Friday night brought about the biggest episode of AEW Rampage yet! It's been a wild ride since CM Punk returned to wrestling after being gone for seven years. But this edition of Rampage was monumental as AEW drew the most fans they have ever had at a show. The company also allotted an additional hour, making it a show loaded with fun.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. CM Punk
Thoughts: This match is a major deal for Powerhouse Hobbs, who has spent most of his career on the Independent scene for over 10 years. He joined the company in July 2020 and has been growing every single week. In just over the year, he went from working on AEW: Dark to the opening match of AEW Rampage where he faced CM Punk, a major name in the industry.
The match started quickly with Punk jumping on the offensive right after the bell sounded. He was able to control a good portion of the start of the match. That lasted until Hobbs used the numbers game to get the momentum back on his side. It was a great showing of pure strength and brute force by Hobbs for nearly the whole match after that distraction. But, in the end, Hobbs fell victim to a distraction that the veteran CM Punk pulled to close the match out with his G.T.S.
Amidst the action, we saw a quick video package from Thunder Rosa, Jade Cargill, and Nyla Rose. All three of these women seem to be on pace to have a triple threat match soon. Thunder has been upset at the other two for what they did to her leading up to All Out and during it. Jade is just mad at Nyla for eliminating her during the Casino Battle Royal. Those two will be doing battle very soon over that situation.
The Young Bucks & Adam Cole vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy & Christian Cage
Thoughts: What a beautiful sight to see the Super Kliq back in action after five years apart. Adam Cole was going to start the match against Christian, but the joke is on them -- he tagged right back out. Matt Jackson made his way into the ring and had control, but that was short-lived. The action was non-stop throughout this one. Once you thought one team took control it would switch up, like when Jungle Boy took out The Young Bucks by himself before getting taken out on the outside due to being distracted by Adam Cole.
The match turned when the Young Bucks took out Christian and Jungle Boy and tossed them off the stage. This is when the Super Kliq took control and focused on taking out Luchasaurus after all three guys hit moves on him. There was action all over the place in this match, which made it a fun one to watch. Everyone emerged looking like a star after this one. It was a big win for Super Kliq in Trios competition.
Men Of The Year vs. Inner Circle
Thoughts: This is an interesting matchup because the Inner Circle has been rolling as of late while the other team has struggled to get a start. One thing to look at in this one is that Scorpio Sky was the first man to pin Jericho in a match in AEW early on in the company. Could it happen again?
In the beginning stages of the match, Men Of The Year continued to control the legend of Chris Jericho. The match started to swing a little when Jake Hager entered and used his power to slow down his opponents. Things wrapped up when Dan Lambert got involved by grabbing Hager's leg, causing him to get rolled up for a three count. Jericho and Hager pulled Lambert into the ring after being cheated out of a win, but they ended up being trapped as well. Several members of the American top team came to his rescue and took out the Inner Circle. They left them in the middle of the ring lifeless.
Hardy Family Office vs. PnP & Lucha Bros
Thoughts: All eight men met in the middle of the ring to start the match and just battled it out. PnP and the Lucha Bros displayed some excellent teamwork to start that match. It's was intriguing to watch considering these two teams have so much history against each other. The Butcher and Blade helped slow the pace by grounding the high-paced Lucha Bros, but they could not slow them down long enough. The Lucha Bros and PnP started working together to gain the control back. Once that happened, it was all over and they got the win after they both hit their tag team finishers. It was a nice finish for Santana and Ortiz while fighting in their hometown and getting a win.
Matt Hardy was backstage with Jack Evans, angry about what just happened during that last match. Orange Cassidy knocked out Evans on the rampway. He challenged Orange Cassidy to a hair vs. hair match. But it wasn't for himself, instead propping up Jack Evans to be the guy to face him. Hardy pulled a fast one-on-one of the guys that work for him. There is no way Hardy will risk that yet.
We also saw Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol after the commercial break. They were on the stage with signs letting the fans at home know Sammy is ready for Wednesday. But they were met from behind by TNT Champion Miro. He took both men out by himself as well. The champion softened up his opponent for Wednesday.
We also heard from Andrade El Idolo in this promo. He was letting everyone know when he needs help. Chavo crossed the line a few weeks ago and that why is why he removed him -- a time he didn't need help. He is here to fight in AEW and wants to face PAC again with no interruptions.
Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford
Thoughts: The feud between the four women has been great over the last few weeks. It continued here when Anna met Penelope on the rampway and got the early advantage in the match. She controlled most of this match with her power and anger toward her opponent. But The Bunny made her way down to the ring to help her friend. She ended up distracting the referee and tossed brass knuckles to Penelope for a knock-out punch and the win.
After the match, they continued to attack her. That lasted until Tay Conti came out to help her friend. But she paid the price with another knockout punch from the brass knuckles as well. This brought the Hardy Family Office out to celebrate. Orange Cassidy followed, but he didn’t come alone. The Dark Order came out as well to make the save. It appeared as though Anna Jay helped fix the issues between some of the members of the Dark Order, but it doesn't seem to be completely mended just yet.
Lights Out Match: Eddie Kingston & John Moxley vs. Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki
From the start of this match, you knew it was going to be a pure battle. All four men involved are dangerous and very violent. The minute that Kingston and Moxley made it past the guard rail, they were attacked and this mayhem was underway. Archer and Suzuki controlled most of this match, which is fitting as they seem to be a little crazier in this type of battle. They taped Moxley's hands behind his back and took out Kingston before continuing to beat them down. It seemed like this would be easy work for these two and fun taking out Kingston in his hometown.
But it seemed as if Moxley and Kingston found a backup plan in the form of Homicide. He is a Brooklyn native and a longtime close friend of Kingston. He cut off the tape on Moxley's hand and helped put the momentum back in their favor. The match was over at this point. Kingston got the pinball win after beating Archer down with a kendo stick over and over again. This feud is not over after everything that unfolded, however. They will be seeing each other very soon, but on NJPW's turf next time.
Overall Show Rating: 🍺🍺🍺🍻