AEW Rampage Review (December 10, 2021)

aew hook rampage

It was another edition of AEW Rampage with the Tag Team Titles on the line as Lucha Brothers faced FTR once again while Taz’s son Hook made his in-ring debut.

This is AEW Rampage from the UBS Arena in Belmont Park (Long Island), New York. It was taped on Wednesday night after Dynamite took place. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Friday night and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show with Taz as the other announcer. No yeller Chris Jericho this week since he was in Europe doing Fozzy music shows. They had to cancel a couple of shows because Chris was sick. He’s doing better now, so hopefully Chris is okay.

The wrestlers were already in the ring for the opening match. I like that. The bell rang two minutes after the show came on the air.

AEW Tag Team Championships: Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo) (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) (w/Tully Blanchard)

Harwood did some mat wrestling with Fenix leading to Harwood getting a rollup for a one count. Wheeler worked over both opponents with his athletic moves off the ropes including a double armdrag/headscissors takedown. Penta tagged in with a kick and Fenix did a splash off his brother’s shoulders. FTR regrouped on the floor. Wheeler tagged in against Penta, who got a couple of rollups and did a glove toss leading to a superkick. That was funny unless you ate the superkick like Cash. Penta with chops to the chest, Fenix tagged in and hit a cross body block off the top on Wheeler. Harwood got a hold of Fenix and slammed him back first onto the ring apron. Harwood was legal, so then Wheeler/Blanchard choked Fenix across the middle rope. Harwood slammed Wheeler with a leg drop on Fenix. Harwood grounded Fenix with a chinlock for a bit, then to the ropes and Fenix hit a hurricanrana to take Harwood down. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with both FTR guys in the ring, Fenix tried to break free and managed to do it. Penta with the Slingblade to both opponents, a backstabber to Harwood and Wheeler with a rollup using tights for two. Penta countered a move into a pin attempt for two. Penta hit a sitout slam called Made in Japan for a two count. Blanchard to the apron where he argued with Fenix and Fenix managed to deck him with a punch. Fenix kicked Wheeler as well. Fenix was legal with a jumping punch on Harwood followed by a spinning kick on Wheeler. Harwood caught Fenix on his shoulders leading to a slingshot Liger Bomb for a two count. That was a great spot. Fenix got a rollup on Harwood for two. Wheeler tried to hit Harwood with a title belt, but Fenix grabbed it and Fenix hit Harwood in the head wit the title while the referee didn’t see it. Fenix did an Eddie Guerrero shake. Fenix went up top, walked the ropes and kicked Wheeler. Fenix jumped off the top, Harwood had the title belt in his hands, he hit Fenix and got an inside cradle…for just two! What a great nearfall there. Fans chanted “this is awesome” and I agree. Wheeler tagged in, Fenix tried to fight against both guys and FTR hit the Big Rig! Penta jumped off the top to hit a cross body block on Harwood, who landed on Wheeler trying to pin Fenix, so everybody was down for a bit. Penta tagged in, all four guys faced off and shouldn’t have been in the ring for that long, but it’s AEW. They exchanged punches, Penta hid a roll through into a Cutter. Wheeler hit a Gory Bomb on Fenix. Penta with a back body drop on Wheeler, they fought over a couple of moves, Fenix jumped off the top for the Fear Factor by Penta and double foot stomp by Fenix at the same time. Fenix hit a dive on Harwood on the floor. Penta covered Wheeler for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo)

Analysis: **** It was the usual great match between two of my favorite teams in AEW. A four-star match and I liked it overall. That one nearfall where Harwood used the title to hit Fenix leading to a two count was tremendous. That really could have been the finish. Some AEW tag team matches lose control and there were a few moments like that although overall FTR is the best team at having a traditional tag team match. Anyway, the last few minutes really were tremendous and a lot of fun to watch. I never get sick of watching these teams although this is probably the end of the feud for now.

The FTR guys are complaining about Cash’s foot being under the bottom rope during the pin. It was close.

Lucha Brothers celebrated with their titles as the winners of the match.

Analysis: The one team that I really hope gets pushed soon is Santana & Ortiz. They haven’t had a regular 2 on 2 tag team match on TV in several months. I know they are a face team like Lucha Bros, but they really deserve more TV time.

(Commercial)

It was time for a six-woman tag team match. Taz singing the Ruby Soho theme song never disappoints.

