AEW Rampage (Feb. 25, 2022) emanated from the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. The show featured Sammy Guevara defending the TNT Championship against Andrade, a violent contract signing for Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Thunder Rosa, along with Orange Cassidy versus Anthony Bowens in a Face of the Revolution qualifier.
Let’s jump right in with a recap of the show followed by reactions.
Excalibur, Taz, and Chris Jericho were on commentary. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.
TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Andrade
Andrade shoved the champ, so Sammy shot back with a tackle and punches. Both men teased their finishers only to see the opponent escape, then they posed on the ropes in unison. Andrade offered a handshake. Sammy’s response with the middle finger.
The first big move came from the champ as Andrade ran into a Spanish Fly. Andrade took charge by pushing Sammy off the ropes to collide with the guardrail. Andrade followed with a snap suplex on the ramp. Back in the ring, Andrade hit two of Three Amigos. Sammy countered the third for a roll-up. Sammy took control when Andrade charged for a knee and tumbled over the turnbuckles down to the floor. Guevara followed with a flying tornillo to the outside.
The coolest move of the match came courtesy of Andrade to slingshot over the ropes for a hammering DDT onto the apron.
Guevara came back with a Spanish Fly off the turnbuckles. Both weary men engaged in fisticuffs to the point of exhaustion. As action progressed, Andrade scored a pin with his foot on the ropes. Hardy put his hand on Andrade’s boot before the kick-out. There was a dispute on commentary whether Hardy tried to break the pin or help secure Andrade’s foot on the rope.
Earlier in the match, Hardy removed a turnbuckle pad. For the finish, Sammy wriggled out of a hammerlock DDT in that same corner. Sammy kicked Andrade’s leg out so he fell down hitting his head on the exposed turnbuckle. The champ pounced for a double springboard cutter for victory.
Sammy Guevara defeated Andrade.
Afterward, Hardy attacked Guevara. Darby Allin sprinted down the ramp and through the ring for a suicide dive to Hardy. Sting popped Isiah Kassidy with a punch to set up a Coffin Drop from Allin.
QT Marshall blamed Taz for Hook’s disrespectful attitude. QT took credit for all of Hook’s success. The young man should thank his teacher or else he’ll drag Hook out by his hair and stretch him in front of daddy. After a brief pause to accuse Hook of not having balls, Hook’s music hit. QT backed down the ramp, and random Factory students charged forth to ambush Hook. They were dismantled with ease. The last student ran away. Hook exited without breaking a sweat.
Dan Lambert spoke to Tony Khan demanding a TNT title shot for Scorpio Sky. Khan only offered a qualifier match for the Face of the Revolution. Lambert vowed to get Sky a championship opportunity before the winner of the ladder match does.
Wardlow vs. Nick Comoroto
HOSS FIGHT! On the lockup, Comoroto scored a gutwrench slam. Wardlow kipped up onto his feet and answered with a German suplex and belly-to-belly overhead suplex. The two burly bears were rough and rugged pounding each other. Wardlow turned the tide by escaping a one-handed overhead lift to counter for a chokeslam. Comoroto came back for a power pickup, but Wardlow escaped to counter for a powerbomb. Four powerbombs later, Wardlow was the winner.
Wardlow defeated Nick Comoroto.
After the match, Aaron Solo climbed the corner to take flight. Shawn Spears conveniently moved out of the way. Wardlow caught the surprise intruder and lifted him high for a powerbomb. Spears whacked his chair onto Solo and accidentally hit Wardlow’s hand as well. Spears grabbed a mic to soothe the savage beast. He advised Wardlow to ditch the powerbomb symphony. It wasn’t getting over in popularity (the crowd disagreed), so Spears advised getting back to basics. Spears hugged Wardlow, who had a disgruntled expression on his face.
Serena Deeb vs. Kayla Sparks
Deeb attacked before the bell and used her robe to choke Sparks. Deeb worked submissions to damage the knee. That paved the way for the Serenity Lock to win at 2:30 of the 5-minute challenge.
Serena Deeb defeated Kayla Sparks.
AEW Women’s World Championship contract signing
Thunder Rosa wants to give the people a new champion. One that is better than the current cheating perra. Thunder signed the contract and blew a kiss. Dr. Britt Baker DMD accused Thunder of jealousy. Thunder won the Lights Out match, and yet Baker ended up with the t-shirts and action figures. The only time people mention Thunder is when also talking about Baker. Even if Thunder wins the title, she will never be a bigger star than Baker. As soon as Baker signed, Thunder leaped over the table to tackle Baker in her chair. Jamie Hayter neutralized Thunder. Mercedes Martinez ran in to bash Reba then put Hayter through the table with a spinebuster.
Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. Wheeler Yuta explained to Orange Cassidy that he didn’t need to climb a ladder on this show. It was just to qualify for the PPV match. Cassidy was confident once he understood he only had to out-wrestle Anthony Bowens. Max Caster insulted OC’s appearance, but Cassidy wasn’t listening. Enough talk. Henry closed with, “It’s time for the main event!”
Face of the Revolution qualifier: Orange Cassidy vs. Anthony Bowens
After Max Caster’s rap, Cassidy put his hands in his pockets, kicked Caster’s shins, then said word to his mother. Wheeler Yuta dragged Caster out of the ring. Cassidy dropkicked Bowens out of the ring and followed with a suicide dive. Caster fired back on Yuta with a punch using his chain. Bowens dropped OC onto the apron to take control.
Cassidy rallied with a counter stunner and a Michinoku driver. OC continued his momentum for a springboard twisting cannonball onto the Acclaimed outside.
Back inside, OC connected on a flying DDT and a whirling DDT. When OC was outside again, Caster threatened to punch him with his chain. Danhausen arrived on the scene to protect his friend and curse Caster. That distraction opened space for a Superman punch from Cassidy. OC stormed the ring for a Superman punch to Bowens for victory.
Orange Cassidy defeated Anthony Bowens.
Sammy Guevara showed why he is the Spanish God to keep his gold. He earned an impressive win. The finish could be accused of shenanigans, but credit to Sammy for showing intelligence to set up the spot. He had his pick of attacks at that moment, and he smartly chose to knock the legs out from Andrade. This title run is much more eventful than his previous reign. Wins over Cody Rhodes, Isiah Kassidy, Darby Allin, and Andrade is the kind of résumé that makes a statement.
As a lover of hoss fights, Wardlow versus Nick Comoroto was good fun. I want more of those heavy duty hoss matches for Rampage. Line two hosses up, and let them rumble. As for Wardlow and Comoroto, I’m ready for the rematch to be a 60-minute Ironman. HOSS FIGHT!
I’m losing patience with the Serena Deeb challenge. It’s effective in showing her dominance, but it’s not all that interesting after three consecutive weeks. Time for something to happen with this story. It doesn’t have to be her next major opponent yet, but maybe have a plucky rookie score a close pinfall to last four minutes then get squashed immediately in a rematch to re-establish Deeb’s ruthlessness. Give me something that makes my ears perk up.
Since the contract signing erupted in violence, I am satisfied. Thunder Rosa jumping over the table was a hoot. Add in Mercedes Martinez as a helping hand for the spinebuster through the table to pop the crowd. It is going to be a heck of a showdown once Martinez squares off with Jamie Hayter in a sanctioned match. Dr. Britt Baker DMD’s final promo point veered a little close in content to the promo battle between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston. It worked though for a different reason. Baker was full of poppycock with her final accusation, so it ratcheted up the desire to see Thunder kick her ass.
The main event was even parts spectacle and sport. Both men hit quality maneuvers throughout. The Acclaimed’s chicanery was a good setup for the surprise of Danhausen. Credit to Orange Cassidy for making me pop with laughter when he scissored Anthony Bowen’s fingers and gave the thumbs up.
For the final note, I’d like to present this quote from Taz without context, “It sends this freaky kind of feeling from your buttocks down to your feet.”
Rampage was packed with material. So much so that entrances were skipped on a few matches and segments. Bright spots were the TNT title opener rocking the ring, Darby Allin’s suicide dive, Hook wrecking fools, HOSS FIGHT, and Thunder Rosa over the table. The rest was par for a solid show.
Share your thoughts about Rampage. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?