This week’s AEW Rampage featured Powerhouse Hobbs defending his TNT Title against Rey Fenix, Taya Valkyrie’s in-ring debut and more.
As usual for Rampage, I am doing only one match in play-by-play and the rest get summary style. This show aired around 12am ET on TNT due to college basketball on TNT before this.
This is AEW Rampage from the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. It was taped after Dynamite.
It’s Friday night and you know what that means. The commentary was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and “No More BS” Paul Wight replacing Jim Ross, who got the week off.
TNT Championship: Powerhouse Hobbs (w/QT Marshall & Aaron Solo) vs. Rey Fenix
The start of the match saw Fenix avoiding a charging Hobbs a few times, but then Hobbs hit a shoulder tackle. Fenix sent Hobbs out of the ring with Fenix hitting two suicide dives. Fenix hit a moonsault off the middle ropes onto a standing Hobbs. Back in the ring, Hobbs caught Fenix on his shoulders with a powerslam. Hobbs tossed Fenix into the barricade a few times and back into the ring to break the count. Hobbs brought Fenix back into the ring. Hobbs did a hard whip that sent Fenix into the turnbuckle and Hobbs whipped Fenix into the turnbuckle again. Hobbs hit a delayed vertical suplex.
Hobbs remained in control after sending Fenix into the ring post. After Hobbs was squeezing the neck for a bit, Fenix got some momentum with some kicks. Fenix went for a move off the ropes, Hobbs tripped him up there and Hobbs hit a powerslam for two. Fenix sent Hobbs into the turnbuckle followed by a spinning kick to the head. Hobbs with back elbows to the head, Fenix jumped over the top of Hobbs and Fenix hit a German Suplex for two. That drew a pop from the crowd as Hobbs powered out of the pin attempt. Fenix hit a roll through into a Cutter for two. Hobbs staggered back up, he was leaning against the ropes, Fenix walked the ropes and kicked Hobbs. Fenix up top, Hobbs avoided a leaping attack and Hobbs hit a running shoulder tackle into the turnbuckle. Hobbs hit a spinning spinebuster for two. Fenix hit multiple kicks to knock Hobbs down while Hobbs hit a forearm smash. Fenix went up top and hit a Frog Splash with a slow cover attempt for just two. Fenix with three superkicks, then a roll-through move, but Hobbs caught him and hit a spinebuster. Hobbs lifted Fenix onto his shoulders for the Burning Hammer slam that Excalibur called Town Business (or Bidness?) for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Powerhouse Hobbs
Analysis: ***1/4 A quality win for Hobbs over a talented opponent in Fenix, who is one of the best wrestlers in AEW. It was a power guy against a speed guy with Hobbs dominating most of the match. Fenix is so fun to watch. Hobbs just won the title last week, so having him win makes a lot of sense logically to make Hobbs a strong champion.
After the match, Hobbs and Marshall intimidated Alex Abrahantes leading to Marshall giving Alex a Cutter to drop him to the mat.
A video aired featuring Adam Cole making his in-ring return on March 29th for his first match in about nine months. Cole said he’s going to show the world how damn good he is and nobody is going to stop him.
Stu Grayson did a promo saying that he is now back with AEW. Stu said he wants Jon Moxley in a one-on-one match because he hurt Evil Uno a few weeks ago.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Ava Lawless
Taya made her AEW debut on Dynamite on Wednesday and this was taped shortly after that. Taya was aggressive with an elbow smash, running elbow and double knees in the corner. Taya hit a Spear. Taya hit her Road to Valhalla sitout slam finisher with Excalibur pointing out that she has been doing that for quite a while. It went just over one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Taya Valkyrie
Analysis: * Easy win for Taya in her AEW debut. She’s really talented and is a great signing by AEW.
Post match, TBS Champion Jade Cargill and friends were on the ramp staring at Taya to tease a future match.
A video aired featuring Ethan Page, Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy helping Stokely Hathaway get ready for his match against Hook next week. It was a comedy video with Hathaway taking body slams, running the steps in the arena and Hathaway had some cookies too.
Jericho Appreciation Society – Matt Menard & Angelo Parker vs. Bollywood Boyz (Harv & Gurv)
The Bollywood Boyz were the Singh Brothers in WWE. This is their Rampage debut. All four guys are Canadians. Menard and Parker were in control as the heel team in the match with Parker hitting a suplex. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
There was a hot tag for Gurv with some offense, but then Parker hit an elbow drop to the back. JAS did a double team slam into the turnbuckle. JAS hit an elevated double DDT for the pinfall win after about six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jericho Appreciation Society – Matt Menard & Angelo Parker
Analysis: *1/2 A simple tag team match to put over the JAS guys. Menard and Parker rarely get TV matches, much less wins, so that’s a positive thing for them. They got the win because they faced guys that aren’t under contract to AEW. The Bollywood Boyz didn’t get much offense while the announcers barely said their names during the match.
A video was shown from early in the week with Don Callis having a Japanese welcome for Konosuke Takeshita.
Analysis: Don is trying to be Takeshita’s manager, so it was more sucking up by Callis.
Excalibur spoke quickly to announce the Kenny Omega-El Hijo Del Vikingo “Dream Match” on AEW Dynamite next Wednesday. You are going to need more than a 30-second video to try to tell people why it’s a Dream Match. I know who Vikingo is, but the average fan at home might not know this stuff.
A video aired about the main event on Dynamite. Mark Henry shouted “it’s time for the main event” without any promos from the wrestlers. Poor Mark. Excalibur ran down Dynamite matches for next week.
The Gunns, the AEW Tag Team Champions, mocked Top Flight outside the hotel by telling Top Flight to take their bags. The Gunns suggested putting their titles on the line next week against Top Flight. The Gunns left their bags, so Top Flight took them.
Analysis: What a riveting storyline. I guess it’s an easy way to set up a match.
Brody King (w/Julia Hart) vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Chris Jericho)
These guys wrestled in the Dynamite main event and here they are again. Jericho got a pop since they were in his hometown of Winnipeg. Both guys are also heels. Garcia got cheap heat by going to the floor. When Garcia finally got into the ring, King chopped him and Garcia left the ring again. King threw Garcia into the barricade a bunch of times. King hit a running cross body block on Garcia against the barricade. King charged on the floor leading to Garcia doing a drop toe hold that sent King into the steel steps.
King hit a Bossman Slam on a charging Garcia for a two count. King followed up with a piledriver for two. King hit a cannonball attack in the corner leading to Garcia getting his foot on the bottom rope so it was just a two count. Garcia had on a sleeper for about a minute until Brody slammed Garcia down leading to a spinning clothesline. Garcia applied a Walls of Jericho (more like a Boston Cab) submission, King got the ropes and Garcia distracted the referee leading to Jericho hitting King with the bat to the face. Garcia choked out King with a submission on the head/neck and King was out, so Garcia got the cheap win. It went 13 minutes.
Winner by submission: Daniel Garcia
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. I’m surprised that they booked Garcia to win even though it was very cheap. King was on offense for the majority of the match so he looked strong in defeat. This might mean that House of Black will be booked as faces going forward if this story with JAS continues.
Daniel Garcia and Chris Jericho celebrated the win while Excalibur plugged matches for next week. End show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Powerhouse Hobbs
- Rey Fenix
- Daniel Garcia/Brody King
This Week: 5.75 out of 10
Last Week: 5.5
The usual Rampage show that is just average professional wrestling for one hour. The opener was the best match while the main event was fine with a cheap ending. Some stories were advanced a bit, but nothing that special.
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