Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 08/27/21 Review

Welcome to the third AEW Rampage review here on TJRWrestling. The first two weeks of Rampage were live while this week’s show was taped in Milwaukee after Dynamite.

This is AEW Rampage from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The show began with the Rampage opening video. They went right to the action with Jurassic Express making their entrance. The announce team of Excalibur, Chris Jericho (the guy that likes to yell a lot according to himself), Taz and Mark Henry welcomed us to the show. Lucha Brothers were already in the ring.

The Young Bucks made their entrance as the AEW Tag Team Champions. They sat on chairs on the ramp to see who they will be against at All Out next week.

Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) (w/Marko Stunt)

The winners of this match will face The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Titles in a Steel Cage Match at AEW All Out on Sunday, September 5.

This should be a fast-paced match that’s a lot of fun. Boy with a shoulder tackle on Fenix. Boy slid to the floor, then they battled a bit with Boy on the apron, Boy hit a jumping kick, an arm drag and a dropkick to knock Fenix down. They showed Giannis Antetokounmpo of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks (the NBA Champions) watching at ringside. Fenix did an incredible move walking the ropes, he kicked Luchasaurus off the apron and hit an incredible arm drag on Boy. Fenix and Boy shook hands out of respect, then each man tagged out as Luchasaurus faced off against Penta. Penta did his usual hand gesture, Luchasaurus no-sold a headbutt and hit a chop to the chest. Fenix in illegally with a dropkick, Boy went in and all four guys ate superkicks, so they were all down in the ring. They went to a 90-second break.

(Commercial)

Fenix tagged in with a jumping kick on Luchasaurus on the apron while Boy got a rollup for two. Fenix and Boy each ran the ropes with Fenix hitting a suicide dive on Luchasaurus while Boy hit a suicide dive on Penta. Back in the ring, Fenix and Boy did a double clothesline. Fenix tagged in against Luchasaurus with Luchasaurus with a German Suplex, then a lifting slam on Fenix and a double clothesline. Luchasaurus with a spin kick and then a Chokeslam on Fenix onto Penta. Luchasaurus with a standing moonsault on Penta for a two count. Penta worked over Luchasaurus with chops, Fenix tagged in and Fenix hit a spin kick to the face off the ropes. Fenix did an Eddie Guerrero shake leading to a Frog Splash off the top for a two count. That drew a good nearfall with Giannis freaking out about that spot. Luchasaurus with a headbutt. Boy tagged back in with a clothesline off the ropes and a Poison Rana (reverse hurricanrana) for a two count. Boy with a Tiger Driver into the Snare Trap submission on Phoenix, but Penta kicked Boy to end the submission. Penta back in with a superkick and a lifting slam into double knees. Penta with a sitout slam for a two count. Giannis signaled that it was just two. Penta set up Boy for a double team move, but Boy shoved him away and sent Penta out of the ring. Fenix met Boy on top and Fenix gave Boy (who was seated on the top rope) a hurricanrana onto Luchasaurus, Penta and Stunt on the floor. Great move. Makes it look easy. Back in the ring, Penta got a two count on Boy. Boy with a superkick on Fenix, who tagged in. Fenix with a headscissors on Luchasaurus. Boy battled Fenix on the apron and then Penta charged with a Canadian Destroyer on the apron! Wow, that was amazing. Back in the ring, Fenix hit a Destroyer on Luchasaurus for a one count. Lucha Bros hit three superkicks in a row by each guy on Luchasaurus. Lucha Bros did a spot where Penta did a spinning slam on Fenix onto Luchasaurus for just two! Giannis was freaking out at ringside. Jericho joked about how Giannis was making like $200 million and couldn’t believe what he was seeing! Lucha Bros hit a double team piledriver on Luchasaurus and Fenix covered Luchasaurus for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

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

The win means that Lucha Bros will challenge The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Titles at All Out in a Steel Cage Match.

