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AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
APRIL 29, 2022
RECORDED AT LIACOURAS CENTER IN PHILEDELPHIA, PA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks & Chris Jericho
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks & Chris Jericho on the call and we go right to the ring as the bell sounds almost immediately.
(1) DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting) vs. SWERVE STRICKLAND – Owen Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament
Excalibur mentioned the history these two have in the Northwest, as Darby worked a wrist lock early. Darby did his springboard arm drag, but Swerve flipped out on his feet. Both men show they know each other extremely well with their early counters. Darby is sent to the floor, Swerve looked for a dive, put on the brakes, which allowed Darby to his a Stundog Millionaire on the outside. After a quick two count in the ring, Darby went for a low dive back on the floor and Swerve met him with a leaping knee to the face. Swerve got a running start and stomped on the face of Darby off the apron as we went to picture in picture. [c]
Swerve controlled the entire break, but when they returned, Darby got a grapevine on the leg with an ankle pick. Swerve fought free, connected with a nice suplex, but only got two. Swerve missed the double stomp off the top, which allowed Darby to hit a Code Red for two of his own. Darby went to the top himself, but Swerve got the knees up off a Coffin Drop. Swerve hit a massive snap kick to the head, but Darby got his arm on the rope to break the pin attempt. Swerve connected with a stalling vertical suplex from the ring to the floor and the thud from both of these men was insane. Ricky Starks left commentary to attack Swerve, but Sting stepped in front and backed Starks off. Just then, Swerve rolled back inside and got trapped with the Last Supper for the flash win.
WINNER: Darby Allin in 10:00
(Howard’s Analysis: A fantastic opener with two men who know each other incredibly well. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we see these two in the ring together in AEW. That suplex to the floor and the thud that echoed was gnarly. The finish also continued the Swerve vs. Team Taz program, so I expect a rematch of Swerve & Lee vs. Hobbs & Starks potentially down the line. Perhaps Swerve returns the favor and costs Starks & Hobbs their match that I assume they’ll have soon with Jurassic Express?)
-Shawn Spears cuts a promo on Wardlow about his mystery opponent on Dynamite. Spears has been in the ring with this 7 foot tall man, who has a lot of “P.P.” which is Pinnacle Potential. On Wednesday, Wardlow will be led to slaughter.
-Chris Jericho awards himself the Sports Entertainer of the Week Award and says he’s a wizard who is able to throw fireballs. Just then, Santana & Ortiz hit the commentary table and Santana paint brushed the hell out of Jericho before being separated by agents Jerry Lynn & Ace Steel.[c]
(2) JADE CARGILL & KIERA HOGAN & RED VELVET vs. SKYE BLUE & TRISH ADORA & WILLOW NIGHTINGALE
Jade & Skye began things for their team, but Jade just backed off and Velvet started instead. Velvet pie faced Willow and laid out Skye with a leg lariat. Velvet put the boots to Skye in the corner before Hogan hit a running dropkick. Skye avoided a leaping leg drop and got a boot for two. Red Velvet jumped in, but Willow hit a massive Pounce that launched Velvet clear across the ring. Hogan leveled Skye with a roundhouse kick, as Adora made the tag and ate a Hogan legdrop for her trouble. Jade made the tag, hit a pump kick immediately and hit Jaded, all while Velvet & Hogan wiped out Skye & Willow to give The Baddies the win.
WINNER: Jade Cargill, Kiera Hogan & Red Velvet in 3:00
(Howard Analysis: Jade and her Baddies looked impressive in the quick showcase. Willow didn’t officially get into this match, but she did get to launch poor Velvet with the Pounce. Having Velvet & Hogan associated with Jade allows the champ to have hoops for potential challengers to jump through before getting to the champ, so title matches don’t have to feel so rushed with Jade moving forward. I’ll take this opportunity to get on the support train of having Stokely Hathaway signed to AEW and becoming the new mouthpiece of Jade & The Baddies, sorry, Mark Sterling.)
-Backstage Tony Schiavone interviewed Swerve & Darby, as Darby said if he wanted 5 more minutes he’s fine with it. Swerve said he respects Darby and know he wasn’t behind it and is rooting for Darby to win this tournament. Swerve said he has to go call on Keith Lee to help him finish business with Team Taz.
(3) KEITH LEE vs. COLTEN GUNN (w/Austin Gunn)
Lee backed Colten to the corner and had a clean break, as the crowd had a loud Ass Boys chant. Colten tried to do a double overhand chop to Keith Lee of all people; you know what’s coming, as Lee returned the favor and crumbled the Ass Boy. [c]
In picture in picture, Lee delivered Snake Eyes to Colten, as Austin got involved, which allowed Colten to control the action during commercial. Back from break, Colten went for a corner splash, but Lee laid him out with pie face. A huge beal sent Colten flying across the ring, as Lee got the crowd behind him. Austin moved his brother out of the way, but took the brunt of the splash instead. Colten went for a Fame-Asser and Colt 45, but Lee avoided both and hit the Ground Zero for the win.
WINNER: Keith Lee in 7:00
(Howard’s Analysis: We didn’t get to see much of this match, but what we did, Keith Lee controlled most of it. This felt like a filler match to give Keith Lee a singles win, as the Ass Boys did good in their roll of getting thrown around by Lee.)
