The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 10.29.21
Taped from Boston, MA. This show might be in New England, but I’m in ORIGINAL England.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz & Ricky Starks
AEW World title Eliminator tournament round two: Bryan Danielson v. Eddie Kingston
Eddie gives Bryan a clean break on the ropes to start, but then gives him a chop for good luck. So Bryan gives Kingston a clean break and then pounds the shit out of him with kicks and chops in the corner. Eddie fires back with his own chops and gets the clothesline and corner boot, and Eddie bails to the floor. Back in, Eddie stuffs a takedown and tries for a facelock, but Bryan slips out of that. So Eddie starts another chop war and Bryan finishes it and starts working on the arm. “That ain’t no Memphis water pump spot” notes Jericho. Duly noted. Bryan stomps on the wrist for a little SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, but Eddie just uses the bad hand to throw more chops because he’s stubborn. They trade headbutts and Bryan goes back to the arm again, but Kingston dropkicks him and gets a neckbreaker for two. The crowd is crazy here, completely split between both guys. Kingston beats the shit out of Bryan’s chest with chops in the corner and they go to a break, but I’m in merry olde England so we keep calm and carry on. They fight to the floor and Eddie throws him into the steel stairs. Jericho: “People often ask me what the steel stairs are made of. STEEL, YOU IDIOT!” Back in, Eddie gets two and he throws more chops and Bryan’s chest is just beaten into hamburger in horrifying fashion. Danielson tosses him and tries a dive, but Eddie punches him in the face on the way down and follows with a Saito suplex on the floor, folding Bryan in half. Danielson does the countout tease and flies back in, but Eddie suplexes him into the top turnbuckle and then back down with a backdrop suplex for two. Kingston wraps him up with a Stretch Plum, but Danielson makes the ropes. So Kingston just hits the poor bastard in the chest some more and they go to the top, but Bryan slugs out of it and headbutts him down. So Eddie punches him in the face again and Bryan flops down, and then Eddie picks him up and chops him some more. They head to the top again, but Danielson crotches him and brings him down with a backdrop superplex and they’re both out. Bryan is up first and he’s throwing chops, but Eddie just unloads on him with harder ones. So they trade kicks and Eddie gets an enzuigiri, but Bryan kicks him in the head and then goes with the WWE Intellectual Property Kicks to knock him out. Eddie pulls himself up on the ropes, so Danielson sets up the knee and Eddie drops before he can hit it. So Bryan beats on him with elbows and goes to the armbar, complete with SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, but Eddie somehow counters with a DDT and they’re both out again. They slug it out and Eddie is FIRED UP now, but so is Bryan, and they hit each other until they both go down. These are MANLY MEN. Eddie crawls over to finish, but Bryan wraps him up in a triangle from the bottom and puts his lights out at 16:25 while Eddie flips him off in defiance. This was an ungodly beating from both guys on the other and an incredible war of attrition. ****1/2
Meanwhile, CM Punk comments on the match, but Eddie Kingston bursts in and mouths off, drifting back to the heel side again and setting up another Full Gear match.
Dante Martin v. Matt Sydal
Sydal tries to talk some sense into Dante and offers a handshake to start, and then takes Dante down with headlocks before Dante lands on his feet to escape. Sydal takes him down and works the arm, but Dante does an incredible reversal in the corner and takes him down with a headscissors before springboarding with a dropkick with some incredible hangtime. Sydal bails to the floor and Dante follows with a springboard moonsault to the floor. Back in, Dante hits kicks, but Sydal takes him down with a cobra clutch into a legsweep and then wraps him up with a leglock. Dante fights out of that, but Sydal puts him into a bow and arrow and puts him down for two. Sydal with a Michinoku Driver for two. Meanwhile Jericho and Starks do a wacky bit about how Jericho accidentally blocked Ricky Starks ages ago and ended up thinking they had heat because Starks was ignoring him on Twitter. So then Taz smartened him up on his podcast and Jericho unblocked Starks live on the show. See what you miss on the PIP breaks? Back with Sydal pounding on Dante’s legs with kicks and a rollup for two, but Dante rolls out of it and slugs back and into his giant sunset flip for two. Dante comes back with a headscissors and Cave In for two. He does it WAY better than Grimes. No offense to Cameron. They fight to the top and Dante sends him down, but Sydal gets a top rope rana to bring him down, and Dante reverses the pin with a crucifix for two. Dante slugs away with forearms and tries a pump kick, but Sydal catches the foot and tries the Lightning Spiral. But Dante lands on his feet and gets a stunner, allowing him to up with a springboard moonsault to finish at 11:01. DANTE FINALLY WINS A TV MATCH! Well we can only credit Lio Rush for that one, I guess. ***1/2
Trick or Treat match: Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Abadon
The pre-match promo is pretty funny, as Mark Henry does a whole question buildup to Abadon and then she only spits blood in response and then disappears. And Mark just carries on like this isn’t completely bizarre and does his catchphrase. Because he’s smooth like that. Jericho clarifies that this isn’t a gimmick for Abadon, who shrieks at Britt and chases her out of the ring. Back in, Abadon gets a stunner and Britt runs away again, prompting the DMD Zombies to set up a table at ringside while we take a break. Back with Abadon setting up a chair in the corner, but Britt reverses her into it for two. Zombie Rebel and Zombie Hayter try to put Abadon on the table, but she fights them off and drags Britt to the apron, where Britt takes her down with a neckbreaker off the apron and onto the table. And then table fails to break, resulting in them bouncing off it and sliding to the floor awkwardly. So Britt tries another suplex to break that damn table, and it still won’t break, but Abadon does a zombie situp and finds the bag of thumbtacks under the ring. Britt has PTSD about those and fights off a DDT, but Abadon hits her with a uranage into the tacks for two. Britt gets another chair and wings it at her face to put her down, and then Pillmanizes the neck in a sick spot, but Abadon no-sells it like the Fiend. So Britt shoves tacks in her mouth and superkicks her, and then puts in the Lockjaw, but Abadon counters by biting the hand. Finally Hayter just runs in and breaks it up, and Britt rolls her up for the pin at 9:31. Some brutal spots but it was a messy match with a weak finish. **1/4
The first two matches were GREAT and the main event felt like weird gore porn for the sake of it, but those two matches more than justified the hour on this one, especially Danielson v. Kingston. Go out of your way to check that one out! All the way to the UK if you need to!