Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 05/06/22 Review

aew rampage may 6

This week’s AEW Rampage featured Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter teaming up against Toni Storm & Ruby Soho, Hook was in action and Jay Lethal as well.

Rampage aired at 5:30 pm ET on TNT in the US due to NHL playoff coverage. It’s a lot earlier than the usual 10 pm ET start time, but it’s not a bad thing to be on earlier in the day. I’m using the TSN Direct App here in Canada.

This is AEW Rampage from the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. It was taped on Wednesday after AEW Dynamite. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The women’s tag team match was up first. I thought this would main event, but sometimes they like putting the biggest match up first.

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Jamie Hayter (w/Rebel) vs. Toni Storm & Ruby Soho

All four women are in the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Hayter ran over Storm with a shoulder tackle. Storm with a punch, then her own shoulder tackle and a “Pittsburgh sucks” chant for Baker. Ruby tagged in with a corner clothesline on Hayter, but then Hayter powered Ruby into the corner. Baker tagged in with forearms followed by a Slingblade neckbreaker for two. Ruby got a sunset flip for two and a rollup for two. Storm tagged in even though she left the corner to make the tag, which shouldn’t be allowed. Anyway, Ruby and Storm hit a double legsweep on Baker. Britt sent Storm face first into the middle turnbuckle. They went to a 90-second picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Hayter was in control of Storm as she sent Toni back first into the turnbuckle. Ruby saved Storm from hitting the turnbuckle and Storm hit a German Suplex. Ruby tagged in against Baker with Ruby hitting clotheslines, a knee to the face, a forearm to Hayter and a running kick to Baker’s jaw. Storm tagged in, Ruby sent Baker into the turnbuckle and Storm hit a running hip attack. Hayter went into the ring illegally with a high kick that the referee didn’t see. Ruby kicked Britt with the referee not seeing that either. There were more strikes by the women. It was tough to keep track. Storm slammed Baker onto Hayter. Baker hit the Air Raid Crash slam on Storm. Storm went off the ropes, Baker took her down and Storm countered a Lockjaw attempt by turning it over for a pin. Storm suplexed Baker. Rebel went on the apron, Baker gouged Storm’s eyes, Baker with a butterfly suplex, Hayter with a clothesline and Baker with The Stomp for two. Soho tackled Hayter to break up the pin. Ruby sent Hayter out of the ring, Baker superkicked Ruby and Storm rolled up Baker and sat on top for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Toni Storm & Ruby Soho

Analysis: ***1/4 It was an action-filled tag team match. Baker barely lost any matches for a year when she was the champion, but now she can lose to a simple rollup with Storm sitting on top. I figured Hayter would lose for that team. I liked some of the exchanges they did in the match, Storm hit a couple of nice suplexes, Ruby is a good striker, Hayter has good power moves and Baker is technically very sound. I liked the match.

Eddie Kingston called in saying that he’s been with his beautiful wife for 20 years and she was crying when he came home after Jericho threw that fireball in his face. Eddie said that this is no longer about pro wrestling. Eddie said he’s going to hurt Jericho really bad and it’s going to be for her. That was the end of the call. Jericho just wondered why Eddie Kingston was calling him and that was it.

Analysis: It’s become a very personal rivalry. No doubt about it. Grudge match coming at Double or Nothing either in a tag or as a singles matches.

Tony Nese was calling him the hottest free agent signing in this company’s history (that’s a major stretch) and Smart Mark Sterling was with him as his agent. Tony said that next week in Long Island, New York in his hometown, he wants to face Danhausen.

Analysis: That match will be very evil. Just a prediction.

(Commercial)

Hook vs. JD Drake

Hook is 7-0 in his AEW career. Drake rarely gets TV matches and is 0-4 in 2022. Hook tackled Drake into the ropes, Drake got back and hit a hard chop. Hook headbutted a chop. Hook hit an impressive overhead suplex on his bigger opponent. Drake blocked a suplex attempt, then he tried a move, Hook jumped over to his back and Hook applied the Redrum submission. Drake tapped out. The match went under two minutes.

Winner by submission: Hook

Analysis: 1/2* Another dominant win for Hook. I wonder when they finally put him in a competitive match. I don’t know when that will be.

