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The John Report: AEW Rampage 09/03/21 Review

Welcome to the AEW Rampage review here on TJRWrestling. It’s a live show this week from Chicago. The AEW All Out PPV takes place this Sunday and the TJRWrestling team got together to preview it RIGHT HERE. Please check that out before Sunday to get all of our predictions before the show.

This is AEW Rampage from the Now Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Rampage intro video aired to start the show followed by some pyro. The announcers did a rundown of what’s to come. The commentary team was Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho and Mark Henry.

Malakai Black made his entrance for a singles match. It’s a cool entrance with the lights off for most of it, there was a spotlight on him and Black did a slow walk down to the ring. I like it as an intimidating entrance while Black is very strong at making scary facial expressions. “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson entered as the opponent.

Malakai Black vs. Lee Johnson

Black sent Johnson into the ropes and teased a kick, but Johnson held onto the ropes. There was a lot of standing and pausing by Black while Johnson avoided some moves. Black with a waistlock, so Johnson hit him in the head with a back elbow. Black with a leg trip, Johnson jumped over it and Black connected with multiple uppercuts. Johnson with a kick, but Black dropped him with a back elbow. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Black charging, Johnson came back with forearms and Black hit a knee to the ribs. Johnson hit a dropkick to send Black out of the ring. Johnson hit a suicide dive landing on Black on the floor. Back in the ring, Johnson went up top and hit a Frog Splash with no cover. Black got out of a hold that Johnson was attempting and then Black hit a running kick on a seated Johnson. Black with a running kick in the corner followed by punches. Black with a kick to the body. Black grabbed a steel chair from under the ring. Mark Henry: “Why is the referee not trying to get the chair?” Because AEW referees suck a lot of the time. Black put the chair in the ring to give Johnson a shot with the chair. Black turned his back to Johnson, then he turned back around, Johnson got up and Black hit a Black Mass kick (they don’t call it that) and covered Johnson for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Malakai Black

Analysis: **1/4 A dominant win as expected from Black. It went longer than I thought it would since I figured it might go around five minutes instead of double that. It’s easy that Johnson has a lot of potential as a great athlete that wrestles an exciting style, but the AEW roster is so big right now that it’s hard to break through. It was more about the story with Black trying to get Johnson to use a weapon, Johnson was reluctant and Black crushed him with the kick to win.

Post match, Malakai Black kissed Johnson on the forehead. Dustin Rhodes ran out to the ring, Black moved and Rhodes grabbed the chair.

Analysis: I guess we can pencil in Dustin as the next guy that Malakai beats up.

Miro is up next.

(Commercial)

Dustin Rhodes was interviewed by Mark Henry. Two old friends here. Dustin said that this Wednesday on Dynamite, he is coming straight for Malakai Black and he will see Dustin coming. Dustin said that Malakai thrives in Darkness and Dustin said he has thrived in darkness for five decades. Dustin left fired up.

Analysis: Bet on Malakai Black beating Dustin Rhodes on Dynamite. It’s the logical next step in the story with Malakai taking out Cody and his friends/family as well until Cody returns.

Let’s Hear from Miro

Miro made his entrance as the TNT Champion showing a lot of confidence. Miro is defending that title against Eddie Kingston at All Out on Sunday. Miro said that Eddie Kingston calls himself the Mad King but the only king he recognizes is mad at Eddie (he looked up). Miro said that he gave you talent, heart and that loud mouth, but yet you took a charity contract in AEW. Miro said he’s not in the charity business and neither is his God. Miro said that when you have a life without struggle, then you become soft. Miro said that Eddie has become soft and nothing more than a “bag boy for John Moxley.”

Eddie Kingston made his entrance wearing a DMX shirt, which is great. Kingston ripped on Miro as “God’s favorite champion” and said “bullshit.” Eddie said Miro’s God is not real to him. Eddie said that Miro was the sinner and if he didn’t sin then his God wouldn’t send him there. Kingston said that the moves he does are the chink in Miro’s armor. Miro said Edie’s not going to make it to All Out. Kingston got into the ring and Miro left the ring. Kingston left the ring on the other side, then Kingston charged and Miro hit Kingston with the TNT Title to the head. The fans chanted “Eddie” for Kingston. Back in the ring, Kingston hit a spinning back fist and a DDT. Kingston stood tall with Miro out in the ring.

