AEW Rampage Review (9/16/22): Another Lackluster Show
AEW Rampage was yet again, lacking. The card was full of meaningless feuds and storylines. Almost every match felt like a one-off match that wouldn’t lead to anything. With AEW Grand Slam next week, it’s clear the company didn’t put any effort into this show. Rampage felt like a show that AEW itself didn’t care about. Lazy booking mixed with irrelevant storylines made the show underwhelming. So here’s my full review of AEW Rampage.
Matt Hardy vs Darby Allin
The match itself was nothing special. It felt like a typical Darby Allin match, with him doing his usual spots. It was a slow-paced match, likely because Matt Hardy can’t wrestle like he used to. And there’s nothing wrong with a slow-paced match: it just felt off when Darby Allin is involved. I understand that AEW wants to give both of these guys television time, and they do deserve it. But it just should be something meaningful or that has some build to it. The ending was strange, too: it felt very random. Allin getting the victory was the right call, but overall, the match was lacking. To put it simply, this match just didn’t need to happen.
We Hear From Claudio Castagnoli
ROH world champion Claudio Castagnoli spoke on Rampage. He talked about what the ROH title means and the fact that another member of the Blackpool Combat Club was going to be a world champion. Jericho interrupted Castagnoli and challenged him for the ROH world title. I enjoyed this segment a lot. I think someone who’s a wrestling legend and one of the best-ever wanting to be ROH world champion does a lot for the title. It shows how much it means to Jericho and how much it hurts that he’s never held the title. This was one of the key moments from Rampage. Also, I’m excited for this match to happen, because I really can see it going either way.
Willow Nightingale vs Penelope Ford
This match was pretty decent. Both these women are talented wrestlers, and I think Penelope Ford is a bit underrated. Since she recently returned, AEW has been trying to build her up as a title contender. Getting a win over Willow Nightingale helps make her look like a threat. Also, since Nightingale isn’t officially a part of the roster, it doesn’t hurt her either. While there may be better feuds and wrestlers to feature on the show, I’m not mad about both Nightingale and Ford getting television time.
Ethan Page vs Danhausen
This match went exactly how I expected. Ethan Page squashed Danhausen in near minutes. I can’t stand these types of matches because it doesn’t really do much. AEW books these types of matches to make someone look strong, but most of the time they face nobodies. So how can it make someone look strong if they squash a random indie wrestler? Now Danhausen is no random indie wrestler, but no one actually believed he was going to win. Danhausen has essentially become a crowd favorite jobber for AEW. That being said, I do enjoy Danhausen, so I just think he’s being misused in AEW. Page is one of the more slept-on wrestlers on the AEW roster. So, while it was nice to see him get television time, it didn’t do anything for him. Page squashing someone like Danhausen doesn’t make him look strong. Since it’s a match, he should have won.
*ROH World TV Championship Match*
Josh Woods vs Samoa Joe (c)
This match was pretty good overall. Samoa Joe is one of my favorite wrestlers in recent memory, so it was nice to see him back in the ring. Josh Woods got to remind people just who he is in the main event of Rampage. Joe proved he can still hang and shook off any rust he may have had. The match was slow but high impact, which was nice. While it’s nice to see ROH being represented in AEW, I wish they had their own weekly show. They have tons of talented wrestlers, and deserve to showcase their skills weekly. Overall, the match was pretty good, and the idea of Samoa Joe fighting Wardlow makes me very excited.