For the first time in its short history, AEW Rampage expands to two hours for a special Grand Slam edition of the show that was taped Wednesday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.
CM Punk will have his first non-PPV match in over seven years as he takes on Powerhouse Hobbs. This started coming together after All Out when Taz told Punk to not think about calling out any of Team Taz when looking for his next opponent.
The Super Kliq of The Young Bucks and Adam Cole will team up to face Jurassic Express and Christian Cage. All six men got into it on Wednesday following the Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega match.
In a Lights Out match, Jon Moxley and hometown favorite Eddie Kingston will take on the reunited Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer.
The rest of the show will see Chris Jericho and Jake Hager against the Dan Lambert-led Men of the Year; Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers and Santana & Ortiz against The Butcher & The Blade and Private Party; and Anna Jay against Penelope Ford.
Excalibur, Ricky Starks and Taz were the commentary team for the night (Jericho would be here but he is wrestling later).
CM Punk defeated Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) (13:33)
It’s clobberin’ time for the first time on free TV in seven years, as CM Punk made his return to wrestling on television. Punk started off fast with kicks to Hobbs’s legs and forearms, but Hobbs came back with punches of his own and a rake to the face. Punk responded with a drop toehold and more kicks to the leg. Punk hit a Russian leg sweep and then gave Hook the finger. Punk went for the GTS early, but Hook distracted Punk, Hobbs escaped and crushed Punk with a crossbody for a near fall.
Hobbs slowed the pace down with a chinlock and forearms. Hobbs literally whipped Punk from pillar to post. Punk slid out of a suplex attempt and got a near fall with an O’Conner roll, and Hobbs responded with a pounce-style bodyblock for another near fall. Hobbs then stole the Mark Henry spot where, while his opponent was prone on the ropes, Hobbs jumped on their back and basically through the opponent to the floor. This led to a quick in-picture ad break.
Back from the break, Hobbs punished Punk with a bearhug. Punk broke the hold with right hands, and caught Hobbs with a leg lariat and a swinging neckbreaker to regain the momentum. Punk hit the charging knee in the corner and short-arm clothesline. Punk then dropped a top rope elbow for a near fall. The crowed chanted “You still got it!” for Punk.
Punk went for the GTS, but Hobbs counted it and maneuvered Punk into a spinebuster for a near fall. Hobbs picked up Punk for the Town Business, but Punk slid through and locked in a sleeper. Hobbs started to fade, but he turned into Punk and dropped him with a back suplex. Hobbs hit a stampede powerslam, but it only got two. Hobbs went to the middle rope, and made the mistake of doing the GTS taunt, which gave Punk the time to recover and hit some forearms. Punk went for a hurricanrana off the top, and although Hobbs tried to block it, Punk powered Hobbs over and hit the move. This got another near fall.
Punk went for the cross arm breaker, and then switched over into a triangle choke, but Hobbs powered up and powerbombed Punk for two. Hobbs and Punk began exchanging forearms in the ring. Punk got the advantage and landed a roundhouse kick to knock down Hobbs. Hook got up on the apron a second time, and Punk went to confront him. Hobbs charged at Punk, Punk ducked, and Hobbs collided with Hook, sending him to the mat. Punk then hit the GTS on Hobbs and got the pinfall. Great match!
- Quick recap of Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose and Jade Cargill feud and fallout from the All Out Casino Battle Royal. Sounded like it's leading to a three way match.
Adam Cole & The Young Bucks (w/ Brandon Cutler & Luke Gallows) defeated Christian Cage & Jurassic Express (w/ Marko Stunt) (10:56 aired)
Don Callis came out with the Bucks, then joined the crowded commentary desk for this match. The Bucks and Cole are officially known again as “The Superkliq '' and made their AEW Trios debut tonight. Man does this company need trios titles.
Cole teased starting out with Cage, then immediately tagged out to Matt Jackson. Christian dominated Matt early and got a near fall with a back elbow off the middle rope. Jungle Boy got the tag and he and Christian double-teamed the Bucks. Matt hit Jungle Boy with a double chop to the throat. The Bucks tried to double team Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy was able to get the advantage and send both Bucks out to the floor.
Jungle Boy began to stare down Cole, and he chased Cole to the floor and around the ring. Jungle Boy turned the corner and ran right into a double superkick from the Bucks. Back in the ring, Cole held Jungle Boy in a chinlock while the Bucks ran the ropes. They both stopped to give Cole a kiss on the cheek, then superkicked Jungle Boy as the show went to a break.
Back from the break, Jungle Boy escaped the Bucks and got the tag to Luchasaurus. Luchasarus went for a double chokeslam on both Bucks, but Cole broke that up. Luchasarus then chokeslammed Cole on top of one of the Bucks. Luchasarus then grabbed Nick Jackson on the top rope and chokeslammed him for a near fall. Luchasuarus had him by the throat for the cover, but terrible referee Rick Knox didn't notice.
