Date: December 31, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks
It’s the very last show of the year for any company, as this one is going all the way to an hour before the New Year on the east coast. There is a fairly big card tonight with an anything goes women’s tag and Cody Rhodes defending the TNT Title. That doesn’t sound too bad so let’s get to it.
Anthony Bowens vs. Darby Allin
Max Caster’s rap is about the booster shot and putting people away like Ghislaine Maxwell. Allin starts fast with an early rollup for two, sending Bowens bailing to the floor in a hurry. Back in and Allin ducks a clothesline and dropkicks Bowens right back to the floor. We take a break and come back with Bowens catching a splash in the corner but Allin grabs some rollups for two each anyway.
Allin heads up for the Coffin Drop but gets knocked down, with his arm landing pretty hard. A twisting DDT out of the corner gives Bowens two so he goes up, only to have Allin run the corner and step on his hand. Sting and Caster get in a fight on the floor, allowing Bowens to send Allin into the barricade. Back in again and Allin grabs a Code Red for two, setting up a flip dive to the floor to take out the Acclaimed. The Coffin Drop finishes Allin at 10:08.
Rating: C+. Pretty nice match here as they gave Allin an opponent he should beat and then did just that. It’s the kind of match that works out well as Bowens has no business beating someone like Allin while Allin gets a win over someone he should beat. I could go for more like this, especially when it didn’t overstay its welcome.
Post match, Andrade El Idolo comes out for a distraction, allowing the Acclaimed to blast Sting with the boombox.
We get the return of Technique With Taz, looking at Hook. These are always cool and show a very different side from an analyst. Like analysis.
Penelope Ford/The Bunny vs. Tay Conti/Anna Jay
No DQ and the fight is on in a hurry. Conti and Jay take them down to start and set up a table on the flor but Ford posts Jay hard. A bicycle kick takes out Conti and Ford goes up top for a moonsault onto Conti onto the table….which doesn’t budge an inch in a very painful looking crash.
Back in and Ford breaks a bottle over Conti’s head to knock her silly. A bunch of weapons, including a very specially painted table (including a brass knuckles design) goes in, with Bunny and Conti already busted open. The table is put in the corner and the villains load up some open chairs in the middle of the ring. Back in and Jay suplexes Bunny onto the chairs and we take a break.
We come back with Jay trying the Queenslayer but getting driven through the table for her efforts. It’s already time for some thumbtacks, with Jay superplexing Bunny onto said tacks for two, with Ford diving in for the save. The save sends Ford’s hands into the tacks but she is fine enough to kick Conti down. Some stomps onto a chair crush Conti, setting up a piledriver from the apron through a table to knock Conti silly. Back in and Bunny grabs the brass knuckles but Jay wraps barbed wire around her arm and grabs the Queenslayer to finish Bunny at 11:19.
Rating: B. This one took some time to sink in and I’m still not sure what to think about it. They were working very hard and it felt like they were trying to prove a point, but it also felt like they were trying a bit too hard. I’m not wild on having all of the blood and violence and carnage in any match and this was no exception. Throw in that I’m not sure the feud warranted such a violent match in the first place and this was a lot. That being said, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it and can absolutely appreciate the effort so I’ll go with a pretty solid performance here.
Video on Hangman Page vs. Bryan Danielson.
Here’s what’s coming at various show.
The face to face interview has Dan Lambert talking about how Cody Rhodes made a bunch of deals to get where he is. Arn Anderson doesn’t want to hear it and says tonight, Cody is going to show something.
TNT Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Ethan Page
Cody, with Arn Anderson to counter Scorpio Sky and Dan Lambert, is defending. They start fast with Cody headlocking him down but Lambert grabs a foot to cut things off. Page grabs a suplex for two but they head to the apron, where Cody can’t hit Cross Rhodes. Back in and Cody goes after the leg, setting up an Indian Deathlock as we take a break.
We come back with Page hitting a gordbuster and Sky getting in a cheap shot. Cue Dustin Rhodes to go after Sky, but the distraction lets Cody hit Cross Rhodes for two. Cody takes him up top but gets caught in a heck of a super powerslam for two more. They slug it out with an exchange of kicks to the head, only to have Cody come back with the Cody Cutter. Cody goes up and gets pulled down with the Iconoclasm. The Ego’s Edge is escaped though and it’s a string of Cross Rhodes into the Tiger Driver 98 to finish Page at 14:18.
Rating: C+. As usual, it’s a perfectly serviceable Cody Rhodes match and little more. While he might not be the most popular name in the world right now, he can still put in a completely watchable, if not good, match with just about anyone. That is his firm ceiling most of the time though and a match without much drama in this spot wasn’t breaking through anything. This was more a way to get Cody on the show for a first title defense and it did both things successfully.
Overall Rating: B-. I’m not sure what kind of an audience this is going to draw, but it had three good matches with a very memorable street fight in the middle. Rampage has figured out what kind of a show it needs to be and now we’re getting some more entertaining shows as a result. The street fight is the only thing worth seeing, but dang it was a spectacle to behold.
Darby Allin b. Ethan Page – Coffin Drop
Tay Conti/Anna Jay b. The Bunny/Penelope Ford – Queenslayer to Bunny
Cody Rhodes b. Ethan Page – Tiger Driver 98
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