AEW Rampage Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 12
Before we get to the Full Gear pay-per-view on Saturday, All Elite Wrestling had one more stop to make with this week's episode of Rampage.
The long-gestating feud between Orange Cassidy and Matt Hardy came to a head Friday night when the two faced off in a Lumberjack match.
Jade Cargill celebrated her one-year anniversary since signing with the company with a match against Santana Garrett.
We also saw Ariya Daivari make his AEW debut to take on a man who has recently started to gain a lot of momentum, Dante Martin.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Friday's show.
Bobby Fish vs. Jungle Boy
Jungle Boy went after Bobby Fish as soon as he hit the ring with a double-leg takedown. He had the upper hand for a moment before Fish threw him to the corner.
He countered a top rope arm drag from Jungle Boy and dropped him onto the rope before he fell to the floor. Fish followed and proceeded to unload on his young opponent.
JB started to get in some offense and used his speed to keep Fish on defense. When they went back to ringside, Fish regained control as the show went to a break.
We returned to see Jungle Boy hit a low dropkick to take Fish out at the knee, followed by a clothesline that turned him inside out. Fish countered a suplex and hit a hammerlock suplex for a two-count.
Fish missed a big roundhouse, but he hit an exploder suplex into the ring ropes for another near-fall. He taunted Jungle Boy as he hit kicks to the arm and shoulder, but JB grabbed his leg and wrestled him down into the Snaretrap for the win. Adam Cole ran down and helped Fish beat JB down.
Luchasaurus and Christian made the save, forcing Cole to leave Fish to fend for himself.
Not only did the show start with action right away, but the match got going with high energy out of the gate when Jungle Boy rushed Fish before the bell.
Fish is a great wrestler who seems like his role as a hitman for The Elite. His goal was to take JB out before he has a match with The Superkliq on Saturday. So far, it's a role he fits well.
This is one of the few times when slowing down might have helped the flow of the match, but everything we saw was executed well—however, a few more seconds of selling couldn't hurt.
Jade Cargill vs. Santana Garrett
Cargill signed with AEW one year ago, so she decided to celebrate with a match against former WWE Superstar Garrett.
Cargill tossed her out of the ring and then went right up to Red Velvet, who was sitting at ringside. She threw Garrett over the barricade into Velvet's lap, and her friends had to hold her back while Cargill kept fighting her opponent.
She caught Garrett in the corner and hit her finisher for a quick win.
Cargill's matches have never set the world on fire with technical precision or high spots, but the short bouts with decisive wins are exactly how she should be built.
Sometimes, the best route is not a 20-minute clinic or a high-flying extravaganza. If you want to make someone into a dominant monster, they have to actually dominate their opponents. Cargill does that and does it well.
Unfortunately, that is almost always going to prevent her from being recognized for her in-ring work. Once she is established a bit more, she can start to expand and show off other skills she has learned since she started training.
Dante Martin vs. Ariya Daivari
Daivari and Martin started with a quick exchange of counters and attempted takedowns, but it took a little while before Martin was able to firmly take control.
The crowd was chanting for him loudly as he sent Daivari out of the ring. He hit a hurricanrana as Daivari came back, but the newcomer to AEW tripped him on the top rope to get a close two-count.
He draped Martin across the middle rope and hit a flying leg drop to the back of his neck for a near-fall. He nailed a few quick kicks but still couldn't keep Martin down.
He dominated the action for a couple of minutes before Martin used a quick rollup for a two-count. He jumped right up to the top rope and hit a huge flying crossbody to take Daivari down. Martin then brought Daivari back in the ring and scored the pin.
Team Taz offered Martin a spot in the group since Lio Rush was nowhere to be seen. Ricky Starks told him to think it over before responding.
While this bout had a lot of quick, high-flying moves, it also followed a more traditional pattern than some AEW matches.
The heel had control for most of the match and made the babyface fight his way back for the win. Sometimes, AEW matches are a little too down the middle when it comes to who controls the action.
Martin continues to be one of the most physically impressive performers in AEW. The spot when he hopped up to the top rope looked almost effortless, and doing something like that takes a level of agility that is hard to attain for most people.
Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy (Lumberjack Match)
Cassidy and Hardy gave the usual pre-match interview with Mark Henry before competing in the main event in a Lumberjack match.
Hardy put a bounty on Cassidy and his friends right as the match started. He offered $20,000 to whoever could take out Cassidy, so everyone went after his friends so he wouldn't have help at ringside.
Cassidy tackled Hardy and stomped him in the corner. Hardy threw him out, and Cassidy had to fight his way back in. A moment later, he was thrown out again, and the lumberjacks got in some good hits.
Big Money Matt hit a couple of leg drops for a two-count and slammed Cassidy's head into all three turnbuckles in the corner as we went to a break.
The lumberjacks continued to dish out punishment to Cassidy during the commercial. We returned to see Hardy still in control until Cassidy and his friends started taking out the rest of the lumberjacks.
The Blade came in and nailed Cassidy with a pair of brass knuckles, allowing Hardy to make the cover and score the win. HFO beat up the rest of Best Friends after the match was over.
Lumberjack matches have always been tricky. They can be good, but it's a lot harder when you have so many people involved at ringside to focus on what is happening in the ring.
This bout spent equal time focusing on the mayhem at ringside and what was happening between the competitors, so it walked that line right down the middle.
The bout had some fun moments but ultimately fell a little short of being the big blow-off match this should have been for this feud. Another stipulation probably would have been a better option, but it's hard to say which one would have worked best for these two guys.