AEW TNT Champion Sammy Guevara def. Tony Nese
There was never any doubt that Guevara was winning here, but it gave Nese a chance to show the AEW audience what he's capable of (what a lot of people missed out on during his time in WWE because barely anyone was watching 205 Live by the end) and I thought he made the most of his opportunity. The TNT title felt like an afterthought during the recent Inner Circle vs. American Top Team and Men of the Year feud, so I hope he can continue to have fun matches for the title like we saw here. This was the perfect match to open the show with.
Jade Cargill def. Janai Kai
Kai is one of Thunder Rosa's students and Rosa sat in on commentary for this. Of course, Rosa and Cargill will face off in the semifinals of the AEW TBS Women's Championship Tournament. This wasn't much of a match at all as Cargill hit maybe two or three moves before putting Kai away for the win. It was what it was, though I wish Cargill didn't hit that "bicycle kick" on Kai afterward because it looked terrible. The brawl set the stage nicely for their upcoming clash.
AAA World Tag Team Champions FTR def. Death Triangle (Pac and AEW World Tag Team Champion Penta El Zero M) (Non-Title)
We were supposed to get the two-out-of-three falls match between The Lucha Brothers and FTR for the AEW World Tag Team Championship on this show before Rey Fenix had to pull out due to an injury or travel issue (I forget which it was but it may have been both). However, it's not like the match quality suffered at all with Pac in there instead. It was equally enjoyable. They told a great story with Pac having a bad eye and Malaki Black misting Pac in his one good eye protected Death Triangle in defeat. FTR have the momentum heading into their AEW World Tag Team title match and now we know what's next for Pac and Black. Sign me up for that.
Rampage has had some weird weeks in recent memory, but this was one of the more well-rounded episodes I can remember. It's extra impressive when you consider this was taped and the crowd is usually exhausted from Dynamite, but that wasn't the case here. Guevara vs. Nese was exactly what I wanted it to be, Cargill vs. Kai was short and sweet, and the main event was a terrific treat. We also got setup for several matches next Wednesday on Dynamite, so this was a successful show in my eyes.