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AEW RAMPAGE HITS & MISSES
Mance Warner Pre-Match Video Promo: HIT
This was excellent. I didn’t know who Mance Warner was prior to tonight, but this was good introductory promo. At least better than anything I’ve seen Jay White do on AEW television.
Imagine if they aired two of these, one angle, and one squash on consecutive weeks of Dynamite prior to this match on Rampage. I have no doubt they could have had more eyeballs on the show tonight with the proper hype.
I am generally not a fan of using out-of-promotion talent unless they are truly exceptional. Warner does fit into that category, so if you do choose to use him, he should be built up better.
Jon Moxley defeated Mance Warner in an Eliminator Match: HIT
I really liked this match. Truly a helluva brawl that reminded me of some of Stone Cold’s matches. Mance Warner really has potential to be a compelling character. However, AEW gets negative points for the build to this (where have you heard that before?).
One must ask though, does AEW really value the result of a battle royal on an ethically questionable independent show more than their own roster? If you’re just looking for a “tune up” opponent for Moxley, you have a pretty large roster of your own to chose from.
Ricky Starks Backstage Interview: IT HAPPENED
QT Marshall and the Factory approached Ricky asking if he wanted his “protection.” Someone introduced themselves as Ricky’s former friend and enticed him to join. Starks turned them down and walked away.
Konosuke Takeshita defeated Ryan Nemeth: IT HAPPENED
Quick showcase win for Takeshita leading into his ROH World Title bout at Battle of the Belts. Crowd was solidly behind him.
Orange Cassidy and Best Friends Interview: MINOR HIT
They talked about competing for the Trios title. Danhausen added some amusing comedy. Not much to see here though.
Madison Rayne defeated Leila Grey: MISS
Rayne just got signed to AEW as a coach, and Leila Grey is fairly new to AEW. I haven’t seen either of them wrestle before, and they didn’t do much to win me over either. The match didn’t have much heat, and the crowd didn’t seem to care. A long commercial break and Jim Ross calling Rayne “young lady” just made the experience worse for me.
Post-Match Stuff: MINOR HIT
Jade Cargill came out to talk down to Madison Rayne, hoping that she would answer her open challenge on Dynamite. Kiera Hogan also tried to ambush Rayne in the ring, but Rayne warded her off.
This was fine. Seems like Rayne will be an on-air performer too. I hope she can do better than what we saw tonight.
Andrade-Rush and Lucha Brothers Video Promo: IT HAPPENED
Nothing spectacular. They just addressed their match on Wednesday.
Main Event Promo: MINOR HIT
Solid work from Stirling, Strickland, and Lee. They did well to focus on Josh Woods, who would have otherwise been an afterthought. However, I still have issues with AEW’s influx of new wrestlers who they do little properly introduce. Tony Nese himself isn’t the most compelling character, and Stirling is trying to come into his own as a manager with heat. You don’t help their cause by teaming them with someone who only a slice of your audience knows and forcing them to carry a TV main event within a week.
Swerve in Our Glory defeated Tony Nese and Josh Woods in a Street Fight: MINOR HIT
This was an entertaining but skippable brawl. They got the crowd into it in the final few minutes, but few people will remember it next week.
Commentary: MINOR HIT
Ross, Regal, Schiavone, and Excalibur were alright.
Overall Show: NARROW MISS
Watch the opener, skip the rest.