AEW Rampage New Year's Smash 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Doc-Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2022

AEW Rampage New Year's Smash 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Jamie Hayter
    Jamie HayterAEW

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of All Elite Wrestling Rampage New Year's Bash on December 30.

    This is the final episode of AEW television for 2022, so a couple of big matches were set up to close out the year.

    Not only did Jade Cargill defend her TBS Championship against former ally Kiera Hogan, but we also saw Wheeler Yuta battle Swerve Strickland.

    However, the match most people were excited to see was the All-Atlantic Championship showdown between two men known for being part of Best Friends, Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta.

    Let's take a look at what went down during Friday's show.

Orange Cassidy vs. Trent Beretta and Kip Sabian vs. Jobber

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    Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta
    Orange Cassidy and Trent BerettaAEW

    Cassidy and Beretta were in the ring when the show went live, so we got right to the action. Well, sort of. They started with a long, drawn-out handshake.

    Once they were done being cordial, they began to test each other. The action was quick, but they took their time between sequences to sell both the moves and the emotion of the situation.

    Danhausen and Chuck Taylor were at ringside watching their friends fight, but they didn't want to take sides. As the match progressed, tension built.

    This was a good performance in terms of the story they were telling, but the action in the match was pretty standard fare. We saw the usual comedy spots, even though they did not dominate the match.

    Penelope Ford showed up to distract Beretta so Cassidy could score the win, but OC didn't have anything to do with her actions.

    Winner: Orange Cassidy

    Grade: C+

    Kip Sabian was on commentary, so he walked right to the ring after Cassidy got the win for his match against a local talent. Sabian beat him quickly by using Cassidy's Orange Punch.

    This was the definition of a squash. There was nothing to it.

    Winner: Kip Sabian

    Grade: Incomplete

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Showing a tribute graphic for Don West was a nice touch. He may not have worked for AEW, but he was a beloved figure in the business, so it's great to see him getting his flowers. 
    • OC may have shown more personality in this bout than ever before. He wasn't just being his usual laissez-faire attitude. He was smiling and showing a lot of emotion.
    • The way Taylor caught Beretta during a suicide dive was awesome. 
    • Beretta hitting the barricade when he went for a Spear looked brutal. 
    • Sabian dancing his way to the ring while Cassidy's music played was pretty funny. 

Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan

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    Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan
    Jade Cargill and Kiera HoganAEW

    The former Baddie got a chance at redemption and the TBS Championship this week when Hogan battled Cargill in the third match of the night.

    While Hogan was able to get in a little bit of offense, the match was mostly dominated by Cargill. The challenger would occasionally make a comeback, but it was always short-lived.

    This was a pretty solid performance and definitely one of Cargill's better matches. She is getting more confident in her movements and her selling, and Hogan being so good definitely helped.

    Despite a late-match rally, Hogan was unable to overcome the champ.

    Winner: Jade Cargill

    Grade: C

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The announcers made a point to note how there were issues between Red Velvet and Cargill, too. Later, Velvet prevented Cargill from slapping Hogan while Leila Grey was holding her arms back. 
    • The height difference between these two competitors was massive. It's easy to forget how tall Cargill is until you see her next to someone who is kind of short.  

Swerve Strickland vs. Wheeler Yuta

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    Swerve Strickland and Wheeler Yuta
    Swerve Strickland and Wheeler YutaAEW

    The ROH pure champion was in action this week when Yuta took on Swerve in the main event.

    Parker Boudreaux and Granden Goetzman were at ringside to support the leader of their newly formed faction as he and Yuta began with an exchange of counters and takedown attempts.

    These two have different styles but similar ability, so they were able to string together a lot of fun sequences throughout the match. Yuta continues to gain more confidence while further defining his character.

    This was a competitive and well-paced match that saw both men hit some impressive moves. Yuta was favoring one of his legs toward the end, so Swerve was able to take advantage of the injury and score the win.

    Winner: Swerve Strickland

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Something doesn't sit right about a champion being booked to lose a non-title match with someone he is not even feuding with at the time. 
    • Moxley insulting Swerve by saying Killshot was his favorite wrestler for years was hilarious. For those who don't know, Swerve used to go by Killshot. 
    • Yuta's entrance music is great. It's simple but high-energy. 
    • Swerve had a rare misstep when he almost fell while jumping over Yuta. 
    • Yuta standing up to Swerve's lackeys without flinching was a cool moment.