Adam Cole will take on Jake Atlas on Friday's AEW Rampage, the latter's first appearance on TV since being released by WWE NXT.
Cole challenged Atlas to the match on Wednesday's AEW Dynamite, saying he would send his former NXT roster member "back to Orlando."
Taped Wednesday, the match got notoriety as Atlas injured his knee during the match. He just signed with AEW this week after his debut on Dark: Elevation aired.
Friday will also see the third match for undefeated rookie sensation Hook as he faces Aaron Solo of The Factory.
Ahead of their singles match for the title on Saturday's Battle of the Belts, AEW Women's Champion Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter will take on no. 1 contender Riho and Ruby Soho.
The show will also have a no DQ trios match as Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz take on 2point0 and Daniel Garcia, continuing their string of grudge matches.
Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Taz and Chris Jericho were on commentary.
Adam Cole defeated Jake Atlas (9:39)
Adam Cole is now the #1 ranked wrestler in AEW, which suggests he could be the next challenger for Adam Page.
The match opened with a great wrestling sequence. Cole missed a dropkick early and Atlas caught seated with a dropkick for a near fall. Atlas set up an attack off the middle rope, but Cole shoved him to the floor. On the floor, Cole sent Atlas into the ringpost head first. Back in the ring, Cole hammered down on Atlas with right hands. Atlas started to mount a comeback with a rolling forearm. Atlas sprung off the middle rope right into a back-stabber from Cole. Cole worked a chinlock as the show took its first split screen ad break.
Back from the break, Atlas hit a step up hurricanrana that sent Cole to the floor. Atlas followed him out with a tope suicida, then came back into the ring with a springboard dropkick. Cole came back with the ushigoroshi for a near fall. Cole caught Atlas with an enziguri, but Atlas came back with a rolling clothesline. Cole hit a brainbuster on his knee for a near fall. Atlas came back with a suplex into a sitout powerbomb for a near fall.
Atlas went for a springboard, but Cole nailed him with a superkick. Atlas went down with a legit knee injury out of the springboard. Cole set up the Panama Sunrise, but Atlas couldn’t take the move on the messed up knee. So Cole slapped on a knee bar and Atlas tapped out. This was shaping up to be an excellent match until the unavoidably awkward finish. But Atlas has tweeted he won't be gone for long.
After the match, reDRagon came out to celebrate with Cole. Cole cut a quick promo threatening another beating for Atlas. Orange Cassidy (with a Steel Chain) and the rest of the Best Friends ran in to chase of Cole and reDRagon.
Update on Battle of the Belts: Cody has been ruled unable to compete. As a result, his brother Dustin Rhodes will battle Sammy Guevara to crown an Interim TNT Champion at Battle of the Belts tomorrow night.
In a pre taped segment, Dustin and Sammy cut dueling promos about the situation.
– Tony Schiavone interviewed Andrade El Idolo. El Idolo wants to know “why this little kid work for Sting?” Schiavone tried to clarify that Sting and Darby Allin are friends, but Andrade still wanted to know what the price was “for the little kid.” This was pretty funny stuff.
Hook defeated Aron Solo (w/ QT Marshall) (3:19)
There was a “Send Hook” section of fans in Newark.
My favorite part of Hook’s presentation is how he stands in the corner and buries his head in the turnbuckle, looking bored while Justin Roberts does the ring introductions.
Hook outworked Solo on the mat, then worked him over with body blows in the corner. Marshall tripped Hook up in the corner, and Solo attacked with knees. Solo went for an Irish whip, but Hook countered into a Russiah Leg Sweep. Hook then tied up Solo in an octopus hold on the mat. Hook hit the El Camino suplex, but Solo came back with a jawbreaker. Hook came back with a shoulder capture suplex. After some forearms across the chin, Hook locked in the Redrum for the submission.
After the match, Marshall made the mistake of getting into it with Hook, and Hook dropped him with a head and arm suplex.
Hook is a star.
– At the commentary table, Ricky Starks announced he would defend the FTW Championship against Matt Sydal as part of Battle of the Belts on Saturday. He chose Sydal to sent a message to Dante Martin, who needed three tries to beat Sydal.
