AEW Rampage Review (October 1, 2021)

This is AEW Rampage from the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. It was taped after Dynamite this past Wednesday night. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Rampage video aired (“This is Rampage”) followed by some pyro and the fans were ready to go. Excalibur was on commentary with Taz, so they only had two announcers this week instead of four guys that they have sometimes. Jericho was out this week due to selling an attack from last week. I think he has Fozzy commitments anyway.

The first introduction was for “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson with fans chanting “YES” although Danielson does not encourage it. Good pop for Bryan, who is wrestling in his second AEW match. Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks was up next with brother Matt and “associate stooge” Brandon Cutler as well.

“American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. Nick Jackson (w/Matt Jackson & Brandon Cutler)

Nick got in a cheap shot on Bryan leading to a headlock takedown. When Bryan broke free, Nick was on the apron and did a backflip to break free. Nick was just standing there spraying himself and Bryan hit a suicide dive to take Nick down. Back in the ring, Bryan went up top with a shotgun missile dropkick. Bryan applied a surfboard submission on Nick and even pulled back on the head with a Dragon Sleeper, but Nick gouged the eyes to break free. Bryan sent Nick towards the ropes, Nick did a flip and hit a clothesline. Nick went up top for a move, Bryan moved and Bryan went for an armbar on the left arm, but Nick got to the rope. Bryan hooked Nick’s arm against the top rope leading to forearms from Bryan. There was an arm wringer from Bryan followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Bryan pulled back on Nick’s left arm again. Nick managed to get Bryan in a standing position and hit him with a shoulder tackle against the turnbuckle. Bryan opened up on Nick with chops and kicks. Nick walked the ropes leading to an armdrag across the ring, Nick was against the turnbuckle and Bryan went for a dropkick, Nick moved and Bryan landed hard against the turnbuckle. Bryan left the ring, Nick distracted the referee and Matt hit Bryan with a Spear on the floor. They had a 90-second picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Nick was in control with a running knee against the turnbuckle followed by punches and kicks. Nick hit a bulldog out of the corner. Nick with some weak-looking kicks to the chest to a seated Bryan, who took those kicks, urged more kicks and Bryan spit in Kick’s face. Bryan went crazy on Nick with chops and kicks. Bryan with a backflip out of the corner, ran the ropes and hit a running clothesline. Bryan worked over Nick with kicks to the body that looked a lot better than the kicks that Nick did and Bryan hit a roundhouse kick to the head for two. Bryan with two running dropkicks, he charged again and Nick hit two superkicks for a two count. Nick up top, he went for a 450 splash, Bryan got the knees up and then Bryan went for the LeBell Lock submission. Nick got to the ropes quickly to break the hold. They went to the apron, Bryan with kicks, Nick moved and Bryan kicked the ring post with his left foot. Nick with a superkick. Nick with a German Suplex on the ring apron. Ouch. Bryan shouldn’t be taking bumps like that. Nick walked the ropes and did a twisting dive onto Bryan although he barely touched him. Back in the ring, Nick applied the Sharpshooter submission and Bryan got to the bottom rope to break it. Bryan to the floor, Nick with a running kick, Bryan moved and Nick kicked Cutler by accident. Bryan with a German Suplex on Nick on the floor with Nick doing a moonsault bump to land on his stomach. Back in the ring, Bryan knocked Matt off the apron. Nick got a rollup for two. Bryan applied a Tiger Suplex for two. Bryan with repeated elbows to the head. Bryan applied the Cattle Mutilation submission where he hooks the arms and bridges forward. Nick tapped out. It went 16 minutes.

Winner by submission: Bryan Danielson

Analysis: **** A great match as expected between one of the best singles wrestlers in Danielson and we know Nick is an outstanding wrestler too. Bryan worked on the left arm for most of the match, so having Bryan win with the Cattle Mutilation submission that hooks the arms makes a lot of sense. They probably could have had a few spots to make it look like Nick might win, but it was more about putting over Danielson in a big way. I just thought that Matt would interfere more than just one the spot that he did with a Spear on the floor. It was the right call for Danielson to get the win since he’s the singles wrestler that hadn’t won in AEW yet, so it gives Bryan a meaningful win. It’s a little scary seeing Bryan taking a German Suplex bump on the apron where it’s the hardest part of the ring, so I hope he’s okay and doesn’t do crazy bumps like that often.

