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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Nov. 5, 2021): Punks & bums

AEW Rampage (Nov. 5, 2021) emanated from the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, MO. The show featured Punk and Kingston spitting fire in a promo battle, Bryan Danielson defending the honor of Tony Khan, and Adam Cole not budging to John Silver.

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

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

Bryan Danielson vs. Anthony Bowens

This match was set up through social media by Tony Khan as an answer to the Acclaimed wanting a tag match against him. Max Caster came out dissing Danielson in his rap.

Bowens controlled the action early by being slicker in chain wrestling. Danielson fired back with a kick to the chest to get in the groove. The action spilled outside, where Caster clotheslined Danielson. Later, Danielson dished out payback with a dropkick to Caster and also tossed Bowens out of the ring on top of the rapper. Danielson followed with a flying crossbody down to the floor onto the Acclaimed. Back in the ring, Danielson used a flying missile dropkick to stun Bowens for the LeBell Lock submission to win.

Bryan Danielson defeated Anthony Bowens.

Tony Schiavone spoke with Andrade, FTR, and MJF about hating Cody Rhodes. Andrade’s assistant handed over two envelopes of cash paying MJF for the services of FTR. Dax Harwood called out PAC for a match on Dynamite.

CM Punk & Eddie Kingston promo battle

Punk invited Kingston down to his ring. Music hit, but Eddie didn’t show. Punk taunted the hothead by speaking more so Kingston would feel compelled to interrupt him. That’s exactly with Kingston did.

Kingston leaned into his tough guy role to call Punk a lowlife scumbag for judging him so many years ago. Punk shot back that he was holding Kingston to a higher standard due to the talent shown. It is a mistake to do that today, because Kingston has become a bum. Kingston stepped up with threats for violence. Punk didn’t back down. Kingston issued a challenge for the Full Gear PPV on November 13. Punk asked the crowd for their opinion then accepted. Kingston warned that he’s not concerned with winning or losing. He is intent on hurting Punk. Punk’s response was a headbutt. A melee ensued as officials tried to break it up. The scene ended with both men giving the crazy eyes.

That is the quick summary. There were many more juicy nuggets in the entire scene from Punk and Kingston.

Christian Cage and Jurassic Express were amused at the Young Bucks and Adam Cole acting like tough guys, so they wanted to test them with a Falls Count Anywhere trios match at Full Gear.

Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling were front row to scout the women’s tournament match.

TBS Championship tournament first round: Bunny vs. Red Velvet

Velvet sprinted to the ring to put hands on her opponent. Bunny rolled out to collect her wits, but Velvet clotheslined her down to the floor. Bunny used an eye-poke and a loose curb stomp into the ring steps to gain control.

A dropkick sent Velvet head first into the turnbuckles. Down the stretch, Bunny executed a DVD and thrust kick. When she set up for her finisher, Velvet escaped to counter with a leg hook neckbreaker for victory.

Red Velvet defeated Bunny to advance in the TBS Championship tournament.

Afterward, Velvet and Cargill sassed each other. Sterling calmed down his client to save physicality for their upcoming match in the tournament.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. BTE jokes were recapped for the feud between Adam Cole and John Silver. Cole was tired of the fun and games. He perceived Silver as trying to make a mockery of his career. Cole addressed receiving the dangerous conchairto from Christian on Dynamite a few days ago. That won’t be a problem, because Cole is no stranger to pain. The time for talk was over. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!” The fans chanted along with Henry’s phrase.

Adam Cole vs. John Silver

Silver mocked Cole’s signature pose, so Cole responded with a pump kick.

As punches were thrown downward, Cole felt dizzy from the conchairto. Silver used muscleman moves to toss Cole around the ring. As the match progressed, Silver fired up for strikes. Cole cut the rally short with a suplex shoulderbreaker. Later, Silver pounced for a clothesline, German suplex, and a kick to the head. Matt Jackson conveniently placed Cole’s foot on the ropes to break the pinfall. Dark Order ran out to stop the shenanigans.

While the referee was distracted, Cole attempted a low blow. Silver blocked it and kicked Cole in the jewels instead. Silver was on the cusp of victory with a spinning Liger bomb. 1, 2, Cole kicked out. After taking more punishment, Cole turned the tide with a superkick to the face, a superkick to the back of the head, and a running knee to win.

Adam Cole defeated John Silver.

Damn! That promo battle between CM Punk and Eddie Kingston was something else. They just boosted their match at Full Gear into the second most anticipated fight, behind Hangman Page versus Kenny Omega. Their intensity was off the charts as harsh feelings burst open. You could tell Kingston was holding that strife pent up for years. I didn’t even know why they were so testy towards each other. It felt like there was deep backstory, and apparently it dates to the days of Chikara and IWA Mid-South. There was so much banter that I definitely need to watch three or four more times to soak it in. If for nothing else, the crazy eyes from both men at the end was hilarious.

As far as picking a side, I have to go with Punk. His points were legit, while Kingston tried to play the victim of his own behavior. Kingston is a loudmouth that excels at talking people into the building. It will be nice to see Punk shut him up. Kingston knows this, so he added a great angle about being more interested in hurting Punk than actually winning. That adds a nice layer of intrigue to see how sadistic Kingston takes it.

Adam Cole had his most interesting match so far in AEW, in my opinion. I appreciate the injury element playing on the conchairto from earlier in the week. Having his head smashed by chairs is bound to have lingering effects, and it showed when Cole was visibly dizzy at certain points. The false finish from Silver’s spinning Liger bomb had me on the edge of my seat. From a sporting perspective, Cole showed why he’s a superstar. It would have been an easy way out to take the loss, but he survived and rallied in the end.

Bryan Danielson does what he always does, which is wrestle excellently. Anthony Bowens was sharp and looked good in defeat. The result was never in doubt, but having Max Caster ringside provided a puzzle for Danielson to solve. The American Dragon incapacitated Caster just long enough, so he could finish clean.

Red Velvet and Bunny fought with passion. Tournament stakes were on the line, however, this match also had personal heat. Velvet sprinting to the ring set the mood appropriately. The contest settled into a bit of a slugfest. I’m glad Velvet advanced, because the rematch with Jade Cargill is one I want to see.

Grade: B

Entertaining action as always. This episode was a little confusing with the opening match having its setup on social media and the beef with Punk and Kingston brewing on the downlow for 15 years. I felt out of the loop when watching.

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

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