ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe will wrestle for the first time since July as he defends his title against Josh Woods on Friday's AEW Rampage.
Joe returned at All Out from a storyline injury and his first promo back last Friday was interrupted by Woods, Tony Nese and Mark Sterling. Woods is a former ROH Pure Champion and has been teaming with Nese as of late.
Darby Allin will face old rival Matt Hardy. The two battled in a falls count anywhere match for the TNT title in 2021 and feuded earlier this year with Sting and the Hardy Family Office involved.
Danhausen will be in action and looking for his second straight win as he takes on Ethan Page. On Wednesday's Rampage, it was reiterated by Stokely Hathaway that Page has his eyes on the All-Atlantic title.
Penelope Ford will look to get back on track as she faces fan favorite Willow Nightingale.
Taped in Albany, New York.
Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross were all on commentary.
Darby Allin defeated Matt Hardy (9:59)
Allin worked a side headlock while Excalibur on commentary promised they’d fill out the card for next week’s two hour Rampage. Hardy took Allin down with a shoulder block, and Allin took him down with a crucifix for a near fall. The fight went to the floor, where Allin sent Hardy into the steel steps. Allin went for a senton bomb on Hardy – who was lying on the ring apron – but Hardy moved an Allin bounced off the ring apron to the floor. On the outside of the ring, Hardy powerbombed Allin into the ringpost. Hardy stretched Allin across the ring post.
After the split-screen break, Hardy worked over Allin’s back in the ring. Allin got a jackknife cover for a near fall. Allin kept charging with a coffin splash in the corner, but Allin was still selling his injured back. Hardy hit a Side Effect for a nearfall. The crowd got behind Hardy. Allin countered a Twist of Fate into a backslide for a near fall. Allin hit a Scorpion Death Drop on Hardy, but Allin’s back kept him from making the cover. Allin went to the top for a Coffin Drop, but Hardy pounded Allin’s back, then brought him down with a sitout crucifix powerbomb for a near fall. Hardy missed a moonsault, and Allin caught the Code Red for a near fall. Allin then locked in the Last Supper and got the pinfall. Hardy’s got little left in the tank, but this was fine and his role at this point should be putting the young guys over.
After the match, the lights went out. When they came back up, Brody King and Julia Hart were in the ring with Hardy. King clotheslined Hardy, and demanded Sting and Darby Allin come out. King challenged Darby Allin and Sting for a no-disqualification match for next week against the House of Black (King and Buddy Matthews) King choked out Matt Hardy to make his point. This match has been added to AEW Grand Slam: Rampage.
– Eddie Kingston and Sammy Guevara will meet at Grand Slam: Rampage. Kingston called Guevara a “horrible rotten human being” in a pretape to set up the match.
– There will also be an AEW Grand Slam "Golden Ticket" Battle Royal on Rampage to get a title shot “at a set date and time.” Why did this give me the sinking feeling that MJF’s Casino Chip is going to be like the Money in the Bank briefcase?
– Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta did an in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone. Castagnoli lamented Yuta’s loss, but celebrated his own win over Dax Wheeler. But by the end of next week, the Blackpool Combat Club will have two world champions, when either Jon Moxley or Bryan Danielson wins the AEW World Title. Chris Jericho chimed in that he's been a world champion in “WWF, WWE, WCW and was the first AEW World Champion.” A seven-time world champion, Jericho declared he was going for “the Ocho!” and challenged Castagnoli for the ROH World title on Dynamite next Wednesday. Castagnoli was hoping for that challenge and accepted. (I assumed this would be for Rampage since it's been the de facto ROH show for the last few months.)
– Lexi Nair’s interview with Jade Cargill and the Baddies was interrupted by Diamante, who challenged Cargill and promised to bring the “baddest b*tch in the 305” with her.
Penelope Ford defeated Willow Nightingale (7:28 aired)
This match went through the split screen break, which felt pretty unnecessary. After the commercial break, Nightingale hit a spinebuster for a near fall. Ford avoided a clothesline with a bridge and hit a jumping stunner for the nearfall. Jericho announced that Ford was the Sports Entertainer of the Week. I demand a recount. Nightingale hit Ford with the pounce, (Ford took a fantastic bump into the ropes to sell the move), but Ford came back with a pump kick and got the Muta Lock for a submission.
– Lexi Nair's interview with Adam Page and the Dark Order was interrupted by Rush and Jose the Assistant. They are all enterted in the Golden Ticket Battle Royal. Page tried to apologize for costing the Dark Order the trios titles (without mentioning who they faced). Jose ran down Page for always letting down the Dark Order, and Rush vowed to eliminate everyone.
Ethan Page (w/ Stokley Hathaway) defeated Danhausen (1:25)
Danhausen walked into a boot from Page, who mocked the Danhausen curse. Ego’s Edge crucifix powerbomb ended this in short order.
– In a pre-tape, Ricky Starks chalked up his loss to Powerhouse Hobbs at All Out on being distracted by QT Marshall and promised he’d see Hobbs personally in New York.
Here’s the run-down for next week’s Grand Slam: Rampage (two hour show):
- Action Bronson & Hook v. Matt Menard & Angelo Parker
- Eddie Kingston v. Sammy Guevara
- Jade Cargill v Diamante for the TBS Championship.
- Golden Ticket Battle Royal -- pictured for this match were Jay Lethal, Adam Page, Penta and Lance Archer, with I assume more entrants to come.
- Powerhouse Hobbs v. Ricky Starks
- Rey Fenix v. Jungle Boy
- Darby Allin & Sting v. House of Black – no dq match.
Samoa Joe defeated Josh Woods (w/ Mark Sterling & Tony Nese) to retain the ROH Television Title (10:10)
Ian Riccobani joined the commentary team for this match.
I think Woods and Nese would stand a better chance getting over as a tag team instead of as singles players. Woods distracted the ref, and Nese yanked down on Joe’s arm against the ring ropes to give Woods the advantage as the show went to break.
Wood worked over Joe’s arm during the split-screen break. Joe went for the sleeper, but Woods broke it by attacking the arm. Woods hit a back suplex for a near fall. Joe hit a senton for a near fall. Joe hit a spinning powerslam for another near fall. Joe set up the Muscle Buster, but Sterling distracted Joe and Woods rolled up Joe for a near fall. Woods hit a knee strike out of a fireman’s carry for a near fall. Woods walked into the STO and Joe popped Nese when he jumped on the apron. Joe hit the Muscle Buster on Woods and got the pinfall.
After the match, Nese jumped Joe from behind, and Sterling helped to make it a three-on-one. Wardlow ran into make the save. Wardlow set up Sterling for the Powerbomb Symphony, but Nese pulled him out of the ring. Warldow and Joe stand eye to eye in the ring, then salute each other. And this sets up Wardlow & Samoa Joe v. Nese & Woods for AEW Rampage.
I was told Tony Khan was going to make Rampage feel more important. Hopefully this starts next week. The first and last matches were fine but I don't feel very fired up for Rampage next week.