Date: May 6, 2022
Location: Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Chris Jericho, Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Taz
We are on the way to Double Or Nothing and that means it is time to start hammering things down. Therefore, it means we are still wrapping up the qualifying matches for the Owen Hart Foundation tournaments, as they have now entered their third month. Maybe this show can be better than Dynamite though so let’s get to it.
Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm/Ruby Soho
Rebel is here too. Storm runs Hayter over to start and drives her into the corner to take over. Baker comes in and gets taken down by Soho, who ducks a superkick and rolls her up for two. The villains take over though and we take an early break. Back with Storm fighting her way out of the corner and the double tag brings in Ruby to elbow Baker down.
Everything breaks down and Baker’s Pittsburgh Sunrise is broken up but Baker counters Storm Zero into an Air Raid Crash. Back up and Rebel offers a distraction so Baker can suplex Storm down into a Stomp for two as Soho makes the save. Baker superkicks Soho but Storm grabs a rollup for the pin on Baker at 8:28.
Rating: C. It says something about the tournament qualifying matches have been going on for so long that a feud has been put together between the qualifiers and a match has taken place while the qualifying matches still aren’t done yet. Storm gaining some momentum is a good thing, though I’m not sure I would bet on her in the tournament. Then again, it is the kind of place that could help build her up.
Eddie Kingston calls in to talk to Chris Jericho on commentary. Kingston talks about how he has been with his wife for twenty years and she has seen him banged up but always puts him back together. Then she saw how he looked after the fireball from Jericho and she couldn’t stop crying. This is no longer about pro wrestling because Jericho has made Kingston’s wife cry. Kingston is going to hurt him and then hangs up. As usual, Kingston was bringing the serious fire here. Now HAVE THE MATCH ALREADY.
Tony Nese and Mark Sterling want a match with Danhausen next week in Nese’s hometown of Long Island.
Hook vs. JD Drake
Drake hits a chop so Hook tells him to do it again, only to have Hook duck his head and headbutt the chop (even Jericho has never seen that before). Hook grabs a suplex bit a second attempt is countered into a front facelock. That’s fine with Hook, who flips over and grabs Redrum for the tap at 1:22.
Post match Danhausen comes out and asks Hook to be in his corner for his match against Tony Nese next week. Hook shoves him down and Danhausen leaves, though he drops a present for Hook (as it’s his birthday): a BAG OF CHIPS! Hook stops to think about it before leaving (without the chips). So yes, Danhausen is all that and a bag of chips.
Dax Harwood is ready for Adam Cole in the Owen Hart tournament.
Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match: Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho
Sakazaki is making her return and Justin Roberts says her name three times in a row. They start fast by rolling around for an exchange of grappling before Riho kicks her in the face. A running kick in the corner drops Sakazaki again, setting up a high crossbody for two. Back up and Sakazaki sends her outside for a dive off the apron and we take a break.
We come back with Sakazaki hitting a northern lights bomb for two but Riho misses a running knee in the corner. An exchange of rollups get two each and they head up top, where Sakazaki hits a super Downward Spiral for two. Back up and they forearm it out until Riho rolls her forward into a cradle for the pin at 9:20.
Rating: B-. It’s nice to have Riho back and it makes sense to put her into the tournament as she is going to be seen as at least a good opponent for someone in the first round, if not a threat to win the whole thing. She and Sakazaki worked well together here and had a good match, though Sakazaki wasn’t going to win after being away for so long. Sometimes it’s ok to have a good match with an obvious winner and that is what they did here.
Here are the women’s tournament brackets:
Shawn Spears talks about how Wardlow is a giant who has taken out giants put in front of him. Spears is ready for him though and has a GIANT KILLER chair.
Here are Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year, with the hometown boy Lambert talking about how this city has been destroyed. From now on, he tells people that he is from Miami. Ethan Page goes on a rant about the upcoming mixed tag and doesn’t think much of Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti’s public displays of affection. Since Guevara doesn’t keep his word, neither will he, because the mixed tag is OFF!
Cue Kazarian to say Lambert and Page are annoying but he has always believed in Scorpio Sky. He has always been Sky’s biggest supporter but now he’s the biggest threat. Kazarian wants his TNT Title shot, though it’s Page yelling at Kazarian instead. Sky promises to be a fight champion and the days of this title getting passed around like Conti backstage are over. That means the Interim TNT Title needs to go back into the American Top Team trophy case where it belongs. As for the real title, it’s on the line against Kazarian next week. Works for Kazarian.
Jungle Boy comes out and gets in a fight with Ricky Starks before their FTW Title match on Dynamite.
Konosuke Takeshita is ready for Jay Lethal and company. Lethal and company yell at him but they’re also ready for Samoa Joe.
Here’s what’s coming on upcoming shows.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Jay Lethal
Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh are here with Lethal. Takeshita takes Lethal down to start but Lethal gets in his own shot and teases the strut. That’s fine with Takeshita who hits his own shot and gets in the strut (with WOO). Lethal is sent outside and it’s a slingshot dive to drop Lethal again. A Singh staredown cuts Takeshita off though and we take a break.
Back with both of them on top and Takeshita hitting a big clothesline to bring both of them back down (that looked cool). Lethal is fine enough to pull him into a Figure Four but Takeshita is right next to the rope. Takeshita hits his jumping knee but Dutt offers a distraction to prevent the cover. A kick to the knee slows Takeshita down though and the Lethal Injection gives Lethal the pin at 9:35.
Rating: B-. I haven’t seen much of Takeshita before but he has a good look and enough charisma to make me want to see more of him. The match itself worked out as you had someone like Lethal, who is virtually impervious to a bad match. The distraction finish protects Takeshita a bit as well so it was pretty well put together.
Post match the big beatdown is on but the Best Friends come out for the save. Samoa Joe with his pipe comes out for the staredown but security keeps him from the ring to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. Now that’s more like it, as this felt like an AEW quality show. That’s what AEW needed after a pretty lame Dynamite so well done on righting the ship after Wednesday. The tournaments are still dominating the shows but at least we’re rounding the final turn with them. Now get some other stuff going for Double Or Nothing and we should be fine.
Toni Storm/Ruby Soho b. Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter – Rollup to Baker
Hook b. JD Drake – Redrum
Riho b. Yuka Sakazaki – Rollup
Jay Lethal b. Konosuke Takeshita – Lethal Injection
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