Date: September 24, 2021
Location: Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium, New York City, New York
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks
It’s the second half of AEW’s New York Adventures and that’s not a bad thing. This week’s Dynamite was huge and this is the biggest Rampage to date, clocking in at two hours instead of the usual one. I’m not sure what that is going to mean, but odds are it’s going to be fun. Let’s get to it.
CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Hook is here with Hobbs. Punk, in trunks for a change, goes after Hobbs to start but a single shot sends him down on the ropes. Hobbs plants him down and we hit the neck crank to keep Punk in trouble. Punk’s comeback includes a knee to the ribs but Hobbs runs him over again and seems to be toying with him so far. A running crotch attack on the ropes hits Punk and we take an early break.
Back with Punk fighting out of a bearhug and striking away, including a running shot to the face to put Hobbs down. The top rope elbow gets two (and has Team Taz freaking out on commentary) but the GTS is countered. Hobbs plants him with a spinebuster for two more and then drops Punk again to cut off a comeback.
The Oakland Stampede gives Hobbs two more but Punk catches him top top. A super hurricanrana gives Punk two off the big crash. Punk’s cross armbreaker is countered into a powerbomb and it’s time to slug it out. Hook gets up for a distraction but Punk sends Hobbs into him, setting up the GTS for the pin at 13:35.
Rating: C+. Hobbs got a lot in this and that’s the reason you put him in there with someone like Punk. They had a good fight here and Punk survived, likely setting up the big match with Ricky Starks down the line. The Team Taz feud gives Punk a chance to shake off some rust and that’s the right idea, without burning through some big matches.
Thunder Rosa isn’t scared of Jade Cargill or Nyla Rose and fights on her own.
Superkliq vs. Christian Cage/Jurassic Express
Don Callis is on commentary and a lot of the Elite is here too. Christian takes Matt down to start as Callis takes shots at the “Stanford Supermax.” Matt comes in and gets taken down as well with Jungle Boy adding the running kick to the face. Cole runs away from Jungle but the Bucks take over on Jungle’s arm. Everything breaks down and the chase is on outside, with Jungle charging into a double superkick. Jungle is brought back inside for a double dropkick and we take a break.
Back with Jungle not being able to get away for the hot tag until he sends the Bucks into each other. That’s enough for the hot tag off to Luchasaurus to clean house, including the big Tail Whip. Matt head fakes Jungle to plant him with a DDT but More Bang For Your Buck is broken up. The Snare Trap has Matt in trouble until a save is made.
A running clothesline drops Matt and everything breaks down again. The brawl heads to the ramp, where Matt hits Christian low and throws him off the stage. That leaves Cole to hit a Shining Wizard on Luchasaurus, followed by the Panama Sunrise. The Bucks are back in for the BTE Trigger into the Boom (Last Shot) for the pin at 14:38.
Rating: B-. This was the all action match that it should have been and Cole getting the pin is the right way to go. As little as I need to see a subset in the Elite, Cole getting pushed is the right idea for now. He has the spark at the moment and it makes sense to go with him. It’s not like the Bucks need to win anything right now anyway.
Men of the Year vs. Chris Jericho/Jake Hager
Dan Lambert is here with the Men of the Year. Jericho and Sky start things off but it’s quickly off to Hager to pummel Page in the corner. Like a good veteran, Jericho gets in some choking in the corner, allowing Hager to get one off a belly to belly. Jericho comes back in but gets taken into the wrong corner as we go to a break.
Back with Hager in trouble for a change but he manages a running shot to the face to get a breather. The hot tag brings in Jericho to face Sky, plus a triangle dropkick to Page. The top rope ax handle drops Sky and the Lionsault is good for two. Everything breaks down and it’s an ankle lock to Page and the Walls to Sky as we take a break…and come back a second later to officially start the second hour. Both holds are broken and Jericho slingshot dives onto Page. Lambert trips Hager though and Sky grabs a small package for the pin at 11:01.
Rating: C+. Another perfectly fine match as Lambert and company get to run their mouths some more. That’s why you have someone like him around and it should work out when someone finally shuts him up. The Men of the Year aren’t the most thrilling team, but at least they’re getting to do something else.
Post match Jericho and Hager go after Lambert but a bunch of MMA guys come out to surround the ring. The big beatdown is on, including Paige VanZandt getting in some shots to Jericho’s ribs. A running knee leaves Jericho laying.
Lucha Bros/Santana/Ortiz vs. Hardy Family Office
Butcher and the Blade/Private Party for the Office here as this company continues to love itself some tag matches. The good guys start fast and send the Office outside for the huge quadruple dive (that was awesome). Back in and it’s another big brawl with the Office taking over for a change. Matt Hardy loads up some scissors but here is Orange Cassidy to cut things off.
