Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 12/17/21 Review

aew rampage dec 17 young bucks

This week’s AEW Rampage featured two multi-man tag team matches – an eight-man tag and then a ten-man tag team match as well. AEW loves their tag team matches!

This is AEW Rampage from the Curtis Culwell Center in Dallas (Garland), Texas. It was taped on Wednesday night after Dynamite took place. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Friday night and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show with Taz and Ricky Starks as the other announcers. Ricky rarely wrestles in this company for some reason. No yeller Chris Jericho this week since he I believe he is still in Europe doing Fozzy music things.

They started off with an eight-man tag team match with the Superkliq trio joined by Bobby Fish along with the stooge Brandon Cutler at ringside. The fans popped for the usual Adam Cole posing and chanting before the match. Their opponents were the Best Friends group Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Trent Barretta back in action and Rocky Romero with Wheeler Yuta joining them.

Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Adam Cole & Bobby Fish (w/Brandon Cutler) vs. Trent Barretta, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor & Rocky Romero (w/Wheeler Yuta)

Taylor knocked Matt down with a back elbow. Chuck with a standing Sliced Bread neckbreaker on Matt. When Matt tried a superkick, Chuck held the ropes, Romero tagged in and Fish kicked Romero in the ribs. Romero with a running dropkick on Fish. Romero hit multiple clotheslines, Cassidy tagged in and did a lazy cover for a one count. Cassidy faced off with Cole, who has been a rival of Cassidy of late, but then Nick tagged in. Nick with a kick to Cassidy, then an armdrag off the rope and Cassidy did a really slow rope walk. They did some bullshit spots where they didn’t touch eachother for a bit, then Cassidy hit an armdrag and a monkey flip. The fans liked it, so I guess what matters. I think doing moves where you don’t touch people are pretty stupid, but whatever. The heels attacked the faces randomly to clear them from the ring. Young Bucks gave Trent a Powerbomb into the apron. Young Bucks and Cole did a triple superkick on Cassidy. Obviously that’s not really legal in the middle of a match, but AEW’s referees don’t care about rules. Anyway, they went to a 90-second picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The heel side remained in control of Cassidy with Matt/Nick hitting a clothesline/enziguri kick combo. Nick and Matt did a top rope splash/moonsault combo. Cole held Cassidy in a submission, then he wanted Young Bucks for the kiss on the cheek, but the Bucks were pulled out of the ring. Cassidy kissed Cole on the cheek and then Cole came back with an elbow. Cassidy broke free for a tag, but the heels pulled the faces off the apron. Cole with a running knee for a two count. Cassidy with a back body drop on Cole. Trent tagged in with a double clothesline along with a senton splash on Cole on the floor. Trent with a Spear on Fish on the floor. Trent with a back body drop on Cutler on the floor. Trent jumped off the top with a splash onto Nick’s back for a two count. Nick with a kick to Trent’s head. Romero went in illegally with a double knee on Nick. Romero continued the cheating with a springboard dropkick while Trent hit a running knee for two. Matt was sent into the steel steps. Taylor hugged Trent, then they did a double team kick into a slam. Taylor hit a somersault dive onto some guys on the floor. Nick tripped up Trent against the turnbuckle. Young Bucks and Cole made quick tags leading to a three way attack on Trent with a double superkick and a brainbuster into the knee. Fish tagged in with a headbutt off the top for two. The Bucks and Cole cleared the ring leading to Fish hitting and Avalanche Falcon Arrow off the top on Trent for two because Cassidy made the save. Cole with a pump kick on Cassidy, Romero with a heel kick on Cole and Romero hit a suicide dive on Cole. Matt with a dropkick on two guys and then Nick hit a twisting splash on Rocky/Chuck on the floor. Cassidy hit the Orange Punch on Matt to knock him out of the ring. Orange hit a somersault springboard dive onto a bunch of guys on the floor. That was impressive. Trent caught Fish in the Crunchy (cradle back to belly piledriver) aka Strong Zero for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Trent Barretta, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor & Rocky Romero

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a great tag team match given a lot of time. I liked the story told with the heels isolating Cassidy for most of it and then when Orange tagged out, the action really picked up. It featured the usual amount of illegal moves where multiple wrestlers join the match even though they are not legal. The pace really picked up towards the end of the match. That Orange Cassidy springboard somersault dive off the top onto a bunch of guys on the floor was very impressive. As for the result, it gives Trent the win in his return match after missing nearly a year of action while it was obvious that Fish was going to win considering who his teammates are.

I just wanted to add that in Adam Cole’s AEW career, he is undefeated in singles matches (5-0) and he’s 4-4 in tag team matches although Cole has yet to be pinned or submitted in AEW.

