Reviews

The John Report: AEW Dynamite 05/25/22 Review

aew dynamite may 25

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Wardlow vs. Shawn Spears in a Steel Cage Match, “Hangman” Adam Page went face to face with CM Punk, FTR vs. Roppongi Vice, the semifinals of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament featuring Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O’Reilly and more.

It’s the three-year anniversary of AEW’s first show, which was Double or Nothing 2019 in Las Vegas, which is where AEW is for Dynamite, Rampage and Double or Nothing 2022 this week.

This was AEW Dynamite at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. My favorite city in America. Just saying.

It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Jim Ross was on commentary joined by Excalibur and Tony Schiavone.

They started with the Steel Cage match with Maxwell Jacob Friedman out first as the referee. MJF’s buddy Shawn Spears was next. Wardlow walked to the ring with security guys who were way smaller than him and his hands were restrained per the orders of MJF. Big pop and “Wardlow” chants from the crowd.

Steel Cage Match: Wardlow vs. Shawn Spears (w/MJF as referee)

The stipulation was that if Wardlow wins then he gets to face MJF at Double or Nothing. If Wardlow touched MJF then it’s a disqualification. If you thought there was any chance that Wardlow might lose this match then…you’re wrong.

MJF acted as if he couldn’t find the key to the handcuffs, so Spears got in a cheap shot before Wardlow could be free. MJF kicked Wardlow and Spears delivered more punches. Wardlow with an elbow and kick to Spears while MJF raked Wardlow’s eyes. MJF and Spears teamed up to send Wardlow into the steel cage. JR called this a “main event level match.” That’s a stretch. Wardlow hit a back body drop on Spears followed by a kick to the head. MJF spit on Wardlow, so Wardlow split his hands apart and broke the handcuffs that were probably gimmicked or very thin. Wardlow hit multiple clotheslines and tossed Spears into the steel cage two times. Spears climbed up the cage, Wardlow knocked him down and Wardlow hit a top rope Senton Bomb that barely touched Spears. MJF refused to count the pin for Wardlow, so the fans chanted “ref you suck” at him. Wardlow picked up Spears for Powerbomb, but MJF hit a low blow kick. Spears hit a C4 leading to pin with MJF doing a fast count, but Wardlow kicked out and MJF was shocked by it. Spears left the ring to bring in a steel chair, then MJF held Wardlow and Spears hit MJF in the head with the chair. I think we could all see that coming as the fans chanted “you f**ked up” at Spears. Wardlow was back up to his feet as he pulled the straps down and the Powerbomb Symphony began. Wardlow hit three Powerbombs in a row. Referee Bryce Remsburg ran out to the ring while MJF was laid out in the ring. Wardlow hit a Powerbomb on the steel chair and covered with one foot on the chest as Remsburg counted the pin. Wardlow got the win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Wardlow

Analysis: ** This was executed very well. It’s not always about star ratings. It’s about telling stories and they did an excellent job of booking this in a way that made the fans happy. It was predictable with Wardlow getting the big win to earn the match against MJF at Double or Nothing. The spot with Spears hitting MJF was cheesy, but I think that was the point because it was almost like a comedy spot with the way they sold it. Anyway, it was the right result. I liked this.

The match result means that MJF vs. Wardlow is official at Double or Nothing 2022. If Wardlow wins then he is free of his contract with MJF and can sign with AEW.

Post match, there were about ten security guys that went into the ring and Wardlow punched them all as they took turns bumping. Wardlow gave a Powerbomb to one of the security guys and tossed him into the cage. Wardlow climbed the cage, pointed at MJF on the ramp and MJF had a concerned look on his face.

Analysis: That should be a win for Wardlow. If it’s not, I’ll be very surprised.

The commentary team delivered a message with Jim Ross speaking about the school shooting massacre that happened on Monday in Uvalde, Texas. Those 19 kids and two teachers lost their lives because of a crazy 18-year-old guy easily being able to buy guns. Parents will never get to hug their kids again. It’s just awful thinking about it. Breaks my heart. Let’s not forget the mass shooting in a Buffalo grocery store less than two weeks ago and so many others. Thoughts and prayers are good, but things need to change for the better, or else it’s going to keep happening like it has been for over two decades now in the US. I’m in Canada. We don’t have mass shootings at the same rate. Laws do help. I hope it stops, but you need more than hope. You need action.

