Saturday, October 30, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - October 29th, 2021

AEW Rampage 
October 29th, 2021
Boston, Massachusetts 

Commentators - Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz, & Ricky Starks

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - October 16th, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
October 16th, 2021
Miami, Florida

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & CM Punk 

CM Punk opens the show joining the commentary booth, but not before making his rounds greeting fans at ringside. I hope this lovefest never ends.

1) Malakai Black vs. Dante Martin 

Oh man.. yes!! This may be my favorite Malakai Black match since he debuted. Dante continues to shine as well and really this was an equally amazing effort from both men. They both did things that accentuated the other and did so excellently. This was a totally different match than any Dante has had as it was focused largely on selling as Black targeted his knee. Dante still went for high flying moves, but either couldn’t get a cover following them, would get cut off from the hesitation due to the knee, or couldn’t even nail them at all. This just ruled. And it felt much more believable than the Lee Johnson match because Dante is a much bigger star than Lee. 

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo) (c)  vs. FTR - AAA Tag Team Title Match 

So, yeah.. Andrade had a surprise tag team set to face the Lucha Bros for the AAA tag belts here. Out comes two masked men in green tights. The match begins and Penta & Fenix rip the masks off to reveal fucking FTR. I was at a Halloween party and saw that they were the surprise on Twitter and lowkey got irritated. I’m not a big FTR guy and it’s like why… especially when I saw that they won the titles, but then.. I watched it for myself and I can’t lie. I enjoyed the hell out of it. Great fucking sprint of a match and the way FTR wins with a Tully run in and a belt shot just fucking ruled. So grimy. FUCK FTR. 

Match rating - ***1/4

Tony Schiavone catches FTR for an interview backstage with their newly won AAA Tag Titles. Andrade is with them. MJF shows up and is stoked and pays Andrade money for getting them the match. I guess this was a plan from MJF all the fuck along. I love seeing the heels intertwine like this. Good shit. 

3) Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta (w/ Orange Cassidy)

This was perfect. Mox enters like the badass he is, sporting the scars from his epic GCW Title deathmatch with Nick Gage last weekend. Innocent Yuta shows up too… and gets pummeled in seconds. Fucking awesome squash. Mox leaves as soon as he gets the pin. Love it. 

Match rating - **3/4

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Serena Deeb about her attitude change. She says she’s watched this division get way too comfortable while she’s been gone. In the midst of this, HIKARU SHIDA ATTACKS. YES YES YES. KEEP THIS FEUD GOING MY QUEENS. 

4) SUPERKLIQ (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds) 

I mean it’s a Super Kliq trios match. What do you expect? Good shit. And that’s exactly what we get. Dark Order has been rejuvenated since seeing Hangman Page return and be extra motivated. This led them to vow toward revenge on the Elite. This hit all the marks you’d want it to. Awesome spots and fire from the babyfaces. They had some great near falls down the stretch, I mean shit, you had the crowd biting on Alex Reynolds pinning Adam Cole with a roll up. So yeah. SuperKliq wins in the end with a Panama Sunrise/BTE Trigger combo. 

Match rating - ***1/4

MJF comes out and pretends like he doesn’t know Darby got attacked last week. He runs down Miami and gets Wardlow to bring Bryce Remsburg to the ring. MJF tells Bryce to count to 10 and if Darby doesn’t show up, he wins. Bryce reluctantly counts to 9 and the lights go out. ITS STIIIIING. Sting nails Wardlow with a bat to the gut as MJF retreats. MJF teases coming back in, but doesn’t. Cookie cutter stuff here, but real fun. I think I’m starting to see how we could potentially get Punk/Wardlow at Full Gear.

Backstage, Anna Jay has an interview, but Britt Baker interrupts. Britt says she’s a loser because she rolls with losers (Dark Order & Jungle Boy). They come to blows and officials separate them. Also have to mention, Britt put the SuperKliq over hard and now I’m dying to see her start associating with them on screen. LORD ID DIE. 

5) Penelope Ford vs. Kiera Hogan 

This stunk and it hurt me to say it. A slip up or two early on and no real flow. The last minute or two was pretty cool, but the road there was rocky. Penelope wins via submission. I hope Kiera can gain some steam even though her first Dynamite match here didn’t go too well. 

