This week’s edition of AEW Rampage was a unique show because in addition to the regular 60-minute Rampage episode at 10pm ET, the company decided to air a one hour Youtube special prior to Rampage on TNT.
The reasoning behind the Youtube BUY-IN special was that WWE Smackdown decided to run 30 minutes past the 10pm ET hour meaning they were up against the first 30 minutes of Rampage. That meant AEW chose to fire back with 60 minutes of new content on Youtube at 9pm ET including a huge dream match between Bryan Danielson and Minoru Suzuki. I’m not here to pick sides or anything like that. I like, watch, support and review both companies. I think we’re spoiled by a lot of great content. Competition is wonderful for the wrestling business and especially those of us who are fans of it.
This is AEW Rampage from the James L Knight Center in Miami, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
AEW RAMPAGE BUY-IN
Tay Conti (w/Anna Jay) vs. Santana Garrett
Conti was in control with arm takedowns, then Garrett with two armdrags and they had a standstill staredown. Conti with a boot on a charging Garrett, then a takedown by the arm and Conti with a pump kick for two. Garrett went for a kick, Conti countered into a rollout. Garrett with a forearm to Conti followed by a handspring back elbow and a suplex into a pin for two. Garrett applied a bridging reverse STF, but Conti kicked the ankle to break free. Conti ran the ropes leading to a head whip from both women so they were both down. Conti with a pump kick followed by three more kicks while Garrett was against the ropes. Conti with the DDTay for the pinfall win after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tay Conti
Analysis: *3/4 This was okay with Conti continuing to improve in terms of her mat wrestling and strikes. Garrett got a bit of offense and a couple of nearfalls, but I think it was obvious that Conti was going to win since she has been pushed for a few months now.
There were more videos promoting other stuff coming up. Let’s move ahead to the next match.
Bobby Fish vs. Lee Moriarty
Fish worked over Lee with kicks to the chest. Lee got a leg takedown and went for a ground submission. Lee with an armbar, Fish came back with punches and drove Lee back into the turnbuckle. Lee with a kick to the arm and a cross body block for two. Fish tackled Lee into the corner, then a dragon screw leg whip and Fish hit a clothesline for two as fans chanted for both guys. Fish with a senton splash on Lee for a two count. Fish hit a snap suplex for two. Fish applied an armbar, then Fish with knees to the body and Fish kicked Lee into the corner followed by Lee hitting a clothesline. Lee kicked at Fish’s left elbow and then a running back elbow from Lee. Running kick by Lee followed by a double foot stomp to the chest for two. Fish and Lee exchanged strikes, Fish with a roundhouse kick and a backdrop driver for two. Lee with a kick to the left arm and then a capture suplex across the ring for two. Fish went for a choke submission, Lee with an arm wringer and then Fish hit a jumping knee for two. Fish with an Exploder Suplex into the ropes and then a roundhouse kick to the head for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bobby Fish
Analysis: **3/4 This was a pretty good match for under ten minutes. I didn’t know much about Moriarty going into the match, but he was impressive with some good technical wrestling skills and he sells everything really well too. Fish has been a great striker for a long time. Since Fish is facing Bryan Danielson on Dynamite, it made sense for him to win.
AEW announced that they signed Moriarty, so congrats to him.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 16, 2021
The announcers were Excalibur, Taz and Ricky Starks.
Minoru Suzuki vs. Bryan Danielson
There was a lot of experience between these two legends with Suzuki as a 33-year pro and Danielson wrestling for 22 years.
The fans were hot right away at the start of the match. Bryan went for an armbar on the left while going for a trip and fans were chanting “this is wrestling” for them. Suzuki countered Bryan with a stretch leading to a snapmare into a chinlock. Fans were chanting “Si” repeatedly, there was a kneebar into the ropes and Suzuki told the fans to zip it to get some heat. Bryan with an ankle pick into a leg takedown and a kick to the leg. Suzuki told him to bring it on. Suzuki got in Bryan’s face and shoved him in the temple. They exchanged strikes with Bryan hitting a forearm, Suzuki with a chop to the chest, Bryan with a kick to the chest, Suzuki with a chop and Bryan with a hard kick to the chest that staggered Suzuki to the turnbuckle. Suzuki with a stiff forearm to the jaw that led to Bryan bumping to the mat. The fans chanted “holy shit” for a forearm. Bryan with kicks to the body, Bryan hooked the arms with the legs and hit repeated elbows. Suzuki got a hold of Bryan’s arm against the ropes. Suzuki with a punch while they were on the floor and an elbow to the arm. Suzuki shoved Bryan into the ring post. Suzuki went back into the ring and Bryan followed.
