AEW Rampage Preview for November 4, 2022
This past Wednesday night, All Elite Wrestling was back in Baltimore, MD with a loaded edition of DYNAMITE on TBS where Jon Moxley put down Lee Moriarty, only to get dropped by “All Ego” Ethan Page following the victory. Plus Chris Jericho turned away the ROH World Championship challenge of the returning Colt Cabana only to find himself in the midst of utter chaos involving The Blackpool Combat Club after the victory!
In addition, the legendary Rick Ross visited AEW as a guest of Swerve Strickland, the Daddy Ass Birthday Bash got trashed by The Gunns and W. Morrisey only for FTR to save the day, Jade Cargill topped Marina Shafir in an actual TBS Championship match, and Samoa Joe retained the ROH World TV Championship over The Embassy's Brian Cage!
AEW returns to Atlantic City and Boardwalk Hall this Friday night with a LIVE edition of RAMPAGE on TNT kicking off at 10pm ET/9pm CT! The AEW All-Atlantic Championship is at stake after Orange Cassidy chose New Japan Pro Wrestling's Katsuyori Shibata for his Atlantic City Dream Match! Plus Jamie Hayter, the new top contender to the AEW Interim Women's World Championship, will unite with Dr. Baker to take on Madison Rayne and Skye Blue in tag team action, while “Absolute” Ricky Starks will be back to talk his...stuff..again, and more entrants into the FULL GEAR 2022 World Title Eliminator Tournament will be announced! Catch all the action on TNT, and if you count yourself among our international fans, the place to be is AEWPlus.com, and everyone can get ready for the night with a trip to the official AEW YouTube channel for Dynamite highlights, AEW Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and this week's Control Center with Tony Schiavone!
ALL-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy vs. Katsuyori Shibata
April 9, 2017 was supposed to be the end of Katsuyori Shibata's wrestling career. After battling Kazuchika Okada for 38 minutes over the IWGP Heavyweight Title, Shibata would collapse backstage and undergo emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma. It was believed that his in-ring wrestling career was over, with reports that surgeons had to actually remove Shibata's brain during the procedure, and Shibata merely returning to NJPW in August of 2017 to let the world know he was still alive.
In March of the following year, it would be announced that Shibata was taking over as the trainer for the New Japan Dojo in Los Angeles, training competitors like Alex Coughlin, The DKC, and Karl Fredericks, with numerous others such as Brody King, also spending time under his tutelage. There were glimmers of hope that Shibata would return to action, although they came at the expense of his relationship with KENTA, a former tag team partner in Pro Wrestling NOAH that Shibata brought into New Japan after KENTA returned from the United States. KENTA would stab Shibata in the back and join BULLET CLUB, that August 12, 2019 assault marking the first time Shibata got physically active inside a pro wrestling ring since his injury.
But it wouldn't be the last...
Shibata would shock the wrestling world when he came to the ring at the 10/21/21 finale of the G1 CLIMAX and competed against Zack Sabre Jr. in a five-minute UWF-rules grappling exhibition. He still wasn't done; Shibata would return at WRESTLE KINGDOM 16 to defeat Ren Narita in a 12-minute traditional pro wrestling match, and he looked superb in action. It was clear that Shibata intended to get back into the game at some level, and although he's taken it slowly, and only had the one match thus far, he made his presence felt in All Elite Wrestling back at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2022 by saving Orange Cassidy from a United Empire assault, and donning the sunglasses traditionally worn by “Freshly Squeezed”.
It was certainly a special moment that night in Chicago, seeing Shibata make a surprise appearance on the cross-branded pay-per-view event, but little could anyone have anticipated that Shibata would make another appearance in AEW this past Wednesday night in Baltimore, and to challenge Cassidy for the All-Atlantic Championship no less!
This Friday night will mark Shibata's first match since January, his first bout in the United States since an August 2016 contest against Kyle O'Reilly, and his first in All Elite Wrestling. It's an historic night for Shibata, for NJPW, and for AEW, and it will go down live on TNT from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City! Can Shibata take the All-Atlantic Championship with him with the auspices of New Japan Pro Wrestling? Or will OC keep the backpack over his shoulder and continue taking on all challengers to the title?
DYNAMITE COMES TO RAMPAGE
He's a true legend in the Sport of Kings, a former WBC/WBA/IBF Heavyweight Champion, and a Ringside Enforcer for AEW at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2020. He's been called “Kid Dynamite”, “Iron Mike”, and “The Baddest Man On The Planet”, and he even an honorary member of The Inner Circle. He's run a one man show, ventured into multiple successful business, and after this Friday night on RAMPAGE, he will be able to add AEW commentator to his world-class resume!
He is Mike Tyson, and this Friday night he will return to Atlantic City, the place where he scored thirteen career victories, including four championship fights, and battled in six of his first ten professional fights. AC is a key part of the Mike Tyson story, and he will revisit it (and All Elite Wrestling) when AEW goes LIVE on TNT at 10pm ET/9pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com!
It's always been an unpredictable ride when “Iron” Mike has been in the house, and this will no doubt be another night where that is the case, especially when the legend joins the commentary team for Orange Cassidy versus Katsuyori Shibata!
TAG TEAM BOUT
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D & Jamie Hayter vs. Madison Rayne & Skye Blue
On Wednesday night it was made official: at FULL GEAR 2022, live on pay-per-view, Jamie Hayter will challenge Toni Storm for the AEW Interim Women's World Championship! It's a bout with a rich history, as seen in that tweet embedded above, but Hayter has a bit of time before she gets to that championship challenge, and anything can happen between now and then!
For example, this Friday night, Hayter and her erstwhile partner Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D will unite once more to take on the nascent pairing of Madison Rayne and Skye Blue. Rayne and Blue have only recently begun pairing, with Rayne looking to coach Skye as she grows in her AEW career, and while they haven't been successful in their two outings, Madison and Skye have the potential to grow into a top shelf team.
That being said, while Baker and Hayter have a bit more experience as a team, nine matches in all, they haven't exactly gelled the best as a pair either. 3-6 as a unit, Baker and Hayter have not exactly gotten along on a consistent basis, and that tension hasn't made for the strongest outings as a duo. The fact that it is Hayter who's earned the next title opportunity rather than Britt may not help the situation either, the Good Doctor can be a bit of a jealous individual after all.
There's also the matter of some personal history between Rayne and Baker that pre-dates AEW, a history that has seen them as both friend and foe at ALL IN, as well as in various matches in Ring of Honor.
This bout is a golden opportunity for Skye Blue and Madison Rayne to get onto the right foot in their tag team endeavor, while a victory is almost a necessity for Hayter so soon after being named the top contender to Toni Storm's championship!
After putting down Powerhouse Hobbs in their Unsanctioned Lights Out Match at RAMPAGE: GRAND SLAM 2022, fans were wondering what was next on tap for “Absolute” Ricky Starks. Would he set his sights on championship glory? The TNT? All-Atlantic? Perhaps even the AEW World Championship? Instead Starks has been in a pair of singles matches, one on DYNAMITE and one on DARK, but no title challenges in his future.
But this Friday night, “Absolute” has something to say to the AEW faithful, and perhaps he will even get an opportunity to say it without some sort of interruption! With the FULL GEAR 2022 World Title Eliminator Tournament kicking off, perhaps Starks will enter his name into the field? Best way to find out is either be there live in Atlantic City when Ricky Starks show the world what a star looks like, or by tuning into TNT this Friday night!
TAG TEAM GRUDGE CHALLENGE...
WarJoe (ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe & TNT Champion Wardlow)
The Embassy (Kaun & Toa Liona)
The TNT Champion and ROH World TV Champion have had to contend with one assault after another perpetrated by the members of Prince Nana's Embassy, and now Powerhouse Hobbs can be added to that list as well. Clearly the intent is to soften up the champions in hopes of claiming their titles, something it should be noted that Brian Cage failed to do against Samoa Joe this past Wednesday night on DYNAMITE.
Well clearly Samoa Joe and Wardlow have had enough of The Embassy, and as can be heard in the video embedded above, they want a fight tonight! So it will be WarJoe in tag team action against The Embassy's Gates of Agony, Kaun and Toa Liona, and there will be hell to pay! Prince Nana should have warned his men what happens when you make Joe angry, but instead they will get to feel it first hand in Atlantic City! And as for Wardlow, well, the TNT Champion isn't referred to as “Mr. Mayhem” for no reason...
The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City is in store for a wild night this Friday when AEW returns with RAMPAGE live at 10:00pm ET/9:00pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences! The All-Atlantic Championship will be at stake in one of the most unlikely bouts fans of NJPW and AEW could've ever imagined while four of the women's divisions best will be in tag team action! Plus “Absolute” Ricky Starks will be in the house, and more names will join the field for the FULL GEAR 2022 World Title Eliminator Tournament!