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!

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