After a week off, we’re back in the saddle to give you a rundown of what you missed on last week’s AEW Dynamite & AEW Rampage, which featured the beginning of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and a SCU battle for the TNT Championship.
Match 1: Dax Harwood vs. Adam Cole (Owen Hart Foundation Tournament – First Round)
The long-awaited Owen Hart Foundation Tournament finally kicked off in earnest with this first round contest pitting FTR’s Dax Harwood against de facto Undisputed Elite leader Adam Cole. True to the anticipation, these two delivered with a strong opening contest to get Dynamite off on the right foot.
Dax’s babyface fire throughout the contest – especially as he sold injured ribs throughout the course of this match – was great to see, especially when matched with Adam Cole’s heel antics (which included teasing a Sweet Chin Music at one point)
Cole picked up the victory with a Sharpshooter, which Dax tried to valiantly fight out of in vain. Dr. Martha Hart, Owen’s widow, enjoyed the finish and rightfully so. This was a great way to kick things off on Dynamite.
Match 2: CM Punk vs. John Silver
With “Hangman” Adam Page on commentary and a hostile Long Island crowd raining down the boos on him, CM Punk relished in this one-night heel role for his match with Dark Order’s John Silver. He entered the match wearing the jersey of former New York Islanders player John Tavares (a player hated on Long Island for the way he left the team in favor of his hometown Maple Leafs) and got right down to business.
The long and short of it was Punk winning this match against a very spirited Silver, winning it with a Buckshot Lariat as a clear shot at his Double or Nothing opponent for the AEW World Championship.
As an angry Hangman confronted Punk in the ring, his foe had a few choice words for him. Punk said that he would be looking at this match as nothing more but business and that he would shake Page’s hand after Double or Nothing. As Punk tried to offer a hand, Hangman responded with a one-finger salute instead.
Match 3: Danhausen vs. Tony Nese
Danhausen’s very nice, very evil debut didn’t really go as planned thanks to The Premier Athlete (and some well-timed distractions from “Smart” Mark Sterling). One corner knee was enough for Nese to pick up the win.
Nese and Sterling tried to put the boots to Danhausen until HOOK made his arrival and chased off the heel duo. Danhausen again tried to get HOOK to shake his hand… which succeeded! HOOKhausen is indeed a thing now.
MJF/Wardlow Contract Signing
Arguably the segment of the night on Dynamite, this contract signing for a prospective MJF vs. Wardlow match for Double or Nothing had it all.
It started off with Wardlow entering the ring, flanked by security and the stage screens flashing a graphic urging the fans to boo MJF’s rival. This was then followed by a hilarious Dark Side of the Ring spoof that recounted Wardlow turning against MJF from a very-biased perspective.
MJF announced the stipulations that Wardlow needed to adhere to for the Double or Nothing match to happen: 10 lashes from a leather strap from MJF, then facing off with Shawn Spears in a steel cage – but with MJF himself as the guest referee. Of course, Max couldn’t resist getting in a dig on Cody Rhodes and his own impending contract status while going over these stipulations.
As Wardlow went to sign the contract, he managed to convince MJF and Spears to have the handcuffs removed so he could sign it properly. This was all a ruse as Wardlow unleashed hell on MJF’s security and “Smart” Mark Sterling at the end of the ensuing chaos.
Match 4: Jungle Boy vs. Ricky Starks (FTW Championship)
The signature championship of Team Taz was on the line as Jungle Boy took on “Absolute” Ricky Starks in this battle. Both competitors were impressive in a 10-minute long showdown that saw Starks retain after a failed run-in by “Swerve” Strickland was enough to cause a distraction for him to take advantage. Starks got the win with the Roshambo to retain the FTW Championship.
Christian Cage & Luchasaurus walked down the ring after the match, with the latter even purposely shoulderchecking Swerve along the way. We got a standoff with Team Taz’s Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs, Keith Lee & Swerve, and the AEW World Tag Team Champions.
As things cooled down, it seemed that Christian was finally about to turn against Jungle Boy, but it was another misdirect as he just comforted his protege after another tough loss.
