AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
Spooky scary wrestling; it only happens once a year! Well… twice a year I guess since AEW has two shows now, and honestly I’m grateful for it because if this tribute to the best holiday of the year is even half as good as the Dynamite show, then we are in for a GHOULISHLY good time! Is this a FANG-tastic collection of COFF-FUN matches to make you SCREAM, or is this a foul beast that was better left in its tomb? Hey, would you rather me get these all out now or parcel them out through all of November? Let’s find out!!
Daniel Bryan Vs. Eddie Kingston – AEW World Title Tournament Semi-Final
Danielson and Kingston both had rather disappointing opening matches in this tournament, but with the semi-finals underway they both have a chance to redeem themselves, and boy do they ever! It doesn’t start off very intense as Danielson seems to be worried about engaging in any sort of brawl with Kingston and so is biding his time to land some flashier moves while Kingston is ready to brawl but isn’t about to walk into a trap. Danielson finally gets his chance by running the ropes and landing a Flying Clothesline on Eddie that sends him to the corner before landing a kick to his face, and Kingston rolls to throw a chair around in frustration before getting back in the ring with Danielson. With the momentum in his favor, Danielson starts taking some of Kingston’s shots which he sells like bowling bowls to the chest, but taking those hits gets him close enough to Kingston to REALLY start doing some damage. He works over Kingston’s left arm which should help dampen those powerful strikes, and Kingston can’t do much against his submissions until Danielson tries to throw him into the ropes and he eats a knee instead. Things keep getting nastier and more brutal as the match progresses which favors Kingston whose strikes are leaving some DISTRESSINGLY red marks all over Danielson’s skin. He’s gonna have to do more than just tank Kingston’s moves if he wants to win, but he seems too tired to go back to his original strategy. Fortunately, he gets a lucky break as Kingston charges and Danielson pulls down the ropes and sends him to the floor, but when Danielson tries to press the advantage, Kingston DESTROYS him on the outside with an Elbow Strike and a Suplex. Now Kingston may fight light a brute but he’s also a shrewd competitor and allows the ref to start the count instead of trying to attack Danielson more which is a sound strategy considering Danielson’s state, but he just BARELY gets in at the nine count. After a few more moves from Kingston, he puts Danielson on the turnbuckle for a Superplex, but Danielson fights him off which should give him a bit of breathing room… except that all it means is that Kingston can bash him across the chest from a standing position on the floor; something that I’m sure his deeply red chest isn’t thankful for. Kingston tries to get up again, but Danielson escapes from underneath instead of fighting him off and gets behind him to land an Avalanche Belly to Back Suplex! The two start trading blows on the mat and Danielson gets a few of his Yes Kicks in before transitioning to a series of Arm Bars as he tries to force Kingston to submit. Out of NOWHERE though, Kingston lands a DDT and the two start trading blows on the mat. They eventually get up and the two continue to just beat the crap out of each other until they both just collapse which causes the crowd to go WILD! This is intense, exciting, and despite Danielson’s very red chest, it doesn’t look like anyone is taking serious bumps or risking injury without losing a single ounce of its brutality! It’s time to wrap things up however, so Kingston makes his way over to Danielson, but it’s a trap as Danielson locks in the Triangle Choke. Kingston punches wildly and even throws him the bird, but it’s not enough to escape the hold and Kingston passes out; giving Danielson the win and advancing him to the finals of the tournament! Danielson has had some pretty amazing matches since he arrived, but that was something special! The crowd loved it, I loved it, and it’s going to be a hard one to follow!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with another week of AEW action; only this week is different, isn’t it? It’s not just ANY episode, but the SPOOOOKY episodes as this is the last one before the best holiday of the year! Does AEW put on a Halloween show to remember, or will we this all remind us of Halloween Havoc 98? Let’s find out!!
