27th Sep2021

‘AEW: Rampage’ Review (Sept 24th 2021)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s AEW: Rampage review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a big show on here to cover. CM Punk comes back to national television to have his first match on TNT against Hobbs, who currently is fighting his own war against gingivitis. The Young Bucks: We’re the greatest! Linda Tripp: You pussies won’t give me a hummer! YB: AHHHHHH!!!!!!! A woman! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Gross! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Me: Jesus Christ man! We’re in the people-pleasing business! Jesus Christ: I heard you the first time! Me: Let’s get to the good stuff. It’s time for Starrcade! F—k yeahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! I mean…AEW: Rampage. It’s two hours!

Match #1: CM Punk def. Powerhouse Hobbs

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

This is Punk’s first match on TV in over seven years! Punk charged Hobbs and connected with a dropkick! He began kicking at Hobbs’ quads. Hobbs raked Punk’s eyes. Punk followed up, though, with a drop toehold on Hobbs. Punk popped the bird to Hook. Hook jumped up on the apron to distract Punk, and in the heat of the moment, Punk went after Hook. Hobbs sprung at Punk with a crossbody press. Punk tried to fight his way back to his feet and Hobbs hurled Punk sternum-first into the corner turnbuckles. Hobbs tried to suplex Punk but Punk countered with a roll up for a near fall. Hobbs came back with a massive tackle on Punk. Hobbs draped Punk’s throat over the middle rope and then charged at Punk with a running leg drop to the back of Punk’s body! Hobbs distracted ref Aubrey Edwards so Hook could sneak in some cheap shots to Punk. Punk retaliated with stereo back elbows to Hobbs. Punk connected with a leg lariat and then a swinging neck breaker to Hobbs! Punk used the running knee on Hobbs! Punk headed to the top and crashed down on Hobbs with a beautiful “Macho” elbow drop! Punk lifted Hobbs up for the GTS but Hobbs blocked it! Hobbs regained the advantage after planting Punk with a spinebuster! Punk got Hobbs’ back and applied a rear naked choke. Hobbs used his raw power and suplexed his way out of Punk’s chokehold! Hobbs nailed Punk with the Oklahoma Stampede Slam for a near fall on Punk! Hobbs climbed to the top turnbuckle but he took too long—and Punk met him up there! Punk spiked Hobbs with a hurracanrana on his head! Punk locked in a triangle choke submission. Hobbs used a single arm grip, hoisted Punk up and slammed him back to the mat! It was good for a two-count on Punk! Hook jumped to the apron and Hobbs inadvertently collided with him after Punk dodged him! Punk hoisted up Hobbs and put him down with the GTS and pinned Powerhouse Hobbs!

The Verdict: 8 out of 10 – This was a light 8, but an 8 nonetheless. It was slow to start, but steady as well. Hobbs handled the heavy lifting and Punk handled the wrestling. It will look like Hobbs is doing all the work if you’re not paying attention, but this was Punk’s match all the way. Punk carried Hobbs through the parts where he is still a bit weak. It’s a pleasure to have Punk back in the saddle. He’s got a way of slowing a match down and breaking it into the most manageable way of watching. It’s not just him taking his time, but the way compartmentalizes each part of the match into something he can do in steps. You know what this was? It was fun. I got what I needed to get out of it and that’s a relief. It was satisfying. Now, I gotta pull this sock off my c–k and rinse off. All in all, CM Punk made his grand return to national television and it was worth the wait.

Match #2: The SuperKliq def. Christian Cage/Jurassic Express

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Adam Cole tagged out to Matt Jackson right away, apparently intimidated by Christian Cage! After a massive hook by Christian to Matt Jackson, Matt understood why Cole tagged out. Matt sent Christian to the turnbuckles and tried for a splash but Christian moved out of the way. He blasted Matt with fists to the forehead! He followed up with a diving uppercut to Matt for a near fall! Jungle Boy tagged in and…Adam Cole immediately bailed out again. The Young Bucks began their tandem offense on Jungle Boy but Jungle Boy brought them down with a double arm drag. Luchasaurus single handedly fought off the SuperKliq outside the ring! But the SuperKliq used power in numbers to get the better of Jungle Boy in the ring! Finally Jungle Boy fought out of the corner and got the hot tag to Luchasaurus. The big masked dino hit double clotheslines on The Young Bucks and the crowd erupted like a volcano! Luchasaurus choke slammed Cole onto Matt Jackson! Next he choke slammed Nick Jackson off the ropes! Christian Cage was looking for the Kill Switch but Matt Jackson had it scouted! Jungle Boy hit a combo on the Bucks and Christian Cage flew off the top rope onto Matt Jackson! Jungle Boy applied the Snare Trap but Doc Gallows jumped on the apron and distracted Jungle Boy. He turned back to Matt Jackson, leveled him with a lariat, and then tagged in Luchasaurus. All hell broke loose at all the wrestlers began to brawl in the ring as the ref tried to best to restore order! Matt Jackson hit a low blow on Christian Cage and then hurled him off the ramp! Then they tossed Jungle Boy off the ramp! In the ring, Luchasaurus tried to chokeslam Adam Cole but Cole fired back with the Panama City Sunrise! The Bucks blasted Luchasaurus with the BTE Trigger and then Cole finished him off with the Boom knee for the pin!

