The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 01.27.23
Taped from Lexington, KY
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Chris Jericho, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
OKAY THEN. My plane tickets for the Winnipeg show have been adjusted to the new dates. Tony Khan owes me $200. Also, why the hell am I paying “service” fees to the airline if I’m rebooking my own flight on the Westjet app? Exactly what “service” am I receiving there?
Also, someone from the ‘Peg emailed me asking about my plans, of which I have none in particular and it’ll probably just be me and Zen bumming around the city, or knowing me, hanging out at the hotel room watching wrestling on my laptop, until the show. Like it’s Winnipeg, do they even have malls there? So if you’re gonna be in Winnipeg for Dynamite and are wanting to meet up and talk wrestling or whatever, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can arrange.
Wheeler Yuta v. Hangman Page
And as usual we’re in the ring right away to start, as Yuta rushes in and ties up Page in an Octopus and then rolls him up for two. He works the leg and they trade shots on the mat and then slug it out with chops in the corner. Page with a lariat for two off that, but Yuta necks him on the top rope. Page puts him on the floor with a fallaway slam and follows with the pescado. Which reminds me, I’ve been binging through old seasons of Hell’s Kitchen on Pluto TV (which RULES by the way) and one of the chefs served a dish that was some kind of chicken “a la plancha” and I was like “Do they toss it out of the kitchen and onto the plate?” My wife didn’t get the joke of course but trust me, it was hilarious. Back in the ring, Hangman with a powerbomb for two while Jericho tells a story about some jobber named “Kevin Steen” who once did an apron powerbomb to him. Never heard of him. Page with a superplex for two, but Yuta comes back with a missile dropkick and both guys are down. Yuta with a corner clothesline and he goes up with a flying clothesline and then transitions to a bulldog for two. They head to the top and Hangman brings him down with a death valley driver for two. Page drops him on his head with a german suplex and then does it once more for good measure, but Yuta gets his own rolling germans and they fight to the apron off that. So Yuta hits him with a german on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and then they fall to the floor and Yuta hangs on with another german suplex out there. He follows with a dive, but misses a flying splash in the ring and Page cradles for two. Page with the buckshot lariat, but Yuta manages to reverse him into an Angle slam and flying splash for two. They slug it out again and Hangman does a slick reversal on him and hits the buckshot lariat, and then gets SPICY and finishes Yuta with a Death Rider at 15:00. So this was…good…but no one in the crowd or at home bought Yuta as any kind of a serious threat, and by the 10 minute mark when Yuta is still reversing Page’s stuff, it’s like “OK, just go home already”. They would have been better served going shorter and giving Page a stronger win leading into the Moxley match. ***
Meanwhile, Ricky Starks wants us to know he can beat Chris Jericho.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston understands now what he needs to do and he’s “ready to go home”, whatever that means with respect to the House of Black.
Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Jeff Jarrett v. Best Friends & Danhausen
So a couple of weeks ago they did a backstage promo where they completely blew off the issues between the Best Friends and I thought it was a sarcastic promo setting up a bigger split down the road, but I guess they really did just blow off the issues and it’s settled now. Danhausen has a ukelele with him to counter Jarrett’s guitar, but Satnam smashes it on his knee, leaving him at a disadvantage again. Best Friends double-team Lethal and drop the elbow on him, so Jarrett comes in and the Best Friends work him over in the corner and clear the ring. Sadly the people do not get what they want as the heels break up the hug. Over to Satnam and Trent gets nowhere with him. Lethal with a neckbreaker on Trent to take over and then he struts and then stops to celebrate how good his strut was. Satnam comes in and puts Trent down for two, but picks him up and Lethal comes in again. Tony on the Rupp Arena: “I did 14 years of college basketball games here.” Jericho: “Yeah and nobody heard them.” Even Excalibur had to laugh at that one. Jarrett does his own strutting and Fite takes a break. Back with Trent rolling up Lethal for two and falling into the hot tag to Chucky. Flatliner and Koji Klutch on Lethal, but Jarrett breaks it up to save. Taylor puts Lethal on the floor and then puts Jarrett into a figure-four back in the ring. Lethal tries the flying elbow to save, but that misses, so Satnam breaks it up instead and it’s time for the showdown with DANHAUSEN. Danhausen unloads the big offense and I think Satnam almost blinks at one point, but then the Best Friends find the weakness and take turns necking him on the top rope. So Danhausen grabs Jarrett’s guitar, but the ref narcs him and takes it back, which allows Jarrett to grab his Golden Globe and knock out Danhausen for the pin at 10:20. An adequately goofy six-man as we continue to be proven wrong about Jeff Jarrett every week because he’s basically being used perfectly. **1/2
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD tells Ruby Soho to pick a side in the Originals v. Outsiders feud.
Powerhouse Hobbs v. Tony Mudd
Tremendous jobber name. Hobbs destroys him with corner clotheslines, hurls him across the ring, and then finishes with a Burning Hammer at 1:10.
Meanwhile, Top Flight bring up their Trios battle royale win and win over the Bucks, and they’re challenging the Trios champions.
Meanwhile, Dustin Rhodes is back at work after a terrible month, but Swerve interrupts with his henchman who STILL doesn’t have a name, but he talks shit about Dusty Rhodes and Dustin isn’t standing for that. That’s an odd direction for Swerve to go in, but I’ll let it play out and see where it goes.
Meanwhile, Red Velvet challenges Jade Cargill for next week. Yeah I don’t see her breaking up the win streak.
Jamie Hayter v. Emi Sakura
We don’t even get a Mark Henry interview anymore! I mean, Emi is the Queen of Dark, but this hardly feels like a main event match. They head to the floor and Emi whips her between the railing and the apron, and then drops an elbow on her in the ring and goes to the surfboard. Jamie escapes that, so Sakura gets a neckbreaker and Jamie bails to the floor. They fight out there and the crowd kind of turns on Sakura while Rebel hisses at one of her students. Back in the ring, Sakura chops her down and chokes her out, then beats on her with chops in the corner. Jamie fires back with her own, but Emi wins that battle. Hayter fires up with suplexes and the Hatebreaker for two. Sakura with the delayed backbreaker, so delayed they should call it FIGHT FOREVER, but that only gets two. Hayter with the sliding lariat for two. Sakura tries to go up, but Hayter brings her down with a cutter, and then misses a moonsault. Sakura rolls her up for two, and gets a powerbomb for two. Sakura with her own moonsault for two. Sakura slugs away on her, but Hayter puts her down with a lariat. Sakura has one more suplex in her, but Hayter hits another lariat and then finishes with the Hayterade lariat at 12:34. Took a bit to get going but once they started beating on each other it was pretty rad. ***3/4 And now they can return Sakura to Dark from whence she came.
An OK show with a tremendous main event, but after a few weeks of star power they’re already slipping back into old habits again the past couple of weeks. It’s quickly going back to being a show you can easily skip and miss nothing of importance again. For a while they were going live and putting on notable main event matches and now it’s back to the taped show after Dynamite with a burned out crowd and midcarders fighting over nothing. Which is fine, but there shouldn’t be any secret as to why it’s only drawing 400,000 people on Fridays.