AEW RAMPAGE HITS & MISSES 12/10: Tag team championship match a hit, Hook shines in debut, more

BY HITEN DAVE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Dax Harwood comments on WWE rumors
Tully Blanchard and FTR (photo courtesy AEW)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Lucha Brothers defeated FTR in a AEW Tag Team Championship Match: HIT

Very good match. A nice mix of styles with a healthy dose of high-spot athleticism and psychology. The finish was much better than what we saw in at Full Gear. I’d much rather have a very good match with a decent finish instead of an excellent match with a weird finish.

This match really should have been the main event of the show. I don’t like how they just skipped straight to ring introductions without even airing entrances for such a championship match.

Part of me is just glad to see the conclusion of this feud. I haven’t been emotionally invested in either team for a while now. FTR comes across like they are just playing the role of heel and Lucha Brothers’ promo segments are basically the same from opponent to opponent. Penta is usually very good at deep storytelling, but in AEW he just hasn’t had a chance or been encouraged to flex those muscles.

The Bunny, Penelope Ford, and Nyla Rose defeated Ruby Soho, Anna Jay, and Tay Conti: MILD HIT

This match was pretty solid in terms of in-ring action. Nothing off-the-charts, but just solid. The Bunny in particular was better than usual tonight, and I loved the fact that Nyla Rose got the win.

However, my main issue is the realization of how much less I care for Anna Jay and Tay Conti than I used to. Regarding Tay Conti, I think the fact that she had no verbal follow up to her loss against Baker at Full Gear really bugs me. and this is the first time I’m seeing her after that Pay Per View match (not even coming out to her own music) is a big injustice.

With Anna Jay, the problem is much worse. She’s not gelling with me as a babyface at all. Much like babyface Sammy Guevara, there’s very little that makes her stand out. I miss the badass edge she used to have as a heel enforcer of the Dark Order.

Sting, Darby Allin and FTR Backstage Segment: IT HAPPENED

Another day, another Sting promo that isn’t meant to be. I think FTR attacking them provides a good indication of their next rivalry, but the reason for it seems to just be Tully Blanchard wanted to have at it with Sting “one more time.” Fans with WCW nostalgia probably loved this. I personally haven’t been trained to see Blanchard as a wrestler, so him being able to wrest Sting away from punching on FTR came off quite implausible.

In any case, if this results in a tag-team feud, I’m curious what the outcome is. Neither team can afford another loss. However, the idea of a Tully Blanchard vs. Sting match should intrigue some old school fans.

Hook defeated Fuego Del Sol: HIT

I fit right into the age bracket that should be able to understand social media’s obsession with Hook before he even had his first match. I think I am happy to just join the boomers who don’t understand the hype and let cooler people than me speak for him:

Hook did look pretty good here, and he got a decent crowd reaction, though not as loud on TV as some of the on-site reports suggested. Given AEW’s track record with Britt Baker and Cody Rhodes, I don’t expect them to add any extra dose of nastiness to his character to ramp up crowd heat, nor a babyface turn. We’re just going to have to put up with another wrestler whose crowd response is dissonant with the way he is portrayed, and whose matches most people view from a detached, “entertain me,” point of view. Alternatively, maybe this crowd investment will die down over time.

In addition, remember back in August when we were supposed to emotionally invest in Fuego getting an AEW contract despite not having a clue who he is? I remember a large chunk of a Rampage show being dedicated to signing him. Well, we’ve now had two follow-up appearances. One was another loss to Miro, and now to a debutant. The least they could have done is given him some quick victories on Dynamite leading into this match.

Main Event Interview: MISS

Adam Cole had nothing of substance to say and Wheeler Yuta only spoke one word. Orange Cassidy, the guy whose gimmick is that he rarely speaks, carried Yuta’s end of the promo. We also got a hint of tensions within Best Friends with Trent demanding attention for saving them on Dynamite.

Also, I’m sorry but who is Wheeler Yuta? How did he meet Best Friends and start hanging out with them? Why do I know more about Reggie in WWE despite rarely watching WWE programming? Yuta has absolutely no identity of his own; in fact, he comes out to Orange Cassidy’s old theme song despite showing no similar mannerisms.

In addition, why are they pushing toward a Trent heel turn? The comedy stuff may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but his mom and the minivan elicit some of the best reactions I’ve seen on AEW, even among “casual” fans. Probably not the wisest move to turn this guy heel, but let’s wait and see.

By the way, this is the second straight Adam Cole promo I have had to assign a “MISS” to. I don’t like doing it, but something’s gotta give with this guy. I don’t mind him staying in the mid-card for a while, but he needs a feud that he can really sink his teeth into.

Adam Cole defeated Wheeler Yuta: MILD HIT

After Adam Cole’s entrance, it seemed as though the crowd was getting ready to pack up and leave. The match itself was solid, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care. This would have worked much better as the opening match of the show.

After the match, the Super Clique beat down Best Friends and nailed a BTE Trigger on Trent. I don’t know where this is going, but let’s just wait and see.

Commentary: HIT

On its own, the commentary was probably more of MILD HIT. However, the two-man booth of Excalibur and Tazz was so refreshing to hear after several weeks of an overcrowded desk. Please continue to keep Jericho and Starks away from full-time commentary.

Overall Show: MILD HIT

The only thing worth going out of your way to see is the Hook match. The opening match was very good but not something worth banking extra time for, and everything else was skippable.


CATCH-UP: 12/15 AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS: Keller’s detailed report and analysis on “Winter is Coming” special with Hangman vs. Danielson, Wardlow vs. Sydal, MJF vs. Dante

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