AEW Rampage Review (September 17, 2021)

This is AEW Rampage from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. This show was taped on Wednesday in Newark after the live Dynamite show. Next week’s Dynamite and Rampage are huge shows from Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queen’s, NY in front of AEW’s biggest crowds ever. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The AEW Rampage intro video aired. The show began with action right away as The Butcher and The Blade entered along with the 27 people in the Matt Hardy Family Office stable. It just seems like that many. The commentary team this week was Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz and FTW Champion “Absolute” Ricky Starks, who hasn’t had a match on TV since July 14 (thanks profightdb). Jericho said that Ricky’s pants are so tight it’s like he is walking on stilts. I really like Starks and think he has a bright future, but this company hates booking him in actual matches on TV.

The Lucha Brothers made their entrance for their first AEW Tag Team Championship defense with Alex Abrahantes joining them. Lucha Bros are 11-0 this year in AEW. The announcers put over how great their All Out match was. It was amazing. Butcher and Blade are supposedly undefeated in 2021 as well.

AEW Tag Team Championships: Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) vs. The Butcher & The Blade

Fenix used his quickness to avoid Blade, then he went for a superkick and Blade bailed to the floor. Butcher tagged in, then all four guys were quickly in, Penta kicked Blade and both Lucha Bros hit a superkick. Penta slammed Fenix onto Butcher for two. When Lucha Bros went for a double-team move, Blade knocked Fenix off the top rope. Fenix still tagged in and Butcher tossed Fenix in the air so that Blade could hit Fenix with a knee lift. Fenix broke free, Penta hit Slingblades on both guys, Fenix went up top and hit a dive onto Butcher on the floor while Penta hit a somersault dive on Blade as well. Penta went for the double foot stomp, Butcher moved and hit a cross body block for two. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The heels were in control with Butcher whipping Penta into the turnbuckle. Penta fought back against both heels with kicks to the head and a monkey flip sent Blade onto Butcher. Fenix got the tag, both heels were in the ring for some reason for a long time and Fenix hit a German Suplex on Butcher. Fenix with a backflip onto Blade into a German Suplex. Fenix is so amazing! Jericho was doing his yelling on commentary as Fenix hit a double stomp into a piledriver called Fear Factor for two because Butcher made the save. Butcher decked Penta with a clothesline and Butcher tagged in with a slam for two. Penta charged at Blade, who hit a powerslam for a two count. Butcher was back in for a double-team slam on Penta for two. Blade tied Penta’s mask against the middle rope. Fenix was legal against both heels, who were in the ring illegally. Penta took his mask off to break free, but then he covered his face with his hand. Penta superkicked Blade while Fenix countered Butcher with a hurricanrana into a pinfall win after about 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix)

Analysis: *** A good tag team match. I don’t think Lucha Brothers can have a bad match. It was a simple tag team story with the heels Butcher and Blade taking control for most of the match until Lucha Bros made the big comeback. The match featured the usual bad refereeing that exists in AEW where they let two guys on the same team in the ring for a long time. Anyway, I did like the ending with Penta unmasking himself, then covering his face and delivering a kick, which led to Fenix getting the win for the team.

Post match, Private Party (also part of Matt Hardy’s group) went into the ring for the double team attack. Santana & Ortiz made the save, so the heels ran away. This would set up an 8-man tag team match.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson ahead of their match on Wednesday’s Dynamite. Omega said that Danielson had a sense of entitlement. Danielson said that he’s going to show the true Bryan Danielson which will be exciting for the fans and scary for the AEW wrestlers. Omega said that Danielson is the underdog, but there will be no Cinderella story.

Analysis: It was a short video. I’m very excited about the match. Good stuff coming on Wednesday.

The Bunny (w/Penelope Ford) vs. Anna Jay (w/Tay Conti)

Bunny and Jay started fighting on the floor with Jay hitting a suplex on the floor. Jay hit a running back elbow against both turnbuckles. Jay with a running shoulder tackle. Bunny retreated on the floor, Jay followed and Bunny kicked her in the chest. Bunny drove the left shoulder of Jay into the ring post and into the barricade even though Jay had the right shoulder taped up. Bunny whipped Jay into the barricade.

