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AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
MAY 27, 2022
RECORDED AT THE MICHELOB ULTRA ARENA IN LAS VEGAS, NV
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
AEW Rampage Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, and Chris Jericho
AEW Rampage 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) MATT SYDAL vs. BRYAN DANIELSON (w/William Regal)
Both men were in the ring as the show opened. The crowd was on fire as the bell rang and both men circled one another before locking up. William Regal was on commentary. Danielson put Sydal in a headlock before turning him around and nailing him with a knee drop to the face. Sydal took Danielson down with a flying mare. The two faced off as Danielson took time to recollect himself.
Danielson locked in a full nelson takedown on Sydal as the crowd fired up again. Danielson followed up with a back breaker, then a stiff series of European uppercuts. Danielson rolled Sydal up by the legs and laid in a few elbow strikes to the delight of the crowd. Sydal hit a leg lariat on Danielson as we headed to a break. [c]
Danielson hit another knee drop to Sydal’s face, then covered for a two. Sydal came back with a knee strike which took Danielson to the mat. Danielson almost seemed to get fired up and the two went back and forth until Danielson caught Sydal in mid air. Sydal turned it into a hurricanrana for a two count. Sydal nailed Danielson with a kick to the back of his head but could only manage a two count attempt. Sydal went to the top but Danielson cut him off. Danielson tried for a double underhook but Sydal pushed him off and came off with a double knee to the face. Danielson turned it around and hooked in a single crab leg lock.
Danielson dragged Sydal to the center of the ring and synched in the move even deeper as Sydal tried to fight out of it. Sydal finally reached the ropes for the break. Danielson laid in a few chest kicks as the crowd cheered along. Excalibur questioned the health of Danielson’s injured leg. Danielson perched Sydal on the top rope. Sydal reversed and hit Danielson with a top rope powerbomb for a very close two count.
The two fought back-and-forth in the center of the ring. Sydal hit a knee to the face but missed a follow up, and Danielson nailed him with his own running knee. Danielson hit the hammer and anvil elbows on Sydal as the crowd chanted along. Danielson locked in a submission for the tap out win.
WINNER: Bryan Danielson in 11:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Awesome opening match for AEW Rampage, with both men looking good here. Danielson was super over and nearly everything he did on offense had the crowd playing along. Sydal more than held his own in defeat, however.)
– A video package aired showing the history between HOOK and Danhausen. The package included the build up to the Buy-in match between them and Tony Nese/Mark Sterling.
(2) THE YOUNG BUCKS (w/Gangrel) vs. TAYLOR RUST & JON CRUZ
The Hardy Boys music hit but it was the Young Bucks who came out in Hardy’s gear. They pulled down a curtain behind them to show Gangrel, who accompanied them to the ring. Nick, dressed as Jeff Hardy, faced off with Cruz and made sure to do a lot of Jeff’s typical moves and mannerisms. Matt, dressed as Matt Hardy, tagged in. Matt looked to be coming off the top but thought better of it and went to the second rope. He tagged Nick in, and Matt ended up hitting a light elbow drop from the middle rope. Rust made the tag and was able to take out both Nick and Matt on his own. It didn’t last long, as the Bucks hit him with dial superkicks.
Cruz tagged in and missed coming off the top. He was also met with a double superkick. Matt hit the Twist of Fate, and Nick came off the top with the Swanton Bomb for the win.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 3:30
– After the match, The Bucks attacked Gangrel, who Excalibur said was an old friend of the Hardys. The actual Hardys made their way out and faced off with the Bucks in the middle of the ring. The Hardy’s were about to hit double Twists of Fate but Brandon Cutler hit them from behind. Gangrel took out Cutler with the Impaler, then Matt hit the Twist of Fate, and Jeff hit Swanton Bomb on Cutler.
(Moynahan’s Take: A fun showing here as both Matt and Nick really played the parts well. The inclusion of Gangrel was a fun addition, and of course, seeing the real Hardys come out was a good way to end the segment.)
– Darby Allin was backstage talking about Kyle O’Reilly taking out sting. He challenged O’Reilly to a match at Double or Nothing.
