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Winfree’s AEW Dynamite Review 5.11.22

May 11, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Jeff Hardy Darby Allin AEW Dynamite Image Credit: AEW
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Winfree’s AEW Dynamite Review 5.11.22  

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Hey there people, Robert Winfree tagging in on short notice to replace Tony Acero. I’ll be covering Dynamite next week as well, but after that Tony will be back. Tonight Danhausen makes his long awaited in ring debut, the Jericho Appreciation Society will kill time, MJF reveals his stipulations for Wardlow when they sign their contract for a match, CM Punk will wrestle John Silver, the Owen Hart Foundation tournament kicks off on the women’s side of things with Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter and on the men’s side we get Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin as well as Dax Harwood vs. Adam Cole. Plus Ricky Starks will defend the FTW title against Jungle Boy. Double or Nothing continues to loom closer so let’s see what else AEW has in store for us.

Adam Cole heads out to get us going.

Match #1 – Owen Hart Foundation Quarterfinal: Adam Cole vs. Dax Harwood

They tie up, and wind up in the corner where Cole gives a mostly clean break. Harwood wont rise to the bait yet, they tie up again and trade arm wringers and escapes before Harwood gets a side headlock takeover. They move into the corner then Harwood chops Cole as Cole goes to taunt. More chops from Harwood but he runs into a Kitchen Sink and Cole takes over. Neckbreaker from Cole then he starts working strikes. Harwood slips around Cole and lays in punches then tries a Sharpshooter but Cole kicks free and they trade Small Package roll ups for near falls. Cole lands a kick then slings Harwood into the ring post rib first. They head out of the ring and Cole tosses Harwood into the ring steps. Cole tosses Harwood into the steps again then starts working the ribs of Harwood with strikes. Harwood tries to fight back with chops but Cole keeps going to the body to cut him off, then posts him on the outside as we go picture in picture.

They head back into the ring and Cole tries to work the ribs but Harwood fights back before getting caught in an abdominal stretch. Hip toss from Cole and he starts shaking out his left arm, not sure what caused that. Face lock from Cole, Harwood starts fighting back with strikes but runs into a back elbow and is down again. When we get audio back Cole is sending Harwood into the corner chest first. Harwood is ready to start his comeback, he misses a few blows as Cole counters him but Harwood hits a German suplex and holds on to hit another but Cold counters into one of his own, though Harwood hits his third German after that. Harwood drags himself to the top rope, but Cole cuts him off. They fight on the top rope as Cole is looking for a superplex but Harwood headbutts him down then goes for a flying nothing, Cole avoids but Harwood lands on his feet then hits a slingshot powerbomb for 2. Cole lands a kick then a brainbuster onto the knee for a 2 count. Now Cole looks to tune up the band to some serious boos, but Harwood avoids the superkick and gets a Victory Roll for 2. Cross body from Harwood gets 2, but he tries it again and runs into a super kick for 2, then Harwood counters into a crucifix cover for his own near fall. Cole kicks the knee of Harwood, then tries the Panama Sunrise but Harwood counters into an Alabama Slam and looks for the Sharpshooter though Cole kicks him off. They trade reversals on the Panama Sunrise attempt and it ends with Harwood landing a piledriver for 2. Harwood fires up, he wants the Sharpshooter and gets it, but his ribs give out after a few seconds, they were too close to the ropes anyway. Cole knocks Harwood off of the apron and tells the ref to start counting. Harwood does make it back into the ring before the 10 count and Cole goes for the Sharpshooter (it’s not a good Sharpshooter), gets it and Harwood can’t get to the ropes then has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Adam Cole won

Rating: 3.5 stars

This avoided the worst of Cole’s excesses and benefited tremendously from it, the downside was the outcome being very predictable and none of Harwood’s near falls being all that believable.

We get a video hype package for Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin, they both agree they’re more stunt men than wrestlers and both want to be in the hospital when it’s over. Darby asked for the rules to be waved for their match, both men want to get psychotic.

“Hangman” Adam Page is here, he’ll be joining commentary for our next match.

CM Punk heads to the ring, and gets booed as he walks down. Long Island does not like Punk.

Match #2: CM Punk vs. John Silver

They tie up, Punk moves Silver into the corner but does give a clean break. Punk heads out of the ring to play with the crowd then comes back in. Another tie up, Punk gets a side headlock, Silver counters into one of his own then shoulder blocks Punk down. They hit the ropes and Silver gets a backslide for 2 and Punk heads out of the ring again. This time Silver follows and chases Punk back in, but Punk drops an elbow as they return to the ring. Punk lays in strikes, but Silver spins him into the corner and lays in a bevy of his own strikes. Silver wants a tornado DDT, but Punk shoves him off and hits a clothesline to send us to picture in picture.

Punk hits a backbreaker, he knows were in commercial so he’s working slower (not a criticism just an observation). Russian leg sweep from Punk. Silver tries to fire up with strikes but Punk cuts him off with a knee to the body. Now Punk grabs a chin lock, and sends Silver into the corner as we return to the broadcast. Silver avoids a crotch dive in the corner, he looks to fire up again and lays in strikes while avoiding Punk’s. Punk hits a backslide but Silver rolls through and lands a series of kicks then a deadlift brainbuster for a 2 count. Silver with a blow in the corner then tries a tornado DDT but again Punk counters, Silver tries again and fumbles it just a bit but eventually hits it for a 2 count. Now Silver wants the Spin Doctor, but Punk counters and lands a head kick. Punk hits the high knee in the corner, another clothesline and then a heel kick. Punk hangs out on the apron and stares down Page, then hits the Buckshot Lariat and pins Silver.

OFFICIAL RESULT: CM Punk won

Rating: 3 stars

Good match overall, again it suffered from a very predictable outcome but Punk went out of his way to make Silver look and good and Silver rose to the occasion as much as he could.

Post match Page storms to the ring, Punk gets a mic and asks if Page is getting mad and taking this personal. Punk doesn’t know why the crowd doesn’t like him, sure you don’t, but this is just business for him. He used to ask himself if he was a good guy, this morning he asked himself if he’s the champ, and the answer is yes. Last week Page said he’d destroy Punk, Punk just destroyed Page’s boy and when it’s all said and done at Double or Nothing Page will shake Punk’s hand.

In the back Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker are interviewed. Baker objects to being made to wrestle a Joker, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. She puts over Hayter and says storms always pass and there’s Hayter on the forecast. Tony Schiavone brings up that if they both win they’ll have to wrestle each other, Baker says it would be a fair fight and the better woman will win.

Match #3: Danhausen vs. Tony Nese w/ Smart Mark Sterling

Nese got the jobbers entrance. Danhausen tries to curse Nese, Nese avoids that and slams Danhausen into the corner then hits the Running Kneese and pins Danhausen.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Tony Nese won

Rating: DUD

Angle, not a match.

Sterling gets a mic and says he’s not shocked, then brings up that Nese didn’t get an entrance and Nese hits another Running Kneese. Nese will just have to continue embarrassing the meme wrestlers, but before he can try another Running Kneese here comes Hook. Hook struts to the ring, Sterling and Nese run away. Danhausen offers a handshake to Hook, Hook accepts then walks off and sends us to commercial break.

We come back as Wardlow is escorted to the ring by security, and the crowd is booing him. A video package in the style of Dark Side of the Ring painting Wardlow as the villain runs. Shawn Spears and Smart Mark Sterling are in the ring, and here comes Maxwell Jacob Friedman to a serious ovation. MJF basks in the adoration of the fans after asking for his music to be cut. Very loud MJF chant, and he tells Wardlow that’s a symphony. . . bitch (so you know he’s serious). MJF wants to be honest, this is a true underdog story, David vs. Goliath, the younger a slightly smaller but way more jacked, way more humble, and way more talented prince from the most magical place in the world, Long Island, against the big dumb stupid oaf. We’re here to go over the conditions Wardlow must overcome, and if Wardlow wins at Double or Nothing he’ll get out of his contract. Before getting to details he’d like to give Wardlow a chance to address his people. The crowd boos, MJF quiets them and doesn’t want the crowd to boo Wardlow out of the building when Wardlow talks. It’s the last thing he wants all of the people to do is create the loudest “boo” in the history of professional wrestling when Wardlow talks. The crowd clearly hates MJF, because they don’t listen and boo Wardlow relentlessly when he picks up a mic. Wardlow doesn’t speak, still gets booed, and MJF decides they don’t want to hear Wardlow. MJF is finally ready to talk conditions, and calls Wardlow the worst and what he’s about to go through is payment for all the bad things Wardlow did to “The American Roller Coaster” Cody Rhodes. If Wardlow wants a match he’s going to get whipped by MJF 10 times, he gets Spears to do the old “10” spot. If Wardlow can deal with that, he’ll have to wrestle Spears in a cage match and MJF brings up that Wardlow is not only 0-2 in cage matches but there will be a special guest referee in the form of MJF. And only if Wardlow gets through all that will get a match at Double or Nothing. But, Wardlow doesn’t know what happens if he loses at Double or Nothing. If Wardlow loses at Double or Nothing he’ll never be allowed to sign with AEW. Wardlow says nothing, just picks up a pen and goes to sign but the cuffs prevent this. MJF demands Wardlow be uncuffed to sign, the cuffs come off and Wardlow stands then signs. When they go to return the cuffs Wardlow fights back, kills some security guards then stares down a chair wielding Spears. Spears goes for a chair shot, but Wardlow drops him with a punch. MJF then tries to escape, but Wardlow catches him only for Sterling to save MJF. This goes poorly for Sterling, as Wardlow sets up the table and powerbombs Sterling through it. MJF yells from the ramp that Wardlow wont even make it to the PPV as we head to break.

Samoa Joe promo where he runs down Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, Dutt promises none of them are the Joker and mocks Joe’s physique and intelligence. Joe vows to win the tournament and then settle things with those goofs his way.

Jungle Boy heads to the ring for our next match, Taz has joined commentary for this match.

Match #4 – FTW World Title Match: (c) Ricky Starks vs. Jungle Boy

They tie up, Starks gets a rear waist lock, then trade front headlocks on the mat, then trade hammerlocks and Starks gets the better of this then slaps Jungle Boy. Mat return from Jungle Boy then he out wrestles Starks and paint brushes Starks. Snapmares are traded then Jungle Boy with a side headlock, Starks counters with a head scissors and we get a stand off. Jungle Boy lands a chop but Starks knees him down then slaps him. Arm drag from Starks and he poses, Jungle Boy then lands a chop and hits his own arm drag then a drop kick and Jungle Boy poses. Starks rolls out of the ring as we go picture in picture.

They brawl on the ringside area with Jungle Boy getting the better of things. Back in the ring Starks hits a Stun Gun and takes over on offense. Starks hits a belly to belly suplex then starts working a reverse bearhug. Body scissors from Starks, which he’s working as we come back to the broadcast. Jungle Boy fights out of the hold with elbows, then Starks runs into a back elbow. More strikes from Jungle Boy as he’s firing up, and he hits a clothesline to floor Starks. Jungle Boy lands a kick from the apron then tries a slingshot DDT but Starks stops the momentum the tries a suplex but Jungle Boy counters into the tornado DDT for a 2 count. Backslide from Starks gets 2, then he moves for the Roshambo but Jungle Boy counters, they trade counters and Jungle Boy hits an arm drag and then a super kick for a 2 count. Starks catches Jungle Boy off the ropes with a Spear for a near fall. Jungle Boy goes for the Snare Trap, he gets it locked in but Starks is too close to the ropes and he drags himself to the ropes to force the break. Starks rolls to the apron, then Stuns Jungle Boy over the top rope. Now Starks gets the title belt, but Swerve Strickland comes down to stop that belt attack. In the ring Jungle Boy catches Ricky Starks with a roll up for 3 but there’s no ref and by the time the ref gets back in the ring Starks gets free and hits the Roshambo to retain the title.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ricky Starks retained the title

Rating: 3 stars

Solid match, it was worked a bit too fast paced as any real semblance of physical story was absent but this was about as clean in terms of execution as you’ll find.

Post match Christian Cage and Luchasauraus ignore Strickland and walk to the ring to support Jungle Boy. We get some arguments as Strickland is alone, but as Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs menace Strickland here comes Keith Lee to even things out. Everyone gets into a standoff but nothing comes of this. Jungle Boy is upset at the loss, Luchasauraus leaves the ring and Christian goes to console Jungle Boy. They hug in the ring to send us to break.

We get the Jericho Appreciation Society heading to the ring for a victory speech. I guess Long Island is taking over as Bizarro world because they’re cheering Jericho and his replaceable entourage. Parker welcomes the AEW galaxy to the victory speech. Lee runs down his list of kinks, it’s being this close to Jericho and the related association. Jericho saves us from this nonsense and brings up the list of hometown heroes in Long Island and brings up that he’s from the area. He moved away quickly despite being born here, because this place is a dump. Jericho calls himself a wizard with his mastery of fireballs. They did what they said they were going to do, they took out Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston. He tells them to just say at home, as Jericho 2:16 says “I just burned your face”. Daniel Garcia says every time a pro wrestler steps in the ring with a sports entertainer the sports entertainer wins every time. Jon Moxley objects to this and walks down through the crowd. No sign of the rest of the Blackpool Combat Club, Mox is out on his own. Jericho tells Moxley to turn around and word salad, he recovers claiming the numbers aren’t in Moxley’s favor. Moxley doesn’t move, but here comes Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta, and William Regal. Jericho says there’s still only 4 of them to 5 of Jericho’s. The crowd chants for Eddie Kingston, and here comes Kingston with Santana and Ortiz, no music and they’re behind the JAS. We get a brawl, Kingston starts choking the life out of Jericho and Hager has to save him. Regal floors Jericho with the Power of the Punch before the JAS runs up the ramp. The good guys stand tall, Regal is staring daggers at Jericho as the bad guys retreat.

We get a hype package for Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb at Double or Nothing.

Here’s confirmation that Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy will have no rules.

Match #5 – Owen Hart Foundation Quarterfinal Match: Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter

They tie up, jockey for position then Storm gets a side headlock. Hayter sneaks out of it and grabs one of her own. Storm moves to a front headlock, she rides through a few rolls from Hayter then Hayter fights back with body blows before we get a stand off. The old test of strength spot, Hayter trips Storm down then slaps Storm on the stomach as they break. Storm hits a drop kick, Hayter heads out of the ring then back in and knees Storm off of the apron to send us to break but the action is still visible.

Hayter works some generic control stuff, mostly stomps, then hits a snap suplex. Overhooked face lock from Hayter, but Storm fights back as we return to the broadcast. They start trading strikes and chops until we get simultaneous elbows and a double down. Storm looks to fire up, hits a hip attack in the corner then a tornado DDT and Hayter rolls out of the ring but Storm follows her with another swinging DDT on the floor. Back in the ring Storm heads up top and hits a cross body for a 2 count. Hayter hits a chokebreaker for a 2 count. Storm avoids a clothesline and hits a German suplex. They move to the apron but Hayter catches Storm with a uranage on the apron. Back in the ring Hayter heads up top with Storm and hits a headbutt to set up a superplex then rolls through with it but Storm catches Hayter with a small package for a 2 count. Storm hits the Storm Zero and pins Hayter to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Toni Storm won

Rating: 3 stars

Another good match, these two brought a good sense of physicality with the right winner.

Video for Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian. Sky puts over Kazarian as a brother but with his TNT title on the line he’ll bring the heat and will remain the face of TNT. Kazarian is in the back for an interview, he’s interrupted by Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti. Sammy is booed as he tells Kazarian that he can’t trust Sky. Kazarian is amused to be lectured on trust by these two, and all he needs is to trust himself then tells Sammy to go be unlikeable somewhere else, and that his vlog sucks. Kazarian speaks only truth.

Commentary runs down upcoming matches and events to send us to break.

We come back and here comes Jeff Hardy.

Match #6 – Owen Hart Foundation Quarterfinal No Disqualification Match: Jeff Hardy w/ Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin w/ Sting

Darby opens with a shotgun dropkick then a heat seeker suicide dive. Darby grabs a pile of chairs right away and sets up a platform on the floor with the chairs but takes so long that Jeff is able to hit a flapjack onto the ring steps. Jeff moves the stairs to be next to the barricade, Darby jumps over them but Jeff follows and hits a flying clothesline. Again Jeff moves the stairs, setting them on a side and going for a Twist of Fate but Darby counters and shoves Jeff into the ring post. They move to the ring and Jeff hits a Twist of Fate through the ropes. Jeff gets a ladder from under the ring and it’s a big one as we go picture in picture.

They fight over the ladder then Darby hits a Code Red for a 2 count. Jeff avoids a standing Coffin Drop and hits a jawbreaker then boots Darby out of the ring. While Darby sells on the chairs he set up, Jeff sets up the large ladder in the ring. Jeff starts climbing the ladder, this is going to end badly. Jeff reaches the top and poses, but here comes Darby climbing the ladder and he pulls Jeff down so Jeff crotches himself on the ropes. Now Darby climbs the ladder and hits a Swanton Bomb onto Jeff through the set up chairs. That looked awful, but credit to Jeff for catching Darby. They slowly stagger into the ring, where Jeff drapes himself on the apron and Darby hits a Coffin Drop onto the apron, partially hitting Jeff. Yeah, Jeff got out of the way there and Darby ate apron. Jeff puts Darby on the ring steps that are still on their side and hits a Twist of Fate. Jeff then climbs to the top rope, he wants to Swanton Darby but Darby moves and Jeff crashes and burns on the ring steps. That also looked awful, not as bad as the chair spot though given the construction of the steps they had some give. Darby drags Jeff back into the ring, then hits a Coffin Drop but on the cover Jeff counters into a crucifix pin and gets the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jeff Hardy won

Rating: 3 stars

Just a spot fest, no story whatsoever, but the spots were impressive given the limited time they had to work.

Post match we get a handshake between Darby and Jeff. The Young Bucks and Undisputed Elite come onto the apron and wave to end the episode.

8.0
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
This snuck into Very Good territory more on the strength of the first half than the back half. Dax Harwood was able to tame the excesses of Adam Cole for a good match, CM Punk went out of his way to make John Silver look good, Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter were solid, and the main event was a car crash. MJF's promo was great, which is almost expected at this point, and the Blackpool Combat Club joining up with Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz makes sense to even the numbers and keep all parties occupied. The Danhausen and Hook stuff felt like a waste of time, but was clearly over. The back half felt rushed in terms of broadcast, I don't know if stuff went long or if they just wanted to make it feel that way but it should be mentioned. All in all though, solid wrestling TV.
legend

article topics :

AEW Dynamite, Robert Winfree