8/20 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: Moynahan’s coverage of Punk’s planned debut, Moxley vs. Garcia, Jade vs. Hogan, Jurassic Express vs. Private Party

By Patrick Moynahan, PWTorch contributor

Full AEW Rampage results and analysis

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
AUGUST 20, 2021
CHICAGO, ILL. AT UNITED CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry

Ring announcer: Justin Roberts


– The opening of Rampage, The First Dance, aired. Excalibur welcomed us with, “It’s Friday night, and you know what that means!” Excalibur promised the huge announcement was up next. He then introduced his fellow announcers, Taz, Mark Henry, and Jim Ross, who was filling in for Chris Jericho.

– The camera panned the crowd as they chanted for CM Punk. On que, Punk’s music hit, and the crowd went nuts. Punk walked out, surveyed the crowd, knelt, and seemed to soak it all in as the motion clearly took over him. Excalibur proclaimed that “CM Punk has arrived in All Elite Wrestling.” Punk walked down toward the ring as he continued to soak in the adulation. He even hugged a fan in the crowd as the camera showed someone crying in the stands. Punk dove into the crowd and the crowd chanted his name even more.

Punk circled the ring and took time to hug a few fans in the crowd. He finally made it into the ring, mic in hand. [c]

Punk stood in the ring, emotion still very apparent on his face, as the crowd chanted his name. Punk said he didn’t plan what he was going to say since he didn’t know how he was going to feel. He said he knew he “needed to feel it,” and that he “feels and hears Chicago.” As the crowd chanted his name again, he said “I’ve heard you” for seven years. He said there was good news and bad news. The bad news is that he wouldn’t get to it all tonight, but the good news was that he has the time and he’s “not going anywhere.”

He said the most important thing he would say was that if anything of his personal choices made people feel disappointed or let down that he hopes they all understand he would not have been able to get mentally or emotionally healthy if he stayed in the same place that made him sick in the first place. The crowd continued to chat. He asked the crowd if he could tell them a story, and they quickly obliged. He removed his hoodie to reveal a new, but like his old style, CM Punk shirt.

Punk sat down and started talking about his last match in Ring of Honor. He said he left there in 2005 with tears in his eyes. He said that walking out tonight made him realize him leaving ROH helped him help people love professional wrestling. He said leaving ROH for WWE (he didn’t mention WWE by name) wasn’t going to be easy for him. He said he left pro wrestling on August 15, 2005 (when he left ROH). Tonight, on August 20, 2021, he said, “I’m back, and I’m back for you.” He said he was back because there’s a lot of young talent that he wants to be there for them. He added that he was back because “there are a couple of scores to settle in that locker room.” Punk called out Darby Allin by name as the crowd chanted his name.

Allin and Sting were shown in the rafters. Punk spoke to them from the ring, saying he’s seen Allin and all of the pain he puts himself through, but he always comes back. Punk said he’s here to help and Allin is first on the list. Punk said there’s “nothing more dangerous than wrestling CM Punk except wrestling CM Punk in Chicago.” Punk said he’ll see Allin and Sting on September 5 at All Out. He ended with “I’m back” as the crowd again chanted his name.

Punk said “one more thing.” He said seven years was a long time to wait and told the fans to “grab yourself a free ice cream bar on me.”

The announcers were shown enjoying the ice cream bars as Punk stayed in the ring and acknowledged the crowd as they chanted his name. [c]

(Moynahan’s Take: Okay, where to start? Nothing I can say here will do any of this justice. You need to go out of your way to watch this for yourself. Punk was insanely over, as expected, and he delivered in every way. I’m not sure we’ve seen a crowd this hot, and this sustained in a long time. I love how they started the show with Punk, and in retrospect, there really was no other way to do it than this. I can’t wait to see how Punk’s time in AEW progresses, but it sounds like he’s here for some time. Oh, and starting with a Punk/Allin match at All Out is a killer way to kick off his tenure here.)

– Christian Cage was backstage with Jurassic Express. He said it was time for them to go out and win the tag tournament. He reiterated that he was in Omega’s head, and he would beat him at All Out. [c]

(1) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus w/Marko Stunt) vs. PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen w/Matt Hardy) — World Tag Team Title Eliminator Tournament Semi-Final

Each team made their way to the ring. As the match was set to start, the Young Bucks’ music hit, and they made their way to the rampway with Brandon Cutler. Nick and Matt each took a seat on the ramp as the match kicked off.

