Adam Cole def. Trent Beretta
Beretta has shined in almost every singles opportunity he's gotten over the last few years in AEW. With the stacked roster AEW now has, I never see him having a successful run on his own, but I enjoy his matches more than anyone else's in Best Friends for the most part. Cole winning here was the correct outcome and it was a very enjoyable opener to boot. The focus is less on the feuding factions and more on the tension being teased within the ranks of Cole, reDRagon and The Young Bucks.
Shawn Spears def. Andrew Everett
I remember Everett from the time he spent in IMPACT years ago as well as the few matches he had in Ring of Honor back in 2020. Thus, I was looking forward to seeing what he could do here, but unfortunately, Spears beat him in under a minute. Hell, Spears' post-match promo lasted longer. He addressed CM Punk, but it was pretty standard stuff. Spears has bored me to tears for at least two years now, but hopefully he and Punk have a decent match on Dynamite.
The Bunny, Penelope Ford and Nyla Rose def. "Legit" Leyla Hirsch, Kris Statlander and Red Velvet
All of these women feel like they're in a second tier of the women's division because none of them are ever positioned as special beyond the occasional title match. None of them also seem to win whenever it matters most. Hirsch and Statlander have been teasing tension for weeks, so it was apparent that would cost them the win here. This was a solid six-woman tag team affair otherwise and it was nicely paced. I don't see the heels benefiting much from the victory.
Jay Lethal Challenged Ricky Starks for the FTW Championship
Lethal coming to Dante Martin's aid on Wednesday's Dynamite felt very random to me, but Lethal tried to explain here that he's been watching what Team Taz has been doing to Martin and he hasn't approved of their actions. What has he been watching exactly? Team Taz has been off AEW programming almost as long as he has. Nonetheless, this was a fine face-off to set up a match between them. The FTW Championship possibly being on the line means absolutely nothing.
AEW World Tag Team Champions Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) def. The Dark Order (John Silver and Alex Reynolds)
It's crazy to think that Silver and Reynolds hadn't reached a title shot at all prior to this point. They're a terrific team but need to be booked to look strong more consistently and stop focusing so much on the goofy stuff. They were able to showcase their skills here and it was an entertaining main event, but the biggest issue with it was that there was no way Jurassic Express were losing the titles in their first defense. This would have benefited from a bit more build, but it was fun on the whole.
Rampage doesn't ordinarily have a four-match format and there's a reason for that. The Spears squash was completely pointless since it attempted to establish him as a threat to Punk when we all know he's not. Everything else served a purpose and was either effective or enjoyable, but I just didn't find the show to be as must-see as Dynamite is most weeks. The fact it wasn't live didn't help, so giving people more of an incentive to tune in is something they have to work on with Rampage going forward.