5/18 AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS: Keller’s report on Hangman Page vs. Takeshita, Cole vs. Hardy, Fenix vs. O’Reilly, Jokers revealed, Wardlow lashings

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
MAY 18, 2022
HOUSTON, TEX. AT THE FERTITTA CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TBS

Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


Tonight after AEW Dynamite, join Wade Keller live with guest co-host Tyler Sage to break down the show with live callers and emails.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW TWO HOURS OR SO AFTER THE TV SHOW ENDS.


[HOUR ONE]

-The Dynamite opening aired.

-Jim Ross introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. Ross called this episode “one of the most significant Dynamites in the history of this company.”

(1) SAMOA JOE vs. JOHNNY ELITE – Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match

Samoa Joe came out to the ring as fans chanted “Joe! Joe!” Tony Schiavone said they’d find out right away who the Joker is in the men’s side of the Owen Hart Tournament. The graphic said “Johnny Elite” and out came the former John Morrison, Johnny Mundo, and Johnny Nitro. (I do wonder if some of the pop he got was people thinking it was Johnny Gargano before he walked out.) Schiavone said Johnny was celebrating 20 years in the business.

Ross said he’s been around Johnny since the start of his career. Fans chanted, “Joe’s gonna kill you!” Joe chopped Johnny into the corner. Excalibur listed a few of Johnny’s former names, but not his WWE, WCW, and Impact names. Excalibur hyped the scheduled matches and angles. Johnny cartwheel clotheslined Joe to the floor, then hit Joe with a top rope twisting flip dive. They cut to a split screen break. [c/ss]

Joe took over at ringside during the break and threw Johnny back into the ring. He settled into a mid-ring chinlock. Joe landed a senton for a two count. The crowd roared after some Joe chops and nice Johnny bumps leading to another two count. Joe set up a Muscle Buster, but Johnny flipped out of it. He landed a 450 splash (not the smoothest, which Schiavone pointed out) for a two count. He followed with a knee and then signaled for Starship Pain. Joe lifted his knees and the pummeled Johnny with open handed strikes and a quick Muscle Buster for the win.

WINNER: Joe in 11:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: AEW has that early Nitro vibe of “you never know who’s going to show up.” The risk is that it can seem like early TNA, which was sending a message that anyone from the past is more important than the core hungry young talented crew just itching for more sustained TV time and growth. Johnny’s selling for Joe was really great here. He bumped hard and fast to put over Joe’s power.)

-After the match, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnum Singh attacked Joe. Lethal hit Joe in the arm with a pipe. Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, and Rocky Romero ran out for the save. The heel trio retreated.

-They went to the announcers who discussed the brackets of the tournament. Joe will face the winner of the Kyle O’Reilly vs. Rey Fenix match later.

-A clip aired of Jeff Hardy vs. Darby last week.

-Lexi Nair interviewed Jeff and Matt Hardy backstage. She said Jeff has officially been medically cleared to compete tonight. As Jeff began talking, the Young Bucks interrupted. Matt Jackson told Jeff he doesn’t need to be leaping off ladders anymore. Matt said he’s a shell of his former self and Adam Cole’s going to kick his ass. Matt told them not to worry about “Brother Nero.” He called the Bucks “Hardy Cosplayers.” He said they’ll never be better than them. He said if they interfere in his match, Cole won’t be the only member of the Undisputed Elite who will get their asses kicked.

-C.M. Punk made his ring entrance. He wore a t-shirt that said, “Abortion Rights are Human Rights!” Ross hyped the May 29 Double or Nothing event and said they expect record numbers.

(2) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. KENOSUKE TAKESHITA

Excalibur noted Takeshita almost upset Jey Lethal in his debut, if not for Sonjay’s interference. Ross said Hangman-Punk sold every ticket in Las Vegas and he said he was told it was among the hottest selling events in Vegas in years.

