3 Big Takeaways from AEW Rampage - Jan 27, 2023
It was another action-filled episode of AEW Rampage, as Hangman Page took on Wheeler Yuta, Powerhouse Hobbs continued to his winning ways and much more on a fantastic Friday night
This week's episode of AEW Rampage featured a title match and plenty of turmoil, as Tony Khan & Company continue to keep the pedal to the metal.
It's been a fast start to the new year for All Elite Wrestling, and their fan base has responded. Lots of moving parts and plenty of in-ring action have been the signature of the promotion in recent weeks, and they're beginning to look a lot more like they did in their initial days. Perhaps a new 'golden era' of AEW is upon us.
While that may be overstating it a bit, it's been pretty evident that things are starting to normalize for the company after a pretty weird 2022. They've righted the ship enough to get back to what's important: The stories and the outcomes. Right now, most of the booking makes sense and everything is moving at a sensible pace. Especially for a company whose next major event isn't for several weeks.
With that in mind, let's take a look at three big factors that helped make this Friday's AEW Rampage an overall success:
#1 - Hangman Adam Page defeated Wheeler Yuta in a solid match that set the pace for the entire show
Lots of action in this one, and it also furthered the Page vs. Jon Moxley storyline. Yuta, as a member of the Blackpool Combat Club, stepped in for his sidelined teammate, and he battled the Hangman valiantly in defeat.
For Page, this means another (possibly final) showdown with Mox next week on Dynamite. There are clues that there might be some mutual respect brewing between the two competitors, leading many observers to speculate that they may eventually team together. Where that would leave Moxley's status in the BBC is hard to tell. Perhaps he would leave, tag separately with Page, or maybe even try to recruit his rival to the group.
Speaking of the Blackpool Combat Club, it's hard to tell if being a member has helped Wheeler Yuta or hurt him. He's a very talented in-ring performer and is developing his character nicely. However, there will always be a segment of fans who have disdain over this unproven kid being chosen for such an elite group.
It's ridiculous because Yuta looks like he's going to have a really good career. One filled with plenty of victories. But for now, he's still just trying to defeat all of his critics.
#2 - The Book of Hobbs should be a story of success in 2023
Will 'Powerhouse' Hobbs is another in a long list of young stars who have been waiting on their opportunity to shine in AEW. And with the flip of the calendar, it appears that chance has arrived now.
In recent weeks, the company has featured the powerful prospect in his 'Book of Hobbs' vignettes, discussing his tough upbringing and philosophy on fighting. They've been well-produced and have truly highlighted his character. Meanwhile, he's been laying a path of destruction in the squared circle.
Will Hobbs has been simmering on the All Elite Wrestling roster for the last couple of years. Now, he's turned up the heat, and there's championship gold on the menu. He's a prime candidate to win the TNT title at some point very soon.
#3 - A LOT is happening with the AEW Women's Division right now
It appears that we are about to see warring factions in AEW, as the original performers there haven't taken to some of the ladies who have come in from 'elsewhere' (so..... WWE).
It was part of a backstage promo in which Dr. Britt Baker DMD had a little talk with Ruby Soho backstage at Wednesday's Dynamite. The Good Doctor promptly let her know that while they were NOT friends, she did acknowledge her talent. Baker then challenged Ruby to 'choose the right side', which clearly means she's looking to align forces. This pairing could be the start of a female supergroup.
Meanwhile, the race is one to see who can be the first woman to defeat the unbeaten TBS Champion. Jade Cargill recently passed one year as the inaugural titleholder. With a steadily improving AEW Women's roster, it's hard to believe that she's going to make it another 12 months with the title. Red Velvet will be the first in line to conquer Cargill, as she takes her shot next week.
That's notwithstanding the terrific title tilt that we saw in the main event. Jamie Hayter continues her incredible run, and the audience has turned her into a babyface with their adoration. She faced the legendary Emi Sakura for the championship and retained an entertaining encounter.
Once considered the poor sick cousin of All Elite Wrestling, the women's division appears poised for an amazing era ahead in 2023. They finally have all the right pieces in place. While this will continue to be a work in progress, the ladies have come a long way, and they're holding their own on AEW programming right now.