The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 10.14.22
Holy cow, it’s actually on TSN tonight!
Taped from Toronto, ON
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone
The Butcher & The Blade v. Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli
Everyone brawls on the floor and Blade drops Moxley on the railing out there. Back in the ring, They trade chops and Mox drops him with a german suplex and Claudio drops a leg for two. Over to Butcher, but Claudio gets a delayed suplex as we take a break. Back with the heels hitting Claudio with a Rockerplex for two, but he fights back with a lariat on Butcher and makes the hot tag to Moxley. He hits Butcher with a dive, giving us a great view of Bunny’s patriotic Canadian outfit, and back in for a piledriver on Blade for two. Butcher saves and they set up for their finisher, but Claudio breaks it up and we get a slugfest that ends with the BCC hitting stereo lariats. Ricola Bomb finishes the Butcher at 9:00. Fun enough, nothing special. **1/2 And then they have words for Hangman Page in advance of Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Swerve welcomes Renee Paquette to AEW and he’s tickled by Mark Sterling stealing the scissoring gimmick. But Keith Lee is less amused at this nonsense and tomfoolery and won’t tolerate it from Swerve moving forward.
Meanwhile, Jose the Assistant annoys the Dark Order, so next week 10 faces Rush, and also Stu Grayson returns for a cameo here! Hopefully he’s sticking around again.
Chris Jericho and his Appreciation Society join us, celebrating Daniel Garcia rejoining the team on Dynamite. Garcia clarifies that although Bryan Danielson was his hero, when Jericho hit him with the ROH title and pinned him, Daniel realized that cheaters and sports entertainers are the winners. So Jericho declares himself to be the best ROH champion ever, which brings out Dalton Castle. He really unleashes the potty mouth, calling Jericho a “naïve silly little goose”, and challenges Jericho to a title match.
Nyla Rose v. Anna Jay
This is kind of a weird dynamic because I’m not really sure if Nyla is supposed to be a babyface now or what. They slug it out and Nyla catches her with a slam and drops a leg on her for two. Nyla misses the cannonball and we take a break. Back with Nyla missing the guillotine kneedrop, and Anna comes back with a neckbreaker for two. Anna tries to choke her out, but Nyla escapes from that and runs her into the corner, then follows with the powerbomb to finish at 6:00. Most of the match was during the break. ** Vickie has a “1-0” sign ready, but this brings Jade and the Baddies out, as Jade destroys some security geeks and Nyla runs away with her crew. So I guess Jade is the babyface in this scenario? Anyway confusing alignments aside, giving Jade a real feud is a good idea.
Ethan Page v. Isiah Kassidy
So if Page wins, the Firm gets control of Private Party and Matt Hardy. Page quickly tosses Kassidy around and does some Jeff-like thrusting at Matt, which allows Kassidy to cradle him for two. Swinging DDT gets two. Page bails and Kassidy hits him with a spinning dive, but Stokely provides a distraction and Kassidy misses a swanton in the ring. Ethan hits a Twist of Fate and follows with Ego’s Edge to finish at 2:10. And of course Page gets a huge hometown pop for that, although the match was a complete squash and they didn’t do anything to sell the stakes before going TO THE BACK.
Meanwhile, Best Friends challenge Death Triangle to a Trios title match on Tuesday Night Dynamite. Orange was unaware of the timeslot change.
Brian Cage & The Gates of Agony v. Shawn Spears & FTR
Sticking FTR in with the Gates again after their ratings-killing snoozer last week is certainly a choice. Kaun works a wristlock on Spears, but he rolls out of it and does his 10 gimmick. He dumps the heels and follows with a dive, but he gets caught and we take a break. Back with Cage hitting the deadlift superplex on Spears for two, but he goes for an F5 and Spears reverses into a DDT and then fights off Kaun to make the hot tag to Dax. He runs wild with a spinebuster on Kaun for two, but Cage saves with a superkick and the heels take over on him. Cage comes in with a flying elbow for two and hits Spears with an F5, but FTR gets stereo Sharpshooters. Prince Nana tries to interfere and Spears puts him in a Sharpshooter as well, but Toa saves and breaks up all the sharp shooting. Everyone fights on the floor and Dax tries a sunset flip on Kaun, but Kaun blocks it for two. Cash breaks that up and FTR hits Kaun with a Hart Attack, and then Spears finishes with the C4 at 10:00. This was certainly more energetic than last week’s ROH tag title match. **3/4
And then this brings out…sigh…Matt Taven and Mike Bennett as the next challengers for FTR. That is not a way to make me care about ROH’s continued existence. This prompts a heel beatdown, but War-Joe makes the save and we’re out.
Aside from ending the show with…ugh…Matt Taven as a big surprise, I thought this was a better direction for the show than it’s been going in. There wasn’t really anything great as far as matches, but they don’t draw ratings anyway, and this one felt a lot more fast-paced and important with some big stars and actual stuff happening for once. Hopefully they keep going this way.