AEW Rampage Purely Patchy

It Pleases On Occasions

As Queen told us on ‘Save Me, ‘it started off so well…’ and then AEW Rampage became strangely uninvolving, with a Big Announcement in the middle. So let’s start with that.

CM? Ho Hum

He won it at ‘Double Or Nothing’. A put the strap on him. That’s not just a win and a belt change, it’s an indication of how the promotion sees its future. The champ is the main event, the head of the promotion; weaken it, as has been done with Alex Hammerstone in MLW and the promotion can look as if I don’t know where it’s going.

By putting the belt on Punk, what is AEW saying? Well, he’s popular, so of course, that needs to be considered. But he’s returning to wrestling after years away and that has been part of his angle – all the lack of work in the ring, the making allowances shtick – he didn’t seem so sure of himself and so the surprising win over a champ, Hangman Page, who was playing the unsure card before Punk arrived, was a nostalgia trip.

And now it’s over. CM Punk, moist-eyed, told Rampage that he had a bad wheel and so had to relinquish the title.

He's relinquished the belt
The Moist Eyed Champ Credit; Cagesideseats


Yes, he had to relinquish the title. Just won it, too. So doesn’t have to defend it yet. Time for physio? Was an operation mentioned? Yes, but for what injury? And did it happen before Double Or Nothing? Or in the match? It’s highly unfortunate and cynical that people might think that if it’s the former, the belt was put on Punk to create a feel-good moment at the end of a PPV.

I don’t know. Odd though…

And Now The Title Picture Is A Mess

There’ll be a Battle Royale on Dynamite to determine who will face Moxley, who has earned this singles position, perhaps by working tag matches with the Blackpool Combat Club recently, to be then at the Forbidden Door PPV for an interim title run.

And CM Punk may come back and beat the champ for another rating hit anyway.

It’s such a mess – smacks of AEW telling us that they are hedging their bets; if Punk can’t defend it and is relinquishing it, the belt is not an interim one. That’s real hedge sitting.

And I hope we don’t have 2 belts hanging around again…

The Good Stuff

You know what this is going to be. The Bucks v the Lucha Bros.

What a match!
Great Match Credit; Superluchas

What a match to open Rampage with. From Nick Jackson’s Earl Corkscrew Armdrag to a Rey Fénix Corkscrew Plancha, Fénix Roll Through Cutter on the outside, Matt J rolling through himself for 2 Amigos and a Double Suplex, via a Nick Single Leg Boston in the ropes and Penta Tarantula on Matt next to him and Nick grabs his foot to Penta kicking out of the Bucks nasty Spiked Piledriver.

The ending was sort of expected, Matt Jackson pulling off Penta’s mask to save the loss for both teams. A Rampage roister doister alright.



I would have preferred to have watched a game of squash rather than have Hobbs & Starks on Rampage despatch a team not announced and referred to be Excalibur as ‘their opponents’.

This does neither team any good. When will AEW learn?

Uninvolving Matches

First the first match for Ember Moon, now called Athena. It should be a big Rampage event.

But although this match against Keira Hogan was pretty action packed, what with its modified Crucifix Driver, appearance picture in picture from Stokely Hathaway which couldn’t really be heard, a top rope Huracanrana from Hogan and finishing Twisting Swan Dive Cutter from Athena which was rather fine, it didn’t make a big impression.

Athena’s retractable metal wings were a highlight, mind you.

And Scorpio Sky v Dante Martin for the TNT belt was a mouthwatering Rampage prospect.

Should have been great...
Credit; All Elite Wrestling

Had Sky and the belt not been devalued by the misapplied recent Sammy and Kaz storyline.

So Excalibur was happy to tell us during a Sky headlock that if he takes away Martin’s breath, it would take away his high flying…and a few other things too.

The moves were good, even a Martin tumble from the top strand to the outside was good, a Martin dropkick and TKO were very good, as was Sky’s version for the pin.

And yet, it didn’t draw me in. And how was Dante the number one contender? And why should we care when Sammy Guevara will be back in the picture soon?

It Weren’t Too Good

One great match, a couple good matches which didn’t stir the blood, a squash and a confusing Big Announcement on this week’s Rampage.

That does not a good Rampage make. It has been better. I can only hope it will be again.

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