AEW Rampage (June 3, 2022) departed from Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA. The show featured the Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros tearing down the house, CM Punk announcing an injury, and Scorpio Sky defending the TNT Championship.
Let’s jump straight into a recap of the show, followed by reactions.
Excalibur, Taz and Chris Jericho commented. Justin Roberts assumed ring announcer duties.
Jurassic Express and the Hardys had front row seats to watch the opening bout. Adam Cole was there as a commentator and supported his friends.
Young Bucks vs. Lucha Bros
If you’ve ever seen the Young Bucks and Lucha Bros wrestle then you know how chaotic the action can be. So many movements.
The first tight pinfall came after Fenix executed a suicide cannonball on Nick Jackson. Pentagon planted Matt Jackson with a pumphandle slam, then Fenix flew in for a frog splash. The second tight pinfall occurred when Fenix sat on his brother’s shoulders. Nick dropkicks Fenix to inflict a Poison Rana on Penta. Matt flew in for an elbow drop.
On the third tight pinfall, Fenix was standing on Penta’s shoulders while Penta was in the corner on the middle ropes. Fenix jumped up and gave Nick a huge splash. Penta cleared Matt with a Mexican destroyer, but Nick kicked out on the cover.
The next tight pinfall was a Meltzer driver against Fenix. Penta dissolved the cover. The end came when Matt took off Penta’s mask. Superkick party for both Lucha Bros. The Bucks ended Fenix with a BTE trigger.
Young Bucks def. Lucha Bros.
Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs still work together despite not winning any gold double or nothing. You will open the Book of Hobbs, Chapter 13. If you go against Team Taz, you’re just another victim.
Ricky Starks & Will Hobbs vs Jabroni A & Jabroni B
To squeeze. Hobbs nailed a powerful slam to win while Starks speared the other man to keep the pin safe.
Ricky Starks & Will Hobbs def. Nameless Jobbers.
Stokely Hathaway was sure Kiera Hogan would smack Athena in the butt to send her to the end of the line.
Kiera Hogan vs Athena
Jade Cargill, Red Velvet and Stokely Hathaway sat ringside. Velvet chimed in whenever Athena found her groove. Hogan worked on grinding Athena’s energy. Athena rose for a creative counter slam with Hogan on her back and holding a back chinlock.
Hogan immediately came back to regain control with the help of Velvet. Finally, the women wrestle in the corner. Athena threw Hogan to the mat and then launched for a diving stunner to win.
Athena defeated Kiera Hogan.
The House of Black welcomed Julia Hart. Malakai Black claimed it was part of a carefully executed plan. The house always wins. Hart pointed the finger at the fans and their violence. These are the fruits of that labor.
CM Punk injured
CM Punk entered the ring with tears in his eyes. He told us that he would give anything until the wheels fell off. That’s what happened. Punk brought good news and bad news. He’s injured and needs surgery. However, this is just a bump. Punk will return to prove why he’s the best in the world.
As for the AEW World Championship, Punk didn’t want to hold up the line. The promo got confusing here. It sounded like Punk had offered to give away the belt, but Tony Khan didn’t want it. The status of the world title was extremely unclear.
Later in the program it was announced that AEW would be introducing an interim world title. A Battle Royale will open dynamite. The winner will wrestle No. 1 contender Jon Moxley in the TV main event. This winner will advance to Forbidden Door PPV competes in preliminary title match. I find?
Mark Henry interviewed the main event attendees. Dante Martin knows he’s better than Scorpio Sky and he’ll have Matt Sydal to have his back. Sydal said Martin will either fly or die trying. Sky felt Martin spoke a great game. time to secure it. Martin and Sydal can have peace, love, and pro wrestling. Sky retains the TNT title. Enough talk. Henry concluded, “It’s Main Event time!”
TNT Championship: Scorpio Sky (c) vs. Dante Martin
Matt Sydal, Ethan Page and Dan Lambert were ringside. Sky muscled Martin early on, but Martin didn’t back down. The high flyer forced openings to execute a springboard attack to the outside and a shotgun dropkick in the ring. Lambert created a distraction for Page to grab Martin’s foot. Sydal defended himself with a double knee against Page. Martin countered Sky with a TKO, but the champion kicked out on the cover.
Sky slammed Martin into the ropes. On the rebound, Sky picked up Martin for a TKO and victory.
Scorpio Sky defeated Dante Martin.
To paraphrase punk, the good news from Rampage was that the Young Bucks’ homecoming was a fire against the Lucha Bros. This match delivered high-octane action. The opening counter dance between Matt Jackson and Pentagon had so many steps without really doing any damage. And the audience was keen on it. Nick Jackson and Fenix took turns with twirling moves all over the place. The pace never slowed. Fenix was the competition leader with a fancy tornillo, an explosive cutter, the Eddie Guerrero Frog Splash, and a Skyscraper Splash. The finish was a bit poppy, but I can accept that weirdness for a TV finish. Also, the Bucks had to win at home.
Athena had a solid outing. Her high-impact maneuvers are fantastic. The women’s match as a whole was pretty good for a springboard with an obvious outcome. The likely next step would be Athena versus Red Velvet. That should make her strong enough to challenge Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship. This title fight would be a pick ’em. I can imagine one of them emerging from this fight as a champion.
The bad thing is that, unfortunately, Punk is injured. It’s a shame that his run can’t continue unhindered. He turned back time to win the AEW World Championship. I was very interested in seeing his path to defense of gold. If there is evidence of heel turn, it will have to wait even longer. They know the fans will blow the roof off once he returns from injury. It will take a few weeks or even months for his winning streak to settle down, if it ever does.
As for Punk’s promo, his sadness could be felt through the screen. His words sounded like he was speaking from the heart. It was a strong babyface goodbye as he departs for surgery. Best wishes for an efficient recovery, champion.
We have the good and the bad. Might add the ugly too. The direction and production of this particular episode was terrible at times. The worst example was the confused message about Punk’s status as a champion. His promo seemed to imply that Tony Khan didn’t want him to vacate, but the comment clearly said the title would be relinquished. On top of that, the announcement of the interim belt was also confusing. The comment had to clarify that a few times. Since the ambiguity confused many, this elephant completely overshadowed the main event. I couldn’t even focus on the TNT title match. The fight was okay, but my concern as a fan was more trying to figure out the news about the World Cup.
Aside from the punk stuff, there were other ugly moments for the production. Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs played their promo during the squash match. The contest actually ended before the promo. Their opponents were not even named. I focused on Starks and Hobbs talking about not being able to enjoy the physicality of Team Taz in split screen. Stokely Hathaway’s promo was low volume. Dan Lambert’s weasel at a pivotal moment was on the back burner as commentary revealed preliminary world title news. It wasn’t a quiet night.
This episode of Rampage was a difficult show to rate because I don’t know how much to deduct for the production issues. Sometimes Snafus can be overlooked. That wasn’t the case tonight. On the plus side, the show was entertaining. There were big games and big news. The Young Bucks and Lucha Bros rocked. Athena beamed. Scorpio Sky took care of business to defend the TNT Championship. As unfortunate as CM Punk’s injury is, the short-term upside is an injection of instant drama at the coronation of a provisional titleholder.
Share your opinion Rampage. how do you rate it Who Stole the Show?