Date: October 16, 2021
Location: James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, CM Punk
We’re on a rare Saturday night due to the MLB playoffs and they are going to have a hard time topping what they did last night with Rampage. Tonight we see the brackets for the #1 contenders tournament, as Full Gear is less than a month away. Add in a AAA Tag Team Titles match and we should be good to go. Let’s get to it.
Here is Rampage if you need a recap.
Guest commentator CM Punk gets his big entrance.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
Malakai Black vs. Dante Martin
Lio Rush is here with Black. Some armdrags put Martin down to start but he sends Black outside. It’s too early for a dive though as Black comes back in and elbows him in the face. A powerbomb sets up a half crab to put Martin in trouble but he slips out in a hurry. That earns Martin and STO and shinbreaker, setting up a kneebar. Martin makes the ropes to escape and goes up top, only to have his springboard blocked. A sunset flip gives Martin two and a poisonrana out of the corner staggers Black.
With Black out on the ramp, Martin hits a springboard flip dive (with a bit of a slip) to drop him again. Back in and a double springboard moonsault misses for Martin, setting up a slugout. Black kicks him down and scores with a top rope double stomp, setting up a kick to the head. There’s a hard German suplex to drop Martin hard so he heads up top. That’s broken up with a super hurricanrana but Black is right back with a half crab. Martin escapes again and tries to go up again, only to get caught with Black Mass (Rush is NOT pleased) for the pin at 9:37.
Rating: B. They pulled me into this one as I wasn’t exactly thinking that it was great at the start. That was all changed by the end as these guys were beating the heck out of each other, with one big spot after another. I didn’t buy Martin as possibly winning, but it would have been too much of a stretch to have that take place anyway. Rather good match here as Black continues to prove that WWE was totally wrong about him every single week.
Post match Black goes to leave but stops to nod at Martin in respect.
The Jurassic Express talks about being banged up but the Elite comes in to beat them down. Kenny Omega manages to powerbomb Luchasaurus through the table to show that he can do it.
Here is the Inner Circle, fresh off their loss last night, to quite the reception. Santana isn’t happy about American Top Team, which brings them out with Dan Lambert to brag about their MMA success. Jericho tells us to welcome the “fat faced dip****” and yes the fans chant the name. Jericho accuses Paige Vanzant of having a thing for him, but he wouldn’t touch her with her husband’s genitalia. Punk: “I don’t believe him. I think he would.”
The challenge is on for the ten man tag but Lambert insults the team, including talking about the size of Jake Hager’s head. Lambert is down if the Inner Circle will accept their challenge, but he’ll give them the terms next week. Scorpio Sky says he has pinned Chris Jericho twice, but the fans think he still sucks. Sammy Guevara is ready to fight right now and he’ll see them next week. Vanzant continues to look like a star every time she’s on camera.
AAA Tag Team Titles: Lucha Bros vs. Las Super Ranas
The Ranas (the Super Frogs) are two guys in green suits with masks and challenging. Punk: “I don’t know if the Lucha Bros care, but that’s clearly FTR.” We’ll say #1 starts with Fenix, who spins the arm around to start until #1 takes him down and goes for the mask. A victory roll faceplant takes #1 down and everything breaks down, with the Bros going for the masks. Commentary confirms that it’s FTR, mainly due to the lack of flips. The masks come off and FTR clotheslines the Bros down to take over as we go to a break.
Back with Fenix getting dropped ribs first on top but Penta is back in for the brawl. Fenix gets a running start to springboard onto both of them, setting up the Lucha version of What’s Up. Everything breaks down and FTR tries to bring in the belts, only to get kicked down in a hurry. Cue Tully Blanchard (in matching green) for a distraction though, allowing Harwood to belt Fenix out of the air. A brainbuster gives Harwood the pin and the titles at 8:14.
Rating: C+. The frogs deal was weird but points for a surprise title change. FTR getting some gold is certainly a nice thing to see and I could go for another match between these two. The AAA Tag Team Titles have enough meaning for this to be an important win so nice job in a surprise, even if it doesn’t last long. It was also nice for commentary to sound smart, as they weren’t exactly fooled by the disguises.
Lio Rush says Dante Martin failed because he screwed up but Martin can be successful if he just listens. From this point forward, they’re tag partners, though Martin doesn’t seem convinced.
Andrade and FTR celebrate the win. MJF comes in to celebrate with them and gets paid by Andrade, seemingly to rent FTR for the night. MJF’s horrible Spanish is that much better.
Wheeler Yuta vs. Jon Moxley
Moxley jumps him to start, puts Yuta down, and finishes with the Paradigm Shift at 1:11. Well that worked, though Orange Cassidy staring down at Moxley as Yuta is checked on by the medics seems to give us a future.
Serena Deeb beat Hikaru Shida last week but she’s not happy with how the division has been since she went on sabbatical. It was time to drag the division back up but here is Shida to jump her from behind.
Dark Order vs. Superkliq
It’s Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds and John Silver for the team here but the Superkliq jump them before the bell. Silver escapes the TripleBomb (because the Elite is the Shield these days) on the ramp with Reynolds coming in to help out. They get back inside for the opening bell and Cole gets triple dropkicked to the floor. We settle down to Silver having to kick all three of them away but a Don Callis distraction lets Matt kick him down.
Cole cuts off Reynolds’ dive with an enziguri and it’s a double superkick into a brainbuster onto the knee on the floor to drop him again. JR: “You might want to bother counting.” More kicks and shots to the face have Silver in trouble and we take a break. Back with Nick losing a shoe as Silver makes the comeback, allowing the tag to Uno. That means a full on Mr. Socko return, because AEW doesn’t like to put together the most unique stuff. Uno runs wild for a bit until a few more shots cut him (and the crowd) off.
Cole gets Uno in a camel clutch and the Bucks load up the double kiss, but the rest of the Order takes their place for the kiss instead. A double backdrop puts Cole on the floor and the Order gets to pose for a change. Something Evil gets two on Cole as everything breaks down again. The Order is sent outside and get take out by dives, leaving Cole to kick Reynolds down. A rollup gives Reynolds two and he knees Cole in the face for a bonus. The Bucks are back in with superkicks and the Panama Sunrise into the BTE Trigger into the Boom finishes for Cole at 10:48.
Rating: C+. I can forgive the Superkliq for not exactly taking the Dark Order seriously but they ultimately had to put in some effort to win. Cole getting the pin works as well as he continues to pad his resume while the Bucks take a bit of a step back from him. Silver continues to look like a star, though I’m not sure how much of a future he has in this 837 member group.
Post match here is Jungle Boy to go after the Superkliq, who run off because he grabs a chair. Brandon Cutler is left alone to try the cold spray, which is blocked by the chair. The Snare Trap has Cutler in trouble, with Boy adding the spray to Cutler’s eyes. Now see how easy it is to make Jungle Boy look good? Get rid of the freak show and he’s a star. It’s not that hard.
Cody Rhodes appears at his wrestling academy, where his fellow coaches (or maybe students) aren’t happy with him. Arn Anderson puts him through a drill where everyone goes after him one at a time. Cody wants to know what this is supposed to teach him so Anderson pulls out a photo of Dusty Rhodes beating him up back in the day. Arn talks about how Cody never wanted to disappoint kids, but would kids have thought Dusty was bad for busting Arn open that night? Of course not, because Arn had it coming. Malakai Black has it coming too.
Here is MJF to say he is stuck in a place that smells like hookers and gasoline. He doesn’t like not being announced for his match, even though there is no match scheduled. Punk: “You know how I can tell? No Wardlow.” MJF doesn’t think Darby Allin is ready to fight him so maybe he did break Allin mentally. After telling a fat guy to shut up, MJF feigns shock over hearing about Allin being attacked last week. MJF: “TONY SCHIAVONE! DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS???”
MJF is going to give us a match with Allin, so Wardlow brings out a referee to count the ten. The count is on….and here’s Sting to answer. A baseball bat shot to the ribs drops Wardlow and MJF runs into the snow. MJF teases running back in but runs despite Sting dropping the bat, much to commentary’s disgust.
Britt Baker interrupts Anna Jay’s interview and talks about how the Superkliq beat the Dark Order. Anna: “They are not losers!” Baker talks more trash and the fight is on with referees breaking it up in a hurry.
Kiera Hogan vs. Penelope Ford
The Bunny is here with Ford. Hogan grabs a headlock to start as Punk wants to know if there is any relation, though commentary isn’t sure which Hogan he could possibly mean. Tony is right there to bring them back to focus on the TBS Title as Ford misses a running boot in the corner, setting up a takedown to give Hogan two. Ford bulldogs her into the corner to take over again though and we go to a break. Back with Hogan hitting a superplex but not being able to follow up. A sliding kick to the face in the corner rocks Ford for two more but Ford hits a running cutter. The Muta Lock finishes Hogan at 7:53.
Rating: D+. Not the best match here, but neither of these two are exactly known as a ring general. They were both trying but ultimately you’re only going to be able to get so much out of them. Hogan is someone who has potential due to her amazing charisma and it’s clear that AEW sees a lot in Ford. Keeping it short was the right call here, and it’s not like this dragged down the show.
Post match here is Ruby Soho to jump Ford in revenge from last night. The beating is on but the Bunny comes out to….do nothing actually.
Miro isn’t sure what happened that caused him to lose the TNT Title. He thinks his God has turned on him because he was given a body of granite and a neck of sand. Miro will either be a champion or an enemy and it is time to destroy. He hasn’t seen his wife since losing the title and he will not again until he is God’s favorite champion again.
Here is Hangman Page for a chat. Tony Schiavone recaps Page’s feud with Kenny Omega, leaving Page to talk about how the Elite left their home in Ring of Honor in 2019. Their world changed and then he lost his big matches on the way. It felt like he started to lose a bit more, including his confidence. The one thing that it felt like he never lost was the fans chanting COWBOY S***, which means we have to pause for a chant.
That meant taking his shot on day one and learning to let the past live in the past and accept new friends in his life. It meant taking his chance to stick his neck out like his friends did so many times. It means having the guts to go back home for the birth of his son, but last week he finally picked up the phone and took a shot.
Page feels the people still believe in him though, and for the first time in his life, he does too. The promise he can make is that he will give us everything at Full Gear, including COWBOY S***! This was a heck of a promo and it was nice to have Page finally say these things instead of having to figure out the big story for ourselves. It wasn’t hard to figure out, but it’s nice to hear it from the source for a change.
Here’s what’s coming next week, including Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes III and tournament matches.
Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish
Feeling out process to start with Fish’s headlock not working, as Danielson kicks him into the corner. Back up and Fish strikes away, only to get knocked outside. Fish gets posted but is fine enough to cut off the running knee from the apron as we take a break. Back with Fish working on the knee and hitting a sliding lariat for two more.
The half crab goes on but Danielson is back up with a suplex to send Fish flying. Danielson evens things up by wrapping the knee around the post but Fish is back in with a backdrop driver. Fish takes him up top for a super Falcon Arrow and starts tying up the knee. They both get kneebars until Danielson kicks him in the head for the break. A heel hook makes Fish tap at 12:28.
Rating: B. Fish got in a lot here, which is the kind of thing that makes AEW work so well. They know how to make someone look good in defeat, albeit in a match they had no business winning. There is nothing wrong with Fish losing to a much bigger star and Danielson gets a win over someone with some name value. AEW has figured out that formula and that is a great thing to see.
With less than a minute to go in the show, here is the bracket for the #1 contenders tournament:
That’s….interesting. I guess?
Overall Rating: B. Not so great brackets aside, this was another good show from AEW, who don’t seem to know how to had a bad one these days. They throw in at least two exciting matches to keep you hooked and the rest is all gravy. The title change was a nice surprise too, though I’m not completely sure why the frog suits were included. Anyway, another good night here, as AEW is on fire (again).
Malakai Black b. Dante Martin – Black Mass
Las Super Ranas b. Lucha Bros – Brainbuster to Fenix
Jon Moxley b. Wheeler Yuta – Paradigm Shift
Superkliq b. Dark Order – Boom to Reynolds
Penelope Ford b. Kiera Hogan – Muta Lock
Bryan Danielson b. Bobby Fish – Heel hook
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