This week’s AEW Rampage featured Eddie Kingston in singles action against Daniel Garcia, plus AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker in a non-title match against Riho.
It’s Friday night; you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show with Taz, the yeller Chris Jericho and the FTW Champion that barely wrestles Ricky Starks on commentary.
Adam Cole & Bobby Fish made their entrance. Cole has lost his last two tag team matches, so they put his singles record 3-0 on the graphic. Fish is 4-4 as a singles wrestler in AEW. Orange Cassidy is 36-8-1 in 2021 while Wheeler Yuta is 15-11 which tells you who is doing the job for this team.
Adam Cole & Bobby Fish vs. Orange Cassidy & Wheeler Yuta
Fish with a punch to the gut, but then Yuta came back with a dropkick. Yuta with a forearm on Fish, Cassidy tagged in and did a lazy splash. Cole tagged in for some comedy spots with Cassidy with Cole doing his “Adam Cole bay bay” chant while Jericho asked where he got that “bay bay” catchphrase from. Jericho said “baby” a lot in his promos, so he’s referencing himself. Cole wouldn’t Cassidy do his pockets gimmick with the crowd cheering along as if it it’s riveting action. Cassidy did a thumbs up to the camera. Yuta punched Cole, Orange did a slow walk against the ring, Yuta with two splashes, a body slam and a senton. Cole with a jawbreaker, Yuta to the turnbuckle, Fish distracted Yuta and Cole pulled Yuta off the turnbuckle. Fish worked over Yuta with kicks to the leg. Cole with a slam off the shoulders where he drove Yuta’s head into Cole’s knee. They went to a picture in picture break for 90 seconds.
The match returned with the heels still in control as Yuta hit a jumping kick on Fish, but then Cole pulled Cassidy off the apron. Cole sent Yuta into the turnbuckle on the heel side of the ring. Yuta hit a double dropkick on both heels after jumping off the turnbuckle. Cassidy tagged in with light kicks to the legs, then the pocket dropkick and a double hurricanrana. Orange jumped off Cole leading to a Tornado DDT on Fish. Cassidy and Yuta hit dives on the heels on the floor at the same time. Cassidy up top with a cross body block on Cassidy, Yuta tagged in and hit a top rope splash on Cole after Cassidy hit a dive on Fish. Cole with kicks on both guys, Cassidy with a Stundog Millionaire, Yuta with a German Suplex on Cole and Cassidy did a jackknife pin on Cole for a two count because Fish saved. All four guys were in the ring for way too long. Fish kicked Yuta and then suplexed Cassidy across the ring into Yuta. Fish with a dragon screw leg whip on Cassidy and Cole in with a flying knee on Cassidy for two. Yuta saved Cassidy from a leg submission. Cassidy kicked Cole and hit a Beach Break slam on Cole. Fish with an Exploder Suplex on Cassidy into the corner. Yuta tagged in with a version of the Olympic Slam for two. Yuta with cradle body slam for two. Yuta went up top, Cole tripped him up with Taz saying he landed on his “yambag.” Cassidy set up for his punch, Cole pulled him out of the ring and whipped Cassidy into the steel steps two times. Fish went up top with Yuta and Fish hit a Falcon Arrow slam off the top for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole & Bobby Fish
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good tag team match. Cole and Fish get their win back after Cole bailed on Fish in tag team action last week. It was more of a traditional tag team match with Yuta as the face in peril for most of it and building up to the Cassidy tag that got the crowd into it. The last few minutes saw no tags and multiple guys in the ring for too long, but that’s typical of AEW tag team matches with bad referees who just put their arms in the air not knowing what to do. Gotta get your spots in, bro. Nice finish with Fish hitting the top rope Falcon Arrow slam on Yuta, who was obviously going to get pinned since Cassidy is protected most of the time.
