As usual, there was much to enjoy in AEW Rampage this week. And much to dislike. So let’s have a look at both…
Trent Seven is here! Not necessarily All Elite yet, but in the Rampage main event with Orange Cassidy for his Atlantic belt and his work was exemplary.
Yep, a punch fake then tight DDT, a serious-looking Full Nelson, Superplex, a dive which unfortunately hit the bloke who’d kayfabe brought him in, the marvellous Kip Sabian.
Then Trent just wagged a finger after catching Cassidy in his Tilt A Whirl DDT and drove him down to the mat with an authoritative Sidewalk Slam.
Seems all one-way Trent traffic, doesn’t it? Well, it was a bit, including a short arm Lariat, nice Superplex and nasty-looking Twisting Piledriver.
He was never going to win of course, this possible one-night booking, so Cassidy finally hit that DDT, Orange Punch and Beach Break for the pin.
Takeshita Is Amazing. And let’s face it, it was mostly him versus Mox in the opener. The Match itself was both knockdowns and dragged out, Mox was bloodied (really? You do surprise me) and sat Takeshita in a chair only to kick him out of it (No! What a shock!), but also hit a nice Piledriver and his Paradigm Shift…
…for a one count! Takeshita kicked out almost immediately, also delighting Rampage with a DDT on the apron, a massive discus Lariat, Sheer Drop Brainbuster for a long 2, a Blue Thunder Bomb for another long, lovely-to-look-at German Suplex for yet another long 2 and even gave Mox a dose of his own stomps.
Takeshita fell into unconsciousness from a Mox Headlock/Choke, but he didn’t half deserve to win. And what a match, as 411Mania put it;
‘I think this one may get an honourable mention for a tv show match of the year nominee for AEW’
Shida and Bunny Entertain. How could they not with a Shida Meteora off the apron and a Bunny half-Tarantula (no arm locking).
But there was some Bad here and nine of their own doing.
So let’s get to…
Another Commercial Break In The Middle Of A Women’s Match. Not picture in picture, a full ad break; this is not the first time on Rampage and leaves me wondering why the match which followed it, a squash, wasn’t picked.
Well, we know what people are going to think…
Trent’s Here, But What About Rankings? I love to see Trent on Rampage, he even got Cassidy to do his moustache touch. But it would be wrong of me not to raise the rankings issue, particularly as I’ve been banging on about it for ages.
Remember when AEW said they would use rankings? This was when they started, a Unique Selling Point, more athletic than other wrestling promotions. But we haven’t seen the ranking graphic for some time, have we? Has it been forgotten, Tony Khan, or is it just inconvenient at times?
This week on Rampage, Kip Sabian had brought someone in. He isn’t an AEW wrestler, so Trent Seven can’t be a No1 contender and, by the way, who agreed to this on-the-hoof hired wrestling gun idea? I may sound curmudgeonly here (it’s a speeciality) but if we don’t believe in the rules of the wrestling promotion, eventually we won’t believe in the wrestling promotion.
Hobbs Took Us Home. He gave us a promo in which he showed us that he lived in a place which wasn’t flourishing economically. And that’s fine to see, it’s just that so many other wrestling promotions have used it that it now seems hackneyed and doesn’t seem to be serious – I don’t like that.
A squash for Moriarty and Morrissey. Don’t AEW understand that the constant squashes aren’t making The Firm look unbeatable, they make them like short cutters? They don’t, do they?
And finally, Don Callis. He was pictured in the audience. Oh God, that’s all we need. I wonder if he still has his pink suit? I suppose he could bring Kenny Omega back with him, but to have to watch his protestations of advanced intelligence over and over again might just make me barf.
AEW Rampage: Not Bad
Not as bad as some Rampage shows in recent times, but the bar is pretty low. Again, the programme was bookended by fabulous matches and that was the same here, but it just seemed a little anaemic. And full of problems.
Must do better, Rampage, must do better…