(Commercial)

The Jericho Appreciation Society group was shown walking backstage with Chris Jericho, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard and Daniel Garcia walking up to a staff member in a Jon Moxley shirt. Jericho threw a fireball in the face…because he’s a wizard. Now you know.

Hangman Page and CM Punk go Face to Face

Tony Schiavone was in the ring hosting the “Face to Face” segment with CM Punk making his entrance first followed by “Hangman” Adam Page. They were both cheered since they are faces. Tony called it the biggest AEW World Title match of all time. Tony mentioned they have each done each other’s moves, there’s been a lot of talk and now they are face to face.

CM Punk spoke after some “CM Punk” chants. Punk said that it’s safe to say the biggest moment of his career happened right here in Las Vegas (June 2011), he’s grateful for being in the position he’s in and he’s planning on walking in as the challenger, but very respectfully walking out as the champion.

Page spoke after Tony mentioned Punk’s confidence level is off the charts. Page said exactly what he was going to do to Punk. Page said that there is nothing that Punk can do to Page to take the championship away from Page. Tony said that the champion is determined.

Punk said that Page is the champion for a reason and he’s a tough son of a bitch. Punk talked about how there’s a locker room full of people waiting in line for a shot, this is Punk’s title shot and it’s not personal.

Page said three weeks ago that he was going to destroy Punk, annihilate and embarrass Punk. Page said he did not mean at Double or Nothing. He meant right now. Page talked about how he has been waiting for this for months, he wanted to light up a pipe bomb and have it roll up in Punk’s face. Page said how full-circle it is for Punk right here in Vegas. Page said now that we are here in this moment, he can’t do it. Page said it’s not because he’s afraid that he would get fired and not because he’s afraid about Punk. Page said that the more he thought about what he wanted to say is what Punk would do. Page said he didn’t think it was the right thing to do. Page said he doesn’t hate Punk, he almost pities him and he has no respect for Punk or what he’s done since he got there. Page said he doesn’t think Punk understands what it means to be the champion after all these years. Page talked about those small quiet moments when no one is watching because that’s what makes a champion. Page said that he loves this place, this is his home and at Double or Nothing, he won’t be defending this championship against Punk. Page said that he will be defending All Elite Wrestling “from” Punk. The fans cheered that part of the promo.

Punk said that he doesn’t know why Page is so angry or why he’s taking this personally. Punk said it makes him a little bit confused. Punk said if you’re so upset that Punk is here then you’ll have to do something about it on Sunday. Punk said win, lose or draw, he respects Hangman, but those roads that Hangman went on to get here, they were paved by Punk. Punk said he chopped down the trees to build these buildings and he gave Page the blueprint to help create All Elite Wrestling. Punk told Page he will shake his hand on Sunday and shake it right now. Punk wanted a handshake, but Page wouldn’t do it. Punk shoved Page, who refused to shake the hand and Page punched Punk in the face. Punk smiled while on the mat while Page stared at Punk and walked away. The announcers said that maybe Punk may have got what he wanted by outsmarting Page there. Punk stood back up while selling the punch to the jaw.

Analysis: It was a very good promo exchange. Page did the thing about being a guy that’s been in AEW since the beginning and he doesn’t like the kind of person that Punk is. Punk played it professionally by saying he didn’t know why Page was making it personal because it’s just business to Punk, who earned the title match. I think Punk will win and might turn heel to do it. I’m looking forward to the match.

A video aired promoting TBS Champion Jade Cargill facing Anna Jay at Double or Nothing. Anna said she’ll win while Jade said she is nothing but money.

Analysis: It’s probably the most poorly booked match on the PPV card. My interest is low for that match.

William Regal joined commentary for this match. Chris Jericho made his entrance with the Jericho Appreciation Society with Jericho cutting off the song and told Las Vegas to shut up instead of singing the “Judas” song. Jericho joined commentary as well.

Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston made their entrance while a clip was shown of Bryan Danielson injuring his left leg when it was trapped between the ramp/ring. It’s not a real injury.

Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy)

Moxley with a corner clothesline followed by Kingston did an STO trip. Quen hit a jumping kick to the head. Kassidy tagged in with a spin kick and a double dropkick. Kassidy hit a corner splash, Quen hit a corner dropkick and Moxley came back with a clothesline on Kassidy. Moxley hit a suplex into a slam leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Moxley was going for a suplex on Kassidy, who hit a spinning kick. Quen tagged in with a cross body block off the top followed by a dropkick. Quen with a somersault dive onto Kingston and Kassidy took out Moxley on the floor. Kassidy with a forearm, then a Stunner off the ropes. Quen was legal I guess, so he went up top and hit a Shooting Star Press for two. Moxley avoided a springboard attack, Moxley caught Kassidy and hit a clothesline. Kingston went in illegally with a spinning back fist. Moxley elbowed Kassidy repeatedly while Kingston had a Dragon Sleeper while holding the arm while Quen tapped out. Moxley hit a Paradigm shift on Kassidy for the pinfall win after 7 minutes. JR complained about how there were four guys in the ring with the referee doing nothing. Come on Jim, we know the referees in AEW do nothing. It doesn’t help that the talent does their part to make the refs look incompetent too.

Winners by pinfall: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston

Analysis: ** Easy win for Moxley and Kingston. A few good moves from Private Party, but we all knew Moxley would get the win. I don’t even remember the last time Private Party won a regular tag team match on Dynamite. They are barely featured in AEW even though they’ve been there for three years.

Post match, Kingston & Moxley went after Jericho’s group. That led to Santana, Ortiz & Bryan Danielson going down to ringside to try to break it up. Danielson went into the ring to attack Jericho with punches and Jericho kicked the leg of Bryan, who was down selling the knee injury.

Analysis: It was a way to promote the Anarchy in the Arena match between these two teams of five this Sunday at Double or Nothing. It was quick, but it was effective for what it needed to be.

(Commercial)

There were comments from competitors in the Owen Hart Tournament with Mark Henry saying Owen would have loved it. Toni Storm said months ago she thought she was out of wrestling (sure she did) and Britt Baker said she was going to win. Kyle O’Reilly and Samoa Joe talked about their match.

They had ROH’s Caprice Coleman on commentary for this match. ROH ring announcer Bobby Cruise did the introductions.

ROH Tag Team Championships: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero)

There were “FTR” chants from the crowd since they are faces. Are they still in The Pinnacle group with heels like MJF and Shawn Spears? I don’t think AEW even knows. They never mention it. Romero with a shoulder tackle on Wheeler, Romero got a rollup for a two count and Romero tried a cross armbreaker, but Wheeler left the ring to get out of it. Harwood with a shoulder tackle, Trent came back with some hard chops and Harwood got in chops too. Trent with a hard whip into the turnbuckle followed by Harwood hitting a back elbow. Wheeler tagged in with Harwood slamming Wheeler onto Trent for two. Romero tagged in with a kick to the ribs and a kick to the head. Trent with a half-n-half suplex on Wheeler led to Romero covering Wheeler for a two count.

(Commercial)

Wheeler hit a belly to back suplex on Romero, who managed to tag in Trent. Harwood got the tag against Trent with Harwood delivering punches and then Trent did a whip into the corner with Harwood doing a Bret Hart-style sternum bump into the turnbuckle. Trent with two German Suplexes Harwood with two German Suplexes and Trent got to the top rope. Trent elbowed out of it, but then Harwood hit another German Suplex with Romero breaking up the pin. Romero tagged back out, Trent got the hot tag and Vice hit a double knee attack on Harwood. JR complained about the refereeing again. Sorry Jim, it never gets better. Trent suplexed Harwood on the apron, Romero with a dropkick and Trent got a two count. Romero up top, Wheeler tripped him up and Harwood got a rollup for two. Trent with two straight rollups for two. Harwood wanted a piledriver, Trent moved Harwood to the back, Romero jumped off the top (illegally) with a dropkick and that led to a Strong Zero for a two count with Wheeler tacking Romero onto Trent to break up the pin. Jeff Cobb and Great O-Khan from NJPW showed up to beat everybody up for the double DQ finish. It went 11 minutes.

Match Result: Double Disqualification (No Contest)

Analysis: ***1/4 It was fun while it lasted until the rare DQ ending. It’s not like AEW to book a finish like that, but I guess it’s a way to surprise people. It’s ridiculous that FTR doesn’t have a match on this PPV. They’re too good to be left off. Anyway, Roppongi Vince are a talented team, but I think AEW is happy with FTR holding the ROH Tag Team Titles and they might have a long run with them.

Post match, Cobb and O-Khan destroyed the four guys in the match including a couple of table spots. They posed with the ROH Tag Team Titles while their music played.

Analysis: The AEW-NJPW show is coming in late June, so they might as well start promoting it.

The Young Bucks face The Hardys at Double or Nothing. It’s a “dream match” even though I saw it in ROH about five years ago. I think they wrestled in other places too.

