Friday's live edition of AEW Rampage from Washington, DC, will see the return of Jon Moxley to in-ring action for the first time since October as he takes on Ethan Page.
Following a near three-month absence due to being in an alcohol rehab program, the former AEW World Champion returned on this past Wednesday's Dynamite to deliver a memorable promo. Page later laid out the challenge to face Moxley in his first match back.
The main event of the show will see inaugural TBS Champion Jade Cargill defend the gold for the first time against Anna Jay. Cargill won the title earlier this month by defeating Ruby Soho in a tournament final.
Friday will also feature Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks against Trent Beretta of Best Friends. Originally tabbed to the Bucks vs. the reformed Roppongi Vice, that had to be scrapped as Rocky Romero got COVID-19.
Undefeated rookie sensation Hook will have his first live TV match as he faces Serpentico.
Live! from Washington, D.C.
Hosted by Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks and Chris Jericho.
Jon Moxley defeated Ethan Page (10:17)
Scorpio Sky came out with Page, but Page sent him to the back. Mox looks like he’s in fantastic condition after missing time.
The crowd was hugely behind Moxley. Mox took Page down with chops and back elbow, then mauled him in the corner with forearms. Page came back with a mule kick in the corner and his tremendous flying shoulder sent Moxley to the floor. On the floor, they brawled around the table and broke it. Breaking the table six minutes into the show is some kind of record, even for AEW. Moxley threw Jericho into the barricade, then back in the ring.
As Moxley reentered the ring, Page caught his knee tied up in the ropes. Page held up Moxley in the ropes in a double underhook and spun him into an innovative backbreaker. Moxley charged at Page in the corner, but Page ducked and Moxley when shoulder first into the corner, then fell to the floor. Page dominated Moxley on the floor and the show went to a split-screen break.
Back from the break, Page had Mox up for the crucifix powerbomb, but Mox slide down and caught Page with a go behind for a near fall. Moxley followed up with a trio of German suplexes. Moxley and Page exchanged forearms, and Moxley got the better of that exchange. Page missed a boot and Moxley hit a stiff lariat. Page escaped a Paradigm Shift and countered with a twisting brainbuster for a near fall. Page locked in a single leg crab but Moxley easily got the ropes.
Page charged at Moxley, but Moxley lowbridged Page. Moxley followed up with a tope suicidia. Moxley went to the top, but Page caught him up there, and powerslammed Moxley off the middle ropes for two. Moxley countered the pin attempt with a crucifix for two. When Page got his shoulder up, Moxley just destroyed Page with elbows and knee strikes, quickly locked in a bulldog choke, and Page passed out. Moxley got the win by knockout.
Post-match, Page tried to confront Moxley, who dropped him with a kick to the gut and the Paradigm Shift.
Very good comeback match for Moxley, and Page more than held his own.
And then, while Moxley made his way to the back, Bryan Danielson (not seen since his unsuccessful World Title challenge on January 5th) met Moxley at the exit, applauding him for his victory.
-- In a pre-tape backstage, Jurassic Express accepted the challenge of the The Gunn Club. Christian Cage will be out for a while it seems, selling the attack from Wednesday.
Trent Beretta (w/Orange Cassidy) defeated Nick Jackson (w/ Matt Jackson & Brandon Cutler) (13:57)
Beretta is still giving Wheeler Yuta the cold shoulder. (All the Best Friends came out with Beretta, but only Cassidy accompianed him to the ring.)
Even though Trent and Nick have shared the ring 50 times, this is their first one-on-one match.
Beretta caught Nick coming off the ropes with a springboard and turned it into a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. Jackson dodged a charging Beretta, who got tied up in the ropes. Jackson then dropped Beretta with a hangman’s neckbreaker that sent Beretta to the floor, and Nick followed up by kicking Beretta in the back of the neck.
Back from a long commercial break, Nick went for a senton atomico but Beretta got his knees up. Beretta floored Nick with a clothesline and followed up with a deadlift German suplex. A running knee from Beretta got a near fall. The fight went to the floor, and Beretta nailed Nick with a spear. Back in the ring, Beretta hit a backdrop suplex and spinning DDT for another near fall. Nick used referee Rick Knox as a distraction to set up Beretta for a German suplex, but Beretta came back with his own German suplex and both guys were down.