Analysis: **** Awesome match! There was so much action here. Rey Fenix in particular really stood out as usual although Penta was right there with him too. Jungle Boy matched Fenix in the speed department while Luchasaurus got in a lot of power moves. There were several believable nearfalls for both teams, which is what I want to see in a match like that. It’s so important to go for the pin to tell the audience that you are trying to win the match because if not, what’s the point of the match? They were two babyface teams with no storyline, but that’s okay because the work in the match was so great. The ending was great, but also showed the flaws of AEW tag team matches because the Lucha Bros did double team moves for way longer than a ten count. Instead of trying to follow rules, they would rather just hit a bunch of double team moves for nearfalls. I get why it happens. It’s not a major complaint, believe me. I’m just pointing it out as something I think AEW can improve on.

Post match, The Young Bucks went into the ring to attack Lucha Brothers with punches. Jurassic Express went into the ring and Young Bucks left. Jericho: “What’s Marko Stunt going to do?” That was funny.

Analysis: I think it’s certainly possible for Lucha Brothers to beat The Young Bucks in the battle of the brothers at AEW All Out. It feels like the right time for a title change and I think Lucha Brothers deserve to hold titles in AEW.

(Commercial)

There was a video about CM Punk debuting in AEW while also promoting his match against Darby Allin at All Out. They showed some comments from Punk saying that teenage CM Punk would love Darby Allin because there’s something to him. They didn’t feature any comments from Allin. It was just some clips of Punk talking from last week.

Analysis: Somebody asked me this week if Punk vs. Allin should headline All Out as the last match. I think so. I know it’s not the AEW World Title match, but so what? CM Punk’s first match in seven-plus years is the main reason some people will watch All Out. Put it on last.

Miro made his entrance as the TNT Champion while beating up Fuego del Sol, who was crawling down the ramp and selling as Miro kicked him down the ramp. Miro went into the ring, he said he’ll forgive Fuego for what he has said in the past, then Miro ripped off the mask and gave him a superkick. Fuego covered his face and rolled out of the ring.

Eddie Kingston made his entrance wearing a DMX shirt. Rest in peace, DMX. There were “Eddie” chants for Kingston, who was about to talk, but then he went down to the ring. Miro with punches, Kingston with chops and an Exploder Suplex across the ring. Miro got back up to try to tackle Kingston, but several of AEW’s inept referees went into the ring to break it up. Miro left with his TNT Title.

Analysis: It was fine as a quick brawling segment with a couple of moves. Miro has called out Kingston in the past, so Kingston answered the challenge. I’m a bit surprised by the lack of a promo from Kingston, but on a one-hour show things tend to move fast. This match will happen at All Out on September 5. What I don’t get about AEW is they try to tell us their rankings matter, so I looked at the rankings from this week and Eddie Kingston isn’t ranked on the list of singles wrestlers. Kingston is 7-2 in singles match this year according to the AEW website, which is fine, but aren’t the ranked wrestlers supposed to get title chances? I’m just trying to follow what AEW has told us in the past. Why should I care about the rankings if they are ignored when it comes to title shots at a PPV? I know we won’t get that answer. I also know nobody that interviews Tony Khan ever asks these guys kinds of questions. I’m just saying as a viewer, I wonder about this stuff. If you are going to have rankings, use them.

(Commercial)

Tay Conti made her entrance with The Bunny already in the ring as the opponent. Tay Conti is 23-3 with a 15-match win streak apparently. That’s a lot of wins on the Youtube shows.

