AEW Carnage (June 3, 2022) emanated from Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA. The show featured the Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros tearing down the house, CM Punk announcing an injury and Scorpio Sky defending the TNT Championship.
Let’s start straight with a recap of the show followed by reactions.
Excalibur, Taz and Chris Jericho were commentators. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.
Jurassic Express and the Hardys were front row to watch the opening fight. Adam Cole commented to support his friends.
Young Bucks vs. Lucha Bros.
If you’ve ever seen the Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros struggle, then you know how chaotic the action can be. So many moves.
The first tight pinfall came after Fenix performed a suicide cannonball on Nick Jackson. Pentagon planted Matt Jackson with a pump handle snap, then Fenix flew in for a frog splash. The second close pinfall happened with Fenix sitting on his brother’s shoulders. Nick kicked Fenix to cause a poisoned rana in Penta. Matt flew off for a nudge.
The third tight fall had Fenix standing on Penta’s shoulders as Penta was on the middle ropes in the corner. Fenix jumped high for a huge splash on Nick. Penta took out Matt with a Mexican Destroyer, but Nick was kicked out on cover.
The next near fall was a Meltzer pilot in Fenix. Penta broke the cover of this one. The end came when Matt removed Penta’s mask. Superkick party at the two Lucha Bros. The Bucks finished Fenix with a BTE Trigger.
The Young Bucks defeated Lucha Bros.
Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs are still teaming up, even though they didn’t win gold at double or nothing. They’ll open Hobbs’ book, chapter 13. If you go up against Team Taz, you’re just another victim.
Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs vs. Jabroni A and Jabroni B
To crush. Hobbs landed a mighty slam to win, while Starks tossed the other man to keep the pin safe.
Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs defeated Jobbers Anonymous.
Stokely Hathaway was convinced that Kiera Hogan would kick Athena’s ass to send her to the back of the line.
Kiera Hogan vs. Athena
Jade Cargill, Red Velvet and Stokely Hathaway sat at ringside. Velvet stepped in whenever Athena found her rhythm. Hogan worked to grind Athena’s energy. Athena got up for a creative counter kick with Hogan on his back holding a back chin.
Hogan returned right away to regain control, with help from Velvet. For the finish, the ladies competed in the corner. Athena knocked Hogan down to the mat then launched for a diving stunner to win.
Athena defeated Kiera Hogan.
The House of Black hosted Julia Hart. Malakai Black claimed it was part of a carefully executed plan. The house always wins. Hart pointed the finger at the fans and their thirst for violence. These are the fruits of that labor.
CM Punk Injured
CM Punk entered the ring with tears in his eyes. He told us he would give it his all until the wheels fell off. That’s what happened. Punk delivered good news and bad news. He is injured and will have to be operated on. However, this is only an obstacle in the way. Punk will return to prove why he is the best in the world.
As for the AEW World Championship, Punk didn’t want to hold the line. The promo got confusing here. It looked like Punk was offering to give up the belt, but Tony Khan wouldn’t. The status of the world title was extremely unclear.
Later in the program, it was announced that AEW would be introducing an Interim World Title. A battle royale will open dynamite. The winner will face No. 1 contender Jon Moxley in the television main event. This winner will move on to Forbidden Door PPV to participate in the interim title match. I think?
Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Dante Martin knows he’s better than Scorpio Sky, and he’ll have Matt Sydal watching his back. Sydal put on the fact that Martin will die stealing or die trying. Sky sensed Martin was talking about a big game. It’s time to save it. Martin and Sydal can have peace, love and professional wrestling. Sky will retain the TNT title. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”
TNT Championship: Scorpio Sky (c) vs. Dante Martin
Matt Sydal, Ethan Page and Dan Lambert were at ringside. Sky muscled Martin in early, but Martin didn’t back down. The outfielder forced openings to execute a springboard attack to the outside and a shotgun dropkick inside the ring. Lambert created a distraction for Page to grab Martin’s foot. Sydal swung into action for a double knees to Page. Martin countered Sky for a TKO, but the champion was kicked out on the cover.
Sky jumped Martin into the ropes. On the rebound, Sky picked up Martin for a TKO and a win.
Scorpio Sky defeated Dante Martin.
Like punk, the good news of Carnage was that the return of the Young Bucks was a fire against the Lucha Bros. This match delivered high octane action. The opening counter-dance between Matt Jackson and the Pentagon took so many steps without causing damage. And the crowd was hot for it. Nick Jackson and Fenix took turns with whirlwind moves all over the place. The pace never slowed down. Fenix was the contest launcher with a sleek tornillo, explosive cutter, frog splash Eddie Guerrero, and skyscraper splash. The finish was a bit poppycock, but I can accept that poor quality for a TV finish. Plus, the Bucks needed to win at home.
Athena had a solid outing. His high-impact maneuvers are impressive. The women’s match as a whole was good enough for a springboard contest with an obvious result. The likely next step would be Athena battling Red Velvet. This should strengthen her enough to challenge Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship. This title fight would be a pick’em. I can imagine either of them coming out as champions in this fight.
The bad thing is that Punk is unfortunately injured. It is a pity that his race cannot continue unhindered. He went back in time to win the AEW World Championship. I was very invested in seeing his path defend gold. Should there be any hints of a heel turn, it will have to wait even longer. You know the fans are going to blow the roof off once he comes back from injury. It will take a few weeks, if not months, for his victory lap to subside, if he ever does.
As for Punk’s promo, his sadness could be felt through the screen. His words sounded like he was speaking from the heart. It was a loud farewell from babyface as he walked out for surgery. Best wishes for an efficient recovery, champ.
We have the good and the bad. Might as well add the ugly too. The direction and production of this particular episode was terrible at times. The worst example was the confusing message about Punk’s status as a champion. His promo seemed to imply that Tony Khan didn’t want him to quit, but the comment made it clear that the title would be dropped. On top of that, the interim belt announcement was also confusing. The commentary must have clarified this a few times. Because the ambiguity puzzled many, this elephant completely overshadowed the main event. I couldn’t even concentrate on the TNT title match. The fight was okay, but my concern as a fan was more trying to figure out the world championship news.
Aside from the punk stuff, there were other bad times for the production. Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs performed their promo during the squash match. The contest actually ended before the promo. Their opponents didn’t even have their names mentioned once. I was focused on Starks and Hobbs saying I wasn’t able to soak up Team Taz physics in the split screen. The Stokely Hathaway promo had low volume. Dan Lambert’s weasel at a pivotal moment was on the back burner as comments revealed the interim world title news. It was not a sweet night.
This episode of Carnage was a tough show to categorize, as I don’t know how much to take off for production issues. Sometimes snafus can be overlooked. That was not the case that night. On the plus side, the show was entertaining. There were great games and great news. The Young Bucks and Lucha Bros rocked. Athena shone. Scorpio Sky took care of business to defend the TNT Championship. As unfortunate as CM Punk’s injury is, the short-term silver lining is an injection of instant drama to crown an interim titleholder.
Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? Who stole the show?