The Heavy Rampage Review - 15.10.2021

This week Real Rasslin newcomer Hev covers both the Buy In and AEW Rampage, hailing from the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida.

The Heavy Rampage Review - 15.10.2021

Hey everyone, its Hev here with my first heavy review for Real Rasslin and BOY what a show I get to review straight off the mark! Not only do I get to review Rampage but I also get to review the Buy In before Rampage, in a way it’s a double header. So please strap yourself in and I hope you all enjoy the review. First, let me start with the Buy In.



OPENING MATCH: Tay Conti vs. Santana Garrett

Match Thoughts & Opinions:
Nice fast paced opener for the Buy In. Both women got some nice offence in, but this was Tay Conti’s match from the get-go. Garrett pulled out some impressive moves with those Handspring Back Elbows and that variation on a Muta Lock and Conti with the arm drags, those pump kicks and the hammerlock DDT in the final moments of the match. Conti was not going to be denied though and picks up the win.

Winner via Pinfall: Tay Conti

By having Anna Jay in Conti’s corner, I seriously thought we were going to see a run in of some kind and I am glad we didn’t. Also nice to point out that the match length was approximately the same length of TWO first round matches in the WWE Queen’s Crown Tournament, take that for what it's worth but to me it shows that even though AEW might not have the strongest women’s division in pro wrestling, they still know how to give their women a more appropriate amount of time to showcase their talents than that of WWE.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hype Segment – Inner Circle vs. Men of the Year and Junior Dos Santos
Thoughts & Opinions: Nice little video package. It did its job in hyping up the match for Rampage. Typical AEW fare showing highlights of the feud so far including footage of Dos Santos training and hyping his MMA accomplishments. Segment did a nice job of hyping up Inner Circle as well as American Top Team as the heels in this feud. I have been on the fence regarding American Top Teams involvement, and I felt myself to start to really hate them recently, I think it just means they are doing their job. While I have always felt that Scorpio Sky is totally underrated and should be a singles wrestler right now, I am glad he is getting TV time with this feud. Hopefully after his new 5 Year Contract that means we will finally get to see him make a name of himself in the singles division… until then I am happy to see him involved in anything that keeps him on TV and keeps him relevant.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SINGLES MATCH: Bobby Fish vs. Lee Moriarty

Match Thoughts & Opinions:
Fish and Moriarty left it all in the ring. This was a fast-paced match, more so than the first match. Both men utilised rest holds, and Moriarty went for that left arm of Fish whenever he got the opportunity. Fish dealt out some stiff strikes and some punishing suplexes. In the end Fish gets the win after that Exploder Suplex & Roundhouse Kick. Both men looked great in the ring, yes Moriarty did not win but he did not look weak throughout the match. It was just a case that tonight was Bobby Fish’s night, before heading into Dynamite tomorrow to take on his biggest AEW Challenge yet, Bryan Danielson!

Winner via Pinfall: Bobby Fish

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hype Segment – Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki
Thoughts & Opinions: Impressive segment that highlighted Danielson’s debut, his lead up to and his match with Kenny Omega as well as his other bouts since becoming All Elite. Some high praise from Tony Schiavone and Excalibur for Danielson in this segment. This segment made Suzuki look like a beast, not that he wasn’t a beast before this segment. Great little segment and a nice touch for a match that was put together for the Buy In. It added that something extra to the match that made it feel like it had a build to it, it made this match feel like it was Pay Per View calibre.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAIN EVENT: Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki – 30min Time Limit

Match Thoughts & Opinions:
I am going to be completely honest, until Suzuki showed up in AEW I had never seen a match of his. I had heard of his brutal reputation but living in Australia has made it hard for me to really get immersed in his match history. His match with Moxley was good, the Lights Out Match was better BUT this match against Danielson was something else altogether! This match was unlike anything I have seen in AEW thus far. These two men delivered a great match! Danielson vs. Omega was a brilliant match, but it was poetic and stylish, yes it had its moments of stiffness, but that match was like watching art unfold… this match between Danielson and Suzuki was literally two men beating the piss out of each other. It is a stiff and brutal brawl with Danielson throwing kicks, elbows and uppercuts while Suzuki drilled him with forearms, chops and elbows. While the match was a stiff brawl both men flexed their technical side with submission attempts and some nice reversals. Suzuki reversed several submission attempts with flair, with one of the most interesting rope breaks I’ve seen in a while. Suzuki egging Danielson on was great and the test of strength with those stiff shots by both men, it was like I could feel it myself. Taz on commentary had probably the best line of the night with “If you’re not watching this, you’re a dumb ass”. Danielson gets the pinfall after that Running Knee Strike.


Winner via Pinfall:
Bryan Danielson


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hype Segment - CM Punk vs. Matt Syndal
Thoughts & Opinions: This was a loooong segment. I get they had some time to fill but I felt like this segment went on a few minutes longer than it should and that it focused  a little too much on Lio Rush’s involvement. I get it, they are trying to get him over with his new gimmick and Sydal is a part of that through his connection to Dante Martin, but the segment dragged on a bit. I feel that they could have stuck to showcasing Punk and Sydal and it would have flowed nicely. They already showed their history, that’s what they could have focused on and tightened up the segment a little. Not that it was a bad segment, it was good, I just felt that the focus shifted from the actual match, and it dragged it down just a little.


The Heavy Thought on the Buy In: One thing I will say in general is that AEW know how to put together great segments hyping up their future matches. Even if they do feel like they are a little long winded at times they are still put together very well. Everything just clicks from the footage, editing, music and feel. The segments just have a real technical sports feel about them and they hype up what they are selling very well, even when they do not come across as perfect. The Main Event match also delivered and the fact that it was on the Buy In, while disappointing to some really does fall into AEW’s M.O of anything can happen anytime and anywhere. I get why they have had a pinfall during the break, and I get why they had this match on the Buy In. They are showing the fan base that they are the alternative to the mainstream, and they want not just their TV programming to be special but also the lead up into that programming. WWE could learn from AEW on how to put on a great pre-show… but tonight the Buy In didn’t feel like a typical pre-show, it felt like an extension of the show and that show being Rampage.


OPENING MATCH: CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal

Match Thoughts & Opinions:
The crowd is still hot for Punk and I love the respect shown between both men at the start of the match. The match starts off fast with some quick transitions and Sydal is flexing his technical side. In the times I have seen Sydal wrestle he has always come across as a high flyer, it has been some time since I have watched a match of his but I really like this more technical and methodical style he is displaying here. I really liked how in the hype segment earlier in the Buy In and here in this match that the commentary team are talking about the history between Punk and Sydal and stating that Punk has always picked up the win As the match draws on Punk pays tribute to Eddie Guerrero with the slingshot senton. I feel that Punk started the match off slow, but he has eventually warmed up and taken control and that is an awesome metaphor for his AEW run thus far. We know he has ring rust but as Taz said during the match, the only way to get rid of that rust is by stepping into the ring and competing. That spill from the top rope to the floor by both men was a nice touch and brought the pace back a little. Sydal with a nice suplex reversal with a knee to the head of Punk before nailing a stiff jumping knee for a near fall. Punk countered the lightning spiral with a neckbreaker, which leads into a nice exchange of reversals that saw Sydal gain control with a roundhouse kick, then finally hitting the lightning spiral for a near fall. I really dug how they had been building to that spot all match, it told a story for Sydal and just added that something extra to the whole experience. Sydal goes for a crucifix which is reversed into GTS for the Punk win!

Winner via Pinfall: CM Punk

After the match we get a great show of respect from Punk to Sydal, the history between both men has been talked about all night and to see them showing this sign of respect was a nice touch considering that Punk's last two matches were heated rivalry matches. I know what people will say, Punk won again, what about him working with and putting talent over? Well, this is the thing, this match like Punk’s other matches was not a squash. Punk has worked well with all his opponents’ strengths so far and he hasn’t dominated them. Each match has been evenly paced; Punk may be winning but he is really showcasing the talent he is working with by trusting them to take the lead in a lot of ways. This is how a veteran should operate especially after a sabbatical from the ring.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dark Order Backstage Segment - Challenge to Young Bucks and Adam Cole.
Thoughts: The Dark Order just know that Cole and the Young Bucks will get involved in Hangman vs. Omega and challenge them to a match. It’s great to see the Dark Order back on the same page, I’m not sure if it will last but with Hangman coming back, the Order vows to have his back.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SINGLES MATCH: Ruby Soho vs. The Bunny

Match Thoughts & Opinions:
This match was a lot slower than the women’s match in the Buy In and that is not a bad thing at all. It was more methodical and thought out with bursts of fast paced action. Bunny was really working the heel angle and Soho was coming back strong after everything thrown at her. Both women jockeyed for position early on, Bunny takes a cheap shot and Ruby retaliates. I felt this match was a match to really keep both women fresh for the TBS Championship Tournament, again not a bad thing as I really hope these two women are a main focus of the match. The Soho flatliner to Bunny on the floor at ringside was a nice touch and again slowed the match down at a perfect time, it was literally placed to change the tide of the match and to give Ruby a breather. Bunny impresses with that German Suplex from the ropes for a near fall. I dunno why I love a good German suplex, but a German suplex from the ropes always gets a pop from me. The match comes to an end when Ruby gets a backslide for the win.

