AEW Carnage (May 6, 2022) was from Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, MD. The show featured Jay Lethal establishing his power, Eddie Kingston threatening Chris Jericho, and excellent female wrestling.
Let’s start straight with a recap of the show followed by reactions.
Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks and Chris Jericho were commentators. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm and Ruby Soho
Reba was in the front row. The pace was constant movement with teamwork on both sides. When Baker was struggling in the corner, Reba provided a referee distraction for Baker to gouge out Storm’s eye. This led to a butterfly suplex from Baker. Hayter didn’t miss a beat to connect on a sliding lariat as soon as Storm sat down. Baker followed with a curb kick. Baker went for coverage, but Soho tackled Hayter on top of the pile to break the count. Soho pushed Hayter out of the ring. Baker timed Soho with a push kick. Storm took advantage of the scrum for a roll-up on Baker to win.
Toni Storm and Ruby Soho defeated Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter.
Eddie Kingston called the show to threaten Chris Jericho. For the first time in 20 years, the Kingston woman feared for her safety. This image is etched in Kingston’s soul. He will make Jericho feel the fear and pain of the feelings his wife had.
Tony Nese was upset that he had to work his way through the show, despite being AEW’s hottest free agent. Mark Sterling has officially requested a match for Nese against the undefeated phenom. (Hook?) Nese called Danhausen.
Hook vs. JD Drake
After a takedown from Hook, Drake faced him in the referees’ split. Drake chopped Hook hard in the chest. Hook didn’t back down and demanded another one. Drake cut, but Hook headbutted him. Hook then executed a magnificent suplex.
Drake went for a reverse DDT, but Hook countered for Redrum’s submission off Drake’s back. Hook refused to release the choke after the victory.
Hook defeated JD Drake.
Afterwards, Danhausen came out asking for Hook as a substitute against Nese and Sterling. As Hook pondered, Danhausen lost patience and shoved Hook. The cold-hearted handsome devil pushed Danhausen to the mat. Danhausen made a peace offering to present a bag of chips. Hook picked up the snack and then threw it on the carpet on the way out.
Dax Harwood respects Adam Cole as an athlete, but he has no respect for the man as a human being. FTR is enjoying positive fan reception. In the past, they were rightfully booed for being mean thugs. Harwood will bring that attitude back against Cole in the Owen Hart Tournament.
Owen Hart Tournament Qualifier: Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho
Riho entered AEW in black gear for the first time. She almost scored an early victory on a flying crossbody. Sakazaki barely beat three to send off. The Magical Girl came to life using a cartwheel as an evasive maneuver to hit with a dropkick. She followed with a cannonball sent outside. Sakazaki focused on damaging Riho’s leg. When Sakazaki went for his springboard, Riho got his knees up. Riho went on the attack with a dragon suplex. Sakazaki dodged a running knee to counter with a roll-up exchange. Riho exploded for a double strike to the knee. 1, 2, Sakazaki barely kicked out again.
Sakazaki got the upper hand in a duel on the turnbuckles for a super move that drove Riho’s face into the mat.
The match continued with both women throwing punches in the center of the ring. Sakazaki found himself for a disc shot. Riho fell low for a passing takedown to a curled victory.
Riho defeated Yuka Sakazaki.
The Owen Hart Women’s Tournament roster has been revealed:
- Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter
- Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Joker (Mystery Wrestler)
- Riho vs. Ruby Soho
- Red Velvet vs. Hikaru Shida
Shawn Spears took credit for turning Wardlow’s ego into a false sense of invincibility. Wardlow has become AEW’s #1 giant, and Spears has the cure with her Giant Killer chair.
Dan Lambert insulted the Baltimore crowd. Ethan Page didn’t think Sammy Guevara was a person who kept his word, so neither did he. The mixed fight with Paige VanZant is over. Frankie Kazarian interrupted to ask for the TNT Championship match promised by Scorpio Sky. Sky has sworn to be a dominant champion. He will bring respect back to the belt as a fighting champion. This means Lambert has to put his strap back in the trophy case. Lambert and Page were confused by Sky’s attitude. The champ continued on the mic to accept Kaz’s challenge.
Jungle Boy took on Ricky Starks on stage. Punches followed. JB held FTW gold to promote their title clash dynamite.
Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Konosuke Takeshita respects Jay Lethal, but he’s not afraid. Lethal will give Takeshita a reason to be afraid. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”
Jay Lethal vs. Konosuke Takeshita
Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh were front row seats. Lethal leg after a dropkick. Takeshita struts after hip throws. Takeshita took charge with a jumping shoulder tackle and a sling plancha. Singh stepped forward as a distraction, so Lethal could take a suicide dive. Lethal was in command with a catapult in the corner, a tilting backbreaker, a kneebreaker, and a dragon screw leg whip. Lethal went to finish with a lethal injection, but Takeshita kicked him backwards against the ropes.
