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AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
MAY 6, 2022
RECORDED AT THE CHESAPEAKE EMPLOYERS INSURANCE ARENA BALTIMORE, MD
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho 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, Chris Jericho, and Ricky Starks.
(1) DR. BRITT BAKER & JAMIE HAYTER (w/Rebel) vs. TONI STORM & RUBY SOHO
Highlights of each woman’s qualifying match for the Owen Hart Tournament were shown as the teams made their way to the ring. Hayter and Storm kicked things off, with Hayter quickly taking Storm down via a shoulder block. The crowd chanted “Pittsburgh Sucks,” no doubt directed at Baker.
Soho tagged in and Hayter pushed her into her corner so she could tag in Baker. Baker hit a slingblade for a two count. Storm tagged back in and she and Soho double teamed Baker before Soho left the ring. Storm charged toward Baker, but was caught with a face-first slam into the middle turnbuckle. [c]
Hayter worked over Storm as we came back from the break. Soho helped block Storm as she was thrown into the corner, which allowed Storm to take down Hayter. Both women slowly made their ways to their respective corners. Soho and Baker tagged in and Soho hit a flurry of offense on Baker, then nailed Hayter on the apron. Storm made a blind tag but Hayter nailed her from the side with a boot to the face. Baker went for the Pittsburgh sunrise but Soho cut her off. Hayter took out Soho, and Storm took out Hayter. Storm and Baker battled in the center of the ring, with Storm getting the upper hand until Baker put on the Lock Jaw. Storm turned it into a pin attempt for two, then hit a German suplex.
Storm perched Baker on the top rope as Rebe distracted the rer. Baker gouged Storm’s eyes, then hit a suplex off the top. Hayter came in for the double team and Soho broke up the follow up pin attempt. All four women hit the ring. Storm caught Baker with a surprise roll up for the win.
WINNERS: Toni Storm and Ruby Soho in 9:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Solid opening tag team match, albeit a bit sloppy in parts. A good primer for the upcoming Owen Hart Tournament.)
– Eddie Kingston was on the phone for Chris Jericho. Kingston mentioned how he’s been with his wife for 20 years and she’s helped him recuperate through all of the injuries he’s had in his career. Kingston said his wife was in tears this time around after seeing the results of the recent fireball attack. Kingston said he would hurt Jericho really bad, and it’ll be for his wife. Jericho was basically speechless.
– Tony Nese and Mark Sterling were backstage. Nese was ticked off that he wasn’t even on the show. Sterling and Nese made an official challenge for a match against Danhausen next week.
(2) HOOK vs. J.D. DRAKE
Hook took Drake down early on, but Drake made his way to the ropes for the break. Drake nailed Hook with a massive chop across the chest. He attempted a second but Hook headbutted his forearm, then took him down again. Hook hit a suplex to the delight of the crowd. Hook went for a second suplex but Drake reversed it. Hook reversed Drake’s reversal and locked in RedRum for the tapout.
WINNER: Hook in 1:30
(Moynahan’s Take: The end result wasn’t surprising but the quick work of the bigger Drake was somewhat surprising to me.)
– After the match, Danhausen made his way to the ring. He mentioned the recent challenge made by Nese for a match next week. Danhausen told Hook he had a proposal for him as the crowd chanted “HookHausen.” Danhausen asked Hook to be in his corner as the crowd chanted along. Danhausen gave Hook a small shove as he asked him to shake hands, and Hook shoved Danhausen to the mat. Danhausen rolled out of the ring but left Hook a small bag of chips with a small bow on it.
(Moynahan’s Take: Are we ever going to get a full explanation about who Danhausen or any background info? Still waiting. Until then, I’m not feeling this character.)
– FTR were interviewed backstage by Lexy Nair. Cash said Dax would beat Adam Cole in the first round of the Owen Hart Tournament, then go on to win the whole thing. Dax talked about how the fans used to hate him since he was a nast bastard. He said he would be that same basty bastard when he faces Cole next week on Dynamite.
(3) YUKA SAKAZAKI vs. RIHO – Owen Hart Cup Tournament Qualifier
Riho had new black gear instead of her normal pink and white, which Excalibur specifically called out in commentary. The two locked up early and went back-and-forth with a series of reversals. Riho ended the stalemate with a stiff dropkick to Sakazaki’s face. Riho went to the top and hit a cross body for a two count. Sakazaki whipped Riho into the corner but caught Riho with a boot to the face, then hit a dropkick which sent Riho to the outside. Sakazaki hit a cannonball senton outside the ring onto Riho. [c]
Sakazaki hit a modified suplex on Riho for a two count. Sakazaki went for the Magical Girl Splash but Riho was able to get her knees up in time. Riho hit a Dragon suplex, and tried following it up with a running knee but Sakazaki rolled her up for a two count. Riho hit a diving knee strike and got a very close count as Sakazaki barely kicked out. Riho went to the top and Sakazaki met her and planted Riho face-first with a modified Flatliner for a two count. Riho got a close two count as the two went back-and-forth in the middle of the ring. Riho evaded a move by Sakazaki and rolled her up for the win.
