AEW Rampage Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 22

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2022

AEW Rampage Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 22

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of AEW Rampage on April 22.

    This week's show continued to showcase qualifying matches for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament that is coming up when Adam Cole took on NJPW's Tomohiro Ishii for a spot in the bracket.

    The Jericho Appreciation Society's Daniel Garcia looked to give his group some momentum in a match against Eddie Kingston, Jade Cargill battled Marina Shafir in a match that has been brewing for weeks, and Lance Archer tried his best not to murder Serpentico when they squared off in the ring.

    Let's take a look at all the action from Friday's episode of Rampage. 

Adam Cole vs. Tomohiro Ishii

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Rampage opened with Cole and Ishii already in the ring ready to go in this first-ever encounter for a spot in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament.

    They did not beat around the bush with a bunch of quick holds and counters. They were beating the life out of each other in and out of the ring within the first couple of minutes. 

    It felt like Cole adjusted his style to match Ishii's intensity, and it ended up leading to an entertaining fight. They didn't have a five-star classic, but they certainly made it memorable. 

    The final minutes of the match turned into a striking contest. Each man dished out his best shots until Jay White ran down to take out Rocky Romero at ringside as a distraction.

    Cole used it to his advantage and scored the win over Ishii. He joined White on the stage to celebrate. This was a predictable outcome, but the journey to get there was fun. 

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Analysis

    • It must have been fun for Cole to be the taller competitor in the ring. It doesn't happen too often. 
    • Ishii is one of those guys who comes across in the ring as being much more powerful than he looks at first glance. The delayed superplex he hit was impressive. 
    • It would be nice if some of these qualifying matches had more surprising results. So far, every bout has been easy to predict. Let's get some wild cards in there. 

Lance Archer vs. Serpentico

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Archer defeated Serpentico on one of the most one-sided squash matches we have seen in months. It lasted about a minute, and then the post-match beatdown lasted another minute or two.

    While it makes sense to see somebody like Archer dominating opponents, it doesn't feel like there was any real reason for this match to exist. It served no storyline and didn't give us any new reasons to cheer or boo for Archer.

    Squash matches are good for building up somebody who is brand new, but The Murderhawk Monster literally defeated Jon Moxley on AEW TV for the NJPW U.S. Championship. He doesn't need this spot. 

    Grade: D

Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Kingston marched his way to the ring looking like a man who was ready to rip somebody's head off, and that is certainly what he tried to do to Garcia.

    Much like Cole vs. Ishii, this was a physical battle from the second they made contact. Nobody was going for hammerlocks or single-leg takedowns. They were punching and kicking each other as much as possible.

    The Mad King had the upper hand at first, but Chris Jericho's newest protege was not about to go down without a fight. He got in some good offense in between Kingston's bursts of energy. 

    This was easily the most competitive match from this week's show, and also the most entertaining. Technical clinics are fun, but sometimes it's nice to just watch two bruisers knock each other senseless for 15 minutes. 

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Seeing Garcia in a bucket hat was not on my 2022 bingo card, but here we are. 
    • The way Kingston's face looks when he is selling is so convincing. You would think he just got shot sometimes. 
    • Garcia is known for being a technician but he proved he can slug it out with the best of them in this match. Some of his strikes were quite audible. 

Jade Cargill vs. Marina Shafir

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The main event of the evening saw the TBS champion defend the belt against a relative newcomer to AEW, Shafir. Kiera Hogan and Red Velvet were sitting in Jade's "Baddie Section" in the first row. 

    Not only was this one of the longest matches we have seen Cargill work, but it was also one of the best. Both she and Shafir have shown marked improvement in certain categories over the past year. 

    There were a couple of times when they slowed down a bit more than they needed to, but most of that happened during the break when we could only see the action on a small portion of the screen.

    It was nice to see Jade on defense so much because it gave her an opportunity to do more selling than usual. Some of it was good, but it's definitely an area where she needs a little work. 

    After a long fight to get out of a submission, Jade hit her finisher to get the pin and retain the title. 

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • It looks like Velvet has officially turned heel since she was helping Jade during this bout. 
    • Jade tried to pin Shafir in the same manner that Ripley has been pinning most of her opponents recently. We saw the same thing from Gunther on SmackDown. Social media is going to have a field day with this. 
    • The way Jade slammed Shafir right before the commercial break looked like the way a lot of people used to hit bodyslams in the '70s and '80s. It was cool. 
    • Shafir, and just about everybody who comes from MMA, has a special way of making their strikes look stiff without actually being stiff. More wrestlers could benefit from taking specific strike training. 
    • The chokeslam Shafir took onto the timekeeper's table looked painful. The table did not break, so she hit it hard on the way down.