AEW Rampage: Grand Slam Preview for September 23, 2022
The finals of the Grand Slam Tournament of Champions on Dynamite: Grand Slam 2022 proved to be very bit as epic as anticipated, and when the final bell tolled to end the match, it was Jon Moxley who stood tall inside Arthur Ashe Stadium as the new AEW World Champion, claiming the honors for a record third time!
As if that clash wasn't wild enough, Swerve In Our Glory and The Acclaimed went to battle for the second time with Caster & Bowens achieving their dream and walking out of the ring with the World Tag Team Championship titles in their hands! Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Jericho battled it out over the ROH World Title with “The Ocho” dishonorably snatching the crown, while three women did their best to wrest the Interim Women's World Title from Toni Storm but it was Toni Storm who claimed victory in that Four Way battle! And in a battle for the All-Atlantic Championship, it was PAC who will continue to represent when AEW makes its first excursion to Canada in a few weeks! Oh, and there's MJF too...
Suffice to say Wednesday night was a historic one in the annals of AEW, and this Friday night's TWO HOUR edition of Rampage will continue the history making inside Arthur Ashe Arena! The night begins at 10:00pm ET/9:00pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, and hosts eight must-see collisions! Darby Allin and Sting go to battle in a No DQ battle with The House of Black, the TNT and ROH TV champion unite in tag team action, and Rey Fenix locks up with Jungle Boy in their first singles encounter! Plus, Jade Cargill defends the TBS Title against Diamante, the hostilities between Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs explode once more, and the Golden Ticket Battle Royale will earn one man a World Title opportunity! And that's not all: Eddie Kingston versus Sammy Guevara will finally go down while the FTW Champion HOOK teams with Action Bronson to battle The J.A.S. of Angelo Parker and Matt Menard!
Before the two hours of jam-packed action begins, make sure to hit up the official AEW YouTube channel for Dynamite highlights, Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and this week's Control Center with Tony Schiavone!
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH...
FTW Champion HOOK & Action Bronson vs.
Jericho Appreciation Society (Angelo Parker & Matt Menard)
Matt Menard and Angelo Parker have had an issue with HOOK since the moment he defeated Ricky Starks to claim the FTW Title as his own. That grudge led “Cool Hand” into battle with “The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil” during the All Out 2022: Zero Hour a battle that ended in under four minutes with the FTW Champion retaining his title, and keeping his undefeated streak alive. To be fair, Parker spent most of those minutes in control of the fight, but all HOOK needs is a second to sink in his Redrum submission to bring any match to its end.
It should come as no surprise that Matt Menard jumped HOOK as soon as his partner submitted, that's the nature of The J.A.S. beast after all, but what certainly did surprise everyone was when Action Bronson, the rapper responsible for HOOK's “The Chairman's Intent” entrance theme, hopped into action to assist the FTW Champion. That bit of assistance has now led to a match for Rampage: Grand Slam 2022 in which HOOK and Action Bronson will unite to face the two J.A.S. members in tag team competition!
It may seem rather odd that the man who did HOOK's theme is hopping into action at his side, but the reality is their bond goes back a decade after Taz connected with Bronson through the former's radio show, with the latter being a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, as well as being a Queens native himself. Bronson, who utterly transformed his body over the last couple years with a 130 pound weight loss, has been training inside the wrestling ring for the last year at Create A Pro with Taz and HOOK, and at this point “The Human Suplex Machine” considers Action Bronson to be like family. And while he may be stepping into an actual match for the very first time, Bronson does come to the table with some Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training under his belt to compliment the wrestling education.
Factor in the hometown love HOOK and Bronson are likely to get inside Arthur Ashe, and this may be one of the hottest contests of the night for Rampage! Can Action Bronson make his debut match a historic one with HOOK at his side? Or will Menard and Parker play spoiler to their foes homecoming night?
Eddie Kingston vs. Sammy Guevara
What is there to say about this one that Eddie Kingston hasn't said himself; he despises Sammy's existence, the very air he breathes, and has been waiting for this opportunity to fight “The Spanish God” for quite some time. Sammy cost Kingston the Barbed Wire Everywhere match in retribution for being chucked off the top of the Blood & Guts cage by “The Mad King”, something Eddie freely admitted he had coming, but that doesn't mean it evens the score between the two men. Kingston has also witnessed two of his closest friends be assaulted by AEW's most reviled couple on multiple occasions. He saw Ruby Soho get her arm smashed in a car door by Tay and The J.A.S., Ortiz get split open by Sammy and screwed over in one match after another, and finally Soho get her nose shattered by Tay Melo's knee, necessitating she undergo surgery thus missing action the last several weeks, as well as an upcoming trip to the UK.
