AEW Rampage Review (November 12, 2021)

aew rampage jungle boy

This week’s Rampage was the last AEW show before Saturday’s Full Gear PPV with Matt Hardy facing off against his rival Orange Cassidy in a Lumberjack Match main event.

I’m writing this on Saturday morning, several hours before AEW Full Gear is live tonight in Minneapolis.

This is AEW Rampage from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a live show. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Rampage intro video aired letting us know “this is Rampage” repeatedly. Excalibur “It’s Friday, you know what that means.” Excalibur was joined on commentary by Taz, the yeller Chris Jericho (happy 51st birthday to him a few days ago) and Ricky Starks, the FTW Champion that barely wrestles for this company. When they summed up the story with Bobby Fish helping Adam Cole on Dynamite by attacking Jungle Boy, Jericho said it was “undisputed” so there’s a WWE Undisputed Era reference less than two minutes into the show.

Jungle Boy vs. Bobby Fish

They started out exchanging punches since Boy was mad at Fish for the cheap attack on Dynamite. Jungle Boy grabbed the arm, went for a rope walk and then Fish wrenched on the arm, so Boy went crashing to the apron and floor. Back in the ring, Fish countered a suplex, Boy with strikes and this time Boy did the armdrag off the ropes followed by a dropkick. Boy and Fish battled on the apron, Fish dropped down to the floor leading to a kick to the legs while Boy was on the apron. Fish whipped Boy into the barricade. Fish with an arm wringer that sent Boy into the mat on the floor. The referee must not have been counting much since it was over ten seconds at least on the floor. Boy whipped Fish into the ring post, but then Fish pulled on the arm against the ring post. Fish with knee strikes. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The wrestlers were back in the ring with Boy hitting a sliding kick to the leg followed by a clothesline off the ropes. Fish with a forearm to the arm and a tackle into the turnbuckle. Fish with a belly to back suplex with Jericho calling Fish a “pugilist” and told people to Google it. Fish charged, Boy with a belly to belly suplex into the turnbuckle and a bridging German Suplex for a two count. Fish went back to the left arm, but Boy got a rollup for two. Fish blocked a DDT and hit an Exploder Suplex into the ropes for a two count. Good nearfall. Fish with kicks, Boy caught the foot and went for the Snare Trap submission. Fish was fading and passed out to give Boy the submission win after ten minutes.

Winner by submission: Jungle Boy

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with Jungle Boy getting the win since he is pushed while Fish is mostly there to put over the younger talent. Fish had one good nearfall, but I doubt anybody really thought he was going to win. I continue to be impressed by Boy every time I see him since he’s improved a lot as a technical wrestler over the last couple of years. The athleticism is there, but he’s improved a lot technically and it shows.

Adam Cole went down to the ring to attack Boy and Fish got back up with kicks. Cole hugged Fish in the ring. Fish didn’t sell that Snare Trap submission very long. Cole brought two chairs into the ring. Christian and Luchasaurus went down to the ring for the save with Cole escaping, but Fish did not. Christian hit the Killswitch on Fish. Cole was joined by Young Bucks for a staredown ahead of the 6-man tag at Full Gear.

Analysis: It’s typical AEW to have a post match attack like that. A cool moment with Cole hugging Fish, but their plans failed due to Christian and Luchasaurus making the save. At least they were faster making the save compared to their save on Dynamite, which was pretty slow.

A video aired about Bryan Danielson and Miro in the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals. Miro wasn’t even in the tournament and now he’s in the finals as a replacement for Jon Moxley. Bryan said Miro is more experienced and knows who he is as a person. Miro said he will be forgiven and he will be champion. Bryan said he hasn’t beat him in the past, but that just means he hasn’t beat him…yet.

(Commercial)

Adam Cole and The Young Bucks aka The Superkliq did a promo. “Hangman” Adam Page showed up saying he wants to talk to Matt and Nick, so Matt told Cole it’s okay and Cole left. Brandon Cutler was filming. Page said there’s something he’s been meaning to say for a long time. Page said he was sorry, he was an ass for a long time, he cost them a shot at the Tag Team Titles, but the Young Bucks cost him a World Title shot in July, so we’re even now. Page said on Saturday, if they lay a hand on him, he swears to God, he will ruin them. Matt told Cutler to cut.

Analysis: That was cool just based on their long history together. Page is a confident man and he wasn’t always. Page warning the Young Bucks not to interfere in the Page/Omega match was a good segment to run one day before Full Gear.

Jade Cargill vs. Santana Garrett

There was a “Happy 1 Year Anniversary” cake for Cargill. Cargill sent Garrett out of the ring and then Jade yelled at Red Velvet sitting in the crowd. Cargill whipped Garrett into the barricade where Velvet was sitting. Back in the ring, Garrett went for a move in the corner, Cargill caught her and hit the Jaded slam that’s like a Glam Slam. It went about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill

Analysis: 3/4* A dominant win for Cargill, which is common for her.

Post match, “Smart” Mark Sterling went to the cake at ringside and Velvet hit a Spear on Cargill. Velvet hit a Spear on Cargill on the floor. Velvet and Cargill got into a brawl with the referees there to break it up. Jericho and Starks were yelling really loud about it.

Analysis: Velvet and Cargill meet in the TBS Title tournament, so it was a way to build that up. Cake smashing will always generate a pop. That’s just a rule!

A video aired about CM Punk’s match against Eddie Kingston at Full Gear. Punk said they’re similar as a “what you see, what you get” kind of guy with Punk saying Chicago and New York are similar. Kingston said that Punk used to look at him like a nobody and he’s fooling people. Punk said that Kingston has all of the talent in the world, but doesn’t put in the work. Kingston wants to fight him and Punk wants to have fun while teaching him some respect.

Analysis: That match is going to be outstanding. They have had some great video packages about it too.

(Commercial)

Dante Martin vs. Ariya Daivari

Dante got a big pop since he’s from Minneapolis. Ariya is from there as well. No Lio Rush with Dante since Lio’s grandmother passed away. Best wishes to his family.

Martin used his speed with a rollup attempt, a spin kick and a headscissors across the ring. Martin jumped off the bottom rope with a dropkick. Martin with a headscissors takedown. Martin went for a springboard attempt, Daivari caught the foot and sent Martin into the top turnbuckle. Daivari hit a leg drop off the middle rope for a two count. Daivari with a knee to the ribs. Martin with an impressive sunset flip for a two count. Martin with a Pele Kick to the head. Daivari with a running neckbreaker followed by a hammerlock into a clothesline. Daivari went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. Martin tied up the legs leading to a pin attempt for two. Martin jumped over a charging Daivari, who landed on the floor and Martin with a springboard attack onto Daivari on the floor. Back in the ring, Martin hit a double jump moonsault off the top onto a standing Daivari in the ring. Martin covered Daivari to get the win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dante Martin

Analysis: **3/4 It was a fun match with fast-paced action. That’s normal for a Martin match since he’s such an amazing athlete. Daivari is technically sound, so they worked well together and had a fun match here. Martin continues his positive momentum with another win just like his tag team match on Dynamite.

Ricky Starks did a promo from the announce table with Taz sitting nearby. Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook (with a bag of chips!) got into the ring to give Martin a contract to join Team Taz with Ricky saying it’s an opportunity to change his life. Martin declined the chips. Starks told him to strike while the iron is hot. The fans chanted “no” at Martin. Starks told Martin to read it over and read it as good as you can.

Analysis: Martin will likely decline, so now he can get into a feud with Team Taz and maybe take the FTW Title from Starks. It’s not like it’s a coveted title, but at least it’s something.

The announcers did a rundown of AEW Full Gear matches:

Buy-In Pre-Show: Nyla Rose & Jamie Hayter vs. Thunder Rosa & Hikaru Shida

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page

CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston

AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals: Bryan Danielson vs. Miro

Minneapolis Street Fight 5-on-5 Tag Team Match: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz) vs. American Top Team (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, Andrei Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos & Dan Lambert)

AEW Women’s Championship: Britt Baker (c) vs. Tay Conti

A video package aired about Baker’s title defense against Tay Conti with the AEW talking heads speaking about how Conti was a threat. Baker “doesn’t give a shit” about the black, blue and other belts that Conti has.

AEW Tag Team Championships: Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) (c) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)

Falls Count Anywhere Match: The Superkliq (The Young Bucks & Adam Cole) vs. Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy

Darby Allin vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Andrade El Idolo & Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes & Pac

Those are the matches. There are ten of them. As I said, I’ll have a Full Gear review tonight on TJRWrestling.

Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy did a split-screen interview conducted by Mark Henry. Hardy said that Cassidy didn’t belong in this business. Orange said after the match tonight, it’s over. Hardy said after tonight it is over.

(Commercial)

It’s a Lumberjack Match and the ring was surrounded by AEW wrestlers. Some of them are heels while others are faces. Matt Hardy was in the ring with his Hardy Family Office group. Matt has a record of 26-13 in AEW.

Orange Cassidy entered with his Best Friends Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander and Wheeler Yuta dressed like lumberjacks since it’s a Lumberjack Match. Excalibur said it’s possible that Matt Hardy paid off some of the lumberjacks.

Lumberjack Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy

Cassidy had his ribs taped to sell some recent injuries. Matt said for one night only it’s $20,000 to the man that knocks Orange Cassidy’s ass out. The lumberjacks got into a brawl before the match began. Cassidy with punches, then Matt sent him out of the ring and Cassidy had to fight off some guys. Hardy tossed Cassidy out of the ring. The Blade sent Cassidy into the barricade. Hardy with a neckbreaker followed by a leg drop. Matt sent Cassidy into the turnbuckles repeatedly. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

There were about five minutes left in the show. A lot of the action during the break saw the heel wrestlers beating up Cassidy on the floor. Matt sent Cassidy out of the ring again for the heels to attack Orange some more. Taylor and Yuta hit dives over the top on some heels to help Orange. Cassidy hit a suicide dive on other lumberjacks on the floor. Cassidy sent Matt out f the ring. Taylor and Yuta lifted up Orange so that Orange could jump over the top onto the heels on the floor. Back in the ring, Matt bailed to the floor again, Yuta sent him back in and Orange hit a cross body block off the top. Matt hit a Side Effect slam for a two count. Cassidy came back with an impressive spinning DDT. Cassidy went up top, Isaiah Kassidy of Matt Hardy’s group shoved Orange off the top. Yuta stopped Blade from interfering, then Kassidy kicked Yuta and Taylor hit a piledriver on Kassidy. Matt hit the Twist of Fate (or Hate) on Taylor. Cassidy hit a Beach Break slam. Cassidy punched some guys off the apron and an Orange Punch for QT Marshall. The Bunny got into the ring, so Kris Statlander took her out. The Blade went into the ring, punched Cassidy with the brass knuckles and Matt Hardy hit an elbow drop to the mat while the referee was looking at the girls on the other side of the ring. (More on that spot later.) Matt flipped Orange over and covered for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Matt Hardy

Analysis: ** This was just average. It didn’t feel like a feud ender and was more of a chaotic brawl to get other people involved. The last few minutes were okay, but it was a bit silly before that. Regarding the spot with Matt elbowing the ring, I saw some tweets about how Matt blew the elbow drop. I think the idea was that Matt was trying to make a noise (by hitting the mat) since the referee didn’t see the weapon used, so it’s selling that idea rather than Matt botching an elbow drop. That’s what I think anyway.

There was about one minute left in the show as Matt applied the Leech submission hold hooking the arms. Blade punched Yuta and Chuck with the brass knuckles punch to the head. The Bunny punched Statlander with the brass knuckles too. Excalibur was screaming with some final plugs for Full Gear. Matt Hardy and friends celebrated. That ended the show.

Analysis: It was a unique way to end Rampage. They could have ended it with an angle involving wrestlers in matches at Full Gear. Instead, it was just more of the Matt Hardy/Orange Cassidy feud that is not leading to a match at Full Gear. I’m not saying it’s bad. I just figured there might have been a different ending.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Jungle Boy
  2. Dante Martin
  3. Bobby Fish

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 5.75 out of 10

Last Week: 8

 

Final Thoughts

This was a big step back from the last couple of weeks. It wasn’t a bad show. It was just average. There was only one very good match with Boy/Fish and Martin/Daivari was fine although it was a shorter match. The women’s match was more of an angle. The Matt Hardy/Orange Cassidy match turned into more of an angle rather than a match.

I don’t really mind the lack of great wrestling because there are four hours of exciting matches coming at Full Gear, so bring it on!

The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear on Saturday, November 13 in Minneapolis. Here’s what we know so far.

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page

AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals: Bryan Danielson vs. Miro

CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston

Falls Count Anywhere Match: The Superkliq (The Young Bucks & Adam Cole) vs. Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy

AEW Tag Team Championships: Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) (c) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)

AEW Women’s Championship: Britt Baker (c) vs. Tay Conti

Darby Allin vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Minneapolis Street Fight 5-on-5 Tag Team Match: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz) vs. American Top Team (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, Andrei Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos & Dan Lambert)

Andrade El Idolo & Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes & Pac

Buy-In Pre-Show: Nyla Rose & Jamie Hayter vs. Thunder Rosa & Hikaru Shida

For information on how to order AEW Full Gear on Pay-Per-View, visit AEW’s website for more info.

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

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

 

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