One of the last opportunities for AEW and NJPW to promote the big storylines going into this weekend was Friday's programme as they were gearing up for the Forbidden Door pay-per-view on Sunday.
This week, the women's bracket of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament included a match between Anna Jay and Skye Blue.
The evening also included Jack Perry vs. Douki, an eight-man tag bout, and MJF's debut on Rampage.
Let’s just talk about this… MJF is making his DEBUT on Rampage… a show that’s been going since AUGUST 13TH 2021!!!! Mind blown!
Before Sunday's Forbidden Door PPV, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBBBBBLLLLLE!
Chaos vs. Swerve Strickland and United Empire
All the correct men were in the ring when Rampage began, getting ready to begin the match. Both teams launched attacks on one another almost quickly to start the action.
Trent Baretta, Chuck Taylor, Yoh, and Rocky Romero were the targets of Swerve Strickland, Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher, and Jeff Cobb.
For an extended period of time, neither team appeared to have a distinct advantage. They repeatedly exchanged possession, with both sides employing double and triple teams in the process.
This match included a lot of entertaining action, but it was typical of the multi-man matches we frequently see in AEW. It was a collection of spots and sequences with little to no narrative, which is typical for this type of fight.
Ospreay pinned Yoh with a running elbow blow to the face, giving his team the victory.
The crowd for this match were NUTS! Honestly extremely hot and just shows how good all 8 men are!
Before Adam Cole could finish his promotional speech, MJF made his first-ever appearance on Rampage. The AEW champion disclosed that he secured Cole a battle against Tom Lawlor at Forbidden Door.
As a result, Lawlor and Royce Isaacs emerged from the crowd and started attacking Cole. As soon as MJF appeared as though he would make the save, Lawlor and Isaacs pretended to be terrified of him. As MJF departed the ring, Cole was left feeling hurt and enraged.
This was only necessary to set up the match between Cole and Lawlor, thus it was brief and to the point.
The Acclaimed vs. Two Jobbers
Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Daddy Ass defeated three jobbers in the following match. This was what a squash match looked like. There wasn't a single successful offensive move by the local players.
Harley Cameron attempted to sing as the QTV team entered the stage. She received a lot of fire from the audience, who hardly allowed her to speak.
Watching this was almost awful. When QT Marshall was preoccupied with The Acclaimed, Johnny TV—also known as Johnny Morrison, Nitro, Impact, Elite, Wrestling, Mundo, and Hennigan—attacked him. To wrap out the segment, he posed with the QTV crew.
Anna Jay vs. Skye Blue
In the opening round of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament's women's bracket, Anna Jay faced off against Skye Blue.
Cool Hand and Daddy Magic gave Jay the advantage by diverting Blue and made her follow them around the ring, but this tactic was ineffective.
As the broadcast went to commercial, the former member of the Dark Order assumed command and started Dominating Blue. We came back just as Anna used a DDT to spike Skye.
This fight's second half was unquestionably superior to its first. They seemed to take some time to get into a rhythm, but once they did, they were moving along nicely.
In order to move on to the next stage of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament, Skye was able to secure the victory using the Code Blue.
I am telling you, Skye Blue is going to be woman champ sooner rather than later!
Jack Perry vs. Douki
The main event of this week's show featured New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Douki competing against "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry.
Since Hook was nowhere to be found this week, Douki had a supporter while Perry was on his own.
Perry took sure to take advantage of his opponent's uncommon size disadvantage whenever he could. Douki took control of the situation and ejected Jungle Boy from the ring by using his speed and agility.
As the contest went on, Perry started to act more aggressively, and the audience seemed to notice. Although he was applauded as he entered, the audience soon started to jeer him and chant for Douki.
This ended up being by far the most thrilling match of the evening since both of these men are quick on their feet and enjoy using a lot of high-flying offence. Particularly striking, Douki immediately captivated the Chicago fans with his original offence.
Douki was unable to win despite having the support of the crowd. Before locking him in a dragon sleeper for the victory, Jungle Boy hit him with a poison rana and a clothesline to the back of the head, which the announcers referred to as Sanada's Skull End finisher.
To close the evening, the IWGP heavyweight champion appeared and confronted Perry.
This is going to be an interesting match between Sanada & Jungle Boy!
Over all this weekends show is going to be a BANGER! I’m looking forward to it… I hope you are too!
Until tomorrow’s Collision!