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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Oct. 1, 2021): Orange Cassidy saves his hair

AEW Rampage (Oct. 1, 2021) emanated from the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. The show featured Bryan Danielson wrestling another Elite foe, a women’s three-way where anything goes, and Orange Cassidy fighting to keep his hair.

Let’s jump right in with a recap of the show followed by reactions.

Excalibur and Taz were on commentary. Ricky Starks joined in later. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

Bryan Danielson vs. Nick Jackson

During the early-going, Jackson was feeling cocky. As he sprayed aerosol down his pants, Danielson took advantage for a suicide dive.

Danielson focused on wearing Jackson down with submissions. He worked deliberate and methodical. Jackson turned the tide when brother Matt speared Danielson on the floor.

Jackson hammed it up with kicks to the chest. Danielson caught on to the mockery, ate the kicks, fired up with passion, and spit in Nick’s face.

Jackson took control once again, but Danielson was ready with his knees up on a 450 splash. The American Dragon swiftly transitioned to the LeBell Lock. Jackson was able to reach the ropes with his foot for the break.

As the contest wound down, Danielson proved to be too savvy. He ducked a superkick, executed a tiger suplex, then locked in the Cattle Mutilation for the tap out.

Bryan Danielson defeated Nick Jackson.

In the aftermath, the Elite surrounded the ring. Christian Cage and Jurassic Express evened the odds. Both factions tended to their mates, then fisticuffs broke out. Jungle Boy locked in the Snare Trap on Adam Cole. Kenny Omega slid in for the save, but Danielson caught him in the LeBell Lock. Both Omega and Cole tapped out, so the good guys released the torturing submissions.

Will Hobbs and Hook introduced a special vignette from Ricky Starks. Mr. Absolute had a message for Brian Cage. Starks is sick of the narrative that the bigger the man, the more ass he can whoop. Starks won’t let cornball Cage put him out. That’s the truth. The video was a piece of art.

CM Punk is a five-tool player. The one tool he had over Will Hobbs was experience. Time to get down to business. There is a target on his back, and wrestlers will be coming for him. Punk wouldn’t want it any other way. He would rather choke on more than he can chew instead of starve on mediocrity. Punk wants the best AEW has to offer, but he warned future opponents that nap time (GTS) is always on the menu.

Anything Goes: Jade Cargill vs. Nyla Rose vs. Thunder Rosa

Physical three-way with the occasional use of weapons. Chairs, trashcans, and tables were the objects of choice. Whenever one lady put another down for a pinfall, the third bystander broke up the cover. The numbers dwindled down when Thunder Rosa took out Nyla with a brutal powerbomb off the apron through a table.

As Thunder Rosa tried to place the Native Beast back in the ring, Cargill went wild with chairshots to La Mera Mera. Numerous hits laid Thunder down for the three count.

Jade Cargill defeated Thunder Rosa and Nyla Rose in a three-way.

Malakai Black hopes his BLACK MIST seeps into every part of Cody Rhodes’ existence and festers. Then, Cody will understand what it takes to beat him. Black has grown weary of the Nightmare Family and will move on to other souls in the company.

Sammy Guevara’s goal is to become one of the best TNT champions. He’s already being challenged through the Forbidden Door. Guevara plans to send Bobby Fish straight to hell.

PAC, Andrade, Jon Moxley, Lance Archer, and a joker were announced for the Casino Ladder Match on Dynamite. Orange Cassidy and Matt Hardy were added later in the broadcast.

Mark Henry probed to find the mood of everyone involved in the hair versus hair main event. Matt Hardy twisted it as not wanting to deny Jack Evans the opportunity to shave Orange Cassidy’s head. OC didn’t even know about the hair stipulation. Nevertheless, he declared that he would not lose. Enough talk. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

Hair vs. Hair: Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans

Distractions and physicality from Matt Hardy ringside allowed Evans to pick up steam. The man from the heavens had some sweet moves with a corkscrew kick, 450 splash, corkscrew moonsault, and a Northern Lights suplex rolling through for a Michinoku driver. Cassidy’s prime hits were suicide dives and a flying crossbody.

Bodies aplenty came out for the finish. Hardy waved in Butcher, Blade, and Bunny. Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, and Kris Statlander appeared as a roadblock. Hardy called for the rest of the HFO unit. Dark Order ventured in front alongside OC’s pals. Inside the ring, Evans was complaining to the referee. Cassidy pounced for a Superman punch to win.

Orange Cassidy defeated Jack Evans.

Poor Jack had his hair shaved. Dark Order protected the procedure from interference from HFO. Hardy decided to ditch Evans for the greater good.

The show closed on a positive note with a group hug for -1 in his father’s hometown. Mr. Brodie Lee would approve.

Bryan Danielson and Nick Jackson had a fine match for the opener, but it never built to making me believe Jackson could win. The effort came across as a high level enhancement match to showcase Danielson. In that sense, the match was a success, because Danielson looked good with nasty submissions and tough heart. Bring on the next stooge before Danielson gets a rematch with Kenny Omega.

The post-match scuffle allowed the babyfaces to stand tall with dual submissions. If Danielson is the direction for Omega’s next PPV match, then I need to see more dastardly behavior from Omega for this feud. I’m hooked on seeing the rematch, but not so much for the story yet. Omega needs to give me a reason to root for Danielson.

Jade Cargill rose to the top over Thunder Rosa and Nyla Rose. I was not expecting her to win, and I was definitely not expecting Thunder Rosa to eat the pin. Good on AEW for keeping the result fresh. It is time for Jade to tango with Dr. Britt Baker DMD. There is not much more Cargill can accomplish to earn the opportunity.

As for the three-way action, Thunder Rosa was the workhorse. Credit to the Native Beast for taking the table spot. That looked rough. The finish was well formulated. With Nyla out of the picture, Cargill went to town with those chairshots. It was enough to believe Thunder Rosa would not get up.

The main event was underwhelming. I suppose if you are a fan of Orange Cassidy’s flavor of cheese, you probably enjoyed the contest. For me, the scent was limburger. It was on the stinky side. Jack Evans rocked hard with athletic moves to carry the load. The story for Cassidy was pretty weak. It boiled down to a distraction win jamming tons of people on screen. His performance didn’t feel freshly squeezed. It was more like watered down juice.

Grade: B-

This episode of Rampage was adequate. It was entertaining enough as a whole, but nothing went above and beyond.

Share your thoughts about Rampage. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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