Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 08/12/22 Review

aew rampage aug 12

This week’s AEW Rampage featured Orange Cassidy facing Ari Daivari in the main event, Bryan Danielson spoke and newcomer Parker Boudreaux was in action as well.

This is AEW Rampage from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was taped after Dynamite on Wednesday. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

It’s Friday night and you know what that means. Jim Ross was on commentary with Excalibur and Tony Schiavone.

Let’s Hear from Bryan Danielson

The great Bryan Danielson made his entrance for an interview in a plain white t-shirt. Bryan is my favorite wrestler in AEW and he got a big reaction from the crowd. Tony Schiavone mentioned Daniel Garcia talking about ending Bryan’s career. Bryan said he’s been wrestling for nearly 23 years, he’ll never be 100% but he needs to live 100% and there is nothing that makes him feel more alive than being in this ring. Bryan said that he will never wilfully stop wrestling. Bryan said that somebody will have to end his career because he will not end his career and added that his career will not end this Wednesday.

Daniel Garcia made his entrance wearing a white tank top and hat looking like a retired Italian man in his 70s instead of a wrestler in his 20s. Anyway, Garcia said Bryan is his hero, but it sounds like Bryan is prepared to lose. Garcia said that it sounds like his hero is coming up with excuses. Garcia talked about Bryan retiring and coming back. Actually, Bryan hasn’t retired since 2016, but whatever. Garcia said it hurts him, so that makes Garcia want to hurt him. Garcia said he’ll hurt Bryan so bad that he ends his career. Garcia said that you won’t just have to call him the Dragon Slayer, you have to call him “the greatest technical sports entertainer” on the planet.

Bryan said he was okay if somebody ends his career because he loves violence and violence begets violence. Bryan said what pisses him off is that “sports entertainment bullshit.” The crowd cheered that. Bryan said that Garcia is one of the people he mentioned first when he talked about the Blackpool Combat Club. Bryan said he saw Garcia go 60 minutes in front of 250 people showing some of the best wrestling technique he’s seen in a young talent in years. Better than Satnam Singh? Amazing. Bryan asked if Garcia wanted to be the “best technical sports entertainer” on the planet or the ”best technical wrestler” and he’ll leave that up to Garcia. Bryan left to cheers.

Analysis: The “wrestler” or “sports entertainer” thing is just something to get heat since WWE called it “sports entertainment” for decades even though like half this roster is former WWE people. It’s cheap heat, basically, and really the verbiage used doesn’t matter that much. It was a good promo to build to the Bryan-Garcia match next week. Garcia beat Bryan last time thanks to an assist from Jake Hager grabbing Bryan’s foot, so maybe Bryan gets the win this time and it leads to a third match at All Out. What’s with the guys walking out there in plain white shirts? I know Bryan does it often, but if I was a wrestler on a TV show I’d wear my merch or my friend’s merch or something like that. Always.

They showed CM Punk return on Dynamite to beat up some bad guys and have a staredown with Jon Moxley. That’s a tease for Punk-Moxley at All Out, which his not official yet.

AAA Mixed Tag Team Champions: Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo vs. Dante Martin & Skye Blue

It’s Tay Melo using her maiden name instead of Tay Conti, which was her name with her ex-husband. She got married to Sammy last week. Martin is from Minnesota, so he was cheered more than usual. It started out with punches as Tay drove Blue into the barricade on the floor. Martin tripped up Sammy leading to punches. Sammy was sent into the ropes, but Tay made the tag so Blue had to tag in with a cross body block. Tay got a takedown with a hiplock followed by a slap to the face. Blue slapped Tay in return. Tay hooked the leg while cranking back on the head briefly until they exchanged pin attempts. Blue with a step-up knee, then another knee and Blue hit a spinning kick to the head. Sammy grabbed Sky’s foot, so Tay hit a pump kick. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Tay hitting an enziguri kick leading to Martin getting the tag against Sammy with Martin getting a takedown. Martin with elbow strikes, then a dropkick and Sammy left the ring. Martin hit a suicide dive onto Sammy. Martin had to wait by the ropes so Tay could grab the boot, then Martin jumped off Tay’s back and hit a Destroyer for two. Sammy with a jumping knee strike, Blue got the tag, Sammy elbowed Martin and Tay hit a DDT on Martin. Blue with a headscissors that sent Sammy out of the ring. Tay with a superkick on Blue followed by the Tay-KO similar to the GTS and that was enough for the win after seven minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match with Sammy & Tay doing a nice job of getting heat throughout the match while the fans were really behind Martin. That spot with Martin jumping off Tay’s back for a Destroyer on Sammy was great. The finish was booked well with Tay doing a nice job of finishing off Blue.

