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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Nov. 12, 2021): Brass knuckles bounty

AEW Rampage (Nov. 12, 2021) emanated from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN. The show featured Jungle Boy pushing through pain, Team Taz on a recruitment mission, and Matt Hardy offering a bounty on Orange Cassidy.

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

Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho, and Ricky Starks were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

Jungle Boy vs. Bobby Fish

Jungle Boy stormed out of the gate using his quickness to take control. When Jungle Boy went for a fancy move on the ropes while holding hands with Fish, Fish yanked him off. The impact affected JB’s arm and shoulder, so Fish targeted that point throughout. Jungle Boy rallied with a belly-to-belly suplex into the turnbuckles and a German suplex. Fish went back to attacking the arm and crushed an exploder suplex into the ropes. Jungle Boy was almost knocked out. Fish unloaded kicks to the damaged arm. JB caught one with his good arm and transitioned to the Snare Trap submission for the win.

Jungle Boy defeated Bobby Fish.

Afterward, Adam Cole ran in for a double-team beatdown. As he pulled out chairs, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus arrived for the save. Fish was sacrificed to an Unprettier by Christian.

Hype package for Bryan Danielson versus Miro at Full Gear. Danielson came to AEW, because that is where the best professional wrestling resides. Miro will be a very difficult challenge, but Danielson is confident he can win.

The Young Bucks and Adam Cole were backstage when Hangman Page interrupted a promo. Cole refused to leave until Matt Jackson gave him the okay. Hangman apologized to the Bucks for throwing away their friendship. He cost them a tag title shot, but they cost him a title shot as well. Hangman believes that makes them even. So, if the Bucks lay a hand on Hangman during his world title match against Kenny Omega at Full Gear, then he will ruin them.

Jade Cargill vs. Santana Garrett

Red Velvet was a front row spectator. A cake was ringside in honor of Cargill’s anniversary of signing with AEW. Cargill powerhoused through Garrett. She took her eye off the ball to talk smack with Velvet. Garrett landed a kick, but Cargill just smashed her some more. Back inside the ring, Garrett went for a handspring attack into the corner. Cargill caught her and ended the match with a Jaded glam slam.

Jade Cargill defeated Santana Garrett.

In the aftermath, Velvet sneak attacked Cargill on the floor and shoved the cake into Mark Sterling’s face. The ladies brawled a little until officials separated them. Velvet and Cargill will get their chance to tussle in the quarterfinals of the TBS Championship tournament.

Hype package for CM Punk versus Eddie Kingston. Kingston believes Punk is conning everyone by claiming he cares about the youngsters in AEW. Kingston has wanted this fight for years. Punk views Kingston as having all the talent but not putting in the work. If Punk has to hurt Kingston to teach him respect, then that’s what he will do.

Dante Martin vs. Ariya Daivari

Martin was too slick and in control of the action until Daivari knocked him off the ropes into the turnbuckles. Daivari picked up momentum for a neckbreaker, hammerlock clothesline, and frog splash. 1, 2, no upset today. Martin was back on track with a springboard flying attack.

Martin closed out the victory on a double springboard moonsault.

Dante Martin defeated Ariya Daivari.

Lio Rush was absent due to the death of his grandmother. Post-match, Team Taz tried to poach Martin to join their squad. Ricky Starks did the talking, Hobbs handed over the paperwork, and Hook offered a bite from his bag of chips. Starks told Martin to think it over.

Hype package for Dr. Britt Baker DMD versus Tay Conti. After judo highlights from Conti, Baker stated that she doesn’t give a shit about martial arts belts. The women’s championship is the only belt that matters.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. Matt Hardy intends on destroying Orange Cassidy. OC is tired of the fussing, so this feud is over once the match ends. The time for talk was over. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

Lumberjack Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy

Best Friends Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander, and Wheeler Yuta were dressed as lumberjacks. The rest of the list included Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, JD Drake, Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Nick Comoroto, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, Fuego del Sol, Isiah Kassidy, Blade, and Bunny. Right as the match started, Hardy offered a $20,000 bounty to whoever knocks out Cassidy.

Whenever Hardy tossed OC out of the ring, the lumberjacks mauled him. Best Friends eventually helped the rally with tope con hilos onto lumberjacks. Cassidy followed with a suicide dive onto more lumberjacks. The pals combined for a rocket launcher landing onto even more lumberjacks.

In the ring, Cassidy landed a flying crossbody to Hardy. Money Matt came back with a Side Effect. OC returned fire for a whirling DDT. That’s when all heck broke loose. Yuta slammed Blade. Kassidy booted Yuta. Chuck nailed Kassidy on a piledriver. Hardy planted Taylor on a Twist of Fate. Hardy went for the Leech submission, but Cassidy broke free. Superman punches connected to various lumberjacks. Statlander speared Bunny. Blade surprised Cassidy with a brass knuckles punch. Hardy made the easy cover for victory.

Matt Hardy defeated Orange Cassidy.

Afterward, Hardy locked in the Leech. Blade used the brass knucks to clobber Yuta and Taylor. He handed them over to Bunny to bash Statlander as HFO stood tall to close the show.

Lumberjacks! Brass knuckles! Orange Cassidy losing! It was a good night on Rampage. The main event was more on the sports entertainment side with all the outside activity. Hardy is a smart cookie. He turned the situation to his advantage by offering a bounty. That was a creative flex to the lumberjack stipulation. Considering the circumstances, I’m glad that Cassidy lost. There was too much to overcome, especially with the previously injured ribs. If Cassidy had won, it would have crushed any credibility Hardy has left. With the brass knuckles, no fans view that as a legitimate win, so it doesn’t hurt Cassidy in the short run.

I am curious if Cassidy will stick by his word to move on from Hardy. That was a rough way to go out, so it would be understandable if he wants revenge one more time. I’m kind of hoping Cassidy carries on to new adventures. This feud hasn’t been hot enough for a major blow-off, and Hardy getting the last laugh throws enough shade onto the idea that the good guys always triumph in AEW to cloudy future predictability.

If this is the end, then I hope the final scene is Hardy handing over a comically large sack of cash to Blade for the $20,000 bounty.

The opener with Jungle Boy and Bobby Fish was a solid affair. The ring story was simple, and the action was entertaining. Jade Cargill squashed as usual, but at least there was a neat setup for her Jaded finisher. The fire still burns bright to see Cargill clash with Red Velvet one more time. Dante Martin versus Ariya Daivari was a curious choice out of nowhere, however, it made sense due to being hometown wrestlers from Minneapolis. Martin did what he does with amazing athleticism. The Team Taz recruitment pitch is intriguing. It makes me wonder if AEW is pivoting on Lio Rush to become a good guy after winning over the crowd with his awesome performance on Dynamite.

The best piece of the show came from Hangman Page. His threats to the Young Bucks put a big smile on my face. I really hope the world title fight is cleanly contested. Although, if the Bucks do have to interfere, I’d love to see Hangman back up his words in the coming weeks on TV. There is a lot of juice to squeeze from Hangman wrestling the Bucks individually. It could even lead to a future PPV main event against Adam Cole.

Grade: B-

Rampage offered a wide variety of match styles. I don’t think we needed both Jade’s squash and Dante’s showcase on the go-home show. Can’t go wrong with brass knuckles and cake though. We were even treated to this silly photo of Mark Sterling.

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

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