AEW Rampage Power Rankings: The Hook Brings You Back

AEW Dynamite was live on TBS for the first time this week and yours truly was in the building to witness history firsthand! So of course, I stuck around for my 4th live Rampage taping just to get these rankings to you nice and early like a freshly baked donut! So here they go! 

Honorable Mention: Jake Atlas. Oof. At the UBS Arena less than a month ago Hook debuted in the best way possible. At the Prudential Center Jake Atlas debuted in one of the worst ways possible. His match with Cole started a bit slow and even got a couple of “This is boring!” chants but just as things started to pick up Atlas seemed to blow his knee out. Cole was positioned to hit the Panama Sunrise and Jake tried his damndest to get into position but it became apparent qucikly that he was done. He even struggled to get out of the ring in time for the post-match confrontation. I know Atlas can have great matches so hopefully he makes a quick, full recovery and we can see that potential reached in AEW. 

5. Adam Cole (BAY BAY!). Unfortunately the match with Atlas didn’t go as planned but a win is a win and Cole kept himself in the rankings with some quick thinking when he abandoned the Panama Sunrise attempt to get a quick tap from Atlas via a submission on his blown out knee. I hope these two get a chance to run it back whenever Atlas is back to full strength, however long from now that may be. 

4. Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz. This match was a bit hard to follow in person with most of the contest seeing the 6 men fractured into 3 pairings, but fun regardless. I’m assuming it comes off better on TV with editing to help follow all the spots. This kicked off with a brawl during Mark Henry’s normal pre-match interview and all 6 men eventually worked their way out to the arena. Santana flew off the stage on to 2.0 early on. Eddie Kingston took off his wife beater and choked Garcia with it. Ther was a trash can that got nearly flattened from constant usage including Kingston playing the bongos on it while on Garcia’s head. There was a beautiful stero suplex on both sides of the ring that could only be explained by telepathy. The timing was that perfect. We also saw a Bert Kreuscher fathead, a loaded sock, and plenty of other weapons used. Santana hit a piledriver through an open chair. Kingston got triple suplexed through the timekeepers table and Garcia used the ringbell again. Kingston and PnP got the win after a flurry of moves from Santana and Ortiz got the pin. After the match 2.0 & Garcia beat down the winners and taped Kingston to the ropes. Jericho came down from commentary to run them off and the show closed with he and Kingston exchanging words again. This didn’t feel as exciting live as it does now that I’m writing about it but I think it suffered from coming at the end of 4 hours of wrestling. Give me Kingston v. Jericho in a custody of Santana & Ortiz ladder match at Revolution please and thank you! 

3. Orange Cassidy. Cassidy’s ability to do so much by doing so little is amazing and something I’m sure every wrestler from the autograph scene in “The Wrestler” envies. With Cole & reDRagon set to beat down Atlas “Where is my mind?” blared through the speakers and Cassidy and the Best Friends came out. Cassidy lethargically pulled a chain out and wrapped it around his fist while the former Undisputed Era ran off. It sure feels like we’re heading towards Blood & Guts 2 with Cole, reDRagon & The Bucks vs. Cassidy, The Best Friends, Yuta & Romero and I am stoked for whenever that happens! 

2. Riho & Ruby Soho. I don’t think AEW needs women’s tag team titles but if they ever go that route this is a pairing I’d like to see get a crack at them. Despite a divide and conquer strategy by the heels before the bell rang that saw Rebel pull Soho from the ring while Hayter & Baker worked over Riho the good guys (good gals?) were able to overcome the numbers game and leave victorious.  They had great chemisty here with Riho launching Soho into a spear in the corner via cazadora and Soho falling backwards squashing their opponent with Riho strapped to her back. They got the win when Riho rolled up Hayter after ducking a strike from Hayter that connected with Baker. There was a shockingly loud “We want Hayter!” chant during the match and friction between Hayter & Baker after it which Rebel tried to calm. I’m not sure if Hayter should dethrone D.M.D. but this should very clearly be a split and match in the not too distant future. Soho was the first person in 4 AEW shows I’ve attended to pull double duty and that speaks volumes about how highly they value her despite her now losing two different title matches on big stages. 

1. Hook. AEW’s ability to read the room can’t be understated. Hook debuted as the cool heel but in only his third match ever is now very clearly positioned as one of AEW’s hottest young faces. Hook came out solo to face Solo and made quick work of him beating The Factory member via the Redrum submission. After the match QT Marshall, much like them other ballers, didn’t know how to act and got into Hook’s face and ate a T-Bone suplex from the man who’s bringing sexy back. Hook is one of AEW’s most organic, fastest rising young stars and if he doesn’t hold the TNT Championship at a minimum before 2022 is up AEW has missed the boat. There was another loud “We are Hookers!” chant from the crowd that I really hope comes across on TV. 

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