Bobby Fish Vs. CM Punk
So just in case the angle from last week didn’t make it clear, Fish has gone full heel and fights this match like one. It starts out pretty even at first with neither side giving up too much ground or going too flashy with it, but things start to pick up when Punk lands two Scoop Slams back to back for a two count. He then goes for the GTS, but this is way too early to go for the finisher and he’s REALLY close to the ropes, so naturally Bobby escapes by yanking on them for leverage and this gives him enough of an opening to land some well-placed strikes that severally damage Punk’s knee. The knee will end up being a huge factor for the rest of the match as every chance he has to fight off Fish and retake the advantage is hampered by his injury, but Fish is not having much better luck putting Punk away since he’s the tenacious Baby Face with a fighting spirit! Fish makes his mistake when he puts Punk on the turnbuckle who finally starts to fight back with a bunch of Elbow Strikes until Fish falls to the mat. Punk lands a Top Rope Elbow Drop but doesn’t go for the pin and instead uses this time to recover and he puts up a better fight when they start brawling again. Punk seems to be getting the advantage until Fish lands another kick to the knee and starts running the ropes for some momentum. Out of NOWHERE, Punk lands a Jump Kick and follows with a Swinging Neck Breaker which stops Fish’s momentum in its tracks, and a Knee Strike in the corner followed by a Short Arm Clothesline gets Punk a two count. Distressed by this outcome but feeling confident about his chances, Punk puts Fish on his shoulders to try the GTS again. Fish escapes however and lands a Dragon Screw followed by a Sliding Clotheslines which actually made me think for a second that Punk was going to lose which would be a HUGE boon for Fish if they want to give him a serious heel run! It was not meant to be however as Punk manages to sweep his legs out and flips over into a Jackknife pin that Fish bridges out of which was VERY impressive to see, but the Punk gets him on his shoulders and lands the GTS which is finally enough to get him the pin and win the match! This was a lot like the Danielson/Dustin match from the last episode, but I think they pulled it off MUCH better here! Dustin didn’t quite reach the depths of desperation that Punk is showing here, and Fish’s offense is much more brutal than Danielson’s was, so there was a lot more drama and energy which made this a great opener! Perhaps not the BEST outcome for Bobby Fish who effectively lost to a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, but he’ll have his day soon enough!
All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, and Shahid Khan
After weeks of buildup, the start of a new Friday night show, and the arrival of one of wrestling’s biggest names, this could be the most anticipated PPV that wrestling has seen for quite some time; certainly as far as AEW who already have a high bar for these shows but those expectations have been shot into the stratosphere after everything they’ve promised and the stuff they’ve heavily hinted at! Is this a show for the ages that will be a turning point for AEW, especially given their recent boost in popularity, or will the house of cards finally come down after all those unrealistic expectations give way to reality? Let’s find out!!
Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta and Jurassic Express Vs. Hardy Family Office – The Buy In Ten Man Tag Match
So in case you hadn’t heard, there was a last-minute complication that forced AEW to drop the Pac and Andrade match and move the original Buy In match to the main card; leaving a spot in the Buy In that needed to be SWIFTLY filled in. I couldn’t tell you exactly which match was pushed to the main card (if I were to guess, MAYBE the TNT Title match) but for a match that had to come about at the eleventh hour, they managed to put on a VERY good show! With this many guys in the ring it mostly devolves into a spot fest where all the Baby Faces get to show off while the Heels dampen their momentum, but there are some fun thru-lines throughout. The most obvious one is between Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy where Matt is INSISTENT on getting him in the ring to face him! The match starts with Chuck Taylor, and he just kicks him back to the corner! Nope! Orange Cassidy! Wheeler Yuta comes out and Hardy just grabs him by the head and shoves him back to his side! NO! ORANGE CASSIDY! NOW!! Then Luchasaurus comes in… and Hardy suddenly feels the urge to tag in Jack Evans who’s not happy about this but gives it his all… before getting crushed. Things get a bit more straightforward from there with a few different lock ups that are more evenly matched until Luchasaurus gets swarmed and does the Big Man RAARRRGHHH spot to send them all flying. It’s not until Hardy distracts Luchasaurus that Private Party are FINALLY able to cut him down, and it’s now time for Cassidy to make his move as he gives Lousy Kicks to all three of them before throwing Hardy out of the ring. There are spots all over the place and chaos has completely taken over as I don’t think anyone GENUINELY knows who’s the legal competitor, but eventually everyone is effectively killed which leaves just Jungle Boy and Angelico in the ring. Jack Evans jumps in and is on Angelico’s shoulders so Jungle Boy gets on Luchasaurus and they play a game of chicken that ends in Jurassic Express’s favor. Private Party tries to take advantage of this goofiness by jumping at the precariously balanced Jungle Boy, but his flexibility allows him to dodge a Cross Body from Quen and SOMEHOW catches Kassidy then flips over backwards and lands so that Kassidy takes the brunt of the fall!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
After things were so tragically derailed at the end of the year, it’s time for AEW to get things back on track and to hopefully start the New Year off with a bang! With a solid card, celebrity cameos, and a main event with Kenny Omega and Rey Fénix, do they bring enough bang for your buck, or is this a fireworks show that consisting of three sparklers and half a cherry bomb? Let’s find out!!