The Jericho Appreciation Society’s Victory Speech
Chris Jericho and his sports-entertainment friends tried to relish in their supposed victory over Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz, but quickly found themselves interrupted by Jon Moxley. Soon enough, Mox’s Blackpool Combat Club allies Bryan Danielson and Wheeler YUTA (with William Regal) made their presence felt. The J.A.S. eventually found themselves on the wrong end of the numbers game as Kingston, Santana and Ortiz snuck up on Jericho’s crew and the brawl broke out.
The BCC and Kingston’s crew got the upper hand to send Jericho and friends scurrying, with Regal even getting in a good shot on “The Wizard”.
The J.A.S’s “we’re sports entertainers” shtick works as a perfect foil to Blackpool Combat Club’s aggressive fighters aesthetic, so it was natural we’d see these two groups finally enter a feud. Mox stepping in to do a solid to his best pal Eddie Kingston also helps with this and we’re definitely going to see a great clusterfuck match out of this story for sure.
Match 5: Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm (Owen Hart Foundation Tournament – Women’s First Round)
The women’s bracket for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament kickstarted with newcomer Toni Storm looking to overcome the challenge of Dr. Britt Baker’s ally, Jamie Hayter.
Hayter and Storm meshed together so well and both competitors looked great in this nine-minute match.
Storm got the victory after reversing a Hayter backslide into the Storm Zero piledriver to pick up the victory in this first round Owen tournament match.
Can You Trust Scorpio Sky?
As Frankie Kazarian tried to speak about his TNT Title match against champion Scorpion Sky on Rampage, Sammy Guevara warned that Kaz couldn’t trust his former SCU friend. That advice seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Match 6: Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin (Owen Hart Foundation Tournament – First Round)
Earlier in the night, this match was changed to be “Anything Goes”, and with good reason, given both Jeff and Darby’s daredevil leanings. The fans in Long Island were certainly rewarded for it, as they were treated to spots galore in this near-eleven minute main event to close out Dynamite.
With a row of chairs set up outside the ring, Darby ascended a really tall ladder introduced into the match and threw himself into Jeff with a senton off the very top… the impact of which sent both men into the chairs for a painful landing. Later on, Jeff missed an attempted Swanton Bomb to the outside as he instead crashed into a steel steps.
For all the high-spots that took place during this match, it was fitting that Jeff Hardy got the win with some technical astuteness, as he reversed Darby’s Coffin Drop into a crucifix pin for the win – even using the ladder as a way to prevent Darby from getting any leverage. Hardy’s win now puts him in a collision course with Adam Cole for the second round of the Owen tournament.
The Undisputed Elite appeared on the ramp to stare down the Hardys as we closed out Dynamite for this week.
5/13/22 AEW Rampage results
- Death Triangle (PAC, Penta Oscuro and Rey Fenix) def. The Butcher and the Blade & Marq Quen via pinfall (10:00) after PAC pinned Quen with the Black Arrow. Post-match, The House of Black stared down Death Triangle in the ring before disappearing in the darkness.
- Shawn Spears def. Bear Boulder via pinfall (1:30) with the C4. After the match, he beat up Boulder with a chair to send a message to Wardlow.
- Ruby Soho def. Riho via pinfall (8:30) in a Owen Hart Foundation Tournament First Round Match with a Blade-Runner.
- The Acclaimed & The Gunn Club talked business ahead of an upcoming match on Dark Elevation.
- Jade Cargill and The Baddies were in the ring and were informed that Hikaru Shida would be unable to face Red Velvet in their Owen tournament match. However, a replacement was named in the form of Kris Statlander.
- Scorpio Sky def. Frankie Kazarian via pinfall (10:30) to retain the TNT Championship with Ethan Page hitting Kaz using the TNT Title itself.
- Post-match, Scorpio and Ethan “teased” a conflict and apparently were still aligned together as heels for some reason. Sammy Guevara faced off with Scorpio as Rampage went off the air.
Before we sign off for this week’s This Week in AEW, I’d like to take this time to reflect on how much RingCrashers has grown since launching as part of the greater GateCrashers site late last year. We’ve given you a different kind of wrestling coverage that you won’t find anywhere else. From stories that covered the rise of characters like Hangman Page, to odes to tag team wrestling, to retrospectives of classic TNA and AEW PPVs, we’ve been proud with the work that we do here. Every new piece is a new step we’ve been more than happy to take.
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Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.