Remember the Rampage: May 6th 2022 Edition

Two excellent women’s matches, HOOK and Konosuke Takeshita headline Rampage.

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)!

Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho and Toni Storm

Early Rampage! This is the first time a women’s match kicked off an episode of Rampage. Overall, this night was a nice showcase for the women. The two teams in the opener meshed well together, and there was some nice physicality throughout. Storm picked up the big win by pinning the former champ, Baker. The first-round match between Storm and Hayter will be interesting, as AEW seems quite high on both international competitors. 

The four competitors in this match should be amongst the favorites to win the Owen Cup. It is encouraging to see two women’s matches on the same card for AEW. Side note: Diamanté and Storm put on a very solid match in the main event of this week’s Dark, and I think Diamanté could and should become a bigger part of the division going forward. I was very interested to see what AEW would do with Britt following her title run. I don’t see her as the winner of the tournament, but possibly losing to Hayter to set up that feud could be interesting. 

Through the magic of telephone technology, Eddie Kingston called Chris Jericho to put the fear of God into him. Kingston talked about how his wife was crying after seeing Eddie’s scarred and burned face. The segment was a bit awkward, but Kingston’s unstoppable passion was solid. 

Tony Nese and Mark Sterling officially challenged Danhausen to a match in Nese’s hometown of Long Island. It will be interesting to see if Danhausen actually gets in the ring. More likely Hook will intervene. 

Hook vs. J.D. Drake

Who doesn’t love a classic big guy versus little guy match, and these two guys have elite skills in their roles. Drake is an absolute monster on the independent wrestling scene and has carved a nice role for himself in AEW. Hook continues to be so impressive in the ring and is now undefeated with eight victories. 

Danhausen came out after the match and proposed that Hook be his cornerman in his match against Nese. Hookhausen chants erupted. Hook smacked Dan to the floor. Then, in an adorable response, Danhausen left a very nicely wrapped bag of chips in the ring, which was basically ignored by Hook. 

Backstage, FTR called out Adam Cole. Dax said he loves the Hart family and would never let someone like Cole win it. Cash and Dax’s face turn has been fun to watch. 

Owen Hart Tournament Qualifier Match: Riho vs. Yuka Sakazaki

The magic girl Yuka made her return to AEW in hopes of entering the Owen Cup. This was also a return for Riho, who had not wrestled since her championship match with Britt at Battle of the Belts. Both women looked strong in this contest. Two masters of the Joshi style of wrestling put on a wildly entertaining match for a chance to qualify. Sakazaki’s cannonball senton and Riho’s dragon suplex were early highlights. Jericho calling Yuka a living anime character was cringe. The two traded excellent pin attempts in between the hard-hitting action. Riho picked up the win and became the seventh entrant in the Owen. 

Even in these qualifier matches, both the men and women have put everything they have into earning a shot to enter the field. This has added even more intrigue to what should be a terrific tournament, and hopefully a tradition for years to come. 

Shawn Spears cut on a promo about Wardlow, saying that everyone has a weakness. The Chairman said that he was the giant Wardlow’s kryptonite, which was a somewhat confusing mix of metaphors. It looks like Spears will take his shot against Wardlow, possibly in a match where he can use chairs but Wardlow can’t, all but guaranteeing that he will be powerbombed onto a chair. 

Dan Lambert shot on his home town of Baltimore, even calling crab cakes disgusting. Ethan Page called out Sammy and Tay’s unprofessional behavior and said the mixed tag team match is off. Frankie Kazarian came out and asked Scorpio Sky to give him a chance at the TNT Championship. Sky said that he wanted to bring respect back to the TNT belt and that he would be a fighting champ. He told Lambert not to wear the TNT belt anymore and accepted Frankie’s challenge. 

Jungle Boy came out to commentary and attacked Ricky Starks. Jungle Boy held up the FTW Championship. The two will fight for the belt on Dynamite in a highly anticipated match of two of AEW’s best young talents. 

Jay Lethal vs. Konosuke Takeshita 

Takeshita!!! Kenny Omega’s protege is a rising star and hails from the DDT promotion based in Tokyo, Japan. Konosuke is also set to appear in high profile matches for several independent promotions, and he has challenged new PWG champion Daniel Garcia to a title bout. 

Lethal’s group with Singh and Dutt is a little strange, and probably will be more of ROH thing eventually, but the former champion can certainly go in the ring. Both competitors were able to execute a number of exhilarating moves mixed with solid technical wrestling. Takeshita hit a clothesline lariat while both men were on the top rope, which was excellent. 

Konosuke should have gotten the win after his deadly knee strike, but for a distraction by Dutt. Lethal Injection was enough for the three count. Excalibur marking out talking about Japanese wrestling was a lot of fun. It looked like the match was cut for time during the picture-in-picture, which as a concept is one of my enemies. 

After the match, Best Friends came out to brawl with Lethal’s group. Samoa Joe wanted to join the fray with a pipe but was held back by security. 

Overall this was a fun edition of Rampage, especially the two women’s matches. The show didn’t feature the biggest names in the company, but did provide a very watchable hour of wrestling, and really what more can we ask for than that. 

Written by Joel Kananen

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