Winner via Pinfall: Ruby Soho

I knew Ruby would win, as much as I liked Bunny and what she did in this match I felt that she was not going to get the win here. Penelope Ford run in after match with a two on one to Soho, nailing her with the Brass Knucks was a nice way to bring some heat heading into the TBS Championship Tournament. Right now we have two rivalries heading into the tournament and it gives the whole tournament something extra than just seeing who becomes the new champion. This match went on for 9 minutes or so, that means tonight AEW have provided more in ring action for the women than WWE has in what, a week or two? Good on AEW for spending a significant amount of their weekly TV Programs highlighting the women’s division.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark Henry Pre-Match Interview – Inner Circle vs. Men of the Year & Dos Santos
Thoughts:
Dan Lambert just grates on my nerves; he annoys the shit outta me and you know what that is freaking awesome! He’s doing his job and he’s doing it well. Each week I wanna see him get the snot kicked outta him, Men of the Year and American Top Team. I think Inner Circle are a great team for them to go up against, I really hope that they give this rivalry and feud time to breathe. Maybe not as much as Inner Circle vs. The Pinnacle but still time to really flesh it out… and I really hope it ends with Lambert, Men of the Year and ATT getting what they deserve. On a side note, I will say that I LOVE these little interview segments from Mark Henry before the big matches on Rampage, but I’ll cover that a little more later.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAIN EVENT: Inner Circle vs. Men of the Year & Junior Dos Santos w/ Dan Lambert & Jorge Masvidal

Match Thoughts & Opinions:
I think this type of match was the perfect match to give Dos Santos his first taste of pro-wrestling. Scorpio and Sammy with some awesome fast paced action. Seriously every time these two were in the ring together, they just clicked so bloody well, and I loved every minute of it, so much so I really want them to build off this and give us a Scorpio vs. Sammy TNT Title feud and match. Given the time they could provide a classic. Dos Santos comes in and just brutalises Jericho, his work against Hager was also great to see. I like how in this match they used Dos Santos perfectly. If they wanted, they could have had him come in a lot, he’s new and it’s a novelty seeing him in a pro-wrestling ring. Instead, they knew this is new to him and they just brought him in to punish people, mostly Jericho in this match but it was done very well. Loved it when Hager put Dos Santos through the timekeepers table with the Uranage, I seriously thought it was only going to get teased and Hager was going to go through it. The way Jericho wrestles these days, you can just tell he thrives in the elder statesman role that he has carved out for himself in AEW. He has had to change his style up a bit, he isn’t as fast as he used to be and hey, he’s not in the shape he used to be either, but you can tell he’s enjoying himself. Enjoying the fact that he’s working with newer talent and working in the rivalry that is bringing Pro-Wrestling and MMA together in an awesome way. Inner Circle looking like they are going to get the win, but Paige VanZant with the distraction so Jorge Masvidal comes in and nails that brutal knee to Jericho which allows Men of the Year and Dos Santos to get the win.

Winners via Pinfall: Men of the Year and Junior Dos Santos

Seriously, outside of the Elite/Super Elite I think American Top Team, specifically Dan Lambert are AEW’s biggest heels right now. Tonight’s show was in ATT’s hometown, and they were booed out of the building. Dan Lambert just gets it, he has this old school heel manager feel to him and it makes me hate him more and more, which as I said before just means he’s doing his job. Yeah, the Elite/Super Elite are big time heels but to be honest I am kinda getting sick of them a little whereas Lambert and ATT, I hate them in the right context. After the match Men of the Year and ATT beatdown on Jericho, which brings in Santana and Ortiz to come in for the save.


The Heavy Thought on Rampage: There has been a lot of mixed opinion about Rampage since it’s debut and it seems to stem mostly from ratings, which is such a flawed way to look at a show’s success. Each and every week Rampage gives us decent to great matches and it feels different in its presentation than that of Dynamite. It isn’t the huge differences, it’s the smaller ones that make this a great show in its own right. Like the Mark Henry interview before important matches, yeah interviews before matches are not a new thing but this is done with a small twist in that it gives both sides of the match a chance to speak in current time before they square off. Tonight’s show was a great show, the matches were all very different from one another and very entertaining. The show itself and the Buy In flowed very well and it didn’t feel like it dragged at all. The late Friday timeslot is not the greatest timeslot for the week, we all know that, but instead of focusing on the content a lot of fans want to focus on numbers from the ratings. To me that is not the only thing that makes a show successful, for me it is if I am being entertained and this show entertained me tonight.


I hope you all enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. I look forward to next weeks review, and until then, this is Hev signing off… Say hi to Mum for me!