By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
AEW Rampage (Episode 7)
Taped September 22, 2021 in Queens, New York at Arthur Ashe Stadium
Aired September 24, 2021 on TNT
The opening video aired and the broadcast team of Excalibur, Taz and Ricky Starks checked in. The trio ran down the card. Excalibur kind of sounded like he was losing his voice. Powerhouse Hobbs made his entrance for the first match.
1. CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs. Punk began by landing a series of dropkicks. The crowd was hot. Hobbs landed a punch that took Punk to his knees. Punk hit a drop-toe-hold to regain control. Punk kept to work over Hobbs’ leg before landing a Russian Leg Sweep. Punk then flipped off Hook at ringside. Punk lifted Hobbs, but Hook jumped onto the apron, which allowed Hobbs to hit a cross-body for a two-count.
Hobbs over-powered Punk with elbows. Punk tried to fight back, but Hobbs hit a knee to keep control and throw Punk into the corner, who initially hit the turnbuckle Bret Hart-style. The crowd kept starting chants while Hobbs ate it up. Hobbs went for a suplex, but Punk rolled Hobbs up for a two-count. Hobbs got right up and landed a powerful body-block. After Hobbs hit a leg-drop over the middle rope, the broadcast went to a PIP. [c]
Back form the break, Hobbs lifted Punk for a bearhug. Punk eventually elbowed his way out of it and the two traded elbows. Punk hit a back spin kick, which turned into a leg lariat and a swinging neck-breaker. Punk hit a short clothesline and the crowd cheered him. Punk went to the top rope and hit an elbow drop, Macho Man-style, for a two-count. A “You still got it” chant went down.
Punk lifted Hobbs and went for the GTS, but Hobbs countered, hit a spine-buster and got a good near-fall out of it. Hobbs lifted Punk, but Punk sunk in a rear-naked choke. Hobbs went down to a knee. Hobbs got out of it via a back-body-drop. Hobbs lifted Punk and hit a Stampede Slam for a near-fall. Hobbs climbed to the second rope, but Punk hit an elbow, went to the top rope, but Hobbs caught him, though the two went through an awkward huracanrana. Punk came up with blood on him.
Punk went for the Triangle, but Hobbs lifted Punk for a slam and another good near-fall. The two traded elbows in the middle of the ring before Punk hit a roundhouse kick. Hook came up on the apron, but Hobbs ran into Hook and Punk hit the GTS for the win.
CM Punk defeated Powerhouse Hobbs via pinfall in 13:35.
McGuire’s Musings: This was maybe two or three minutes too long, though Hobbs came out of this looking awfully good and he gained more than a lot in defeat. A couple of the near-falls actually had me, and the amount of offense that Hobbs received allowed him to really spotlight his strength, which is impressive no matter how you cut it. The only questionable moment came in the form of that huracanrana because man, that was ugly. I’m not sure where the blood on Punk came from, but here’s hoping it’s nothing serious. Punk looked spent by the time it was done and it felt like both guys left everything out there. A very good opening match.
2. Adam Cole and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus. Christian and Cole began the match, but Cole tagged out to Matt Jackson and Christian did some pushups on Matt Jackson’s back. Christian then landed a vicious slap. Christian landed some chops and punches to Matt Jackson in a corner. Christian jumped over the top to hit an uppercut and landed another one off the top rope.
Jungle Boy tagged in and the two hit a double hip-toss on Matt Jackson. Nick Jackson and Cole tried to interfere, but it didn’t work. Matt tagged in Nick, who hit a double axe-handle from the top rope. With both Jacksons in the ring, Jungle Boy hit a double arm-drag, taking both brothers outside the ring. Jungle Boy chased Cole down outside and ran into a super-kick from the Jacksons. Everything between both teams broke down outside the ring.
