This week’s edition of AEW Rampage featured a World Title Eliminator Tournament Semifinal Match between Bryan Danielson and Eddie Kingston to open the show along with AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker in a “Trick or Treat Match” main event.
This is AEW Rampage from the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. It was taped on Wednesday after Dynamite. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
The opening video let us know repeatedly that “this is Rampage” in case you forgot the name of the show. Excalibur was on commentary with the yeller Chris Jericho, Taz and FTW Champion Ricky Starks as they gave us a rundown of what’s coming up this week.
Bryan Danielson was up first for the World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals. Danielson is 5-0-1 in AEW so far. Eddie Kingston was up next as the opponent with a 28-7 record in 2021.
AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals: Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston
The winner of this match is in the finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament on Saturday, November 13. Both guys are babyfaces.
Kingston worked Bryan into the ropes and hit him with the first chop of the match. Kingston with some chops, Bryan ran the ropes, did a backflip off the top and hit a clothesline. Bryan with a running dropkick on Kingston to send him out of the ring. Kingston took his time getting back into the ring, Eddie with chops to the chest, then Bryan came back with kick and an uppercut to the chest. Bryan stomped on the left arm of Kingston. Bryan ran the ropes, Kingston with a knee to the ribs and more chops to the chest. Bryan with an armbar, then an uppercut and Kingston hit a dropkick to knock Bryan down. Kingston with a neckbreaker. Kingston worked over Bryan with more hard chops to the chest with Bryan’s chest having visible scars on it. They went to a picture in picture break for 90 seconds.
Kingston was in control during the commercial. Kingston with more chops, Bryan with forearms to the head and Kingston did an eye gouge. Kingston charges, Bryan ducked, Kingston went over the top to the floor. Bryan went for a forearm on the floor, Kingston avoided it and hit a Saito Suplex on the floor. Kingston wanted the referee Rick Knox to count Bryan out, so the company that doesn’t have countouts had a dramatic countout spot with Bryan getting back in before the ten count. Kingston with a belly to back suplex into the turnbuckle and a belly to back suplex in the ring. Kingston went for a submission cranking on the neck/arm of Bryan and Bryan got his leg on the bottom rope. Kingston set up Bryan on the top rope, Bryan punched Eddie to block a suplex, Bryan with a headbutt and Eddie smacked Bryan in the jaw with a palm strike to the jaw. Bryan crotched Eddie on the top rope and Bryan hit a belly to back suplex off the top to drive Kingston to the match. Big spot there. Scott Hall used to do that in the Razor Ramon days all the time. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Bryan with forearms and kicks while Kingston had some chops along with an enziguri kick to the head. Bryan with a snapmare into a roundhouse kick to the head. Bryan with kicks to the chest/arms and another roundhouse kick to the head. Bryan went for a running knee, but Kingston dropped and Bryan punched Kingston in the head/neck. Bryan went for a fujiwara armbar on the left arm, Kingston got back up and hit Bryan with a DDT. Great counter there leading to more applause by the crowd. It was announced they were at the 15-minute mark with Excalibur noting it was a 30-minute time limit. They exchanged punches on the mat, then got back up, Bryan blocked an enziguri kick, Bryan with a forearm and Eddie hit a spinning back fist to knock Bryan down! Wow. The fans were standing and cheering as both guys were down. Jericho was screaming about the standing ovation. Kingston tried to crawl over to Bryan, but Bryan applied a triangle choke submission. Bryan was elbowing the head, Kingston with a middle finger in defiance (love that!) and Kingston passed out, so the referee called for the bell. It went about 17 minutes.
Winner by submission: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: ****1/4 This was awesome! What a brutal, hard-hitting match this was and competitive the whole way. I think most of us assumed Bryan was going to win, but they had such a match where it was so competitive that there were a few moments where it looked like they might shock us with a Kingston win. Kingston was on offense for a lot of the match. If somebody kept track of stats, Kingston definitely had more offense and Bryan managed to find a way to come back to win. Bryan continues to win matches using a different move every time and that’s what happened here too. I loved the finish because Bryan was working on the head/neck/arms a lot in the match, so doing a triangle choke where you trap the head in between the legs was a clever way to end it and it was fitting for Kingston to stick the middle finger up to be defiant the whole way. Great wrestling by both men.
