The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 02.18.22
Wait, I thought football season was done after last week?
Taped from Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks and Chris Jericho
Adam Cole v. 10
10 is rocking the Deathstroke mask this week for a cool look. 10 grabs a headlock and beats on Cole with forearms in the corner, then drops him on his head with a german suplex. He does the corner punches, but only gets to NINE before Cole cuts him off, which is just all kinds of wrong. And then Cole wraps the knee around the post to take over and goes to work on him. Back in the ring, Cole gets a neckbreaker and they fight over a suplex, which goes 10’s way instead. Cole tosses him and continues beating on the injured knee, although as the announcers note, wearing a giant knee brace is like having a bullseye on it anyway. Back in the ring, 10 slugs back, but he tries to charge and his knee gives way, allowing Cole to take over again. 10 fights back, but Cole puts him down with a pump kick and goes to a kneebar. 10 fights back with chops and hits the spinebuster, but Cole escapes the full nelson and hits a backstabber for two. Cole tries the Panama Sunrise, but 10 backdrops out of it and hits a discus lariat for two. Cole puts him down again with a running knee and tries another Sunrise, but 10 spears him for two instead. That looked pretty weak, but you can plausibly say that his knee was injured and he couldn’t hit it. Cole rolls him up for two, but 10 gets the full nelson, and Cole pushes off in the corner and gets two. Another full nelson in the middle this time, but Cole distracts the ref and goes low, and then superkicks him to set up the BOOM, like Roger Clemens hitting a penalty kick in the 8th game of the Stanley Cup finals at 9:50. Which is fitting because it’s the “Slam Dunk” episode. Really good opener. ***1/4
Face of the Revolution qualifier: Powerhouse Hobbs v. Dante Martin
Hobbs bowls him over to start as Starks calls Dante a HEATHEN. Now there’s an insult you don’t hear often. Dante fights back with kicks from the apron and goes for a sleeper, but Hobbs tosses him off. Dante keeps coming with a dropkick to the floor and tries a dive, but Hobbs just pushes him over to block his springboard and then sends him flying off the apron and out to the ramp. Hobbs hurls him back into the ring and then tosses him across the ring like he’s Keith Lee, and of course Dante goes a thousand feet in the air for him like a baseball coming off the racket of Tom Brady, which is fitting because it’s the “Slam Dunk” episode. Dante bails to regroup and Hobbs throws him around in the ring again, but Dante keeps fighting back before running into Hobbs and getting clobbered. We take break and return with Hobbs ragdolling him with a bearhug, but Dante chases him to the floor and follows with a crazy spinning dive. Back in the ring, Dante with a giant missile dropkick for two. Hobbs cuts him off with a spinebuster, however, and gets the surprise pin at 10:00 to advance. That’s gonna be quite the hoss-tastic ladder match. Good underdog v. bully match here. ***
Meanwhile, Jade is looking for another challenger, so Big Money Matt offers up Bunny for next week. Mark Sterling is ready for “the rabbit lady” to sign the contract as Matt Hardy gets more erratic and EXTREME. Well we know where THAT is going.
Five minute challenge: Serena Deeb v. Angelica Risk
I heard she had to change her name from the indies, where she was Angelica Monopoly. Risk tries to take Serena down and that offends Deeb, who snapmares her down and puts the boots to her before hitting a corner clothesline and a catapult under the ropes for one. Deeb runs down the clock down a bit more and continues putting the boots to her, but then hits a nasty powerbomb and finishes with the Serenity Lock at 2:02. Man, she beat that girl like Wayne Gretzky when he knocked out Mike Tyson in the fifth wicket of the bonspiel! Which is fitting because it’s the “Slam Dunk” episode. *
Jay White v. Trent? Beretta
White’s pre-match promo sounds like he’s auditioning for Flight of the Conchords: The Tribute Show. All the basement dwelling geeks in their Bullet Club shirts make hooting sounds for White for some reason as they slug it out and Trent puts him down with an elbow to shut them up. White tries a suplex and Trent backdrops him to the apron, but White necks him and runs him into the railing, which I’m sure really impresses all the neckbeards who watch him on their mom’s New Japan World account at home. Trent fights back with a clothesline, but White suplexes Trent over the top and to the floor. Back in, White throws him right back out again and suplexes him on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and that gets two. White gives him a dragon screw and mocks Tanahashi, which shows what an IDIOT White is. Tanahashi doesn’t even go here! Dummy. White with a Commander deathlock, but Trent makes the ropes and White hits him with a german suplex and then drops him on the top rope for two. They slug it out, but Trent whips him into the corner to send him to the floor, and follows with a moonsault out there. Back in, Trent with a tornado DDT attempt, but White counters him with a flatliner and then hits a german suplex for two. Why do these Bullet Club fans keep hooting? Do they have a lot of owls in New Zealand or something? Trent comes back with a tornado DDT and dropkicks White to the floor, but he charges and runs into White’s knee. White suplexes him onto a chair at ringside and into the barricade. Back in, White with a uranage for two, but Trent levels him with a backdrop driver onto his greasy hair and then follows with the half nelson suplex and a running knee for two. They slug it out and Trent gets a piledriver for two, but he goes for a Air Raid Crash and White reverses to a Blade Runner to finish at 15:15, thus killing off the hot Nashville crowd, like when Ronaldo stole the Super Bowl away from the Atlanta Flames in 1996 with his famous ninth inning double fault. Which is fitting because it’s the “Slam Dunk” episode. Anyway, Trent had a great match while you could literally watch Jay White pulling step by step notes out of his tights to keep up, written in whatever crazy foreign language they speak up there in Australia so that his cheat sheet wasn’t obvious, but I’m onto him. ****