Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (02-04-2022)

AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back another episode of Rampage which often ends up being the better of the two shows; mostly because they can get in and out with a bunch of good matches while Dynamite tries to figure out what the direction is for the next few weeks. That said, Dynamite had a pretty solid show with a fantastic main event, so is this one of the few times where Rampage isn’t the more exciting show of the week? Let’s find out!!

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Adam Cole Vs. Evil Uno

As a diehard Evil Uno fan, this wasn’t exactly a fun match to watch. The guy doesn’t even get his entrance and it’s over in less than two minutes which is quite below what I expect to see from the de facto leader of the Dark Order! Oh sure he gets to do that Hanging Neck Breaker thing and gets a bit of a hope spot after that, but then Cole gets the knees up on a Senton attempt and that’s pretty much it for Uno. He gets one Rolling Elbow after that before a High Knee from Cole that knocks him out cold. For good measure, Cole hits another kick to the face and a Boom Knee Strike, and then finally goes for the pin to win the match. The goal was clearly to make Adam Cole look strong which is good because of what they do after the match, but I know Uno can put on a better showing than this! Maybe he and Stu can get a decent match challenging Jurassic Express for the Tag Team Titles, but for now, let’s hear what Cole has to say.

Cole starts listing off all the guys he beat in singles competition and reiterates that OFFICIALLY he has never lost a singles match. Sure, there was that thing with Orange Cassidy a week ago, but that was a Lights-Out match and doesn’t count in the record books! Still, even as the words are coming out of his mouth it’s clear he doesn’t believe them as e feels the need to reassert himself here as the best in this business, and what better way to do that than to go for the AEW World Title? Assuming of course that Hangman Adam Page can survive the TEXAS DEATH MATCH with Lance Archer, it would be pretty interesting to see those two lock it up in the ring, and it wouldn’t be the first time a challenger to Hangman went through Evil Uno first.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-02-2022)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TBS

We’re back with another week of Dynamite action that you probably forgot about already given that I’m still about two weeks behind! Then again, this DOES have the confrontation between MJF and CM Punk that we were waiting months to see, so perhaps the memories are still a bit fresh in your minds! Was this a fantastic blowoff to a fantastic feud, or were we all just setting ourselves up for disappointment? Let’s find out!!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Wheeler Yuta

Yuta is accompanied to the ring by Orange Cassidy and Danhausen

I still have no idea who this Danhausen guy is, but it hardly matters as he’s not much of a factor here. For the most part, it stays focused on Moxley and Yuta with only the occasional interaction with Orange Cassidy to foreshadow a future match between him and Moxley. As I’ve said before, AEW doesn’t typically do squashes with their named talent, and so Wheeler Yuta gets plenty of offense here with a Manhattan Drop, Step Up Enziguri, and Corner Splash combo giving him a decent hope spot in the middle of the match, and this forces Moxley to roll to the apron. The two start fighting on there, but it’s clear that whatever Yuta throws at him, Moxley can not only take it but dish it back with twice as much force and so he manages to hit a DDT on the apron that sends Yuta to the floor. This is when he spends time to confront Orange Cassidy while Danhausen does some sort of finger magic thing, and it gives Yuta enough time to land a Top Rope Splash onto Moxley, and this leads to a German Suplex into a bridge that gets Yuta a two count. The two go back and forth for a bit with Yuta managing to turn a Paradigm Shift into a slam on Moxley, but Moxley once again brute forces his way to having the upper hand. He locks in a Rear Naked Choke to stop Yuta’s momentum and knocks him to the floor with a King Kong Lariat. A Paradigm Shift soon follows and that’s all she wrote as Yuta stays down for the three count which gives Moxley the win. It wasn’t a bad opener, but it wasn’t anything special either. Moxley seems to be easing back into his role here at AEW with basic matches, but it looks like we’ll be moving towards something bigger soon enough because…

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (01-28-2022) – Beach Break

AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back with more AEW action, though at this rate we’re probably a solid two weeks behind here and I’m sure everyone has already moved on to talk about whatever headline-grabbing events occurred on the most recent episode. Still, it’s good to keep chugging away at these for posterities sake, and honestly, missing an episode of wrestling is like skipping over an issue of a superhero comic; you’re guaranteed to get lost if you don’t have the complete picture at all times. Does this episode of Rampage live up to the Beach Break event in ways that the Dynamite show did not? Let’s find out!!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Anthony Bowens

