AEW RAMPAGE HITS & MISSES 8/12: Danielson and Garcia hit with promo, Cassidy saves main event, more


Bryan Danielson talks winning AEW World Championship
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling



Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia In-Ring Promo: HIT

Good change of pace for Rampage, beginning with an in-ring promo instead of cutting right to a match with no entrances.

I thought this was a very well-executed segment. Danielson conveyed good conviction about his passion for wrestling and Daniel Garcia held his own. However, I can’t help but feel this would have been even better if we had gotten more consecutive weeks of Daniel Garcia on the mic tooting the “sports entertainer” horn. A little more heat in that department would have made this a true home run. But it was still good overall.

Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo defeated Dante Martin and Skye Blue: MINOR HIT

Some of the spots were chunkily executed, but otherwise a fine match. Nice little feud for Sammy and Tay to be in until they figure out how to turn their shtick into something more compelling.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that there are too many out-of-promotion belts in AEW.

Lucha Brothers Video Promo: MINOR HIT

Nothing special. Just stating their desire to win the Trios title. I could do without seeing Aussie Open again considering how they were portrayed as losers on AEW TV, and Will Ospreay never got any character definition.

Parker Boudreaux vs. Sonny Kiss: IT HAPPENED

AEW has done very little to define the Trustbusters up to this point. Parker just seems like an irrelevant body whose manager is apparently “richest man in wrestling.” Okay.

Parker wrestles better than Satnam Singh. That’s about all I can say about him.

It is also worth mentioning that Sonny Kiss is more over than his push suggests. However, the end of the show suggests Tony Khan is aware of this too.

La Faccion Ingobernable Backstage Interview: MISS

Andrade was talking about the Trios title and then had some kind of squabble with Private Party when mentioning they would challenge Swerve in Our Glory for the tag titles.

Once you go beyond Andrade and Rush, this faction doesn’t have good chemistry. They were okay with Matt Hardy in charge, but they seem to have fallen down the pecking order ever since they turned on him.

Gunn Club defeated Danhausen and Erick Redbeard: MINOR HIT

The setup to this match on Dynamite was just awful. Danhausen gestured to “that bearded guy” and the camera never showed anyone. Considering it was announced later in the show, Erick wasn’t supposed to be a “surprise” anyway, so why not show him on camera when Danhausen announced him? In addition, how are Danhausen and Erick Redbeard associated?

The match itself was similar to a WWE-style television tag match. Decent action, with the announcers telling the story of how the Gunn sons are facing frustration from a variety of sources.

Post-Match: MINOR HIT

Billy Gunn came in to “critique” his sons and saying he misses the Acclaimed. He said they have another match on Dynamite to “prove themselves.” Just moving the story along here.

Stokely Hathaway was in the crowd to remind the Gunn Sons that his offer to join him still stands. I wonder when we’ll see a full in-ring faction debut from them.

Swerve in Our Glory Backstage Interview – UNKNOWN

This was kind of like a worked shoot, focussed on critiquing the AEW ranking system and booking rather than addressing Private Party. I don’t know how to rate it.

Hook and Zack Clayton Segment: HIT

Yes, the haphazard circulation of unknown faces on AEW television is frustrating. Yes, Zack Clayton getting television time over, say, Ethan Page, is questionable. However, I like how he actually introduced his character and articulated himself as a heel. If you’re going to have a new face in an undercard feud, introduce your character, please. The “New Jersey” stuff in particular is bound to garner a lot of heat, considering Taz is from New York.

Main Event Promo: MINOR HIT

I first must mention that the Trustbusters’ television debut on Dynamite was among the worst I have ever seen. Not only were they presented in a way that assumes most fans watch Dark, but the start of the segment with Best Friends was highly questionable, to put it nicely. Orange Cassidy commandeered a cameraman and Tony Schiavone just to show them a bland hand-tapping game with Best Friends. I’m not kidding. Go back and see it for yourselves.

Anyway, with tonight’s promo we can see Ari Daivari’s character slowly being explained. He’s a rich person looking to hire people. Now, why do we need two of these in AEW (hello Andrade) and who are his current two employees? Parker is probably an enforcer, but what role does Slim J serve?

One may also question why Ari wants Orange Cassidy as his first “AEW Main Roster” hire, but Cassidy has enough credible wins to make himself a reasonable target. I also appreciated Daivari trying to build heat from his hometown crowd instead of playing for cheers like MJF and Britt Baker.

For Cassidy’s part, him trying to steal Mark Henry’s “enough talk” line was amusing.

Orange Cassidy defeated Ari Daivari: MINOR HIT

I enjoyed this match. Nice blend of comedy with wrestling. However, nothing that I would call compelling main event television.

Post-Match Angle with Sonny Kiss: HIT

After the match, the heels started beating down Best Friends. Sonny Kiss ran down for a save but ended up low-blowing Cassidy and allying with the Trustbusters.

If this gets us more Sonny Kiss on television, I’m happy. At the very least, you can’t argue she’s not more deserving of TV time than Tony Nese.

Commentary: MINOR HIT

Ross, Schiavone, and Excalibur were alright. Jericho being more absent from commentary makes this part of Rampage better than what it used to be.

Overall Show: MINOR HIT

This show featured of the weakest elements of Wednesday’s Dynamite. While match line-up looked skippable on paper, I think there was enough creative support on the show to provide a serviceable hour of entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, Rampage is still an underwhelming show on most weeks, a mere shadow of what it was a year ago. However, you’ll probably get more out of seeing this week’s show than others recently.

CATCH-UP: 8/12 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: Orange Cassidy vs. Ari Daivari, mixed tag team match, more

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