Back in the ring, the heels worked over Jungle Boy as Cole put Jungle Boy in a Cobra Clutch and the Bucks ran the ropes before stopping to kiss Cole, one on each cheek. Excalibur threw to break. [c]
Returning from break, the Bucks kept control over Jungle Boy before knocking Luchasaurus and Christian off the apron. Jungle Boy ultimately rolled through the Bucks’ attempt to attack him and tagged in Luchasaurus, who cleaned house. Luchasaurus went for a choke-slam, but Cole broke it up. Eventually, Luchasaurus choke-slammed Cole into Matt Jackson. Luchasaurus slammed Nick Jackson and got a two-count.
Jungle Boy tagged in and they went for their finisher, but it was broken up and things broke down inside the ring this time, with super-kicks and finisher attempts. Jungle Boy hit a series of flips form the top and Christian hit a top-rope headbutt. Jungle Boy sunk in the Snare Trap on Matt Jackson, but Gallows distracted Jungle Boy, which broke up the submission. In the end, both Jackson and Jungle Boy were on the canvass.
Cole and Luchasaurus tagged in, but it didn’t really matter because all six men ended up in the ring again within five seconds. Christian hit a spear on Nick Jackson on the ramp and then Matt hit a low blow on Christian. Matt then threw Christian off the ramp. The Bucks then threw Jungle Boy off the ramp, too. In the ring, Luchasaurus sat up like the Undertaker and went for a choke-slam on Cole. Cole then hit a big Shining Wizard for a two-count. Cole then hit the Panama Sunrise on Luchasaurus before the Bucks hit the BTE Trigger and Cole hit the Boom for the win.
Adam Cole and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson defeated Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus via pinfall in 14:35.
After the match, the SuperKliq celebrated in the ring. Excalibur threw to a Rhodes To The Top preview.
McGuire’s Musings: Whew. That was tough to keep up with, and I can’t even begin to imagine how the commentary team could be on top of that. Kudos to them for getting through it. A lot of breaking things down, a lot of spots, a lot of expected fast-paced work that one would expect from a match like this. It might not be for everybody, but it sure does pack a punch. I’m a little disappointed that Luchasaurus was the one who took the pin because I’m a believer in protecting him at all costs, but he’ll be fine, because AEW typically does protect the hell out of him. This was both fun and exhausting.
3. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. Sky and Jericho began. Sky took Jericho down to some boos. Jericho hit some chops to take control. Jericho flipped off Page before throwing Sky into the corner. Jericho worked a series of clotheslines on Sky. Hager then tagged in and Jericho and Hager hit dueling shoulder-blocks. Sky took control with a jaw-breaker and tagged in Page.
Hager regained control quickly by working punches in the corner. Hager hit a side belly-to-belly suplex. Jericho then tagged in, but Page ultimately hit a back kick to drop Jericho. Lambert got in a cheap shot as the match went to a PIP [c}.
During the break, Page kept control, but it wasn’t long before Hager got the hot tag and Hager came in to clean house. Hager hit a high suplex on Page and followed that up with a hard lariat that got Hager a two-count. Before the break ended, Page and Sky isolated Hager on the outside to take back control. Page rolled Hager back into the ring while Jericho tried to fire the crowd up. Sky sunk in a chin-lock on Hager.
Page tagged in, but Page and Hager landed double-clotheslines on each other, sending them both to the canvass. Jericho received the tag, as did Sky. Jericho landed a springboard dropkick and went to the top rope for an axe-handle from the top. Jericho hit a Lionsault for a two-count. Hager tagged in and hit a Hager Bomb for a two-count on Sky. Hager went for an ankle lock, but Lambert distracted the ref to break it up.
Hager planted Sky and got a two-count. Jericho took Page out and Hager hit a tough boot. Hager then ran the ropes, but Lambert tied Hager’s legs up and Sky rolled Hager up for the win.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky defeated Chris Jericho and Jake Hager via pinfall in 11 minutes.
After the match, Lambert’s top team came out as Jericho and Hager tried to attack Lambert. Lambert’s Top Team took Jericho and Hager down and there was nearly 10 of them. The numbers were too much and Paige Van Zant eventually hit Jericho with a bunch of body shots. The segment ended with Hager and Jericho lying.
McGuire’s Musings: This was kind of tough. Jericho worked as hard as he could to get some steam behind it and sometimes it worked, while sometimes it … maybe didn’t work as much? It was good to see Hager back in the ring because some months I wonder if he’s even in the company anymore. The post-match attack was ultimately what was going to happen somehow, someway because Lambert is a draw, has a lot of great-fighting friends and can talk. I’m interested to see where this goes because this obviously isn’t the end.
4. Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, Santana, and Ortiz vs. The Butcher, The Blade, and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy. The match started with all eight wrestlers fighting each other. That ended up with some dives to the outside. The Lucha Bros and Santana and Ortiz worked in mixed couples to perform some interesting moves. Before long, Butcher and Blade settled things down with a slam on Fenix. Orange Cassidy made his entrance to punch out Jack Evans. [c]
Back from break, Santana and The Blade was in the ring. Ortiz came in to assist and that led to Marq Quen running in. Kassidy entered the ring and hit a stunner on Ortiz. Penta kicked the hell out of Kassidy and landed a back-breaker. Butcher ran in, but Penta hit a round-kick to keep control. Butcher went for a very weird cross-body and got it, but Fenix ran in, only to have Butcher run and hit a clothesline. There’s no way I’m getting all of this and I apologize for that.
Quen tagged in and somehow Ortiz was the legal man, but Ortiz moved from an attempted shooting-star press. Santana and Ortiz hit a Street Sweeper on Quen and that was enough for the win.
Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, Santana, and Ortiz defeated The Butcher, The Blade, and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy via pinfall in 9:20.
The winners posed together in the ring after the match. They cut to an interview with Matt Hardy backstage. Hardy played up The Bunny and then went after Orange Cassidy because Cassidy stopped him from cutting someone’s hair. As we all expected, Hardy challenged Cassidy to a hair vs. hair match … between Cassidy and Jack Evans.
McGuire’s Musings: Man, I don’t know. If I gotta pick one of the impossible-to-keep-up-with matches of the night, I’d probably go with this one because it was a little more explosive. I also got a kick out of seeing Ortiz work with Penta and Rey with Santana, etc. The winners were never in doubt because of the NYC crowd and the pops both winning teams received were great to hear. As I said in the body of the review, though, I know I missed a lot, and I apologize for that. There was just so much. The Cassidy/Evans hair match has a bit of a whimper to it because it’s not Hardy, but I’d be willing to bet it eventually gets to Cassidy/Hardy.
Sammy Guevara made his entrance after the break to do his cue card thing, but Miro interrupted him with an attack. Miro then threw Fuego Del Sol, who entered with Sammy, off the stage through a table. Miro then sunk in his Game Over on Guevara on the stage. They then threw to a package on Andrade El Idolo, who said he’d beat Pac again and he’d do it to make sure Pac doesn’t have an excuse for losing.
5. Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford. Jay attacked Ford on the ramp before the match started. The action spilled to the outside, where Jay worked over Ford’s back. Jay landed a series of tough back elbows, the last of which took Ford down. Jay went for the Queen Slayer, but the Bunny came down the ramp and Jay released the hold. As a result, Ford hung Jay on the top rope and hit a boot to the side of the head. Ford kept control by choking Jay over the middle rope with her leg. Excalibur threw to commercial. [c]
Back from break, both women were on their feet, trading punches. Jay went for the Queen Slayer again, but Ford backed Jay into the corner for the break. The bunny then got on the apron, threw in the brass knuckles to Ford, Ford hit Jay with them and that was it.
Penelope Ford defeated Anna Jay via pinfall in 6:45.
After the match, Bunny and Ford attacked Jay. Tay Conti ran out for the save, but Bunny held Conti and Ford hit Conti with the brass knuckles. The rest of the Hardy Family came out to celebrate, but Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander walked through the entrance. The Dark Order then followed Cassidy and Statlander. The Dark Order cleared the ring. Most of the Dark Order wanted to bury the hatchet, but Evil Uno walked out.
