12/17 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: Cole & Bucks vs. Best Friends, Dan Lambert returns, Cody development, Tay Conti vs. Penelope Ford, 10-man tag

By Patrick Moynahan, PWTorch contributor

Full AEW Rampage results and analysis

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

AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
DECEMBER 17, 2021
RECORDED AT THE CURTIS CULWELL CENTER IN GARLAND, TEX.
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, and Ricky Starks

Ring announcer: Justin Roberts

– The opening of Rampage aired. Excalibur welcomed us with, “It’s Friday night, and you know what that means!” Excalibur was joined by Taz and Ricky Starks.

(1) ADAM COLE & THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson) & BOBBY FISH vs. BEST FRIENDS (Trent & Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy & Rocky Romero w/Wheeler Yuta)

Taylor and Matt Jackson kicked things off for their respective teams. Matt took the upper hand early on until Taylor reversed a suplex into a back elbow. Taylor followed it up with a standing sliced bread for a near fall. Romero tagged in and took Matt down with a hurricanrana. Fish was tagged in and took it to Romero with a series of kicks. Romero fired back with a dropkick to the face.

Cassidy tagged into a nice reaction. He and Romero double teamed Fish, with Romero hitting most (if not all) of the offense for the duo. Cole was tagged in as the crowd reacted to the faceoff between him and Cassidy. Cole decided against it and quickly tagged Nick in to face off against Cassidy. Nick flew to the top rope and took Cassidy down with a springboard arm drag. Cassidy reversed things and tried to hit the same move on Nick, but Nick pulled him off the ropes. Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and evaded Nick several times until he hit him with a monkey flip.

Matt, Cole, and Fish jumped the ring and took out Cassidy and Best Friends. Fish and Cassidy were in the ring as the rest of the teams were outside. The Young Bucks and Cole power bombed Trent across the apron. Back inside, The Bucks and Cole hit a 3-way superkick on Cassidy. [c]

Nick hit Trent off the apron, then turned his focus back to Cassidy, who was isolated in the corner. The Bucks hit a double team move on Cassidy, then went for the cover which was broken up by Best Friends. Cole locked Cassidy in a cobra clutch as the Bucks went for their off-the-ropes kiss. Best Friends tripped the Bucks however, so they were unable to finish the move.

Cassidy almost got a hot tag, but the Bucks pulled Best Friends off the apron in time. Cole went for Panama Sunrise, but Cassidy reversed it, then finally tagged in Trent. Trent took out each opponent by himself, including Brandon Cutler. Trent came off the top and hit a diving splash onto Nick for a close two count.

Nick hit Trent with a kick to the head but was met with a double team by Romero and Trent. Trent draped Nick across the top rope, then Romero came off the top with a leg drop across Nick’s back. Matt pulled Romero out of the ring and threw him into the steel steps. Inside the ring Taylor and Trent hit their patented hug to pip the crowd. Nick and Trent were alone in the ring, and Nick pulled Trent hard off the top rope.

Trent was alone against the Bucks and Cole as they took turns beating him down. Fish came off the top with a diving headbutt and covered for a two count. Trent was positioned on the top rope as all four men kept the rest of Best Friends away from him. Fish hit an avalanche Falcon Arrow off the top rope, but Cassidy broke up the pin in time. Cassidy went for Orange Punch, but Cole kicked him away. Romero hit a tope to the outside onto Cole. Nick then flipped over the ropes to the outside. Cassidy finished things off by hitting a springboard flip onto the Bucks Inside the ring, Trent hit Fish with his finish for the win.

WINNERS: Best Friends in 13:30

(Moynahan’s Take: This was a blast to watch and a challenge to type out in a timely fashion at the same time. But wow, what action. The crowd in Texas really got their money’s worth Wednesday night.)

– Dan Lambert and The Men of the Year were in the middle of the ring. Lambert said it was the last place in the world he wanted to be. Lambert questioned why so many people sucked up to Tony Kahn, and added that when Kahn started the company, he said he was a fan first and foremost. Lambert noted that Kahn promised that matches would be booked on merit but was a con man. Lambert said Kahn stabbed fans in the back and has become the very thing he hated most about the business. Lambert then mentioned Cody Rhodes directly and put down his reality show.

The lights went out and Cody’s music hit. Cody appeared to have a mixed reaction (from what I could tell). Cody pulled the mic of Lambert’s hands, and Lambert took it right back. Cody again took the mic from Lambert, then attacked Men of the Year. Sky and Page got the better of Cody until Dustin Rhodes hit the ring to help Cody out. Rhodes was about to attack Lambert until Men of the Year attacked him from behind. Sammy Guevara hit the ring to help Cody and Dustin. Sammy hit a springboard cutter on Sky to clear the ring.

(Moynahan’s Take: I’ve stayed out of the Cody face or heel discussion as long as I could, but this was too much for me. They finally had to take one of their biggest heels in the last few months to force fans to cheer Cody. It didn’t work. In fact, Sammy got a noticeably strong reaction from the crowd. Cody, on the other hand, had a lukewarm to negative reaction from what I could tell.)

