The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 06.03.22
I would normally leave this until Saturday morning to post but for obvious reasons we’ll go live tonight.
Live from Ontario, CA. No relation to Canadian Ontario.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz & Adam Cole
The Young Bucks v. The Lucha Bros
YouTube offered me the chance to watch their entrances beforehand, but I politely declined. Matt and Penta FLEX on each other to start and trade piledriver attempts, which leads to a stalemate. Over to Nick and Fenix, as they slug it out and Nick flips into the armdrag and they head to the floor and trade kick attempts before heading back in and knocking each other down with high kicks. The Bucks regroup on the floor after a dive, but Penta hits them both with a tope, and then Fenix follows with his own tornado dive. Back in the ring, Matt recovers with a Sharpshooter on Fenix, but Penta gets an abdominal stretch on Nick and they all break it up. Back to the floor and it’s another trainwreck, leading to Fenix hitting Matt with the rolling cutter. Back in the ring, Fenix goes up and misses a frog splash, allowing the Bucks to take over. Matt goes to yell at the Jurassic Express in the crowd, but that allows the Luchas to double-team Matt with the diving stomp from Penta for two. Nick fights back with a superkick and brings Matt back in, as he hits Fenix with the rolling northern lights suplexes, hitting both Lucha Bros with the final one at the same. WHILE STILL CHEWING GUM. Nick with a senton on Fenix for two. They all fight to the apron and Fenix takes Nick to the floor with a double foot stomp, and back in for another one on Matt for two. Fenix slams Nick into the railing with a tope suicida and Penta hits the driver on Matt to set up Fenix’s frog splash, which gets two. Matt goes up and the Luchas set up for a superplex on him, but Nick dropkicks them both into a poison rana in an insane spot, and Matt follows with the flying elbow for two. Fenix and Penta hit Nick with kicks in the corner to knock him silly, and then Penta goes up to the top, and Fenix goes off his SHOULDERS with a splash on Nick for two! Nick goes up and Fenix tries a muscle buster, but Nick reverses to a cradle for two and follows with the poison rana. The Bucks take over again with the SUPERKICK PARTY and set up for the BTE Trigger on Fenix, but he moves and tries the crossbody on Matt. Matt catches him and it’s the Meltzer Driver for two, as Penta makes the save. But they hit him with the superkicks and unmask him to be complete dicks, and the BTE Trigger finishes Fenix at 15:04. Call the cops, the show has been STOLEN. ****3/4
Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks v. eh, it’s doesn’t matter
Hobbs quickly pins one of the goobers with a spinebuster in under a minute, as the actual match was covered up by a pre-taped promo from Hobbs.
Kiera Hogan v. Athena
Kiera quickly slugs Athena down, but Athena flips out of a slam and hits a bodypress for two. Hogan bails and Athena hits her with a dive that looked kind of janky because she hesitated before hitting it. Sadly, Red Velvet gets some abuse on Athena behind the ref’s back and Kiera takes over with a snapmare and head kick for two. Athena cradles for two, but Hogan chokes her out while Jericho protests that injustice of Hathaway getting an Upper Deck e-card before Excalibur does. I’m sure he’s heartbroken. Kiera goes to a chinlock and puts the boots to Athena for two. And we get a lengthy chinlock until Athena finally breaks free and fights back with a shotgun dropkick and a series of kicks. Handspring elbow and she goes up to finish, but Velvet gets involved and Hogan brings her down and gets a rana. Athena fights her off and finishes with the O-Face at 8:25, however. This was a lengthy and not particularly thrilling debut for Athena, but she’s a fine midcard addition to the division. **1/4
Meanwhile, Malakai Black introduces the newest member: JULIE HART. No wait, that would be too evil. It’s just Julia Hart. Black notes that every step was carefully planned. Yeah no kidding, that’s why it took them 8 months to finally pay it off.
CM Punk joins us, and they’ve already got the poor guy working the B-Show. He’s lower than Hangman Page. No, I take that back, no one could be lower than Page and his pathetic 200 day title reign, that’s too mean. So Punk is pretty upset and he’s got good news and bad news. The good news is that he just saved a bundle on car insurance! Well I’m just speculating obviously. But he’s got a couple of bones broken and he needs surgery, so he’s gonna be out for a while, but Tony Khan told him not to relinquish the title. So basically he’s going to still be World champion but not be on TV for long stretches of time? Who is he, Thunder Rosa? No, that’s too mean, let me try that again. Who is he, Brock Lesnar? That feels better. Kind of a weird promo and I don’t really understand what the point was supposed to be. He’s hurt and doesn’t want to stand in anyone’s way of being champion but he’s not giving up the title but he’s not going to be defending it?
TNT title: Scorpio Sky v. Dante Martin
So now Jericho is saying that Punk actually relinquished the title in that promo? I’m very confused. They slug it out and fight to the floor but I’m still trying to figure out what Punk was saying. I’m guessing I’m not alone. Back in the ring, they exchange submission attempts and Sky goes to a chinlock while the announcers are remarkably unaffected by CM Punk apparently GIVING UP THE WORLD TITLE in the last segment. Sky continues with a lengthy chinlock and they slug it out with forearms, but Dante tosses him and follows with a giant springboard dive. Back in, Dante pops up to the top with a missile dropkick for two. BREAKING NEWS: Excalibur announces that we’re getting an Interim AEW World champion via battle royale on Dynamite (UGH) with the winner facing Jon Moxley at Forbidden Door for the interim title. Dante gets a TKO for two while this is going on, but Sky gets a crossbody and Dante rolls through into a double stomp for two. And then Sky finishes with the TKO at 8:22 but I wasn’t really paying much attention to the match for obvious reasons. Seemed about ***ish. They must have been losing their minds backstage while the match was going on.
Well that was certainly a noteworthy, if confused, show. I’m assuming MJF ends up with the interim title to set up the Punk unification match? Regardless, the Bucks match was a classic and makes this one well worth watching. Plus whatever CM Punk was trying to say and didn’t really communicate effectively.