Once more with feeling; AEW RAMPAGE is the start of your wrestling week on TNT! After a tremendous night last week that, between the BUY-IN special and RAMPAGE proper, featured a multitude of top-shelf matches, All Elite Wrestling is set to bring to our amazing fans another loaded hour of the best wrestling on the planet!
Last week it was CM Punk and Matt Sydal who kicked it off on TNT in superb fashion, this week it will be the first match of the 2021 World Title Eliminator Tournament that starts the Friday night festivities. Orange Cassidy and Powerhouse Hobbs clash in a rematch of Hobbs’ first AEW match, and it’s followed up by the AEW Women’s World Champion in action against Anna Jay, with PAC/Andrade II as the main event of the evening! Their first meeting was an absolute banger, and given how that one ended, there is no doubt this one will be even more heated!
The action gets underway at 10pm EST/9pm CST on TNT, as well as on AEWPlus.com for our International audience! And be sure to catch up on all of last week’s action, especially that RAMPAGE:BUY-IN, on the official AEW YouTube channel with highlights from DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and the latest editions of DARK, ELEVATION, plus ROAD TO specials also available!
PAC vs. Andrade El Idolo
On the September 10th edition of RAMPAGE, five days after they were originally scheduled to meet, “The Bastard” and Andrade met for the very first time. After weeks of El Idolo fruitlessly attempting to drive a wedge between PAC and The Lucha Brothers, after watching Penta and Fenix put to rest Andrade’s claims they could never be champions without him, these two warriors locked horns on the field of battle, with the result proving well worth the wait. At least, for the fans…
See that night, apparently thinking it was in his client’s best interests, Chavo Guerrero got involved behind the officials back, without Andrade’s consent, to cost PAC the match. Now while El Idolo was quite happy to have a victory on his ledger, he was less than ecstatic once he realized it came about through Chavo’s involvement, and Guerrero paid the price for his actions. A vicious assault from Andrade delivered the message about what happens when his people act without his blessing, and Chavo has not been seen with Andrade since that beating.
.@AndradeElIdolo & @BastardPAC wrestled an instant classic bout last month before @mexwarrior interfered to cost PAC the match. #AEW GM @TonyKhan has banned everyone from ringside for the duration of their much anticipated rematch TONIGHT on #AEWRampage at 10/9c on TNT! pic.twitter.com/KUduNdW2Ka
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 22, 2021
Despite that outcome, or perhaps because of it, Andrade was not yet done with Death Triangle, nor were they done with him. Since his attempts to divide the trio proved unsuccessful, El Idolo took a different track and conspired to wrest the AAA World Tag Titles from The Lucha Brothers by arranging for a pair of masked men to face them for the championships. Before the bout even started, as soon as Las Super Ranas came out to the stage, it was apparent to anyone with eyes that FTR were the ones in the disguises, and the champions would reveal that ruse in short order once the bell rang.
Still, masks or no masks, Cash and Dax managed to rob Penta and Fenix of the championships thanks to a little assist from a physical title itself. The machinations of Andrade El Idolo paid off in that DYNAMITE tag team affair, but will that be the case this Friday night when he steps into the ring once more with “The Bastard”? Can PAC redeem the defeat from a month ago without Chavo Guerrero there to interfere? Will Andrade be the man he purports to be and shun any outside involvement in this rematch? The former is now entirely in the hands of “The Bastard” because, in response to the latter, AEW GM Tony Khan has BANNED EVERYONE from ringside for the duration of the match!
So however this plays out, there will be TWO definitive winners, either PAC or Andrade, as well as the fans, when two of the world’s finest athletes battle it out on Friday night RAMPAGE on TNT!
MEN’S WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT QUARTER-FINAL…
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
#Powerhouse @TrueWillieHobbs is a different man since the last time he faced @orangecassidy. They meet again in the first round of the #AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament TONIGHT on #AEWRampage at 10/9c on @tntdrama! pic.twitter.com/yfAXemO8B8
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 22, 2021
Thirteen seconds; that is how long it took “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy to defeat Will Hobbs on July 7th of last year when the future Powerhouse made his AEW debut. Unlucky indeed, but Hobbs did not let that less-than-stellar first outing deter him from soldiering on, if anything it motivated him to get right back in the game and fight to show he was better than that.
Which is exactly what Powerhouse Hobbs has done in the 15 months since that defeat; he first established himself with fights against Scorpio Sky, Darby Allin, and Ricky Starks (to name a few) until ALL OUT 2020 where he raised eyebrows in the Casino Battle Royale that night. Now he may have only eliminated one man in the chaos, but Hobbs lasted nearly 20 minutes until he and Brian Cage were mutually eliminated by eventual winner Lance Archer.
