The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 08.19.22
By Scott Keith on 20th August 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 08.19.22
I bought a couple of boxes of 2021 AEW trading cards from Upper Deck’s website because it was way cheaper than the $15 per pack that some of the local places are selling them for here. 13 year old me would have been all over these things back in the day. A couple of them had what are apparently pieces of Miro’s gear in them, so I figure I can flip those suckers and retire comfortably in a few years.
Taped from Charleston, WV (which is called “Live” by Jim Ross)
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Chris Jericho, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Claudio Castagnoli joins us to start, and he’s here to issue an open challenge for next week. So this brings out Dustin Rhodes to answer, because he wants to be a World champion after 34 years in the business. Should have asked his dad sooner, I guess.
Meanwhile, Ruby Soho & Ortiz are wanting to get at Sammy & Tay next week as well. Ortiz is REALLY excited by the idea.
AEW World tag team title: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee v. Private Party
Keith tries to biel Kassidy like in his debut, but he lands on his feet and slugs away on Keith. So Keith grabs him by the wrist and just hauls him back to the corner for a double-team. Swerve comes in and misses a dropkick, but Kassidy takes Swerve to the floor with a rana and Private Party works him over in the corner to take over. Kassidy with a dropkick, but Swerve dumps him and fights off Quen to make the hot tag to Lee. He throws Kassidy around as promised and follows with a lariat for two. Quen comes in and gets pounced by Lee for two. Swerve gets a knee strike for two, and finishes with the JML Driver at 6:03. Well that ended up as basically an extended squash for the champs. **
Meanwhile, Powerhouse Hobbs interrupts whatever card game is being played by the Factory because they didn’t live up to their promise to take care of Ricky Starks. But next week, they’ll get it done. QT promises!
FTW title: Hook v. Zack Clayton
Clayton is all “I’m gonna win the title and take it back to New Jersey” and then Hook chokes him out to retain the title at 0:14. Frankly it probably should have been even shorter. Really made Hook look weak to take a whole 14 seconds to beat him. **********************************4/9
Meanwhile, 2.0 feels like Hook is disrespecting Sports Entertainers such as themselves.
Meanwhile, Billy Gunn is glad to see his kids putting on their big boy pants, but now he’s going to have to pull down their big boy pants and spank their asses. So next week on Dynamite, EVERYONE LOVES THE ACCLAIMED.
Buddy Matthews v. Serpentico
Buddy dropkicks him into the corner right away and goes up to finish, so Serpentico wisely rolls out to escape. Buddy runs him into the railing and back in for a buckle bomb, and Matthews Law finishes at 1:10. This brings out Miro for a brawl, which goes badly for Buddy, and they clarify that Miro in fact rejected the offer to join the House last week. I wasn’t really clear on that one either.
Meanwhile, Britt Baker and her crew are all salty because they’re not needed for the PPV, but they’ll be watching.
Penelope Ford v. Athena
Athena dodges Penelope’s shots and then blocks a handspring elbow, but Ford chokes her on the ropes and dropkicks her. So they show Kip Sabian at ringside with the box on his head, and they FINALLY just admit it’s Sabian after months of never acknowledging it. Ford gets a clothesline and chokes her out in the corner, then hits the handspring elbow on the second try. Pump kick gets two. Athena with a rollup for two, but Ford gets a stunner as Fite takes a break. Back with Athena dropkicking Ford into the railing, and then she finishes with the O-Face at 5:40. This was OK. ** And then the Baddies attack afterwards, allowing Jade Cargill to use a sledgehammer and smash up the wing gimmick that had been laying in the aisle the whole time. Well that will teach Athena to take better care of her stuff. They really need something more interesting to do with Jade. Also I can’t imagine how annoying it would be watching this one on TNT where they do the finish immediately after coming back from a break like that. WE DON’T NEED COMMERCIAL BREAKS IN EVERY DAMN MATCH.
Trios tournament quarter-final: The Trustbusters v. Best Friends
I’m still gobsmacked that this is real team on AEW TV in 2022. Jim Ross marking out for Jefferson Starship is something. Are people actually nostalgic for Mickey Thomas and his bland FM radio jams? The Friends double-team Slim J to start, but Parker Boudreaux (who is what they call “a heater” in the old days according to Jericho) cleans house and beats on Chuck outside. Back in, the Trustbusters work on Trent and Slim J chokes him out and goes low behind the ref’s back, for two. Daivari comes in with a neckbreaker for two and goes to a chinlock, but Trent fights out and suplexes Slim J before making the hot tag to Orange. Flying bodypress on J and tornado DDT for Daivari, which leaves Parker. Parker clubs him down and then takes out the Friends with a double clothesline, but they fight back with corner clotheslines and a triple dropkick. J hits Orange with a cutter and dives onto the Best Friends. Back in, Daivari with a frog splash on Orange for two. Everyone fights on the floor again and Orange puts Parker into the front row with the Orange Punch, but Sonny Kiss interferes and crotches Orange. Slim J gets a flying elbow for two off that. But then he looks into the crowd for Parker and gets Danhausen instead. Slim J gets cursed, and the Friends finish him with a wacky triple team at 10:31 to advance. This was a fun, energetic match and Slim J looked like he fits in perfectly with the AEW guys. ***1/4
Nothing I’d call “bad” on the show this week, but as usual nothing to go out of your way to watch, either. But hey, at least CM Punk didn’t go into business for himself on anyone on this one.