The SmarK Rant for AEW Rampage – 10.22.21
Taped from Miami, FL
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks & Chris Jericho
AEW World Title Eliminator tournament: Orange Cassidy v. Powerhouse Hobbs
The crowd wants Hook, but putting him in this tournament would just make the finals even more obvious because then he would have to be booked to beat everyone in less than a minute. Combined. Orange tries the punch to start but gets dumped to the floor and dropped on the railing, where Matt Hardy is watching from the front row. Hobbs runs his face into the stairs and wraps the injured ribs around the post for two. Sideslam on the injured ribs follows, and Orange won’t stay down, so Hobbs does it again, which Matt finds DELIGHTFUL. Orange tries to spin into the DDT but Hobbs just shoves him off and clobbers him down as we take a break. Hobbs misses a charge and hits the corner, so Orange tries a rollup and Hobbs won’t go down and he beats Cassidy down again. Starks: “I wish the crowd would just shut up.” Jericho: “Well then maybe you should just go have a match because that’ll shut them up!” That’s hurtful. Back from the break and Hobbs bends Orange in a half crab. He should use the horse collar that Brock was doing for a while, it would fit him well. Hobbs sends him into the corner, but Orange does a Flair Flip and necks him on the top rope. He comes in with a crossbody, but Hobbs catches him in the Torture Rack to really punish the ribs. Orange fights out of it and actually shows emotion, but Hobbs blocks the DDT again, so Orange cradles for two. Hobbs hits him in the injured ribs and powers him into the corner for a further beating, and the ref reads him the riot act, so Hobbs puts Remsberg in another corner, and this allows Orange to get the rollup from behind for the pin at 8:19 to advance. Hobbs continues to impress in his role as “Big angry strong man”. **1/2
Penta El Zero Miedo joins Tony in the ring, but before he can do his promo, he discovers Los Super Ranas at ringside and gets all distracted. However, it turns out to be just some guys, and FTR attacks from behind before Pac makes the save. Kudos to Cash for the “Fear the Resthold” shirt. Kind of funny that Alex Abrahantas was such an annoying shit and ended up getting turned babyface by proxy.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Anna Jay
They trade takedowns to start then trade wristlocks, but Anna superkicks her and dodges a blind charge before taking Britt down with armdrags and a flatliner. She tries for a Koji clutch and Britt makes the ropes to escape. Britt sends her into the turnbuckle to take over and chokes away in the corner and we take a break. Back with Britt hitting the neckbreaker for two. Britt preps the glove, but Anna reverses into a DDT and dropkicks her for two. She goes for the choke but Britt gets the ropes right away. So Anna gets a pair of rollups for two to keep Britt off kilter and then rolls into the choke again, and Jamie Hayter gets involved and gets kicked off the apron. Anna with another choke, but this time Britt does the Bret Hart reversal out of the corner, and Anna holds on until Britt gets to the ropes again. Britt necks her on the ropes in desperation and superkicks her, and this time she goes right into the Lockjaw for the submission at 10:45. Hell of an effort from Anna Jay here, as Britt gave her a ton of shine and then had to do the cheap win to survive. ***1/4 This brings out Tay Conti in shorts as impressively short as ever to make the save, which sets up the next program with Britt.
Meanwhile, we get a rundown of the TBS title tournament, as four people get a bye to the second round and poor Ruby Soho doesn’t.
Andrade El Idolo v. Pac
Pac immediately snaps off a suplex and tosses Andrade for a beating on the floor, but he goes up for the Black Arrow and Andrade brings him down and stomps him down in the corner. He misses a charge and Pac fires back with kicks to put him down. Pac runs him into the corner for two and grinds his face into the apron. Andrade tells him to give him his best shot, so Pac kicks him in the face. Fair enough. Back in, Pac puts him down with a kneelift before going to a chinlock. Andrade fights up, so Pac goes to the apron again and Andrade catches him with a big boot to knock him off. Andrade follows with a springboard twisting dive and we take a break. Back in the ring, Andrade gets two off that and puts the boots to Pac before going to a crossface while the crowd chants something in Spanish. I’d translate but I’m in Finland tonight and that’s a whole different family of languages. Pac escapes, so Andrade dropkicks him and Pac takes a crazy bump to the floor, hanging upside down from the apron and landing on his head, so Andrade further beats him down out there. Back in, Andrade stomps him down, but misses a blind charge. They fight over a suplex and Andrade gets the rolling suplexes for two. Andrade tries another suplex and Pac elbows out of it, so Andrade boots him down again. He tries a slingshot dropkick, but Pac moves and Andrade takes an even crazier bump than Pac, landing back-first on the apron and flopping to the floor off it. That looks like it SUCKED. Pac follows with a rana off the apron to send Pac into the railing and then goes up with the moonsault to the floor. Back in, Pac slingshots in with a cutter for two. He goes for the Brutalizer but Andrade makes the ropes and necks Pac on the top rope. They fight on the apron again and slug it out, but Andrade gets an inverted DDT on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and both guys take a crazy bump to the floor. Back in, Pac gets a top rope brainbuster, because why not, but that only gets two. They slug it out and Pac gets a reverse rana. They collide and Andrade tries the DDT, but Pac counters for two, and then follows with a small package for the pin at 17:00. And then the lights go out and Malakai Black appears, ready for trouble with Pac before spitting the mist, but then the lights go out again and Arn Anderson and his finger guns bring out Cody Rhodes to save, as he cleans house to set up the match with Black tomorrow on Dynamite. The match was fantastic but the post-match angle felt a bit tacked-on. ****1/2 I don’t know how either guy is walking after taking those bumps on the apron, though.
A pretty tremendous hour of wrestling, but I don’t think this show is going to do any kind of a rating whatsoever. But Pac-Andrade match is well worth going out of your way to see.