Match rating - *1/2

6) Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish 

Aye aye aye. After a classic with Suzuki, Danielson is faced with the unfortunate assignment of facing Bob Fish. It’s a dream match for some, but I could care less. It happened in Evolve and stuff. Fish is just a complete level down from Danielson. Despite that, this was still a good match. It’s the weakest of Bryan’s matches in AEW so far, but it’s far from bad. Bryan forces Fish to tap in a very enjoyable main event. 

Match rating - ***1/4

AEW: Dynamite Review - October 27th, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
October 27th, 2021
Boston, Massachusetts 

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone 

1) CM Punk vs. Bobby Fish 

I had a feeling they may kick things off with this match. And I’m not complaining. I haven’t posted my review of last weeks show yet because I am so fucking behind, but I oddly loved last week’s angle with Punk saving Anthony Greene from a post match assault with Bobby Fish. It felt big, it felt hype. However, as has been discussed, Bobby Fish’s entire run in AEW has been mind boggling. They’ve been booking him week in and week out in top matches like he’s a Punk or Danielson when he is not at all. Not that he is bad.. but god almighty, I truly don’t get the hype. With that in mind, last week felt exciting, but Bobby Fish as a singles wrestler has a ceiling and that ceiling is ***-***1/4 matches which is exactly what we got here. It’s fine, Punk’s selling rules and their strike exchanges are good. However, it’s definitely my least favorite match since Punk’s return. I don’t like to harp on negatives though so the positive is PUNKS FIRST MATCH ON DYNAMITE, awesome leg work, andddd yeah. Punk wins with the GTS. Finish is kinda weird as Fish kicks out like right at 3. Even if that wasn’t the planned finish I fucking am so glad it happened because Fish being the first person to kick out of the GTS since Punk returning would’ve hurt me deeply.

Match rating - **3/4

MJF squashes a local and says he does what he does best which is “pinning shoulders to mats and banging rats” oh… wow. Lots of shit talking from MJF as usual and it rocks. They do a gag where Sting’s music hits, but then they bust out laughing and call everyone in Boston stupid. The lights go out and MJF says “Nice one, Shawn” and Spears responds “that wasn’t me man” and a video plays on the screen. Lights come back on Sting smashes Spears with the bat along with Wardlow. MJF runs out of the ring anD DARBY IS DISGUISED IN THE CROWD. HE RIPS OFF HIS MASK AND JACKET AND GOES AFRER MJF. MJF runs like a full chicken shit up the ramp fast as hell. Meanwhile, Spears and Wardlow take a beating. Darby brings out a thumbtack covered skateboard and smashes Wardlow with it which it actually turned out sick as you could see the tacks sticking in Wardlow’s dress shirt. Love it. Darby gets the mic and says….



Backstage, Tony Schiavone is with AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker, Rebel, & Jamie Hayter. Apparently Britt lost to Abadon on the Jericho Cruise so on the Halloween edition of Rampage, she has to defend the title against her in a Trick or Treat No DQ match.. lord Jesus. 

2) Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Ethan Page - AEW TNT Title Match 

Man. When this started I was riled up. Fiery start with Guevara jumping Page. Dives and brawling around the outside. Then this just got dumb.. and dumber. Sammy hit some cool stuff. That’s about all there is to this. Page hits a weird ass shoulder tackle and Guevara sells it like death and goes flying. Page goes for Ego’s Edge off the top, Sammy hits a hurricanrana out of it. Guevara wins with a… jackknife pin. Goodness. All that for a jack knife. NOT EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED THIS DEARLY. 

Match rating - **

Post match assault from Scorpio & Page. Jericho and the Inner Circle get music and pyro during their entrance for the save. They announce per the stip of this match that Sammy wants a 5 on 5 Inner Circle vs American Top Team/Men of the Year. Minneapolis Street Fight at Full Gear. Jericho cuts a promo with a bunch of puns and stuff. Not one of the good ones, though. One of the ones where you remember it’s 2021 and Jericho is 50 something years old. Yikes. Match should be fun, but truthfully burnt on Inner Circle 10 man’s with crazy stips. 

Backstage, Danielson and Eddie Kingston have another good segment to build off their one from Dark which ruled. I cannot wait to see them beat the shit out of each other on Friday.

3) Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb - TBS Title Tournament Match 

This is a first round match in the TBS Title Tournament, but also has some backstory with Serena Deeb costing Shida her 50th win on Dynamite a few weeks ago. This made for a pretty intense match that built very nicely into a fiery ass contest that had the crowd chanting “this is awesome.” The finish I didn’t care for as we got yet another indecisive, cradle finish. Something this promotion does far too often and this makes two tonight. Deeb attacks Shida post match and security and Jerry Lynn have to get her to chill out. I guess this means this angle is gonna continue and that’s fine by me! Third rubber match at Full Gear?? PLS. They deserve it. 

Match rating - ***1/2

Backstage, the Lucha Bros put out a challenge to FTR for Full Gear and say they will put their AEW Tag Titles up for grabs.

Mike Sydal is injured so no Lio/Dante v Sydal Bros tonight. However, Dante will face Matt Sydal on Rampage and Lio Rush says the third time will be the charm. 

4) Jon Moxley vs. 10 - World Title Eliminator Tournament Match 

Mox shows up. Mox destroys 10. German suplex. Posts him. Rips off his mask. Bites him. 10 bleeds. Mox kills. This was fucking amazing. I love you, Jon.

Match rating - ***1/4 

Backstage, FTR responds to the Lucha Bros challenge from earlier for Full Gear and they accept. 

Cody Rhodes is out next with Arn Anderson. He cuts a weird promo on how he won’t turn heel and he also won’t pull a Triple H and hit a pedigree and book himself to win the World Title. Andrade El Idolo interrupts and good god I never thought I’d be excited to hear him talk, but I was here and he actually did well. He makes fun of Cody’s tattoo and says he will make him his little bitch. Lights out and Malakai is here. Malakai & Andrade attack Cody which sets up for the PAC save. Really awesome segment and this angle… whatever it is, is super fun. A tag match at Full Gear that gets 20 minutes is something I wouldn’t be opposed to.

5) Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, & The Young Bucks vs. Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver, & Colt Cabana

People are either gonna love or hate this. I loved it. I feel like it’s the type of niche thing that only AEW can pull off and it not be stupid, corny, or too much. Not everything has to be serious, especially on a SORT OF Halloween themed episode. And despite all the shenanigans, I feel like they still built well toward the Omega/Hangman match. PLUS Dark Order finally get a win over The Elite and we finally see the Elite take a loss which definitely popped the crowd hard. Hell yeah. 

Match rating - *** 

Final thoughts: Interesting show this week. The first hour was largely missable outside of the MJF segment. The second hour was good and helped make up for such an uninteresting first hour of television. Lots of matches set up for Full Gear and some good progress made in both tournaments. All in all, still an enjoyable time despite the low points. I’m so glad Dynamite is back on Wednesday! 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

AEW: Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki - Rampage: The Buy In Review - October 15th, 2021

Minoru Suzuki’s US excursion has been quite the adventure. Truthfully, I have been surprised a couple of times by the amount of effort put into some of the matches. Not that I ever thought they’d be bad, but Suzuki can be known, even in Japan, for sticking to a simple formula that he knows works. The same can be said for a lot of NJPW guys like Nakamura who is probably the worst offender in that category. 

Suzuki’s excursion began with his match with Moxley on Dynamite which was fine, but was pretty much as bare bones as it gets. It didn’t rub me wrong, I wasn’t even upset, I was just like okay, we’ll get to see Suzuki run his usual match with the top guys in AEW and the Indies that’ll be cool. Having him over is a W in itself, whether he’s having the high quality, over the top must see matches that he’s known for or not.

Then, I witnessed him live and in person against Homicide at GCW’s Get Lost A lot and my opinion on this excursion began to change. That match felt like one of his higher end contests. Maybe the atmosphere helped it, but the effort put forth in the ring cannot be ignored. Suzuki & Homicide went all out, no pun intended, and tore the house down. 

Now, we have this. Suzuki vs. Danielson on AEW soil. This is a dream match many of us have had in our brains for years. A dream match we never thought we’d see, but a dream match both competitors wanted as well. This led me to believe this would deliver, but then again, it’s a YouTube match. Not PPV, not TV… YouTube. 

Will these guys have the match they’re fully capable of or will they save something for a bigger match? Will this be able to live up to the huge hype even though it’s on a YouTube pre show? Will the big fight feel that we all anticipate be there? These are some of the questions I had in mind heading into this. 