Matt and Jeff Hardy did a backstage promo talking about how The Young Bucks never would have survived in the business when The Hardys were in the tag team division. Matt said that people see the Young Bucks as Hardy Boys cosplayers. Jeff said that this final run will be their best run. (At their age? Good luck with that.) Jeff said that this is a step on their way to become AEW Tag Team Champions. Matt talked about how they are better than The Young Bucks. Matt said that The Young Bucks will be disappointed because they can’t beat their heroes. The Hardys posed to end it.

Analysis: That was well done. I think The Hardys should win that match, but it could go either way. The Young Bucks need a win too.

It was triple threat time with FTW Champion Ricky Starks, Swerve Strickland was next and Tag Team Champion Jungle Boy was up last.

Ricky Starks vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Jungle Boy

Starks shoved Swerve into Boy leading to a rollup for two. They did some inside cradle spots. Starks sent Swerve’s legs into Boy to knock him down. Swerve with a headscissors on Starks. Boy jumped off Swerve’s shoulders for a hurricanrana. Boy hit a dropkick on Swerve. Starks pulled Boy out of the ring, Starks slid under the ropes and hit a clothesline. Starks shoved Swerve into the barricade. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Starks and Swerve were on the apron, Swerve with a neckbreaker to Boy on the ropes, then Swerve kicked Starks and Boy hit a hurricanrana to the floor. Back in the ring, Boy hit a sliding forearm to the back with Starks breaking up the pin. Boy hit a suplex for two on Starks. Swerve whipped Boy into the corner for a sternum first bump. The three guys battled by the turnbuckle until Starks was shoved off the turnbuckle by both guys. Boy did a Reverse Rana off the top, but Swerve landed on his feet! Boy had a “wtf” style reaction to that while fans cheered. Swerve with a superkick to Starks, Swerved lifted up Boy, but Starks was back up with a Spear on Swerve. Boy charged, Starks caught him and Starks hit a Michinoku Driver on Boy. Starks battled with Swerve as Starks hit an eye gouge and then the Rochambeau slam. Boy applied the Snare Trap submission on Starks, who crawled to the bottom rope to break the hold briefly. Boy pulled Starks to the middle of the ring with the Snare Trap submission again, but Swerve was there to break it up with a kick. Swerve jumped off the ropes with a Swerve Stomp (double foot stomp) for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Swerve Strickland

Analysis: ***1/2 It was an exciting, fast-paced match. They did a nice job of setting up some of the spots so that it wasn’t just one on one for most of it. They also had a few moments where it was all three guys hitting moves in a row, which made it more exciting. I think the result could have gone either way, but I like how it was done with Swerve breaking up Boy’s submission and then Swerve hitting his finisher on a weakened Starks for the pinfall win.

Post match, Powerhouse Hobbs attacked Starks and Boy. Luchasaurus went out there to try to do a Chokeslam, but Hobbs fought out of it. Keith Lee was next to support his tag team partner Swerve. The big man trio of Luchasaurus, Lee & Hobbs had a staredown with Luchasaurus kicking Hobbs out of the ring. I think Lee knocked Luchasaurus out of the ring. Lee used the ropes to propel himself over the top onto Luchasaurus & Hobbs on the floor. Swerve & Lee stood tall in the ring.

Analysis: Good post match angle to get us to ready for the triple threat tag team match at Double or Nothing. I think the champions Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus will probably retain, but I may pick Starks/Hobbs to win as a bit of an upset choice.

The trio of Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page and Dan Lambert did a promo backstage. Lambert ripped on Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti. Lambert said that he already ordered Sky’s new TNT Title because the brand new custom-made TNT Championship belt will be presented to Sky and Sky will love it. That led to Sky snapping his fingers to end the scene. That was it.

Analysis: The “prestigious” TNT Title held by Scorpio Sky is currently not a part of Double or Nothing, which has 11 matches. That’s some strange booking.

Thunder Rosa was interviewed by Tony Schiavone on the stage. Thunder said that this is the face of a woman that has worked for everything she has and has never complained because that’s what champions do. Thunder said that Serena Deeb is not a champion as the fans chanted “Thunder Rosa” for the champion. Rosa said that Serena blames her past and questionable cosmetic changes while she should blame herself. Rosa said that she used to look up to Serena, but not anymore. Thunder said that on Sunday, the war paint comes on. Thunder said that she will teach Serena some respect. They played Thunder’s music when they thought she was done while Thunder kept talking and said that she is going to haunt Serena forever.

Analysis: I think the feud is lacking a story. Serena earned the title shot, but they haven’t interacted that much. That’s an issue AEW has sometimes where people earn the shot and they think that’s enough for a title match. You need a story too. You need to make us care. At this point, it hasn’t been interesting to me even though I like both women and think it will be a good match. We just need more than that.

There were two more matches still to come in the Owen Hart Cup Tournament and that meant Baker vs. Storm was next.

(Commercial)

Red Velvet was interviewed by Tony Schiavone, who noted that Kris Statlander beat Velvet, who said “no shit, Tony” when Tony asked if she was upset about her loss. Ruby Soho happened to be standing by or so so she says, so she walked into the screen. Velvet handed Ruby Soho a book of notes about Kris Statlander. Velvet left while Ruby said her last match with Kris was close and Ruby sounded confident about her chances for the match with Statlander on Rampage. Ruby tossed the book of notes down.

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. made her entrance. Rebel and Jamie Hayter joined her on the ramp, but Baker told them to go to the back. Toni Storm was next.

Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Semifinals: Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. Toni Storm

The crowd chanted for both women to start the match, which is common for AEW shows. Storm was in control with a headlock takeover. Storm used her legs to trap Baker on the mat. They did some spot where Baker ducked down, Storm ran the other way and hit a low dropkick. That was an awkward-looking spot. Was it planned like that? I don’t know. They left the ring with Storm sending Baker into the ring post, but that looked off too. They battled on the floor with Baker getting an eye gouge and Baker sent Storm into the steel steps. That led to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Baker was in control after a superkick. Baker went for a move off the ropes, but Storm blocked it and Storm hit a Tornado DDT. Storm hit a running hip attack in the corner followed by the Alabama Slam. Baker hit the Air Raid Crash for a two count. Jamie Hayter went down to ringside to help Baker, who didn’t seem interested in help and Storm got a rollup for two. Baker hit a twisting neckbreaker for a two count. Storm avoided a clothesline and hit a German Suplex. Baker to the floor, so Storm hit a DDT off the apron to the floor. Hayter was on the apron to distract, Storm hit Hayter with a forearm. Baker with a takedown and then she sat on top of Storm while grabbing the ropes and the referee Paul Turner didn’t see it, so Baker won after nine minutes. Storm had a bloody nose.

Winner by pinfall: Dr. Britt Baker

Analysis: **3/4 It was an even matchup with Baker getting the cheap win. I thought when Hayter got out there she was going to accidentally cost Baker the match. Nope. They still had Baker win the match even though it was a cheap finish. AEW spent all this time talking about how great Toni Storm is only to not book her at the Double or Nothing PPV that has three women’s matches? That’s some weird booking to me.

Britt Baker’s win means she makes the finals of the Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament to face either Ruby Soho or Kris Statlander, who have their match at Rampage on Friday.

Also on Rampage: The Young Bucks are in action and Bryan Danielson faces Matt Sydal.

They did a rundown of Double or Nothing on Sunday where they went in this order.

aew double or nothing 2022 young bucks hardys

* Pre-Show BUY-IN: Hook & Danhausen vs. Tony Nese & Smart Mark Sterling

* AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. CM Punk

* AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Serena Deeb

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) (c) vs. Team Taz (Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs) vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland

* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Anna Jay

* Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

* House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Death Triangle – Penta Oscuro, Rey Fenix & Pac

* Anarchy in the Arena 10-Man Tag Team Match: Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia & Jake Hager) vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley), Eddie Kingston, Santana, & Ortiz (with William Regal)

* Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Wardlow

* Men’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Finals: Adam Cole vs. Winner of Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O’Reilly

* Women’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament Finals: Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho or Kris Statlander

The main event was next.

(Commercial)

Kyle O’Reilly was up first followed by the ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe. They showed highlights of last week when Joe was attacked by Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt.

Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Semifinals: Samoa Joe vs. Kyle O’Reilly

JR predicted a slobberknocker. Shocking. Sauce it. Kyle went for takedown, Joe powered out of it and knocked him down. Kyle got another takedown. Kyle had some marks on his back with the announcers talking about how it was the cupping therapy to help with recovery on the back and shoulder. Joe decked Kyle with two hard chops to the chest. Excalibur noted they met one time before with Joe beating Kyle in a match in ROH in 2015. Joe with chops to the body and an elbow drop. Joe hit a suplex for a two count. They were going at Joe’s slow pace, but Kyle got some offense going with a running knee attack followed by an armbar takedown. Kyle delivered repeated knees to the back. Joe got back with a running back elbow. Kyle with a dragon screw leg whip against the ropes. Kyle was on the top rope leading to a jumping knee to the back/shoulder of Joe. Kyle went for a cross armbreaker submission, but Joe got to the ropes with his foot and they went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

There were about five minutes left with Kyle delivering some strikes, but Joe hit a reverse legsweep to the knee to knock Kyle down. Joe with an atomic drop, kick to the head and a senton splash for two. Joe with knees, Kyle kicked the left arm, Kyle ran the ropes and Joe hit a massive clothesline for a two count. That was a powerful shot by the big man Joe. Joe went for the Muscle Buster off the top, Kyle slipped out of it and applied the fujiwara armbar, but Joe managed to crawl to get his hand on the bottom rope to break the hold. Kyle delivered kicks to the head. Joe with a knee, Kyle with a kick, Joe with a jumping kick and Kyle hit a kick while Joe was seated on the ground. Kyle charged, Joe wanted the STO, Kyle got out of it and Kyle got a rollup, but Joe slipped out of it. Joe applied the rear naked choke on the mat, Kyle tried to break it and Kyle passed out to give Joe the win. It went 12 minutes.

Winner by submission: Samoa Joe

Analysis: ***3/4 It was an excellent match that was really intense by the end. This was Joe’s best match in AEW so far while Kyle is consistently great. I’m sure they enjoyed wrestling eachother since it was their first match in about seven years. Joe is at his best with a smaller guy selling his power moves while Joe is always good at selling for the smaller guys too. Lots of strikes, near submissions, nearfalls and then Joe made Kyle tap out after Kyle gave up his back leading to the rear-naked choke that Joe has used for decades to win big matches. I like how Kyle looked very competitive here. Joe winning was the right call.

The win by Samoa Joe means he’ll face Adam Cole in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Cup Finals. The announcers said it will be the first time they’ve ever had a match. They love calling everything a dream match and JR even said it could be a match of the year. I don’t know about that, Jim.

Adam Cole made his entrance to stand on the stage and have a staredown with Joe. Cole did his “Adam Cole bay bay” taunt. Joe and Cole stared at eachother from a distance. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It could go either way. AEW might want Cole and girlfriend Britt Baker to be the winners of the Owen Hart Cup, but I think they might want a babyface to win like Samoa Joe. Either way is fine. I’ll have an official prediction in our TJRWrestling Double or Nothing preview on Saturday morning.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Samoa Joe
  2. Wardlow
  3. Swerve Strickland/Ricky Starks/Jungle Boy

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.5 out of 10

Last Week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

It was a good show as usual from AEW. Lots of quality matches although I don’t know if there was one that stood out more than the others. I wanted to get into FTR/Roppongi Vice, but the DQ finish prevented that. Samoa Joe’s match with Kyle O’Reilly in the main event was great. Their styles meshed well.

I liked how the Wardlow segment was booked in the Steel Cage Match because he found a way to beat Shawn Spears with MJF as the referee. The steel chair spot was a bit too silly, but it worked in terms of popping the crowd. Wardlow will finally face MJF at Double or Nothing with Wardlow’s chance to be free from his contract with MJF.

That promo segment with Adam Page and CM Punk was terrific. I liked that a lot. It showed that Page doesn’t really like Punk while Punk has said it’s not personal to him. It makes things a bit more interesting heading into their World Title match on Sunday night.

The next AEW pay-per-view is Double or Nothing from Las Vegas on Sunday, May 29. Here’s the lineup so far:

AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. CM Punk

Anarchy in the Arena 10-Man Tag Team Match: Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia & Jake Hager) vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley), Eddie Kingston, Santana, & Ortiz (with William Regal)

AEW Tag Team Championships: Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) (c) vs. Team Taz (Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs) vs. Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland

AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Serena Deeb

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Wardlow – If Wardlow wins, he will be granted his release from his contract with MJF. If MJF wins, Wardlow will be permanently banned from signing with AEW.

Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Finals: Adam Cole vs. Samoa Joe

Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Death Triangle – Penta Oscuro, Rey Fenix & Pac

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Anna Jay

Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Finals: Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho or Kris Statlander

Pre-Show BUY-IN: Hook & Danhausen vs. Tony Nese & Smart Mark Sterling

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport