Rampage just can’t seem to get it right these days, something always leavens the pleasure. It had a sense of freewheeling fun a while back, not expected to do the same things as its bigger brother Dynamite and enjoying tripping away from expectation.
Those days are long gone. In Rampage this week there was 6 of one and half a dozen of the other; something usually prevented complete Rampage enjoyment.
So, let’s see what went well and what…you know…
The Acclaimed Vs Private Party Vs Butcher & Blade
The Acclaimed are tag champs. How long this will last, I have no idea, so just bask in their glory (ho ho). For ages I’ve been cooing at Caster and ballyhooing Bowens, they got over almost despite clunky booking and that’s the sign of talent.
Private Party are getting some air time. I wish they weren’t running from one patriarch to another. This ‘Daddy Matt will make it all special and golden’ stuff just makes it look like Private Party doesn’t have a big enough personality outside of the ring and I don’t believe that’s the case. I don’t want them to be the Street Profits or anything (that would surely be awful), but they deserve their own lives, to move out of mom and dad’s and try to make it on their own. They deserve better.
As do The Butcher & The Blade. They are the quintessential big man/small man Tag combo, except with them it’s big man/pretty big man and once they get on you, they don’t quit.
This match? Well, Private Party and The Butcher & The Blade were allowed time to wrestle each other and used it well, very high Moonsault, nice Senton as the Blade was held chest first. Quen was thrown from Butcher to the Blade’s knee into a huge Dr. Bomb.
The Acclaimed won with the Mic Drop and rightly so.
The Good : 3 superb tag teams given time.
The Bad: That this is a surprise.
The Even Worse: The Gunn Club is still around and now shoved into The Firm.
The Firm. Another Faction. Whoopee. AEW needs another meaningless group for meandering talent. Did they not learn their lesson with the Pinnacle? Another fruitless Faction dragged MJF down and now, just as he’s being talked of as a future AEW Champ, he’s shacked with the Faction that could make him a chump.
Talking of meandering talent in a fruitless Faction.
Lee Moriarty Vs Fuego Del Sol
The Good: It’s Lee Moriarty.
The Bad: He’s in The Firm. Even with Stokely Hathaway speaking for him, that Faction will probably be a millstone.
Also Bad, a great wrestler like Fuego Del Sol is used on Rampage to get Moriarty over because he’s been rebooted with green hair. As Bleacher Report commented;
‘That is not meant to disparage Fuego Del Sol.’
The Moriarty arm capture Suplex, the twisting Faceplant and nasty Crossface for the pin, all that just seemed like a system to deliver Lee Moriarty. As if he needs that.
Nyla Rose vs Jade Cargill
The Good: Rose vs Cargill? That’s the good, Nyla is fabulous in the ring, bringing intensity and real style to her power game.
This is a real challenge for Jade Cargill and I hope it’s on Rampage.
The Bad: There may not be one here. This match plays into Jade Cargill’s strengths. And that’s important, because, in wrestling, I think strength is her only strength.
Ryan Nemeth Was Fed To Hook
The Bad: Hook has been booked into a corner. By not being booked to enjoy his time with Danhausen, for being booked to not speak, for being allowed to be surly, Hook is less a ‘cold-hearted killer’ and more a ‘spoilt brat’.
And so they need extreme characters for him to react to. He’s so far in his character that anyone who seemed to have a grain of pleasantry in his character would make Hook look terrible.
And so the seldom-seen on Rampage Ryan Nemeth was wheeled out, apropos of nothing, to deliver the tired wrestling tropes. They are :
I don’t like your town
People here are…(insert insult here)
Your sports team isn’t very good
And one more gem, as Rampage was in Philly, ECW was actually ‘Extremely Crappy Wrestling’ – yes, you have heard that before.
The Good: There is no good here.
John Silver Vs RUSH
The Good: John Silver is in the main event of Rampage
The Bad: John Silver was almost jobbed out to RUSH. He took a chop over the announce table, a bin to the head, an invitation to chop, and then a blow to the head that put him straight down. Silver hit a Deadlift German Suplex and Spinebuster and nasty-looking Brainbuster for a long 2 count.
Rush used the distraction to finish the match with the Bull’s Horns, but he was in control here. And worse for Silver, the loss was used for Hangman Page to come in and save the day.
John Silver deserves a belt. Reckon he’ll get one?
Willow Nightingale v Jamie Hayter
The Good: Two excellent wrestlers put in the match of the show. The best Rampage had to offer this week, nip and tuck, back and forth early on; then a huge Hayter Neckbreaker on the knee. Willow coming back with a Pounce, and a good-looking Death Valley Driver for a long 2 count.
Hayter got the win with a German Suplex and short arm Lariat, but only after Britt Baker interfered.
An excellent and very close match between two great talents.
The Bad: A commercial break in the middle of the match. We didn’t stick with it in picture in picture. There wasn’t a commercial break in any of the men’s matches and if I remember rightly, didn’t this happen last week?
It doesn’t look good. Particularly when Saraya has arrived on Dynamite talking of ‘revolution’; it could be seen as window dressing if things are not done in tandem.
The Good and Bad of AEW Rampage
That’s the thing. I can’t always enjoy Rampage because there’s always something. Perhaps just ignore the issues? AEW just won’t let me…