The entrances begin and the atmosphere is immediately off the charts. Despite some of the fans being marks for themselves, this match had everyone fully invested and garnered “holy shit” chants before the bell even sounded. My third question was answered. Big fight feel? Check. 

The feeling out process begins and it’s a little tough for them early. I think so, at least. This crowd wasn’t your typical AEW big match audience. I think that threw myself and maybe even Suzuki & Danielson off as they navigated through the opening minutes of this match, trying to figure out what clicked. After 5-7 minutes, though, they found what clicked and dove into a rhythm that was everything we all longed for and more.

In the early going, I worried the weird atmosphere was going to hinder my enjoyment of this, those thoughts went out the window when these two found their groove and proceeded to pound the shit out of each other for 12 minutes. What a fucking battle we witnessed here.

I was gripping Mike’s couch and screeching as Danielson hit his fighting spirit power up deep down the stretch. The facial expressions these two threw at one another throughout the contest may have popped me just as much, though. Two true masters of their craft here in every single possible way. 

Just seeing these two interact and react to one another was unbelievable. The chemistry and the feel was everything… I just can’t even find the words. These two went at it like it may be the only time they ever get to, but god I hope it isn’t. I need this rematch because with a tightened up opening few minutes and a few extra minutes added onto the end, this would’ve been a five star contest every day of the week. 

That’s not to downplay the significance of how amazing this was, though. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite matches of the year and something I will watch over and over and over. Seeing Danielson have his first true gritty, violent match since returning to the outside-WWE pro wrestling world was a sight to behold. I can’t think of a better first opponent for him for this than Suzuki. This was just phenomenal. I also have to mention all the piledriver / choke counters and the ultimate finish with Bryan’s running knee that looked the best it’s looked in a long time .. wow. 

Match rating - ****1/2

Monday, October 11, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - October 8th, 2021

AEW: Rampage 
October 8th, 2021
Philadelphia, PA

Commentary - Excalibur, Taz, & Chris Jericho 

Show opens with Mark Henry hosting a split screen interview with Punk & Garcia before their match which is kicking off the show.

1) CM Punk vs. Daniel Garcia

Wow.. I did not expect this to be my favorite Punk match since his return but it honestly was. Sure, I rated Punk/Darby a quarter star higher, but there’s more factors there than just personal enjoyment. This felt like classic TV Punk. It reminded me of his Raw matches in 2012 or so. Good story, so superbly paced. Honestly just all the things that make Punk so good except in compact TV form although this came close to feeling like a PPV match at times. It was just a blast. Punk got his leg/knee worked over and made Garcia look amazing while he was in peril. Some neat reversals and things here. Punk mounts a comeback and busts out the piledriver before locking in the Anaconda Vice which forces Dan to tap. Awesome showing for him even in defeat. 

Match rating - ***3/4

Matt Sydal is backstage with Lio Rush & Dante Martin. Sydal doesn’t like the idea of Dante partnering up with Lio. Lio offers to give Sydal something to show what he could do for Dante.. a match against CM Punk next week. AH LETS GO. GOT ME FEELIN LIKE IM WATCHIN 2004 IWA MS. Punk vs. Sydal on Rampage next week, it’s official.

2) The Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo) vs. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster)

Caster manages to not say anything too offensive and stupid in his opening rap here so that’s nice. I really want to love The Acclaimed, but I still have a sour taste from much of the shit Caster has said. None the less, this match is fine. They do stuff for a little less than 10 minutes and it’s fun. There’s never really any disbelief or true suspense on the outcome, but it’s still a blast of a tag match and easy viewing. Lucha Bros retain.

Match rating - **1/2

3) Jade Cargill vs. Skye Blue 

SKYE BLUE!! She gets squashed by Jade here. They’re building Jade towards the TBS title clearly as she beats down Skye after the match only for Thunder Rosa to make the big save. Weird to be building the TBS title on a show that’s staying on TNT but is what it is. I’ve sat through way more insulting things in my years of WWE viewing so I’m not even gonna begin to complain. 

4) Ricky Starks (c) vs. Brian Cage - FTW Title Match/Philly Street Fight 

If AEW has ever ran a feud that I am absolutely tired of, it’s this one. Maybe even the Team Taz angle as a whole.. it’s just.. flat. Best part about this is it being a Philly Street Fight in Philly. They do plunder stuff and it’s at least enjoyable in that regard. Starks pin Cage with help AGAIN. Please let this be over now.

