Tonight's episode of AEW Rampage kicked off with the first round of the Eliminator Tournament, and it would feature a battle between Powerhouse Hobbs and Orange Cassidy. Cassidy was sporting bandages around his ribs still, and Hobbs would utilize his power early on to damage those ribs and halt any offense from the fan-favorite. Every time it looked like Cassidy would mount a comeback, Hobbs would put it to a halt, including one spot with a vicious-looking Clothesline. A lift and a slam hard to the mat followed, Hobbs kept the gas on the pedal, running Cassidy's neck against the ropes.
He didn't let Cassidy breathe much, pulling him towards the center of the ring and stomping his arm and shoulder, and then following it up with a knee to the back of Cassidy's neck and then a transition into a Boston Crab, and Cassidy looked rough.
An uppercut and a sling to the other corner followed, but the next threw Cassidy managed to avoid the post and get a punch in on Hobbs. He then went to the top rope and tried to hit a splash, but Hobbs transitioned into a Torture Rack. Cassidy kept punching Hobbs to get free and he did manage to finally do it, and he kept hitting forearms and punches.
Cassidy avoided another slam and almost rolled up Hobbs but Hobbs escaped. Hobbs then caught Cassidy and slammed him into the corner. He followed it up with another charge and then one more, with Cassidy sinking to the ground. The referee got in his face about the count and Hobbs picked him up and moved him to the other corner, but then he was talked down.
Unfortunately, Cassidy used the distraction to roll up Hobbs and seal the win. He took advantage of Hobbs' temper, and Hobbs tried to chase him out of the rig but he escaped.
There are three more first-round matches to go, including Dark Order's 10 vs Jon Moxley. Then there's Dustin Rhodes taking on Bryan Danielson, and then Lance Archer taking on Eddie Kingston.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!