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    Sunday, September 12, 2021

    The Rampage Report (9/10/21): Send Cincinnati Home Happy

    Jon Moxley and Brian Pillman, Jr.
    This week on Rampage, PAC and Andrade finally get their match, and the hometown heroes close the show.

    Andrade downsized

    At first, I didn't like the idea that Andrade and PAC would open the show, as a PPV bump-down should immediately be a main event-level match. Then I realized two things: one is that they don't really have much of a strong build for Andrade and PAC, and the second is that they did actually pull off the main event well.

    Andrade beats PAC after Chavo Guerrero interferes with an iPad shot to the back while PAC had Andrade in the Brutalizer. After the match, Andrade lays out Chavo, seemingly for making him look weak, leaving him open for the Death Triangle to attack.

    The match itself was solid and great enough for TV, though I'm just not sure if this was the right call for Andrade. Chavo was the mouthpiece that Andrade needed as his English isn't perfect the same way he needed Zelina in WWE. If anything, he didn't need the other guy as he was redundant. Time will tell if this is the right move for Andrade, who people already think is frustrated with AEW booking (we don't actually know if this is true).

    Ruby, Kris, and Riho fend off Britt's crew

    The middle match of the card saw a six-woman tag between the team of Ruby Soho, Kris Statlander, and Riho against Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, Rebel, and Jamie Hayter. It was a fun little outing, but I wanted to call attention to it because for the first time in a long time, AEW's been focusing on a main storyline with the women between Dynamite and Rampage. The show would often rotate between different women's angles that it's tough to keep track of what exactly they're building, so it's good to see the focus on the Women's Championship picture.

    Cincinnati boys close the show

    Lastly, as I've mentioned earlier, the show ends with Brian Pillman, Jr. vs. Max Caster, just to send the Cincinnati crowd home happy. It was a fine match with a nice hometown win as Jon Moxley evens up the odds against the Acclaimed. 

    The younger Pillman has a nice career ahead of him as long as he manages to stay healthy, and anyone worried about whether AEW would be forgetting about their homegrown stars should chill for a little as they got the big main event rub here. Everyone involved in this match can be in some pretty big stories a few years down the line, so I can't wait for that.

    Rampage 9/10/21 Report: This week's episode of Rampage does the trick well, with a huge (for TV) PPV matchup reinforcing a couple of okay live event matches. It's very clear that Rampage is the complement to the flagship that is Dynamite, so huge moments like CM Punk's debut a few weeks back should be expected to be the exception rather than the rule. By this standard, the show manages to accomplish what it sets out to do every week. B

    Little rampages

    • I'll agree with Darby Allin about one thing—AEW has really not been kind to Shawn Spears. This attempt at a big story for him may not do much for either guy; nobody believes Shawn Spears can beat Darby unless they're willing to sacrifice Darby to him in a big way, and if and when Darby beats Spears, it does absolutely nothing because of Spears's status as the biggest loser of the Pinnacle. I don't think Tony Khan is willing to leverage Darby's popularity to build up someone like Spears, but stranger things have happened in AEW. No, wait, scratch that; if AEW is focused on keeping the fans happy, they're probably not going to do it.
    • The taped editions of Rampage feel like one of the Dark shows with a better card, as it's clear that they're reusing the same crowds and booking around the fact that they can't overuse people they've booked on Dynamite. This hasn't been a bad thing yet, but for people looking for big names to appear in person, like Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson, it may be a little disappointing, and it certainly won't help Rampage's numbers (if they care about that a lot).

    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 (9/10/21): Send Cincinnati Home Happy Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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