Ruby Soho, Anna Jay & Tay Conti vs. The Bunny, Penelope Ford & Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Conti did some armdrag takedowns leading to a kick to the head. Conti with a corner elbow. Jay tagged in with a back elbow, Ruby was next in there with an elbow of her own. Conti back in with a pump kick into a pin for two. Bunny with a forearm to the face after distraction from Guerrero. Ford sent Conti throat first into the top rope. Ford with a pump kick for a two count. Bunny tagged in with a stomp on Conti’s hand. Bunny and Conti did a double hair pull spot for a laydown leading to the tags. Ruby tagged in against Ford with a kick to the head followed by a legsweep trip for two. Ford broke free from Soho leading to Rose tagging in. That led to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Jay was legal for her team with some kicks to the body of Rose. Jay with a running forearm on Rose. When Jay went for a sunset flip, Rose went for a splash, Jay moved and Jay hit a cross body block. Jay with a chinlock, Bunny in with a superkick, Conti with a Tay-KO on Bunny, Rose with a neckbreaker on Conti and illegal wrestler Ruby with a jumping kick called Ruby No Future on Rose. Ford with a spin kick on Ruby and Jay hit a suplex on Ford. Bunny was given the brass knuckles from Vickie and Bunny decked Jay with the brass knuckles punch to the head. Conti tackled Bunny. Rose took advantage of the situation with a Beast Bomb on Jay for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Bunny, Penelope Ford & Nyla Rose

Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average tag team match. They got a lot of time and worked hard, but it’s tough to watch an average tag team match after the great one that came before it. I don’t know why every wrestling company has to book the “hit one move, then go to the floor” spot in tag team matches near the finishes, but I see it all the time. Anyway, the heels cheating to win is a fine way to book a match like that especially with a manager on the floor. This gives Rose momentum going into her tournament match against Ruby.

Sting and Darby Allin were about to be interviewed by Tony Schiavone, who mentioned AEW going to Greensboro, NC soon and Sting won his first World Title there many years ago because he’s really old. Anyway, FTR showed up for the cheap attack on Sting and Allin. FTR held up Sting, Blanchard was going to get a cheap shot, but Allin made the save for Sting. Wheeler whipped Allin into garage door. Blanchard kicked Sting in the groin. FTR and Blanchard stood over Sting with Blanchard saying: “One more time, Sting.” That was it.

Analysis: I mentioned in the Dynamite review that AEW can’t seem to book an interview without somebody being attacked, so it was no surprise that there was an attack here. They were trying to talk about the Holiday Bash show in Greensboro in a few weeks, so I assume we’ll get FTR vs. Sting/Allin on that show. Both FTR guys are from North Carolina, so it makes sense that they would want to face Sting there.

(Commercial)

Hook made his entrance for his AEW debut. Hook is Taz’s son. There’s a lot of fan support for Hook, who has a weird hairstyle, a lack of facial expressions and carries a bag of chips around, but he isn’t carrying the chips for the match. They also say “Send Hook” a lot, so Taz joked that he has sent him. Plus, I think people like that the name Hook is so simple.

Hook vs. Fuego Del Sol

There were “Hook” chants to start the match. Hook with a trip into a headlock and then a hiptoss into a choke. Taz talked about his son having a lot of training in his life. Hook with an armbar takedown followed by a freestyle bow-n-arrow according to Taz. Hook with a headbutt with Taz saying Hook was a lacrosse player at Bucknell University and Hook hit a gutwrench suplex…to a huge pop from the crowd! Fuego with a dropkick, running uppercut, spear to the ribs and Hook blocked a DDT attempt. Hook with a clothesline leading to Fuego doing a flip bump. Hook with a head/arm Tazplex like his father. Hook with forearms to the face. Hook applied the Tazmission that his father used and Fuego tapped out. It got about four minutes. After the match, Taz said Hook has rebranded that finisher and is calling it Redrum.

Winner by submission: Hook

Analysis: ** I really like Hook’s potential. Hook has a unique look, the fans respond to him well and you can see he’s a really good athlete that competed in a lot of sports in his life like Taz said. Some of the suplexes, takedowns and other moves looked really smooth. It was mostly a squash match, but I think Hook impressed a lot of people with this performance.

After the match, AEW announced Hook had signed with AEW as if that wasn’t obvious. Hook has been on AEW shows for over a year now, but I guess it’s official now since it was his first match.

If you like stats, Hook has more singles match wins on Dynamite or Rampage this year than Scorpio Sky does. I mention him because even without a singles win on TV this year, Sky is still the third-ranked singles wrestlers in AEW’s rankings. Lots of Youtube wins, I guess. Weird.

