AEW had an uphill task tonight as Rampage went up against WWE Supersized SmackDown for 30 minutes straight. The company pretty much held its nerve and produced an action-packed show.
Tonight's episode comes on the heels of a pre-show Buy-In that featured a massive dream clash between Bryan Danielson and Minoru Suzuki. In case you missed it, you can still watch the entire match on AEW's YouTube channel.
Now, moving on to Rampage, a few booking decisions may have left a sour taste in everyone's mouth, which we'll be discussing as positives and negatives in this article.
If you disagree with any of the reviewers' opinions below, do let us know in the comments section. Now let's not wait any further and get straight down to the in-depth analysis.
#3 Best: AEW putting CM Punk in ratings war slot against SmackDown
If there's anyone who could potentially counter WWE in ratings, it would be CM Punk. It wouldn't be far-fetched to say that All Elite Wrestling picked the right man tonight to kick off Rampage in a slot where the wrestling war was at its peak.
The Straight Edge Superstar had a gruesome battle with Matt Sydal. Both men left no stone unturned in setting the bar for the show. It is understandable now why Punk is more intent on wrestling with high-flying and younger talents.
Even though Sydal isn't getting any younger, he's arguably one of the best technically sound wrestlers AEW currently has. Even with the loss, he brought the best out of CM Punk.
Punk delivered a jaw-dropping GTS in the end to win the match. It is safe to assume that The Second City Saint is steadily picking up his pace in the ring with each bout passing by. With tonight's momentum-gaining victory, his winning record stands at 4-0.
#2 Worst: Ruby Soho picking up a roll-up victory
Ruby Soho faced The Bunny tonight on AEW Rampage in what was an underwhelming match. Even though both women went all out, the pace of the bout felt incredibly slow.
Soho picked up the victory with a roll-up that questions her character moving forward. The Runaway is the company's top babyface right now, and she doesn't need cheap wins to climb her way to the top.
Moreover, the aftermath was just a repeat of what The Bunny and Penelope Ford have been doing for weeks, brutalizing their opponent after losing the match. Ford hit Soho with a brass knuckle, thus leaving the former WWE Superstar in unimaginable pain.
The entire playout felt absurd, and that the company could have planned a better finish for this match.
#1 Best/Worst: Scorpio Sky pinning Chris Jericho in the main event
Tonight's main event was everything that got the attention of the wrestling world. Men of the Year and Junior Dos Santos faced The Inner Circle in a trios match.
In a surprising turn of events, Scorpio Sky pinned Chris Jericho to pick up the victory for his team. Well, he didn't pin him clean as Paige VanZant caused a distraction, thus allowing Jorge Masvidal to hit the running knee on Jericho, who had Sky locked in his Walls of Jericho submission.
The finish to the match didn't sit well as no one thought an underutilized talent in Scorpio Sky would pin the former world champion. In all likelihood, if the company is building towards Jericho vs. Masvidal or The Inner Circle vs. The American Top Team, then what would Sky personally gain from putting down a legendary star? He seems to be the third wheel in this feud.
Regardless, The Inner Circle reunion came as a sigh of relief as they desperately needed a backup to counter the numbers game. The entire bout was nothing but action-packed as both teams laid their entire arsenal on display, which was fun to watch. With that said, it remains to be seen what the company has in store for these factions moving forward.
Q. Which show was better tonight?
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