AEW Rampage 01-21 review 13/08/2021

 AEW Rampage 01-21 review 13/08/2021

Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

It’s fitting really that I start my review writing career covering the very first episode of a brand new show. There’s something quite poetic in that. I hope to grow and develop as a writer and reviewer as this show grows and develops too!

You can read my background and how I got into wrestling here, but for the purposes of this review the long and the short of it is: I’m fairly new to AEW. I’ve only really watched Dynamite on a consistent basis for the past month and a bit. So my reviews come in that context of not being the most knowledgeable person in the world, but hopefully I can use that to my advantage!. With that out the way, here we go! 

My first impressions are that a four person commentary booth is probably too much. Even three can sometimes be jarring, but four definitely so! Personally I’d get Chris Jericho out of there and let the fantastic Excalibur and Taz lead with Mark Henry dropping in with his comments every now and then. Particularly while he is an active competitor I feel it takes away from Jericho’s performer persona to be a part time commentator. 

IMPACT World Championship Match 

Christian Cage def Kenny Omega (C) 

From what I gather Rampage is on quite late in the states at 10pm eastern time, so it makes sense they front load these shows, and I guess especially so for a debut episode, but it is odd seeing a world title match, even if it isn’t your world title, on first. 

Right off the bat let me say Christian’s music here, and the music he used in TNA/Impact is such a banger. I think it’s very cool he’s using it, it helps with the separation from WWE. Also it slaps. 

I’ve never been the biggest Christian fan in the world but he is a solid hand and rarely lays an egg so I’m excited going into this. 

Kenny comes out covered in belts and it's such a great visual, makes him seem like such a big deal, a real boost if you can somehow defeat this decorated champion clearly in their prime. 

It’s also cool to acknowledge the wrestling world outside of your company. We know there’s more wrestling in the world than this, and so does AEW. It also makes Kenny seem a much bigger deal. Not only is he great here, but he is a big time, top tier wrestler everywhere! 

Both men soak in the chants of the crowd early on, acknowledging the importance of this event and how historic the moment is. 

They start slow jostling with collar and elbow tie ups, feeling each other out before Christian applies a headlock then a shoulder tackle. 

Christian flips the bird at Omega which sends the crowd wild, but they calm down as both men return to feeling out. Both go for their finish early but each escapes unscathed. 

Omega is doing some great classic heel work here cutting Christian off as he tries to get going. Part of me thinks Omega feels he has to do such old school heel work to try and fight the natural tendency people have to cheer him because of what a great wrestler he is. 

Kenny’s flying elbow in the corner is a thing of beauty by the way, as he then shoves Christian off the top to the floor before we go to commercial break but I with my AEW plus subscription stick with it in picture-in-picture. The wonders of modern technology!

The men brawl outside as Kenny takes control and inhales the crowd's praise before returning to the ring where Christian grabs an inside cradle for a two.

Both men head up top as Christian hits a big sunset powerbomb to change the tide. He gets a 10 punch count in the corner, hits the classic Christian over the rope slap and a top rope spin back elbow for a two. 

Omega hits back with a rolling Samoan drop and moonsault combo, before Cage gets a two count off a reverse DDT.

Christian then goes for a spear but eats a big knee to the face, followed by a powerbomb and a huge V-Trigger but only for a two as the match really steps ups a gear. 

Christian fights out of the One Winged Angel and connects with a spear for a close near fall which the crowd really buys as the finish which sets off the duelling chants. 

Omega shuts these chants down with two beautiful snap dragon-suplexes. Christian comes back and hits a frog splash for another close two. What a great start to this show and Rampage as a whole this is, as the crowd starts to chant AEW!

Don Callis distracts the ref as Omega hits a low blow, to take back control. The Young Bucks swagger on down to the ring and throw a chair in so Omega can go for the One Winged Angel on the chair. But Cage fights out and hits a sick looking Killswitch on the chair for the win as the crowd goes wild. 

The commentary unfortunately kinda jumps all over the moment and ruins it a bit, it’s not the end of the world though. 

Jurassic Express run down to help run off the Bucks and Callis and celebrate with their buddy, Cage stands tall as your new IMPACT World Champion holding the two title belts aloft to create a great image for the opening match of the opening show of AEW Rampage. You gotta start with a bang right?

3.5 stars 


After the break Mark Henry is backstage with Cage while Jurassic Express are throwing around the champagne. 

Cage says that he said he was going to take the title and he did but Omega is one of the toughest people he’s ever faced and it will be nearly possible to beat him for the AEW title. But he says he is in Omega’s head now and he will walk away victorious at All Out.

We shall see!


Next there is a Fuego Del Sol video package. I’ve only watched a little of Fuego so far, so I won’t claim to know a lot about him, but do know about my main man Miro.

AEW TNT Championship Match

Miro (C) def Fuego Del Sol

Seeing a man in a luchador mask be billed from Alabama is very, very amusing. I guess people from all over can buy masks and wrestle, but it is always a little odd if they aren’t from either Mexico or California. Those feel like the two acceptable places to be billed from with a Lucha mask. This feels like a very Man Yells At Cloud Take from me. It's not a hill I'm going to die on. 

The stipulation is that Fuego will get an AEW contract if he wins. But he’s not gunna win. Big boy Miro is gunna murder this man.

Del Sol tires to take Miro by surprise with a lovely tornado DDT to get match off to a flier before the bell is even rung, and he hits another just after the bell too, but Miro wisely rolls out of the ring to recover.

Miro begins to get counted out but makes it back in before the ten count but Del Sol hits another DDT for a close two. He then tries a top rope move but somehow Miro miraculously catches him on his shoulders and hits a big Samoan drop before absolutely taking Del Sol’s head off with a flying super kick and locking in a disgusting looking Game Over for the immediate tap. 

Miro retains in a brutal and powerful way. Del Sol gets the hope spots he needs to pop the crowd. But you can taste the gulf in class between the two and the relative positions on the card. Miro rips the prospective contract of Del Sol up as he celebrates his win. 

It was hard to rate, but I'll give it 2.5 stars. It was exactly what it needed to be and popped the crowd well. 


After the break Del Sol is still in ring soaking in the crowd, Sammy Guevara’s music hits and he comes out with AEW Co-owner, President, CEO, GM and Head of Creative (someone’s a busy boy!) Tony Khan, and hands Del Sol an AEW contract, a nice feel good moment. Sammy says “you’re like 1-50* but who cares, these people love you!”. 

Fuego Del Sol is All Elite. 

*At the time of this match Fuego Del Sol was1-39 in his AEW career. .  


Sting and Darby Allin are seen in the rafters, and a video package plays plugging next week's Rampage in Chicago, you can read a review for that here. 


Mark Henry chats to Britt Baker and Red Velvet, with boos for Velvet and cheers for hometown hero Britt as we head into the main event. 

AEW Women’s World Championship Match 

Dr Britt Baker D.M.D (C) w/ Rebel def Red Velvet 

It's a small thing but I like that AEW bills their main events as one fall or TV time remaining. It just adds that air of realism to everything, like we all know it'll probably end before the end of the show, but who knows ya know? Keeps us guessing, keeps you immersed in the universe. 

It’s also a pretty cool thing that the main event of AEW’s newest show is a women’s match and they basically make no fanfare about it. It just is a match that can be the main event. Thats cool, how far we have come in wrestling when once upon a time it was basically unheard of. 

Normal fan fave Red Velvet is not liked by this partisan Pittsburgh Brittsburgh crowd. Britt seems like a superstar coming out, what a reaction! 

We begin with a lock up to start, Red tries her finish early but it’s reversed. They chain and mat wrestle to begin as Red gets big boos any time she’s on offence.

Red works on the arm of Baker including pulling on the arms in the corner, then there's a big elbow from Britt to create some separation but Red comes back with a standing moonsault for a two. 

Britt hits an arm pull curb stomp but she stamps on Velvet’s back not her head so it looks a bit weak. Red comes back with some nice looking boxing punches, but Britt hits a butterfly suplex to regain control. 

There's then a rough looking push kick into ropes from Britt, you can tell that hurt but it doesn't look good either. Britt does some really nice distraction work as Rebel uses the crutch in the corner against Velvet. Britt does a really smooth method of distracting and turning the ref around to let Rebel do her work.

Swinging neckbreaker from Britt then a Lockjaw attempt that’s countered into a crucifix pin.

Red works the arm including taking off the glove on Britt’s injured arm, but Rebel helps with another distraction that allows Britt to roll her up for a two. Rebel is thrown out of ringside for her troubles while Red hits a superkick and then a top rope moonsault but it’s only a two.

Britt comes back swinging and hits a vicious looking brain buster to the knee followed by a proper curb stomp, but somehow only for a two, I thought that was enough to do it!

Red goes for the Lockjaw herself, I do love it when people try to win with their opponents finisher! But she can’t lock it in as well as the master can. Red pushes off from the bottom rope which allows Britt to to roll towards the centre of the ring and slap on her own lockjaw. But Red Velvet attacks the arm forcing Britt to switch grip and use her other arm to lock it in which allows her to get the submission for the finish.

After the match Britt hits a swinging neck breaker before getting jumped by Kris Statlander, but Jamie Hayter comes out and jumps Statlander to even the odds. Baker then hits a curb stop on the belt to Red Velvet as the show comes to an end. 

The match was sloppy at times and not as fluid as you might like but a really cool twist on the standard submission finish and some nice crowd work. The post match is sorta ruined by no one knows who Jamie Hayter was, and to be honest I didn't know who she was either, but I do recognise the name. 

2 stars 


A really solid debut episode of Rampage and one I am looking forward to reviewing on a daily basis. Nothing really dragged, although the women’s match was a little sloppy at times the show kept moving at a brisk pace and I was never bored. 

If like me you are looking at getting back into wrestling I can not think of a better time. The start of a new show that is reasonably accessible to watch, a big story line coming next week. And that is all on top of a nice and breezy one hour show that you can easily fit into your schedule to watch. 

A big thumbs up from me.

I’ll see you next time for the review of episode 2 of Rampage, The First Dance.



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