The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 12.03.21
Taped from Atlanta GA
Your hosts are Excalibur, Ricky Starks & Taz
TNT title: Sammy Guevara v. Tony Nese
Sammy attacks to start but Nese puts him down with a back elbow. Sammy pops up with a dropkick to put Nese on the floor, and he follows with a corkscrew to the floor and runs Nese into the stairs. He sends Nese into the railing, and back in he goes to the top, but Nese trips him up and brings him down in a gutbuster for two in a slick spot. Sammy fights back, but Nese gives him a couple of shots to the taped ribs and necks him on the top rope, into a moonsault that gets two. Sammy fights back with a sunset flip, but Nese rolls into a head kick for two. Nese goes to a bodyscissors on the ribs as we take a break, and Sammy slugs out of the move. Nese puts him down with a back suplex and they exchange chops until Nese wins with a dropkick, and that gets two. Sammy comes back with his own suplex and Nese SWEEPS THE LEG and takes him down with a half crab, forcing Sammy to fight out again and make the comeback with clotheslines. Springboard cutter gets two and he tries the GTH, but Nese catches the leg and goes back to the half crab again. Sammy reverses that into a cradle for two, but Nese pumphandles him and Sammy reverses that into a Spanish Fly for two. They head to the apron and Sammy wipes him out with a quebrada, but he goes up in the ring and Nese dumps him to the floor and hits his own dive. Back in, Nese pops up with a 450 for two. Nese gives us some Shocked Two Count Face as the WWE still hasn’t been flushed from his system yet. They slug it out and Nese counters an armbar with a buckle bomb, but Sammy hits him with a pump kick and the GTH to finish at 12:55. This took a bit but turned into a hell of an opener. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Christian continues his mentorship of the Jurassic Express and emphasizes the importance of scouting the Lucha Bros tonight on the way to winning the tag team titles. Because he’s confident in them, you see. Oh yeah, he’s turning heel all right.
Jade Cargill v. Janai Kai
Kai has got, uh, a lot going on with that gear. Jade splats her at 0:30 anyway before we can explore her fashion sense further. But then Jade goes for a further beatdown and Thunder Rosa leaves the commentary desk and attacks to make the save and they do a pullapart brawl while Rosa’s poor student lies on the floor nearing death.
Meanwhile, the Elite clarify that Best Friends are not tough guys, THEY are tough guys! So on Dynamite it’s them against the Best Friends. Once again Cutler can’t figure out the red button to cut the camera, which is gonna pay off pretty soon with someone saying the wrong thing on camera, I’m betting.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston reinforces the fact that he is NOT friends with Chris Jericho and he just wants to beat on 2point0. Good to know.
Meanwhile, Bryan Danielson tells us what a joke that Johnny Hungee is. He wasn’t running around and being silly at 30 years old, he was WINNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. Tell ‘em, Bryan.
FTR v. Pac & Penta
Pac is still selling the deadly black mist of Malakai with an eye patch. Or maybe he’s a pirate. Either way. Penta and Cash trade wristlocks to start and Cash nearly intercepts the glove throw, but luckily Alex grabs it. Pac comes in and Wheeler bails to escape any potential double-teaming, and he takes Dax down with a headlock and Excalibur notes that they’re two of the most ill-tempered members of the locker room (“No offense for not including you, Taz.”) and Dax elbows him down in the corner. Pac backdrops him and they double-team Dax with the old dropkick to the coccyx while Taz references Joey Numbers. Oh man, did Tony Khan sign him too?
Dax backdrops Pac to the apron and Pac tries to springboard back in, but he slips due to blindness and lands on his face, allowing FTR to take over and choke him out on the ropes. Ricky Starks takes the opportunity to ask Excalibur about his wrestling career and of course Excalibur reluctantly shares his experience with having his mask turned around and being blind because of it. Pac comes back with a small package on Dax, but Cash takes the ref and Dax takes out Pac with a lariat. Dax with an abdominal stretch and requisite cheating. You know who else loved the abdominal stretch? MIKE ROTUNDA. You know who his son is? BO DALLAS. Is that a hint? Huge if true. Cash goes to a cobra clutch and Pac has to fight out of that and sends Cash to the floor to escape, but then Dax throws him out and into the railing. Cash follows with a dive and misses, landing on the railing himself, but Dax cuts off the tag again. Pac escapes that, but Cash takes out Penta and FTR hits DEMOLITION DECAPITATION on Pac for two. Dax takes Pac to the top and they fight up there, but Pac puts him down and follows with a missile dropkick. Cash tries to cut off the tag again, but Pac backdrops him and makes it on the second try, and Penta is a HOUSE OF FIRE. He drops Cash onto the turnbuckle and dumps Dax, and a cross body on Cash gets two. Penta with a backstabber out of the corner for two. Penta with the package piledriver, but Cash reverses to a powerslam and it’s back to the FTR corner for a Veg-O-Matic that gets two. Penta with a Code Red on Dax for two and they set up the Fear Factor, but Cash breaks it up. Pac with a crossbody on Dax, but he rolls through for two. Dax with a Tiger Driver for two. Pac sends Dax into Tully and rolls him up for two, but Cash takes out Penta with a tornado DDT on the floor. So Pac decides to risk another dive with his blindness, and hits FTR with a moonsault this time, but Malakai Black runs in and sprays mist in the OTHER eye, allowing Dax to pin him at 18:18.
A tragic ending to the match. It was still an awesome 20 minutes of FTR tag team wackiness and SHOCKINGLY, Pac was a perfectly good substitute for Fenix and wherever he got to. ****
Hey, two matches and they’re both great, plus a 30 second Jade squash. Can’t beat that.