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    Sunday, August 29, 2021

    The Rampage Report (8/27/21): Leveling Out



    This week on Rampage, the road to All Out rolls on, building on this week's episode of Dynamite.

    Lucha over dinosaurs

    This week's episode begins with a hot match in the AEW Tag Team Eliminator finals, between Lucha Bros and Jurassic Express. There was apparently a reason for last week's great tag team bout between Jurassic Express and the Young Bucks—it's because Jurassic Express isn't getting that tag title shot at All Out after all, because the Lucha Bros beat them clean.


    Now, I understand there is most likely a plan in place between everyone involved in these stories and Tony Khan, but allow me to say this without the benefit of letting the story play out: it really should have been Jurassic Express in the finals. I'd argue that they have more of a recent history with the Young Bucks, and with a week literally left until the PPV, I would much rather build on that than trying to figure out something new with the Lucha Bros in the next two AEW TV shows.

    While I appreciate that AEW builds up to matches with sports templates like these eliminator tournaments, they're supposed to back up the story you want to be telling. My guess is that the story they're probably telling is building Jurassic Express up as underdogs that don't always get the job done when it matters most—until they finally get it together and do just that.

    I suppose I'll see what happens in the last Dynamite and Rampage heading into the PPV and reserve my real judgment until then.

    Tay Conti is one to watch out for

    This week's middle segment is a women's match between Tay Conti and the Bunny. It's an okay affair, with the real highlight being how much Conti has improved. The Bunny wins with a distraction finish after surviving an onslaught of moves from Conti, and it's a necessary rep for a women's division that doesn't get a lot of time on the main show.

    I don't know who I have in the women's Casino Battle Royale yet, though. It's anyone's to win at this point.

    Christian vs. Kenny isn't hitting right now

    The main event is a tag team match between Christian Cage and Frankie Kazarian versus Kenny Omega and Brandon Cutler, and while it was fairly competitive, it was largely a venue for Kenny to play a chickenshit heel. The crowd didn't really buy that, with his shenanigans being met with total silence.


    It's not that Kenny didn't wrestle; it's more of Kenny didn't do too much of it while being caught up in the business of being a smarmy heel. I totally understand that he's trying to bring on some negative heat for himself, but it's kind of a weird turn after the huge moment that was Christian winning the Impact World Championship from him a couple of weeks ago.

    Maybe it's because we need a more dangerous and lethal Kenny Omega right now, not one who's trying to run away from Christian. Yes, Christian is in his head, but there's a much better way to tell that story instead of trying to look silly as a champion—I would've rather had Kenny fight well like he normally does, with Christian continuing to outsmart him as the savvy veteran. Then you can have Kenny figure it out or brute-force it against Christian with dirty tactics at the pay-per-view. This feels like there's too much influence from Don Callis, who's pretty old-school.

    Well, there's one more week left to try and build some more momentum heading into All Out. Let's hope whatever they have planned is hotter than what we got today.

    Rampage 8/27/21 Report: After last week's legendary episode, Rampage levels out with an okay episode. Not much to catch here outside of the opening tag match, but it still remains a more accessible entry point into AEW than Dynamite. It also kind of feels like they're saving some big stuff from Dynamite for Rampage. B+


    Little rampages

    • Jericho is back to join the four-man booth, and it's really still too much. I don't need Taz in there, he can go. I want to hear more of Mark Henry, and he can hardly get an opportunity to chime in with the two other strong personalities doing color.
    • They found the time to advance the last-minute feud of Miro and Eddie Kingston, though I'm not exactly sure why Kingston would come to the aid of someone like Fuego del Sol. Also, does this mean Fuego del Sol is going to unmask?
    • Good idea to have more CM Punk content, even if it's a pretaped promo. I guess he can't always make an appearance on all the shows, though I want the match to happen already so he could wrestle more regularly.


    Photo from AEW

    *****

    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor-in-Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast. He gets by in this hard-knock life through working in advertising. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, and he likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account. 

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    Item Reviewed: The Rampage Report (8/27/21): Leveling Out Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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