Date: September 29, 2021
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, CM Punk
AEW has been on a roll as of late and that means we could be in for something special tonight. I’m not sure what we are going to be seeing here, but it certainly could be a fun night. If nothing else, we’re in Brodie Lee’s hometown and that means we are probably going to be in for some tributes. Let’s get to it.
Here is Rampage if you need a recap.
We open with some BRODIE chants, which are just awesome.
Here’s CM Punk, who will be on commentary tonight but can’t dive into the crowd because of the athletic commission.
Adam Cole vs. Jungle Boy
Feeling out process to start until Boy hits a heck of a chop into a springboard armdrag. A dropkick puts Cole on the floor and let’s take a breather for a bit. Jungle follows him out and Cole kicks him down, setting up a neckbreaker back inside. The chinlock holds Boy in place for a bit but he is right back up with a shot to the face. Jungle hits a brainbuster into a belly to belly into the corner, followed by the rolling German suplexes for two.
Cole rolls his way out of a torture rack for two and hits the brainbuster onto the knee for two of his own. Jungle snaps off a poisonrana into a running forearm to the back of the head, setting up kind of an Angle Slam into a Death Valley Driver for two. Back up and Cole superkicks him out to the floor, leaving Jungle down for a good bit. The Panama Sunrise on the floor is broken up but Jungle’s suicide dive is cut off by an enziguri.
Cole gets back on the apron so Jungle snaps off a running hurricanrana to the floor. Back in and Cole hits another enziguri, setting up the Panama Sunrise…..for two. I’m not sure if someone should be kicking out of that so soon but Cole’s stunned face made it a little better. Jungle pulls him into the Snare Trap but Cole slips out and kicks him outside. Back in and a low blow cuts Jungle down, leaving Cole to hit the Boom for the pin at 13:45.
Rating: B. This was a heck of a back and forth match, which is something that you can always go for around here. It was a lot of dives and flips and kicks to the face, but at least they were putting on an entertaining match. Jungle losing again isn’t my favorite thing, but at least it was to someone like Cole, who is being pushed as a major star.
Post break here is the Elite and after a break, Karl Anderson talks about how great the Elite is, including introducing most of the team. Anderson: “And of course Nak and Cutler.” Cole talks about how he beat Jungle Boy on his own, because Bay Bay is elite and undefeated. The fans chant for Punk, who has not had the nicest things to say about the Elite so far.
Kenny Omega talks about how his social media has been blowing up over his match with Bryan Danielson last week. Last week might have been the greatest match in AEW history and he isn’t surprised. Danielson cashed in on his promise to kick Omega’s head in but he couldn’t make it work when it counted. Since Danielson has no record though, he isn’t getting a rematch and he’ll never see Omega face to face again.
Cue Danielson to refer to the champ as Kenny “NO BALLS” Omega. Punk: “Well that’s a t-shirt.” Danielson issues the challenge to face any member of the Elite on Rampage but gets no takers. Instead, Omega wants to fight right now but Danielson calls out the reinforcements from the back and gets Frankie Kazarian, Christian Cage and Jurassic Express. The Elite bails from the fight of course.
Andrade interrupts the Lucha Bros and says they haven’t defended their AAA Tag Team Titles in a long time. He has some friends if they’re up for a defense, and the Bros seem down.
Matt Sydal/Dante Martin vs. Cody Rhodes/Dante Martin
Cody headlocks Sydal to start and gets nowhere with it. Instead it’s off to Sydal to headlock takeover Johnson, setting up a kick to the back. It’s back to Martin to stare Johnson face to face and we take a break. Back with Cody getting the hot tag to clean house as commentary talks about how the fans aren’t thrilled with Cody these days. Everything breaks down as Johnson and Sydal fight outside.
Martin missile dropkicks Cody for two and a double jump moonsault is good for the same. Johnson tags himself back in and gets kicked in the face by Sydal. That doesn’t seem to matter as Johnson kicks Sydal in the face, only to get rolled up by Martin for two more. Another superkick rocks Martin though and a fisherman’s buster onto the knee finishes for Johnson at 7:45.
Rating: C+. They kept this moving and that was a good thing. Sometimes you don’t need a match to keep going forever and that was the case here. Good little match, with Johnson getting to shine a bit and the fans’ displeasure with Cody being highlighted for a change. That’s interesting, and it’s a smart path to take, even if it takes some time.
