AEW is live with Beach Break from Cleveland, Ohio. Everyone’s made jokes since this was announced about the sunny beaches of Cleveland in January, so there’s no need for that here. We open with Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara in the ring, so no mystery how we’re getting this started.
Sammy Guevara def. Cody Rhodes in a Ladder Match to win the undisputed TNT Championship. I’m not sure even a play-by-play could do justice to this. Sammy took every chance in the book, Cody tried to keep things a little more grounded. Cody hit a stalling superplex off the top of a 12-foot ladder, Sammy sprang off the top of a ladder to hit Cody with a cutter off a second ladder. Sammy placed Cody on a ladder bridged between the apron and guardrail, and hit a senton atomico from the top of another ladder onto him. Eventually, with both atop a ladder in the ring, Sammy hit Cody with the TNT Title belt to knock him off, and claimed both belts. Absolutely insane action. During the match, we cut to Scorpio Sky watching from the crowd with Dan Lambert, so anticipate that as an upcoming match for Sammy.
In a great heel move, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs called Tony Schiavone out to Edgewater Beach in Cleveland to cut a promo that they could have cut literally anywhere. The Cliffs Notes version is Hobbs challenges Dante Martin to another match, and Ricky Starks challenges Jay Lethal to an FTW title match in Chicago next week.
Wardlow def. Elijah Dean and Jake Alexander via Powerbomb Symphony, pinning both men. Powerbomb Count: 5. Exactly what you’ve come to expect, except with two opponents instead of one this time. Shawn Spears was watching from the stage and wanted to add a few chair shots after the match, but Wardlow refused to let him, much to Spears’ chagrin.
Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz def. Daniel Garcia & 2point0 by pinfall when Santana pinned Matt Lee following a Judas Effect into a piledriver. Right from the get-go, the Inner Circle team comes out together, but Santana and Ortiz rush to the ring while Jericho soaks in the crowd reaction. The big story continued to be that neither Santana nor Ortiz would tag Jericho willingly into the match, and the dissention keeps 2point0 and their son Daniel Garcia in the match. I personally also appreciate more ring time for 2point0, who are a great team in their own right, and former two-time CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas (Tag Team Champions). Jericho broke up 2point0’s Two For The Show double-team stungun, and hit Matt Lee with a Judas Effect, possibly without Santana and Ortiz knowing, leading into a Santana piledriver for the win. Afterward, Jericho left by himself.
Via video package, Lance Archer lays down the challenge for a Texas Death Match against Adam Page, including a great reaction from Page when a person off-camera informs him that Archer has requested a Texas Death Match. Page: “…a what?” Of course, the Hangman accepts.
Tony Schiavone is backstage with Christian Cage, Jurassic Express, Matt Hardy, and Private Party. This Friday on Rampage, Jurassic Express defends the Tag Titles against Private Party. Hardy calls Private Party the most talented team to come down the pike “since me and my brother,” and Jungle Boy calls one of their watches fake. Now that’s just too far.
CM Punk makes his entrance, as commentary points out, dressed to fight. In the long bois, in case you were wondering. He calls out MJF again, saying he’s tired of hearing himself talk, that being the reason he’s dressed to fight. Punk also showed he’s still got MJF’s scarf from last week. He also proceeds to run down MJF and Long Island, and again says he wants to fight tonight. He says he’s gone through everyone and there’s no one left, and he wants MJF tonight. Enter MJF, naturally not dressed to fight. MJF riles up the crowd and, naturally says he won’t waste this historical match on Cleveland, Ohio. But he then accepts for Chicago next week. MJF says that the second he beats Punk in Chicago next seek, everyone will see “the real CM Punk,” adding that Punk would quit when MJF beats him. After a back and forth, MJF brings out the full Pinnacle to jump Punk. Spears and FTR soften up Punk, but noticeably, Wardlow does not participate, until MJF specifically calls for the powerbomb. Somewhat grudgingly, Wardlow complies. MJF sits cross legged on Punk’s chest and tells him the same place his journey started will be where it ends.
The Acclaimed announces Anthony Bowens will be fighting Jon Moxley on Rampage this Friday.
Tony Schiavone is backstage with Griff Garrison and Julia Hart. But before we can get started, “Smart” Mark Sterling comes in with a contract to inform Julia that Jade Cargill has personally chosen her to be the next TBS Title challenger. Griff says Julia should be careful, but Julia cuts him off saying she is capable of making her own choices and signs the contract for a match Friday on Rampage.
