All Elite Wrestling
Rampage: The First Dance
August 20, 2021
United Center
Chicago, Illinois

Meet Our Reviewers

Jeri Evagood: The Magic Writing Girl is here to witness the most important thing to happen in a long while. I’m talking about Jon Moxley versus Daniel Garcia. YEAH! Wait? What? Oh yeah, that other big thing that is going to happen tonight is also going to be something I hotly discussed, analyzed, critique and… who the Punk am I kidding, I’m going to fangirl the hell out. If you want to follow my amazingly cute self you can do so at @TheJerriest_Jer.

Griffin Peltier: Hyped to witness history, Griffin has been mesmerized by how hot the AEW product has been as he’s never watched an American pro wrestling company operate on this level of overness. Follow him on Twitter @hollywd12.

CM PUNK DEBUTS IN AEW

Jeri: MY BODY FUCKING SHIVERED AND SHOOK AT CULT OF PERSONALITY! I’m worried the United Center is going to burn down because this crowd is pure fire. I never thought I’d see the day. Seven long years. People are crying in the crowd. PEOPLE ARE CRYING IN THE CROWD! THEY ARE MOBBING C.M PUNK! I’m almost crying. Holy shit, what a moment. What an electric special moment. This is special, this is not manufactured, this is not staged, this is not shoved down our throats and explained to us how great it is as if we’re supposed to accept that.This is truly special, significant, awesome. Wow. My knees are bouncing back and forth against each other in nervous energy! I love Pro-Wrestling. My body was not ready. My emotions were not ready. I was there, 2014 Royal Rumble. I didn’t know that was his last appearance. I never thought I would see him in wrestling again. I’m smiling, I’m giggling, I’m crying, I’m ecstatic. The man decides to sit down and tell us a story. He has this crowd in the palm of his hands. He tells us he left pro-wrestling and now in 2021 he’s back! He calls out Darby Allin. He puts over Darby Allin. He challenges Darby Allin! ALL OUT!!!!!! THERE WE GO!!!! THIS RULED! MAGICAL, MOMENTOUS, TREMENDOUS! C.M PUNK! C.M PUNK! C.M PUNK! I WAS THERE FOR HIS LAST MATCH, AND I’M GOING TO BE THERE FOR HIS RETURN MATCH! … I’m exhausted, and the show still has 40 minutes. My fangirl heart is full. 

Griffin: I have CHILLS as “Cult of Personality” hits those speakers. This crowd in Chicago is absolutely electric for the biggest signing in AEW history. He is a God among his people. People are crying, people are jumping up and down, and these people are chanting with every fibre of their being. There are rarely any moments in professional wrestling nowadays that feel like this. This is huge, this is game-changing, this brings AEW to another level. This is why you fall in love with this sport. The connection between wrestler and fan is unmatched. Punk sat down to a huge pop. This man is over. CM Punk called out Darby Allin and told him he was first on the list. CM PUNK VS. DARBY ALLIN IS CONFIRMED FOR ALL OUT! This ruled! This is professional wrestling!

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE ELIMINATOR SEMI-FINAL
Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) def. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)

Jeri: If you want to know how hyped/amped I am right now after all that, I’m dancing to Tarzan Boy during Jurassic Express’s entrance. I’m not a good dancer, but who cares. I was so amped for this there was no way it was going to fail and it didn’t. We had an excellent hot tag segment for Luchasaurus, we got a ridiculous Doomsday Device-esque Destroyer that had me shouting “Oh Fuck” and it kept a good high energy throughout. Crowd helped it beautifully. I had a lot of fun with this, perfect placement on the card. This was fun as hell.  “Sings along with Jungle Boy’s theme) ***½ 

Griffin: This started off hot as the crowd was still buzzing after the CM Punk debut. Private Party can really be hit or miss with me but they did their part well in being on the losing end of the Jungle Boy (and Luchasaurus) showcase. Jurassic Express looked great and the Luchasaurus hot tag after the picture-in-picture break was super hot! Private Party were perfect in this spot, including a top rope Destroyer and a Springboard SSP to the outside! This was a spotfest and it had the crowd invested. A fun spotfest and a good way to continue the show after the big Punk debut. ***½ 

Jade Cargill def. Kiera Hogan

Jeri: Jade Gargrill made quick work of Kiera Hogan. This was exactly what it needed to be. Kiera got a small (let me express here, SMALL) moment of offense, but Jade dominated her, made quick work, and finished with the Jaded. Star. SQUASH

Griffin: Jade Cargill looks like an absolute star. She made quick work of Kiera Hogan and finished the match with a big boot and the Jaded. Good for what it was. SQUASH

Jon Moxley def. Daniel Garcia

Jeri: WILD THING! YOU MAKE MY HEART SING! Moxley exudes the pissed-off energy of a scummy/filthy/dirty/raw badass. I love being a Jon Moxley girl. Mox got a damn good reaction. They didn’t have a lot of time, but they made use of every minute they had. Great energy, great back and forth. They had a heck of a short match and it was an exciting and fun main event for what we got. I look forward to the day these two can have an extended match against each other, as this sampler, this taste, this sneak preview of what they can do together rocked. A nice smidgen of what I wanted, and I hope in the future I can have some more. Please Khan, I want some more. I am satisfied, and I am now exhausted. *** 1/4

Griffin: I was super excited for my C*4 Champion Daniel Garcia to wrestle Jon Moxley in the main event of AEW’s biggest crowd ever. CM Punk may have gotten the biggest reaction tonight but Mox was a close second. Moxley looks like such a badass coming out in the crowd as the match starts with five minutes left in the broadcast! Mox connected with a few Bryan Danielson-esque kicks to Garcia’s chest but “Red Death” fought back and targeted Mox’s previously attacked legs. Garcia got a lot of offense but it wasn’t enough when Mox countered a submission attempt and locked in the Bulldog Choke for the win. I hope they have a longer match in the future as it could be fantastic! ***1/4

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