AEW Rampage, WWE SmackDown, and Impact Wrestling Rundown 2/8/22
Updated: Feb 18, 2022
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
5. (WWE, SmackDown) Ronda Chooses Charlotte
Ronda is 2/2 since returning. She lit it up with Becky and Charlotte. Charlotte did a good job poking the bear, saying the SmackDown Tag Championship was cuter than Ronda's actual baby. Ronda delivered on the explosion ducking Charlotte's surprise attack and beating up Sonya, who futilely tried to establish order. I loved the use of Sonya, specifically, because any other superstar would have to listen to Sonya, so Ronda beating up Sonya made her feel a level above.
4. (Impact) Honor No More
As someone who is new to the current landscape of Impact, I'm very interested in Honor No More Faction. The wrestlers from Ring of Honor, ROH, come to take over Impact, and I can't wait to see how that plays out.
3. (Impact) Mickie James, Tasha Steelz, Chelsea Green
Mickie James and Chelsea are familiar faces, and I'm excited about their singles match next week. However, it was Tasha Steelz who stole the promo segment for me. She was cracking me up with her quick wit, and now I want to see if she can back it up in the ring.
2. (Impact) Digital Media Title
Matt Cardona and Jordynne Grace absolutely killed it in this match. The finish was crazy. Matt hits Jordynne with a chair and then his finisher. It was sinister on the one hand for him to hit a woman with a chair. At the same time though, it protected her. He needed a chair and his finisher to put her down.
1. (Impact) Deonna Purrazzo
Purrazzo refused to be upstaged by Mickie James's Royal Rumble appearance, and, in one promo, got really hype to see their eventual clash. While also giving me a reason to tune in next week because Purrazzo will have an open challenge for either one of her titles.
Rob's What Mattered
5. Bullet Club in the ring, Impact Wrestling
Last week, Jay White and the Guerillas of Destiny arrived at Impact Wrestling. This week, they main evented against Impact regulars. They had a good, not a great match, but the focus on in-ring and after-match antics is how Bullet Club has to mix things up on Impact. Impact would be wise to continue to keep this door open and let the clash of styles be a regular occurrence.
4. Roman Reigns and Goldberg, WWE SmackDown
There wasn't much new here, but excellent promo work from Paul Heyman and character work from Roman Reigns made this worth watching. Goldberg interrupting was initially unexpected, but I realized soon after that I should have been awaiting the arrival of Mr. Saudi Arabia. This is an excellent match at Elimination Chamber to get the payoff from the WrestleMania feud two years ago and buy time until the inevitable Reigns/Brock Lesnar main event.
3. Building future feuds, AEW Rampage
The first three matches in AEW weren't spectacular, but they did a great job setting up interesting storylines in the future. After defeating Evil Uno, Adam Cole cut a promo promising that his eventual goal was to win the AEW Championship. It's exciting to see Cole used this way in AEW, and the question now is how soon that time will come. Sammy Guevara had a good match with Isiah Kassidy, but the intriguing post-match antics with Hardy Family Business and Darby Allin made this more interesting. Mostly, I'm intrigued to see if the stare-down between Guevara and Allin leads to a championship feud with the two "pillars" of AEW. Finally, a rare foreign item finish in the Women's Division brought Mercedes Martinez and Thunder Rosa's feud to the next level, certainly not over with this match.
2. Ricky Starks vs. Jay Lethal, AEW Rampage
I still don't fully understand the FTW Championship, but it's been stuck to a Team Taz member so far. Ricky Starks and Jay Lethal did a great job teasing that it could change hands here. This is the best Starks has looked in AEW, and Lethal's veteran expertise took him to the next level. The non-catch dive to the outside and Starks reversal of the Lethal injection were two insane highlight reel spots in this match, an excellent staple of Rampage main events.