This Wednesday on AEW Dynamite “Winter is Coming” from Dallas:

* MJF vs. Dante Martin in the Dynamite Diamond Final

* Matt Sydal vs. Wardlow

* Serena Deeb vs. Shida

* “Hangman” Adam Page defends the AEW World Championship vs. Bryan Danielson

Adam Cole and friends were on the split-screen while Wheeler Yuta was with his Best Friends allies. Mark Henry conducted the split-screen interview. Cole and friends made fun of the Best Friends. Orange Cassidy told Adam Cole not to take Yuta lightly because he will surprise you. Yuta said “bay bay” and Cole was angry about that. Henry did his “it’s time for the main event” catchphrase.

Analysis: The main event was really the opening match. This match is just going on last.

(Commercial)

Adam Cole made his entrance with his buddies The Young Bucks, Bobby Fish and Brandon Cutler the stooge. Wheeler Yuta made his entrance with his buddies Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, Trent and Rocky Romero as well. There are eight people at ringside.

Adam Cole vs. Wheeler Yuta

Cole with forearms to the face followed by a running back elbow. Yuta with a dropkick. Yuta ran towards Cole, who came back with a superkick. Cole with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Yuta created some space and went for a cross body block off the middle rope, but Cole moved, so Yuta hit the mat. Cole with a suplex. Cole mocked the comedy kicks of Cassidy by doing some of them to Yuta. That led to Yuta getting a rollup for two. Cole came back with a pump kick. Cole hit a fireman’s carry into a knee across the back/neck area. Cole tossed Yuta on the floor in front of the Best Friends. Cole had a staredown with Cassidy. Yuta charged, Cole with a kick to the leg. Yuta countered a Panama Sunrise attempt and sat on top for two. Yuta with a cross body block off the top. Yuta with an atomic drop and a step-up enziguri. Yuta with an elbow strike against the corner. Yuta jumped off the top with a flying forearm for two. I guess it wasn’t a phenomenal forearm if you know what I mean. Cole with a kick, Yuta bounced off the ropes and hit a German Suplex for two. Yuta up top, Cole met him there, Yuta with punches, Cole avoided a jumping Yuta and Yuta hit an Olympic Slam style move for a two count. Yuta jumped off the top with a splash, Cole got the knees up to block and Cole hit a superkick. Cole hit the Boom knee to the back of the head for the pinfall win after seven minutes. I liked the WWE name of that running knee – The Last Shot. Cole stared at Cassidy while he pinned Yuta.

Winner by pinfall: Adam Cole

Analysis: **3/4 Easy win for the bigger name against the guy that doesn’t wrestle on TV that often. Yuta had a flurry of offense for a couple of minutes there where he showed what he can do, but we all know it was only a matter of time for Cole to put him away. All Cole had to do was block a move, hit a superkick, and the running knee for the win. They are clearly building to Cole vs. Cassidy in a singles match.

AEW President/GM Tony Khan is sensitive about Adam Cole booking after some recent criticism since Cole has lost tag team matches including, the tag match where The Elite dressed as Ghostbusters, his first PPV match at Full Gear and a tag match where he walked away to leave Bobby Fish to get pinned. That’s three tag team match losses for Cole. That’s why Tony likely tweeted this about Cole’s singles record.

There were still a few minutes left, so Bobby Fish tripped up Trent and then Best Friends faced off with The Elite in the ring. Cole was stomping on Cassidy. Nick Jackson tossed Yuta out of the ring. Cole jumped off the ropes teasing the Panama Sunrise, but instead, Cole kicked Cassidy in the groin. That was funny. Fish sent Trent into the ring, so Young Bucks and Cole hit the triple BTE Trigger (knees to the head) on Trent. Young Bucks and Cole posed in the ring.

Analysis: This can lead to a lot of things like Cole facing Cassidy in singles as well as a six-man tag or even eight or ten-man tags because there are enough guys there. I don’t mind it as a feud.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. HOOK!
  2. Lucha Brothers
  3. FTR

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.25 out of 10

Last Week: 7.5

 

Final Thoughts

The opening match was great and really built up well with a hot finish. The women’s tag was just average. I was impressed by Hook in his short match. Adam Cole beating Wheeler Yuta was an obvious result that will also lead to some matches between Best Friends and The Elite in the coming weeks.

A solid show overall. I recommend the opening tag the most.

Thanks for reading. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport