words and it appears that is also on for next week.

AEW Tag Team Champions Swerve In Our Glory defeated Private Party to retain the titles

Keith Lee and Isiah Kassidy have history as Kassidy was Lee's first victim in his AEW debut. A big biel was teased off the bat, but Kassidy managed to escape.

Kassidy and Marq Quen have had an interesting history in AEW. They got the win over the Young Bucks in the inaugural Tag Team title tournament, but due to injuries and being stuck in the various incarnations of the Hardy/Andrade Family Office, they aren't as far along as I thought they would be a few years ago.

The challengers held their own early with Kassidy knocking down Swerve Strickland on the outside of the ring with a tornillo dive going into the break.

Lee's power was on display after he got the hot tag as he was just tossing Quen and Kassidy all over the ring. They have done a good job at highlighting just how strong he is that I hope translates into a good singles run at some point. He nearly impaled Quen with a pounce that drove Quen into the ropes and back.

After a flush side kick to Quen's head, Strickland nailed him with what he calls a JML Driver to pick up the clean win. Both teams dapped it up after the match in a show of respect.

- Lexy Nair was with The Factory who were playing dominos. Out of nowhere, Powerhouse Hobbs walked in and flipped over the table. He was pissed The Factory didn't take out Ricky Starks, but QT Marshall promised that he would, "hand to god." Alright, then. 

FTW Champion Hook defeated Zack Clayton to retain the title

Clayton, who has won one match on AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation in 13 outings, came out last Friday to take up Hook's open challenge. You see, Clayton (aka "The Reality") is on a spinoff of Jersey Shore because he is married or dating J-Woww? I think? 

He ran down West Virginia, played up New Jersey, and got beat in around 15-20 seconds with the Redrum. 

Afterward, Matt Menard and Angelo Parker were backstage. Long story short, they wondered what if the FTW title was held by a sports entertainer. Given Menard's various injuries from Blood & Guts, it would appear Mr. Parker is next.

I'm looking forward to when we get longer Hook matches. It's time. Please.

- Lexy Nair asked Billy Gunn about the attack by, ahem, his sons last Wednesday. Gunn said he is bringing some friends -- The Acclaimed -- to Dynamite next week and that he is going to spank their asses...or something like that.

I'm not sure about you, but two sons choosing to not only turn on their dad but throw punches at him just seems, I dunno, not good?

- They replayed the show-closing (and by that, I mean last 30 seconds or so) angle where Andrade and Rush decided to turn on Dragon Lee and unmask him. I will have more to say about this another time, but AEW has an issue with not letting moments just breathe. Kenny Omega's triumphant return was the moment. The turn could have been held off to tonight during a promo.

Buddy Matthews defeated Serpentico

We got a standby match because the Hook match was so short. Who could have thunk it?

Also, they're selling a CM Punk hockey jersey to commemorate his one-year anniversary in the company. The timing is pretty great on that, right? 

This was a squash that Matthews won with a pump handle suplex of sorts. Time to get this guy going.

Miro then walked out with Malakai Black's mask and he and Matthews got into a big brawl. Miro stared down Julia Hart before getting into the ring to brawl more which seems like it's heavy foreshadowing for CJ Perry/Lana to appear soon. Miro killed Matthews for several minutes and stood tall. Poor Buddy.

- The very busy Lexy Nair was with Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter and Reba. Reba shoved Nair out of the way and Baker said she can't wait to see the sh*tstorm that is ThunderStorm implode. I feel like this Thunder Rosa/Baker/Storm/Hayter thing is past its expiration date. Can't we get another interesting story for Baker for a while?

Athena defeated Penelope Ford

Ford is freshly back from a long time on the shelf due to injury. Ford was rolling early, they went to a commercial break, and Athena won seconds later after hitting the Eclipse. The Baddies (Leila Grey & Kiera Hogan) then attacked and out came TBS Champion Jade Cargill with a sledgehammer. Let the Triple H gifs begin!

Cargill smashed Cargill's wings with the hammer and Athena fought out from Grey and Hogan's grasp. Cargill entered the ring, hit her in the gut with a sledgehammer, and laid her out as The Baddies stood tall. 

I can't remember where I saw this, but I saw an observation that the whole Baddies thing has made Cargill feel like not as big a star. Now every time this act is out there, I can't help but think the same.

Also, I feel bad for Ford. She just came back and was pretty much treated as an afterthought. The boxed up Kip Sabian was shown in the crowd as well.

- New additions to Dynamite: a Ricky Starks promo, Billy Gunn vs. Colten Gunn (billed as the first time ever father vs. son match) and Britt Baker vs. Kilynn King. I guess?

- New to Rampage: House of Black vs. Dark Order in the Trios title tournament. That's it!

Best Friends defeated The Trustbusters to advance in the AEW Trios title tournament

I will do my best to stay neutral even though I was recruited into the Trustbusters by Ari Daivari earlier today. Seriously! (Also, I have been told I have a nice smile.)

This is a very strange tournament when you have Daivari, Slim J and Parker Boudreaux in an eight-team tournament when FTR & Wardlow vs. Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt is happening at All Out. Why not just have that be a tournament match?

The heels controlled most of the match. Daivari was in there most of the time with Slim J getting some ring time as well. I will say this for him: he does take good bumps. 

Orange Cassidy got the hot tag and ran wild on Daivari and Slim J before Boudreaux got in there. He took Cassidy down and then laid out Chuck Taylor and Beretta with double clotheslines and corner splashes. He missed one and all three Best Friends hit basement dropkicks in the corner.

The Trustbusters got rolling on Cassidy thanks to Slim J. Action spilled to the outside and all three took out Boudreaux, punctuated by an Orange Punch.

As Cassidy was climbing to the top to finish Daivari, Sonny Kiss pushed Cassidy while the ref was distracted. That led to Slim J hitting a top rope reverse clothesline on Cassidy for a close near fall.

Danhausen appeared to curse Kiss and Slim J. He then turned around into a double chokeslam while Cassidy knocked out Daivari with an Orange Punch. Beretta and Taylor held Slim J at the same time while Cassidy got up on the shoulders and jumped off them with a splash to get the pin. That was a great looking move.

Best Friends will now face the winner of Dark Order vs. House of Black with the winner of that match moving on to All Out to compete for the titles.

Final Thoughts:

This was a fine episode of Rampage that had the usual large amount of stuff packed in. I still don't get the logic of not loading up the Trios title tournament or having a 15-second Hook match, but that ship has sailed.