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    Sunday, December 5, 2021

    The Rampage Report (12/3/21): No Mo' FOMO

    Tony Nese and Sammy Guevara

    This week's episode of Rampage is another good one for wrestling fans, although it's not really needle-moving. But if you're reading this, you're not really here to look for needle-moving—you just want to watch a nice wrestling show.

    Tony Nese shows you who you are

    If you didn't really keep up with 205 Live back in the day (when the day was like... a few years ago) I can't blame you. The rebooted cruiserweight division had always been the redheaded stepchild right after the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016, and it was more of a treat for the more hardcore wrestling fan. SmackDown audiences were mostly asked to sit and watch the tapings out of a loyal obligation to WWE wrestling.

    That means it's likely you missed out on the greatness of Tony Nese. While he did win the Cruiserweight Championship once, he didn't really break through the same way other guys have, which resulted in him largely flying under the radar of WWE fans.

    Now that he's in AEW, though, Tony Khan seems determined to showcase who the Premier Athlete really is, and as a guy who's always rooted for him, I'm happy that he gets this stage against wrestlers like TNT Champion Sammy Guevara.

    So you get a solid match on a prime TV spot, with Nese really making the most out of it. It seems like the current direction for Sammy and the TNT title is simply to put on good title defenses almost every week, and right now that's hard to argue against while there's no bigger story to flesh out.

    I just hope that they don't relegate Nese back to the Dark shows after this, as last I checked Jay Lethal is already working those. On the other hand, Lethal does need to be a little more low-key considering the controversy he's in.

    FTR wins another one

    Speaking of WWE alums that are flourishing in AEW, they've already been doing it a while, but places like Dynamite, Rampage, and the PPVs allow FTR to do the matches they've been doing on NXT on a regular basis. It's hard to argue that NXT callups tend to get watered down in the ring thanks to the frenetic nature of WWE's weekly TV shows, so to see FTR express themselves more in the way they like is refreshing to see.

    This week's match versus Death Triangle is an example of that.

    I generally want to avoid making comparisons with WWE, but this FTR/Death Triangle match went some 18 minutes, around two minutes more than the amount of in-ring action this week's episode of SmackDown had. Whether you like that or not is completely up to you as a fan, but that does say a lot about the two companies' respective philosophy, and talents like FTR also win as much as wrestling fans do.

    I guess my only gripe is that this feels like the nth FTR/Death Triangle (by way of the Lucha Brothers) matchup we've seen in the past couple of months, which also feels like the WWE way of booking feuds. While it makes sense for it to put a big match as the main event of Rampage (which I've always wanted since I started doing this review column), I'm also pretty accustomed to AEW finding spots for its large roster, so I get a little disappointed whenever it's rematch city. That's just me, though, and the action does make up for this repetitiveness.

    Anyway, Malakai Black pops up and spits some mist in PAC's other eye, and this is pretty much the next feud to happen. I'm way more interested in this matchup than Malakai/Cody, and I'm impressed that they found a way to segue into it smoothly. Inject it in my veins.

    Rampage 12/3/21 Report: AEW fans, as usual, will love this week's episode of Rampage, which has quietly found its groove over the past month or so. Again, it's not going to move the needles the same way CM Punk's debut did, but to aim for that goal every week is to exhaust and burn yourself out fast. This approach is better, and there's only so much you can do with a show that's on late on Friday nights and is taped after a long DynamiteA-

    Little rampages

    • We have our token women's match of the night, which is another Jade Cargill squash against Thunder Rosa student Janai Kai, who has a cool Aloy-esque look. This was to promote Jade and Rosa's semifinal match in the TBS Championship tournament. I don't really mind the Jade squashes, so long as she's working on her game outside of TV. Rosa is also pretty good on commentary, which isn't surprising since she's an engaging conversationalist.

    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 (12/3/21): No Mo' FOMO Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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