By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Rampage (Episode 30)
Live from Orlando, Florida at Addition Financial Arena
Aired March 4, 2022 on TNT
The Rampage opening aired… Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Ricky Starks, and Taz checked in on commentary… The wrestlers for the TNT Title match were in the ring. Ring announcer Justin Roberts delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
1. Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo in a Triple Threat for the TNT Championship. A graphic listed that CM Punk was going to appear, and Keith Lee’s opponent would be JD Drake. Andrade was cleared to ringside early in the match.
Guevara set up Allin for a superplex. Andrade returned and slipped under Guevara and then walked a few steps while holding up both opponents and then slammed them down in a tower of doom spot that drew “holy shit” chants and then a “this is awesome chant.” They cut to a picture in picture commercial break. [C]
Late in the match, Allin hit Andrade with a Stunner. Guevara followed up with his GTH on Andrade. Allin cleared Guevara to ringside, then went up top flipped off Andrade before executing a Coffin Drop. Allin had the pin, but Guevara flew back into the picture to with a Swanton that knocked Allin off of Andrade. Guevara covered Andrade and got the three count.
Sammy Guevara defeated Andrade El Idolo and Darby Allin in a Triple Threat in 13:15 to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Guevara offered Allin a handshake. Allin rolled out of the ring without shaking his hand. Guevara was yelling to Allin as Darby headed toward the ramp. Excalibur hyped Keith Lee vs. JD Drake for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Wow, that was a lot of fun. It’s definitely worth going out of your way to see if you didn’t catch the show live. I didn’t even try to keep up with the move for move because it was nonstop action. The post match story with Allin blowing off the handshake offer is interesting because he and Guevara will be teaming with Sting in a tornado trios match against Andrade, Matt Hardy, and Isiah Kassidy at AEW Revolution. By the way, I’m filling in for Colin McGuire this week because he’s attending this show in person.
Alex Abrahantes stood in the ring with Penta El Zero Miedo and Pac. Abrahantes addressed the House of Black. He said they may be down a man without Rey Fenix, but there were still three of them and three members of the House of Black. A brief House of Black video played.
Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews appeared on the apron while Abrahantes, Pac, and Penta were facing the other way. Abrahantes told them that he never said that their three men were in the ring. He said Black has his monster and they have their own.
Erick Redbeard (f/k/a Erick Rowan) made his entrance. Security intervened. Redbeard destroyed the security guards while Pac and Penta watched. Pac eventually grabbed one of the security guards and then jawed at the House of Black, who were watching from the floor. Penta broke the arm of one of the security guards, causing the House of Black members to cringe…
Excalibur announced House of Black vs. Pac, Penta, and Redbeard for the Revolution pre-show…
A pre-taped Dan Lambert and Scorpio Sky promo aired. Lambert said he worked out a deal with Tony Khan. He said Sky will challenge for the TNT Title on Dynamite in exchange for Paige VanZant signing her AEW contract at the pay-per-view…
Keith Lee made his entrance. Powerhouse Hobbs was shown standing behind Starks at the broadcast table. JD Drake was already in the ring…
2. Keith Lee vs. JD Drake. Starks asked Taz what happened when he tried to introduce himself to Lee. Taz said Lee completely blew him off and disrespected him. Lee was dominating the match when they cut to a PIP break a little over a minute in. [C]
Drake punched Lee and then dove at him from the ropes. Lee caught Drake and then slowly powered him onto his shoulders before putting him down with a Jackhammer style slam.
Keith Lee beat JD Drake in 6:50.
After the match, Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, and Cezar Bononi attacked Lee in the ring. Lee quickly got the better of them and ended up tossing Avalon onto the other Wingmen. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs left the broadcast table and started walking to the ring. They stopped walking when Orange Cassidy’s music played and he walked out…
Footage aired from Wednesday of a bloody CM Punk being treated by trainers in the backstage area after being attacked by MJF, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears. Punk stood up and delivered a promo. He said that MJF wants the Punk he grew up on. He congratulated him for getting it, but he said MJF is not ready for it. Punk said he’s going to beat MJF until his mother doesn’t even recognize him. Punk said he will become a monster to fight the monsters of the world. “Because I’m CM Punk, and I’m better than you,” Punk closed… [C]
Powell’s POV: Lee mostly dominated Drake, just as one would expect him to at this early point in his AEW career. Jumping back to the previous angle, Redbeard showed good fire while destroying the security guards. I really like Abrahantes as the mouthpiece for Penta, but this Dark Danhausen look he’s adopted is really campy. Finally, the Punk promo was brief, yet really good in terms of him showing the right level of intensity following the games that MJF played with him and the bloody beating he took.