Jungle Boy and Kassidy started things off for their teams. The two traded reversals in the early going, which ended in a standoff. Quen tagged in as Kassidy got the upper hand on Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy caught Kassidy’s arm, then used the ropes to springboard off and knock him down with a dropkick. Jungle Boy went to tag Luchasaurus but was pulled down by his hair. Private Party double teamed him, with Hardy joining in. [c]

Jungle Boy leapt off Quen’s back to take out Kassidy, then crawled over to Luchasaurus to make the hot tag. Luchasaurus came in and took out both members of Private Party. He took them out with a double clothesline as the crowd chanted his name. Jungle Boy tagged back in. With Kassidy perched on the top rope, Jungle Boy climbed up there and found his way on top of Luchasaurus’s shoulders. Kassidy came off the top and hit a massive Canadian Destroyer on Jungle Boy. All four men were in the ring. Luchasaurus tried to chokeslam Quen, but Kassidy hit him with a guillotine along the top rope. Quen came off the top rope and hit a huge shooting star press onto Luchasaurus on the floor.

Kassidy and Jungle Boy were inside the ring until Quen and Luchasaurus joined them. Jurassic Express countered Silly String into their own double team move for a close two count. Hardy got on the apron, as did Stunt. Hardy threw Stunt onto the floor. Quen rolled up Jungle Boy and used the ropes for leverage but could only manage a two count.

Jungle Boy nailed Kassidy with a DDT, and Jurassic Express hit Quen with their finisher for the win.

WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 10:00

(Moynahan’s Take: A very solid tag match, which was a bit slowed down early on due to a commercial break. This was nowhere near as good as their match on Dynamite this week against the Young Bucks. The right team won tonight in my view, and I’m hoping they end up facing the Lucha Bros. in the finals.)

– Don Callis and Kenny Omega were backstage with Nakazawa. They were riled up from Christian Cage’s comments from earlier as they went to break.

– A video package of the next match between Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan aired. Cargill said tonight “we feast, period.”

(2) JADE CARGILL (w/ Mark Sterling) vs. KIERA HOGAN

Hogan clearly gave up a size advantage to Cargill, and Cargill took early advantage of that until Hogan struck back with a series of kicks. Hogan charged in but Cargill nailed her with a kick to the face. Cargill locked in her Jaded finish for the quick win.

WINNER: Jade Cargill in 1:30

(Moynahan’s Take: Well, that was fast. I know Hogan has credibility from her time in Impact, but this was the wise choice, whoever Cargill was set to face.)

– A recap from Punk’s entrance earlier tonight aired. It was announced that he’ll make his Dynamite debut next week.

– A preview of next week’s Dynamite aired. It was also announced that Jurassic Express would face the winners of the Lucha Bros. and Varsity Blonds Dynamite match on next week’s Rampage.

– Mark Henry interviewed 2.0 and Daniel Garcia via split screen with Jon Moxley. Moxley said “Daniel Garcia has a better chance of getting me pregnant than beating me tonight.” Henry summed it up by saying it was time for the main event.

(3) JON MOXLEY (w/Eddie Kingston) vs. DANIEL GARCIA (w/2.0)

Moxley attacked Garcia right from the bell. He gave Garcia a back suplex, then kicked him hard across the chest a few times. Garcia dropkicked Moxley in the legs, then kicked him in the back of the knee. Garcia continued to focus on the leg. Moxley countered with an arm bar, but Garcia broke it and threw in a number of shots.

With Moxley in the corner, Garcia was met with a boot to the face, then a series of German suplexes. Garcia was able to roll Moxley into a leg lock, but it was broken up when he reached the ropes. Moxley hit Garcia with a few headbutts and went for the Paradigm Shift but Garcia countered. Garcia locked in a leg submission, but Moxley rolled over into a headlock choke submission for the win.

After the match, 2.0 and Garcia attacked Kingston and Moxley. Sting and Allin hit the ring to the ring to make the save. 2.0 was stacked up in the corner for Sting who hit the Stinger Splash. Sting followed it up with a Scorpion Death Drop. Allin came off the top and hit a double Coffin Drop on 2.0. The show closed with all four men celebrating in the ring.

WINNER: Jon Moxley in 4:30

(Moynahan’s Take: This felt a little rushed, but it was a nice, clean match, with a happy ending. That doesn’t seem so difficult to book, now does it? I did expect Punk to make his way back out, especially once Darby appeared, but he didn’t appear, at least not on camera.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: What an amazing show. With all due respect to everyone on the card, they could have easily ended the show after Punk’s segment, and no one would have minded. Tonight is what being a pro wrestling fan should feel like…fun, exciting, emotional. I cannot wait to see what comes of Punk’s time in AEW, but I have a sense he will be giving it his all. Two weeks in and Rampage has already become must-watch TV. I’m curious how they’ll be able to continue this trend, especially once these shows are taped, but as they say, time will tell. Until then, stay safe everyone!

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