AEW Rampage kicked off with a dream match situation between New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Tomohiro Ishii and AEW's Adam Cole in an Owen Hart Cup qualifying match. Both stars made their presence felt early on, however Cole got a bit ahead of himself with some taunts, which let Ishii sneak up behind him and send him to the outside. Cole would return the favor however, slamming Ishii's arm into the ring post and after that knocking him into the barrier before rolling striking him with punches back in the ring.
Cole followed it up with knees to the back and after that secured a hold. Cole then teased Ishii once again with slaps and punches in the corner, however he just stood back up and waited for his opportunity to strike. Then he leaned into the punches and kept moving prior to tossing a hard shot of his own to the face of Cole that knocked him down in the corner.
Cole stopped Ishii with a forearm but then Ishii returned and slammed Cole down on his back. A suplex followed however Cole kicked out of the taking place pin. Cole got Ishii up on his shoulders and brought him down hard on the mat, and after that opted for the pin however Ishii kicked out. Ishii captured Cole on the top rope and then joined him up leading and raised him up before slamming him down with a Superplex into a cover, however Cole tossed out.
Cole hit a Superkick and after that opted for a knee however Ishii evaded it and hit a Lariat into a cover, but Cole kicked out. Ishii raised Cole but Cole kicked him and after that turned him around and brought Ishii down on his knee, but Ishii kicked out of the pin effort that followed. Cole went up top and then hit a Superkick but Ishii came back with a headbutt. Then they both struck Enziguri's and a tooth likewise appeared to fly. Ishii hit another headbutt and Cole struck a Superkick, however then Ishii knocked into Cole.
Then Jay White secured Rocky Romero on the outside and as the referee looked at the diversion Cole hit a low blow on Ishii. That allowed Cole to pin him and get the win, and now Cole joins Samoa Joe and Kyle O'Reilly in the Men's Owen Hart Cup Tournament.