Backstage, TBS Champion Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Sterling said he added a clause to the contract that there could be no contact between Cargill and Tay Conti until 48 hours before the pay-per-view. Anna Jay showed up and asked what day it was. Sterling answered, and then Conti superkicked Cargill and knocked her down. Conti told Cargill that she had 48 hours left as champion…
Powell’s POV: Why would Sterling give Conti 48 hours to attack Cargill? Even if the idea is that he was leaving the door open for Cargill to attack her, he had the negotiating leverage since this is an open challenge. So if you think about it, his character could have made a no-contact clause for Conti, yet not have it apply to Cargill.
3. Serena Deeb vs. Leila Grey in a five-minute challenge. Deeb dominated and caught Grey in a front choke hold for the submission win.
Serena Deeb defeated Leila Grey in 0:59.
Afterward, Deeb put Grey in the Serenity Lock. Hikaru Shida ran out with a kendo stick in hand. Shida hit Deeb with the kendo stick twice and cleared her to ringside. Shida followed her to the floor and continued to beat her with the kendo stick until a security guard held her back. Deeb ran through the crowd to escape…
Powell’s POV: I hope we get a payoff to Deeb’s rookie challenge before they go right back to her feud with Shida. Unfortunately, now I’m fearing it will end with a rookie getting help from Shida rather than someone simply beating Deeb.
Backstage, Eddie Kingston was interviewed by Schiavone. Kingston mocked everyone doing insider terms. “Kayfabe may be dead, but that don’t mean we have to piss on its grave,” Kingston said. He added that he meant that for the entire locker room. Kingston said he would embarrass Jericho and said the best part was that Jericho would have to shake his hand after he beat him…
The weekly Mark Henry segment aired with his split-screen interview with the main event wrestlers. Ethan Page recalled debuting on the same show as Christian Cage. He claimed he was the Hall of Fame talent that was advertised, not Cage. Christian said Page’s day will come, but today is not that day. Cage said he’d take the TNT Title, even it it meant making Scorpio Sky a transitional champion should he win it before he gets his title shot…
4. Christian Cage vs. Ethan Page in a qualifier for the Face of the Revolution ladder match. Both entrances were televised. They cut to an early PIP break. [C] Page controlled the action through the commercial break and taunted the crowd.
Cage came back with a reverse DDT for a two count. Cage went to the ropes, but Page rolled out of the ring. Cage dropped back into the ring. Page leapt through the ropes and put Cage down with a cutter and got a near fall. Cage pulled Page onto the top rope. Cage went up top and hit Page with a diving headbutt that led to a two count.
Page rallied and set up for the Ego’s Edge. Cage avoided it and then speared Page and covered him for a two count. Cage motioned for his finisher. Cage went for the Killswitch, but Page avoided it and ran Cage through the ropes so that his shoulder hit the ring post. Page went for his finisher, but Cage slipped out and hit the Killswitch and scored the pin.
Christian Cage defeated Ethan Page in 9:00 to qualify for the Face of the Revolution ladder match.
After the match, AEW Tag Team Champions Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus made their entrance. Once in the ring, they both hugged Christian and then raised his arms.
Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson walked out together and stood at the bottom of the ramp. They teased entering the ring, but O’Reilly and Matt each grabbed tag title belts. They went face to face while holding up the belts. Luchasaurus reached over the ropes and took the belts back, then Jungle Boy dove onto the heels at ringside. Jungle Boy returned to the ring and his entrance theme played to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A solid main event and a quick post match angle to give a final push to the Triple Threat for the AEW Tag Titles at Revolution. Speaking of Revolution, they aired the countdown special right after Rampage. In fact, my DirecTV guide lists it as an extension of Rampage rather than something separate, so if you recorded Rampage you’ll get Rampage and the countdown show listed as a 90-minute Rampage. I will have more to say about Rampage in my same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the Revolution go-home show by grading it below.
Join me for my live review of AEW Revolution on Sunday night.