4/8 AEW Rampage results: McGuire’s review of Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta, Bryan Danielson vs. Trent Beretta, Willow Nightingale vs. Red Velvet in an Owen Hart Cup tournament qualifier, Swerve Strickland vs. QT Marshall

By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)

AEW Rampage (Episode 35)
Taped in Boston, Massachusetts at Agganis Arena
Aired April 8, 2022 on TNT

Excalibur introduced the faceless broadcast team of him, William Regal (for this match), Taz and Ricky Starks.

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Trent Beretta. Regal called Best Friends “half-wits” and it was funny. Danielson hit a punch and had control early, but Trent fought back and ultimately hit a kick to Danielson’s back. After a bunch of crowd chants, the two traded vicious chops. Danielson locked in a hanging front chancery. Trent suplexed his way out of it.

Danielson hit a series of kicks on Trent in the corner and lifted him for a suplex, but Trent got out of it and threw Danielson out of the ring. Trent went for a splash on Danielson, but Danielson kicked him. Danielson then went for a Tope Suicida, but Trent caught Danielson and suplexed him. Trent ran at Danielson, but Danielson moved and Trent ran face-first into the ring steps. We then had our first PIP [c].

Back from break, the two were in the ring and Danielson worked over Trent’s neck. Danielson front-head-lock-suplexed Trent and posed. Danielson went to the top, but Trent cut him off and landed a super-plex. The two got back to their feet and traded chops. Trent dead-lifted Danielson for a German Suplex. Trent hit a back elbow and went for a tornado DDT, but Danielson countered with an elbow and a shoulder-capture suplex for a two-count.

Danielson worked a Dragon Sleeper, but Trent made it to the ropes for a break. Danielson taunted Trent. Danielson hit a bunch of knees onto Trent’s head and Trent fell to his knees. Trent for the Strong Zero, but that led to the two trading pin attempts. Danielson ran at Trent, but Trent moved and hit the swinging DDT.

Trent put Danielson on the top rope, but Danielson wiggled out and crotched Trent. Danielson then went for a suplex from the top, but Trent turned and countered with a splash on Danielson. The two then traded blows in the middle of the ring. Trent hit a half-and-half and a lariat for a two-count. Trent hit a series of forearms, but Danielson came back with a knee and a Gotch piledriver. Danielson hit his series of kicks to the face and sunk in a reverse cravat for the win.

Bryan Danielson defeated Trent Beretta via submission in 13:39.

The show cut to Lexy Nair, who tried to interview Hook backstage. She asked him a bunch of questions, but Hook didn’t answer. Danhousen showed up and tried to curse Hook again, but Hook walked away. We then cut to break.

McGuire’s Musings: The more I watch these Bryan Danielson matches in AEW, the more convinced I am he’s doing all he can to combine a Japanese style of wrestling with the latest American style of wrestling and each time that happens, I smile a little bit. But that’s just me. There was a lot about this that was a New Japan-style match, which makes sense considering their history, but I very much liked this. And back to the Danielson observation – he’s having the time of his life while he does it. It really does feel like this is all he ever wanted to do in wrestling. Anyway, the match was very good and Trent looked better than good, actually, but he usually does. Danielson, meanwhile, can’t be too much of a heel because everyone loves him no matter what he does. The more he poses, the more the people cheer.

Back from the break, America’s Top Team was in the ring. Scorpio Sky said he made a brave decision getting rid of the open challenge. Sky said he hasn’t been defeated in 394 days. Sammy Guevara walked out with Tay Conti and Sammy said Sky has made the title absolutely nothing. Sammy called out Lambert, saying Lambert would say something sexist. Lambert cut Sammy off and said Tay has broken English and Lambert said Tay’s mom and dad has suffered too much humiliation and the couple shouldn’t talk about what they do in their bedroom. Ethan Page got on the mic and said Tay and Sammy are a disaster waiting to happen. Page spoke to his daughter and said he prays that she doesn’t end up like Conti. Sammy said he wanted a match and he’s going to make their lives a living hell until he gets his match. A video package then aired where Chris Jericho called QT Marshall his Sports Entertainer of the Week.

2. Swerve Strickland vs. QT Marshall. The two locked up and Marshall shoulder-blocked Swerve to the canvass. Swerve came back by working Marshall’s arm and tried to roll him up. Marshall kicked Swerve and tried to throw him outside the ring, but Swerve flipped and landed on his feet. We then went to our second PIP [c].