Bowens is accompanied to the ring Max Caster

Despite Moxley’s overwhelming popularity, he’s not a guy who lets it go to his head. Where a place like WWE would want winners to be winners and never show an inch, AEW has a much less strict attitude for its wrestlers which is just another reason that fits in so well here. To wit, Moxley gives up quite a bit to Anthony Bowens who eats a lot of offense and does a lot of bumping at the start of the match but eventually turns things in his favor for the rest of it. It helps that Caster is on the outside to provide the occasional distraction, but Bowens is still a great wrestler and they certainly don’t want to bury him here, even against a top talent guy like Moxley. Bowens manages to hit a Superplex on Moxley which gets him a pretty close two-count, and Caster makes a big save by pushing Bowens out of the way of a Suicide Dive. This gives Bowens a chance to hit a DDT, but still, Moxley will not stay down as he kicks out at two. With Bowens seeing the writing on the wall, he manages to get a chain from Caster and attempts to hit Moxley behind the ref’s back, but Moxley quickly hits a Cutter that leaves Bowens flat on the mat. Caster makes a desperate attempt to even the odds, but Moxley throws him out of the ring immediately and finishes off Bowens with a King Kong Lariat and a Paradigm Shift. I’m glad that Moxley is back and putting on good matches, and I’m MORE than glad that AEW is recognizing Bowens as a solid talent, but the match couldn’t really rise above being good as I think the Acclaimed formula is getting stale. Having Caster interfere constantly and teasing the boom box spot only for the Heels to get their comeuppance is a fine formula, but it starts to lose its impact if that’s what we see every time.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-26-2022) – Beach Break

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TBS

I still don’t understand why they do Beach Break in January given it’s one of the worst months to do anything beach-related, but they’ve got a bunch of special episodes they want to do each year so I guess that’s just how the scheduling works out.  Despite the anachronistic title, is this an episode that brings the fun and excitement you expect from a special episode of Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Sammy Guevara – TNT Title Ladder Match

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

While title matches are becoming increasingly common as the openers for the show, it’s not often that you see one that’s also a ladder match.  Heck, it’s not that often you see a ladder match that’s one on one as the format almost demands I high level of chaos (and more bodies to share the pain), but they wanted something unique for their Beach Break show and we certainly got it here.  It starts off pretty simple as neither one wants to grab a ladder right away to the consternation of the crowd, but Sammy eventually gets tossed out of the ring and they brawl their way through the crowd which really gets things going.  Sammy eventually manages to hit a Cutter on Cody over the barricade, and this is the first chance someone has to try and climb a ladder.  One of the things that annoy me about Ladder matches is how slowly wrestlers will go up it (despite there being a title on the line, each step requires the wrestler to take a lunch break), but here they are actually going up it like they want to get the belt and win the match!  Cody manages to catch up to Sammy just in time which gives us our first ridiculous move of the match; a Superplex from the top of the ladder where both of them come CRASHING to the mat below!  Impressive to be sure, but I can definitely see why they immediately cut to commercial so that both of them can catch their breath after taking such a bump!  Of course, it’s not the only astoundingly dangerous thing they do in the match.  Cody throws a ladder at Sammy which gives him a chance to climb the ladder set up under the belt, but then Sammy climbs a ladder next to it and JUMPS OFF TO LAND A CUTTER ON CODY that once again sends them crashing to the mat.  Not to be outdone, Cody hits Sammy with a Cross Rhodes off a ladder only a few minutes later, and for the third time, they go crashing to the mat.  Both are worn out by this, but Cody gets up first and starts to climb, and it makes sense at this point for him to be slow as he’s been through a lot in the match.  Sammy manages to climb up behind him and both are on top fighting over the belt that’s hanging on a bar above the ring.  Now we’ve had a lot of fun with the absurd stunt’s they’ve pulled so far, but here’s where I think they reach a turning point and take it too far.  Both grab onto the bar and kick away the ladder so both are dangling very high in the air, and both eventually drop to the mat below.  It looks like Sammy got the worst of it, and sadly it’s only the beginning as they soon set up for something even worse.  Sammy manages to bridge a ladder between the apron and the barricade, and puts Cody on top of it.  He then sets up a HORRIFICALLY tall ladder next to him from which he jumps off to land on Cody!  To make it worse, the ladder Cody was on ends up holding and therefore doesn’t break Sammy’s fall, so it looks like his back was folded up like a wallet on impact.  Thankfully Sammy can still walk and he gets back in the ring to start climbing the ladder, but Cody manages to catch up to him.  The two trade blows on the top of it until Cody finally falls over; allowing Sammy Guevara to get the belt, win the TNT title, and hopefully see a doctor as soon as possible.  Ladder matches are particularly dangerous given just how much chaos the ladders introduce.  They create bad angles, unforgiving platforms, and hard weapons, so there’s simply nothing about them that are the least bit healthy for the wrestlers.  If you’re only going to do it every once in a while then I understand going all out, but you don’t want Sammy to break his spine over an opening match on Dynamite.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-26-2022) – Beach Break”

