AEW Rampage Preview for April 22, 2022
Wednesday night's edition of Dynamite promised a major announcement, and as can be seen in the video embedded above, said announcement delivered in spades! All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling coming together to present a joint pay-per-view collaboration dubbed Forbidden Door! Taking place on Sunday June 26th at The United Center in Chicago, all the details can be found here (Read Here) in the official press release!
On top of that announcement, Darby Allin defeated Andrade in their Coffin Match thanks, in part, to Sting having his back against the odds of THE AFO. A TNT Title Ladder Match was set between Scorpio Sky and Sammy Guevara, and Dr. Britt Baker returned home to Pittsburgh and qualified for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament! Plus, Kyle O'Reilly topped Jungle Boy to qualify for the Men's Tournament, HOOK had his successful Dynamite debut only to be challenged to a fight by Danhausen, and MJF plans to unleash “The Murderhawk Monster” on Wardlow!
Come this Friday night, Rampage comes off that big NJPW announcement with an Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament match between “The Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii and Adam Cole! Plus Eddie Kingston and Daniel Garcia go head-to-head in a match where everyone else is banned from ringside, “The Murderhawk Monster” will be in action, and in the main event, it's a streak and a championship on the line when Jade Cargill puts her TBS Title on the line against “The Problem” Marina Shafir! It action gets underway at 10pm EST/9:00pm CST, and also at AEWPlus.com for our international audience! So prior to Friday night, make sure you visit the official AEW YouTube channel to catch up on all the Dynamite highlights, plus the latest episodes of Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and Control Center with Tony Schiavone!
TBS TITLE MATCH...
Jade Cargill(c) (w/ Smart Mark Sterling) vs. Marina Shafir
On Friday night, the TBS Champion Jade Cargill is faced with the thirtieth match of her professional wrestling career. Generally speaking, in the career of a wrestler that number may not mean a great deal. It's not the first match, it's not the last, it is often just some random match forgotten in the annals of a career. But in the case of Jade Cargill, this thirtieth bout is likely to be one not lost to the sands of time when her career reaches its end.
Now why is this going to be a fight hard to forget in Jade's career? For one, it's her sixth defense of the TBS Title after having defeated Anna Jay, Julia Hart, A.Q.A, The Bunny, and Tay Conti in previous title bouts. For another, Jade enters into this match undefeated in her wrestling career after twenty-nine previous contests. For a third, this is a bout both Jade and “Smart” Mark Sterling have been hyping for weeks, first as a question of just who would step up to be lucky number thirty and then for Jade to deride Marina Shafir as competition.
Although Jade already sits in the record books with the longest undefeated singles streak in AEW history across divisions, as well as the longest overall in the Women's, she is on the precipice of holding that feat across the board. It's a record currently held by Colten Gunn with thirty-five victories overall, so the TBS Champion is not far behind, and thus this Friday night title fight is crucial on that front. It is also crucial because it is a championship bout, because it is the main event of this Friday night's Rampage, and an opportunity for Jade to further prove she is the best woman in pro wrestling today.
Unfortunately for Jade, the woman standing across the ring from her on Friday night is a certified problem, “The Problem” Marina Shafir. Although her professional wrestling career is still relatively young, having begun in August 2018, Shafir's fighting career has been a part of her life for decades. She started Judo training when she was six years old, and was competing at a very high level by her early teens, but unfortunately a combination of a injury and expense brought Marina's Judo career to an end in her later teens.
Still, once that drive for competition is inside you, it never goes away, and Marina found her way to Jiu-Jitsu. Her two year amateur career led to five submission victories in five fights, and the three fight pro career that followed resulted in a 1-2 record. Her transition into professional wrestling began in 2018, and would bring Shafir to All Elite Wrestling during the Christmas Eve edition of AEW Dark. Her debut match ended in defeat at the hands of Kris Statlander, but the six matches since have all ended with Marina's hand raised in victory. Those six wins mark Shafir as having one of the longest on-going winning streaks in the division, and a kind of competitor Jade Cargill has not really faced. Tay Conti had her own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo background, but she never fought professionally like Shafir.
And yet Cargill seems to be approaching this fight as she has every one of the other twenty-nine: with little concern for the skills of her foe. In fact, Jade seems more concerned with her Baddies Section then she does with “The Problem”, and that will absolutely present a problem for the defending champion. Jade has every reason to be confident, she's undefeated, she has set records in All Elite Wrestling, she's beaten the likes of Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, Leyla Hirsch, and Red Velvet, but has apparently learned nothing about respecting her foes in the process.
Will this overconfidence be the undoing of Jade Cargill this Friday night on Rampage? Or will the TBS Champion actually live up to her self-proclaimed title of being “The Problem Solver”? Tune into TNT starting at 10pm EST to see which woman moves forward in their career as the Face of TBS!
OWEN HART FOUNDATION MEN'S TOURNAMENT QUALIFIER...
