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AEW Rampage- January 7, 2022
by Doc Allen
Taped from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Our hosts are Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks, and Chris Jericho.
Adam Cole vs. Jake Atlas
They lock up and exchange wrist holds. Cole reverses a headlock into head scissors, but Atlas escapes with a kip up. They quicken the pace and exchange counters, the crowd applauds their stalemate. Atlas outmaneuvers Cole to hit a dropkick to the face. Atlas hits a combination of strikes, but Cole shoves him from the top rope to outside. Cole takes charge with attacks to the head. Atlas tries a springboard but flies into Cole's backstabber. Back from commercials, Atlas comes back with a step up rana. Baseball slide dropkick by Atlas and then a tope suicida! Springboard missile dropkick by Atlas gets 2. Cole hits a pump kick and Ushigoroshi for 2. Cole reverses into a brainbuster onto his knee for another 2. Cole runs into Atlas' boot, and a brutal sitout powerbomb gets a great nearfall. Atlas springboards into Cole's superkick. Cole cannot hit Panama Sunrise, Atlas seems to badly injure his knee, and a kneebar ends it at 9:41. Very good TV match that had my emotional brain badly wanting Atlas to win, even though my logical brain knew that wouldn't be a good idea, ***.
Winner: Adam Cole
Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly join Cole as he gloats on the mic. They're joined by Orange Cassidy with a chain in hand. Best Friends have OC's back and they clear out the bad guys.
We learn that Cody Rhodes is unavailable for Battle of the Belts, so it will be Sammy Guevara vs. Dustin Rhodes to crown an interim TNT Champion. That's disappointing to hear.
Tony Shiavone interviews Andrade El Idolo and wants to know why he'd distract Sting and Darby Allin. Andrade wants to know why Darby works for Sting, Tony insists that he knows them to be friends. Andrade wants Sting to name his price for Darby's services. Well, this is certainly an unexpected direction.
Hook vs. Aaron Solo (with QT Marshall)
It's good to see AEW acknowledging that Hook is a babyface and matching him up against a heel jobber. They lock knuckles and Hook nails an overhead suplex. Hook goes for the head with a half nelson and then lights Solo up with body shots. QT grab's Hook by the boot, which allows Solo to hit a series of strikes. Hook comes right back with a leg sweep into a ground octopus. Hook nails a gut wrench suplex, Solo hits a jawbreaker, but Hook fires back with a Taz suplex. Hook finishes with Redrum at 3:23 to a nice pop. They're on to something with Hook, **.
QT gets into Hook's face eats a suplex for his trouble.
Ricky Starks reveals that he'll be defending the FTW Championship against Matt Sydal on Battle of the Belts. He handpicked Sydal because he wants to send a message to Dante Martin, who previously had trouble defeating Sydal.
Video promo with The Bunny, Penelope Ford, Tay Conti, and Anna Jay putting over their street fight from last week. Both teams feel like they accomplished something.
Ruby Soho and Riho vs. AEW Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker (with Rebel) and Jamie Hayter
Rebel pulls Ruby through the ropes, allowing Jamie and Britt to double team Riho. Ruby rushes back to brawl with Hayter. Ruby and Riho work together to corner Hayter with splashes. Riho catapults Ruby into Hayter for 2. Hayter drives Ruby into Britt's corner for a tag, and they put the boots to Ms. Soho. Ruby reverses a suplex on Britt, and drops Riho in a tandem senton for 2. Rebel grabs Ruby's boot, allowing Britt to suplex her into position for Jamie's drive-by kick. Back from commercials, Ruby desperately drops Britt with a Saito suplex. Riho gets the hot tag and meets Jamie with a dropkick and head scissors takedown. Riho hits 619, Britt breaks the pin. Riho launches off Britt to DDT Jamie for 2. Britt interrupts Riho's double stomp attempt, and Hayter hits a backbreaker. Britt superkicks Riho, Ruby breaks the pin. Riho bounces Jamie off of Britt and pins her at 8:43, leaving the heels to argue. Jericho sadly shouts something about Riho gaining momentum, which feels far too WWE for my liking. Decent tag match, **½.
Winners: Riho and Ruby Soho
Dan Lambert and Men of the Year complain about Dustin Rhodes stepping in for an interim TNT Championship match, and are sick of all the sucking up to Tony Khan that happens around here. Scorpio Sky thinks he should be named champion immediately, he hasn't lost a singles match in months. Ethan Page says they'll be watching the TNT title match very closely.
Mark Henry is unable to control the split screen interview between 2point0 and Eddie Kingston/LAX, as the good guys ambush them to start the match. Henry just rolls with it.
2point0 (Jeff Parker and Matt Lee) and Daniel Garcia vs. Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston
Back from commercial, they hit the ring with plunder in hand. Kingston breaks a can over Garcia's head. Meanwhile, LAX and 2point0 are fighting around the stage and ramp. Kingston and Garcia lose their composure and tear into one another on the floor. LAX hit Jeff Parker with a double stuplex while Kingston suplexes Garcia through a can. An oversized head from the crowd is used as a weapon, and suddenly I feel like I'm watching a N64 wrestling game come to life. Back from more commercials, Santana fights out of a double team situation in the ring. LAX hit Lee with a double flapjack. Garcia blocks a double suplex, and rolls Santana up by the trunks for 2. Kingston helps with an Exploder on Garcia. Santana hits a big frog splash for 2. Leethrows powder into Santana's face, Ortiz breaks the pin. Lee hits Ortiz with a DDT. Garcia brings in the ring bell and smashes Kingston in the face, but kicks out! Kingston gets put through a table with a triple suplex. Garcia leaps into Santana's chair shot. Santana takes the chair to 2point0. LAX hit Garcia with a tandem slam in the ring. LAX swarm Parker with combination offense and win at 15:51. This was a rather silly hardcore match, but I have enough self-awareness to admit that this would have been my favorite match ever when I was 13, **¾.
Winners: Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston
2point0 are bad losers and tape Kingston to the ropes. Chris Jericho leaves commentary to help and the bad guys go scrambling.
Final Thoughts: Not much to say about this one. Just a fun hour of wrestling.
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