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (01-21-2022)

AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT                  

We’re back with more Rampage action, and this is the final episode of AEW before the Beach Break event!  The event that already happened because I’m still catchup up on things, so let’s not waste any more time and get right to it!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Ethan Page

Page is accompanied to the ring by Scorpio Sky

This is Moxley’s first match since returning on Wednesday’s show, and Ethan Page is a good opponent for him.  The two share similar brutish styles, but ALL EGO Ethan Page definitely allows for a lot of flair and spectacle in a way that Moxley is diametrically opposed to.  Page will toss Moxley around and put on a goofy grin while doing it, while Moxley will just grab the dude’s face and start biting it.  That said, for all of Moxley’s ferocity he does fall a bit short when it comes to strategy here as Page tries to work the knee throughout the match, and the commercial break starts when Moxley charges at him and he dodges so that Moxley goes face-first into the post and tumbles down to the floor.  I’ll give him credit for being a tough dude, but you can do that WHILE ALSO not hurting yourself as much as you hurt your opponent.  Things eventually settle into a back and forth routine as Moxley starts to focus and hits some solid moves, but he can’t quite nail the Paradigm Shift and ends up eating big moves from Page whenever he tries it.  A Brain Buster followed by a Single Leg Crab looks to move things in Page’s favor, but a Low Bridge and a Suicide Dive from Moxley keep him from taking over entirely.  Page hits back with an Avalanche Powerslam from the middle rope and goes to make the pin, but Moxley catches him and hits a series of elbows and knees right to Page’s face.  With Page reeling from this assault, Moxley locks in the Bulldog Choke which knocks out Page and gives Moxley the win.  But that’s not all!  On his way out of the arena, Moxley runs into none other than Bryan Danielson who gives him a sideways glance before stepping out of his way!  I’m sure that match is going to blow everyone away whenever they get around to it, but this was a fun and perfectly satisfying way to bring Moxley back into the fold.  Despite bringing back one of AEW’s biggest starts, it wasn’t bigger or longer than it needed to be; a lesson that they could stand to take to heart a little more often.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-19-2022)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TBS

We’re back with another week of AEW action that everyone else saw a while ago, and while I’ve said I will catch up for a while now, I can feel it this time!  This weekend I will be nice and caught up, but for now let’s take a look at this episode of Dynamite, starting with…

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The Return of Jon Moxley – Ready to Kick Butt and Drink Blood!

Jon Moxley has been out for several months now to deal with some serious issues, and in that time he missed a lot of big moments at AEW.  Hangman Adam Page winning the title, Bryan Danielson’s turn to the dark side, even his buddy, Eddie Kingston, facing off against CM Punk!  Thankfully he seems to be in a much better place now and is more than ready to make up for lost time, though even this happy occasion is not without its sourpusses as some dude starts heckling Moxley from the crowd.  Not missing a beat, Moxley tells him to go F**k himself and has the dude ejected which the crowd went wild for.  He’s still one of the top draws at this company and is an expert at being an unscripted force of nature (he even threatens to drink his opponents’ blood) and I’m curious to see what he does next!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (01-14-2022)

AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

Another week, another episode of Rampage to put the cherry on top of the Dynamite Sundae!  We’re still a little bit behind here, but that just means more AEW for me to watch!  Let’s get started!!

