Date: October 22, 2021
Location: James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Taz, Ricky Starks, Excalibur, Chris Jericho
It’s tournament time as we get the first match in the World Title #1 contenders tournament. That alone should be enough, but we also get a rematch between Andrade El Idolo and Pac. The first one was a heck of a fight and the rematch could live up to the expectations so let’s get to it.
World Title Eliminator Tournament First Round: Orange Cassidy vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Cassidy has bad ribs coming in. We see a clip of Cassidy beating an unknown Hobbs in twelve seconds in July 2020, with Taz promising that will not happen again. Hobbs hits a spinebuster for an early two as Matt Hardy is pleased from the crowd. Cassidy’s ribs are bent around the post and a side slam gives Hobbs two. A clothesline cuts off Cassidy’s comeback attempt and we take a break.
Back with Hobbs staying on the ribs, including a torture rack. Jericho: “When’s the last time you saw a torture rack???” Yesterday at Crown Jewel. Cassidy slips out and grabs a small package for two but the Orange Punch is pulled out of the air. Some splashes in the corner have Cassidy in more trouble but the referee threatens to DQ Hobbs. That means some yelling, allowing Cassidy to grab the Mouse Trap for the pin at 8:18.
Rating: C-. That wasn’t much as Cassidy was getting squashed until he scored a quick rollup win. It’s the right call as we’re getting Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley in the second round, but it wasn’t exactly the best way to get there. That being said, if this is as bad as things get, they’re going to be just fine.
Here is Penta El Zero Miedo for a chat but hold on because he sees Las Super Ranas in the crowd. Since FTR apparently now has a six inch height difference, Penta goes over to them, allowing the real FTR to jump him from behind. Pac makes the save.
Britt Baker vs. Anna Jay
Non-title and Baker has Jamie Hayter and Rebel with her. Baker takes her up against the ropes to start but has to fight out of the Queenslayer attempt. Anna grabs a headlock so Baker fights up, only to get Downward Spiraled into a Koji Clutch. That’s broken up as well and Baker sends her face first into the corner and we take a break.
Back with Baker cutting off a comeback with a swinging neckbreaker but it’s time to load up the glove. The Lockjaw is blocked though and it’s off to some grappling on the mat, with Anna getting in the Queenslayer. Hayter offers a distraction though and the hold is broken, only to have Anna grab it again. Baker can’t climb the corner to flip back over so it’s a rope break for the escape instead. Back up and Baker hits a superkick to set up Lockjaw for the tap at 10:30.
Rating: B-. As Jericho said on commentary, that’s probably Jay’s best match ever as she was working hard and fighting for the one move she has that could beat Baker. Ultimately though, Baker is that much better than Jay and had the numbers advantage to make it worse. Jay might be a star someday, but she still needs a lot more ring time to really make it a reality.
Post match Baker puts it on again but Tay Conti comes in to make the save. The villains bail and Conti holds up the title.
Here’s what’s coming on Dynamite.
Here are the brackets for the TBS Title tournament:
I’ve seen far worse brackets.
Tony Schiavone handles the face to face interview between Andrade El Idolo and Pac. Andrade promises to beat Pac tonight and brags about having friends around the world. Pac cuts Tony off and says this should have been settled weeks ago. Now it is time to settle this man to man.
Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo
Everyone else is barred from ringside. Pac wastes no time in knocking Andrade outside and hitting the big dive. Back in and the Black Arrow is broken up but Pac is right back to his feet to pick up the pace. Pac goes to the apron, where Andrade scores with a running boot to the face to put him on the floor. A running corkscrew dive takes Pac down again and we take a break with both of them outside.
Back with Andrade getting a near fall off Three Amigos and kicking Pac in the head to cut him off again. Andrade tries a slingshot dropkick but falls off the apron and crashes hard down to the floor. Pac whips him back first into an open chair but can’t get the Brutalizer back inside.
Andrade pulls him out to the apron and they slug it out until Pac is draped over the top rope. That lets Andrade jump back in and then right back out for a DDT to drive Pac into the apron for a nasty landing. Back in and Pac hits a brainbuster for two but Andrade hits him in the face. The hammerlock DDT is countered into a rollup for two so Andrade tries it again, only to get small packaged to give Pac the pin at 16:20.
Rating: B. As commentary was saying, there are some people who just have chemistry and that is the case with these two. They compliment each other well and it made for a better match here. It has been a nice miniseries on Rampage instead of putting it on Dynamite where it would likely get lost in the shuffle. Good match here and it felt like a showdown, which is what they were trying to do.
Post match the lights are out….and it’s Malakai Black to mist Pac. Andrade tells Black to bring in a chair but Arn Anderson comes out to point at Black (ala Kenny Omega, though I doubt that was intentional). Cue Cody Rhodes to clear out Andrade and powerslam Black. The threat of a chair shot sends Black bailing to end the show. That opens up a lot of doors and hopefully most of them don’t lead to Cody.
Overall Rating: B-. The opener wasn’t great but the rest of the show was quite good and moved some things forward. Dynamite is feeling big and they are slowly starting to set up Full Gear, which is coming up sooner than later. All in all, this was a good night though and the hour run time continues to be a great change of pace from Dynamite.
Orange Cassidy b. Powerhouse Hobbs – Mousetrap
Britt Baker b. Anna Jay – Lockjaw
Pac b. Andrade El Idolo – Small package
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