The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 08.13.21

The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 08.13.21

Well, I decided to use a VPN and subscribe to AEW Plus on Fite.TV to get access to the show, but here we are!  Thankfully next week’s show is on TSN2 so I can just DVR it.

LIVE from Pittsburgh, PA

Your hosts are Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry & Taz

Impact World title:  Kenny Omega v. Christian Cage

Sadly Rampage ring announcer Dasha Gonzalez doesn’t do the NORTH CAROLINA gag for Kenny’s ring entrance.  As expected the crowd is insanely hot for this debut match and Jericho complains about Earl Hebner being a “pain in his ass the entire time he was in WWE” since Brian is refereeing here.  Christian works a headlock to start and the crowd is actually split here.  Kenny beats on him with chops and goes for the Angel early, but Christian reverses to the Killswitch and Kenny runs away. Back in, Kenny gets a cheapshot and chokes him out in the corner, but Christian fights back with chops.  So Kenny tosses him and teases the dive, only for Christian to slip away and hit a baseball slide instead.  Jericho clarifies that the guys have CANADIAN HEAT here, because Winnipeg and Toronto don’t like each other.  Well, to be fair, no one likes Toronto.  Christian goes up and Kenny shoves him off as we take a break, although not on Fite.TV!  So Kenny continues beating on Christian on the floor and he runs the back into the railing, and back in the ring for an elbowdrop from Omega for two.  Christian suckers him in for a cradle for two, but Kenny beats him down again and puts the boots to him.  Christian fights back with a snap suplex, so Kenny rakes the eyes in the corner and they fight to the top.  Christian brings him down with a sunset bomb and slugs away in the corner, actually going to 19, and that seems a bit excessive.  He’s on a RAMPAGE!  Christian hits a back elbow off the middle for two and sets up for the finish, but Kenny elbows out of it and hits the moonsault for two.  Christian hits the reverse DDT for two.  He tries a spear, but runs into Kenny’s knee, and a powerbomb sets up the V-Trigger for two.  Christian with a sunset flip and Kenny misses the V-Trigger, and Christian spears him for two for a hot near fall.  Kenny comes back with a snapdragon to drop Cage on his head, but Christian rolls to the apron to escape the V-Trigger and comes in with a frog splash for two.  Callis takes the ref and Kenny goes low and calls the Young Bucks in with a chair, but Christian reverses to a Killswitch on the open chair (with a crazy headfirst bump from Kenny) and wins the Impact title at 15:35 to break up Kenny’s collection.  Granted an AEW guy being the one to win the Impact title from Kenny doesn’t speak highly of Impact but this obviously sets up the rematch at All Out where Kenny can re-unify his belt collection.  ***1/2

So on Fite, there’s no commercial break, and you just get to look at a Rampage graphic for 2:00.

Meanwhile, Mark Henry interviews the new champion and his Jurassic friends while Orange Cassidy hangs out in the background.

Meanwhile, Fuego Del Sol is going to baptize God’s favorite champion.  BY FIRE.

TNT title:  Miro v. Fuego del Sol

If Del Sol can win the title from Miro, he gets a full time contract with AEW.  Well, good luck to ya.  Fuego dives in with a tornado DDT before the bell to knock Miro loopy and does it again after the bell, sending Miro to the floor.  Jericho, meanwhile, asks the question we’re all thinking:  What kind of a luchador comes from ALABAMA?  Miro teases the countout and makes it back in at 9, but Del Sol hits a third tornado DDT for two.  He goes up and Miro catches him with a samoan drop and Fuego is in some trouble, as Miro flattens him with the superkick and it’s GAME OVER at 2:00.  And then Miro personally tears up the contract for good measure.  Fun little squash but that’s about it.  *1/2

Back from the break, Sammy Guevara joins us after chatting with TK, and he doesn’t care that Fuego is “like 1-50” but everyone loves him, so here’s a contract and Fuego Del Sol is All Elite.

Next week:  Rampage is in Chicago and Darby is calling out anyone who thinks they’re THE BEST IN THE WORLD.

Meanwhile, Mark Henry does a split screen interview with Red Velvet and Dr. Britt Baker DMD.  Predictably, the crowd boos Velvet’s promo.

AEW World title:  Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Red Velvet

Guess we’ll see if Velvet can work heel because Baker is MEGA-OVER here.  They trade takedowns to start and Velvet goes for The Final Slice, which I guess is her finisher, but Britt escapes it.  Velvet works the arm and the crowd boos all of that and chants for Britt instead.  Velvet gets a rollup for two and goes for the broken wrist, but Britt takes her down for two. Velvet gets a leg lariat for two and a standing moonsault gets two as TNT takes a break but we continue on.  Britt reverses an armbar attempt and stomps her to take over, but Velvet slugs away and Britt takes her down and rolls her up for two.  They’re having a weirdly awkward match thus far and I’m thinking it’s because Velvet doesn’t really know how to deal with this crowd situation.  Britt with a butterfly suplex and Rebel gets some choking on the ropes, allowing Britt to stomp a mudhole in the corner and Rebel to add more choking.  Velvet comes back with a neckbreaker and the crowd is still booing everything she does as Britt’s attempts to turn the crowd have failed miserably.  Velvet gets a couple of bad looking kicks for two, but Britt hits the neckbreaker and rolls her into a crucifix for two, but can’t get the Lockjaw hooked due to the broken wrist.  So Velvet goes for the cast and pulls it off, but Britt rolls her up for two.  Poor Rebel gets tossed by the referee, which the crowd isn’t having, and Velvet manages a superkick and moonsault for two off that distraction.  Britt puts her down with an ushigoroshi and then curbstomps her for two.  Velvet tries her own version of the Lockjaw, but Britt pushes off the ropes and tries the real deal, only for Velvet to beat on the wrist to break.  So Britt goes the other way, uses the good hand, and finishes at 10:33 to retain.  Cute finish but the match didn’t work AT ALL thanks to the messed up crowd dynamic.  **1/4  They really should have booked Britt against a heel here because they had to fight against the crowd for the entire match and Velvet didn’t really know what to do and Britt’s still not good enough to compensate.  Britt goes for a curb stomp on the belt, but Kris Statlander comes in to save and gets booed for that, and then Jamie Hayter returns after being back in England for two years and no one knows who she is anymore.  Excalibur notes that she looks completely different but I literally can’t remember her anyway.  If that was supposed to be a big surprise for the show, mission failed.  That was a very “IT’S THE BUTCHER AND THE BLADE” re-debut and left the show feeling like a wet fart at the end.

Really this was a one match show, with Christian finally ending Kenny Omega’s belt collecting win streak, and you can skip the rest.  I thought this was kind of a huge letdown, honestly, and they STILL haven’t done much to set up anything at All Out yet.