The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 04.22.22
Taped from Pittsburgh, PA
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz & Ricky Starks
Oh joy, they’ve already added the gross Tay and Sammy makeout to the opening.
Owen Hart Foundation qualifier: Adam Cole v. Tomohiro Ishii
Well this is certainly a thing. Ishii powers Cole out of the ring to start, but Cole comes back with chops in the corner, and Ishii just ignores him and chops him down. Cole retreats to the floor, so Ishii follows him out and continues beating on him, but he misses a charge and clotheslines the ringpost. And the ringpost said OUCH. Back in the ring, Cole slugs away on Ishii and goes to a chinlock before turning it into a neckbreaker and beating on him with forearms. And then Cole slaps him around in the corner and calls him stupid, and that’s just too much for Ishii to take and he fires up and just hits Cole in the face with a forearm to put him down. Ishii with a Saito suplex for two, but Cole escapes a powerbomb and manages to put him down with an ushigoroshi to take over. Knee strike gets two. They fight to the top and Ishii brings him down with a headbutt to the groin and a superplex for two. Ishii misses the sliding lariat and Cole superkicks him to set up the Boom, but that misses and Ishii gets the lariat this time for two. Cole with the neckbreaker on the knee for two for a hot near fall, and Cole goes up for the Panama Sunrise, but that misses. So Cole superkicks him, but Ishii just absorbs it and blasts him down again with an enzuigiri. But then Jay White interjects himself where he’s not welcome (as usual) and takes out Rocky Romero for the distraction, and Cole finishes with the Boom at 11:18. As if I couldn’t be more sick of Adam Cole, now he’s hanging with Switchblade, who is where you’d stick the hose to give Bullet Club an enema, to annoy me even further. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Jericho’s crew is denied entry for tonight’s show and aren’t happy about it.
Lance Archer v. Serpentico
Serpentico tries a dive and that goes not well for him, resulting in Archer suplexing him on the apron and finishing with the Blackout at 0:38. And then Archer just blasts him with chokeslams, a Chokeslam Symphony of sorts.
Daniel Garcia v. Eddie Kingston
Eddie slugs away in the corner and beats on Garcia with chops, and then takes him to the floor and adds some more. Excalibur shilling for the Girls Gone Wild documentary reminds me of the WWE’s bizarre cross promotional PPV with them, which is apparently one of the biggest examples of lost media at the moment, with my rant being one of the few tangible references to it left in the world. I certainly don’t expect to see it on the Network anytime soon, that’s for sure. Back in the ring, Garcia takes him down and goes after the arm, then knees Eddie in the ribs to take over, but Kingston is too dumb to stay down and fights back with chops. Garcia slugs away in the corner and bites him for good measure, but Eddie returns that and they fight to the floor again. Garcia runs him into the post and then into the railing for good measure. Back in the ring, Garcia hits him with a low dropkick, but Eddie fights back with a knee to the gut, so Garcia gives him one of his own for two. Garcia with a chinlock, and they beat on each other with chops until Eddie gives him a knee to the gut. Garcia blocks an exploder and counters to an abdominal stretch and then turns it into a german suplex for two. Garcia does a unique beating in the corner where he runs on Eddie’s gut, but Eddie fights back with a diving knee to the back of the neck. Garcia takes him down with the Boston crab and then turns it into the Sharpshooter, but Kingston makes the ropes and the ref has to physically pull Garcia off. Kingston with an enzuigiri and exploder for two. Garcia evades the backfist, so Eddie hits him with a backdrop driver and then finishes with the backfist at 12:34. Goddamn this turned into a hell of a fight. ****
Meanwhile, Swerve and Keith Lee are disgusted by the actions of Taz last week, and now they’re gonna pay it back in blood.
Meanwhile, Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter throw shade at each other, leading up to the Owen Hart tournament first round match we’ve all been waiting for.
Meanwhile, Cash and Uncle Dax talk about their upcoming qualifying match next week. What kind of monster would book them against each other in the first place?
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Marina Shafir
I do like the detail of Jade making sure to have the wacky new green colored iPhone 13 Pro Max. We’ll see if Jade has enough star power to carry a rating on this one, because Shafir damn sure isn’t going to draw. Marina gets some leg kicks to start and tries a choke, but Jade throws her off and follows with a fallaway slam. They fight to the floor where the Baddies get some shots on Marina while Sterling takes the ref. Back in the ring, Jade puts the boots to her and follows with a back suplex for two. She was doing that Rhea Ripley dominance pin that Twitter’s been losing their mind over. Shafir jumps into a guillotine, but Jade powerslams her for two. Jade slugs away in the corner and goes to an abdominal stretch on the mat while Starks and Taz argue about whether the Blackpool Combat Club actually did invent the concept of violence. I say yes. Jade works an armbar while doing a noogie to Marina’s ribs and then follows with a high knee for two. This match is so messed up from a psychology standpoint, with Jade clearly the babyface but taking the whole match like a heel and yet getting cheered for it. Jade with a rolling vertical and then she grabs another hold on the mat as this thing is dragging pretty badly. Shafir comes back with an anklelock but Jade doesn’t really sell it and quickly makes the ropes. Jade does NOT need to be selling and they don’t need to be putting her in the position to be selling at this point. Back to the floor and Shafir beats up Mark Sterling for some reason and then stops to flip off the Baddies, so Jade hits her with a pump kick. And then Jade gives her a nasty chokeslam on the table, hitting it on the side so that it doesn’t break properly. Back in the ring, Jade gets two off that, but Shafir tries another anklelock and Jade boots out of that. And Jaded finishes at 11:35. They spent all that time trying to build up Shafir as a serious challenger but no one bought it and Jade barely sold for her. Like this was a 12 minute match and Marina’s big spot was a leglock attempt that she didn’t even sink? Jade’s improved a ton but this was death. *
Main event sucked but the rest of the show was a romp and a half and is well worth checking out this week. But as usual, fast forward through anything Jay White does or says.