WINNER: Riho in 10:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Really good match, and the crowd seemed to agree as they were lively throughout much of the encounter.)
– The brackets for the Women’s side of the Owen Hart Tournament were shown. In the first round, Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter, Britt Baker vs. Joker, Riho vs. Ruby Soho, and Red Velvet vs. Hikaru Shida.
– Shawn Spears was backstage and cut a promo on Wardlow. Spears mentioned how Wardlow has beaten every giant put in his way, but he was coming for him. The camera panned toward Spears’s chair, which said “Giant Killer” on it.
– Men of the Year and Dan Lambert were in the ring. Lambert noted how he was from Baltimore but then proceeded to make fun of the crowd and city. Ethan Page started barking about his distaste for Sammy and Tay, then said the mixed tag team match was no longer happening. Frankie Kazarian made his way to the ring and cut a promo directed at Lambert and Page. He then turned to Sky and said he always believed in him. He said he’s always been his biggest supporter but now he was his biggest threat and wanted a shot at the TNT title. Page said SCU was dead as Sky interrupted. Sky said he would bring respect back to the TNT title by being a fighting champion. He told Lambert his version of the TNT title needed to go back to the trophy case, and then accepted Kazarian’s challenge for next week.
Moynahan’s Take: Seems like we certainly are getting closer to an official Sky face turn.)
– The commentary team was about to run down this week’s Dynamite card, until Jungle Boy made his way out to face off with Starks in advance of their FTW title match. The two battled on the ramp, and after Starks ran to the back, Jungle Boy picked up the FTW title.
– Mark Henry was backstage on split screen with tonight’s main event’s competitors. After some quick banter, Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
– Excalibur continued running down this week’s Dynamite card. New segments included JAS giving a victory speech and Toni Storm facing Jamie Hayter and Riho vs. Ruby Soho in round one of the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament.
(4) KONOSUKE TAKESHITA vs. JAY LETHAL (w/Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh)
Excalibur noted Takeshita’s background in DDT, including holding the main title five times. Lethal and Takeshita worked the mat early on until Lethal took Takeshita down with an arm drag. Lethal strutted for the crowd until he was nailed with a stiff chop to the chest by Takeshita. Takeshita hit a series of arm drags, then a dropkick. Takeshita then strutted to mock Lethal. Both men went back-and-forth in the middle of the ring until Takeshita whipped Lethal into the corner. Takeshita hit a flying clothesline as Lethal bailed to the outside. Takeshita followed by hitting a cross body to the outside.
Singh got in Takeshita’s face as he made his way back inside. Lethal used the extra time to his advantage and attacked Takeshita, then flew over the ropes onto him. [c]
Lethal and Takeshita were on the top rope, and Takeshita nailed Lethal with a clothesline as both men fell to the mat. Lethal locked in a figure four as Takeshita reached the rope for the break. Lethal tried for a second attempt but Takeshita rolled out of it and hit a brainbuster for a close two. Takeshita hit a forearm, but missed a follow up attempt. Lethal missed the Lethal injection and Takeshita hit a jumping knee. Dutt distracted the ref for enough time to allow Lethal to kick out. Lethal kicked Takeshita’s knee but Takeshita fired right back with a huge forearm shot. Lethal rolled Takeshita up for a two, then bounced off the ropes for a Lethal Injection. Lethal covered for the win.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 9:30
– After the match, Best Friends and Orange Cassidy made their way out. Taylor got caught by Singh, who slammed him to the mat multiple times. Cassidy got to the apron and faced off with Singh until he backed off. Samoa Joe hit the ring with a metal pipe. Security held Joe back before he was able to hit the ring.
(Moynahan’s Take: Great main event. I hope we see more of Takeshita on Dynamite and Rampage, especially if he’s in AEW long enough to have a storyline or two. The post-match melee was fine but I’d rather see an angle like this in ROH instead of AEW.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I never talk about ratings but I am curious how this “early bird” special of Rampage does this week; I can’t imagine well. Timing aside, this episode felt longer than an hour. I’m not sure that’s a negative, it just means there was a lot packed into 60 minutes, including finalizing the Owen Hart Tournament brackets. I think the men’s bracket looks a bit stronger than the women’s but I’m really glad to see Riho back, and I think she could go far. I was also surprised to see another Joker entrant, which is always intriguing. Let the speculation begin. Until next week, stay safe everyone!