The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 05.06.22
This show is on so early that Bobby Fish had to miss the Early Bird supper to go watch it! I too will be glad when the NBA playoffs are over. Not because it’s messing with AEW’s timeslots, just because basketball sucks.
Taped from Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Chris Jericho & Taz
Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter v. Toni Storm & Ruby Soho
Hayter grabs a headlock on Storm to start as the crowd chants “Pittsburgh sucks”. Tough but fair. Britt comes in with a sling blade on Ruby for two, but Ruby gets a rollup for two. Ruby and Toni hit a double legsweep on Britt to take over and Toni puts the boots to her in the corner, only for Britt to counter her into the turnbuckles for two. Over to Hayter for a beatdown in the corner and a snap suplex for two. Hayter with a chinlock on the mat, but Toni fights out, so Hayter runs her into the corner to work on the back. Toni fights back with Ruby’s help and hits a german suplex to set up the hot tag to Ruby. She runs wild with elbows in the corner, and Toni comes in with a hip attack on Britt in the corner. It’s ALL CATTY WAMPUS and Storm slams the heels together, but Britt reverses Storm Zero into an Air Raid Crash and they’re all down. Toni and Britt slug it out and Britt takes her down for the Lockjaw, but Toni reverses for two. Rebel takes the ref and the heels double-team Storm into a Hayter sliding lariat and Britt curb stomp for two, but Ruby saves. But then Storm hits a superkick on Britt and pins her at 8:48. A fun opener and Storm slots in here perfectly! **3/4
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston phones in a promo to Chris Jericho, since he was so hideously burned and all.
Meanwhile, Tony Nese still can’t get a Rampage match, so he lays out the challenge to the undefeated phenomenon kid everyone’s talking about…DANHAUSEN. OK, I laughed at that payoff pretty hard.
HOOK v. JD Drake
Hook takes him down and piefaces him a bit, so Drake fires back with a chop, and then Hook headbutts the chop to block it in a funny spot. Hook with the giant judo throw and he flips into the Redrum to finish at 1:25. *********$$$************1/2*****%%******* So this brings out Danhausen with a proposal, which gets the crowd chanting “Hookhausen” (“Oh yes, that sounds good, I think I made that up”) and he offers Hook the chance to be in his corner for the match next week. Hook casts him aside in disgust, but it turns out that Danhausen brought him BIRTHDAY CHIPS, which might yet thaw the cold hearted handsome devil Hook. But not yet. I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING.
Meanwhile, FTR enjoys the crowd support thus far, but Dax is bringing the nasty bastard back for the match with Adam Cole so he can win the Owen Hart tournament.
Owen Hart Foundation qualifier: Yuka Sakazaki v. Riho
Does TNT know that they’re putting a SECOND women’s match on their wrestling show? What’s next, giving them the vote? Yuka works a hammerlock to start and takes her down with a headlock, but they trade rollups and Riho puts her down with a dropkick, showing a bit of edge. Riho with a high knee in the corner and a flying bodypress gets two. Riho misses a charge and Yuka cartwheels out of the corner and dropkicks Riho to the floor, before hitting a cannonball from the apron. Back in the ring, Yuka works the leg while Jericho and Taz discuss the dangers of wrestling in giant earrings and how easy it would be to yank them out. “Didn’t you wrestle Konnan in earrings, Chris?” wonders Starks, but Jericho corrects him that KONNAN was the one wearing the earrings. Riho comes back with a bulldog out of the corner for two and we take a break. Back with Yuka hitting a Northern Lights Bomb for two and she tries a springboard splash, but hits Riho’s knees. Yuka ducks a running knee and gets a rollup for two, but Riho hits her with another knee for two. Riho goes up and Yuka follows with what appeared to be a Spanish Fly attempt, but they didn’t rotate and it ended up being a Flatliner instead, which gets two. Riho with another rollup for two and they trade forearms for the slugfest, but Riho sweeps the leg and rolls her up to finish at 9:24 and qualify for the tournament. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Shawn Spears is apparently Wardlow’s kryptonite. Good luck with that.
Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year join us, and he turns on his hometown. He went out for crab cakes and they were DISGUSTING, so now he’s moving to Miami. Meanwhile, Ethan Page decides to bow out of the mixed tag match with Sammy because he doesn’t want his daughter watching TV and seeing Sammy and Tay sucking face. Tough but fair. This brings out Kazarian to interrupt, as he doesn’t care about anyone but Scorpio, because he wants his promised TNT title shot. Ethan declares that “it’s a good thing Kaz is dressed for a funeral because SCU is dead”, but Scorpio declares that he’s going to be a fighting champion again and the TNT title “won’t be passed around like Tay Conti backstage”. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH DAMN. So next week, he defends against Kazarian as promised. Hopefully someone gets Tay some ice for that sick burn.
Jay Lethal v. Konosuke Takeshita
Kind of an odd choice for a main event. Apparently Takeshita is a former KOD Openweight champion in DDT. Aren’t they the ones who have ladders and blow up dolls winning titles and shit? I don’t know how prestigious those belts would be. Maybe on the same level as the ROH Women’s title. Maybe less, I dunno, it’s not an exact science. They trade armdrags and Takeshita gets a leg lariat and struts, then chases him to the floor with a shoulderblock. But then Takeshita goes after Dutt and gets doven upon by Lethal. Dutt puts the beats on Takeshita and sends him back in for Lethal’s figure-four, but that’s blocked. So Lethal cradles for two and follows with a backbreaker into a kneebreaker for two. Takeshita counters the Lethal Injection with a dropkick and they fight to the floor again, but Lethal charges and hits the railing. Back in, Takeshita goes up and Lethal chops him down, but Takeshita hits a lariat off the top to bring him down for two. They trade rollups and Lethal takes him down into the figure-four, but he quickly makes the ropes. Another try, but Takeshita rolls into a brainbuster for two. They slug it out and Lethal hits the Lethal Combination, but another Injection misses and Takeshita flips him over with a lariat and follows with the jumping knee. But alas, Dutt takes the ref and it only gets two. So Takeshita CLOBBERS him with a forearm, but Lethal rolls him up for two and then rolls into the Lethal Injection for the pin at 9:40. Hell of a match here, as they meshed perfectly. **** The heel beatdown follows, but the Best Friends attempt a save and that goes south, so Samoa Joe bails them out before security decides to haul him off for some reason. Joe and Lethal still feel weirdly off in their own ROH universe.
Pretty great show that I guarantee no one was watching this week. But you should! Wrestling is fun and you might as well get in on the ground floor of Hookhausen before they roll through the business and take over.