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    Sunday, December 19, 2021

    The Rampage Report (12/17/21): Multi-Man Mayhem

    Lucha Bros

    Rampage this week builds off a huge Winter is Coming with a pretty fun episode, completely understanding its mission of keeping the fans happy.

    Got to give the people what they want

    That said... why wasn't Best Friends/CHAOS vs. the SuperKliq + Bobby Fish not the main event of this week's episode?

    Bear with me here, because I know I sound like a broken record repeating the same criticism over and over, but this has everything you and Tony Khan need in a main event: two of your EVPs, your biggest stars on one team, one of your biggest babyfaces in the other, a feel-good win, and most importantly, no post-match beatdown. How do you not end the show with this?

    There's also no real reason to put the midcard 10-man tag on last if the goal was to pace the big moments at the taping in Texas. Like always, I'm not sure if he reads these, but I'm going to keep calling it out whenever he does it, because I know—and he's proven—that he can put the actual main event on last when it calls for it.

    Dan Lambert is back

    And he's here to start some beef with Cody Rhodes, presumably to insert the Men of the Year in the TNT Championship conversation.

    He's actually one of those "technically correct" heels when he goes out to talk shit about Tony Khan, and I'm amazed that TK actually lets him embody the E-drone gimmick. I suppose he does it just to have a straw man figure on the show, but when it comes to things like Cody getting a title shot, he's definitely not wrong.

    What I'm worried about now is it seems like Cody faked out his apparent heel tease, especially with Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky in the mix. While I like the Men of the Year in this feud—they deserve better—I don't need Zero Self-Awareness Cody continuing to be a face; or at least, continuing to be the way he is.

    Tay Conti is a future star

    Though the women are still relegated to their token one segment per show setup, the best of them do make the most of their reps, even when there's nothing on the line. Case in point: one Tay Conti.

    I still can't believe that near the end of her WWE/NXT run, Tay was sitting on the sidelines instead of getting in reps with more experienced people. What resulted was arguably one of WWE's biggest misses, with their particular Performance Center recruit paying off dividends for AEW, being on the way to becoming a future star in their women's division.

    Tay is good, especially when she brings in her judo experience to her pro wrestling. She's now shown why WWE signed her to the Performance Center in the first place, bringing out that naturalness more and more in her movements in the ring. I'll give it a couple more years at least before she perfects it and starts putting out bangers, but she's already a solid hand against wrestlers who have been wrestling longer than she has.

    A mad circus

    Okay, so here we are—the main event.

    I'd like to start off by saying that I love some of the people in this match. Eddie Kingston. Proud and Powerful. The Lucha Bros. Daniel Garcia. But as a bit of a traditionalist (in only some aspects), this is not a collection of names that should be main-eventing over the Young Bucks and Adam Cole. There's just no reason for it.

    It was a fun match, but it was just bedlam and mayhem all around—which is totally fine, but I think it could've been better used to start the episode out strong. And then we have another post-match thing with Jurassic Express coming in to help the faces, only to stare down the Lucha Bros to not-so-subtly declare themselves the next contenders to the AEW Tag Team Championship.

    It's fine. I've already said what I wanted to say about the order of this card, and I'd be bashing in the poor horse's skull unnecessarily if I repeat that here. Let's just wrap it up with a please do better, TK. This isn't hard, and this is not the thing to experiment with.

    Rampage 12/17/21 Report: This week's episode feels like a fun televised house show with a tiny bit of storyline implications. Nothing wrong with that at all. B+

    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 (12/17/21): Multi-Man Mayhem Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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