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Trent Beretta Vs. Adam Cole

Trent is accompanied to the ring by Best Friends while Cole is accompanied by Young Bucks, Red Dragon, and Britt Baker

Oh hey!  It looks like Trent finally figured out what his last name is!  I guess we can put that mystery to bed, but now he has a new problem to solve which is how he’s gonna beat Adam Cole; especially given his impressive winning streak and the half dozen people around the ring backing him up?  First thing I noticed in this match is that Adam Cole is really good at what he does because you rarely, if ever, see him as a small guy despite being shorter and less cut than most of his peers.  His charm, swagger, and fantastic wrestling skills make it impossible to see him as anything but a top star, but this match did a great job of somehow making Cole the one fighting form underneath.  Similarly, Trent has a darn good physique and a decent amount of size to him, but it rarely comes off as intimidating given the goofy gimmick of the Best Friends.  Here though, Trent is a beast and he is tearing Cole apart in the opening minutes of this match.  Cole is no slouch and is keeping pace with the guy due to his skills as a wrestler and by focusing on Trent’s vulnerable neck, but for most of this match it plays out like it’s his to lose.  This is mostly due to Cole going for the Panama Sunrise after every brief hope spot he gets and each time it gets reversed by Trent; either by throwing Cole off which sends him soaring in the air, or by turning it into a devastating move like the Saito Suplex.  The most sustained offense that Cole manages to get is after landing a terrifying Avalanche Brain Buster on Trent as the action gets pretty even between the two after such a devastating move.  Lots of big moves back and forth with Trent hitting a Pile Drive on the Apron and Cole continuing to focus on the neck with a Back Breaker and a Canadian Destroyer, but Trent eventually manages to reverse another Panama Sunrise attempt into a Strong Zero which should be enough to win the match.  He goes for the pin, but Nick Jackson puts Cole’s boot on the ropes; an act that creates total chaos as everyone outside of the ring starts brawling.  Adam Cole hits a low blow on Trent while Ref Remsberg is distracted, and this allows Cole to hit the Boom Knee Strike to the back of Trent’s head and his very sore neck.  Cole goes for the cover and gets the pin to win the match to the consternation of Best Friends and the delight of all the factions on Cole’s side of the ring!  This is the kind of match that I love to see on Rampage; perhaps a little light on stakes, but more than enough fantastic back and forth action to get the crowd going and to pump us up for the rest of the show!  The only thing I was not a fan of was the putting so much emphasis on Trent’s recently repaired neck throughout the match.  I get that we all know about Trent’s surgery and that wrestling is supposed to only LOOK like it hurts, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am at Trent taking moves like that.  It’s like whenever Danielson takes a bunch of headshots; I know wrestling is staged, but that’s still not a reason to start tempting fate.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-12-2022)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TBS

We’re back with more AEW action, albeit action that’s over a week old.  January’s been a rough month and the week-long power outage coupled with the bonus Battle of the Belts show that AEW threw at us, it’s been hard to find time to get up to date, but that’s a problem for another day as we’re here to focus on this one show!  Let’s get started!!

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The show starts with Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly coming out to talk about how awesome last year was and how great 2022 will be; Cole in particular bragging about not being pinned or submitted yet which means he’s undefeated as a singles wrestler.  The party gets cut short however as the Young Bucks come out with Brandon Cutler to confront Red Dragon (Fish and O’Reilly) as both teams are going to be chasing after the Tag Team Titles.  Cole is stuck between the two groups to try and make them all play nice when Best Friends come out with Orange Cassidy to throw a match at this powder keg that’s already primed to go off.  Naturally, a brawl ensues and Cole hits a low blow on Orange Cassidy which causes Kris Statlander to jump in, but then Britt Baker runs down to the ring and Curb Stomps Statlander.  With her out of the way, she holds down Cassidy while Cole gives him a few kicks and the Boom Knee Strike before sharing a kiss in the middle of the ring.  The fact that Cole and Baker are a couple has been brought up before on the show, but this is the first time they’ve been in the ring together since his arrival.  They announce later in the show that they will have a Mixed Tag Match with Cassidy and Statlander, and frankly, I’m excited to see it!

