CM Punk returns to AEW Rampage Friday night for a one-on-one battle with Daniel Garcia.
The match was made Wednesday during a promo where Punk challenged Garcia. They have had run-ins in the past as part of the Darby Allin/Sting/2point0 storyline.
That is just one of four matches on this week's show as the Lucha Bros put the Tag Team titles on the line against The Acclaimed. Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix will be looking for the second defense of the gold they won at All Out from The Young Bucks while Max Caster and Anthony Bowens will look to extend their long winning streak.
A Philadelphia street fight will also be part of the show as FTW Champion Ricky Starks will defend against Brian Cage. This was also set up Wednesday as Cage laid Starks out after the champion did a in-ring promo claiming the former champion wasn't there.
Jade Cargill will look to keep her undefeated streak alive as she takes on Skye Blue. Both women are looking ahead to the TBS Title tournament that starts in 2022.
Friday's show was taped after Dynamite in Philadelphia.
Excalibur, Chris Jericho and Taz are on commentary.
We lead off with 2point0 & Daniel Garcia and CM Punk in the "face to face" promo, moderated by Mark Henry. Punk called 2point0 "the Nasty Boys little brothers."
CM Punk defeated Daniel Garcia (w/ 2point0) (14:05)
A recap of Garcia and 2point0 beating down Punk in Chicago was shown before the match. Punk was wearing long tights which is not the look I'm used to for him.
Crowd was massively behind Punk tonight. Punk with some nice mat work early. Punk got a heel hook off a single leg takedown, and Garcia had to force the break by grabbing the ropes. Garcia hit a hard chop on Punk in the corner, so Punk slapped Garcia and slammed him hard to the mat. Twice. Garcia slid out of a third slam attempt and hit Punk with an elbow to the back. Punk went for the GTS, but Garcia escaped with some help from 2point0. The 2point0 guys worked over Punk’s legs behind the ref’s back as the show went to a 90 second picture-in-picture ad break.
Back from the break, Garcia continued to work over Punk’s legs. The crowd got behind CM Punk as he started to make a comeback, but when Punk went for a kick Garcia cut off his comeback with another attack to his right leg. Punk went for a vertical suplex, but Garcia slid out of the move and clipped Punk in the back of the knee. Garcia went for a charging dropkick in the corner, but Punk dropped out of the way. Garcia went to attack the leg again, but Punk caught him with a knee strike. Punk hit a bionic elbow like another dude from Chicago sometimes does and made his comeback. Punk hit a stiff kick for a near fall.
Punk made his comeback in earnest, nailing Garcia with a leg lariat and a neckbreaker for another near fall. Punk went for a short arm clothesline, but Garcia countered into an Angle slam for two. Garcia went for the scorpion deathlock, but Punk battled out with fists and a short arm clothesline. Pepsi twist got a near fall for Punk. Punk went for the GTS, but Garcia rolled through and got Punk in the scorpion deathlock. Punk almost made the ropes, and was able to escape the hold when Garcia tried to pull him into the center of the ring. Punk then sent a charging Garcia into the members of 2point0 when they got up on the apron. Punk then came off the top with a crossbody to the floor on all three guys.
Back in the ring, Punk nailed a springboard clothesline, then a picture perfect piledriver. Punk slapped on the Anaconda vice, and Garcia tapped out. Another great match for Punk on Rampage.
- Tony Schiovone interviewed Lio Rush, Dante Martin and Matt Sydal. Sydal thought Lio Rush was all talk and filling Martin's head with false promises. Rush suggested he could show he was more than talk by getting a match for Sydal against CM Punk for Rampage next week. Sydal loved that idea, and on commentary Excalibur confirmed the match was made for Rampage next week.
AEW World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Bros (w/ Alex Abrahantes) defeated The Acclaimed (5:16)
Caster mentioned Ben Simmons, Rocky Balboa, and Arn Anderson in his pre-match rap. They also praised Gritty (the Flyers mascot). The Lucha Bros brought both the AEW and AAA tag team title belts with them.
