AEW RAMPAGE HITS & MISSES 10/29: Forgettable champion matches, kidnapping hurt show


Jon Moxley talks about The Elite


Jon Moxley defeated Matt Menard in a non-title Eliminator match: MINOR HIT

As predictable as this match was, it’s always good to see the world champion competing on Rampage, and Matt Menard is highly entertaining (no pun intended). I also dug the finishing sequence with Matt Menard trying to mock Danielson’s downward kicks but struggling because he’s a “sports entertainer” and likely doesn’t have the training.


After the match, Stokely Hathaway came out to cut a promo on Moxley. He challenged him to face Lee Moriarty next week on Dynamite.

I don’t know when Moriarty started using “Tiger Style” (knocking people out?) but his mannerisms tonight didn’t lend him any extra credibility for a match with Moxley.

The Moxley portion of this promo was decent but couldn’t save the segment.

Jade Cargill Video Promo: HIT

Cargill cut this entire promo doing pull-ups. This was very badass and a nice comeback from the underwhelming “holding the show hostage” last week.

Keith Lee defeated Serpentico: IT HAPPENED

Extremely quick squash. The replays were indeed longer than the match, Excalibur.

Post-Match Segment with Lee, the Acclaimed, Strickland, and Gunn: MAJOR MISS

The only good part of this segment was the Acclaimed’s serious, non-rap entrance. Not that I hate their raps all the time, but it was a nice change of pace. Everything went completely downhill from there.

The Acclaimed were concerned about where Billy Gunn was. Lee had no idea. Strickland appeared on the titantron and revealed that he had kidnapped Gunn. He then cut a very stereotypical horror-villain-type promo and we were led to believe that he chopped Billy Gunn’s fingers off on live TV.

I didn’t have much of an issue with Strickland’s acting, but segments like these just don’t work in wrestling. What exactly is the payoff to this supposed to be? Billy Gunn gets cool prosthetic fingers to scissor again? The Acclaimed chop off Strickland’s fingers, only for him to magically regrow them during his next feud? Strickland hired a Billy Gunn doppelganger to play mind games with the Acclaimed? He didn’t really cut off Gunn’s fingers and just twisted his fingers to make him scream instead? There is no way out of this without some kind of stupid explanation.

This is one of the many reasons why people watch wrestling from a very detached point of view instead of emotionally investing in storylines. For several weeks, I was intrigued by the differences between Lee and Strickland and excited for a rematch with the Acclaimed. But now this feud has certainly jumped the shark. It’s like the “choppy choppy your pee pee” story between Val Venis and Kaientai mixed with the Seth Rollins-Rey Mysterio eye-for-an-eye stuff. The worst of WWE is manifesting itself on AEW television.

Jericho Appreciation Society Backstage Promo: IT HAPPENED

Most of this promo was very similar to the interview with Schiavone two nights ago. Nothing new here, other than Jericho challenging any former ROH champion to a match next week on Dynamite and Tay Melo briefly talking up her match with Madison Rayne.

Tay Melo defeated Madison Rayne: MINOR HIT

Another Rampage, another Madison Rayne match. Once again, decent, but you wouldn’t know Rayne is good enough to be a coach from her performances thus far.

Ethan Page Backstage Interview: HIT

It’s really amazing how good Ethan Page is when you give him a simple, serious feud to dig his teeth into. If utilized properly, he could be an effective leader of the Firm now that MJF is gone.
Speaking of MJF, I wonder if we’ll finally see him on Rampage now that he’s technically a babyface.

Main Event Promo: MINOR HIT

I suppose Matt Taven mentioning that he won the ROH TV title on his ROH debut gives him some credibility to challenge for AEW’s secondary title. However, we haven’t really been given many lessons on the prestige of the ROH titles (let alone ROH itself) on AEW television. Much of that, including the history of the Kingdom itself, is presumed knowledge.

The promo work was okay, but Matt Taven doesn’t stand a chance. Considering how easily Wardlow dispatched of MJF, this shouldn’t even be competitive.

Wardlow defeated Matt Taven to retain the TNT Title: MINOR HIT

Well, this definitely was more competitive than it had any right to be. Matt Taven isn’t anywhere near an established name on AEW television. I know more about Lee Moriarty than him, yet he took it to Wardlow quite a bit here.

As a match, it was decent. Not really exciting. The Kingdom hasn’t done much on AEW television to build enough heat for me to enjoy seeing Taven get powerbombed.

Post-Match: HIT

After the match, the Kingdom ganged up on Wardlow but Samoa Joe made the save. Powerhouse Hobbs then came out and the Embassy snuck up from behind to join him in beating down WarJoe.

Well, for once we have heels getting some heat and standing tall to end a Rampage. Yes, most of these people are far from featured acts, but I am intrigued to see how Powerhouse Hobbs performs as a leader of a faction (assuming he is now in charge of the Embassy). Whether he fights Joe or Wardlow (or both), the matches will be great. I just hope the story is good too.

It’s also interesting that Powerhouse Hobbs gets new direction after losing to Starks but Starks is still off TV.

Commentary: MINOR HIT

Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone tonight. They were decent.

Apparently, Mike Tyson will join commentary next week. O-kay? I know Mike Tyson isn’t even half the celebrity he once was, but this was still an underwhelming way to announce a Tyson appearance. I hope they do more with him than just jaw-jacking with Jericho.

Overall Show: MISS

The AEW World Champion and TNT Champions both wrestled on this show, but their matches weren’t anything special. I was hoping we got our sports entertainment fill last week, but that Swerve Strickland-Daddy Ass segment was more Vince McMahon-WWE-like than anything I have seen in WWE all year. What a terrible segment.

The only things I enjoyed on this show were the Jade Cargill promo, Ethan Page interview, and the Powerhouse Hobbs appearance at the end. Approximately two minutes of an hour-long show. One is a shining light in a backdrop to a comedy feud, and the others involve wrestlers who AEW haphazardly cycles in and out of television. In addition, this company has lost my trust in being able to follow-up effectively on with faction shakeups, so I don’t expect either of these to be very consequential.

CATCH-UP: 10/28 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: Jon Moxley vs. Matt Menard, Wardlow vs. Taven, more

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