The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 01.28.22
Shout out to CTV producer Blair Farthing, @CTVBlair on Twitter, who it turns out has been a reader for many years and didn’t realize I lived in Saskatoon the entire time.
Taped from Cleveland, OH
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho & Ricky Starks
Jon Moxley v. Anthony Bowens
Caster gets some QUALITY shit talk, with “Put you to sleep like he’s your book” and “the Network called and told you to watch your mouth.” These guys are gonna be the biggest babyfaces when they eventually turn. Also I got “Mox” for Christmas but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Moxley is of course not amused and attacks Caster (“LOOK OUT, HE’S CRAZY!”) and beats on Bowens with forearms to put him on the floor. Back in, Bowens takes over with chops in the corner and a legsweep for two, but Mox pounds him with knees and follows with a drop suplex. Caster trips him up and Bowens takes over again with a neckbreaker for two. Bowens works the arm by wrapping it up around his leg and doing pushups, which is a funny spot, and they head to the floor for more abuse from Caster. They head back in and fight to the top, as Bowens blocks a superplex attempt and hits one of his own for two. Moxley gets distracted by Caster again and Bowens hits a DDT for two, but Mox fights back and they slug it out, leading to a piledriver that gets two. They trade sunset flips and both get two counts, and Bowens hits the Claim to Fame for a close two as well. Bowens puts the boots to him and goes for the boombox, but Aubrey rudely takes it away, so Bowens tries the chain instead. Moxley gets rid of that, takes out Caster, and then hits the lariat and Paradigm Shift to finish at 11:59. This was a GREAT TV match as Bowens just keeps improving every week. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Bryan Danielson watches the finish of the match backstage, probably happy to be able to watch TV while facing the screen like a normal human being.
Meanwhile, Nyla Rose still wants a piece of Ruby Soho.
Meanwhile, Andrade bugs Sting in his dressing room, but it’s only the little kid Darby who’s there and not his boss, Stink. Darby laughs off his offer but Andrade still wants to talk with the boss.
FTR v. The Brock-Lee Connection
I’m gonna get it over, you just wait. Soon everyone will love Brock-Lee! Even kids! Cash works a headlock on Lee to start, but Lee gets a rana and brings in Brock, who trades headlocks with Dax while Jericho marvels at second generation wrestlers who look, talk, and wrestle exactly like their fathers. Is that one of his patented coded messages, I wonder, making fun of the other guys? Johnson comes in and clotheslines Dax to the floor and then hits Cash with a dive, flattening him on the way down, and then dives onto Dax and nearly misses him completely. Well you can’t fault the enthusiasm, I guess. Back in, that gets two on Dax. Lee fights off both FTR but gets hit with a clothesline from Cash and the heels go to work. Dax gives him a vicious trip to the railing and stops to pose while Team Tax puts his handsomeness over, and Cash puts the beats to Lee on the outside. Back in, Dax with the Gory special, but Lee escapes and comes back with a neckbreaker out of the corner. Hot tag to Brock and he runs wild with some nice basic stuff, then puts the shoulders to Cash in the corner and hits a Doctorbomb. Cash tries a sunset flip and Brock blocks for two and brings Johnson in for the corner kick into the DDT, and Johnson hits a frog splash for two and Cash saves himself with the ropes. And then we get TULLY AND ARN on the floor again, as AA puts him down, and Johnson gets a bodypress on Cash for two. Victory roll, but Cash escapes and blind tags Dax, which sets up the Spike Piledriver to finish at 9:12. This is a hell of a show thus far. What a fun old school tag team match! ***1/4
Meanwhile, Thunder Rosa and Mercedes are still bitching at each other with no match in sight, but they finally announce one for Rampage. About time.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Julia Hart
This should be the quick defense Jade needs. Jade quickly overpowers Julia and hits a backbreaker, then drops an elbow for two. And stops for a light workout. Julia tries a comeback and gets nowhere, but gets lucky with a victory roll for two, at which point Jade boots her in the face and puts her away at 2:20. See now that’s more along the lines of what Jade needs. Julia looked as green as her outfit but that worked to the advantage of making Jade look even better in a way.
AEW World tag team titles: Jurassic Express v. Private Party
The Ass Boys distract Jungle Boy at ringside before the bell, allowing Private Party to immediately hit Gin and Juice for two, before Jungle Boy can even get the belt off. DAMN YOU ASS BOYS! Another double-team in the corner gets two, and they go to opposite turnbuckles and miss stereo splashes, allowing JB to fight back and get Luchasaurus in. And Private Party immediately runs away. Luchasaurus goes after everyone outside, but that allows Big Money Matt to take out the knee with a chair, and they go to work on him in the corner. Taz, meanwhile, puts over the genius of Andrade. “Maybe you should ask him what he thinks of you sometime,” notes Jericho, “and then he can tell you in Spanish and I’ll tell you what he really thinks.” I can’t believe he would cast aspersions on Andrade like that. They continue beating on Luchasaurus’s knee, but Kassidy gets backdropped over the top with his trademark shriek, while Andrade watches from a skybox. Luchasaurus makes the comeback and fights them off on the floor, but they both cling to his legs to prevent a tag. So he pulls them both across the ring and makes the hot tag to Jungle Boy. He dumps them both to the floor and hits them with dives as they go flying all over. Back in, Kassidy gets an enzuigiri and goes up, but JB cuts him off and ends up on Luchasaurus’s shoulders, where he catches a Kassidy bodypress and flips him over for two. The champs double-team Kassidy, but the Silly String puts Luchasaurus on the floor. JB gets the Snare Trap on Kassidy, but Quen breaks it up with a shooting star, although Jericho notes he should have just kicked him in the face. They try a Gin & Juice again, but Jungle Boy counters into a Canadian destroyer and they finish Kassidy with the Thoracic Express at 11:00 to retain. Another hot match to close out the show. ***3/4 And then the dastardly Ass Boys attack afterwards and lay them out to set up the next challenge.
This was a fantastic episode, which just flew by and had some great wrestling on a Friday night.