There was a promo from Lucha Brothers with Alex Abrahantes. They talked about how they had to end this rivalry with Andrade El Idolo. They also said Pac is coming back so Death Triangle is together again for a six-man tag team tournament match.

(Commercial)

Parker Boudreaux (w/Slim J) vs. Sonny Kiss

Parker is the former Harland in NXT. Parker was with Slim J and they are part of a group led by Ari Daivari, who is apparently a rich guy. Oh, those massive 205 Live payoffs. They obviously piped in fake crowd noise when Kiss was introduced. Parker splashed Kiss and followed up with punches. Sonny with some cartwheels leading to a punch, but Parker came back with a Chokeslam. Parker with a driving belly-to-back suplex for the pinfall win after about one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Parker Boudreaux

Analysis: ¼* A squash win to put over Parker. Thrilling.

After his AEW TV debut, Tony Khan announced Parker is now All Elite meaning he has signed a contract. I don’t think Parker would have been released if Triple H was running talent relations, but that’s what happened with the previous regime.

They showed Andrade El Idolo talking to Private Party along with The Butcher & The Blade. Andrade said that he’s going to win the Trios Titles with Rush and Dragon Lee. Private Party wasn’t happy with Andrade, but Andrade reminded them that they work for him.

Analysis: I don’t even know if there’s a storyline there. Private Party is one of the worst booked teams in AEW.

Gunn Club – Austin & Colten Gunn (w/Billy Gunn) vs. Beardhausen- Erick Redbeard & Danhausen

Erick Redbeard is former Rowan in WWE. I don’t think he is under contract to AEW, but I think he lives in Minnesota. Redbeard did shoulder tackles to each Gunn aka Ass Boy. Danhausen tagged in leading to Austin punching him in the face. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Redbeard getting the hot tag with a boot, a dropkick, a splash in the corner and Redbeard tossed Austin over the top onto Colten. Redbeard hit a running cross body on both Ass Boys on the floor. Redbeard hit a senton over the top like good friend Brodie Lee and a spin kick got a two count with Colten breaking up the pin. Redbeard hit a double suplex on the Ass Boys. Danhausen back in and Billy pulled down the top rope while Redbeard ran the ropes, so Redbeard bumped to the floor. The referee Aubrey Edwards was looking at the illegal wrestler for some reason so she didn’t see the cheating. Austin hit the Fameasser on Danhausen for the pinfall win after seven minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Gunn Club – Austin & Colten Gunn

Analysis: *3/4 A basic tag team match for the most part. Gunn Club usually has better matches than this, but this wasn’t that interesting. They got about seven minutes with only about four minutes in full screen. Gunn Club only got the win because daddy Billy helped them take out Redbeard and one move beat Danhausen. Redbeard’s offense was the highlight of this underwhelming match.

Post match, Billy Gunn said no wonder they call you Ass Boys and no wonder why he missed The Acclaimed. Billy wanted them to toughen up, but that’s okay because next week they have another match to try to prove themselves. After Billy left, Stokely Hathaway tried to give Gunn Club his business card, but they walked away.

Analysis: At least it’s a storyline to try to use Billy to motivate his sons to help them get better.

The AEW Tag Team Champions Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland were interviewed by Lexi Nair. She mentioned Private Party coming after their Tag Team Titles. Lee talked about how he dismantled Private Party in the past and wondered why they think they had a chance. Swerve said that Private Party isn’t in the tag team rankings and they can “swerve in our glory.”

Analysis: That was Swerve & Keith’s way of saying they would put the titles on the line even though Private Party is ranked. FTR has been number one ranked for like five months and hasn’t got a title shot, so why should we care about the rankings? It’s not like AEW would answer that.

Let’s Hear From Hook…Who Barely Talks

Hook made his entrance as the FTW Champion with Tony Schiavone trying to interview the guy whose gimmick is that he barely talks. Tony asked if the FTW Championship is always an open challenge, Hook said: “Yep.”

