This week’s AEW Rampage featured the in-ring return of Jon Moxley facing Ethan Page while Jade Cargill had her first TBS Title defense against Anna Jay.
This is AEW Rampage from the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, DC. It was live this week. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
It’s Friday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Taz, the yeller Chris Jericho and FTW Champion Ricky Starks. Rampage is usually a taped show, but this week Rampage was live in the same building where Dynamite was on Wednesday.
There was a big ovation for Jon Moxley making his “Wild Thing” entrance for his first match since October 2021. Moxley is in great shape with an intense look on his face. Ethan Page made his entrance with Scorpio Sky, but then Ethan told Sky to go to the back.
Jon Moxley vs. Ethan Page
They locked up with Page shoving Moxley down. Jericho tried to tell us that Moxley wasn’t in wrestling shape due to three months off while Page was more in shape due to wrestling more often. Moxley hit a running back elbow along with some face biting, but Page came back with a kick to the head followed by shoulder tackle that sent Moxley to the floor. Page followed Moxley to the floor with a barrage of punches. The referee Aubrey Edwards was not counting because it’s AEW. Moxley came back with a whip that sent Page into the barricade. Page hit a knee to the ribs when Moxley was going back in the ring and Page dropkicked the knee against the ropes. Page with a backbreaker for two. Moxley with a whip into the turnbuckle, he charged, Page moved and Moxley went shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Moxley rolled to the floor leading to a 90-second picture in picture commercial break.
Moxley avoided a move from Page leading to a rollup for two. Moxley hit two German Suplexes back to back. Page elbowed out of another suplex, Moxley sent Page into the ropes and hit another German Suplex. Page and Moxley exchanged strikes, Moxley with a knee to the ribs, Page missed a roundhouse kick and Moxley hit a clothesline. Page with a kick to the head, a forearm and a brainbuster for two. Page applied a single-leg crab with no drama as Moxley got to the bottom rope. Page charged, Moxley pulled down the rope to send Page to the floor and Moxley hit a suicide dive with a forearm. Back in the ring, Page punched Moxley while he was on the top rope and Page hit a powerslam off the middle turnbuckle for a two count. Moxley came back with elbows/knees to the head and Moxley applied the Bully Choke for the submission with Page looking like he was passing out. It went 10 minutes.
Winner by submission: Jon Moxley
Analysis: **3/4 It was just an average match. I like both guys, but it felt off a bit at times. I don’t know if it was due to Moxley being tired or what it was. Page’s offense looked good throughout the match although I doubt anybody thought he was going to win. The finish was done in a way that was more sudden with Moxley weakening Page with some shots to the head leading to the choke out submission.
Post match, Page got in Moxley’s face, so Mox kicked him in the gut and hit a Paradigm Shift DDT to lay out Page again. Moxley left through the crowd. When Moxley got near an Exit, Bryan Danielson was there to look at him. Danielson clapped for him with a smile on his face.
Analysis: I’m all for a Danielson/Moxley match soon. That was going to happen at Full Gear, but Moxley was off at that point. They could do this at the Revolution PPV on March 6 or possibly before that.
Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus – the AEW Tag Team Champions – did a promo about Billy Gunn’s kids wanting a title shot against them. Jungle Boy referred to Billy’s sons as the “Ass Boys” and said when Christian Cage is back, they’ll stomp their heads into the ground.
Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks entered for singles action with brother Matt and the associate stooge Brandon Cutler joining him. Trent Beretta was with his Best Friends for this match. The match was going to be The Young Bucks against Trent and Romero, but Romero is out of action due to COVID-19 reasons. We’ll probably get that tag team match in a few weeks.
Nick Jackson vs. Trent Beretta
It was mentioned by Excalibur that they have wrestled over 50 times, but this is the first time in a singles match. Nick with a great armdrag off the ropes and then Trent came back with some hard chops. Trent caught Nick with an overhead suplex across the ring. Nick wrenched the neck against the ropes. Nick went for a move off the ropes, but Trent caught him with a Northern Lights Suplex that he released. Trent with a big back body drop, then he charged, Nick ducked and Trent hit the ropes. Nick hit a neckbreaker against the ropes followed by a running kick to the back. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match continued with Nick knocking Trent off the turnbuckle and Nick went for a Senton Bomb, but Trent got the knees up to block. Trent decked Nick with a clothesline followed by a deadlift German Suplex across the ring. Trent with a running knee for two. Trent with forearms, Nick with a boot to the jaw, Nick with a backflip off the apron to the floor and Trent hit a Spear while they were on the floor. Trent got a hold of Nick leading to a backdrop driver and a DDT off the ropes for two. Nick pulled the referee in front of him, Nick with a kick to the head and Nick hit a German Suplex followed by Trent hitting a German Suplex. Nick to the apron by the ramp, Trent shoved Nick, who did a backflip on the ramp and Nick did a Canadian Destroyer back in the ring for a two count. It’s AEW, so every show has to have that move with fans chanting “this is awesome” for them. Trent and Nick hit eachother with strikes to the head with no attempts at blocking leading to Nick hitting a kick to the head. Nick with a bulldog out of the corner. Trent with a suplex with Nick doing a moonsault bump, Nick with a superkick and Trent with a clothesline. Trent hit a piledriver for two. Nick counter a Trent move and gave Trent a back body drop on the ramp. Nick went up top leading to a Senton Bomb on Trent on the ramp. Back in the ring, Nick went up top and hit a perfect 450 Splash for just a two count. Nick with a superkick. Nick went for another kick, but Trent ducked and caught Nick in the Strong Zero slam sitting on top for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Trent Beretta
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match here by two veterans that are awesome athletes. They got a nice amount of time to have a match full of nearfalls and creative counters. Nick had more offense, more nearfalls and more spectacular spots, but Trent is the one that found a way to get the win. I think Nick could be a huge singles star if he did more singles matches, but obviously he’s going to keep tagging with his brother Matt.
