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AEW Rampage: October 29, 2021
by Samoa Rowe
Taped from the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. Our hosts are Taz, Ricky Starks, Excalibur, and Chris Jericho.
AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament - Opening Round:
Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston
The live crowd is red hot at the bell, and seemingly behind Eddie, who chops the arm. They cautiously attempt kicks while fans chant “both these guys.” They take turns hitting stiff blows in the buckles, Danielson back flips into position for a running clothesline. Running boot by Danielson sends Eddie to ringside. They resume lighting each other up while fans chant “You're gonna get your f*cking head kicked in.” Danielson goes to work on the arm, Eddie chops back with his good hand. They trade head butts in the spirit of competition. Bryan's chest turns beat red from all the chops, Eddie dominates as they head to commercials. They return with Bryan using a low bridge to set up a baseball slide dropkick, but he then leaps into a forearm shot. Eddie mails a Saito suplex on the floor! Bryan is nearly counted out and crawls back only to eat another Saito suplex for 2. A top rope battle results in Bryan hitting an avalanche belly to back suplex! Fans reward them with “this is awesome!” They stumble to their feet for another strong style exchange. Bryan overwhelms with YES kicks, Eddie collapses to avoid the running knee, so Bryan unloads forearm smashes and wraps himself around the arm. Eddie escapes via hard DDT! They trade KO shots both go down for a standing ovation. Bryan surprises with a triangle sleeper and smashes Kingston's forehead for the vicious submission win at 16:25! Tremendously satisfying, hard-hitting, and mean display. It's easy to imagine that this was the type of match Bryan has been dreaming about having for years now, ****½.
Winner: Bryan Danielson
During the break, Kingston rejects Danielson's handshake.
Tony Shiavone interviews Happy CM Punk backstage. Life is good for Punk, as he's undefeated, just had a birthday, and Halloween is coming up! They're interrupted by Eddie Kingston ranting and raving off camera. Punk finds this to be amusing, so Kingston gets into his face. Officials contain Eddie. Punk asks Eddie if he wants to be put to sleep again and says he's disappointed by Eddie's lack of professionalism. I've seen worse insta-feud setups.
Matt Sydal vs. Dante Martin (with Lio Rush)
Dante's ongoing story is that he feels conflicted by moving on without his injured brother. Sydal talks a ton of smack at the bell, gets into Dante's head, and rolls him around with snapmares, at least until Dante kips up. They trade holds, and Sydal cartwheels away from a snapmare. Martin head scissors Sydal into the buckles and nails a soaring springboard dropkick! Martin hits a springboard moonsault to ringside! Back from commercials, they're trading athletic offense while the crowd plays along. Sydal delivers a slick running knees into the buckles and then a twisting standing moonsault. Dante digs deep to hit a high elevation sunset flip. Martin hits a step up head scissors and double stomp for a hot nearfall. Sydal tweaks his knee but still leaps up for a super rana! Martin blocks the Lightning Spiral and nails a double springboard moonsault to win at 11:03! Great high flying battle, they told a good story of Martin learning from his previous mistakes against Sydal to pull off the victory, if you dismiss this as a spotfest, you're not seeing the forest for the trees, ***½.
Winner: Dante Martin
Mark Henry hosts a split screen interview to set up Abadon vs. Dr. Britt Baker's Trick or Treat match. Abadon has nothing to say and only spits up blood. Henry hilariously no-sells the gore with “It looks like Abadon doesn't have a comment.” Britt is ready to send Abadon back to hell, Jamie Hayter and Rebel lurk in their own zombie costumes. Abadon has disappeared from her camera, which spooks Britt. This was all very amusing.
Trick or Treat Match:
AEW Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker (with Jamie Hayter and Rebel) vs. Abadon
Britt hesitates to lock up with the menacing Abadon and eats a stunner. Britt retreats and orders her henchwomen to set up a table. Back from commercials, Abadon hits a chair assisted back senton. The fans chant for Abadon as she wedges a chair in the buckles, but Britt blocks with a DDT. Abadon doesn't feel pain, because she's a demon zombie, and shakes it off to hit a neckbreaker onto the ringside table, which fails to break. Britt hits a suplex onto the indestructible table. Abadon sits up and pours THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of thumbtacks into the ring. Britt has flashbacks to Thunder Rosa and takes a uranage onto the thumbtacks! Britt kicks out! Hayter passes a chair to Britt, and she wraps Abadon's head in it for a curb stomp! Abadon rips the chair off and asks for more, which Britt obliges with a superkick. Britt fills Abadon's mouth with thumbtacks for another superkick and applies Lock Jaw! Abadon bites to escape, and spits thumbtacks at Hayter and Rebel. Britt sneakily rolls Abadon into the tacks to win at 11:17. Fun little Halloween match, which ended up being a bit more brutal than it needed to be, ***.
Winner: Dr. Britt Baker
Final Thoughts: This Rampage packed in a ton of variety and memorable matches/moments. This show deserves to have more eyeballs on it and perhaps a different time slot.
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