The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 09.17.21
Goddammit the commercial break blank spaces are back.
Also I’m in Norway tonight for those keeping track of my VPN travels.
Taped from Newark, NJ
Your hosts are Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz and Ricky Starks
AEW World tag team titles: The Lucha Bros v. The Butcher and the Blade
Butcher and Blade are somehow #1 contenders despite Butcher just coming back from a lengthy absence last week. Well they work fast, you have to give them that. Blade tries to throw Fenix out to start and Rey fires back with superkick attempts, chasing Blade to his corner to bring in the Butcher. The Luchas double-team Blade with a double superkick where they count Uno, Dos, Tres (“They’re counting to three!” notes Jericho for those who had it confused with the terrible Green Day album) and Butcher manages to overpower the champs by himself and drops Fenix onto Blade’s knee. Fenix fights them off and gets the tag to Penta, who hits the heels with sling blades, setting up a double dive to the outside. Back in, Penta misses a double stomp and Butcher hits him with a crossbody for two to take over again. Blade stomps him down (“He looks like an old school 80s territorial heel who’s gonna kick your ass!” Jericho notes) and chokes Penta out in the corner. Suplex gets two. Butcher sends Penta into the corner, but the heels collide and it’s hot tag Fenix. He runs wild with kicks and hits Butcher with a german before backflipping into a german suplex for two. Over to Fenix for the double stomp piledriver on Blade for two, but Butcher makes the save. Butcher chokeslams Penta for two, but he fights back with kicks and Fenix is back again. Blade tries Penta’s mask to the ropes to prevent any further saves, and the Butcher and Blade proceed to beating Fenix down. So Penta heroically unmasks to escape and covers his face, superkicking Butcher to put Fenix on top for the pin at 9:38. The Hardy Family does a beatdown afterwards, but Santana and Ortiz make the save. I thought this would great but it was a pretty standard tag match and never really had much heat. **1/2
Meanwhile, we hear from Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson leading up to their match next week. I was going to make a joke about Danielson wrestling Tommy Dreamer and them having to get into a fight to determine who gets to lose to the other, but then Tommy got cancelled so I guess I can’t make that joke anymore. But it would have been a pretty good one if I could use it! But I can’t. Sorry.
The Bunny v. Anna Jay
Anna attacks in the aisle and beats on Bunny, and into the ring for a northern lights from Jay. She puts Bunny down with a back elbow. They fight to the floor and Bunny runs the injured shoulder into the post and goes to work on it while Excalibur hypes up Fuego Del Sol’s “moderately priced used car” in the main event tonight. He might be a big star now but he’s still fiscally responsible! We take a break and return with Jay getting a two count on Bunny in the ring and she tries the dragon sleeper, but Bunny reverses to her finish, at which point Tay runs interference and Anna rolls up Bunny for the pin at 5:04. But then the heels get the heat when Penelope uses brass knuckles to knock out both Dark Order ladies. Another nothing match. *1/2
Meanwhile, CM Punk messes with Hook and GETS THE HORNS. Is that a saying? Because it should be. Wait, who would win in a fight between Hook and Joe Gomez? Oh man now I’m never gonna be able to get to sleep tonight.
Matt Hardy joins Tony in the ring after his people went 0-2 to start the show, and he’s in a BAD MOOD. Mostly because of an uncanny Orange Cassidy lookalike in the front row, who is pissing him off. So Matt hauls him out of the crowd and brings him into the ring for a Twist of Fate before cutting off the guy’s ponytail. They start shaving his head, but Orange Cassidy (the real one, although now it’s somewhat easier to tell the difference with the missing hair on the fan) makes the save.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Ruby Soho join Tony in the ring for a face to face ahead of their title match next week. Britt makes fun of her for changing her name and hair color because she doesn’t fit anywhere, and Ruby notes that she just never had the freedom to prove herself before. Also, Britt looks like “every other broad” she’s faced before, who is “banging some dude in the back”. And THAT gets the biggest reaction of the night so far. So Britt points out that Ruby didn’t run away, she got fired. And THAT gets a big reaction too as they’re lobbing bombs at each other. Ruby’s surprised that Britt can see anything “with her head so far up Tony Khan’s ass.” I would have gone for the “all the eye makeup you’re wearing” punchline myself but I’m not the professional. Anyway, Britt’s had enough disrespect and attacks, but Ruby chases her off and steals the belt. Really good promo battle here.
TNT title v. Moderately Priced Used Car: Miro v. Fuego del Sol
Miro notes that he loves celebrating victories with his God up high and his wife down low. Also I love that this is a battle of foreigners who hail from the southern US states. Fuego tries for a takedown and gets nowhere, but he gets a couple of bee stings on Miro to annoy him. Miro charges and Fuego dodges him to put him on the floor, but Miro catches him on the dive attempt. He tries to run Fuego into the post, but gets reversed into it and Fuego hits a rana off the apron. Miro tries to throw him into the crowd, but Fuego lands on the railing and dives onto Miro, only to get caught and slammed on the floor. Back in, Miro beats Fuego down and drops elbows on him, but Fuego fights back with a sleeper, only for Miro to escape and squeeze him with a bearhug. Fuego fights out and hits Miro with an enzuigiri, but springboards at him and Miro SMASHES him in mid-air. Fuego keeps fighting with the dreaded DDT, but he tries it again and Miro has had enough and just beats him to a pulp in the corner. Miro with the Machka kick and the crowd wants one more time, so he obliges and pins Del Sol at 9:00 to win the moderately priced used car. **1/2 But then he tries for more punishment and Sammy Guevara makes the save and steals the TNT belt to end the show. That should be a fun program.
Definitely an easy to watch show but this one was veering pretty strongly into Dark / Elevation territory at points and I was kind of drifting in and out. But maybe I was just tired from work today, I dunno.