The match broke down. Cole and one of the Bucks hit a double superkick on Luchasarus. The Bucks went for More Bnag for Your Buck on Jungle Boy, but he took Nick down with a top rope hurricanrana, German suplexed Matt and Christian flew in with a flying headbutt and Jungle Boy got a near fall. JB went for the snare trap on Matt, but Luke Gallows distracted him to break that up.
Tags were made on both side to Luchasaurus and Cole, but soon all six men were in the ring and it was pure chaos. Cole and Luchasaurus knocked each other out with pump kicks. The Bucks, Christian and Jungle Boy all fought on the ramp. Matt Jackson low blowed Christian and threw him off the ramp to the floor. Then The Bucks dumped Christian to the floor as well.
Back in the ring, Cole hit a shining wizard on Luchasaurus for a near fall. Cole then hit the Panama Sunrise on Luchasaurus, The Bucks hit the BTE trigger, and Cole lowered the boom to get the three count.
After the match, Adam Cole and Jungle Boy stared each other down.
The Men of the Year (w/ Dan Lambert) defeated Chris Jericho & Jake Hager (10:48 aired)
Even Taz shuts up on commentary so we can hear the 20,000 fans in the stadium. Ricky Starks points out that the song the fans are singing is about Chris Jericho turning on the fans!
Jericho and Scorpio Sky (who is the first man to pin Jericho in an AEW ring) start out, and Jericho battered him with chops and a back suplex. Jericho flipped off Page on the apron, then battered Sky in the corner with a series of clotheslines. Hager got the tag, fell victim to a jawbreaker, and Page was able to get the tag. Page was immediately hip-tossed by Hager. Hager followed up with a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Jericho got the tag and Page kicked Jericho’s head off. The show goes to a picture in picture break while the Men of the Year are dominating Jericho.
During the picture-in-picture, Hager got the tag and ran wild on Page and Sky until Page tripped up Hager on the apron, then flew off the apron to the floor with a shoulder tackle. Back in the ring, Sky wore down Hager with a chinlock. Sky hit a chop block on Hager’s knee. Hager came back with a clothesline on Page. Jericho and Sky got the hot tags, and Jericho hit a springboard dropkick to knock Page off the apron, then dropped Sky with a fist off the top rope. Jericho hit the Lionsault for a near fall. Hager tagged in a hit a huge beel and a Hager bomb for a near fall. Hager got the ankle lock on Sky, and Jericho locked in the Walls of Jericho, and that’s the end of the first hour!
Hour 2 saw Lamberg get on the apron to distract the babyfaces and break up the submission holds. Hager ran the ropes and Lambert tripped him up, and this allowed Sky to roll up Hager with a small package to get the pin!
After match, Hager took out the Men of the Year, Jericho and Hager got their hands on Lambert. Then, emerging from the crowd were the members of America’s top team. Junior Dos Santos, Paige Van Zant, and Austin Vanderford, Andre Arlovski and Dalton Rosta and Jorge Masvidal surrounded the ring. They all attacked Jericho and Hager. Paige Van Zant worked over Jericho with brass knuckle punches to the gut, and then Jorge Masvidal hit a running knee to Jericho’s head, which took him out and busted him open. Great angle.
Lucha Bros & Santana & Ortiz (w/ Alex Abrahantes) defeated Private Party & The Butcher & The Blade (w/ Matt Hardy & Jack Evans) (5:55 aired)
Crazy brawl to start, that ended with all of the HFO on the floor and all of the babyfaces hitting crazy over the top dives to the floor on their opponents. Penta and Ortiz then combine for a double team splash on Blade for a near fall. Lots of insane double teams in and out of the ring. Private Party hit Ortiz with a crazy flippling DDT on the floor. Hardy then threatened to cut the hair of Ortiz. This brought out Orange Cassidy. Jack Evans tried to cut him off at the aisle, but ate the orange punch. The show went to another quick break.
Back from break, Santana and Ortiz double teamed Blade. Private Party got the tag in and Kassidy hit a crazy neckbreaker/Stunner on Santana. Penta got the tag in and took out Kassidy. Butcher came in and took out Penta. Fenix hit the hook kick on Butcher, then got a pump kick from Blade. Blade followed up with a flying clothesline and both guys were down.
Quen went for the shooting star press on Santana, but Santana avoided it and the Lucha Bros hit the Fear Factor on Quen. Satnana and Ortiz followed up with the street sweeper and Santana got the pin on Quen. This was insanity.
- Post match, Tony Schivone interviewed Matt Hardy, who challenged Orange Cassidy to a hair v. hair match… on behalf of Jack Evans. "You better win, Jack." Jack looked less than enthused about this.
- Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol came out on the stage to do Sammy's gimmick with the signs/cue cards, but Miro attacked. Guevara got destoryed and Del Sol was beeled off the stage and through some tables on the floor. Miro then locked in the game over on Guevara. "The Next TNT Champ." That card was torn up by Miro.
