The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 05.13.22

The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 05.13.22

Another early bird special.  Not that it matters in Canada because it doesn’t air up here and I have to watch it on Fite anyway.

Taped from Long Island, NY

Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz & Chris Jericho

Death Triangle v. The Butcher & The Blade & Marq Quen

Penta absorbs some shots from Blade and fires back with a superkick, and it’s over to Pac for the double-team missile dropkick with Penta.  Butcher trips him up and runs him into the apron outside, then follows with a slam on the apron to take over.  And Jericho already names the Butcher and Blade the SPORTS ENTERTAINERS OF THE WEEK, even though we’re only a few minutes into the show!  The man is bold, you have to give him that.  Pac comes back with a missile dropkick while Jericho relates how he studied the Original Sheik for tips on fireball throwing.  Well he’d be the guy to study.  Quen comes in and gains the advantage on Fenix, but he spends too long talking smack and Rey fights back with a kick and pops up to the top for a rana and double stomp.  Fenix tries a 619 and Quen dropkicks him to the floor to block and the heels take over.  Back in, Butcher hits him with chops and they double-team Fenix for two before Blade goes to a facelock to cut off the ring.  Butcher comes in for a double-team legdrop and Quen adds a 450 for two.  Blade clears the ring and Quen dives onto Pac & Penta to put them down, but Butcher & Blade double-team Fenix and it only gets two.  Fenix fights back with a rana on the Blade and hits a rebound superkick off the ropes and it’s hot tag Penta.  He cleans house for a bit and it’s back to Pac, who hits a deadlift german on Quen for two.  Another snap german after the heels get taken out on the floor, and the Fear Factor and Black Arrow finish Quen at 10:15.  Kyle O’Reilly taking notes at ringside and then giving the golf clap for the win is a low key highlight here as well.  Very fun opener where you know exactly what you’re getting.  ***1/2  And then the House of Black mysteriously appears and disappears.  Were they even here at all?  We’ll never know.  Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.

Shawn Spears v. Bear Boulder

Spears decides to taunt Bear with some 10 action, but Boulder picks him up for a powerslam.  Bear misses the charge and Spears slugs away in the corner, but Boulder gets his splash on the second try.  He goes up to slug on Spears, but Shawn powers him up into the DVD to finish at 2:01.  Nothing match, impressive finish.  *1/2  And then Shawn pokes the proverbial bear by beating on him with the chair afterwards.  Good thing it was only Bear Boulder and not Bear BRYANT because then Spears would have been in trouble.  OK I made that up.

Meanwhile, Mark Sterling denies being a wrestler or even owning tights, so the tag team match with Nese isn’t happening.  Plus he’s got a neck brace and a crutch.  But Nese is pretty sure he can beat Hook-Hausen by himself, and he wants Mark to put 10K on themselves.  “That’s a lot” notes Mark.

Owen Hart Foundation quarterfinal:  Riho v. Ruby Soho

Oh man, it’s the battle of the ‘Hos!  Riho is apparently not a fan of Rancid and plugs her ears during Ruby’s entrance.  That’s uncalled for.  Say what you will about Ruby’s underwhelming run in AEW so far but her entrance song is a bop.  Ruby works a headlock to start and takes her down for two, but Riho bridges out and rolls her up for two. Riho tries the suplex and Ruby reverses out, so Riho takes her down with the headscissors and double stomp.  Ruby runs her into the corner for two, but she goes up and misses her own foot stomp.  Ruby’s finisher is blocked by Riho and she reverses into a bow and arrow on the mat, but Ruby makes the ropes.  Riho goes up with a double stomp on the back and goes to a crossface, but Ruby fights out of it and goes to a wristlock.  Riho gets a backslide for two to escape and puts the boots to Ruby in the corner.  Fite takes a break and we return with Ruby taking Riho to the top, but Riho puts her down and hits a bodypress, which Ruby rolls through for two.  Ruby tries a blade runner, but Riho counters to a crucifix for two.  Ruby flattens her with a backdrop driver for two, and then hits the blade runner for the pin at 9:10 to advance to the semi-finals.  This was a really good match and they meshed really well!  ***1/2

Meanwhile, Billy Gunn gives a peptalk to the new Acclaimed/Gunn Clubb megateam, but he keeps taking the suggestions from the Acclaimed and putting down his kids.  And he’s used his considerable pull to get them a match on Double Or Nothing Dynamite Rampage Dark Elevation!  Huge if true.

Jade Cargill and her Baddies join Tony for an interview, and Tony announces that Hikaru Shida was injured against Deeb, so Kris Statlander is taking her place in the tournament.

TNT title:  Scorpio Sky v. Frankie Kazarian

Sammy and Tay are at ringside with their own belts, because I was just thinking we need more to keep track of.  Apparently these are the AAA Mixed Tag team titles, which puts them slightly above the ROH World title but not quite to the level of the FTW title.  Kaz takes him down with a wristlock after some sportsmanship, but Scorpio reverses and Kaz puts him down with a shoulder for two.  They fight for a rollup and Kaz takes him down again for a short arm scissor this time, but Sky rolls him over for two.  They trade finisher attempts and collide for a double down, but Sky recovers first and tosses Kazarian for a dive.  Back in, Sky hits a backbreaker and goes to a chinlock.  Frankie reverses to a rollup for two, but Sky goes to an abdominal stretch.  He’s no IRS and can’t quite hook it, allowing Frankie to escape.  Sky puts him down with a double stomp and goes to a facelock while Jericho and Taz discuss Lemmy and his quotes.  Um, I’m pretty sure that HHH has Motorhead worship trademarked.  They slug it out and Sky hits him with forearms in the corner, but a blind charge misses and Kazarian guillotines him on the apron and slingshots back in with a rollup for two.  Kneelift into a lariat, but Kazarian tries his springboard legdrop and Sky blocks him into an electric chair.  Kaz counters that into a rollup for two and hits the legdrop on the second try, but it only gets two.  Kaz with the chicken wing, but Sky escapes with a jawbreaker and does another guillotine attempt from Frankie.  But then Frankie slingshots him into a MONSTER cutter, which gets two.  That was nuts.  This sets up another chicken wing, but Sky flips out of it, so Frankie rolls with it and hangs on.  This finally brings Dan Lambert back out from the dressing room to take the ref, and Ethan Page knocks out Kaz with the belt, putting Sky on top, but only for two.  But then Sky pops up and hits the TKO to finish and retain at 11:45.  Another banger to wrap up a hell of a show.  ***1/2  But Sky pretends to question his teammates, and then waffles Kazarian with the belt anyway to complete the final end of SCU.  And then Sammy makes the save because apparently that’s still a thing that TK thinks people want to see.

This was a GREAT episode of Rampage that will sadly end up doing like 100,000 viewers or whatever, but you should watch it anyway.