This is the third straight week with an incredible match on Rampage with Pac/Andrade El Idolo last week and Bryan/Suzuki two weeks ago although that was on Youtube before Rampage. Still, it’s impressive how many great matches we get on Rampage and obviously on Dynamite too. Shoutout to the AEW roster for being awesome!
The win by Bryan Danielson means that he’ll face Jon Moxley or Orange Cassidy in the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Finals. If Moxley doesn’t beat Cassidy I’ll be surprised.
Bryan Danielson was celebrating the win while laughing at the visible scars on his chest. They showed some replays of the match. During the break, Bryan wanted a handshake, but Kingston walked out of the ring.
CM Punk was standing by with Tony Schiavone, who noted that Punk celebrated his birthday this week and Punk is 5-0. Punk said he loves Halloween because it’s his favorite holiday. There was a lot of shouting in the background with Kingston yelling about what happened. Kingston asked Punk what is so funny. Some guys, including wrestlers like Ruby Soho, separated Kingston and Punk, who asked Kingston if he wants to go to sleep again (since made Kingston pass out). Punk told Kingston that was unprofessional and he’s disappointed in him.
Analysis: I mentioned in the Dynamite review that CM Punk needs an opponent at Full Gear and based on that segment, it makes me think they’ll go with Punk vs. Kingston at Full Gear. That’s cool. It will probably be another loss for Eddie, but it should be an awesome match.
Dante Martin (w/Lio Rush) vs. Matt Sydal
Martin and Sydal have wrestled eachother in the past and teamed together as well. Sydal shook Martin’s hand to start the match. Sydal with a snapmare with Martin landing on his feet instead of his back. Martin used his legs to send Sydal headfirst into the turnbuckle followed by an impressive springboard missile dropkick with Martin getting a lot of height on that move. Martin jumped off the middle turnbuckle with a moonsault onto a standing Sydal on the floor. They went to a picture in picture break.
Sydal sent Martin to the apron, Martin with a jumping kick and then Sydal came back with a jumping sidekick. Sydal hit a running double knee attack on Martin followed by a standing twist splash. Sydal with kicks to the legs, then a rollup and that got a two count. Martin did an impressive leap leading to a sunset flip pin attempt. Martin with a boot to the face, then a headscissors and Martin hit a double foot stomp to the chest. Rush was yelling some advice for Martin. Excalibur called this match a “classic” although AEW’s announcers think every match is a classic, so it’s tough to have credibility when you say it about every match. It is a good match, though. I don’t know about classic. I wouldn’t say classic until it reaches a certain level. Anyway, Martin was seated on the top rope and Sydal hit a hurricanrana, but Martin got a crucifix pin attempt for two. Sydal with a roundhouse kick, Mart avoided the lightning spiral and Martin hit a flipping Stunner. Martin hit the double springboard moonsault onto a standing Sydal for the pinfall win after 11 minutes. Martin lost the two previous times to Sydal, so this time Martin got the win.
Winner by pinfall: Dante Martin
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good match between two great athletes. Sydal is a veteran while Martin is an incredibly talented younger guy with so much potential. Most of the time when Sydal is on Dynamite or Rampage he’s putting somebody else over while he picks up wins on the Youtube show. Martin has the story with Rush mentoring him, so they are trying to build up Martin a bit although Martin’s brother should be back from his injury soon. I like how even it was most of the way with Sydal getting some nearfalls, Martin did some clever counters and Martin was able to get the win. Fun match to watch.
They replayed the Bryan Danielson win along with Eddie Kingston and CM Punk screaming at eachother.
Mark Henry did a split-screen interview with Abadon and AEW Women’s Champion Dr. Britt Baker, who had Jamie Hayter and Rebel with her. Abadon didn’t speak, so she spit up some blood. Baker did her usual promo about how she’s the champion and a hardcore legend. Abadon left, so the match was next.
