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AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
JUNE 3, 2022
RECORDED AT THE TOYOTA ARENA IN ONTARIO, CA
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 AEW Rampage aired. Excalibur welcomed us with, “It’s Friday night, and you know what that means!” Excalibur was joined by Taz and Chris Jericho.
(1) YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. LUCHA BROTHERS (Penta Oscuro & Rey Fenix w/Alex Abrahantes)
Adam Cole joined commentary for this match. Both tag teams were already in the ring to kick off the show, and the crowd was red hot for this one. Matt and Penta started things off. They went back and forth with dueling chants until Penta slowly removed his glove and threw it in Matt’s face. Penta went for Fear Factor early but Matt got out of it. Matt went for an attempt of his own but Penta rolled out. Penta dropped Matt to the mat and tried to lock in an arm submission but Matt countered. The two ended in a stalemate to the delight of the crowd.
Fenix and Nick tagged in. Nick bounced off the ropes and took Fenix down with an arm drag. The battled to the outside and missed a series of roundhouse kicks. They went into the ring and nailed one another with a roundhouse, but then popped up as the crowd chanted “AEW.” Nick and Matt double teamed Fenix in the corner, then took him to the outside until Penta flew over the top with a senton splash onto both Bucks. Fenix followed up with a tornillo off the top onto Penta and the Bucks.
Back inside the ring, Matt locked a Sharpshooter on Fenix as Penta locked Nick in submission across the ropes. Things broke down from here as both teams battled on the outside until they laid one another out. Fenix and Matt made it back into the ring as the crowd continued to go crazy. Matt got his knees up as Fenix went for a splash off the top. [c]
The Hardys were shown sitting at ringside watching the match. Matt caught Fenix coming off the ropes and hit him with his locomotion northern lights suplexes. He even caught Penta with one and took both Lucha Brothers over at the same time. The Bucks double teamed Fenix with a senton off the top by Nick, which resulted in a close count. Fenix countered Matt while Penta took out Nick. Penta and Fenix double teamed Nick, then worked on Matt with a foot stomp DDT combo for a two count.
Fenix flew through the ropes to take out Nick on the outside. Penta hit a pump handle on Matt inside the ring as Fenix hit a frog splash off the top but Matt somehow kicked out. Jurassic Express were also shown watching in the crowd. Matt was perched on the top rope as Penta put Fenix on his shoulders to attempt a superplex on Matt. Nick broke it up by flying off the ropes and kicking Fenix off and into a poison-rana on his own brother. Matt came off with a flying elbow for two.
Nick and Fenix were the legal men and battled back and forth in the center of the ring. Lucha Brothers both went to the top rope and Fenix hit a splash off of Penta’s shoulders and Penta then hit a destroyer on Matt. Fenix covered Nick for a two count as the crowd again went insane. Fenix put Nick on the top rope and picked him up but Nick countered for a pin attempt. Nick hit a poison-rana on Fenix. The Bucks hit superkicks on Fenix and Penta, then called for the BTE Trigger on Fenix. Fenix avoided it but the Bucks caught him bouncing off the ropes and hit the Meltzer Driver. Penta made the save as Fenix just about kicked out at the same time.
Matt pulled off Penta’s mask, then the Bucks hit a superkick on him and then hit the BTE Trigger on Fenix for the win.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 15:00
(Moynahan’s Take: An absolutely incredible tag team match to kick off tonight’s live AEW Rampage. Should anyone be surprised here? There really are no words the properly describe how great this one, as it’s easily the best match on Rampage to-date and perhaps one of the best tag team matches in AEW history.)
(2) POWERHOUSE HOBBS & RICKY STARKS vs. [PARTICIPANT NAMES NOT ANNOUNCED]
Hobbs and Starks immediately attacked their opponents before the ring, before they ever got a proper introduction. During the match, a backstage promo aired from Hobbs and Starks, who said they were ready to open up the “Book of Hobbs.” We came back to the ring to see Hobbs get the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks in 1:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Well, we didn’t even get to hear their opponents names, and the promo was longer than the match? Fine by me.)
– Clips aired from C.M. Punk’s AEW World Title victory at last week’s Double or Nothing PPV as the commentators hyped Punk’s announcement for later in the show.
(3) ATHENA vs. KIERA HOGAN (w/Stokely Hathaway & Jade Cargill & Red Velvet)
Athena made her AEW in-ring debut. Hogan nailed Athena with a right hand after a bit of a back and forth between the two. Athena sprung off the ropes with a cross body for a one count. Hogan rolled out of the ring to slow things down as Athena charged through the ropes and took Hogan out. Athena jaw-jacked with Cargill at ringside. As Athena went to re-enter the ring, Red Velvet pulled her off the apron then threw Athena back into the ring. [c]
Back from the commercial break, both women were down on the mat as the crowd chanted for Athena. Athena ducked a clothesline and hit a shotgun dropkick, then an enziguri on Hogan. Athena hit a front handspring onto an elbow strike. Athena then went to the top but Red Velvet tried cutting her off. Hogan yanked Athena off the ropes, then hit a hurricanrana to take her down. Hogan followed it up with a running kick to the face, then covered for a two count. Athena hit a roundhouse strike to Hogan’s face, then went back to the top. Hogan shook the ropes to bring Athena down. Hogan climbed to the top to meet Athena but Athena pushed her down and hit her swan diving cutter for the win.
WINNER: Athena in 8:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A solid in-ring debut for Athena, who had the backing of the crowd and came away with a strong victory.)
– House of Black was backstage. Malakai Black asked each member to appear, including Julia Hart. Clips were shown of Hart’s attack on PAC at Double or Nothing. Hart spoke, and told us to “celebrate, isn’t this what you want?”
– C.M. Punk’s music hit as he came to the ring. Excalibur noted how Punk seemed to sustain an injury during his recent match on Dynamite, but he and the other commentators weren’t quite sure what to expect Punk to say. The crowd chanted for Punk as he looked around the arena with tears in his eyes. Punk said when he arrived at the arena, every bone in his body was hurting and telling him to go home, even the “broken ones.” Punk said he had to stay and speak to the crowd. He said he had good news and bad news and asked the crowd which one they wanted first. He said the last thing he ever wanted to do was let the crowd down or make them feel disappointed.
Punk said he has loved every second he has been in this ring and each time in the ring has been a gift. The crowd began to chant loudly for Punk again. He said the bad news is he’s injured and he needs surgery. He said a couple of things are broken and “the biggest one is his heart.” The good news, he added, was that he could still go on a run, and that his wheels aren’t ready to fall off just yet. He said he’s felt worse, and it’s just a bump in the road and wants to wrestle for the crowd.
He then turned to the AEW Title. He said he told Tony Kahn that he didn’t want to hold the title up and that there’s a ton of talent that could take the mantle. Punk said Kahn told him he believes this is just a bump in the road for him and Punk said he needed to hear that. Punk admitted he lets doubt creep in at times but said he won’t let that happen this time. Punk then removed the AEW title from his waist and said he’d show us why he’d come back “bigger, faster, stronger, and hungrier than before,” and prove why he’s the best in the world.
(Moynahan’s Take: Man, what a blow to Punk, AEW, and the fans. I wasn’t quite sure where that was headed initially, as it seemed like Punk was nearly about to announce his retirement. I’m glad that isn’t the case, but it’s a damn shame he’s injured and out for an unspecified period of time. It wasn’t exactly clear whether he was relinquishing the title, although Jericho quickly made that comment as they broke for commercial. I’m obviously curious where this leads as far as the title goes, and certainly hope Punk returns healthy, sooner than later.)
– Mark Henry was backstage on split screen with Dante Martin and Scorpio Sky on split screen. Dante said he had Matt Sydal, who was there as well, watching his back. Sky, Page, and Lambert spoke until Sky told Henry to hit his line so they could get to the match. Henry announced that it was “time for the main event.”
(4) SCORPIO SKY (w/Ethan Page & Dan Lambert) vs. DANTE MARTIN (w/Matt Sydal) – TNT Championship
Sky hit Dante with a series of shoulder tackles in the early going of the match. The crowd was clearly behind Dante, which seemed to get under the skin of Sky and Page at ringside. Dante took Sky down with an arm drag as we went to break. [c]
Both men were going toe-to-toe in the center of the ring. Dante flipped off the ropes as Sky went to the outside. Dante followed it up by flying off the top rope outside and onto Sky. With Sky back in the ring, Dante came off the top rope onto Sky for a close count. Dante came for the top yet again with a cross body for a two count.
Dante kept the momentum on his side with a huge double stomp to the chest of Sky. Sky caught Dante with the TKO for the win.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 9:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Solid main event, with Dante looking great as he usually does. That said, the end result was never really in doubt.)
– During the match, Excalibur announced that Tony Kahn booked a battle royal to open Wednesday’s Dynamite. The winner will go on later that night to face Jon Moxley in an Interim AEW World Championship match. From there, the Interim Champion would go on to the Forbidden Door.
FINAL THOUGHTS: What an incredible show. From the opener, which again could be one of the top AEW matches to-date, to Punk’s surprising announcement, to the amazing live crowd, this one is not to be missed. I can’t say enough about how much a live crowd does wonders for Rampage, and I can only hope we see more of these in the future. Back to Punk and the AEW World title. Well, it didn’t take long for Tony Kahn to announce next steps, and it’s very interesting that Punk won’t officially be relinquishing the title for now. Excalibur noted that when Punk does return, there will be a Champion vs. Interim Champion matchup, which is an exciting way to go.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW RAMPAGE REPORT: 5/27 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander, The Young Bucks in action, more