AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 25May 25, 2022
AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 25
All Elite Wrestling celebrated its third birthday Wednesday night on TBS with the go-home episode of Dynamite, just four days from the Double or Nothing pay-per-view.
What went down when CM Punk and world champion Hangman Page came face-to-face? Would Wardlow cash his ticket to the PPV with a win over Shawn Spears inside a steel cage? Which competitors advanced to the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament?
Find out now with this recap of the May 25 broadcast.
- AEW world champion Hangman Page and CM Punk face-to-face
- Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship Match: FTR vs. Roppongi Vice
- Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Semifinal: Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O'Reilly
- Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament Semifinal: Toni Storm vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
- Steel Cage Match: Wardlow vs. Shawn Spears (special referee: MJF)
- Three-Way Dance: Jungle Boy vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Ricky Starks
Steel Cage Match: Wardlow vs. Shawn Spears (MJF as Guest Referee)
Wardlow earned his long-awaited match against MJF at Double or Nothing Wednesday night, overcoming blatant bias from the special referee to defeat Shawn Spears.
The crowd in Las Vegas was red-hot for the big man, overwhelmingly into him as he manhandled Spears, broke a pair of handcuffs after his former charge spit in his face, and put The Chairman down with the Powerbomb Symphony.
AEW has done a phenomenal job of building Wardlow into a bona fide star, but a good deal of his success in the role of babyface can be attributed to just how insufferable a heel MJF is. The Salt of the Earth was fantastic here, riling the crowd up via his partiality. When he caught the errant chair shot from Spears, the arena erupted, and with good reason.
The loudmouth, spoiled brat from Long Island got a small taste of the comeuppance that awaits him Sunday night. Wardlow standing tall on top of the cage, looking down at the man who has made his life a living hell for the last four months, was a great visual and a hint of things to come.
- MJF hit the ring in his Shawn Michaels-special black short-shorts, looking like it was 1999 up in Las Vegas.
- MJF recalled the Revolution PPV, unable to find the key to the handcuffs around Wardlow's wrists, just as The Wardog failed to find the Dynamite Diamond Ring on that night.
- Wardlow broke the handcuffs after MJF spit in his face, raw fury proving greater than any key.
- The look on MJF's face when Wardlow kicked out of the C-4 was brilliant and put over the sense of urgency that hung over the match.
- The unprotected chair shot was ridiculous and something that does not belong in wrestling today. One would have thought AEW would have eliminated them from the equation after the backlash it received from Spear's shot to Cody Rhodes back in 2019.
CM Punk and Hangman Page Face-to-Face
AEW world champion Hangman Page found himself confronted by a master of mind games in No. 1 contender CM Punk Wednesday night.
Punk pleaded ignorance to Page's anger, claiming it was misdirected and that he has nothing but respect for the world champ. When Page fired off a right hand that sent Punk to the mat, the veteran competitor flashed a grin that suggested Hangman played right into his master plan.
The segment as a whole was super intense and supremely interesting in that the fans reacted as though Page was the heel in the scenario but beneath the "aw shucks" good guy respect angle that Punk was playing lurks a master manipulator suckering not just his opponent, but also the AEW faithful into his game.
Page said he will be defending AEW against the Straight Edge Superstar Sunday night. Look for that theme to become a major factor in the story of the Double or Nothing main event and, potentially, Punk's on-screen persona moving forward.
Might the real CM Punk stand up Sunday night? It sure seems like it is a possibility.
- "I plan on walking in on Sunday as the challenger and, very respectfully, walking out the champion," Punk said.
- "There is nothing you can do to take this title away from me," an angry Page declared.
- "This is just business to me. It's my title shot. It's not personal," Punk said.
- "I don't hate you. I almost pity you and I have no respect for you and what you've done since you've gotten here," Page revealed to his top contender.
- "For the first time in my life, I will be defending All Elite Wrestling from you," Page exclaimed.
- "Those roads you traveled to get here...they were paved by me. This house that you built? It was constructed with lumber from trees I chopped down," Punk, taking credit for Page's accomplishments.
Private Party vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston
The Blackpool Combat Club, Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz will battle The Jericho Appreciation Society Sunday night at Double or Nothing but Wednesday night, Moxley and Kingston rekindled their partnership as they battled the Andrade Family Office's Private Party.
Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy put up a valiant fight but the tenacity and ferocity of Moxley and Kingston proved too much, leading to a win for the babyfaces.
After the match, Chris Jericho and his cronies rushed the ring from the commentary position, only to have their offensive countered by Santana, Ortiz and Bryan Danielson. The brawl was your garden variety pull-apart that did feature one important development: a focus by the heels on the knee of Danielson, which was injured in a freak accident Friday night on Rampage when it became wedged between the ring and entrance ramp.
It will be interesting to see how the competitors factor that element into the wild, chaotic brawl that will conclude the rivalry Sunday night in Vegas. Also of note will be the manner in which the BCC and their partners coexist. Or if they coexist.
The feud has been far from the most intriguing or engrossing on AEW television but the match itself should be hellishly fun.
- Jericho threw a fireball in the face of a random crew member unfortunate enough to be wearing a Moxley shirt. If that is going to be his new gimmick, just randomly walking around throwing fireballs, it could be a ton of fun.
ROH Tag Team Championship Match: FTR vs. Roppongi Vice
Roppongi Vice's Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero had challenged for the Ring of Honor tag team titles three other times entering Wednesday's match with FTR and were almost certainly hoping the fourth time would be the charm.
A fantastic match came to a dissatisfying conclusion when New Japan Pro-Wrestling's United Empire hit the ring to draw a No Contest. They left all four competitors lying and drove Beretta through a table to put an exclamation point on the attack.
While the introduction of Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan was essential to start the hype for June's AEW-NJPW crossover PPV Forbidden Door, the match that preceded it was so good that it deserved a finish. FTR is as great a tag team as we have seen in years while Beretta might be the most underrated wrestler on the entire AEW roster.
This was great stuff and felt like it had yet to peak before the finish. Hopefully, we get to see these two teams mix it up again.
- ROH's Caprice Coleman joined the commentary team for the match in what was a nice bridge between the old and new Ring of Honor.
- The chants of "FTR" from the fans in Las Vegas were almost surreal when you consider the fact that Wheeler and Harwood were somewhat directionless six months ago. It is a testament to their work as the best team in wrestling that they have connected with the audience to the extent that they have.
- The hot tag to Harwood by Wheeler was fantastic.
- Wheeler shoved Romero into Beretta to break up a very close near-fall off the Strong Zero.
- Cobb and Great-O-Khan drew the no-contest finish and left both teams lying to not only deliver a surprise but also set the table for a potential Forbidden Door match.
Three-Way Dance: Jungle Boy vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Ricky Starks
The AEW World Tag Team Championships will be on the line Sunday when Jurassic Express defends against Team Taz's "Absolute" Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs and the team of Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee. In a preview of that high-stakes match, Strickland, Starks and Jungle Boy battled in a Three-Way Dance Wednesday.
Ahead of the massive championship opportunity, Strickland earned considerable momentum for himself and Lee with a signature win, putting Starks away with the Swerve Stomp.
The finish was the culmination of an ultra-competitive match that saw Jungle Boy appear to be in control late with his trademark Snare Trap submission, only to have victory snatched away from him. With three competitors as talented as they, it is really no surprise that they made the most of the time given to them. All three starred and Strickland picked up a much-needed win.
The match Sunday will be wild, cut a frenetic pace and feature some damn fun sequences from both the smaller competitors and their heavyweight opponents, not unlike Lee's dive to the outside that wiped out Luchasaurus and Hobbs Wednesday.
- Backstage, The Hardy Boys cut a pre-taped promo ahead of their match with The Young Bucks Sunday night that did less to make you want to see the match and more to make you want them to stop talking.
- Lee's dive will never not be impressive, especially coming from a man his size.
- Backstage, Dan Lambert promised to unveil Scorpio Sky's new TNT Championship this Friday on Rampage.
- Thunder Rosa joined Tony Schiavone for a promo on Serena Deeb ahead of their AEW women's title match Sunday. It did nothing to make that feud any more interesting.
Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament Semifinal: Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker
Dr. Britt Baker waived off Rebel and Jamie Hayter as she made her way to the ring, determined to prove she could defeat Toni Storm on her own and cash her ticket to the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament.
The unbeaten Storm dominated early until Baker sent her into the ring post ahead of the break to turn the tide in her favor. The back-and-forth match, which saw Baker rock Storm with a nasty superkick that appeared to bust the nose of her opponent, concluded with Hayter making her presence felt and providing the distraction that allowed Baker to score the win with a handful of rope for added leverage.
The match was a strange one in that it felt like, at times, the competitors had strong chemistry and were on the same page. At other times, it felt disjointed and uneven. The lack of heat did not help, nor did the finish, in which it appeared as though either Hayter or Baker and Storm were out of position.
What was a good match probably should have been better and there are real questions as to whether Storm should have lost here. She is not as bulletproof as it might seem, with fans not quite as won over as AEW probably expected out of the gate. There is work to be done from a creative perspective to help Storm forge that all-important bond with fans.
Booking her to be the latest babyface to predictably fall prey to outside interference and lose to Baker is not the way to go about accomplishing that feat.
- Backstage, Red Velvet provided Ruby Soho some intel on her semifinal round opponent, Kris Statlander. Soho tossed aside the notebook she gave her, but admitted she will keep some of the info in mind.
- The running hip attack in the corner by Storm was wicked.
- Hayter defied Baker's wishes and appeared late in the match, factoring heavily into the outcome.
Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Semifinal: Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Fans expected an intensely physical match between Ring of Honor Television champion Samoa Joe and Kyle O'Reilly and the acclaimed fighters did not disappoint.
Unloading punishing strikes and agonizing submissions on each other, they battled for the right to face Adam Cole in the finals of the prestigious Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament. In the end, Joe absorbed everything O'Reilly threw at him and trapped him in the Coquina Clutch for the submission win.
Though the match was physically grueling, it lacked the spark that you would expect from the main event of the go-home edition of Dynamite. There was no sense of urgency from the creative, just two guys having the very good match everyone assumed they would.
In that regard, it was a success. In terms of putting a nice bow on the hype for Double or Nothing, it was somewhat of a disappointment, a rarity in AEW's three-year history.
Speaking of which, for a show that promised to be a special three-year anniversary episode, it did little to play up that aspect. Where were the great moments of AEW history? How about some of the original stars talking about their fondest memories? It would have added a unique element to the show.
As it was, the broadcast was, like its main event, very good. It was just missing that explosiveness that one has come to expect from the final episode before a major PPV event.
- O'Reilly unloaded some open-hand strikes to Joe's face that did more to wake his opponent up than stun him.
- Joe threw his body at the legs of O'Reilly, sweeping them out from underneath him in a cool spot.
- The image of O'Reilly spitting and slobbering as Joe put him to sleep was great and put over both the fight in the heel and the effectiveness of Joe's trademark submission.