The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 11.05.21

The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 11.05.21

Live from St. Louis, MO

Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz and Ricky Starks.  I don’t know if Starks is just gonna, like, never wrestle anymore but he’s such a great commentator that I don’t care.

Bryan Danielson v. Anthony Bowens

In an awesome touch, Justin Roberts makes sure that he’s not wearing a tie around Bryan.  Max Caster gets the sick burn of the week, rapping that he “ends careers faster than your father-in-law”.  Technically shouldn’t the target of his sick burn be Nick Khan?  Regardless, I laughed.  Bowens takes him down with a pair of armdrags and makes sure to gloat about it, which I’m sure won’t come back to bite him in the ass whatsoever.  Bowens tries a headlock and hits Danielson with kicks, but Danielson fires right back and starts working on the arm.  They trade chops in the corner and Bryan blocks a suplex with a knee strike, and then rolls right into an armbar submission before Bowens makes the ropes.  Bowens bails to the apron, so Bryan kicks him in the spine and sends him to the floor, only for Bowens to yank him off the apron and set up some punishment from Max Caster.  Back in the ring, Bowens slugs away on the mat and gets two, and then chokes him out on the ropes.  Max chokes him out with his chain as well, and Bowens gets a suplex for two.  Bryan slugs away with forearms and hits Bowens with a clothesline to make the comeback, and then pounds him with the Intellectual Property Kicks for two.  Bryan with the running kicks in the corner, but Bowens moves and hauls him out with a twisting DDT for two.  Bryan hits Caster with a baseball slide and dumps Bowens to the floor, then hits both guys with a dive.  Back in, missile dropkick puts Bowens down and he curb stomps him and wraps him up with the Intellectual Property Lock to finish at 9:11.  Wait, was that a repeated finish?  He’s won a match with it before now, hasn’t he?  ***1/4

Meanwhile, Tony chats with FTR and Andrade and MJF about their beating of Cody Rhodes, and MJF somehow manages to get paid off again.  “How do you say not enough?  UNO MAS!”

CM Punk joins us and we take a break during his entrance, so when we come back he’s running around the ring and jokes “he just wanted to make everyone think he was jogging for 3 and a half minutes.”  So Punk calls out Eddie Kingston, who appears to be in a bad mood.  Punk calls him out for interrupting him on Friday and then not showing up Wednesday, and Eddie goes on a big rant about how he thought he had Covid and stayed home, and then plays the world’s smallest violin for Punk.  I don’t think his apology was very sincere, guys.  Granted sarcasm isn’t my strong point.  So Eddie talks about how guys like Samoa Joe and Punk and Red were his heroes coming up, but all Punk did was judge him for being fat and not kissing ass and not playing politics.  Punk doesn’t deny judging him and says that Eddie’s the one who fell short of their standards because they saw so much potential in him.  And really Punk blames himself because clearly Eddie couldn’t live up to it, because he’s a BUM.  So then Eddie SHOOTS and claims that no one in the locker room wants Punk here, so he should leave.  But first, they should fight at Full Gear.  Punk thinks they should fight on Dark instead because that’s a little more his speed, being that he’s a bum and all.  Finally Eddie gets in his face enough that Punk accepts the challenge, so Eddie tells him to make sure that he quits again and leaves for seven years after he loses, at which point they get into a pullapart brawl.  Hey, everyone bitching because CM Punk didn’t have a hate-filled blood feud in his first two months, THERE YOU GO.

Meanwhile, Christian and the Jurassics don’t think that the SuperKliq are “tough guys” after getting beat up on Dynamite, and this will now lead to a falls count anywhere trios match at the PPV.

TBS title tournament, first round:  The Bunny v. Red Velvet

Velvet attacks to start and they fight to the floor, where Bunny runs Velvet into the stairs and then dropkicks her into the corner for two.  Velvet makes a comeback but Bunny gets a death valley driver for two.  But then Red Velvet gets the dreaded FINAL SLICE and gets the pin to advance at 3:50.  What’s with all the cake references, anyway?  Like what is Red Velvet’s gimmick supposed to be, exactly?  I’ve never been clear on it.  Anyway this was a match.  *

Adam Cole v. John Silver

Silver is hilarious in the pre-match promo (“it’s actually BUDGE in all caps”) and mocks the pain felt by Cole when he took a chair to the face.  I will say, at least Excalibur explains the “BUDGE” gag for people who don’t watch BTE (ie, anyone with a life).  The crowd actually chants “BUDGE” at Cole and Silver mocks the Adam Cole (Bay Bay) pose, but Cole kicks him in the face.  Silver drops him on the top rope and biels him across the ring, but Cole dumps him to the apron and they slug it out there.  But then Cole gives him a snapmare onto the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and takes him to the floor for a camel clutch that sets up the SuperKliq kiss.  Back in the ring, Cole chokes him out while Starks questions the legality of kissing your friends during the match.  Cole with a back elbow and he goes to a chinlock, and follows with an ushigoroshi for two.  Taz:  “I’ll tell you something, and this is a shoot, the past two weeks, I’m flying first class and who comes in and tries to sit down right next to me?  John Silver!”  Huge if true.  BREAKING:  Silver also smells like an old, rancid, beat up cow.  Like rawhide, bro.  Silver makes the comeback with a backdrop and blocks a rana with a powerbomb for two.  They slug it out with forearms and trade kicks, but Cole tries a backslide and Silver rolls through and hits him with kicks.  Cole drops him with a neckbreaker for two, but Silver comes back with a lariat and release german suplex.  Head kick gets two, as the Bucks make the save, but the Dark Order comes out to confront them.  Cole tries the low blow, but Silver blocks it and hits the spinning powerbomb for two in an amazing near fall.  They fight to the top and Cole fights him off and tries the Panama Sunrise, but Silver catches him and runs him into the corner and then pounds him with running elbows.  But he walks into a superkick and Cole hits the BOOM to finish at 11:02.  Someone sent me a meme that said that if John Silver was an Autobot, he’d be Brawn, and this match was ample proof. ***1/4

The Bryan match was definitely on the lower tier of his stuff so far but the Punk segment was HOT FIRE and exactly the kind of authentic-feeling hatred that wrestling is built on.  So as usual, this was a THUMBS UP from here.