The bell rang and Takeshita went after Hangman quickly. Hangman came back and clotheslined Takeshita off the ring apron. He sling-shot himself onto Takeshita on the floor. Punk loved when Excalibur said Takeshita faced Tenyru in his career. Takeshita came back with a slingshot leap of his own seconds later. Punk said at this age, it’s about reps for him, and that’s why wrestled John Silver in Long Island last week. He said that’s also why Hangman is wrestling Takeshita tonight. Excalibur said this could be a “trap fight” for Hangman. Hangman landed a moonsault off the top rope onto Takeshita. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

Hangman methodically controlled the action during the break. Back from the break, Takeshita landed a Blue Thunder Bomb. Punk said El Generico invented that move. Takeshita then landed a running flip dive over the top rope onto Page. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Takeshita landed a running boot to the face, but Hangman fired back with one of his own, no-selling the kick from Takeshita, although he had a bloodied nose at this point. Hangman gave Takeshita a back suplex, but Takeshita suplexed Hangman onto his head. They both ran the ropes and clotheslined each other. Both went down. Fans stood and cheered. An “AEW!” chant broke out.

Hangman absorbed a chop and then landed a quick tombstone piledriver for a near fall. Hangman looked over at Punk as he set up the Buckshot. Takeshita ducked and rolled through. Hangman slipped free and they exchanged elbow strikes. Takeshita then powerbombed Hangman for a near fall. He followed with his running knee strike for another near fall. Punk said, “This guy is tough!” Takeshita gave Hangman a German suplex, but he sold hurting his own neck. The ref checked on him. Hangman recovered and blocked Takeshita’s running knee. Takeshita nailed him with an elbow to the side of his head, but when he went for a flying lariat, Hangman knocked him out of the air with a hard elbow. Fans chanted “Cowboy Shit!”

Hangman and Takeshita battled on the top rope. Takeshita knocked Hangman down, but Hangman rolled through and then hit a quick Buckshot Lariat followed by a GTS for the win. Punk said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. “I love it,” yelledPunk after the three count.

WINNER: Hangman in 13:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a hell of a match. It felt dangerously stiff at times, and on a couple of occasions they chose ramping up the pace over selling big moves, but it all worked and the crowd ate it up. Takeshita looked like a star out there.)

-Afterward, Punk stood and raised his arms and walked toward the ring. Hangman stared back at him. The announcers hyped the PPV. Hangman walked onto the ramp and held up the AEW Title belt. They went face-to-face and circled each other. A loud “C.M. Punk!” chant broke out. Hangman pushed past him and stormed to the back. Excalibur wondered if Punk got under the skin of Hangman.

-They went to the announcers who hyped an online gambling sponsor. [c]

-A video package aired with El Fuego cutting a promo about how House of Black have made his life a living hell. In walked Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Preston “10” Vance. They said the odds have been evened.

-The announcers said that six-man match takes place on Rampage on Friday.

(3) SWERVE STRICKLAND & “LIMITLESS” KEITH LEE vs. THE WORK HORSEMEN (J.D. Drake & Anthony Henry)

Ross noted Keith Lee was trained by “Killer” Tim Brooks. Fans sang Lee’s “Bask in his Glory” song. Lee conducted the singing. Drake shoved Lee in his chest. Lee slapped back and Lee dropped to one knee. Swerve tagged in and got in a flurry of offense against Henry. Swerve fended off Drake’s interference, then tagged in Lee. Lee slingshot himself over the top rope into Drake. Then he delivered his Pounce to Henry. Lee lifted Henry onto his shoulders and then Strickland landed a double-stomp. Lee rolled Henry up for the three count. Ross said they don’t get paid by the hour. Excalibur called Ross “Taz.” Ross said, “That’s quite alright. The internet will leave you alone; me, not so much.” Excalibur said Ross was wearing an orange shirt, so he got confused.

WINNER: Lee & Swerve in 3:00.

-Lee was about to speak after the match when fans sang, “Bask in his glory.” Lee said he has wonderful news. He said with that victory, it turns out they are now a top five ranked team. He was interrupted by Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs. Starks said’s heard enough from “Rex from Toy Story.” He said not only did he beat Jungle Boy last week, he beat Swerve as well. Swerve said Starks is dressed like a bar of soap with a necklace on and is disrespecting the game. He said in Houston, he’s got to adhere to Southern hospitality. Then Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian walked out.

