Welcome to another week of AEW action and RingCrashers’ new recap format that covers the action from both Dynamite and Rampage as we take a look back at a golden week in All Elite Wrestling. Was the era of DMD coming to an end? Did AEW enter “Wardlow’s World”? And what was the Jericho Appreciation Society’s new agenda?
We’ll have the answers to those questions, so hang on because we’re in for a wild ride.
AEW Dynamite: St. Patrick’s Day Slam 2022
It was time for AEW’s now-yearly St. Patrick’s Day edition of Dynamite, which was once again headlined by another big Thunder Rosa/Britt Baker blowoff match with golden implications, as well as the Hardys making their AEW debut as a tag team. From San Antonio, Texas, here’s a rundown of what went down.
Match 1: “Hangman” Adam Page & Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) vs. Adam Cole & reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)
In true Dynamite fashion, the night started off with hot tag team action.
The story heading into this match was Cole vowing to make Hangman’s life a living hell, with this tag match being part of the play. Last week, Cole challenged the AEW Champ to a trios tag match, hoping to get the Young Bucks to team up with him, but to no avail. On the other hand, Hangman opted not to have his Dark Order friends be his partners.
The team of champions dazzled with an impressive array of offense, which included a double Doomsday Device and a simultaneous triple moonsault on Cole and his formerly Undisputed crew.
This match would eventually see Cole and Page renew hostilities as they mixed it up for a bit before the match broke down. In the end, however, it would be the ex-Undisputed team that would pick up the win in this 14-minute opener after Cole hit his Boom knee on Jungle Boy and pinned him, while Bobby Fish kept Hangman at bay.
While there wasn’t any storyline advancement afterwards, it seems clear that the awkwardness between Dark Order and the AEW World Champ will only grow now following this match’s outcome.
See You On Friday
During a backstage interview with Keith Lee, Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs rolled up and reminded Lee of what happened to him on Rampage last week. And if Lee returned to Rampage, he’d suffer the same fate of a spinebuster from Hobbs. Keith said that he’d lay Starks out like a little bitch and that he’d see them on Friday.
Alien No More?
In a really short video that didn’t really provide an answer, we see Kris Statlander removing her alien makeup and that’s about it.
Match 2: Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson vs. Wheeler YUTA & Chuck Taylor
While the finish was never in doubt with the violence-obsessed duo of Moxley and Danielson picking up the win, The main focus of the match was Wheeler YUTA’s determination and withstanding the punishment that Mox and Danielson dished out to him.
In the latter half of the match, Wheeler matched both his foes, managing to get a near-fall with a German suplex on Moxley. He would then endure Danielson’s repeated kicks, even beckoning for the American Dragon to kick him some more. However, Wheeler’s valour was all for naught as he’d soon find himself on the wrong end of a Jon Moxley bulldog choke, leaving him no choice but to submit.
As the Best Friends group made their way towards the stage, Wheeler YUTA stayed behind and confronted Regal, Mox, and Danielson. He offered a hand to Regal, apparently wanting to join his group. Regal slapped Wheeler in the face and shared some words with him.
The Second Best There Is?
We get a backstage interview with FTR, who explained that their decision to fire Tully Blanchard was because he was “checked out” after they had lost the AEW World Tag Titles. The Young Bucks appeared to taunt FTR, stating that they would always be the second-best tag team in the world, even if they had “the best there is” as their new manager.
Is Rampage Swerve’s House?
As The Acclaimed boasted about how they’d beat up on Keith Lee at Rampage, Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs showed up to ask Max Caster & Anthony Bowens to take care of Lee for them. Then, they’d be interrupted by Shane “Swerve” Strickland, who said that Rampage was his house before laughing right in the faces of the Acclaimed.
That’s Sports Entertainment
The newly-minted Jericho Appreciation Society made their way down to the ring, even with fans still singing “Judas”.
Matt Lee started off by saying that the fans should thank Chris Jericho for allowing the “Judas” singalongs because if it were up to him, those singalongs would not happen. Jeff Parker declared that Jericho is a better human being than most people and promptly introduced the J.A.S. leader himself.
