The AEW Rampage: Black Friday edition had two big stories from the matinee episode.
Jericho Appreciation Society was in the ring to celebrate Jericho’s big win over ISHII. He asked who was going to uncrown him, although we already knew the answer from Dynamite. JAS was quickly reminded when Claudio Castagnoli came out.
Castagnoli has beaten “The Ocho” twice. He admitted that he has had self doubt after not beating Jericho when it counts. “I don’t just need to beat you, I have to beat you!” Castagnoli went on to say that he can’t focus on Blackpool Combat Club imploding and he’s lost sleep since losing at Full Gear.
Daddy Magic pointed out that there was a time when Castagnoli was a sports innerTAINER. He thinks he’d be a “fantastic addition to the Jericho Appreciation Society.” Jericho vs. Castagnoli is set for Final Battle on December 10. If Castagnoli loses, he has to join JAS.
The other big story from Rampage is that Preston “10” Vance not only completed the heel turn they’ve been teasing for weeks, but he did it in front of Negative 1.
Before the match, Vance was nowhere to be found. On this week’s Being the Elite, the other members of Dark Order were seen leaving many unreturned voicemails for him. The match started out with Reynolds and Silver facing RUSH, The Butcher, and The Blade. Evil Uno was trying to find “10”.
Halfway through the match, Vance stormed down to the ring. He charged RUSH before hitting Silver with a clothesline. This set RUSH up to pin Silver. Vance hit Reynolds with the discus lariat, Mr. Brodie Lee’s finisher. He then hit it on Evil Uno before the began ripping his mask off.
To solidify the heel turn, Vance stood in front of Negative 1 and took off the mask his father gave to Vance. He threw it down in front of a devastated Negative 1. While the kid picked up the mask and held it, Vance smiled at the view of the boy who has long looked up to him.
I interviewed Vance a while back and he told me that Negative One had the idea of giving Vance his mask back in ten years if he isn’t “10” anymore.
The story has been building for months and even with the issues with Andrade El Idolo, they were still able to pull it off. Andrade was supposed to leave AEW if he lost to “10”. Instead, Andrade tried to fight Sammy Guevara in real life and got suspended, so the match never happened. Vance, Silver, and Reynolds face Death Triangle for the Trios titles instead.
AEW appears to be doing a lot of resets heading into the new year as there are cracks in Dark Order, Blackpool Combat Club, and even Jericho Appreciation Society. LFI seems to be going very strong.