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    Sunday, January 23, 2022

    The Rampage Report (1/21/22): Hey, J-J-Jaded

    Jade Cargill


    This week's Rampage is stacked from top to bottom, presumably because last Wednesday's Dynamite wasn't particularly so. That means more for us on Saturday mornings!

    Return of the Mox

    When AEW advertised Jon Moxley as returning on this week's Dynamite, I didn't actually know there was going to be a Rampage match attached to it, and I'll tell you this: it's a great choice for an opener. He goes up against Ethan Page as someone of note has to be sacrificed to Moxley, and the Men of the Year once again drew the short straw.

    o

    It was a good little brawl to start the show, with more Japanese puroresu/King's Road-esque stylings than I usually expect from Mox (in America), and if you know me, I'm pretty much all for that. He hasn't missed a beat after being gone for almost three months; not that anyone would expect him to, anyway.

    If there's one gripe I have, it's that I really would have given the win, even a dirty one, to Ethan Page. The Men of the Year really, really need something to chew on as they've been taking L after L since their inception as a team. Dan Lambert couldn't fix them, and they're stuck in this limbo of servicing bigger stars while somehow being deserving of their own push. Am I really supposed to believe that Ethan Page couldn't put away the guy who hadn't wrestled since October, even through dastardly means? They gave him a small bit of redemption by having him pass out to the Bully Choke instead of tapping out, but I don't think that really means anything.

    After the match, Moxley passes a random Bryan Danielson, who makes his return after two weeks casually checking out Rampage. They're picking up where they were supposed to go for Full Gear, which I don't really mind, but I think you could've still achieved the same thing if Ethan won.

    Beretta at my side? Dope

    You know when you don't really have to go so hard, but they end up going all out and having a banger anyway because they just could? That's Trent Beretta vs. Nick Jackson for you.


    They could've put this on as this episode's main event and I would not have complained about it. It only runs for around 15 minutes, but it's got everything—high spots, back-and-forth action, the all-important drama, proving that Trent is fine and can really go after healing from his neck injury. I hope this performance potentially translates into a future Tag Team Championship program, or even a run with the belts, because the Best Friends have so far proven they're no slouches (not even CHUCK or Wheeler Yuta).

    Seriously, go watch this match. Easy pick of the week material right there.

    The right kind of Jaded

    I said Nick Jackson vs. Trent could have been the rightful main event of this episode of Rampage, but Jade Cargill and Anna Jay did the unthinkable: they actually topped that match with a really fun main event for the TBS Championship, which also happens to be Jade's first defense of the title.


    You'll be glad to know that Jade actually completely understands the assignment as a monster heel: let the babyface contender look really good—Anna is one of Jade's best partners yet as she's fast and energetic—and come in with your big momentum-shifting moves at the right time. 

    Whoever the agent was for this match did a fine job of putting it together, and both women executed the gameplan well, resulting in arguably the best Jade Cargill match yet. (Not a knock on Jade if she ever happens to read this; more of an acknowledgment that she's still a developing talent.)

    Rampage 1/21/22 Report: This episode only runs for an hour, but they managed to cram it full of entertaining action without needing too many big names. Must-catch episode of Rampage. A


    Little rampages

    • It's very fast, but there's also another match in there that I didn't devote column space to: Hook destroys Serpentico in a few moves. It's more of an angle designed to advance Hook vs. QT Marshall, and credit must be given here as it's an efficient use of time to get a young talent and a midcard story over. You don't always need a match; but unlike the booking on SmackDown, these angles should be used sparingly in favor of substantial in-ring action.
    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 (1/21/22): Hey, J-J-Jaded Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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