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AEW Rampage Review - 02/06/23 - "It's just other promotions belts on an AEW show!"

With Ben off this week to become the very best, like no one ever thought he could become, Nathan has travelled across the land and stepped in after searching far and wide!

Lets get down to the action!

1) El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Komander vs. Dralistico (w/Jose) for the AAA Mega Championship.

Fans were blowing horns inside the arena (which is very rare in the states) and luckily Excalibur pointed out that it is typical at lucha matches. I was astounded by Vikingo's 548-day reign as champion.

Both men fell to the ground as Dralistico knocked Komander over the middle rope and hit him with a double stomp from the top rope. Vikingo landed on Dralistico with a powerful top rope dive. Vikingo returned to the ring and executed a spinning Phoenix Splash onto Dralistico from outside the middle rope. Vikingo attempted to pin Komander, but it was broken.

Prior to a picture-in-picture break, Vikingo nearly fell again against Dralistico. The live audience cheered "This is awesome" when [C] Kommander went across the top rope and executed a top rope dive onto both opponents who were on the floor. When Komander managed to re-enter the ring, he nailed Dralistico with a 450 splash, but Vikingo broke up the pin.

Komander was given a terrifying-looking corkscrew Poison Rana by Vikingo, who caused Komander to tumble off the apron and onto a table that was set up on the floor. Vikingo delivered a 630 splash to him. Low back ache was a Vikingo product. Dralistico chased Vikingo back into the ring and attempted a powerbomb, but Vikingo dodged it and turned it into a huracanrana, pinning Dralistico.

2) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Action Andretti for the NJPW TV Title.

Interesting point here the NJPW TV Title matches have a 15-minute time limit, according to Excalibur, and if they go the distance, the winner will be determined by the time limit. The regulations, he claimed, are designed to instill a sense of urgency.

Andretti was caught by Sabre on the ring's apron and placed in a quick submission hold by the ropes. With that submission hold, Sabre specifically attacked the left shoulder before launching further grips at it.

Jim Ross raised the prospect of Sabre competing against Bryan Danielson which to me would be incredible to see nowadays. The bout, according to Excalibur, was supposed to take place at the opening Forbidden Door event, but Danielson's injuries forced Claudio Castagnoli to step in. Could it happen this year?

After recovering, Andretti kicked Sabre with a springboard and received a two count. After grabbing Andretti's left arm, Sabre delivered an overhead kick to the injured shoulder. Sabre attempted the manoeuvre once more, but Andretti failed. Sabre forced Andretti to strain his injured arm and eventually knocked him off the ropes after he joined Sabre on the top rope.

Sabre entertained the crowd while perched on the top rope. As soon as he rose, Andretti kicked Sabre. Andretti then nearly fell to the ground with a huracanrana from the top rope. Sabre was raised by Andretti into the Torture Rack position. Sabre evaded the hold by wrapping his arm over Andretti's neck. For a two count, Andretti countered into a pin.

After launching a few kicks, Sabre charged Andretti, who superkicked him. After doing a Poison Rana, Andretti executed a shotgun dropkick. For a two count, Andretti did a springboard moonsault. Andretti attempted a second springboard manoeuvre, but Sabre stopped him with a clinching hold. In order to increase the pressure, Sabre first hooked both of Andretti's arms before using his leg and he has submitted! Total time was 10:15 so well within the time limit!

Once again, CM Punk is mentioned… this writer would like to point out that all along I said he would come back and I’m convinced it was a work!

3) Willow Nightingale vs. Emi Sakura for the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship.

To begin, there was a struggle of shoulder tackles. Willow triumphed by bringing Sakura to the ground. Sakura returned and threw Willow off the apron before tripping over her and falling to the ground. Following a running crossbody block against the barricade and a PIP break, Sakura threw Willow to the ground.

From the middle rope, Willow delivered a missile dropkick and earned a two count. Sakura immediately returned with a neckbreaker. Sakura nearly fell while executing a spinning Vader Bomb. Willow performed a crossbody block for a near fall after rolling through a pin attempt. Sakura quickly returned and earned a two-count of her own.

Sakura and Willow both simultaneously threw clotheslines. Willow was knocked down by a clothesline that Sakura dove under, but she also connected with one that briefly knocked down Sakura. Willow was hit with chops by Sakura, who then attempted to push her into the adjacent corner.

Willow pounced on Sakura, executed a cannonball in the corner, and then covered her for a two count. Willow loosened the straps holding her equipment and attempted to finish with a powerbomb, but Sakura blocked the move and gave her many slaps. With a lariat clothesline and a powerbomb, Willow defeated Sakura to claim the victory.

Excalibur listed the following matches and segments for AEW Dynamite: MJF speaks, Ricky Starks vs. Jay White with FTR and Juice Robinson barred from the audience, Jack Perry and Hook vs. Dralistico and Preston Vance in a Texas Tornado match, and Orange Cassidy vs. Swerve Strickland for the AEW International Championship.

Please can Cassidy loose the title yet? Look I get it, he’s over and he’s a nice guy but please… I beg… hype the title up a bit more! Make it worth something other than in a backpack!

The pay-per-view for ROH Death Before Dishonour is scheduled on Friday, July 21 in Trenton, New Jersey which is pretty nice to see!

4) Katsuyori Shibata vs. Lee Moriarty for the ROH Pure Title.

The judges, Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels, and BJ Whitmer, sat at a table that had been positioned on the side of the stage. Before the match, the wrestlers shook hands to uphold the Code of Honour. Any wrestler who interferes in a Pure Rules match will have their contract ripped up, according to Excalibur.

Shibata was given the boots by Moriarty, who then placed his foot against the cornered face. Moriarty struck Shibata with an elbow when both men stood up, and then he dropped-kicked Shibata's knee to start another PIP break.

Given that he was only permitted three rope breaks (I missed the first one), Moriarty was compelled to use his second. Shibata kicked Moriarty hard in the corner before launching a barrage of forearm blows. Shibata then delivered a corner running dropkick. Moriarty was nearly knocked over by Shibata when he suplexed him.

Moriarty was compelled by Shibata to use his third rope break. Moriarty returned with a submission finisher known as the Border City Stretch. To release the grasp, Shibata pinwheeled over him. Moriarty was placed in a sleeper by Shibata, who later let it out. Before pinning a PK, Shibata connected with him while running the ropes…1…2…3!

Whats this! Daniel Garcia has entered the arena. Garcia was a previous ROH Pure Champion, which Excalibur noticed and believed he desired his title belt back! Shibata was holding up his title belt when Garcia entered the ring and that is the show!

Solid show overall, felt more like an “Other promotions championship” show other than an AEW show but was good over all for wrestling fans!

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