AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 18May 18, 2022
AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 18
Wild Card Wednesday brought a level of uncertainty on AEW Dynamite this week, with two mystery "jokers" slated for the quarterfinals of the Owen Hart Foundation tournaments.
After a lot of speculation, All Elite Wrestling fans finally found out who would battle Samoa Joe and Britt Baker in the men's and women's events, respectively.
Elsewhere on the card, AEW world champion "Hangman" Adam Page sought to send a message to CM Punk ahead of their title match at Double or Nothing on May 29, while Chris Jericho and William Regal came face-to-face after the latter laid the former out a week ago.
What else went down on the jam-packed episode and how did it affect the road to Double or Nothing? Find out now with this recap of the latest edition.
- AEW world champion "Hangman" Adam Page vs. Konosuke Takeshita (CM Punk on commentary)
- Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament quarterfinal: Jeff Hardy vs. Adam Cole
- Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament quarterfinal: Rey Fenix vs. Kyle O'Reilly
- Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament quarterfinal: Samoa Joe vs. "Joker"
- Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament quarterfinal: Britt Baker vs. "Joker"
- 10 lashes for Wardlow
- Chris Jericho and William Regal face-to-face
Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal: Samoa Joe vs. 'Joker'
AEW fans finally discovered who the "Joker" was on the men's side of the Owen Hart Foundation tournament as Johnny Elite (formerly John Morrison of WWE) hit the ring to battle Ring of Honor Television champion Samoa Joe in the first of two quarterfinals.
Joe dominated the action early before a late surge by Elite had the fans biting on every near-fall. A 450 splash earned the newcomer a close two-count, but a missed Starship Pain landed him back-first on the knees of Joe.
The Samoan Submission Machine put Elite away with a Muscle Buster for the win.
The crowd was red-hot for this one. It may not have been the show-stealer it may have been had the joker been Johnny Gargano or Cesaro, but the fans were still hugely into Elite and the match as a whole.
The post-match attack by Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh continued the feud with Joe while Best Friends arrived to fend them off, seemingly setting up a tag team contest down the line.
- The fans' pop for the artist formerly known as Morrison was enormous, but it was clear they expected Johnny Gargano.
- Elite came up just short on a 450 splash but still managed to make it look good through his own, raw athleticism.
- Backstage, The Hardy Boys and The Young Bucks had a tense exchange that further planted the seeds for their expected Double or Nothing showdown.
'Hangman' Adam Page vs. Konosuke Takeshita
CM Punk joined Tony Schiavone, Excalibur and Jim Ross at the commentary position as his Double or Nothing opponent, AEW world champion Hangman Page, battled Konosuke Takeshita in a non-title match.
A huge leaping clothesline and a Blue Thunder Bomb by the Japanese star sparked his comeback. Page hit a Tombstone to momentarily stun his opponent, but Takeshita answered a minute later with a Last Ride powerbomb.
A flurry of action concluded with Hangman delivering the Buckshot Lariat, followed by the Go To Sleep for the pinfall victory.
This was a hugely competitive bout that saw Page go over, but not before Takeshita looked like a badass in the process. For a moment, it appeared the challenger had suffered a stinger off the Tombstone, but he powered through and delivered a star-making performance that had some in the audience rooting for him to defeat the champion.
Punk was great on commentary, putting over the psychological edge he has over his rival and building anticipation for their world title contest.
- Punk attributed Takeshita's Blue Thunder Bomb to El Generico, the name used by WWE's Sami Zayn during his time with Ring of Honor.
- Page answered Takeshita's Helluva Kick with one of his own in a cool spot.
- Hangman caught his opponent trying a diving lariat and rocked him with a discus forearm.
- "I've got him right where I want him," Punk said on commentary as Page delivered his own finisher, a reaction to The Best in the World using the Buckshot Lariat a week ago.
- A tense staredown between champion and top contender ended the segment.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland vs. The Workhorsemen
In an unadvertised contest, Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee looked to keep their winning ways going when they battled The Workhorsemen's JD Drake and Anthony Henry.
Strickland and Lee rolled to victory, putting Henry down with Fall From Glory.
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs interrupted a post-match promo from the victors, only to themselves be interrupted by AEW tag team champs Jurassic Express.
Speaking on behalf of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, Christian Cage issued a challenge for a three-way dance between the teams at Double or Nothing. He added a Triple Threat bout for next week's show between Jungle Boy, Strickland and Starks.
This was a solid showcase for Strickland and Lee, followed by a noteworthy post-match interaction between three of the top teams currently in AEW. It is convenient that Starks and Hobbs and Strickland and Lee are now top-five tandems, sliding into a tag title match despite FTR being right there.
Convenience notwithstanding, it is a fresh match that should be excellent given the talent involved.
It was notable just how over Lee and Strickland were. After a spotty first couple of months in AEW, it is nice to see them gathering momentum entering one of the biggest pay-per-view events of the promotion's year.
- The Houston fans were as hot for Lee and Strickland as any AEW crowd has been to this point.
- Backstage, TBS champion Jade Cargill interrupted a promo between one of her baddies, Red Velvet, and hurled insults at Kris Statlander.
Wardlow Takes 10 Lashes
To get his hands on MJF at Double or Nothing, Wardlow first had to endure 10 lashings with a belt by the heel, who was accompanied to the ring by Shawn Spears.
He barely reacted to the first eight before the ninth caught him on the neck and shoulder. Before No. 10, The Salt of the Earth caught him with a low blow and proceeded to add six or seven additional lashes.
A shot to the head with the Dynamite Diamond Ring and the C-4 by Spears left The War Dog lying as the Houston fans hurled jeers at the villainous pair.
This was a great angle. Wardlow no-selling lashes bruised MJF's ego to the point that he had to resort to a low blow to even affect his former employee. The heels built heat and set the stage for Wardlow to unleash hell on Spears inside a steel cage next week.
This has been the best storyline in AEW since Revolution, and this only added to it. Wardlow is about to be a huge breakout star for the company and whupping MJF's ass will ensure it.
- Wardlow smirking as MJF lashed him was a great moment and put over just how much he was in the loudmouth's head.
- MJF melting down when his lashing did not work was fantastic.
- MJF had an abundance of spray tan on his hands, leaving them much darker than the rest of his body, which became apparent when he removed his jacket.
Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal: Rey Fenix vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Two of the best wrestlers on the roster battled in the final quarterfinal of the Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament as Kyle O'Reilly squared off with Rey Fenix.
O'Reilly picked Fenix apart, targeting his left arm and taking away part of his arsenal in the process. The high-flying Fenix used his aerial skills to stay in the match and rolled O'Reilly up for a quality near-fall.
Fenix tried for a cutter late, but O'Reilly countered and tapped him out to the cross armbar for the win.
This may have been the best match of the tournament to date. The counters, reversals and high spots ran wild while the bout still managed to remain grounded in the simplicity of O'Reilly focusing on the previously injured left arm of his opponent.
In the end, it was that obsessive focus on the limb that cashed his ticket to the semifinals of the tournament.
A great contest that highlighted both men and earned O'Reilly a signature AEW victory, this set the bar high for the remainder of the night's broadcast and every tournament match to come.
- Fenix took to the air but O'Reilly caught him and delivered consecutive butterfly suplexes in a cool spot.
- Fenix and O'Reilly traded a rebound hook kick and clothesline, respectively, as counters prevailed late.
- The finish was excellent and paid off everything that preceded it.
Chris Jericho and William Regal Face-to-Face
Chris Jericho and William Regal have been rivals for over two decades, and they engaged in a verbal confrontation as a result of the latter knocking the former out with a punch a week ago.
Jericho attacked Regal, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. He took credit for Santana and Ortiz and called Bryan Danielson a nerd.
After a brief retort from Regal, which included a somewhat unpleasant reference to his rival's toothbrush, Jericho attempted to challenge the babyfaces to a Stadium Stampede match, only for Moxley to refuse and call for an Anything Goes match between Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club, Santana, Ortiz and Kingston.
The segment was longer than it needed to be, but it did plant the seeds of dissension with the babyface team. Danielson and Kingston have established beef with each other, and the leader of the JAS exploited it to his advantage.
It was a smart development and one that will add an air of intrigue that has not been there throughout the up-and-down feud to this point.
- "Nah, I ain't doing that s--t!" Moxley said, denouncing the idea of a third Stadium Stampede match.
- Jericho said he was surprised to see Regal here because he thought he would be dead.
- Kingston and Danielson got into a shoving match, leading to a backstage promo from Matt Sydal and Dante Martin, who challenged Blackpool Combat Club to a match on Rampage.
Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament Quarterfinal: Britt Baker vs. Maki Itoh
Maki Itoh made her AEW return Wednesday as the Joker in the Owen Hart Foundation women's Tournament quarterfinal against Britt Baker.
Baker dominated her one-time tag team partner but found out the hard way that Itoh has an abnormally hard head, leading to a comeback for The Cutest in the World.
The former AEW women's champion absorbed her opponent's onslaught and tapped her out with the Lockjaw to advance to the semifinals and a date with Toni Storm.
The match was OK but somewhat disappointing given the talent involved. That there was no real conflict between the competitors hurt, but Itoh's fiery comeback popped the crowd.
The Japanese star is popular among diehard supporters, but her appearance was somewhat lackluster for casual fans given the excitement that goes into the mystery "Joker" competitors.
Baker vs. Storm should be a strong match, and the fact that there is tension between them after weeks of The Doctor insulting and ducking the Antipodean should lead to an electric atmosphere.
- Itoh firing up after Baker slammed her head into the top turnbuckle really helped bring the crowd into the closing portion of the match.
- Baker and Storm stared each other down after the contest to put over their semifinal next week.
Serena Deeb Gets the Upper Hand; Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Match
Serena Deeb answered Tony Schiavone and Dustin Rhodes' insistence that she cannot defeat Thunder Rosa at Double or Nothing by calling them out.
A scathing promo gave way to Rosa hitting the ring, only to be knocked out with the women's title as Deeb earned a little momentum in a short but effective segment.
In the main event, Adam Cole cashed his ticket to the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation men's Tournament with a win over Jeff Hardy in a sprint of a match.
Cole controlled throughout the final commercial break of the evening while Hardy mounted a comeback down the stretch. A missed Swanton Bomb opened up a window for Cole to blast The Charismatic Enigma with the Boom for the pinfall victory.
A good match that never had the time to be much more than that, it was followed by a wild brawl that included Matt Hardy, The Young Bucks, Sting, Darby Allin, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. The heels laid out the babyfaces to close out the show.
The brawl seemed to point to two different matches to be added to the Double or Nothing card: the Bucks vs. the Hardys, and ReDRagon vs. Allin and Sting. Of course, this suggests O'Reilly will lose to Samoa Joe in next week's semifinal, but that felt like a given anyway.
- Cole attacked Hardy prior to the match.
- The Bucks leveled Matt Hardy with a Golden Trigger in a preview of a dream match between two of the most influential teams in wrestling history.
- Sting shook off a chair shot in a great spot, even if throwing it at the head of O'Reilly afterward was unnecessary and unsafe at that point.