The Heavy Rampage Review - 31.12.2021
Its the end of the year but not the end of days as Hev give us his last Rampage Review of the year with this special New Year's Smash edition of AEW Rampage!
It’s New Year’s Eve, You Know What That Means…
The Heavy Rampage Review – New Year’s Smash Edition Time!
Now we have three exciting matches on the card including a Women’s Tag Team Street Fight and a TNT Championship defence in the main event. First, we go to the ring for the opening match that sees Darby Allin vs. Anthony Bowens of The Acclaimed!
OPENING MATCH: Darby Allin w/ Sting vs. Anthony Bowens w/ Max Caster
Match Overview: Darby throws his jacket at Bowens, and he is not happy. The match starts with a stare down between both and men as they circle the ring and get a feel for each other. Both men continue to circle around the ring before Darby goes around for a waist lock and the match officially begins. At first, it's a fast-paced Darby and Bowens exchange, with a lot of holds exchanged. Darby gets in an arm whip and Bowens rolls to the outside where he is hyped up by Max before climbing the steps and heading back into the ring. Anthony Bowens takes control with some knife edge chops forcing Darby back into the corner where he again nails another knife edge chop. Bowens still in control in the other corner laying kicks into the midsection of Darby before taunting the crowd with the Acclaimed "A" hand signals. Bowens rushes Darby in the corner, but Darby flips out and comes back and tries for rollup but fails to get the count before hitting the front dropkick. Max Caster gets up on the ring apron to distract Darby, but he gets the middle finger instead. Bowens rushes forward as Darby moves and he nearly runs into Caster. Darby runs in from behind and Bowens moves, Darby drills Caster with an elbow. This gives Bowens an opportunity to drill Darby with an elbow of his own. As we go to picture in picture Darby is down on the floor at ringside holding his right arm. Bowens comes out and hauls Darby to his feet and rolls him into the ring before briefly staring down with Sting. Bowens slides into the ring and viciously stomps into Darby who's on the canvas in pain. Bowens takes control of the match with a huge Irish whip into the corner, Darby bounces out of the corner and Bowens covers for a 2 count. Bowens talks trash to Darby while his down on the mat before pulling him up by the head and locking in a side chin lock. Darby gets several punches to the midsection to break the hold and staggers back into the ropes.
Darby gets up and starts throwing elbows at Bowens, goes for a whip but Bowens reverses and hits a knife edge chop. Bowens in control trying for a suplex but Darby nails him in the head and gets out and back in the corner. Bowens comes in for the attack but misses, Darby then comes in for a huge backsplash which Bowens catches him as if going for a german suplex but fails to execute the move. Several pin attempts are made In the ring with a lot of kick outs and a lot of reversals between both men followed by some stiff strikes from Darby to Bowens. Bowens with a cover only gets a 2 count. Bowens hauls Darby up to the top turnbuckle before climbing up himself and hooking the head for a Superplex. Darby however punches out and knocks Bowens off the top before climbing right up signalling for the coffin drop but Bowens shoves him off the rope and crotches him on the top rope before he can execute. Bowens in control pulls Darby out from the top and hits what looks like a rope hung reverse Cross Rhodes and covers for the two even though he puts his feet on the ropes, which the referee sees and blasts him for. Once again in the corner Bowens from the apron pulls Darby up but Darby throws punches at his midsection before pulling him shoulder first into the corner. Darby then climbs up top and places Bowens hand into the top of the ring post and crushes it with his foot. Bowens falls to the floor at ringside as Darby dashes across the ring to go for a dive but Max Caster gets in the way for which Sting pulls him down off the ring apron and throws him into the barricade. This gives Bowens enough time to recoup and he pulls Darby out of the ring, lifts him in an electric chair and nails him with a face plant onto the ring apron. Bowens rolls Darby back into the ring and trash to him briefly before sliding in, this gives Darby enough time to get a Code Red in for a two count. Bowens rolls out of the ring, Darby dashes across the ring with a suicide dive colliding into Bowens and Caster. Darby rolls Bowens back into the ring before climbing up top and nailing a Coffin Drop before hooking the leg and gets the 3 Count.
Winner via Pinfall: Darby Allin!
After Match: After the match Andrade comes out onto the stage and takes his glasses off in a distraction. This gives The Acclaimed enough time to beat down Sting and Darby. Caster wraps fist in his chain and drills Darby in the face with it while Bowens hold his arms back. The Acclaimed celebrate in the ring above the Fallen Darby Allin and the Icon Sting as we go to the first commercial break of the night.
Match Thoughts: This was a great opening match that got the crowd hyped up. Bowens is the quitter of the two in The Acclaimed, but the guy makes up for that with his in-ring skills. The guy has got the looks and the skills to go far. While he is not the talker of the team that doesn’t mean he can’t talk either. Bowens just seems to be improving each and every week. Darby picks up the obvious win but after the match we get and Andrade distraction which leads to The Acclaimed beatdown. If AEW are pointing towards Darby vs. Andrade, that would be freaking amazing!
