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AEW RAMPAGE GRAND SLAM TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
RECORDED AT ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM, QUEENS, NY
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, and Ricky Starks.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– The opening of Rampage aired. Excalibur welcomed us with, “It’s Friday night, and you know what that means!” Excalibur was joined by his fellow announcers, Ricky Starks, and Taz.
(1) C.M. PUNK vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS (w/Hook)
Hobbs made his entrance first as they aired clips to this rivalry from over the past couple of weeks. Punk, who was making his first TV wrestling match appearance in more than seven years, was out next.
Punk charged right at Hobbs and hit him with a dropkick. Punk continued to focus on the legs as Hobbs tried to shrug him away. Hobbs nailed Punk with a headbutt. Punk came right back with a drop toe hold and continued to focus on the legs of Hobbs. Punk took Hobbs down with a Russian leg sweep, then turned toward Hook and flipped him off. Punk picked Hobbs up for the GTS, but Hook distracted him from the apron, which allowed Hobbs to nail Punk.
Punk tried fighting his way back, but Hobbs maintained the upper advantage. The crowd chanted for Punk to try and get him back. Punk went for a rollup for a two count but as he got up, Hobbs charged in and brought Punk right back down to the mat. Hobbs hung Punk across the middle rope then came down hard across his back. [c]
Hobbs locked Punk in a bear hug. Punk tried fighting his way out, but Hobbs locked it in even more. Punk finally escaped, then traded shots with Hobbs. Punk won the battle, then nailed Hobbs with a leg lariat, then a swinging neck breaker. Punk nailed Hobbs with a running knee in the corner, then went to the top rope. Punk came off the top with an elbow drop a la Randy Savage. Hobbs kicked out at two.
Punk went for the GTS again, but Hobbs blocked it and hit Punk with a spinebuster for a very close two count. Hobbs went for a pump handle slam, but Punk reversed into a sleeper. Hobbs fought out by falling backwards on Punk. Hobbs hit the Oakland Stampede for a two count. The two went to the top rope and Punk hit a very nasty looking hurricanrana. Punk locked in an arm submission but Hobbs powered him and slammed Punk to the mat. He covered for Punk kicked out.
The two traded blows in the middle of the ring. Punk nailed Hobbs with a side kick to the face. Hook got on the apron but as Punk went over to him, he moved in time for Hobbs to run into Hook. Punk hit the GTS for the win.
WINNER: C.M. Punk in 14:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A wise choice to open tonight’s show. There was one nasty spot on the top rope hurricanrana, but otherwise, I really enjoyed this one. This should easily be considered Hobbs’s best match to-date, and he worked very well here as the power vs. the smaller, more technical wrestler. The crowd was obviously into Punk here, but with this being a taped show, for some reason it sounded as though the crowd noise was lowered a bit in favor of a clearer sound for the announce team.)
– A clip aired of Thunder Rosa speaking to Nyla Rose and Jade Cargill. She said she does whatever she wants and fights like a dog. Cargill was then shown and said this was way more personal. Rosa summed up the segment and called out the other two.
– The Young Bucks, along with the Good Brothers, Don Callis, and Brandon Cutler, made their way to the ring. Adam Cole was next and came out to his own music. [c]
(2) ADAM COLE & THE YOUNG BUCKS (w/The Elite) vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE & JURASSIC EXPRESS
Christian and Cole started things off. The crowd was into this one from the start. Cole quickly tagged out to Matt Jackson. Christian laid in a series of chops to the chest of Matt, then nailed him with a few right hands. Christian draped Matt along the middle rope and came down hard as he jumped over the top. Jungle Boy tagged in and helped double team Matt. Cole came in to assist Matt but immediately bailed when Jungle Boy walked toward him. Nick Jackson tagged in, and he and Matt made quick tags until Jungle Boy took them both down with a double arm drag to a huge pop.
Jungle Boy chased Cole around the ring but was met with a dual super kick by the Young Bucks. Luchasaurus came to his aid but was blind-sided by a Young Bucks’ dropkick. Cole had Jungle Boy in a camel clutch as the Young Bucks nailed Jungle Boy with double dropkicks. [c]
Back from break, the Young Bucks were double teaming Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy fought his way out of it. He evaded the brothers and made the hot tag to Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus took out both members of the Young Bucks, then Cole, much to the delight of the crowd. Luchasaurus had the Young Bucks ready for a double chokeslam, but Cole distracted him. Luchasaurus hit them with the tail whip, then choke slammed Cole onto Matt. Luchasaurus followed it up by choke slamming Nick off the ropes onto the mat.
The match broke down from here as Christian was caught with a superkick, then Jungle Boy was taken out in the reign by the Bucks. Jungle Boy a combo on both Bucks as Christian came off the top with a flying headbutt for a two count. Jungle Boy locked in the Snare Trap on Matt as Doc Gallows got on the apron to distract him. Jungle Boy took the bait but was hit with a kick by Matt. Jungle fired back with a huge clothesline.
Luchasaurus was tagged in, as was Cole. The match broke down yet again with everyone in the ring. Cole was hit with a headbutt but then nailed Luchasaurus with a kick. The Young Bucks were thrown to the ramp. Jungle Boy hit Matt but was met with a kick by Nick. Christian then speared Nick on the ramp, but Matt hit him with a low blow from behind. Christian was then pushed off the ramp. The Young Bucks took Jungle Boy and threw him off the ramp.
In the ring, Luchasaurus popped up and went to chokeslam Cole. Cole evaded it and hit the Shining Wizard for a two count. Cole went to the middle rope and hit the Panama Sunrise. The Bucks got into the ring and hit the BTE Trigger. Cole finished with the Boom for the win.
WINNERS: The Super Kliq in 14:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Wow, that was fun to watch but tough to follow and type at the same time! The Super Kliq is my new favorite trios team. The crowd was into both teams, but Jurassic Express was perhaps the most over as far as crowd pops went.)
(3) MEN OF THE YEAR (Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page w/Dan Lambert) vs. CHRIS JERICHO & JAKE HAGER
Jericho and Sky started things off for their respective teams. Sky took Jericho down but took too long to enjoy it. Jericho met him with a series of chops to the chest, slammed him to the mat, then flipped off Page on the apron. Hager tagged in. Sky hit a jaw breaker on Hager, then tagged Page. Page ran right into a hip toss by Hager. Hager hit a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count, then tagged in Jericho. Jericho was met with a side kick to the face, which dropped him right to the mat. [c]
Back from break, Hager and Page were outside after Page took Hager out with a shoulder tackle. Sky tagged in and took over where Page left off. Hager tried for the tag, but Sky and Page continued to maintain control. Hager nailed Page with a big clothesline, and both men were down on the mat. Jericho and Sky tagged in. Jericho took Sky down twice, then hit a springboard dropkick on Page who was on the apron. Jericho went to the top and came down with an ax handle slam. Jericho hit the Lionsault for a two count. Hager tagged back in and threw Sky across the ring, then hit the Hager Bomb for a two.
Hager threw Sky in the air, then locked in the ankle lock. Page entered but Jericho locked in the Walls of Jericho. Dan Lambert caused a distraction on the apron. It didn’t work very well, as Hager planted Sky. Jericho flew over the top onto Page. Inside the ring, Hager slammed Sky to the mat, then hit him with a high boot. Lambert grabbed Hager’s leg, which allowed Sky to roll him up for the win.
WINNERS: Men of the Year in 11:00
– After the match, Hager took out Lambert as Junior Dos Santos, Paige VanZant, Austin Vanderburg, and many more MMA athletes came to the ring from the crowd. They surrounded the ring, along with the Men of the Year until they all got in and beat down Jericho and Hager.
(Moynahan’s Take: A solid match with a surprising result, especially since I avoid spoilers as best as possible. The post-match beatdown was very well done, although I admit I’m more familiar with only the names of many of these MMA athletes.)
