AEW Rampage (July 22, 2022) emanated from Gas South Arena in Atlanta, GA. The final night of the Fyter Fest extravaganza saw Jay Lethal send a violent message to Samoa Joe, Max Caster knocking Austin Gunn into oblivion, as well as Hangman Page and John Silver going wild.
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.
Hangman Page & John Silver vs. Butcher & Blade
The pattern was Silver running wild, Butcher and Blade tag team control, Hangman running wild, Butcher and Blade tag team control, then repeat the cycle several times. The beginning of the end had a lariat showdown between Hangman and Butcher. Butcher broke a German suplex, but Hangman turned to hammer a rolling lariat. Hangman was ready for the Buckshot Lariat until Blade caught his foot on the outside. Silver took care of Blade with a cannonball on the apron. The good guys scored a rapid-fire team attack on Butcher to set up the Buckshot Lariat for victory.
Hangman Page and John Silver defeated Butcher & Blade.
Claudio Castagnoli was in the ring to promote his ROH World Championship match against Jonathan Gresham at Death before dishonor July 23. Even though a world title eluded Claudio in his career, he always believed he was the best thanks to the support of the fans. Gresham claims he can outwit anyone, but he’s never stepped into the ring with Claudio. Gresham’s mistake was shooting Superman’s cape. Claudio will become the new ROH World Champion.
Wardlow wants to defend the TNT Championship against the best. He will beat the crap out of every pro wrestling locker room. Wardlow welcomes everyone to the world of Wardlow to find out where they stand.
Dante Martin vs. Lee Moriarty
Matt Sydal was in the front row. Stokely Hathaway came down to watch the action from the ramp. Moriarty used sturdy mat work, while Martin scored high-flying attacks. In the end, Moriarty locked the Border City Stretch submission. Martin slowly walked over to the rope to catch it with his free hand for the break. Martin rallied with a half and half sitout slam. Martin went for his double moonsault, but Moriarty ducked. Martin used a belt in the ropes for a wrap. Moriarty reversed for first place and grabbed the ropes to cheat for the win.
Lee Moriarty defeated Dante Martin.
Afterwards, Sydal questioned Moriarty’s desperation for a big win that he would resort to cheating. Sydal challenged Moriarty to a teacher vs. student match next week. When Moriarty came out, he refused to accept Hathaway’s business card.
Dr Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter vs. Skye Blue and Ashley D’Amboise
Reba was at ringside with a sandbag. Baker and Hayter dominated Blue. Baker hit a vicious twisted daredevil hanging from the apron to the floor.
D’Amboise showed skill on a hot tag, but the double team had it. A backbreaker from Hayter, a suplex butterfly from Baker, a blind lariat from Hayter, then a Lockjaw submission from Baker sealed the deal.
Dr. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter defeated Skye Blue and Ashley D’Amboise.
Thumbnail for Ari Daivari showing money.
Max Caster dueled Austin Gunn in a rap battle. Both men had entourages. Lil Scrappy was the judge. The lines were spat back and forth.
Austin had a chance to respond, but he lost his temper and couldn’t continue. The win was awarded to The Acclaimed. Punches broke out with Billy Gunn clearing the ring. He threw a trash can at Austin to hit Caster.
Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Christopher Daniels doesn’t need to defend Samoa Joe. He’s just sick of Joe’s names being dragged through the mud. Jay Lethal replied that he was going to drag the CD through the mud of the ring. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”
Caprice Coleman joined as commentary and Bobby Cruise was ring announcer for the main event.
Christopher Daniels vs. Jay Lethal
Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh were front row seats. Back and forth action to start, then Lethal took over with a pair of suicide dives. Dutt added some kicks to Daniels on the outside. Lethal maintained control with a cartwheel dropkick. Daniels rallied with corner shots, an STO and a Blue Thunder Bomb. Lethal roared for a Lethal Combination backbreaker to reverse STO. Lethal threw for a flying elbow drop, but he anticipated Daniels lifting his foot and landing on purpose. Lethal ripped off CD’s leg for a figure four, however, Daniels replied for a small package. Lethal burst for a big boot. Daniels countered a lethal injection into an Angel’s wings only to see Lethal counter a body drop in the back. Lethal pounced for the Lethal Injection cutter for the win.
Jay Lethal defeated Christopher Daniels.
Afterwards, Lethal poured more pain as a message to Samoa Joe. Military press Singh threw Daniels to the ground. Lethal muffled the CD cold.
This episode of Carnage was stuck in the middle between AEW and ROH. The show has had a bit of an identity crisis between giving AEW fans the stars they desire and pushing the hype for the Death before dishonor VPP.
Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels had a great dance in the ring. It was nice to see two veteran enemies go head-to-head once again. Lethal has handled business hard enough to show that he will be a threat to take the ROH TV title from Samoa Joe. Smothering Daniels to send a message might not be the smartest move. Joe is a killer. Pushing a killer like that can only lead to more pain.
Claudio Castagnoli cut a great promo for his fight with Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Championship. As a Jim Croce fan, the line about pulling Superman’s cape jumped out at me. Carnage also aired several video packages for ROH PPV matches. Other competitions have also been announced. The biggest surprise being Rush vs. Dragon Lee in Brother vs. Brother. It’s going to be a badass fight. The ROH pre-show added Brian Cage & The Gates of Agony vs. Tony Deppen, Alex Zayne & Blake Christian, Colt Cabana vs. Anthony Henry, and Cheeseburger & Eli Isom vs. Ari Daivari & Slim J.
On the AEW side, Hangman Page and John Silver gave people what they wanted for a fun fight. They took turns with a high-octane attack to win the adoration. Winning Hangman and Silver was the right call tonight, but I’m not a fan of this recent trend of makeshift duos beating established tag teams. This somewhat decreases the difficulty it takes to form a team bond in the ring.
Dante Martin versus Lee Moriarty was the most interesting contest of the evening. Moriarty’s victory was a surprise, as was his cheating. I love that this is used as character development for Moriarty as a young gun. The man has skills, and now he’s striving to make viewers care enough to clap or laugh.
Mileage will vary for the rap battle between Max Caster and Austin Gunn. Personally, I was intrigued but I didn’t find it very interesting. Staged rap battles will rarely compare to the real thing, especially when the material is toned down for family television. I hope the next stage of this feud will be a fat posing competition.
Solid show with entertaining action. This episode didn’t make me feel strongly about anything and never bored me. It was a nice way to pass the hour on a Friday night.
Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? Who stole the show?