October 8th, 2021
Commentary - Excalibur, Taz, & Chris Jericho
Show opens with Mark Henry hosting a split screen interview with Punk & Garcia before their match which is kicking off the show.
1) CM Punk vs. Daniel Garcia
Wow.. I did not expect this to be my favorite Punk match since his return but it honestly was. Sure, I rated Punk/Darby a quarter star higher, but there’s more factors there than just personal enjoyment. This felt like classic TV Punk. It reminded me of his Raw matches in 2012 or so. Good story, so superbly paced. Honestly just all the things that make Punk so good except in compact TV form although this came close to feeling like a PPV match at times. It was just a blast. Punk got his leg/knee worked over and made Garcia look amazing while he was in peril. Some neat reversals and things here. Punk mounts a comeback and busts out the piledriver before locking in the Anaconda Vice which forces Dan to tap. Awesome showing for him even in defeat.
Match rating - ***3/4
Matt Sydal is backstage with Lio Rush & Dante Martin. Sydal doesn’t like the idea of Dante partnering up with Lio. Lio offers to give Sydal something to show what he could do for Dante.. a match against CM Punk next week. AH LETS GO. GOT ME FEELIN LIKE IM WATCHIN 2004 IWA MS. Punk vs. Sydal on Rampage next week, it’s official.
2) The Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo) vs. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster)
Caster manages to not say anything too offensive and stupid in his opening rap here so that’s nice. I really want to love The Acclaimed, but I still have a sour taste from much of the shit Caster has said. None the less, this match is fine. They do stuff for a little less than 10 minutes and it’s fun. There’s never really any disbelief or true suspense on the outcome, but it’s still a blast of a tag match and easy viewing. Lucha Bros retain.
Match rating - **1/2
3) Jade Cargill vs. Skye Blue
SKYE BLUE!! She gets squashed by Jade here. They’re building Jade towards the TBS title clearly as she beats down Skye after the match only for Thunder Rosa to make the big save. Weird to be building the TBS title on a show that’s staying on TNT but is what it is. I’ve sat through way more insulting things in my years of WWE viewing so I’m not even gonna begin to complain.
4) Ricky Starks (c) vs. Brian Cage - FTW Title Match/Philly Street Fight
If AEW has ever ran a feud that I am absolutely tired of, it’s this one. Maybe even the Team Taz angle as a whole.. it’s just.. flat. Best part about this is it being a Philly Street Fight in Philly. They do plunder stuff and it’s at least enjoyable in that regard. Starks pin Cage with help AGAIN. Please let this be over now.
Match rating - **1/2