Tonight, All Elite Wrestling held the go home show for their All Out PPV on Sunday as AEW Rampage hit the air. Alongside the episode of Dynamite on Wednesday (1st September), and the aforemention PPV, this show was live from the NOW Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Three matches were booked for tonight's action so lets get straight to the show.
Malakai makes his entrance and I love how he's taken Cody's spot coming from the middle of the stage rather than a side tunnel. He might have the best ring entrance in wrestling right now. I can't think of a better one. Big Shotty joins Malakai in the ring and Rick Knox starts the match and Johnson looks terrified early on, he has to hold on to the ropes to avoid an early Black Mass. Finally the action starts to pick up and Johnson can't get a foothold as Black keeps on top of him and reverses everything that Big Shotty can throw at him. This pattern continues through a commercial break but as we come back, Johnson finally starts to get some offensive moves to stick and hits a Tope Suicida to take control and follows that with a Frog Splash once back in the ring. Malakai reverses though and ends up hitting a huge punt kick to the face as he regains the advantage. Black ends up on the outside and slowly returns after pulling a chair out from underneath. It looks like he's going to hit Lee with the chair but he passes it to Johnson and offers his back to let him take the free shot. When Johnson refuses or at least takes too long to do it, Black takes advantage of Johnsons lowered hands with the devastating Black Mass. That's all she wrote as Black gets the pin. After the match, Dustin Rhodes runs out to make sure that Black does no more damage and it looks like the Natural will be the next one eating a Black Mass. Good match to start off tonights action.
Mark Henry asks Dustin how he's feeling and Dustin tells Malakai has relied on the element of surprise since he arrived in AEW but he won't have that when Dustin faces him on Dynamite this Wednesday. He says that he knows Black comes from a place of darkness but that he thrives in darkness and has for 5 decades and there's nothing that Malakai can do that he hasn't experienced in those 5 decades. Dustin Rhodes is a very under-rated talker and the match on Wednesday should be great.
Miro makes his entrance and with that regal music, they should let him do that more often. He immediately addresses Eddie Kingston, he says Eddie calls himself the Mad King but Miro only recognises one King that's mad at him. He said Eddie has been blessed with struggle but he took the easy way out as he accepted a charity contract into AEW despite his god giving him all the talent in the world. He says neither he nor his god believes in charity and Eddie has become a soft bag boy for Jon Moxley without struggle in his life and that's all Eddie needs to hear as he comes out.
Eddie thanks the crowd who chant his name and ask them to let him handle his business. He says Miro being God's favourite champion is Bullshit. He says he doesn't believe in Miro's God but if he was real, he sent Kingston here to punish Miro because he's the sinner. He says that all of Eddie's best moves are Miro's weaknesses because they go for the neck. Miro says Eddie talks about weakness but from outside the ring and if Kingston steps one foot closer he won't make it to All Out because he's going to get Redeemed tonight. Eddie's retort before he comes in to the ring is short and sweet "Redeemer, Redeem these nuts". Miro retreats out of the ring as Kingston enters and then Eddie follows him out but this is Miro's plan as he see's him coming and hits him with the title. Miro rolls Eddie back into the ring and places the TNT title over Eddie's face and goes for a big stomp but Kingston rolls away and hits a spinning backfist before he hits a DDT to leave Miro laying as he leaves.
