The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 06.24.22

The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 06.24.22

FITE is getting tighter with VPN blocking recently (I typically need to be in Australia to reliably keep connected, for example) and if they block it entirely that’ll limit my options for reviewing this show in the future.  Unless TSN actually decides to air it like everyone in Canada wants.  LOL.  On the bright side, I’ll be able to cancel AEW Plus and save the $10 a month.

Taped from Milwaukee, WI

Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz & Chris Jericho

Andrade v. Fenix

The irony of the show being called “Forbidden Door” and then an entire promotion of people being banned from it is not lost on me.  They trade wristlocks and Andrade show off his lucha skills, but Fenix catches him with a rana off a springboard.  And then Andrade fires off his own!  They trade kneelifts and Fenix hits the rebound kick, but they fight over a suplex and Andrade wins that battle.  But then he tries the Eddie suplexes and Fenix cuts him off on the second one and gets his own triple suplex.  Andrade bails to the floor and Fenix just destroys him with a giant somersault dive while The WIZARD mansplains some Spanish terms to Excalibur.  Back in, Fenix snaps off a german suplex for two.  Fenix runs up the ropes for another dive, but Andrade shoves him down the floor and demands the countout.  Back in, Andrade works on a chinlock for a bit and goes up, then lures Fenix up with him and knocks him down for the hanging stomp for two.  Del Rio always tried to make that one happen but could never come up with a viable way to work it in realistically.  Fenix fights back with a springboard into a double stomp and hits a missile dropkick and then rolls right into a cutter for two.  Frog splash lands on Andrade’s knee and a cradle gets two for Andrade.  Fenix goes up and tries the ropewalk, but he gets tripped up and lands on the apron, but Andrade tries the running knee out there and runs himself into the post as a result.  Fenix then goes up and hits a crazy flying double stomp from the top rope to the floor and both guys are out.  Back in, Fenix goes up and misses a swanton, and Andrade gets two.  They head to the floor and Andrade argues with some drunk doofus in the front row before sending Fenix right into the DRAFT KINGS RAILING.  Back in, they fight to the top and Fenix brings him down with a Spanish Fly from the top for two.  Jose the Assistant slips the tablet into Andrade’s hands, but he nearly hits Aubrey with it by mistake, diverting her attention.  Andrade dropkicks the knee and goes for the figure-four, but Fenix shoves him into the corner to escape and follows with a tope suicida to the floor.  This gives us a fight between the managers, but Rush makes an appearance and kicks Fenix right in the nuts, leaving Andrade to finish with el Idolo at 17:28.  A tremendous lucha libre battle.  ****1/4  And then the heels reveal their new faction shirts and unmask Fenix before getting chased off by Penta.  Really looking forward to a payoff on the PPV!  Oh wait.

Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston wants to taste Jericho’s blood next week.  Isn’t that how Covid started?

Meanwhile, Swerve and Keith are facing Desperado & Kanemaru at Forbidden Door, but Keith isn’t convinced that they’re working it out yet.

Serena Deeb & Mercedes Martinez v. Laynie Luck & Sierra

I’m a bit confused by this team because Mercedes has been on the babyface side of things on Dark recently and Serena has been teaming with Nyla Rose.  Maybe they’re being wacky tag team partners who hate each other to set up an ROH title match on Dark, which would be fine as well.  Mercedes tries an armbar on Luck but gets rolled up for two, so she puts Luck down with a spinebuster.  Deeb tags herself in with an inverted deadlock and bridges up, but Luck makes the ropes.  Deeb and Martinez take turns chopping Luck in the corner and they drop her on the top rope with a double suplex before finishing with the double submissions at 3:23.  *1/2  And then they squabble some more, so I guess they’re building to the title match.

Meanwhile, Tully Blanchard introduces his new guys from the ROH PPV way back on Wrestlemania weekend. I was kind of wondering if they’d ever follow up on that, actually.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Gresham and Lee Moriarty get interrupted by Tully, and agree to a tag team match as a result.  I thought Gresham had been swallowed up by the void or something.  Although after last night’s episode of The Boys I do NOT want to think about octopuses for a long while.

Hook v. the DKC

I assume DKC is named after Donkey Kong Country?  Hook quickly takes him down and works for a kneebar, but DKC makes the ropes.  So Hook pummels him in the corner and then hurls him with a judo throw, but DKC dares to fight back, the jerk.  So Hook gives him the suplex he deserves and drops him on his head, then batters him and finishes with the Redrum at 1:43.

Jeff Cobb v. Cash Wheeler

Cash tries for a headlock to start and gets shoved off, so he dropkicks the knee gets it on the second try.  Meanwhile Cobb is named as Chris Jericho’s Sports Entertainer of the Week.  I was beginning to worry we wouldn’t get one this week.  Cobb reverses to a facelock and takes him down, but Cash dropkicks him to escape.  Cobb drops him on the ropes and tosses him to the floor before sending him into the DRAFT KINGS RAILING and putting the boots to him.  Cash fights back with chops, but Cobb runs him into the post backfirst and then goes to work on the back in the ring.  Standing moonsault gets two.  Drop suplex gets two after Cobb throws him around the ring for a bit.  Cobb with a chinlock and then he switches to a bearhug and body vice.  Cash escapes and reverses to a sleeper.  Cobb runs him into the corner to escape and they slug it out until Cash takes out the knee and puts him on the floor for a dive.  That was practically a flip!  They fight back to the apron and Cobb goes up, but Cash brings him down with a powerbomb for two.  Cobb tries another moonsault and misses, but he tries the Tour of the Islands and Cash cradles for two.  Cash reverses a powerbomb for two.  Cobb backdrops out of a piledriver and puts Cash down with a german suplex, and the Tour of the Islands finishes at 11:00.  Just kind of a match, nothing special.  **3/4   And then like Dynamite, we get a big brawl with the factions to end the show.

This was a pretty subpar go-home show.  The highlight was clearly Andrade v. Fenix, which has nothing to do with anything, and the rest was just sort of there.  This might be another ugly ratings week.