The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 04.08.22
By Scott Keith on 8th April 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 04.08.22
Good to see that even Japan gets a viable streaming option for Rampage before Canada does.
Taped from Boston, MA
Your hosts are Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Taz & WILLIAM REGAL
Bryan Danielson v. Trent Berreta
They immediately take it to the mat and Bryan gives him a kick to wake him up and goes to a headlock. Trent elbows out of that and returns the kick, which impresses Regal. The poor sound guys have to mute the crowd’s chant about who’s getting their head kicked in, and Trent misses a charge to set up a guillotine from Bryan. Trent suplexes out of that for two. Danielson with more kicks in the corner (Regal: “Between the three of you I don’t need to be here, do I?”) but Trent sends him to the floor and skins the cat back in to set up a dive. But then Bryan lays him out and follows with his own dive, which Trent catches and turns into a suplex on the floor. But then Trent charges and SMASHES into the stairs with gusto. “Even as sadistic as I am, I don’t like to see anyone with neck problems hurting themselves like that” notes Regal. Back in, Bryan naturally goes to work on the neck while Regal notes that we shouldn’t let the “vegan hippie thing” fool anyone, because his grandmother once told him that he was “born to hang” and he’s passed that attitude onto Bryan. Mr. Regal is DELIGHTFUL. Bryan chokes him out on the ropes and drops Trent with another suplex, but he goes up and Trent cuts him off with a superplex. They trade chops and Trent puts him down with a deadlift german suplex, but Danielson escapes the tornado DDT and elbows him into a capture suplex for two. Bryan twists him up for a dragon sleeper, but Trent makes the ropes, so Bryan batters him with knees and they trade near-falls. Danielson misses a charge and hits the corner, and Trent gets the tornado DDT this time for two. They fight to the top again, but Bryan crotches him for “a little yambag Yahtzee” as Taz calls it, and Danielson hits him with a superplex where Trent lands on top of him for two. They get into a striking match and Trent loses that one, but catches him with the half and half and a lariat for two. Trent beats him down on the ropes, but Bryan hits the busaiku knee out of nowhere and follows with a Gotch piledriver. And then it’s time to kick Trent’s head in and he just wrenches on Trent’s neck like a psychopath for the submission at 13:30. This was an awesomely violent fight and Regal made it even better on commentary. ****
Meanwhile, Danhausen tries to curse Hook again after popping out of a garbage can, and wonders if the chips are what gives him his powers? Huge if true.
Scorpio Sky and his crew join us, but Sammy and Tay quickly interrupt and Dan Lambert gives them some advice: Talk more about what happens in the ring, not their bedroom. And then Ethan calls them “a PR disaster waiting to happen” and he prays that his daughter doesn’t end up like Tay. Oh damn. But then Sammy threatens to destroy something else next week until they get their way. Could they make these two ANY MORE unlikeable? They are making me not want to see Tay Conti on my TV anymore and that’s how you know it’s going off the rails for them. Thankfully the crowd was clearly on the side of the Men of the Year in this case. When you’re making DAN LAMBERT look sympathetic, you’re the worst babyface ever.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho names QT Marshall the Sports Entertainer of the Week!
QT Marshall v. Swerve Strickland
QT puts him down with a shoulderblock and stops to pose, but Swerve takes him down with a headscissors and rolls him up for two. QT tosses him, but Swerve lands on his feet in a cool spot and comes back in with a sunset flip before sending QT to the floor. Swerve kicks him from the apron and follows with a double axehandle. Back in, QT uses distraction from Comoroto to take over, but the ref tosses QT’s goons. Taz is pretty sure that “Stefan” is a fake gimmick name for the ref anyway! Taz makes a Family Matters reference but I always picture Bill Hader on SNL trying not to crack himself up with that name. QT controls and hits an elbow strike out of the break, but Swerve blocks the Diamond Cutter in the corner and follows with the rolling flatliner. And Swerve jumps off the back of QT’s neck and pins him at 6:10. Not feeling that finisher but this was a perfectly cromulent match. **1/2 Afterwards, Ricky Starks is ready to GET IT POPPING on Dynamite with the tag match we’ve been building towards for a while.