.@MadKing1981 leaves @ToBeMiro laying in the center of the ring. Could we see it again this Sunday LIVE on PPV at #AEWAllOut when the TNT Championship is on the line?— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 4, 2021
Tune in to @tntdrama NOW to watch #AEWRampage LIVE! pic.twitter.com/xBccsYE91y
Britt makes her entrance first and Rebel and Jamie Hayter come out as an afterthought to the womens champion. Kris comes out with the Best Friends but they're banned from ringside as per Britt's stipulations as part of her new contract. Jamie starts in the ring with Statlander and manages to get the advantage thanks to Rebel's help from the apron. Hayter tags out to Rebel and after a horrible looking suplex on Statlander, she loses the advantage to the galaxy's favourite alien. Hayter comes in to help Rebel but Statlander beats up both opponents simultaneously. She gets Rebel up on her shoulders and catches Hayter making a crossbody before slamming both women at the same time. The alien then pulls out a submission I have never seen before with Excalibur describing it as almost like a Spider Crab but it looks like its from another planet as Rebel has to submit, giving Statlander the win. After the match, Britt, Rebel and Jamie look like they're about to attack but Red Velvet runs down to make the save.
I still love this segment. Daniel Garcia first as Mark Henry says that he and 2point0 have been opportunists on the attack in AEW and are saying Allin won't make it to All Out. Jeff Parker says that since they got to Chicago all they've seen is Darby vs Punk and it makes them sick that it's the most anticipated match in AEW. Matt Lee continues by asking what's going to happen when Darby can't make it to the ring on Sunday because Daniel Garcia breaks his back. Garcia concludes by saying that the reason they don't want Punk vs Darby to happen is because they can. Henry asks Darby if he can focus on Garcia with Punk sat ringside on commentary. Darby tells Garcia he's not overlooking him and he's going to knock him on his ass and stare down Punk one last time before All Out. As Mark Henry says, we've had enough talk, it's time for the main event!
But not before we get a CM Punk entrance where he jumps into the crowd before taking his spot at the commentary booth for the match. Another AEW first.
No more talk, it's time for the MAIN EVENT - @DarbyAllin w/ @Sting vs @GarciaWrestling w/ #2point0 and @CMPunk is on commentary!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 4, 2021
Tune in to @tntdrama NOW to watch #AEWRampage LIVE! pic.twitter.com/2ygPJZ6rbO
Darby makes his entrance and stares down Punk as Jericho tells Punk he's disappointed Punk isn't wearing his sports coat tonight (IYKYK). Garcia is already in the ring and the match gets underway. Darby gets on top early on and takes Garcia to the outside. He runs at him and Garcia moves as Darby takes a nasty fall. Garcia takes over, and throws Darby into the steps before rolling him into the ring but Darby Allin is resilient and manages to regain control. Outside the ring, Sting takes out 2point0 and on the desk, Taz and Jericho take turns quizzing Punk on how ready he is and it feels like a Police Interrogation but a very entertaining one. Back in the Ring Darby gets hit with a superplex and looks in rough shape as we go into commercial.
Garcia beats down Darby throughout the break and during that break, Punk talks about how he has to earn matches with Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho et al. Garcia also takes time to wander up the ramp to gesture to CM Punk. Red Death should be followed by the word wish as Garcia keeps calling out men that are high in the AEW pecking order. We come back from break as Darby starts his comeback but he gets caught with a rear naked choke in the corner to keep Garcia on top. Garcia lets him go but then catches him with the same submission move again in the middle of the ring. Darby climbs the turnbuckle and hits a Coffin Drop to escape but can't get a pin attempt as we get a double down. Both men beat the count and we go back and forth by the ropes before Darby hits a Pepsi Twist, a move Punk used to use way back in ROH, which Punk say's looks better than any time he ever hit it. Darby gets a close two count with a Code Red but then picks up the win with the Mousetrap pin. 2point0 hit the ring immediately and Sting and Darby are outnumbered. Punk comes down and is face to face with both members of 2point0 but Darby hits them with a Tope Suicida and stands up to face Punk as we go off the air.
I thought this was the strongest entire episode of Rampage to date as with the PPV on Sunday, most of the heavy lifting was done so they didn't need to cram in lots of video packages and as such, all the matches got sufficient time to breathe. I can't wait for All Out on Sunday. Join me here after the PPV to run down the results and tomorrow where I'll be letting you know my predictions. Until then follow me on twitter @0r4n93_C4551dy and have a great weekend!