They cut to the Mark Henry split-screen thing and Lance Archer said he’d put his boot up Moxley’s fat ass. Kingston started to talk and just sort of rambled. Moxley interjected, but everyone talked over each other.
McGuire’s Musings: You know what? I kind of like stretching out the brass knuckles angle. It feels like ages since the brass knuckles trick has been used in such a way over weeks and weeks and weeks. It also has kept the feud alive, which is good for the women’s division. They can’t just have “whomever is in the title picture vs. the champion” and nothing else all the time, every time. The post-match angle with the Dark Order was intriguing, but dare I say they finally meet someone who can unite them for good … and could that be in Rochester on Dynamite … and could that be a very important figure in Mr. Brodie Lee’s past?
6. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer. Before Moxley and Kingston could make it to the ring, Suzuki and Archer attacked them. Suzuki grabbed a couple chairs and Moxley followed him. The two hit the chairs together. Kingston came in for the save, and the crowd chanted “Eddie!” Kingston and Suzuki traded chops. Kingston hit a back-heel trip to gain control. Kingston went to the outside and grabbed a table.
Kingston threw the table into the ring. Suzuki kicked Kingston into the table in the corner. Moxley came off the top rope, but Archer intercepted it and Archer and Suzuki took control, complete with beating up the ring attendants on the outside of the ring. Archer choke-slammed Moxley off the apron onto the ring attendants. Archer then grabbed a strap from underneath the ring while Moxley and Suzuki traded forearms in the ring. Archer threw Moxley over the top to hang Moxley with the strap as Excalibur threw to commercial. [c]
Back form break, Suzuki was lashing Moxley across the back. Suzuki then choked Moxley, who had his hands taped together behind his back. Archer brought a trash can lid into the ring and worked over Moxley. Kingston popped up from the outside, but Archer cut him off. Suzuki managed to grab a kendo stick, but Moxley spit in Suzuki’s face. Suzuki then punched Moxley and started biting his forehead. Archer picked up the kendo stick and worked over Moxley.
Kingston was showing movement on the outside. Suzuki bit Moxley again. Kingston got into the ring and chopped both opponents, but Archer didn’t sell it so Kingston flipped him off and hit machine gun chops on Archer. Kingston then barely hit an Exploder on Archer. Suzuki grabbed Kingston for a sleeper hold and Archer hit his heli-coaster. Suzuki, meanwhile, went outside and got some more chairs.
Archer lifted Kingston onto the top rope, but music hit and Homicide came through the crowd and worked over Suzuki and Archer with a chair. Homicide then freed up Moxley. Suzuki was suckered in by Moxley and Moxley hit the Paradaigm Shift onto a chair on both Archer and Suzuki. Kingston put Archer into a trash can and hit it over and over with the kendo stick. Kingston covered Archer, that was it and I hope Archer is still alive.
Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley defeated Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki via pinfall 14:56.
After the match, Moxley and Suzuki kept fighting outside, but that quickly ended and the babyfaces, including Homicide, hugged.
McGuire’s Musings: Hom-i-cide! Hom-i-cide! That was fun and a really cool surprise, especially considering his past with Kingston. This was a good brawl. I was curious to see if anybody would bleed, but I actually think it was better that nobody did. Suzuki and Archer had so much offense that it’s hard to think this will be the end of this feud forever, but only time will tell as much. For now, this was a lot of fun and a feel-good ending, especially for a NYC crowd. Except if you’re Lance Archer. In that case, it looks like you’ll have a headache.
Anyway, this was one of the best of the seven Rampage shows to date. We knew it was going to be because Wednesday was so unforgettable. The only difference here was that we didn’t have a Danielson/Omega match to serve as the DNA of the episode. But those only happen on television once a generation or so, so it would be unfair to complain. Punk vs. Hobbs was very good, the multi-man matches were everything you’d think they would be (go check out the eight-man, if you can), and we closed The Grand Slam Week with a Homicide appearance. It’s on to Rochester. Will we have guests?