Tony Nese was interviewed by Tony Schiavone with Nese saying he has been scouting the talent. Nese said he’s 100% unimpressed by the TNT Champion Sammy Guevara, who walked up to Nese and Sammy said Nese has done “shit” since he’s got there. Nese issued a challenge for a match, Sammy accepted it and Nese hit Sammy with a forearm. Nese said that the reason Sammy has that TNT Title is because guys like him weren’t available yet.
Analysis: That’s fine as a TV match. Sammy should win that.
FTR was shown doing a promo saying there is no team on planet Earth that is as good as them or on their level. FTR wanted Lucha Bros in a 2 out of 3 falls match.
Riho made her entrance with an 11-2 singles record in 2021. The doctor will see you now as Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. made her entrance with a 19-1 2021 singles record. Even though Baker accidentally cost Jamie Hayter a match on Dynamite, Hayter was still with Baker.
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. (w/Rebel & Jamie Hayter) vs. Riho
It’s a Black Friday deal match with Riho getting a title shot if she can win this match.
Baker did a head slam into the mat, Riho bridged out to escape, Baker went for her finish and Riho got her foot on the bottom rope. Hayter and Rebel got some cheap shots on Riho. Riho came back with two running dropkicks. Riho went up top and jumped onto Baker/Rebel, who were nice enough to stand there to break her fall. Riho with a running elbow on Baker, who caught Riho and sent her into the turnbuckle.
Baker was in control with a Slingblade neckbreaker for a two count. Riho with a headscissors takedown followed by the running knee. Baker came back with a suplex into the corner with Riho’s feet hitting the turnbuckle. Riho countered a Baker move with a Dragon Suplex for two. Jericho shouted, “gotta hook the leg” that every wrestling announcer has said for like 50 years. Baker hit an Air Raid Crash slam for two. Riho avoided a Stomp and hit a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Riho went up top and hit a double foot stomp that didn’t look that great. Baker went for a neckbreaker, but then Riho hooked the leg, rolled through and was on top for a three count. It went 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Riho
Analysis: **3/4 It was okay with Riho selling well as usual and finding a way to get the win. I was surprised by the result of this match since AEW doesn’t book champions to lose non-title. This was all about spots. I wish people in AEW would sell moves more because they are so obsessed with getting their offense in. It was a match lacking psychology, so it would be nice if they tried to tell more of a story like working on a body part or something like that. Good finishing sequence with Riho getting the counter to win.
Riho celebrated the win while Baker was shocked that she lost. Riho will get an AEW Women’s Title match against Baker in the near future.
This Wednesday on AEW Dynamite in Atlanta:
* Andrade El Idolo vs. Cody Rhodes in an Atlanta Street Fight. Cody will probably do a blade job and get booed in his hometown.
* Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho in the TBS Tournament Quarterfinals.
* Bryan Danielson vs. Dark Order’s Alan “5” Angels in Alan’s hometown. Bryan wins.
* Gunn Club vs. Sting & Darby Allin. Gunn Club might finally lose.
Next Friday on AEW Rampage:
* Sammy Guevara defends the TNT Title vs. Tony Nese.
* Lucha Brothers defend the AEW Tag Team Championships vs. FTR in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match.
Analysis: That Tag Team Title match will be the best match of the week. They should put it on Dynamite where more people can watch it, but I guess they’re trying to boost Rampage.
There was a main event split-screen interview with Mark Henry claiming 2.0 and Daniel Garcia are out of control. The 2.0 guys did some trash talk with Daniel Garcia saying it was a sold out arena for another Garcia main event. Eddie Kingston laughed at the promo. Kingston said that they are too light in the ass to mess with him and Kingston told 2.0 to shut up because talk is cheap.
Analysis: I don’t think anybody is crediting Daniel Garcia for the sellout crowd this week. Garcia is good, but I’m just being realistic here.