The Verdict: 7 out of 10

Match #3: Men of the Year def. Chris Jericho/Jake Hager

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Jericho and Scorpio locked up and Scorpio took him down with a quick arm drag. Jericho came back with multiple short clotheslines to Scorpio. Hager used a side belly-to-belly suplex on Ethan Page. Jericho tagged back in and ate a Tae Kwon Do kick from Ethan Page. Dan Lambert was standing near Jericho on the outside of the ring and slapped the “Demo God” in the face! The Men Of The Year double-teamed Hager, keeping him away from the tag to Jericho. Scorpio Sky and Chris Jericho each tagged in. Jericho came off the top rope with an overhand chop to Sky! Jericho followed up with a lionsault for a near fall! Hager tagged in and splashed Scorpio with a Hager Bomb for a near fall. Hager punished Sky with the ankle lock! Jericho entered the ring and applied the Walls on Page! Lambert jumped on the apron to distract them! Jericho went over the top rope onto Page on the outside! Hager slammed Sky but then Lambert grabbed Hager’s leg! Sky rolled up Hager for the pin! Jericho and Lambert brought Lambert into the ring! American Top Team (Junior Dos Santos, Austin Vanderford, Andrei Arlovski, Dalton Rosta, Jorge Masvidal, and Paige VanZant) surrounded the ring. Paige VanZant hit Jericho with repeated body shots! Jorge Masvidal nailed Jericho with an explosive running knee!

The Verdict: 7 out of 10

Match #4: Santana/Ortiz/Lucha Bros def. Hardy Family Office

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Santana and Rey Fenix hit stereo thrust kicks on The Blade! Private Party double teamed Ortiz on the outside of the ring and DDTed him! The Butcher and The Blade powerbombed Rey Fenix! Outside the ring, Matt Hardy was about to cut the hair of Ortiz but Orange Cassidy ran out for the save! Orange pulped Jack Evans with the Orange Punch! “Big Money” Matt was foiled again by “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy! Santana and Ortiz decimated The Blade with a lung blower! Santana got caught by a huge stunner from Kassidy! Penta El Zero Miedo hit a back breaker on Kassidy! The Butcher tagged in and hurled himself at Penta El Zero Miedo with a massive cross body! Rey Fenix tagged in and ate a pump kick from The Blade! Marq Quen tried for a shooting star press but Santana rolled out of the way! Marq Quen landed on his feet but then Santana and Ortiz finished him off with the Street Sweeper!

The Verdict: 7 out of 10

Match #5: Penelope Ford def. Anna Jay

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Anna Jay used a running back elbow and then was looking for the Queen Slayer on Penelope! The Bunny came out and distracted Anna. Penelope draped Anna’s throat over the middle rope and began to apply pressure with her leg! Anna Jay and Penelope Ford traded shots in the center of the ring. Penelope backed Anna into the corner, avoiding the Queen Slayer! The Bunny jumped on the apron and tossed brass knuckles to Penelope while ref Paul Turner was distracted. Penelope landed a knock out shot on Anna and pinned her! Anna Jay and Penelope Ford took the boots to Anna Jay but Tay Conti ran out to help her friend! She jumped on Penelope but the numbers were too much and Penelope popped Tay with the brass knuckles! The HFO formed a human wall on the ring apron! Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander walked onto the ramp! Orange Cassidy called in the reinforcements and the Dark Order walked out! Stu Grayson and Evil Uno were not ready to bury the hatchet with the other members of the Dark Order and they walked away from the ring, leaving behind the other Dark Order members—Colt Cabana, John Silver, Alex Reynolds, Alan “5” Angels and Pres10 Vance!