As the match wore on, Takeshita unloaded a nasty lariat as both men were on the turnbuckles.
Lethal escaped a dragon suplex to counter a number four. Takeshita was able to reach the ropes for a break. Lethal went back to number four, but Takeshita countered for a brainbuster. Lethal kicked on the pinfall.
Lethal swung for a lethal injection, but Takeshita hit with a clothesline and a jumping knee. Lethal was dazed, his shoulders flat on the mat. Dutt jumped onto the apron, distracting the referee. This gave Lethal enough time to recover at 2.
Lethal scored a roll-up. Takeshita blasted his way through sending Lethal into the ropes. Lethal used that momentum to bounce back for the cutter Lethal Injection to win.
Jay Lethal defeated Konosuke Takeshita.
Then the villains put the boots on Takeshita. Best Friends rushed in, but they were manipulated by Singh. Orange Cassidy teased a showdown with Singh to pave the way for Samoa Joe’s arrival. Security prevented Joe from entering the ring at the end of the show.
Jay Lethal and Konosuke Takeshita had a dandy match in the main event. Takeshita made a name for himself in AEW with this performance. Both men’s counter-movement was smooth. The finisher was a creative way for Lethal to hit with his finisher. It went smoothly, which seemed like a knee-jerk reaction. Lethal is doing some quality work after a bit of a slow start to his AEW career. He’s right that wrestlers should be scared, especially with Satnam Singh by his side. Singh continues to do well as a towering force. Smashing Chuck Taylor on the mat looked brutal in a good way. After Samoa Joe said he was coming for Lethal, it made me think Joe would get physical. When that didn’t happen, it made for a lackluster appearance to end the show.
Toni Storm, Ruby Soho, Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter started the show with a firecracker of a contest. The action was hot and never slowed down. I don’t think AEW needs women’s titles, but this is the type of match that makes me curious about a fully developed division. The teamwork flow was excellent. For example, I loved how Hayter was already running the ropes for a sliding lariat before Baker lifted Storm for a suplex. It made for a great bing, bang, boom moment. Give me more of that, and I can easily be persuaded to be on board for AEW introducing women’s tag team gold.
Riho and Yuka Sakazaki delivered high octane action. The back and forth exchanges broke out and kept me on the edge of my seat. The finish was a creative setup showing off Riho’s strategy and skills. The Owen Hart Women’s Tournament should be a good time. I like how Storm and Baker are on the same side of the bracket to avoid an obvious endgame. I can imagine Storm, Baker, Riho, Soho or Hikaru Shida winning it all. This is a testament to the strength of the field. This doesn’t even take into account who comes as a wildcard entrant. For now, I choose Storm against Soho in the final.
Hook rocked the house. His suplex on JD Drake was such a cool visual. Controlling the weight for a slow climb to the top and arching back for maximum impact was a beauty. The story with Hook and Danhausen took a pleasant turn of delight. It originally looked like cheeky shenanigans for comedy, but it’s now evolved into something sentimental. Even though Nese’s punchline calling out Danhausen was seen a mile away, I still had a good laugh when it was delivered. It’s a smart AEW match to book to coerce Hook into saving Danhausen. And when that happens, the roof will explode off the building.
I don’t know what to do with the ever-changing rosters with this Sammy Guevara/American Top Team story. Fans started booing Sammy and Tay Conti when I don’t think that was the original plan. Ethan Page and Dan Lambert garnered fan support by default, however, they were both clearly rude dudes that night. Sky appears to switch gears for a babyface, but then he makes a joke about Conti dropping into the locker room. I’m giving this segment a shrug for now. I have no idea what is going on. Sky defending against Frankie Kazarian is a match I want to see, so that’s a plus.
Eddie Kingston’s bloody history on that phone call is an example of why I have a hard time rooting for him as a wrestling character. So his wife is feeling bad, and that’s not good. But, it’s cool to hurt Jericho so much that he can’t play with his kids anymore, which was a threat from Kingston long before the fireball magic. It stinks of hypocrisy. Does Jericho deserve a painful comeback? Absolutely. Am I emotionally invested in rooting for Kingston to be successful? Absolutely not. Maybe it’s my fault that I think Kingston is supposed to be a good guy these days. His troubled persona has been pretty consistent from the start, and it’s not like Kingston is asking for acclaim. That said, will I still enjoy seeing the story unfold? Give me a hell yeah. Also, give me more Daddy Magic. And wizard tricks. And glittering boots from Jericho. Is there a way to turn this feud into the Wizard of Oz?
Carnage had a very good action with high energy contests. The comedic moments seemed natural to bring in real laughs. Add a little story progression to complete an enjoyable episode.
Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? Who stole the show?