From the rip, Dynamite on Wednesday was quite the powder keg! From CM Punk and Jon Moxley’s confrontation that turned to several fights over the course of the night, to finding out their AEW World Title Unification match would happen next week in Cleveland, things were already primed to blow. Add in the return of Kenny Omega to the fold to join The Young Bucks in the Trios Title Tournament, Toni Storm solidifying her shot at Thunder Rosa in a top shelf match with KiLynn King, and “The American Dragon versus Daniel Garcia being every bit as epic as anticipated, Charleston was red hot!
Friday night on Rampage the fire keeps burning with the continuation of the Trios Title Tournament, HOOK defending his FTW Title, Athena versus Penelope Ford, and Swerve In Our Glory’s first defense of the AEW World Tag Team Titles! It all begins at 10pm EDT/9pm CDT on TNT, and on AEWPlus.com for our international audience, and head over to the official AEW YouTube channel, the AEW Twitter feed, and the official Facebook page to catch up on Dynamite highlights, and watch Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and the Control Center with Tony Schiavone.
AEW TRIOS TITLE TOURNAMENT QUARTER-FINAL…
The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, & Trent Beretta)
The TrustBusters (Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux, & Slim J)
Ari Daivari has made quite an impact over the last several weeks, from using his trust fund gains to bring together The TrustBusters and trying to pull Orange Cassidy to his side with a little cash to using that same money to lure Sonny Kiss to his stable, Daivari’s unit has made their presence in AEW felt very rapidly.
Now Daviari is hoping his finances can parlay into Trios Title Tournament success, and his trust fund earnings can lead to championships around the waist of Boudreaux, Slim J, and himself, but they’ve got quite a roadblock ahead of them in one of the most established trios on the AEW roster. The Best Friends, holding a 5-3 trios record in AEW, have been bonded for far longer than the three years of All Elite Wrestling’s existence with legitimate friendships predicated on more than just financial gain. They have years spent together, plenty of fights, plenty of road stories…the TrustBusters have Daviari’s inherited wealth and a couple of weeks holding them together.
Which one of those factors will prove more crucial to Trios Tournament success? The bonds of time and friendship or those of money? We shall see this Friday night in the main event of an all-new Rampage!
FTW Title Match…
HOOK(c) vs. Zack Clayton
The FTW Title returned to the family a couple weeks ago when HOOK smashed Ricky Starks to become the new champion, just minutes before Powerhouse Hobbs turned on “Absolute” and hours before HOOK’s father put the nail in Team Taz’s coffin.
Now in the position of champion, HOOK will face his first championship challenge this Friday in the form of one Zack Clayton. “The Reality” has been grinding away for the last seven years as an independent wrestler, trying to find his big break, and had a fair show of fights in AEW over the last two years. Clayton hasn’t found a great deal of success here, his only victory across 13 fights was against Serpentico in Atlantic City back in February, but the ever-confident reality TV fixture is dead set on bringing the FTW Title to the shores of New Jersey.
Can Clayton somehow be the man to end the 11 match win streak of “The Cold Hearted Handsome Devil”, or will he be just another victim in HOOK’s path?
Penelope Ford vs. Athena
Penelope Ford returned to action on Dark: Elevation after seven months spent on the injured list. Looking better than ever, Ford topped Heather Reckless in under three minutes, and her attention has now quickly turned to reestablishing her presence in the women’s division. With 31 career singles wins under her belt, Ford is in the top 10 for victories, and certainly has all the tools to get back into the title hunt, but she’s making her return to Rampage against the white-hot “Fallen Goddess” who has her eyes affixed on Jade Cargill and the TBS Title.
Jade, supremely confident in her abilities, is generally willing to let anyone take a shot at her championship and her undefeated streak, but has made it very obvious she wants no part of Athena in an actual match. Group assaults by The Baddies, that’s all day every day, but an actual one-on-one match is something Cargill has avoided every since Athena’s debut, but that doesn’t mean Athena’s is going to stop coming for Jade, nor stop building up her resume with fight like this one against Penelope.
It’s Ford’s opportunity to immediately put her name into the title picture, it’s Athena’s to continue proving why she believes she’s the one to end Jade’s run; who will win out this Friday night?
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH…
Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland)(c)
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)
As the recently crowned World Tag Team Champions, Swerve and Keith Lee are set to make their first title defense this Friday night in Rampage‘s opening contest. Their opponents: perennial contenders Private Party, the very men who upset The Young Bucks in the original Tag Title Tournament, who showed so much promise and potential in dawning days of AEW, and who then got suckered into first Matt Hardy’s web, and then that of Andrade El Idolo’s.
Now Hardy has expressed remorse for how he used and abused Isiah and Marq Quen, how he squandered their talents rather than cultivate them, and told them they are destined for so much more than he ever provided. He knows their potential for greatness, it’s why he came to them in the first place before “Big Money” reared its ugly head and spun it all out of control.
But as two of the newest faces on the AEW roster, Swerve and Keith haven’t had the opportunity to see that side of Private Party, Keith only saw the side he was rag dolling all around the ring when he made his debut in that Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier last February. They haven’t seen what Isiah and Marq are capable of when they are focused, they haven’t seen them at their absolute best, so they are perhaps underestimating that Private Party can be a genuine threat to their nascent title reign.
That being said, now that Isiah and Marq have been given this championship opportunity, they have to prove who they are in the present. They have to bring their best game to the table to have any hope of toppling Swerve In Our Glory and becoming the new World Tag Team Champions. Marq and Isiah cannot be focused on shots and parties and shenanigans, they must be zoomed in on the monstrous power of Keith Lee and the unpredictable soul of Swerve’s repertoire.
Can Private Party finally live up to the potential that the world saw in 2019? Can they do to Swerve and Keith what they did to The Young Bucks, and end the title run on the first outing? Or will this just the beginning of a glorious championship reign for Swerve In Our Glory?
THE ROH WORLD CHAMPION…
Claudio Castagnoli already made a grand statement when he dethroned the uber-talented Jonathan Gresham as the ROH World Champion. Gresham had reigned as champion for 225 days and racked up 17 successful title defenses, but when he ran into “The Swiss Superman” at Death Before Dishonor 2022, he met his match. That night Claudio finally achieved a goal he’d been working towards his entire career, he became a World Champion, and he did it as the top of the company that helped establish his presence in the pro wrestling. For years Claudio stood as the one-half of longest reigning World Tag Team Championship team, a record that stood for nearly nine years until Jay Lethal and Gresham broke it, and now he has the opportunity to make that same kind of history as the ROH World Champion!
In joining the pantheon of ROH World Champions like Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, just to name a few, Claudio has already etched his name in history, and if the defense against Takeshita is any indication of what’s to come, Castagnoli’s reign will be quite the memorable one. With that in mind, the ROH World Champion will be in the building on Friday night and we will hear what he has to say about the next step in his championship reign!
This Friday night, as AEW barrels towards All Out 2022, there is a loaded edition of Rampage on tap! The Trios Title Tournament Quarter-Finals continue with The Best Friends taking on The TrustBusters, HOOK defending his FTW Title, Athena in action against the returning Penelope Ford, and kicking it all off will be Private Party challenging Swerve In Our Glory for the AEW World Tag Team Titles! The action starts at 10:00pm EDT/9:00pm CDT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, and you can get caught up on what came before at the official AEW YouTube channel to get caught up with Dynamite highlights, Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, Road To, and this week’s Control Center with Tony Schiavone!