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Hall’s AEW Rampage Review 9.8.23

September 9, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
AEW Rampage 9-8-23 Samoa Joe Image Credit: AEW
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Hall’s AEW Rampage Review 9.8.23  

Date: September 8, 2023
Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho

We actually have a pretty stacked show this week as the #1 contenders tournament continues here. There are two first round matches here as things are starting to feel a lot bigger in a hurry. Grand Slam is in less than a month and AEW is going to have to start setting things up for the show. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Grand Slam #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Jay Lethal vs. Penta El Zero Miedo

Alex Abrahantes and all of Lethal’s associates are at ringside. Feeling out process to start with Lethal offering a handshake but opting for a strut instead. Penta hits him in the face and struts a bit as well, setting up the exchange of chops. Penta chops him in the corner and a double stomp gets one. More strutting ensues so Jeff Jarrett goes for Penta’s foot. That just earns him a stomp onto the hand and Penta teases a dive onto Lethal.

Instead he superkicks Lethal to the floor but the numbers game catches up to Penta. Karen ties the mask to the ropes, which is described as genius, assuming you ignore that Lethal can’t win if Penta is in the ropes. Everyone but Abrahantes gets ejected and we take a break. Back with Penta hitting a big flip dive tot he floor, setting up his third strut. The top rope double stomp gets two on Lethal but he’s back with a knockdown of his own. Lethal goes for the guitar but Abrahantes pulls it away. The Lethal Injection is countered into a Backstabber and Penta snaps the arm. The Fear Factor finishes Lethal at 11:37.

Rating: B-. I can go for more of Penta on his own as he has never really had the chance to shine without his brother in AEW. There is a grand total of no chance of him winning the tournament but getting a win before he gets to lose in the second round works well for him. Lethal is the definition of a good hand and he can do his thing even better without all of the interference going on. Nice opener with some stakes here.

We look at the issues between Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara from Dynamite.

Here is Sammy to interrupt Jericho talking at the commentary desk. They know they’re getting on each other’s nerves and now they want to hit each other in the face. They’re on the way to being Tag Team Champions but they need to get this out of their systems. They’ll do that at Grand Slam.

Video on Samoa Joe/MJF from Dynamite.

The Bunny/Anna Jay/Taya Valkyrie vs. Hikaru Shida/Skye Blue/Britt Baker

Penelope Ford is here with the villains. Bunny and Blue start things off with the former blocking an armdrag. Blue rolls her up for two and waves before it’s off to Taya for a change. Taya gets in a heck of a forearm to take over and we take a break. Back with Shida coming in to forearm away at Anna but Taya breaks up the torture rack drop. Everything breaks down and Baker clears the ring but Shida misses a top rope double stomp. Baker and Shida are sent into each other, leaving Bunny to hit a running knee lift for two. Not that it matters as Baker pulls her into Lockjaw for the tap at 7:31.

Rating: C. This was the latest “here’s a bunch of the women’s division in a nothing tag match” of the week. Things have picked up a bit in the title pictures but the rest of the division is one random match after another. It wasn’t a bad match or anything, but you had six women in about seven and a half minutes with a break included. What were they supposed to get out of this?

Post match Baker and Shida argue over the collision but things seem cool.

Video on Hook.

Young Bucks vs. Matt Menard/Angelo Parker

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll only call Matt Jackson “Matt” and Matt Menard will be “Menard”. Jake Hager is here with Menard and Parker. Nick and Parker start things off but the Bucks quickly start the double teaming and clean house. We settle down to the Bucks working on Parker’s arm but a quick trip from the floor puts Matt in trouble. Menard comes in for a snap suplex and the villains get to take turns with the beating. Matt fights out of the corner and then does it again, allowing the tag off to Nick. Everything breaks down and superkicks abound, setting up the BTE Trigger to finish Menard at 5:07.

Rating: C+. This was a good use of the Bucks, as the team knows how to do this match like few others today. Sometimes you need a quick showcase for a team and it’s not like there was much doubt over who was winning here. The fans still respond to them so giving them five minutes out there is a smart way to go.

Mike Santana talks about how he came to a fork in the world. People have been asking questions and now they’ll get answers. He has to travel on his own though and he’s here to be the guy. Deal with it.

Here’s what’s coming on various shows.

Video on Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy.

Grand Slam #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe

Joe’s ROH TV Title isn’t on the line. Jeff kicks the leg out to start and adds a basement dropkick to the back. A middle rope clothesline gets two but Joe goes basic by biting Jeff’s head. We take a break and come back with Jeff jawbreaking his way to freedom to leave them both down for a bit. Joe snaps off the jabs in the corner but Jeff manages a quick Whisper In The Wind. Jeff makes the comeback with his usual sequence but the Twist of Fate is pulled into the Koquina Clutch to knock him out at 8:33.

Rating: B-. You can point out all of the issues that Hardy has but dang he has more charisma than he knows what to do with a lot of the time. He just has that presence to him and it feels like you’re watching something special when he’s out there. That being said, Joe is going to the finals at least and they didn’t really hide it after showing that video on him vs. MJF. Still though, this felt like a match between two legends and that’s why it was taking place.


Penta El Zero Miedo b. Jay Lethal – Fear Factor
Britt Baker/Skye Blue/Hikaru Shida b. The Bunny/Anna Jay/Taya Valkyrie – Lockjaw to Bunny
Young Bucks b. Matt Menard/Angelo Parker – BTE Trigger to Menard
Samoa Joe b. Jeff Hardy – Koquina Clutch



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The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The important thing here is that it felt like there were some stakes to this. You had the two tournament matches plus the Bucks making a short cameo, which makes for a pretty big edition of Rampage. I still don’t see much for the future of this show, but it’s nice to have something feel like it matters for a change around here.

article topics :

AEW Rampage, Thomas Hall