The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 10.21.22
I don’t know what’s up, but the Fite version of the show has a huge “Do not copy or exhibit this show” warning at the beginning that’s never been there before. Don’t worry, I don’t think there’s much demand for illegal Rampage streams!
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
AEW World tag team title: The Acclaimed v. Josh Woods & Tony Nese
Max’s rap is pretty salty this week, as he references the ratings win on Tuesday and mocks Kanye getting banned from Twitter. So what’s with Excalibur referencing “trying to trademark Edge for video games”? I’m assuming that’s some kind of inside reference. The Varsity Athletes do their (legal) version of scissoring and everyone brawls to start, but Josh goes after Billy and gets chased back into the ring. So the ref tosses Billy and the heels double-team Caster to take over. Woods with a neckbreaker for two. They work him over in the corner while Excalibur discusses out-lawyering Billy Gunn and then laughs about being married to a lawyer. They try a superplex, but Max fights them off and makes the hot tag to Bowens. He runs wild and beats Woods down with elbows and follows with the Rough Rider for two. Woods hits Caster with a form of the GTS to get rid of him and they double-team Bowens, with Woods hitting a knee strike to set up a double team neckbreaker for two. Caster with a death valley driver on Woods, but Nese puts him down with a knee strike, and then Bowens dumps Nese onto Caster outside. Bowens runs wild again and superkicks Woods, and that sets up the Mic Drop to finish at 8:02. But then Smart Mark Sterling tries to renege on the deal, so the Acclaimed repeatedly stomp on his nuts, as promised by the opening rap. And then Billy tears up the trademark, which is totally how trademark law works I’m pretty sure, so it’s no longer valid. A fun opener, nothing special. **1/2
Meanwhile, Jade Cargill has graciously agreed to let Leila Grey wrestle Willow tonight because Penelope Ford is injured, in exchange for getting time with Nyla Rose later on.
Meanwhile, Ortiz gathers the Lucha Bros for an intervention with Eddie Kingston, who is on the verge of losing another job. But then Pac stops by and offers his own snark, which wrecks their hard work.
FTW World title: Hook v. Ari Daivari
Since Hook apparently tore up a $50,000 cheque that was intended as payment for the belt, Daivari offers cash money instead, and Hook also doesn’t want that. Man, there’s 100 titles in AEW, I’d take the cash and go after the ROH Pure US title or whatever new one they’re introducing next week. Daivari gets some cheapshots on Hook in the corner, but he fights back and SWEEPS THE LEG, then hits him with a fisherman’s suplex. Hook goes after the Butler, who is literally named Jeeves, and Daivari slams Hook for two. Daivari tries to go to the top, but Hook grabs him in the choke on the apron and hauls him into the ring to tap him out at 2:50. And then the poor manservant also gets choked out for good measure. **************************1/2
Meanwhile, Stokely Hathaway and Ethan Page have a contract for Matt Hardy, which is a match on Dark Elevation, so Matt expresses his feelings in rap form. Maybe don’t do that anymore, Matt.
Willow Nightingale v. Leila Grey
Willows takes her down, but Grey chokes her out in the corner. Willow sends her to the apron and then hauls her back in for some short clotheslines, but she runs afoul of Keira Hogan and Grey takes over. Back in with a seated dropkick and facebuster for two. Willow comes back with a neckbreaker, but she misses a senton and Leila goes to a chinlock. Willow fights up and Grey slugs her down and goes to another chinlock. Oddly the commentary cuts out completely at this point, before picking up again when they come back from the break. Willow comes back with a spinebuster for two, but Grey gets a knee in the corner. Willow puts her down with a back suplex and goes after Hogan as this completely falls apart, and then Willow finally finishes with a Doctor bomb that nearly breaks Grey in half at 8:00. Yikes. This one didn’t work very well. * And then Tony joins Willow in the ring, and announces that she’s officially #AllElite now. Good for her.
Jade Cargill then joins Tony for her promised protest, and since she’s not a “bum ass thief” like Nyla, she gives her 10 seconds to return the belt. But then Nyla appears on the screen and steals Jade’s car in addition to the belt. How is Nyla supposed to be the babyface in this?
Meanwhile, Preston Vance turns down Rush’s offer of employment one more time, and then Orange Cassidy pops up from behind the bar and shows off his new title. He won it. In Canada. He offers some beers, but Preston “doesn’t even have a mouth”. So logically, we have now a three-way All-Atlantic title match in the main event. I don’t really get why they advertised Rush v. Vance for 2 weeks and then switched it out at the last minute.
All-Atlantic title: Orange Cassidy v. Rush v. Preston Vance
Rush and Vance slug it out while Orange watches on, but then he unleashes the kicks on Rush and hits Vance with a tope. Back in the ring, Rush headbutts Orange on the way in, and then fakes the shotgun dropkick before giving us some poses. They all fight on the floor and Rush whips Vance with a TV cable and chokes him out, and then brings it over to the other side and chokes out Orange as well. Back in the ring, Vance gets a couple of shots on Rush, but they fight to the floor again and Orange gets slammed onto the table, which does not break. So Rush sets up on the wall and throws Vance through it, which thankfully does the job. That table is harder to work with than CM Punk. Back in the ring, JR talks about how Vance turning down Rush’s offer is “leaving a lot of gravy on the plate.” Speaking of someone who married into a Mennonite family, leaving gravy on your plate is literally the worst and most offensive thing you can do short of actually killing someone. Back in the ring, Rush chokes out Vance in the corner for a bit and goes to a chinlock, but Vance fights back with a spear from the apron and tries the full nelson on Orange. Orange fights out of that and gets the Beach Break for two, but Jose the Assistant makes the save. So Danhausen curses Jose and punches him in the nuts, but then Rush takes out Danhausen and suplexes Orange into the corner. Vance makes his own comeback with the spinebuster on Rush and discus lariat on Orange for two. Vance slugs away on Rush, but Rush messes with the mask and blinds him. Orange Punch on Rush and a rollup finishes Vance at 11:53 to retain. This was a MESS. It got OK by the end but they spent forever out on the floor aimlessly brawling and never really seemed to have any point to it. **
Not a good effort this week, and the crowd was either poorly mic’d or fairly dead all show. Wasn’t bad, but it felt more like an episode of Dark overall, which shows you how meaningless all these titles are becoming.