The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 01.07.22
Taped from Newark, NJ
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho and Ricky Starks
Adam Cole (Bay Bay) v. Jake Atlas
Weird edit to start as Jake’s jacket suddenly disappears after a camera cut. Also some clunky wording from Excalibur as he talks about they “competed on the same TV show” but never met in the ring before. I feel like it’s OK to just say “WWE” in situations like that. Cole takes him down with a headscissors, but Atlas escapes that and they trade superkick attempts in a fun sequence while battling to a standoff. Cole tries a dropkick and misses, so Atlas dropkicks him in the head for two. Atlas puts the boots to him in the corner, but he goes up and Cole brings him down to the floor and then runs him into the post. Back in, Cole slugs away and puts the boots to him, but Atlas comes back with elbows before trying a springboard senton and landing in a backstabber. Cole takes him down with a chinlock while Starks complains about the fans with the giant head posters in the background because it reminds him of the big head code in NBA Jam. I agree, it’s weird. Cole with a neckbreaker for two, but Atlas comes back with a rana to put Cole on the floor, and he follows with a baseball slide and a tope. Back in, Atlas with a shotgun dropkick for two. Cole hits him with the pump kick and ushigoroshi for two. Cole cues up the band, but Atlas hits him with a lariat and Cole gets a brainbuster for two. Cole charges and Atlas counters with a powerbomb for two. Jake springboards at him again, but Cole counters with a superkick and Atlas blows out his knee on the way down, and Cole has to change direction from the Panama Sunrise to a kneebar to finish at 9:48 instead. Crazy that Atlas was doing all the huge bumps and dives and then destroyed his leg on a simple springboard miss. Hell of a match before the ugly finish, though. ***1/2 And then Best Friends chase off Cole & reDragon to set up another six-man. Can we please just get trios titles already?
Meanwhile, Cody has Covid and he’s out, so it’s Sammy v. Dustin for the TNT title tomorrow instead. That’s a weird creative choice.
Meanwhile, Andrade is a busy guy and needs a new assistant, so he wants to offer Sting some money for little kid Darby Allin to work for him.
Aaron Solo v. HOOK~!
Solo makes the mistake of touching the hair, so Hook tosses him with a suplex and then trips him from behind and forces Solo to make the ropes. But then QT grabs the leg and Solo gets a cheapshot like a COWARD and beats on Hook for a bit. That dream dies quickly for him and as Hook SWEEPS THE LEG and wraps him up in an Octopus, which leads me to wonder who would win in a fight between Hook and all of Cobra Kai at once? Who are we kidding, they’d just award him the All Valley Open tournament if he showed up that morning. Capture suplex puts Solo down and he beats on him with the crossfaces, gets the hooks in, and finishes with the REDRUM at 3:21. And then QT gets in Hook’s face and gets his ass kicked as well. **************1/4
And then we get another title match for Battle of the Championship Opportunities, as Ricky Starks challenges Matt Sydal to an FTW title match in order to send a message to Dante Martin. Is that even a real title? That show isn’t exactly looking must-see.
Meanwhile, Penelope Ford and Bunny reminisce about all the blood last week.
Ruby Soho & Riho v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter
Yes, it’s finally the dream tag team of Riho and Soho, the HOS! Big brawl to start and the Hos double-team Jamie in the corner with clotheslines, but Britt comes in and beats on Ruby in the corner. Ruby comes back with a suplex but the heels double-team her and Britt gets two. Jericho puts forth a theory that Ruby has put the shoulder tape on the GOOD shoulder in order to swerve people and make them go after the wrong body part, which Starks notes wouldn’t be very moral of her. See what you’re missing when you’re watching on TNT instead of the international feed? Ruby fights back on Jamie with chops, but she gets double-teamed in the corner again and they tear off the (fake?) shoulder tape and work on the arm. We then take a real break inside of the PIP one and return with Riho getting a hot tag and running wild with a 619 for two. Riho takes Jamie down with a bulldog by launching off Baker, and that gets two. Riho goes up to finish and Britt brings her down, as Hayter and Baker double-team her and Britt superkicks her for two. Sadly this leads to heel miscommunication and Riho rolls up Hayter for the pin at 7:59. Just an average tag match. **1/4
Meanwhile, Dan Lambert complains about all the sucking going on in AEW, and Scorpio thinks he should have just been crowned champion automatically.
2point0 & Daniel Garcia v. Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz
They start the fight before we can even get a question from Mark Henry, and he just smiles and throws it to commercial. He’s very good in his role of being Mark Henry. Back from the break and Kingston is beating on Garcia with a garbage can while the others fight on the floor and into the crowd. Parker drops Ortiz on the railing, but Santana & Ortiz team up for a suplex on Parker before Lee hits them from behind and then grabs one of the creepy heads from the crowd and beats on them. Back in the ring, Parker continues beating on Ortiz with the giant head while Kingston throws stuff on the floor. Ortiz uses the madball on the heels while Jericho and Taz argue about the contents of a madball and then Jericho rages against French Fries. They hate fries, apparently. Garcia works on Eddie’s leg on the floor, but Santana and Ortiz make a comeback on 2point0 until Garcia rolls up Ortiz for two. Eddie heads back for an exploder on Garcia and Santana follows with a frog splash for two, but Matt Lee throws powder in his face for two. DDT for Ortiz , but now Garcia brings the bell again and lays out Eddie for two. Since he won’t stay down, they give him a triple suplex through the ringside table and hit Ortiz right in the old yambag with the trashcan, but Santana fights back with chairshots. In the ring, Santana & Ortiz double-team Garcia, and then hit Ortiz with a double-team lariat and that’s enough to finish at 11:50. I’m very over these repetitive messy brawls, especially since we just had one last week. This was OK but felt way long and didn’t really involve Kingston very much, which is kind of crazy because he’s the one guy who SHOULD be doing these kinds of matches. ** Maybe let’s give these a rest for a couple of months, huh?
Not a great show, although HOOK of course will not be denied and probably has the #1 shirt again now. I love the strategy there, too. Make a bunch of white shirts that say “HOOK” and sell a million of them. Then it’s like “We need a new shirt!” so they add “Send” and probably sell another million of them. That’s why they’re such a successful t-shirt company.