The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 10.08.21
Struth! Tonight I’m in AUSTRALIA to watch AEW on Fite, so hopefully a dingo doesn’t eat my baby while I throw a shrimp on the barbie! Because if it’s does, that’s a BOOTING! I’ll take my case right to the prime minister, I will! HEY, ANDY!
Taped from Philly, which is no longer a secret thanks to CM Punk and his big mouth on Wednesday night.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz and Chris Jericho
Meanwhile, Mark Henry does the main event promo gimmick for the opening match, as Punk calls 2.0 “The Nasty Boys’ little brothers”. I’m waiting for someone to take the obvious shot at NXT with these guys and it’s gonna be epic when it happens. Although I guess at this point that would be punching down. WAY down.
CM Punk v. Daniel Garcia
Sadly, Punk is back to the long tights already. Punk takes him down off wrist control and goes to a submission hold, but Garcia reverses to a headlock and Punk powers out of that. Punk goes for a heel hook and Daniel quickly makes the ropes to break and they slug it out in the corner as Jericho notes that Punk is a trained MMA fighter.
Punk goes for the GTS, but 2.0 runs interference and Garcia takes him down and goes after the knee in the chaos. The people outside of Australia have to take a bloomin’ break, but we continue playing knifey-spooney here Down Under while Garcia wraps the knee around the post with a hanging kneebar. Back from the break and Garcia takes him down with a single leg and stays on the knee, although Taz points out that he’s working the wrong leg, just to keep it real. Punk fights back with a suplex, but Garcia lands on his feet and clips the knee to take Punk down again. But then he gets himself all psyched up and misses a blind charge, allowing Punk to hit him in the head with a knee. They slug it out for the boo/yay spot, complete with trading MONGOLIAN CHOPS until Punk hits him with a high kick for two. Punk with the running knee in the corner, but Garcia hits an Angle Slam for two. Garcia goes for the knee again, but Punk slugs him down and hits the Pepsi Twist for two. Punk tries for the GTS, but Garcia rolls him into a Sharpshooter and Punk has to make the ropes. So Garcia pulls him off and tries again, but Punk sends him into both 2.0 geeks to put him on the floor and goes up with a flying bodypress to the floor. Back in, Punk springboards in with a clothesline and follows with a PILEDRIVER, which apparently is not banned in AEW, and the Anaconda Vice finishes him off at 14:12. This was a pretty tremendous match as old grey-beard is hanging with the kids pretty damn good. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Lio Rush tries to move in on Dante Martin and Matt Sydal, but Matt accuses him of being a “junk bond salesman” and Lio gets all offended and promises to get Sydal a match against CM Punk next week so he can prove his worth.
AEW World tag title: The Lucha Bros v. The Acclaimed
I dunno, Max, I take disses on Rocky Balboa pretty personally, and so does Chris Jericho apparently. The Acclaimed attack and they all brawl on the floor as Fenix goes into the post. Back in, the champs come back and double-team them in turn, laying them out with stereo superkicks before Penta rolls Fenix into a splash on them to chase them to the floor. Fenix dives onto Bowens, but he takes a boombox to the head as a result and Caster hits a cradle suplex on Penta in the ring for two. Interestingly, the announcers make the point that Max Caster’s father played in the NFL, and his name is Rich Caster. See, because then you can actually use that heritage to give someone credibility instead of changing their name for petty branding purposes. The Acclaimed works on Penta for a bit, but Fenix gets a hot tag and hits Bowens with a cutter for two. Everyone trades superkicks and Fenix gets a double cutter on the Acclaimed. The Acclaimed try to come back, but the champs double-team Bowens with the DDT and finish him off at 5:41. Not quite a squash for the champs but this was definitely not particularly competitive. **
Meanwhile, we take another look at the new Hos title.
Jade Cargill v. Skye Blue
Jade quickly gets the fallaway slam and boots Skye down, and then finishes her off with the Glam Slam at 1:08. The beatdown follows, but Thunder Rosa makes the save with a chair, which Excalibur notes is “the chair that Jade used to incapacitate Rosa last week”. How could he possibly identify a random black chair?
Next week: We announce brackets for a World title #1 contender tournament for Full Gear. Um, what about Hangman Page’s title shot that he just won?
Philly Street Fight, FTW World title: Ricky Starks v. Brian Cage
Cage quickly hits Starks with an overhead suplex and beats on Starks with a chair, which I should note is legally distinct from the chair that Jade Cargill used to incapacitate Thunder Rosa with. Cage throws him around on the floor and finds a garbage can full of plunder while Taz notes that the FTW title is a ROGUE CHAMPIONSHIP, unrecognized by any promotion, as we are watching a sanctioned FTW title match on AEW TV. Starks absorbs some punishment and comes back with a DDT for two as non-Australians take a break. Starks beats on Cage with the can lid while Jericho drops some knowledge bombs on us: Everyone can do pushups until you get hit in the head with a garbage can lid! All that gets two. Starks puts the boots to Cage and uses a metal pipe to beat on Cage’s arm before choking him out with it. Cage catches him with a fallaway slam, just throwing him over his head without going down for the move, and we return from the break as Starks now finds a chain and slugs Cage down with that. Lid-assisted legdrop gets two. Ricky sets up a can and tries a dive off it, but Cage superkicks him and beats on him with the can before slamming him onto it for two. This brings Hook down and Cage somehow manages to knock him off his feet with a clothesline, which just shows how fake that wrestling is because we all know if it was real then Cage would SNAPPED HIS ARM LIKE A TWIG trying that shit. Starks uses the distraction to get a spear for two, but he tries another one and gets run into the chair in the corner. Cage hits him with the discus lariat, but Hobbs makes the save now and Cage decides to beat him up, which allows Hook to hit him in the nuts, probably rendering him sterile and possibly several other male members of his family as well at the same time, and Starks finishes with the Rochambeau at 10:40 to retain his ROGUE CHAMPIONSHIP. Cage is pretty fucking lucky that he can even walk out of the ring under his own power after starting some shit with Hook like that. This was OK and Starks is great but Brian Cage is the world’s worst babyface and I don’t think I’m being melodramatic in saying that. ***
As usual, a fun fast-paced show that flies by.