Date: August 20, 2021
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Mark Henry, Excalibur, Taz
So this is a weird show as there is a big surprise, but everyone knows exactly what it is going to be. AEW has all but said what is going to happen here and that just leaves the question of how it goes down. There are a few ways to do that and I’m rather excited about what is going to happen. Let’s get to it.
The crowd is already chanting for CM PUNK…..and here he is to open the show. Punk takes his time getting to the ring and is clearly shaken up by this. Punk even dives over the barricade into the crowd and hugs a lot of people at ringside. After a break, Punk says you know how to make a guy feel like Britt Baker in Pittsburgh. Punk says he’s winging this and while he can’t get to everything tonight, he has a lot of time on Wednesdays, Fridays and four Saturdays/Sundays a year.
One important thing: if any of his decisions have ever made anyone feel disappointed or let down, he had to leave because he needed to get out of there so he can feel healthy. After taking off his jacket to reveal the CM PUNK: I WAS THERE shirt, Punk sits down Pipebomb style to talk about how he left Ring of Honor with tears in his eyes. He knew that he was leaving a place where wrestlers could learn their craft and love professional wrestling. While he was leaving Ring of Honor, he also left professional wrestling.
On August 20, 2021, he is back in professional wrestling because he wants to work with that same talent that he wishes he could have faced before. He is here to settle some scores and for some young guys, so he calls out Darby Allin…..who is in the rafters with Sting. Punk knows Allin is good and he’s seen him do some crazy things in and out of the ring. Punk knows Allin is crazy and there is nothing crazier than facing Punk in Chicago on pay per view on September 5 at All Out. Oh and one more thing: seven years is a long time, and on your way out, enjoy a free ice cream bar on him. And commentary actually has ice cream!
Christian Cage is fired up for Kenny Omega and tells Jurassic Express to go get the Tag Team Titles.
#1 Contenders Tag Team Tournament First Round: Private Party vs. Jurassic Express
Matt Hardy and Marko Stunt are both here too and the Young Bucks come out to watch. Kassidy takes Jungle down to start and it’s quickly off to Quen, who is armdragged in a hurry. Jungle takes Kassidy down as well but a distraction lets Private Party get in a quick double team to take over.
Back with Jungle hitting a clothesline and bringing in Luchasaurus (But…..he wasn’t even fighting out of a chinlock!), who puts Boy on his shoulders for some reason. That lets Quen hit a super Canadian Destroyer (with Jungle landing on his face because THAT’S A REALLY SCARY MOVE), followed by a springboard shooting star….well it’s a shove because only his hands graze Luchasaurus but at least he made contact. Back in and the Silly String is countered into the Extinction Level Event for two, followed by the Throwassic Express for the pin on Quen at 10:21.
Rating: C+. Private Party is like the Hardys if the Hardys weren’t very good. They can do the flips and dives and such and every now and then, one of them will actually work. This had the right ending and it would not surprise me a bit to see Jurassic Express get to the title match at All Out. That seems to be the story they are telling and that is more than a good enough idea.
Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan
Hogan goes right at her but walks into Jaded (with some walking around) for the pin at 1:07.
Daniel Garcia, with 2.0, and Jon Moxley get this week’s split screen interview. 2.0 talks about how ready they are for this, with Moxley speaking really fast about how he isn’t going down tonight.
Daniel Garcia vs. Jon Moxley
2.0 is here with Garcia. Moxley doesn’t waste time in starting but Garcia takes him down by the leg. The leglock is countered into a cross armbreaker, followed by some rolling German suplexes. Garcia picks the ankle for an ankle lock but Moxley is in the ropes in a hurry. A heck of a clothesline blasts Garcia but the Paradigm Shift is countered into something like a nasty Sharpshooter. Moxley is fine enough to reverse into a bulldog choke for the tap at 4:06.
Rating: C+. They didn’t have much time here but I continue to like Garcia. Moxley wasn’t really in danger but it was nice to see him have to figure Garcia out and then make him tap. That’s about all you could get out of this one but Garcia could be good with a little more polish and a few wins.
Post match 2.0 comes in but Eddie Kingston comes in for the failed save attempt. Sting and Darby Allin come in for the real save. The beatdown is on and it’s a double Coffin Drop onto 2.0. Posing ends the show.
Overall Rating: B+. The best description I’ve heard of this show was “it’s a one thing show, but it’s a BIG thing”. This was all about Punk’s debut and that worked as well as you could have expected. I don’t know what else you could ask for here and the wrestling being pretty good was just a bonus. This was a pretty special event and that’s what it was supposed to be. Total success.
Jurassic Express b. Private Party – Throwassic Express to Quen
Jade Cargill b. Kiera Hogan – Jaded
Jon Moxley b. Daniel Garcia – Bulldog choke
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