The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 04.29.22
Well, I finally caved to peer pressure and bought Lego Star Wars for PS5. SO PRETTY. I probably should have waited for a May the 4th sale but this way I can play it NOW.
Taped from Philly
Your hosts are Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Chris Jericho & Taz
Owen Hart Foundation qualifier: Darby Allin v. Swerve Strickland
Swerve misses a kick in the corner while the crowd seems to think it’s Swerve’s house. I really hope he’s paying his fair share of property taxes for all of these residences that he’s apparently maintaining around the country. Where’s Irwin R. Shyster when you need him? They trade takedowns and Darby gets a side headlock on the mat off that, but Swerve sends him to the floor and Darby counters his dive attempt with a stunner on the floor. Back in, that gets two and Darby tosses Swerve again for a dive of his own, but Swerve pops up with a knee strike to counter that. Swerve sneaks to the apron and just boots Darby in the head to put him down again, and back in for two. Swerve puts the boots to Darby and follows with a running elbow in the corner, and a forearm to the back gets two. Swerve chokes him out in the corner, but Darby grabs his foot and wraps him up in a kneebar in a surprising twist. Swerve rolls out of that and into a suplex for two. Swerve to the top, but his double stomp misses and Darby gets the Code Red for two. He goes up for the Coffin Drop, but lands on Swerve’s knees, and Swerve gets a leaping kick to the back of the head for two. They head to the apron again and Swerve suplexes him from there to the floor in a crazy spot. This prompts Ricky Starks to leave the desk and go interject himself, but Sting cuts him off and Darby wraps up Swerve in the Last Supper for the pin at 10:23 as a result. Good opener here. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Shawn Spears continues dropping hints about the mystery guy on Dynamite, who apparently has a lot of PP – Pinnacle Potential. Also he’s 7 feet tall.
Chris Jericho is the lucky winner of the Chris Jericho Sports Entertainer of the Week award, given for throwing a fireball at Eddie Kingston in this case. Tough but fair. But then Santana comes out to attack Jericho, which is a pretty poor show of sportsmanship if we’re being honest.
Jade Cargill, Kiera Hogan & Red Velvet v. Trish Adora, Skye Blue & Willow Nightingale
Velvet hits Skye with a high kick and slugs away in the corner as she leans into the new heel role, and it’s over to Hogan for a running dropkick in the corner. Skye manages a superkick, but she tries again and they catch each other’s kicks. Adora comes in and Hogan legdrops her, BROTHER, and it’s over to Jade for a pump kick and Jaded to finish at 2:40. Just your usual Elevation squash. *
Meanwhile, Darby and Swerve chat about their match earlier, and Darby offers another 5:00, but Swerve isn’t bothered and he’s just gonna call Keith Lee and take it out on Team Taz.
Keith Lee v. Colten Gunn
Keith powers him into the corner, so Gunn slugs back and gets nowhere. Keith fires back with the double chops, but misses a second one as Gunn runs away. Keith drops him on the top with Snake Eyes, but he stops to deal with Austin and that allows the Ass Boyz to double-him and take over. Back in the ring, Keith fights back with more chops while Colten mocks the Keith Lee chants and stops for a brotherly hug. Lee fights back with a series of shoulderblocks and swats Colten’s clothesline attempt away before tossing him across the ring. Austin gets involved again and Keith wallops him off the apron, then escapes the Colt 45 and finishes Colten with the Ground Zero at 7:17. Another one that felt like a Dark match, but it was a fine showcase of Lee. **
Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy talks about “stepping into the solo dimension” for the first time in AEW against Bobby Fish on Dynamite. Then the Elite have their rebuttal, as the Young Bucks mock Jeff and they’re all totally on the same page, even making fun of Brandon Cutler the same way!
Danhausen joins us, (very nice, very evil, love that Danhausen and such) and he’s here to eviscerate Hook. So Hook comes out and Danhausen decides that maybe they should do it another week. So this brings out Mark Sterling , prompting an attack from Tony Nese on both guys. Who would be dumb enough to attack HOOK? And indeed Hook destroys Nese, setting up Danhausen for a CURSE on Nese, and it appears that HOOK-HAUSEN might be in the works. I don’t think the space time continuum can handle that. At the very least it would be too much for one t-shirt to handle, and mankind shouldn’t try to harness that kind of power.
Meanwhile, Colten Gunn doesn’t consider his previous match to be a loss. Also they can rap. The Acclaimed disagree and want to do some scissoring as an unbeatable 8 man team, but the Ass Boyz have to go talk to daddy first.
ROH TV title: Samoa Joe v. Trent? Beretta
So we’re joined by Ian Riccaboni on commentary, and Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions. They both slot into the program quite easily. Trent grabs a headlock to start and Joe beats him down in the corner to escape and hits the enzuigiri to send him to the floor. Joe misses a dive, however, and Trent hits him with a knee from the apron and then follows with a moonsault that overshoots a bit. Perhaps the guy with the rebuilt neck should lay off that stuff a bit. Joe puts him down with a boot and they head back into the ring for some more chops from Joe and an elbowdrop that gets two. Joe goes to a neck vice and then lays him out with a back elbow before mocking Orange with some hands in pockets action. He goes back to twisting the neck. Trent fights back and sends Joe to the floor before following with a dive, but manages to land on his knee and hurts it. Back in the ring, Trent makes a comeback with chops and a backdrop suplex, and a tornado DDT gets two. He goes for Strong Zero, but Joe counters into the powerbomb for two and turns that into the STF. Trent makes the ropes, so Joe smacks him around and just UNLOADS on him with a lariat. THAT MAN’S NECK HAS A FAMILY! This sets up the muscle buster, but Trent reverses to a sunset flip for two and follows with a high knee. Joe cuts him off again with the uranage and locks in the choke to finish at 10:05. Trent was game here and this was a good scrap. ***1/4 But before Joe can do an interview with Tony to celebrate, Jay Lethal’s crew comes out for a word, prompting the dream match showdown between Orange Cassidy and Satnam Singh. And then Jay and Joe have a quick brawl to end the show and continue that program. But as for THIS program, WE ARE DESPERATELY OUT OF TIME for the week.
Wrestling is fun and this was a fun, if inessential, show. Although you should probably watch Hook-Hausen on the YouTubes so you can be the hipster on the ground floor of history like when the Megapowers shook hands on Saturday Night’s Main Event or Rock N Sock first came together on RAW. Same energy.