- Video package with Andrade El Idolo. He challenges Pac again, this time without Chavo so Pac won't have an excuse for losing.
Penelope Ford defeated Anna Jay (3:07 aired)
Jay attacked Ford on the entrance ramp before the bell. Ford briefly got the advantage in the ring, but Jay dumped Ford to the floor and whipped her into the post and barricade around ringside. Back in the ring, Jay continued to dominate and went for the sleeper. The Bunny came down the ramp and distracted Jay, causing her to break the hold. This distraction gave Ford the advantage. Ford choked Jay on the ropes and the show went to a break.
Back from break, Ford and Jay were exchanging slaps. Jay went for the sleeper again, but Ford broke it by backing Jay into the corner. Bunny jumped up on the apron to distract the ref, and at the same time throw brass knucks to Ford. Ford hit Jay with knux and got the pin.
Post match, Ford and Bunny beat down Jay, and Tay Conti ran in and tried to make the save. She got a brief advantage on Ford, but Bunny stomped her back and Ford knocked out Jay with the knuckles.
The Hardy Family Office came out to keep anyone from making the save, and they stood with their backs to the ring. Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander came out, and were backed up by the Dark Order. All of the Dark Order. This 12 on 5 advantage for the babyfaces sent the HFO packing.
In the ring, Alex Reynolds and Preston Vance tried to apologize to Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, but Stu and Uno left, along with Colt Cabana. Although Cabana looked more confused than committed to leaving with the other two. Nonetheless, the divide within the Dark Order continues.
Update for Wednesday’s Dynamite: Jungle Boy v. Adam Cole, and Penelope Ford & The Bunny v. Anna Jay & Tay Conti. For next Friday’s Rampage: Orange Cassidy v. Jack Evans in the hair versus hair match.
- Face to face, Mark Henry interviewed Suzuki Gun and Moxley and Kingston. This broke down quickly. Archer thought things were unfair in Cincinnati, but New York is Kingston’s town!
Lil Uzi Vert was enjoying himself in the crowd. If that means anything to you, you are probably much younger than me.
The lights went out to signify the end of the official card and it’s time for the Lights Out Match.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston defeated Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki in a Lights Out Match (11:44 aired)
They started Kaze Ni Nare in the middle of song to make sure the crowd got to sing along. We have about 16 minutes of TV time remaining.
Archer brought out some plunder to the ring. The brawl started on the floor. Moxley paired off with Suzuki and Kingston with Archer. Suzuki and Moxley dueled with chairs on the entrance ramp. Suzuki and Kingston then paired off in the ring and there was a massive chant for Eddie. Kingston hit a chop and Suzuki laughed it off before responding with chops of his own. Kingston tooked Suzuki down and brought a table in the ring. Suzuki booted Kingston through the table, taking him out for a bit. Moxley and Archer in the ring, and Archer took Moxley down with a boot.
Archer dropped to the floor and found four AEW young boys to beat up. Like, where did they even come from? Archer then chokeslammed Moxley from the ring apron to the pile of AEW young boys (the commentators called them “ring attendants”) on the floor.
Archer found a strap under the ring. Back in the ring, Moxley and Suzuki exchanged forearms, then Archer hung Moxley with the strap. The show went to its last commercial break.
Back from break, Archer and Suzuki have taped Moxley’s arms behind his back with duct tape, and they whipped Moxley with the leather strap. Did Kingston go to get concessions or something? He’s been gone forever, and I heard lines were bad. Anyway, Suzuki worked over Moxley with a single crab, and then Archer beat him about with a trash can lid. Kingston finally came around but Archer cut him off on the floor.
Suzuki and Archer kept working over Moxley in the ring. Moxley made the mistake of spitting in Suzuki’s face, so he punched him and tried to bite his head off. Literally. Moxley couldn't defend himself because his hands were still taped up. And just as I typed that, Moxley tried to go on offense with headbutts. Kingston finally made it back in the ring and took down Suzuki with an enziguri, then stunned Archer with an eyepoke and the machine gun chops. Kingston hit an exploder on Archer, but Suzuki got him in the sleeper, and Archer followed up with a helicopter black hole slam.
Suzuki set up chairs in the ring, and Archer set up Kingston for a black hole slam. Before Archer could hit the move, unfamiliar music played and the name Homicide was displayed on the ramp. “The baddest wrestler to ever come out of New York,” (according to Excalibur) Homicide ran in from the crowd and attacked the heels, then cut Moxley free. This allowed Moxley and Kingston to come back. Moxley hit a DDT on Archer. Kingston put a trash can on Archer’s head, then beat the can with a kendo stick for a full 30-40 seconds. Kingston then got the pin.
Homicide is apparently in All Elite Wrestling, and Kingston, Moxley, and Homicide celebrated to end the show.
Great night of wrestling. This show + Dynamite would be a strong contender for pay-per-view of the year. Go watch all this.