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AEW Rampage, Impact, and WWE SmackDown Wrestling Rundown: The End Of An Era

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Rob’s What Mattered

5. Bryan Danielson Post-Show, AEW Rampage

This was technically after Rampage ended, but AEW showed the full footage on their YouTube channel. When Bryan Danielson got his leg stuck between the ramp and the ring, he communicated with a referee to turn it into a work. The Jericho Appreciation Society attacked him while his teammates fought them off. AEW staff and multiple wrestlers had to work together to push the ramp away far enough for Danielson to free his leg. After finally getting the leg free, Danielson sold it and got a reaction from the crowd. This veteran expertise and adaptability from Danielson turned an embarrassing mishap into social media news, as even smart fans thought he was genuinely hurt. This adaptability is one of AEW’s strengths, as now they can turn that mishap into a part of the angle.

4. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn, WWE SmackDown

This was a great match for no reason on Friday. We already knew Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn could have a great match (see NXT Takeover), but I think it was encouraging to see they can still do it in their current main roster forms. I would love to see Nakamura build some more steam again and see a rematch between these two with something on the line. Or maybe even getting involved in a triple threat with Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship.

3. Eric Young, Impact Wrestling

Impact Wrestling showed a great promo package for Eric Young, outlining everything he has done in Impact Wrestling over the last 20 years. In this context, it makes sense to have him challenge for the championship at Slammiversary. A showdown with Josh Alexander ended the show, and with help from Violent by Design, Young could take the championship.

2. More Double or Nothing Matches, AEW Rampage

AEW Rampage complimented Dynamite in making more Double or Nothing matches official. House of Black is officially facing Death Triangle in a trios match at Double or Nothing. They built Shawn Spears going into his cage match with Wardlow, and they are still playing up the stipulation that Wardlow needs to find a way to win to get his match with MJF. We have the official semi-finals for the Women’s Owen Hart Tournament. In the main event, they built Blackpool Combat Club against the Jericho Appreciation Society, even more, making even the multi-men matches on their big shows meaningful.

1. RK-Bro vs. The Usos, WWE SmackDown

This was a months-long hyped main event that I was surprised to see on regular TV. It was a good match that the crowd ate up. For now, going all-in on the Bloodline is the right choice, and it came with interference and an injury to Riddle. The Bloodline can all be excellent heel champions, as evidenced by the end of SmackDown. The dive through the table was crazy, and it felt chaotic and momentous. Gotta give credit to WWE for cutting to the crowd to show the disappointment of children rooting for RKBro. In that way, the entire crowd will be rooting for the Bloodline to get their comeuppance.

Reverse Hipster's What Mattered

7. (Impact) Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mia Yim, Jordynne Grace and Taya Valkyrie

The match was solid. The heels lost, and Yim picked up a lot of momentum by getting the winning pin. Yim could be a sleeper to win the Queen of the Mountain match. She seems to be getting a lot of focus in this Queen of the Mountain build.

6. (Impact) Eric Young

Eric Young recapped his career in Impact and WWE, and why he wanted to be a wrestler. I enjoyed the promo because it illustrated why he is the perfect challenger and showed all he had been through to get here. Also, I like the tagline of the fight. Will a TNA original lead Impact into a future, or will a new face forge the future of Impact?

5. (WWE, SmackDown) Happy Corbin

Corbin is really shining as a heel in his feud with Madcap Moss. Corbin ran down Moss and destroyed his greatest accomplishment to date, the Andre the Giant Memorial trophy. Corbin is rising in the heel ranks for WWE.

4. (AEW, Rampage) Blackpool Combat Club Rolls On

Dante Martin and Matt Sydal gave Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley a great fight. Dante especially carried the match with his aerial offense, and it really seemed like they might pull out the victory, but the Combat Club weathered the storm.

3. (AEW, Rampage) Kris Statlander vs. Red Velvet, Owen Cup

Red Velvet tried to put Statlander away repeatedly, but no matter what she did, Statlander kept kicking out. Then, Statlander was able to surprise Red Velvet with a pin and advance in the tournament. It was a fiercely competitive match until the last three seconds of the match. After the match, The Baddies beat down Statlander, and Ruby Soho helped her until Jade Cargill put Ruby down. Then, Anna Jay came to help Ruby and Statlander, and got Jade to back off. It's good to see Anna again, and maybe Anna will be Jade's next challenger.

2. (WWE, SmackDown) Raquel Rodriguez

Raquel beat Shotzi Blackheart on SmackDown. So far, I like the way Raquel has been presented. She dominated Ronda Rousey despite losing, and now she followed up on that momentum with Shotzi. Also, the commentary team is putting her over, and WWE has the locker room watching her matches. Raquel feels like a rising star.

1. (WWE, SmackDown) RK-Bro is Dead

The Bloodline defeated RK-Bro thanks to Roman Reigns, and then after taking their titles, they decimated Randy Orton with steel steps and put Riddle through the announce table. The audience was furious, and children cried beside befuddled adults. It was one of the best reactions to a WWE storyline in years. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Rob’s What Didn’t Matter

3. Xavier Woods vs. Butch, WWE SmackDown

Until they change something, I will continue to put this in the What Didn’t Matter section. The former Pete Dunne’s gimmick is doing nothing to help him on the main roster, and the two teams have gotten wins on each other so much that it is ultimately meaningless.

2. RK-Bro vs. The Usos (The Bad), WWE SmackDown

I think it was a mistake to put this on SmackDown. They put a lot of effort into building this, made this match feel underwhelming, shorter than they needed, and broken up by multiple commercial breaks. The decision to revolve this match around a Riddle injury was puzzling because I would have rather just seen them go, but I think it was ultimately to protect RKBro in losing. My main complaint is that the storyline of the night didn’t make sense. Roman Reigns said if the Bloodline lost that, he would oust them from the group but ended up helping them to win. If that is the case, Reigns knows the Usos are the inferior team to RKBro, and the stakes didn’t mean anything.

1. A Public Burial, WWE SmackDown

I said after Monday Night Raw that WWE would be best just to issue a public statement about Sasha Banks and Naomi and keep the drama off their on-screen product. Instead, they did the exact opposite. Michael Cole awkwardly read a pre-written statement about how Banks and Naomi walked out and “let the WWE universe down.” In my mind, it was reminiscent of “Bret screwed Bret.” What’s most embarrassing is that the WWE now is a huge, global, publicly-traded company, but it is clear they are run by a small group of petty business people who clearly don’t know how to keep their employees satisfied or how to handle these types of issues with tact and discretion. If there was any chance of winning the locker room of pro wrestlers back over, it is gone now. WWE has officially blown the good press they got by giving fans what they wanted at WrestleMania.

Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter

3. (AEW, Rampage) Sammy Guevara

Sammy destroyed the TNT title, and it was stupid. First off, Sammy helped make the title one of the most prestigious titles in AEW, so he was really destroying his own legacy. Second, it's an inanimate object. It's not like Sammy kidnapped anyone. Scorpio Sky still refused to give Sammy the match, and he was right to decline. The title can be replaced. In fact, AEW used to have two TNT titles just earlier this year. In the end, it was just a lot of disrespect to the TNT title without much payoff.

2. Xavier Woods vs. Butch

Who cares who won and who lost. This match is in the What Didn't Matter section for the same reason the feud has been here for the last month.

1. (WWE, SmackDown) Propaganda

WWE is trying to paint Naomi and Sasha Banks as real-life villains, and I'm here to say we don't care. We don't care how WWE tries to spin it #teambad4life. Anyone who has seen the women's tag division knows it's been trash. So many talented women tried to make the belts relevant, and WWE has fired them and wasted them. So hell no, we aren't taking their side against locker room leader and former champion, Naomi, and, main event goat, Sasha Banks. I'm glad Sasha and Naomi stood up for themselves and the tag belts, and didn't let WWE devalue them again. WWE can't even do their little scab tournament without NXT, the superior tag division, because the main roster tag scene is trash.

Rob’s Final Thoughts

The worst show this week was Impact Wrestling. Their show was limited to a few okay segments meant to hold interest for their feuds. The middle show was SmackDown. They had the best matches, but everything they are doing comes with bad booking and especially bad management. The best show this week was AEW Rampage. It had good wrestling and development. Everything was built toward making a more entertaining card for Double or Nothing, which is less than a week away.

Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts

The worst show of the week was Impact. It had a lot of mediocre action weighing down the show. AEW Rampage is second. It had good wrestling, but AEW can do that in their sleep with no preparation. What AEW didn't have was excellent storytelling. WWE SmackDown had some problems, but it still won the week because it was the most enjoyable watch of the week.

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