Reviews

The John Report: AEW Rampage 10/22/21 Review

aew rampage pac vs andrade

It was back to a regular edition of AEW Rampage this week following last week’s show that had a one-hour Youtube buy-in before Rampage aired. Once again, Dynamite was pre-empted on Wednesday and will be a Saturday night show this week. This Rampage episode was taped last week.

This is AEW Rampage from the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The opening video let us know repeatedly that “this is Rampage” in case you forgot the name of the show. Excalibur was on commentary with Chris Jericho, Tazz and Ricky Starks as they gave us a rundown of what’s coming up this week. Jericho is on his cruise right now, but since it’s a taped show he was on commentary for Rampage.

AEW World Title Elimination Tournament: Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor) vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (w/Hook)

Cassidy had taped ribs to sell when Matt Hardy put him through a table recently. They showed a clip from July 2020 when Orange Cassidy beat Hobbs with an Orange Punch on an episode of Dark. Cassidy went for the Orange Punch, Hobbs avoided it and hit a spinebuster. They left the ring with Hobbs sending Cassidy back first into the barricade. Hobbs stretched Cassidy’s back/ribs against the ring post and then two sidewalk slams in a row. Matt Hardy was at ringside laughing at Cassidy getting hurt. Cassidy ran the ropes leading to Hobbs hitting a clothesline. They went to a 90-second break in picture-in-picture.

(Commercial)

Hobbs had his knee on Cassidy’s head while pulling back on the leg. Hobbs with a whip into the turnbuckle. Cassidy sent Hobbs’ head into the turnbuckle. Cassidy jumped off the top, Hobbs caught him and applied the Torture Rack submission across the shoulders. Cassidy got out of it and applied an inside cradle for two. Cassidy went for an Orange Punch, Hobbs caught him and drove Cassidy into the turnbuckle. Hobbs with a corner splash on Cassidy. Taz was complaining about referee Bryce Remsburg yelling at Hobbs to get out of the corner after a five count. Hobbs lifted the referee across the ring. Hook tried to calm Hobbs down. Hobbs continued to intimidate the referee, so then Cassidy hooked Hobbs in the Mouse Trap pinning predicament for the win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match here with Hobbs getting about 90% of the offense, Cassidy sold everything well and then found a way to get the win since he’s pushed more than Hobbs is. I didn’t love the finish, but I get the story they were telling with Hobbs losing his focus due to the referee and Cassidy capitalized on that to get the win. There might be a day where AEW decides to give Hobbs meaningful wins over guys like CM Punk and Orange Cassidy, but at this point, he’s stuck at a certain midcard level.

Cassidy moves on in the World Title Elimination Tournament. Two matches in the tournament on Dynamite: Dustin Rhodes vs. Bryan Danielson and Eddie Kingston vs. Lance Archer. Next Wednesday on Dynamite it is Dark Order’s 10 against Jon Moxley with the winner of that facing Orange Cassidy.

Analysis: Kingston vs. Archer could go either way, but I think it will be a win for Archer. Danielson and Moxley will probably meet in the finals, which is cool with me.

Penta El Zero Miedo entered with the translator Alex Abrahantes. They lost the AAA Tag Team Titles to FTR and they tried to sell the idea that Rey Fenix was injured from a belt shot. There was going to be an interview, they saw some fans in green masks, they took off the masks and then FTR showed up with Tully Blanchard to attack Penta and Alex from behind. FTR celebrated with their AAA Tag Team Titles and the AEW Tag Team Titles held by Penta & Fenix. Pac ran out for the save, so FTR ran away.

Analysis: It means the feud between FTR and Lucha Brothers will continue with FTR likely getting a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles or maybe the AAA Tag Team Titles will be on the line as well, so it could be winner take all. Anyway, I expect the rematch at Full Gear with FTR and Lucha Brothers one more time. It should be great.

(Commercial)

Anna Jay of the Dark Order made her entrance alone with a 5-1 record in 2021. She had an injury earlier in the year. Big reaction for AEW Women’s Champion Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. with Rebel and Jamie Hayter joining her. Bakker is 15-1 in singles action this year.

