Thursday, December 30, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - December 25th, 2021

December 25th, 2021
Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, & Ricky Starks

HOWDY YALL!! I didn’t review Dynamite last week because I was just.. tired. I did watch, though. What I didn’t watch, however, due to some holiday plans, was the Christmas edition of Rampage. SO. I am watching it now and it’s the best 1 hour in pro wrestling so YOU KNOW I GOTTA REVIEW IT. 

1) Jungle Boy (w/ Luchasaurus & Christian Cage) vs. Isaiah Kassidy (w/ Marq Quen & Matt Hardy)

Jungle Boy’s music hitting to start the show will never get old, I don’t think. It’s just so fun and really sets the tone for what’s to come. This is a rare Isaiah Kassidy singles match and I think it’s cool he’s getting the chance to be featured. This honestly went a little long and had a little too much overbooking for me, though. Truly didn’t need any of that, just let these guys have a 6 minute sprint and call it a day. I love that Jungle Boy has started elbowing the head of his opponent before he locks the snare trap in. He does that here and forces Kassidy to tap. 

Match rating - **1/4 

2) HOOK vs. Bear Bronson 

The crowd chants “we want Hook” as soon as the graphic appears on screen for this. Ohhh man. God, HOOK’s entrance is even more tough than last week. His theme rules so hard. They show Tony Nese in the crowd because we’re supposed to care when HOOK is in the ring.. anyways. This match rules. The crowd pops for every move HOOK makes and every move HOOK makes looks awesome. From his offense to his selling. If this character and these matches are really all laid out by him then man… that kid is a gem. HOOK wins with the redrum. 

Match rating - ***

3) Leyla Hirsch vs. Kris Statlander 

Great little match here from the women’s division. It’s been a while since we’ve seen both of those women in a featured TV match (outside of Stat’s performances in the TBS tournament) so hell yeah. Leyla Hirsch grows on me more every time I see her so I enjoyed this a lot. Statlander plays the role of the bully almost due to the size difference, but Leyla fires back with just as much, if not more grit, and Knox had to pull her off Kris for trying to throw some closed fists. I loved to see these two link up again down the line. You can tell they have history on the Indies and the chemistry is there. Statlander wins. 

Match rating - **1/2 

4) Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Cody Rhodes - TNT Title Match 

The pre-match interview hosted by Mark Henry got me more excited for his than I was initially. Sammy says everyone thinks this is a big match for him, but it was a big match for him in 2019, not now. He says he’s gonna carry Cody tonight and calls him “kid”.. oh hell yea. Entrances happen and David Crockett is at ringside. This match feels kinda big. The opening moments fucking rule. Sammy runs wild with fast paced offense to stun Cody, including the signature Rhodes uppercut. Cody rolls to the outside and is reeling early. Arn tells him to calm down and shit. Then we settle in and man.. the match is honestly good. Knowing the outcome and how disappointing it is took away any real drama for me. They also didn’t do anything too nuts, but they did do just enough for me think it was more than just a decent match. Sammy hit an insane springboard 450 splash to the floor, Cody powerbombed Sammy into the crowd, great spots all around and the near falls at the end had the crowd going. Cody wins with the Tiger Driver to become the first three time TNT champion in company history. He has some sort of heroic celebration with all his family and friends while the crowd boos the shit out of him.. I hope they have a plan for this because if not this is some WWE shit for real. 

Match rating - ***1/2

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