Due to the NHL playoffs on TNT, Friday's AEW Rampage will have its earliest start time ever at 5:30 PM Eastern.
In the main event, Konosuke Takeshita will look to run his AEW record to 3-0 since his return from Japan when he faces former ROH Champion Jay Lethal.
Undefeated rookie phenom Hook continues his march toward an expected clash with recent antagonist Tony Nese when he faces veteran J.D. Drake. Danhausen is expected to appear as well.
In a preview of the women's Owen Hart Tournament, Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter will take on Toni Storm and Ruby Soho. All four women have qualified with Hayter and Storm already scheduled against each other in the first round.
The final qualifying match for the tournament will take place as former AEW Women's Champion Riho will face the returning Yuka Sakazaki. The tournament bracket will be revealed after the match.
Shawn Spears will also be heard from on the show.
From Baltimore, Maryland, with Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks and Chris Jericho on commentary. Today felt like rushing home from school to catch Global on ESPN in 1991.
Toni Storm & Ruby Soho defeated Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D & Jamie Hayter (w/ Rebel) (8:39)
Jericho put Soho's music over on commentary at the start of the match. Storm and Hayter started out and the crowd chanted “Pittsburgh sucks!” to get under Baker’s skin. Tags were made on both sides and Baker dominated Soho with forearms and a slingblade. Soho countered an Air Raid Crash into a sunset flip for a near fall. Storm and Soho hit a double team legsweep on Baker. Baker came back by sending Storm into the turnbuckle.
After a split-screen break, Hayter dominated Storm by whipping her into the corner and battering her with forearms. Storm came back with a German suplex (after an assist by Soho), and tags were bade on both sides. Soho caught Baker with kicks and a knee strike. Storm made a blind tag and caught Baker with a hip attack in the corner, but Hayter cut her off. Baker went for the Pittsburgh Sunrise, but Soho made the save. Storm slammed Baker onto Hayter, but Baker countered a Storm Zero attempt with an Air Raid Crash.
Baker went for a Lock Jaw, but Storm rolled it into a pinfall attempt and then hit a German suplex. Storm set Baker up for a superplex, but Rebel distracted Storm, and Baker came out of the corner with a double underhook suplex on Storm. Hayter hit a sliding lariat, and Baker hit a curb stomp, but Soho broke up the pin attempt. Baker superkicked Soho out of the ring, then Storm rolled up Baker for the upset for pinfall.
– At the commentary desk, Eddie Kingston called Chris Jericho. Called on the phone, because I guess they don't have Zoom. When Kingston got home to his wife (who he’s been in a relationship with for 20 years), the sight of burned face broke her. Kingston promised to hurt Jericho “really bad... for her.”
– Mark Sterling and Tony Nese cut a backstage promo. Sterling requested for Nese a match against the hottest free agent signing in AEW, promising to give the first loss in AEW to the undefeated… Danhausen.
Hook defeated JD Drake (1:27)
Drake hit a hard chop and Hook asked for another. When Drake went to deliver, Hook headbutted Drake's arm and suplexed him. Hook stopped to preen for the crowd, and they went nuts. Drake tried for a reverse DDT, but Hook flipped through the attempt and locked in the Redrum. Drake quickly tapped out.
After the match, Danhausen came out to conference with Hook. The crowd chanted “HOOKHAUSEN!" “Ah, yes, that sounds good.” Danhausen asked Hook to be in his corner for the match with Tony Nese next week. Hook shoved Danhausen down. Danhausen left chips for Hook. Hook was still not interested, and left the chips behind. But Hook, they were your birthday chips!
– Lex Nair interviewed FTR. Even though the crowd is cheering for FTR, Dax Hardwood is going to bring the nasty back in his match against Adam Cole on Dynamite next week.
Riho defeated Yuka Sakazaki (8:16 aired)
This is Riho’s first match back since an injury suffered against Britt Baker at the first Battle of the Belts back in January. Riho is in all black tonight.
Riho hit a shotgun dropkick and a running knee in the corner. Riho got a near fall after a crossbody from the top rope. The crowd was solidly behind Riho. Sakazaki caught Riho with a boot, and a dropkick sent Riho to the floor. Sakazaki followed up with a springboard cannonball senton to the floor.
