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    Monday, April 18, 2022

    The Rampage Report (4/15/22): Good Friday To Die

    Adam Cole and Hangman Adam Page

    Hello and welcome back to the Rampage Report! I missed reviewing the big April 8th episode with the Blackpool Combat Club through pure forgetfulness, and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on this one despite the long holiday weekend.

    Before we get started on this week's episode, I just want to take the time to recommend watching the April 8th episode, with the Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta main event. Not only is the episode great for finally breaking out of its Team Taz vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland shell it's been on in the past few weeks, but they gave us a banger of a main event involving an established star as if the rent was due. 

    Some people like to hate on it because that's just who they are as wrestling fans, but if you want some genuinely gripping stuff, that match was one for the books, and I daresay if they did more of that on Rampage it would help elevate the show's stock from being just a second-tier program.

    Fortunately for them, this week's episode is live from Texas with a huge AEW World Heavyweight Championship match.

    Club vs. Club violence

    Before anything, however, we've got a trios match involving the Blackpool Combat Club and the (formerly) undefeated Gunn Club.

    It seems like Tony Khan has figured out a bit of a formula to make Rampage more palatable, which is really to just make the card as big as possible, which isn't difficult with the stacked roster that he has—to make it simple, you don't have to stick everyone on Dynamite and leave Rampage with mostly midcarders.

    Anyway, this is a fun little trios opener that establishes the BCC's new dynamic with their latest addition in Wheeler Yuta. Yuta gets the win with a bridging pin, which is likely to prove that his leveling up and tutelage under the three veterans is already paying dividends. I honestly wish we just get more BCC shenanigans regularly on Rampage, especially if they're not in big storylines with major players on the roster. This works.

    It's a good Friday to be a Hangman

    So it's not the biggest or bloodiest deathmatch ever—and there is a kind of cleverness to hold a deathmatch on the day Jesus died—but for a show like Rampage, this is a good boost.

    Sometimes, you just have to put out a notable match for television. I want AEW and Tony Khan to elevate Rampage, but this is still the third most important hour of their weekly programming, and good enough can be good enough.

    Adam Cole and Hangman Page told a good enough story of two rivals leaving it all in the ring in a bloody bout with weapons. Could it have been more dramatic? Absolutely, as Moxley and Yuta showed us the week before. But the fact that the company's top prize was even being defended on this show is a big enough deal, and you don't really want to set the expectation that this is the kind of match we could get every week. I simply enjoyed the little story they told and how Cole finally got his comeuppance. 

    Hopefully this means the end of this feud for now, as Page desperately needs to move on to bigger fish—oh wait, CM Punk is waiting in the wings. There we go.

    Rampage 4/15/22 Report: The past two weeks of Rampage are anything but skippable. If you want to see some of the best of AEW in a single hour, tune in to this episode, especially for the bookending matches. A-

    Little rampages

    • AEW does this thing where they have to cram setting someone up to be a threat for someone else to beat, and this time it's the Butcher. Butcher has been putting in some solid performances as of late, but I don't think anyone's going to view him as the second coming of Lance Archer, especially for a fellow big dude in Wardlow. I do like watching the squash he was in.
    • In this week's women's Owen Cup qualifier, Ruby Soho beat twins who did Twin Magic. Is this AEW's way of putting this wrestling trope to bed?
    • Dustin Rhodes cuts a pretty nice promo about wanting to challenge CM Punk next week on Dynamite. It's kind of refreshing to see a major company shift away from the monthly TV-PPV calendar of wrestling storytelling, especially when they make it make sense.

    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 (4/15/22): Good Friday To Die Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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