The fans were chanting for both guys as Suzuki hooked both arms while pulling back on an arm. Suzuki applied a hammerlock on the left arm of Bryan. They left the ring, Suzuki was taunting and Bryan sent him not the ring post. Bryan jumped off the apron with a running knee strike on Suzuki on the floor. They were back in the ring with Bryan kicking Suzuki, who said he wanted more so Bryan kicked Suzuki in the chest several times. Bryan stomped on the head repeatedly and Bryan applied the Cattle Mutilation submission (hooking the arms into a bridge), but Suzuki managed to turn out of it. Bryan turned it into a pin attempt for two. Bryan unloaded with more strikes in the corner followed by a running dropkick. Suzuki had this crazy look as if to say he wanted more. Suzuki came back with a running kick, then a hard kick to the chest and Bryan wanted more. Bryan got back up after another kick. Suzuki with another hard kick this time for a two count. Bryan wanted a suplex, but Suzuki did a great counter into a fujiwara armbar on the left arm, but then Bryan got to the ropes to break the hold. Suzuki moved the referee out of the way and went back to Bryan, who applied the LeBell Lock. Bryan ended up hooking booth arms, Suzuki turned and got to the ropes to break it. The fans chanted “fight forever” to them. The wrestlers got back to a standing position where they exchanged forearms, Suzuki put his hands behind his back and Bryan hit him with three forearms. Suzuki delivered a stiff forearm to the jaw, Bryan got back up for more, they exchanged forearms, slaps by both guys and then they hit eachother at the same time with palm strikes to jaw! Both guys bumped to the mat as the fans chanted “AEW” for them. Taz said if you’re watching TV and not watching this on Youtube then you’re a dumbass and you’re as dumb as a box of rocks because this is awesome. The fans chanted “this is awesome” again. Suzuki and Bryan exchanged forearms again, Bryan shouted out Miami saying “let’s go” and the fans were so into it. Bryan and Suzuki kept on doing strikes, Bryan with a kick to the chest and Suzuki did a drop step into a sleeper. Bryan went for a submission, Suzuki got out of it, Bryan countered a piledriver attempt, they ran the ropes, Bryan ducked and Bryan hit the running knee for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: ****1/4 Awesome! This was a great match as expected. They beat the shit out of eachother. I don’t know how to else to say except to put it bluntly like that. It was nice to see the crowd so engaged in everything that they did. They had several moments where they stood across the ring and exchanged chops. Suzuki won most of those battles, but Bryan kept on showing he could take it and dish it out even more. I think maybe they could have had more moments where it looked like Suzuki might win, but for the most part, the match was fairly even and they had an exciting final sequence. It was not about a story or anything like that. It was about putting on a dream match and I think Bryan and Suzuki delivered.
That was the last match on the Rampage BUY-IN show.
RAMPAGE MAIN TV SHOW
Rampage started with CM Punk making his entrance to start the show. I didn’t mention it earlier, but it’s a venue with a ramp that connected to the ring. Punk got a big ovation on his way to the ring while the announcers noted it was going to be a commercial-free match.
CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal
These two wrestled in the indies in the early 2000s, then they were in WWE together and now they are in AEW together. Sydal got a snapmare into a crucifix pin for two. Punk grabbed the leg while smiling a bit to slow down Sydal. Punk tried a pin attempt that got a two count. Sydal went for a surfboard submission style move, then Punk hit a body slam and another body slam. Sydal countered another body slam attempt with an armdrag followed by a low dropkick. The fans were booing Sydal since they loved Punk. Sydal wrapped up the legs of Punk in a submission and then hard kicks to the legs. Sydal bridged back leading to a neck crank. When Punk got back up, he hit a dropkick for two. Punk with a leg lariat, Sydal slipped out of a neckbreaker attempt and Sydal hit a spin kick to the head. Sydal with the running knees against the turnbuckle. They went to the apron with Punk delivering a body slam on the apron. Back in the ring, Punk did a rolling senton splash with Punk smiling after hitting an aerial move like that. Punk set up Sydal upside down against the turnbuckle, Punk went for a charging attack, but Sydal bridge up and they battled on the turnbuckle. Punk and Sydal exchanged punches leading to both guys bumping from the turnbuckle to the apron to the floor. They both took a bit of time to get back into the ring, Sydal won an exchange of strikes and Sydal hit a jumping knee for two. Punk countered a Sydal move with a neckbreaker. Punk with a rising knee followed by a clothesline for two. Punk went to the middle turnbuckle, but Sydal was there with a hurricanrana for two. Sydal went for a submission grabbing the ankle, Punk got out of it and Punk went for the Anaconda Vince, but Sydal got his foot on the ropes, so Punk had to let go. Sydal avoided a clothesline, then Sydal with a roundhouse kick and Sydal hit the Lightning Spiral neckbreaker for two. Good nearfall. Sydal went up top, Punk back up, Sydal jumped over him and then Punk caught Sydal on the shoulders leading to the Go To Sleep (GTS) knee to the face for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good technical wrestling match as Punk continues to impress in his matches while Sydal is a very good worker that rarely picks up big wins in AEW. The pacing was a bit slow at times although I get that they wanted to do more of a technical match. Sydal didn’t do some of the aerial things that he was known for earlier in his career since he does more of the technical wrestling style now. The crowd support for Punk remains very strong as usual while Punk remains undefeated in AEW. No surprise there.
Punk got back to his feet and stared across the ring at Sydal. The announcers put over how that was a hell of a fight. Punk and Sydal shook hands, then got to their feet and hugged as they exchanged some words likely thanking eachother for the match.
The Dark Order group was shown backstage talking about The Super Elite and John Silver issued a challenge to them.
Ruby Soho vs. The Bunny
Taz was singing Soho’s song. That is always good when Taz tries to sing. Soho worked over Bunny with armdrags, then Bunny with a slap to the body and Bunny hit a rising knee for a pin attempt. Bunny with a back elbow followed by a running knee to the face. Bunny does a nice job of making evil faces. Bunny sent Ruby face first into the turnbuckle followed by a dropkick to the back for a two count. Ruby with a kick followed by a back heel trip. Ruby went up top Bunny tripped up Soho. Bunny with a sliding elbow against the turnbuckle led to a break.
The match returned with both women out on the floor after Ruby hit a flatliner on the floor. Ruby and Bunny exchanged punches Ruby with a back elbow and then Ruby sent Bunny’s face into the turnbuckle. Ruby with a shoulder to the ribs and a running kick. Ruby with another kick. Ruby with a backdrop suplex and a clothesline for two. Bunny charged at Ruby, who had a back elbow and then Bunny took out the leg. Bunny with a superkick to the head and then a German Suplex for two. Bunny did an exaggerated shocked two count face. Ruby got a backslide pin and that was enough to win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho
Analysis: ** Just an average match here. The crowd wasn’t into it that much, but that’s understandable considering the two matches before it. The finish was a bit different since Bunny got a lot of offense leading into it and then it took one move from Ruby to get the win. It’s understandable that they would want Ruby to win since she is pushed more than Bunny is.
Post match, Penelope Ford hit Ruby with a forearm to knock her down. Bunny and Ford worked over Ruby in the ring. Ford punched Ruby with brass knuckles on her fist, so Ruby was out while the heels celebrated.
Analysis: That should set up a Ruby Soho match against Ford soon.