The Best Friends did a group hug to give the people what they want.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Dan Lambert and friends

Dan Lambert was back on AEW TV with a promo while standing with Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. Lambert called the fans douchebags. Lambert wondered why everybody sucks up to Tony Khan, then ripped on him and fans chanted “asshole” at Lambert. Dan called Tony two-faced since Tony said that booking decisions would be based on merit, not friendship. Lambert mentioned how Tony pushed the weirdo on the skateboard (Darby Allin), the hands in his pockets guy (Orange Cassidy) and even little Sammy (Guevara). Lambert mentioned how Tony even brought in Bryan Danielson and CM Punk as well. Lambert said that Tony was gifting title shots to undeserving EVPs and friends like Cody Rhodes. Lambert said that Tony is turning this company into late 1990s WCW and becoming the very thing that he hated about the business. Ouch.

Lambert ripped on Cody Rhodes for using backstage relationships and turning them into title matches while ripping on Cody’s reality show saying it absolutely sucks. Lambert: “Does anybody watch that thing?” I don’t know anybody that does.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance to a bit of a mixed reaction, so Cody got into the ring with Lambert, Sky and Ethan. Cody took the microphone, Lambert took it back and then they kept taking it from eachother. Cody went after Ethan and Sky, but the heels overwhelmed him. Dustin Rhodes ran out to save brother Cody, he got some momentum, but Sky and Ethan took care of him. Sammy Guevara the TNT Champion went out to the ring to save the faces with a jumping kick on Ethan and springboard cutter on Sky. The heels retreated.

Sammy stared at Cody after the save as if to say “you’re welcome” while Cody tried to get back to his feet.

Analysis: I enjoy Lambert’s promos. I know some people don’t, but I think it’s funny. Sammy saved Cody Rhodes, who he faces on Rampage next week. It made sense for Dusty to save his brother since that could lead to a tag team match soon, but Sammy making the save was more interesting.

There was a video about the TBS Title tournament semifinals: Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill and Ruby Soho vs. Nyla Rose. That tournament has taken a long time.

(Commercial)

Submission Match: Tay Conti (w/Anna Jay) vs. Penelope Ford (w/The Bunny)

Conti ran into the ring to go after Ford with punches. Conti with a running kick, but then Ford avoided a kick. Conti hooked the right leg of Ford and Bunny helped Ford get out of that. Conti kicked Ford off the apron to the floor. Ford with two chops, then a third attempt, Conti moved and Ford hit the ring post. Back in the ring, Conti went for an armbar, but Ford got her foot on the bottom rope. Ford went for a back handspring into the turnbuckle, but Conti got her feet up to block. Ford went for a submission pulling on the feet and head, but Conti powered out of it. Conti went for a submission on the head/arms, Conti went after her and Bunny went to the floor. Conti applied a choke on Ford by the turnbuckle. Ford came back with a submission jumping on the back while holding onto the head/arm, but Conti got out of it. Conti missed a move off the ropes, then Ford hit a Cutter because every AEW match needs a Cutter or Stunner and Ford went for a submission, so Conti got to the ropes to break it. Conti with a forearm, then a pump kick, Ford with a back heel kick and Conti caught Ford. Conti hooked Ford with her legs around the waist while also applying a choke. Ford tapped out. It went about six minutes.

Winner by submission: Tay Conti

Analysis: ** A submission match has less drama than a regular match since there’s less excitement about a potential tapout. When you only get six minutes, it’s tough to really get into it. There were some cool moves by both women, but they didn’t sell the submission attempts that well. Work over an arm or leg to tell a story. Instead, it was just move after move and it just didn’t seem that interesting. Anyway, the babyface Conti won the match clean. That result is fine. Ford doesn’t win that much on TV anyway.

Post match, The Bunny went into the ring and punched Conti with the brass knuckles on Bunny’s hand. At least that’s what Excalibur screamed. Anna Jay went into the ring, so the heels Bunny and Ford retreated.

Analysis: This feud continues apparently even though there was just a Submission Match won by a babyface. The Bunny is underutilized. She’s my favorite out of that foursome.

It was announced that the Owen Hart Foundation Men’s and Women’s Tournaments will take place in May and culminate at Double or Nothing. They will have more info on Dynamite.

Analysis: That’s cool. I don’t know why they needed to announce it this far in advance, but they did.

This Wednesday on AEW Dynamite Holiday Bash:

* Orange Cassidy vs. Adam Cole

* Malakai Black vs. Griff Garrison

* Christmas Party with Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and Tony Schiavone. I hope Adam Cole is invited.

