By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
AEW Rampage (Episode 6)
Taped September 15, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center
Aired September 17, 2021 on TNT
The opening video aired and the broadcast team of Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Taz, and Ricky Starks checked in. Both teams for the opening match made their entrances. The Lucha Bros received a great pop.
1. Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix vs. The Butcher and The Blade for the AEW Tag Titles. Fenix and The Blade began the match by trading blows. The Blade tagged in The Butcher and Butcher caught Fenix, but Penta came in and the two landed stereo super-kicks on Butcher. After an assisted splash, Fenix got a two-count.
Penta tagged in and hit some chops, but before long, Fenix tagged himself in, only to have The Butcher and Blade hit a double-team knee-lift. Butcher and Blade worked over Fenix, but Fenix ultimately tagged in Penta, who hit a pair of sling-blades. Penta and Fenix hit splashes to the Butcher and Blade on the outside. Back in the ring, Penta went for a foot-stomp, but Butcher moved and hit a cross-body for a two-count. Excalibur threw to picture-in-picture. [c]
Back from the break, Penta kept control over Butcher and Blade and Penta got the tag to Fenix, but both Butcher and Blade were still in the ring and it was essentially a handicap match for a minute or two. Eventually, Fenix hit a moonsault into a German Suplex for a two-count. Penta then tagged in and the Bros. hit a double-stomp Fear Factor, but no pin happened because Butcher interfered.
Butcher dragged Blade to the corner for a tag and Butcher landed a slam for a two-count. Blade tagged in and traded kicks with Penta. Blade snuck in a power-slam for a two count. Butcher and Blade hit a combination back-drop on Penta for a two-count. All four wrestlers ended up in the ring, but Blade tied Penta’s mask to the middle rope.
That in mind, Butcher and Blade worked over Fenix. Penta tore off his mask, covered his face and landed a super kick on The Butcher and Fenix covered Butcher for the win.
Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix defeated The Butcher and The Blade via pinfall in 9:40 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, the Hardy Family came in to attack the Bros., but Santana and Ortiz ran in for the save. The commentary team ran down the card and threw to commercial… [C]
McGuire’s Musings: I understand AEW has a reputation for being lax in tag-team rules, but this was a little much for me. I’d call about 80 percent of the match felt like Butcher and Blade had absolutely no regard for rules whatsoever and the referee was more than happy to let it happen. The Penta/mask angle was intriguing and the scene after the match, with Santana and Ortiz running in for the save sends interesting messages. Does this mean Proud and Powerful will be in the title picture soon? I hope so.
Back from break, a pre-tape package for the Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson feud aired. Omega called Danielson “the underdog over there,” presuming that meant WWE…
The Bunny then made her entrance for the second match…
2. Anna Jay (w/Tay Conti) vs. The Bunny (w/Penelope Ford). The Bunny ran onto the ramp to jumpstart the match, but Jay got the best of her. Jay hit a release suplex on Bunny and a back-elbow in the corner. Jay then landed a shoulder-block to take Bunny to the ground. Bunny eventually rolled outside to slow things down. Outside, the two traded elbows before Bunny hit a kick to Jay’s mid-section. Bunny ran Jay’s shoulder into the post and guard rail. Excalibur threw to commercial. [c]
Back from break, Bunny kept working Jay’s shoulder inside the ring. Jay hit a flipping neck-breaker for a two-count. Jay went for the Queen Slayer, but Bunny worked her way out. Ford got on the apron for a distraction, but it backfired and Jay rolled up Bunny for the win.
Anna Jay defeated The Bunny in 6:59.
After the match, Ford and Bunny attacked Tay Conti, eventually hitting Conti with brass knuckles. Ford then hit Jay with the brass knuckles…
A video package aired on the CM Punk and Team Taz feud…
Tony Schiavone was in the ring to interview Matt Hardy, who was upset that everyone on his team lost. Hardy pointed out a fan who looked like a large Orange Cassidy and Hardy pulled the fan over the rail and into the ring.
Jack Evans, who was in the ring with Hardy worked over the supposed fan. Hardy hit a Twist Of Fate before Hardy cut the big guy’s pony tail. Evans went on to shave Big Cassidy’s head. Cassidy’s music hit and Cassidy came to the ring for the save.
McGuire’s Musings: Yeah, we’re definitely heading for a hair vs. hair match and I’m not quite sure why. Either way, this kind of/sort of heated up the stale Hardy vs. Cassidy feud that is at least four weeks too long at this point. It also appears we aren’t done with Jay and Conti vs. Bunny and Ford. That’s OK, because I still think there are things to do with that. But as far as the Cassidy vs. Hardy program goes … I mean, doesn’t Cassidy feel bigger than this?
AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker made her entrance for an interview with Tony Schiavone. Ruby Soho then made her entrance. Baker began by welcoming Soho to “some TV time.” Baker said Soho is still trying to figure out who the hell she is. Baker pointed out how often Soho has changed her name in the last year. Baker then said everyone knows who she is.
Soho responded by saying Baker is wrong and Soho said she knows exactly who the hell she is. Until now, she said, she hasn’t had the freedom to prove it. A “Ruby Soho” chant started. Soho said Baker looks, on the surface, like “every other broad she’s ever stepped into the ring with” and mentioned how Baker is “banging some dude in the back” and Soho got a huge reaction.
Baker retorted by saying Soho had the audacity to run away from everything else, but actually, instead, Baker said Soho got fired. Soho said Baker isn’t wrong. Soho said it was the best damn thing to ever happen to her. Soho said it brought her to this ring, looking into her eyes. Soho said Baker’s head is up Tony Khan’s ass. Soho said she would beat Baker’s ass in NYC and take her title. The two then scuffled…
Mark Henry then did his split-screen interview thing for the main event (even though Henry wasn’t on commentary). Fuego said he would slay his giant. Miro responded by saying Fuego means nothing to him. Miro made a comment about God being on high and his wife being down low…
McGuire’s Musings: That was a great exchange between Baker and Soho. The highlight of the episode, in fact. The intensity was there and the zingers were fun. A lot of fun, actually. I hope we get something more out of this program than just this one upcoming match.
3. Miro vs. Fuego Del Sol for the TNT Championship or Fuego’s new (semi-used) car. Fuego tried a drop-step, but Miro got out of any grappling attempt. Miro went after Fuego, but Fuego held the rope and Miro rolled outside. Miro then caught Fuego, but Fuego ran Miro into the ring post a couple times. Miro eventually landed a fall-away slam on the outside before a picture-in-picture. [c]
Back from break, Jericho said Fuego had already lasted longer than he did the first time he faced Miro, and Jericho wasn’t wrong. Fuego fired up, but Miro hit a tough double axe-handle when Fuego went for a spring-board move. Miro went for a DDT, but Fuego hit a double-stomp, a kick and a short DDT to take control. Fuego went for the Tornado DDT, but Miro blocked it.
Miro worked Fuego over in the corner and beat him down. Miro hit his super-kick and called for one more kick. Miro hit it and covered Fuego for the pin.
Miro defeated Fuego Del Sol via pinfall in 8:52 to retain the TNT Championship and to win Fuego’s car.
After the match, Miro celebrated by taking the keys to Fuego’s car and putting the keys in Fuego’s mouth. Sammy Guevara came in for the save. Sammy raised the TNT Title belt. Miro ran back toward the ring, but still retreated. Sammy laid the title down, Miro grabbed it and walked away as the show closed…
McGuire’s Musings: I wouldn’t mind if Sammy was the next in line for the TNT Title. The matches that could happen are awfully intriguing and Miro could stand to move up to the world title picture, if that’s what they want. It’s not like he couldn’t hold his own. The match here was needlessly long because the outcome was never in doubt and that first encounter was filled with enthusiasm and energy. There was no way Miro/Fuego II could have lived up to it, and it didn’t.
In all, this might have been the worst Rampage episode yet. Or, at least the most inconsequential – outside of the Soho/Baker exchange, which was very good. I’ve seen the Lucha Bros. absolutely kill it on Rampage and my hope was they would carry this episode, but their match between Butcher and Blade fell flat. It’s on to Arthur Ashe Stadium, though. And it can’t get bigger than that, right?