-Tony Schiavone interviewed The Hardy’s about Jeff’s Owen Hart qualifier next week, as Jeff thanks Owen for all the memories. Jeff imagines the possibilities that await if he beats Bobby Fish. Matt tells Fish he’ll be eating a Swanton Bomb. We then go to The Undisputed Elite, who ran down The Hardy’s and Adam Cole said three members of their group will be in the Owen Hart Foundation tournament. Fish said this will be undisputed.
Danhausen interrupted Excalibur’s rundown of Fish vs. Hardy and makes his way to the ring saying he is going to confront Hook and demands to send HOOK! Hook hit the ring and got right into Danhausen’s face, who realizes just what he’s gotten himself into. Danhausen said maybe it’s too early to do this; Hook wants to do it now, until Mark Sterling interrupted the fun. It was a distraction, as Tony Nese hit the ring and attacked both Hook & Danhausen. Sterling tried to hold Hook, but was thrown for his efforts. Hook hit an overhead throw on Nese as well, while Danhausen cursed both Nese & Sterling, who retreated. Hook & Danhausen stood tall to the chants of Hook-Hausen from the fans. Danhausen offered a handshake, but Hook brushed him off and walked off on his own. [c]
-Lexy Nair interviewed Colten & Austin Gunn, asked about Colten’s first singles loss. Austin said the Gunn Club can do anything, as they were interrupted by The Acclaimed. Caster & Bowens asked if they wanted to scissor with The Acclaimed, but they left and had to talk to their dad. Caster & Bowens asked if Lexy wanted to scissor and she declined.
-Mercedes Martinez had a video package ahead of her ROH Women’s Title unification match with Deonna Purrazzo this Wednesday. Excalibur ran down the rest of the card, which will feature Butcher, Blade & Angelico vs. The Blackpool Combat Club, Chris Jericho vs. Santana and the aforementioned Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Fish. Meanwhile, on Rampage, which starts early next week, features Hook in action and Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho & Toni Storm.
-Mark Henry did his rundown of the main event and interviews both competitors as Joe said ROH started in Philadelphia and will defend his title tonight. Trent said he won’t allow Joe to kill him; while Chuck Taylor pumps his best friend up saying there will be a new champ. Ian Riccaboni joined commentary, with Bobby Cruise doing ring introductions..
(4) SAMOA JOE vs. TRENT BERETTA (w/Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor) – ROH World Television Title
Joe & Trent adhered to the Code of Honor to being, as Joe mowed Trent down with a shoulder block early. Joe lit up Trent in the corner and connected with a leaping kick to the head that sent Trent to the floor. Joe wanted a dive, but Trent jumped on the apron and hit a sliding knee from the apron. Trent did a huge Asai Moonsault to the floor and almost missed Joe in the process, but got enough. Joe avoided a Tornado DDT off the steps and laid out Trent with a big boot as they headed to break. [c]
Joe controlled the entire break, as whenever Trent tried fighting back, Joe would drop him instantly. Back from commercial, Trent floated through a powerbomb and sent Joe to the floor. Trent connected with a huge cross body block from the top as both rolled slowly back inside. Trent dished out strikes and dropped Joe with a snap back suplex before Joe got a chance to hulk up. Trent hit his Tornado DDT his second try, but only managed two. Trent went for Strong Zero, but Joe countered into a powerbomb, then STF into a crossface submission. Trent got the foot on the rope, started toying with Trent, who slapped Joe right across the face. Joe steamrolled Trent with a lariat, wanted a Muscle Buster, but Trent got free with a sunset flip for two. Trent hit his running knee, charged in the corner, but Joe hit a uranage, locked in the Coquina Clutch for the submission win.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 10:00 to retain the ROH World Television Title
-After the match, Joe shook Trent’s hand as Tony Schiavone interviewed Joe for about 5 seconds before Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt interrupted. Best Friends were still ringside, as Orange Cassidy tried his little kicks, but Sonjay attacked him. Singh laid out Trent & Chuck, as Lethal hit the ring and we had a pull apart between Lethal & Joe to end the show.
(Howard’s Analysis: I really enjoyed this main event; as you know exactly what you’re getting when super talented wrestlers like Trent & Joe are in there. Trent had his hope spots, but Joe was just too much to overcome. I liked Ian Riccaboni & Bobby Cruise being there in Philly for this match, as it did give this a nice ROH feel for the main event. Post match, Joe is outnumbered ultimately, so I don’t know if that will require backup, but I’m looking forward to Joe vs. Lethal, whenever that happens. As for Joe vs. Singh, the jury is still out; though I’m confident Joe could have a nice brawl style match with Singh. This is a feud that I’m glad they’re taking their time building on Rampage.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This episode of Rampage was bookended by two excellent matches, with the middle of the show just being there. As much as I enjoy Keith Lee matches, I almost wish they would’ve had that match on Elevation and given the main event and opener more time, but that’s just me. Danhausen & Hook standing tall sort of made sense since Hook is lined up with Tony Nese next and this potentially gives Hook someone to combat Mark Sterling on the outside. Darby advancing makes sense, Jade & crew looked strong and they did a good job building & promoting the card for Dynamite Wednesday. The one mild complaint I have about this show tonight is I have no idea what the purpose of the Ass Boys & Acclaimed backstage segment was for. That feels like something that could be on Elevation or Dark. I know it only went like a minute, but with a show so crammed, that minute could go to more in ring action.