SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW RAMPAGE TV REPORT
OCTOBER 22, 2021
RECORDED AT THE JAMES L. KNIGHT CENTER, MIAMI, FL
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks, Chris Jericho.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– The opening of Rampage aired. Excalibur welcomed us with, “It’s Friday night, and you know what that means!” Excalibur was joined by Taz, Ricky Starks, and Chris Jericho.
(1) ORANGE CASSIDY (w/Chuck Taylor) vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS (w/Hook) — World Title Eliminator Tournament
Cassidy was showcasing taped ribs for this match stemming from the Casino Ladder match from a few weeks ago. Cassidy ducked Hobbs but Hobbs caught him with a spinebuster for a very close two count. Matty Hardy was shown sitting ringside for this one. Hobbs had Cassidy on the outside and slammed his back against the metal barrier. Hobbs wrapped Cassidy around the post and focused on his injured ribs.
Back inside the ring Hobbs hit a side suplex, then another. Cassidy tried to hit a DDT on Hobbs, but Hobbs caught him, threw him against the ropes, then flattened him with a stiff clothesline. [c]
Hobbs had Cassidy face-down on the mat. Hobbs then wrenched Cassidy back in a single-leg crab before releasing. Hobbs continued the onslaught as Hardy looked on. The crowd tried willing Cassidy back by chanting his name. It may have worked, as Cassidy was able to drive Hobbs across the top rope. Hobbs, however, caught Cassidy as he came off the top rope and put him in a torture rack. Cassidy tried fighting out of it, and he finally broke the hold. Cassidy tried for the DDT again. He wasn’t able to hit it but did get an inside cradle for a two count. Hobbs caught Cassidy again and drove him into the corner.
Hobbs charged into Cassidy while he was in the corner as the ref told him to break. Hobbs picked up the ref and drove him into the opposite corner. Hook came over and tried telling Hobbs to calm down. Cassidy came up from behind and got the Mouse Trap for the win.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy in 8:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A nice match that told a good story from beginning to end. Although I’m not a big fan of their feud, I did enjoy the storyline continuation of Cassidy’s injured ribs at the hands of Hardy, who was present at ringside. Hobbs looked very strong here and didn’t lose much in defeat.)
– Tony Schiavone was in the ring and introduced Alex Abrahantes and Penta El Zero Miedo. The crowd chanted for Penta as Abrahantes noticed two people at ringside wearing the same green masks FTR recently wore on Dynamite. Penta went to take off the masks but was attacked from behind by the real FTR. FTR took out Penta, then posed in the ring with Tully Blanchard and the AAA Tag Team Titles. PAC hit the ring to clear the ring and help his trios partner, Penta. [c]
(2) BRITT BAKER D.M.D. (w/Jamie Hayter & Rebel) vs. ANNA JAY
Baker got in the first shot, but Jay fired right back, which seemed to shock Baker a bit. Baker took Jay down with a side headlock, then went for a quick pin attempt. Jay rolled through a move on Baker, then leveled her with a kick to the side of the head and an elbow strike.
Jay evaded a charge from Baker, then kicked her in the face. Jay hit a flatliner, then locked in a submission move, which Baker was able to break free from. Baker sent Jay face-first into the middle turnbuckle. [c]
Jay maintained control as we came back from the break. Baker, however, hit a sling blade, then a twisting neck breaker for a two count. Rebel offered Baker the black glove. Baker hit Jay with a few forearms to the face, but Jay hit a DDT, then a dropkick. Baker rolled Jay over into a crucifix pin, but Jay reversed into one of her own. Jay then transitioned into the Queen Slayer. Baker tried to get the ropes but fought to her feet instead. Hayter distracted from the apron, but Jay knocked her off. Jay went for the Queen Slayer again, but Baker tried to use the turnbuckle to break it. It didn’t work but Baker was able to break the hold by making it to the ropes.
Baker pulled Jay’s throat across the ropes, then hit her with a thrust kick, Baker locked in the Lock Jaw for the win.
WINNER: Britt Baker in 10:00
– After the match, Baker synched in the Loc Jaw again. Tay Conti ran out to make the save and was able to level Baker with a few shots as she rolled to the outside. Conti held up the AEW Women’s Championship as Baker and her team looked on.
(Moynahan’s Take: Although this match suffered from a long commercial break, this was very good. Conti looks to be the next contender for Baker’s title based on the post-match angle.)
– Tomorrow’s Dynamite card was shown, including additional matches in the World Title Eliminator Tournament and Malaki Black vs. Cody III.
– Participants in the TBS Championship tournament were announced. Four women will receive first round byes, including Thunder Rosa, Jade Cargill, Nyla Rose, and Kris Statlander. The remaining participants and first round matches include Anna Jay vs. Jamie Hayter, The Bunny vs. Red Velvet, Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida, and Penelope Ford vs. Ruby Soho.
– Tony Schiavone was on split-screen with Andrade on one side and PAC on the other. Andrade said he would beat Pac tonight, and that he has friends around the world. PAC said this should have been settled weeks ago, but at least everyone was banned from ringside tonight. Schiavone said it was time for the main event. [c]
(3) ANDRADE EL IDOLO vs. PAC
Andrade and Pac faced off in the middle of the ring. Pac hit Andrade with a back kick, then a snap German suplex which drove Andrade to the outside. Pac followed up by flying over the ropes onto Andrade. Pac threw Andrade inside, then went to the top but Andrade knocked him down. Andrade missed a charge into the corner. Pac started kicking away at Andrade, then nailed him with a dropkick to the face.
Pac had Andrade through the ropes, then walked out to the apron and kicked him across the face. Pac synched in a headlock, but Andrade was able to get out of it. Andrade missed a kick in the corner but hit a tornillo to the outside as a follow up. [c]
Andrade hit the three amigos on Pac as we came back from break, but Pac was able to kick out of the follow up pin attempt. Andrade nailed Pac with a nasty kick right to the face, but completely missed a follow up slingshot dropkick, which drove him right to the floor. PAC came off the apron with a hurricanrana, which drove Pac right into a chair. With Andrade still on the floor, Pac climbed to the top rope. Pac came off with a perfect moonsault right onto Andrade, much to the crowd’s delight.
Pac threw Andrade back into the ring, then climbed back to the top. Andrade knocked Pac off but Pac sling-shotted into the ring and hit a cutter on Andrade for a two count. Pac locked in a Brutalizer, but Andrade was able to make it to the ropes for the break. Andrade and PAC battled on the apron. Andrade dropped an elbow across the chest of Pac and drove him into the apron.
Andrade went for another slingshot and was able to successfully hit a DDT on Pac right on the apron. Andrade draped Pac on the apron then went to the top rope. Pac, however, knocked Andrade down, then went for a superplex. While Pac didn’t hit a superplex, he was able to hit a brain buster from the top. Andrade kicked out of the follow up pin attempt.
The two traded slaps, then elbow blows. Pac hit a thrust kick, then a poison rana. Andrade came right back with a back elbow. Pac and Andrade trade pin attempts as the crowd went crazy. Pac finally hit an inside cradle for the win as the lights went out.
The lights came back on as Malakai Black was shown on the rings. He sprayed his black mist into the eyes of Pac, then went outside and grabbed a chair. Arn Anderson came to the ramp as Cody came from behind and attacked Black and Andrade. Cody grabbed the chair and went to nail Black, but he bailed to the outside.
WINNER: Pac in 15:30
(Moynahan’s Take: I avoid spoilers as best as possible but did overhear this match was supposed to be a great one – big surprise, right? Well, did it live up to that hype? You can be your own judge, but I say it certainly did. I was mildly surprised by the Black appearance at the end too. I’m not sure if this means Black and Andrade will have some sort of alliance, or it was simply a way to build up the Black/Cody match on Dynamite. Either way, a great main event.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A very solid episode of Rampage with a great main event. While I very much prefer live Rampage episodes to taped ones, this one delivered while setting up tomorrow’s Dynamite in a very strong way. I also enjoyed the storyline progression across seemingly each segment, including Black/Cody, Cassidy/Hardy, Lucha Bros./FTR, and Baker/Conti just to name a few. Until next week, stay safe everyone!