Friday's AEW Rampage will see the rematch between rivals PAC and Andrade El Idolo in addition to the kickoff of the AEW World Championship eliminator tournament.
This will be their second meeting in as many months with Andrade picking up the win on the September 10th Rampage after it was originally slated for All Out. The two have been at odds since Andrade's arrival in the company following Double Or Nothing.
The second edition of the World title eliminator tournament will kick off as Powerhouse Hobbs takes on Orange Cassidy. The two first met in a singles match on AEW Dark in July 2020. The winner will advance to face either Jon Moxley or Dark Order's 10 in the next round.
Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker will face Anna Jay in a non-title singles encounter. This came about when Jay and Baker got into an argument backstage following a Jay interview with Tony Schiavone last week.
The bracket for the upcoming TBS title tournament is set to be revealed as well.
Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho and Ricky Starks are on commentary.
Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor) defeated Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) (8:04) to advance to the semi-finals of the World title eliminator tournament.
Pre-match recaps showed how last year on Dark, Cassidy defeated Hobbs in 12 seconds with the orange punch, as well as how beat up Cassidy was in the ladder match two weeks ago on Dynamite. Cassidy came out wearing the DDP tribute rib tape.
Hobbs hit a spinebuster very early on for a near fall, and took the fight to the floor, working over Cassidy's injured ribs and back. Matt Hardy cheered on Hobbs from the crowd. Back in the ring, Hobbs methodically hit a variety of suplexes on Cassidy. Cassidy tried to counter a suplex attempt with a spinning DDT, but Hobbs blocked it and clotheslined Cassidy. Hobbs was in control as the show went to a picture-in-picture break.
Back from the break, Hobbs continued to dominate. Cassidy tried a crossbody off the top, but Hobbs caught him and put Cassidy in the torture rack. Cassidy broke free with elbows and got a near fall with a small package. Cassidy went for the orange punch but Hobbs bullied him into the corner, then followed up with a pair of avalanches. Hobbs worked over Cassidy in the corner and refused to adhere to the referees instructions, angering the ref. Hobbs manhandled the ref, and Hook got up on the apron to try and calm down Hobbs. In this confusion, Cassidy caught Hobbs in the mousetrap and got the pinfall to advance to the next round. Cassidy faces the winner of the Jon Moxley vs. 10 match in the semi-finals.
- In the World Title Eliminator Tournament, Bryand Danielson vs. Dustin Rhodes and Eddie Kingston vs. Lance Arrcher are set for Dynamite tomorrow, and Moxley/10 is set for Wednesday in Boston.
- Tony Schiavone called out Penta and Alex Abrahantes for an interview (Jericho on commentary explained Rey Fenix was injured in the finish of last Saturday's match). They were distracted by two fans in green masks in the crowd. Penta (thinking they were FTR) confronted them and ripped off their hoods, but they were just some dudes. FTR and Tully Blanchard jumped Penta and Abrahantes from behind, taking them out. FTR celebrated their skulduggery by holding up their AAA title belts and the Lucha Bros' AEW World title belts. Pac ran out to make the save. This definitely teased an FTR/Lucha Bros rematch at the pay-per-view.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D (w/ Rebel & Jamie Hayter) defeated Anna Jay (6:51 aired)
Anna Jay looked great in what was perhaps her most high-profile match in AEW. This match also helped set up Baker’s potential opponent for Full Gear.
After exchanging forearms, both women went for their submissions early, and saw their opponent quickly and easily escape. The crowd was solidly behind Baker, although Jay did have her fans. Baker worked over Jay’s arm, but Jay reversed and caught Baker with a thrust kick. Jay caught Baker with a flat liner and went for the Koji clutch, but Baker escaped. Baker used a hair pull to send Jay headfirst into the turnbuckles and winked to the camera.
After a long commercial break (nearly four minutes!), Baker hit Jay with a slingblade and a twisting neck breaker for a near fall. Baker got the glove from Rebel, but Jay caught Baker with a DDT and sliding dropkick for a near fall. Jay went for the Queenslayer sleeper, but Baker got the ropes. They exchanged crucifixes for near falls, and Jay got the sleeper on Baker. Hayter distracted Jay from the apron, and Baker almost got a pin off the distraction. Jay superkicked Baker to the floor and got the sleeper again. Baker tried the Bret Hart pin from WrestleMania 8, but that didn’t work and Jay kept her locked in the hold. Finally, Baker got to the ropes, and snapped Jay's neck against the middle rope. Baker caught Jay with a superkick, then tied her up in the lockjaw. Jay had to tap. Britt gave Jay a lot and both women came out looking strong.
