Date: April 22, 2022
Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Ricky Starks, Taz, Excalibur
We’re back on Friday this week as AEW has been trying to ramp this show up a bit more in recent weeks. That means more star power, and this week it means a title match as Jade Cargill is defending the TBS Title against Marina Shafir. We also have a pretty big showdown between Adam Cole and Tomohiro Ishii. Let’s get to it.
Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match: Adam Cole vs. Tomohiro Ishii
We go right to the ring (with Rocky Romero and Orange Cassidy at ringside) with Cole striking away but getting dropped with a chop. They head outside with Ishii hitting the post and getting driven into the barricade. Back in and Cole grabs the chinlock but seems to be favoring his arm. Some forearms don’t do much on Ishii, who knocks Cole into the corner with a single shot. Back up and Cole charges into a powerslam but slips out of a powerslam.
The fireman’s carry onto the knee drops Ishii and we take a break. We come back with Ishii hitting a superplex and sliding lariat for two each. Cole grabs a brainbuster onto the knee but Ishii shrugs off a superkick. Ishii hits an enziguri and headbutting him, only to have Cole hit a superkick. That still doesn’t matter as Ishii hits a hard clothesline, only to have Jay White run out and send Rocky Romero into the steps. The distraction lets Cole get in a low blow and the Boom finishes Ishii at 11:18.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure I’d call that a dream match but Cole going over a bigger name is a good thing for his future. Granted I don’t know how good of an idea it is to have him on a show a week after losing in a Texas Death Match to a big finisher, but if he was just fine on Dynamite, he can be just fine here….right?
Earlier today, the Jericho Appreciation Society wasn’t allowed in the building. Chris Jericho doesn’t like it but backs down from a bunch of security. Daniel Garcia is allowed in because he has a match, though Jericho promises to call human resources on the main guard.
Danhausen eats some of Hook’s chips to steal his power, but Hook pins him against the wall and says (I believe for the first time) that if Danhausen wants his attention, he has it. Danhausen knows he’s in trouble.
Lance Archer vs. Serpentico
Serpentico jumps at Archer to start and can’t even knock him down. Shawn Spears is on commentary as Archer starts the destruction, setting up the Blackout for the pin at 29 seconds. Same thing they did with Butcher last week and it’s still the right thing to do.
Post match Archer hits some chokeslams.
Video on Tony Nese and Mark Sterling.
Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia
Kingston starts fast by taking it to the floor for some chops. Back in and Garcia gets in a shot of his own, only to have his skin removed with a chop. Kingston fights off an armbar with some knees to the ribs and chops away as commentary compares Garcia’s chest to various cuts of meat.
We take a break and come back with Garcia reversing a dragon sleeper and hitting a suplex to send Kingston into the corner. The Boston crab sends Kingston towards the ropes so Garcia tries a failed Sharpshooter attempt. Back up and Kingston manages an exploder suplex, setting up the Spinning Backfist To The Future for the pin at 12:20.
Rating: C+. The long and drawn out build towards their respective teams finally having their big showdown continues, but I’m not sure if they can make it all the way to Double Or Nothing. Kingston getting a win is almost weird to see but he’s a bigger star than Garcia and should have gone over. If nothing else, the backfist almost always looks like a knockout shot and Kingston hits it well so it was nice to see.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland promise that the war isn’t over with Team Taz.
Ricky Starks: “You broke a** Kenan and Kel.” Starks promises to finish the job with Lee and Strickland. I had to pause for a second after the Kenan and Kel line because nothing was topping that this week.
Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter are ready to fight each other.
Dax Harwood is ready to fight Cash Wheeler for himself and his family.
Mark Sterling reveals that he is a black belt, having bought it for $20 on Amazing. As for tonight, he is ready to celebrate Jade Cargill’s win over Marina Shafir. That doesn’t work for Shafir, because problems don’t worry about plans. Time for the main event.
TBS Title: Marina Shafir vs. Jade Cargill
Cargill, with Mark Sterling, is defending. Shafir goes at her but Cargill isn’t impressed and hits a fall away slam into the nip up. A clothesline puts Shafir on the floor, where Cargill follows to get some kisses on the cheek from the Baddies section. Back in and a belly to back suplex gives Cargill two, followed by a powerslam for the same.
We take a break and come back with Shafir fighting out of an armbar and taking her down to work on the leg. With that broken up, they head outside where Sterling’s interference earns him a throw of his own. Cargill gets in a pump kick though and chokeslams her onto (not through) the timekeeper’s table. Back in and the foot on the chest cover gives Cargill two, with Shafir pulling her into a kneebar. Cargill fights out and hits Jaded (with Shafir having NO emotion on her face as she goes up) to retain at 11:39.
Rating: C. All things considered, this could have been FAR worse. They were smart to keep things simple and have them in spots where they could walk around a bit in between moves, as it let them burn some time off the clock and kept things simple. Neither of these two has any significant experience and neither is what I would consider really good in the ring. Cargill has an amazing presence to her and can make the limited stuff work, which is enough to focus on to ignore what wasn’t a great match otherwise. While it looked very, very planned out, they got through this rather well and I’d call that a big success.
Balloons fall to celebrate Jade being 30-0 to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The star power was here this week and it continues to serve as a supplement to Dynamite, though it wasn’t exactly must see stuff. The best thing about Rampage continues to be that it is still an hour long and it can’t have that much time to overstay its welcome. That was the case here as just as it was starting to lose its charm, the show was wrapping up, which is some pretty good timing.
Adam Cole b. Tomohiro Ishii – Boom
Lance Archer b. Serpentico – Black Out
Eddie Kingston b. Daniel Garcia – Spinning Backfist To The Future
Jade Cargill b. Marina Shafir – Jaded
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