Date: April 29, 2022
Location: Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks, Chris Jericho
We’re still in the most serious wrestling city in the country and that should play into AEW’s hands rather well. Rampage is the show that is going to focus on the in-ring action more than anything else and hopefully that makes for a good night. Throw in Danhausen calling out Hook and….I’m really not sure what that is going to mean. Let’s get to it.
Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Qualifying Match: Swerve Strickland vs. Darby Allin
Sting is in Allin’s corner as they start with a wrestle off. Neither can get very far until Allin takes him down by the arm. Make that a chinlock for a bit before Allin knocks him to the floor. The suicide dive is cut off by a jumping knee as commentary talks about how well these two know each other.
We take a break and come back with Allin working on the knee but Strickland fights up. Swerve knocks him down but misses the Serve Stomp. Allin’s Coffin Drop hits raised knees so Strickland kicks him in the head for two. Strickland heads to the apron and suplexes him down onto the floor, because that’s a totally rational thing to do. Cue Ricky Starks off commentary to go to ringside but Sting cuts him off. Allin grabs the Last Supper for the pin at 10:25.
Rating: C+. Annoying distraction finish aside, this worked well while it lasted, even if you factor in the pretty insane suplex to the floor. You could have gone with either winning here, but Allin is a bigger star and a threat to win the whole thing. Strickland needs a win of his own though, as he hasn’t had much success so far around here.
Shawn Spears is excited to see Wardlow get taken out by the big guy next week. They still won’t say who it is though.
Chris Jericho names himself Sports Entertainer Of The Week for attacking Eddie Kingston.
Santana and Ortiz storm the commentary booth and jump Jericho to lay him out.
Baddies vs. Skye Blue/Trish Adora/Willow Nightingale
That would be Jade Cargill/Red Velvet/Kiera Hogan. Blue gets taken into the corner to start so Velvet can choke with the boot. Hogan comes in with a running boot the face but Blue manages a kick. Blue and Hogan both catch a kick at the same time before Hogan kicks her in the head. Adora comes in and gets hit with a step up Fameasser, allowing the tag off to Cargill for jaded and the pin on Adora at 2:40. Total squash.
Darby Allin offers Swerve Strickland another match after the ending but Strickland knows Allin didn’t have anything to do with it. Strickland wants Allin to win the tournament so now he can go find Keith Lee and deal with Team Taz.
Keith Lee vs. Colten Gunn
Gunn looks like he got kicked in the face by a horse, kicked the horse back, and then got kicked in the face again. They shove each other around a bit until Lee takes him into the corner for the Grizzly Magnum chop. We take a break and come back with Lee hitting some running shoulders but missing a charge in the corner. The Fameasser is blocked though and the Big Bang Catastrophe finishes Gunn at 7:00.
Rating: C. As is so often said about AEW matches, this needed a break? The match wasn’t even that good as Gunn was little more than a sacrificial lamb for Lee. I’m still not sure what Lee is supposed to do in AEW, because he has been stuck in minor stories and matches like this for a lot of his time there. The Gunns continue to be watchable though and there might even be some potential upward mobility for both of them.
Jeff Hardy is ready to take out Bobby Fish next week in the Owen Hart Foundation tournament.
The Undisputed Elite laughs off the idea of Jeff Hardy being a threat, with Fish calling him Jeff hardly.
Here is Danhausen, who says SEND HOOK. Cue Hook, with Danhausen thinking that we need to do this at another time. Cue Mark Sterling for a distraction so Tony Nese can jump both of them. Hook fights up and grabs a suplex, allowing Danhausen to curse Nese and Sterling. The villains leave and the fans want Hookhausen, but Hook grabs him by the neck instead, only to leave without getting violent.
The Gunn Club says that isn’t a loss but the Acclaimed comes in to offer some scissoring, complete with hand gestures. The Club wants to go talk to their dad, leaving the interviewer to turn down the same offer.
Mercedes Martinez is ready to take out Deonna Purrazzo and become the undisputed Ring Of Honor Women’s Champion.
Samoa Joe threatens to kill Trent Beretta, while Trent says he’s going to win the ROH TV Title.
Ring Of Honor TV Title: Trent Beretta vs. Samoa Joe
Joe is defending and the Best Friends are here with Trent. Joe knocks him into the corner to start but gets knocked outside, setting up Trent’s Asai moonsault. We take a break and come back with Trent hitting a top rope dive to the floor to drop Joe. Back in and Trent grabs a Saito suplex for two, only to have Joe pull him into an STF. We’ll make that a Crossface but Trent gets his foot on the rope. Jericho: “He’s not dead yet!” Joe blasts Trent with a clothesline, with Jericho switching to “he might be now!” The MuscleBuster is broken up and it’s the Koquina Clutch to make Trent tap at 10:02.
Rating: C+. Joe can have a good match with anyone and the same is true of Trent, making this a fine enough main event. That being said, having a 40+ year old Joe as the midcard champion of a minor league promotion isn’t likely to bring in more eyes to the show. Joe can still draw in some attention, but isn’t there anything bigger that he could do than this?
Post match Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh come out to interrupt a Samoa Joe interview. Orange Cassidy tries some lazy kicks but gets decked by Dutt. The brawl is on with Lethal and Joe having to be held apart to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Maybe they were taking a week off this time because of the NBA and NFL events going on, but this wasn’t exactly a great show. It didn’t feel like much of anything on this show mattered and that isn’t a great feeling to have. There is some good enough action, but it continued AEW’s trend of not feeling important without the big stars. Certainly a watchable show, but not worth the time.
Darby Allin b. Swerve Strickland – Last Supper
Baddies b. Skye Blue/Trish Adora/Willow Nightingale – Jaded to Adora
Keith Lee b. Colten Gunn – Big Bang Catastrophe
Samoa Joe b. Trent Beretta – Koquina Clutch
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