– In a pretape, the women from last week’s brawl talked about last week’s brawl. I had hoped that feud was settled but I guess not.
Ruby Soho & Riho defeated Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. & Jamie Hayter (w/ Rebel) (7:06 aired)
After a brief brawl, the match settled into Soho and Hayter. Hayter had tape on her right shoulder. Baker got the tag and took a suplex from Soho. Rebel tripped Soho and Baker used the distraction to set up a double underhook suplex. Hayter then slid into the ring with a knee strike on Soho to get Baker the near fall. Hayter and Baker dominated Soho during the split screen break.
After a full ad break, Soho caught Baker with a Saito suplex and made the tag to Riho. Riho hit a shotgun dropkick on Hayter, took her down with a tijeris and hit a tiger feint kick for a near fall. Riho launched off of Baker and caught Hayter with some kind of bulldog for another near fall. She went for the double stomp, but Baker pushed her off the top. Hayter caught Riho with a backbreaker and Baker followed in with a superkick for another near fall. Hayter then caught Baker with an errant forearm, and Riho rolled up Hayter for the pinfall.
After the match, Baker and Hayter got into a brief shoving match before Baker left alone. Excalibur made it a point that Baker has never beaten Riho (which, every time he does that, practically guarantees the oppostie finish will happen Saturday).
– Dan Snyder and the Men of the Year cut a promo, rightly pointing out that maybe someone in the Top 5 should be getting the Interim TNT Championship match with Sammy Guevara instead of Dustin Rhodes.
Battle of the Belts:
- Dustin Rhodes v. Sammy Guevara for the Interim TNT Championship
- Dr. Britt Baker vs. Riho for the AEW World Women’s Championship
- Ricky Starks vs. Matt Sydal or the FTW Championship
- CM Punk v. Wardlow
- Powerhouse Hobbs v. Dante Martin
- Hikaru Shida v. Serena Deeb
Main Event Promo Time: While 2point0 and Danny Garcia kept ranting nonsense, Santana, Ortiz and Kingston attacked them backstage. “It’s Time for the Main Event!”
Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz defeated Daniel Garcia & 2point0 (12:24 aired)
This was a wild brawl. The match started during the break with brawling all around backstage and the entrance ramp. Kingston grabbed some plunder from a guy dressed as polka dot era Dusty Rhodes. In the ring, Kingston smashed Garcia with an aluminum trash can and choked him with a t-shirt. Ortiz worked over Matt Lee with a madball on the entrance ramp. Parker hit a pump kick on Santana against the guardrail, the dropped him throat first on the ringside barricade.
The match continued on the floor. Santana and Ortiz suplexed Parker on the floor while Kingston did the same to Garcia on the opposite side of the ring. Lee beat Santana with one of those big head gimmicks for one of the hosts of “The Go Big Show.” The brawling continued through the last split screen ad break.
During the split screen break, Santana hit a piledriver on one of the 2point0 guys, Ortiz worked over the other with a madball (basically a weapon in a sock), and Garcia worked over Kingston’s leg with a trash can lid. Back in the ring, Santana hit a pop up cutter on Parker and Santana & Ortiz flapjacked Lee. Santana got a near fall on Garcia with a frog splash. Lee threw powder in Santana’s face and hit a DDT for another near fall. Lee then hit a DDT on Ortiz.
Garcia nailed Kingston with the ring bell, but Kingston kicked out at two. 2point0 suplexed Kingston through the table at ringside, and Parker hit Ortiz with a low blow. Santana came back and used a steel chair on all the heels.
Back in the ring, Garcia went one on one with Ortiz. Santana and Ortiz double-teamed Parker, and Santana finished off Parker with a discus lariat to get the pinfall.
After the match, Lee low-blowed Kingston and Garcia hit Santana with a dropkick. Lee low-blowed Ortiz as well. Garcia and Lee taped Kingston to the ropes and started to work him over. Chris Jericho left the commentary desk and chased off the heels.
This was a fine show, but man Battle of the Belts is looking like a real let down. Replacing Cody with Dustin takes away a lot of the star power from a show that where it was already lacking.