The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 01.14.22
Taped from Raleigh, North Kakalaka
Your hosts are Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Taz and Chris Jericho
Adam Cole v. Trent Beretta
In either a nice touch or cool coincidence, they time the replay of Adam Cole hitting his finisher on Orange Cassidy on Wednesday with the moment that the entrance music goes “Boom!”. Trent hits him with chops in the corner and beats on him with a knee on the ropes to put him on the floor, where the entire Elite clownshow is there to provide support. Trent goes for a dive, but Cole SWEEPS THE LEG and they head back in the ring as Trent is selling the neck, and Cole follows with a neckbreaker. Cole sends him into the corner and follows with another neckbreaker for two. They fight to the floor and Trent tries a spear, but he misses and runs into the railing and that can’t be good for his neck. Jericho, meanwhile, disapproves of Cole making out with Britt Baker in the middle of a fight. Back in the ring, Cole beats on the neck further and goes to a chinlock. Trent fights out and Cole cuts him off and tries the Panama Sunrise, but Trent follows him up and brings him down with a superplex for two. Cole puts him down again with the neckbreaker and teases the superkick, but Trent suplexes him. Cole with the brainbuster for two. They head to the apron, where Trent hits him with a piledriver on the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in, Trent tries Strong Zero, but Cole reverses to a Canadian Destroyer for two in a clever move. Cole goes up to finish, but Trent catches him in a backdrop driver and follows with a lariat. Another try is blocked with a pair of superkicks from Cole, and the Panama Sunrise is countered into the Strong Zero in a cool reversal on the previous reversal! That gets two as the circus erupts at ringside, and Cole goes low on Trent and finishes with the BOOM at 11:25. Hell of an opener. ***1/2
So after the talk about the new Upper Deck AEW trading cards in this match, I checked around apparently people are selling an 8-pack of cards for $15 on eBay. FIFTEEN DOLLARS. FOR CARDS. Yeah, I’m turning into an old man yelling at clouds, I fully admit it.
Meanwhile, we take a special look at Mercedes Martinez and Thunder Rosa.
Shawn Spears v. Andrew Everett
Everett quickly tries a springboard on Spears, but he lands in the death valley driver and Spears pins him at 0:55. And then Spears does the promo on CM Punk to build up the match on Dynamite, making sure to throw shade at Wardlow (standing in the background) by calling him a “one move wonder with a couple of years’ experience”.
Meanwhile, drop their video on Sting and Darby Allin as promised, which appears to be called “Two Grown Men Going Through a Goth Phase”. Caster’s line about taking out Sting’s knee like at the Clash is pretty boss.
Leyla Hirsch, Red Velvet & Kris Statlander v. The Bunny, Penelope Ford & Nyla Rose
Rose hits Hirsch with a belly to belly for two, so Statlander tags herself in and takes Bunny down with a facelock. They slug it out and Kris gets a powerslam for two. Jericho has BREAKING NEWS: Statlander may or may not be an alien. Huge if true. Velvet and Leyla double-team Bunny as they turn the fake crowd noise way up, but Nyla puts Velvet down and beats on her. Ford comes in with handspring elbow while Starks remembers his lifting routine from the past week. Jericho: “What were you lifting, about 140?” the heels continue working Velvet over in the corner and Ford chokes her out on the ropes. Ford with a gutbuster for two and we suddenly go to a non-PIP break. Dammit, how can they treat Bulgaria this way? Back with Nyla missing a senton on Velvet and it’s hot tag Statlander. Gourdbuster on Ford gets two and she wraps Ford up in the spider crab, which I’m sure gave everyone in the crowd the weird feeling in their special places, but Bunny breaks it up. Statlander hits Bunny with the Blue Thunder Bomb for two, but then Leyla tags herself in and promptly gets rolled up and pinned by the Bunny at 9:05. **
Meanwhile, Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky take credit for running Cody Rhodes out of AEW and they don’t care who ends up with the TNT title.
Jay Lethal joins us and wants to clear the air with Ricky Starks after Wednesday, and he wants the FTW title, but understands that he won’t get an answer today because Ricky has to run everything through Taz. This prompts to go off on a tirade and the refs pull them apart.
AEW World tag team title: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus v. John Silver & Alex Reynolds
As Ricky Starks notes, the fans are really lousy at actually waving their arms in time with “Tarzan Boy”. JB takes Reynolds down with the ropewalk wristlock and keeps the hair in place, and Luchasaurus comes in to throw Alex around. Jungle Boy comes in with a swanton for two, but Reynolds gets a backslide for two. Over to John Silver, who lays out Jungle Boy with a big boot and hits Luchasaurus with a senton off the apron. JB tries a dive onto Silver, but Johnny catches him with a suplex and Reynolds assists with a Rockerplex onto the floor. Back in, Silver gets two. Silver kicks JB down and powerbombs him onto Reynolds’ knees for two. Silver biels him out of the corner and Reynolds drops an elbow for two. Jungle Boy fights back while Jericho reveals that he was never friends with Christian because Cage is from Toronto and not Winnipeg. Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and cleans house on the Dark Order, hitting them with running splashes in the corners and then a double clothesline. And he chokeslams Silver onto Reynolds for two. Silver fights back on the champs and puts the dinosaur on the floor, but Reynolds goes up for the Doomsday Device and Jungle Boy breaks it up. They fight on the top rope and this turns into the Tower of Doom and everyone is out. The Dark Order double-teams Luchasaurus with kicks and puts him on the floor and then does their double-team suplexes on Jungle Boy and it gets two. Jungle Boy fights them off in the corner and hits Reynolds with the lariat, then takes Silver off the apron and into Uno outside. Back in the ring, a Canadian Destroyer on Reynolds gets two. Jungle Boy hits a dive onto Silver for good measure, and the double-team facebuster finishes Reynolds at 12:50. A fun, all-action first defense for the champs. And no heel beatdown to the end the show for once! ***3/4
Definitely a better show than Dynamite in the ring this week and just the usual fun and easy-to-watch hour of wrestling.