AEW Rampage, Friday 10/21/22
Arena: Daily’s Place
City: Jacksonville, Fl
Last Week’s Rating: 458,000 overall; 0.17 in 18-49 demo
What a treat this lineup is for the loyal fans who came every week during the pandemic.
It’s Friday Night, and you know what that means… it’s time for our Rampage Review!
JR welcomed us in the familiar surroundings of Daily’s Place, alongside Excalibur and Tony Schiavone. In his rap, Caster referenced them beating NXT in the ratings Tuesday. Tony Khan might want to remember the constant ratings jabs next time he’s surprised WWE aren’t super-friendly. Not that they’re blameless either.
The Acclaimed vs Varsity Athletes (Tony Nese & Josh Woods), AEW Tag Titles
Backstory: Sterling has trademarked the term ‘scissor’ in pro wrestling, the winner gets ownership
After starting off with a mass brawl, the heels sent the champs packing before scissoring to loud boos. ‘You can’t scissor!’ chant from the crowd as the Acclaimed went to work on Woods with double teaming and a powerslam. Back body drop from Caster, arm-wringer in the middle, he and Woods going back and forth with those until Caster got the ropes.
Where Woods took a cheap shot, sending Max tumbling outside, following and being chased back in by Billy Gunn. Leading to Daddy Ass being booted backstage. Everything about this seemed backwards, excepting the champs’ popularity.
‘Bulls***’ chant from those present.
Caster took flight as we returned: cross body from the top, Bowens begging for the tag, finally getting it, his partner running wild, exploding with hard elbows, discus clotheslines and a leaping legdrop to the back of Nese’ head.
Until Woods again took a cheapshot – the champs back in trouble. Nice leaping forearm from Nese, he and Woods hit their finish (Olympic Slam/neckbreaker combo), mistiming it but still bagging a two as Max broke it up. Afterwards attacking Woods but blasted from behind by a Nese kick, Bowens responded with a kneestrike, then a chop combo and superkick on Woods, leading to the Arrival, the Mic Drop and a very loud 1, 2, 3 counted by the crowd.
Good action. Over quickly. Nese and co. shouldn’t be causing the champs this much trouble.
Afterwards, Sterling tried to renege on his agreement to hand over the trademark. Bringing Daddy Ass back out as the three came off the top onto Sterling’s genitals, then Scissored to end the segment.
WINNER: The Acclaimed
Schiavone with Jade, who after promising to hijack the show, was seated politely for something like a talkshow. Steve Austin/Randy Savage this was not.
Jade had graciously allowed Leila Grey to substitute for the injured Penelope Ford tonight against Willow Nightingale, an act she believed would lead to the return of her title from Nyla Rose.
Alex Marvez with the Lucha Bros, Eddie Kingston and Ortiz. The latter of whom had organized something of an intervention for Kingston – his three friends telling him to calm down before he gets fired. Until Pac interrupted: ‘You should listen to them Eddie… they’re champions’, provoking the Mad King before quickly exiting.
Hook vs Ari Daivari, FTW Title
Backstory: Trustbusters tried to recruit Hook & buy his belt; didn’t go well
Daivari wondered if Hook wanted cash instead of a cheque. Hook didn’t want cash.
Daivari’s butler distracted the youngster, leading to him being stomped in the corner and left laying. After strugging for a bit, Hook caught Daivari running-in for a couple suplexes, including a fisherman. But was again distracted by ‘Jeeves. K’ – real creative name for a butler.
Finally, Hook dodged Daivari, the heel landing on the apron, from where Hook dragged him back inside via Redrum for the win.
Two matches, two should-be dominant babyfaces selling way too much against nothing opponents after garbage interference.
They should remarket the FTW title as something personally meaningful to Hook – a legacy, an inspiration, a memento of his father – rather than an actual championship. That way, it could be used as a way to eventually build a proper feud when someone steals/denigrates/destroys it.
Perhaps in 2032 when they finally get round to giving the youngster something good to do?
Does this show take any breaks? Hook’s music had barely started again as we cut to Lexi with Ethan Page, Hathaway and Matt Hardy. Private Party have been sent for wrestling training. Hardy’s been booked on Dark: Elevation which they openly acknowledged as sucking. Hardy then did a weird rap. I did not miss anything.
Leila Grey vs Willow Nightingale
Backstory: Grey replacing the injured Ford as part of Jade getting her belt back
Usual nice reaction for Willow.
Grey ducked a couple lockups, stopping to flex and paying for it. A brief flurry in the corner got very slow as they looked lost early. Willow cartwheeled out then shoulder blocked her way through Grey, following with a monster short-arm lariat, then another, before dropping Leila via bodyslam.
Leading to Leila legging it outside, where – guess what!? – heel interference from the outside interrupted a dominant babyface. This time from Kiera Hogan.