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CM Punk Vs. Wardlow

Wardlow is accompanied to the ring by MJF

I’m a little surprised that Wardlow didn’t come down with Shawn Spears considering how integral he’s been to Wardlow’s matches up to this point, but I guess MJF wants to get a view of the carnage and didn’t want to share floor space with one of his cronies.  Carnage, by the way, is exactly what we get here as Wardlow is twice Punk’s size and probably half his age.  Punk manages a few shots in the corner and goes for a GTS, but Wardlow shrugs it all off and easily overpowers his opponent.  He tosses Punk around for a bit and throughout the commercial break until he’s ready to set him up for a Powerbomb, but Punk escapes and hits a Roundhouse kick to the head.  He gets a few more kicks and a bunch of clotheslines which do little more than stumble Wardlow, but then he hits a Springboard Clothesline that finally knocks the big guy to the mat.  I hope that minor victory was sweet because Wardlow is upset now and finally hits the Powerbomb after a distraction from MJF.  He hits him with another, and another, and a fourth, and a FIFTH!  Wardlow is finally ready to pin him, but MJF has to rear his ugly head and demands that Wardlow hit him with even more Powerbombs despite CM Punk being a pile of putty on the mat.  Wardlow rolls his eyes and hits him with a few more Powerbombs, including one Powerbomb through the timekeeper’s table, but that’s still not enough and MJF demands a ninth one.  Wardlow reluctantly picks him up to do it again, but Punk quickly rolls him over into an Inside Cradle and keeps Wardlow down just long enough for the three count to win the match out of nowhere!  Punk rolls immediately to avoid the wrath of Wardlow, but the one who is really wrathful is MJF who gets in the ring and gives Wardlow a serious tongue lashing; complete with shoves and finger jabs to the chest!  Wardlow has had enough of this and grabs MJF’s arm whose eyes start to grow huge, but Shawn Spears finally makes his appearance and runs in to quickly act as peacemaker between the two.  Wardlow walks out without taking another shot at MJF, but he’s definitely ticked off as he storms up the ramp.  I can’t say that this was the match I was expecting to get, especially given how many Powerbombs Punk was able to sell for Wardlow, but I enjoyed it quite a bit!  Sometimes you can get away with an unconventional style and pace if it serves an interesting story, and I think the impending breakup between MJF and Wardlow is one of the stronger ongoing storylines they have at the moment.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-12-2022)”

Super Wrestling: AEW – Battle of the Belts

Battle of the Belts is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

AEW is not giving me a break, are they?  I had a power outage for almost a week and am trying to catch up on all the shows, so why not put out one of their special episodes now!?  Clearly, they were thinking of me when they made this decision (presumably they were unhappy with my less than favorable coverage of New Year’s Smash), but I will not succumb to their attempts at psychological warfare!  I will do my darnedest to enjoy this special event!  As long as the matches are good, of course!  Is this an excellent start to the era of TNT special episodes, or are we trying to cram too much too quickly?  Let’s find out!!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Sammy Guevara – Interim TNT Title Match

Dustin is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

I’m not the biggest fan of seeing Sting get in the ring at this point in his career, but I do understand where people are coming from as I feel very much the same way whenever we get to see Dustin!  Thankfully he managed to deliver a great match here with Sammy Guevara that honestly puts into sharp relief a few of the issues I’ve had with AEW in the last few months.  The match isn’t without a few slow parts here and there, but it feels unique to the style we usually get in a typical AEW match and feeling fresh can sometimes pay far more dividends than overwhelming skill or bloodletting.  Things start off nice and easy with some good running spots as Dustin gets an Arm Drag and Sammy gets a Hip Toss, but both are still feeling each other out, and neither wants to make a mistake.  After a few minutes of this and a fun spot of Dustin getting winded while Sammy is relaxing on the turnbuckle, Sammy finally hits one of those Uppercuts that Dustin likes to do and follows up with a Drop Kick that sends Dustin outside the ring.  We then get some okay action as Sammy tosses Dustin around the outside while teasing Arn Anderson, but the turning point comes when Dustin manages to smash Sammy’s knee into the ring steps which he has to deal with for the rest of the fight.  This is where things start to slow down a bit and it feels like the crowd is turning on the match as Dustin rolls in and leaves Sammy to be counted out but then they do it again a few minutes later when Dustin is the one outside and Sammy is waiting for the count-out.  You can hear the crowd start to groan on the second one, but it ended up working for me as it set up the big spots that immediately followed it; bringing us from a low point to a high point which is an effective way to maximize tension and to get the crowd to pop.  Sammy might just have this in the bag but he gets impatient and hits a Double Springboard Dive onto Dustin which hits its mark, but it only causes more damage to Sammy’s knee.  He grits through the pain however and throws Dustin into the ring where he hits an Enziguri and goes for a Springboard Cutter.  EXCEPT DUSTIN CATCHES HIM AND HITS A CROSS RHODES FOR A TWO-COUNT!!  Things only get more ridiculous from here as Dustin gets a Code Red, and Sammy hits the GTH; both of which are kicked out of and the crowd cannot believe it!  Then we get Fuego Del Sol who comes out from under the ring (presumably sensing his best friend being in trouble) and sets up a table on the floor.  Arn isn’t happy about this, and while he doesn’t dismantle the table, he starts menacing Fuego and chases him up the ramp.  Still, with the table in place, Sammy drags Dustin to the apron and tries to hit a Spanish Fly that would send them both through the table and assuredly win him the match.  Dustin fights back however and he manages to hit a Canadian Destroyer through the table in what is one of the most impressive and safe-looking table spots I’ve probably ever seen.  Dustin hits the table flat on his butt and is protecting Sammy’s head as the table gently falls to pieces, essentially carrying them on their way to the floor, and MAYBE Sammy hit his knees a bit hard.  Still, the crowd is going wild and Sammy is in a bad state, so Dustin throws him in… AND STILL ONLY GETS A TWO COUNT!  With all that though, it’s clear that the end is near and so Sammy tries for a Sunset flit that Dustin reverses and they keep going back and forth on pin attempts.  Sammy manages to keep Dustin down for a split second over three, and wins the match as well as the interim TNT Title!  Oh, but it’s not over yet as Daniel Garcia runs in and IMMEDIATELY gets into Sammy’s face which causes the two to start brawling and the refs have to run down to break it up!  This was a very good match and I think the key to it, as well as Dustin’s overall success, is that he’s not overexposed and so the matchup feels fresh.  AEW has the roster for people to rotate in and out on a regular basis, so we shouldn’t see Danielson six times in eight weeks.  Punk is actually striking a better balance as he’s here almost every week but it’s more often for promos than matches.  I know that AEW wants to give the crowds the stars they want to see, and I’m thankful that so many of them came out when I went to see them live, but they could get a lot more mileage out of people if they expanded their TV roster more often.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – Battle of the Belts”