Back from break, Sakazaki got a near fall after a Northern Lights Bomb. She went for the Magical Girl splash, but Riho got her knees up. Riho hit a release dragon suplex. Riho went for a charging knee, but Sakazaki countered with a sunset flip attempt. Riho hit a slide knee for a very close near fall. The crowd chanted “that was 3!”
Riho went to the top, but Sakazaki sprung up and planted Riho down to the mat with a top rope flatliner for a near fall. Sakazaki went for a helicopter slam, but Riho slid out and rolled Sakazaki up for two. Both women exchanged forearms, and when Sakazaki wound up for a big forearm, Riho ducked down and rolled Sakazaki up for the pin. Very good match!
– Shawn Spears cut a promo on Wardlow, promising to be kryptonite to Wardlow's Superman.
Owen Hart Tournament Women’s Brackets:
Toni Storm v. Jamie Hayter
Britt Baker v. JOKER
Riho v. Ruby Soho
Red Velvet v. Hikaru Shida
I thought for sure the finals were going to be Storm v. Baker, but the brackets don’t shake out that way.
– Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year are out for a promo. Even though Lambert is from Baltimore, he cut a promo on the city. The "Baltimorons" have destoryed this great city. The crab cakes are horrible! He’d rather get crabs from a lady of the night than eat Baltimore crab cakes! This is why he says he's from Miami now! Ethan Page called off the mixed tag match with Tay Conti and Sammy Guevara (which makes sense since everyone is heel). Frankie Kazarian came out and asked for his TNT title match. Scorpio Sky responded with a babyface promo. He told Dan Lambert to take the extra TNT Championship Belt and put it in the trophy case at American Top Team. Scorpio promised he would do things differently this time, and agreed to defend the TNT title against Kazarian next week.
This was a weird thing where Lambert and Page are still seemingly heels, but Scorpio seemed like a face. But there's a really easy fix for that.
– Excalibur started to run down the card for Dynamite when Jungle Boy ran in to lay out Ricky Starks. Starks ran off and Jungle Boy held up the FTW Title belt that Starks left behind.
On Dynamite Wednesday:
- Jungle Boy v. Ricky Starks for the FTW Title.
- CM Punk v. John Silver
- A Jericho Appreciation Society Victory Speech
- Toni Storm v. Jamie Hayter in the First Round of the Owen Hart Cup.
- Hardy v. Allin in the First Round of the Owen Hart Cup.
- Dax Harwood v. Adam Cole in the First Round of the Owen Hart Cup.
On Rampage next Friday:
- Scorpio Sky v. Frankie Kazarian for the TNT Title.
- Riho v. Ruby Soho in the First Round of the Owen Hart Cup.
Jay Lethal (w/ Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt) defeated Konosuke Takeshita (9:31)
Clips of Takeshita winning matches on AEW Dark are shown to help familiarize the audience with him. If only someone thought to do that before the main event on Wednesday.
Takeshita busted out a Fargo Strut early on. He hit Lethal with a shoulder tackle that sent him to the floor, and followed up with a slingshot tope. On the floor, Satnam Singh confronted Takeshita, and this distraction allowed Lethal to take control as the show went to its last split-screen break.
Back from the break, both men were fighting on the top rope and Takeshita hit a lariat that sent both men to the mat. That was an awesome spot. Lethal escaped a full nelson by dropping down and caught Takeshita with a figure four. Takeshita escaped and hit a sheer drop brainbuster for a near fall. Apparently the pencil behind Sonjay Dutt’s ear is a Ticonderoga, and I can confirm they make a quality pencil.
Takeshita avoided a Lethal Injection attempt and floored Lethal with another lariat, then hit a flying knee. He went to cover, but Sonjay Dutt distracted the ref before he could make the count. When the ref finally did count, Lethal kicked out at two. Lethal caught Takeshita with a roll up for two, but when Takeshita kicked out, Lethal sprung into the ropes and caught Takeshita with the Lethal Injection to get the pinfall.
This match was fire.
After the match, Singh and Dutt hit the ring to beat up Takeshita, but the Best Friends ran in to try and make the save. It didn’t work. Singh grabbed Taylor by the throat and bounced his head off the mat like a basketball. Orange Cassidy got on the apron and distracted Singh. Samoa Joe came out with a big pipe, but before he got to the ring a gaggle of security geeks got between Joe and the ring.
Three really good matches and a couple of interesting character developments made for a pretty good show. Hopefully everyone remembered to DVR it to watch later.
Also, no surprise here but this Takeshita kid is gonna be a star for however long they have him.