HomeTelevisionAEW Rampage Grand Slam: A PPV Quality Spectacular

AEW Rampage Grand Slam: A PPV Quality Spectacular

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Written by Mike Mueller

“Letting up off the gas” is apparently a phrase Tony Khan has not heard before. Or, if he has, he certainly doesn’t believe in it, as AEW Rampage Grand Slam once again found a way to raise the bar. The two hour episode (the first of its kind) emanated from Arthur Ashe Stadium and the New York crowd was given a Pay-Per-View worthy spectacle. 


As is custom for Rampage, we waste no time getting right into the action. No 20 minute monologues to start the show here, just good old fashioned rasslin’. CM Punk and Powerhouse Hobbs open the show, and it’s difficult to say if Rampage continued its tradition of starting with the “main event”, because there were a few main event worthy matches on this card. As a fan, this is a wonderful problem to have. 

Right at the bell, Punk immediately goes for the left leg of Hobbs, a smart strategy when taking on a larger opponent. Once he’s comfortably in control of the match, Punk takes a moment to give the “one finger salute” to Hook over at ringside. If Punk vs. Hook isn’t in a match in the near-future, what are we doing here? 

Punk’s preoccupation with Hook opened the door for Hobbs to take advantage, and he started to dominate the match. A series of powerful moves keep Hobbs in the driver’s seat, culminating in a…bear hug. Fortunately for the audience, a bear hug hasn’t won a match since about 1982, so Punk is able to escape and mount his comeback. A top rope elbow drop almost gets the job done, but Hobbs proves he’s a tough man to keep down. Digging further into his bag of tricks, CM Punk hits a top rope hurricanrana, and Hobbs lands very awkwardly on the crown of his head. Luckily no serious damage seems to have been done. 

With CM Punk firmly in control, he gives the signal that it is time to put Hobbs to sleep. Seeing this, Hook jumps up on the apron for a distraction. Punk seems to fall for the bait and approaches Hook, but ducks out of the way when Hobbs tries to attack him from behind, causing Hobbs to knock Hook off the apron. This might be the first bump Hook has had to take, and it was at the hands of a Team Taz member! Papa Taz is gonna be none too thrilled about this. 

Not one to let the opportunity go to waste, Punk takes advantage of the miscue, gets Hobbs up on his shoulders, and delivers the Go To Sleep for the victory. The crowd erupts and we are on our way to another amazing episode of Rampage! 

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling


The tension between Thunder Rosa and “two of the biggest senoritas in AEW” Jade Cargill and Nyla Rose continues to grow. However, the situation isn’t quite as simple as it seems. While both have a beef with Thunder, there is also growing animosity between Jade and Nyla after Nyla eliminated Jade from the Women’s Casino Battle Royal at All Out. What could have been a powerful duo seems to be imploding, and all of this is great news for the fans. A triple threat match seems to be on the horizon.


No time to waste, even in a two-hour super edition of Rampage. The Super Kliq (Young Bucks & Adam Cole) comes to the ring, cocky and ready to take on Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy. 

The mind games start right away, as Christian Cage and Adam Cole start the match. However, before we can even get a collar-and-elbow tie up, Adam Cole tags in Matt Jackson (Gorilla Monsoon is rolling over in his grave right now). Christian Cage shows that he, too, can play some mind games, as he gets the better of an amateur wrestling exchange with Matt, and does a few push-ups right on the Young Buck’s body. 

Cage and Jurassic Express continue their early domination in the match, avoiding every dirty trick that the Bucks and Cole throw at them. Jungle Boy hits a step-up escalera that turns into a double arm drag of the Young Bucks. After the bucks roll to the outside, Jungle Boy does a kip up and stands proud in the center of the ring. Jungle Boy is the best white meat babyface in the business today.

The crowd erupts at the possibility of Adam Cole and Jungle Boy squaring off, but they’ll have to wait as outside action allows the Super Kliq to regain the advantage. After a “cheeky” spot with the Young Bucks kissing Cole and delivering a double dropkick to Jungle Boy, we go to a commercial with our heroes in danger. 

Out of the break, Luchasaurus finally gets into the ring and clears house. The crowd erupts as all three members of the Super Kliq prove no match for a fired-up dinosaur. Eventually, The Elite does what they do best, and that causes chaos. As the referee loses control, a series of huge transition spots keep the action going fast and furious. 

