IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #397
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Main DDPY Program of the Day: Live With DDP – 10.25.22
Thoughts on Rampage – January 13th, 2023
1. It’s Friday night, you know what that means! I’d have been in with a Rampage one last week, but I already covered why it wasn’t possible. Two big matches tonight with a Darby title match and a women’s tag main event that is trying to match the tone of the hardcore brawl involving two of the participants previously. I know Menard isn’t on commentary for Rampage, but make him commentator on all the things. Dark, Rampage, Dynamite, NFL Sunday, morning announcements, airplane safety lectures, tornado sirens… Anything, hearing him talk is always amazing.
2. I realize open challenges negate the need for qualifying title matches, but it is nice when there are at least reasons for someone to get one. Like Skye last week, people sometimes just seem to fail upwards into title shots. The matches are usually good, so it balances out, and I’ll watch Juice wrestle anyone, but still.
3. Looks like a good amount of people stuck around after Dynamite went off the air. That’s always good to see. Rampage in the last few weeks has started earning it. I know why they structure the events as they do, but sometimes it’s been rough in the past year.
4. Darby’s probably missing those PNW pops a bit, as a dueling one gets going, but most matches anymore have those on some level. Some genuine, some from people who get off on being professional contrarians, but people are entitled to cheer for whomever they want.
5. Supercard of Honor coming up in a few months being plugged, that’s good to see. I wonder if they’ll have the TV show going by then.
6. Jamie Noble-esque gutbuster there, that’s a fun move. Well-placed too, with another ROH graphic flashing on the screen.
7. The not-KN Forum crowd has remained loud as well as present. It helps being on the west coast. It was so nice to get out well after Dynamite and still have it only be 7:30 or so. Granted, it felt like 1am in Seattle January darkness, but it makes a huge difference. I like being on the west coast, for that and many other reasons.
8. Darby wins with the Coffin Drop as someone with a prominent sign is featured that makes no sense to me whatsoever. That’s okay, I’m used to missing things.
9. Sting walks out to a mild reaction from everyone except Tony, who does his classic “turns to 11 as a 12-year-old” meme.
10. I think I said it when I was there live, but holy hell, TV doesn’t do Powerhouse Hobbs justice. Same with Jade, but Hobbs in particular since he got a little promo in there before the break.
11. Renee is up front, presenting the new Walk of Fame stars, the Acclaimed. JR doing callbacks to Max’s raps always makes me laugh. Nice little dig in there about “blood money.” Hmm, I wonder what in the world that could be a reference to? …
12. The crowd song is back in full force. Seattle didn’t seem to dig it very much. Renee just walks away mid-promo, like “yep, I’m done here.”
13. I’m so happy for Billy Gunn. If this isn’t the most over he’s ever been, it has to be close. And explaining to non-fans exactly why he’s named that or why he’s so popular right now is a delight in and of itself.
14. The “cementing of the scissors” is interrupted by Juniors Ass. They get their Fruit of the Looms full of cement like they’re Vince McMahon’s cars in 1998, so that happened.
15. Hey, Swerve has more people hanging out with him and Parker. Long as Swerve is on television, that’s good news by me. If anyone hasn’t seen his match from Defy with Nick Wayne, I highly recommend it. I learned a lot about him after seeing him at the show last week.
16. Kings of the Black Throne are out next to continue messing with Eddie Kingston’s head, and it’s their old theme as well. It’s always a good aura though, they have built such presence.
17. Eddie Kingston always gets such a huge reaction as well. I’m glad to see him wrestling on something other than Dark. Both shows I’ve been to, that’s where he was. The trouble between he and Ortiz continues, though I’m still not really sure what their beef is. Despite them being polar opposites in presentation, I’d be really interested to see what the House of Black could unleash with his character. As they’ve even pointed out on commentary tonight, Julia Hart was a cheerleader before, so anything could happen.
18. I’m pretty sure the AEW YouTube channel accidentally posted a video from the tag team main event tonight before it airs. Oops. I saw barbed wire.
19. There’s something about taped shows, it’s just not the same. Maybe sometime they’ll have both shows live, structured as they did with Seattle and Portland last week, though I imagine the cost is considerable.