The Verdict: 4 out of 10

Match #6: (Main Event) Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston def. Minoru Suzuki/Lance Archer – Lights Out Match

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Archer walked out with kendo sticks in his hands! Suzuki got the jump on Moxley, not wasting any time! They were brawling around the ring. Kingston traded chops with Suzuki in the ring. Suzuki kicked Kingston, sending him right through a table that was set up in the corner! Archer began body slamming ring attendants! Archer grabbed Moxley and choke slammed him to the outside onto the ring attendants! Moxley hit Suzuki with boxer elbows. Archer grabbed a strap and wrapped it around Mox’s throat, and then Archer flipped Mox over the top rope! Archer and Suzuki taped Mox’s hands behind his back and began to whip him with the leather strap! Suzuki began to lash Moxley across the back! Archer battered Mox with a trash can lid! Suzuki was biting Mox’s head. Kingston got back to his feet and poked Archer in the eyes, blasting him with machine gun chops in the corner. He followed up with an exploder suplex. Suzuki locked on a sleeper and then sent Kingston into Archer who planted Kingston on the mat! Archer was about to slam Kingston onto two chairs when Homicide’s music hit! Homicide ran through the crowd and freed Moxley from the tape. Moxley used the Paradigm Shift on Suzuki! Moxley spiked Archer with a Paradigm Shift! Homicide passed a trashcan to Kingston! Kingston placed Archer inside the trash can! Kingston swung the kendo stick at the trash can repeatedly and then pinned Archer! Homicide, Moxley, and Kingston hugged and celebrated the victory in the ring!

The Verdict: 7 out of 10

Final Verdict: 8/10

There’s a lot to say in this Final Verdict. First off, you’ll notice that I stopped the individual review after the first match. I had the same opinion of every match, besides the opener and the women’s match, and I didn’t want to get repetitive. You’ll notice that there were a lot of tag matches on this card. I get that there was a desire to get as many people on the card so as to show off your roster to the large crowd they had. I believe it was around 20,000 people in attendance? That’s a lot of people you want to show your roster to. Still, it’s a lot of people to remember in one serving. I love a good sampler platter myself, but when the sampler is pretty much just different versions of the same item and a whole meal to start, it makes it hard to savor the chance to try out new things. Each of our tag matches followed the same formula, which is spot, stunt, spot, spot, stunt, brawl, rinse, cycle and repeat. There’s lots of action, but it went too fast to mean anything more than just excitement. I like to be excited, but I do want some substance to it. Even the main event, which was the Hardcore match, was just weapons and plunder, albeit some well performed stunts with the weapons. It was like watching someone play a WWE video game. There’s worse things to watch, but since I’m watching actual wrestling, I’d like some damn wrestling. As for the women’s match, it was just anemic. They weren’t doing anything terrible, but the match was not booked to do all that much besides go a few minutes and set-up Tay Conti running down to brawl with Penelope Ford.

As for the card itself, it was just random tag matches. I think there were feuds and storylines here, but that isn’t what people wanna see from a wrestling card. Most folks just want to see big stars wrestle one on one for title shots and the World Title itself. A card of tag matches won’t bring too many people back. Punk and Hobbs should have main evented the show. I get that Rampage starts at 10:00 pm, but proper card structure trumps all other needs. If I was a teenager again or the father of five, I would be willing to wait until close to midnight for a big match if I know it’s coming and is gonna get some time. Now, speaking of this card, this was the best produced event I’ve seen from AEW since 2019. This whole show was all action. We didn’t have goofy promos in the ring or comedy or storytelling. We had matches booked and given time to make a mark. Even though the Dynamite show from the same venue was a better in many respects, this show felt like a wrestling event. It felt like I was there live, which is great since this was pre-recorded. When you don’t do promos and have people talk endlessly, you get a show that has no fat on the body.

This episode of Rampage is what Dynamite ought to be every week. If Tony Khan would clear his two main shows of all the other divisions and just focus on singles matches for contention of and battles to become the World Champion, then AEW would be farther along as a company by now. It’s great having Punk back, but having him feud with people is not what we all wanted him back for. Punk should be going after the World Title, because that’s what all wrestlers want. If there’s a wrestler on the roster that doesn’t want the title, then that’s a major angle. What would they want if not to be champion? AEW needs to be focused on the important things. This show felt like it was focused on making this show important. That’s the way it needs to be every week. I’ve been a bit embarrassed to tell other people about AEW, but after seeing this show, I feel like I can recommend more than two things to see from this promotion. Well, this was fun. I’ll see you next time.

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