Christian told Starks that he thinks he’s a pretty smart guy, but he’s not smart enough to know when to shut the hell up. He said he’s dressed like he’s going golfing with his grandfather. He said he feels he’s ready for a real championship, but they’re not better than them, the best. Christian said they’re going to challenge both teams in a three-way for the tag titles at Double or Nothing. Christian challenged Swerve vs. JB vs. Starks next week on Dynamite as a warm-up.

(Keller’s Analysis: AEW’s been so good about not resorting to triple threat matches, especially with titles on the line. This is disappointing.)

-Schiavone interviewed Kris Statlander and Red Velvet. Velvet said they saved each other in the past, but that ship has sailed and things are different now. She said on Friday, she better bring everything she’s got, because she will do it the Baddie way. Statlander said things are different because they’ve both changed. Statlander said she’s taking this opportunity to the top and this is strictly business. Taz walked in. Oh wait, that’s Jade Cargill in an orange dress along with Keira Hogan. Jade said Velvet has a real leader now. She told Tony to “cut the shit.”

-MJF walked out with Shawn Spears. Ross said this could be the most controversial segment of any AEW broadcast ever. MJF walked out, sarcastically signaling he was crying because of the boos. MJF entered the ring and absorbed a chant of “You suck!” He said, “Unfortunately, I am no longer in Long Island; I am in Houston.” He pretended to get tripped up when he tried to say “Texas,” as if that made him gag. He said everything is bigger in Texas because he’s looking at a bunch of dumb, grotesque fat hicks. Fans loudly chanted “Asshole!” MJF asked if they’re talking about the man he’s about to whip. MJF said Wardlow retaliates, he won’t get the match at Double or Nothing and he won’t get the match at AEW. Fans chanted, “Shut the f— up!” He said if that happens, he can keep shining his shoes. “Send out the pig,” MJF said.

They showed Wardlow being escorted into the arena by security while handcuffed. Fans chanted “Wardlow!” Ross noted that Wardlow doesn’t get music, but a lot of security to protect MJF. Schiavone said Wardlow only needs the chant from the fans. MJF spit in Earldom’s face as soon as he entered the ring. Excalibur said he’s trying to bait him into a fight to get out of the match at Double or Nothing. When MJF whipped him, Wardlow didn’t flinch and laughed. He no-sold the4 second whipping. MJF wasn’t happy. MJF wound up and started whipping him over and over rapid fire. Spears held MJF back as Excalibur said he lost his composure. Schiavone said it has to hurt, but he’s not giving MJF the satisfaction. Ross said those are real welts on his back. MJF handed Spears the belt. Spears whipped him. Still no selling. Wardlow finally winced and then said they get one more. MJF kicked Wardlow between his legs from behind.

MJF and Spears choked Wardlow with a belt. Schiavone exclaimed, “What the hell!?” MJF then delivered a running punch with his Dynamite Diamond Ring. “Las Vegas, here they come,” said Ross. Excalibur said there is no more disgusting human being in their sport than MJF. Spears then lifted a limp Wardlow onto his shoulders and slammed him. MJF counted a pinball. Spears stood on Wardlow’s chest. MJF then trash-talked Wardlow and said he won’t make it to the PPV.

(Keller’s Analysis: This will sound like a backhanded compliment, but that was good in part because they didn’t belabor anything. A brief promo from MJF, Wardlow entered the ring, and they got right to the whipping. No “shoot style” comments by MJF about being disgruntled or counting down his days until he gets to jump to WWE. This was focused on building heel heat on MJF leading to the Wardlow PPV match.) [c]

[HOUR TWO]

-Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero cut a promo backstage. Beretta said Roppongi Vice is back together full time. Romero said they’re going to go after the ROH Tag Team Titles, which has eluded them. He said IWGP Tag Titles come next and then the AEW Tag Team Titles. Trent challenged FTR for the ROH Tag Titles.

