The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 07.08.22
Hey, for once it’s someone else’s website getting hacked! Just too bad it was all of Canada.
Taped from Rochester, NY
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & Jim Ross
Eddie Kingston v. Kenosuke Takeshita
They trade takedowns and battle to a stalemate, and then Eddie offers a test of strength and takes him down into a surfboard. Takeshita reverses to his own and Eddie gets to the ropes, then hits him with a knee to the gut and they slug it out. Eddie wins that battle with a headbutt, but Takeshita comes back with the Warrior clothesline and follows with a lariat out of the corner. Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. Takeshita goes for a german suplex, as Excalibur notes that he wrote a graduate thesis on the german suplex. Yeah, well, I played Doom in the computer lab in university and pretended to study. Eddie blocks the suplex and hits him with a Saito suplex, but he hurts his ribs on the way down and Takeshita gets two. They fight to the apron and Takeshita hits him with a graduate thesis quality german suplex on the apron, which can only lead to the conclusion that it’s the HARDEST PART OF THE RING, but then Eddie pops up and hits him with his own suplex on the floor and they’re both down. Back in, they throw forearms again, but Eddie hits a lariat for two and Liger bomb for two. Takeshita blocks the backfist and hits a brainbuster for two. They slug it out from their knees and Takeshita beats on him with forearms, but Eddie uses New York Kung Fu and drops him with a suplex. But Takeshita pops up and hits his own and follows with the high knee, but Eddie ducks it and knocks him out with the backfist at 12:00 and falls on top for the pin. They really need to do something with this kid. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Kris Statlander and Athena continue whining that Jade Cargill won’t give them a TBS title match. Hey, Jade issued an open challenge and no one answered it! Sounds like THEIR problem and not Jade’s.
Meanwhile, we get a bit of a video package on Hook. ****************1/2
Gates of Agony v. Jonathan Gresham & Lee Moriarty
The Gates attack to start and they double-team Moriarty and Toa Liona chokes him out on the ropes. Liona with a suplex and Kaun works him over in the corner and adds a snap suplex for two. Toa with a running elbow in the corner. This is a prime example of why people are so indifferent to the ROH crossover stuff, because they’ve made zero effort to explain who these guys are and didn’t even put their names on the screen. They’re just two guys managed by Tully Blanchard. Lee fights off Liona and dropkicks Kaun out of the ring, but then Gresham short-arms him on the tag and walks out, revealing that he’s now part of Tully’s crew. And the Gates double-team Moriarty and finish him off at 7:29 with a lungblower. Weird they spent the entire last ROH PPV making Gresham out to be babyface #1 and then turn him here in this nothing match. *1/2
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston puts over the heart of Takeshita, and challenges Chris Jericho to a barbed wire match of some sort to avenge Ruby Soho. To be fair, maybe Ruby should have moved her hand.
Serena Deeb & Mercedes Martinez v. Kayla Sparks & Christina Marie
Deeb takes Marie down and twists her up for a bit, and then hits her with a corner clothesline and beats on her with elbows. Catapult under the ropes and Mercedes comes in to continue the punishment with a running boot. Deeb makes the blind tag and puts Marie in the Serenity Lock at 2:25. And then Serena turns on her and puts Mercedes in the Serenity Lock, obviously setting up another match for the ROH PPV. *
Meanwhile, Jonathan Gresham complains that he signed his AEW contract months ago and he’s been sitting at home ever since. So next week Gresham defends the title against Moriarty.
Orange Cassidy v. Tony Nese
High stakes here, as Orange has to sign the petition to fire Swerve if he loses. As much as the world needed Hookhausen, Danhausen is a much better fit with the Best Friends. Who ever heard of a lawyer who is money-grubbing and evil, though? Nese charges in and Orange goes to the ropes to evade him, but Orange goes to the pockets and Nese takes him down with a headlock. Orange uses the pocket power to roll away from Nese’s legdrops and chases him out of the ring. Back in, Nese cuts him off with a back elbow, but Orange backslides him for two. Crucifix gets two and he goes to the top, but Nese hits him with an uppercut and brings him down with a gutbuster for two. Nese tosses Orange and Sterling gets some shots in, but Lawyerhausen chases him off. Back in, Nese runs Orange into the turnbuckles for the Bret bump and Orange retreats to the apron to regroup. They fight over a suplex out there and Orange gets a sunset flip back into the ring, but Nese kicks him in the head to break. Nese misses a moonsault, however, and both guys are down. But Nese recovers first and necksnaps Orange, then hits his moonsault on the second try for two. Nese goes to a bodyscissors, freshly squeezing Orange, and then lets him up before whipping him into the turnbuckles again. Orange tries a DDT and Nese reverses to a northern lights suplex for two. They head to the top and slug it out, which Orange wins, but Mark Sterling gets involved and Danhausen threatens to CURSE him. Nese breaks up the curse, but Orange hits the stunner and Michinoku driver for two. Nese dodges the Orange punch and hits a german suplex for two. Orange comes back with the DDT and then goes up with a diving DDT, which gets two. Mark Sterling gets involved again, so Orange batters him with kicks and Sterling sells it like death, trolling for a lawsuit in a funny payoff. This all allows Nese to hit the pumphandle driver for two. Nese with the running knee, but he misses and “injures” his knee. So Sterling comes in one more time, but Danhausen saves and punches Mark in the nuts, and then CURSES NESE. And the Orange Punch finishes at 15:00. A surprisingly excellent main event, although Orange has been consistently great for a while now so we shouldn’t be THAT surprised. Still, this one had just the right amount of nonsense to keep it entertaining. ****
Not a big fan of the ROH Rampage stuff thus far, but the opener and main event were both well worth watching this week.