A video aired about Mercedes Martinez saying her priority is taking out Thunder Rosa.
The “cold-hearted handsome devil” Hook was up next to a big pop from the crowd. Hook doesn’t comb his hair or have a lot of facial expressions, but the people love him. Hook, who is Taz’s son, is 3-0 in AEW so far. Serpentico was already in the ring to lose the match.
Hook vs. Serpentico
Hook ran over Serpentico during the introduction and Hook flipped over Serpentico two times. Hook with an STO trip leading to cheers. Hook with a wristlock takedown while holding the left arm. Hook with an overhead suplex across the ring. Hook applied the Redrum choke submission and Serpentico tapped out after about one minute.
Winner by submission: Hook
Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over Hook. That’s mostly what Hook’s matches have been thus far.
Hook held onto the hold for a few seconds after the match. QT Marshall did a promo saying that Hook was keeping the choke on too long while his dad laughed about it and claimed Hook was a delinquent. Hook got in Marshall’s face and hooked the arm leading to an overhead suplex. Hook walked over Marshall to the back.
Analysis: I guess we’ll see Hook beating Marshall in a match soon.
Jade Cargill, the TBS Champion, was backstage with Mark Sterling for a split-screen interview with Anna Jay, who was joined by John Silver. Mark Henry conducted the interview. Jay said that she chokes people out and said that TBS stands for “That Bitch Slayer.” Jade tried to fire back, but Henry cut her off with his catchphrase: “It’s time for the main event.”
Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite: Beach Break from Cleveland. A “beach” show in Cleveland is an odd choice.
* TNT Championship Ladder Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara.
* CM Punk speaks.
* Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker).
* Britt Breakker speaks.
* Red Velvet vs. Leyla Hirsch.
* Lights out Match: Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy.
Anna Jay entered for the TBS Championship match against the champion Jade Cargill, who is 24-0. Justin Roberts did the championship introductions with the women standing in the ring.
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (w/Smart Mark Sterling) vs. Anna Jay (w/John Silver)
They had about ten minutes left in the show. Cargill used her size advantage to hit a shoulder tackle. Jay ran the ropes, Cargill caught her and hit a fallaway slam. Jay came back with a rollup for two, but Cargill came back with a clothesline. Cargill had a posedown with Silver, so Jay hit Cargill with a forearm. They went to a picture in picture break.
Analysis: I think AEW could place their commercials better. I understand wanting to show picture in picture action, but if they went to the break after the introductions, they could have shown the whole match on full screen.
Anna Jay had Cargill in a choke hold by the rope, but then Jade dropped down sending Jay throat first into the top rope. Jay came back with forearms, then a running back and some light kicks to the body that Cargill at least sold well. Jay with a flatliner into the mat. Sterling on the apron, Jay was distracted and Silver gave Sterling a brainbuster on the floor. Jay got a backslide on Cargill for two. Cargill with a pump kick. Jay slipped out of a Jaded attempt by Cargill and Jay went for the Queenslayer submission, but Cargill managed to get back up to her feet. Jay went for a choke while on the turnbuckle, Cargill powered out of that and Jay went for a spin kick, but Cargill caught her. Cargill hit a Powerbomb out of the corner. Cargill hit the Jaded slam for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill
Analysis: **1/2 The champion continues her dominance. I liked some of the counters that Jay did in the match. Jay has improved a lot in the last couple of years for sure. Cargill still needs to get better in terms of how she takes some bumps, she could sell better and things like that, but it will come as she gets more experience. Since Cargill is undefeated as a champion, it’s going to mean a lot when somebody beats her for that title.
Cargill celebrated the win with her TBS Title and a record of 25-0 in her AEW career. The announcers shilled matches coming up on Dynamite. Cargill continued to celebrate. That was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Trent Beretta
- Nick Jackson
- Jon Moxley
This Week: 7 out of 10
Last Week: 7.25
A pretty good show with four matches including a Hook squash that the fans like to see. Jon Moxley returning with a win was a smart way to start the show. I thought Trent/Nick had the best match with Nick really impressing me again in a singles match. The main event TBS Title match was fine, but nothing really special about it. Just another win for Cargill.
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