The Owen Hart Foundation Tournaments officially kick off on tonight's AEW Dynamite.
After weeks of qualifying matches, the tournament begins in earnest tonight with a pair of men's matches and a women's match.
In the men's bracket, Jeff Hardy faces Darby Allin, plus Adam Cole takes on FTR's Dax Harwood. On the women's side, Toni Storm faces Jamie Hayter.
Three more matches and a pair of other segments are also set for Dynamite.
CM Punk will face John Silver in a singles contest. In an FTW Championship match, Ricky Starks defends the title against Jungle Boy. Danhausen will also make his in-ring AEW debut, facing Tony Nese.
Jericho Appreciation Society will deliver a victory speech, and MJF and Wardlow will have their contract signing and stipulation named for their Double or Nothing pay-per-view contest.
Tonight's show takes place in Long Island, New York at the UBS Arena.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
Owen Hart Cup quarterfinal: Adam Cole defeated Dax Harwood
This was a great opener -- for my money, both men's best TV singles match in AEW. I love that they got plenty time (around 14-15 minutes) and hope they continue that standard for the rest of the tournament.
Early on, Cole got in Dax's face with the "Adam Cole, bay-bay!" chant, so Dax returned fire with a hard chop. Cole came back with a knee lift. There were loud dueling chants as they exchanged hold and cradle attempts. Cole drove Dax rib-first into the ring post, then into the steel steps on the outside. Cole continued to dominate out on the floor through a break.
Back from commercial, Dax turned a ripcord into repeated German suplexes, but then Cole came back with one of his own. Dax fought back to hit a third. They fought on the second rope, where Cole avoided a diving headbutt, but Dax recovered and hit a slingshot powerbomb for two.
Cole fired back with the ushigoroshi for two. Dax hit a crossbody for two of his own, but then Cole had a second scouted and cut him off midair with a superkick for two. Dax cradled Cole for a good near fall. Cole wanted the Panama Sunrise, but Dax stopped Cole in his tracks and hit the straight piledriver for another good near fall.
Dax locked on the Sharpshooter to a great ovation. He tried to get the submission, but his injured ribs forced him to break the hold and recover on the floor, just barely making it back in the ring before the ten count. Back inside, Cole locked on the sharpshooter and forced Dax to tap.
– Cole will face the winner of Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy in the semifinals.
A video package hyped Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy in the main event.
Hangman Page joined commentary for this match.
Punk came out in a John Tavares New York Islanders jersey, which the Long Island crowd did not appreciate.
CM Punk defeated John Silver
The strategy early on for Punk was to stop Silver from building any sort of momentum. He maintained control with a lariat leading into a commercial. Upon return, Silver sent Punk hard into the corner and laid in strikes. A brainbuster followed for two.
Silver briefly stumbled walking up the ropes but recovered to hit a tornado DDT for two. Punk stopped Silver's flurry with a high kick and a short-armed clothesline. Punk followed it up with a wacky-looking Buckshot Lariat (Page's finisher) for the win.
– After the match, Page stormed to the ring and got in Punk's face. Punk asked if Page was mad and said he was taking it a little too personal. He said that taking Page's title is "just business." Punk used to ask himself, "Are you a good guy?" Today he asked, "Are you the champ?" and the answer is "yes." Punk said he'd do to Page what he just did to Silver, and he'd shake his hand no matter what. Page flipped him the bird in response.
Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, and Rebel were backstage. Baker complained about having to wrestle the "Joker," but then said Hayter would beat Toni Storm. She said that if both she and Hayter win and they face each other, it'll be a fair fight.
Tony Nese (w/ Mark Sterling) defeated Danhausen
Danhausen tried to "curse" Nese, but a distraction from Sterling allowed Nese to attack and hit the running corner knee for the win in about 20 seconds.
– After the match, Sterling goaded Nese with the fact that he didn't get an entrance, and so Nese attacked Danhausen with repeated knees.
HOOK's music played and he came out, sending Nese and Sterling retreating out of the ring. Danhausen offered a handshake to HOOK, and he accepted.
MJF vs. Wardlow contract signing
This was an awesome segment. Just incredibly entertaining from start to finish.
Wardlow came out handcuffed and surrounded by security as usual.
There was a completely preposterous Dark Side of the Ring parody video talking about MJF vs. Punk and how Wardlow interfered. They even got Taz, Jake Roberts, and Barry Horowitz(!) to speak.
The hometown MJF got a babyface reaction and played up to it heavily. They even booed Wardlow. MJF compared himself to David and Wardlow to Goliath. "Jewish, from the Holy Land -- and I ain't talking Israel, I'm talking about the most magical place in the world, Long Island, New York." He essentially told the fans to boo Wardlow out of the building when he speaks, and they obliged.
MJF offered his conditions. He said if Wardlow wants to face him at Double or Nothing, he'll have to get whipped ten times. Then, he'll have to wrestle Shawn Spears in a steel cage, with MJF as the special guest referee, and if Wardlow loses at Double or Nothing, he'll never be allowed to sign a contract with AEW.
Wardlow struggled to sign the contract because he had handcuffs on. MJF got impatient and had them un-cuff Wardlow, who signed. Wardlow then attacked all the security and sent them packing, leaving MJF and Spears in the ring. Wardlow stopped Spears from hitting a chair shot and caught MJF on the escape, but Mark Sterling jumped on his back, allowing MJF to flee. Wardlow then powerbombed Sterling through the table.
A video package hyped Samoa Joe facing the mystery Joker. Sonjay Dutt and co. said Lethal and Singh weren't the Joker, but they mocked Joe anyway.
Taz joined commentary.