Post match Cody calls out Malakai Black but Arn Anderson tells him to shut up. Anderson talks about how Black has destroyed everything they love and Cody is missing the point. Black is an assassin who will take out everyone to win a match. Cody is the kind of person who would give up his car if someone tried to steal it but Anderson would shoot them in the head. He isn’t going to coach a loser, so Johnson can leave with him.
Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston/Darby Allin vs. Bear Country/Anthony Greene
Sting is here with Darby and company and it’s a brawl to start, with Allin and Greene being left alone in the ring. That’s fine with Allin, who gets two off of la majistral. An armdrag sends Greene down and we get a Ricky Steamboat reference. We settle down to Bear Country beating up Moxley but Kingston breaks up the double splash. The spinning backfist sets up a German suplex and the brawl heads to the floor. That leaves Greene alone with Moxley and Kingston, who shrug off a springboard spinning high crossbody attempt. The German suplex/lariat combination finishes Greene at 3:30.
Rating: C-. Mostly a squash here and that’s all it needed to be. Sometimes your best bet is to get people on there on screen and let them do their thing, which is exactly what they did here. It wasn’t a great match or anything, but it can be a good idea to let big stars feel like big stars. Nice job, even if it was hardly a classic.
Post match Sting lays Greene out for a bonus.
Video on Ruby Soho vs. Britt Baker, with Soho promising to take the title.
Dark Order/Orange Cassidy vs. Hardy Family Office
Negative 1 is here with the team because AEW likes making its fans emotional. This is a sixteen man tag to make things a bit complicated and the Dark Order is already fighting among themselves. Alan Angels loses his mask and it’s a suplex/top rope spear combination from Butcher and Blade for two. Private Party comes in to work on on Angels as we get a THANK YOU BRODIE chant.
Everything breaks down though and we take a break. Back with Jack Evans (Flippy McGillicutty according to Punk) coming in to pick up the pace until Evil Uno kicks him in the face. Alex Reynolds gets sent into Uno as the issues continue, so Cassidy comes in for the top rope thumbs up splash. Uno walks out on the match so some more of the Order goes to talk to him.
Evans flips over into a backslide for two on Cassidy as everything breaks down again. Uno keeps walking but cue Negative 1 and Amanda Huber (Brodie’s widow) with 1 throwing the papers and Amanda telling the team to get it together. The Order charges the ring and cleans house, with the parade of secondary finishers. A series of strikes sets up a German suplex and the Fatality is good for the pin at 7:51.
Rating: A. This was all about the emotions and they nailed that on every level. I wasn’t a big Lee fan but I was smiling throughout the entire thing, which is all it needed to be. Outstanding stuff here, with the Dark Order reunion bringing all the feelings. I loved this and they did exactly what they were trying to do.
Post match the Dark Order gets back together and it’s about as cool as you can get.
Lio Rush is All Elite. Rush? Not actually retiring? I’m as stunned as you are.
FTR and Tully Blanchard are ready to show that they’re the best again. Top guys out.
Here are Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year to talk about how Chris Jericho got kneed in the face by UFC’s Jorge Mazvidal last week. The thing is, Jericho saved this promotion from itself and turned it into the hottest promotion anyone has seen in years. Then Jericho came after them and got beaten down like never before, leaving his earning potential the same as everyone here: zero. Now they have cut the head off of AEW and Tony Khan-man will have more trouble selling snake oil.
Scorpio Sky talks about how he was a star around here at the beginning and then he grabbed the giant Sonic ring, but it wasn’t good enough. No one around here was paying attention, but Dan Lambert was watching. Lambert sees him as a main eventer, just like Ethan Page. That sends Page into a rant about how great he is at everything but he can’t get an action figure or a spot in the opening video. He has the best smile around here and now he rolls with champions, because the Men of the Year are the Top Team.
Hikaru Shida is ready to get her 50th win in AEW, but she has to beat Serena Deeb next week on Dynamite’s second anniversary show.
Penelope Ford/The Bunny vs. Tay Conti/Anna Jay
It’s a brawl to start with the villains being sent into the corner. Tay tries to jump to the apron but falls down and comes up holding her knee. Ford kicks Anna into a neck snap from Bunny before dropping a knee. We take a break and come back with Ford and Conti coming in off the double tag. A double suplex gets two on Ford but she Matrixes away from a clothesline and hits a Stunner on Jay. Ford’s fireman’s carry gutbuster gets two but she misses a moonsault. The TayKO knocks Bunny silly on the floor and the Dangerous Jay kick sets up the Queenslayer to finish Ford at 6:31.
