AEW World Champion Jon Moxley def. "Daddy Magic" Matt Menard in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Match
Moxley was originally scheduled to team with Wheeler Yuta to take on Menard and Angelo Parker, but Yuta being double-booked for a New Japan Pro-Wrestling event caused him to miss this show, turning it into a one-on-one affair with Moxley and Menard instead. As much as I enjoy Menard, I don't know if it was necessary for him to look competitive in there with Moxley. I guess they had to kill television time somehow. The crowd loved Moxley, if nothing else. We also got the setup for Moxley against Lee Moriarty next week on Dynamite.
Keith Lee def. Serpentico
This was barely 30 seconds long, if that. In other words, it was exactly what it needed to be. They spent the rest of the time having Lee interact with The Acclaimed in the ring while Swerve Strickland seemingly tortured Billy Gunn in the back. That whole segment was stupid. Strickland is obviously headed toward a full-fledged heel turn and I was already looking forward to Acclaimed vs. Swerve In Our Glory III, but this did nothing to add to my anticipation for it. It felt like a segment written and produced by Vince McMahon when WWE Raw was at its worst.
Tay Melo def. Madison Rayne
I remember Melo and Anna Jay beating Rayne and Skye Blue in tag team action a few weeks ago, but that's about the only reason I can think of for why this match happened. Rayne hasn't been a regular on AEW TV since she joined the company, so I'm not surprised the crowd wasn't super behind her here. She and Melo had a well-wrestled match, but again, this felt random and AEW hasn't done much to make people care about them as of late.
AEW TNT Champion Wardlow def. Matt Taven
It was really cool to be present for Taven's AEW in-ring debut. He was one of the very first wrestlers I saw live at an independent wrestling show in May 2009 and he's obviously made big strides since then in Ring of Honor and recently in IMPACT and the NWA. The only issue was that he had no chance of winning the TNT title and thus the crowd didn't take him seriously as a threat whatsoever. I was actually surprised this was as short as it was, as it doesn't do Taven any favors out of the gate assuming he's signed with AEW now. The post-match angle was your average AEW brawl, but I was happy Powerhouse Hobbs returned after being away for the last month.
I attended this edition of Rampage at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and had an enjoyable experience, and that includes the two-hour Dark taping they had beforehand. I assume those matches will air over two episodes, but I can easily see them doing a two-hour show next week because that's just how AEW is sometimes. Nonetheless, Rampage remains an inconsequential program. Having Wardlow and Moxley in action on this show helped, but nothing in the middle stood out as special and everything was predictable. Tony Khan really needs to do a better job of making the program more worthwhile on a weekly basis.