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AEW Rampage: September 3, 2021

by Samoa Rowe

Malakai Black

Live from the Now Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Our hosts are Mark Henry, Taz, Excalibur, and Chris Jericho.

Malakai Black vs. Lee Johnson

Crowd is hot for this, Lee looks a bit overwhelmed by the moment, especially compared to the stoic Black. Lee cautiously feels Black out, it seems like Black could win at any moment. Black doesn't like getting slapped, and sweeps Lee off his feet and unleashes a furious flurry. Lee hits a toe kick, but Black resumes his onslaught to send us to commercials. They return with Johnson desperately trying to slug his way back into the fight, and he clears Black with a dropkick and his a tope suicida. Frog splash by Johnson, but he's moving gingerly and can't decide what to do next. Black takes Johnson down by his apparently injured wrist and nails a mean penalty kick to the face. Black takes a break from kicking Lee's @ss to grab a chair. The ref warns Black not to use it, so he offers the weapon for Lee to use. Johnson wobbles up and takes the chair, but Black puts him down with Black Mass and wins at 9:55. Clever finish, as Black seems to get extra satisfaction from possibly corrupting one of Cody's guys, **½.
Winner: Malakai Black

Dustin Rhodes arrives to stop Black from hurting Lee more. I wonder if they could squeeze a Dustin vs. Malakai match onto an already crowded All Out card.

Mark Henry talks to Dustin Rhodes about what just happened. Dustin challenges Malakai to a match on the next Dynamite. Malakai's darkness doesn't scare Dustin, because he's thrived in darkness for 5 decades.

TNT Champion Miro comes to the ring to talk about Eddie Kingston. He mocks Eddie for taking a "charity" contract from AEW, and it's made him soft, comfortable, and a bag boy for Jon Moxley. Eddie Kingston has heard enough and interrupts to a great ovation. Eddie cuts a vicious promo against "Miro's stupid god." Eddie tells Miro to "redeem deez nuts" and chases him out of the ring. Miro meets him on the floor and clocks Eddie with the TNT title. Eddie dodges a foot stomp and hits a backhand and DDT, leaving Miro in a rare heap.

H2>Rebel and Jamie Hayter (with Dr. Britt Baker) vs. Kris Statlander (with Best Friends)

Kris locks up with Hayter for a long tussle. Hayter grabs a side headlock, and Kris smashes her in the chest. Rebel grabs Kris from the apron, helping Hayter corner the alien. Powerslam by Rebel gets 2. Kris blocks Rebel's chest kicks and nails a low (nearly botched) power slam. Kris makes her own hot tag and runs wild, stacking her opponents for a back senton for 2. Kris dumps Hayter with a low bridge, but Rebel sneaks in for a splash. Kris gets Rebel on her shoulders and catches a charging Hayter, and then hits a BONKERS Electric Chair/Power slam combo! Statlander finishes Rebel with an innovative spider crab submission hold at 4:12. Not exactly smooth, but Statlander shined at the right moments, **.
Winner: Kris Statlander

Red Velvet runs in to back up Statlander, and the fans don't like her all that much. Britt and friends back off without any further scuffling.

Earlier today, tempers flared during a Jon Moxley/Satoshi Kojima press conference, leading to a slugfest.

Mark Henry hosts a Zoom meeting with Darby Allin, Sting, 2.0, and Daniel Garcia. Darby isn't overlooking Garcia in their match, but after he knocks him on his @ss, he's going straight for CM Punk.

Speaking of the devil, CM Punk comes out to another huge ovation, and joins commentary. He leaps into the fans, where one bearded gentleman seems to offer him a martini, and Punk mouths "really?"" Someone may need to remind that guy what "straight edge" means.

Darby Allin (with Sting) vs. Daniel Garcia (with 2.0)

Allin has something to prove, with Punk watching, and tears into Garcia at the bell. Allin misses a wild head of steam and crashes over a table and into a rail. Garcia whips Darby into the ring steps. Meanwhile, Sting bashes 2.0, maybe out of frustration. Darby quickly comes back and works an armbar. Garcia slips out, so Darby smashes his arm against the steps. Garcia's arm isn't too hurt to put Darby into a Romero Special. Darby sneakily hangs Garcia on the middle rope, but Garcia answers with a brutal superplex for 2. They cut to commercials. They return with Garcia cutting off Darby's comeback with a step up choke in the buckles. Darby elbows free, but Garcia reapplies the chokehold on the canvas. Darby carries Garcia up the buckles and hits a super backpack slam to break loose. Darby hits the “Pepsi Twist” and stares at CM Punk. Code Red gets 2, so Darby pulls back Garcia's leg into a pinning predicament and wins at 10:42! Really good match, with excellent crowd heat. In their first match, Garcia felt like a Dark scrub getting a generous rub from Darby. Tonight, he felt like a rising star and was naturally taking Darby to the limit. I'd be shocked if Garcia hasn't been signed by now, ***½.
Winner: Darby Allin

2.0 attack Darby, looking to keep their promise of ruining the All Out match. CM Punk marches them back, and Darby takes them down with a tope suicida. The show ends with Punk and Allin staring each other down.

Final Thoughts: Easy, breezy show that added a little extra sizzle to numerous All Out matches, and provided a good showcase for Malakai Black. So far, AEW is succeeding in making Rampage feel like Dynamite's third hour, and the short format is leaving me wanting more.

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