The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 07.29.22
Taped from Worcester, MA
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & Chris Jericho
Satnam Singh, Sonjay Dutt & Jay Lethal v. Best Friends & Orange Cassidy
Trent rolls up Lethal for two, and blocks a cradle for two, as they fight to a stalemate. Over to Orange, and he wants Satnam for some reason, so Lethal obliges and then swerves us and brings in Sonjay instead. Sonjay takes a couple of kicks and then has to retreat from the pain and brings in Satnam for real this time. So Singh beats on Orange in the corner and then hits both Friends with a crossbody, and Lethal puts the boots to Orange in the corner. Over to Dutt, still wearing his suit and pencil, and he adds more shots while the announcers discuss the serious and yet underreported issue of potential lead poisoning in situations like this. Lethal with some chops on Orange in the corner and he chokes away, but Orange saunters over and makes the hot tag to Chucky. Chuck throws Lethal with a suplex into the corner and Trents comes in, but Satnam counters the hug attempt and beats on them from the apron. Thankfully we get the hug on the second try, as they repeat the spot successfully, but Lethal hits them both with a Lethal Injection. Back to Orange, but Sonjay tries to stab him with the pencil and does his own kicks, so Orange breaks the pencil and finishes him with the Orange Punch at 7:32. Although some prefer no-nonsense wrestling, this was a satisfactory amount of nonsense. **1/2 The heels try for a beatdown afterwards, but Wardlow makes the save to set up his next program.
Meanwhile at Death Before Dishonor, FTR manages to draw 36,000 buys, further showing why they’re awesome. Man, they proved me wrong on that one. Too bad there’s no one around to rub it in! Oh well.
Ethan Page v. Leon Ruffin
It’s the rematch from Elevation! Glad they’re running this one back, it was a great match. Leon charges in and Page beats on him in the corner as a result and then tosses him into the turnbuckles. Leon tries to springboard back, but Ethan catches him this time and smashes him with forearms before finishing with the Ego’s Edge at 1:30. Well that was a huge disappointment.
Meanwhile, Cole Karter gets interview time for some reason, but QT Marshall and his crew interrupt and offers him a spot in the Factory and then tells him to “sleep on it, but not with the fishes”. I SAID, GO GET YOUR SCISSORS, SID!
Matt Sydal v. Lee Moriarty
I’ve already got kind of a headache tonight and Jericho is SCREAMING IN MY EARPHONES and not helping. Moriarty quickly catches Sydal with a suplex, but Matt fights back with knees for two. Sydal misses the standing moonsault, but kicks Lee into the corner and follows with a shotgun dropkick, which allows him to hit the moonsault on the second try for two. Moriarty bails and Sydal dropkicks him into the railing and follows with the double knees to the floor, but Lee runs him into the railing a few times to take over. And then he hits a pretty awesome running foot to the face out there, and back in the ring for some elbows to the head. Moriarty goes to work on the arm as we take a break on Fite, and return with Sydal making a comeback with a head kick, but Moriarty puts him down with a lariat and they’re both out. Sydal comes back with the Lightning Spiral, but Stokely Hathaway heads out to watch while Sydal goes to the top. And Moriarty crotches Sydal to bring him down, and a flatliner gets two. Border City Stretch finishes at 8:00. And apparently he’s the newest member of Hathaway’s crew. This was good, although it felt like all the cool stuff happened when TNT was in PIP break. ***
Meanwhile, Britt Baker has words for Toni Storm.
Claudio Castagnoli joins Tony for an interview, and brings out Wheeler Yuta, but Jericho leaves the desk to complain about them, but Wheeler is pretty confident that he can beat Jericho, prompting Jericho to challenge him for Dynamite. Yuta: “Nah.” This only annoys Jericho more because he’s the WIZARD, so he agrees to put up his title match as a prize, and Yuta agrees to that one. Intriguing.
The Acclaimed debut their new music video, “Trash Day”, which involves throwing the Ass Boys into a garbage truck. “You shoulda shot blanks from your smoking gun” steals the show here, and this sets up a dumpster match for next week.
Ruby Soho v. Anna Jay
Unsurprisingly, Anna Jay is named Jericho’s prestigious Sports Entertainer of the Week thanks to her recent turn. Ruby works a headlock and counters an elbowdrop attempt into a crucifix for two. Ruby with a knee strike, but she tries the headscissors out of the corner and Anna kicks her in the injured hand to block that. Anna with the rolling kick in the corner and she continues kicking the broken hand. Ruby tries a sunset flip and Anna hits her in the hand to block that, which gets two. Anna stays on the hand and gets a back elbow in the corner for two. I should note that the arena is REALLY dark by this point, which I guess goes along with reports about huge numbers of people leaving after Dynamite. Anna with a flatliner to cut off a comeback, and she takes Ruby down with an armbar and takes off the brace for good measure. Ruby fights back again, but she can’t get a suplex due to the hand, so she switches sides and does it with the other one. Ruby fights back with headbutts and a superkick, and an STO gets two. Anna with a Gory Bomb for two. Superkick gets two. Anna threatens to choke out the people at ringside and then puts Ruby in the choke, but she reverses out for two and then hits the Riot kick for two. Ruby goes up and misses a senton, however, and Anna lives up to her promise and chokes her out with her own cast at 9:48. Sloppy to start but it turned into a hell of a match by the end, as Anna works much better as a heel. ***1/4
Nothing earth-shattering this week but this was a solid world-building episode.