The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 09.23.22
LOL, Bobby Fish tries to organize an exodus from AEW, ends up fired and in Impact Wrestling instead.
“Grand Slam: Rampage”
Taped from New York City
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & ROH World champion Chris Jericho
Fite actually has this broken up into two parts for ease of digestion, I guess.
The House of Black v. Sting & Darby Allin
Team Sting attacks on the ramp and Julia tries jumping on Sting’s back, which goes nowhere for her. Buddy sends Sting into the stairs while Brody beats on Darby in the ring and then puts him on the top rope and chops him to the floor. Maybe now that Black is gone, Miro could take over the House of Black, which would give him something pretty cool to do. Sting fights his way back into the ring and slugs it out with Buddy, and then hits both guys with Stinger splashes (Stingers splash?). Brody escapes the Death drop and puts Sting on the top rope, but Darby brings him down with a Code Red off the top for two. And then he charges Buddy with a dive, but lands on a forearm and he’s out for a while. Sting slugs it out with Buddy on the apron and teases a splash through a table, but Brody breaks it up and it is Sting who goes through the tables, which puts him in a bad position. But hey, there’s still another table left intact, so all hope is not lost. Julia comes in and handcuffs Sting, leaving Darby alone to be abused by the House, and they haul him up the ramp and over to the entrance. Darby manages to fight them off and climbs some scaffolding, which allows him to hit a coffin drop on Buddy. But then he walks right into Brody’s choke sleeper yet again, and they both go crashing off the stage and through a table. JR is curious about how you follow this match and I’m also wondering. Back in the ring, Sting is still handcuffed, so Buddy grabs his bat and goes for the kill…and the lights go out. And then we get a batshit crazy cameo that I wouldn’t have expected, as friggin’ Great Muta comes out to save and blows the mist in Buddy’s eyes, which sends Julia crashing through the table. And Sting finishes Buddy with the Death Drop at 13:00. Well that was your Party Match of the Week to open. **** Been a minute since we’ve had a goofy Sting brawl and it was good to see it back.
Daddy Magic Matt Menard & Cool Hand Angelo Parker v. Hook & Action Bronson
Action Bronson does double duty, rapping himself to the ring. What a Max Caster ripoff. Hook flips out of Parker’s hiptoss and suplexes him to start, so Menard comes in and he wants Bronson. So Action comes in and puts the shoulders to 2.0 and follows with a corner splash. Over to Hook for a northern lights suplex into a bow and arrow, but Parker breaks it up and the JAS takes over on him. Parker with a snap suplex for two, and Menard jumps off Parker’s back with an elbow for two in a nice move. Parker cuts off the ring, but Hook suplexes him and makes the HOT TAG to Bronson. So he runs wild with clotheslines on 2.0 and powerslams Parker, but Menard saves. So Bronson tosses Parker and Hook comes back in to destroy them both with suplexes and finishes Parker with the Redrum at 5:03, complete with an assist from Bronson as he does his own version. OK this was tremendous for what it was. ******************
Tony Nese & Josh Woods v. Wardlow & Samoa Joe
Big brawl to start and Wardlow slugs on Woods until Josh suplexes him. And Wardlow promptly pops up with his own suplexes and then chokeslams him before clotheslining him to the floor. Next, Joe beats on Nese in the corner, and then does the classic spot where Nese tries a moonsault and Joe casually walks away. That one never gets old. Nese finally necks him on the top rope, but he misses a slingshot splash and Joe spikes him with the uranage and hits the Muscle Buster to finish at 2:22. Basically a squash for the babyfaces, as it should be. Poor Smark Mark Sterling tries to lay out Wardlow with the TNT title and that fails (“COME ON!”) and Wardlow finally gets to powerbomb him repeatedly to pay that off. I’m looking forward to Sterling’s Twitter feed for the next week, not gonna lie. This was all great fun. *1/2
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry v. Rey Fenix
