Aussie Open defend IWGP tag titles on Rampage on TSN+
The new IWGP World Tag Team Champions, Aussie Open, defend their titles against Best Friends. Plus, Jack Perry takes on a returning Shawn Spears and we hear from the new AEW World Tag Team Champions, FTR. You can catch AEW Rampage on Friday at the special time of 9:30pm et/6:3pm pt streaming on TSN+.
IWGP World Tag Team Championship match: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis) (c) vs. Best Friends ("The Kentucky Gentleman" Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) - Last Sunday at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Sakura Genesis in Tokyo, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis defeated Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI) to capture the IWGP World Tag Team Championships for the first time in their careers. Their championship celebration could be short-lived, though, as they will make their first defence of their titles on Friday night against Best Friends, who challenged Aussie Open to a match this past Wednesday night on Rampage. The reason why Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta wanted the match is simple: their friend "Freshly Squeezed" Orange Cassidy has been AEW International Champion since October and they've become jealous of seeing him carrying around a title belt everywhere. While neither Taylor nor Beretta has held the IWGP World Tag Team Championship before, Beretta is a four-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion alongside Rocky Romero as Roppongi Vice. This will be a first time-ever meeting between the two teams, but that doesn't mean they're unfamiliar with one another. Beretta holds two victories over Fletcher and Davis in trios action, first teaming with FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) and then with Cassidy and Romero to beat the United Empire team of Aussie Open and Will Ospreay. Aussie Open undoubtedly realizes the potential embarrassment of losing a title in your first defence and will be well prepared for the challenge of Best Friends, but Taylor and Beretta are more than capable of giving them a run for their money. Will Aussie Open head back to Japan with their belts or will they stay in AEW with Best Friends?
Emi Sakura vs. Taya Valkyrie - Rampage will play host to a first time-ever singles match between two veterans with a combined 40 years of in-ring experience when Emi Sakura meets Vancouver's Taya Valkyrie. Since her arrival in AEW only a few short weeks ago, Valkyrie has been embroiled in a feud with TBS Champion Jade Cargill. On last week's Rampage, the two were supposed to have a sit-down mediation, but it really didn't solve anything at all. Cargill has taken particular umbrage with Valkyrie's usage of the same chicken-wing sit-out facebuster she uses as her Jaded finisher, called Road to Valhalla, and Cargill's representation, "Smart" Mark Sterling, has threatened Valkyrie with legal reprisal should she continue to use it. For her part, Valkyrie is completely undaunted by the threats and is seemingly intent on taking away the TBS title that is currently around Cargill's waist. Before she can do that, though, she must deal with the challenge of Sakura. While Sakura has yet to hold gold in AEW, she is one of the most decorated wrestlers of the past 25 years, holding numerous titles in Japan including in Ice Ribbon, the promotion she founded in 2006. Valkyrie should be well aware that Sakura can easily derail any momentum she's built up since coming to AEW. Will Valkyrie continue on her collision course with Cargill or can Sakura give her a rude awakening?
"Jungle Boy" Jack Perry vs. "The Chairman" Shawn Spears - Since AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman managed to retain his title in a 60-minute ironman match over "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson at last month's Revolution pay-per-view, MJF now faces the prospect of three men jockeying for the next shot at his title in the other three so-called "Four Pillars of AEW": Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara and "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry. While MJF has attempted to downplay their credentials and laugh off their challenges, it's obvious that Allin, Guevara and Perry are not going away. In fact, all three men are undefeated since throwing down the gauntlet to MJF. Perry looks to keep that streak going on Friday night when he takes on a very interesting opponent in Friedman's former associate, Shawn Spears. For Spears, this will be his first appearance in AEW in six months. The last time we saw Spears, he teamed with FTR in Toronto to defeat The Embassy ("The Machine" Brian Cage, Toa Liona and Bishop Kaun) in trios action last October. Despite both men having been in AEW since almost its inception, the match will be a first-time meeting. Spears has not competed in singles action in AEW since last May. Slowing down the red-hot Perry, the winner of nine straight matches, will be a tall task for Spears, especially if he is dealing with any kind of ring rust. Will Perry keep rolling or will Spear return with a bang?
- Mark Briscoe, Jay Lethal, "The Last Outlaw" Jeff Jarrett and Satnam Singh (w/ Sonjay Dutt) will be in eight-man tag-team action
- We will hear from AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler)
- The Jericho Appreciation Society's "Daddy Magic" Matt Menard and "Cool Hand" Angelo Parker will address their betrayal of The Acclaimed ("Platinum" Max Caster and "The Five-Tool Player" Anthony Bowens)