Meanwhile, Marina Shafir really wants Jade Cargill. I’m assuming she’s just someone to build up for Jade to steamroll, given that she’s never even appeared on AEW TV yet.
Owen Hart Foundation qualifier: Willow Nightingale v. Red Velvet
They trade hammerlocks to start and Velvet hits her with a leg lariat and works the arm, but Willow powers out of it and gets a shoulderblock for two. Crowd is clearly for Willow here, but she misses a senton and Velvet slugs away in the corner. Willow comes back but misses a moonsault, and Velvet hits the whip kick for two. Willow with a spinebuster for two. They slug it out and Willow comes back with the Pounce and cannonball in the corner, which gets two. Velvet rolls out of a suplex with a backstabber and finishes with another kick at 5:18, drawing groans from the crowd. And me. They’ve got something with Willow. Conversely, they’re got nothing with Red Velvet and with Brandi gone she serves no purpose with no one to understudy at this point. **
Holy shit, did they really announce Minoru Suzuki v. Samoa Joe for the ROH TV title on Dynamite? That might break the internet.
Meanwhile, Tony Nese is tired of being ignored, so Smart Mark Sterling offers him legal representation.
Jon Moxley v. Wheeler Yuta
Yuta flies at Moxley during his grumpy entrance and they immediately brawl into the crowd and then back to ringside again to start the match. Moxley immediately drops him with a german suplex and then a vertical suplex. Mox beats on him with chops, but Yuta comes back with an atomic drop and they fight to the floor. Moxley curb stomps him onto the stairs and Yuta is busted open. Back in the ring, Moxley beats on the cut and they head to the floor again, where Moxley gets run into the stairs this time. Back in, Yuta goes up and Moxley cuts him off by clawing the back and then brings him down with a superplex for two. Mox puts him in a straitjacket hold and follows with a backbreaker and Texas Cloverleaf, but Yuta makes the ropes. Yuta fights back with chops and sends Moxley to the floor, then pops up to the top and dives on Moxley, putting him through the ringside table in the process. That was some incredible timing. Back in the ring, Yuta fires up and gets a backslide for two, and then rolls into a deadlift german suplex and hangs on for another one. Moxley tries the lariat, but Yuta catches it and suplexes him, and then KICKS MOXLEY’S HEAD IN. Yuta goes up with the flying splash, but that gets two. And then he switches into a crossface, but Moxley rolls him over for two. And follows with the lariat for two. Moxley beats on him with forearms, but that just fires up Yuta, so Moxley bites the wound and they fight to the top. But then Yuta claws the back to fight him off, so Moxley drops him with the Paradigm Shift, and Yuta kicks out of that. Moxley with the bulldog choke, but Yuta slips out of that, so Moxley beats on him with MMA knees. And Yuta continues flipping him off, so Moxley charges with another knee, but Yuta rolls him up for two and locks in his own bulldog choke. Moxley powers up from that, so Yuta tries the rear naked choke, and Moxley rolls out of that and just destroys him with elbows to put him down. Moxley hits him with the Regal knee, follows with another Paradigm Shift, and that gets ANOTHER two count! Finally Moxley chokes him out and Yuta is done at 12:48 of WAR. Holy crap this was incredible. What a match! ****1/2 And this brings out Regal and Danielson to surround Yuta, but Yuta tells them to get stuffed, so Regal finally offers a handshake, and now he’s part of the crew and “the real work begins” according to Moxley. Well, they did say you have to bleed with them to be part of the group. However he bled so much we have to change it from the Muta scale to the YUTA scale.
HOT DAMN WHAT A SHOW. Definitely this is an episode to go out of your way to watch.