On Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite, Jon Moxley issued an open challenge to anyone on the roster who felt ready to step up to his level. Past opponent Konosuke Takeshita took him up on the offer and the two will square off in the main event of tonight’s AEW Rampage.
The two battled in July with Moxley picking up the victory.
AEW All-Atlantic Champion Orange Cassidy will defend the title against an opponent of recent rival Kip Sabian’s choosing. Cassidy suggested Sabin take his challenge, but Sabian was feigning an injury from Wednesday’s Dynamite Diamond battle royal.
Queen of WAVE Champion Hikaru Shida will defend the title against The Bunny with the winner earning a future AEW Women’s title shot against Jamie Hayter.
The Firm’s Lee Moriarty & Big Bill (the former W. Morrissey) will be in tag team action in Bill’s first match anywhere since June.
The show will also feature insights from Tay Conti, Ruby Soho and Athena, and it’s expected matches for Saturday’s Zero Hour pre-show for ROH Final Battle will be announced.
Taped in Austin, Texas.
Jim Ross, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone were on commentary.
Jon Moxley defeated Konosuke Takeshita (14:04)
This is a rematch from Fyter Fast back in July. Both men exchanged chops and forearms after some solid mat work. Takeshita tried for a suplex, but Moxley countered into an attempt at the Paradigm Shift, that Takeshita barely escaped. Moxley extended a handshake to Takeshita, then pulled it back in favor of a hard slap. Moxley followed up with hard chops in the corner. After another series of forearms, Takeshita caught Moxley with a hurricanrana from a standing position that sent Moxley to the floor, and Takeshita followed him out with a tope con hilo.
The brawl went into the crowd as Don Callis watched from a sky box (continuing the angle of Callis “scouting” Takeshita on Dark Elevation). Moxley and Takeshita brawled through the crowd during the split screen break.
After the break, Moxley was bleeding (of course). Moxley got a near fall from a piledriver. Takeshita backdropped Moxley out of a second piledriver attempt and turned Moxley inside out with a lariat. Takeshita followed up with a flying clothesline dubbed the “Takeshitaline” by Excalibur. The fight went onto the ring apron, and Takeshita dropped Moxley with a DDT, then followed Moxley in with a slingshot DDT for a near fall.
Takeshita went for a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Moxley transitioned into a kimura attempt that Takeshita escaped. After another exchange of forearms, Moxley flattened Takeshita with the King Kong lariat. Takeshita countered another Paradigm Shift attempt with a backslide. Takeshita floored Moxley with a knee, and the Sheer Drop brainbuster got a near fall.
The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” while Takeshita sets up Moxley for a superplex. Moxley countered and sent Takeshita to the mat. Takeshita escaped a third Paradigm Shift with a forearm, then escaped a rear naked choke with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall.
Takeshita hits a deadlift german suplex for two. He went for a frog splash, but Moxley got his knees up, then Moxley reigned down on Takeshita with the hammer and tongs elbows. Moxley hit a Death Rider and Takeshita kicked out at one and man did the crowd come alive for that. Moxley hit a jumping knee for a near fall, then kicked in Takeshita’s teeth while the crowd booed! Moxley went for a cross arm breaker, but Takeshita countered and kicked in Moxley’s teeth! Moxley countered with a kick to the face, then brought forearms down on the back of Takeshita’s head. Moxley locked in a bulldog choke, and the crowd shouted “don’t give up!” And Takeshita didn’t give up, but he did pass out, giving Moxley the victory.
This was the best Rampage match in forever, made better by the rabid crowd. The crowd was super into Takeshita by the end of this match and he needs to immediately be put into some kind of program on Dynamite to take advantage of it.
After the match, Adam Page came out with a microphone. Page said Doc Sampson won’t clear him to wrestle “because of his brain.” Since Page isn’t thinking straight anyway, he attacked Moxley. Moxley and Page brawled until Moxley whipped Page into the barricade. The rest of the Blackpool Combat Club got Moxley out of there while Page staggered around with the medical staff.
– Another chapter from the Book of Hobbs. Push this man already.
– Stokely Hathaway showed a tape exposing some malfeasance committed by the official’s in Hook’s match a few weeks ago with Lee Moriarty. Will this injustice be overturned? Until then, off to the Waffle House with MJF’s money!
Hikaru Shida defeated The Bunny (w/ Penelope Ford) to retain the Queen of Wave Championship (6:21 aired)
This is also for a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship.