As much as Kingston despises Sammy, it was the actions perpetrated upon his friends that have pushed him to this breaking point, and now Guevara is going to have to reap what his sown this Friday night at Rampage: Grand Slam 2022. Fans have seen Sammy sustain a beating; he's been in two Stadium Stampede fights and two Blood & Guts cages as testament to that, but the fury of Eddie Kingston is unlike anything he has experienced before, and with his hometown rooting him along, “The Mad King” is likely to deliver a beating unlike any he has before as well.
Will Guevara survive this retribution, or will he somehow find a way to escape the violence he has created?
TBS Title Match...
Jade Cargill(c) vs. Diamante
Unstoppable; that is the only apt descriptor for Jade Cargill's wrestling career as a whole, and her TBS Championship reign specifically. No champion in any division in AEW's history has successfully defended their title as many times as Cargill, no man or woman has racked up as many consecutive victories as Jade, and thus far it doesn't seem like there's anyone who can stop her.
Athena, Ruby Soho, Madison Rayne, Thunder Rosa, Willow Nightingale; those are just a handful of the women who have stepped up to Jade Cargill and ended up Jaded for their efforts. It's gotten so that women who fell to Jade have elected to join her, since they can't beat her, and that's what led to the birth of The Baddies with Red Velvet, Kiera Hogan, and now Leila Grey, following Jade around, and doing her bidding.
Those odds, the entourage that surrounds the TBS Champion, that did not stop Diamante from stepping right up to Cargill and answering her call for competition. In fact, in response to The Baddies, Diamante has promised to bring “The OG Baddie from the 305” with her to watch her back, but just who is she talking about? 305 is the area code for Miami-Dade, the place Diamante herself calls home, so just who is she bringing up from Florida to have her back? We found out on Dynamite: Grand Slam 2022 that it would be Trina, Miami's own award winning rapper, who would stand by Diamante's side this Friday night in Queens!
Will she be enough to balance out The Baddies so Diamante can end not only the TBS Title reign, but also the unbeaten streak, of Jade Cargill? We will find out Friday night!!
ALL OUT 2022 REMATCH...
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks
All Out 2022 did not go the way “Absolute” Ricky Starks had hoped, and although he came out on fire, all it took was the slightest slip-up for Powerhouse Hobbs to capitalize for the win. Starks wasn't about to let it rest, and took it to Hobbs upon his return to the spotlight.
That ruined friendship, left broken and tattered in the ring following Starks' FTW Title loss, it has now led to this acrimonious war on Friday night's edition of Rampage: Grand Slam 2022. After seeing how much bad blood has come from this broken brotherhood, it will be interesting to see how the referee tasked with this one manages to maintain control. Starks is out to rip the soul from Hobbs' body, to crush his heart the way Powerhouse did to him, and there's no way Ricky will let it end like it did at All Out.
Hobbs may think he knows all there is to know about Ricky, that he's seen the best Starks has to offer and found it lacking, but he may find himself in serious error with the bell rings for this grudge match. Can “Absolute” topple his former best friend and find redemption for the last fight? Or will Powerhouse drive Ricky through that canvas one more time and put his past in the grave?
Darby Allin & Sting vs. The House of Black (Brody King & Buddy Matthews w/ Julia Hart)
A funeral; that is clearly how Darby Allin is looking at this No Disqualification Bout scheduled for Rampage: Grand Slam 2022 this Friday night. After weeks of waging war against one another, Darby and Sting will unite once more to take on The House of Black's Brody King and Buddy Matthews. While there is no doubt Julia Hart will be accompanying them to ringside, there has to be some question of just who these stipulations favor. While Brody is a certifiable monster, and Matthews is an absolute danger to anyone standing in opposition, so too has Darby Allin repeatedly prove his recklessness, his fearlessness, and his willingness to put his body through hell to achieve victory. As for Sting, well something in Darby has clearly rubbed off on “The Icon” because, since arriving in AEW, he has shown himself more than willing to do the same when the situation calls for it. It's lead to great success for Darby and Sting as a pair, they've won all six of their outings as a tag team, and done so against top flight opponents like FTR, The Gunn Club, and The Acclaimed.