All six wrestlers are brawling in and out of the ring, exchanging offensive moves until eventually Christian winds up on the receiving end of a low blow and gets thrown off the ramp down to the floor. The Young Bucks dispose of Jungle Boy next, leaving Luchasaurus alone in the ring with Adam Cole (bay-bay). Even 65 million years of experience can’t help everybody’s favorite fighting dinosaur with this one. A panama sunrise followed up by a BTE trigger and “The Boom” (Adam Cole’s Shining Wizard to the back of the head) do the job and the Super Kliq gets the win. 

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling


Up next, Dan Lambert leads his “Men of the Year” Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page to the ring to face Chris Jericho and Jake Hager. This match seemed a bit thrown together at the last minute, but it’s nice to see AEW investing in the Men of the Year. When Dan Lambert first showed up on the scene, a lot of people didn’t know what to make of him, but he has proven to be one of the biggest heat-seeking missiles in all of pro wrestling. To quote The Pop Break’s Kimmy Sokol “he annoys the crap out of me.” Well done, Dan! 

Early on, Hager’s amateur wrestling experience is showcased as he delivers a beautiful belly-to-belly suplex. Both teams were not afraid to “fight like heels” and took any shortcut they could find. Jericho choked Ethan Page in the corner while the ref was distracted, and Men of the Year returned the favor when Dan Lambert hit a cheap shot on Jericho a few minutes later. 

Coming out of a commercial break, Men of the Year continue their dominance as Ethan Page hits a beautiful flying shoulder block onto Jake Hager. Jericho is going stir-crazy in the corner, desperate to get in the ring. Finally, Hager makes the hot tag and Jericho unleashes an offensive storm, even hitting a Lionsault on Scorpio Sky. Regardless of one’s personal thoughts on him, Jericho’s athleticism at 50 years old should be admired by all. 

Hour one concludes with the Inner Circle hitting a dual ankle lock/Walls of Jericho, and while that seemed like the end, the Men of the Year were able to escape. This doesn’t stop Hager from continuing the offense. After a high boot, Hager hits the ropes for his next move, but Dan Lambert catches just enough of Hager’s leg to force him to stumble right into an inside cradle by Scorpio Sky and the Men of the Year pull out a victory. 

After the match, a pissed off Hager and Jericho dispose of the Men of the Year and pull Dan Lambert into the ring. The crowd goes wild as it seems we are finally gonna see Dan get his comeuppance. However, previously unseen members of Lambert’s “American Top Team” come from every direction and surround the ring. With their backs against the wall, the Inner Circle gives it their best effort, but the numbers are just way too much and Hager and Jericho are laid to waste by all the MMA pros. 

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling


Following that, we have a huge 8 man tag team match featuring The Butcher & The Blade along with Private Party to take on crowd favorite Lucha Brothers and Santana & Ortiz. As is the case with any match featuring the Lucha Bros, the formality of actually tagging people seems to be completely abandoned, as all eight wrestlers entered and exited the ring at a breakneck speed. 

Eventually, Matt Hardy pulls out a pair of scissors (because who doesn’t have a pair of scissors conveniently stored in their suit pocket?) and is ready to pull a Brutus “the barber” Beefcake on Santana until Orange Cassidy comes to the rescue.

Nobody seemed to stay in control for too long, as high spot after high spot kept the crowd guessing as to who would come out on top. After a package piledriver by the Lucha Bros and Street Sweeper, Santana and Ortiz get the victory for their team and the Hardy Family Office continues to be the best collection of jobbers ever assembled. 

What this match lacked in length it more than made up for in excitement. There wasn’t even a moment to catch your breath and anybody who thought this would be a good idea for a bathroom break missed out on one hell of an exciting match. 

After the match, Tony Schiavone talks with Matt Hardy. Hardy is sick of Orange Cassidy’s constant interference anytime Matt tries to cut somebody’s hair. He’s had enough and he’s here to formally propose a hair vs. hair match….between Orange Cassidy and Jack Evans. This was a brilliant comedic swerve and is perfect for the Matt Hardy character we’ve come to know and love/hate in AEW. 

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling


Back in the arena, Fuego del Sol and Sammy Guevara come out with Sammy’s patented cue cards and the crowd loves it. However, before they can even get to the third card, Miro sneaks up from behind and decimates Sammy and Fuego, much to the delight of a very excited Ricky Starks on commentary. This was a short segment but it did a great job in building the Sammy/Miro feud and continuing to make Miro look like an absolutely unstoppable monster. 


A pre-taped promo featuring Andrade comes on and Andrade wants everybody to know that he has honor, and what Chavo did in his match against Pac was unacceptable. Even though he got the win, Andrade wants another match to prove to Pac that he doesn’t need outside help to put The Bastard down. 


The feud between Anna Jay & Tay Conti and Penelope Ford & The Bunny continues as Anna Jay looks to go two-for-two against her rivals. After defeating The Bunny last week, Anna now has her eyes set on Penelope. She wastes no time and attacks Penelope before she even gets into the ring. This had all the makings of a squash match until The Bunny came out to distract Anna Jay and allow Penelope Ford to finally get some offense in. 

After a quick commercial break, we come back to see Anna Jay once again in control of the match. She has the Queen Slayer locked in and it looks like this will be another victory for Anna, but The Bunny is able to sneak a pair of brass knuckles into Penelope Ford. Penelope uses the foreign object to deliver a knockout blow to Anna Jay and The Hardy Family Office FINALLY gets a win. 

After the match, Tay Conti comes down to help out her downed friend. It worked for a moment but the numbers and the knuckles were too much as the Hardy Family Office got the better of our two babyfaces. However, all hope wasn’t lost, as Anna and Tay had some backup of their own. Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander hit the ramp, backed up by the Dark Order! It looks like we are going to see the Dark Order finally reunited, but before handshakes and hugs can make everybody happy, Evil Uno leaves the ring and Stu Grayson follows after him. Looks like we are going to have to wait a little longer to get that reunion. 

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling


Before the final match of the night, Mark Henry interviews the wrestlers. He asks why Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki are accepting this Lights Out match against Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. Archer says without Moxley’s hometown advantage (referring to Mox’s match against Suzuki in Cincinnati), he’s going to put his big boot up their @$$ in the Big Apple. Eddie Kingston goes from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye, and is ready for a fight. The time for talking is finished, and now there’s nothing left for these four men to do besides beat the absolute hell out of each other. 

Lance Archer, apparently in an effort to send a message, attacks the ringside security for no reason whatsoever. The crowd is too busy singing along to Suzuki’s theme to really notice or care. 

The match begins as any good lights out match should, with extreme chaos and violence. Suzuki gives Moxley a chair before attempting to hit Mix with a chair of his own, which was rather sporting of him. Suzuki gets the better of the exchange and meets Kingston in the middle of the ring. The crowd is very vocal in support of their hometown hero, Kingston, and they become unglued as Kingston pulls a table out from under the ring. The decision proves unwise as Suzuki ends up kicking Eddie through the table that was propped up in the corner, and now Archer and Suzuki are firmly in control.

After Archer chokeslammed Moxley into a sea of “security” officers (someone needs to give these security guys better training. Nobody feels safer with these jabronis at ringside), he pulls out a belt and uses it to choke/hang Moxley using the outside ropes. Moxley’s hands get taped behind his back and he is defenseless as Archer and Suzuki whip him with the strap. Moxley is in dire straits as an arsenal of weapons get introduced into the ring. 

Meanwhile, Kingston has finally recovered on the outside, and not a moment too soon! He evens the odds and gives Mox some much needed back-up. After some exciting machine gun chops in the corner, and an exploder suplex to Archer, Kingston loses his edge as Suzuki attacks him. 

A pair of chairs are set up, back to back, and it looks like Archer is going to drop Kingston throat first onto the unforgiving steel. However, a surprise appearance by New York legend Homicide saves the day. Homicide free’s Moxley’s hands, allowing Mox to hit a Paradigm Shift on Suzuki, rendering him useless for the remainder of the match.

With it now two-on-one, the Murderhawk Monster is no match for Mox and Kingston. A garbage can is placed on Archer’s head, and Kingston delivers 18 swings of a splintered kendo stick before finally covering Archer for the win.

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling


While the one hour format of Rampage is still preferred by yours truly, the two hour special certainly didn’t lag in action as some feared it would. It will be interesting to see what the ratings for that second hour tell us, but five big matches gave the crowd plenty to buzz about, and they didn’t seem to lose too much steam toward the end of the show. Ultimately, Rampage does exactly what it’s supposed to do: Give you great AEW action while pushing storylines and narratives forward for another week. Tony Khan, whatever you’re doing, just keep on doing it.

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling  
Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

Most Recent

Stay Connected