AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 11

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2022

AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 11

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The Owen Hart Foundation Men's and Women's Tournaments officially kicked off Wednesday night on TBS with quarterfinal action, including a showdown between Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter that has been weeks in the making.

    Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy in a battle of fan favorites and Dash Wilder vs. Adam Cole rounded out tournament action while Long Island's favorite son, MJF, returned to the UBS for a contract signing ahead of his Double or Nothing match against Wardlow.

    What went down when the scarf-wearing heel returned home, who advanced in tournament action, and was "Absolute" Ricky Starks able to successfully retain the FTW Championship against AEW tag team champion Jungle Boy?

    Find out now with this recap of the May 11 broadcast

Match Card

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    • FTW Championship Match: Jungle Boy vs. "Absolute" Ricky Starks
    • Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal: Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy
    • Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal: Dash Harwood vs. Adam Cole
    • Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament Quarterfinal: Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter
    • CM Punk vs. John Silver
    • Danhausen vs. Tony Nese
    • Jericho Appreciation Society "Victory" Speech
    • Contract Signing with MJF and Wardlow

Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal: Dax Harwood vs. Adam Cole

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Dr. Martha Hart watched from a skybox as the tournament honoring her late husband Owen's legacy kicked off the show with a quarterfinal match pitting Ring of Honor and AAA tag team champion Dax Harwood against Adam Cole.

    It really should not have been a surprise to anyone that these two extraordinary in-ring talents would deliver a banger to start the show, with Harwood expertly selling his rib injury throughout. The attention to detail, including the babyface failing to maintain control of the Sharpshooter, was fantastic and reflective of what makes FTR such an acclaimed team.

    Cole is fantastic in his own right, playing up the heel elements of his character by teasing Sweet Chin Music and, ultimately, earning the victory with the Hart family's vaunted Sharpshooter. 

    This set the bar high for both the remainder of the broadcast and the tournament as a whole. The psychology was great, the match was smartly wrestled, the adoration for the Hart family from Harwood was obvious and the right guy went over in terms of providing star power for the remainder of the competition.

    A fantastic start to the show. 

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Top Moments

    • Cameras caught Martha watching on, a welcome sight after her estranged (and understandably so) relationship with the industry her husband starred in. 
    • Harwood either sold the hell out of a rib injury or was genuinely hurt early on in the match. 
    • Cole sent Harwood sternum-first into the turnbuckle, ala Owen's brother, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart. It is hardly the first time the latter has paid homage to The Hitman.
    • The slingshot powerbomb by Harwood led to a great near-fall.
    • Cole mocked Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music, which drew big jeers from the Long Island fans.
    • The Sharpshooter by the babyface led to a thunderous ovation. The aforementioned rib injury prevented him from applying it to its fullest potential. Cole, in a great bit of heel heat, applied it himself moments later.

CM Punk vs. John Silver

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    AEW world champion Hangman Page joined the commentary team as his No. 1 contender, CM Punk, battled Long Island's own John Silver.

    A solid match that saw Punk dominate before Silver delivered a spirited comeback, fueled by the cheers of his family, friends and fans. Johnny Hungee failed to put Punk away with a tornado DDT, though, and the Straight Edge Superstar put him away with the Buckshot Lariat in a direct message to Page.

    The match was a rarity in that Punk worked primarily heel, the first time we have seen that in AEW. He was very clearly that guy in this match, antagonizing them while beating down the hometown hero. It was, potentially, a sign of things to come as Page downplayed the heelish attitude that permeated his promo last week.

    It appears as though the champion and challenger will paint their feud in shades of grey rather than either man choosing a particular side. That will create an even hotter environment come May 29 in Las Vegas at Double or Nothing, for a match that has the potential to be one of the best and most buzzworthy in recent memory.

    The match was OK, but the tense staredown between rivals and promo from Punk afterward helped elevate the segment.

         

    Grade

    B-

        

    Top Moments

    • Punk entered UBS Arena in a New York Islanders jersey, only to reveal it was of John Tavares, who left the team to play with the Toronto Maple Leafs a few years back.
    • Punk making his way to the ring, sans theme music and soaking in the boos, was a great moment that played up his hate-hate relationship with the city after last fall. 
    • "At Double or Nothing, whether you like it or not, you will shake my hand. Whether you're conscious or unconscious," Punk declared to Page after the match. 

