The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 07.15.22
Taped from Savannah, GA
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Jim Ross & Chris Jericho
The House of Black v. John Silver & Alex Reynolds
Black hits Reynolds with a knee to the gut for two and goes to a chinlock, and Brody comes in and beats on him until Alex escapes and brings in Silver. Johnny tries to overpower King and actually gets him down, but King fires back. Silver with a PK for two and Reynolds comes in to further put the boots to King, and a double dropkick puts him on the floor. But then Reynolds dives and Brody catches him and slams him on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in, that gets two. Black with a back elbow for two. Back to the heel corner for more abuse of Reynolds as the announcers point out that Julia Hart now has mismatched eye colors due to the black mist permeating her soul. Huge if true. Black misses a head kick and Reynolds rolls him up for two and makes the hot tag to Silver, who hits an Angle Slam on Black for two. Reynolds tries to whip the House into each other, but Black goes under King and Brody hits Reynolds with a lariat for two. Dark Order fights back with the double-teams and throws kicks into Silver’s german suplex for two, but Black breaks it up with a flying dropkick. Black puts Silver out with the Black Mass, and Brody finishes Reynolds with the sit out piledriver at 8:19. A fun opener! *** But then Darby dives off the tunnel and hits King out of nowhere, and Sting stares down Malakai Black while Darby brawls with Brody into the crowd.
Meanwhile, Miro thinks that maybe his god is messing with him and he needs to rip some spines out and figure out if he’s here to destroy the House of Black…or join them. I don’t KNOW his god personally and don’t want to speak for him, but I’m pretty sure it’s the former.
ROH World title: Jonathan Gresham v. Lee Moriarty
Moriarty takes him down and beats on him with elbows, so Gresham bails and gets some advice from Tully Blanchard. That advice? “When they say you can pass a WWF drug test while high on coke, don’t take that as a dare.” Probably not the case anymore but still helpful. Back in the ring, they trade shots, but Gresham distracts the ref and hits Moriarty in the junk to take over. Meanwhile, Jericho has BREAKING NEWS: He was never ROH World champion, because he never wrestled in ROH. They trade takedown attempts and Gresham controls with a headlock on the mat. Gresham works the arm, and then knocks Moriarty off the top rope and out to the floor. Gresham goes to jaw with Matt Sydal, allowing Moriarty to come back, but Gresham cuts him off and goes back to the work on the arm again. We take a break and return with Moriarty putting Gresham down with a big boot and a hammerlock suplex. Dropkick and Gresham does a flip sell, setting up a northern lights suplex for two. Gresham with a cradle for two, but Moriarty gets his own for two. They trade sunset flips for two, but Gresham hooks him in the Octopus at 10:11 for the submission. Gresham is still really boring after the heel turn. **1/2 He then threatens to be on our TV every week from now on, which makes him the biggest heel on the show. And then Claudio comes out to presumably set up the World title match for the PPV.
Meanwhile, Christopher Daniels has words for Jay Lethal on behalf of Samoa Joe. What’s up with his eye?
Kris Statlander & Athena v. Charlette & Robyn Renegade
Athena and Statlander quickly blitz the Renegades and hit a double-team flying knee from Athena on Robyn, and then Athena finishes Charlette with the O-Face at 0:24. This brings Leila Grey in to try to attack them, but she quickly gets laid out and Jade Cargill has to save her flunky-in-training and destroy the babyfaces herself. This is seriously one of the worst storylines in wrestling right now. How can anyone possibly care about anyone involved in this? The babyfaces look like a couple of dorks and Leila Grey was a literal jobber until two weeks ago. Has she even won a match in AEW?
Meanwhile, Stokely Hathaway tries to make Lee Moriarty an offer, but Matt Sydal brushes it off and sets up a match between Lee and Dante Martin next week instead.
The Gunn Clubb is out to explain their turn on the Acclaimed, and Daddy Ass notes that he loves the Acclaimed, but had to drop the hammer on them. So the Acclaimed interrupts, and Max Caster is too angry to even rap. But Billy Gunn calls them off and offers one last scissor, which prompts the Acclaimed to clear the ring. And then Max raps, but Bowens prevents him from saying something that’s way beyond TV-14. But the Gunns decline the match tonight. Good thing, too, there’s only about 15 minutes left in the show.
Private Party v. The Lucha Bros
The Party tries to double-team Penta to start, but he flips out of a headscissors and Fenix comes in and helps clean house. The Bros kick each other by mistake and get dumped, and Private Party hits them with double dives. Back in, Fenix hits Quen with a rolling cutter, but they come back with the Silly String on Fenix and Kassidy dropkicks him out of the ring. They double-team Penta in the corner and toss him for a cheapshot from Andrade. Back in, Kassidy works Penta over in the corner with shoulderblocks and Quen gets a step up enzuigiri for two. Kassidy comes in with a senton on Penta and Quen chokes him out in the corner. Finally Penta fights back with a pair of backbreakers and makes the hot tag to Fenix, and he runs wild and beats on Kassidy with chops in the corner. They head to the top, but Private Party brings him down with a Doomsday Device for two. Quen with an enzuigiri and he chokes Fenix out as it really slows down for whatever reason, but Penta gets another hot tag. And he trips coming off the top and I don’t know what’s going on with this match but they’re wrestling on different shows than each other. Penta with the Made in Japan for two, and Rush runs in and goes after Penta, which the referee somehow misses completely, but Fenix finishes Quen with the Blackfire Driver anyway at 11:30. Good lord what a trainwreck this was. I don’t know how you manage to get a terrible match out of the Lucha Bros, but here it was. *1/4 They missed EVERYTHING in this one.
I don’t have a lot to recommend about this episode. Give this one a miss.