Match rating - **1/2

Sunday, October 10, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - October 6th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
October 6th, 2021
Philadelphia, PA

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone 

1) SUPER ELITE (Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, & The Young Bucks) (w/ Michael Nakazawa & Brandon Cutler) vs. Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage, Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (w/ Marko Stunt)

Broadcast goes live with all 8 of these men already in the ring ready for action with the crowd roaring. Such a cool opening that I enjoyed much more than I anticipated coming off the announcement that the entrances would be streamed solely online before they went live. It definitely gave off a different vibe and was worth it for the extra time this probably got because of it. This was honestly just fucking awesome. You had all the crazy spots you’d expect, the face in peril in the form of Jungle Boy which led to the amazing hot tag for American Dragon. Coming off that hot tag, we get Danielson & Omega face to face finally in a moment that felt just as huge as when they wrestled two weeks ago. The shots they threw when they finally came to blows after a bit of a stare down somehow looked even more stuff than when they first clashed. Just good, good shit. Closing run sees everyone going absolutely bonkers. Everybody gets some dives and shit in. Shenanigans happens, though and the Super Elite pick up the victory with Cole pinning Jungle Boy. They are finally using the Super Elite theme “Packing Heat” that’s been on Spotify for a long time now so I popped hard for that. This just ruled all the way around.

Match rating - ****

Thursday, October 7, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - October 1st, 2021

AEW Rampage
October 1st, 2021
Rochester, New York 

1) Bryan Danielson vs. Nick Jackson 

Oh, yes. The streak of Danielson TV epics is officially ON. I mean, kicking it off with a five star match against Kenny Omega on Dynamite the other week should have 100% been my confirmation, but this.. this fully locked it into my brain what we are in for. This match, almost moreso than the Omega match, felt like old school Danielson. The Omega match saw Bryan lean into his old ways much more than he has in his recent WWE tenure, however, it was more of a transition between his WWE style and the old style he used to work. In a way, we watched it develop before our eyes, I think. Another reason that match is GOATed. Anyways, yeah. We got a “I HAVE UNTIL 5”, we got a cattle mutilation, and BY GOD WE GOT THE AMERICAN DRAGON. Working his magic and pulling out arguably the best Nick Jackson singles match of all time. Not that Nick was ever bad in singles, he’s better than his brother in the role for sure, but all his good singles matches rely on his agility and cool ideas for spots. Which is fine. The Bucks can structure almost better than anyone and Nick specifically can execute it without a hitch. This, however, was its own animal. We saw an easily understood and believable story of Nick trying to work that signature Bucks style and Danielson forcing him to wrestle. The suplex spots on the apron and the floor ruled. Nick got the shit kicked & chopped out of him. It was just fucking great. Also, being the PWG nerd that I am, this has a lot of backstory for me considering the only other time these two have met was in a tag match in the 2009 DDT4 tournament where Danielson & Roderick Strong absolutely mutilated the Young Bucks. A story the Bucks told in detail in their book, and even touched on before this match by changing their bio to “Revenge for PWG” before the show. So yes. This was fantastic. Danielson taps Nick out with cattle mutilation for the win.

Match rating - ****

2) Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose - No Disqualification #1 Contender’s Match for the Women’s Title 

This was one I had hopes for. There’s things I like about all these women. Rosa is the only one who’s the full package, but Nyla & Jade both have a huge upside and a number of positives that can be honed & crafted in a way that they will be huge stars. Jade, in particular, is going to be a megastar. She already has the look and feel and presentation, she just needs more reps. In the ring, her flaws come out when it’s more than just a squash. The stip here was able to hide some of that awkwardness, but it was still there. Nyla is hit or miss, but she was okay here. It’s hard to mess up these style matches unless you just utterly fuck a bunch of stuff up, which they didn’t so yeah it was fine. Jade wins and is up next for Britt?! Seems a little soon for me, but this definitely keeps her strong. I still think a Rosa pinning Nyla finish would’ve been my way to go because then you can build towards a big Rosa/Britt rematch on PPV while still keeping Jade strong. We’ll see what happens, though. 

