IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #399
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Main DDPY Program of the Day: Virginia Cavaliers
This was the case the first time around, and so it shall be again… To those of you who wonder why I put some recap information along with the thoughts, there are a number of people who read columns like mine and Hustle’s to follow what’s going on. Given that one of those people was a friend of mine who was reading them while deployed, I’ve always kept that in mind. A comment on this week’s Dynamite review let me know I was doing that for someone else who didn’t have access to the shows, and that always makes me feel appreciative and grateful. Thank you.
Thoughts on Rampage – January 20th, 2023
1. It’s Friday night, you know what that means. JR is back on commentary. Synth and waves must mean Jungle Boy, and Ethan Page got the YouTube entrance treatment? That can’t be good.
2. I imagine this has to have been a long night of wrestling, kudos to Fresno for sitting through four shows. I barely made it through two.
3. I know Page, Hardy, and Cassidy have been playing out a storyline on Dark and Elevation since the contract thing happened, and I also read that they’ve been mostly writing those themselves, and good on them. In what I’ve seen though, Ethan Page seems to be having the time of his life. It’s more reflective of the fun, smiling guy seen on Love That Danhausen, and it’s endearing. Opposite of the point of his character, I’m well aware, but I still enjoy it. Honorary HAM for those ridiculous antics on YouTube.
4. Looks like Ethan got a bit of a gash. It’s no Hardcore Holly and the table, but I don’t imagine it feels good either.
5. JB’s outfit would’ve fit in well in the Emerald City. Shame that both shows I’ve been to, he’s only appeared in pretapes.
6. I don’t know why I giggle every time I hear the name Big Bill, but the commentary team is doing their best to put it over. Jericho’s selling the fear of the name hard, A for effort.
7. Jungle Boy tries for the ten punch. Most of the crowd chants to eight, and there’s a sad, delayed “Ocho!” attempt, and those four words remind me of how much fun it is to write about this weird subculture of ours.
8. HOOK! Hook comes out, standing there thinking about how he is Hook, and Ethan Page tries to use Matt Hardy’s hair for a distraction. Repeat of the end of thought 7. It backfires, and JB gets the win.
9. In an effort to have a mini-scale “Once in a Lifetime Twice” situation, after advertising that JungleHook would be a one-time thing, and because of the result of this match, don’t call it a comeback. As opposed to Hookhausen, where we got the one match but also a segment with golf carts, which certainly was a decision.
10. Stokely puts Mardy and Cassidy in timeout. That’s it, HAM over. I don’t think anyone’s topping that.
11. I miss the weekly local themes, even ones as ridiculous as Quake by the Lake. Made it feel unique.
12. Ortiz is in the ring dressed like Scotty from the Sandlot with a slightly smaller-brimmed hat, and he calls out Eddie Kingston to continue BickerFest2023.
13. Eddie comes out with a chair, which I suppose is at least less terrifying than a can of gasoline. Eddie’s authenticity leaves little doubt that if he has a weapon, he fully intends to use it.
14. Ortiz is calling Kingston out hard. Of all the things that’s been going on, it’s the Julia Hart incident that has him all upset, and he mentions their mentor by name, Homicide. Rough edit to Eddie hitting him with the chair, and poor Ortiz can’t catch a break with tag partners in the last year.
15. Pretape with Darby getting put over for his non-stop attitude. Looks like he’s also going after the House of Black… again? For some reason? Why though? Didn’t they already settle that one, and this is right after another storyline with them continued. Instead of an open challenge, he throws out a challenge to Buddy. Sure, why not?
16. Brian Cage’s match is next with Willie Mack, and he gets a televised entrance, so hopefully it’s a competitive match like the one with Schaff a few weeks ago.
17. Ah, this is a rematch from Dark, where they had another competitive Dark match. Good, both for people getting put over that way, as well as incorporating the things that happen on Dark with more than a ticker with quick results. You can get those on this site right here, it’s important to make those shows matter if you’re going to ask people to sit through them.
18. Willie Mack making the most of his TV time, including a wide-eyed sell to a corner kick that made me laugh out loud. Also when he gets thrown into the barricade, I’m pretty sure I saw him look up and smile really quickly before turning his head back to sell. That isn’t a complaint, I love moments like that.
