It’s personal choice and perception of course, but Rampage has been a better product for some time now. Why is that? Well, let me tell you.
The Main Event Belongs On The Main Show
Yes, I know we had a tasty Suzuki v Samoa Joe match headlining Dynamite this week, but check out the reasons why the Rampage main event should have been on the Wednesday night show:
Page and Cole are both so over. The crowds love ’em, for different reasons.
It’s a special stip match and so even tastier. A Texas Death Match. So brutality is assured.
It was for the AEW Championship. The big strap. Yes, Suzuki v Samoa Joe was for a championship, but an ROH championship and not even the main championship. Heavyweight title matches belong on the flagship show, don’t they?
And the match was a barn burner. Take Page hitting Cole with a fan’s can of drink, then draining it, Page merely grazing Cole with a chair assisted moonsault, Cole clotheslining him with a taut chain, a Panama Sunrise to a deadeye and a Superkick counter from a Moonsault.
Throw in Cole receiving a barbed wire crown, which seemed odd as it’s Easter and a Deadeye from the apron through a table and you’ve got a match of the year contender.
Rampage finished strong.
We Don’t Have Much Time For Angles
It drags. Dynamite drags sometimes. Not like a donkey’s d*ck or anything, the show is too good for that, but it doesn’t fly by. I know it’s 2 hours and Rampage is only 1, stop rolling your eyes.
Dynamite has to fill 2 hours and some of that is repetitions of Wardrobe leaving security lying and screaming at MJF or CM Punk having matches to move him up the ratings.
One of those was announced on Rampage and it has more build than Penta v Punk. Dustin Rhodes wants legacy matches and knows him v CM will be special. He’s right.
Apart from that, no other angles, no Hook being quiet, no Dannhausen curses, just wrestling.
We Get To See People We Didn’t Expect
Like Robyn Renegade. And her sister. Robyn is on AEW Dark and Elevation, but there was a feeling this Owen Hart tournament qualifier could be a squash.
A bit like The Butcher earlier versus…who was that? A mystery opponent? It was Barrett Brown, NJPW stalwart Barrett Brown, of the Stray Dog Army, being beaten in minutes.
Here, Renegade had a much better time against Ruby Soho. She made the most of her opportunity, showing attitude and a nasty streak, that high Camel Clutch with Fishhoook, followed by a stand on the hand, was rather fine.
She even cut off Soho’s chopping momentum with a lovely Backstabber and huge Clothesline.
And when things got sticky, she bailed and her identical sister Charlotte took over. That didn’t work as she took a No Future kick, so Robyn re-entered, falling to a Rolling Neckbreaker for the pin.
What a fine match. Soho won and got some offence in, Renegade looked fabulous and we got some great wrestling entertainment.
Regal Is Rejuvenated, Mox Is Modernized
It’s a delight to hear William Regal on commentary, he started his commentary for Rampage thusly;
‘I’m having an unruly hair day today, driving me nuts, it is!’William Regal
he’s having a great time. And so are Danielson and Mox, it seems, enjoying working in the Blackpool Combat Club and welcoming Wheeler Yuta into the fold. Make no mistake, this mega talent deserves it. He’s nicely featured on NJPW Strong but has so much more to give. And now he can.
The Gunn Club are bigged up in AEW. I’m not entirely sure why, but here they took it to the BCC, Billy quietening Bryan, after Danielson had hit a surfboard and Yuta joint manipulation, leg grapevine and bridge back.
When Mox got in, he caused mayhem, Half And Half Suplex, Superplex, really pushing off to get the extra extension, double DDT; marvellous.
Yuta favoured us with a huge Hugh Cross Body but after a Dropkick ‘right to the mush’ according to Regal, Billy Gunn downed him with a huge slam. Yuta wasn’t down for long though as he surprised for the pin with a bridged back O’Connor Roll.
What a match. The opener of this week’s Rampage and something to live up to. And they did.
So Rampage Is Better, Eh?
Slick, stunning and surprising. With a Heavyweight title match that should have been featured elsewhere.
Something’s happening here. Rampage is being positioned as a similar show to Dynamite and I wouldn’t be surprised if the two stand side by side very soon.
After all, Rampage really deserves it.