With Forbidden Door fast approaching, how did the card for the AEW/New Japan Pro-Wrestling supershow take shape? Find out in our recap of last week’s Road Rager editions of Dynamite & Rampage below.
6/15/22 AEW Dynamite: Road Rager ‘22 Recap
Match 1: Chris Jericho vs. Ortiz (Hair vs. Hair)
On the road to Blood and Guts, we got this Hair vs. Hair match between Chris Jericho and Ortiz kicking things off on Dynamite. True to the bitter rivalry that’s erupted between the Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club, plus Ortiz and Eddie Kingston, this match was a brutal fight from start to finish.
As the match wore down and we saw involvement from the J.A.S., Kingston and B.C.C.’s Wheeler YUTA, it appeared that Fuego Del Sol had aided Jericho in the victory by beaning Ortiz with Jericho’s beloved “Floyd” baseball bat, but as was revealed in the post-match…
“Fuego” was actually just Sammy Guevara wearing his supposed best pal’s attire, apparently re-aligning himself with Jericho and the J.A.S. in the process! Meanwhile, Ortiz opted to shave off his own hair while screaming “Blood and Guts!” repeatedly, which added to the badass aura. This was a solid opener.
Match 2: Wardlow vs. 20 Plaintiffs (Handicap Elimination Match)
In what was the capstone to the mini-program of Wardlow and “Smart” Mark Sterling’s feud over the latter’s lawsuit on behalf of American wrestling security guards, we got this 20-on-1 elimination match that was prefaced with a People’s Court-style video package that recapped Sterling’s grievances with Wardlow.
In short, Wardlow ran wild on the security guard plaintiffs, clean-sweeping all twenty of them for the win.
While the match was clunky at times, it was an entertaining showcase of Wardlow’s impressive power, getting him heated up for going after the TNT Championship.
Smart Mark tried to escape his fate, but Wardlow caught up to him. Before a powerbomb could happen, though, Dan Lambert interrupted from his skybox, flanked by Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page. Lambert warned Wardlow to watch his back, introducing MMA fighters Matt Hughes & Tyrone Woodley.
Wardlow took the mic and told Woodley & Hughes that they could do better than having to take orders from Lambert, to which they obliged by handing over Smart Mark to the War Dog. One powerbomb later, and Sterling was down for the count as the MMA fighters celebrated with Wardlow to end the segment.
Given that Hughes had a terrible train accident recently, there wasn’t any chance he’d get physical, but this was a good way to give him a hometown pop by letting him and Woodley help Wardlow out.
Match 3: Dax Harwood vs. Will Ospreay
Continuing the hot run that he and fellow FTR partner Cash Wheeler have been on as of late, Dax Harwood looked to score a major victory over the United Empire’s leader, Will Ospreay, in this big-time matchup.
Dax gave as good as he got versus Ospreay, managing to rock him with multiple German suplexes at one point, as well as hitting some fierce chops.
Ospreay would claim victory by finishing Dax with his Hidden Blade elbow to pick up the 1, 2, 3.
Ospreay’s United Empire allies joined in the attack on Dax, until Cash Wheeler and Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta) tried to make the save. The U.E. had the advantage on the faces, until Orange Cassidy made his return to a big reaction from the fans. Orange, making his first appearance for the first time in months since recovering from a shoulder injury, stared down Ospreay for a bit before the faces rallied to send the United Empire into retreat.
Later on Dynamite, it would be confirmed that Ospreay would defend his IWGP United States Title versus Orange at Forbidden Door.
Moxley vs. Tanahashi Showdown
Ahead of their showdown for the interim AEW World Championship at Forbidden Door, Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi had a face-to-face to size one another up for this match.
Mox started off by talking about boasting how he fought New Japan’s best for over three years, saving Tanahashi for last. He said that he was the best wrestler on the planet today and that once he won against Tanahashi at Forbidden Door, Tana would have no choice but to call Mox the “new” Ace of pro wrestling.
Chris Jericho and new J.A.S. members Sammy Guevara & Tay Conti interrupted before Tanahashi could say anything. Jericho sicced the J.A.S., as well as Suzuki-gun’s Lance Archer and Desperado on Mox and Tanahashi to leave them laying. It would be announced that Jericho would be teaming up with Minoru Suzuki and Sammy against Eddie Kingston, Wheeler YUTA, and Shota “Shooter” Umino in a trios match at Forbidden Door.
Kingston and YUTA helped chased off the J.A.S., leaving Despy at the mercy of a Paradigm Shift from Moxley.
This segment was middle of the road, where Mox’s opponent felt like a third-stringer behind the ongoing J.A.S./Blackpool Combat Club drama. It did nothing much to sell Tanahashi as the big deal that he is. Not being able to hear from him before Jericho shenanigans interrupted was a mistake. This might be some fans’ first exposure to The Ace, and not having him make the case for himself on why he’s respected around the world didn’t help.
Match 4: Miro vs. Ethan Page (All-Atlantic Championship Qualifier)
In the second of four qualifier matches for the four-way match to crown AEW’s first ever All-Atlantic Champion at Forbidden Door, the returning Miro had his work cut out for him versus “All Ego” Ethan Page.
Page gave a good effort in this contest, giving Miro all that he could handle for this contest, but it wasn’t enough to keep The Redeemer at bay.