Adam Cole vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Three times in 2006 Adam Cole and Tomohiro Ishii stood across the ring from each other, two trios matches and one three way tag bout, none of those times was it Adam Cole's team that ended up on the winning end.
But this match right here, stemming directly out of the AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view event announcement, this will be the first time Ishii and Cole have gone one-on-one! Now fans saw some of what “The Stone Pitbull” can do back in November when he teamed up with Orange Cassidy to fight The Butcher & The Blade, but this time the CHAOS member is unleashed all by himself. Not only that, but with the added stakes of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament included on top of the impending PPV event, this bout is a big-time affair.
Adam Cole wants to insure his clique is well-represented in the Owen Hart Tournament, and with Kyle O'Reilly already in the field after beating Jungle Boy, they've got one spot locked up. Cole wants to make himself the second of the group to shore up a position, but what a fight he has on his hands to try and lock it down. Still, after losing two straight World Title fights with Adam Page, Cole is likely to pull out all the stops to try and make sure this tournament belongs to the Undisputed Elite!
Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia
***The J.A.S & Santana/Ortiz Banned from ringside***
“People like me, I don't sow man. I just reap.”
Eddie Kingston's words to Daniel Garcia in the above embedded tweet carry with them a heavy weight; this singles bout, the second between the two men, is part of something that has been brewing since Garcia became a regular part of the AEW roster last summer. Garcia had some matches here and there, a couple in 2020, a few in the Spring of 2021, but it wasn't until he aligned with 2point0 that his spot in AEW solidified. Alongside the now-christened “Big Daddy Magic” Matt Menard and Angelo Parker, Garcia made life hell for a number of people, but so much of the focus was on Eddie Kingston, Ortiz, and Santana.
During what could be considered phase one of this rivalry, Garcia and Kingston went one-on-one during the Black Friday Rampage edition last November, a fight Eddie won, but it was far from the end of the story. It escalated into several multi-man matches, entangled Chris Jericho as well given his Inner Circle connections to Ortiz and Santana, and ultimately played into the Kingston/Jericho match at Revolution 2022.
Kingston won that pay-per-view fight, but Jericho refused to shake hands despite his promise to do so after the fact. “Le Champion” claimed he would make up for that the following Wednesday on Dynamite, and while he actually did shake hands with “The Mad King” that night, it would prove to be a ruse, a way to lull Eddie into some false sense of security. Sadly Eddie wasn't the only one getting conned by Chris that night, Ortiz and Santana were victims of his machinations as well; see that night is when The Jericho Appreciation Society was born at the expense of the three men from NYC.
The weeks of violence that have followed are what brought us to this Friday night where Jericho, Hager, Menard, Parker, Ortiz, and Santana have all been banned from ringside while Kingston and Garcia fight it out to see who is the better man. But it's not just about the issues between the two of these warriors, this is also a message to Chris Jericho, a violent display for him to watch so the former AEW World Champion knows what's waiting for him when the opportunity comes.
This Friday night is going to be one for fighting...
THE MURDERHAWK IN ACTION...
“The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer vs. Serpentico
With 48 wins, “The Murderhawk Monster” has more singles victories than any individual on the Men's roster, and if there is anything that has been learned about Lance Archer over the course of those matches, it is that this man loves violence. He lives to fight, breathes just to hurt others, steps into the ring just to inflict pain, and thus he is the perfect man for MJF to pick for Wardlow's opponent next week on Dynamite.
But before those two goliaths meet in Philadelphia, Archer is going to get himself warmed up against another competitor who has more fights in AEW than all but six men. Now after 87 fights, Serpentico's record may not be the most outstanding, and his 2-31 singles numbers aren't going to put Serpentico in title contention any time soon, but what the numbers don't show is the heart of a man. The naked numbers don't show that he's been in the ring with Darby Allin, Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky, Eddie Kingston, and Penta El Zero Miedo, to name a handful of foes. They also don't show the weird dynamic of his relationship with Luther either.
So while many may just right this off as Lance Archer having a warm-up before facing down Wardlow, Serpentico is not one of those many. This is his opportunity to take a major step-up in the eyes of the fans and those of AEW management, and even in losing Serpentico could prove himself capable of hanging with the (quite literal) big boys of AEW. We know Archer can be beat, Cody and Moxley did it, Dustin Rhodes pulled it off, Eddie Kingston even did it twice, but is Serpentico the man to follow in those footsteps? Or will Archer just leave a footprint on the chest of his foe this Friday night?
The fights on Rampage get underway Friday night at 10pm EST/9pm PST on TNT, and AEWPlus.com for international audiences! The TBS Title is on the line in the main event, Adam Cole and NJPW's Ishii open up the night in Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying action, and Serpentico tries to survive Lance Archer as Eddie Kingston and Daniel Garcia go to battle! Get ready for it all by checking out 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!