AEW Rampage: Championship Week Preview for April 15, 2022
Last Wednesday on Dynamite, after a brutal battle with Minoru Suzuki, a brand-new ROH World TV Champion was crowned in Samoa Joe, but the celebration was short-lived as Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh decimated the ROH Legend after his victory.
Plus Kingston/Ortiz/Santana trio came up short against The Jericho Appreciation Society, as did reDRagon in their World Tag Team Title bid against Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. In addition, fans witnessed Marina Shafir get prepped for her inevitable collision with Jade Cargill, Wardlow cost MJF another loss to Captain Shawn Dean, and several matches set for Battle of the Belts II!
This Friday night a LIVE Rampage presents Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and their new protege Wheeler Yuta fighting The Gunn Club in Trios action, and we will see the next Qualifying Match in the Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament between Ruby Soho and Robyn Renegade. Then, in the main event, Adam Page and Adam Cole will collide once more, only this time in a Texas Death Match! It all begins at a special start time of 7pm EST/4:00pm CST, and also at AEWPlus.com for our international audience! Before Friday night, make sure you visit the official AEW YouTube channel and watch all the Dynamite highlights, plus the latest episodes of Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and Control Center with Tony Schiavone!
AEW WORLD TITLE TEXAS DEATH MATCH...
“Hangman” Adam Page(c) vs. Adam Cole
This isn't Hangman Page's first rodeo under these stipulations, that would've been two months ago in Atlantic City when the defending World Champion was tested like never before by “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer. It was appropriate the fight took place in Atlantic City because accepting the challenge under those stipulations was the biggest gamble Page had taken since defeating Kenny Omega for the title at Full Gear 2020.
He been tested by Bryan Danielson twice, nearly ninety minutes between the pair of fights, and ultimately proved the better man after going to a 60 minute draw in the first outing, but that kind of fight with Archer was something hellishly different.
Suffice to say it was a violent, bloody affair, but Hangman found a way to not only survive the onslaught, but actually pull off a Buckshot Lariat without the top rope attached to the ring! Between Danielson and Archer, Hangman had been tested in every way a champion could be, and came through with the title still in his possession; but not only did he still have the title, he also bolstered his self-confidence to a level he hadn't experienced before.
Thus, when Page entered into Revolution 2022 against Adam Cole, it was as a confident champion but one aware that he may have to go to some deep, dark places in order to keep the title around his waist. After all, Adam had a support team at this side with reDRagon just ready to assist at a moment's notice, and they did exactly that when the opportunity presented itself. Page, on the other hand, had The Dark Order there to assist if needed, but when the time came for them to rally behind their friend, all it earned them was a dismissive, angry shove to Alex Reynolds. The message was clear, Page wanted to do this utterly on his own, and did not want any Dark Order friend getting involved.
Hangman's comments about having to go to some dark places proved prophetic as well as he, in the heat of battle, used his belt to strap Cole to the top rope (the same way Cole and reDRagon had done to him previously, and delivered a barrage of superkicks to his challenger. It was not something the Orlando crowd looked upon kindly that night, but Page did warn his supporters about where he might need to go to remain champion.
And remain champion he did, no matter how Adam Cole has tried to spin it in the month since the loss, Hangman Page defeated “the other Adam” quite decisively, and would actually put his title on the line just three days later on Dynamite against Dante Martin. Hangman would retain again that night, marking his fifth successful defense, but low and behold, Adam Cole was right back in the mix to demand a rematch. Cole did whatever he could to force the hand of Page into acquiescing to the return bout; he stole the World Title belt, had a little championship celebration with it, he and reDRagon beat Page and the World Tag Champs in a Trios Match, but it all came to a head after Cole's victory over Christian Cage.
It was a far cry from where Page's head was at during Dynamite: Beach Break 2022 three months ago when he found out Archer challenged him to that aforementioned AEW World Title Texas Death Match. Just look at the video clip below, the moment when Page is informed of what the stipulation will be, and watch the fear wash over his face. It's brief, and he quickly musters up the bravado to hide it, but it was still on display for the whole world in that moment.
Now look at the man who stepped to Adam Cole, who piefaced his erstwhile challenger and threw the gauntlet down himself for a stipulation he feared not so long ago. This is a Hangman who has faced his fears time and again since the World Title Match with Kenny Omega was made official last year, and has grown increasingly confident as a result. He is the one striking fear in the heart of his challengers, the look on Adam Cole's face when he hears “Texas Death Match” is testament to that, but there's a fine line between confidence and overconfidence, and some have started questioning where Page is on that spectrum.