(4) KYLE O’REILLY vs. REY FENIX – Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match

Fenix dove through the ropes and flipped onto O’Reilly at 2:00. O’Reilly caught Fenix with a triangle sleeper seconds later. Fenix reached the bottom rope to force a break. He rolled to ringside. O’Reilly went after him and threw him into the ringpost arm-first. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

O’Reilly controlled the action during the break. Fenix scored a near fall with a huracanrana. O’Reilly fired back with a barrage of strikes, but Fenix countered with a roundhouse kick. O’Reilly undertook suplexed Fenix and suplexed him twice in a row. Fenix powered out of a third attempt and then landed a leaping reverse sidekick. Fenix landed a half-and-half suplex and then a spinning book kick. O’Reilly fired back with a rebound lariat. Both were staggered. O’Reilly’s upper chest look like a red head who fell asleep on the beach on a cloudless summer day.

Fenix kipped up and thrust kicked O’Reilly to the ring apron. Fenix sprngboarded and walked the top rope and landed a leaping huracanrana to the floor. He threw O’Reilly back into the ring and then went for a cutter. O’Reilly countered into an armbar attempt. Fenix blocked it at first. O’Reilly switched ribs and got Fenix to tap out.

WINNER: O’Reilly in 12:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Some world class athleticism going on there. O’Reilly chest was nasty.) [c]

-Bryan Danielson came out to his music. Then William Regal followed behind. Jon Moxley made his entrance. Then Eddie Kingston with Santana and Ortiz. Then the Jericho Appreciation Society walked out to “Judas.” Matt Mendard cut the music. Jericho talked about the heinous attack, orchestrated by Regal. He called him “an old friend.” A brief “Regal! Regal!” chant broke out. Jericho said it’s nice to see Regal because he thought he’d be dead by now. He said it’s amazing Regal still has a brain that works after all the abuse he’s put himself through. “Sort of,” he added. He said Regal could have been one of the greatest of all time like him. “Instead, you ended up nothing more than a world class addict,” he said. He said he’s been fired from every company he ever worked for “until you weaseled his way into AEW on the coat tails of your proteges.”

He said he’s got Santana & Ortiz who are too stupid to realize everything they ever got in AEW was because of him. When he Brought up Eddie Kingston, fans chanted “Eddie!” Jericho said he was too stupid not to stay at home and take care of his family after he burned his face. He told his “girl” to give him a call if she needs pointers. He then said Danielson might be the greatest wrestler in the world today, yet is nothing more than a squeaky clean nerd now. He said he never had a drink or did a drug in his life. He said if he sticks with that group, he’ll have to “join the program along with Moxley.” They cut to fans gasping at that one. They showed Moxley leaning against the top rope. Jericho said Regal and Moxley are “birds of a feather.” He told Regal to stay away from them because otherwise he’ll throw a fireball in his face because he’s a wizard. “Or maybe I’ll just take a piss in your tea again,” he said.

Regal said it was 1997 when he first met him, and he’s had to listen to his whiny vile trap of his since then. He said the only thing that would make him sicker to his stomach would be the screams from a burning orphanage. (That’s a mood killer.) Regal said he might be right about aspects of his past, but in the last 21 years, one thing has kept him going. “And that is for every single time he was on a show with him, and that was hundreds of times, when I wasn’t wrestling you, whenever you were in the ring, I would go to your locker room and I would open your bag and I would take out your toiletry bag and I would unzip it very gentling and I would take out your toothbrush and stick it right up my bottom.” Jericho recoiled.

Daniel Garcia said, “How could you ever do that to somebody?” Regal said, “Well actually, flower, I did it to yours last week.” Jericho said he knows what Regal wants. He said they want a fight. He said it just so happens that at Double or Nothing, they invented the Stadium Stampede. Moxley interrupted and said, “No no no, I ain’t doing that shit.” He said they’re not getting sucked into his little sports entertainment vortex.” He said that was a different time and place. He said this situation calls for them getting their asses kicked live in color in front of an arena full of screaming fans. He said at Double or Nothing, it’ll be those five against them with gang rules. “Anything goes, glorious violent madness in Las Vegas until you are bleeding like stuck pigs,” he said. “Call it pro wrestling versus sports entertainment, the sport we love against a bunch of stupid bullshit,” he said.

Jericho said if they want anarchy, they got it. He said they are a well-oiled machine. He said the last time, Moxley and Santana were in the ring together, they tried to poke each other’s eyes out. He said Danielson and Kingston have been at each other’s throats for a year. Matt said Danielson called Kingston “lazy.” Matt said Kingston called Bryan “a judgmental prick.” Eddie shrugged and said, “He is.”

