Date: January 7, 2022
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz, Ricky Starks
We’re still in New Jersey and this week’s show is featuring some big names. Adam Cole is here, but we also have a street fight, which is something that hasn’t been done (or anything close to it) in at least a week around here. Rampage has been good as of late though and hopefully that keeps up this week. Let’s get to it.
Jake Atlas vs. Adam Cole
Cole takes him down with a headscissors to start but Atlas flips out and does the Boom pose. Back up and they both dodge a bunch of kicks before teasing superkicks at the same time. Atlas puts his hand in Cole’s face but gets tossed outside, where Cole sends him into the post. Back in and Atlas hits a few shots of his own, only to springboard into a Backstabber as we take a break.
We come back with Cole being sent outside so Atlas can hit a suicide dive. A springboard missile dropkick hits Cole but he kicks Atlas in the face. The fireman’s carry backbreaker gets two and the brainbuster onto the knee gets the same. Atlas manages to get to the apron for a springboard but gets superkicked out of the air. Atlas comes up holding his knee and can’t stand up straight as Cole loads up the Panama Sunrise. Cole jumps down but Atlas collapses, leaving Cole to grab a kneebar (which doesn’t come close to the knee) to make Atlas tap at 9:40.
Rating: C+. This was the best showing I’ve seen from Atlas and it’s a shame that he seems to have hurt his knee pretty badly. He literally signed with the company earlier in the week and might have already been put on the shelf for a long time. Cole continues to be good, though I’m not sure he’s fighting on the right side of good and evil.
Post match ReDragon comes out to tease a beatdown but Orange Cassidy makes the save with a chain.
Cody Rhodes has been placed into medical protocols and will not be defending his title at Battle of the Belts. Instead, Dustin Rhodes will be taking his place for the Interim TNT Title against Sammy Guevara. That’s cool with Sammy.
Andrade El Idolo doesn’t think much of Sting and Darby Allin.
Hook vs. Aaron Solo
Jericho: “Hookamania is running wild baby!” QT Marshall is here with Solo. Hook suplexes him down to start and Solo already needs a breather in the corner. Solo gets taken down into a half nelson/cravate before Hook unloads in the corner. QT Marshall grabs Hook’s foot though and Solo hammers away. That earns him a capture suplex though and Solo goes flying. Some crossface shots set up Redrum to give Hook the tap at 3:13.
Rating: C. Hook has to be the biggest surprise of the end of 2021 as he felt like a total joke when he debuted but they have someone there as something close to the new Taz. They’ve got something with him and he looks unique enough to warrant trying something with him. It’s nice to see someone developed on the fly and that seems to be working here.
Ricky Starks isn’t happy that the FTW Title isn’t on the line at Battle of the Belts, so he’ll be defending against Matt Sydal. He’s doing it to prove a point to Dante Martin: it took him three matches to beat Sydal, but Starks will do it in one.
Anna Jay, Tay Conti, the Bunny and Penelope Ford are really happy with their street fight last week.
Ruby Soho/Riho vs. Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter
Baker gets sent to the floor to start but Soho waits for the bell to start hammering on Hayter. Riho hits a running shoulder in the corner and it’s a double backsplash for two. Hayter gets up for the tag off to Baker though and the beating is on. We take a break and come back with Soho kicking Baker in the face, allowing the hot tag off to Riho. Everything breaks down and Hayter hits a backbreaker for two on Riho with Soho making the save. Baker and Soho fight off, leaving Riho to roll Hayter up for the pin at 8:10.
Rating: C+. This is how you build up Riho for a title shot without making Baker look bad. They had some good action and Soho gets a win to make up for a bit of the loss to Cargill. Baker isn’t going to be happy and that can often make for the best versions of her when she has to put the title on the line.
Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year think an interim TNT Title is a bad idea and wonder why Scorpio Sky isn’t the champ right now.
Mark Henry has his face to face interview for the main event but Santana/Ortiz/Eddie Kingston and Daniel Garcia/2.0 start fighting anyway.
Santana/Ortiz/Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia/2.0
Street fight and we’re joined in progress with the fight coming down the ramp to ringside. The weapons are brought in and everyone pairs off to keep up the fighting. 2.0 gets beaten down with signs and chars as we take an early break. Back with Ortiz cleaning house and a limping Kingston hitting a t-bone suplex on Garcia.
Santana adds a frog splash for two with 2.0 making the save to put everyone down again. Lee DDTs Ortiz and Garcia hits Kingston in the head with the bell for two. Santana is back up with a chair to take everyone out, setting up an assisted facebuster. Garcia makes the save but Santana and Ortiz hit a superkick into an enziguri into a clothesline for the pin at 13:50.
Rating: C+. I really did try to get into this but it was yet another wild brawl which didn’t stand out from the others. We just had a far more violent version of this last week and it is starting to come off like brawling for the sake of brawling. The match has been over for a few minutes and I can barely remember any of the spots. They need to really slow down with these things because much like the matches full of flips, the returns are starting to diminish.
Post match, Garcia and company are right back up with duct tape to attach Kingston to the ropes, but Chris Jericho runs in for the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was the most skippable edition of the show in a good while as they didn’t seem to have much left after their huge Dynamite. That being said, this is also the night before Battle of the Belts so it isn’t like they have to wait long to get things back on track. It was a good enough show, but a step down from some recent weeks.
Adam Cole b. Jake Atlas – Kneebar
Hook b. Aaron Solo – Redrum
Ruby Soho/Riho b. Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter – Rollup to Hayter
Santana/Ortiz/Eddie Kingston b. Daniel Garcia/2.0 – Clothesline to Lee
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