Impact, WWE SmackDown, and AEW Rampage Wrestling Rundown: Going for the Gold
Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Rob’s What Mattered
5. Queen of the Mountain, Impact Wrestling
Impact has an underrated women’s division with a solid depth and stars that can wrestle well. Gail Kim is an Impact Women’s legend, and she announced the Queen of the Mountain match that will include Tasha Steelz, Chelsea Green, Deonna Purazzo, Jordynne Grace, and Mia Yim. Yim had an awesome entrance, and I have loved all the other women’s work in Impact. I don’t know that much about the gimmick, but the stars involved tell me it will be awesome.
4. Eric Young Wins Gauntlet for Gold, Impact Wrestling
This match was kind of underwhelming, but I was kept entertained waiting to see who would win the championship opportunity against Josh Alexander. It also did a decent job building potential other feuds for Slammiversary. Eric Young wasn’t on my radar at all, but he is a cool choice to go against Alexander. He has a solid faction behind him, and at his best, his heel work will make for an excellent first foe for Alexander.
3. Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez, WWE SmackDown
If you love names that start with the letter R, SmackDown is the show for you. If champion Roman Reigns wasn’t enough, we got champion Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez. The open challenge was unexpected to see from Rousey. Answering the challenge was a great spot to put the up-and-coming Rodriguez, and she didn’t look out of place at all. You can do worse than losing to Rousey in your first big match.
2. Sami Zayn vs. Riddle, WWE SmackDown
Two entertaining characters and performers made for a great match to open SmackDown. Sami Zayn is an absolute treat every time he is on screen, and Riddle is still insanely underrated, and he puts on great one-on-one matches whenever given the opportunity. This feud should absolutely be revisited at some point with higher stakes because these two had great chemistry.
1. Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian, AEW Rampage
This was a well-built match, and I loved the nuance of Scorpio Sky trying to be a noble champion in contrast to his scummy and clearly heel stable mates Dan Lambert and Ethan Page. Sky and Frankie Kazarian put together a good match as expected, but I think it was really nice to see two AEW originals get a well-built match and time to work. This felt like one of the few times we got that. My only complaint is that I don’t think Sky should have made a clear heel move at the end. I would have liked to see them play with the good guy in a bad stable angle for longer, but for what it was, it was well executed and more interesting than anything else this week.
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
8. (AEW, Rampage) Shawn Spears
Shawn Spears beat Bear Boulder. It was just nice to see Shawn Spears looking strong for once. Shawn made the most of his win by lifting Bear, who is a very large man, and walking around the ring with him before delivering a finisher and winning the match.
7. (AEW, Rampage) Death Triangle
Death Triangle had a good match against The Andrade Family Office. The Butcher, The Blade, and Marq Quen were credible challengers that pushed Death Triangle. However, once Death Triangle started rolling, they couldn't be stopped. I appreciated the preview of their high-powered aerial offense.
6. (WWE, SmackDown) Corbin Injures Madcap Moss
Madcap was being interviewed about his future after beating Corbin. He talked about everything he wanted to do, like start a mixed tag team with Sasha Banks called Madcap Boss. But then, Corbin arrived and ruined the fun, attacking Moss from behind and snapping his neck with a chair. Corbin appears to have gotten the last laugh.
5. (WWE, SmackDown) Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez
In general, Ronda is a good promo. She comes across as raw and real. Her speech about Charlotte Flair sounded terribly scripted. I didn't like what Ronda said, and I didn't feel like she believed it. After talking about Charlotte, Ronda issued an open challenge, and Raquel came out. I get that both Raquel and Ronda are faces, but, in the future, Raquel shouldn't look so happy to be there. She needs to be more gritty.
Also, a title match between Raquel and Ronda would have been a great PPV match. I wish they didn't jump straight to that. However, the match itself was pretty good, despite the two women clearly holding back. Raquel really threw Ronda around and powered out of her moves. However, Ronda's expertise eventually overwhelmed Raquel, and she picked up the pinfall victory after a powerbomb reversal.
4. (Impact) Queen of the Mountain
Gail Kim announced that Impact Wrestling would be doing their first-ever Queen of the Mountain match. Gail announced the competitors as Mia Yim, Tasha Steelz, Deonna Purrazzo, Chelsea Green, and Jordynne Grace. Tasha came out to confront Gail about putting her title in such jeopardy, but when she tried to attack Gail, all hell broke loose. Mia came out to defend Kim. Before you know it, more women joined, and there was a huge brawl. It was a good segment, and it was a good set for a six-woman tag match between Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, and Deonna Purrazzo vs. Taya Valkyrie, Mia Yim, and Jordynne Grace.
3. (WWE, SmackDown) Sami Zayn vs. Riddle
RK-Bro wants to be the Undisputed Champions. The Usos made the challenge. Now, we won't allow them to back out. Sami hilariously came out to speak for The Bloodline. Randy Orton just decided to go with it and backed Sami into a corner. Randy said since Sami was the shot caller, Sami was authorized to make the match. Sami tried to talk his way out of the situation, but he got put into a match with Riddle. The match was fantastic, and Riddle won with the Bro Derek.
2. (AEW, Rampage) Ruby Soho vs. Riho
Women's wrestling has been a godsend on Rampage these last two weeks. Honestly, it seems like AEW has taken Becky's criticism seriously and is elevating their women's division. Ruby had an excellent match with Riho, where she upset the former women's champion. The match pace was great, and it felt like Riho wouldn't be kept down until she was.
1. (Impact) 20-Man Gauntlet Match
The gauntlet match was a special treat of a match. Impact booked it well. It started as a tag match between the Motor City Machine Guns and Honor No More. Then, as time went on, the match incorporated more singles feuds. I enjoyed the appearances by Shark Boy and The Drama King, and the action was pretty entertaining throughout. Also, I think it's cool it came down to two guys who have been with Impact for a long time, Chris Sabin and Eric Young. Eric Young was a surprising winner and a good one.
Rob’s What Didn’t Matter
2. New Day vs. Fight Night, WWE SmackDown
SmackDown is not a very hot show right now, but I can’t think of a feud that’s colder than this. We see different combinations of the factions wrestling every week, and it’s not going anywhere. The feud isn’t over anything, and there hasn’t been any development. Creative has to get on that or get the two groups away from each other ASAP!
1. Will They/Won’t They, WWE SmackDown
WWE built the whole of WrestleMania Backlash to be around unifying the championships. It was always a bad idea, but they got me to buy-in. Then, they backed out at the last second, which made me sad. Then, they over delivered on the Bloodline vs. RKMcBro trios match, and that should have been the end of it. Now, it seems like we’re headed toward unifying the championships again. If WWE doesn’t know where this is going, they need to not move forward with unifying the titles. If they do know where this is going, this has been a horrible way to book it.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
1. (WWE, SmackDown) Kofi Kingston vs. Butch
This New Day vs. Fight Night feud is still terrible. Butch beat Kofi, but who cares because they will probably face off next week. All involved deserve better, especially Kofi and Xavier Woods.
Rob's Final Thoughts
WWE SmackDown was the worst show of the weekend. They continue to have the most what didn’t matter segments, even though I think it tends to be an overall engaging show. Impact was second this week. They really stepped it up building toward Slammiversary, namely getting the main event feuds for the men and women locked in. I have to give the best show this week to AEW Rampage. The other matches were nothing special but solid, and the main event was the most entertaining thing I saw this weekend.
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
All three shows were good. AEW Rampage comes in last because I think apart from the women's match, their highlights couldn't compete with the other shows. WWE SmackDown is second because it was a solid show, but it definitely has some things to clean up. Impact was number one for putting on a unique and entertaining show. Impact had the biggest highlight, and the rest of the show was solid.