Interesting that they’re finally just going with the Perry name, which is a much better choice for a serious main eventer anyway. In fact they should drop the “Boy” and just make him Jungle Jack Perry. Fenix comes flying in and puts Perry on the top right away, but Jack fights back with a dropkick. Fenix with a ropewalk into the armdrag, but Perry slugs away on him and Fenix superkicks him to the floor. Rey beats on him with chops out there and works the back, and back in for a hammerlock before tying him up in a reverse surfboard hold. Meanwhile Jericho and Tony reminisce about Flavor Flav with respect to Alex Abrahantes, and FINALLY we get a reference to a hip-hop star that I actually know! See, I too am hip to the youth of today. They exchange chops and Perry wins that battle before making a comeback with a rebound lariat and a brainbuster for two. They do a crazy sequence where Perry hits a poison rana and Fenix rolls into a cutter before selling, and both guys are down. Also, Westside Gunn is apparently at ringside. I can relate, I too live on the Westside of Saskatoon, so I have some street cred. Fenix tries a powerbomb and Perry reverses to a rana for two, and then superkicks Fenix and cuts off the hook kick with a dropkick of his own. But then Fenix cuts him off on the apron with a facebuster and they fight out there, leading to Perry trying a powerbomb off the apron. Fenix escapes that and tries a rolling dive off the apron, but Jack superkicks him on the way down. Meanwhile Jericho and Tony banter about the ROH title (“I’m the Ocho! You know what that means, Tony?” “Yeah, it’s the noise that Claudio made when you kicked him between the legs on Dynamite.”) Back in the ring, they slug it out with chops and Fenix demands more while JR drops some INSIDER LINGO, declaring that they’re “laying it in” like the boys say in the back. See what you miss when you’re not watching on Fite? They slug it out on their knees and both guys are down. So they get up, shake hands, and then start beating the crap out of each other again. Fenix wins that battle and hits a Gory Cutter for two out of that. Fenix heads to the ramp and dives back into the ring with a springboard crossbody for two, but he goes up and Perry brings him down with a powerbomb for two. Hidden Blade gets two. Fenix fights back with a superkick to set up the Three Amigos, but Jack reverses into a cradle shock DDT for two. Perry goes up and Fenix cuts him off and hits him with a giant frog splash, for two. Back to the top and Fenix brings him down with the Blackfire driver, but Perry counters into a cradle for the pin at 17:54. I actually think it went a couple of minutes past the peak but it was still an incredible TV match and Perry continues to look like a star. ****1/4
And that wraps up the first hour of Rampage, which would be an all-time great episode on its own if they ended it there.
Christian joins us while Jungle Boy celebrates, and that brings Luchasaurus out to attack from behind as well. And Christian orders his dinosaur to end things with Jack for good, so we get a chokeslam and Christian seems to think that’s enough. I’m skeptical.
Meanwhile, on Dynamite, Chris Jericho and his Society celebrate his ROH title win, and next week we’ll get a party in Philly to officially celebrate the Ocho.
Eddie Kingston v. Sammy Guevara
Thank god Eddie shaved his head again. Sammy is dumb enough to call Eddie a piece of shit, so Eddie attacks him on the floor and beats the crap out of him out there. They head to the apron and Eddie tries a piledriver, but Sammy backdrops him to the floor and then punts him from the apron. Eddie beats the count and Sammy continues beating on him in the ring. Eddie demands more punishment and then fights back, but Tay trips him up and allows Sammy to hit a high knee. Eddie slugs back and Sammy tries a cutter, but lands short and Eddie suplexes him. Sammy hits him with a pair of high knees and a superkick, but Eddie hits two backfists and the Stretch Plum to finish at 7:23. Wasn’t really much to the match. ** Eddie refuses to release the hold, so senior official Paul Turner reverses the decision and awards the match to Sammy.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Diamante
Diamante has Trina with her, and we finally learn that she is also a purveyor of the hips and/or hops. Jade overpowers Diamante to start, but Diamante gets a sunset flip out of the corner for two. Jade puts her down with a pump kick, but Diamante dropkicks the knee and sends her to the floor. She tries a dive and Jade catches her in an impressive spot, and drops her on the apron with a TKO. Back in the ring, Jaded finishes at 2:30. Just another Jade squash. * And then Trina shockingly turns on Diamante and joins up with Jade, and if I knew who Trina was, I’m sure I’d be more moved by it.