(Commercial)

Bunny wrenched on the left arm, Jay broke free with a kick to the knee and a neckbreaker for two. They fought over some armbar, Jay with a kick, Ford tried to get involved and Conti took her out on the floor. Jay rolled up Bunny with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Anna Jay

Analysis: *3/4 It was fine for a five-minute match where we only got to see a little over two minutes due to a commercial. I think AEW should do the entrances, then go to commercial and then show the whole match if it’s only five minutes. Anyway, I did like the intensity shown by Bunny and Jay while trying to tell a story about the shoulder injury even though it didn’t matter by the end.

Post match, Bunny attacked Jay with a forearm to the back. Conti and Ford got into the ring with Ford putting on brass knuckles and punched Conti in the head. Ford punched Jay with the brass knuckles.

Analysis: It’s the second straight match with a cheap heel attack after the match. At least the heels didn’t have to retreat this time. Anyway, it should set up a tag team match between these four beautiful women.

A video aired about how CM Punk will face Powerhouse Hobbs on Rampage next Friday.

Matt Hardy was interviewed by Tony Schiavone saying that Matt’s team lost two straight matches. Matt Hardy said he was pissed off with an Orange Cassidy look-alike in the crowd. The guy was fat with a beard, so didn’t really look like Orange, but he was dressed like him. Matt brought this “fan” into the ring as Jack Evans stomped on the guy. Matt hit the guy with a Twist of Fate. Matt had scissors, so he cut some of the guy’s hair including a ponytail. Jack Evans used clippers to shave the guy’s hair. Orange Cassidy’s music hit after the head shaving and Orange walked down to the ring. The heels retreated.

Analysis: It continued the story of Matt Hardy having issues with Orange Cassidy with Matt wanting to shave Orange’s head. The poor “fan” had nobody try to help him when he was beaten up by wrestlers in the ring. It’s unrealistic, but whatever. It’s a way to do the angle.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Britt Baker and Ruby Soho

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. made her entrance as the AEW Women’s Champion and hugged Tony Schiavone, who was in the ring for the interview. Ruby Soho was up next and she got a pretty good pop from the crowd. They faced off in the ring for a promo since Baker faces Soho on Dynamite next week. Tony just stood there while the women had microphones in hand.

Britt Baker wanted to talk about why they are there. Baker said that Ruby is trying to figure out who she is. Baker asked how many times Ruby has changed her name, she gets new tattoos and changes her hair all the time because she’s trying to fit in. Baker did her promo reminding us she’s the AEW World Champion with fans chanting “DMD” right on cue. Ruby said that Britt reminds them every week. Ruby told Baker she is wrong saying she knows exactly who the hell she is. Ruby said up until now she just hasn’t had the freedom to prove it. The fans chanted “Ruby Soho” for her while some fans chanted “DMD” too. Ruby said on the surface, Britt looks like every other broad she’s stepped across the ring from: “Entitled, self-centred and banging some dude in the back!” Wow! What a line. Adam Cole, bay bay! Jericho and Taz reacted to that in a funny way. Ruby said that she is trying to figure out if there is anything more. Baker wanted to know why Ruby was lying to everybody including herself. Baker said that Ruby calls herself the runaway, but she didn’t run away from anything – she got fired! Truth.

Ruby said that she is not wrong about that, but it turns out it was the best damn thing to ever happen to her because it brought her to AEW. Ruby said it brought her to this moment looking in Baker’s eyes. Ruby wanted Baker to see the woman she was messing with, but she’s surprised Britt can see anything with her head so far up Tony Khan’s ass. Ruby said that after Dynamite next week when she beats Britt’s ass in New York City, the one thing Britt won’t be able to call herself is AEW Women’s World Champion. Baker held up her title. Baker tried an attack, but Ruby got a double leg takedown and punches. Ruby held up the AEW Women’s Title. Jericho called that a “money segment” and I agree.

Analysis: This was great. There were some awesome lines from both women there and I agree with Jericho calling it a “money segment” because they each delivered in terms of making their title match feel like a big deal. Ruby Soho had the lines about banging a guy in the back, about Britt having her head so far up Tony Khan’s ass and then Baker had that awesome line about how Ruby got fired (from WWE). I just thought it was really cool that they got about five minutes to deliver these promos and they both nailed it.

Mark Henry did a split-screen interview with TNT Champion Miro and challenger Fuego Del Sol. Fuego talked about why he was willing to put his car on the line and he’s going to slay the giant Miro with the Tornado DDT. Miro said that Fuego’s offering of a car means nothing to him. Miro said that he loves celebrating victories with his God up high and his wife down low. Miro said he would be redeemed.

Analysis: Great line by Miro about God and his wife (CJ Perry aka Lana) while Fuego is a likable face.

They did a rundown of the two-hour Dynamite live from NYC next week and the two-hour Rampage taped from NYC next week.

AEW Dynamite Grand Slam in NYC on Wednesday:

* Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson – It is not for Omega’s AEW World Title. It is Danielson’s first AEW match.

* CM Punk interview

* Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black

* MJF vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

* AEW Women’s Championship: Britt Baker (c) vs. Ruby Soho

* FTR vs. Sting & Darby Allin

AEW Rampage Grand Slam in NYC on Friday for a special two-hour episode:

* Powerhouse Hobbs vs. CM Punk in Punk’s first TV match in seven years.

* Lights Out Match: Eddie Kingston & Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer

* Lucha Brothers, Santana & Ortiz vs. Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade

* Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford

* Adam Cole & Young Bucks vs. Christian Cage & Jurassic Express

* Men of the Year – Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky vs. The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho & Jake Hager

Analysis: What a stacked lineup of matches on TV next week. The NYC crowd is in for a treat. I might do a preview next week with some predictions.

It was time for Fuego Del Sol to challenge for the TNT Title again. Fuego apparently is putting his new car on the line. Sure he is. Miro was next as the TNT Champion with Jericho saying that he was his favorite champion in AEW, then Taz said that FTW Champion Ricky Starks should be since he’s sitting there.

TNT Championship: Miro vs. Fuego Del Sol

Miro tried to get a hold of Fuego, who kept escaping and Fuego sent Miro to the floor. Fuego tried a dive, Miro caught him but Fuego managed to counter that tot sent Miro into the ring post. Fuego with an apron with a running headscissors on Miro on the floor. Fuego was sent into the crowd, some fans caught him, Fuego tried a dive and Miro hit a fallaway slam on the floor. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Miro was in control with a bearhug to slow down the high flier with Jericho mentioning that Fuego lasted longer than the last time he faced Miro. When Fuego broke free, he hit a jumping kick to the head. Fuego went for a springboard attack, but Miro hit him with a double ax smash! Ouch. That was a great spot that looked painful too. I guess that’s why it was great. Fuego slipped out of a DDT leading to a double stomp. Fuego with a double stomp to the back of the neck. Fuego with a kick to the jaw followed by a short DDT. Miro blocked a Tornado DDT, then Miro with a kick to the head and repeated punches to beat down the smaller opponent. Miro with a superkick. Miro picked up Fuego for another superkick and Miro covered Fuego with his hand on Fuego’s head. It went about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Miro

Analysis: **1/2 It was more of a match than the last time they wrestled. Fuego got some offense this time, but Miro stopped that with his power and finished him off easily. Miro usually wins with a submission. This time it was a dominant pinfall, which is fine because the kicks looked nasty. I was wondering why they would do this match again and then after the match we found out.

Miro celebrated with the TNT Championship. There were still a few minutes left in the show as Miro held the keys to the car. Miro teased throwing the keys into the car. Miro put the keys in Fuego’s mouth and Miro applied the Game Over submission. Cue the save from Sammy Guevara of the Inner Circle. Sammy ran the ropes and hit a knee strike on Miro. Sammy saved his best friend Fuego. Sammy held the TNT Championship in his hands with Ricky Starks calling Sammy a thief while Jericho said Sammy was just holding it, he didn’t steal it. Miro got the title back while Sammy stared at him.

Analysis: That’s a good way to set up a title feud between Miro and Sammy. I think Sammy is a good choice as somebody that could beat Miro for the title. Sammy has had nothing to do for months now and finally, it looks like they have a feud for him. I’m looking forward to this rivalry. I like both guys a lot.

There was more staring from Sammy and Miro while Excalibur hyped Dynamite and Rampage next week. End show.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Lucha Brothers
  2. Britt Baker/Ruby Soho
  3. Miro

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 6.75 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25

 

Final Thoughts

I thought it was a solid show from top to bottom. The best match was the opening tag team match although it wasn’t anything that special. All three matches had heels attacking faces after the match, so that felt repetitive. I know AEW loves doing the post-match attacks. It just feels repetitive when you do it that match. I did like the setup for Miro/Sammy a lot.

In terms of promos, I thought Britt Baker and Ruby Soho did a terrific job of making their match next week feel more personal. They used their time wisely and did a great job.

I’m so excited for Dynamite and Rampage from NYC next week. They have done a tremendous job of setting those shows up.

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

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