Darby Allin def. The Butcher by Count-Out
Until the commentators mentioned it, I had no idea Butcher was legitimately injured by Allin during a match they had about a year ago. That made this match more meaningful even though the outcome was predictable. Butcher and The Blade don't do much for me, but Butcher looked credible in defeat. Matt Hardy challenged A.F.O's Private Party, Butcher and Blade to an eight-man Tornado tag team match (with Jeff Hardy, Allin and Sting as his partners) on Wednesday's Dynamite and it has since been made official.
Red Velvet def. "Legit" Leyla Hirsch
This was a rematch from the Beach Break show back at the end of January. Hirsch seems to be slowly getting over as a heel, which is encouraging. They had a perfectly solid match and I appreciated that they were given more than five minutes. Kris Statlander resurfaced at the end with a slightly new look to help Velvet pick up the victory, resuming her rivalry with Hirsch in the process. Statlander's alien gimmick grew stale a while ago, so I like that she's moving in a new direction.
House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King and Buddy Matthews) def. Fuego Del Sol and Bear Country
Next to whatever William Regal is doing with Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley, House of Black are one of my favorite factions in AEW. They're just so damn cool. In fact, that may become an issue if AEW wants them as heels. They're a lot of fun to watch in the ring and I get the feeling that's going to turn them babyface eventually. This crowd couldn't have cared less about Fuego and especially Bear Country. This was essentially a showcase for House of Black and they shined.
Keith Lee def. Max Caster
It's interesting that this was positioned as the main event considering there was no doubt surrounding the outcome. Maybe it's because the show started and ended so damn late that they wanted to get the bigger stuff out of the way early in case viewers who were too tired tuned out? Either way, this was a quality main event. It wasn't exactly main event worthy, but they made nice use of the time they had. I'm glad Lee is building momentum with wins while also feuding with Powerhouse Hobbs. Post-match, Swerve Strickland made the save for Lee against The Acclaimed, Hobbs and Ricky Starks.
It's a shame this show aired so late on the east coast due to the basketball coverage on TNT because it turned out being a thumbs-up show by Rampage standards. There was plenty of entertaining action and storyline progression, setting up several matches for Dynamite next week. This wasn't a must-see show by any means, but I didn't expect it to be given the timeslot. It was an enjoyable hour of wrestling.