AEW RAMPAGE HITS & MISSES 12/10: Tag Team Championship match a success, Hook shines in debut, more

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Tully Blanchard and FTR (photo courtesy of AEW)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE STARTS A FEW INCHES LOWER)…


Lucha Brothers defeated FTR in an AEW:HIT Tag Team Championship match

Very good game. A good mix of styles with a healthy dose of cutting-edge athleticism and psychology. The finish was much better than what we saw at Full Gear. I would much rather have a really good game with a decent finish than a great game with a weird finish.

This match really should have been the main event of the show. I don’t like how they just skipped straight to ringside presentations without even streaming the entries for such a championship match.

Part of me is just happy to see the conclusion of this feud. I haven’t been emotionally invested in either team for a while now. FTR seems to play the heel role and the Lucha Brothers promotional segments are basically the same from opponent to opponent. Penta is usually very good at deep storytelling, but in AEW he just hasn’t had the chance or been encouraged to flex those muscles.

The Bunny, Penelope Ford and Nyla Rose defeated Ruby Soho, Anna Jay and Tay Conti: MILD HIT

This match was pretty solid in terms of in-ring action. Nothing fancy, but just solid. Rabbit in particular was better than usual tonight, and I loved that Nyla Rose took the win.

However, my main problem is realizing how much less I care about Anna Jay and Tay Conti than before. As for Tay Conti, I think the fact that she had no verbal follow-up to her loss to Baker at Full Gear really bothers me. and this is the first time I see her after this pay-per-view game (even without releasing her own music) is a big injustice.

With Anna Jay, the problem is much worse. She doesn’t gel at all with me as a babyface. Much like babyface Sammy Guevara, there are very few things that set her apart. I miss the badass side she used to have as the Dark Order hooker.

Sting, Darby Allin and the behind-the-scenes segment of FTR: IT HAPPENED

Another day, another Sting promo that’s not meant to be. I think FTR attacking them gives a good indication of their next rivalry, but the reason seems to be simply that Tully Blanchard wanted to have Sting “one more time”. Nostalgic WCW fans probably loved it. Personally, I wasn’t trained to see Blanchard as a wrestler, so his being able to stop Sting from knocking out FTR just happened to be pretty implausible.

Either way, if this results in a team feud, I’m curious what the outcome is. Neither team can afford another defeat. However, the idea of ​​a Tully Blanchard vs. Sting match should intrigue some old-school fans.

Hook beats Fuego Del Sol: HIT

I’m in the age bracket that should be able to understand the social media obsession with Hook before he’s even had his first game. I think I’m happy to join the baby boomers who don’t understand the hype and let people cooler than me do the talking:

Hook looked pretty good here, and he got a decent reaction from the crowd, but not as strong on TV as some of the on-site reports suggested. Given AEW’s track record with Britt Baker and Cody Rhodes, I don’t expect them to add an extra dose of villainy to his character to turn up the heat on the crowd, nor a babyface turn. We’re just going to have to put up with another wrestler whose crowd response is dissonant with how he’s portrayed, and whose matches most people see from a detached, “entertain me” perspective. Alternatively, perhaps this crowd investment will die out over time.

Also, remember back in August when we were supposed to emotionally invest in Fuego to get an AEW contract when we had no idea who he was? I remember a big chunk of a Rampage show was about his signing. Well, we’ve now had two follow-up appearances. One was another loss to Miro, and now to a newbie. The least they could have done is give him some quick wins over Dynamite leading up to this game.

Main Event Interview: MISS

Adam Cole had nothing substantial to say and Wheeler Yuta only said a word. Orange Cassidy, the guy whose thing is he rarely talks, carried the end of Yuta’s promo. We also had a hint of tension within Best Friends with Trent demanding attention for saving them on Dynamite.

Also, I’m sorry but who is Wheeler Yuta? How did he meet Best Friends and start hanging out with them? Why do I know more about Reggie in WWE when I rarely watch WWE programming? Yuta has absolutely no identity of his own; in fact, it comes from the old Orange Cassidy theme song although it shows no similar mannerisms.

Plus, why are they pushing for a Trent heel turn? The comedy might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but his mom and the van get some of the best reactions I’ve seen on AEW, even among “casual” fans. It’s probably not the wisest decision to turn this guy’s heel, but let’s wait and see.

Incidentally, this is Adam Cole’s second consecutive promotion that I’ve had to award a “MISS”. I don’t like doing this, but something has to give with this guy. I don’t mind him staying in the midcard for a while, but he needs a feud he can really get into.

Adam Cole beat Wheeler Yuta: MILD HIT

After Adam Cole entered, it looked like the crowd was getting ready to pack up and leave. The match itself was solid, but I just couldn’t care less about it. It would have worked much better as the show’s opener.

After the match, the Super Clique defeated Best Friends and nailed a BTE Trigger on Trent. I don’t know where this takes us, but let’s wait and see.

Comment: HIT

On its own, the commentary was probably more MILD HIT. However, Excalibur and Tazz’s two-man stand was so refreshing to hear after several weeks of a crowded office. Please continue to keep Jericho and Starks away from full-time commentary.

General show: SWEET BLOW

The only thing worth seeing is the Hook match. The opener was very good but not worth the extra time, and everything else was skippable.


CATCH UP: 12/15 AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS: Keller’s in-depth report and analysis on ‘Winter is Coming’ special with Hangman vs. Danielson, Wardlow vs. Sydal, MJF vs. Dante


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