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (01-07-2022)

AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

The New Year proved to be a solid start for Dynamite on TBS, but now Rampage has to keep the fort down on TBS for the occasional SPECIAL EPISODE that airs on the network; including Battle of the Belts which is just one day after this show!  Does Rampage continue to thrive on TNT, or were things better when both shows were on the same network?  Let’s find out!!

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Jake Atlas Vs. Adam Cole

Now this is a match that I am SUPER excited about!  Jake Atlas is yet another talented wrestler that WWE failed to find a use for, so now he’s here at AEW to show them just how big of a blunder they’ve made!  IT starts off well with some quick action as Atlas is strong, agile, and talented, but Cole is not to be underestimated as his in-ring experience means that he can read Atlas like a book.  There’s some good back and forth action between the two, but then Atlas goes for the top turnbuckle and Cole immediately knocks him off and follows up by throwing him into the post.  Cole is firmly in control now and whatever Atlas tries to do to get out from underneath him is caught and rebuffed; particularly this one spot where Atlas tries for something that Kind of looks like a Springboard Coffin Drop (he’s flying backward with his arms stretched out), and Cole just grabs him out of midair and hits a Backstabber.  This continues throughout the commercial, after which Atlas gets a Step Up Hurricanrana which gives him a bit of breathing room.  Cole rolls out and Atlas hits a Drop Kick through the ropes before following up with a Suicide Dive.  He then throws Cole into the ring and hits a Springboard Drop Kick for a two count, and the action goes back to a more even back and forth exchange.  Cole goes for the Boom Knee Strike, but Atlas manages to hit Cole with a kick of his own and follows up with a move that I can only describe as a Pop-Up Pile Driver.  He lifts Cole up as if he was doing a Suplex, but stops at the height of Cole’s arc and repositions so that he drops him down into a Pile Driver which gets him a two count.  In trying to follow up on this, Jake goes for another Springboard move (this time facing his opponent), but Cole manages to kick him out of the air which unfortunately led to another injury for AEW.  It’s not NEARLY as bad as Fenix’s arm going in the other direction, but it looks like Atlas messed up his knee when he planted it after this move; so much so that when Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise, he’s just not able to go up for it.  Instead, Cole knocks him to the mat and puts him in an Ankle Lock submission and Atlas taps out immediately.  The Not-Dispute Era (Fish and O’Reilly) come down to meet Cole and they’re about to pound on Atlas when Orange Cassidy and Best Friends come down to chase them off.  If it wasn’t for the injury, I’d say this was a darn good showing for Jake Atlas who looks right at home in the AEW ring, but unfortunately, he may be out for a while if something bad happened to his knee.  Two injuries back to back is not a good look for AEW, but hopefully, these are just two poorly timed flukes and nothing more.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (01-07-2022)”