19. Jericho calls him Willie Mays Mack, which just makes me want to see him hang out with Jon “Wild Thing” Moxley. Willie plays like Mays, but runs like Mack (no Rodney). I wonder who would be Jake and Cerrano? Danhausen would obviously be Roger Dorn. “As general mismanager of this corporation of individual stick-swingers, Dornhausen demands either at-bats or six dollars per inning of sitting observation!”
20. Willie Mack making a comeback after the oddly-timed commercial break. Crowd is solidly behind him despite the likely obvious result. Cage has been really good at putting people over in the last few weeks.
21. Cage wins, but another really good showing by someone not on the roster in Willie Mack. I like how they’ve improved those Dark-esque matches that were barely worth watching in the middle of Rampage a few months ago.
22. JR can convince me of many things, but that his team for which he has passion is the Jacksonville Jaguars? He’s no Noah Lugeons, but… sure? I suppose.
23. Jade and Leila Grey are out next and they’re facing the Vanity Sisters, who don’t get an entrance. Not that I thought they’d have a chance anyway, as the undefeated streak isn’t ending on Rampage, but I do like their colorful outfits.
24. No matter what Jade Cargill is doing, she has the most presence of just about anyone on the show. And to slightly paraphrase 2001 Stone Cold Steve Austin, “I love presence!”
25. Leila almost gets the win, but Jade demands to be let in to get the win herself. Excalibur refers to it as the two of them “playing with their food.” Meat on the table, I guess that’s what they were? Go get them some fake audio pyro.
26. Aubrey rocking the purple eye shadow, love to see it.
27. Mark Henry gets a full-screen introduction for recapping the feud with Andretti and the JAS. I randomly got a signed 8×10 of him in the mail today. Despite the talk being pre-taped, I suppose there has been enough of it.
28. Daniel Garcia will be taking on Action Andretti in the main event, so I assume anything he says he’s going to do, he’ll hint at it and then revert back halfway through to get right back to where he was for no particular reason.
29. Garcia looks so comfortable in his new gift tights, I’m sure he’s thrilled his best friend in the world is on commentary talking about them.
30. Garcia steps up and celebrates on the steps because we’ve got to go into the non-FITE commercial break somehow.
31. Jericho and Guevara continuing to bicker with the commentary staff, including JR who just wants to dress comfortably, and if anyone’s earned that, he has.
32. Crowd begins to chant “your pants suck.” Well done, Fresno.
33. Andretti starts making the comeback, notably hitting the springboard moonsault to the outside, which is gorgeous as always.
34. Andretti gets the win, much to the dismay of his JAS counterparts. The crowd seemed to be running out of steam, but given that a heavy tribute show was going to immediately follow, it’s understandable.
35. Like many Rampages, this one was heavy on the first half, but by no means bad on the second. It was a show filmed after a live show but before a tribute show, and I felt like it showed toward the end. I’m really disappointed that AEW was limited for how they were allowed to put on a tribute. We all have skeletons, we all have things we wished we didn’t say, and for someone to be banned from TV for something they tweeted ten years ago after making repeated amends is a bad look, especially given what the show immediately following Dynamite is. From the wrestlers in the affected community saying that he made his amends, I believe them. If we don’t allow room for redemption, there’s no reason to learn or do better. If we don’t make room for forgiveness when the effort is put forth, there’s little motivation to change instead of doubling down. We all have bad opinions that we’ve (hopefully) moved on and learned from, and especially in regard to someone tragically and suddenly passing away, I think it’s, at the very least, hypocritical on WM’s part. That’s all I have to say on the matter, and I’m not looking for a debate about it.
1/4/23 – The Gunns
1/11/23 – Daddy Magic
1/13/23 – Danhausen
1/18/23 – Sonjay Dutt
1/20/23 – Stokely Hathaway
Putting two grown men in timeout? Stokely, you are a joy.
I hope everyone who has had a hard, emotional week and is feeling loss, for one reason or another, is able to find comfort and peace in these difficult times. See y’all next week.