Match rating - **1/2

3) Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans - Hair vs. Hair Match 

What an interesting main event pairing. If you had told me about this 2-3 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s just so random. A lot of people thought this sucked, I thought it was just fine. This is the B show and truthfully even though stock on Evans isn’t high, this is a pretty well built little match as the HFO/Cassidy tensions have been boiling for a minute. The match is nothing special, but it is what it is and it’s fine in that regard. Orange wins and we got a showdown between HFO and the Best Friends before he shaves Jack’s head as Matt decides to surrender and tells Jack he’s sorry as he does so, lmao. Perfectly fine, fun closer to this show. 

Match rating - **1/2

Final thoughts: Two fun little matches that accentuated the plunder and lightheartedness of wrestling that we all love and one of the best matches in Rampage history. This show is a pretty easy recommendation and seeing that Danielson/Nick Jackson match made my Friday night a lot better. I was battling a sinus infection last week along with allergies so I felt like absolute shit, but this show helped me escape for a lil bit. WRESTLING!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

GCW: Minoru Suzuki vs. Homicide - Get Lost A lot Review - September 24th, 2021

Firstly, I must mention the elephant in the room that I am SO behind on reviews, it is insane. I think the fact that I’ve been to both Chicago & New York in the past 4 weeks for a total of 8 events is enough to explain the exhaustion and backlog. I’ve just consumed so much live wrestling, it’s been hard to find the time and energy when I’ve been home to review it all.. but I will get to it. If not for any other reason, because the completionist in me has to. 

With all that said, I think the fact that I’m choosing to write about this match before any of it speaks for itself. 

It could be just a personal thing. An experience that’s special to me and not nearly as special to anyone else. And that’s fine. This is my terrible blog and this is what it’s here for. 

On Friday, September 24th, New York City saw it’s hero go toe to toe with a legend from across the world and it was a sight to behold. 

Homicide has been an independent wrestling staple for almost two decades. I can’t claim that he has always been at the top of my list of favorite wrestlers, but my admiration for him and interest in his matches has always been there. Seeing him live this weekend in this match in his home really brought me back to a time when I was binging the classic ROH golden era of the early-mid 2000’s. It brought me back to being a massive LAX mark as a 10 year old kid. It reminded me of just how much of a legend Homicide is and how much his career means to me. 

Heading into this event, I was excited. Seeing Homicide be announced as Suzuki’s first opponent during the GCW portion of his excursion immediately got my attention. However, it wasn’t until I was in the Melrose Ballroom and felt the energy and presence of Suzuki & Homicide in the same vicinity that it hit me.. this is HUGE. 

On a week where Bryan Danielson paired off with Kenny Omega on AEW Dynamite and brought me back to 2006 ROH, Homicide squared off with Minoru Suzuki here and did the exact same damn thing.

Much like Omega/Danielson, this reminded me of the pacing and style of the 2004-2006 ROH epics like Joe/Kobashi and Danielson/Nigel. This was classic professional wrestling in its purest form. I truly don’t know how else to explain it. From the moment the entrances began, an entirely different aura fell over the Melrose Ballroom. The crowd rose to its feet from the sound of the bell and the sight of these two veterans standing toe to toe. The opening battle of chops and strikes was so intense and well paced, I was hooked. 

This was big, and I cannot even find the words to fully encompass it, but you know that feeling when you’re watching a match and it’s not just spots you’re popping for? It’s just the entire match itself that you’re popping for? When your eyes can’t leave the ring and you’re hanging on the edge of your seat for every strike and move. That was this match. 

Suzuki & Homicide grabbed me and owned my attention for the entire duration of this match. They didn’t make me invested, they forced me to be because there was no way around it. Suzuki’s crazy facial expressions that popped the audience, an intensity from Homicide that matched the intensity we used to see from him in his classic matches against Steve Corino in 2003 and Danielson in 2006, everything here was awesome and when it was over, I found myself still in awe of what I had just seen. 

I also have to mention the fact that during this match, we saw multiple roster members emerge from the back and sit/stand on the stage to watch this unfold. Including Brett Lauderdale, who I think was popping for this just as much as everyone else in the building. This was a special match. 

Walking down the street back to our hotel after this barnburner, I felt glazed over because I had just been sucked in and lost in the performance that these two delivered. Those are the moments I live for and those are the moments that make me love pro wrestling. 

I haven’t seen this match getting nearly the amount of praise or love it deserves, so I absolutely had to put this into the universe as someone who was there live. Watch this match, don’t let it slide under the radar. 

Match rating - ****1/2