This Wednesday on AEW Dynamite live in Kansas City:
* Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo
* TBS Championship Tournament Round 1: Anna Jay vs. Jamie Hayter
* AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament: Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley
Next Friday on AEW Rampage live in St. Louis:
* TBS Championship Tournament Round 1: The Bunny vs. Red Velvet
* John Silver vs. Adam Cole
The Rampage main event was a Trick or Treat Match with ring announcer Justin Roberts noting there were No Disqualifications and if Abadon wins she’ll earn a future shot of the AEW Women’s Championship.
Trick or Treat Match: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. (w/Rebel & Jamie Hayter) vs. Abadon
Baker’s friends Hayter and Rebel were dressed like zombies. Abadon was dressed like a zombie because that’s her regular look. Taz said Abadon is the “living dead girl” so I guess that’s the gimmick.
Baker charged, Abadon with a kick to the gut and a Stunner. What? Baker bailed to the floor. Way to make the Stunner look like some average move instead of a great finisher. Anyway, Baker and friends were grabbing weapons from under the ring. They went to a commercial break.
Abadon hit a running senton splash on a chair that was on Baker. Abadon set up a chair between the top/middle turnbuckle and Baker sent Abadon into the steel chair. Rebel and Hayter tried to put Abadon on a table on the floor, but Abadon fought them off. Jericho was doing his yelling on commentary. Abadon got a hold of Baker on the apron and Baker went for a swinging neckbreaker that didn’t break the table. Ouch. They slid off the table to the floor. Baker tried to suplex Abadon through the table, but the table didn’t break again! Abadon sat up before Baker did. Abadon’s right hand was cut open from hitting the table. Abadon brought in a bag and dumped it out to pour thumbtacks in the ring. Abadon teased a move on the thumbtacks, Baker fought out of it and Abadon hit a Rock Bottom on the thumbtacks for a two count. Hayter slid a chair to Baker, who threw the chair at Abadon. Baker put the chair around the head of Abadon and hit The Stomp on the chair on Abadon. Baker put the glove on, Baker with a superkick, Baker put the thumbtacks into the mouth and Baker hit another superkick. Abadon bit the hand to block the Lockjaw move. Hayter went into the ring and hit Abadon with a double axhandle. Abadon bit Rebel and then Baker did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Abadon for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.
Analysis: **1/4 It was decent, but nothing special. I admire bumps on weapons, but it didn’t go smoothly in this match. The most interesting part of the match was that the table didn’t break. They did a nice job of teasing spots on the thumbtacks as well. I don’t know who came up with that finish, but it was lame. Abadon can sit up after taking The Stomp with a chair around her neck, but she can’t kick out of a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! like that? That’s a bit silly. I just think it’s dumb to end a Street Fight style match with a rollup like that. They should have had Hayter and Rebel do more cheap shots to weaken Abadon and then have Baker hit a better move to win the match.
Baker left with her AEW Women’s Title and her friends. They plugged AEW Dynamite on Wednesday. Jericho wished everybody a Happy Halloween and that was it.
Three Stars of the Show
- Bryan Danielson
- Eddie Kingston
- Dante Martin/Matt Sydal
This Week: 8 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
An excellent edition of Rampage this week. The first match was incredible as Bryan Danielson put on another classic performance with a different kind of opponent in Eddie Kingston, who matched Bryan’s physicality throughout the match. Every week it seems like Rampage gives us a four star level match like that. Love to see it.
I liked the second match a lot too. Dante Martin is such an awesome athlete. The main event was more of a gimmicky style match with some comedy spots and stuff, so I didn’t like it as much, but the end result was the right one with Britt Baker getting the win. I just didn’t like the finish.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear on Saturday, November 13. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Finals of the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament: Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley or Orange Cassidy.
AEW Tag Team Championships: Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) (c) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)
AEW Women’s Championships: Britt Baker (c) vs. Tay Conti
Darby Allin vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Minneapolis Street Fight 5-on-5 Tag Team Match: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz) vs. American Top Team (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky and three others)
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