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AEW Dynamite:5/18/2022

credit from: CageSide News

It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means! Dubbed a “wild card” show, we got a debut and a return for the Owen Hart tournaments for both men and the women! We were also given two more matches for Double or Nothing, yet another face off between a world champion against a straight edge savior and a… rather lackluster main event. Good show overall, but it was just that main event match. What kicked off the show though? Well….

Match 1: Owen Hart Tournament Quarter-Final Match; Samoa Joe vs the Joker (JOHNNY ELITE!!!!). (Rating:4/5)

Out comes Samoa Joe to kick off the show! But who was going to be the Joker? Satnam Singh? Jay Lethal after all? Sanjay Dutt? Well, neither! Instead it was the debuting Johnny Elite (formerly known as John Morrison in WWE or Johnny Mundo in Lucha Underground/AAA), and it was by far the most unexpected moment that All Elite Wrestling has ever done. Debuts or returns in any company that go under the radar without any sort of report leaking online in an attempt to ruin the surprise are a rare surprise in wrestling nowadays, so kudos to Elite and AEW for keeping it under wraps! Johnny looked absolutely great and could still hit incredible dives with ease as if it was the early 2010’s again. Of course it was obvious that Joe was going to get the win over Elite but thankfully it was an actual hard hitting match rather than just a quick squash match. One Muscle Buster later and Joe advances in the tournament, either to face Rey Fenix or Kyle O’Reilly!

Match 2: Hangman Adam Page vs Konosuke Takeshita. (Rating:4/5)

The AEW world’s champion with his opponent, CM Punk, calling the action on commentary. I’m very unfamiliar with Konosuke, however just like with Swerve Strickland and Jonathan Gresham, I want to research and watch more of Takeshita because he was insanely great! Again it was pretty predictable with who would be coming out as the winner but just being able to enjoy matches for what they are despite having a general idea on what the outcome would be makes it so much fun being a fan of this sport! Hangman looked incredible and he spent most of the match dominating, however near the halfway mark Takeshita was able to not only turn the tide but legitimately NEARLY scoring a pin against the AEW champion! Hangman kicked out and knocked out his opponent with a Buckshot Lariat but instead of going for the pinfall, he took a page out of Punk’s book and laid Konosuke out with a GTS for the victory! After the match, both men got in each other’s faces and looked as if they were ready to trade blows already, however the most interesting part of this was how the crowd was heavily rooting Punk over Hangman Page; resulting in Page getting booed.

Segment 1: Wardlow’s Lashes

Initiation number one for Wardlow has arrived; simply take 10 lashes this week then proceed to face Shawn Spears next week in a cage match so he can finally get his hands on Maxwell Jacob Friedman. MJF and Spears were ready and demanded Mr. Mayhem to come out and still in his chains, came out and was ready to get his lashes. MJF hits Wardlow with the belt once and…. it was not effective at all! Wardlow completely no sold each and every whip. Eventually Friedman got annoyed and Shawn took over and even then it STILL didn’t do much to even make the big man flinch. A sneaky low-blow later and both heels gave Wardlow a beatdown which ultimately led to MJF knocking him out with the Dynamite Diamond Ring. I would’ve been against making Wardlow look weak in this segment but in all honestly this is going to be worth it when he gets the win at Double or Nothing.

Match 3: Owen Hart Tournament Quarter-Final Match; Kyle O’Reilly vs Rey Fenix. (Rating:4.25/5)

An unexpected, yet AMAZING instant classic! With Joe advancing in the tournament, now it was time to see who’d be his next possible victim on Dynamite next week: Kyle or Rey. With this being Fenix’s second singles match since returning from injury, it did also somewhat seem as if he would’ve been the one advancing. Beautiful dives, awesome technical wrestling at its finest, brutal spots; this was definitely a match the late great Owen Hart would’ve loved! The finish saw Kyle countering a Fenix dive with a painfully looking Dragon Sleeper and was able to get the submission victory against the Lucha Brother, advancing in the tournament and is facing Samoa Joe next week in the semi-finals.

Impromptu Double or Nothing matches

Two new matches were announced throughout the course of the show! The first is a triple threat world tag team championship match! Following a tag match with Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland and a confrontation from Team Taz’s Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks, Christian Cage and the Jurassic Express came out to confront these two teams. And it got Cage thinking: since both sets of teams want a tag title match so bad, why not deliver on that request by making it a triple threat match! Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus looked perplexed but stood their ground and are ready for this next challenge! And later on during a confrontation between the Jericho Appreciation Society and Blackpool Combat Club, a HUGE 5 person tag match between the JAS against Eddie Kingston, Santana, Ortiz, Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley was also made official! An all out faction vs faction war, only at Double or Nothing!

Main Event: Owen Hart Tournament Quarter Final Match; Jeff Hardy vs Adam Cole. (Rating:2/5)

The show definitely ran past its run-time nearing the main event, and it showed. Hardy and Cole went out there and quickly put on a match which did have Hardy on the receiving end of a beating for a good majority of the match. However there was a hope spot which had Jeff hit the Twist of Fate and was going to put Adam away with the Swanton Bomb, however Cole got out of the way then proceeded to drop the Boom on Hardy to gain the pinfall victory. After the match a brawl between the Undisputed Elite, the Hardys and the pair of Sting and Darby Allin ensued which had the heels stand victoriously. Quick match with a better post match brawl to end an otherwise amazing show.

Final Rating:4/5