The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 06.16.23
By Scott Keith on 17th June 2023
The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 06.16.23
All the kids are talking about the Usos this and the Bloodline that tonight, but we all know what the REAL main event of the weekend is. JEFF JARRETT.
Taped from Washington, DC
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Chris Jericho.
Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher & Jeff Cobb v. Rocky Romero & Best Friends
Cobb is playing the part of Mark Davis due to injury. Kyle gets dominated by Rocky to start, so Ospreay comes in to take care of Empire business himself and puts Romero down with chops. Rana puts Romero on the floor and Will tries a dive, but Rocky cuts him off. So it’s over to Cobb, but Rocky stands up to him and hits Ospreay with that dive after all. So all the faces get dives and they stop for a triple high five. Back in, the Friends put Ospreay down with a double elbow and pay each other compliments for the job well done, and that gets two. To quote Eek the Cat, it never hurts to help. Ospreay comes back with a handspring kick on Chuck and the Empire takes over thanks to Cobb walloping Chuck. So they put him in the corner and batter him with chops, and Ospreay gets a spinning backbreaker for two. Back to Cobb, but he misses a charge and Chuck makes the hot tag to Trent. Cobb comes in again and won’t go down, so Chuck gets a slam and Chaos triple-teams him and then stops for the hug. So Cobb picks up ALL THREE GUYS in a crazy spot and slams them. That’s nuts. Rocky tries a rana and Cobb just hurls him across the ring to block that. Back to Ospreay, who hits Rocky with a corner clothesline and goes up with a diving elbow, but Romero counters the Hidden Blade with a backslide for two. Cobb destroys more people but Trent manages to hit a DDT. Ospreay defies gravity with a flipping DDT reversal, but Romero puts him down with a lariat. But then Fletcher hits a tombstone and Ospreay finishes with the Hidden Blade at 11:37. Goddamn that Jeff Cobb is something. ***1/2
Taya Valkyrie v. Trish Adora
So now we have DARK TAYA, complete with new black gear to go with her heel turn. Bit on the nose. Taya beats on Trish in the corner with clotheslines and follows with a running knee for two. She misses a blind charge as Adora comes back with kicks, but Taya hits her own, followed by the sliding german suplex and then some sassy dancing for the front row. They don’t seem impressed. Back in the ring, Adora makes another comeback, but Taya spears her and ties her up in a bow and arrow before curb stomping her for the pin at 3:22. I mean, she lost cleanly to Jade at the PPV, I’m not really sure what her issue is and why she’s so angry all of a sudden. Women, amirite? **
Meanwhile, the Hardy Boyz accept the challenge of the Ass Boys on their way to the tag team titles.
Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett & Jay Lethal v. Aubrey Edwards, Mark Briscoe & Papa Briscoe
I anticipate some total, non-stop action for this one. Aubrey is going with the sleeveless ref shirt, giving us tickets to the gun show in addition to Rampage. I will be disappointed if we don’t get tomfoolery AND shenanigans, and maybe some wacky antics as well. Mark gets double-teamed by Jarrett & Lethal to start, and Jeff stops to strut in celebration. So Mark beats on him with chops and it’s time for the Karen v. Aubrey showdown. So Karen immediately tags out to Lethal to avoid contact, and it’s over to Papa Briscoe instead. Shoulderblock on Lethal gets two. You know that the Briscoes would have excelled in Memphis if they were born 10 years earlier. Sonjay runs interference and Jeff takes Mark to the floor and runs him into the railing to take over, and Lethal gets two off that. Jeff puts the boots to Mark and Karen comes in for some cheapshots and then immediately runs away again, hiding behind Satnam Singh long enough for JJ to tag in again. Lethal with a neckbreaker on Mark and he also gives us a strut as Jericho fully condones letting Papa Briscoe get the tag. “How hot is a Papa Briscoe hot tag gonna be anyway?” He’s got a point. Lethal beats on Mark in the corner and Fite takes a break. Back with Mark getting double-teamed, but he fights back with a double clothesline and it’s HOT TAG PAPA. So neither one wants to face him, and he hits them both with clotheslines and he’s got a pretty good one. Spear for Jarrett and it’s HOT TAG AUBREY as we finally get the throwdown with Karen and it goes badly for the Jarrett side. So finally Karen rakes the eyes and gets the guitar, but Aubrey kicks it away and steals it. So Jay Lethal calls for mercy and offers himself as a free shot instead, but Mark takes the ref and Aubrey Kabongs him with the guitar. Karen tries the Stroke on Aubrey, but she reverses to the figure-four and Karen taps at 9:49. And there’s two little girls at ringside dressed like Aubrey who think that’s great, which is why wrestling is the best. This lived up to everything I expected. Million billion stars.
Meanwhile, Taya completely unloads on Kris Statlander, and she’s SHAKING IN HER FUR BOOTS after Statlander offers her a title match. OK Taya was pretty entertaining there.
Meanwhile, Don Callis interrupts the Mark Henry deal to put over Takeshita, declaring him to be the best of all luchadors, EL HIJO DE DON CALLIS.
Konosuke Takeshita v. Bandido
Takeshita has an amazing piece of artwork as a part of his entrance now, somehow even more epic than the one of Don and Kenny that we all know and love. Name one bad piece of artwork featuring a centaur. YOU CAN’T. We can only hope they sell signed prints for us to buy and put up in our own homes to inspire us in our everyday lives. They slug it out to start and Takeshita hits him with a big boot and fireman’s carry slam. Bandido dodges the knee and tries the 21-Plex, but Takeshita holds the ropes to put Bandido on the floor and follows with a dive. Big boot puts Bandido on the floor as it’s amazing how Takeshita went from underdog babyface to nuclear heel heat in such short order. I’m getting that people don’t like Don Callis. Back in the ring, Bandido comes back with a delayed suplex, so delayed they should call it a simple medical procedure in Canada, and he goes up with a rana off the top, taking Takeshita off the apron and to the floor. So this prompts Don Callis to leave the desk and go provide moral support, and that allows Takeshita to block a springboard with a knee and beat him down. Takeshita goes to the middle rope with a senton for two. Takeshita with an abdominal stretch, but Bandido reverses out, so Takeshita puts him down with a back elbow and goes to a body scissors. Bandido fights out of that, so Takeshita gives him the ol’ gut punch and puts him down again. So Bandido gets all fired up and they exchange trash talk in foreign languages, and it certainly sounds mean on both sides. I bet Bandido told Takeshita that he’s NOT WORTHY OF CINNABON. Bandido comes back with a spinning bodypress and tornado DDT. Takeshita bails to the floor, so Bandido hits him with a moonsault. Back in, Takeshita snaps off a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. That one had some stank on it, as the kids say. Bandido with a press slam, however, and he goes up with the frog splash for two. They fight to the top, so Takeshita bites him in the head to block a suplex and then puts him down with a lariat off the top for two. Bandido gets up again, so Takeshita goes for the running knee, and Bandido catches him with a knee of his own. That sets up the 21-Plex, but Takeshita lands on his feet and hits his own german suplex. And Bandido lands on HIS feet and then counters a powerbomb into a sunset flip for two. Rana into a rollup gets two. Takeshita absorbs a pair of lariats, and then puts Bandido down with the high knee and finishes with the running knee at 15:11. This new version of Takeshita is GREAT and these guys meshed perfectly together. ***1/2.
This was actually a legitimately great hour of wrestling this week, all thanks to Jeff Jarrett.