Post match, Kenny Omega and Adam Cole checked on Nick Jackson at ringside, so Christian Cage and Jurassic Express checked on Danielson. There was a brawl in the ring with six of the guys fighting while Omega bailed to the floor and Danielson just sat in the corner. Christian hit a Killswitch on Matt Jackson, Luchasaurus with a tail whip kick on Nick Jackson and Jungle Boy caught Adam Cole in the Snare Trap submission. The fans chanted “Kenny No Balls” at Omega, so Kenny charged into the ring and Bryan caught Kenny in the LeBell Lock. Omega tapped out quickly. The faces celebrated.

Analysis: There is the already announced eight-man tag on Dynamite on Wednesday, so it was a way to build that up some more.

Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook did a promo saying that Ricky Starks had a special message for Brian Cage. They showed a video of Ricky Starks in a big house with Starks talking about how Cage can’t compete with him because there’s a gap with him. Starks drove a fancy car (a Maserati) down the street saying he’s never backed down from a fight and won’t let a cornball like him

Analysis: I don’t understand what is taking so long to do another Starks/Cage match. It’s been a while. Cage has wrestled twice on Dynamite since June. He is one of the most poorly used guys in AEW. I like Starks too, but he needs to be in the ring more as well.

(Commercial)

Ricky Starks, the FTW Champion that is part of Team Taz, joined commentary.

CM Punk did a promo saying he’s a five-tool player that beat Darby and survived Will Hobbs because of his experience. Punk said he’s starting to settle and the people see how happy he is. Punk said he knows he has a target on his back and he likes that. Punk wants the best people in AEW across the ring from him. Punk said whoever steps up, just know that nap time is on the menu.

The introductions took place for the women’s triple threat match. Jade Cargill is 15-0 and ranked second. Cargill gave a middle finger salute to a fan with a critical sign. That was funny by her. Nyla Rose was next. Thunder Rosa was last as the only face in the match.

Jade Cargill (w/Smart Mark Sterling) vs. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Thunder Rosa

They said that this is a no disqualification match.

Rosa with a bulldog on Cargill into the knee. Nyla with a chop on Rosa, then Rosa jumped off the top and Nyla hit a front slam for a two count. Cargill and Nyla exchanged forearms, Cargill with a pump kick and a clothesline that sent Nyla over the top to the floor. Rosa went up top and hit a missile dropkick on Cargill.

(Commercial)

Rosa sent Cargill into the rope with a dropkick to the back. Rosa with a running dropkick to the chest of Rosa. Thunder hit a running dropkick into the trash can on Cargill and that got a two count because Nyla broke it up. Cargill with a spinebuster on Nyla, Cargill kicked Rosa down and then Nyla hit a neckbreaker on Cargill. Nyla with a single-leg crab, but then Thunder ran the ropes with a dropkick for two. Rosa went for a running dropkick, Nyla moved and they went to the apron where a table was set up on the floor. Rosa managed to get a hold of Nyla on the apron and Rosa gave Nyla a Powerbomb through the table. It was a bit sloppy, but it looked good enough and got a big pop. Cargill was back in the ring with a chair to the back of Rosa. Cargill with some poor chair shots to the back of Rosa repeatedly and Cargill covered Rosa for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill

Analysis: ** It was just a decent match with Cargill taking advantage of Rosa hitting that big move on Nyla and hitting multiple chair shots to get the win. The chair shots looked bad. Maybe do less of those and try a finishing move. It was really about the one spot with Thunder Rosa driving Nyla Rose through the table, which was not done smoothly, but as I said it got the job done in terms of popping the crowd when the table broke. The announcers didn’t put over the No DQ format of the match enough at the start. They mentioned it earlier in the show, but not that much as the match went on.

Malakai Black did a promo trash-talking Cody Rhodes and saying there are plenty of souls in this company that needs to know the truth.

Sammy Guevara was featured in a video as they showed him saying we all know who the greatest TNT Champion was as the fan chanted “Brodie” for the late, great Brodie Lee. Sammy said that Bobby Fish can walk through the forbidden door and he’ll send his ass straight to hell. Sammy gets the black/red version of the TNT Title after Miro had the white/green version. They like to change it.