Analysis: It was fine for a dueling promo segment. I think this feud needed that with Eddie doing one of his great promos trashing Miro for what he believed in while Miro continues to spew his usual diatribe about being God’s favorite champion. My main issue with the story is that they usually have challengers earn title shots and in this case, they didn’t really go that route. That’s okay, though, because I like both guys.

(Commercial)

Britt Baker, the AEW Women’s Champion, made her entrance with her friends Jamie Hayter & Rebel. Kris Statlander the alien girl made her entrance as the opponent with a 17-0 record in 2021. It’s Baker defending the AEW Women’s Title against Statlander at All Out on Sunday.

Jamie Hayter & Rebel (w/Britt Baker) vs. Kris Statlander

Hayter worked over Statlander a bit with some kicks while Rebel pulled on Statlander’s hair as well. The heel team of Rebel ad Statlander did some quick tags leading to Rebel hitting a suplex into a slam. Rebel with kicks, Statlander no-sold them and then Statlander hit a powerslam on Rebel. Statlander slammed Hayter on Rebel. Statlander with running kicks on both women and did a spot where both heels landed on eachother. Hayter charged, Statlander ducked and Hayter went over the top to the floor. Statlander had Rebel on her shoulders, Hayter jumped into her arm and Statlander slammed both women down. Statlander with a rollup and kick to the head for two. Baker kept Hayter out of the ring. Statlander hooked the legs and twisted Rebel for the submission for the win after about five minutes.

Winner by submission: Kris Statlander

Analysis: *1/2 It was okay for a short handicap match. I thought they should have had Statlander sell more during the match because she barely sold anything the whole way. I understand wanting to put over Statlander and she should have won, but I think the structure of it was off. It also made Baker/Hayter look like awful friends leaving Rebel alone although I guess it doesn’t matter since Rebel is only a role player.

Post match, Statlander was surrounded by Baker, Hayter and Rebel. Red Velvet ran in for the save, so the heels left. That ended suddenly.

There was a video showing some highlights of the AEW Tag Team Title match at All Out. The announcers did a rundown of the All Out card in this order.

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

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

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

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

Women’s Casino Battle Royal

Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall

Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima – They showed a weak-looking fight from a press conference that was broken up quickly. Excalibur was screaming about how intense it was, but it looked goofy.

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

Buy-In Pre-Show: Matt Hardy, Private Party (Isaiah Kassidy & Mark Quen) & TH2 (Angelico & Jack Evans) vs. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta & Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jack Evans)

CM Punk vs. Darby Allin

Next week on Dynamite in Cincinnati:

* Malakai Black vs. Dustin Rhodes.

* Jon Moxley’s homecoming.

Next Friday on Rampage:

* Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo. That was going to take place at All Out, but got moved and now we get it next Friday. Good.

There was a split-screen interview with Darby Allin with Sting while Daniel Garcia was with 2.0. Mark Henry did the interview. Jeff Parker and Matt Lee talked about how Daniel Garcia will prevent Darby Allin from making it to All Out. Allin said he won’t overlook Garcia, he’ll knock him on his ass and then look at CM Punk one last time before All Out. Henry said it was time for the main event.

CM Punk made his entrance as “Cult of Personality” played and the fans in Chicago loved Punk as usual. Punk walked down the ramp partially, then jumped into the crowd and greeted some fans at ringside. Punk was going to be on commentary for the main event.

Analysis: What a pop. Never gets old. Love to see it.

(Commercial)

Darby Allin made his entrance with a 21-2 record in 2021. Darby was joined by his much older “uncle” Sting. Punk was on commentary with Excalibur, Taz and Jericho. Daniel Garcia and the 2.0 guys were already in the ring. Garcia is 3-4 in singles action. Punk joked that wearing a jacket on commentary was the old him. (He used to do it in WWE.)

