Kenny Omega and Hangman Page have a date in the ring with the AEW World Championship on the line at the Full Gear PPV on November 13. Beyond that in the world title picture, AEW is running a tournament to determine the next challenger. The finale is also scheduled for Full Gear. When it comes to tournament madness, one of the fun points of discussion is the bracket breakdown.
The bracket is set! The #AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament kicks off FRIDAY on #AEWRampage on TNT with @orangecassidy vs @TrueWillieHobbs & Saturday on a LIVE Saturday Night #AEWDynamite from Orlando, @LanceHoyt vs @MadKing1981 & @dustinrhodes vs @bryandanielson on @tntdrama! pic.twitter.com/TZGs3qmhUI— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 17, 2021
10 vs. Jon Moxley
10 is coming in with a 12-2 singles record this year and a four match win streak. 10’s quality wins include Jack Evans and JD Drake. When stepping up in competition, 10 lost both higher profile bouts to Max Caster and Darby Allin.
Moxley has a 14-3 singles record this year and a five match win streak. He has faced much stiffer opponents than 10. Moxley’s quality wins include Yuji Nagata, Karl Anderson, Daniel Garcia, Satoshi Kojima, and Minoru Suzuki. His losses include Kenny Omega, Lance Archer, and the Casino Ladder Match. I’m not including the ladder match as breaking Moxley’s win streak, since these tournament bouts are straight mano a mano.
Moxley also has tournament experience within AEW. He won a four-man bracket beating PAC in the final to earn a title shot at Chris Jericho. Moxley turned that opportunity into gold by winning the AEW World Championship.
Moxley holds a 1-0 record in head-to-head competition. He picked up that win on Dynamite (May 20, 2020). As part of a title feud with Mr. Brodie Lee, Moxley broke 10’s arm with a pair of chairs.
Orange Cassidy vs. Will Hobbs
Cassidy is sporting a 18-2-1 singles record this year and a ten match win streak. OC’s quality wins include Pentagon, Angelico, Blade, Matt Hardy, and twice over Jack Evans. Losses are a triple threat championship bout involving Kenny Omega and PAC as well as the Casino Ladder Match. Cassidy’s draw was a knockout drag-out duel with PAC.
Hobbs has a 16-3 singles record this year. He is coming in off a loss to CM Punk. Prior to that bout, Hobbs racked up a seven match win streak. Quality wins include Brian Cage and Dante Martin. Hobbs also lost to Christian Cage and Hangman Page.
Cassidy has the 1-0 edge in head-to-head action. OC scored a one-hitter quitter Superman punch on episode 41 of Dark (July 7, 2020).
Dustin Rhodes vs. Bryan Danielson
Rhodes is only 5-1 in singles contests this year, so his candidacy must be weighted by career achievements. Rhodes is on a two fight win streak after losing to Malakai Black. Quality wins include twice over Aaron Solo, Nick Comoroto in a Bullrope match, and QT Marshall.
Danielson is fresh on the scene with a 3-0-1 singles record this year. His in-ring debut for AEW resulted in a time-limit draw with Kenny Omega. Since then, Danielson piled up victories over Nick Jackson, Minoru Suzuki, and Bobby Fish.
This matchup is the most decorated. Rhodes has won the US Heavyweight, World Six-Man, and World Tag Team championships in WCW. During his time in WWE, Rhodes collected the Hardcore, Intercontinental, and Tag Team straps. Danielson earned the Pure and World belts in ROH then stacked up the WWE Championship, World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, United States, and Tag Team in WWE. That’s not to mention even more titles won in Japan.
On the head-to-head scale, they have surprisingly never competed against each other in a singles match. Aside from Royal Rumbles, their only time across the ring on opposing sides was Daniel Bryan with The Nexus versus Goldust, John Morrison, Santino Marella, and Yoshi Tatsu in an 8-on-4 handicap match.
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston
Lance Archer is rocking a 24-4 singles record this year with a sixteen match win streak. His quality wins include Fenix, Hikuleo, and Jon Moxley in a Texas Deathmatch. The victory of Mox is the most impressive win from all participants in the field. Archer came up short against Kingston, the Revolution Ladder Match, Miro, and the Casino Ladder Match.
Eddie Kingston is 9-3 in singles contests this year with a two fight win streak. Quality wins include Archer and Dante Martin. He lost to PAC, Archer, and Miro.
These two have the most heated head-to-head series in the bunch. They are tied at 1-1 in singles showdowns. Kingston took the first encounter with help from brass knuckles and his friends. Archer prevailed in the rematch with lumberjack rules. Those bouts took place in back to back weeks at the end of January and the start of February this year. They also mixed it up more recently in a Lights Out tag bout with Minoru Suzuki and Jon Moxley as respective partners. Kingston needed surprise assistance from Homicide to turn the tide and pin Archer.
After investigating the bracket breakdown, AEW rolled with an interesting mix of matches for the opening round. Moxley is the heavy favorite to smash 10 again. He might even be in a surly enough mood to crack a bone or two. Hobbs will no doubt put on a stronger showing versus Cassidy, however, OC’s speed to hit the Superman punch may prove to be the answer once more. Both those matches have added intrigue due to the previous encounters.
The other side of the bracket has the novelty of a first-time clash and the continuation of a rowdy feud. Seeing Rhodes and Danielson go at it for the first time in singles action is enough to earn my interest. Even if Rhodes drinks the entire fountain of youth, I’m not sure he could prevail against Danielson. Bryan is operating on a special level at the moment.
With Archer and Kingston, I would have guessed it was a pick ’em. However, after digging into the data, I’m convinced Kingston stands little chance to win. He has had to rely on tricks to get the job done in the past. I’d like to think AEW’s officiating crew will be sharp with a tournament of such magnitude. Who am I kidding, AEW’s referee are flunkies and stooges. I revise my statement back to a pick ’em, because there is a very high probability that Kingston will cheat without getting caught.
The tournament kicks off Friday night (Oct. 22, 2021) on Rampage with Cassidy versus Hobbs. Saturday night Dynamite this week will have Rhodes versus Danielson and Archer versus Kingston.
Who are you picking to advance in the AEW World Title Eliminator tournament?