16th Aug2021

‘AEW: Rampage’ Review (Aug 13th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to our inaugural review of AEW’s latest TV show, Rampage, right here on Nerdly. A short and swift hour-long show that – fingers crossed – delivers something different to the other THREE, yes three, programmes AEW produces on a weekly basis. And you can read our reviews of all four shows each and ever week… unlike some other wrestling sites, we’re not dropping review coverage of any AEW shows. On with the very first AEW: Rampage review!

Match #1: Christian Cage def. Kenny Omega (Impact World Championship Match)

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Brian Hebner was the referee for this contest. Christian Cage applied a headlock to Kenny Omega. He followed up with a massive shoulder tackle to Omega and then gave him the middle finger. Omega kicked Christian Cage in the midsection and then chopped away at him. Omega was looking for One-Winged Angel early, and then Christian tried to counter with the Kill Switch, but Omega rolled out of the ring to collect himself. Kenny took the driver’s seat and tried for a sliding baseball dropkick, but Christian Cage moved out of the way. Christian jumped back into the ring and used a sliding dropkick of his own on Omega. Christian Cage climbed to the top turnbuckle, but Don Callis distracted him—giving Kenny Omega enough time to shove him from his perched position down to the arena floor! Christian Cage was fight up off the mat against Kenny Omega. Cage connected with a snap suplex on Omega. The champ answered by gouging Christian Cage’s eyes. He propped Christian Cage on the top turnbuckle and clubbed him with rights and lefts. Omega tried for a superplex, but Christian Cage dumped Kenny Omega with a sunset flip powerbomb! Christian Cage called for the Kill Switch, but Omega hit him with a back elbow. Omega followed up with a moonsault for a near fall! Omega attempted a One-Winged Angel, but Christian countered with a reverse DDT! Christian ran in for a spear, but Kenny Omega popped up his knee! He powerbombed Christian Cage and then crushed him with the V-Trigger knee, and somehow Christian Cage kicked out! Omega ran in for the V-Trigger but Christian ducked! Omega collided with the turnbuckles! Omega was fired up, though, and used two snap dragon suplexes on Christian Cage! Christian Cage retaliated with a frog splash for a near fall on Omega. Don Callis distracted the ref while Kenny Omega hit a low blow on Christian Cage. Omega signaled for The Young Bucks. The Bucks slid a chair into the ring. Omega was going to hit the One-Winged Angel on the chair, but Christian Cage reversed it with the Kill Switch on the chair. Christian Cage pinned Kenny Omega!

My Score: 4/5

Despite some lulls in action this one played out brilliantly. The way Cage taunted Omega in the opening set the stage for a match that saw both guys go for their biggest moves for the other to either counter or break the pin. And turning the Bucks interference back against Kenny was a perfect way to end this, a comeuppance that no doubt will resonate in AEW going forward (you’d hope).

Match #2: TNT Champion Miro def. Fuego Del Sol (TNT Championship/AEW Contract Match)

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Fuego Del Sol surprised Miro with a tornado DDT at the start of the match. He followed up with a second tornado DDT! Miro was rocked, seeing stars on the arena floor! Miro was almost counted out but slid back into the ring before the ref got to the 10-count. And Fuego Del Sol greeted Miro with a third tornado DDT! Fuego attempted a fourth tornado DDT, but Miro plucked him out of the air and smashed him with a Samoan drop! Miro knocked off Fuego’s head with a big kick and then he applied the Game Over submission! Fuego Del Sol quickly tapped out! After the match, Miro tore up Fuego Del Sol’s contract, adding insult to injury. Sammy Guevara’s music hit. Tony Khan handed a clipboard to “The Spanish God” as he was walking down the ramp. Sammy Guevara handed Fuego Del Sol the clipboard with the AEW contract and hugged him! The arena erupted in cheers!

My Score: 3.5/5

A point for every Tornado DDT Fuego Del Sol hit and the usual half a point just for featuring Fuego! I absolutely loved how this match went down, you knew Fuego wasn’t going to win but hoped against hope he would and the idea they’d set up Miro being susceptible to DDT’s (in the previous Miro/Johnson match) made this one, bizarrely, hard to call. And the fact they ended this with a shoot – Fuego having no idea he really WAS getting a contract – made for brilliant TV. Not going to lie, it had me choked up…

Match #3: Britt Baker def. Red Velvet (AEW Women’s World Championship Match)

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Britt Baker looked for the Lock Jaw right away, but Red Velvet escaped. She countered with a wristlock. They got to their feet and shoved at one another. Red Velvet got another wristlock. She was going to stomp on Baker’s injured arm, but she hesitated. Baker charged the corner, but Red Velvet dodged it. Baker’s injured arm smacked the turnbuckle. Red Velvet dropped the champion with a leg lariat and followed up with a moonsault press for a near fall. Baker went for a clothesline, but Red Velvet blocked it, forcing more pressure on Baker’s injured arm. Kris Statlander was shown scouting the match from the front row. Baker was reaching for the Lock Jaw, but Red Velvet rolled her back for a two-count. Red Velvet ripped off Baker’s glove and cranked back on her hand. Rebel jumped on the apron and distracted Red Velvet. Ref Paul Turner ejected Rebel! Red Velvet nailed Britt Baker with a beautiful moonsault! Britt Baker rallied back with a curb stomp on Red Velvet for a two-count. Red Velvet tried to put the Lock Jaw on Britt Baker, but Baker countered! Britt Baker switched it up and trapped Red Velvet with the Lock Jaw, forcing Red Velvet to tap out! After the match, Britt Baker continued her assault on Red Velvet. Kris Statlander jumped the guardrail and came to Red Velvet’s aid. Out of nowhere, a woman dressed in black attire began to hit Statlander, and then stomp on her! It was Jamie Hayter coming to the aid of Britt Baker!

My Score: 3/5

The women main-evented this debut episode and showed just what they could do. Plus the crowd reaction, in Britt Baker’s hometown noless, really added to the big-fight feel of this one. Some great work from Red Velvet on Baker’s injured wrist really played up the possibility that Baker wouldn’t be able to use her lockjaw finisher… Having Velvet try and use the same finishing move really added fuel to the fire; as did Velvet smashing the hell out of Baker’s wrist when she DID try to get the lockjaw cinched in – a subtle yet brutal-looking spot!

News of the Night:

  1. Mark Henry interviewed Christian Cage post-match in what, I hope, is an on-going thing.
  2. Fuego Del Sol got his AEW contract… at last!
  3. After a huge break from AEW television, Jamie Hayter made her return as Britt Baker’s “backup”

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

What an opening episode of AEW: Rampage and one that, I think, really covered most of the AEW bases: three Champions on one show, each defending their titles against deserved opponents. And we got the highlight of AEW this year – Fuego Del Sol finally getting that AEW contract. One of the sweetest, most heartfelt contract “signings” I’ve ever seen in pro-wrestling/sports entertainment. A great start to the new series, here’s hoping it can differentiate itself further from Dark/Elevation/Dynamite going forward too!


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