Daniel Garcia entered with 2.0 with Garcia having a 9-8 record. Most of the losses are on Rampage or Dynamite while the wins are probably on the Youtube shows, so that’s telling. Anyway, no reaction for Garcia. Kingston got a good pop from the crowd with Eddie holding a 28-9 record in 2021.
Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Jeff Parker & Matthew Lee)
Jericho was in screaming mode about Garcia and 2.0 interrupting his interview on Dynamite. Kingston drove Garcia to the ropes leading to a forearm to the back. Kingston worked over Garcia with strikes, they went to the floor and Kingston beat up the 2.0 guys. Garcia took advantage to work over Kingston against the turnbuckle. Kingston with a headbutt, but Garcia came back with a pump kick to the head. Kingston with chops to the chest, Kingston with a poke to the eye and Eddie hit a knee drop to the back. Kingston had his right shoulder taped up. Garcia worked over Kingston with a stomp to the left leg and Kingston bit the head. Kingston was selling a left knee injury leading to Eddie hitting a front suplex and Eddie was limping around the ring. They went to a picture in picture break.
Garcia worked over Kingston’s left arm with stomps. Kingston went back to the corner, he favored his left knee, Garcia was mocking Kingston for being hurt and Kingston hit an Exploder Suplex across the ring. Garcia rolled through leading to a kneebar submission on the left leg leading to Kingston getting to the ropes. Garcia twisted the left leg. Kingston managed to fight back, get to his feet and hit a Powerbomb to a good pop from the crowd. Kingston with a hard smack to the back, Garcia went for a suplex and then dropped down to a heel hook submission, but Eddie got to the ropes. Garcia worked over Kingston with elbows while Garcia made angry faces towards the crowd. Garcia charged, Eddie caught him and hit a half n half suplex on the back of his neck while Eddie was selling the left knee injury again. Nasty bump on the back of the head for Garcia. It’s nice to be in your early 20s, I guess. They exchanged punches, palm thrusts, Eddie hit an enziguri kick and Garcia bounced off the ropes with a clothesline, but Garcia was too hurt to cover. Jericho ripped on Matthew Lee for having a square head, which is funny. Garcia tried a lift, then he hit a jumping knee to the head and Garcia delivered some kicks. Kingston got back up, he delivered a Saito Suplex, Kingston went for the back fist, Garcia avoided the first one and Kingston hit a spinning back fist on Garcia for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Eddie Kingston
Analysis: ***1/2 A great match that was given a lot of time while Garcia got a lot of offense and Kingston sold well to make Garcia look strong before Kingston managed to get the win. I like how Garcia is a smart technical wrestler that works on a body part like the left arm/left knee in this match and Eddie had a left knee injury as well. That’s what I meant in the last match about psychology. You need to tell a story in a match instead of just doing meaningless spots. Garcia continues to get a lot of offense in the matches where he loses, which shows that he is getting closer to picking up meaningful wins. Kingston winning gets him a win back after he lost to CM Punk at Full Gear two weeks ago.
After the match, the 2.0 duo of Matthew Lee and Jeff Parker attacked Kingston. Chris Jericho left the commentary table and went down to the ring for the save. The square head Lee left the ring while Jericho punched Parker to knock him out of the ring. Kingston and Jericho stood tall in the ring while 2.0 and Garcia were in the aisle. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: I guess we can pencil in a match between the grizzled veterans Jericho and Kingston against 2.0 soon.
Three Stars of the Show
- Eddie Kingston
- Adam Cole/Bobby Fish
- Daniel Garcia
This Week: 7 out of 10
Last Week: 5.75
A fun show full of matches that were given time since everything was over ten minutes, so it’s easy to watch and enjoy an episode like that.
Most of the time, Rampage matches are easy to predict, so at least this week I was mildly surprised to see Britt Baker lose non-title because that’s not a booking move that AEW does that often.
The main event and opening tag were both pretty good. Just felt like matches without strong stories, though. Guys like Kingston and Cole got wins after losing at Full Gear, so it gives them some momentum back.
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