AEW Rampage: Holiday Bash Preview for December 25, 2021
This Saturday All Elite Wrestling gives our fans a big time present of their own with a special RAMPAGE: HOLIDAY BASH edition for your Christmas night!!! Coming your on TNT, and at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, this elite gift comes with a TNT Title match, a member of The Hardy Family Office doing battle with a member of Jurassic Express, Hirsch versus Statlander, and Hook back in action! This is coming on the heels of a DYNAMITE: HOLIDAY BASH where “The Violent Artist” Kyle O'Reilly made his presence known, where Ruby Soho advanced in the TBS Title Tournament, and Sting returned to Greensboro in victorious fashion!
RAMPAGE: HOLIDAY BASH follows it up at 10pm EST/9pm CST but before Saturday night's action gets underway, be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from DYNAMITE, as well as the most recent editions of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, ROAD TO, and a special CONTROL CENTER episode!
TNT TITLE MATCH...
“The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara vs. “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes was who helped establish the TNT Title as a prize worth pursuing; for 91 days and through 8 successful defenses, “The American Nightmare” set the bar for any TNT champions to follow by setting the Open Challenge precedent. That Open Challenge opened the door for several men, like Eddie Kingston and Ricky Starks, who remained part of the AEW locker room after the fact, and showcased individuals like Scorpio Sky and Jungle Boy who were already in the fold. It was a tremendous pace for a champion, but it all caught up to Cody when Mr. Brodie Lee smashed him to pieces in that 9th defense and took the TNT Championship as his own.
Brodie, in his brief tenure as champion, decimated the championship dreams of Dustin Rhodes and Orange Cassidy, before Rhodes found a way to reclaim the TNT Title for a second time in their legendary Dog Collar match. After two defenses against Orange Cassidy, one a draw and the other a victory, Rhodes' reign was ended by Darby Allin at FULL GEAR 2020. Many thought Cody would pursue a rematch with Allin but numerous other fights, outside AEW projects, and fatherhood, took his focus in a hundred different directions.
During that time the TNT Title was elevated to even greater heights by Darby Allin as he more than doubled the length of Rhodes' reign and bumped the record number of defenses up to 9 with fights against men like Brian Cage, The Butcher, JD Drake, and Ten. Then he ran into Miro, and much like Mr. Brodie Lee before him, “The Redeemer” brought an unrestrained violence to the table that led him to nearly topping Darby's newly established records.
Miro approached the TNT Open Challenge concept a bit differently, he sought out his own challengers and in the process decimated Lee Johnson, Brian Pillman Jr, Evil Uno, and Dante Martin, among others. The shock was that the most unlikely of challengers, Fuego Del Sol, would be the man who showed future contenders the key to defeating Miro. A relentless assault on The Redeemer's neck exposed the lone chink in that armor, something Eddie Kingston would also attempt to exploit in his ALL OUT 2021 challenge for the belt, but it would turn out to be “The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara who pulled off the nigh-impossible when he beat Miro on September 29th to become the new TNT Champion.
It was a tremendous celebration for Sammy, and by extension The Inner Circle as it was the first championship brought into the unit since Chris Jericho lost the AEW World Title at REVOLUTION 2020. And in the vein of those who came before, Guevara continued the Open Challenge tradition but in such a fashion that the Forbidden Door was blown off its hinges. Bobby Fish, Jay Lethal, and Tony Nese all came hunting for Sammy and the TNT Title to no avail, but it was the challenge of one Ethan Page that has hung over this reign.
As Page, Scorpio Sky, and Dan Lambert have vocalized non-stop, they felt like “All Ego” had to jump through hoops to get his TNT Title opportunity, one he also failed by the way, whereas the others were just bequeathed their shot with no stipulations tacked on. Mind you the stipulations around that TNT Title match were placed their by Lambert himself but the American Top Team founder isn't one to let facts get in the way of his yelling at clouds.
So when Cody Rhodes stepped back into the picture as the next man to challenge “The Spanish God” for the TNT Title, it absolutely raised the ire of The Men Of The Year and Dan Lambert. They've made their displeasure well-known, having no problem vocalizing it from a distance rather than stepping up face-to-face it seems, but with the only two-time champion in AEW's history, across all divisions, now aiming to become the only three-timer, Lambert, Page, and Sky have an additional target to rant about.
But they will have to be content with watching from the sidelines this Christmas night when the great lineage of the TNT Title continues to grow on RAMPAGE: HOLIDAY BASH! “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes challenges “The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara for the TNT Title in a rematch of the very first bout in DYNAMITE history! Will it be Guevara who rings in 2022 with the TNT Title around his waist? Or will Cody Rhodes return to Jacksonville next week for NEW YEAR'S SMASH, the site of his original TNT Title triumph, as a 3-Time Champion? Tune into a special Saturday night RAMPAGE to see who prevails!
HOOK vs. Bear Bronson
He made an impressive debut two weeks ago on the December 10th RAMPAGE against Fuego Del Sol, and now “The Cold Hearted Handsome Devil” returns to action Christmas night to go bear hunting! While HOOK will no doubt aim to sink a Redrum submission on one-half of Bear Country, Bronson is going to try to maul the rookie sensation in just his second match. Bronson has promised to “spread Christmas Cheer by decorating an AEW ring with HOOK's bloody body parts” so that certainly gives fans an idea of what to expect this Saturday night on TNT! All the numbers lean in the favor of Bronson, the size and experience advantage in particular, but there is a lot to say about the momentum HOOK carries with him and the fact he is truly an unknown commodity who's only shown the world a small portion of what he brings to the table. This should be very interesting, but safe to say someone is going to get hurt.
Jungle Boy (2/ Christian Cage & Luchasaurus) vs. Isiah Kassidy (w/ Matt Hardy, Marq Quen, & Jora Johl)
Christmas night continues the gift giving, except in this case it is two individuals looking to give the gift of season's beatings! Jungle Boy, one-half of the #1 ranked tag team in AEW, will go one-on-one with Isiah Kassidy, half of another tag team hoping to get themselves into contention for the Lucha Brothers championships by any means possible. Matt Hardy thinks that goal can be accomplished by injuring JB, but Jurassic Express has different ideas:
Jungle Boy's intent to turn that coal into a diamond is one violent visual, and should give Kassidy some idea of the mindset JB brings into this one-on-one match Saturday night! Kassidy and The HFO may learn quite quickly just why Jungle Boy is the most prolific wrestler on the entire AEW roster, and how he is just as much of a threat in singles competition as he and Luchasaurus are in the tag team division!
Oh, and as for the shirt Christian Cage mentioned...(Shop Now)
Kris Statlander vs. Leyla Hirsch
This one isn't about grudges or hostilities or even titles, at least not directly. In fact these two women were recently partners on DARK: ELEVATION in a trios match with Ryo Mizunami as their third, but each has their own goal of becoming a champion in AEW. In order to do that though, each woman needs to get back into the Top 5 rankings and become a potential contender, so thus they must clash in one-on-one competition this Saturday night on RAMPAGE! The only other time these two competitors met in singles competition was very early in Leyla's career, and each has grown so much since that bout nearly three years ago. Now each brings a top shelf record to the table, each has made championship challenges in their AEW tenure, but only one can win this bout and make their bid for inclusion in the next rankings cycle!
RAMPAGE: HOLIDAY BASH kicks off at 10pm EST/9pm CST on TNT, and at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, with a special Saturday edition to cap off the Christmas festivities! To get ready for the night, be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from DYNAMITE, the latest episodes of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, ROAD TO, as well as a new edition of the AEW CONTROL CENTER with Tony Schiavone!