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    Monday, November 8, 2021

    The Rampage Report (11/5/21): D-R-A-M-A

    CM Punk and Eddie Kingston


    Hey everyone, it's time for a better-late-than-never Rampage review. Let's get to it!

    Bryan Danielson is out here to wrestle

    I like the Bryan Danielson game plan they have out here in AEW—the man wants to wrestle, as in straight up wrestle, and it doesn't matter who it is as long as he gets his reps in. This time around, it's versus the Acclaimed's Anthony Bowens, and a relatively smaller name allows this matchup to go on first without any big implications.


    It's Bryan's worst AEW match so far, but when I say that, I actually mean it's still pretty solid; it just doesn't blow the mind away. That makes it a good rep for a young gun like Anthony Bowens, and I'm pretty jealous that he gets to step in the ring with someone like Bryan. With this, AEW has found the best formula for their mix of big veteran names and young talent.

    Punk and Kingston go all out

    When you have only three weeks to build a PPV matchup, you've got to dive in headfirst. That's exactly what they did with CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston this week. I'm no longer a big fan of using real-life backstage issues as plot points, but when it's delivered this well, it's easy to see why it works.


    People might complain that only three weeks' worth of episodes aren't enough to build what looks like a big story such as this, but when you're as good on the mic as Punk and King, you don't really need two months of buildup to make a must-watch segment like this. That said, I wouldn't make this a habit for everyone on the AEW roster, though.

    Battle of the Budge

    This week's Rampage main event is Adam Cole vs. Johnny Hungee, and the big talking point on Twitter is whether enough AEW fans knew about the "Budge" in-joke they had for Adam Cole. If you haven't seen the episode yet, it's because Silver made an inside joke involving the rumored changes for Adam Cole on SmackDown back when he was still in WWE.

    I admittedly didn't know about the joke (which featured prominently in the previous week's Ghostbusters parody on Dynamite) and it's a good thing they took the time to explain before the match started. I hope Tony Khan finally understands that not everyone watches Being the Elite, and that it really isn't must-see viewing unless they put it on TV and promote it, so they have to go out of their way to explain these inside running gags.


    As for the match itself, I'd say it deserved its main event spot. AEW quietly loaded the Dark Order with a bunch of solid wrestlers, so when their guys go out and have matches with people like Adam Cole, it's definitely going to be good. I only wish Dark Order kept winning their skirmishes with the Elite leading into Full Gear, but Cole and co. do have a match against Christian and the Jurassic Express to look strong for.

    Rampage 11/5/21 Report: Another solid outing for Rampage here. Tony Khan might have found the formula, and as long as they keep at it, the show should build up a good little consistent niche for itself. A-

    Little rampages

    • Because they had to fit in Punk/Kingston, Red Velvet vs. The Bunny had to run a little short. Velvet continues to improve steadily with every appearance.

    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 (11/5/21): D-R-A-M-A Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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