(3) MAX CASTER vs. DANTE MARTIN
Dante attacked before the bell, after waiting patiently through Caster’s entrance and never-ending rap. Aubrey Edwards threw out The Gunn Club and Anthony Bowens as the match officially kicked off. [c]
Caster nailed Dante with a back suplex, then went to the top rope. Dante moved in time as Caster came off the top. Dante went for a sunset flip for a two count. Dante bounced Caster off the ropes and rolled him up for two. Dante took Caster down with a few elbow strikes, then kicked him in the face before climbing to the top rope to hit a diving crossbody block for two. Caster blocked a second kick to the face attempt but Dante spring boarded off the ropes and hit a moonsault on Caster for the pin.
WINNER: Dante Martin in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was short on action due to a long commercial break. What we saw on screen was solid, and could have used more time in retrospect, as Dante’s win seemed to come out of nowhere.)
– A video package aired for the men’s finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament between Samoa Joe and Adam Cole.
– Footage from last week aired showing Sammy Guevara destroying the TNT Title. Dan Lambert was in the ring with the Men of the Year. Lambert said he was able to call in a favor and have a new title created for Scorpio Sky. Sky pulled the title out of the belt holder to reveal a LA Lakers-style TNT title, highlighted by purple and gold.
Sammy and Tay Conti were shown on screen with Frankie Kazarian. The three were shown entering American Top Team’s headquarters. Sammy and Tay decided to smash one of the title cases. Each stole a title, then told Men of the Year they would bring them on Sunday. Conti told them to make sure Paige VanZant was there as well. Sky then challenged the three to a 3-3 match at Double of Nothing, then added that if they win, Frankie and Sammy would be unable to ever challenge for the TNT title again.
– Mark Henry was backstage on split screen with Kris Statlander and Ruby Soho. Soho mentioned she realizes she has lost some of the fire she initially had upon her debut, and she needs to win the tournament, even if it meant she had to beat her friend. Statlander said she was in AEW from the start, and has seen a lot of opportunities slip away, but wouldn’t this time around. Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
– Footage from Dynamite aired from the Hangman Page and C.M. Punk showdown. The commentary team ran down the full Double of Nothing card, including new matches mentioned earlier; Darby Allin vs. Kyle O’Reilly and Men of Year/VanZant vs. Sammy/Conti/Kazarian.
(4) KRIS STATLANDER vs. RUBY SOHO – Owen Hart Cup Tournament Semifinal
The crowd was fired up and ready for this one. Statlander got the early advantage with a side headlock takedown, then swept Soho’s leg as she tried getting to her feet. The two traded moves and were evenly split until Statlander hit a huge clothesline which rallied the crowd. [c]
Statlander had Soho perched on her back as she climbed to the middle rope. Soho fought back with a series of elbows, and hit a hurricanrana off the ropes. Soho couldn’t follow up, as Statlander caught her in a powerbomb for a two count. Statlander missed a charge in the corner, and couldn’t press soho over her head as a result of hitting her shoulder. Statlander rolled to the outside. Soho followed and tried getting Statlander back into the ring. Soho hit a driving armbar on Statlander from the middle rope, then locked in an armbar.
Statlander had Soho on her shoulders and drove her face-first into the top turnbuckle. She followed it up with a German suplex, then hit a spinning suplex for a very close count. The crowd was totally into this and were clearly cheering Statlander on. Statlander hit another big clothesline, then tried to lock in the Spider Crab finish. Soho fought out of it, then tripped Statlander and caught her in a roll through pin for the win.
WINNER: Ruby Soho in 10:00
– Britt Baker came out to the ramp, but Soho cut her off before she could start talking. Soho said she understood the crowd being a bit disappointed but said she would hurt Baker real bad on Sunday. Soho said that Baker had a receipt coming and she’d be cashing it in on Sunday.
(Moynahan’s Take: A good match, which was unfortunately affected by a long AEW Rampage commercial break. The crowd was clearly behind Statlander and seemed a little shocked by Soho’s sudden win. That said, this was the outcome I was expecting going in.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: AEW Rampage was solid from beginning to end. Not only did it do a good job of offering some last-minute promotion for Sunday’s PPV, but the live environment really serves as a great primer for TV viewers to get hyped as well. The more AEW can make these PPV weekends feel like big deals, the better. I’ve honestly not been as excited for this card as I have been for past PPVs, but I will say that I think Double or Nothing has the chance to over produce in the end.