After beating one of the greatest of this generation to win the title, and defeating a man many consider the greatest wrestler of all-time, after surviving a monster, and topping one of the hottest rising stars, Page has every reason to believe in himself. Add in his victory over Adam Cole just over a month ago, and it makes sense why Hangman would believe he's got the upper hand heading into Friday night.
As for Adam Cole, he is never without a trick up his sleeve and a plan brewing in his brain. Whether it's having Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly at his beck and call or an opportune use of a low blow, Cole often finds a way, and without any rules or restrictions constraining his options, one can only guess what lengths Cole will go to in order to finally achieve his desire to be AEW World Champion!
Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, & ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta
The Gunn Club (Austin, Billy, & Colten Gunn)
Last week on Rampage, Wheeler Yuta went through absolute hell with Jon Moxley for nearly thirteen minutes before finally succumbing to a Rear Naked Choke from the former AEW World Champion. Yuta was a bloody mess, but he never stopped fighting for the duration of the fight, he even survived a Paradigm Shift, a Bulldog Choke, Mox's version of Danielson's trademark elbow strikes, even Regal's signature running knee. Wheeler even shrugged out of a Sheer Drop Paradigm Shift before succumbing to that choke, it was the kind of gutsy fight that had the entire audience rallying behind Yuta in spite of his foe being one of the most popular men on the AEW roster.
The look on Jon Moxley's face after the match, as he watched a bloody Yuta struggle to sit upright, and the glances exchanged between he and Bryan after “The American Dragon” and William Regal came to the ring, they told the tale of just what young Yuta had just accomplished in his defeat. Bryan and William both seemed ready to fight, but so did Yuta despite his blood covered body, he was basically asking for a fight as he sat on his knees before The Blackpool Combat Club. And when Yuta finally rose to this feet, fists clenched in anticipation of a fight with these three violent men, it was to his great shock that Regal extended his hand in a gesture of respect for what had just occurred inside that ring.
Yuta had done it, he had earned that which he craved, but this Friday night on Rampage, in the words of Yuta himself, the work really begins. Now Wheeler must step into the ring. not as a foe of The BCC, but sharing the ring as an ally.
Their foes on this Friday evening in Texas; none other than the undefeated Gunn Club trio of Austin, Billy, and Colten. To date, this father-son trio has racked up twenty-four wins and they would love nothing more than to score number twenty-five over a trio like this BCC unit. Can Yuta prove himself as worthy a partner as he did a foe, or will the Gunn family's undefeated streak roll on?
OWEN HART FOUNDATION WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT QUALIFIER...
Ruby Soho VS. Robyn Renegade
As can be seen in the clip above, last Friday on Rampage, Red Velvet became the latest woman to qualify for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, joining Toni Storm, Jamie Hayter, and former AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida in the field. We also found out on Dynamite that Hayter and Storm will meet in the opening round of the tournament after it begins in Long Island (Buy Tickets):
This Friday night, we will find out which woman earns her way into the field as well when “The Runaway” Ruby Soho returns to Rampage for the first time since January to face the up-and-coming talents of Robyn Renegade! These two fighters last met in a tag team affair back on the March 28th edition of Dark: Elevation, a fight won by Ruby and Anna Jay, but this time it's a singles meeting with a tournament spot at stake.
Now Soho is the definite favorite, coming into this Friday having won four singles matches in a row, as well as her last eleven overall, but any given night can be the best night of a competitors life. Robyn has been in there with Emi, Nyla, Skye, and Dr. Britt Baker, and although each was a loss, each was also a learning experience, and those lessons can accumulate to success.
Will Renegade find that success this Friday night, or will it be Ruby who begins her journey in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament live on TNT?
The action on Rampage gets underway a bit earlier this Friday night! It all begins at 7pm EST/4pm PST on TNT, and AEWPlus.com for international audiences! With an AEW World Title Texas Death Match on top, as well the next Qualifier for the Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and a Blackpool Combat Club Trios Match lined up, the DFW area is in store for a tremendous night of action! So be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for Dynamite highlights, as well as the latest episodes of Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and the latest Control Center with Tony Schiavone!