This was one of those matches where not much happened before the show went to a long commercial break. Then they showed a bunch of clips of what happened during the break when they got back.
Shida countered Bunny’s “Down the Rabbit Hole” finisher with one of her own. Shida went for the cover, but Peleope Ford tossed Shida’s kendo stick into the ring to break up the pin. Shida went after Ford on the floor. After some miscommunications from the heels, Shida hit Bunny with a meteor on the floor. Back in the ring, Shida dropped Bunny with a Michinoku Driver, then finished Bunny off with a spinning kick. Seemed like most of the match happened in split-screen and during the commercial.
After the match, Jamie Hayter came out to confront Shida from the entrance stage. They both have belts!
– Brief promo for the ROH World Women’s title match on tomorrow’s pay-per-view.
Lee Moriarty & Big Bill (w/ Stokely Hathaway) defeated Clayton Bloodstone & Izzy James (2:01)
“Big Bill” is the former “W Morrissey” or “Big Cass.” Lee Moriarty tied up one of his opponents with a death lock, and then when his partner ran in, tied him up with an abdominal stretch at the same time. Then Bill got the tag and booted Bloodstone to the floor. Big Bill chokeslammed James to get the win. This was a Dark match, but Big Bill looked real good here.
– Lexi Nair interviewed FTR. FTR accepted the challenge from the Briscoes for Final Battle tomorrow afternoon.
– Ortiz and Eddie Kingston challenged the House of Black.
– Excalibur ran down the matches for Zero Hour, Final Battle, and Winter is Coming, casually announcing that Jeff Cobb has a match on the pre-show.
Zero Battle: Willow Nightingale v. Trish Adora, Top Flight v. The Kingdom, Daddy Magic & Cool Hand Luke v. The Shinobi Shadow Squad, and Jeff Cobb v. Dorado mask.
New Matches for Final Battle: Dalton Castle & The Boys v. The Embassy, Blake Christian & AR Fox v. Dralistic & Rush.
Also added to Dynamite for Wednesday, Ruby Soho v. Tay Melo.
Orange Cassidy (w/ the Best Friends) defeated Trent Seven (w/ Sabian & Penelope Ford) to retain the AEW All-Atlantic Championship (11:53)
Danhausen tried to steal Mark Henry’s line during the Main Event promo segment.
Seven was Kip Sabian’s mystery opponent for Cassidy since he was “too injured” from Wednesday’s battle royal.
Cassidy tried to start with his hands in his pockets, but Seven stopped him to have Cassidy adjust his mustache instead. After a little more light comedy, the hard hitting began. The fight went to the floor, and Cassidy tried a chop but missed and hit the ringpost, injuring his hand. Cassidy chased Ford to the back.
Back in the ring, Cassidy went for the “high impact” kicks. Seven caught Cassidy with a DDT just as Ford returned with the Butcher & The Blade and the Bunny. They brawled with the Best Friends to the back while the show went to a split-screen commercial.
After another long break, Seven hit a top rope superplex for a near fall. Seven sent Cassidy to the floor with a backhand, but Cassidy pulled Sabian in the way of Seven’s tope. Cassidy hit his own top on Seven.
Back in the ring, Seven caught Cassidy with a half and half suplex, but Cassidy came back with Slumdog Millionaire. He went for a spinning DDT, but Seven countered that into a sideslam for a near fall.
Seven faked out Cassidy and caught him with a jab, then hit a short-arm clothesline for a near fall. Seven went for a Tiger Driver, but Cassidy flipped out of it and into a Beach Break attempt. Seven countered, but Cassidy hit a spinning DDT. Cassidy went for a diving DDT from the top, but Seven caught him with an uppercut. Seven got a near fall after a twisting piledriver.
The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” and Seven sets up a Burning Hammer. Cassidy escaped with a casadora, then hit the Beach Break and Orange Punch for the pin.
After the match, Kip Sabian immediately jumped Cassidy. Dustin Rhodes ran out to save Cassidy. He hit Sabian with a spinning powerslam on the floor, then hit the flip flop and fly and his trademark uppercut on Seven before taking him down with a powerslam as well.
Cassidy and Rhodes celebrated in the ring while Excalibur plugged Final Battle tomorrow at 4pm.
They could have ran a test pattern after the Moxley/Takeshita match and this still would have been the best Rampage in forever.