10/8 AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT: C.M. Punk vs. Danny Garcia, Starks vs. Brian Cage for FTW belt, Lucha Brothers vs. Acclaimed for AEW Tag Titles

By Patrick Moynahan, PWTorch contributor


OCTOBER 8, 2021

Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho

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 Taz and Chris Jericho.

– Mark Henry was on split-screen with Daniel Garcia and 2.0 on one side, and C.M. Punk on the other side. They discussed tonight’s opening match between Punk and Garcia with 2.0 and Garcia calling out Punk for leaving wrestling seven years ago. Henry asked Punk what his approach tonight was. Punk said 23-year-old Punk wouldn’t be hanging out with the “Nasty Boys’ little brothers.”

(1) C.M. PUNK vs. DANIEL GARCIA (w/2.0)

Punk was sporting the longer tights again, the same ones he wore in his match against Darby Allin at All Out. Garcia and Punk locked up in a test of strength with Punk getting the upper hand. Punk took Garcia down with a shoulder tackle, which drove Garcia into the corner. Punk locked in a heel hook, but Garcia broke it by reaching the ropes. Garcia drove Punk into the corner and landed a chop, but Punk slapped him hard in return, then slammed Garcia to the mat a couple of times.

Garcia nailed Punk from the back, then stomped him in the corner. Garcia charged in but Punk landed an elbow to the face. 2.0 caused a distraction, then pulled Punk to the corner and worked his knee against the post. [c]

Garcia was still focusing on Punk’s legs in the middle of the ring. Punk fought out of it, but Garcia was able to take Punk back to the mat, then sat down across his knee. Punk again tried making a comeback, but Garcia again was able to hook his leg and work it over. Punk went for a suplex, but Garcia ducked out of it and attacked Punk’s knee from behind. Garcia had Punk in the corner, then tried to charge in, but Punk moved, and Garcia was rocked to the mat.

Punk landed a knee strike to Garcia’s face. Garcia got back up and chopped Punk. The two went back-and-forth as the crowd cheered for Punk and booed Garcia. Punk won the battle by hitting Garcia with a roundhouse kick to the face. Garcia kicked out of a pin attempt at two. Punk was favoring his leg but was able to nail Garcia with a leg lariat, then a neck breaker. Punk hit Garcia with a rising knee strike in the corner, but Garcia came right back and dropped Punk with a back suplex.

Punk hit Garcia with a short-arm clothesline, then hit the Pepsi Twist for a two count. The crowd chanted for Punk as he signaled for the GTS. Garcia evaded and rolled Punk into a Sharpshooter. Garcia accidentally collided with each member of 2.0. all three men were outside, and Punk flew off the top rope onto all of them. Punk threw Garcia back into the ring and came off the rope with a springboard clothesline. Punk hit a piledriver then locked in the Anaconda Vice for the tap out win.

WINNER: C.M. Punk in 14:00

(Moynahan’s Take: I was in attendance for this event, and although I couldn’t stay for all of Rampage, I was able to watch this match in its entirety. I can say that Punk was very over in Philly, even after appearing on Dynamite earlier in the night. Again, in-person I felt this match dragged in certain spots but was overall a very solid bout. Seeing it back on TV, this match came off much better. I can’t believe Garcia is only 23. He and Punk matched up well here.)

– Tony Schiavone was backstage with Lio Rush, Matt Sydal, and Dante Martin. Sydal called Rush a junk bond salesman, which ticked him off. Rush said what he has with Dante is real and says Sydal needs to prove his value. He said he’d get him a match with C.M. Punk next week on Rampage. [c]

(2) LUCHA BROS. (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. THE ACCLAIMED – AEW Tag Team Championship

The Acclaimed made their way to the ring. Max Caster mentioned Ben Simmons during his rap, which riled up the crowd. The Acclaimed attacked the Lucha Bros. from behind before the bell sounded. Caster and Fenix started things off, but Penta made a quick tag and helped Fenix take out both members of the Acclaimed. The Acclaimed bailed to the outside as Penta and Fenix were about to follow. Caster grabbed Penta’s boot, so Fenix went alone but was met with the boombox to the face.

Inside the ring, Penta tried to hit a backstabber on Caster, but Caster got away from it and hit Penta with a Fisherman’s suplex. Penta was double-teamed by the Acclaimed. Penta fought back against both Caster and Bowens and was finally able to tag Fenix back in. Fenix landed several kicks on Bowens, then hit Caster with a spinning back kick. Fenix followed it up with a cutter on Bowens for a two count. Bowens countered a back elbow by Fenix. All four men hit the ring. Fenix hit a double cutter on both Bowens and Caster. All four men laid on the mat.

