AEW Rampage on-site report: Hermanstyne’s report on the in-person experience for CM Punk’s return with notes on the rest of the show and Dark tapings (no spoilers)

By Marv Hermanstyne, Contributor (@TheInfamousMarv)

Hey, Dot Net readers, Marv Hermanstyne making a guest return to the site for the first time in years. For all the old readers, I’m alive and well. To the new readers who have no idea who I am, I worked for Dot Net from 2008-11 doing mostly Smackdown Live coverage and some special columns such as the confidence picks that Jason now uses for major pay-per-views (particularly Money in the Bank).

When working for Dot Net, I was in grad school and lived out in the Washington DC area until I moved back to my hometown in Chicago, IL. Been a big wrestling fan since a kid and although I do not cover the shows on the site anymore, I still keep up with the shows and throw my two cents on how good or bad the product is.

But enough about my background, let’s get to the AEW Rampage show I attended this evening. This was my first live wrestling event in almost four years and was fairly undecided if I wanted to go or not. I’ve been to mostly WWE shows in my lifetime and since AEW debuted, I’ve watched every week and the product is very fun and free flowing.

The United Center was a good location to have this show because it was easy to get to and in the past, WCW had great success here. Chicago is a great wrestling town and the crowd proved it tonight. I walked into the UC and it was filled with CM Punk chants which was quite refreshing even though it got annoying after Punk’s WWE tenure.

But to give a synopsis of the show:

The first two hours was basically the AEW Dark matches. There were quite a few squashes and matches that are no more than five minutes…if you watch Dark on the regular, you already know how this goes.

The highlights of the Dark Tapings:

-QT Marshall vs Evil Uno…Uno was very over with the crowd

-PAC vs Matt Sydal…fun cruiserweight match. Probably better than anything you will see on 205 Live and no that wasn’t a shot at WWE

-Britt Baker’s promo…this woman is money and AEW got a nice champ and the crowd loved her

-The Lucha Bros vs Comorato and Solow…great match, check it out if you watch Dark

-Best Friends vs Hardy Family Office – just wanted to see Orange Cassidy cuz his character is frigging hilarious.

After the Dark tapings, there was an intermission before Rampage went live. CM Punk chants of course followed. Once 9pm came around, the live portion of the show begun and when you heard Cult of Personality…big ass pop from the HOT crowd.

It felt like 2011 all over again at Money in the Bank when Punk faced John Cena and won the WWE Championship in from of the Chicago crowd. I was at that show as well and it brought back good memories because Chicago loves Punk. He spent the first twenty minutes of the show embracing the crowd and it was great for TV.

Punk had his new t-shirt which was similar if not better than the Best in the World shirt he had at MITB 2011. I would have bought one, but the line was ridiculous so I’ll order one or attend one of the three shows they have coming up during Labor Day weekend. He cut his promo and you could hear the passion about him being back in wrestling. He mentioned about wanting to face Darby Allin and this maybe one hell of an opening feud for him. Plus, it is plenty of fresh feuds for Punk with AEW’s current roster.

Fast forward to the Rampage show:

-Private Party vs Jurassic Express in a Tag Team Eliminator match…fun match but the crowd went a little flat after giving their lives to the return of Punk. As most of the crowd, the Jurassic Express theme is too damn catchy. I would like to see a rematch vs The Young Bucks because the match on Dynamite left a bad taste for me

-Jade Cargill vs Kiera Hogan…classic squash match. Nothing more.

-Main Event…Jon Moxley vs Daniel Garcia. Quick match that Mox carried. The interference by 2.0 wasn’t a shock and Sting and Darby helping closed the live show strong.

After the cameras were off, Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Sting, and Darby Allin cut promos. Tony Khan came out again and thanked the crowd. Overall, I got good bang for my buck from AEW. Glad to catch a show and they definitely made me a big fan of the product. And lastly, thanks to CM Punk for the ice cream bars!

I would like to thank Jason for let me drop a guest column and maybe I’ll do more in the future.

Otherwise, everyone take care and stay healthy.

And if you want more my banter, find me on Twitter @TheInfamousMarv

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