– A feature on the upcoming TBS Title Tournament matches was shown. [c]

(2) TAY CONTI (w/Anna Jay) vs. PENELOPE FORD — Submission Match

Conti charged the ring and took it right to Ford, who was already waiting in the ring. Ford yanked Conti down by her hair, then tried to sync in a leg lock. Conti was able to fight out of it, then locked in one of her own. Ford got to the ropes with some help from the Bunny who was on the outside. The two went outside and Ford hit a few chops across the chest of Conti but missed the last one and slapped the metal post hard. Back inside the ring, Conti went for an arm breaker, but Ford again was able to reach the ropes for the break.

Ford tried for a back handspring, but Conti got her knees up in time. Conti locked in a triangle choke, but Ford broke free and locked in a bow and arrow stretch. Conti was able to free herself, then landed a few elbows to the side of Ford. Conti locked in another arm lock but let go as Bunny distracted from the apron. Conti caught Ford with a rear choke in the corner. The two slowly made their way to the top rope, and Ford locked in a Dragon Sleeper as they both made their way to the center of the ring.

With Conti still locked in the sleeper, Ford bent Conti’s back over her knee. Conti broke the hold but was met with a cutter. Ford then locked in a headlock until Conti made the ropes. Conti hit a pump kick but Ford caught a second attempt and hit a back kick. Conti caught Ford off the ropes, then locked in a choke for the tap out.

WINNER: Tay Conti in 5:00

– After the match, the Bunny attacked Conti with the brass knuckles. Anna Jay hit the ring with the chair to drive Bunny and Ford away.

(Moynahan’s Take: I enjoyed this for what it was. It felt a little rushed at times but I was okay with that since each woman was trying to lock in a submission for the win.)

– A graphic for the Owen Hart Cup was shown. Excalibur said the men’s and women’s tournaments would take place in May and would culminate at Double or Nothing. Martha Hart would also award the cups to each winner. More information will be available on Dynamite.

– Hook vs. Bear Bronson was announced for next week’s Rampage.

– Mark Henry was on split-screen with participants for tonight’s main event. Max Caster was about to rap but 2.0 cut him off and told him to wait until they got to the ring. Kingston was shown walking off screen but came back on to cut off 2.0 and The Acclaimed. He told Henry to do his thing, and Henry obliged, saying it was “time for the main event.”

(3) THE LUCHA BROTHERS (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix w/Alex Abrahantes) & PROUD AND POWERFUL (Santana & Ortiz) & EDDIE KINGSTON vs. 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) & DANNY GARCIA & THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens)

As Caster was rapping on his way to the ring, Kingston and his team attacked them on the ramp. All ten men brawled around ringside before the bell rang. The bell finally rang with Penta and Caster as the legal men. The crowd chanted for Penta as Kingston tried getting a chair into the ring. Penta silenced the crowd as we went to take his glove off. Caster stopped Penta from doing so and the two traded chops until Fenix was tagged in.

Fenix and Penta double teamed Caster, ending with a double superkick, then a rolling splash for a two count. Caster blocked a suplex attempt and was able to make the tag to Bowens. Ortiz and Santana traded tags as they double teamed Bowens to the delight of the crowd. [c]

Santana was on the ring against both members of 2.0. He hit a springboard moonsault on both men, then tagged in Penta who continued the onslaught. Penta nailed Caster with a superkick, then Fenix walked the top rope and kicked Caster across the face. Garcia tagged in but fared no better against Fenix. Fenix came off the top rope with a tornillo, which barely hit Garcia across the face. Kingston tagged in. He had Garcia in a headlock but 2.0 pulled Kingston to the outside, The Lucha Bros. flew over the top and took out both members of 2.0. Inside the ring, Bowens took out Ortiz, but Santana hit him with a sit down piledriver. Kingston hit the ring and hit Caster with an Exploder.

Garcia and Kingston faced off, but Garcia rolled up Kingston for a quick pin. 2.0, Acclaimed, and Garcia had Kingston alone in the ring. Bowens took his boombox and hit Kingston across the face. The Jurassic Express’s music hit, and Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian attacked the heels from behind to take them out of the ring. Jungle Boy picked up the tag team titles and handed them to the Lucha Bros. Excalibur noted this was something to keep an eye on, as Jurassic Express were currently number one contenders.

WINNERS: Garcia & 2point0 & The Acclaimed in 11:00

(Moynahan’s Take: Another action-packed multi-man tag team match. While I enjoyed the match, I felt like I just watched one less than an hour ago, only with two less wrestlers. I did like the ending scene with Jurassic Express holding up the tag team titles, and a matchup between them and the Lucha Bros. is one I hope we see sooner than later.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: There’s not much negative to say about this show, which was another full hour of wrestling. In fact, it seems the last couple of weeks have gotten away from a lot of the backstage interviews and video packages and have focused on the in-ring work. That’s a good thing in my view. The most exciting news for me tonight was finally getting some info on next year’s Owen Cup Tournaments, which look to be taking place in May. I’m very much looking forward to hearing more details on Dynamite this week. Stay safe everyone!

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