Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 05/20/22 Review

aew rampage may 20

This week’s AEW Rampage featured Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson in action, House of Black were in a six-man tag and the women’s Owen Hart Cup tournament continued.

Rampage aired at 7pm ET this week, so it was three hours before the usual start time due to the NBA Playoffs on TNT.

This is AEW Rampage from the Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas. It was taped on Wednesday after AEW Dynamite. 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, and “The Wizard” Chris Jericho.

House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Evil Uno, Ten & Fuego del Sol

King battled Uno to start with King hitting some hard chops to knock the masked man down. Black tagged in, Uno hit a shoulder tackle and Ten tagged in with an impressive belly-to-belly suplex on Black. Black applied a heel hook submission on the left leg, but Ten fought out of it with forearms to the chest. Fuego tagged himself in, so Black gave him an arm drag takedown and a back elbow. Buddy tagged in with a double foot stomp off the top onto Fuego’s left arm. Buddy mocked Penta’s hand gesture followed by an arm twist on Fuego. Uno was back in Black tagged in, sweep kick and King hit a senton splash on Uno. Black and Buddy each hit kicks to Uno followed by kicks that knocked Ten off the apron. King was legal with a lifting move, Uno fought out of it and Fuego tagged in, King sent Fuego out of the ring as they went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Fuego was battling Buddy with Fuego hitting a standing Spanish Fly slam. Ten tagged in against Black with Ten delivering clotheslines and a powerful slam on Buddy. Ten and Uno did a neckbreaker slingshot into a reverse Powerbomb combo for a two count. Black avoided a Full Nelson submission, Black with a rising knee and Black got a knee to the ribs while Ten was throwing Buddy out of the ring. Black applied a kneebar submission, but Uno was back in with a stomp to save his partner. Black kicked Uno and tossed him out of the ring. Ten with a discus lariat on Black with no cover. King tagged in against Uno, who hit a kick, dropkick to the knee, and three more kicks. King with a back body drop on Uno. King tossed Ten out of the ring and Black hit a moonsault on Ten on the floor while Buddy spiked Fuego on the apron. King hit a Ganso Bomb on Uno for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews

Analysis: **3/4 An easy win for House of Black. They are pushed while the other guys are barely on any of the television shows at this point. I think Black is one of the most poorly used guys in AEW because even though he’s in a group, he’s rarely featured in singles matches and I think he’s a guy that should be doing way more.

The Death Triangle trio of Pac, Rey Fenix and Penta Oscuro made their entrance. They had Alex Abrahantes with them. There was a tombstone on the stage, so Penta pulled the cover off and it said “House of Black” along with “Double or Nothing” on it. The match is on for Double or Nothing.

Analysis: It should be a great match at Double or Nothing. Hopefully it’s on the main card and not the pre-show. All of the Death Triangle guys could be booked better too.

The Gunn Club group with Max Caster were interviewed by Lexy Nair and they wished Anthony Bowens well since he’s out with an injury. Billy Gunn told him to get well soon. They did their “scissors” thing that I don’t really care to understand.

(Commercial)

The FTR duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Cash said that Roppongi Vice’s challenge for the ROH Tag Team Titles is accepted for Dynamite. Harwood said that this isn’t a joke for him because it’s how he makes a living and provides for his family. Harwood said if they want a fight, then they’ll give them a fight.

Analysis: That should be a win by FTR since they are pushed heavily. Roppongi Vice are a good team, but they don’t get pushed that much.

Shawn Spears vs. Big Damo

Big Damo is the former Killian Dain from WWE and he’s married to Nikki A.S.H. (Cross). He has a bald head and heavy beard in AEW.

They left the ring early with Damo hitting the running cross body block on the floor. They were on the apron with Spears hitting a forearm. Spears jumped off the top, Damo moved and hit a slam off the shoulders. Damo with a senton, but a Vader Bomb missed because Spears moved out of the way. Spears hit a knee to the jaw followed by the C4 slam off the shoulders while shouting “Wardlow” to deliver a message. Spears got the pinfall win in under two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shawn Spears

Analysis: * Easy win by Spears to build him up for the match against Wardlow on Dynamite. I like Big Damo, but he was just there to lose a quick match.

Shawn Spears did a promo saying he was Wardlow’s kryptonite while adding that two days ago he left him lying in the ring. Spears said that next week in Las Vega on Dynamite, Wardlow is going to be locked in the steel cage with Shawn Spears, the Giant Killer.

The Undisputed Elite were backstage with Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly talking about how they are going to meet in the Owen Hart Tournament Finals. The Young Bucks challenged The Hardys to a tag team match with Matt Jackson saying they wanted to have a “tag team dream match.” They yelled at Brandon Cutler to shut off the camera.