Not that it meant anything, as, back from break, Willow was crushing Grey in the corner, following up with a spinebuster for a count of two. This is the first pin attempt I can remember all night which didn’t lead to a pinfall.
A step-up knee in the corner saw Grey briefly fight back but an attempted bulldog was countered into a belly-to-back suplex. Bringing Hogan back to the apron, Grey colliding with her, leading to a great-looking Dr. Bomb for the uno, dos, tres.
JR gave this the dreaded ‘bowling shoe ugly’ treatment.
Schiavone joined Willow in the ring to announce that Willow ‘is now All Elite!’ as they showed the graphic on the big screen. Jade Cargill immediately interrupted as Willow quickly ducked out and headed backstage.
Giving Nyla ten seconds to bring back her belt, the countdown began. Until being interrupted at ‘two’ by that girl who hangs round with Nyla and Vickie (genuinely still don’t know her name) via the big screen, showing that they’ve stolen Jade’s car too. Nyla sang very badly – presumably deliberately – as they drove away.
Cargill then beat-up some security guards.
WINNER: Willow Nightingale
They showed the segment leading to Cassidy being included in this upcoming match. Orange popped up from behind the bar as Rush and Ten argued. Not much more to it than that. Outside of Rush, everything here was supposed to be comedy.
‘I don’t know, I felt like it’ – literally Cassidy’s explanation for putting his title on the line in a three way. Perhaps revealing Tony Khan’s general strategy relating to title contenders?
Cassidy continued his stealing of Mark Henry’s lines. Which was about the first entertaining thing all night.
Preston ‘10’ Vance vs Rush vs Orange Cassidy, All-Atlantic Title
Backstory: Rush now playing the part of Andrade as LFI/Andrade Office try to recruit Ten (Cassidy was added to the match in a backstage segment yesterday, getting Khan’s approval to put his title on the line)
The way Dasha announced Rush reminded us why she should be doing it all the time. She sounds excited about what and who she’s announcing.
Orange continues to carry his belt in a backpack.
Ten and Rush went right to a slugfest as Cassidy perched casually on the ropes, pausing to pocket his hands and launch the kicks at both challengers, Rush dropping Ten mid-combo then eating a Cassidy dropkick. Tope to Ten but Cassidy was caught coming off the top by a Rush headbutt. Leaving him vulnerable to Bull’s Horns but Rush faked it, rolling backwards into his pose, mocking Orange.
JR and Schiavone made fun of how unintelligible Excalibur’s promos are as Rush set to whipping Ten with a cable at ringside. The Mexican well on top as he began doing the same to the champ, dominating both guys. No DQ in a three-way per Schiavone.
Ten fought back with a series of clotheslines, Cassidy dove at both but was caught and double chokeslammed into, but not through, the table at ringside. (It didn’t break).
A spear through the ropes by Ten to Rush brought us back from the last break, Ten catching Cassidy in his Full Nelson finish – Stundog Millionaire freeing him, tornado ddt to Rush, elbow-pad off, Beachbreak for two as Jose blatantly broke up the pin. JR continued complaining about how stupid the rules are – totally with him. And was even less impressed by Danhausen Cursing Jose – totally with hm.
A brutal belly-to-belly saw Rush catapult Cassidy into the buckle as a ‘tighty wighties’ chant sprang up, referencing the heel’s trunks. Spinebuster by Ten to Rush as the crowd chanted their favorite number, wheelbarrow German to Cassidy, discus lariat – broken up at 2 ½ by Rush as Excalibur announced that we’d have had a new champ otherwise.
Rush began targeting Ten’s mask, but was taken out by an Orange Punch as he turned ’round. A Beach Break attempt saw Ten try a roll-up but his mask started coming loose, allowing Cassidy to hook the legs for the pin and win.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
- FTR vs Swerve in our Glory, No.1 Contendership
- Riho vs Jamie Hayter
- Jericho & Garcia vs Claudio & Yuta
- Danielson vs Sammy Guevara
- They announced nothing, a huge improvement on tonight’s lineup
Completely understand Tony Khan suddenly realizing that his show had no star-power and calling on Orange Cassidy. What’s harder to comprehend is his continued insistence on throwing around title matches like Oprah prizes.
A title belt is supposed to be the pinnacle. We watch a wrestler start out, establish a bond, begin to root for them, until finally they break through and win. And we feel a part of it for supporting them on their journey.
It’s psychologically gratifying in the same way a long-term fan enjoys their sports team winning more than someone who just turned up yesterday because the team’s hot.
Title matches in themselves do not draw interest, the story and the characters leading to them do.
Case in point: There were six title matches from the company’s inception until the end of 2019. And the same for the first three months of 2020.
There were three tonight in one hour. And we all know which drew more viewers.
- Dynamite was good
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!