Danhausen vs. Tony Nese

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Danhausen's in-ring debut was an inauspicious one as he succumbed to the running knee to the face in mere seconds.

    Afterward, Smart Mark Sterling stirred the pot, urging Nese to further punish the very nice, very evil fan-favorite. That brought out Hook, who sent the heels scurrying before shaking hands with the face-painted, curse-dealing Danhausen to close the segment.

    This was harmless in that Nese winning put heat on him while providing fans the moment they really wanted, the sign of respect between the most unlikely of allies. The real question is if this is the end of Hook and Danhausen's on-screen pairing or if the company will revisit it as popularity demands.

    One this is for certain: AEW could not have selected a better dance partner for Hook in Nese. A great wrestler who will only help with Hook's development, he is perfect for this role.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Top Moments

    • The handshake between Danhausen and Hook defined this segment.

Contract Signing for Wardlow vs. MJF at Double or Nothing

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    MJF returned home, enjoying a thunderous ovation as he made his way to the ring for the contract signing ahead of his much-anticipated match against Wardlow. Long Island's favorite son basked in his own glory, 

    The Salt of the Earth revealed the conditions for his impending match with The War Dog: Wardlow must undergo 10 lashings with a leather strap at the hands of MJF and defeat Shawn Spears in a steel cage match with the scarf-wearing heel as special guest referee.

    After several minutes of antagonizing by MJF, Wardlow suckered the overconfident heel into having his handcuffs removed, then proceeded to wreak havoc by destroying security. MJF narrowly escaped his wrath but Smart Mark Sterling did not, eating a powerbomb through a table to close out the segment. 

    MJF's popularity in Long Island is almost astonishing. The guy is such a detestable heel everywhere else but to see him earn such a positive reaction, even as he continued to do and say the same despicable things he always does, will always be odd. In a good way, of course.

    The segment was more great stuff from MJF and Wardlow, who are clearly inspired by Batista's feud with former mentor Triple H but have put their own spin on it. It is a story that works and should result in one of the hottest matches on the Double or Nothing card and, if executed properly, the moment the babyface becomes the company's latest breakout star. 

         

    Grade

    A

         

    Top Moments

    • MJF urging, but not urging, the fans to boo Wardlow as loudly as they could was entertaining stuff.
    • The revisiting of Spears' Perfect 10 gimmick from NXT was a great touch
    • MJF pointing out that the fans sitting higher up in the arena were poor and still getting a pop was hilarious. 

FTW Championship Match: Jungle Boy vs. "Absolute" Ricky Starks

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    For Ricky Starks to successfully defend the FTW Championship for the eighth time, he would have to overcome the winningest competitor in AEW history, current tag team champion Jungle Boy.

    Starks found himself on the defensive late, forced to fight from underneath if he hoped to retain his title. Luckily for him, interference from Swerve Strickland backfired, with the referee distracted by the invader and missing Jungle Boy's rollup. Starks capitalized and delivered Rochambeau for the win. 

    An energetic match that highlighted two of AEW's stars of the future, it saw the right guy go over. Starks continues to carry the title, the new tension between Jurassic Express, Team Taz and the tandem of Keith Lee and Strickland sets up a three-way at the PPV, and Jungle Boy's loss continues to set the stage for a betrayal at the hands of frustrated mentor Christian Cage.

    This segment accomplished a bunch and delivered a solid match in the process. Those are always the most valuable segments and something AEW does well. 

          

    Grade

    B

         

    Top Moments

    • Taz corrected the commentary team when the FTW Championship was referred to as his title by putting the focus back on Starks. It was a small, seemingly meaningless moment but one that proved Taz understood the assignment and was concerned only with putting over the star of Team Taz.
    • The challenger countered the Rochambeau for a strong near-fall.
    • Cage walking up to Jungle Boy after the match and grabbing him by the shoulder had many thinking "turn" but the veteran held off for another week, despite a less-than-satisfied look on his face.

Jericho Appreciation Society Victory Speech

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The Jericho Appreciation Society's self-proclaimed "victory speech" was interrupted early as The Blackpool Combat Club's Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta and Sir William Regal made their way to the ring. Unimpressed by the dangerous trio, Chris Jericho pointed out the numbers 5-on-3 numbers disadvantage.