Back from the break, Swerve had the upper hand with an elbow. Swerve hit an elbow from the second rope onto Marshall’s back. Marshall lifted Swerve and punched Swerve before signaling for the Diamond Cutter, but Swerve pushed him away. Swerve dropkicked Marshall’s knee and hit a flatliner. Swerve then hit his back-heel kick for the win.

Swerve Strickland defeated QT Marshall via pinfall in 6:08.

After the match, Starks cut the music and cut a promo on Swerve. Starks said they have unfinished business. Starks challenged Swerve to a tag match between him, Powerhouse Hobbs, Swerve and Keith Lee for next week’s Dynamite. We then cut to a video package from Marina Shafir,

3. Willow Nightingale vs. Red Velvet in an Owen Hart Cup tournament qualifier. Nightingale suplexed Velvet for a quick two-count to open the match. Velvet came back with a kick and started working Nightingale’s arm. Nightingale shoulder-blocked Velvet down and posed over her. Nightingale went for a splash, but Velvet moved and worked Nightingale over with a bunch of strikes.

Nightingale eventually fought out and landed a Senton for a two-count. Nightingale went to the top rope, but missed the moonsault. Velvet fired up with a series of takedowns and hit a double-knees to the back of Nightingale’s head. Velvet hit the Just Dessert for a good near-fall. Nightingale landed a spine-buster for a two-count. The two traded chops. That turned to elbows, but Nightingale hit a Keith Lee-esque spear. Nightingale landed a cannonball for a two-count. Velvet hit a back-stabber and a cork-screw kick for the win, which did not make the crowd happy.

Red Velvet defeated Willow Nightingale via pinfall in 5:16.

We then went backstage to Lexy Nair, who was interviewing Tony Nese. Nese said he is the hottest free agent signing in AEW history. Mark Sterling appeared and said he agrees. Sterling gave Nese his card. We then got our Mark Henry segment. Henry asked Yuta what he has in store for Moxley. Yuta said he knows he’s not the same guy he faced before. Yuta said he’s not scared and tonight he’s going to earn Moxley’s respect. Moxley said it’s not his job to make him feel respect. Moxley said he doesn’t care what he he thinks about him and ultimately ran out of the frame.

McGuire’s Musings: The Swerve match was fine, but it very much had a “These are the spots that Swerve does” feel to it. I’m also not sure how I feel about Marshall being the gatekeeper in AEW. Swerve didn’t need to go six minutes with him to prove that he’s a very good wrestler. Meanwhile, I’m sorry I’ll give all types of full disclosure – I’m a fan of Willow Nightingale’s work. I just think she’s great and I think she deserves a big time contract for a big time company. That said, the crowd here might have agreed with me because Velvet was booed hard after that win. I guess we all knew Velvet would be the winner, but there were a few seconds where my mind wandered just a little. You’d like to think they might throw a surprise into the Owen Cup, and I thought this might be one. Either way, Velvet and Nightingale worked well together.

4. Wheeler Yuta vs. Jon Moxley. Yuta jump-started the match by jumping through the ropes and splashed onto Moxley. The two then fought into the crowd. The two got into the ring and the bell rang. Moxley hit a vertical suplex and landed some chops. Yuta came back with chops of his own. Moxley went for a cover after a boot and got a one-count. Moxley asked Yuta to chop him and Yuta do that. Action spilled to the outside and Moxley stomped Yuta’s head onto the steps. Yuta was bleed and we got our last PIP of the night [c].

Back from the break, Yuta had the crimson mask. Moxley toyed with Yuta, but Yuta came back with a bunch of chops. Moxley went to the outside, but Yuta dove onto Moxley, who happened to be on a table. A lot of water battles leapt into the air from the table. A “fight forever” chant broke out. The two made their way back into the ring and Yuta landed a wild dead-lift German Suplex. And then another one. Yuta went for a third, but Moxley blocked it, but Yuta hit a suplex of his own.

Yuta did the Danielson head kicks and the crowd went nuts. Yuta landed splash from the top rope for a two-count. Yuta sunk in a crossface. Moxley rolled through for a two-count and then hit a King Kong Lariat for a good near-fall. The crowd erupted. Moxley punched Yuta, but Yuta stood right up and fired up, but Moxley bit Yuta’s open wound. The two fought to the top rope and Yuta jumped off to fall into a Paradigm Shift for only a two-count. Taz called it a Holy Shit moment and he wasn’t wrong.