Segment: We come back from the break and Taz is going over Hooks move set from his first two matches with detailed explanations of moves used. Taz finished off this commentary by stating that Hook has changed the name of the Tazmission to the RedRum as he now claims it as his own finisher.
Thoughts: Nice little segment that shines a light on Hook and his skills in a fresh way while giving him the night off in ring duty. This had a real wide world of sports vibe to it which I think was great. I would have preferred a Hook match but this was a good second best to assist in Hooks rise.
MATCH: Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford & The Bunny – NO D.Q STREET FIGHT
Match Overview: Tay immediately throws a bin at Ford and the match has started. The Bunny turns around and tries to punch Anna Jay with the Brass Knucks on but punches a chair instead. Anna picks up the Brass Knucks and drills Bunny in the head with them and sends her out of the Ring. Both her and Tay take firm control of the match and pull out a table at ringside and set it up. Anna and Ford exchange punches at ringside before Ford throws Anna into a ring post headfirst then kicks Tay in the face. Ford sets Tay up on the table that was set up at ringside, climbs up to the top rope and leaps off with a Moonsault on Tay Conti but the table doesn't break. Ford rolls Tay into the ring and looks under the ring and grabs a beer bottle. Ford rolls into the ring as Tay is on her knees and gets the bottle smashed into her face. Ford exits the ring to check on The Bunny who is busted open from the Brass Knucks attack earlier in the match. Ford and Bunny grab a decorated table from under the ring and slide it into the ring before Bunny screams with a bloody face to the fans. Tay is busted open from the bottle to the face as Ford sets the table up in the corner with three steel chairs in front of it. Ford kicks Tay in the head at ringside and throws Anna into the ring where Bunny grabs her. Anna however reverses and nails her on 2 of the chairs with a suplex. The street fight continues in picture to picture as Anna Jay goes to ringside and with Tay pulls out a table of their own from under the ring. They set the table up at ringside while Bunny bleeds profusely in the ring. Tay grabs Ford and hits her with some clubs to the back but Ford fights back with punches to the midsection and rams Tay into the ring apron. Inside the ring The Bunny is in firm control of the match with a massively bloody face. Anna Jay gets her face smashed into a steel chair by The Bunny before The Bunny stomps on her.
Bunny takes a buckled chair and slams Anna Jay's face into it. Bunny skips around the ring with her bloody face before picking up Anna Jay. Anna Jay reverses and takes control of the match and slams Bunny's face into a chair before she covers getting a 2 count. Bunny grabs a chair folds it up and throws it at Anna Jay as we go to a commercial break.
We come back from commercial break and Anna Jay is on the Bunny’s back with a Queen Slayer attempt and gets driven into the table in the corner going through it. Bunny goes for the cover that only gets to a 2 count. Tay makes it to her feet and grabs a ladder from under the ring, but Ford is up on her feet and drills her with a Diamond Cutter onto the ladder. The Bunny leaves the ring and grabs what looks like a bag from under the ring and slides back in. The Bunny takes the bag and tips the contents out and it is thumbtacks, which she spreads them around the ring before picking up Anna Jay and pushing her back into the corner. Anna Jay pulls The Bunny up to the top rope with the two of them exchanging punches. Eventually Anna Jay gets the upper hand and nails The Bunny with a Superplex all the way down onto the thumbtacks. Both women have thumbtacks in their back as Anna Jay covers getting a 2-count broken up by Ford. Ford knocks Tay down on the ring apron and jumps on her stomach with a chair before pulling her up by the hair. Ford is going for a powerbomb, but Tay gets out of the hold with a punch to the face on the apron. Tay then positions Ford and drills Ford with a Cradle Piledriver through the table at ringside. Inside the ring The Bunny gets up to her feet and puts the brass knucks on her hand. As she does this Anna Jay wraps her arm in Barb Wire and puts the Queen Slayer on The Bunny and wins by submission.
Winner via Submission: Anna Jay & Tay Conti!
After Match: After the match there are bodies in the ring and at ringside as we get highlights of the carnage in the match by all for women ending with Anna Jay's win. Tay and Anna Jay blow each other a kiss and then hug on the ring apron after the match.
Match Thoughts: All four of these ladies deserve a HUGE Round of applause! Special mention goers out to The Bunny who looked like a hot mess but job with her mannerisms while he face was soaked in blood. This was a great way to pay off the feud these ladies have been involved in and I hope they can move onto bigger things now. I wasn’t a fan of this angle and feud to begin with but over time it has won me over and this match would have won me over if I hadn’t been by now. Tremendous effort ladies, WELL DONE!
Segment: We then get a video hype package regarding the Adam Page and Bryan Danielson 60-minute draw for the AEW World Championship. Both men talk about their disappointment in the match result before we see footage regarding the making of a rematch which is set for next week's Dynamite. Danielson said that after the match everyone will see who the real champion is, and it will be himself. Page states that to win the match next week he is going to have to beat Bryan Danielson's ass quickly. We then get a run-through of matches for next week's Dynamite including Malakai Black vs. Brian Pillman Jr and Jade Cargill vs. Ruby Soho in the finals of the TBS Championship Tournament. We then get a rundown of matches for next week's Rampage including a No DQ Six-Man Tag Team Match between Daniel Garcia and 2.0 v. Eddie Kingston Ortiz and Santana.
Thoughts: Pure hype segment with the video package and rundown of the upcoming shows. Wasn’t anything spectacular but it got the job done. I’m looking forward the Page vs. Danielson 2 and next week I am really looking forward to the 6 Man Tag Team Match as Eddie Kingston is becoming one of my favourite wrestlers at the moment in any promotion.
Segment: We then go to Mark Henry's usual Pre-Main Event Interview Segment. Dan Lambert runs through Cody and in his relationship with the boss and how that got him the TNT Championship. Lambert says the Men of the Year are ready for their opportunity fight for the chance to become TNT champion and tonight Ethan page will defeat Cody for the title. Arn Anderson sarcastically acts scared and says he is one of those guys that takes things the way they are and not how he wants them to be. He said he knows that Scorpio and Ethan are world-class athletes. Arn said he doesn't stand at ringside because he's photogenic but because he's there to support Cody. Arn states that Cody doesn't have to beat Page to keep the title, but that Page has to beat him if he wants the TNT Championship. We then go to Commercial break.
Thoughts: I love these segments before the main event each week and I love Mark Henry’s involvement in them. He doesn’t have to do much to get me hyped for the match ahead. Lambert was in fine form ripping into Cody and Arn’s comeback was really nicely worded. Had a very old school feel to it but hey this is Arn we’re talking about. Cody again stands there silent, its starting to become a bit tiresome now, we know he can talk!This is beyond Cody working the crowd, its just coming off as stupid now.
AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP
“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes © w/ Arn Anderson
“All Ego” Ethan Page w/ Scorpio Sky & Dan Lambert
Match Overview: Ethan page mockingly goes to sleep in the corner of the ring during Cody Rhodes usual long-winded heelish entrance which he entered the ring to a chorus of Boos from the fans. During the announcing Cody Rhodes looks like he's having a weak ass Hulking up session trying to get the fans to rally behind him but fails to do so. The match starts with fast-paced action before a Cody power slam in the centre of a ring. Cody goes for a side headlock on Page then whips him down to the canvas and takes control of the match. Ethan Page gets to his feet whips Cody into the ropes, but Dan Lambert would grab his foot allowing Page to club Cody across the back of the head before slamming him down with a suplex. Page takes control of the match inside the ring before whipping Cody across the ring but Cody reverses and Arn Anderson grabs Page's foot which gives Cody time to recover and nail a dropkick. On the ring apron Cody goes for a Cross Rhodes but Ethan Page drops out of it pushes Cody off the ring apron before leaping off the apron with a shoulder block. Cody is helped up buy a fan at ringside before being thrown face first into a ring post. Ethan Page with a huge punch to Cody at ringside then Cody reverses and whips him into the barricade and chops him across the chest. Page rams Cody into the apron takes control of the match rolling him into the ring. Ethan Page arrogantly poses in the ring before he hooks Cody's head and goes for a suplex but Cody slips out and drills a chop block into the back of Page's knee. Cody throws several stomps into the knee of Page and then locks in an Indian Death Lock. We go to Commercial break and the match continues in picture to picture. Page punches out of the submission hold but Cody hits him with an elbow to the face. Cody is up to his feet, but Page rolls him up for a quick 2 count. Cody comes back with a dropkick to the knee and then hurls abuse at Dan Lambert and Scorpio Sky at ringside. Cody meticulously goes after the knee and leg of Ethan page pulling his knee pad off. Cody throws the knee pad out to the crowd and pulls Page into the middle of the ring and hits a Leg DDT. Cody is in control of the match but Page fights out of the corner, but Cody comes back and attacks the leg zeroing in on it before nailing a dragon screw down to the canvas. Cody locks in a Knee Bar but Page gets the ropes and Cody eventually let's go of the hold then arrogantly does push-ups in the centre of the ring and poses. Cody takes control of the match and drills Page with a Face Front Suplex then covers for a 2 count. Cody goes after the knee of Page again with a stump puller on the mat but Page punches out of it.