    Then, Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz popped up on the apron. A brawl ensued and a quick beatdown of the heels followed. Regal dropped Jericho with a hard left hand to send the JAS packing.

    This was an interesting segment, but not necessarily for all the right reasons.

    Was it great to see the BCC interrupt and raise their profile after weeks of basic trios matches? Absolutely, but they have no ties to the JAS. There was no issue between them and the only link is Moxley's friendship with Kingston. If that is ultimately the reason Regal's collection of combatants got involved, no harm, no foul.

    It would seem to suggest a huge tag team brawl of a match is upcoming at Double or Nothing but do not be surprised if this leads to a three-way trios match that sets the stage for a new set of titles in AEW. A set of titles that have already been made, according to Tony Khan.

         

    Grade

    B-

        

    Top Moments

    • "I was born right down the road in Manhasset but I moved away pretty quickly because this place sucks!" Jericho said after reminding the fans in Long Island that he is a native son.
    • Regal laying Jericho out was not only a great moment for the future Hall of Famer, but also one that called back their fun rivalry from 2001.

Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament Quarterfinal

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter paid off weeks of anticipation for their Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament Quarterfinal by delivering a fantastic match that was the best of either woman's run thus far in AEW.

    The physical, back-and-forth match saw Storm fight her way back into it with a series of German suplexes. From there, she countered Hayter's offensive into the Storm Zero for the hard-fought victory.

    Storm advanced in the tournament with the sort of performance fans witnessed during her time in NXT: UK but never really got to see in the brand's American counterpart or the main roster, thanks to woefully inconsistent booking.

    She is a star and this match highlighted exactly why. She has the rockstar appeal, sure, but she is a hell of a worker with a blindingly bright future ahead of her.

    Hayter, on the other hand, has been one of the unsung heroes of the women's division and a heavy lifter for her trio with Britt Baker and Rebel. She shined here, too, and probably should earn increased exposure in the wake of Double or Nothing.

    Perhaps in the form of a feud with Baker, who made no effort to get involved on the behalf of her associate, as she would have for the doctor. 

        

    Grade

    B+

        

    Top Moments

    • The uranage by Hayter on the ring apron was wicked and left Storm sprawled out, her back wracked with pain.
    • The finish was clever, with Hayter rolling out of a backslide but right into Storm Zero. It wasn't pretty, necessarily, but it was a nice exclamation point to a good, hard-fought, physical pro wrestling match.

Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal: Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    From the moment it was announced that Darby Allin and Jeff Hardy would square off in an Anything Goes Match in the first Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Quarterfinal, it came with certain expectations.

    Those expectations were met in what was a wild, chaotic, death-defying main event full of high spots and little else. Psychology be damned as Hardy and Allin threw caution to the wind, including one of the most awe-inspiring moments anyone will see in wrestling this year. 

    The bumps were hard, the action wild and there was no interference to speak of from Matt Hardy or Sting, ensuring a clean finish.

    After all of the punishment endured by the competitors, it was a basic wrestling rollup that earned Hardy the win. 

    Fans of this style of match likely thought, as Jim Ross put it, that this was one of the greatest matches in AEW history; a sure-fire 'A+' match. For everyone else, it was an unforgettable spot-fest between two uber-popular wrestlers synonymous with putting their bodies on the line for the entertainment of the audience.

    Hardy winning ensures that the only guy in the tournament to have actually wrestled Owen Hart will continue on in the competition.

        

    Grade

    B

         

    Top Moments

    • The damndest spot in quite some time saw Allin deliver a swanton bomb off the top of an enormous ladder, onto Hardy and two rows of steel chairs. No one won there, except the fans.
    • The missed Coffin Drop by Allin, which saw him crash and burn on the ring apron, drove the air out of the former TNT champion. 
    • Hardy missed a swanton onto the steel steps, crashing and ricocheting into the guardrail.
    • Ironically, Hardy won the whole damn thing with a crucifix rollup, a simple wrestling maneuver.
    • The Young Bucks stared down the Hardys to close out the show, further hinting of a dream match between tag team icons at Double or Nothing.  
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