The Bunny (w/The Blade) vs. Tay Conti

The Bunny attacked Conti from behind. Bunny hit a running forearm against the turnbuckle with Jericho screaming about how Bunny was a crazy chick. Bunny with a running knee to the face for two. Conti avoided an attack, she came back with chops and Bunny did an eye gouge. Bunny stepped on Conti’s face to keep her down. Bunny drove her knee into the back to choke Conti against the ropes. Bunny with a running clothesline for two. Bunny made some crazy faces. Conti with some arm drags followed by a spinning backbreaker. Conti with a spinning sitout Bossman Slam. Conti with a pump kick against the turnbuckle, then two more pump kicks to the face. Penelope Ford made her way down to the ring and Conti hit the Tay-KO knee to the face. Bunny with a jawbreaker. Conti with a superkick, Bunny went over to the ropes where her husband The Blade was and he put brass knuckles on her hand. The referee was looking at Ford, who was arguing with Conti. When Conti turned around, Bunny punched her in the face with the brass knuckles and got the pinfall win.

Winner by pinfall: The Bunny

Analysis: *1/4 A short match with Bunny controlling most of it, Conti made the comeback and then the cheap finish. Conti was booked like the dumb babyface here that was easily distracted while Bunny was the heel that cheated. Not exactly an innovative wrestling finish.

Post match, Penelope Ford went into the ring to raise the hand of The Bunny. They are buddies now.

Analysis: I’m a fan of that. That’s a good-looking team. Two of my favorite women in AEW and it should help Ford, who wasn’t really been featured in storylines much. When Ford’s husband Kip Sabian is back from injury I imagine he will join her in the Hardy Family Office stable.

(Commercial)

There was a rundown of some AEW All Out Pay-Per-View matches on Sunday, September 5 in this order:

AEW Tag Team Championships Steel Cage Match: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Lucha Brothers

AEW Women’s Championship: Dr. Britt Baker (c) vs. Kris Statlander

AEW TNT Championship: Miro (c) vs. Eddie Kingston

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Christian Cage

Andrade El Idolo vs. Pac

Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima

Chris Jericho vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman – If Jericho loses then he will not wrestle in AEW again.

CM Punk vs. Darby Allin

The main guy that’s missing from the card right now is Malakai Black, who needs to be on the card somehow.

Next week on AEW Dynamite in Chicago:

* Brian Cage vs. Powerhouse Hobbs. A video aired about Team Taz turning on Cage a few months back.

* Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans to give Orange another easy win.

* FTR vs. Santana & Ortiz.

* Chris Jericho will be interviewed by Jim Ross.

* MJF will be interviewed by Tony Schiavone.

* The Elite (Young Bucks, Gallows & Anderson) vs. Lucha Brothers & Jurassic Express

Next week on AEW Rampage in Chicago:

* Darby Allin vs. Daniel Garcia

Analysis: I like that they advertise stuff beforehand, but the announcers have to yell and talk so fast during it. I feel like telling them to calm down. It always feels rushed.

There was a split-screen interview with Kenny Omega & Brandon Cutler with Don Callis and Christian Cage with Frankie Kazarian. Mark Henry conducted the interview. Omega said that he’s ready to give Christian a One Winged Angel. Christian said that he’s beaten Kenny and he’ll beat Kenny for the AEW World Title at All Out. Christian said he’s the one that finally beat Kenny. Christian said that Cutler in the match is carny bullshit by Don Callis. Kazarian called Cutler a “bitchass, man baby stooge” so that was funny. That ended it.

Analysis: I like the quick interview before the main event. It’s a good idea to try to make it feel like a big deal.

The AEW World Champion Kenny Omega made his entrance with his stooge partner Brandon Cutler while Don Callis was going to join commentary for this match, but Mark Henry made him leave. Christian Cage entered as the Impact Wrestling World Champion with Frankie Kazarian as his partner. They went to break.

Analysis: This is what they should do on Dynamite more often. Do the entrances, then go to commercial and then come back. I know on Dynamite they do the picture in picture action, but if you do an eight-minute match where three minutes are in picture in picture, I think it hurts the match. Doing it this way allows the attention to be on the match.

