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AEW Rampage recap & reactions (Feb. 11, 2022): Billy Gunn’s sad boys

AEW Rampage (Feb. 11, 2022) emanated from the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The show featured the Gunn Club chasing tag team gold against Jurassic Express, Bryan Danielson eager for violence, and the Young Bucks taking on Roppongi Vice with a cameo from the Bullet Club leader.

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

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

Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice

Action erupted early with Rocky Romero hitting a hurricanrana off the ring steps.

Trent cleaned house with clotheslines and running knees to knock the Bucks out of the ring. Vice celebrated with a high-five.

The Bucks had enough and ditched the match to walk up the ramp. Vice gave chase, so the Bucks blasted them with double superkicks. That was the plan all along. The Bucks sprinted back to the ring hoping for a count-out, but Romero was able re-enter in time.

In a moment of cheekiness, Orange Cassidy went under the ring. The Bucks tried to pull him out, however, it turned out to be Danhausen instead. Vice hit double suicide dives, and Danhausen exited the scene.

The match continued with high-octane moves. Trent almost secured the win with Strong Zero to Matt Jackson, but Nick Jackson was able to break the pin. Vice went for the Doomsday Device. Upon impact, Matt flipped backward to land on his feet. The Bucks blasted superkicks and a Meltzer driver to Romero. Trent broke up the cover. The Bucks responded with a double superkick to Trent then closed out the win using a BTE Trigger on Romero.

Young Bucks defeated Roppongi Vice.

After the contest, Brandon Cutler sprayed his can into Cassidy’s sunglasses. OC knocked him silly with a Superman punch. The Bucks superkicked Cassidy, then they ran away from Trent. “Switchblade” Jay White appeared from behind to hit his Blade Runner finisher on Trent. It was later announced that White will wrestle Trent next week on Rampage.

Ricky Starks announced that Will Hobbs will be wrestling Dante Martin in a qualifier for the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match next week on Rampage.

Bryan Danielson addressed Jon Moxley teaming with CM Punk. He wasn’t bothered by it. Moxley is a man who likes to fight. The offers from Danielson and Punk are completely different. Danielson desires a long-term relationship to help build AEW, while Punk was a one-night stand. Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty interrupted. Sydal was annoyed by Danielson questioning his mentoring of Moriarty. Danielson clarified that he wants to teach violence to the youngster. Moriarty spoke for himself stating that he can show violence. Danielson grinned. Moriarty will get his chance to show Danielson with a match on Dynamite.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Robyn Renegade

Baker was tough on the mat taking shortcuts by grabbing hair and using outside help from Reba. Renegade rallied to hit a frog splash. Baker turned up the heat for a gator roll, head kicks, ripcord elbow, swinging neckbreaker, and a curb stomp to win.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD defeated Robyn Renegade.

Afterward, Baker applied the Lockjaw submission on Renegade. The purpose was to rile up Thunder Rosa (who helped train Renegade), and it worked. Thunder ran down with fury to pummel Baker. Jamie Hayter clobbered Thunder. Mercedes Martinez pulled Hayter off, so she could land punches of her own on Thunder. Hayter was not pleased and got in Martinez’s face. Baker soothed the situation between her hosses for hire.

Leyla Hirsch took umbrage with Kris Statlander calling her unprofessional. Hirsch knows herself well through life’s trials. She is going to serve a legit beating to Statlander.

Hook vs. Blake Li

Li was the prized student of QT Marshall. The newcomer had a background in amateur wrestling, but Hook stuffed Li’s takedowns with ease. Hook dominated with aggression to win on the Redrum choke submission.

Hook defeated Blake Li.

Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. Billy Gunn’s boys made a statement by beating the asses of Christian Cage and Jungle Boy. Their biggest statement will be winning the tag titles. Christian’s retort was to delivery good news and bad news. Good news is that they worked their way into the championship match. The bad news is it will be back to the end of the line for the Ass Boys after they lose. Enough talk. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express (c) vs. Gunn Club

Christian Cage and Billy Gunn were ringside. Jungle Boy was too sharp for the Gunn Club and dominated early with his shifty quickness. Luchasaurus entered to powerhouse through ass. Jurassic Express went for the quick finish using a senton from Jungle Boy off Luchasaurus’ shoulders, but Austin Gunn was able to kick out.

The Gunn Club made a run by isolating Jungle Boy. JB eventually slapped the hot tag for the dino to run wild. Upon a double goozling, the Ass Boys escaped the ring to prevent chokeslams. Jungle Boy took the action to them with a flipping cannonball outside. Back in the ring, Luchasaurus hit a chokeslam and standing moonsault to Colten Gunn. Colten kicked out to stay alive.

Down the stretch, the match broke down into chaos. Jungle Boy accidentally hit a suicide dive on his partner. Austin clipped JB with a Quick Draw hip toss neckbreaker on the floor. Colten made the pin with his feet high on the ropes. Christian knocked down the cheat break Colten’s cover. Billy ran over to smash Christian into the ring steps. As this skirmish distracted referee Aubrey Edwards, Colten blasted Jungle Boy with the title belt. 1, 2, JB kicked out.

Luchasaurus pulled Colten out of the ring and chokeslammed him onto fans in the crowd. Christian speared Billy. Jungle Boy countered a Fameasser from Austin into a Kill Switch to win.

Jurassic Express defeated Gunn Club.

Billy Gunn can be proud of his Ass Boys, even though, they became sad boys after failing to win the AEW tag titles. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn worked hard to put on an entertaining bout in the main event slot. It was important to bring it strong in their first major opportunity, and they did exactly that.

Jurassic Express continues their roll as champs. AEW smartly made use of the fresh rankings to push young challengers for Jurassic Express to stack their résumé with victories and build credibility as titleholders. With the Revolution PPV coming soon, it makes me wonder which superstar team will step up as opponents.

There’s not much to say about the middle matches. Both Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Hook took care of business and looked good doing so. Baker turning up the offense in a higher gear to finish was effective in showing there are levels to this game. She is the champ for a reason. Hook’s variety of slams and suplexes remains impressive. I was actually surprised that Blake Li is a real person and not a goofy gimmick trick by QT Marshall.

Young Bucks versus Roppongi Vice was worth the wait. They opened the show with hot action and excellent tag team chemistry. I especially enjoyed the early superkicks on the ramp tactic by the Bucks trying to earn a cheap count-out win. That was a cool bit of creativity. Being presented as teams of equal talent during the contest created drama with close finishes. It also elevated the quality of victory for the Bucks. That was the kind of win to shoot them straight up the charts for an opportunity at the tag titles.

On top of the quality contest, the use of all the extra bystanders was executed very well. Danhausen, Orange Cassidy, Brandon Cutler, and Jay White all had quick moments to pop the crowd, and it didn’t interfere in the flow of the match. The bout stood out on its own as excellent with the cameos as icing on the cake.

The promos were productive. The setup for Bryan Danielson versus Lee Moriarty was a nice touch. I’m sold on that match. Who doesn’t want to see clean violence inside the wrestling ring? I also appreciate Moriarty stepping up as a young gun. That’s the type of thing to make fans take notice to become a bigger star. The promo was also interesting to see seeds planted for a potential conversation between Danielson and Punk.

Grade: B

Good, solid show. Everyone performed as expected. The tag team bouts brought excitement with close calls and sneaky finishes.

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

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