AEW Rampage Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from First Dance
- Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan
- Private Party vs. Jurassic Express
- Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia
For the first time in almost two years, All Elite Wrestling returned to Chicago for Rampage and what could be the most important episode of AEW TV since Dynamite's debut.
Rumors were circulating for weeks prior to the show that two former WWE Superstars had signed with AEW, and one of them was expected to show up in The Windy City.
The card for the show was relatively tame in comparison to the level of hype for the show. Here is the lineup AEW put together for Friday's show:
Did Cargill continue her streak of dominance? Who advanced in the tag team eliminator tournament? Did Garcia survive his encounter with Moxley? Did that guy show up, as everyone expected?
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Friday's episode of Rampage.
CM Punk Is Back
AEW wasted no time getting to the huge announcement. After a quick intro from the announcers, CM Punk made his way out to one of the biggest pops in years.
The crowd lost its mind as "Cult of Personality" began to play. As Punk made his way to the ring, he took a moment to dive into the audience and soak up some of the love from his hometown.
He said he has heard the fans for seven years, and now that he is here, he isn't going anywhere. He said he needed to get himself healthy, both mentally and emotionally, and wasn't going to get better staying in "the place that got him sick."
He sat in the middle of the ring and told the story of why he chose to leave. He went all the way back to his Ring of Honor exit and how he cried because he knew he was leaving his home.
Punk talked about how he has a few scores to settle and wants to work with the young guys like Darby Allin. We saw a shot of Allin and Sting in the rafters. Punk said he would see us at All Out and seemed to indicate he would be facing Allin in his return match.
He said seven years is a long time to wait for somebody, and he encouraged everyone to grab a free ice cream bar on him as they left the arena.
What can you say about this segment that won't be said a million times? Punk's return felt like a huge moment because that's exactly what it is.
AEW was smart to get his arrival out of the way immediately so that the fans were not just chanting his name through everyone's matches.
Confirming his first match for All Out was the icing on the cake. You don't have to be a CM Punk fan to recognize how important this moment was for both AEW and the business as a whole.
Private Party vs. Jurassic Express
Private Party took on Jurassic Express in the semifinals of the Tag Team Eliminator tournament to determine The Young Bucks' opponents at All Out.
Jungle Boy and Isiah Kassidy started for their teams with a furious exchange of counters and takedowns. Marq Quen tagged in, but JB managed to keep the upper hand with some high-flying offense.
We returned from a break as Luchasaurus tagged in and began cleaning house. Kassidy took down Jungle Boy with a massive Canadian destroyer from the top turnbuckle to get a close two-count. Quen nailed Luchasaurus with a shooting star press from the top rope to the floor.
Luchasaurus recovered first and helped Jungle Boy retake control. Matt Hardy and Marko Stunt got into it on the apron, but they didn't distract anyone enough to cost them the match.
Jungle Boy and his dinosaur finished off Quen with some unique moves to get the win and advance to the finals.
Look at this match and then go and compare it to the first time we saw either team in AEW. Both duos have grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years.
Private Party has refined its offense and appears more confident and smooth in the ring. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus have always had great chemistry, but now they also have some great tandem offense.
The high-flying moves all looked great, and this match was paced well to build toward the finish. The crowd was into it and gave the performers a great reaction. This was strong work from everyone involved.
Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan
Jade Cargill looked confident as she made her way out to battle Kiera Hogan, who received the jobber entrance for this match. That all but sealed her fate before the bell even rang.
Cargill easily overpowered Hogan immediately. The smaller competitor got in one or two shots before Cargill put her down for the pin.
From a wrestling standpoint, this was a squash match. It was nothing special and won't be remembered tomorrow. From a storytelling standpoint, it worked perfectly.
The point of this was to make Cargill look like indomitable, and that's exactly what AEW accomplished. Nobody will call this an instant classic, but it worked exactly the way it was meant to.
Considering Punk took up the first 20 minutes of the show, booking a squash was the only way AEW was going to fit three matches into this episode.
Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia
Moxley and Garcia only had the last eight minutes of the show to work with, so they were going to have to be creative if they wanted this to be a main event worthy of this show.
The former AEW champion immediately took Garcia off his feet and hit a series of strikes, but Garcia used his technical prowess to wrestle Moxley down to the mat.
He began to focus on the left leg to soften him up for the Sharpshooter he used to beat Matt Sydal on Dark: Elevation. Moxley grabbed him in a submission hold, but Garcia broke free right away.
Mox hit a pair of German suplexes before Garcia put him in an ankle lock. Once he broke free, Moxley turned into an animal. He dished out a flurry of punches and forearms before calling for the Paradigm Shift. Garcia countered and put him in the Sharpshooter.
However, Moxley reversed that into a chokehold for the win. Garcia and 2.0 attacked Eddie Kingston and Moxley until Sting and Allin made the save.
Considering the short time they had in which work, Mox and Garcia did an excellent job of making sure everything they did made sense and looked good.
Garcia is one of those technical wizards who is going to earn a lot of fans quickly, but he was never going to win this contest. This was all about Mox.
With the return of CM Punk and three solid matches, this episode of Rampage met all expectations. The lucky fans who were there will remember this for the rest of their lives.