Nick went to the apron and hit a springboard destroyer for a near fall. Nick and Beretta exchanaged forearms, and Nick came out of the corner with a spinning kick. Nick followed up with a kneestrike in the corner and a bulldog. He went for a superkick, but Trent avoided it and delivered a half-and-half suplex. Nick hit the superkick, but Trent came back with a lariat and a stuff piledriver for two.
They rolled out of the ring to the ramp. Beretta went for a piledriver, but Nick backdropped out of the move. Nick then hit Beretta with a senton atomico on the ramp. Nick rolled him back in the ring and then hit a 450 splash for two. Nick hit a superkick, but Beretta countered a second superkick attempt into the Strong Zero for the pinfall. Another very good match, although the match felt like it was missing something (maybe due to the long commercial break?).
--Another Thunder Rosa/Mercedes Martinez promo.
HOOK defeated Serpentico (1:11)
Serpentico has this gimmick where streamers shoot out from his jacket, and as soon as he did this Hook destroyed him. Hook buried knees into Serpentico's gut an took him down with judo throws. Hook got a double wristlock takedown and Serpentico got to the ropes. Hook hit an overhead belly to belly and locked in Redrum and Serpentico quickly tapped out. Hook kept the choke on for a bit after the submission. The crowd loved everything Hook did here.
After the match, QT Marshall came out to run down Hook for attacking Serpentico before the bell and keeping his choke on after the bell. Hook suplexed Marshall on the ramp, walked over him and left.
Hook is a star. I look forward to him destroying QT Marshall next.
Main Event Promo. Jade Cargill is not worried about “Anna Banana,” but Anna Jay said she has a dark side and tonight TBS stands for “That Bitch Slayer.” “It’s Time for the Main Event!” And yes, they have made that a t-shirt for Mark Henry!
Preview of “Beach Break” Dynamite Wednesday:
- Lights Out Match: Adam Cole v. Orange Cassidy
- TNT Title Unification Ladder Match: Sammy Guavara (Interim Champion) vs. Cody Rhodes (TNT Champion)
- New Segments: CM Punk speaks! and Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. speaks!
- Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz v. Daniel Garcia & 2point0
- Leyla Hirsch v. Red Velvet
Beach Break is from Cleveland. Really? They’re in Atlantic City in two weeks.
Jade Cargill (w/ "Smart" Mark Sterling) defeated Anna Jay (w/ John Silver) for the TBS Championship (8:43)
Cargill countered Jay going for a crossbody into a fallaway slam. Jay caught Cargill with a rollup for a near fall. Cargill floored Jay with a clothesline Jay rolled to the floor, where Silver and Sterling got into it. Sterling threatened to sue Silver. Jade made the mistake of getting into a posedown with Silver. This allowed Jay to floor her with a running forearm and get the advantage and the show took its last split-screen break.
During the split-screen, Cargill nailed an overhead belly to belly and then kipped up in an awesome spot. After the break, Jay and Cargill locked in the Queenslayer sleeper, but Jay was standing on the apron, and Cargill broke the hold by dropping down and guillotining Anna against the top rope. Jay took control with a series of kicks and a flatliner. Jay went for the Queenslayer, but Sterling distracted her. Silver hit Sterling with a brainbuster on the floor, and Jay caught Cargill with a backslide for a near fall. Cargill nailed the pump kick and went for the Jaded Slam, but Jay slid out and locked in the Queenslayer in a very slick spot. I almost thought Jay might win it there, but Cargill backed Jay into the ropes to break.
Jay then locked the Queenslayer in the corner while standing on the middle ropes for leverage, but Cargill broke free and went for a powerslam. Jay slid out of the pwerslam attempt and went for a leg lariat in the corner. Cargill caught her and powered her up into a one armed powerbomb out of the corner. Cargill then delivered the Jaded Slam and got the pinfall.
Cargill is 25-0 and that 25th match was her best. Much better match than her title win against Ruby Soho.
Teasing a Moxley/Danielson program is the biggest news coming out of this show. They have to save that for the next pay-per-view. Jade Cargill's match worked well because they didn't try to go too long. Anna Jay also looked great in the match.
Very solid show tonight.