Best friends-turned-rivals CM Punk and Darby Allin went toe-to-toe in a chaotic brawl on Saturday night at the Waukesha County Fair at the same time circus performers were putting on a show.
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The main event of tonight’s Rampage featured AEW’s newest recruit and Best in the World CM Punk, who once again drew a large crowd. He even dived back into the audience before entering the ring. Punk would join in on commentary to watch his All Out opponent Darby Allin (together with Sting) take on Daniel Garcia and 2.0, and the two would lock up right after the bell. They traded slaps and chops until Allin grounded Garcia, and Punk likened Darby to Sting in that he’s the promotion’s lifeblood, just as Sting was in WCW.
Allin then rushed at Garcia, but Garcia avoided it, sending Allin straight into the barrier and slamming into the table on his way there. Garcia then took advantage of this by tossing Allin onto the steel stairs. In the meanwhile, Sting smashed 2.0 into the barriers, keeping them occupied.
Punk spoke on how he’s been practicing and the anxiety he’s feeling ahead of All Out as Garcia tossed Allin into the ring. Garcia attempted to raise Allin but was unsuccessful, and Allin then attempted to lock in a double wrist lock but was almost caught in the Fujiwara Armbar. Allin smashed Garcia’s arm and hand against the steel stairs, then forced his arm between the steps and the post, stepping on it to keep it trapped.
When Garcia returned to the ring, he landed a huge kick to the head of Allin and then went for the Romero Special, locking Allin in and pulling his chain over his lips. Allin then grabbed a portion of Garcia and pulled his face over the middle rope, but Garcia cut off a trip to the toprope. Off the top rope, Garcia swapped arms and nailed a SuperPlex. Allin kicked him out as he tried for the pin.
@CMPunk: “I believe he did it better than I ever did.”
That’s a lot of compliments. pic.twitter.com/FXdSKl5h1W #AEWRampage
— September 4, 2021, All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT)
Garcia continued his assault by kicking Allin in the head, then droppingkicking the back of his head, then pinning him, but Allin kicked out. Garcia then pushed Allin against the barrier before yelling obscenities at the audience. Garcia tossed Allin back into the ring when he pulled himself up. After a brief exchange of words between Punk and Garcia, Garcia pushed Allin into a corner. He landed a punch and then pulled Allin into the opposite corner, then slammed him over the shoulders with a chop and a smash, but Allin countered with a punch. Garcia maintained his grip on Allin’s wrist and threw punches at him, but Allin returned the favor until Garcia forearmed him across the chest, sending him crashing to the ground.
Allin kicked Garcia in the face and tried for an uppercut, but Garcia caught him in a rear choke and climbed to the top rope for leverage. Allin was able to escape, but the harm had already been done. Allin landed several elbows, but Garcia was able to re-lock the rear choke. To release himself, Allin pulled Garcia to the middle rope and hit the Coffin Drop.
Punk joked that Allin’s rear choke game wasn’t great, but it was how he applied it that was the issue. Garcia and Allin exchanged chops until Allin switched it up and nailed Garcia with the Pepsi Twist. Allin then struck Garcia with a Code Red, but Garcia kicked out. Allin was able to win by cleverly locking in a hold on Garcia, and then 2.0 entered the ring. Sting handled Garcia, but 2.0 dominated Allin, prompting Punk to rise and make his way to the ring. He’d go up against 2.0, but before they could fight, Allin lunged into 2.0 and knocked them out. As Rampage came to a close, Allin and Punk locked gazes.
What were your thoughts about Rampage? Let us know in the comments, and as usual, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MattAguilarCB to discuss all things wrestling!