SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
Announcers: Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz, Ricky Starks (various combinations)
Tonight’s episode of Rampage was recorded this past Wednesday following Dynamite in the Hertz Arena in Estero, FL. just outside of Fort Myers. Four matches were announced.
A huge #AEWRampage is set for TOMORROW at 10/9c on @tntdrama!
–@swerveconfident makes his #AEW in ring debut v @TonyNese
–@RealKeithLee v #TheFactory's @QTMarshall
–@DarbyAllin v #PrivateParty’s @Marq_Quen
–@RealMMartinez v @jmehytr pic.twitter.com/kre82dBD2C
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 11, 2022
This past Sunday at Revolution, Shane “Swerve” Strickland graced the AEW faithful with his presence and signed a contract to become All Elite. He makes his debut tonight, taking on the “Premiere Athlete” Tony Nese in a battle of WWE hands that were realized within the last year and a half. Swerve was released in November along with the rest of the members of his faction Hit Row. He went by Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
This past Wednesday the match was set up when Nese interrupted Swerve being interviewed. He pointed out them having a history of wrestling each other on Friday nights and wanted to do so again. Swerve agreed and reminded his it’s his house. Here’s a little trash talk from Nese:
Why would you @ me on this?!
Click Here: Sadio Mane Jersey Sale
No respect. https://t.co/YBmmOjTuvy
— Tony Nese (@TonyNese) March 11, 2022
Frank’s Analysis: I can’t see anything but a Swerve win, and Nese is a perfect first opponent. I don’t watch MLW, so I haven’t seen Strickland outside the WWE bubble. I’m interested in “Swerve’s House.” I hope his time is spent more on TBS and TNT and less on YouTube if you know what I mean.
After coming up short in the Face of the Revolution ladder match, Keith Lee goes back to the salt mines as he takes on QT Marshall, the leader of the Factory. Both men were interviewed by Tony Schiavone on Dynamite. QT pointed out to Keith that have a common enemy in Team Taz. He said if he wants, The Factory could have his back. Keith said he has a rather large back, and he’s good, effectively rejecting QT’s services. QT left in frustration.
Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks of Team Taz took part in that ladder match. Last week on Rampage, Keith Lee defeated JD Drake.
All I said was I was good. I dunno what got him so upset. Maybe he wants to see how big my back actually is. pic.twitter.com/7dcfD5bPFy
— Shameless Lee (@RealKeithLee) March 10, 2022
I don’t get no respect! https://t.co/4ePn1N2wo2
— QT Marshall (@QTMarshall) March 10, 2022
Frank’s Analysis: It’s another match with a predictable outcome. I don’t expect this to be the last of Keith and Team Taz as it seems like he’s being lined up to feud with members of that faction.
Darby Allin goes one-on-one with Marq Quen of Private Party. This past Wednesday on Dynamite Quen, along with his Private Party partner Isiah Kassidy, voted Matt Hardy out of the AHFO. Matt had been their manager for the better part of the past year. Andrade “El Idolo” recently joined the fray and voted Matt out as well. They attacked Matt until Darby Allin and Sting came out. Still outnumbered, Matt got some help in the form of his brother Jeff Hardy, who made his AEW debut. Matt & Jeff are a legendary team with their prime years coming in WWE.
Sting, Darby Allin, and then-TNT Champion Sammy Guevara defeated Matt, Andrade, and Kassidy at Revolution. This was likely the “final straw” for Matt in the AHFO.
…we haven’t failed. We just found ways that wouldn’t work. 🥂to a better tomorrow. https://t.co/1oVFdR3WUl
— Private Party (@Marq_Quen) March 9, 2022
Frank’s Analysis: This is another slam dunk win for Darby, at least, I think. There’s nothing like delighting the crowd with Darby winning with the coffin drop. I have to think we’re headed towards Darby teaming with the Hardys to take on Private Party and Andrade. Given what happened on Wednesday I’d imagine we’ll see shenanigans either during or after the match.
Thunder Rosa defeated “Legit” Leyla Hirsch on Dynamite to earn another shot at the AEW Women’s Championship against Dr. Britt Baker next week at the St. Patrick’s Day Slam edition of Dynamite. This is the one-year anniversary of their Lights Out match with saw Rosa come out on top, a few months before Baker defeated Hikaru Shida to win the title. This time they will have a steel cage match. After the match Baker, alongside her cohorts Jamie Hayter and Rebel, cut a backstage promo discussing the upcoming match. Baker said she was not afraid of a steel cage, but what will happen to AEW if Rosa becomes champion.
Baker defeated Rosa with the help of Jamie and Rebel at Revolution. Mercedes Martinez was conspicuous by her absence, but she is in the house tonight as she goes one-on-one with Jamie.
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) March 11, 2022
Frank’s Analysis: I’m curious why Martinez wasn’t there on Sunday. I don’t think there’s a ton to that, but we can’t ignore it. As far as this match tonight, I don’t have a strong feeling either way. Like the previous match, shenanigans could be abounded.
Coming out of Revolution, it feels like they are resetting things for what’s to come and that’s perfectly fine. Not every show has to be a barnburner and have newsworthy items. Two guys should get wins in Swerve and Keith, and two matches should further bigger stories. Before we know it, Double or Nothing will be here.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!