AEW Dynamite – May 4, 2022: Not A Downward Spiral

AEW Dynamite

AEW Dynamite
Date: May 4, 2022
Location: Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone

I’m not sure how but we’re less than a month away from Double Or Nothing. Last week’s show saw the announcement that CM Punk would be challenging Hangman Page for the World Title at the pay per view so at least they have the top match set up pretty far in advance. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

Opening sequence.

Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Fish

Adam Cole is on commentary and Matt Hardy and Kyle O’Reilly are at ringside. Fish takes him into the corner to start and kicks away at the leg, setting up a dragon screw legwhip onto the other leg. They head outside with another dragon screw legwhip sending Hardy into the barricade and we take a break.

Back with Hardy making a comeback and dropping Fish to go up top. The Swanton is broken up though and it’s the super Falcon Arrow to put Hardy down for two. Fish grabs the kneebar but Hardy gets over for the rope. Hardy puts him down again and it’s the Swanton to give Hardy the pin at 10:15.

Rating: C. That’s about as high as I can go, as the match was technically fine, but they were both looking old and slow here. Granted that might be because they’re both old and slow, though I can always go for someone taking out a knee. Fish banging up Hardy’s knee was a good way to explain the slower pace, but it’s getting harder to watch Hardy out there.

Post match the Young Bucks come out for a staredown with the Hardys. I don’t think that’s a big surprise, but the Hardys trying to go at that pace could be rough.

We get a video from William Regal on training the Blackpool Combat Club. Regal talks about how this is about physicality and hurting people, which is what wrestling is. The video includes Regal physically training the team before saying that the Club would rather cut you on the face than stab you, because that is what you will remember. Check this out as it was nearly chilling with Regal sounding so serious about the whole thing. Also note that this is the shortened version, with the whole thing being available on Twitter.

AFO vs. Blackpool Combat Club

It’s Butcher/Blade/Angelico for the AFO here and the fight starts before the bell. Blade beats on Danielson at the bell before Angelico comes in and gets rolled up for two. Danielson starts on the arm and hands it off to Yuta for the same. The armdrag into an armbar keeps Blade down but it’s off to Butcher to take Yuta into the corner.

We take a break and come back with Yuta taking Butcher down so Moxley can come in. A cutter of all things drops Blade (that’s a new one from Moxley) and some biting allows Danielson to come back in on Angelico. Stereo chokes keep Butcher and Blade down and set up the triple stomps. Danielson chokes Angelico out for the win at 7:40.

Rating: C+. This needs to be about it for the Club in these nothing matches. They’re fun and entertaining, but they’re glorified target practice. The good thing is that we should be getting ready for a bigger match at Double Or Nothing so at least things aren’t going to be run into the ground. It’s still very fun to see them pounding the stuffing out of people, but it’s time to move up.

Jurassic Express is in on Team Taz’s challenge for the Tag Team Title match. First though, how about Jungle Boy gets an FTW World Title shot?

Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland are ready for Team Taz as well.

Wardlow vs. ???

Before the match, MJF and Shawn Spears come to the stage to insult Maryland and the opponent is….William Morrissey (better known as Big Cass, or W. Morrissey in Impact), which is the name that was all but guaranteed last week. They start slowly with the power game not getting either very far. Morrissey’s running splash in the corner doesn’t work but Wardlow’s does, only to have Morrissey come back with a big boot.

Wardlow is knocked outside for a posting as we get dueling WE WANT ENZO/NO WE DON’T chants. Back in and the slug it out until Morrissey hits a swinging Boss Man Slam. Morrissey puts him on top but gets knocked down, with Wardlow hitting something like a moonsault while landing on his feet. A one movement Powerbomb Symphony (also known as a powerbomb) finishes Morrissey at 5:29.

Rating: C. This went a bit longer than it needed to but Wardlow surviving a beating and then coming back for the win is all that matters. Wardlow continues to run through monsters, which should mean he can destroy MJF when he gets the chance. Not a bad monster clash here, with Wardlow continuing his roll.

Post match Wardlow isn’t being handcuffed and beats up security, leaving MJF with a stunned look on his face. Wardlow says he wants his release so MJF says they can have a little match. The match is on, but there are going to be some stipulations. Wardlow can hear about those stipulations in a contract signing next week in Long Island.

Toni Storm/Ruby Soho and Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter are ready for their tag match on Rampage. It’s the first time a women’s match has opened the show, which is another point for Baker. Soho is sick of hearing about Baker and they are counting down the minutes until 5:30 on Friday (special start time).

Here is Hangman Page for a chat. Page talks about his World Title defense against CM Punk at Double Or Nothing and he sees it differently than some do. It would be easy to talk about the two of them having a great match and a classic with a handshake but that isn’t what is going to happen.

Page is going to destroy Punk and yells at a fan in a Punk shirt, saying she is going to be running back to the merch stand for a refund. Punk isn’t here tonight because he is probably off filming another TV show. If Punk wants a fight, it will be the fight of his life. This was a pretty hard shift from Page and I can go for more of the serious version.

Video on Konosuke Takeshita.

Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh aren’t impressed with DDT Pro’s Konosuke Takeshita getting the red carpet treatment. Where is Lethal’s red carpet? Lethal throws out the challenge for Rampage.

Santana vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho, now billed as the Wizard, has the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society while Santana is here alone. Santana isn’t waiting and hits a flip dive onto Jericho before the bell. The fight starts on the floor with Santana sending him into the barricade but taking way too long to set up the steps. Instead Jericho grabs the camera, giving us a first person view of Santana’s double middle fingers.

Santana kicks him down and they get inside for the opening bell. Minard grabs Santana’s leg and the triangle dropkick puts Santana on the floor and we take a very early break. We come back with Santana hitting the Three Amigos, setting up a top rope splash for two. Jericho is right back with a knockdown into the Walls but Santana makes the rope. The rest of the Society tries to bring in the bat but Santana fights them down and hits a discus lariat for two. A Society distraction lets Jericho get in a low blow though and the Judas Effect finishes for Jericho at 8:58.

Rating: C+. They kept Santana strong here as there is no shame in losing to a much bigger star when said star has a five on one advantage. Santana and Ortiz continue to feel like they should be the breakout stars but it just hasn’t clicked yet. A singles match like this is a good start, but AEW needs to follow up on it. Also, ending this team feud already would be a good move because it has started to get old.

Post match the beatdown is on with Ortiz’s save being cut off almost immediately.

Samoa Joe is coming for Jay Lethal.

The Gunn Club has gifts for the Acclaimed: SCISSORS! Scissoring ensues. As long as it isn’t a running joke, they should be fine.

Here are the Varsity Blonds for a chat. Brian Pillman Jr. talks about how the team has gotten complacent, but that brings him to his father’s best friend (and college roommate), Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. John told him to attack every day, so that is what he is doing tonight. The House of Black is called out and here they come, with the House destroying the Blonds in short order.

Malakai Black comes over to Julia Hart and stares at her before she is handed a chair. Julia can’t bring herself to swing so Black rips the eye patch off….but here is the Death Triangle for the save. This went on WAY too long and we still didn’t actually have anything happen. Please just get to the Death Triangle vs. the House of Black already so we can move on to anything else.

Jade Cargill and the Baddies are ready to keep dominating.

Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match: Dante Martin vs. Rey Fenix

Julia Hart is still here as Fenix kicks Martin down to start. Martin is sent outside and we take an early break. Back with Fenix hitting a middle rope reverse Spanish Fly (kind of making it into a flipping Russian legsweep) but Martin kicks him down again. Commentary isn’t happy with how long Martin is taking to stay on Fenix, allowing Fenix to hurricanrana him to the floor. Back in and Fenix hits a pop up cutter for two, setting up another super reverse Spanish Fly. This time they both land on their feet, setting up Martin’s poisonrana. The Nosedive misses though and Fenix grabs an over the shoulder piledriver for the pin at 9:38.

Rating: B. This was more exciting than pretty much anything else on the show and they did exactly what you would have expected from them. They flew through the match with one big spot after another (meaning we didn’t need a break here) and that’s all they should have tried here. Fenix winning makes sense but Martin looked good in defeat. Very fun match and the kind of stuff you knew was coming when it was announced.

We finally have Owen Hart Foundation brackets:

Rey Fenix
Kyle O’Reilly

Samoa Joe
JOKER

Jeff Hardy
Darby Allin

Adam Cole
Dax Harwood

Darby Allin and Sting know Allin’s match with Jeff Hardy will be special.

Here is Thunder Rosa for a chat. Everyone has a story and they all have good and bad people. She is the undisputed Women’s Champion and has worked hard to get here. Now she is the boss of this division and wants the best competition in the world. She drove eight hours to see the wrestler who made her what she is today and calls out the #1 contender, Serena Deeb. Cue Deeb, who thinks they can make this the best women’s division in the entire world. Deeb says Rosa knows she is on another level and it is time for her to win the title to show the world. The title match is set for Double Or Nothing after a fairly stumbling exchange.

Here’s what’s coming up on various shows.

John Silver is ready for CM Punk next week.

Ring Of Honor Women’s Title: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mercedes Martinez

Champion vs. Interim Champion for the undisputed title. Feeling out process to start with neither of them being able to get very far. Purrazzo is looking frustrated early on as we take a break. Back with the forearm exchange with Purrazzo getting the better of things until a fisherman’s buster gives Martinez two. Purrazzo can’t get the Fujiwara armbar and it’s a double clothesline to put both of them down. The armbar is blocked again and this time Martinez pulls her into a surfboard dragon sleeper for the tap and the title at 10:38.

Rating: C-. I’m really not sure what to think of this, but these two were put in about as bad of a position as they could have been. Purrazzo is an Impact wrestler and Martinez, while in AEW, is hardly a regular. They were fighting over another company’s title in an AEW main event. In short, the fans came here to see AEW, not another company’s wrestler fighting for a third company’s title.

It was also an ice cold match as there was no hype for it on AEW TV and the limited promo time they had coming in was “I’m going to be the champ/No I’m going to be the champ”. The match might not have been great on its own, but they were put in a no win situation and the crowd being so eerily silent told you everything you needed to know about how this went.

Martinez celebrates to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This was not the strongest edition of Dynamite, as aside from the Fenix vs. Martin match and Page’s (short) promo, there wasn’t much to see. It felt like a show that was designed to fill in two hours with the main event in particular being a letdown. I wasn’t feeling this one, though odds are the NBA and NHL games are going to put a big hit in the audience. Maybe they took the week off as a result, but it didn’t make this much easier to get through. The good thing about AEW though: I have every reason to believe that this is a one off and not a downward trend, which is more than most companies can say.

Results
Jeff Hardy b. Bobby Fish – Swanton Bomb
Blackpool Combat Club b. AFO – Triangle choke to Angelico
Wardlow b. William Morrissey – Powerbomb
Chris Jericho b. Santana – Judas Effect
Rey Fenix b. Dante Martin – Over the shoulder piledriver
Mercedes Martinez b. Deonna Purrazzo – Dragon sleeper

 

 

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