Danhausen walked out there saying that Tony Nese challenged him to a match and he’ll have Smart Mark Sterling (he said the name wrong), so that meant that Danhausen had a proposal for Hook. The fans chanted “Hook-Hausen.” Danhausen wanted Hook in his corner. Danhausen wanted a handshake, then he touched Hook in the chest and Hook shoved Danhausen down. Danhausen gave Hook some birthday bag of chips, but Hook left them in the ring.

Analysis: The hardcore AEW fans love this kind of comedy. I don’t mind it. It’s funny in small doses, I guess.

The FTR duo Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler were backstage with their two sets of titles. Wheeler mentioned Harwood won their match, he’ll win next week and the whole tournament. Harwood talked about facing Adam Cole saying we know what kind of wrestlers he looks up to while Harwood is a Bret Hart fan. Harwood said that the fans are chanting for FTR and they love that while in the past, the fans were against them, which was fine with him. Harwood said he’s going to win the Owen Hart Cup tournament for his best friend, for his family and for the Hart Family.

Analysis: The idea is that Harwood likes Bret Hart and Cole is a Shawn Michaels guy. What about me? I love Bret and Shawn. So do a lot of people. Some of these wrestlers are weird trying to find issues about things that shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Women’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Qualifying Match: Riho vs. Yuka Sakazaki

They did some fast-paced mat wrestling early on. Riho hit an impressive running dropkick followed by a running knee. Riho went up top, she jumped off with a cross body block and Yuka kicked out at two. Riho ran into a boot from Yuka, who did a cartwheel followed by a dropkick that sent Riho out of the ring. Yuka went to the middle ropes and jumped off with a cannonball onto Riho on the floor.

(Commercial)

Yuka was in control with a move that was like a Northern Lights Bomb for a two count. Yuka went for a springboard splash, but Riho got her knees up to block. Riho hit a Dragon Suplex. Riho charged in with a running knee, Yuka avoided it, they each got nearfalls and Riho hit a running knee for two. That was very close to a three count. They did a move off the top rope where it was Yuka delivering a flatliner off the top on Riho for a two count. That’s only a two count? Sure. It looked rough. Riho came back with a rollup for two. They exchanged forearms to the chest, Yuka with forearms to the face and Riho did an inside roll through and sitting on top for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Riho

Analysis: *** They worked hard and it was an exciting style of match. What I’d love to see is some actual selling like when Yuka hit a flatliner off the top and Riho barely sold it. She was getting a rollup pin like ten seconds later. Why can’t they actually sell more? Anyway, Riho has been pushed more in AEW history, so it makes sense for her to win. The finish was done in a way to show that was an even matchup.

Shawn Spears did a promo talking about Wardlow saying he seemed to have given him a false sense of invincibility. Spears said that Wardlow knows Spears does bad things. Spears said he made Wardlow feel 50-feet tall and like a giant, so now Wardlow stands on top of the mountain as the number one giant in this industry. Spears said “here comes kryptonite” and he had a chair that said “giant killer” on it.

Dan Lambert was in the ring with TNT Champion Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Lambert said he’s from Baltimore while adding that the Balti-morons have ruined this city. Lambert trashed Baltimore some more and said now he tells people they’re from Miami. Ethan did a yelling promo ripping on Sammy Guevara saying that the mixed tag team match is off. Frankie Kazarian walked out with a suit. Frankie ripped on Lambert for being overbearing and annoying. Kazarian told Sky he’s always believed in him. Kazarian said now he is Sky’s biggest threat, so he wanted Sky to give him a shot at the TNT Title like Sky promised him. Page told Frankie that SCU is dead, so Sky broke it up. Sky said that he’s going to bring respect back to the TNT Championship by being a fighting champion. Sky said he’ll be a dominant champion and the days of this title being passed around like Tay Conti backstage are over. Sky told Lambert to put the replica belt in a trophy case. Sky told Frankie he gave him his word, so next week Frankie has got his shot.

Analysis: It took a while to get to the point of the promo, but they got there by the end of it. The graphic said Kazarian is #2 ranked wrestler because I guess he racks up wins in Youtube matches, so he has earned a title shot at Sky, who is his former SCU partner. I don’t know why Ethan Page barely wrestles. That’s a guy in the prime of his career that can do it all, yet he’s not on TV much at all. I know the AEW roster is extremely deep. I just think that’s a guy they need to use more.

(Commercial)

Next week on AEW Dynamite: FTW Championship: Ricky Starks (c) vs. Jungle Boy. They had Jungle Boy walk out there to confront Starks, so then Starks shoved Boy. They got into a fight with some punches. Starks went running to the back while Boy held the FTW Title in the air.

There was a split-screen interview by Mark Henry. Konosuke Takeshita saying he was not afraid of Jay Lethal. That led to Jay and his friend Sonjay Dutt saying he’ll give Takeshita a reason to be afraid.

Let’s try this part again. Next week on AEW Dynamite:

* FTW Championship: Ricky Starks (c) vs. Jungle Boy.

* MJF and Wardlow contract signing.

* CM Punk vs. John Silver

* Jericho Appreciation Society will be there.

* Women’s Owen Hart Tournament: Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter

* Men’s Owen Hart Tournament: Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy

* Men’s Owen Hart Tournament: Adam Cole vs. Dax Harwood

Rampage next Friday has the Sky vs. Kazarian match for the TNT Title.

Jay Lethal (w/Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt) vs. Konosuke Takeshita

Lethal was in control early with a takedown leading to a dropkick. Takeshita with hard chops, an armdrag and a jumping side kick. They exchanged strikes, Takeshita ran the ropes and hit a jumping shoulder tackle. Takeshita jumped over the tall onto Lethal on the floor. Singh got in Takeshita’s face, which led to Konosuke taking time to go in the ring and Lethal kicked him in the leg. Lethal hit a suicide dive onto Takeshita on the floor to send him into the barricade. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with about five minutes left. They were standing on the top rope with Takeshita doing a clothesline on the top rope and Jay did a moonsault bump into the ring. That got a two count for Takeshita. Lethal went for a kneebar submission, Takeshita got out of it and hit a brainbuster for two. Lethal hit the backbreaker into a neckbreaker. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, Takeshita avoided it and hit a clothesline. Takeshita hit a jumping knee to the face, Dutt distracted the referee and there was a delay for the count because of the distraction, so Takeshita only got a two count. They exchanged strikes again, Lethal kicked the knee and Lethal got a rollup for two. Takeshita kicked out, Lethal off the ropes and he hit the Lethal Injection for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jay Lethal

Analysis: ***1/4 A solid match with some good booking towards the finish. I liked the nearfall with Takeshita getting the running knee and Lethal was down for nearly ten seconds, but the distraction by Dutt prevented the immediate count. That led to Lethal kicking out, which led to Lethal coming back to win. I know Takeshita is from the DDT promotion. I just think he could do well in AEW if he was a regular because he’s a taller guy wrestling the Japanese style and he was impressive. Lethal winning was obvious.

After the match, Lethal and Dutt stomped on Takeshita a bit. Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor of the Best Friends ran out for the save. Singh slammed Trent down and then Singh choked Taylor repeatedly. Orange Cassidy tried doing his pockets gimmick on the apron, but Singh scared him and Cassidy went to the floor. Samoa Joe walked out there with the ROH TV Title, but then a bunch of security guys and referees held Joe back. End show.

Analysis: They are doing a nice job of building up the Lethal/Joe match whenever it happens. I assume it’s at Double or Nothing, but it could be a TV match at some point. Trent and Chuck looked like nobodies there as they had to feed for Singh in that spot.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Jay Lethal
  2. Ruby Soho & Toni Storm
  3. Riho

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

It was the usual solid episode of Rampage. The women’s tag opener was good and it’s rare to see Britt Baker losing clean like that. Nice win for Toni Storm & Ruby Soho. Jay Lethal was impressive in the main event with Konosuke Takeshita. The other women’s match with Riho beating Yuka Sakazaki was fine, but it would be nice if they slowed down to actually sell moves. Hook continues to dominate because that’s what Hook does.

I think they were trying to put bigger matches a few weeks ago on Rampage, but now they are back just doing matches without much build. Maybe it was because of the different time slot. It’s fine watching a wrestling show with a bunch of three-star level matches. It’s not like it’s a bad show. However, nothing really stands out on Rampage week after week.

Thanks for reading. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport