1/7 AEW Rampage results: McGuire’s review of Adam Cole vs. Jake Atlas, Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia, Matt Lee and Jeff Parker in a No Holds Barred match, Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter vs. Riho and Ruby Soho, Hook vs. Aaron Solo

By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffs (@McGMondays)

AEW Rampage (Section 22)
Recorded January 5, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center
Broadcast January 7, 2022 on TNT

The commentary team of Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho and Ricky Starks checked in. Adam Cole’s music hit and Cole made his entrance almost immediately …

1. Adam Cole Vs. Jake Atlas. Jake Atlas’ entrance actually came after Cole’s and Atlas got a hell of a ovation. The two unlocked and swapped wrist locks. Atlas got over the exchange with a side-head-lock take-down. On foot again, Cole hit a hell of an elbow. Atlas went after a drop kick, but Cole stopped, and they had a terribly funny sequence that ended with both guys going after a super-kick, but retreating.

Atlas hit a lot of chops, elbows and kicks. Atlas climbed to the top, but Cole pushed him to the outside. Cole ran Atlas into the bar and posed. Back in the ring, Cole worked over Atlas with kicks and strikes. Atlas worked his way back with an evil rolling elbow, but Cole landed a backstab after Atlas came towards him from the middle rope. The first PIP started [c].

Back from the break, Atlas landed a baseball kick and a tope suicida on Cole, who was outside the ring. Atlas went for a cover after hitting a shotgun and got a two-count. Cole eventually hit a pump kick for a two-count. Cole went for a super kick, but Atlas equalized with a short clothesline. Cole then fought back and hit a brain-buster on his knee. Atlas hit a high boot, which turned into a version of a suplex for a good fall.

Atlas tried a springboard, but the injury to his legs, which you might have read about if you read the spoilers, happened. Cole went after the Panama Sunrise, but Atlas could not get him up, so Cole sank into the weakest leg ever, and Atlas tapped out.

Adam Cole defeated Tony Atlas via submission in 9:38.

After the match, Cole cut a tiny promo on Atlas, but Orange Cassidy and Best Friends came out. Cassidy had a chain and ran Cole away …

Dustin Rhodes then announced that Cody Rhodes could not compete due to medical protocols Saturday night. As a result, Dustin will step in to meet Sammy Guevara in Battle Of The Belts …

McGuire’s Musings: It was a really, really good match. It exceeded expectations and I hope Atlas’ injury is not enough to keep him out for long because he looked happier, better and more crisp here than he did throughout his WWE run. I really wanted to see these two run it back because Atlas was a new man (it seems like we say that way too much with all these people going from one company to another, right?). Cody development is a tough break, but we hope for the best for him and his growing family.

Back from the break, Tony Schiavone was backstage and interviewed Andrade El Idolo. Andrade called Darby Allin as a toddler and asked why he worked for Sting. Andrade asked Sting to mention the prize for the little boy (Darby) … Hooks’ music hit, and off we go.

2. Hook Vs. Aaron Solo (w / QT Marshall). Hook started with a suplex after the two felt each other out. Hook worked a quarter-nelson on Solo, who reached for the ropes for a break. Solo was in the corner and Hook received a series of blows. QT Marshall grabbed and distracted Hook and Solo took advantage of it. Hook fought back, processing an octopus. Hook hit a suplex, but Solo went after a big kick. Hook captured Solo and hit a Taz plex. Hook hit a bunch of forearms, sank into the red rum and Solo knocked out.

Hook defeated Aaron Solo via submission in 3:20.

After the match, Marshall entered the ring and confronted Hook. Hook captured Marshall and landed another Taz plex on Marshall before walking away …

The comment team checked in. Ricky Starks said he will defend the FTW title against Matt Sydal at the Battle Of The Belts. Starks said he chose Sydal because he is coming to Dante Martin … A preview package of last week’s women’s match was sent …

McGuire’s Musings: Another good excursion to Hook. What can you say? If he does not have everything, he has a lot of it. The post-match with Marshall was a fun moment. My only hope is that it does not mean Hook moves on to Marshall, but that’s just my irrational QT Marshall bias. Introducing the Taz-plex the way they did was a nice touch, because you have to keep in mind that this kind / kind of gives Hook more than one finisher now. Ricky Starks Vs. Matt Sydal has a chance to be tonight’s sneaky match in the Battle of the Belts.

3. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter vs. Riho and Ruby Soho. The four started the fight and fought. When the bell rang, Soho and Hayter fought before Riho and Soho beat Hayter together. Baker signed up, but Soho violated Baker before kicking Baker in the chin. Riho then signed in, and the two baby faces merged Baker. Before long, Rebel intervened and Baker took control. Then a PIP began [c].

Back from the break, Soho fired up and both Baker and Soho struck out. Riho worked over Hayter and went for a pin, but Baker broke it up. Riho took Hayter down and got a two-count. Riho went to the top, but Baker pushed Riho off. The heels worked over combo moves on Riho. Before long, Riho Hayter rolled over and got pinfall.

Riho and Ruby Soho defeated Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter via pinfall in 8:08.

Backstage, Dan Lambert cut a promo explaining that Dustin vs. Sammy will be for the temporary TNT title. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky argued that Scorpio was in the fight. Scorpio pointed out that he has not lost a singles match in more than 300 days …

Excalibur ran the cards for Battle of the Belts and next week’s Dynamite …

The Mark Henry venue began, but Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz stepped out of the frame and blessed their hearts for it. Soon enough, Kingston, Santana and Ortiz appeared in the heel frame, and a fight began.

McGuire’s Musings: I really liked the tag-matched. There were some really nice moments with double team moves – so much so that it kind of makes me want to watch more AEW women’s tag matches. A few of these things were terribly innovative and terribly unexpected. Good for everyone involved. I still do not think Riho will take the title from Britt on Saturday, and because of so much, this result was not in doubt, but it was a fun match anyway. I can not say that a temporary TNT title does much for me, but it does make me wonder what’s really going on with Cody. The “medical” angle is not an angle … is it?

3. Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia, Matt Lee and Jeff Parker in a No Holds Barred Match. By the time we got back from commercials, this fight was already very much underway and all the wrestlers were everywhere. Eventually, inside the ring, Kingston hit Garcia in the head with a trash can. Kingston put Garcia’s head into the can and kicked it. Outside the ring, Parker kicked Ortiz while Kingston bit Garcia. The baby faces landed stereo suplexes on the heels of trash cans outside the ring. The teams continued to fight as the final PIP began [c].

Back from the break, Santana and Ortiz worked over 2.0 in the ring. Garcia ran in and tried to roll Garcia together. Before long, Lee threw powder in Santana and Ortiz ‘face and got a two-count. Lee landed a DDT on Ortiz, and Garcia grabbed the bell. 2.0 kept Kingston and Garcia hit Kingston in the head with the clock. Garcia covered Kingston for a damn nearsight.

Outside the ring, the three heels set Kingston up three times on the ring guard’s table. Garcia ran towards Santana, but Santana hit Garcia with a chair. Santana took the rest of everyone with a chair. Garcia kicked Santana and went into the ring to kick Ortiz. Ortiz and Garcia swapped New Japan-style forearms and chops. Santana ran in and fast, 2.0 and Santana and Ortiz quarreled until Santana and Ortiz landed a series of double-team moves for the win.

Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz defeated Daniel Garcia, Matt Lee and Jeff Parker in a No Holds Barred match via pinfall in 12:10.

After the victory, Garcia Santana and Ortiz attacked. Kingston came back in the ring and the heels taped him to the ring. Chris Jericho ran to the ring and managed to save it. The show ended with Jericho pumping the audience up …

McGuire’s Musings: This was even more chaotic than I had anticipated. The teams worked hard and there were a lot of gimmicks. I’m almost a little surprised there was no color. Either way, this probably will not be the end of the Kingston / Garcia program, because… yes, we ended it all with Kingston wallpaper for the ropes. Still, it was great to see Santana and Ortiz win, because I absolutely love watching them win more. 2.0 may have been The Team That Does The Jobs, but they do it well. And they ended up here too.

As for the episode, this was one of the better ones in recent memory for me. Cole vs. The Atlas battle was very good until the unfortunate moment happened with Atlas. The women’s tag match was also a lot of fun, and Hook is… yes… Hook. The main event also did its job in terms of fights. I’m still confused as to why AEW would introduce a temporary TNT title if there’s nothing seriously wrong with Cody, or if it’s all not a job. If something is seriously wrong, I really hope everything will be OK. If it is not and it’s all part of a story… I do not quite know how I feel about it yet. But good speed. I want more to say about my weekly Dot Net members’ exclusive audio review.

Listen to “11/18 Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell (Episode 136): Court Bauer on MLW Restart, Pandemic Precautions, and More” on Spreaker.

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