AEW Rampage Grand Slam Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
This week's two-hour Grand Slam episode of AEW Rampage was filmed at Arthur Ashe Stadium following Wednesday's Dynamite, so you may have already seen some spoilers prior to the show.
CM Punk worked his first TV match in seven years this week against Powerhouse Hobbs of Team Taz. This match came about after Punk was attacked while doing commentary last week.
We also saw Adam Cole's first in-ring performance with AEW when he teamed up with The Young Bucks to battle Christian, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager took on Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page, Anna Jay faced Penelope Ford, The Lucha Bros teamed up with Santana and Ortiz to take on Private Party, The Butcher and The Blade, and Minoru Suzuki teamed up once again with Lance Archer against Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Friday's supersized edition of AEW Rampage.
CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Rampage kicked off with CM Punk's first TV match in seven years against Powerhouse Hobbs of Team Taz. Hook was with Hobbs to provide some backup.
Punk went right after the big man with a running dropkick and started working him over with strikes. The Straight-Edge Superstar took Hobbs down and flipped Hook off.
Powerhouse was able to take Punk down for a quick two-count when Hook distracted him from the apron. Hobbs laughed at the CM Punk chants as he whipped him from corner to corner.
Hobbs had control for quite some time before Punk began to make a comeback. He hit a flurry of strikes and a swinging neckbreaker followed by his trademark running knee in the corner.
He dropped a Macho Man elbow for a two-count. They had a rough landing when Punk went for a hurricanrana from the top rope but recovered quickly.
Hobbs ran into Hook when Punk moved, and the distraction allowed Punk to hit the GTS for the win.
Punk sold well for Hobbs and made him look like a dangerous powerhouse while he was in control. He even made it believable that he could lose a few times.
They worked a good big man vs. small man bout that allowed both of them to show off some of their signature moves.
The hurricanrana was a little sloppy, but everything else looked good. This is a combo a lot of fans are probably hoping to see again at some point, but Hook is where the real intrigue lies.
The Young Bucks and Adam Cole vs. Jurassic Express and Christian
Cole and The Young Bucks were out first for their trios match against Christian, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. As usual, Cole got a huge pop for his entrance.
Christian started off against Matt Jackson and seemed to big-brother him a bit before the tag team champion used his quickness to turn things around.
Jungle Boy tagged in and managed to fend off both Bucks to send them out of the ring. He had a quick staredown with Cole and chased him around the ring until the Bucks superkicked him in the face.
We returned from a break to see Jungle Boy make a desperate tag to Luchasaurus. The big man came in and immediately asserted his dominance over his three smaller opponents.
Cole saved Nick Jackson from taking a finisher from Jurassic Express and turned the match in his team's favor. All six men paired off and started trading punches.
The Young Bucks took out Christian and Jungle Boy while Cole nailed Luchasaurus with a few kicks and a Panama Sunrise. The Bucks hit the BTE Trigger before Cole finished him off with The Boom.
The reaction Cole received for his entrance was on par with the pop he got for his debut. The crowd loves this guy and isn't going to boo him as a heel anytime soon. AEW may want to do something about that.
The match itself was a lot of fun. Christian brought the technical expertise, Luchasaurus brought the power and everyone else handled the aerial maneuvers and quick exchanges.
Some of the sequences they put together were great and showed off the versatility of everyone involved. This match didn't have anything to complain about other than possibly a few too many shenanigans from the people at ringside, but that is a minor quibble.
The Men of the Year vs. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager
Dan Lambert accompanied Page and Sky to the ring for their match against Jericho and Hager of The Inner Circle.
Sky and Jericho locked up to kick off the action. Sky got one takedown and celebrated prematurely, allowing Jericho to take control and hit a big back suplex.
We returned from a break to see The Men of the Year in control of Hager. The MMA fighter backed Sky to the corner, but he wasn't able to capitalize before his knee was taken out.
The Demo God got the hot tag and hit a few big moves on Sky, including a Lionsault for a two-count. Hager came back in and almost beat Sky before Page made the save.
Lambert tripped Hager and Sky rolled him into an inside cradle for the win.
The announcers plugged the martial arts experience of Sky and Page during their entrance. Both men did things during the match that seemed more MMA-focused, too. AEW really wants to push them as legit fighters with this Lambert alliance.