Analysis: The teams have wrestled in ROH before, so it’s not like it is a new match or a dream match. Anyway, it has been building for a while.

Ruby Soho was on commentary for this match and will face the winner of this match in the semifinals.

Women’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Quarterfinals: Kris Statlander vs. Red Velvet

Velvet delivered a slap to the face after Kris set her up against the turnbuckle. Kris did a press slam that led to Velvet being slammed on the mat. Velvet tried a headscissors, but Kris stopped it and tossed Velvet down. Kris went for a sliding dropkick, Velvet puled the apron to trap her and Velvet delivered forearms to the back. Jericho gave Velvet the “Sports Entertainer of the Week” award. Kris caught Velvet in her arms and tossed her back into the ring. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Kris was in control with a running knee followed by a rolling German Suplex for a two count. Kris went for a suplex, Velvet slipped out of it and hit a Final Slice leg drop to the back of the head for a two count. Velvet with forearms to the chest, Kris caught her and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Velvet hit a neckbreaker against the ropes then a double knee strike to the back and Velvet hit a counter move that sent Kris face first into the mat for a two count. Kris blocked a kick and hit a clothesline. Kris went for a move, Velvet rolled through and Kris managed to land on top for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kris Statlander

Analysis: **3/4 It was an average match. Statlander has good power moves while Velvet got a couple of nearfalls. They booked it in a way where it was very even throughout, including in the finishing sequence with Statlander countering Velvet’s pin attempt and getting the win by sitting on top.

The win by Statlander means that she faces Ruby Soho in the semifinals of the Women’s Owen Hart Cup tournament.

Post match, Velvet’s friend Kiera Hogan attacked Kris. Ruby Soho went down to the ring to save Kris, but then Jade Cargill slammed Ruby. Anna Jay made the save while grabbing a crutch from Smart Mark Sterling, so the heels retreated.

A video aired about Hook & Danhausen facing Tony Nese & Smart Mark Sterling. That’s at Double or Nothing in the Buy-In. They showed some comedy training sessions from the two sides with Sterling looking awkward while Danhausen did weird things because that’s what he does. Thrilling.

The trio of TNT Champion Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page and Dan Lambert were in the ring for a promo. Ethan ripped on some of their rivals. Sky told Sammy Guevara to bring Sky’s TNT Title down to the ring or else he’ll bury him like he buried SCU. Sammy said he wanted a match, Lambert said “no” to that and Sammy used a sledgehammer to hit the TNT Title. Frankie Kazarian grabbed the sledgehammer and hit the TNT Title repeatedly. Sammy said that whether you like it or not, this match will happen.

Analysis: I guess that means yet another new TNT Title is coming soon. They have had a few different versions of that title. It seems like they’ll probably do Sky vs. Sammy vs. Kazarian at Double or Nothing for the TNT Title. When I mention people that are underutilized in AEW, I think Ethan Page might top the list. They rarely put him in TV matches. I don’t get it. It’s strange.

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and Toni Storm were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. They face eachother in the semifinals in the Women’s Owen Hart Cup tournament. Baker wondered if Storm was ready for such a big match. Toni threatened Baker that if there is any sort of interference then she will re-arrange Baker’s teeth and be her DMD. Baker left.

(Commercial)

There was a main event split screen interview with Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson on one side while Dante Martin & Matt Sydal were on the other side. Mark Henry conducted the interview. Sydal said that he’s about peace, love and pro wrestling instead of being a violent person. Bryan said that he likes violence in his pro wrestling and you guys are going to see it tonight. Moxley said that they are teachers and the tools they teach with are pain and torture. Moxley said that the lesson is when you enter the ring with the Blackpool Combat Club is to abandon all hope. Henry did his “it’s time for the main event” line.

The fast-talking man Excalibur did the rundown of upcoming AEW shows. This Wednesday on Dynamite in Las Vegas:

* Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O’Reilly in the Men’s Owen Hart Tournament Semifinals.

* Toni Storm vs. Dr. Britt Baker in the Women’s Owen Hart Tournament Semifinals.

* “Hangman” Adam Page meets CM Punk face to face.

* Steel Cage Match: Shawn Spears vs. Wardlow with MJF as the referee.

* ROH Tag Team Championships: FTR vs. Roppongi Vice.

* Jungle Boy vs. Ricky Starks vs. Swerve Strickland.

Next Friday on Rampage live:

* Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho in the Women’s Owen Hart Tournament Semifinals.

They mentioned some of the card for AEW Double or Nothing on May 29:

* AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. CM Punk

* AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Serena Deeb

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) (c) vs. Team Taz (Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs) vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland

* Wardlow vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Jade Cargill was about to be interviewed by Tony Schiavone with Jade telling Tony to “cut the shit.” Jade Cargill didn’t like Anna Jay getting in her face earlier, so Jade wanted to defend her TBS Title against Anna Jay at Double or Nothing. And it’s official.

* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Anna Jay. I don’t even remember the last time Anna won a match, but she gets a title shot.

* Young Bucks vs. The Hardys. That’s official now.

* House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Death Triangle – Penta Oscuro, Rey Fenix & Pac.

* Women’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Finals: To be determined.

* Men’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Finals: Adam Cole vs. Winner of Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O’Reilly

* Anarchy in the Arena 10-Man Tag Team Match: Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia and Jake Hager) vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley), Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz (with William Regal)

That’s ten matches plus the Pre-Show and Buy-In match. Long night.

The entrances took place for the main event. William Regal joined commentary for the match while Jake Hager was standing behind his buddy Jericho.

Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley vs. Matt Sydal & Dante Martin

Bryan and Moxley attacked right away with Bryan working over Martin in the ring with kicks and strikes while Moxley whipped Sydal into the barricade. Moxley tagged in with corner clotheslines along with a kick to the chest. Moxley with a suplex. Bryan tagged back in with a surfboard submission while also delivering forearms to the head. Regal said that if it was up to him then every wrestler would have a cauliflower face. Moxley charged in the corner, Martin moved and Sydal tagged in with a rollup for two. Sydal with a spinning kick followed by a reverse DDT using the leg for a leg drop on Moxley for a two count. Sydal tried a leapfrog, but Moxley caught him and sent Sydal into the top rope. Bryan got the tag, Sydal was on the floor and Bryan hit a running knee on Sydal on the floor.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Bryan tagging in against Martin with Martin hitting a running dropkick. Martin jumped over the top onto Bryan/Moxley on the floor. Back in the ring, Martin hit a cross body block off the top onto Bryan with Moxley making the save. Sydal tried going after Moxley, but Moxley gave him a rear naked choke submission on the floor. Bryan got a hold of Martin on the top rope and delivered a double underhook superplex off the top. Bryan had the LeBell Lock submission on Martin, who managed to fight it off and Bryan hooked the arm/head, but Martin got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan worked over Martin’s chest with kicks along with a roundhouse kick. Moxley tagged in, Sydal hit a spin kick on Bryan and Martin hit a kick on Moxley while Sydal/Martin each kicked Moxley. Martin with an assisted shotgun dropkick on Moxley. Sydal with a meteora double knee attack on Bryan on the apron. Martin with the double jump moonsault called the Nose Dive for a two count with Bryan making the save. The fans chanted “this awesome” for them. Moxley caught Martin, who was going for a move off the ropes, but Martin got a two count out of that. Martin with a superkick. Martin went up top, he jumped off with a dropkick that missed because Moxley moved and Moxley hit a piledriver for two. Bryan grounded Sydal with a triangle sleeper while delivering elbows. Moxley delivered elbows to Martin. Moxley hit a lifting Paradigm Shift on Martin for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the usual good match from the Blackpool Combat Club guys where they had a lot of offense that looked great and kicked some ass. Just like their other matches, they faced guys that really had no chance to win, so that takes some of the drama out of the match. I mean they did have a couple of good nearfalls for Martin/Sydal at least, so that is good. Martin continues to impress as a very athletic younger guy while Sydal is a consistent veteran that is good at what he does.

Bryan and Moxley left up the ramp, but then they were attacked by Chris Jericho, Jake Hager and the other guys in the Jericho group. That’s when Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz showed up. They were out of time while adding that the tape machines were rolling and that was it.

Analysis: It’s a taped show, so you can time it better to show more of the brawl, but I guess they did it how they wanted by having some extra footage on social media and Youtube after the show.

Here’s some of the post show stuff including Bryan Danielson’s leg stuck between the ramp and apron, which looks more comical than anything.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley
  2. House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews
  3. Kris Statlander

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 6.75 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25

 

Final Thoughts

It was a decent show with only the main event that really stood out as a great match. Moxley and Danielson are fun to watch together. House of Black had an easy win in their match. The women’s match was just average. Spears got a win to build him up for his loss against Wardlow next week. That’s pretty much it.

Here’s the lineup for AEW Double or Nothing on Sunday, May 29 in Las Vegas:

AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. CM Punk

Anarchy in the Arena 10-Man Tag Team Match: Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia and Jake Hager) vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley), Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz (with William Regal)

AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Serena Deeb

Men’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Finals: Adam Cole vs. Winner of Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O’Reilly

AEW Tag Team Championships: Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) (c) vs. Team Taz (Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs) vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland

Wardlow vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman

House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Death Triangle – Penta Oscuro, Rey Fenix & Pac

Young Bucks vs. The Hardys

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Anna Jay

Women’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Finals: To be determined.

Pre-Show BUY-IN: Hook & Danhausen vs. Tony Nese & Smart Mark Sterling

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

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport