01st Nov2021

‘AEW: Rampage’ (Oct 29th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of a STACKED episode of AEW: Rampage – with my most anticipated matches of the week: Eddie Kingston versus Bryan Danielson AND the third match between Dante Martin and Mayy Sydal! Let’s get to it.

Match #1: Men’s World Title Eliminator Tournament Semi-Final Round Match – Bryan Danielson def. Eddie Kingston

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Kingston chopped at Bryan’s chest. Bryan backed Eddie into the corner turnbuckles and rocked Eddie with kicks and chops. Eddie turned Bryan around with Kobashi-like chops. Danielson fired back with a running boot. Bryan shot for a single leg takedown but Eddie sprawled out in defense. Danielson stomped on Kingston’s arm. Danielson drove his knee into the chest of Kingston. Eddie connected with a knee and then a head butt to Danielson. They began to trade head butts. Kingston took Bryan off his feet with a dropkick! Kingston followed up with a neck breaker. Danielson attempted the jumping knee off the apron but Eddie countered with a forearm and then a suplex on the arena floor! Eddie climbed back in the ring, hoping for Danielson to be counted out. Danielson made it back in the nick of time! Eddie went back to targeting Bryan’s neck with the stretch plumb. Danielson and Kingston fought on top of the turnbuckles. Danielson hit a belly to back suplex off the top rope and Eddie landed hard on his shoulders and neck! Eddie tried for a half and half suplex but Bryan countered with a roundhouse to the side of Eddie’s head. Bryan charged in for the knee for Kingston collapsed, protecting himself in the process. Bryan grew frustrated and dropped elbows. Bryan was looking for the arm bar but Kingston countered with the DDT. Kingston rocked Bryan with the backfist but both men fell to the mat. All the fans were standing at this point chanting “AEW!” Bryan locked on the triangle sleeper. Kingston popped the middle finger to Danielson and then his lights went out as Danielson put him to sleep!

My Score: 4.5 out of 5

My god this was a fantastic match! It might be a cliche but Danielson and Kingston delivered an instant classic here – this was a brutal affair, with both men bascically beating the crap out of each other for fifteen minutes. The really was a strong-style match, you only have to see Danielson’s chest to realise that! Danielson might have won but this REALLY could have gone either way, it really could. Kingston gave us his best match so far in AEW and proved just why people, myself included, want him to get a title belt sooner rather than later in AEW. This is undoubtedly a five-star match but loses half a point because Kingston didn’t win!

Match #2: Dante Martin def. Matt Sydal

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Sydal was trying to talk sense into Dante, telling him he didn’t need Lio Rush. Sydal took Dante down with a side headlock. Sydal used an arm drag and maintained wrist control on Dante. Dante Martin spring boarded off the top and nailed Sydal! He followed up with a moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the outside of the ring onto Sydal! Dante’s offense was next level here, and so incredibly innovative. Sydal clipped Dante with a back heel kick! Sydal darted in with a high-speed knee strike to the side of Dante’s head! Sydal knotted up Dante’s hamstring with sidekicks! Sydal reversed an Irish whip but Dante countered with a sunset flip for a near fall! Dante jumped up and landed with double foot stomps on Sydal. Dante rolled up Sydal with a crucifix but Sydal kicked out! Sydal kicked Dante to the side of the head but Dante avoided a lightning spiral with a cutter! Dante finished off Sydal with the double springboard moonsault, good for the pin!

My Score: 4.5 out of 5

Two instant classics in a row! Martin is unlike any other wrestler on national television, he literally defies gravity – which is what we used to say about Matt Sydal back in the day too. But Martin takes it to a whole new level, he makes every jump, every move look effortless. Literally. Good on Sydal for putting Martin over in this trilogy of matches… My only question is, can Martin pull off matches like this no matter the opponent? It’s going to be interesting to see his path in AEW going forward.

Match #3: Trick Or Treat Match – Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D def. Abadon (No DQ)

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Abadon smashed Britt with a stunner at the start of the match! Baker rolled outside to gather her thoughts…and grab a steel chair from beneath the ring. Jamie Hayter and Rebel pulled out a table and set up the table next to the ring. Abadon went to work on Britt Baker, sandwiching the champ between a senton and the steel chair! Britt Baker rallied back by planting Abandon’s skull into a chair that was propped in the turnbuckles. Abandon pulled Baker onto the ring apron. Baker used a swinging neck breaker on Abandon onto the table! Britt Baker suplexed Abadon onto the table! Abadon sat up like the living dead! Abadon’s hand was sliced open from the table. Abadon pulled a bag from underneath the ring and then emptied it out onto the ring canvas! Abadon was trying to DDT Baker onto the thumbtacks! Britt fought out but Abadon picked up the champ and slammed her onto the thumbtacks! Jamie Hayter gave a steel chair to Britt Baker. The champ set up Abandon between the chair and curb stomped her! Baker poured tacks into Abadon’s mouth and hit her with a thrust kick! Baker was about to put the Lock Jaw on Abadon but Abadon countered by biting. Jamie Hayter jumped into the ring with a double sledge to Abadon. Rebel was on the ring apron next to distract Abadon. Dr. Britt Baker rolled up Abadon into the thumbtacks and pinned her!

My Score: 4 out of 5

This might have been a gimmick match but this was easily the best Abadon has looked in AEW. Every time Abadon appears on AEW programming – usually one of the two Dark shows – I’m always left wondering how Abadon could be utilised in the main event scene and why she wasn’t already. This match answered BOTH of those questions succinctly… by having her wrestle in what is, essentially, hardcore matches. And given Britt Baker made her name in THAT hardcore match against Thunder Rosa, it seemed rather apt that Baker would be the one to take on Abadon too; in a match that really looke dlike it could have gone either way!

Final Verdict: 4.5/5

The formula for AEW: Rampage seems to have been locked in tight in recent weeks – fill the card with top-quality matches and have a loud and very appreciative audience in attendance. It makes for an exciting show that, thanks to its hour-long format, never outstays its welcome. This episode was easily one of the best shows AEW has put together since the CM Punk debut (which really wasn’t that long ago).

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