They went over the Saturday night Dynamite lineup:
* Dante Martin vs. Malakai Black
* Lucha Brothers vs. A Masked Team Chosen By Andrade El Idolo
* World Title Eliminator Tournament Bracket Announced
* Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta
* Kiera Hogan vs. Penelope Ford
* Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish
Next Friday on AEW Rampage:
* TBS Women’s Championship Bracket announced
* World Title Elimination Tournament kicks off
* Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo
It’s main event time up next so Mark Henry did a split-screen promo. Dan Lambert talked about his Men of the Year and Junior Dos Santos team talking about how they are ready. Chris Jericho, Jake Hager and TNT Champion Sammy Guevara were there. Jericho said that they would kick their ass, Jericho called Lambert a “fat-faced dipshit” and said there is nobody crazier than the Inner Circle. Henry said it’s time for the main event.
The Inner Circle team of Chris Jericho, Jake Hager and TNT Champion Sammy Guevara.
Dan Lambert did a promo leading Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos into the ring. They had UFC star Jorge Masvidal with them. Lambert did a promo ripping on the crowd.
The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho, Jake Hager & Sammy Guevara vs. Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page & Junior Dos Santos (w/Dan Lambert & Jorge Masvidal)
Sky beat on Sammy with forearms, then Sammy countered a move with a pin attempt. Sammy with a jumping kick off the middle ropes. Sammy did an impressive backflip leading to a dropkick. Jericho tagged in to a big pop and hit a clothesline. Junior tagged with body punches with Jericho trying to block it and then Jericho kicked him in the chest. Junior wit ha boot followed by some punches to the upper body. The big man Hager tagged in to face Junior with Hager using his speed to avoid him. Junior with a kick to the body, Hager picked up Junior and hit a running slam. Junior with a knee strike to the face. Junior with a chop. Sky with a kick to the chest of Hager, Jericho tagged in and faced off with Masvidal on the floor. Jericho shoved Masvidal, so Page jumped onto Jericho with a double axhandle. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match continued with Junior hitting a powerslam on Jericho. Page tagged in and Jericho hit him with an enziguri kick to the head. Sammy tagged in and he was on fire with a Stunner off the top, then a Spanish Fly and a running Shooting Star Press for two. Sammy was on fire! Jericho and Sammy with a double shoulder tackle. Jericho with a springboard dropkick on Page. Jericho up top with a double axhandle and the Lionsault off the middle ropes for two with Page breaking it up. Sammy took Page over the top to the floor. Junior with a knee strike on Hager. Sammy did something that the director missed and the fans chanted “holy shit” for it. Hager battled Junior on the floor and Hager hit a uranage through the table. In the ring, Sky got a hold of Jericho going for the TKO, but Jericho got out of it and Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho. Paige Van Zant jumped the rail to distract the referee, so Jorge Masvidal went into the ring and hit a running knee on Jericho. The referee turned around and Sky covered Jericho for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page & Junior Dos Santos
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good. I’m surprised Junior Dos Santos was in the ring for as much as he was, but clearly, he’s in great shape and has done some wrestling training. It made sense for the heel Lambert group to get the win so that the feud can continue with more matches between these teams. I liked the finish with Masvidal getting involved since it’s the second time he has hit Jericho with a running knee like that and this time it cost Jericho the match. Well booked.
After the match, Paige Van Zant and the guys were taking selfies over a fallen Jericho in the ring. Jericho was attacked by some of the heels while the fans were chanting “Asshole” at Lambert most likely. Santana and Ortiz of the Inner Circle ran out to the ring to make the save for their Inner Circle guys. Santana/Ortiz got rid of Sky and Page while the other heels left. Jericho was helped up to his feet with Chris selling the knee to the head. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: It was a good post match angle that will keep the feud going. I would expect a tag team match with Inner Circle vs. Lambert’s team at Full Gear next month.
Three Stars of the Show
- Bryan Danielson
- Minoru Suzuki
- CM Punk
This Week: 7.75 out of 10
Last Week: 7
Since I am counting the Danielson/Suzuki match as part of the review, I’m going to rate it highly with 7.75 out of 10 score because that match was outstanding. The matches on the main Rampage show were pretty good too -at least two of them were. There wasn’t a lot of talking. It was mostly action.
Fun show and easy to get through.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear on Saturday, November 13. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
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