1. Matt Cardona wins the Digital Media Championship, Impact Wrestling
This was our first-week watching Impact Wrestling, and they kicked it off with a bang. Matt Cardona is nothing like the former Zack Ryder if you're only familiar with WWE. Watching this match reminded me that WWE is missing out on dozens of potential matches with their unwillingness to do intergender matches. This turned that trope on its side because the size and strength advantage actually went to Jordynne Grace, requiring heel Cardona to pull out all the tricks to win. This was an excellent match and a cool character moment for Cardona to win the Digital Media Championship, an aspect of Wrestling you could argue that he pioneered when he was on YouTube as part of Z! True Long Island Story.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
2. (WWE, SmackDown) Ronda Chooses Charlotte
What does WWE have against Becky and Ronda having a one-on-one match? Everyone wanted it the first time around, but they shoehorned Charlotte into the match. Now, Ronda returns. Becky hasn't technically been beaten for the title since WrestleMania 35, and Ronda had that moment where it looked like she kicked out. It's the perfect time to do the one-on-one match. Instead, Ronda chooses Charlotte, and it just feels like a letdown.
1. (WWE, SmackDown) Goldberg vs. Roman
Goldberg shouldn't be challenging for the Universal Title. If he won this match, it would hurt WWE's credibility, and the fact that he is getting this match means that there won't be an Elimination Chamber match. This also means five superstars won't get a shot at the title so that Goldberg can. Also, why would Roman, from a character standpoint, grant Goldberg's request? Compare Goldberg demanding his match to how Lita got hers, and you might notice some key differences.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
5. Drew McIntyre and Riddick Moss, WWE SmackDown
Credit to every guy in this promo for making it as interesting as possible, but I don't want to watch another Drew McIntyre and Riddick Moss match. I don't even think I want to see McIntyre face Happy Corbin, especially at a premium live event.
4. Erik vs. Jimmy Uso, WWE SmackDown
The 1-on-1 match to promote a tag feud is a trope that has to go in WWE. On top of that, the booking made no sense, as heel Jimmy Uso handled the bigger and stronger Erik easily. How was this supposed to get me excited for their match at Elimination Chamber?
3. Aliyah vs. Natalya, WWE SmackDown
How is Aliyah getting repeated fluke wins over Natalya supposed to make either of them look stronger? The Guinness World Record angle was at least a story going into this feud, but the payoff so far has been nothing but screen time for either woman. If the "Dungeon match" (whatever that is) payoff makes this feud worth it, that will be a swerve.
2. Ricochet and Cesaro vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland, WWE SmackDown
In my opinion, this feud doesn't have any heat beyond Ricochet shattering Ridge Holland's nose, which wasn't even a part of the on-screen planned storyline. With such great wrestlers, it's a waste that they're going out there week after week with no stories or stakes. On top of that, SmackDown did a horrible job explaining how the quick one-on-one victory for Ricochet turned into a tag match, and it didn't do Holland any favors to lose so quickly. Then, Cesaro, who has had no momentum since his championship feud, ate the pin.
1. Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey, WWE SmackDown
After being hesitantly excited about Ronda Rousey's Royal Rumble win, I was certain she would select Becky Lynch. Instead, SmackDown told us outright this week that Rousey is challenging Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. The story was genuinely leaning toward Lynch, who pinned Rousey in her last WWE appearance at WrestleMania. I would be genuinely surprised if even 33% of fans prefer the Rousey/Flair match to Rousey/Lynch. Who are we even supposed to cheer for? Rousey has not re-established herself as a babyface, and Flair is the biggest heel in the Women's Division. This segment astounded me yet again, feeling like WWE has a complete lack of attention to their fan base as we steamroll toward a WrestleMania with two main events I frankly don't want to see.
Find out who had the overall best show in the final thoughts section below.
Day One Fantasy Booking
Join Patreon (Here) and get access to exclusive content, including Fantasy bookings. My Day 1 booking just dropped on Patreon. The story picks up right after Survivor Series and goes to Day 1, and focuses on the Bloodline and the SmackDown Women's Tag Titles. This is a long running storyline that will continue to WrestleMania with new entries each month.
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
Impact won the week pretty handily for me. SmackDown, and, especially, Rampage didn't really have any sizzle this week. They had decent matches and developments that were okay, but none were highly noteworthy, in my opinion.
Rob's Final Thoughts
SmackDown has more what didn't matter segments for the first time of any show in weeks for me. They were easily the worst show of the week, and WWE is turning me off to WrestleMania before we even get to Elimination Chamber. Impact Wrestling was cool to watch this week, but I thought it was mostly lacking besides the Digital Media Championship, the highlight of the week for me. So, I'm giving the best show to AEW Rampage. The main event was great, and every match served a purpose to build exciting stories for the future.