AEW Rampage – March 11, 2022: It’s Not On Paper

AEW Rampage

AEW Rampage
Date: March 11, 2022
Location: Hertz Arena, Fort Myers, Florida
Commentators: Ricky Starks, Taz, Excalibur

We’re back to the Friday show this time around and we are still in the fallout from Revolution. The big story on Dynamite was the debut of Jeff Hardy to reunite with his brother, which should make for a major story going forward. This week’s main event will feature the debut of Shane Strickland, which should work out rather well. Let’s get to it.

Here is Dynamite if you need a recap.

Opening sequence.

Marq Quen vs. Darby Allin

Sting and Isiah Kassidy are here too, but we don’t have time to intro them because we need to go straight to the ring thirty seconds into the show. As we go to a split screen of Jeff Hardy debuting, Allin takes over with a headlock but Quen fights up and sends him into the corner to take over. Some stomping has Allin in trouble and Quen hits a shoulder to the ribs in the corner. Allin hits a hiptoss for a breather but Quen goes to the apron and pulls Allin down onto it with him as we take a break.

Back with Allin hitting a superplex for two but Quen knocks him down and hits a backflip stomp/knees to the stomach for two. A flipping Downward Spiral gives Quen two, only to have Allin come back with a reverse DDT. The Coffin Drop is loaded up but Kassidy offers a distraction, which draws over Sting for the save. Quen knocks Allin off the top and hits a 450 to the floor before taking it back inside. Quen’s shooting star press misses though and Allin grabs a Fujiwara armbar for the tap at 11:49.

Rating: C+. Allin continues to be worth a watch every time and that is a great thing. He knows how to excite the fans and get them into whatever he is doing and not a lot of wrestlers can say that. You also have Quen, who can do some amazing high flying, but using a 450 to the floor 40 seconds before you lose is a bit much.

Post match the AHFO comes out to go after Allin and Sting but the Hardys make the save.

Dan Lambert talks about Larry Zbyszko and Bruno Sammartino to set up Wardlow vs. Scorpio Sky for the TNT Title on Dynamite. Sky promises to retain the title and his streak.

The House of Black loves violence and seems to threaten Death Triangle.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Jamie Hayter

Britt Baker and Rebel are here too. Hayter takes her down with a headlock to start, with Martinez reversing into a headscissors for a standoff. Back up and Hayter takes her into the corner before an exchange of shoulders lets them stare at each other again. Hayter stomps her down in the corner to take over again though and we take a break. We come back with Martinez rolling a few butterfly suplexes for two. Hayter is back with an Irish Curse for two and a shot to the head rocks Martinez. Hayter heads up but gets German suplexed HARD back down. Baker offers a distraction though and Hayter hits a clothesline for the pin at 9:30.

Rating: C-. I wasn’t feeling this one as Martinez has lost all of her interest in recent weeks and Hayter is little more than Baker’s muscle. It didn’t help that the first half of the match was pretty dull stuff and Hayter only needed a clothesline to win. Not their best stuff, but it felt like a bit of a clash as both of them have done far better before.

Post match the beatdown is on but Thunder Rosa runs in with a chair for the save.

Hikaru Shida is back and hopes Serena Deeb missed her. She promises to cut Deeb’s head off.

Keith Lee vs. QT Marshall

Lee powers him up by the arm to start but Marshall gets in a poke to the eye. Marshall mocks the BASK IN HIS GLORY, earning himself the Grizzly Magnum chop. The Uncle Phil Biel sends Marshall flying but he gets in a Stunner over the top rope. A missile dropkick puts Lee down but he’s back up with a clothesline. The Big Bang Catastrophe is blocked so Marshall hits an enziguri. The cutter is countered and Lee runs through him with a shoulder. Now the Big Bang Catastrophe can finish Marshall at 3:48.

Rating: C. They had me worried about this one as Marshall was getting in a bit too much offense here for a bit. The good thing is that Lee won with his big move at the end. There is something cool about watching Lee run through people and throw them around, but dang that man is rather large. He might need to slim down a bit, just for the sake of looking a bit better.

Post match Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto come in for the failed beatdown attempts. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks come in as well though and Hobbs hits a good spinebuster to drop Lee.

Tony Nese and Shane Strickland have their face to face showdown.

Tony Nese vs. Shane Strickland

Strickland takes him down by the wrist but Nese is back up without much trouble. A missed charge into the corner sets up an anklescissors takes Nese down and a basement dropkick makes it worse. Nese gets sent outside, where Strickland kicks him in the chest from the apron. A cheap shot gives Nese a breather though and we take a break.

Back with Nese blocking an uppercut and hitting a neck snap across the top. Nese misses the moonsault though and it’s a tilt-a-whirl powerslam, with Strickland rolling into a suplex for two. Strickland goes up top but gets pulled into a gutbuster. A good looking 450 gives Nese two but Strickland sends him to the apron for a running double stomp. Back in and a rolling Downward Spiral gets two and the Swerve Stomp (top rope double stomp) finishes at 13:01.

Rating: B-. Good match and Strickland looked awesome in his debut, but this was a perfect example of a match that could have been trimmed down. It’s ok to have Nese get in a few moves and then lose in about six minutes instead of going more than double that. Leave the fans wanting to see more of Strickland rather than running him through so much in his first match.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a downgrade over the usual Rampages, but it was by no means a bad show. Strickland looked good and they did some nice enough stuff in the other matches, but it is still such an oddly paced show. It feels like they have to rush through everything so they can fit in their longer matches, even when they could be done just as well with a few minutes cut off from each. The show comes off like something that was entertaining on paper but it isn’t exactly great when it airs.

Results
Darby Allin b. Marq Quen – Fujiwara armbar
Jamie Hayter b. Mercedes Martinez – Clothesline
Keith Lee b. QT Marshall – Big Bang Catastrophe
Shane Strickland b. Tony Nese – Swerve Stomp

 

 

 

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