The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 03.25.23
Not only have I gone through the life altering change of switching from PC to Mac recently, but now WWE Network is giving my computer some pretty serious rebooting issues when I use it through Chrome, so I’m also switching to Firefox for the time being. I’M OLD AND I DISLIKE CHANGE, CONSARNIT! Actually Firefox lets you pop out the video and resize it, which is pretty cool.
Taped from Independence, MO
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
TNT title: Powerhouse Hobbs v. Penta
They slug it out to start and that just makes ol’ Willie mad, but Penta superkicks him out of the ring and follows with a dive, which allows Hobbs to cut him off with a forearm. BREAKING NEWS: The QTV girl is Harley Cameron, for those of you who were worried about it. Hobbs puts the beating on Penta outside and drops him on the railing before giving him some quality trash talk for good measure. Back in the ring, that gets two. Penta fights back with a superkick, but Hobbs puts him down with a backbreaker, which allows QT a chance to tie Penta’s mask to the ropes. Hobbs with a delayed suplex, so delayed they should call it “Trump’s Indictment”, and that gets two. Hobbs runs him into the corner while the announcers discuss how Butch Reed endorsed Hobbs as “the next Hacksaw” before he passed away. To be fair, there’s no way to verify that now that he’s dead. Hobbs might be lying about that. Penta comes back with a backstabber and goes for the arm, but Hobbs just hurks him up and powerslams him for two. Hobbs tries the burning hammer, but Penta lands on his feet and superkicks him out of the ring and follows with a tope con hilo. Penta runs him into the stairs and follows with a double stomp onto the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and then back in the ring for another double stomp that gets two. QT takes the ref and Aaron Solo gets involved, but Penta takes him out, only for Hobbs to hit him with the belt and finish with the burning hammer at 10:34. Hobbs wrestling the Lucha Bros every week can only make him better. ***
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega faces Jeff Cobb for the IWGP US title this week on Dynamite. But how will the casuals know who Cobb is without a promo and backstory and video package? Besides this one, I mean.
Ricky Starks joins us to address the whole Juice situation and it’s time for FIGHTING. So ROCK HARD JUICE ROBINSON answers the challenge, but then changes his mind because he hates Missouri. Yeah that’s how I feel about Winnipeg. So instead, they’ll fight in New York.
MID-SHOW UPDATE: Firefox isn’t dealing with stuff on MacOS very well. Back to Chrome.
Brody King v. Jake Hager
This makes the booking of Daniel Garcia going over last week even more strange, as you’d think they would put Brody over strong to move him up the JAS ladder and then him face Hager. But nope. They slug it out and Brody sends him to the floor off that and then sends him into the railing. So then Hager chucks Brody into the railing in return and likes it so much that he does it again. They trade clotheslines out on the floor and Hager chokes him out back in the ring and then beats him down in the corner. Fite takes a break and we return with Hager trying for the anklelock, but Brody kicks out of that and then misses a cannonball in the corner. Hager tries the Hagerbomb, but Brody counters that and hits a lariat for two. But then Anna Jay takes out Julia on the floor and Brody gets all distracted and Hager gets two. And Brody regroups and finishes with the Ganso Bomb at 7:00. I like the trend of All Japan famous finishers in every match so far. This was a fun enough hoss fight. **1/2.
Meanwhile, Swerve has another rapper to help him in his war with Keith Lee.
Leila Grey v. Taya Valkyrie
Taya lays her out with a clothesline to start and Mark Sterling uses the power of the clipboard to distract Taya with legalese. But then Taya just finishes Leila with the Road To Valhalla at 1:12 anyway. Do cease and desist orders mean NOTHING to kids these days? Poor Mark takes the move as well, and that feels like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
The Acclaimed v. The Kingdom
Parker and Daddy Magic join us on commentary, although Parker complains loudly that he can’t even get a headset. “WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE?” Tony clarifies that Excalibur is in charge and they only have four of them. The Kingdom double-teams Max to start for two, but Max tries a sunset flip on Bennett and the Acclaimed turn it into a double-team backbreaker for two. Bowens with a neckbreaker on Bennett for two. Acclaimed with Scissor Me Timbers and they stop to scissor while Bennett sells that. Taven takes out Bowens on the apron and that allows Bennett to come back with chops on Caster and Taven gets two. They double-team Caster with a catapult into a high kick and Taven comes in with a double stomp on him as well. Meanwhile on commentary, 2.0 clarifies that they’ve always had a problem with Tony and they’re “JR guys over here”. Tony: “I’ve always liked you guys!” Bennett with a brainbuster for two. More double-teaming in the corner, and Taven gets a sliding kick for two. Daddy Ass chases Maria off, but Top Flight escorts her out as Bowens gets the coldest hot tag I’ve seen in a long time. He runs wild on the Kingdom and they finish with the Arrival and Mic Drop at 9:08. Man, Caster’s rap about the crowd not giving a crap about the Kingdom was prophetic. A very cold and boring main event with a dead crowd. *1/2.
Wow this one was about as exciting as plain oatmeal. Really nothing to bother with here.