Dr. Britt Baker (w/Rebel & Jamie Hayter) vs. Anna Jay

Baker and Jay each went for submissions early on, but they were not able to lock it on. Baker with a crucifix pin attempt and a hammerlock takedown. Jay applied an armbar followed by a kick to the head. Jay to the apron, kick to the face, arm drag off the ropes and a flatliner, but Baker was able to get out of a submission attempt. Baker did a bit of a hair pull followed by a whip into the middle turnbuckle. Baker winked at the camera at ringside.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Baker hitting a forearm, then a Slingblade neckbreaker and a twisting neckbreaker for two. Rebel put the black glove on Baker’s right hand, which drew cheers even though Baker is a heel. Jay came back with a kick into a DDT and off the ropes with a low dropkick for two. Baker got to the ropes to avoid a submission. Baker with a crucifix pin attempt, then Jay with a crucifix pin attempt and Jay applied the Queen Slayer submission (like a rear-naked choke) or at least tried to, but Baker avoided it. Jay got a rollup for two and knocked Hayter off the ropes. Baker countered a Queen Slayer submission attempt by kicking off the ropes, but Jay held on to the sleeper-like move and Baker got her foot on the bottom rope. Baker sent Jay throat first into the ropes followed by a superkick. Baker pointed right at the camera and applied the Lockjaw submission with the fingers in the mouth, so Jay tapped out. Baker wins by submission after 11 minutes.

Winner by submission: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.

Analysis: *** Good match here. Anna Jay continues to impress in every match that she has. I saw something where she had about 25 minutes in her career, so for her to be at this level in her career shows how far she has come. There wasn’t much interference from Baker’s friends on the floor, but Jay did have to punch Hayter off the apron at one point and that led to Baker hitting a couple of moves before applying her Lockjaw finish to win the match. I liked the match. AEW does a nice job of booking champions strong by giving them non-title wins like this instead of having champions lose non-title, which I don’t really like.

Post match, Baker applied the Lockjaw submission against. Tay Conti ran out for the save and she kicked Baker to break it up. Conti is apparently the top contender for the AEW Women’s Title, so Conti held up the title that belongs to Baker.

Analysis: That seems to indicate that they will do Baker vs. Conti at Full Gear on November 13 although that’s not official yet.

This Saturday (today) on a live AEW Dynamite:

* AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament: Dustin Rhodes vs. Bryan Danielson

* AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament: Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston

* Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes III

* Jungle Boy vs. Brandon Cutler

* TBS Women’s Championship Tournament starts on Dynamite with Penelope Ford facing Ruby Soho.

Next Wednesday on Dynamite:

* Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida in the TBS Women’s Championship Tournament

* AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament: Dark Order’s 10 vs. Jon Moxley

Next Friday on Rampage:

* AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament: Winner of Danielson/Dustin vs. Winner of Archer/Kingston.

Analysis: That’s a lot of info all at once, but I do appreciate AEW advertising a lot of stuff beforehand. It helps as a viewer.

Main event interview time with Andrade El Idolo and Pac on a split-screen with Tony Schiavone doing the interview. Did Mark Henry get dumped from this job like the commentary job he only had for a couple of weeks? Anyway, Andrade said he beat Pac and he will beat Pac tonight. Andrade said he’s got friends around the world and tonight he will win…easy. Pac said that it’s irrelevant what Andrade has to say. Pac said that he had Andrade beat, but then Andrade had help. Pac said that tonight everybody is banned from ringside, so you will see revenge for Death Triangle and maybe then Andrade will stop obsessing over Pac and the Lucha Brothers.

(Commercial)

Andrade El Idolo entered with a 2-1 record in AEW. Andrade beat Pac in a match on Rampage last month. Andrade took off his suit and mask before on the ramp. He handed his stuff to the suit guy. Pac entered with a record of 18-7-2 and he got a nice pop from the crowd.