This match was decent, but it felt like everyone was holding back a bit. It never reached that next level you expect from guys like Sky and Page.
Having all of the American Top Team guys show up to save Lambert and beat down Jericho and Hager was an interesting way to end things. It will be fascinating to see if any of these MMA athletes ever work actual matches in AEW.
HFO vs. Lucha Bros, Santana and Ortiz
Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy, The Butcher and The Blade teamed up for HFO to take on Rey Fenix, Penta, Santana and Ortiz.
The match started with all eight men brawling in the ring until the tag champs and Proud and Powerful got the advantage and hit four simultaneous dives to take out their opponents.
Jack Evans was taken out by Orange Cassidy on the ramp while Hardy attempted to cut of Ortiz's ponytail. We returned from a break to see the babyfaces hit a bunch of moves on Quen to get the win.
The upside of matches like this is being able to see so many different people paired together, but the downside is that there will rarely be enough time for everyone to look good.
All eight men did a good job juggling everything, but there were a couple of times when it felt like this was just a series of spots instead of a match that makes sense. People either sold moves too much or not enough.
This is one of those bouts that was probably way better for the live crowd than it was for those watching at home. The Lucha Bros, Santana and Ortiz were over in New York, so the crowd was hot the whole time. If reports from the arena are true, that can be taken both literally and figuratively.
Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford
Anna Jay attacked Ford during her entrance to get revenge after what she and The Bunny did to Tay Conti during their last encounter.
She beat Ford in and out of the ring as she tried to get her feet back under her. She laid Ford out with a running elbow before applying a sleeper hold.
The Bunny walked down the ramp, and Anna released the hold. Ford grabbed her and hung her across the top rope so she could hit a running kick to the head.
We returned from a commercial to see Ford and Anna face to face talking trash to each other. Anna locked in the sleeper again, but Ford backed her into the turnbuckle to break the hold.
The Bunny passed the brass knuckles to Ford while distracting the ref so she could cheat to get the win.
This match was alright, but it was a little on the predictable side, especially once The Bunny came out to the ring. As soon as she arrived, it was clear who would win.
This is going to lead to a tag match with Tay Conti and Anna against Ford and The Bunny at some point. In fact, it could happen as soon as next week.
The HFO showed up to support The Bunny, but Cassidy and Kris Statlander came out with The Dark Order to even the odds. It turned into a huge brawl, so AEW clearly has plans to get multiple matches out of this feud.
Suzuki-Gun vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston
The main event was billed as a Lights Out match, which means anything goes and there are no limits to what they can do to each other. It's the same thing as an unsanctioned bout.
Suzuki and Archer brought some kendo sticks with them for this fight and took out a few members of the ring crew before Moxley and Kingston made their way out through the crowd.
Suzuki and Archer didn't even let them get into the ring before the fighting began. He handed Mox a chair so they could see who got the upper hand. The Japanese legend took control before Kingston got involved.
Suzuki laughed off some of Kingston's chops before hitting some of his own. Kingston set up a table in the ring, and Suzuki kicked him right through it. Archer hung Mox over the top rope with a leather belt as the show went to a break.
We came back to see Suzuki whipping a helpless Moxley, whose hands were tied behind his back. Kingston tried to help, but Archer put him down with a huge slam.
As Suzuki-Gun prepared to finish off Kingston, Homicide's music hit, and he snuck into the ring from the crowd. He hit Archer with a weapon before cutting Mox free.
Moxley hit both opponents with the Paradigm Shift, and Kingston teed off on Archer with a kendo stick while he was stuck in a trash can. He covered a downed Archer to get the win while Suzuki and Mox kept fighting at ringside.
Some matches tell a coherent story and some matches are just ugly brawls that make fans cheer. This bout was definitely the latter.
Suzuki and Archer definitely dished out more punishment during the first half, and the crowd was eating it up. You could tell this was going to be a wild fight from the moment they made contact.
This wasn't a technical clinic or high-flying spot fest. This was a good old-fashioned fight, and that made it fun. Sometimes, you just want to watch guys kick the snot out of each other, and the main event delivered in that respect. The Homicide appearance added to the festivities in a great way.