The interview was introduced by new guy named “The Reality” Zack Clayton, who said he’s a reality TV superstar from New Jersey. Clayton said he’ll take Hook’s FTW Championship and bring it to God’s Country, New Jersey. Clayton suggested they do this next week on Rampage and Hook accepted.

Analysis: Boring segment that could have been a backstage segment. I don’t know who Clayton is despite his “reality TV superstar” claims.

(Commercial)

It was main event interview time with Orange Cassidy and friends on one side while Ari Daivari talked about how he’s investing his trust fund money by founding the Trustbuster. Ari ripped on his “dump of a town” in Minneapolis. Orange said Mark Henry’s “it looks like there’s been enough talk” and Mark said that’s his line, so Mark did his line.

Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite:

* AEW World Trios Championship Tournament Quarterfinals (try to say that three times fast): Andrade Idolo, Rush & Dragon Lee vs. Young Bucks & ???

* Toni Storm vs. Kilynn King.

* Varsity Blonds vs. Gunn Club.

* Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match.

Next Friday on AEW Rampage:

* FTW Championship: Hook vs. Zack Clayton.

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Swerve In Our Glory vs. Private Party.

* AEW World Trios Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Trustbuster – Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux & Slim J vs. Best Friends – Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta.

It was main event time with Ari Daivari making his entrance in his hometown with the entrance saying he now resides in Ari even though he was from Minneapolis. Ari was joined by Parker Boudreaux & Slim J. Orange Cassidy was up next with Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta.

Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) vs. Ari Daivari (w/Parker Boudreaux & Trent Beretta)

Ari said that he was going to give Orange one last chance to join The Trustbusters. Ari said that Orange can let Ari pin him so the four of them can get out of this shitty town. Orange laid down, Ari tried a cover, so Orange rolled over. Tony thought it was hilarious. I was mildly amused if I was drunk maybe. Orange got a hug from his Best Friends on the floor. The match finally started with Orange doing his goofy looking spots with his hands in the pockets including a dropkick. Daivari hit a neckbreaker against the ropes followed by a celebrating with his guys. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Ari grabbing a sleeper hold, Orange got to the ropes and Ari grabbed a sleeper again. Orange fought back by putting his hands in his pockets and driving Ari into the corner. They did a running double clothesline spot. They battled by the turnbuckle, Ari went for a slam off the turnbuckle, but Orange fought him off. Daivari wanted a superplex, Orange shoved him down and Orange jumped off the top with a cross body block. Ari with a kick to the ribs followed by a running neckbreaker. Orange countered a move into a brainbuster. Orange did his comedy kicks, avoided a kick and Orange hit a superkick. Ari countered the Orange punch and hit a uranage slam for a two count. Orange came back with a terrific DDT and Orange jumped off the top with a diving DDT for two. Slim J was on the apron, so Taylor pulled him down. Parker grabbed both guys on the floor leading to Orange hitting a suicide dive onto Parker. Ari with the Iconoclast slam off the turnbuckle for two. Orange avoided a superkick and hit the Orange Punch for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was pretty good after the silliness at the start. Ari got some offense in for a few minutes and Cassidy made the big comeback for the win. When Orange doesn’t do the goofy shit, he does moves really well, takes bumps properly and even sells more than most people in AEW. The finishing sequence was good since it was full of action since they exchanged moves and Orange got the win.

Post match, Slim J did a cheap attack knocking down Orange, but Taylor sent Slim out of the ring. Parker went into the ring with a double clothesline. Parker with running corner splashes on Chuck and Trent. Sonny Kiss went into the ring to support Orange, but then Sonny kicked Orange in the groin. Parker hit the lifting slam on Orange. The Trustbusters group stood tall with Sonny joining them. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It was a way to do a post match segment with an angle since Sonny Kiss has now joined the group. I don’t know if any of the Trustbusters will be pushed that much, but Ari can talk for Parker, who will likely get some dominant wins in singles action in the coming weeks and months.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Orange Cassidy
  2. Bryan Danielson
  3. Ari Daivari

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 5 out of 10

Last Week: 4.5

 

Final Thoughts

It was a below-average wrestling show again. At least it was better than last week since Orange Cassidy and Ari Daivari had a pretty good main event. I liked the Bryan Danielson-Daniel Garcia promo to build their match for next week.

Most of the rest of the show was skippable as usual for Rampage these days. I think even the most hardcore AEW supporters would say that. It’s just not that interesting most weeks.

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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport