AEW Rampage Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 21
Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of AEW Rampage on January 21.
After making his return on Wednesday's Dynamite, Jon Moxley had his first AEW match of 2022 when he stepped in the ring with Ethan Page.
Jade Cargill just won the TBS Championship on January 5, but she didn't waste any time putting the belt on the line when she battled Anna Jay this week.
The feud between The Super Elite and Best Friends added another chapter on Friday when Trent Beretta took on Nick Jackson, and Hook looked to continue his winning ways against Chaos Project's Serpentico.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Friday's show.
Jon Moxley vs. Ethan Page
Moxley received a hero's welcome as he entered the ring for the opening match against Page.
All Ego scored the first takedown, but Moxley was not impressed. He dared Page to hit him and then retaliated with some stiff chops to the chest.
Mox cornered Page and bit his forehead. Page hit him with a pair of boots and then knocked him out of the ring with a huge shoulder tackle. They fought at ringside until Mox was able to regain control by sending Page into the barricade.
Dan Lambert's pet project kicked Moxley's knee as he tried to get back in the ring. He kept the former world champion on defense for quite some time as he controlled the pace through the commercial break.
Mox turned things around when we returned and hit a pair of German suplexes. Page countered a third, but Moxley hit it eventually.
After a few more exchanges, Moxley choked Page out to win the match by submission. Bryan Danielson showed up and had a brief moment with Moxley after the match, so that may be the next big feud for both men.
If anyone thought Mox might have built up a little ring rust during his time away, they were proved wrong this week when Mox and Page put on a competitive and physical match.
AEW could have given Moxley a quick win over a lower-card talent for his return, but that's not who Moxley is or who his character is. He is the kind of guy who would want to have the most challenging fight right away.
Page was a great opponent to work with him because he always understands the assignment. He is capable of looking good and making his opponent look good at the same time, which is a rare quality in this business.
Trent Beretta vs. Nick Jackson
Trent and Nick both had their respective groups at ringside for support during this singles match. Matt and Brandon looked more worried about their outfits than anything else.
Nick took control early with a hurricanrana, but Trent used his slight size advantage to put him in the corner for a few body shots.
Trent went for a running crossbody but ended up hitting the ropes when Nick avoided the impact. For the next few minutes during the break, Nick was in full control.
We returned to see Trent block a senton with his knees. Nick used the ref as a shield so he could trick Trent and hit a German suplex, but Trent came right back with his own German suplex a second later.
Nick hit a series of high-impact moves as he prepared to finish off his opponent with a superkick, but Trent blocked it. Nick hit one eventually, but Trent immediately answered back with a clothesline and a piledriver for a two-count. Nick hit a big senton on the ramp followed by a 450 in the ring for another near-fall.
Trent was able to recover and hit his finisher for what many would call an upset victory.
We have seen various combinations of different people from both groups fight in recent weeks, but this was one of the better matches on a fundamental level.
The shenanigans at ringside were kept to a minimum for most of the runtime of this bout, so the majority of the work to keep everyone entertained was being done by the two men in the ring. It's how it should be.
Trent has looked great since returning recently, but Nick relying on his high-flying offense made him a little more memorable in this encounter.
Overall, this was a strong effort that only suffered from one or two minor timing issues that most probably didn't notice. The crowd was certainly into it judging from the "this is awesome" chants.
Hook vs. Serpentico
Everyone's favorite newcomer was in action again this week as Hook looked to continue his undefeated streak against Serpentico.
As Serpentico posed for the crowd, Hook bum-rushed him and took him down hard. The ref called for the bell, and Hook began throwing the masked man around like a rag doll.
Hook locked in a submission, but Serpentico got to the ropes. Hook quickly grabbed him and threw him overhead before locking him in the Redrum for the win.
QT Marshall came out and talked some trash until Hook suplexed him and walked away.
This was less of a match and more of a glorified exhibition of Hook's skills, but that seems to be exactly what the fans in attendance wanted.
The way AEW has booked this young man has turned him into a huge star before he has even had a competitive match. It's a true testament to the power of social media and how Hook's popularity online has carried over to the rest of the audience.
Was this a clinic or a classic? No, but it was still pretty fun. The grade is a reflection of the fact that it wasn't much of a match, but the way it was presented worked perfectly.
Jade Cargill vs. Anna Jay
Cargill had her first title defense in the main event of this week's show against The Dark Order's Anna Jay.
The champ flexed at her opponent to get inside her head as they squared off and locked up. Cargill put her in a headlock and knocked her down with a shoulder tackle.
Jay hit a lawbreaker, but her attempt at a crossbody was turned into a fallaway slam by the powerhouse. Jay rolled her up for a two-count before Cargill laid her out with a clothesline.
Jade continued to dominate most of the action through the commercial break, but Jay was able to mount a comeback when we returned. Jade countered a submission, but the damage had been done.
No. 99 started to build up a head of steam, but a distraction from Mark Sterling allowed Jade to recover. The champ drilled the challenger with a pump kick. Jay countered Cargill's finisher and applied the Queenslayer, but Cargill stood up and backed her to the corner in a show of power.
Cargill broke her grip and picked her up for a huge slam before she hit her finisher for the pin to retain the TBS Championship.
For months, Cargill was having squash matches, but her past few encounters have all been 10 minutes or more, so she is finally getting to show us more of her skills.
While she and Jay are both still relatively new to this business, both women looked good in this match. Some of the kicks could have landed harder, but most of what they did was executed well.
Cargill is getting more and more comfortable in the ring and on the mic. At this rate, she will be one of the biggest assets on any roster within five years.