Post-match, Baker locked in the lock jaw on Jay again, and Tay Conti ran out and made the save. Conti chased off Baker, who left the Women’s world title belt in the ring. Conti held up the belt and taunted Baker, teasing a potential match at Full Gear.
- In a rundown of Dynamite for tomorrow night, the only new match announced is Jungle Boy vs. Brandon Cutler. On next week's Ramage, the winner of Danielson/Rhodes will take on the winner of Archer/Kingston.
The TBS Tournament bracket.
Four women will get first round byes. The tournament will begin tomorrow night on AEW Saturday Dynamite.
- Thunder Rosa gets a bye, and faces the winner of Anna Jay vs. Jamie Hayter.
- Jade Cardill gets a bye, and faces the winner of The Bunny vs. Red Velvet.
- Nyla Rose gets a bye, and faces the winner of Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida (this match will happen Wednesday on Dynamite).
- And Kris Statlander gets a bye and faces the winner of Penelope Ford and Ruby Soho (this match will happen tomorrow night).
Tony Schiavone moderates the face-to-face segment between Andrade and Pac before the main event. What happened to Mark Henry? Bryan Alvarez is going to be so disappointed! Tony delivers Henry’s line, but it wasn’t the same.
Pac defeated Andrade El Idolo (16:18)
This match was all kinds of awesome.
Everyone is barred from ringside. Well I mean, except for El Idolo and Pac and the referee. But everyone else stays in the back.
In the first 30 seconds Pac snapped off two superkicks, a German suplex and a tope con hilo. He went to the top for the Black Arrow but El Idolo crotched him on the ropes. El Idolo went for a double knee in the corner, but Pac dodged it and hit a superkick. El Idolo asked Pac to give him his best shot, so Pac took his head off with a boot.
El Idolo caught Pac with a boot that sent him to the floor, and El Idolo hit a spinning springboard plancha to the floor. With both guys selling on the floor, the show went to its last picture-in-picture break.
Back from break, El Idolo hit the three amigos for a near fall while the crowd chanted "Eddy!" Pac elbowed out of a waistlock, only to walk right into a boot. El Idolo went for a slingshot dropkick while Pac was slumped against the ropes, but Pac dropped out of the way and El Idolo crashed and burned to the floor, taking an ugly bump.
Pac came out to the floor with a rana which sent El Idolo backfirst into a chair. Referee Aubrey Edwards checked with El Idolo, who continued the match. Pac came off the top with fantastic moonsault onto El Idolo. “Fight forever!” chants from the crowd, and I'm on board with that. Pac teased a move from the top, and El Idolo popped up, and right inot a kick from Pac. A slingshot cutter from Pac got another near fall. Pac went for the brutalizer but El Idolo got to the ropes before Pac could lock it in.
Pac and El Idolo ended up on the ring apron exchanging strikes. El Idolo drove Pac back-first into the apron from an inverted DDT position. El Idolo then followed that up with a slingshot DDT out of the ring onto the ring apron, and this time both men crashed and burned to the floor.
El Idolo went to the top for a moonsault, but Pac crotched him. Pac then delivered a top rope avalanche brainbuster and covered El Idolo... for two. El Idolo recovered and began exchanging slaps and forearms with Pac. Pac caught El Idolo with a superkick and a poison rana. El Idolo countered with a back elbow and both went for pinning combinations. El Idolo went for a hammerlock DDT, but Pac countered with a cradle and got the pinfall, and the lights went out.
When the lights came back on, Malakai Black appeared and spat mist in Pac’s face. Black got a chair from under the ring, but Arn Anderson came down the entrance to distract Black and El Idolo. Cody Rhodes ran in through the crowd, taking out both El Idolo and Black. Rhodes hit his fantastic spinning powerslam on Black and grabbed the chair. He went for Black with the chair, but Black ducked out of the ring.
Nice angle to set up Black/Rhodes III. Rhodes was cheered by the fans for making the save.
It’s a little depressing to think about how far along Anna Jay would be if she didn’t spend so many months on the shelf this year. She looked great against Baker. I have no doubt Jay will get to the next level in AEW, however. Her match did seem to set up Tay Conti vs. Britt Baker in what should be a fantastic world title match for the pay-per-view. As someone who's watched Conti develop on Dark and Elevation all year, I'm very excited for that match.
But the main event was fantastic, a must see match. Although I think going to the Cody angle right away hurt the finish a bit. Nonetheless, fantastic and the best match I’ve seen… well in a week since Suzuki/Danielson. AEW continues to deliver stellar action on Friday night.