The Acclaimed jumps the Lucha Bros before they can even get in the ring, and Caster sent Fenix into the ringpost headfirst before the bell. The action got in the ring and the Lucha Bros took control with a series of superkicks and a double team splash.
Bowens caught Fenix with a shot from the boombox when he went for a tope through the ropes, and the Acclaimed took control in the ring against Penta. The Acclaimed used a double team legsweep on Penta and got a near fall. Penta got a cazadora on Bowens and flew into a DDT on Caster, then got the tag to Fenix. Fenix punished Bowens with a series of kicks. Caster ran in and got a hook kick, and Fenix hit a stunner on Bowens for two. Caster came back with a superkick on Fenix that he sold by flipping onto his head. Soon everybody hit everybody with superkicks and both teams were selling on the mat.
Match settled to Fenix and Bowens in the ring, and Bowens hit the uragane/side slam on Fenix to set up the mic drop from Caster. Penta pushed Caster off the top, and then hit the double foot stomp on Bowens tailbone. Penta and Fenix combined for the double team piledriver on Bowens to get the win. Fun, fast paced match.
- Recap of the Casino ladder match from Wednesday. "Hangman" Adam Page is back! And he won! Highlights of the match and Page's return are shown.
Jade Cargill (w/ “Smart” Mark Sterling) defeated Sky Blue (1:02)
A pre-match video package of comments from potential TBS title tournament participants aired before this match, including comments from both Blue and Cargill (as well as others). Cargill does not think Sky Blue deserves to be in the TBS title tournament and was out to prove it with this match.
Cargill hit a fallaway slam, pump kick, and glam slam to finish off Blue in short order. Cargill tried to beatdown Blue after the match, but Thunder Rosa ran in with a steel chair to send Cargill packing.
Upcoming Show Rundown.
For Rampage next week (which is live from Miami) : Sydal vs. Punk, Bunny vs. Ruby Soho, and the Jericho/Hager/Guevara vs. Men of the Year & Junior Dos Santos six man match. For Dynamite (live on Saturday 10/16) : Bobby Fish vs. Bryan Danielson, the Lucha Bros defend the AAA tag titles against "A Masked Tag Team known only to be close friends of Andrade El Idolo" (a descirption that will have the interenet wildly speculating all week), and Malakai Black vs Dante Martin. Also, the World Title Eliminator tournament is back, and the brackets for the will be revealed on Dynamite. The finals of the tournament will take place at Full Gear.
Another face-to-face interview moderated by Mark Henry, this time between Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. “It’s time for the main event!
FTW Champion Ricky Starks defeated Brian Cage in a Philly Street Fight (10:40)
Starks introduced a steel chair in the match from the onset, but Cage got it and used it to beat Starks. The fight went to the floor, and Cage dropped Starks on the ring apron with a back suplex. Back in the ring, Cage threw a bunch of plunder into the ring. Starks got ahold of a pool cue and used it on Starks, then hit a tornado DDT for a near fall as the show went to a picture-in-picture break.
Back from break, Cage pump handled suplexed Starks onto a trashcan for a near fall. Hook ran in with the FTW Belt and tried to take Cage out but Cage caught him with a clothesline. Hobbs ran in and got taken out as well. Starks hit Cage with the title belt and a spear for a near fall. Starks went for a second spear, but Cage ducked and Starks ran headfirst into a chair that had been wedged between the turnbuckles. Cage hit a discus lariat for another nearfall, but Hobbs broke up the pin attempt. Cage hit Hobbs with a gamengiri, then Cage went to superplex Hobbs. Hook ran back in and nailed Cage with a low blow. A bloodied Starks then hit the Roshambeaux on Cage and got the pin.
Taz left the commentary table to celebrate with Team Taz to close the show.
I would have taken the Jade Cargill squash off here to give more time to the Lucha Bros match, but otherwise another fun show that flew by. CM Punk on the show again next week? Yeah I'll take that. All his matches have been great thus far.
There hasn't been a Rampage yet that has failed to deliver, and this show was no exception.