By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Rampage (Episode 24)
Washington, D.C. at Entertainment and Sports Arena
Aired live January 21, 2022 on TNT
Excalibur opened the show on commentary and Jon Moxley made his return immediately for the first match. Chris Jericho and Taz joined in and said it was good to see Moxley back, even if he wasn’t his biggest fan. Moxley threw a chair into the ring and pumped up the crowd. Ethan Page made his entrance afterwards with Scorpio Sky. Page ended up walking to the ring alone as Sky walked to the back from the ramp.
1. Ethan Page vs. Jon Moxley: They tied up to start and Page shoved Moxley down. Moxley grabbed a waist lock, but Page quickly reversed and shoved him off. The crowd chanted for Moxley as Page landed a chop. He asked for another, and then returned fire. Page stopped him with a boot to the gut, but Moxley quickly returned fire with a back elbow.
Page landed a shoulder block that sent Moxley to the floor, and taunted the crowd for a round of boos. He followed and tossed Moxley off the announce table. Page followed up with punches, and the table collapsed under the weight of Moxley and Page’s punches. Moxley regrouped for a moment, and then tossed Page into the ring barricade, and then back into the ring. Page intercepted him with a knee and a dropkick as he got back in the ring.
He then grabbed Mox and delivered a hanging backbreaker using the second rope. Mox fired back, in the corner, but missed a shoulder charge and ate the ring post…[c]
They brawled around the ringside area, and back into the ring during the break. Page picked up Moxley for the Ego’s Edge, but Moxley slipped free and rolled him up for a two count. He then landed two German Suplex throws, and then a third rebounding off the ropes. Moxley landed a forearm shot in the corner, but whiffed on a follow up lariat. Both men traded strikes, and Page got the better of it initially. Mox surged back with a big lariat. He then went for a paradigm shift, but Page avoided it and landed a brainbuster for a near fall.
Page applied a single leg crab, and Moxley was forced to scramble to reach the ropes. He then charged at Moxley, and got low bridged over the top rope. Moxley landed a splash to the outside, and then climbed to the top rope. Page intercepted him, and landed a second rope power slam. He covered, but Moxley reversed into a crucifix pin for a two count. Moxley then landed a series of elbows and knees, and then locked in the Bulldog Choke. Page was forced to pass out.
Jon Moxley defeated Ethan Page at 10:15
Moxley celebrated his victory until Page got up and got in his face. Moxley then landed a Paradigm Shift and headed to the back through the crowd. Bryan Danielson was waiting for Moxley in the area near where Moxley entered the arena. He clapped as Moxley briefly got in his face before continuing to the back.
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus cut a backstage promo about the Gunn Club. They said when Christian gets back, they were coming to stomp them out…[c]
My Take: A good first match back for Moxley. The crowd seemed like they wanted a quick win, but came alive for all of Moxley’s offense down the stretch. Interesting to see Danielson appear there, but I guess it would be natural for them to pair him up with Moxley, since it seems like Mox is a compelling upcoming AEW Title Challenger after Lance Archer, and Danielson can play an effective gatekeeper role.
The Young Bucks music hit, and they made their entrance for the next match. Nick Jackson will be competing for his team. He was followed by Trent Beretta, who was joined by the rest of the Best Friends/CHAOS crew. He greeted all of them on stage, but blew off Wheeler Yuta.
2. Nick Jackson (w/Matt Jackson) vs. Trent Beretta (w/Orange Cassidy): They circled each other early, and Trent landed some chops. He then followed up with an overhead throw. Nick Jackson fired back with a guillotine over the top rope. Trent recovered and landed a Northern Lights Suplex, but let go of the bridge. He then attempted a cross body, but collided with the ropes after Nick ducked out of the way.
Nick focused on the neck, and landed a neckbreaker on the apron. He then kicked him in the back of the head and sent him down on the floor. Trent battled back and regained control, only to walk right into a superkick after hitting the ropes. Nick attempted a dive onto Trent on the floor, but didn’t quite get enough air and landed awkwardly. Orange Cassidy and Matt Jackson jawed at ringside. Nick tried to kick Cassidy, which opened the door for Trent to intercept…[c]
Nick attempted a senton atomico, but Trent got his knees up. Both men got to their feet and traded blows, and Trent got the better of it with a lariat. He then landed a deadlift German Suplex, followed by a running knee strike for a near fall. Nick used his agility to escape to the apron, and Trent forced him out to the floor. He landed a spear on the outside, and then a back suplex back in the ring. Trent then landed a Tornado DDT for a close near fall.
Trent charged, but Nick used referee Rick Knox for a distraction, and then landed a superkick. Both men then traded suplexes, and fought back to their feet. Nick went for a springboard, but Trent shoved him away. Nick readjusted and followed up with a Destroyer for another near fall. Nick got frustrated and jawed with Rick Knox. Trent got to his feet and landed a hard forearm shot. Nick fired back with a wheel kick, and a bulldog out of the corner for a two count.
After a short string of reversals, Trent landed a piledriver for a close near fall. The action spilled out to the apron, and Nick landed a senton atomico on the stage. Trent rolled into the ring, where Nick landed a 450 for a close near fall. Trent avoided a superkick and landed and landed his “Crunchie” piledriver for the win.
Trent Beretta defeated Nick Jackson at 13:45
After the match, we got a recap of the ongoing feud between Jade Cargill, Mercedes Martinez, and Thunder Rosa. Hook is in action next…[c]
My Take: A much longer match than I expected from these two. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see a long match filled with high risk spots from these two, but I might have saved some of them for a higher stakes encounter. In any case, this was a very enjoyable match that gave Trent a big win.
Hook made his entrance for the next match. Serpentico was already in the ring. Justin Roberts made ring introductions.
3. Hook vs. Serpentico: Hook blitzed Serpentico as soon as he shot off his streamers. He landed some Judo throws and fired up the crowd. Hook then grabbed a double wrist lock and dragged Serpentico to the mat. He then landed an overhead belly to belly suplex, and applied the Redrum for the victory.
Hook defeated Serpentico in 1:38
QT Marshall walked out and complained about Hook attacking Serpentico before the bell and holding the submission after the bell. Hook grabbed him and threw him with a suplex and walked away.
A split screen promo from Anna Jay and Jade Cargill with Mark Henry hosting. Mark Sterling asked Jade what she thought of Anna, and she said she should feel lucky to be getting any time with her in the ring. Anna replied that the dark side had changed her, and that she chokes people out. She then said that TBS would stand for “That Bitch Slayer” tonight. Jade told her to bring her barbed wire and walked away. Excalibur then plugged the card for the upcoming Dynamite show on Wednesday.
My Take: Another squash win for Hook. I’m really curious what he looks like in a longer match where he’s not so dominant. No need to rush him there, but that will be the first real test.
Anna Jay made her entrance in the arena with John Silver. She was followed by Jade Cargill with Mark Sterling. Justin Roberts made ring introductions for the Main Event.
4. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Anna Jay (w/John Silver) for the TBS Women’s Championship: Anna grabbed a headlock to start, but got shoved off. She hit the ropes and ran directly into a fallaway slam from Jade. She kipped up, but Anna surprised her with a roll up for a two count. Cargill landed a lariat and Anna rolled to the floor to recover. Cargill got in the face of John Silver on the floor, which opened the door for Anna to land a hard lariat out on the floor…[c]
Jade regained control during the break and did some push-ups in the ring. She landed and overhead throw and covered for a two count, and then tossed Anna into the corner. She then taunted the crowd and charged into the corner for a back elbow. Anna escaped to the apron and landed a roundhouse kick. She then applied a sleeper hold from the apron, and Cargill escaped by pulling her into a guillotine.
Anna landed several kicks and a flatliner, and then fired up the crowd. Mark Sterling jumped on the apron for a distraction, and John Silver came over and delivered a brainbuster on the outside. Anna managed to avoid Jaded in the ring, and apply her sleeper. Jade was able to escape, and Anna reapplied the sleeper in the corner using the top rope for leverage. Jade countered with an impressive one armed powerbomb out of the corner. She then followed up with Jaded for the win.
Jade Cargill defeated Anna Jay at 8:52 to retain the TBS Championship
After the match, Jade celebrated with the TBS Title. The announcers commented that Jade is 25-0 as a graphic appeared. A young girl was shown in the crowd cheering for Jade (I believe it was her daughter, but I am not 100% certain).
My Take: A much better match than it appeared to be on paper. Both women were sharper than they’ve been in the ring in recent appearances, and managed to avoid a lot of the awkwardness that was on display for parts of the TBS Title tournament. I’m not sure if it was just a very good night for both women, or if they had really spent a lot of time practicing for this match, but it paid off.