* Nyla Rose vs. Ruby Soho in the TBS Title tournament semifinals.

* MJF & FTR vs. CM Punk, Darby Allin & Sting. That’s probably the main event. I predict Punk pins Wheeler or Harwood. I’ll go with Wheeler.

The next Rampage is on Christmas Day, which is next Saturday:

* Hook vs. Bear Bronson

* Sammy Guevara defends the TNT Title vs. Cody Rhodes.

Saturday Fight Night on January 8:

* Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. defends the AEW Women’s Title vs. Riho.

It was time for the main event interview with Mark Henry asking the heels about their repeated attacks on Eddie Kingston. While 2.0 was talking, Eddie walked away. Anthony Bowens said that everybody loves The Acclaimed. Kingston said that it’s time and Henry did his signature line: “It’s time for the main event.” It’s cool that the crowd says it too.

It’s time for the 10-man tag tea main event with the babyface team of Eddie Kingston, AEW Tag Team Champions Lucha Brothers and Santana & Ortiz. I don’t think anybody is as poorly used in AEW as Santana & Ortiz. Get them more TV and some regular 2 on 2 tag team matches because the last one was about four months ago.

The heel side of The Acclaimed, Daniel Garcia and the 2.0 tag team made their entrance. Max Caster was doing a rap, but the faces attacked them in the aisle.

Eddie Kingston, Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Matthew Lee & Jeff Parker

The ten guys got into a brawl all around the ring and on the floor. Santana with a body slam on the floor. Penta sent Caster into the ring post. Lots of standing around and punching by the ten guys. Ortiz suplexed Garcia on the floor. Penta and Caster went into the ring, so the bell rang to start the match.

Penta did his hand gesture to the face on Caster, then they exchanged strikes and Penta hit a jumping kick. Fenix tagged in with a kick, then a double superkick and Penta slammed Fenix onto Caster. Fenix and Caster exchanged a few moves, then tagged out quickly leading to Ortiz tripping Bowens. Santana with a moonsault off of Ortiz’s back onto Bowens. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Santana hitting a springboard moonsault onto both 2.0 guys. Penta tagged in with Slingblade neckbreakers on Parker and Lee and a backbreaker on Garcia. Caster shoved Penta to the turnbuckle, Fenix tagged in, rope walk into a kick and Fenix with a flurry of kicks. Fenix with a spinning kick on Garcia. Fenix with a spinning splash off the top where Fenix missed most of it, but his knee hit Garcia in the face. I guess that’s enough for a pin attempt and Bowens made the save. Fenix with a hook kick that knocked Bowens down. Kingston tagged in with a chop to Garcia, but then Parker and Lee pulled Kingston out of the ring. Lucha Brothers took out Parker and Lee with somersault dives over the top to the floor. Bowens with a forearm to Kingston. Bowens with a superkick on Ortiz. Santana with a piledriver on Bowens. Caster off the top with a cross body block on Santana. Kingston with an Exploder Suplex on Caster. Kingston and Garcia were legal with Kingston doing body punches, Garcia ducked a back fist and Garcia rolled up Kingston in the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! while grabbing the tights for the pinfall win at nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Daniel Garcia, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Matthew Lee & Jeff Parker

Analysis: ***1/4 It was pretty good with a lot of action. The usual chaos that exists any time AEW has a tag team match, but that’s to be expected. It felt longer than nine minutes due to how much action there was. When writing about Garcia matches in the past I’ve mentioned that he doesn’t seem to get the big wins, yet here he is getting a win even though it was cheap with some tights grabbing. At least it’s a win to give Garcia some momentum and add to his rivalry with Kingston.

There were still a few minutes left in the show, so the heels attacked Kingston with Garcia and 2.0 beating up Kingston with punches. Bowens had a boombox in his hands, then he charged and hit Kingston in the head with the boombox. I don’t know where Kingston’s partners were, but then Jungle Boy, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus showed up for the save. The faces cleared the heels with Luchasaurus kicking Caster in the face. Jungle Boy grabbed the AEW Tag Team Titles and handed them to Lucha Brothers, so that was a tease for a tag team match. Kingston chased Garcia and 2.0 to the back, but then the camera cut away quickly. Excalibur screamed about things coming up next week. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: The heels won the match and the faces stood tall after it was over. I like the tease of Lucha Bros vs. Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus as a Tag Team Title match. Maybe that will be part of the Battle of the Belts special in January.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Ten-man tag
  2. Eight-man tag
  3. Tay Conti

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25

 

Final Thoughts

There were two really good tag team matches that got 18 guys on the show in two matches. The promo segment was fine. The women’s match wasn’t that interesting. A solid show overall.

Thanks for reading. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport