Liacouras Centre, Philadelphia PA
Commentary – Tony Schiavone, Excalibur and Ian Riccaboni
The show starts with Santana and Ortiz already in the ring. Disappointing for these two having their eventual match which has had packages building it up for weeks to be blown off on the C show Rampage.
AEW did the right thing by having some sort of build and conflict between these two but shoot themselves in the foot by making the eventual match feel less than important by having no packages to start the match to keep everyone up to date of the feud and secondly having no entrances.
No Disqualification Match
Mike Santana vs Ortiz
The match is billed as a grudge match but was more in the style of a hardcore match to begin with as Ortiz smashed his former tag partner with trash cans and chairs.
They took it inside the ring with some heavy blows, delivering hard slaps to one another.
This was a hard hitting match. Santana picked up the win after rocking Ortiz with a modified powerbomb. Santana tried to fist bump Ortiz after the match but he wanted no part of it.
Sonjay Dutt came out and tried to talk some business with Ortiz mentioning him to come to the back with him.
A package hyping the MJF vs Kenny Omega world title match was next. There was some new footage in here with Jay White sarcastically wishing Kenny Omega luck in his match with MJF and a scene where Don Callis tries to recruit MJF to the Don Callis family.
The scene ends with MJF saying that Callis needs to get his cut on his forehead looked at as it’s looking like a vagina. Classic
Backstage Rene is with Statlander who requested this segment to talk to Willow and Skye Blue. She asked them what is going on? Skye said she was “fine” Willow said since she wasn’t fine since they have been “Misted” (by Julia Heart) she has been acting different and this is not us.
This segment was awkward, I was hoping to see more character and storyline development from the women’s division but this was brutal.
Kip Sabian in the ring promo with Penelope Ford.
Kip Sabian insults the Philadelphia sports teams to receive cheap boo’s from the crowd.
Sabian is actually quite entertaining on the mic and should be much better utilized than what he currently is given.
The returning Marc Bristo came out to shut him up by giving him a few rights and clotheslining Sabian over the top rope.
Backstage it was Renee interviewing Anna Jay ahead of her match tonight, She said it was a big night for her and needed her former Jericho Appreciation Society members to be there for her (This group needs a name by the way)
Don Callis comes in the scene to try scout a tag team for the Callis family, Daddy Magic seemed interested but Daniel Garcia calls Callis a parasite and they shouldn’t listen to him. The scene ends with Ruby Soho coming in to return Angelo Parker’s switchblade, there seems to be some romantic tension between these two.
AEW Women’s World Title #1 Contendership Four Way Match
Anna Jay vs Willow vs Abadon vs Skye Blue
This match started out very clunky, a lot of “I’ll wait here until you hit me with your move” to the point where it looked silly.
Toni Storm’s music hit as she came out and watched from the top of the ramp.
Willow and Sky Blue who are friends were bickering and hitting each other during the match, Willow pulled Skye out of the ring leaving Anna Jay alone with Abadon who hit her finisher to pin Anna Jay to become number 1 contender.
None of Anna’s team were there to help her which will no doubt lead to more descension in the group.
Acclaimed and Daddy Ass backstage promo. It will be day 69 of there title reign next week on Collision and they are having 69 Party. Max Caster has an invitation for MJF to come watch him 69 next week.
Max is coming accross even more like he has feelings for MJF and it’s not innuendo like in the beginning, even though they were weird and awkward too. There is such a disconnect from Max rapping coming down to the ring to what we see with him getting all giddy over MJF.
Kyle Fletcher vs Takeshita (with Don Callis and Hobbs)
Kyle Fletcher has had some high profile matches in the last couple of weeks. This match came off the back of Fletcher getting in Don Callis’s face last week.
Lot of high flying and power moves from these two early on. Fletcher does the complete opposite of staying safe, all his matches are at 11 with lots of risk taking and hard hitting action.
My most loathed spot popped it’s head up again in this match, the “ill forearm you” then “you forearm” me spot. This happens way too often in AEW and looks stupid.
There was some really silly spots in this match, Fletcher was dropped on his head and somehow just pops up and reversed Takeshita like nothing happened.
Takeshita did a modified piledriver off the top rope that looked like it was a split second away from Fletcher having a broken neck.
The crowd were chanting “This is awesome”
There is definitely a different kind of fan that likes this sort of style, for me a lot of stuff especially to the end of this match looks so unrealistic and non sensical. Takeshita won the match after landing a flying knee to Fletchers face.
The Don Callis Family came in the ring to celebrate but Fletcher interrupted the party with a steel chair hitting Takeshita and Hobbs, Hobbs seemed unaffected and started to choke Fletcher in the corner, Don Callis stopped Hobbs and seemed to talk to Fletcher and recruited him to join The Don Callis Family.
I thought the show was a hell of a lot better than the last few Rampage shows, the matches weren’t as predictable and most segments had some sort of backstory to follow. Let’s see if they can follow this up.