Jericho got on the mic, stating that we took him for granted and that we were lucky to live in “The Jericho Era”. He said that the fans didn’t appreciate him enough, and the Inner Circle didn’t appreciate him enough. Jericho called Eddie Kingston a “coward” for making him tap out at Revolution.
He said that the men standing before him – Matt Lee, Jeff Parker, Daniel Garcia, and Jake Hager – do appreciate him, and that is what made them the Jericho Appreciation Society. Jericho then went on to call himself a Sports Entertainer proudly.
Daniel Garcia grabbed the mic from Jericho and said that if Chris was going to go around and call himself a “sports entertainer”… then he’s one as well. Jericho mentioned how he helped fund a donation initiative for Garcia when he and a couple of other Buffalo-based wrestlers got into an accident in 2019.
Jericho turned his attention to 2point0, stating that the name was a “stupid name from bad creative”, one that we’d never hear again. He said that the Jericho Appreciation Society would only use their real names from now on, with “Daddy Mack” Matt Minard & “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker being the new names for the former 2point0 duo. Jericho cited his “good pal” Kevin as the reason why Minard & Parker were in AEW in the first place.
Lastly, Jericho hyped up Jake Hager as the one person he could trust most. Hager spoke, saying that they were The J.A.S. and that they beat up professional wrestlers. Jericho wrapped things up by declaring that March 16th 2022 would be the beginning of the “Era of the Sports Entertainer”.
Match 3: Scorpio Sky vs. Wardlow (TNT Championship Match)
It seemed too soon for the newly-won TNT Champion to lose his title, even against the red-hot Wardlow, so there was some uncertainty on how they’d get out of this corner that they’d been backed into.
Scorpio got the heat early on, but it wasn’t enough to fend off Wardlow’s powerful offense, as one half of the Men of the Year soon found himself facing the Powerbomb Symphony. Four powerbombs left Sky in a bad way and in danger of losing the TNT Title a week after he had won it.
The finish came when Shawn Spears appeared on the ramp to cause a distraction, which allowed for MJF to send Wardlow crashing into the ringpost. Scorpio would end up rolling up his foe to get the win and retain his TNT Title in his first defense.
The heels got their heat in with a beatdown of the War Dog as we saw MJF give Dan Lambert and company money for their services. Wardlow briefly fought back against MJF and company, but Spears would hit him in the back with a chair just as he had Max in a powerbomb position.
Maxwell Jaxwell got in one last shot on Wardlow with the Dynamite Diamond Ring (why didn’t CM Punk take it?) as he and Spears stood tall.
It was expected that the bad guys would get some heat back with MJF screwing over Wardlow in his TNT Championship match. Now that it’s been made clear that Maxwell’s basically made himself a marked man for meddling in Wardlow’s business, the countdown to seeing him get powerbombed like there’s no tomorrow is officially on.
Match 4: The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)
Jeff Hardy’s arrival in AEW was a welcome sight last week not only for his brother Matt, but for fans wanting to see the Hardy brothers back together as a team. Their first opponents in their first match in AEW as a team? The Andrade Family Office’s Private Party duo of Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy.
The Hardys delivered their greatest hits in a 12-minute match where they did indeed defeat Private Party to get their AEW tag team run off the right foot.
Andrade El Idolo and his A.F.O. ran in and looked to assault the Hardy brothers, but were thwarted by Sting & Darby Allin, who evened the odds. The A.F.O. retreated without engaging in a fight.
The continued interactions between the Hardys and the Sting/Darby duo against the A.F.O. is sure to lead to a big blowoff where the faces will prevail. Of course, we can expect to see the former two teams eventually take on each other in a tag match that will likely just be a battle of respect.
Match 5: Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Thunder Rosa (Steel Cage Match for AEW Women’s World Championship)
A year after Thunder Rosa & Britt Baker stole the show in a brutal Lights Out match at the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Slam edition of Dynamite, they would once again put it all on the line in a fantastic main event contested inside the confines of a steel cage.
Challenger Rosa made her entrance with a live mariachi band introduction and the hometown crowd firmly on her side. The cage itself had some room between it and the ring, which raised suspicions of potential involvement from Rebel & Jamie Hayter on the Women’s World Champion’s behalf.
As for the match itself, while it didn’t necessarily stack up to the Lights Out match of last year, we still got a violent encounter between Rosa and Dr. Britt. The challenger would scrape her foe’s face across the unforgiving steel cage to make her bleed, while Britt caused Rosa to have some color by way of a well-time ring post shot.
The aforementioned fears of outside interference intensified when initial referee Paul Turner got kayoed, which presumably would’ve led to Rebel & Hayter aiding Dr. Britt. In the meantime, though, the Women’s World Champion created a pile of steel chairs, promptly sending Rosa crashing with a vicious Air Raid Crash onto the chairs. Thunder managed to kick out of that, though.
Now it was Britt’s turn to take a wicked fall, as she took a particularly nasty bump onto a pyramid of chairs she created. This would all lead to the endgame of the match, where Britt introduced some thumbtacks into the proceedings. She would send Rosa right into the tacks, but that wasn’t enough. Then came time for the Lockjaw, but Rosa bit on Britt’s hand, then smashing it into the tacks to escape the hold. One powerbomb into the tacks and a Fire-Thunder Driver later, and we had a new AEW Women’s World Champion.
While the road to get to this match was a particularly messy one, it seemed to be worth it in the end, with the San Antonio fans going wild for Thunder Rosa’s big victory. Dr. Britt’s run with the Women’s World Title became a run that was long in the tooth — especially with how repetitive and formulaic nearly all her title defenses were — so it was a big relief that the time for Rosa to get the title was indeed now.
AEW Rampage 3/18/22 Recap
- The show opened at a later time due to NCAA March Madness action, as things kicked off with Darby Allin beating The Butcher via countout (10:30) after hitting a Coffin Drop to the outside on Butcher. The match mainly consisted of Butcher throwing Darby around and essentially dominating until it came time for Darby to make a comeback.
- The A.F.O. stormed the ring after the match and beat up on Darby and Sting until the Hardys made the save. Matt Hardy then challenged the A.F.O. to an eight-man tornado tag match on Dynamite next week against him, Jeff Hardy, Sting, and Darby.
- Scorpio Sky, Paige VanZant, and Dan Lambert were backstage to boast about their recent successes.
- Red Velvet def. Leyla Hirsch via pinfall (8:30) after a corkscrew kick led to the pin and win for her. The closing moments of the match saw Leyla attempt to use the turnbuckle hook to clobber Velvet, only to be stopped by Kris Statlander – sporting much more “darker” colors and different facepaint from her usual “alien” appearance.
- QT Marshall talked about how he was proud of HOOK for beating him, and said he was going to award Taz’s son the “QT Marshall Certificate of Accomplishment” on next week’s Rampage.
- The House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, Buddy Matthews) def. Bear Country (Bear Bronson & Bear Boulder) & Fuego del Sol via pinfall (4:00) after all three of them hit their finishers on their opponents, with Matthews ending it against Fuego for the win.
- Penta Oscuro & Alex Abrahantes had some remarks for the House of Black after the match, warning them that the Death Triangle was inevitable.
- In the Main Event, Keith Lee def. Max Caster via pinfall (12:00) with the Big Bang Catastrophe. Powerhouse Hobbs appeared on the ramp during the match, which gave Caster a bit of an opening. However, Lee’s size and strength was just too much for the loudmouth rapper to handle.
- Hobbs was joined by Ricky Starks after the match as they beat up on Lee, with the Acclaimed aiding the Team Taz members in the assault. Shane “Swerve” Strickland made the save, using a chair to chase off the baddies. Rampage wrapped for the week with Swerve and Keith Lee forming some sort of partnership.
Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.