After that Hobbs would knock out a series of wins, leading up to an unsuccessful FTW Title bout with Brian Cage, which no doubt laid the groundwork for Taz’s interest in bringing Will into Team Taz shortly thereafter. Rechristened Powerhouse by “The Human Suplex Machine”, Hobbs has meshed wonderfully into the FTW mentality in the near-year he has been under Taz’s tutelage and although he has not yet been in a championship bout, Powerhouse has been a consistent part of the top five rankings, racked up a 16-3 singles record on the year, and been in some highly competitive fights with Christian Cage, Hangman Page, and CM Punk in those losses. The Punk bout in particular really demonstrated how far Hobbs has come since those 13 seconds last July, and showed he has all the tools to be a prime time player for AEW, certainly a competitor worthy of being in this tournament.
As for Orange Cassidy, his road since that summer 2020 meeting with Hobbs has been quite topsy-turvy. He beat Chris Jericho in two separate matches, unsuccessfully challenged both Mr. Brodie Lee and Cody Rhodes for the TNT Title, competed in a wild Arcade Anarchy tag team battle, fought over the AEW World Title in a Three Way with Kenny Omega and PAC, and, quite recently, nearly lost his hair in a fight with Jack Evans that was masterminded by “Big Money” Matt Hardy. And that’s just a few of the highlights of the 15 months since the last meeting between Powerhouse Hobbs and “Freshly Squeezed”! As a singles competitor, he’s gone 18-2-1 on the year and is quite deserving of a spot in this tournament, as well as challenging for the World Title many fans feel he was shafted out of back at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021.
It’s going to be a tremendous battle between these two AEW stalwarts as each hopes to get one step closer to the finals at FULL GEAR 2021!
THE DOCTOR GETS CALLED OUT…
AEW Women’s World Champion Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. “The Queen Slayer” Anna Jay
.@annajay___ wasn’t going to let #AEW Women’s World Champion @RealBrittBaker run down the #DarkOrder. The Queen Slayer goes one-on-one with Dr. Britt Baker THIS FRIDAY on #AEWRampage at 10/9c on TNT! pic.twitter.com/yQJVL4p5mP
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 18, 2021
Family; sometimes they are highly dysfunctional and prone to in-fighting from time-to-time, sometimes they are our purest source of love and support, and sometimes they are an utter disaster. All of that is true within The Dark Order since the beginning of its existence, as we have seen them rally behind one another, we have seen a great deal of strife in recent months that has only recently been healed, and we have seen them be utter clowns. But one thing, no matter what was going on within the family, one thing that remained true is that no one outside their circle better come after those inside of it.
But that is just what the AEW Women’s World Champion Dr. Britt Baker did in the tweet embedded above when she interrupted Anna Jay’s moment to talk about her family’s recent loss to The SuperKliq. Not a wise move from the ever-arrogant champion, but absolutely on-brand for the Good Doctor. Still, Anna Jay was not going to sit idly by while Baker trashed her friends and she let the champ feel her elbow in the face. Officials were quick to separate the brawl from escalating, and Tony Khan was just as quick to sign these two competitors to a bout this Friday night on RAMPAGE!
Now the Women’s World Title may not be in the line here, but familial pride certainly will be when “The Queen Slayer” comes for the head of, as champion, the current queen of the Women’s Division!
TBS WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKETS ANNOUNCED…
As announced during the DYNAMITE: TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY edition several weeks ago, the TBS Women’s Championship is coming in conjunction with All Elite Wrestling’s move to TBS in the new year. With that championship, just as with the TNT Title in 2020, comes a tournament to crown the first ever champion and the details of just how that will play out is set to be announced this Friday night! There are so many woman on the AEW roster who want a piece of this tournament, a shot at becoming the first-ever TBS Women’s Champion, and each one has been jockeying for position since the announcement. Be it Ruby Soho or KiLynn King, Nyla Rose or Penelope Ford, The Bunny or Emi Sakura, every single woman in that locker room wants a spot in the tournament, and they will all find out this Friday night just who made the cut!
AEW RAMPAGE kicks off at 10pm EST/9pm CST on TNT, also AEWPlus.com for our International fans, and the best place to get prepared for this weekend’s AEW action is the official AEW YouTube channel that features highlights from DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, as well as the latest editions of DARK, ELEVATION, plus ROAD TO specials also available!
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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