THIS. IS. REMEMBER. THE. RAMPAGE. Sorry, I really enjoy that theme song for some reason. Each week, I will be reviewing the hour-long explosion of professional wrestling known as AEW Rampage, focusing on the highlights of the show because I just plain ol’ love wrestling. I also love the announce team of Excalibur, Taz, and Ricky Starks, and am not afraid to use this series to campaign Tony Khan to make the trio the official table for all of AEW. With that being said, it’s time to review the main event (and everything else that happens, of course)!
Owen Hart Tournament Qualifier Match: Darby Allin vs. Swerve Strickland
Two familiar foes linked up for another high-impact match, now on the biggest stage of their respective careers. The pair share a reputation for possessing two of the most innovative offensive minds in the game, and this match had plenty of unique firepower. Darby’s tope suicida is one of my favorite reckless moves in AEW, and Swerve’s knee strike to counter was exceptional. After a massive Strickland suplex to Darby on the outside, Ricky Starks made his way to the ring, causing Sting to get involved. Darby capitalized with a sneaky pin and secured a victory.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 30, 2022
I am really enjoying how AEW is booking the intensity level by the competitors in these Owen Hart qualifier matches. AEW does a good job of adding stakes to what they do, something I appreciate. I didn’t love the distraction finish, and I thought this was a good chance to put Swerve into a higher position, but man what a great way to start Rampage.
After Jericho named himself the Sports Entertainer of the Week for fireballing Eddie Kingston in the face, Santana and Ortiz appeared and gave Chris a bit of payback. Jericho returned to commentary and said that Tony Khan has approved a match for him against Kingston for Dynamite.
Trios Match: Jade Cargill & Kiera Hogan & Red Velvet vs. Willow Nightingale & Skye Blue & Trish Adora
Team Baddie was able to take down a talented trio that could become stars in AEW’s future. This one had the potential to be a fun affair but was given very little time. Jade hit Adora to pick up her 31st consecutive win. Willow vs. Jade would be an interesting solo matchup as Nightingale’s power could be a threatening thought for the dominant champ.
Backstage, Swerve told Darby that he was proud of him and hoped he won the whole tournament. He then mentioned that he and Keith Lee had more business with Team Taz, so it seems like that feud will continue.
Keith Lee vs. Colten Gunn
The Assboys did everything to keep the big man on the ropes, but the power game of Keith was the winning formula. Colten showed some nice potential here. Lee’s double-handed chop looks like one of the most painful moves in wrestling.
Backstage with Tony Schiavone, the Hardys talked about Jeff’s upcoming Owen Cup qualifier match against Bobby Fish, The Undisputed Elite then guaranteed that Fish would be the third member of the group to qualify, as Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly have earned their spots.
Hook and Danhausen Face-Off
Danhausen came to ring first and demanded that Hook be sent out. The two were interrupted by Smart Mark Sterling, who asked if the crowd actually wanted to see the two fight. Tony Nese unsuccessfully attempted to jump Hook, and Danhausen cursed Sterling and Nese. As a card-carrying Hooker and Dan-fan, this was not as entertaining as I’d hoped for.
Lexy Nair interviewed the Gunn brothers, who were approached by The Acclaimed in hopes of a scissoring and team-up. The Assboys said they had to talk to Daddy first.
Mercedes Martinez cut a promo for her and Deonna Purrazzo’s upcoming ROH Women’s Championship Match. That’s should be a really good match, and both Deonna and Mercedes should be focuses for AEW women’s programming.
ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe vs. Trent Beretta
Before the match, Samoa Joe guaranteed that Trent would die before taking his championship. Ian Riccaboni joined the broadcast table in a nice touch for the ROH championship match. Beretta was able to escape a Muscle Buster but was knocked out by a rear-naked chokehold from the champ. The two are true professionals and put on a solid match. How cool is it to see Samoa Joe back in the ring and absolutely wasting people? After the match, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh came out. Orange Cassidy, my beloved, did his shin kicks and hands-in-pocket routine to Singh, which did not end well for OC. Lethal’s group then brawled with Joe in the ring to end the show.
Eighteen years of history between @SamoaJoe and @TheLethalJay exploding in the middle of the ring as chaos erupts here at #AEWRampage! What a night of action it has been on @tntdrama tonight! pic.twitter.com/JB6b2ujqs9
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 30, 2022
Overall, this wasn’t the strongest Rampage, but the opening match between Swerve and Darby is definitely worth a watch. See you next Friday!