SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
APRIL 15, 2022
GARLAND, TEX. AT THE CURTIS CULWELL CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, and Ricky Starks
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– The opening of Rampage aired. Excalibur welcomed us with, “It’s Friday night, and you know what that means!” Excalibur was joined by Taz, and Ricky Starks.
(1) BLACKPOOL COMBAT CLUB (Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta w/William Regal) vs. GUNN CLUB (Billy & Colten & Austin Gunn)
The Gunn Club were already in the ring as the Blackpool Combat Club each made their way to the ring. Yuta was noticeably accompanied by Regal, who joined commentary for this match. The crowd chanted Yuta’s name as he kicked things off against Austin. Yuta trapped Austin on the mat, then worked over his left arm. Austin got to the ropes for the break. Colten tagged in but missed a dropkick and Yuta took advantage.
Yuta synched in a leg lock but Colten made the ropes to break it. Danielson tagged in and went to work on Colten’s leg. Danielson locked Colten in the Romero Special, then nailed Colten with a few forearm shots. Colten was able to wriggle his way to the corner and tagged in Billy. Billy missed a splash in the corner and Danielson took advantage by nailing him with kicks and then a high running boot. Danielson missed a second attempt as Billy was able to take him down. [c]
Back from break, Colten had Danielson in a headlock as the crowd chanted for Danielson. Danielson fought his way out but Colten nailed him with a dropkick. Austin tagged in but Danielson fired away with rights and lefts. Austin regained the advantage for a split second until Danielson took him down face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Danielson finally made it over to tag in Moxley. Moxley took out both Colten and Austin by himself. Moxley perched Colten on the top rope and hit him with a superplex. Moxley hit both brothers with a double DDT. Billy tagged back in but Moxley took him down with a huge clothesline.
Yuta tagged in and hit a cross body off the top onto Billy. All competitors hit the ring and the BCC took out the Gunn Club to clear the ring. Danielson and Moxley were about to fly over the ropes but Billy took them down with a double clothesline. Yuta and Billy faced off in the ring as the crowd again chanted for Yuta. Billy took Yuta down but wasn’t able to complete the pin attempt. Billy went for the Fameasser but Yuta countered into a rollup for the win.
WINNERS: BCC in 9:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Great opener, with each member of the BCC getting time to shine, and Yuta getting over big with the crowd. This is how you kick off a live show.)
(2) THE BUTCHER vs. BARRETT BROWN
Shawn Spears joined commentary for this match. Brown hit Butcher with a dropkick off the top rope, which didn’t phase him at all. Butcher nailed Brown with a few forearms, then a massive chop to the chest. Butcher hit a huge clothesline in the corner, then set Brown up with a powerbomb, similar to Wardlow, for the quick win.
WINNER: Butcher in 1:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Typical squash match to set up Butcher vs. Wardlow on Dynamite this week.)
– Dustin Rhodes was backstage. He called out Lance Archer and how he took him out of the Top 5. He said tonight he had something very special to say. Rhodes made a challenge to C.M. Punk, who he called a bucket list match, on this week’s Dynamite. Rhodes finished by asking Punk to accept the challenge. The crowd popped big for this one.
(3) RUBY SOHO vs. ROBYN RENEGADE – Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament Qualifier
The crowd chanted Soho as the two locked up. Soho hit a number of headbutts, then took Renegade to the mat with an ankle sweep. Renegade caught Soho off the ropes and kicked her directly in the face. Renegade went for a cover and got a two count. Renegade locked in a camel clutch. [c]
Renegade blocked a suplex attempt, but Soho was able to hit one on a second try. Soho nailed Renegade with a series of shots to the face, then kicked her on the side of her head. Soho rammed Renegade face-first into the middle turnbuckle. As Renegade rolled to the outside, her twin sister, Charlotte, rolled in as the ref’s back was turned. Soho didn’t seem to notice either as she climbed to the top rope. Charlotte got her knees up as Soho came off with a senton. Soho fired right back with a kick to the face. Charlotte rolled outside and under the ring as the original Renegade came back and went for a roll up pin attempt. Soho kicked out, then hit Renegade with her finish for the win.
WINNER: Ruby Soho in 7:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was fine for what it was, but the whole twin switch came off too silly in my view. The commentators did a fine enough job explaining the switch but the crowd must have been extremely confused.)
– The card for this week’s Dynamite was discussed, which included the official announcement of Punk vs. Rhodes. It was also announced that Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia and Jade Cargill vs. Marina Shafir for the TBS Title would occur on next week’s Rampage.
– Mark Henry was backstage on split screen with tonight’s main event’s competitors. Page said he will end Cole’s obsession with him and the World Title tonight. Cole said it was a long time coming for him to be the champ, and he would remind the entire world that he was better than Page. Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
(4) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. ADAM COLE – AEW World Championship Texas Death Match
Justin Roberts announced that a winner would be named after a knockout or submission only. Cole came out dressed in black jeans instead of his usual ring gear. Page was next, and sported jeans with tassels as well as cowboy boots. Page pulled chairs out from under the ring and threw them into the ring, then faced off with Cole.
Each man picked up a chair and circled the ring. They swung at one another with Page getting the first hit in. Both men went outside. Page kicked a chair into Cole’s face, then threw him into the metal barrier. Page threw Cole into the steel steps as the crowd chanted “cowboy shit.” Page cleared off the timekeeper’s table and went for a powerbomb but Cole got away. Cole nailed Page with a kick but Page knocked him over the barrier with a clothesline. The two fought into the crowd and up the stairs.
Page nailed Cole across the head with a beer, then chugged it to the delight of the crowd. Both men made their way back to the ring as Page continued to maintain the offensive advantage. Page took a chair and climbed to the top. He faked Cole out at first, then hit a moonsault on him while still holding onto the chair. Page wedged the chair in the ropes, then threw Cole head-first into it. Cole was shown busted open, as he barely beat a ten count. [c]
Cole tied a metal chain to the top rope during the break. Page tried fighting back on Cole, and landed a solid forearm shot. As Page charged toward Cole, however, Cole raised the metal chain and clothesline Page with it. Cole set up two chairs in the middle of the ring, back-to-back. Page picked up Cole but Cole got out of it and cracked Page in the face with a kick. Page caught Cole’s kick and took him down onto the chairs with a DVD. Page added more chairs to the ring as Taz commented he “was having a flashback.” Page piled the chairs on one another but Cole hit him and went for the Panama Sunrise. Page caught him and hit the Dead Eye. Both men were down as the ref started his count.
Both men got up at eight as Cole rolled to the outside. Page went to the top and went for a moonsault to the outside, but Cole caught him with a kick to the face mid-air. Cole rolled into the ring as the ref started to count Page down. Page made it back in the ring in time but Cole hit him with a Panama Sunrise onto the edge of the pile of chairs. Page barely made it up before the count of ten. Cole went back to the top rope and pulled Page along with him. Page battled back and threw Cole backward off the top and onto the pile of chairs.
Page was bloody as the crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Page sat Cole down onto one of the chairs but Cole pulled his jeans to stop him from running the ropes. Page nailed Cole with a few forearm shots, then sat down in a chair across from Cole. The two battled back-and-forth as they sat in the chairs. They stood up as they continued to brawl. They traded blows as Page got to the apron. Cole called Page a joke of a champion but Page hit a Buckshot Lariat out of nowhere. Page took his belt off and tied Cole’s arm to the top rope. Page went back under the ring and pulled out a chair wrapped in barbed wire.
Page looked to have second thoughts of using the chair on Cole. He threw it down which the crowd didn’t like. Page untied Cole, who then nailed Page with a low blow. Cole hit Page with a series of kicks to the face but Page fired back with a clothesline. Page removed some barbed wire from the chair and wrapped it around his arm. The two fought to the apron again and Cole came off the top but was met with barbed wire across the face. Page wrapped the barb wire across Cole’s head and hit a Dead Eye off the apron and onto a table. Page made it to his feet just before the ten count.
WINNER: Adam Page in 20:30 to retain the AEW World Title.
(Moynahan’s Take: A phenomenal main event title match with both men working their tails off. I loved the unique brutality of this one, as it felt like we haven’t seen a match like this before even though that’s not the case. They pulled out some great spots like the metal chain and the use of the chairs, and actually ended up with much less blood than I would have imagined going in. Page’s title run may continue to be questioned in areas but there is no doubt he has had some huge main event matches and has always come up big.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Rampage always feels so much bigger when it’s live, and this one was no different. The majority of the show was all in-ring action, which was wise since this crowd was fired up from start to finish. Let’s hope that intensity remains for tomorrow’s taped Battle of the Belts II. You don’t need to hear me say, but go out of your way to watch the main event as both Adams delivered big once again. Until next week, stay safe everyone!