Andrade El Idolo vs. Pac

They are two of my favorites in AEW with Pac right near the top. Pac with a kick, a suplex, then Andrade went to the floor and Pac hit a twisting dive onto Andrade on the floor. Back in the ring, Pac went up top, Andrade knocked him down and hit a double knee attack against the turnbuckle because Pac moved. Pac with a dropkick to the side of the face. Pac worked over Andrade with some hard kicks to the head while Andrade was against the ropes by the apron. Pac with a running knee followed by a knee drop and a chinlock. When Andrade broke free, he hit a running boot. Andrade hit a springboard corkscrew dive onto Pac on the floor. That was so awesome. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Andrade was in control doing the Three Amigos suplexes in tribute to Eddie Guerrero leading to “Eddie” chants from the crowd. Pac bounced off the ropes leading to Andrade hitting a running kick to the head. Andrade tried a move where he jumped over the ropes into a dropkick, but Pac moved and Andrade bumped from the apron to the floor. That looked like a painful bump on the replay. Pac hit a hurricanrana off the apron onto Andrade on the floor, so the fans chanted “Holy Shit” for that. Pac hit an incredible moonsault off the top onto Andrade on the floor and the fans chanted “AEW” and “Fight Forever” for them. Pac with a kick to the head and then a leap over the top into a Cutter with Andrade bumping forward leading to Pac getting a two count. They went over to the ring apron where Andrade hit a backbreaker followed by an elbow drop to Pac’s chest to send Pac to the apron. Andrade jumped back into the ring and jumped over the top rope with a DDT on the apron. Andrade even took a bump on the apron taking a bump on his back. Both guys were down. Andrade went up top, Pac tripped him up and Andrade was crotched on the top rope. Pac delivered superplex that was more like a brainbuster off the top! Wow. That got a two count. Andrade and Pac got into a slugfest, Pac with a kick to the face and a poison (reverse) rana. Andrade did the kick miss into the elbow spot that he likes to do. They exchanged pin attempts. Andrade went for a hammerlock DDT, but then Pac countered into an inside cradle for the pinfall win! It went 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Pac

Analysis: ****1/4 This was a great match that was even better than their last match. It was given a lot of time and was full of action right from the start of the match. It was full of nearfalls, submissions, the crowd was hot and it was easy to believe in what they were doing as rivals that don’t like eachother. They hit a lot of cool moves, but it was about more than just moves – they told a story while they did them. I’m not shocked that Pac beat Andrade with a simple move rather than a big one because it put over the idea that they were both exhausted and a technical wrestling move was enough to win. The finish was pretty chaotic, but I think it worked because it was such an even match. Andrade won their last match in cheap fashion, so Pac got the win back in a close manner and it could lead to a third match.

As soon as the match was done, the lights went out in the building. When the lights came back on, Malakai Black was in the ring. Black spit some mist in Pac’s face. It looked like Andrade was working with Black as Andrade held Pac. Arn Anderson walked out, did a hand motion like he had a gun and “shot” Black with his hands.

Cody Rhodes arrived in the ring to go after Black and Andrade with punches. Cody clotheslined Andrade out of the ring while Cody hit a powerslam on Black. Cody was cheered by the fans. Cody had a steel chair, but Black ducked out of the ring to avoid the chair shot. Cody and Black exchanged words. Jericho: “Kick his ass, Cody!” End show.

Analysis: Good ending to tease the Cody/Black story leading to their match on Dynamite tonight. Black and Andrade appear to be allies as well, so they can work some tag team matches together and be a strong heel pairing as needed. This can also set up a Black match against Pac in the near future, so I look forward to that because they are both awesome. The fans liked Cody a lot here, which is good for Cody as a top face that gets booed sometimes.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Pac
  2. Andrade El Idolo
  3. Britt Baker/

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.5 out of 10

Last Week: 7.75

 

Final Thoughts

It’s the second week in a row where Rampage was very good. Lots of action and excitement. A strong main event between Pac and Andrade that was one of the best Rampage matches ever. The women’s match was pretty good while the opener was fine with Cassidy taking a beating before putting Hobbs away.

It was a fun show to watch as usual. I’m looking forward to Dynamite tonight.

The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear on Saturday, November 13. Here’s what we know so far.

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page

Thanks for reading. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport