Welcome on and welcome all to the AEW Rampage review for Nov. 12th, 2021. Being only 24 hours away from AEW: Full Gear, I was curious to see what sort of show AEW would put on for this week’s AEW Rampage. Would they go hard or would they go home? After all, AEW Dynamite had been pretty good – minus the pointless run-ins and interruptions – so would they follow suit, or would they let the talent involved take a breather before Saturday’s madness kicked off?
Jack Perry vs. Bobby Fish
Nope…sorry…I’m still refusing to call him Jungle Boy. Jack Perry is so far away from that gimmick right now – outside of still wrestling in the same ring gear – that as I’ve already stated, he needs a name change as well. He is just too good and far too much of a commodity for AEW to keep wasting his talents, claiming he’s from the African Rainforest, or where ever. I’m praying for a heel turn – as that’s the only way he’ll ditch this happy-go-lucky face nonsense – and hopefully, it’ll happen at AEW: Full Gear.
Once again he proved just what an asset he is, as he and Bobby Fish put on a really good match. The premise behind it was that Fish was looking to put Perry out of action, before Jurassic Express and Christian Cage go head to head with The Super Kliq at Saturday’s PPV, and he very nearly did so. Fish pretty much dismantled Perry for a vast majority of the action – focusing on his shoulder primarily – but Perry would pick up the win after locking in the Snare Trap, forcing Fish to tap out.
But it was all a ruse! As the second that Perry got the victory, Adam Cole (Bay Bay!) stormed to the ring and along with Bobby Fish – who was only playing possum – gave his AEW: Full Gear opponent a kicking. Just when it looked like he was going to hit a Conchairto on the prone Perry, Cage and Luchasaurus came out to make the save, and Cole bailed on his friend, leaving him to eat a Killswitch from Cage.
So…one match in…one beatdown on the show.
Winner: Jack Perry
Hangman Adam Page Warns The Young Bucks
Backstage, The Super Kliq was getting ready to do a piece to camera when Hangman Adam Page showed up, wanting a word with The Young Bucks. Matt and Nick told Adam Cole (Bay Bay!) that it was cool, and after he’d left, the Hangman set about apologizing to his former friends. He said that he knew they had nothing to do with the beatdown – there’s that word again – that happened to him on AEW Dynamite, and he said he was sorry that he’d messed up their relationship and cost them their shot at the World Tag Team Titles. He then pointed out that they had cost him his shot at The World Championship, so he figured they were even. Before he left, however, he warned them that if they laid a hand on him during his match with Kenny Omega on Saturday he would ruin them.
I loved this. Page is about to take his place at the head of the AEW table when he beats Omega tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see him lay a hurting on The Young Bucks when they try to interfere. Bring it!
Jade Cargill vs. Santana Garrett
Jade Cargill beat up Santana Garrett, then brawled with Red Velvet afterward. There was nothing wrong here. Cargill has to be kept strong and the feud between her and Velvet is an interesting one. It was short but fun and saw Smart Mark Sterling take a cake to the face. What’s not to like?
Winner: Jade Cargill
Dante Martin vs. Ariya Daivari
This was my Fight of the Night and then some. Both Martin and Daivari bounced around the ring and flew through the air in a Grade-A display of flippy s*it that would’ve had the ‘purists’ watching at Def Con One. In fact, so good was this that I might even listen to Cornette’s podcast this week to see if he has a coronary.
On the strength of this outing alone, I’d love to see more of Daivari in AEW. I was so impressed by him that I hope he gets exposure on AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage and not be relegated to cannon fodder on AEW Dark and AEW Elevation. He’s a very good wrestler who could fill up a midcard spot at worst and with the right guidance, could become a major player in the company.
As for Dante Martin, what else can I say? I’m so high on this young man right now that I’m running out of superlatives for him. He really does have a move-set unlike any other I’ve seen and his innovative offense is a wonder to behold. At one point, he jumped clear from the ring, onto the top rope, before leaping like a goddamn Olympic Long Jumper onto Daivari, who was miles away from where Martin had started off. It blew Chris Jericho’s mind and it blew my mind as well.
After Dante had picked up the 1-2-3, Team Taz came to the ring, but instead of the beatdown – again, that damn word – you’d usually get, they offered him a contract. This is an intriguing turn of events and I’m looking forward to how it pans out.
Winner: Dante Martin
Lumberjack Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy
AEW Rampage had the grand total of four matches on its card this week, and two of them ended with beatdowns. That’s 50%. That is not good, not good at all. I’ve been quite vocal lately about this sort of thing creeping into AEW programming, and I fear that this won’t be the last time I get to the end of a review and find myself having to point it out, yet again. God help them if they pull this crap during Omega/Page tonight.
The match itself wasn’t that bad. Hardy offered the heel lumberjacks a big swedge of money if they beat up their face counterparts before the bell had even rung, which they happily did. This put Cassidy at a distinct disadvantage that Money Matt exploited as many times as possible. He spent a lot of time on the outside, having his injured ribs battered at every turn. Eventually, the faces would rally – including a brilliant spot where Cassidy’s Best Friends launched him over the top rope onto the gathered throngs outside – but it would all be for naught when The Butcher used the old brass knuckles to knock his ass out, allowing Hardy to pick up the victory.
Then the beatdown happened, and I died a little inside. AEW Rampage went off the air with the faces destroyed and the heels standing triumphant over their fallen corpses. If you’re reading this by any chance Tony Khan, knock it off before you turn into Eric Bischoff. Or worse, Vince Russo.