Cassidy takes out Jack Evans and we take a break. Back with Fenix handing it off to Ortiz to clean house. Penta hits a torture rack backbreaker onto Quen and kicks Butcher in the leg for a bonus. Back in and Fenix kicks Butcher in the face but Blade kicks him in the face to even things up. Quen misses his shooting star though and Penta hits the Sling Blade. The spike Fear Factor hits Quen and the Street Sweeper is enough for the pin at 9:43.
Rating: B-. What we got was fun and there were all kinds of high spots, with that four way dive looking great. You don’t watch a match like this to have people stand out and there is nothing wrong with that. Santana and Ortiz getting the hometown win is a good thing, though the show is running very heavy on tags so far.
Matt Hardy isn’t happy with Orange Cassidy and he’s going to watch Penelope Ford beat Anna Jay to make himself feel better. As for Cassidy though, he’s issuing the challenge for a hair vs. hair match. If Cassidy has the guts, he can put his hair on the line against….Jack Evans. Matt to Evans: “YOU BETTER WIN!”
Sammy Guevara and Fuego del Sol come out for Sammy’s cue card deal but Miro jumps both of them and the beatdown is on. Fuego is tossed HARD off the stage and Game Over leaves Sammy down.
Andrade doesn’t like someone interfering in his matches like Chavo Guerrero did. Now he wants to beat Pac with no interference.
Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford
Jay jumps her on the ramp to start fast and the low bridges Ford outside. Back in and a hook kick drops Ford and sets up a choke but here is the Bunny for a distraction. Ford drapes her over the top and kicks her out to the ramp as the beating begins. We take a break and come back with a slugout but the Bunny throws in the brass knuckles to knock Jay out for the pin at 6:48.
Rating: C-. This was a quick one and it didn’t get to showcase much. Jay continues to feel like a star but this is mainly going to be about Tay Conti at the end of the day. They’re a good team together and have done rather well so far. I could see either of them getting a nice push out of this feud, once they get to the big blowoff tag match.
Post match the beatdown is on so here is Tay Conti for the save, only to get dropped with the knuckles as well. The Hardy Family Office comes out to stand tall but here are Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander, with the Dark Order joining them, giving us about fifteen people in one segment. The Dark Order clears the ring but Stu Grayson and Evil Uno walk away.
We get the face to face showdown between Lance Archer/Minoru Suzuki and Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston. They want to fight so Mark Henry hits the catchphrase to get us out in a hurry.
Lance Archer/Minoru Suzuki vs. Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston
Lights out, meaning anything goes. Suzuki and Archer jump them to start with Suzuki and Moxley having their chair duel on the ramp. With that broken up, Suzuki and Kingston go inside to chop it out, with Suzuki laughing a lot. Kingston sweeps the leg and grabs a table. That goes badly as Suzuki kicks Kingston through the table in the corner but Moxley is back in to forearm Archer.
That’s broken up and Archer chokeslams Moxley off the apron onto a pile of people outside. It doesn’t last long as Moxley and Suzuki slug it out inside until Archer puts a belt around Moxley’s throat for a hanging. We take a break and come back with Moxley’s hands duct taped behind his back so Archer can get in another whip with the belt. Suzuki grabs a half crab but legs it go for no apparent reason. Archer holds Moxley in place so Suzuki can hit/bite him.
Moxley avoids a charge in the corner though and Kingston, with his left arm hanging, comes in to clean house. A poke to the eye sets up some machine gun chops to stagger Archer in the corner. That’s broken up and some chairs are set back to back. Archer loads up the Blackout but here is Homicide of all people to clean house with a chair. Some spinning backfists and the Paradigm Shift from a freed Moxley put Archer down, but Kingston puts him in a trashcan instead of covering. A bunch of kendo stick shots to the trashcan knock Archer silly for the pin at 15:10.
Rating: C. I couldn’t get into this one as it felt like a long segment at times, especially with the Moxley beating going on for the better part of ever. It also doesn’t exactly make Moxley and Kingston look that great to need someone to come in and save them, but that was more for the live crowd than anything else. Pretty good brawl, but it wasn’t exactly anything that kept my interest.
The long celebration ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. There were a crazy amount of people on this show and a lot of tag matches, but it felt like a special show instead of another run of the mill edition. Nothing was bad and the big Punk match felt like it mattered. As long as this is a one off two hour edition, they’re going to be fine, as this was basically Dynamite II for the week. It absolutely does not need to be this long every week, but for a one time special, it worked well enough.
CM Punk b. Powerhouse Hobbs – GTS
Superkliq b. Christian Cage/Jurassic Express – Boom to Luchasaurus
Men of the Year b. Chris Jericho/Jake Hager – Small package to Hager
Santana/Ortiz/Lucha Bros b. Hardy Family Office – Street Sweeper to Marq Quen
Penelope Ford b. Anna Jay – Brass knuckles
Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston b. Minoru Suzuki/Lance Archer – Kendo stick to Archer
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