Young Bucks & SCU Vs. The Acclaimed & TH2 – Eight Man Tag Match
This definitely feels like a filler match which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but despite there being a baked in storyline here with all four teams in some sort of feud it’s mostly just to show off some cool moves and for Kazarian to cut a promo at the end. There are some fun spots here (mostly from The Bucks who clear the ring at least TWICE in this match) and I like that they’re foreshadowing SCU’s promo by having Daniels be the one on the receiving end of the heat segments, but it also means that none of it particularly stuck with me. Jack Evans has a really cool looking spin kick from the apron, There’s a BTE trigger with Nick Jackson and Kazarian, and Angélico is definitely someone who should get more of the spotlight (much like Kazarian), and eventually Matt Jackson and Christopher Daniels finish off Jack Evans with a Meltzer Driver. Short, sweet, and to the point; certainly a solid enough way to start off a show. It’s then time for Kazarian to grab the mic and confirms what was announced on Being The Elite. The next time he and Daniels lose a tag team match, SCU will dissolve and they will be a team any longer. I’m pretty sure Kurt Angle had a similar deal going on in 2010 that eventually went sideways, but it was at TNA and I’m pretty sure AEW can do a better job than them with this kind of story. If nothing else, it’s a chance for Daniels to get the spotlight again before he puts his career to an end.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
So after the surprise ending of last week’s show that saw Kenny Omega winning the title under duplicitous circumstances, not to mention Sting showing up to blow all the wrestling nerds away, what can AEW possibly do to give us an episode as good as that!? Probably nothing short of having John Cena show I imagine, but even if it’s not as good as last week’s blowout show, do they still manage to capitalize on all the good will they built up and give us something worth watching? Let’s find out!!
The Young Bucks Vs. The Hybrid2
TH2 has been on a hot streak recently with some solid promos and a great match two weeks ago, so now they’re here to get some shine from the Bucks, though perhaps this match is a bit TOO wacky for that to happen. It’s not BAD, but it is a bit on the silly side with spot in particular standing out like a sore thumb. TH2 Whip the two bucks towards each other, but instead of crashing they lock their right arms, spin around on the axis crated by their crossed biceps, and let go when facing the other direction; now RUNNING towards TH2 and landing spears. I don’t think that’s how physics works, but PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING is probably not the place to bringing up concerns like that, and the match is pretty solid all the way through. LOTS of flips (some of which don’t do anything other than show off) and plenty of kicks to give the match a lot of flair, and there’s one spot where Matt Jackson Powerbombs Jack Evans into The Acclaimed; the team that were taunting them last week and who JUST SO HAPPENED to be in the crowd this week. There were actually quite a few big moves with TH2 managing to kick out of a bunch of The Bucks super moves and there’s one spot where Matt Jackson has Jack Evans in the Electric Chair (basically have the other guy sitting on your shoulders) so that Nick can give him a flying clothesline from the top rope to the ramp! Evan manages to get up after that one, but taking a Spike Piledriver on the floor proved to be too much which left Angélico alone in the ring to eat a BTE trigger which was finally enough to end the match. Perhaps it went on too long for the opener and I think they overdid it on the super moves early on which didn’t leave a lot of room to escalate for the ending, but it was still a fun match. The Acclaimed try to rush the ring after the match ends, but Kazarian and Daniels (the latter STILL wearing his dad clothes) spring to the ring from the back and keep them at bay. I hope we’re not dropping The Hybrid2 completely to make room for The Acclaimed, but it would be interesting to see if The Hybrid2 joined forces with them and cost the Bucks a match. See, The Bucks are still kind of on their own and still acting like jerks, so where I would have them LOST against FTR and come to that revelation for the rematch, it could work here if they’re facing challengers who have back up and need to make amends with some team before the title match so they can get backup as well. It looks like it’ll be SCU as they’ve made the save twice now, or maybe they’re just angling for their own title shot as well. There are a few directions they can take this story, but I get the feeling they’re going to go with the most straightforward where they face Acclaimed and win yet again before moving on to something else.