AEW Rampage Preview for July 7, 2023
Well, it was certainly a memorable birthday for Adam Cole on Wednesday when he and MJF advanced in the Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament over the duo of...Magic Meat... “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard and The Butcher. Not only did he get the victory, but Cole also got to put some cake in Max's face: that would be a win-win. Plus, Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin advanced in the tournament over the forcibly reunited Swerve In Our Glory, Ruby Soho advanced in the Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament with a little help from her friends, and Kenny Omega put down Wheeler Yuta as the BCC/Elite hostilities continue to escalate towards Blood & Guts III in Boston!
As AEW heads towards the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Finals at the Calgary Stampede, RAMPAGE comes your way this Friday night at 10:00PM ET/9:00pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences! On tap are two more Quarter-Final matches in the Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament, Hikaru Shida and Marina Shafir in battle, and a trios rematch between The Dark Order and The Elite!
Before the night begins, be sure to drop by the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from recent episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the latest edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, plus a little AEW: FIGHT FOREVER tease, and so much more!
Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament Quarter-Final Match...
Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara vs. Jeff Jarrett & Matt Hardy
Well this Blind Eliminator tournament has certainly produced some unique pairings, Daddy Magic and Butcher the first springing to mind, but Jeff Jarrett teaming with Matt Hardy takes the cake. Here are two men with a wealth of experience, who could likely pool their collective knowledge to run the tournament table, and even look to their lone victorious outing as a team a dozen years ago as example of the potential. But can they, and their respective entourages, possibly co-exist to make that a reality? With Jeff comes Karen Jarrett, Satnam Singh, Jay Lethal, and Sonjay Dutt, all of who are more than willing to break the rules at a moment's notice and win this thing by any means necessary. With Matt, we've got Brother Zay, who will support his mentor any way he can, and “All Ego” Ethan Page who is barely accepting of the idea that he's a contractually obligated to whatever Matt decreees. It's all a combustible situation on both sides, but if both camps can keep it together, there is so much potential for Jarrett and Hardy to be the winning team.
On the other side is The Jericho Appreciation Society duo of Daniel Garcia and Sammy Guevara who, based on what Chris said above and his encounter with the reviled Don Callis, seems to be letting his men spread their wings a bit. He's actually encouraging them to go do their own thing, separate from his leadership, and win the whole tournament. It's a far cry from a Jericho who, in the past, has given Sammy grief for moment he's tread his own path as TNT Champion, and Guevara's face as Jericho talks clearly shows he's not sold on the words of “Le Champion”. Still, Sammy and Garcia have shown potential as a team in the past, back when Jericho essentially ordered Garcia to sit under Sammy's learning tree, creating a tag team with far more continuity then the Jarrett/Hardy duo.
We already know the duos of Adam Cole & MJF and Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin have advanced into the Semi-Finals; who will join them in this pursuit of a future World Tag Team Title bout?
Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament Quarter-Final Match...
Big Bill & Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal & Trent Beretta
Speaking of the wild pairings created by this tournament, with this bout we've got two absolute monsters on one side of the ring and on the other we've got two men who've been foes in the past, but for both teams this will be a first time outing! Matt Sydal and Trent Beretta are no strangers to one another, they've just never been on the same side of the fight before, instead battling over the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles several times in 2016, as well as multiple battles in the year prior, with their last clash taking place in a 2017 Three Way Match for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
As for Big Bill and Brian Cage, there is no history there save both men being in the Blackjack Battle Royale at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, meaning nothing to get in their way of smashing opponents together en route to winning the whole tournament. These are two of the biggest men in All Elite Wrestling, now operating with the same championship intentions, and that should scare everyone involved in this tournament, not just their opponents this Friday night! Will the history between Sydal and Trent make it difficult for them to operate together, or is it just water under the bridge after all these years? And even if they operate smoothly, can Trent and Sydal overcome the sheer physical advantage that Cage and Big Bill have over them?
Hikaru Shida vs. “The Problem” Marina Shafir
As the most successful AEW Women's World Champion to date, Hikaru Shida is already part of the All Elite Wrestling history books, but she wants more, and that seems like a run at the TBS Championship and its bearer Kris Statlander. Shida has won three straight singles matches since a World Championship loss to Jamie Hayter last December, and four of her last five, including a tag bout over The Outcasts and last week's victory over Taya Valkyrie, so she is trying to build that resume back up ahead of trying to become the first woman to hold both championships in the division.
Marina Shafir has felt the sting of defeat at Shida's hands in the past, the 10/11/22 edition of DARK to be exact, and does not want history to repeat itself this Friday night. She no doubt has her own designs on becoming a champion in AEW, that requires some victories under her belt, and one over the former AEW Women's World Champion would be a huge boon to that resume.
Can Shida continue to rebuild momentum in her AEW career, or will Marina be the problem Shida can't solve for a second time?
Adam Page & The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs. The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds, Evil Uno, & John Silver)
This is a loaded affair, the history between the two units dating back to the very earliest days of All Elite Wrestling, but it became increasingly personal in the last couple years as The Dark Order embraced Hangman during his darkest days. During the time when Page was excommunicated from The Elite, when he struggled with personal demons, with his own self-confidence, and couldn't find a consistent belief in his own worth as a man. During all that, The Dark Order was there for him, but now what those men see is Hangman returning to those who abandoned him, and in turn abandoning Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver in the process.
After losing so many friends, after seeing Preston Vance leave them for LFI, and feeling the pain of Stu Grayon abandoning The Dark Order for The Righteous, the three remaining men, and Uno in particular, are not going to let Hangman do the same without facing some consequences. Last week, The Elite and Dark Order threw down in a Trios match that was won by the former AEW World and World Tag Team Champions, but ultimately ended in The Elite decimated by Blackpool Combat Club and the Blood & Guts challenge being issued.
This Friday night on RAMPAGE, Dark Order will have a second opportunity to express their hurt and disappointment in the form of some good old fashioned pro wrestling violence. It's Dark Order versus Elite, Round 2, this Friday night, and it's going down right off the top at 10pm ET/9pm CT!
RAMPAGE is coming this Friday night at 10:00pm ET/9:00pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for AEW's international fans, and features TWO Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament bouts, Marina Shafir versus Hikaru Shida, and The Dark Order battling The Elite in trios action! Before the night gets underway, visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week's episode of DYNAMITE, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023 highlights, AEW: FIGHT FOREVER footage, and more!