By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
AEW Rampage (Episode 27)
Taped February 9, 2022 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
Aired February 11, 2022 on TNT
Excalibur checked in and introduced the commentary team of him, Taz, Ricky Starks and Chris Jericho. The two teams were in the ring to begin the show.
1. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “Roppongi Vice” Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero. Trent and Nick started the match, but the action spilled outside. Before long, Matt tagged in, but Rocky and Trent worked him over. Romero went for a cover, but Nick Jackson broke it up. The four then fought and it ended with a double knee-strike to Nick, who rolled outside the ring. The Bucks tried to walk out of the match.
Romero and Trent chased them and ran into a double super-kick at the top of the ramp. Romero rolled in to break the count and Matt wasn’t happy. The Bucks worked over Romero with a series of double-team moves. Matt tagged in and the Bucks threw Romero outside. Nick landed a springboard moonsault. Orange Cassidy crawled under the ring and appeared to give a thumbs up, but it was Danhousen. Back in the ring, Romero hit a neck-breaker for a two-count. A PIP then began [c].
Back from the break, Matt Jackson made fun of Romero and Trent and ultimately landed a fake hot tag. Nick tagged in and the two hugged in the middle of the ring, mocking Best Friends. Romero popped up and hit a double clothesline. Trent got the hot tag and sent Matt for a ride before hitting a tornado DDT on Nick. Trent hit a half-and-half on Nick on the outside. Roppongi hit a Doomsday Device on Matt on the outside.
In the ring, Romero tagged in and got a two-count before Trent tagged in and pounded on Nick Jackson. The two traded German Suplexes. Things broke down and Trent and Rocky hit a double German Suplex. The Bucks hit double super-kicks, but Rocky and Trent hit clotheslines. Eventually Rocky and Matt traded blows in the center of the ring. Rocky rolled up Matt for a close two-count. Trent ran in and hit an avalanche German Suplex and his Strong Zero for a close near-fall.
Roppongi went for another Doomsday, but Matt landed on his feet. The Bucks hit a Metlzer Driver, but Trent broke it up for a hell of a near-fall. The Bucks then landed the BTE Trigger on Romero and that was finally enough to get the win.
The Young Bucks defeated Roppongi Vice via pinfall in 13:21.
After the match, Brandon Cutler tried to spray Orange Cassidy, but Cassidy hit the Orange Punch. The Bucks then landed a double super-kick on Cassidy. Out of nowhere, Jay White showed up and gave Trent the Bladerunner. A Bryan Danielson interview is next.
McGuire’s Musings: That was very, very, very good. You knew it would be, but this actually exceeded expectations. I come away from this actually wanting to see Roppongi be more of a mainstay in this tag-team division. It felt obvious that the Bucks would go over, but those near-falls toward the end were a lot of fun. Jay White showing up after all of it was surprising, if only because I still wasn’t quite sure what White would be doing in AEW after Wednesday. But that feels a bit more clear now. Either way, this was really good, and even though it was spot-heavy, it worked. It’s worth going out of your way to see.
Back from break, Ricky Starks announced that Powerhouse Hobbs is going to face Dante Martin next week for a spot in the ladder match…
We cut to the Danielson interview. Danielson talked about Jon Moxley, saying Moxley just wants to fight. Danielson said he wants a long-term relationship with Moxley and what he got with CM Punk on Wednesday was a one-night stand. Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty showed up. Danielson said Moriarty needs to learn violence. Moriarty stepped up and Danielson challenged Moriarty to match on Dynamite…
2. AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker (w/Mercedes Martinez, Rebel) vs. Robyn Renegade in a non-title match. The two locked up while the crowd chanted “DMD.” Renegade worked a head-lock, but Baker tripped her up and took control. Baker landed a suplex for a two-count and Baker went for a ground-and-pound. Renegade fired up and hit some punches and chops, but Baker moved when Renegade went for a splash. A PIP then broke out [c].
Back from break, Renegade had control and landed a dropkick. Renegade hit double knees and went to the top for a frog-splash. She landed it and got a two-count. Renegade went for a suplex, but Baker rolled her through and eventually hit a super-kick. Baker landed a Fisherman’s Neck-Breaker. Baker hit a stomp and that was it.
AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker defeated Robyn Renegade via pinfall in 7:30 in a non-title match.