This Wednesday on AEW Dynamite in Philadelphia for the two-year anniversary of Dynamite:

* The Elite (Kenny Omega, Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. Bryan Danielson, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus & Christian Cage – That’s going to be amazing.

* Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb.

* TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara vs. Bobby Fish.

* Casino Ladder Match Where Winner Receives AEW World Title Match: Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo vs. Jon Moxley vs. The Joker (Mystery competitor), Matt Hardy & Orange Cassidy. Matt and Orange were announced later in the show.

Mark Henry conducted the split-screen main event interview between Orange Cassidy and Jack Evans with Matt Hardy. It led to Matt saying that Evans is going with this Hair vs. Hair Match. Cassidy didn’t even know what kind of match it was, then they told him it was Hair vs. Hair Match and Orange said that he guesses he isn’t going to lose then.

Analysis: They pay Mark Henry a lot of money to just do a one-minute interview during the three hours of primetime TV? He’s got a great deal. I don’t know why they took him off Rampage commentary. If he wasn’t good then let him stay there and see if he improves.

Orange Cassidy is the number one ranked singles wrestler with a 16-1-1 record as if the rankings mean something. Jack Evans entered with Matt Hardy as part of the Hardy Family Office. Evans is 18-40 in AEW. I’m surprised he even has 18 wins, but I guess it’s mostly on the Youtube shows. Evans has a lot of hair while Cassidy has a shorter look.

Hair vs. Hair Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans (w/Matt Hardy)

Hardy distracted, so then Evans got a rollup. Cassidy did his kicks to the shins and then a hair pull takedown. Evans distracted the referee, so Hardy pulled Cassidy out of the ring and punched him. Evans with a corkscrew kick off the apron onto Cassidy on the floor. Evans hit a 450 Splash off the apron onto Cassidy on the floor.

(Commercial)

The show returned with Cassidy hitting suicide dives on Hardy and then Evans. Taz said that Orange hitting Matt Hardy wasn’t right. Cassidy hit a cross body block, Evans got back up and hit a kick to the head. Evans countered Cassidy into a Northern Lights Suplex and a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Evans hit a twisting splash for two. Evans went up top, took way too long and Cassidy moved, so Evans hit the mat hard. Cassidy hit an impressive twisting DDT. The fans chanted “freshly squeezed” although it wasn’t that loud. Cassidy jumped off the top with a diving DDT for two. Matt Hardy’s friends The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny were in the aisle, so then Best Friends were by the ring. More of Matt Hardy’s friends went on the ramp, so then Dark Order went down to the ring. When Evans got up, Cassidy hit him with the Orange Punch for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: **1/4 An average match with the heel Evans controlling most of it until Cassidy made the comeback. One guy is a top singles wrestler and the other is a tag team wrestler that loses a lot, so there was never any doubt here. Evans is a talented veteran with cool moves, but the fans barely react to him. Good job by the babyfaces watching Cassidy’s back to prevent heel interference.

Post match, Matt Hardy said he’s sorry to Jack and that it’s about the greater good.

Jack Evans was seated in a chair as Cassidy cut some of Jack’s long hair. They shaved some of Jack’s hair and then shoved him out of the ring. They did not shave Jack Evans bald. They just cut and shaved part of his hair, but not all of it. Brodie Lee Jr aka Negative One was in the ring as everybody hugged him like the Best Friends too. Cassidy put Negative One on his shoulders and everybody cheered. Good ending.

Analysis: It was barely a head-shaving or haircut, but I guess it will give Jack a shorter look. Good for him. His hair was long anyway. They are obviously building to Orange Cassidy facing Matt Hardy in a Hair vs. Hair match with Matt losing his hair. Maybe that will be a match at Full Gear unless they do it before.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bryan Danielson
  2. Nick Jackson
  3. Orange Cassidy

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 6.75 out of 10

Last Week: 8

 

Final Thoughts

It was mostly a one match show with the Danielson/Jackson match standing out a lot. The way they do Rampage is they put on a main event style match on first since they know that’s when more people will be watching right at 10pm ET so that’s where the biggest match goes. I would recommend that Danielson/Jackson match because it was great as expected any time Bryan is in there.

The women’s match had some sloppy moments including the table spots and final chair shots, but they worked hard. Cargill has been booked strongly since day one. The main event had an obvious finish with a top guy like Cassidy beating a tag team wrestler like Evans. There wasn’t much to the head shaving, though.

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

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