ALL ELITE WRESTLING RAMPAGE PREVIEW 12/25 (Spoiler-Free): Holiday Bash Continues, Hook vs. Bronson, Jungle Boy vs. Kassidy, Statlander vs. Hirsh Sammy vs. Cody for TNT Championship

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Full analysis on the hits and misses from this week's AEW Rampage
Hook (photo credit David Bryant ©PWTorch)

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

ALL ELITE WRESTLING RAMPAGE PRIMER
DECEMBER 25, 2021
GREENSBORO, N.C. AT THE GREENSBORO COLISEUM
AIRS ON TNT NETWORK, 9:00 p.m. EDT, 8:00 p.m. CDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz, Ricky Starks (various combinations)

Note

There is a spoiler report for the airing of Rampage available here at the Torch. I can assure you I have not read it, as that would go against the integrity of writing a preview for a show. My primers include background information on each match and my analysis on what I think will take place without knowledge of what happened.

Match Results and Key Segments from Last Week

  • Best Friends & Chaos (Chuck Taylor, Trent Berretta, Wheeler Yuta, and Rocky Romero defeated SuperKliq (Adam Cole, Young Bucks Matt & Nick Jackson) & Bobby Fish in an eight-man tag match.
  • Tay Conti defeated Penelope Ford in a submission match.
  • Daniel Garcia, 2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee), and the Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) defeated Eddie Kingston, AEW Tag Team Champions Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix), and Proud & Powerful (Santana & Ortiz) in a 10-man tag match.

Arena

Rampage was recorded following Dynamite this past Wednesday. See Wednesday’s Dynamite primer for information about the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. and its rich history with wrestling

We knew of two matches going into this past Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite, and we found out about two more.

Hook vs. Bear Bronson

Send Hook!

Taz’s son Hook made his in-ring debut defeating Fuego Del Sol on the December 10 edition of Rampage, which was recorded following the December 8 edition of Dynamite that took place at the UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y. Last week we found out he would have his second match, as he takes on Bear Bronson of Bear Country. Bear Country (Bronson and Bear Boulder) defeated Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico) on this past episode of Dark Elevation, which was recorded last week at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX.

Hook’s next match is a battle of Long Island boys. According to prowrestling.fandom.com, Hook was born in Massapequa, N.Y. while Bear Bronson was born in East Islip, N.Y. AEW is certainly hyping tonight’s match as evidence from their Twitter account. In addition, here are some tweets from fellow wrestlers:

https://twitter.com/aew/status/1473851605917257732?s=21

Frank’s Analysis: Forgive me for including the tweet that showed he went to Plainedge High School. That’s the school from which I graduated, and that’s very cool to see. I hope he’s frequented All American Burger on Merrick Road! That said, I’m very much looking forward to this. The crowd was into Hook when I was there two weeks ago, and I’m certain the same will be said for the Greensboro crowd. You look at him and your first impression is that he’s just some skinny punk-ass kid. Then you see him carry himself and watch him wrestle, and you’re like alright he’s got something. You can’t explain it, it’s just there. You want to see him kick someone’s ass. It’s smart to give him opponents that can eat losses such as Fuego and now Bronson. It’s wrestling 101. The company based in Stamford CT. seems to have forgotten about that concept.

Jungle Boy vs. Isaiah Kassidy of Private Party

Get ready to pound some ass! (Don’t look at me. Jungle Boy and Kassidy talked about it Dynamite. I just write the primers.)

https://twitter.com/isiahkassidy/status/1474032752890683403?s=21

Jungle Boy of the currently #1 ranked tag team in AEW, Jurassic Express, will take on Isaiah Kassidy of Private Party (HFO). This past Wednesday on Dynamite, Kassidy’s manager Matt Hardy made the case that he wanted Private Party to the #1 ranked team. He called back to when Jurassic Express bailed out the Lucha Brothers on last week’s Rampage, and “awkwardly” handed them their tag team championship titles. Kassidy said he would pound Jungle Boy’s ass on Christmas, while Jungle Boy said he would shove a piece of coal up Kassidy’s ass.

This past week on Dark Elevation, Hardy teamed with Kassidy and fellow HFO member The Blade to defeat Evil Uno & Stu Grayson & 10 of the Dark Order. Kassidy’s regular partner, Mark Quen, is out with an undisclosed injury. The timetable for his return is not known.

Frank’s Analysis: I almost feel like this is a reminder that Private Party exists. I suppose that’s fine, and this is something to do, but it doesn’t do much for me. The HFO is just kind of there. I still find it weird they have two tag teams in the faction (Butcher & Blade plus Private Party). The match should be fine to watch.

Kris Statlander vs. “Legit” Leyla Hirsh

Kris Statlander, another Long Island native, gets back on our screens as she takes on “Legit” Leyla Hirsh. Kris lost to Ruby Soho back on December 1 in the TBS Championship tournament. She got back on the winning track two days later on Dark where she defeated Marina Shafir, a recently released WWE talent. She paired with Red Velvet to defeat Nikii Duke and Tina San Antonio on Dark Elevation (recorded at the December 8 taping on Long Island. Leyla’s last win ironically was in a Trios match pairing with Kris and Ryo Mizunami on Dark Elevation several weeks ago.

Kris came up short in her attempt to win the AEW Women’s World Championship at All Out back in August.

Frank’s Analysis: This is just a match. It’s perfectly fine. I want to see what both women can do on TV as opposed to being on Dark and Dark Elevation.

TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (champ) vs. Cody Rhodes

Back on the December 8 Dynamite & Rampage tapings, we learned that Cody Rhodes will challenge Sammy Guevara for the TNT Championship. While Sammy was going to be interviewed by Tony Schiavone, out came Cody to advise Sammy of the situation. He shook his hand and very subtly almost went back through the heel entrance tunnel.

Dan Lambert along with his protegees American Top Team (Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page) have taken issue with this, especially with Cody being an EVP of the company and one of Tony Khan’s “buddies.” During his return to TV last week, Dan called out Tony for saying matches would be awarded on merit but turned out to be a con man. He went so far as to say that AEW is turning into another version of WCW when it was at its worse. Cody came out and they took the mic from each other like junior high school kids until he went at it with Sky and Page. Dustin Rhodes, Cody’s brother, came out for the save and later Sammy. Dan continued deriding Cody on Dynamite this week questioning how the fans are going to cheer him when he’s a bigger dick than himself. He said it was no matter, so long as one of his men (Sky or Page) would get the next title shot.

The first televised match on the launch episode of AEW Dynamite back in October of 2019 was Cody vs. Sammy.

Frank’s Analysis: I could see Cody winning this match, which would do him no favors to get cheered, something I hope AEW is giving up on. I’m being patient with Cody because I think this snuck up on them. I don’t think they had Cody getting booed on their dance card. Here we are though, and this is a big test for Tony Khan. WWE put us through this for 15 years with John Cena and Roman Reigns, meaning pushing someone as a babyface against the crowd’s wishes. They got TV deals and plenty of financial backing. I know AEW has the money, but is it worth continuing down the path of pushing Cody against the crowd’s wishes? We shall find out.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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