HEYDORN’S DYNAMITE RECEIPT 5/18: Special “Joker” entrants deliver in Owen Hart Foundation tournament

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Owen Hart Foundation Tournament prize revealed and teased?
PHOTO CREDIT: AEW

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

This week’s episode of AEW Dynamite has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-John Morrison was a pretty perfect choice for the Joker entry into the men’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament. Someone that Samoa Joe could beat definitively, but also someone that carries a good amount of surprise factor behind him. Properly hyped as well.

-Joe and Morrison had a pretty good match together. Joe is such an intense worker that he brings out the fight side of most competitors. Morrison has had trouble finding that throughout his career, but struck a nice tone in this one.

-Good for C.M. on the wardrobe choice this week. Bravo.

-My body hurt after watching Adam Page vs. Kenosuke Takeshita. These guys were both so stiff and dropped the other nearly on their head on multiple occasions. Takeshita has shown a lot during his time on television. If I’m Tony Khan, I’m looking in that guy’s direction more now. Page gave Takeshita a lot more than he needed to, but looked like a bad ass taking the damage he did.

-I’m buying a vowel on the Punk and Page stare down. I understand the concept here. Big star vs. big star for the title. Heels and babyfaces be damned! Look at the interaction this week, though. The boos for both guys were louder than the cheers. If Punk is going to win the championship at AEW Double or Nothing, you want it to be a crowning moment that everyone can partake in. Same thing if Page retains. They have the opposite going on now. They’ve created camps for fans for both guys with silly one-upmanship that asks audiences to take a side and therefore waters down the reaction for Page or Punk at the PPV. If you’re going to go with this match (I wouldn’t have), but if you are, make it star vs star and have both Page and Punk come across as respectful competitors. That was the card to play here.

-We had a triple threat tag team match for AEW Tag Team Championship at the last PPV correct? It’s just not the perception you want to have around those titles if the company is interested in having legitimate tag team division. Think about it the other top teams in the company are doing something else … Hardy’s, Bucks, ReDragon, BCC. All not wrestling for the tag titles or really even acting like they want to. The titles are starting to feel mid-card and Tony Khan needs to be careful with that.

-Bravo MJF, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears. MJF delivering 10 lashings felt like a been there, done that segment until the segment started. Wardlow no-selling the lashings and infuriating MJF was magic. The reaction from Wardlow was put on perfectly from a facial expression perspective and in line with his character. Same thing with MJF. Nothing worse for him than not getting the reaction he wants from his victims. The post-match angle gave MJF a ton of heat and once again he has his PPV feud simmering at the right moment.

-OMG. Kyle O’Reilly’s chest was an absolute mess after the match with Rey Fenix. Really good match between these guys. Loads of high spots, but a story woven throughout about O’Reilly trying to ground Fenix as well. The match of the night if Page/Takeshita wasn’t on the show.

-So, are the Blackpool Combat Club and Jericho Appreciation Society done talking yet? No? Look, that was a long segment and not all that much happened in it. The back and forth was fun to watch and react to, but it felt like it dragged by the end.

-Not a huge surprise that Maki Itoh was Joker opponent for Britt Baker in the women’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament. Not a surprise that Baker won either. Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker is appointment viewing in my eyes.

-A bit of a tough break for Adam Cole and Jeff Hardy in their Owen Hart Found tournament semifinal match. Clearly, they were cut for time (thanks a lot BCC/JAS segment) and the result was a match that felt rushed. Cole winning was the right call and if I can project out to Double or Nothing for a second, a match between him and Samoa Joe in the final would be a match that lived up to the hype and credibility that Tony Khan wants this tournament to have.


CATCH-UP: 5/18 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Sage’s “alt perspective” report on Adam Cole vs. Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe vs. a mystery opponent, Britt Baker vs. a mystery opponent, Kyle O’Reilly vs. Rey Fenix, More.

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