January 7th, 2022
Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Excalibur, Chris Jericho, & Ricky Starks
1) Adam Cole vs. Jake Atlas
Happy to be back reviewing Rampage after missing a week but yeah!! Jake Atlas has signed with AEW and what a first match for him to have. Atlas is someone I’ve liked for a long time. I saw his once to be believed final match against Effy live in Chicago during All Out weekend so the fact that Tony Khan talked him out of retirement and we are getting him here has me grinning from ear to ear. These two have came so close to crossing paths on many occasions but never got the chance to lock up so it’s cool to finally see. This worked well with Atlas getting multiple hope spots, but Cole controlling most of it and looking strong. Atlas’ spots were awesome and he hit a big move at the end that got him a great near fall. Unfortunately, Atlas gets injured right before the Panama Sunrise finish and is unable to take the move forcing them to call an audible as Cole puts him in a leg lock and Atlas taps. Damn that sucks for Atlas. Truly happened at the worst time, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious. He had a good showing here regardless. But man.. this was a bad night for injuries.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, O’Reilly & Fish come down and they tease a further beatdown on Atlas, but Orange Cassidy shows up with a chain and runs them off.
In a terribly done edit, its announced that at Battle of the Belts, Dustin Rhodes & Sammy Guevara will compete to crown an interim TNT Champion since Cody can’t compete due to being Covid positive. Interesting route they’re going with that one.
Replay of the Jurassic Express title victory from Dynamite airs.
Tony Schiavone is with Andrade El Idolo. Andrade has an interest in employing Darby and tells Sting to name a price.
2) HOOK vs. Aaron Solo (w/ QT Marshall)
What is there to really say? Another fantastic showcase for HOOK. The single handed coolest thing in pro wrestling in 2022. Solo is a good base for him to do his thing yet again, crowd is hot as hell for it and I am too. They sent HOOK and he destroyed Solo. Goodbye.
Match rating - **3/4
After the match, QT tries HOOK and gets suplexed for his troubles. God damn right.
Cameras cut to the commentary booth where Ricky Starks announces that he’s defending the FTW Title against Matt Sydal tomorrow night at Battle of the Belts.
3) Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho & Riho
This was the match on this show I was most excited for and it more than delivered. These ladies made the most out of the time they were given. On a one hour show with 4 matches, it can be hard to cram everything in, but I honestly can’t think of anything about this I would’ve done differently. The strategy of Britt & Jamie trying to hurt Riho before the title match tomorrow was on full display. The babyface fire of Riho & Ruby was, too, and man, the finish with Riho surprising everyone and rolling up Hayter for the victory.. PERFECT to send her into the title match with momentum. This rocked.
Match rating - ***
4) Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2.0 - No DQ Match
I said it on the live stream recap, but I’m just not feeling this feud. It all seems so rushed and like such a trashy, chaotic mess. It’s like every week we know we are gonna get these guys yelling and throwing stuff at one another and I love all these guys doing those things, but there’s been no structure or build to any of it. Nothing to really grab me at all, either. Let’s just get to the Kingston/Garcia singles match that we know will rip, give Santana & Ortiz something to sink their teeth into and let’s keep it moving. I missed the last minute or two of this, but can’t imagine it’s worth anything higher than what I’m giving. They run a fine match for what it is, but it’s not for me. King/Santana/Ortiz get the win.
Match rating - **1/2