October 29th, 2021
After a less satisfying Dynamite than normal. (Sorta, can’t say I didn’t love that main event and Shida/Deeb.) AEW brings us another stellar hour of pro wrestling in the form of this week’s episode of Rampage on TNT.
1) Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston - AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Match
He’s done it. Again. Danielson is on the run of a lifetime. A run cementing himself as one of, if not the greatest of all time. As if we had forgotten, and as if he needed to prove himself any further than he has in the past 20 years. I don’t know if it’s all in our heads or what but… fuck what am I even saying. It’s not all in our heads.. these matches he’s putting on are god damn phenomenal. The build up to this via promos backstage on Dark and Dynamite really brought the heat this needed to feel like more than just another Danielson dream match. Not to mention the high stakes of it being a semi final contest in the World Title Eliminator Tournament. This is the first time these two have touched in the ring in like 10 years or more, and it’s truly a spectacle. It’s honestly just pro wrestling 101. Both guys know their character. They know who they are as performers and they accentuate those things to tell this story. Danielson is becoming more and more cocky like he used to be back in the day and it’s so sick to see. After years of being either a full blown face or full blown heel, our king is a full blown tweener and it rules. The same could borderline be said for Eddie. This match just touched so many amazing notes. It was brutal, it was inspired, and the finish was the icing on the cake to the violence we saw from bell to bell. Danielson’s bruised and scarred chest that had turned a purple-ish red by the end of this thing tells you everything you need to know. The best way I can put into words what made this so special is what I said to Mike afterwards. This didn’t feel like a good match, it felt like a true battle. A competition. A fight. One in which you FELT the struggle through your screen. And the finish furthers that story with Eddie passing out and after the ref calls for the bell, Danielson just collapses as well. This was a fucking war and they had me on the edge of my seat. Just fantastic stuff and god knows they probably left so much on the table for future meetings. I want to scream just thinking about it.
Match rating - ****1/4
Backstage, Tony Schiavone tries to interview CM Punk, but they are interrupted by Eddie Kingston yelling about how he didn’t lose and never submitted. He & Punk get into it a little bit verbally. GOD YES GIVE ME THIS GIVE ME THIS GIVEM E THIS. I need this match at Full Gear and a feud in the process.
2) Dante Martin (w/ Lio Rush) vs. Matt Sydal
These matches truly remind me a lot of the Sydal/Ospreay matches from circa 2015. Sydal has his moments, but the truth is he is one of the best juniors of all time. He really just excels at making young guys look fantastic and showing that there’s much more to the junior style than flips. This may be my favorite of their series of matches simply because of the story that is told and how well they pull it off. PLUS, Dante gets a huge victory, defeating his.. former? mentor. Great stuff.
Match rating - ***1/2
3) Britt Baker (c) vs. Abadon - Trick or Treat No DQ Match for the AEW Women’s Title
I can’t lie to ya… I enjoyed the hell out of this. After a show with a perfect wrestling match and a fun juniors match with a nice story.. we needed something to spice shit up. I love garbage wrestling, though so I may be biased, but damn this rocked. The Abadon character can be a little much, but having her here on the HALLOWEEN edition of Rampage was perfect placement and a nice treat. Plus, we got to see the Hardcore Legend Britt Baker DMD return to what got her the nickname as she took a brutal thumbtack spot among other things here. Britt retains after a blast of a little hardcore match. I had fun and that’s what matters hell yeah.
Match rating - ***1/4