(Commercial)

Kenny Omega & Brandon Cutler (w/Don Callis & Michael Nakazawa) vs. Christian Cage & Frankie Kazarian

Kazarian beat up Cutler easily with punches, kicks and a clothesline. Omega tagged in, Nakazawa grabbed Kazarian’s legs and Jericho screamed about Nakazawa being an idiot. Jericho complained about Omega hiring his stooge friends. I guess he’s shooting there huh? Anyway, Kazarian with a Russian legsweep, Christian tagged in and Kenny was scared, so he brought it Cutler the stooge. Christian punched Cutler in the face with Cutler wearing a face mask. Christian brought in Kazarian with a springboard leg drop. Kazarian kicked Cutler off the apron to the floor. Nakazawa had a laptop or something and he hit Kazarian in the back while the inept referee wasn’t looking because of Omega distracting. Christian tossed Nakazawa over the barricade at ringside. Omega with a clothesline on Kazarian on the floor. Back in the ring, Omega with a rolling senton on Kazarian and a moonsault off the middle rope for two. Cutler got a knee to the back and then Omega hit a clothesline. Cutler tagged in doing his comedy routine with some comedic elbows leading to another elbow that missed. Christian tagged in, Omega left the apron and Christian hit a back body drop. Christian chopped Cutler repeatedly with some comedic selling from Cutler. Omega tried to get a One Winged Angel on Christian, but Christian slipped out and punched both guys. Christian with a reverse DDT on Omega and Cutler missed a charging attack. Christian with a reverse DDT. Omega tripped up Christian and drove him groin first into the ring post. The referee was distracted by Callis, Omega hit a V-Trigger on Cutler when Christian moved. Kazarian punched Omega and Christian tried a Killswitch, but Omega slipped out. Omega went up the aisle to quit on the match. Christian with a Spear on Cutler. Christian with a Killswitch on Cutler for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Christian Cage & Frankie Kazarian

Analysis: ** A below-average match even though there were three elite workers in the match, but then there was too much of Cutler the stooge. Omega did a nice job when he was in there as he showed fear of getting in the ring against Christian. Omega walking out of the match wasn’t a surprise since we know Cutler was just in there to get beat anyway. Cutler’s comedy moves and selling wasn’t even that funny. I don’t know. I just couldn’t get into this that much. The fans really didn’t react to this very much.

Christian Cage celebrated with Kazarian in the ring while Omega and Callis were on the stage. The announcers shilled upcoming events including Omega vs. Christian at All Out on September 5. Christian held up the Impact World Title. More staring from Omega and Christian to end it.

Analysis: It’s weird thinking about how talented the AEW roster is with so many guys they could put in main events, yet Dynamite was main evented by rookie Brock Anderson and Rampage had Brandon Cutler in the main event. I think they can put on better main event matches in the future.

After the show was over, some AEW wrestlers like CM Punk and Christian Cage talked to the fans in Milwaukee. AEW posted that clip. Here it is.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Lucha Brothers
  2. Jurassic Express
  3. Christian Cage & Frankie Kazarian

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 6 out of 10

Last Week: 7.5

 

Final Thoughts

The opening match was excellent with two of AEW’s best tag teams getting a lot of time to have an entertaining match. They did a nice job in making it feel like a big deal since Lucha Bros get a Tag Team Title match for beating Jurassic Express. I would definitely recommend watching that tag team match. The main event was pretty boring and the women’s match was about as basic as it gets although I do like The Bunny/Penelope together.

The non-wrestling segments weren’t that interesting. That’s something AEW needs to improve on for future episodes of Rampage.

The next AEW pay-per-view is All Out on Sunday, September 5 at the Now Arena in Chicago. Here’s what we know so far.

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Christian Cage

CM Punk vs. Darby Allin

AEW Tag Team Championships Steel Cage Match: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Lucha Brothers

Chris Jericho vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman – If Jericho loses then he will not wrestle in AEW again.

AEW Women’s Championship: Dr. Britt Baker (c) vs. Kris Statlander

AEW TNT Championship: Miro (c) vs. Eddie Kingston

Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima

Andrade El Idolo vs. Pac

Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall

Women’s Casino Battle Royal (Buy-In Pre-Show)

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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