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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Dec. 3, 2021): Black mist

AEW Rampage (Dec. 3, 2021) emanated from the Gas South Arena in Atlanta, GA. The show featured Sammy Guevara defending the TNT Championship against Tony Nese, Jade Cargill stomping Thunder Rosa’s student, and Malakai Black spitting black mist in PAC’s face again.

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

Excalibur, Taz, and Ricky Starks were on commentary. Dasha Gonzalez handled ring announcer duties.

TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara vs. Tony Nese

The champ opened with fire. Guevara took flight for a corkscrew tope to the outside.

Nese focused on Guevara’s taped ribs for a gutbuster. Guevara roared back on a double springboard cutter. He aimed to finish with a GTH, but Nese escaped to apply a single-leg crab. Back on their feet, the combatants engaged in a counter dance. Guevara had the upper hand for a standing Spanish Fly. He clotheslined Nese out of the ring and followed for a springboard moonsault. Nese came back to knock Guevara off the ropes. Nese’s best chance for victory came on a 450 splash. 1, 2, Guevara got his shoulder up.

Nese slowed down his offensive output to talk trash and powerbomb toss Guevara into the corner. The champ fired up to smash Nese with a pump kick and GTH for victory.

Sammy Guevara defeated Tony Nese.

Jurassic Express is on a roll as the #1 ranked tag team. Christian Cage will make sure they become champs, even if it is the last thing he does.

Jade Cargill vs. Janai Kai

Cargill squashed Thunder Rosa’s student with a slam, pump kick, and Jaded facebuster.

Jade Cargill defeated Janai Kai.

Afterward, Cargill added another pump kick to taunt Thunder Rosa. That caused Thunder Rosa to leave the commentary table and storm into the ring. She ducked a pump kick, and fisticuffs broke out on the mat. Officials prevented the women from any major strikes connecting.

Adam Cole was perturbed about Orange Cassidy trying to steal his spotlight. The Young Bucks decided to return to Dynamite next week with a challenge for any pair of the Best Friends. (It was later announced to be Chuck Taylor & Rocky Romero.) Of note, Dan Callis was seen walking in the background making a phone call.

Eddie Kingston doesn’t care that 2point0 and Daniel Garcia beat up Chris Jericho. He does care that they tried to beat him up after the match last week. Kingston is going to teach them that they will reap what they sow.

Hype package for Bryan Danielson versus John Silver on Dynamite. Danielson views Silver as too jokey to be a serious challenge.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. He was curious about PAC wrestling with an eye patch. PAC isn’t blind. He still has one eye to get revenge on FTR for injuring Fenix. FTR was angry that Fenix didn’t show up. They had planned on basking in the glory of becoming double champs with the AEW and AAA tag titles. Enough talk. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

Pentagon & PAC vs. FTR

The main event was originally supposed to be a 2-out-of-3 falls contest for AEW gold. Without Fenix in action, it was turned into a regular bout.

FTR used tag team tactics to isolate PAC. At one point, PAC secured a sturdy roll-up for a clear victory, but referee Rick Knox took the bait to be distracted and failed at providing a timely count. The crowd erupted once PAC was able to bring in Pentagon on the hot tag. The luchador cleaned house with sling blades and chops.

Down the stretch, pinfalls were fast and furious. FTR hit an assisted flying leg drop. Pentagon connected on a corkscrew Code Red. Dax Harwood slammed a tiger driver. The action spilled outside after PAC ran into Tully Blanchard on the apron. Cash Wheeler planted Pentagon on a tornado DDT to the floor. PAC took flight for a moonsault onto FTR.

Back in the ring, Harwood looked to be easy pickings as he favored his knee. As Harwood distracted the ref, Malakai Black popped up by the apron to spit black mist in PAC’s good eye. Harwood scored the roll-up for victory.

FTR defeated Pentagon & PAC.

Afterward, FTR pulled off Pentagon’s mask. Black gouged PAC’s eye. Black’s hand was bloody as the closing image.


BLACK MIST! I’ll always pop for mist in professional wrestling. Even though Malakai Black’s misting was on the cheap side this time, it was still cool. With all the attention on PAC’s eye, it makes me wonder if AEW will make Eye for an Eye a recurring gimmick. Jon Moxley battled Santana as one-eyed men in February 2020. Or perhaps PAC stews under his bastard bridge learning to fight in the dark as he wears two eye patches. I’m envisioning a final fight scene similar to Chong Li throwing powder in Frank Dux’s eyes at the end of Bloodsport. PAC could take the mist and keep on fighting.

The main event was rocking with the crowd at full attention. FTR are master manipulators of tag team tactics. That’s the type of cheating that is fair play. To be clear, I’m referring to FTR’s tricks throughout and not Black’s blatant chicanery. PAC provided attention to detail while wearing his eye patch. He botched a springboard, because his impaired vision messed with his balance. Later, PAC adjusted by passing on a springboard to attempt a safer leap off the top turnbuckle. Part of me wonders if the eye patch was real. It’s probably unsafe, but I wouldn’t be surprised if PAC did it anyway just for the challenge. In the end, FTR picked up the win so this feud can continue when Fenix returns soon.

The TNT title bout was a terrific display of athleticism. Guevara and Nese hit a wide array of flying attacks. Nese mixed in the strategy to ground Guevara down, so the champ could pop for rallies to get the crowd going. Nese served his purpose as a known name to enhance Guevara’s status during this championship run. Since Nese is now officially All Elite, I’m curious where he goes from here. He’s not quite a star yet, but he’s too talented in the ring to be used as fodder.

Cargill’s squash was a means to an end to hype her upcoming TBS Championship tournament match against Thunder Rosa. In that regard, it was effective, because I’m pumped to see those two ladies beat the crap out of each other. Kai had a unique look and a cool nickname as The Kick Demon. Too bad she didn’t get to show anything in the ring.

Grade: B+

Two high-quality matches sandwiched a squash and promos in the middle. All in all, it was a jamming evening.

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