20. Hello random commercial in the middle of the match unannounced. It always feels so sudden.
21. Malakai staggers around Eddie, but then kicks Ortiz right in the fuck as he comes off the top rope. The cavalry arrives but Buddy realizes he jumped right in to Eddie Kingston’s lap. Eddie then turns on Julia who goes super HAM scream like she’s Melina at ringside during an MNM match, and Ortiz is not having it. That argument causes Eddie’s team to lose. House of Black then does… something… to Ortiz. The two still got the Big Mad with each other.
22. Backstage, Jade talks shit on her latest defection.
23. Now, in the ring, Cobra Kai will never die, because Stingray is here, and thinly-veiled references to a certain company are made for the second time tonight. Danhausen comes out because he realizes he hasn’t gotten a slice of HAM yet and that needs to be rectified. Danhausen asks for the Golden Globe-hausen, but we’re cut off Jeff Jarrett and the Carny Parade. I like that Hauser actually seems to know what he’s talking about in terms of wrestling. It’s no Summerfest, that’s for sure.
24. Jarrett hits him over the head with a guitar while Satnam just… leans on Danhausen in the corner. Before someone can get hit with a Golden Globe statue, which was a thing I just had to write, Jefferson Airplane signals that the guy dressed like Mark smoking weed on the roof and the rainbow tie-dye onesie gang are making the save. Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends seem to be on good terms again (or ARE THEY?!), and kudos to Hauser for taking a few bumps there. Of all the segments I’ve seen in AEW, that was definitely one of them.
25. I guess there already was enough time for talk, because Mark Henry is getting his moment on TV without having to ask a question first. Ruby Soho is wrestling on TV tonight, and that alone makes me very happy. They’re both wearing purple, big fan for obvious reasons. Both teams are coordinating their outfits a bit too, perhaps eventually building toward a women’s tag division? Would that get the women more than one segment per show? I certainly hope so.
26. Ruby’s busted open already, and the weapons are getting thrown in the ring. Team Purple Camo gather themselves before the heels do some weapon construction.
27. We get the new version of wrestling’s musical chairs, with Jericho only a few feet away to witness losing a chance to defend his championship. They all four punch each other while sitting in the chairs. Ruby Soho chant breaks out, which delights me for many reasons, especially that the crowd has to be exhausted by now. I didn’t even make it the whole way through the tapings without a Rampage to get through.
28. The crowd chants for tables, because reasons. Ruby is bleeding all over the floor during the end of the commercial break. Damn.
29. Hey, here’s where the video AEW accidentally posted early got started, with barbed wire. Anna’s got Willow’s throat with it, but Ruby’s got the chain! About ten people chant for ECW, because no hardcore wrestling has existed since 2001 as we know.
30. We get the Super Tower spot through chairs, which sent bloody Ruby into the chairs as Willow more or less powerbombs three people out of the corner. Rough hair toss by Willow that landed awkwardly, but they just keep going.
31. Senton in the corner by Willow, Crimson Mask Ruby setting up a chair in the other, and Jericho lets us know that the hardest part of the ring is indeed the apron. Obscure wrestling tips there, folx. Be sure to drop a like for that amazing insight (h/t Chris Harden).
32. Anna gets the Batista Bomb off the stage through a table while Ruby gets a piledriver off the ring through a table from Tay. That doesn’t keep her down, I’ll be damned.
33. Tay’s shirt is nearly as red as FTR’s gear at Final Battle, and she’s got thumbtacks now. Tay tries to shove her face in them. How much more can she bleed from her face? Ruby powers up and hits the Destination Unknown into the tacks to get the win. She’s shaking, and I don’t think entirely out of excitement. Holy hell, way to make the most of the main event slot.
34. Rampage’s improvement continues to trend upward. What a great week of AEW Wrestling.
1/4/23 – The Gunns
1/11/23 – Daddy Magic
1/13/23 – Danhausen
This may be a retroactive pick, but the HAM Award was invented for people like Danhausen. Enjoyably over-the-top and silly? Few do it better than Danhausen, who got a nationally published bio piece this week too. Was it his best segment ever? No, but this is more of a lifetime achievement nomination, since I have five years stocked of it to give out.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.