AEW Rampage recap and reactions (May 27, 2022): Ruby Soho needs it

AEW Carnage (May 27, 2022) emanated from Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The Homecoming Show double or nothing featured Bryan Danielson in action, the Young Bucks cosplaying the Hardys, Billy Gunn being a dad, and Ruby Soho using questionable tactics to advance in the Owen Hart Tournament.

Let’s start straight with a recap of the show followed by reactions.

Excalibur, Taz and Ricky Starks were on the comments. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.

Matt Sydal vs Bryan Danielson

William Regal joined the commentary to encourage his beloved student. He also brought jokes. Regal ordered octopus seafood for supper. He was told it would take four hours. The octopuses are cooked alive and they reach out to put out the gas.

Danielson worked to beat Sydal to the mat. When the pace picked up, Sydal shone. Danielson always had a trick up his sleeve. Sydal connected on a two-kneed flying Meteora, but Danielson fulfilled the contract to rip a limb for a one-legged crab in the center of the ring. Danielson moved to a knee bar and a heel hook, then Sydal reached the ropes. Danielson put Sydal on the turnbuckles, but Sydal replied for a sunset powerbomb.

The aggression escalated from Danielson. Sydal used that against him for a backslide. When Danielson was sent off, Sydal threw a jump knee. On a second attempt, Danielson ducked and hit Sydal with a running knee. Danielson elbowed Sydal in the head to set up a choke for the win. The American Dragon rubbed it with a bicep flex.

Bryan Danielson defeated Matt Sydal.

Young Bucks vs. Jon Cruz and Taylor Rust

The Young Bucks entered for their match as Hardy cosplayers. Gangrel joined them with Brandon Cutler as Lita. Matt Facts said Matt Jackson thinks the cure for Matt Hardy’s “Jimmy legs” is a perfectly applied four-legged lock.

The Bucks mimicked Hardy’s mannerisms and moves, but relied on a superkick party to crush the underdog rally. Matt Jackson put Cruz on a twist of fate, then Nick Jackson added a Swanton Bomb for the win.

Young Hardys defeated Jon Cruz and Taylor Rust.

Afterwards, the Bucks turned on Gangrel for a BTE Trigger, but the Hardys arrived on stage before they could perform. Cutler attempted to attack the Hardys. He was manipulated by Gangrel for an Impaler. As the Bucks retreated, the Hardys hurt Cutler with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb.

Darby Allin challenged Kyle O’Reilly to a PPV match as a reward for injuring Sting. If O’Reilly doesn’t accept, then Allin will interfere in undisputed elite matches to make their night a living hell at double or nothing. Later, Allin vs. O’Reilly was officially announced.

Dante Martin versus Max Caster

Caster was joined by the Gunn Club and Billy pushing Anthony Bowens in a wheelchair. Bowens led an Ass Boy vocal then chiselled with dad Billy.

Martin interrupted the fun with a springboard shoulder strap. Billy picked up Martin to smash the apron and ring steps. As soon as Billy rolled Martin under the ropes for the opening bell, referee Aubrey Edwards ejected the entire team from the ring.

Caster worked the knee to keep Martin down. Martin found his rhythm to rally with high jumps and a flying shoulder strap. Martin finished with a double moonsault.

Dante Martin defeated Max Caster.

Hype package for Samoa Joe against Adam Cole in the Owen Hart Men’s Tournament Final. Cole is a world class professional wrestler. He’s a franchise player for years to come, and that starts with winning the tournament.

Dan Lambert and Ethan Page presented a new TNT Championship belt to Scorpio Sky. The gold and purple design paid homage to Sky’s love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti and Frankie Kazarian hiatus on the big screen. They stormed into the American Top Team gym for some smashing and gripping work to steal a few UFC title belts. If Lambert wants them back, give them the mixed match. Sky was furious and agreed. Sky, Page and Paige VanZant vs. Guevara, Conti and Kaz are official for double or nothing.

Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Ruby Soho needs to win the Owen Hart Tournament to gain confidence. This may be a turning point in his career. Kris Statlander angrily scoffed at the idea that Soho needed it. Statlander has been in AEW since the beginning and has no championships. Losing friends and getting her knee blown is all she has to show for it. Statlander will not pass up this opportunity. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”

Owen Hart Tournament Semi-Final: Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho

Statlander began with a serious tone. Soho tried to be friendly. Its intensity increased during the fight to gain an advantage. Statlander showed strength on a delayed vertical suplex. Soho came back fighting its way out of reach of a fireman on the turnbuckles to counter with a super hurricane. The momentum swung the other way when Soho encountered an alien bomb. Soho kept their minds up to stun Statlander with a No Future kick. The contact knocked Statlander out of the ring, so Soho couldn’t capitalize with coverage.

Back in the ring, Soho attacked Statlander’s tender shoulder with a flying arm breaker maneuver and then a kimura lock. Statlander reached the ropes with his foot for the break. Statlander dug deep to counter Soho in the corner with a wheelbarrow swing into the turnbuckles. The alien crossed for a strong German suplex. Statlander had victory close at hand over the pilot of a spinning fisherman. 1, 2, Soho broke free with a spectacular kick.

Statlander attempted a spider crab submission. Soho slammed his way in and tripped Statlander with a knee boot leading to a curled victory.

Ruby Soho defeated Kris Statlander.

Afterwards, Dr. Britt Baker DMD took the stage to promote the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament Finals for double or nothing. Soho didn’t want to hear the dentist talking. Boos rained down from the crowd. Soho explained that she did what she had to do to win. If Soho can do that to a friend, imagine what she’ll do to someone she hates.

Ruby Soho and Kris Statlander had a strong Main Event. The false finish was very well executed. They had the fans and myself in the palm of their hands for the Soho kick off. It was such an emphatic combination of moves that the crowd got a little pissed off when Statlander didn’t win. I don’t think it helped that Soho emerged victorious on a weak roll-up.

The shower of boos during the Soho post-game promo baffled me. It took me a while to understand why. I believe the answer is that Soho kicked Statlander’s previously injured knee during the game pretending to be the alien’s friend. Soho also kicked the knee for the winning roll-up. The Soho promo actually turned me against her and in favor of Dr. Britt Baker DMD to win at double or nothing. At least with Baker, we know she’s complicit. She doesn’t hide it. With Soho, she talks nice and then resorts to a dubious tactic to prevail against a so-called friend. It’s pretty dodgy. It stinks of desperation since Soho said she had to win. Time will tell if that night has any lasting effects on fan reaction to Soho.

The Young Bucks cosplaying the Hardys brought great joy. It’s up there for the funniest thing the Bucks have done in their AEW career to date. Adding Brandon Cutler with the Lita thong, place it on top. Gangrel was nice to see as a surprise. All that was missing was him spitting blood in Cutler’s face.

The Acclaimed and the Gunn Club continue to be hilarious. I love how Billy embraced Max Caster and Anthony Bowens like they came out of his own loins. Billy used his father’s strength to protect his boys after Dante Martin’s sneak attack. It was funny to see Billy take Caster with a hug while leaving his real sons on the ground. What wasn’t funny was that referee Aubrey Edwards horribly overstepped his bounds to abuse his refereeing power. Martin caused the ruckus and Billy dealt with him appropriately. His ramming of Martin was completely legal. They didn’t deserve to be expelled. This isn’t the first time Edwards has applied his authority unfairly. AEW must open an investigation into his behavior.

Bryan Danielson and Matt Sydal had a hot first game. Scorpio Sky’s red costume with a black shirt was fire. Just like his promo. The Lakers colors are ideal for customizing Sky’s new TNT title belt. Sammy Guevara’s part was cold as ice. This seems to be standard operating procedure at this point. I’m kinda sad that Sammy and Tay Conti dragged Frankie Kazarian into their antics. Stealing the BMF belt makes me wonder if Jorge Masvidal will have a collectible cameo at the PPV.

Category B

Solid wrestling and fun comedy to provide enough entertainment to do Carnage worthy of interest.

Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? Who stole the show?

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