Miro prevailed by way of his patented Game Over submission to punch himself a ticket into the four-way match, joining PAC, who qualified last week.
Match 5: Toni Storm vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
This was a return match from Storm and Baker’s encounter during the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, wherein Dr. Britt got the win through some chicanery. Storm looked to get a win to put herself in the conversation for Thunder Rosa’s AEW Women’s World Championship.
Early on, Jamie Hayter and Rebel looked to once again tip things in the DMD’s favor, but were warded off by the aforementioned Thunder Rosa, ensuring a level playing field. Toni caught Britt with a couple of tornado DDTs before seemingly knocking her foe for a loop with a running hip strike in the corner that caught Britt in the head.
Baker sold that attack as if she were concussed, but it was all just a possum play as she nearly got Toni for the sneaky pin. However, it would be Toni that would get the clean win over the former AEW Women’s World Champion after hitting Storm Zero for the big-time victory.
Thunder Rosa emerged again from the ramp to taunt Toni, later presaging their AEW Women’s Title match scheduled for Forbidden Door.
Switchblade Makes The Call
“Hangman” Adam Page was out to talk about his planned challenge to then-IWGP World Champion Kazuchika Okada, mentioning that he failed to take into account Jay White’s victory over Okada at Dominion the previous weekend. However, Page said that his challenge for Okada still stood and he wanted that fight to happen.
Once again, Adam Cole interrupted, stating that Forbidden Door was going to be all about Bullet Club and the Undisputed Elite… which meant that we’d be getting Adam Cole (bay-bay) versus Jay White for the IWGP World Championship. He then told Hangman that someone was there to say “hi” to him, which led to a Jay White sneak attack on the former AEW World Champion.
White took the mic and said that neither Hangman or Cole called the shots, further stating that he wouldn’t be putting the IWGP World Title on the line against either of them.
Match 6: Young Bucks vs. Jurassic Express (Ladder Match for AEW Tag Team Championships)
Capping off a wild Road Rager was a ladder match for the AEW World Tag Titles between champion team Jurassic Express, and the Young Bucks.
This was a fine way to end a show that had big moments a-plenty, and that meant we got a lot of high spots involving ladders and tables introduced right out of a gate. Notable table crashes included Nick Jackson throwing Jungle Boy through a table from the apron with a powerbomb, then a 450 splash onto Luchasaurus through another table.
The Bucks secured their legacy as two-time AEW World Tag Team Champions by tipping over a ladder that Luchasaurus was climbing and sending the big dino through a stack of tables outside the ring. They’d follow that up with a BTE Trigger on a prone Jungle Boy before ascending the ladders to claim their prize.
Once again, this match was proof of why the Jackson siblings are among the best tag teams in the world right now, and the high-octane team of Jurassic Express was the perfect set of dance partners for this high-stakes ladder match main event.
Having the Young Bucks win the titles was a good way to finally accelerate the downturn for Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (as well as Christian Cage’s turn… more on that below), while now also building towards a rubber match between FTR for the Tag Titles… maybe for All Out?
As the Bucks left to celebrate their win, Christian tried to help Jungle Boy up to his feet… until he pulled him right into both a metaphorical and literal Killswitch, finally completing the long-teased betrayal on his protege. Christian wasn’t done there, as he grabbed two chairs from the timekeepers’ table, hitting a vicious Con-chair-to on a prone Jungle Boy to end Dynamite.
Just as it seemed as if the “fireworks factory” of sorts as it related to Christian’s heel turn would still be out of reach, we finally got that turn taking place. As a bad guy, Christian is a very underrated promo guy, so his explanation of why he betrayed Jungle Boy (and to a certain extent, Luchasaurus) will be one to watch.
6/17 AEW Rampage: Road Rager Recap
- Jon Moxley def. Dante Martin via submission (13:00) with his Bulldog Choke. Zack Sabre Jr.’s challenge to Bryan Danielson was mentioned during the match by the commentators.
- As Keith Lee tried to figure out why Swerve Strickland threw him out of the Casino Battle Royal last week, Team Taz confronted the two and mocked them for not being a cohesive unit.
- Max Caster & The Gunn Club def. Leon Ruff, Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder via pinfall (2:00) after Caster got the pin on Ruff with the Mic Drop elbow.
- HOOK issued a challenge to a “top” prospect from NJPW’s Dojo for next week’s Rampage.
- Jade Cargill def. Willow Nightingale via pinfall (6:30) to retain the TBS Championship following the Jaded finishing maneuver. Post-match, Jade and The Baddies tried to beat up on Willow, but were chased off by Athena and Kris Statlander.
- Darby Allin def. Bobby Fish via pinfall (13:00) using the Last Supper pinning combination. Fish attacked Darby after the match and had Kyle O’Reilly come out to help him. However, Sting made his return to save his protege. He gave a chair to Darby, who then used it to hit a Coffin Drop on Fish’s trapped leg to end the show.
AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door 2022 Card
- AEW INTERIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
- AEW ALL-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: PAC vs. Miro vs. Winner of Penta Oscuro/Malakai Black vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- TRIOS MATCH: Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta and Shota Umino
- IWGP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: “Switchblade” Jay White vs. TBD
- IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy
- AEW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm
- WINNERS TAKE ALL MATCH FOR THE ROH AND IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) (ROH Tag Champions) vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan of United Empire (IWGP Tag Champions) vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta)
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.