AEW RAMPAGE HITS & MISSES 1/21: Ethan Page a perfect opponent for Moxley return, Hook shines, Cargill and Jay deliver in main event, more

BY HITEN DAVE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Jon Moxley vs. Shawn Spears (photo credit Sean Radican © PWTorch)

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

Jon Moxley defeated Ethan Page: HIT

Very good return match for Moxley. Forget ring rust, his performance was actually better than before his time off, and Ethan Page was such a perfect opponent for him. The commentary also really added a lot to the match.

After the match, Moxley gave Page another Paradigm Shift and was confronted by Bryan Danielson as he was leaving the ring. Curious to see what story they tell with those two.

Jurassic Express Promo Video: NARROW MISS

I’m not feeling the feud between Jurassic Express and the Gunn Club, and I hope it’s over quick. This was one of Jungle Boy’s better promos, but he still has work to do.

Trent Beretta defeated Nick Jackson: HIT

Another good television match. Every time I hear Nick Jackson is going to be in singles competition, I prepare myself for an entertaining spot fest. However, his last two matches have been surprisingly gritty and physical, with good storytelling. There were certainly enough high spots in here to remind you that it’s a Nick Jackson match, but nothing felt excessive.

The “new and improved” Trent Beretta is also great to watch. I’m surprised they put him over Nick Jackson, but considering how much of a bigger star Trent comes across relative to Chucky T, I won’t be surprised if the company has singles plans for him.

Thunder Rosa and Mercedes Martinez Video Promo Battle: NARROW MISS

Like last week, I think both wrestlers showed a good, serious edge. However, it would really help the feud if Martinez gave some insight into her motives. I also don’t think you need two similar video promos in a row. Advance the story a little. Maybe have Rosa try to ambush Martinez backstage, or just show her prowling backstage, looking for her. Something more than just yelling into a camera for two straight weeks.

Hook defeated Serpentico: HIT

Another dominant squash for Hook with all of his most captivating mannerisms. The crowd didn’t seem as into him as previous crowds, but it’s going to be difficult to keep up those reactions from city to city.

After the match, QT Marshall came out to confront Hook and, after initially trying to ignore and walk past him, Hook just laid him out. Entertaining stuff all round, and effective use of QT.

My only concern is that Hook is now kind of existing in “Hook-ville” on Rampage while Team Taz fends for itself. In kayfabe, if Hook is so dominant, why isn’t he the one to fight Team Taz’s main battles?

In addition, if Hook is going to continue to feud with heels like QT, the company will need to address his moral alignment at some point as well.

Main Event Backstage Interview: MILD MISS

Better than last week for sure. Cargill was her usual, cocky self and Anna Jay at least said the right things by pointing out her deeds in the street fight last month.

My problem, however, is with Anna Jay’s delivery. As a babyface, she has the same problem as Sammy Guevara does; it’s difficult to buy into the fact that she has a bone to pick with anyone in life. Yes, it would make sense for that street fight to “change her,” but I didn’t really feel it in her tone of voice. There just isn’t much conviction in her cadence. In addition, having John Silver, of all the Dark Order members, by her side during this just undercuts any seriousness she’s trying to convey.

Jade Cargill defeated Anna Jay to retain the TBS Championship: MILD HIT

This was a well-put-together match, considering both wrestlers’ experience levels. By no means was it a mat classic, or even as good as the previous two matches on the show, but it didn’t need to be. I’m happy to see continued improvement in the AEW women’s division.

Commentary: HIT

Apart from the main event, Chris Jericho really added a lot to the show tonight. And yes, with this commentary team, its success or failure depends entirely on what side of the bed Chris Jericho woke up on. Everyone else is just kind of there.

Overall Show: HIT

Really good show. I’m not sure if it’s worth going out of your way to see if you are short on time, but if you just want an hour of competent pro wrestling, check it out.


CATCH-UP: 1/21 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: Moxley vs. Ethan Page, Nick Jackson vs. Trent Barretta, Hook vs. Serpentico, Cargill vs. Anna Jay

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