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AEW RAMPAGE SLAM DUNK TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 18, 2021
RECORDED AT THE NASHVILLE MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM IN NASHVILLE, TN
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks, and Chris Jericho
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, Rikcy Starks, and Chris Jericho.
(1) ADAM COLE vs. DARK ORDER’S “10” (Preston Vance w/Dark Order)
The two locked up with 10 quickly overpowering Cole to the mat. Cole missed a pump kick, which allowed 10 to hit a release German suplex. 10 fired away on Cole in the corner, but Cole attacked 10’s braced up knee to regain the advantage. Cole wrapped 10’s knee around the steel ringpost a few times. Cole nailed 10 with a few elbow strikes, then laid in a neck breaker.
Cole attempted a suplex, but the more powerful 10 reversed it and hit one of his own. Both men fought their way to the outside, with Cole throwing 10 into the steel steps. Bck inside, Cole kept 10 in the corner until 10 fired his way out with a big elbow strike. Cole fired right back with a pump kick. [c]
10 laid Cole out with a few clotheslines, then hit a spinebuster. 10 went for the full nelson but Cole countered with a kick to the back of the head, then hit a back stabber for a close two count. Cole went for the Panama Sunrise but 10 countered, then hit a huge discuss lariat for another close count. Cole charged across the ring and caught 10 with a knee to the face. Cole went for the Panama Sunrise again but again 10 countered, this time with a spear, with a two count. 10 couldn’t lock in the full nelson on a second or third attempt, and Cole rolled 10 up for a close count. 10 tried the full nelson yet again, and finally locked it in. Cole hit a low blow, which the ref didn’t see, then hit 10 with the Book for the win.
WINNER: Adam Cole in 9:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A nice opener for tonight’s show. It seems like we see Cole every week on Rampage, which isn’t a criticism by the way. It was also nice to see 10 in a TV singles match after what has seemed like a while.)
– A vignette for the C.M. Punk and MJF feud for their Revolution match was shown.
(2) POWERHOUSE HOBBS vs. DANTE MARTIN – Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier
Hobbs attacked Martin before the bell. The bell finally rang as Martin was able to evade a charge in but Hobbs but was plucked out of mid air after jumping off the ropes. Martin climbed on Hobbs’s back, then hit him with a shotgun dropkick. Hobbs went to the outside to regroup, and Martin went to follow by jumping off the ropes but Hobbs knocked him back to the mat. Hobbs then drove his body into Martin, who flew to the outside and onto the mat.
Hobbs followed to the outside, and threw Martin to the metal barricade, then rolled into the ring to break the count. Hobbs threw Martin back into the ring from the floor, then slowly followed him. Martin tried fighting back but Hobbs wasn’t having it, and threw Martin across the ring. Hobbs threw Martin across the ring for a second time. [c]
Hobbs still had the advantage as we came back from break, but Martin quickly fired back with punches and kicks to stun Hobbs. Hobbs came right back and flattened Martin, then covered for a close two count. Hobbs was taking his time with Martin. Hobbs lowered his right knee pad, but missed a knee drop on Martin. Martin leapt off the ropes and hit Hobbs with a flying uppercut for close count. With Hobbs on the outside, Martin flew off the ropes with a tornillo to lay him out.
Martin barely got Hobbs back into the ring, then climbed to the top for a missile dropkick. Hobbs kicked out at two as the crowd fired up for Martin. Martin hit a kick to the face on Hobbs but Hobbs came right back with a spinebuster for the three count.
WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs in 6:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Wow, I really went into this thinking Martin would somehow come out the victor. That said, what a crazy group of competitors thus far in the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match. Between Hobbs, Wardlow, and Lee alone, this is shaping up to be a hoss fight.)
– Tony Schiavone was backstage with Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling as Matt Hardy interrupted. Hardy said Cargill and The Bunny would be a money match. Cargill said she walks, talks, and smells like money as Sterling chimed in and accepted the challenge for next week’s Rampage.
(3) SERENA DEEB vs. ANGELICA RISK – Serena Deeb 5-Minute Rookie Challenge
Deeb and Risk traded reversals early on until Deeb took Risk to the mat, then walked away as she jaw-jacked Risk. Deeb turned her back to Risk, and allowed her to try and take Deeb down. Deeb quickly won the battle and took Risk back to the mat. Deeb charged into Risk hard in the corner, and slingshotted her throat against the bottom rope. Deeb went for a cover but quickly pulled her back up.
Deeb played a bit with Risk as she continued to taunt her. Risk laid in a few shots but Deeb hit a powerbomb, then locked in the Serenity Lock for the win.
WINNER: Serena Deeb in 1:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A solid showing by Deeb, whose victory was never in doubt. As this storyline continues to progress, I can only hope we end up with an upset victory by a rookie, who turns into a star for the company. A man can wish, right?)
– Mark Henry was backstage with members of tonight’s main event on split screen. Henry asked White why he attacked Beretta. White said when you’re Jay White, you can show up and do whatever you want. White said Trent, Best Friends and Chaos was familiar with him, and that he would remind Trent that it’s still his era. Trent said he was slamming the forbidden door in White’s “knife pervert face.” Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
– Excalibur ran down Dynamite’s upcoming card, including House of Black vs. PAC and Penta el Zero Miedo, the Tag Team Battle Royal to decide the first of two opponents to face Jurrasic Express at Revolution for the tag team titles, a face-to-face with Eddie Kingston and Chris Jericho, and The Bunny vs. Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship.
– It was also announced that next week’s Rampage will include a TNT Championship match between Sammy Guevara defending against Andrade El Idolo.
– Excalibur also officially announced two new matches for Revolution, including Dr. Britt Baker defending her Women’s Title against Thunder Rosa, and Hangman Adam Page defending the World Title against Adam Cole.
(4) “SWITCHBLADE” JAY WHITE vs. TRENT BERETTA (w/Orange Cassidy)
White came out to a rather timid response from the crowd. White took the early advantage by hammering away at Beretta in the corner. Beretta came right back with a chop to White’s chest, but failed to follow up with a charge into the corner. Beretta knocked White down with a double arm shot under White’s chin. Beretta landed a few loud chest chops that rang through the arena. White rolled to the apron to get a break but Beretta followed. White hit a guillotine on Beretta, then drove him spine-first into the apron and the barricade.
Beretta swung back and threw White into the barricade, then hit him with a clothesline to the floor. Beretta rolled White back into the ring, then followed to continue the onslaught. White flipped Beretta over the top rope and onto the floor. [c]
White was still in control as we returned from the commercial break. Beretta tried fighting back but White caught him with a knee to the midsection. White went to the outside, and Beretta quickly shot off the ropes with a moonsault which barely caught White. Beretta rolled White back into the ring, then hit a back elbow in the corner. White evaded a DDT, then hit a flatliner and German suplex for a close count. Beretta came back with a tornado DDT for a close two count.
Beretta remained on the attack as White was backed up into the ropes. Beretta nailed White with a running dropkick to the face, which launched White to the outside. Beretta followed and went for a spear but White got his knee up in time to catch Beretta’s face. White threw Beretta against the barrier again, then broke up the count by rolling into the ring. With both men back inside, White hit a side suplex for another close count. Beretta tried fighting his way back, and was able to hit his own backdrop suplex.
White went for the Blade Runner but Beretta reversed into a suplex, then hit a knee strike for a two count. Beretta went for his finish but White fought his way out of it. The two traded elbow strikes in the center of the ring as the crowd chanted for the exchange. White was winning the battle until Beretta laid him out with a clothesline. Beretta followed up with a piledriver and got a two count. White, out of nowhere, hit the Blade Runner for the win.
WINNER: Jay White in 15:30
– After the match, Orange Cassidy came into the ring to check on Beretta. White walked up to Cassidy and got in his face, then mocked him to his face. Cassidy stared WHite down as White left the ring.
(Moynahan’s Take: A great main event, and a solid debut for Jay White in AEW. While the crowd didn’t seem to react much to him before the match, they clearly seemed to give him their respect as this match went on.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Yet another strong episode of Rampage, which has really hit its stride over the last couple of weeks, and is consistently the best produced one-hour of wrestling you can find today. While a bit different than some recent weeks, this show was mostly about the action in the ring, with a strong opening match and a great main event. As a NJPW fan, it was awesome to see Jay White finally grace an AEW ring, and I hope this is just the beginning. Perhaps we’ll see him at Revolution in a few weeks? Only time will tell. Until next week, stay safe everyone!