The match is very one-sided at this point and the crowd is not happy with it, you can hear the building booing for Cody Rhodes. Cody pulls Page to his feet and goes for a suplex that Page throws Cody away and out of the hold. Cody comes off the ropes and into a huge shoulder block from Ethan Page. Page pulls himself to his feet and shakes his leg free before copping a punch from Cody then he throws his own. Both men exchange punches in the ring until Ethan Page gains control with elbows and goes for a whip, but Cody reverses it, and Page comes back off the ropes and lays Cody out with a flying clothesline. Cody staggers out of a corner and is hit with a back body drop and now Page is in control of the match. Page hooks Cody's head and gives the middle finger to Arn Anderson before drilling Cody into the mat with a DDT. Cody covers for a 2 count. Cody rolls out of the ring and gets attacked by Scorpio Sky when Ethan Page has the referee’s attention about his knee. Arn Anderson has had enough and so has Dustin Rhodes, Cody's brother who attacks Scorpio Sky at Ringside and throws him over the barricade and into the crowd. Both men fight in the crowd causing a distraction for Ethan Page who staggers back into a full Nelson from Cody who then nails a Cross Rhodes for a 2 count, and he cannot believe it as the brawling continues through the crowd. Cody pulls the knee brace off the worked-on knee of Ethan Page. Cody then attacks the knee before pulling Ethan Page up to his feet and hauling him up onto the top rope in the corner. Cody punches Page in the face before climbing out onto the ring apron where he then leaps up to the top rope but Page elbows Cody in the stomach. Page gets Cody over the shoulder and leaps off the top with a powerslam. Page covers but only gets a 2 count. Both men are down on the canvas and are slowly making their way up to their feet with Page getting there first staggering and favouring the work on leg. Both men exchange elbows and fists in the ring, but Cody eventually gets a kick to the stomach of Page, drops to his back and hits a punch to the face of Page sending him into the ropes but he comes back and throws a spin kick which Cody ducks. Page then hits a roundhouse kick to the face and goes for the Razor's Edge, but Cody breaks free and springboards off the ropes hitting a cutter. Cody covers for a 2 count. He gets to his feet and points at Arn who points back at him. Cody then goes for that worked on leg and imitates Ric Flair's WOOOO and goes for a Figure Four Leg Lock. Ethan Page is in a lot of pain but fights it as he reverses the hold rolling over to turn the tables on Cody. Cody gets to the Ropes and the hold is broken, Page makes it to his feet first, but Cody kicks him in the gut and goes for the Tiger Driver 98 but Ethan reverses into a pin for a 2 count. Cody with an elbow to the side of the face of Page and leaps up to the middle ropes but Page hits him with a punch to the face grabs him by the arms and throws him off with a straitjacket slam. Ethan Page is now in control once again and sets Cody up for the Razor's Edge but Cody goes for that worked on knee. Page gets out of it but then Cody hooks and drills him with two Cross Rhodes. Cody holds on and switches to a Tiger Driver 98. Cody covers hooking the legs and gets the 3 count and win retaining the title.
Winner via Pinfall & STILL AEW TNT CHAMPION: Cody Rhodes!
After Match: After the match Arn Anderson celebrates with Cody in the ring as Dan Lambert watches on from Ringside. Cody shakes Arn Anderson's hand in the ring and poses with the belt as his brother Dustin comes in and gives him a hug. The fans are still not giving Cody a favourable reception as Cody climbs the nearest corner with the belt and poses to a chorus of Boos. Dan Lambert hurls abuse at Arn Anderson who points at him with his Glock hand and imitates a shot before the show goes off the air
Match Thoughts: The match was sound, both guys put in a great effort. Page really held his own and he had some great responses to Cody during the match and before during Cody’s stupid entrance. The outcome was always going to be Cody winning, so yay for that! #sarcasm. The match had sound psychology until the end that is. Cody worked the knee all match but what for? Yeah, it slowed Page down a little, but he was still able to hold his own. If Cody wasn’t going to use that knee to actually win then why bother?
The Heavy Thought on Rampage: This was a decent Rampage for the final one of the year. The matches all delivered in their own ways, some better than others. Match of the night has to go to the Women’s Street Fight Tag Team Match. Those ladies put it all on the line and gave us fans and exciting showing. The match was brutal, the match was exciting, and I genuinely found myself glued to the TV to see what would happen next. Darby was Darby and that was ok, the match was a great little opener that also made Bowens look great in defeat. Page vs. Cody was good too and Page really held his own. This semi heel stint from Cody is fucking boring as shit though! Either turn heel or don’t, whatever he’s trying to do isn’t working because the heat he’s getting is X-Pac level heat. I really hope AEW and Cody know what they are doing here.
I hope you all enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. I look forward to next week’s review, until then, this is Hev signing off… Say hi to your folks for me!