(4) LUCHA BROTHERS, SANTANA & ORTIZ (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. PRIVATE PARTY & THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/Matt Hardy & The Bunny)
The bell rang as all eight men battled in the ring. Lucha Bros. hit Private Party with dual superkicks as Butcher and Blade were then dumped to the outside. Lucha Bros. and Santana/Ortiz then took to the sky and simultaneously flew onto their four opponents. Penta went for an early cover but the Butcher broke up the attempt. The match broke down quickly, with Private Party hitting a double-team DDT on the outside. Inside, Butcher and Blade hit Fenix with a powerbomb.
Matt Hardy was about to cut someone’s hair as Orange Cassidy came to the ring. Jack Evans tried to take Cassidy out but was met with Orange Punch to knock him out cold. [c]
Santana nailed Blade with a cutter. Ortiz came in to help, and the two of them attempted to take out Marq Quen. Quen got the best of them, then tagged in Kassidy, who hit Santana with a stunner. Penta tagged in, nailed Kassidy with a kick to the face then landed a backbreaker. Butcher was in next, but Penta met him with a kick to the hamstrings. Butcher hit a sloppy cross-body, then caught Fenix coming off the top. Fenix took Butcher out with a kick, but the Blade came in and took him out with a clothesline.
Quen went for a shooting star press but landed on his feet. Penta hit him with a sling blade. Fenix and Penta hit him with Fear Factor, then Santa and Ortiz hit the Street sweeper for the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Brothers & Santana & Ortiz in 12:00
– Backstage, Tony Schiavone was with Matt Hardy and Jack Evans. Hardy talked about The Bunny’s upcoming match tonight. He then turned his attention to Orange Cassidy, who he said kept sticking his nose in his business. Hardy then challenged Cassidy to a hair vs. hair match but said Cassidy would be going up against Jack Evans. [c]
(Moynahan’s Take: This match was bonkers. I thought the Trios match earlier in the night broke down quickly, but this one started off that way and never really regained order. If my match notes are difficult to follow, I apologize, but also recommend you simply watch this one! The post-match interview with Hardy challenging Cassidy to hair vs. hair was not surprising, but having Jack Evans be the one to face Cassidy certainly was a little swerve I initially didn’t see coming.)
– Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol came to the stage. They had cue cards with them but were quickly attacked from behind by Miro. Miro was about to throw Del Sol until Sammy hit him from behind. Miro re-took the advantage and took out Sammy. Del Sol tried to fight back but again Miro threw him down, then tossed him off the ramp onto a table. Miro then locked Sammy in the Game Over.
– Andrade was shown backstage. He spoke about Chavo and said what he did by interfering in his match was unacceptable. Andrade said he would beat PAC clean next time.
(Moynahan’s Take: I love this simple and effective build up to next week’s TNT Championship match, and a good way to get Sammy and Miro on tonight’s show and in front of this crowd. Oh, and another Andrade/PAC match? Hmm, yes please!)
(5) ANNA JAY vs. PENELOPE FORD
Ford made her way to the ring, but Jay cut her off on the ramp and took her down. In the ring, Ford was able to gain her composure until Jay threw her back over the rope and onto the floor. Jay threw Ford back inside, then charged in hard with a few back elbows. Jay locked in the Queen Slayer. Ford tried escaping until the Bunny made her way to the ramp. Jay turned her back to Ford who hung Jay across the top rope then kicked her on the side of the head. [c]
Jay and Ford traded shots in the middle of the ring. Jay locked in the Queen’s Slayer again but Ford backed Jay into the corner to break it. Bunny got on the apron again and threw the brass knuckles to Ford, who knocked out Jay and picked up the win.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 7:00
– After the match, Ford and Bunny continued to beat down Jay until Tay Conti hit the ring. Ford and Bunny were able to get the upper hand on Conti as well, then nailed her with the brass knuckles. H.F.O. stood in front of the ring as Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander made their way out. The Dark Order, who all seemed to be on the same page again, came out to bolster the ranks. All of them made their way to the ring to drive out the H.F.O. Evil Uno didn’t look ready to mend fences after all and walked away from the group.
