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    Sunday, January 2, 2022

    The Rampage Report (12/31/21): Hello 2022

    Anna Jay and the Bunny

    Welcome to 2022! The first thing we learned in the new year was that Tony Khan is a hypersensitive manchild with more than a bit of an ego, which is par for the course for a lot of wrestling promoters. His unprofessional shot at Big Swole dampened my excitement to watch the first wrestling show of 2022 (in this hemisphere) but as always, we can't punish the boss by punishing his employees, until the employees themselves stage a strike.

    That means the Rampage Report continues as scheduled. Happy new year!

    Andrade finds new friends

    The first televised match of 2022 is Darby Allin versus the Acclaimed's Anthony Bowens, and it's your standard fare, with Darby taking the win and making Bowens look credible with his size. It's a rep for Bowens, and that's always good for diversity

    After the match, Andrade shows up to help beat up Sting and Darby, because apparently that's how new feuds start—you just show up to attack someone, which is quite commonplace in AEW. It's all lazy writing on this end, as Andrade seems to conjure up a new feud out of nowhere and makes new allies out of the Acclaimed at random. They've still never really explained why Andrade goes around making a lot of friends; unless I missed it, it would be nice if they just said he had a lot of money to pay people to destroy other people he doesn't like. After around half a year into Andrade's AEW stint, I'd totally understand if he were legitimately frustrated with his booking.

    TayJay and the HFO ladies finally put their feud to bed with a satisfying street fight

    Despite the brewing Twitter shitstorm yesterday, AEW wrestlers asked us to watch this episode of Rampage for the street fight between Tay Conti, Anna Jay, the Bunny, and Penelope Ford. To put it simply, they go all out with the violent spots and the bleeding to prove themselves and give us a good show, and the effort is definitely commendable.

    It's one of those things where you know they didn't really have to go all out like they did, but with the silly length of this midcard feud, you appreciate that they gave us a satisfying ending anyway. Let's just hope that the result of this match actually matters in a tangible way, like perhaps getting Tay Conti and/or Anna Jay a title shot.

    Go watch this match. It's worth the hype, and it's always fun to see ladies beat each other to death with weapons.

    Cody attempts to wrestle his way to cheers

    I think I finally get Cody's gameplan to try and win back the cheers he misses so much (because clearly, feuding with the Men of the Year means he's not going to keep on the heel path). He's going to have matches like this, where the drama and the action make it so good that the crowd will presumably have no choice but to cheer him again.

    It's a nice plan on paper, but it forgets a big fundamental lesson from failed babyface projects like John Cena and Roman Reigns: you can wrestle all the good matches you want, but if the crowd clearly doesn't like the rest of your presentation, your character, and the way you act in front of them, they're never going to find it cool to cheer you.

    Again, you don't have to turn heel—you just gotta be less of a douchebag. Maybe stop saying wrestling has more than one royal family, because the last thing Dusty wants is to be considered royalty.

    Rampage 12/31/21 Report: It was a good episode of Rampage, but admittedly the real-life controversy took away a lot of the excitement I used to have for AEW. Let's see if it gets better over time. 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 (12/31/21): Hello 2022 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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