After the match, Rebel gave Baker the glove, and Baker sunk in the Lock Jaw. Thunder Rosa ran in for the save and took Baker down. Jayme Hayter ran in and fought Rosa off. Mercedes Martinez then ran down and Martinez worked over Rose until Hayter pulled her off. Hayter and Martinez squared up, but Baker separated them…
McGuire’s Musings: That match went way, way, way, way, way longer than I thought it would. Kudos to Baker for giving Renegade as much as she did. That just didn’t need to go as long as it went. The angle afterward is beginning to confuse me. So, Hayter and Martinez have an issue, but Baker is trying to keep everyone happy … but Hayter already an issue with the faction, and Martinez is awfully new? I just don’t quite understand why Baker needs all this nonsense around her. She’s a star. Actually, she’s beyond a star. She’s more than a star. This all feels like drama for the sake of drama.
A video about Layla Hirsch and Kris Statlander aired…
Hook then made his entrance…
3. Hook vs. Blake Li (w/QT Marshall). Hook took Li down and the two squared up. Li went for Hook’s legs, but Hook countered into a quarter-nelson until Li made it to the ropes for a break. Hook landed some punches and hit a suplex. Hook landed a side-throw before working Li’s shoulder. QT Marshall got on the apron and Hook confronted him. Li went for a splash, but Hook moved nonchalantly. Hook hit an overhead throw. Hook hit a series of strikes and sunk in the RedRum for the win.
Hook defeated Blake Li via submission in 2:51.
McGuire’s Musings: The Hook match was fun. All Hook matches are fun. That will be the line until someone tests him. I’m not sure when it’ll come, but when it does, he’s gained enough credibility and fanfare that it should be can’t-miss.
Back from break, the Mark Henry split-screen segment began. Billy Gunn spoke on behalf of his sons. Billy Gunns said his kids would walk out AEW tag-team champions. Christian chimed in and mockingly congratulated Billy Gunn for making a statement after all these years. Christian and Jungle Boy called the Gunn Club the Ass Boys. Excalibur ran down the card for Dynamite. Jay White is going to wrestle on next week’s Rampage against Trent. The Ass Boys, or, um, the Gunn Club made their entrance.
4. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus (w/Christian Cage) vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn (w/Billy Gunn) for the AEW Tag Titles. Jungle Boy and Austin started the match by exchanging a handful of reversals. Colton eventually ran in, but Jungle Boy kept control with a lariat. The Gunn Boys went to the outside to regroup. Luchasaurus tagged in and grabbed the Ass Boys by the throats, getting them inside the ring. Luchasaurus tagged out and Jungle Boy landed the stalling senton for a two-count on Austin. Colton tagged in and hit a strong lariat, taking Jungle Boy down. The final PIP began [c].
Back from the break, Gunn Club was working over Jungle Boy. The Gunn Club were in danger of having Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus landing the tag, but the brothers did a good job of breaking up that opportunity. Eventually, Jungle Boy hit a fast German Suplex on Austin. Colten ran in, but Luchasaurus got the hot tag and cleaned house. Luchasaurus threw both brothers into opposite corners and hit a series of back splashes.
Luchasaurus grabbed both guys, but the brothers ran to the outside. Jungle Boy landed a splash on both of them. Luchasaurus hit a choke slam and moonsault on Colten for a two-count. Jungle Boy tagged in, but Austin ran in and broke everything up. Jungle Boy accidentally hit a splash on Luchasaurus on the outside and the Gunn Club hit the Quick Draw on the floor.
Christian broke up a pin, but then one of the brothers hit Jungle Boy with the belt and nearly won the entire thing, but Jungle Boy kicked out. Austin tagged in and the two set up for their finisher, but Luchasaurus pulled Colten to the outside. Christian speared Billy Gunn on the outside. Jungle Boy hit the Killswitch in the ring and that was it.
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus defeated Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn via pinfall in 12:30.
The show ended with Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus and Christian celebrating in the ring.
McGuire’s Musings: The Gunn Club looked great. No, really. They did. I hope they get more TV love moving forward and I know it’s a loaded tag division, but those guys have clearly worked so hard to get to where they are now and it’d be great to really see them in the mix. The near-fall after the belt-hit completely had me. They sold that so well and even though it felt impossible that the Gunn Club would win, I managed to convince myself in that moment that it might just be possible. So hats off to everyone involved. The match made the Gunn Club and solidified Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy as a real tag team that has real talent and will be fighting champions. Everyone came out of this better.
This was a good episode of Rampage. The matches did what they were asked to do in every scenario (with the exception of Britt Baker going far too long with someone the AEW fanbase doesn’t know). A few stories moved forward and the in-ring action was, as is typically the case, better than average. I’m not sure it got better than the Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice, but you can’t lose with a Hook appearance and that main event brought the Ass Boys to a new level. I’ll have more to say on my Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review.