The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 12.10.21
To say that I’m having a bad week would be a gross understatement. We all know about the blog issues by now (especially after I was told it was clean and then made a post about it, only for the problem to reoccur in a new place) and work has been super-stressful on top of that, and I ordered myself an SNES Classic off eBay which was delivered today while I was work, and had been stolen from my “safe drop” location by the time I got home. I was ready to go to bed and continue my string of non-reviews, but someone messaged me strongly urging me to at the very least review this show before I called it a night, so here we are. Hopefully you can read this without getting redirected to a dangerous spam website.
Taped from Long Island, NY
Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz
AEW World tag team titles: The Lucha Bros v. FTR
No entrances for either team. Dax trades wristlocks with Fenix and FTR tries for the double-team, but Fenix takes them both down with a springboard double wristlock and then jumps onto Penta’s shoulders and splashes Dax for two. FTR bails and has some words with the crowd and it’s over to Cash, who interrupts the “glove deal” and gets rolled up for two and superkicked as a result. Penta fights off both FTR and Rey comes in with a bodypress, but Dax drops him on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, with a suplex to take over. FTR hits a double team legdrop for two and Dax goes to a chinlock, but Dax goes up and Fenix brings him down with a springboard rana. Cash cuts off the tag with a low dropkick and gives us a little Eddie Guerrero, but Fenix fights them off and makes the hot tag to Penta. Sling blade for Cash gets two. Powerslam gets two. Pumphandle driver gets two. Tully gets involved and Fenix has words for him with his fists and then runs wild on FTR with a rolling punch on Dax and spinkick on Cash in the corner. Dax recovers with a slingshot powerbomb for two. They fight over a suplex and Fenix gets a rollup for two, but Cash tries for the belt shot and Fenix steals it and accidentally knocks out Dax. He goes up to finish, hitting Cash with a ropewalk kick on the way to the other corner, but a frog splash lands on the belt (which Dax was still clutching in secret). Dax gets two off that, and that was a clever, clever spot. It also rewarded you for paying attention. Fenix dives on them again, but lands in the Big Rig and that gets two before Penta makes the save. He drags his brother back to the corner for the tag and we get a four-way showdown and slugfest before Fenix rolls into a cutter on Dax. Another backfires as Cash reverses to a Gory Bomb, but Penta gets a sunset flip on Cash and rolls through into the Fear Factor to finish at 13:58. These guys are pretty good at this wrestling thing. ****
Ruby Soho, Anna Jay & Tay Conti v. Nyla Rose, Bunny & Penelope Ford
Bunny gets in Tay’s face and gets taken down multiple times to start and then hits her with a high kick. The faces triple-team Bunny in the corner and Tay gets a running boot for two and goes to a facelock. But then Vickie takes a shot at Tay and distracts her enough for the heels to take over. Ford and Tay trade pump kicks and Ford wins that one. Bunny works on the arm and Tay fights out of that, but Bunny takes her down with a facejam and they’re both down. This has been pretty awkwardly worked so far. Hot tag Ruby and she runs wild on Ford with an STO for two. But then the heels cut her off and go to work on her in the corner. Bunny with a sliding elbow for two. Nyla comes in and hits a spinebuster for two. Rose throws her into the corner, but misses a blind charge and lands on the floor. Ruby tries for the tag but gets cut off by Nyla again, and then rolls into the hot tag to Anna Jay. Anna gets kicks on Nyla and follows with elbows in the corner and a crossbody for two. Anna tries for the choke, but Bunny breaks it up. Ruby with the Riot Kick on Nyla, but Bunny loads up the brass knuckles and knocks out Anna. This leaves Nyla to powerbomb her for the pin at 10:24. This was really clunky. *1/2
Meanwhile, Sting talks with Tony about returning to North Carolina, but FTR interrupts with an attack and the brawl erupts, which ends with Darby getting his ass kicked as per usual. Well I guess we’ll never know how he feels about returning to the Carolinas now.
HOOK v. Fuego del Sol
OH MY GOD IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING. Hook doesn’t even bother to look at Fuego during the ring introductions because he’s too cool for it. They grapple for a headlock and Hook takes him down with a judo throw before Fuego rolls him up for two. Hook takes him down with another judo throw and rolls into a choke, but Fuego fights out. Hook just UNLOADS on him in the corner with body blows and flips into a high crotch lift suplex. Fuego fights back and hits him with shoulders in the corner to set up the tornado DDT, but Hook just throws him off and levels him with a lariat. Hook with a capture suplex and he beats on Fuego with crossfaces and then finishes with the TAZZMISSION at 3:24. This did not disappoint after literally decades of waiting for it, and may have been the greatest debut in history. Not even just counting wrestling. This may have eclipsed the moon landing because clearly Hook would straight up murder Neil Armstrong while eating chips on Apollo 11. **********1/3
Adam Cole v. Wheeler Yuta
Yuta quickly controls Cole, but charges into the corner and walks into a superkick. Cole whips him into the other corner, but Yuta pops up and tries a bodypress, which misses badly. Cole gives Yuta some mocking Orange kicks and a neckbreaker for two, but he gets distracted by Orange and goes up for a Panama Sunrise, which Yuta reverses into a sunset flip for two. Crossbody gets two. Yuta goes up with a diving elbow for two and a german suplex for two. They fight to the top and Yuta fights off the superplex and hits an Angle slam for two. Yuta goes up with a flying splash, but that misses badly and hits knee, allowing Cole to superkick him again and finish with the BOOM at 7:09. The Best Friends get into a showdown with the Elite, and that goes badly for all of them, as Orange gets hit arm snapped and then the returning Trent takes a BTE Trigger after spinal surgery. Man if this crew had another guy coming in, they’d be unstoppable! But how likely is that? ***
I mean, the opener was great, but how can anything or anyone follow the debut of HOOK? THEY CAN’T. HE’S MOTHERFUCKING HOOK.