Kingston said he doesn’t want to wait until the PPV. He said he doesn’t care about the people in the arena or ratings. He threw the mic down. Fans chanted “Eddie! Eddie!” He J.A.S. left. Danielson blocked Kingston from trying to go after them. They shoved each other. Regal got between them.

-A promo aired with Matt Sydal and Dante Martin. He said Sydal can’t get along because they’re obsessed with violence. Dante said he can see they want to fight. Sydal said they’re going to give them what they want on Rampage on Friday.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was fun.)

-They went to the announcers who reacted.

(5) MAKI ITOH vs. DR. BRITT BAKER – Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match

Excalibur said, when Maki came out, that they teamed at Revolution in March or 2021. Maki sang the entire way to the ring. Excalibur talked about her being a pop star before getting into pro wrestling. Itoh dropped to her back, pretending she’d lose on purpose. When Baker happily went for a pin, Maki rolled her up for a surprise two count. Maki gave Baker a middle finger. They collided mid-ring. A “Let’s go Maki / D.M.D.!” dueling chant broke out. With Baker in control, they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

Baker controlled the action during the break. Back from the break, Maki made a comeback. She landed a headbutt that dropped Baker to the mat. Baker came back with a super kick and a Lock Jaw for the tapout win.

WINNER: Baker in 7:00.

-Afterward, Toni Storm walked onto the stage to eye her next opponent.

-Schiavone stood mid-ring and hyped Dynamite next week, noting it’s their three year anniversary. He was interrupted by Serena Deeb. She said she is so sick of hearing him talk. She took issue with what he said about her last week. She said after all his years in the business, in one short interview he made himself a complete idiot. Fans booed. She told Dustin that she knows he’s in the back, so come on out too, because he had dumb things to say too. Dustin walked out.

Fans chanted, “Dustin! Dustin!” Deeb said they would of course cheer Dustin because all of their sports teams are failures. She said she repeated Dustin. She said she had to pay dues to make wrestling a good place for women today. She said she had to put in breast implants in that prior era “just to satisfy some old perverts.” She said she shaved her head just to show how badly she wanted it and she still got no respect. She asked him to tell her face to face, why did he say she couldn’t beat Thunder Rosa. She held the mic up to him. Dustin didn’t say anything. She said he doesn’t have the balls to answer. Deeb said when she beats Rosa, he will respect her. She slapped Dustin. Rosa charged into the ring, but Dustin held her back. Thunder elbowed Dustin inadvertently. As she turned to check on him, Deeb hit her with the belt.

-Excalibur plugged Adam Cole vs. Jeff Hardy was up next. [c]

(6) JEFF HARDY vs. ADAM COLE – Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match

Cole attacked Hardy in the aisle. Hardy made a comeback early. Cole threw Hardy into the ringside steps, then had some words for Matt. Excalibur quickly plugged upcoming matches. They cut to an early spilt-screen break. [c/ss]

As the end of the second hour approached quickly, Schiavone said they’d stay with the match until there was a winner. Cole went for a Boom, but Hardy ducked and delivered a stunner and a Twist of Fate. Hardy yanked off his shirt and climbed to the top rope and then went for a top rope Swanton, but Cole moved. Cole then hit the Boom for the win.

WINNER: Cole in 7:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: I’m assuming the show ran long and they had to rush through that match.)

-Afteward, the Young Bucks snuck into the ring behind the Hardys. The Hardys turned around. Cole then clotheslined the Hardys behind. The Bucks landed a BTE Trigger. Darby Allin ran out for the save. Sting joined in. Bobby Fish and O’Reilly attacked Darby and the Hardys. Sting absorbed an O’Reilly chairshot to the back. The Bucks stereo superkicked Sting, though. They put Sting’s leg in a chair. O’Reilly leaped onto the chair. “Dammit to hell!” said Ross. Schiavone said they destroyed his angle. Ross said a tragedy has occurred.


Tonight after AEW Dynamite, join Wade Keller live with guest co-host Tyler Sage to break down the show with live callers and emails.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW TWO HOURS OR SO AFTER THE TV SHOW ENDS.

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