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It is week… I don’t even know anymore, of the COVID era of wrestling and like everything else things are starting to blur for me. I USED to be able to at least keep up with the WWE PPVs, but Backlash looks about as interesting as a symposium on paint drying and NXT is only faring slightly better. That’s not to say that AEW has been above reproach in recent weeks as I’ve found the most recent episodes a bit of a chore to get through at times, but they’ve at least kept things afloat for me as a wrestling fan while the rest of the country (and the government in particular) is doing everything they can to prolong this crisis. Gee, I’ve been getting on my soapbox a bit much lately! Let’s just try to forget the world for a bit and focus on another fun show of dudes beating the crap out of other dudes and yelling into microphones! Can this week’s AEW get me out of my lockdown lethargy and get excited for this noble sport once again!? Let’s find out!!
Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. The Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall)
The Natural Nightmares are accompanied to the ring by Brandi Rhodes
Not wasting any time, the show begins with The Natural Nightmares already in the ring while Omega and Hangman get their full entrance. Seriously, I can believe Dustin got the Jobber treatment! QT Marshall, sure, but they couldn’t give freaking DUSTIN the airtime to play his song!? If it wasn’t clear from the lack of buildup last week and the entrances here, Dustin and QT Marshall don’t have much of a chance at winning these belts, but even if they spent the time to make this seem like a legitimate challenge before entering the ring, the match itself would give away how unlikely The Natural Nightmare’s chances are within the first few minutes. I don’t know, Dustin doesn’t look his best in this match and Kenny is bumping like a mo-fo which makes it all feel a lot faker than it should. There’s something about Kenny that I first noticed in his match against Joey Janela where it’s hard to buy some people fighting against him. Dustin is looking worse than he ever has working against Kenny as it just looks so fake for him to sell this damage of moves that don’t look like they’re doing that much. It’s not much better for QT Marshall who is certainly more athletic than Dustin and manages to look okay against Adam Page, but there’s just not enough here to invest in the bout as it feels far too scripted. The match heats up eventually once Marshall pulls off this awesome flip kick, and Dustin eventually does that amazing Canadian Destroyer of his, so from that point on the match feels a bit more even handed. QT Marshall even gets the advantage with a Diamond Cutter and it’s at that point that Allie comes out from the back to cheer for him who if you recall has been dating him for a few weeks now. Her encouragement spurs him to try and take out Omega with a jump from the top rope… and he totally whiffs it, so good job Allie! They go for a bit after that but it’s clear that Marshall’s momentum has been lost and he eventually eats a Last Call from Omega and Hangman to end the match. It took a while to get there, but I ended up enjoying it by the end. I think Kenny’s one fatal flaw is his ability to sell for lesser opponents, and it’s not like he isn’t TRYING but it seems he has trouble making it convincing in certain circumstances and it was the case for at about half of this match. Aside from that it wasn’t the best match from any of the wrestlers involved, but it ended up being an alright way to start the show.