Rating: C. This should be the end of the feud and that’s how it should have gone. Conti and Jay are a good team for the young and plucky faces and that’s what they did here. Ford and Bunny were a good obstacle for them to get by and it wound up being a completely watchable match as well.
Post match Negative 1 comes in to celebrate. Punk: “He’s a smart kid.”
Video on Thunder Rosa vs. Nyla Rose vs. Jade Cargill on Rampage.
Here is MJF for a chat. MJF doesn’t think much of upstate New York and wants to talk about the four pillars of AEW. You have Jungle Boy (“Beat him.”), Sammy Guevara (“Beat him.), Darby Allin (“…..yeah whatever.”) and the strongest pillar of them all, which is the man who was in the first match at All In, Maxwell Jacob Friedman himself. He is the past, present and future of AEW and that means he should be the AEW World Champion. Tony: “Earn that in the ring then dude.” MJF teases talking to Bruce Prichard if he doesn’t get a title shot, but here is Allin to interrupt.
MJF: “As much as I love the whole school shooter mime on a skateboard routine”, he’s not happy with the interruption. There is nothing wrong with being a #2 guy, like Mark Messier, Scottie Pippen, or Sting. MJF says he’s the #1 guy, so Allin asks if MJF is done talking and tells him to go if he isn’t happy. See, Allin is AEW for life until death, but he doesn’t understand how MJF can be #1 when Allin is the only one of the two of them to win a title.
MJF appreciates the Batman voice and brings up Allin being straightedge. We hear about Allin getting in a car with his drunk uncle as a kid and they got in an accident. The uncle died, and it’s a travesty because the wrong man died. Allin says MJF isn’t breaking him mentally, which sends MJF leaving. MJF was on fire here, even if he was going really far with some of these things.
Video on Sammy Guevara vs. Miro, which is fallout from Miro beating Fuego del Sol up to take his car. Guevara will buy him a new car if he wins.
TNT Title: Miro vs. Sammy Guevara
Guevara is challenging and they circle each other to start. A knee strike misses for Guevara and Miro takes him down for the stomping. Miro runs him over for two but Guevara is back up with a running crossbody to knock both of them outside. Guevara posts him hard and avoids a charge into the steps but Miro is fine enough to snap off a belly to belly back inside.
We take a break and come back with Guevara jawbreaking his way to freedom from a chinlock but Miro kicks him down again. That earns Miro a Spanish Fly and they’re both down for a bit. There’s a low superkick to rock Miro and a running knee does the same. Miro’s missed charge sends him flying out to the floor so Guevara hits a HUGE flip dive to the floor. Back in and Guevara charges into a swinging release slam for two but Guevara blocks a superplex attempt.
A middle rope cutter can’t keep Miro down and Guevara can’t load up the GTS. The jumping superkick gives Miro two so Guevara rolls outside. That leaves Miro to pull off a turnbuckle pad, which brings out Fuego for a save. Guevara is back in with a jumping knee to send Miro into the exposed buckle. There’s a tornado DDT into the GTH to drop Miro. The 630 gives Guevara the pin and the title at 13:42.
Rating: B. The best way I can describe this match is that it was a ride. I wanted to see if Guevara could pull off the impossible here and win the title and you could feel the release of emotion when he actually pulled it off. It didn’t feel like they rushed the title change either, and it would be fine if Miro gets the title back. If nothing else, they gave Guevara his big win and that’s what matters most here.
A bunch of wrestlers come out to celebrate with Guevara to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. I had a great time with this show as they were focusing on the emotions. This was about having a good time in front of a crowd that wanted to be entertained. Throw in some things being announced for the anniversary show and the big title change at the end and this was a heck of a way to spend two hours. Awesome show and things might be getting better soon.
Adam Cole b. Jungle Boy – Boom
Cody Rhodes/Lee Johnson b. Dante Martin/Matt Sydal – Fisherman’s buster onto the knee
Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston/Darby Allin b. Bear Country/Anthony Greene – German suplex/clothesline combination to Greene
Dark Order/Orange Cassidy b. Hardy Family Office – Fatality to Johi
Tay Conti/Anna Jay b. The Bunny/Penelope Ford – Queenslayer to Ford
Sammy Guevara b. Miro – 630
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