Bowens raked Fenix’s eyes, then nailed him with an elbow to the face. Bowens followed it up by slamming Fenix to the mat. Penta knocked Caster off the top rope, then flew onto Bowens who was held by Fenix. Lucha Brothers hit their finisher on Bowens for the win.

WINNERS: Lucha Bros. in 6:00

(Moynahan’s Take: I ended up leaving Rampage at the start of this one but was present to hear a very anti-Ben Simmons chant that did not seem to come off on TV. This was, surprisingly, perhaps the most negative thing the Philly fans chanted all night. Oh, yes, the match was good. I almost forgot this was a title shot for The Acclaimed. How did they earn one again?)

– A recap from Wednesday’s Casino Ladder match aired.

– A recap of the unveiling of the new TBS Championship aired. Ruby Soho, Thunder Rosa, and Jade Cargill were some of the women shown talking about the new title.

– Mark Sterling and Jade Cargill were backstage talking about Cargill’s match with Sky Blue.

(3) JADE CARGILL (w/Mark Sterling) vs. SKYE BLUE

Blue nailed Cargill but Cargill caught her in a fall away slam. Blue raised her foot as Cargill changed in. Cargill, however, nailed Blue with a pump kick to the face. Blue tried fighting back, but Cargill caught her again and hit Jaded for the win.

WINNER: Jade Cargill in 1:00

– After the match Cargill kept stomping away at Blue as Thunder Rosa’s music hit. Rosa came to the ring with a chair to drive Cargill away.

(Moynahan’s Take: Total squash, which it should have been. Nothing more to say here.)

– Matches for next week’s Rampage were shown. They included C.M. Punk vs Matt Sydal, Ruby Soho vs. The Bunny, and The Men of Year and Junior Dos Santos vs. The Inner Circle.

– Next week’s special Dynamite, airing on Saturday October 16, was also mentioned. Dante Martin will face Malakai Black, Lucha Bros. will defend the AAA Tag Team Titles against a masked team of Andrade El Idolo, Bryan Danielson will face Bobby Fish, and it was announced that the World Title Eliminator Tournament will be returning, with the finals taking place at Full Gear.

– Mark Henry was shown again on split-screen. Starks, Hobbs, and Hook were shown together. Starks said he would whoop Cage’s ass. Cage said it was a long time coming and Starks hasn’t proven anything. Cage said tonight Starks would find out nobody was better than he was, especially not Ricky Starks.

(4) BRIAN CAGE vs. RICKY STARKS – Philly Street Fight for the FTW Championship

Starks entered the ring with a chair, but Cage picked him up and threw him into the corner. Cage hit a over the head belly-to-belly suplex then picked up a chair. Cage nailed Starks across the back with the chair a few times. Starks bailed to the outside and Cage followed behind. Starks was thrown into the first row, then Cage threw Starks into the metal barrier.

Cage threw Starks into the ring, then pulled a trash can filled with other weapons out from under it. Starks rolled away from Cage, picked up a pool cue, then nailed Cage with it. Starks hit Cage with a tornado DDT. [c]

Cage attempted a move, but Starks countered with a forearm shot. Starks picked up a chain and hit Cage across the face. Starks followed it up by using a trash can lid to leg drop Cage. Starks charged in but Cage rocked him in the jaw with a thrust kick. Cage leveled starks with a trash can over the head, which got the crowd going. Cage slammed Starks stomach-first across the trash can but Starks kicked out at two.

Hook hit the ring with the FTW title. Cage ducked and took out Hook. Hobbs then hit the ring and Cage took him out as well. Starks nailed Cage from behind with the belt, then hit a spear. Cage was able to kick out at two, which riled up Starks. Cage got to his feet as Starks went for another spear. Cage moved and Starks rammed right into a chair that was set up in the corner. Cage hit a rolling clothesline for a two count. Cage nailed Hobbs who was on the apron. He went for a suplex on Hobbs but Hook low-blowed Cage which allowed a bloody Starks to the Roshambo for the win.

WINNER: Ricky Starks in 11:00

(Moynahan’s Take: A good street fight, which was hurt by a long commercial break in the middle. The two work well together but can we please be done with this feud now?)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish I could have stayed longer on Wednesday when this was initially filmed to see this show in full, but it came off well on TV, and ended up being a solid episode of Rampage. I will say, while I was there at the start of this show, the crowd did remain hot, so there didn’t seem to be a case of a tired audience. Overall, being there live for Dynamite and Rampage was an awesome experience and I’m very much looking forward to the next opportunity to go back. Back to tonight’s show, aside from the in-ring action, I liked the hype for next week’s Rampage, and even more so for next Saturday’s Dynamite which will include the unveiling of the full bracket for the upcoming World Title Eliminator Tournament. Until next week, stay safe everyone!

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