Sting and Darby have also proven themselves in trios and multi-mans, in wild brawls all over the arena, and have managed to come out on top every time they've been together, but this is something darker, The House is something darker than any foe they've faced before, and their willingness to hurt is unparalleled by any other entity in AEW.
With the rules stripped away, with any veneer of civility shredded, just what will these four men do to each other inside The Arthur Ashe Arena?
Jungle Boy vs. Rey Fenix
Ninety seconds; that's the closest fans have gotten to a one-on-one match between Rey Fenix and Jungle Boy, and that took place when they were the last two standing in the Casino Tag Royale at Revolution 2021. For that minute and a half, the two competitors threw it all on the line in hopes of earning a World Tag Team Title bout, but it would be Fenix who got the victory for himself and “The Bastard” PAC.
It was a teas of what these two performers could do in the ring together, and though several had come before in tag team and multi-man affairs, and several others would follow in those same situations, including Jurassic Express finally becoming champions at The Lucha Brothers expense on the 1/5/22 Dynamite, never did we get the full experience of Jungle Boy versus Rey Fenix.
That is until this Friday night on Rampage! These two premier athletes, both known for their tag team accolades, but each proven quite adept at singles competition, will finally lock horns in a one-on-one match for the very first time. It's a match many have clamored for since that 2021 tease, and it is finally happening during Grand Slam 2022 inside The Arthur Ashe Stadium!
With Jungle Boy a man on his own, and Penta involved in the Golden Ticket Battle Royale, this one isn't about tag team supremacy like their previous encounters, or any jockeying for position in those ranks. This one is just about who will be the better man on Friday night!
TNT Champion Wardlow & ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe
“The Technical Beast” Josh Woods & Tony Nese (w/ Smart Mark Sterling)
Josh Woods, Tony Nese, and their mouthpiece “Smart” Mark Sterling certainly like to create noise. They've been in the business of both Samoa Joe and Wardlow over the last several weeks, Nese challenging for the TNT Title and Woods for the ROH World TV, and now that insistent behavior is bringing it all together in this tag team battle!
Woods and Nese are prime athletes, they've got all the tools to be top contenders in this sport, but is picking a fight with two absolute beasts like Wardlow and Joe the best idea? Whether it's the music of the Powerbomb Symphony or the Coquina Clutch that puts a foe to sleep, we are talking two of the toughest foes in wrestling, be it ROH, AEW, or anywhere else.
That being stated, this bout is a prime opportunity for Nese and Woods to solidify themselves another championship opportunity. A win over Joe or Wardlow would likely lead to a shot at either the TNT or ROH World TV Title in the near future, and given that Nese & Woods are definitive underdogs here, what do they have to lose by big game hunting?
GOLDEN TICKET BATTLE ROYALE...
***WINNER EARNS A FUTURE WORLD TITLE SHOT***
This Friday night former IWGP United States Champion “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer, former ROH World, TV, Tag, and Pure Champion Jay Lethal, former AAA & AEW World Tag Team Champion Penta El Zero Miedo, The Dark Order's Ten, John Silver, and Evil Uno, LFI's Rush, former AEW World & World Tag Team Champion “Hangman” Adam Page, and many more will collide in the Golden Ticket Battle Royale!
To the winner of this chaos comes the spoils of a future AEW World Title match against the newly crowned 3-Time champion Jon Moxley, and the location of this championship bout...well that will take place on October 18th in Cincinnati, giving Moxley a little home field advantage should he still be champion come that October evening.
There's a collection of former champions, both singles and tag, in this Battle Royale, so will we see someone add to their championship resume? Or will it be a new contender, one who has to taste championship success, who steps to the forefront?
Rampage: Grand Slam 2022, a special two hour edition, begins at 10:00pm ET/9:00pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, and is loaded with one huge match after another! The ROH World TV Champion and TNT Champion unite in tag team battle, Darby and Sting unite for a No DQ Battle with The House of Black, the TBS Title is on the line, one man will earn a future AEW World Title shot, and more!!! Get prepared for it all with a trip to the official AEW YouTube channel with Dynamite highlights, Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and this week's Control Center with Tony Schiavone