Moxley sunk in a bulldog choke, but Yuta tried to power his way out. Yuta asked for kicks from Moxley, but he tricked Moxley into coming toward him and Yuta sunk in a bulldog of his own. Moxley got to his feet, but Yuta locked in a sleeper. Moxley then just elbowed the hell out of Yuta and hit the Regal Knee before landing another Paradigm Shift, but Yuta kicked out (!!!!). Moxley sunk in a choke and that was it.

Jon Moxley defeated Wheeler Yuta via ref stoppage in 12:40.

After the match, Danielson and Regal walked to the ring. The three surrounded Yuta. Yuta asked them to hit him the crowd was nuts chanting “Yuta” and “shake his hand.” Regal and Yuta shook hands. As the show closed, Moxley said off camera to Yuta, “Now, the real world begins.”

McGuire’s Musings: I’m going to say this, but it’s a secret. As that show went off the air, I may or may not have been somewhat unreasonably emotional as my eyes welled up. I don’t even know why. I’ve been reading all week that this match was going to steal the show – and it did – but the Yuta stuff … that guy just went all in. He said, “All right. I’m here. I’ll do what I need to do. I’ll fight. I’ll show passion. I’ll sell out for this thing,” and then he did it. This might by my favorite Rampage match of all time. If this means he’s in the stable, that’s fine. If not, so what. It doesn’t matter, because Wheeler Yuta was made tonight. He’s wildly young (I don’t even remember who I was at the age of 25). And he was given an opportunity to live up to a moment. And then, against all predisposition, he actually did just that. Watch this match. And don’t turn away.

Actually, watch the episode of Rampage, if you haven’t yet. The opening bout between Danielson and Trent is worth the price alone. That main event will make you feel things you didn’t know you could feel. And in between … well, shoot. Willow Nightingale was there and she’s pretty good. I’ll have more to say (and if I start to break down while talking about this main event, then hell, that’s good radio) in my audio review.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. TheGreatestOne April 8, 2022 @ 9:07 pm

    The first match of the night features both wrestlers outside the ring for over a minute straight less than 5 minutes into the match, and no count out.

    Too bad the wrestling show ended and this shit began.

  2. The name you use is “THEGREATESTONE” yet you spend your Friday night watching something you hate and bitching about it.

    The irony.

  3. TheGreatestTwo April 8, 2022 @ 9:59 pm

    Yet you’re watching it again.
    And Smackdown is a wrestling show? A 2 hour show that featured about 30mins of what WWE calls wrestling.

    – First match ends with surprise roll up and a temper tantrum by the former “Bruiserweight”.

    – Second was a squash match for Vince’s latest ‘big man’.

    – Third ended in a count-out victory for a former Universal Champion.

    – Fourth match ends once again with a surprise roll-up.

    Again, if that’s what you enjoy then by all means watch WWE it clearly has the content you crave. Sooo, why are you watching AEW when clearly from the offset it’s NOT WWE.

    You hate the wrestlers, the bookers, the producers and Tony Khan. Even the couple of times you give the nod to the show it’s always as though you’ve seen the Unicorn of AEW and just keep chasing that Dragon by watching each and every show.

    Face it, just because you comment on EVERY AEW show I seriously doubt that Jason is gonna give you a job as wrestling critic that you seem to be salivating over.

    You belittle wrestlers of smaller builds, straight up post some of the most mysogynistic crap about the women wrestlers of both companies.

    Just realise your worldview is (thankfully) not everyone elses, shut yer yap and stop watching something that quite clearly brings you pain for 3 hours a week. I’d call you a Masochist but I think man-child is more appropriate

  4. TheGreatestOne April 8, 2022 @ 10:00 pm

    Give Paul Gruber some credit on that main event slot. I still don’t think he’s a long term main event guy, but he might do well enough in the Blackpool Boys Night Out Sometimes If We Remember To Push Them Club, or whatever it is that Regal has going.

  5. TheGreatestOne April 8, 2022 @ 10:11 pm

    AEW needs to sign Ty Gibbs. He’s a 2nd level Nascar driver and the son of Joe Gibbs. He’s 19, 5’7″, 114 so he’s the right size. He also just landed about 4 clean right hands on someone in the pit area after the race.

  6. THEGREATESTTHREE April 8, 2022 @ 11:43 pm

    Yet, you have no issue with all of the silly shit coming of the company that can’t bring itself to use the word “wrestling”.

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