AEW Rampage Recap and Reactions (August 5, 2022): Buzzsaw of Violence

AEW Rampage (August 5, 2022) emanated from Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI. The show featured Jon Moxley brawling with Mance Warner, Madison Rayne in line for a title shot, and Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland snarling in a tag team street fight.

Let’s start straight with a recap of the show followed by reactions.

Excalibur, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone were commentators. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

Interim AEW World Championship Eliminator: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Mance Warner

If Warner wins, he earns a title shot. Warner is here for a fight. Blackpool Combat Club coach William Regal was a commentator. Excalibur wondered if it was smart for Moxley to fight so close to his title defense against Chris Jericho next week on dynamite. Regal replied that Moxley was a proud fighting champion.

Moxley came out first. Warner came out second and urged Mox to meet him on the ramp to fight. Moxley obliged to have brawled on the ground. Mox suplexed Warner into an open chair.

Later, Warner printed a receipt to suplex Moxley to an open chair.

More brawls set up Moxley aiming for a piledriver on the ring steps. Warner replied for a DDT on steel. Warner took a chair with bad intentions, so Moxley punched the seat in Warner’s face. Both men were bleeding at the time.

Moxley kicked into high gear for a suicide dive, superplex and hammered elbows. Warner blocked the elbows to come back for a running knee. Moxley ate the contact and kept pushing forward for a double bracelet. He moved on to stomping Warner’s head. Mox hit a piledriver and went back to more head stomping.

The champ held onto a standing bulldog choke for the win as Warner passed out.

Jon Moxley defeated Mance Warner.

QT Marshall offered the services of The Factory to protect Ricky Starks from Will Hobbs. Starks told QT to kiss his ass and bumped into QT on the way out. Anthony Ogogo objected, but QT calmed him down.

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Ryan Nemeth

Takeshita handled affairs despite interference from Peter Avalon. Nemeth was too busy rotating his hips that Takeshita escaped a daredevil to pounce for a Blue Thunder Bomb. A running knee sealed the deal.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Ryan Nemeth.

Afterwards, Avalon attacked, but Takeshita quickly got rid of Pretty Peter with a running knee.

Best Friends were in the workout room tending to Orange Cassidy’s sore knee. Not being in the top 5 in singles or tag team made them realize that they are better in trios. The Best Friends team has decided to pursue the new AEW Trios Championship. On the hoorah hand gesture, Dr. Danhausen also glued his hand.

Madison Rayne vs. Leila Gray

Rayne had momentum early in his AEW in-ring debut with belts, backslides and arm drags. Stokely Hathaway stomped on the ring steps to distract Gray to knock Rayne off the apron. Gray followed with a ground suplex. Rookie Baddie worked on grinding Rayne to stay in control. The former Knockouts champion rallied with a Northern Lights suplex. Gray escaped a ripcord setup to counter a side slam. Tedders were swapped back and forth. Rayne scored a sliding lariat to finish with the rolling cutter Cross Rayne.

Madison Rayne defeated Leila Grey.

In the aftermath, Jade Cargill announced an open challenge for the TBS Championship on dynamite. She encouraged Rayne to agree, so she could beat that ass. Kiera Hogan went into an ambush. Rayne turned the tables for a rolling knife. Jade vs. Rayne in a TBS title fight was then made official for next week.

Hype promo pack for Lucha Bros vs. Los Ingobernables on dynamite. Shut up or shut up. It’s time to fight. Lucha reigns. Slogans all around.

Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Mark Sterling excited Tony Nese and Josh Woods. Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee felt it was a foolish choice to stage a street fight. Nese and Woods went to the wrong people. They will become nothing more than a footnote on the champions path to defend against a properly ranked tag team. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”

Friday Night Street Fight: Tony Nese & Josh Woods vs. Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee

The AEW World Tag Team Championship was not on the line. Mark Sterling was at ringside like a pest throughout. Brawl to start with Nese throwing protein powder in Lee’s face. As Nese yelled at him, Swerve threw the bottle in Nese’s face. Swerve threw a toolbox down the ring steps, narrowly missing Nese. Nese used this item to hit Lee. That was pretty much the end of the effrontery. The rest of the match was mostly serious action.

Highlights include Woods performing a twisted brainbuster for Swerve on the ring steps.

Nese and Woods hit a double DDT to Lee on a chair. As they stacked up for a pin, Swerve took off for a 450 splash to make the save.

Nese and Woods set up Swerve on a table, but Lee brutalized those fools outside the ring. Sterling saw his chance for a flying attack on Swerve. After Smart Mark ran up the corner, Lee pushed him away, crashing through the table.

Woods attempted a German suplex to Lee from the apron through tables, however, Lee used his strength to grab the ropes as a defense. Nese super kicked Lee, and Woods slammed the big man through the wood.

This set up the finish between Nese and Swerve. Nese stacked a pile of loot only for Swerve to drop on the items. Swerve seized the moment for a flying double stomp for the win.

Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee defeated Tony Nese and Josh Woods.

Thank goodness Jon Moxley is a buzz of violence. Mance Warner wanted a fight, and he was given a fight. It was a real donnybrook of entertainment. The action delivered, but it was their slobbery personalities that won me over. Eagerness to throw punches and defiant middle fingers in the face of pain set the mood for Moxley to turn up the heat at the end. He destroyed Warner so hard I’m super excited for his title fight against Chris Jericho on dynamite. Jericho was strong Wednesday and Moxley was strong Friday. Both men climax at just the right time to create an extra layer of anticipation. As quick as the build was, AEW hits all the right notes for a mega match feel.

AEW often features new faces against stars on equal footing, and the star hits a special move at the end for the win. It looks like the star is getting away with a win against a wrestler we may not see on TV again for a while. When I mention that I would prefer a more emphatic finish for the star in these storylines, Moxley vs. Warner is what I’m talking about. They squared off, making Warner look tough in the process, and then Mox upped his game to crush the competition. Warner was impressive, and Moxley was even more impressive. Win, win.

Damn, this Friday Night Street Fight main event was way better than I expected. I went there thinking it would be a showcase for Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee, however, Tony Nese and Josh Woods stepped up their physique as competitive threats. Even Mark Sterling positively added to the experience. He may be cartoonish, but he does a good job of stirring up emotions to get his ass kicked. And when that happens, Sterling takes a heavy hit to produce instant gratification for viewers.

The German suplex table spot was awesome. They did well with Woods’ teasing of anticipating the move. I thought Lee would counterattack to take control, and it added a pleasant element of surprise that the heels actually pulled off the maneuver. It was a real shit moment.

I’m all on board for Madison Rayne to challenge Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship. This is to capitalize on the hot buzz of Rayne’s arrival. Her stock may never be higher in AEW, especially if she’s more focused on her coaching role behind the scenes. AEW might as well give Cargill the snag. Jade’s feud with Athena is dangerously close to becoming stale as she has yet to pull the trigger when booking this match as a title fight. At this point I guess AEW is saving it for the All out VPP. Jade vs. Rayne may help extend Jade vs. Athena’s lifespan as AEW stalls until All out.

Quick thoughts to conclude. The possibility of Ricky Starks versus Anthony Ogogo intrigued me. Nick Comoroto peeked out with his Candy Man lollipop, white hat, blue jumpsuit and fat chest. Konosuke Takeshita built some quality momentum ahead of the ROH World Championship match against Claudio Castagnoli at Battle of the Belts III Saturday evening. The comments did their best with hyperbolic praise to build the hype for this fight.

Category B

Solid show exceeding expectations. The action was rowdy for the opening and main event. The anticipation was built towards the gains to Battle of the Belts III and dynamite.

Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? Who stole the show?

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