The wait is finally over, AEW Rampage: The First Dance has finally happened. We all know what we were expecting to happen, but what actually happened on arguably the single most anticipated episode of wrestling television this year? Lets get straight into it.
Excalibur starts the show and tells us that the announcement is coming up next. Surely not? The rest of the booth go do the rest of the card. No Jericho this week and JR replaces him in the 4 man booth
Sorry, I didn't mean to shout. I've just been waiting for this moment for 7 years with the rest of you and I'm very excited! AEW don't leave us waiting until the end of the show. CM Punk comes out to open the show and gets the loudest pop in the history of wrestling and I'm not even exaggerating. He makes his way down to the ring including leaping into the crowd to feel the energy first hand. AEW go to commercial break and promise us we'll be hearing from Punk after the break.
He starts off by telling the crowd they 'sure know how to make a kid feel like Britt Baker in Pittsburgh'. That one line makes everything even more real because CM Punk is talking about someone that AEW built. Smart guy this Punk. He continues by saying that we're winging this. He doesn't know what to say because he didn't know how he would feel but that he knew he needed to feel it and he's feeling and hearing Chicago right now. The crowd makes the whole world hear them at this point and I've never heard a crowd like this before. As the crowd chant his name he lets them know he heard them doing it for the last 7 years. He tells everyone that he's not going anywhere. Is CM Punk going to be full time?That waits to be seen. He then makes an apology for leaving, not that he has to, but he goes on to explain that if he hadn't have left he would have never gotten better physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally staying in the same place that got him sick in the first place.
We now move on to story time with CM Punk as he asks the crowd if he can tell them one. He then takes off his hoody to reveal the brand new CM Punk tee which has since crashed Pro Wrestling Tees several times. He sits cross legged in the ring for old times sake and tells us he felt before that he had to leave, he didn't want to but he couldn't stay in Ring of Honor. August 13th 2005 he had his last match for ROH and he famously made his entrance whilst crying and the reason he was crying was because he had made a place where people could love professional wrestling and he was leaving and that where he was going wasn't going to be easy for him. He then fires a huge shot as he explains that that was when he left professional wrestling and that August 2021... he's back. And he's back for us, and for him, and because AEW has a lot of young talent he wishes had been around him 10 years ago and he's back to work with them and to settle some scores.
Then the moment we knew was coming. Darby Allin's name crosses CM Punks lips for the first time. We reveal Darby is in the rafters with Sting and this shot looks incredible because of the size of the United Cente. Punk tells Darby he's seen him and lists all the crazy things he's seen Allin do. He tells Darby he's going to help him because Darby likes Danger and there's nothing he could do that was more dangerous than wrestling CM Punk.... other than wrestling CM Punk in Chicago. Match set for All Out. He ends it with the iconic, I'm back.
You think it's over but he has one more thing to say. He thanks the crowd for waiting for him and rewards them with a free ice cream bar at the end of the show. What a guy. What a promo. What a moment. Will you remember where you were when CM Punk came back to wrestling?
We get a brief promo before the match from Christian Cage where he says that the Young Bucks can't have their talentless friends help them in a steel cage when Jurassic Express beat them for the titles. Then he tells Kenny he's in his head and that he's taken his confidence and he'll take his title at All Out.
We get entrances after the break and then out come the Young Bucks before the match can start and take a seat at the top of the ramp with Brandon Cutler alongside them to view the match more closely. I think they just didn't wanna miss the action in front of AEW's biggest crowd to date. Private Party take control early on and beat down Jungle Boy quite well. They keep him in their corner and he can't seem to get any offence back on the members of the Hardy Family Office.
Jungle Boy creates some separation as we come back from commercial and Luchasaurus makes his famous hot tag and runs wild on both opponents as all the commentators talk about how big he is. Private Party manage to get control back briefly but it switches back again when Luchasaurus turns Silly String into an assisted cutter. Matt Hardy jumps up on the Apron and when Marko jumps up to remove him Matt throws him off the apron. Jungle boy takes Hardy out in retaliation but he leaves himself open for the roll up. Kassidy uses the ropes and pulls the trunks so hard we see a little bit of Jungle Boy that only Anna Jay should be seeing but Jungle Boy kicks out.
Private Party go for Gin and Juice but Jungle Boy hits a huge DDT on Kassidy to reverse before Marq Quen gets hit with the Thoracic Express for the 1,2,3. Good match and Jurassic Express might just get that rematch!
Don Callis berates Jurassic Express's fluke victory being like Christians fluke victory last week and passes over to Kenny to tell us why that won't happen at all out. Kenny says Rampage: The First Dance was set up for him and Christian ruined it so he's going to retire him for another 7 years at All Out and make him wish he'd never come back.
We have a short video package hyping the match up beforehand and AEW always do a good job with their production stuff. Jade makes her entrance while Kiera is already in the ring. Jade starts off too cocky and Kiera takes control with Jade in corner. She explodes out with a huge boot and hit the Jaded for the very quick victory. AEW are really building Cargill up as a huge threat and it's going to be very interesting how she weaves into the title picture over the next month.
AEW follows their interview format from last week of Mark Henry interviewing both competitors in the main event via video link. I think this is a really good idea, it looks great and its different. He asks Garcia and 2point0 why they attacked Mox and Kingston on Dynamite. Garcia says to be the biggest name in the company he has to beat Jon Moxley tonight. Jeff Parker tells Mox he went down pretty quick on Wednesday and Matt Lee chimes in by letting Moxley know that 15,000 people have waited 20 years for a main event like tonight and that Garcia will give him a taste tonight.
Mox says he's pissed off and about to commit what looks like felony assault and AEW wants to stick a camera in his face and a earpiece in his ear and talk to him. He says Daniel Garcia has more chance of getting him pregnant than submitting him in the ring tonight and that it's fitting they're in the United Centre because he will bounce his head off the mat like a basketball. Mox showing CM Punk he has competition for best promo in AEW.
Eddie Kingston has never looked happier than while he accompanies Moxley as he makes his entrance in front of 15,000 happy fans in Chicago. Mox gets the early advantage but Daniel Garcia manages to fight his way back into it with some excellent mat work. Mox hits two German suplexes in succession but Garcia picks his ankle and puts an ankle lock on. When Mox escapes, Garcia stupidly enters into a striking exchange which the bigger man, Moxley, wins easily. Garcia goes for another submission but Mox reverses it into a Bulldog Choke to submit Daniel Garcia.
2point0 attack after the bell and the numbers game is in their favour until Sting and Darby come out to make the save. They beat down the heels to send the crowd home happy as if that was in any doubt.
What did you think of the most monumental night in wrestling in recent memory? See you all next week when CM Punk talks on Dynamite!