Preview: AEW Rampage is set for another Friday night addition, this time, from Estero, Florida. We have an awesome card on paper ahead of us. Darby Allin takes on Marq Quen of Private Party, Jamie Hayter and Mercedez Martinez lock horns, and Keith Lee will battle QT Marshall. Also, Swerve Strickland makes his debut in AEW against Tony Nese! I’m sure there will be more surprises along the way as well, so strap in, here comes another AEW Review!
AVERAGE: Darby Allin vs. Marq Quen: No entrance music, both men in the ring and the fastest hour in professional wrestling is under way! After a brief recap of Jeff Hardy’s debut on Dynamite, Darby gets off to a quick start and grounds Quen early. Following some chain wrestling Marq grabs a hammer lock and then sends Allin to the outside. Sting and Isaiah Kassidy exchange words as Quen sends Darby back in the ring. Inside the ring Quen goes to work on Darby, and thus far this has been a mountain of offense from Quen. I fully understand Dary’s ability to withstand pain, and that a great portion of what makes him so exciting is his resilience, but this is starting to feel cyclical. We head into our first break and Marq Quen continues to bring the onslaught. Out of the break Darby grabs a Fujiwara Arm-Bar, but Quen reverses him into the corner. Marq Quen essentially lands an arm drag followed by a double foot stomp and regains the advantage. To this point this has been the furthest thing from back and forth. Darby has been working against the 8 ball essentially since the initial exchange. Isaiah Kassidy tries to insert himself into the match but Sting is there for the save, given the distraction, Darby is tossed to the outside by Quen. From here, Marq Quen lands maybe the gnarliest 450 splash of the year from the top turnbuckle to the outside on Darby Allin. What a spot that was, absolutely incredible. Back in the ring Quen has Darby layed out and attempts a Shooting Star Press. Allin catches him in a Fujiwara armbar, and it is a quick tap for the end of the match. The Andrade Family Office approaches the ring to attack Darby post match, and the Hardy Boyz music hits. Jeff and Matt are on their way, in their old school gear and the crowd is electric. The AFO high tails it out of there and the opening segment ends with a nod of respect from the Hardy’s to Darby and Sting.
Results: Darby Allin by submission via Fujiwara Armbar
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 2.75 Stars
Average: Dan Lampert, Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky interview: Lambert calls out the War-Dog and harkens the Larry Zybisko-Bruno Sammartino turn in order to explain Wardlow’s decision to turn on MJF. He and Page explain the significance of Scorpio’s undefeated streak, and let the War-Dog know he will be just another name.
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 2.50 Stars
Malakai and the House of Black Promo: The House calls out almost everyone on the roster, explaining that they know everybody’s secrets and boy do they look dangerous.
GOOD: Mercedes Martinez vs Jamie Hayter: Once again no entrance music and both competitors are in the ring to start the match. The match starts with a nice rub in Martinez’s direction before Hayter decides to turn things around. We head to our first real break and with no picture in picture, who in the world knows what is going on? Out of the break, Hayter is all over Martinez, these two can seriously go and this match is really, really high quality. She brings a huge forearm right on the chin and Martinez and the mat are one in the same. After a brief exchange in the middle of the ring Martinez lands a gorgeous exploder spider suplex in the corner. Rebel distracts the referee as Dr. Baker knocks Martinez off the top turnbuckle. Jaime Hayter drills Martinez with a Lariat and that is a ballgame. Post Match, Dr. Britt and crew go after Mercedes before Thunder Rosa Makes the save.
Results: Jamie Hayter by pinfall via Lariat
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
Hikaru Shida Promo: She calls out Serena Deeb for injuring her in the first place. Shida is on her way back and this could get ugly, real soon. Short Unrateable promo.
Average: Keith Lee vs. QT Marshall: Keith Lee disposed of QT in rather short order. In the words of the great Mauro Ronallo he landed a, “Big Bang Catastrophe,” and that was a ballgame. Aaron Solo and Nick Comarato tried to make something happen but it was not to be, Keith Lee’s still got it. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs run down to the ring and it finally comes back around. If you read my review of Dynamite from March 2nd, you may recall me saying something to the effect of, “Keith Lee is in store for a 2 on 1 attack from Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs, which may or may not be thwarted,” Update, it wasn’t thwarted. Starks and Hobbs stand tall to end the segment.
Results: Keith Lee by Pinfall via Fireman’s Carry Jackhammer (FKA Big Bang Catastrophe)
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 2.50 Stars
GREAT: Swerve Strickland vs. Tony Nese: We get the classic pre main event interview from both competitors and it is time for the main event! Tony Nese enters to a chorus of boo’s and it is on. I would hope we all know these two’s history but if you don’t, 205 live, peacock, the network, wherever you gotta go, watch their stuff, because these guys can get after it in a wrestling ring. An easy smooth start, the crowd is firmly behind Swerve and we are thankfully watching two pro’s pros here. They know each other so well, and even though the television time isn’t exactly available at this point, it is abundantly clear these guys could go as long as we’d like them to. So much back and forth, there is no advantage in this one. Nese looks good, Swerve looks good, they both look good, what can I say? Swerve Lands a Swerve stomp off the top rope and that is a ballgame, Swerve Strickland picks up the win on AEW Rampage!
Results: Swerve Strickland by pinfall via Swerve Stomp
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75
Overall: Top to bottom we had a solid Rampage. Occasionally the one hour can feel rushed and this unfortunately tended to be one of those nights. That is not to say it wasn’t fun, and there wasn’t great action, but we are coming off of a run that included the PPV that was Revolution and some unbelievable action on both Dynamite and Rampage. At the end of the day, tonight it was Swerve’s House, we got a nice look at the Hardy’s in AEW and Jamie Hayter and Mercedes Martinez put on a sneaky excellent match this week. Shida and Deeb are set to face each other for the 5th time in 6 months and Keith Lee has to be reeling after the beating he took from team Taz. Hobbs and Starks stood tall over the Limitless one and that is not something he will take lightly.
Matches: 0.5/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.75/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.75/1 Stars
Overall Rating. 3.5/5 Stars
Photo Credit: (AEW)
For inquiries about the rating criteria check out the article announcing the new system here: