ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PREVIEW 5/18: Wild Card Wednesday Edition, Cole vs. Hardy, more


AEW Dynamite hits and misses analysis


MAY 18, 2022
AIRS ON TBS NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. CST

AEW Announcers: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross

Last Week on AEW Dynamite

  • Adam Cole defeated Dax Harwood of FTR to advance to the semifinals of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament.
  • CM Punk defeated John Silver of the Dark Order with AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page on commentary. They faced off in ring after the match.
  • Tony Nese defeated Danhausen. After the match Hook came out and shook Danhausen’s hand.
  • MJF revealed the conditions for his match with Wardlow during their contract signing.
  • “Absolute” Ricky Starks defeated Jungle Boy to retain the FTW Championship.
  • Chris Jericho and his Jericho Appreciation Society made their victory speech. They were interrupted by Jon Moxley, his fellow Blackpool Combat Club mates, and then Eddie Kingston and Santana & Ortiz.
  • Toni Storm defeated Jamie Hayter to advance to the semifinals of the Owen Hart Cup tournament.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Darby Allin in an Anything Goes match to advance to the semifinals of the Owen Hart Cup tournament.


AEW returns to the Fertitta Arena in Houston, TX for this week’s Dynamite & Rampage tapings. The building hosted the August 18, 2021 edition of Dynamite, which ironically was two days before CM Punk debuted for AEW on Rampage. It opened in December of 1969 and was host to the NBA’s Houston Rockets from 1971-1975.

There is a lot advertised for Dynamite including four Owen Hart Cup tournament matches, a non-title match, and two non-wrestling segments.

AEW Owen Hart Cup Tournament Quarterfinal Matches

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Rey Fenix. In a battle of usual tag team competitors, Kyle O’Reilly of the Undisputed Elite will take on Rey Fenix of the Lucha Brothers (former AEW Tag Team Champions). O’Reilly qualified for the tournament by defeating current tag team championship co-holder Jungle Boy while Fenix qualified by defeating Dante Martin. The Undisputed Elite have been mostly involved with the Hardy Brothers and Sting & Darby Allin.

Samoa Joe vs. a “Joker.” ROH Television Champion Samoa Joe will take on a joker in a quarterfinal match of the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Speculation has run amok as to the potential identity of the joker. Claudio Castiglioni (the former Cesaro of WWE), Johnny Gargano, and Miro are amongst the names that have been mentioned here on various Torch podcasts. Joe warned Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh that after he wins the tournament, he will “come after them and settle things his way.” Their feud started back at the ROH Supercard over WrestleMania weekend.

The winners of these matches will face each other in the semifinals.

Dr. Britt Baker vs. a “Joker.” Dr. Baker has had a lot on her mind watching her beloved Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL blow a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers this past weekend (sorry doc). This week, she’ll have more to deal with as like Samoa Joe, she will face a joker. Like the men’s tournament, numerous rumors are out there as to whom it could be here. Candice LeRae and Athena (the former Ember Moon in WWE) are amongst the names most frequently mentioned. Dr. Baker will be lucky to avoid a match with her cohort Jamie Hayter after Jamie was eliminated by Toni Storm last week.

Frank’s Analysis: Personally, I would rather be pleasantly surprised come Wednesday night when the jokers are revealed. That said, if Miro is good to go, I would love for him to be Joe’s opponent just to see that match. On the women’s side I don’t have a strong feeling either way, but I’ll be happy to see whom they have in mind. As far as O’Reilly vs. Fenix I say it’s a toss-up. I’ll pick O‘Reilly.

Owen Hart Cup Semifinal Match: Adam Cole vs. Jeff Hardy

Adam Cole of the Undisputed Elite will go one-on-one with Jeff Hardy in a semi-final match for the Owen Hart Cup. After Jeff defeated Darby Allin in an Anything Goes match, Jeff and his brother match had a sportsmanship moment with Darby & Sting when the Undisputed Elite made their way onto the stage. All parties had a stare down to close out the show.

Cole recently came up short in his attempt to win the AEW Championship. Jeff made his debut in AEW several months ago and reformed the Hardy Brothers team with his brother Matt when Matt was voted out of the AHFO (now HFO)

Frank’s Analysis: Jeff winning was an interesting call last week. I think a lot of people had Darby winning because he’s the young guy and Jeff is the legend that should put him over but, I don’t mind the way they went. It establishes that the veteran doesn’t HAVE to put over the young guy every time. That said, I don’t think lightning will strike twice for Jeff as I see Cole going to the finals. After coming up short in gaining the title, I sense they want to give him something and winning the Owen tournament could be that something. I think a fair question to as though is do we want a heel winning this?

Non-Title Match: AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Konosuke Takeshita with CM Punk on Commentary

“Hangman” Adam Page and CM Punk continue to get ready for their world championship at Double or Nothing with the latest chapter unfolding tonight. Page will go one-on-one with Konosuke Takeshita of Japan’s DDT Wrestling with Punk as a guest commentator. Takeshita made his pro wrestling debut back in 2012 and has wrestled for DDT ever since. He made his AEW debut in a non-televised event called “The House Always Wins” and was on the losing end of a 10-man tag match. He started appearing for AEW on Dark Elevation following that event and more frequently this year. He lost to Jay Lethal on Rampage a few weeks ago when Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh got involved.

Last week on Dynamite and while on guest commentary, Page took exception to Punk using his Buckshot Lariat finishing move to defeat The Dark Order’s John Silver, with whom he has been affiliated for several years. Page came to the ring and got in Punk’s face. Punk, who had trolled the Long Island crowd earlier by wearing a New York Islanders jersey with former stalwart Jonathan Tavares’s name on it, said it was all business regarding him coming after Page for the title.

Page has been AEW Champion since defeating Kenny Omega at Full Gear back in November of last year. Punk hasn’t been a world champion since 2013, when he finished his 400+ day reign as WWE Champion losing to The Rock at the Royal Rumble.

Frank’s Analysis: There’s not much to analyze with the match as I’m sure we all expect Page to win and shenanigans afterwards with Punk on commentary. I put out my feelings about Punk being a heel on Long Island, which was strange this time considering Page was heelish two weeks ago. As Todd Martin pointed out on The Fix for Torch VIP members, it was even stranger that Page’s tone came out of nowhere and I agree. I’d imagine we’ll find out more this week as to how they will frame the two men heading towards Double or Nothing.

Non-Wrestling AEW Dynamite Segments Announced

William Regal and Chris Jericho Face-to-Face. A brawl ensued last week between the Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, 2point0, Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia), the Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, and Wheeler Yuta with manager William Regal), and Eddie and Santana & Ortiz. This followed the JAS giving a “victory speech” which was interrupted by Moxley, the rest of the BCC, and then Kingston and Santana & Ortiz. During that brawl Regal cold-cocked Jericho with a left hand. They will have a “face-to-face” tonight.

Jericho and Regal feuded many years ago in WWE (then-WWF) and had a match at WrestleMania 17 for the Intercontinental Championship. They also wrestled each other in WCW in the late 90s. It has been reported that Regal will never wrestle again, so this will not likely lead to a match.

Wardlow Gets 10 Lashes. MJF and Wardlow signed the contract for their match at Double or Nothing. If Wardlow wins, he will be let out of his contract with MJF. If MJF wins, Wardlow can never “sign with AEW.” MJF laid out some conditions for Wardlow to get to the match. One of those conditions is that he must wrestle Shawn Spears in a steel cage match. The other, and this takes place this week, is that Wardlow must receive 10 lashes.

This is like what happened when MJF laid out conditions for Cody Rhodes for their match at the 2020 edition of Revolution. Ironically, Wardlow was in alignment with MJF at the time and gave Cody one of those lashes.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

CATCH-UP: AEW Rampage viewership increases over prior week

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