Leyla Hirsch def. Red Velvet via pinfall. Velvet hit the ring fast and got right down to business, but things took a turn when Velvet went for a triangle choke. Leyla countered with a buckle bomb and took over. Leyla eventually gets the pinfall with a rollup and a handful of trunks following a series of counters and reversals. Post-match, she locked back on the Legit Lock (cross arm-breaker) and continued the attack, but Kris Statlander made the save for Velvet.
The House of Black offer comments. Malakai Black calls Brody King the embodiment of conflict and violence and promises that people will be thankful for him. Brody says Pac denounced the House, and for that, they will be humbled.
Sammy Guevara comes out with Fuego Del Sol with the cue cards as we go to commercial.
“Tonight, I stand before you. Beaten, battered, bruised, but not defeated! Tonight, I am a champion! A true pillar of this company. I climbed the ladder in that ring the same way I climbed the ladder in this company. I didn’t politic(sic), I didn’t brown-nose, instead, I did the work. Over two years, over 100 episodes, I have gone from a supporting role to becoming a key player. But it wasn’t just me. Whether it’s the people here in Cleveland, Ohio, or people watching at home on TBS, you have been with me every step of the way. This TNT Championship is not just mine. it’s ours! I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you!”
Back from commercial, Tony Schiavone is in the ring to welcome Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D., who comes out in her Pittsburgh gear, which Cleveland naturally just loves. Baker puts over her awards and magazine covers from 2021, and talks about her takeover of not just the entire women’s division but the entire roster, as she became the face of AEW. She says she’s not going to just settle for “Female Wrestler of the Year,” and that she won’t stop until she’s “Female of the Decade” and promises to be the champion Cleveland deserves. They finally have a Baker they can count on. Kind of anticipated an interruption to set up the next challenger, but ’twas not to be.
Excalibur promotes Rampage “Championship Friday” edition on Friday.
- Jon Moxley vs. Anthony Bowens
- FTR vs. Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson
- Jade Cargill vs. Julia Hart – TBS Championship
- Jurassic Express(c) vs. Private Party – AEW World Tag Team Championship
Excalibur also promotes two matches for next week on Dynamite
- CM Punk vs. MJF
- Pac & Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Kings of the Black Throne (Malakai Black & Brody King)
During the rundown, Vickie Guerrero interrupts with Nyla Rose. Rose says the only reason she’s not TBS Champion is because Ruby Soho got a fluke win, and she wants Ruby next week to prove it.
Orange Cassidy def. Adam Cole via pinfall in an unsanctioned Lights Out match after a fall through the set. Cassidy takes off his sunglasses and breaks them in two before the two start swinging. Nice moment there to set apart the way Cassidy usually handles business. The match spills to the outside, and Cole goes to dig out a chair from under the ring but also pulls out DANHAUSEN~! Danhausen is in AEW! Danhausen points and Cole and may or may not have cursed him, and then just walks off as the crowd chants for him and the brawl continues. Cole crushes Cassidy’s hand with the ring steps and the post to counteract the Orange Punch. Chairs, garbage cans, a chain, the timekeepers table, and more all come into play. Cole brings out Brandon Cutler, but Wheeler Yuta takes him out. Then Bobby Fish takes out Yuta, so Chuck Taylor takes him out. Then the Young Bucks get rid of Chuck. Finally, Roppongi Vice take out the Bucks. Cassidy hits the Orange Punch but can’t capitalize because of the damage Cole did to the hand. Cole hits a low blow, but Cassidy reveals a cup with thumbtacks on it. Cassidy hits the Panama Sunrise for a great 2 count. Cole runs backstage and puts Orange Cassidy through the table at Go Position (Gorilla Position) before they head back out to the arena. Cole goes to dive off the entry tunnel onto Cassidy, but Cassidy somehow snuck up behind him. He hugs Cole (because YOU’VE GOT TO GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT) and pulls him off the entry way with him, sending both crashing through the set. Cassidy is on top, and Bryce Remsburg counts the three!
The rest of Best Friends is out to celebrate with Cassidy after the match. JR and Excalibur run down matches announced for Rampage and next week on Dynamite and that’s a wrap!
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