FTW Championship: Ricky Starks (c) (w/ Powerhouse Hobbs) defeated Jungle Boy
They performed back-and-forth chain wrestling to start. Starks hit Jungle Boy's slingshot arm drag, then Jungle Boy returned fire with the same -- just with a couple added jumps. Starks took control during commercial, but Jungle Boy started a comeback with back elbows and a rebound lariat.
Starks countered the outside-in DDT and powered Jungle Boy Up, but Jungle Boy eventually reversed it into the DDT for two. Starks backslid Jungle Boy for two, but Jungle Boy countered the Roshambo into a cradle. Jungle Boy hit a thrust kick for two.
Jungle Boy went for another rebound lariat but ran right into a spear for two. He locked on the Snare Trap, forcing Starks to fight to reach the ropes. Starks grabbed the FTW title, but Swerve Strickland ran down to stop him from using it. Jungle Boy rolled up Starks, but Swerve inadvertently distracted the official, allowing Starks to hit the Roshambo for the win.
– After the match, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus walked down to talk things out with Jungle Boy. Swerve faced off with Starks and Hobbs, then Keith Lee made his entrance to provide Swerve some backup. Christian gave Jungle Boy some support as things remained tense.
Jericho Appreciation Society victory speech
Angelo Parker welcomed everyone to the speech, then Matt Menard said (rather crudely) that he's very proud to be part of the Jericho Appreciation Society.
Jericho noted he's technically from the area, but he moved away quickly because this place is a dump. He threatened a fan with a fireball, because "I'M A WIZARD." He then addressed Eddie Kingston, bringing up his wife. Daniel Garcia said sports entertainers beat wrestlers every time.
Jon Moxley's music played and he walked out from the crowd. Jericho told him to get out of here, pointing out the numbers advantage, but then Bryan Danielson's music played, and he came out with Wheeler YUTA and William Regal. Unfortunately, they were still one short to make it an even fight, but then Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz appeared behind them. Kingston had wacky makeup of a burn on his face from the Jericho fireball.
The babyfaces surrounded the ring and attacked the Jericho Appreciation Society. Regal took out Jericho with a strong right hand.
A Serena Deeb video package aired, with Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Dustin Rhodes hyping her up. They all discussed how dangerous she is coming into her championship match with Thunder Rosa.
Owen Hart Cup quarterfinal: Toni Storm defeated Jamie Hayter
Neither woman could establish an advantage at the start. A dropkick sent Hayter to the floor, but Hayter booted Storm upon re-entry to the ring. She maintained the advantage through the commercial, where she suplexed Storm onto the floor.
Back from break, Storm fired up after a hard forearm and landed a strong hip attack followed by a DDT. She then hit a DDT out on the floor. Storm landed a diving crossbody for two. Hayter returned fire with a backbreaker for two of her own. They fought on the apron, where Hayter hit a hard uranage.
They fought on the top rope, where Hayter hit a superplex. Storm countered the follow-up into a cradle for two and hit Storm Zero for the win.
– Storm will face the winner of Britt Baker vs. the Joker in the next round.
AEW Rampage (5/13) lineup --
- Owen Hart Cup: Riho vs. Ruby Soho
- Jade Cargill & the Baddies will speak
- TNT Championship: Scorpio Sky (c) vs. Frankie Kazarian
- Death Triangle vs. The Butcher, The Blade, & Marq Quen
- Shawn Spears vs. Bear Boulder
AEW Dynamite (5/18) lineup --
- Chris Jericho & William Regal face-to-face
- Owen Hart Cup: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Rey Fenix
- Owen Hart Cup: Britt Baker vs. *JOKER*
- Owen Hart Cup: Samoa Joe vs. *JOKER*
- Hangman Page vs. Konosuke Takeshita
- Wardlow's 10 lashes from MJF
- Owen Hart Cup: Adam Cole vs. winner of Allin/Hardy
AEW Double or Nothing (5/29) lineup --
- AEW World Championship: Hangman Page (c) vs. CM Punk
- AEW Women's Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Serena Deeb
- Buy-In: HOOK & Danhausen vs. Tony Nese & Mark Sterling
A video package for Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian aired. Sky said he was trying to restore respect to the TNT title.
Kazarian was then asked about wrestling his former tag partner. Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti interrupted, with Guevara saying Sky's a different man now and that he can't be trusted. Kazarian blew him off and said he trusts himself.
Owen Hart Cup quarterfinal: Jeff Hardy (w/ Matt Hardy) defeated Darby Allin (w/ Sting)
This was announced during the show as a no disqualification "anything goes" match. It was an unbelievable stunt show, although the "cradle out of taking a finisher" is maybe my least favorite clean finish in wrestling.
Darby exploded out right away with a shotgun dropkick and a tope suicida. He set up a structure of chairs on the outside, but then Jeff sent him face-first into the steel steps. Jeff landed a leaping clothesline off the steps. Darby drove Jeff into the ring post.
Jeff hit a Twist of Fate over the ropes, then produced a ridiculously tall ladder from under the ring. During the break, Jeff climbed up the ladder with Darby incapacitated on the chair structure. Darby popped up and crotched Jeff over the ropes.
Darby climbed the ladder and landed the most ridiculous dive you'll ever see onto Jeff and the chair structure. Seriously, like a 20-foot fall onto steel chairs. Absolutely spectacular.
Back in the ring, Darby wanted the Coffin Drop, but Jeff moved out towards the apron, so Darby just landed it on the apron. Jeff managed to move out of the way. Jeff went for the Swanton Bomb onto the steel steps, but Darby avoided it, sending Jeff bouncing off of it.
Darby recovered in the ring and hit the Coffin Drop, but Jeff cradled Darby for the win.
– Jeff will face Adam Cole in the semifinals next week. Cole and the Undisputed Elite showed up on the ramp before the end of the show.