(Moynahan’s Take: This was fine but was the victim of a long mid-match commercial.)
– Mark Henry was on split-screen with Suzuki/Archer and Moxley/Kingston. Kingston cut Suzuki off as he was talking, then walked out all fired up and ready to fight. Henry said it was “time for the main event!”
(6) EDDIE KINGSTON & JON MOXLEY vs. MINORU SUZUKI & LANCE ARCHER — Lights Out Match
Archer and Suzuki were out first. Archer took out a few ringside attendants in the process. Suzuki and Archer attacked Kingston and Moxley during their entrance. All four men were outside to start. Suzuki picked up a few chairs and passed one to Moxley as the two stood on the ramp. Suzuki got the upper hand, then turned his attention to Kingston in the ring. Kingston hit a few chops, but Suzuki seemed to absorb them. Suzuki laughed in response, then nailed Kingston with his own series of chops. Kingston took Suzuki down with a back-heel trip, then grabbed a table under the ring.
Kingston set the table up in the corner, then attempted to throw Suzuki into it. Suzuki blocked it then kicked Kingston hard, which rocked him back into the table. Moxley came into the ring but was caught by Archer. Suzuki and Archer took Moxley out. Archer went back over to the ring attendants from earlier and took them all out again. He set all of them up on the floor, then went back over to Moxley on the apron and choke slammed him onto the ring attendants.
Archer pulled a leather strap from under the ring. Inside, Moxley and Suzuki were going at it until Suzuki put the rear choke on Moxley. Archer hung Moxley over the top rope as he wrapped Moxley’s neck with the strap. [c]
Back from the commercial, Moxley’s hands were shown duct taped behind his back. Archer nailed Moxley with the leather strap, then handed it to Suzuki, who hit him as well. Suzuki locked in a single-leg crab but released it quickly. Archer hit Moxley with a trash can lid. Kingston tried battling Archer outside but was cut off. Inside, Suzuki had a kendo stick. Archer slammed Moxley to the mat as he and Suzuki were manhandling Moxley. Archer held Moxley for Suzuki, who punched Moxley in the face then bit his forehead.
Archer hit Moxley with the kendo stick. The crowd chanted “Eddie” as Kingston was trying to get to his feet on the outside. Moxley moved away from a charging Archer, but Suzuki met him and bit him again. Kingston came back in and chopped away at Archer to no effect. Kingston poked Archer’s eyes, which seemed to work, then chopped away at him in the corner. Suzuki, from behind, locked in the rear choke, then Archer followed up with a sidewalk slam. Moxley and Kingston were out as Suzuki and Archer had complete control.
Suzuki set up a few chairs in the ring. Archer went for his finish but was distracted by Homicide’s music, who then hit the ring and took out Archer and Suzuki with a chair. Homicide helped Moxley escape from the duct tape. Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift on Suzuki. Kingston hit two back fists on Archer. Moxley hit Archer with the Paradigm Shift. Homicide passed a trash can to Kingston, who used it to nail Archer. Kingston put the trash can over Archer, then wailed away at it with the kendo stick. Kingston covered Archer for the win.
WINNERS: Eddie Kingston & Jon Moxley in 15:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was awesome, and I’m so glad these four (and Homicide) were given fifteen minutes to close the show.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: What a show this ended up being. Seeing it on paper is one thing but this was easily the best non “C.M. Punk returns to wrestling after a seven-year hiatus” episode of AEW Rampage to-date. I could find a few nitpicks here and there (the audio perhaps being one) but what’s the point? This was a full two hours of solid in-ring action in front of a huge and raucous crowd who sat there for more than five hours. I usually don’t mention ratings, but I am intrigued to see how this performs. I’m not sure how next week can come close to this show, but until then, stay safe everyone!