Darby Allin (w/Sting) vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Jeff Parker & Matt Lee)

These guys are short and skinny. Just saying. Allin was aggressive with some slaps to the face to knock Garcia out of the ring. Allin did a stupid move running towards Garcia, who moved and Allin went back first over a table and crashing into the barricade. What a stupid bump. The announcers reacted to it as well saying Allin was reckless. Garcia whipped Allin into the steel steps. Sting was beating up the 2.0 losers on the floor. Back in the ring, Allin went for an armbar so I guess the bump on the floor meant nothing because he stopped selling. Allin whipped Garcia’s arm into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Garcia got a boot to the head and stretched the neck a bit. Allin choked Garcia across the middle rope. Allin went up top, Garcia met him there and hit a superplex for a two count. They went to a PIP break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Garcia charging into a running double boot. Garcia caught Allin with a rear-naked choke by the turnbuckle leading to some blatant choking. Garcia went for a rear-naked choke again, then Allin went up the turnbuckle and fell back to break the hold. Jericho said that Allin was “deceptively strong” but I mean when you wrestle 150-pound guys it’s not that hard to lift a person. Garcia with a chop to the chest, but then Allin held the arm and hit a clothesline. It was the Pepsi Twist move that Punk used to do (Excalibur screamed about it) and Punk said he did it well. Allin with a backslide pin for two. Allin with a Code Red for a two count. Allin hooked the leg of Garcia, then bridge back for a pin (Darby was smart to keep his left shoulder off the mat) for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Darby Allin

Analysis: *** It was a good match, but I don’t think Allin should have taken this long to beat this guy. I realize it’s the second match on the show where I said something like that. Maybe they should have booked a fourth match. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong on that assessment and that’s okay. Garcia impressed me a bit with the submission moves he was doing and he bumps really well. Allin is reckless with some of the moves he does, but I like his style a lot and the fans love the guy. I’m a bit surprised it wasn’t a Coffin Drop finish although we have seen Allin used that pinning predicament before, so it’s okay to finish with that to show that it’s an option for him.

Post match, Parker and Lee went after Allin with about one minute left in the show. Sting went into the ring to try to save Allin. It was 3 on 2 on Sting sent Garcia into the barricade. The fans were chanting for “CM Punk” and then Punk was standing on commentary. Sting fought Garcia over the barricade. Punk went down to the ringside to save Allin. Punk walked Parker and Lee around the ring leading to Allin hitting a suicide dive on 2.0 on the floor. Punk and Allin had a faceoff to end the show.

Analysis: A smart way to sign off with Punk facing off with Allin. They did not physically interact at all, so if you want to see it, watch All Out on Sunday night. That’s how you do it. Don’t give it away on TV. Save it for the PPV match.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Darby Allin
  2. Miro/Eddie Kingston
  3. Malakai Black

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 6 out of 10

Last Week: 6

 

Final Thoughts

It was okay as a show that was designed to get us ready for All Out on Sunday. I liked some of the segments especially the Miro/Kingston promo and then the Allin/Punk interaction at the end of the night was the right way to end it. I don’t think the women’s match was good or interesting at all. The build for Baker/Statlander has been weak compared to most of the All Out card. I’m glad Malakai Black picked up another win although it took longer than it should have.

I don’t think Rampage is a must-watch show every week. Some weeks it’s just average. I think they need to put at least one big match on every week and I’m glad next week they are doing Pac vs. Andrade on Rampage. That should be fun.

The next AEW pay-per-view is All Out this Sunday, September 5 at the Now Arena in Chicago. Here’s the lineup.

CM Punk vs. Darby Allin

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

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

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

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

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

Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima

Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall

Women’s Casino Battle Royal

Buy-In Pre-Show: Matt Hardy, Private Party (Isaiah Kassidy & Mark Quen) & TH2 (Angelico & Jack Evans) vs. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta & Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jack Evans)

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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