Golden Ticket Battle Royale:
Paul Wight returns from exile and joins the commentary team for this one, and everyone brawls right away before the match. Apparently we’ve got 25 guys in the match so the ring is pretty packed. Winner of this gets the title shot in Cincinnati, apparently. Daivari gets thrown out at 0:54, and Danhausen curses Kole Carter out of the ring at 1:20. Page and Danhausen put QT out at 1:55. But then Danhausen gets tossed by the Butcher at 2:08. Dante gets thrown out by Brian Cage at 2:19. Best Friends team up to take out Hager at 2:45, but Cage puts out Chuck at 2:54. Cage throws out Dalton Castle, but the Boys catch him and put him back in, and then the Boys distract Cage long enough for Dalton to throw out Cage at 4:00. Archer beats on Trent and clotheslines him out at 4:20. Dalton is out at 4:24, along with Lee Moriarty and Daniel Garcia via Matt Hardy at 4:49. Rush tries to unmask Penta in the corner while Matt Hardy and Archer turn on each other and the match completely dies off during the PIP break. Like there is NOTHING going on to even talk about. Back with Private Party hitting the Silly String on Uno, and Matt tosses out Blade at 9:00, but Butcher throws him out at 9:20 in turn. Evil Uno is out at 9:38, but Hangman puts out Butcher at 10:00. John Silver stops to pose and Rush attacks him from behind and throws him out at 10:33. Penta low bridges Archer and kicks him off the apron at 10:45. Lethal gets thrown out by Penta but Satnam catches him and sends him back in to clothesline Penta out at 11:30. But then Hangman throws out Jay at 11:38. That leaves Hangman v. Rush and they slug it out and fight to the apron, where Page desperately hangs on to the ropes to keep from hitting the floor. But then he hits the Deadeye on Rush and wins at 13:17. They could not have been any more obvious about foreshadowing that result. Just your standard battle royale and you could tell this poor crowd was DONE for the night by the time they got to it.
Powerhouse Hobbs v. Ricky Starks
This is now a Lights Out match because apparently half the crowd had left at midnight when this match finally went on at the end of the night. They quickly fight to the floor, but Ricky runs him into the stairs. Into the ring, Hobbs puts him down with a neckbreaker and then finds a table under the ring and drops it on him. This is finally enough to put Hobbs over the top as Chris Jericho’s Sports Entertainer of the Week. Hobbs loads up the ring with more weapons and chokes him out on the ropes, and then steals Justin Roberts’ belt and whips on Ricky with that. Ricky steals it and gets his own shots, but Hobbs powerbombs him in the ring to cut him off. Hobbs puts chairs in the corners, but Ricky runs him into one of them and follows with a tornado DDT for two. Starks follows with a low blow and sets up the chairs back to back, but Hobbs backdrops him on them in the most terrifying spot in wrestling. Why do guys insist on doing that one? Hasn’t anyone seen Million Dollar Baby? Hobbs powerslams him on a pile of chairs for two off that. They fight to the entrance and Starks gets run into a fixture, which allows Hobbs to tear a light off the stage, but they head back into the ring and Starks spears him through the table in the corner for the big comeback. So Ricky smashes the light on Hobbs’ head, hits the Rochambeau, and gets the pin at 11:45. Great main event to finish off the show. ***1/2
This Wednesday: Moxley v. JUICE ROBINSON?
Although it ended up feeling a bit long by the end, this was overall still a better show than Dynamite for me, with a better mixture of matches and styles, making for one of the best episodes of Rampage in forever. A big thumbs up tonight.