Hey, as usual if you want to help out the blog and order Double or Nothing on Fite.TV, the link above gives me a piece of the action. And if you haven’t signed up for a FREE Fite.TV account yet, hit the link below to use my referral code and get $5 towards the price of a PPV order!
On with the show…
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.25.22
Live from Las Vegas, NV
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross
Steel cage match: Wardlow v. Shawn Spears
MJF, who redefines “special” referee, is wearing the Shawn Michaels tribute shorts. Sadly, MJF has misplaced the handcuff key, so Wardlow has to start with the cuffs on. And MJF puts the boots to Wardlow himself for good measure. Still makes him a better person than Earl Hebner. They put Wardlow on the cage and give him a double shoulderblock into it. Wardlow manages to fight off Spears, but he can’t touch MJF, so instead he breaks the cuffs in anger and destroys Spears. Shawn tries to climb out and Wardlow follows him up and tosses him off the top rope, then follows with the swanton, but of course MJF won’t count. So Wardlow gets madder and tries the powerbomb on Spears, but MJF kicks him in the knee and puts Spears on top for a fast two. Next up, Spears just leaves the cage and grabs his chair, but he misses and knocks MJF out instead. So the crowd lets him know that he fucked up, and Wardlow pops up like a horror movie villain and powerbombs the shit out of Spears. And that brings out another ref while MJF is out cold, so Wardlow powerbombs Spears on his own chair and pins him with one foot at 7:00 to earn the match with MJF on Sunday. This was exactly what it needed to be. **1/2
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho throws fire in the face of a Jon Moxley fan backstage because HE’S A WIZARD.
Tony Schiavone joins for a face to face segment with CM Punk and Hangman Page. Punk once again gets cheered over Page, and Hangman is still salty about it. Punk politely states again that it’s just business and everyone respects the Hangman, but Page is ready with his own pipebomb…and he can’t pull the trigger on it. But he does let Punk know that Punk’s been the opposite of a champion since he got there. And he’s defending the AEW title FROM Punk. And then Punk takes credit for the blueprint of AEW, which is what finally turns the crowd, so Page slugs him down and the crowd goes back to booing him again. Fickle bunch.
Meanwhile, Anna Jay feels like she’s ready for another shot at Jade Cargill.
Private Party v. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
The Party brawls with them on the floor, but Kingston takes over on Quen in the ring and they double-team him in the ring. Kassidy comes in with dropkicks on Moxley to take over. But Mox gets a drop suplex on Kassidy to take over and we take a break. Back with Quen hitting Moxley with a flying bodypress with some serious airtime, and then PP follow with a pair of dives onto the floor. Back in, Kassidy hits Moxley with a stunner and Quen follows with the shooting star press for two. Silly String is countered by Moxley and Kingston helps mop up by tapping out Quen while Moxley destroys Kassidy with the Paradigm shift at 7:00. Just a fun mess. *** This of course prompts the brawl between Jericho’s group and the Combat Club, which ends with Jericho leaving Danielson laying thanks to an attack on the bad knee.
ROH World tag team title: FTR v. Roppongi Vice
Rocky trades hammerlocks with Cash to start, and gets a cradle and a rollup for two. Cross armbreaker and Cash has to retreat to the ropes to break, and it’s over to Uncle Dax. He trades chops with Trent in the corner, but Trent hits him in the taped ribs. So Dax suplexes him and drops Cash onto him with a legdrop for two. Rocky gets the blind tag and they double-team Cash in the corner with a suplex for two as we take a break. Back with Cash fighting back with a backdrop suplex and he fights for the hot tag to Dax. Dax runs wild with chops in the corner, but Trent sends him into the corner for the Bret bump. They trade german suplexes and Dax gets one on Trent for two, but RPG hits him with a double knee to take over again. Rocky with a guillotine legdrop into a shotgun dropkick from Trent gets two. Strong Zero is broken up by Cash and Dax rolls up Trent for two. Trent with his own rollup for two. Victory roll gets two. Another Strong Zero hits this time, but Cash dives in and makes the save. And then Jeff Cobb and Great O-Khan run in on behalf of the United Empire for the DQ at 10:00 and destroy both teams. Cobb would be an awesome get for AEW but O-Khan is barely over in New Japan as it is. They felt like they were having trouble finding the second gear in this one, and the crap finish didn’t help anything. **1/2
Meanwhile, The Hardy Boyz do their go-home promo on the Young Bucks and stress again that the Bucks are cosplayers. Hell of a promo but it’s gonna take a miracle from the Bucks on Sunday.
Ricky Starks v. Jungle Boy v. Swerve Strickland
They all trade rollups to start and Jungle Boy clears the ring with a rana, but Starks pulls him to the floor and hits a sweet sliding lariat through the post. And we take a break and return with Swerve and Starks fighting on the apron, which leads to JB hitting Swerve with a rana to the floor. Back in, Jungle Boy with a sliding lariat for two. JB with an Angle slam on Starks for two. Swerve runs him into the corner and they all fight on the top rope, but Jungle Boy tries a rana on Swerve and he lands on his feet in an amazing counter. They trade superkicks and Swerve tries to suplex Jungle Boy, but Starks spears them and hits a Michinoku Driver on Jungle Boy for two. Swerve saves and Starks tries the Rochambeau, but Swerve flips out of that, so Starks thumbs him in the eye and hits on the second try. But then Jungle Boy pulls Starks off and puts him in the Snare Trap and Starks makes the ropes. So JB pulls him back, reapplies it, and Swerve saves this time. Swerve with the flying stomp on Starks to finish off that at 9:18. This was just crazy action start to finish. **** So then Powerhouse Hobbs comes in for the attack and we get the hoss showdown between the power guys, which ends with Keith hitting a dive onto Luchasaurus and Hobbs.
Meanwhile, Men of the Year are unimpressed with Sammy smashing up their belt, especially since Dan already has a new TNT belt made and he’ll present to Scorpio on Rampage. Goodie, can’t wait for this storyline to continue.
Thunder Rosa joins Tony, and she doesn’t even have her face painted this week so it’s serious.
Meanwhile, Red Velvet gives Ruby Soho a scouting report on Kris Statlander out of spite.
Owen Hart Foundation semi-finals: Toni Storm v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
They trade hammerlocks to start with a very split crowd, and they fight to the floor for a while as we take a break. Back with Toni hitting a tornado DDT out of the corner and she follows with the hip attack in the corner, but Britt counters Storm Zero into an Air Raid Crash for two. So this brings Jamie Hayter out to protest, and Toni gets a rollup for two. Britt with a neckbreaker for two as Toni seems to have busted her nose at some point. Toni with a german suplex and Britt bails to the floor, so Toni hits a DDT off the apron and back in to go after Hayter again. Storm tries Storm Zero again, but Britt grabs the ropes to block and gets the pin at 8:19. This whole tournament has been supremely underwhelming so far with obvious winners in every match. This was mostly just awkward and meandered a lot. **1/4
Owen Hart Foundation semi-finals: Samoa Joe v. Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle immediately takes him down and works for the armbar, but Joe escapes that and beats on him with chops before kicking him down and dropping an elbow. That gets two. Joe with a suplex for two. Kyle takes hi down and works on the arm again before hitting him with knees and a dragon screw on the apron. He goes up with a diving knee on the shoulder for two and switches to an armbar attempt as we take a break. Back with them trading kicks before Joe boots him down and follows with a senton for two. Kyle fights back with kicks, but Joe hits him with a lariat for two. Kyle goes up and Joe tries the muscle buster, but Kyle counters into the Fujiwara armbar until Joe makes the ropes. Kyle beats on the arm with kicks in the corner, but Joe gets the enzuigiri, so Kyle fires back with his own boot to put him down. Kyle blocks the uranage and tries a rollup, but Joe reverses to the choke for the win at 12:02. Finish felt a big abrupt but this was a good fight. ***1/2
Couple of great matches this week, but positioning the Owen Hart tournament as the “main event” was a mistake, as I’m 100% not invested in this thing. They should have closed with the cage match, which had real heat and real stakes. The PPV should be great at any rate, and that’s the important thing.