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    Sunday, October 3, 2021

    The Rampage Report (10/1/21): Trust the Formula

    Bryan Danielson

    This week on Rampage, we go back to one hour, and I finally figure out why it keeps feeling like a B-show.

    Bryan Danielson deserves to main event

    Okay. Here we go. Dear Tony Khan, I appreciate what you try to do for wrestling fans, and I appreciate and respect you trying to change the game up. I also understand that the quarter-hour ratings for Rampage are at their highest at the beginning, you want to start the hour hot, and that you probably don't want to tire people out in what is ideally their third hour of pro wrestling on Friday night. I understand all of that. 

    But you've got to put main eventers in the main event. Hell, even CM Punk had issues with not being the literal main event in WWE!

    I don't think I need to tell you that Bryan Danielson and Nick Jackson are two of your company's biggest names right now. I especially don't need to remind you that they're bigger deals than Jade Cargill, Nyla Rose, Thunder Rosa, Jack Evans, and yes, even Orange Cassidy.

    I get it, it feels like I'm complaining just to complain here, but trust me, I'm a longtime student of putting shows together. Bryan Danielson and Nick Jackson wrestled a hell of a 15-minute TV match in which the American Dragon got to continue being the American Dragon, and even brought his old finish back. It's a match I want to see at the last slot of the hour, because after this, I honestly have no interest in watching the others do what they do, and that's an insult to the talent that they have. I understand that you probably want them to win the crowd over on their own merits, and sometimes they do get to do that. But don't make it an uphill battle for them.

    The whole two main events thing works on Dynamite because it has two hours to feature everyone, meaning there's enough space to put two actual big matches on that show. And even then, I still don't like some of the main events they put on. With one hour on Rampage, you don't get that same space, so the main event needs to be the main event.

    Respect your main eventers, and respect your undercarders. I felt bad for the women who had to follow that great match, because I don't blame the crowd for being tired.

    More than a beer break

    While we're on that topic, the asshole who brought a "beer break" sign to show off at the women's match was unfortunately right. Because it was squeezed after a top-flight match, a lot of people would've seen it as the cooldown.

    Fortunately, they did do one spot that garnered a holy shit chant, which is more than enough to wake the crowd back up. Jade Cargill takes the unsurprising win, and I can't help but feel that it would've come off better if it started the evening.

    And now, the actual main event

    So that leaves the hair vs. hair match between Orange Cassidy and Jack Evans, which is lucky enough if it still had people interested in staying tuned in to the show at this point.

    It's your typical Orange Cassidy match, complete with some feel-good moments care of the Best Friends and the Dark Order, but outside of that there's really nothing in it that screams "main event" to me. And that's why putting this in your marquee spot makes the whole thing feel like a B-show, because wrestling fans are still conditioned to think that the last match is the biggest match, and no amount of good will or experimentation is just going to change that. 

    I hate to sound like I'm crapping on Orange Cassidy and Jack Evans, who are two really good wrestlers, but they're just the victims here. I promise they're actually good and I actually like both guys.

    Rampage 10/1/21 Report: If Rampage just switched the match order, I would've perceived the whole thing differently. But as it stands now, it just ends flatly, so I can't give it anything higher than B+.

    Little rampages

    • Tony Schiavone took the night off, leaving us with an Excalibur/Taz booth for the first match and adding Ricky Starks for the rest of the night. Oh, well. If you're not going to give Mark Henry his spot at the booth back, I think this is best for now. There's really no need for four-men booths.
    • If, for some reason, you still don't believe that this Bryan Danielson is Ring of Honor Bryan Danielson, "I have till five!" and the Cattle Mutilation being his finish pretty much solidifies it. And I'm all here for it.
    • Malakai Black says Cody still refuses to do the right thing. See, even Malakai knows Cody has to turn heel, which tells me Cody's working us when he says he doesn't want to turn heel.

    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 (10/1/21): Trust the Formula Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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