Change Has Come: AEW Double or Nothing Review

Change Has Come: AEW Double or Nothing Review

All Elite Wrestling had its first PPV last night and what an absolute statement this new company has made.

From the beginning of the night to the end of the night, the lesson was simple:

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

“We will not be like the others”.

With the numerous shocks and surprises, great wrestling and emotional swings, AEW showed up and showed out. What an absolute thrilling night of Pro Wrestling.

Let’s break down each match and segment one by one.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t had the chance to watch the show yet, click off this article right now.

The Casino Battle Royale (The Buy-In)

The battle royal to see who would contend for the first spot to become the initial AEW Heavyweight Champion was very interesting indeed. You had some guys you’ve never heard of like Michael Nakazawa and his partner Baby Oil. You had guys you’ve definitely heard of before like the sadistic Jimmy Havoc, Billy Gunn, Glacier, Tommy Dreamer, Joey Janela and more. The star of this entire match in my opinion was MJF, Maxwell Jacob Friedman. He acted like the arrogant Heel that he is. Eliminating wrestler after wrestler and mocking the fans whenever he could. The way the battle royal was conducted was definitely unique.

Groups of five came out according to what suit of card they got and there was a Wild Card as well. The Wild Card was the man who was supposed to face PAC at the event before those creative differences happened, Hangman Page. He came in like a house of fire. Taking out guy after guy until it was just him and “Luchasaurus”. Page eliminated Luchasaurus and the match was thought to be over but a not yet eliminated MJF came from behind and tried to sneak a win by throwing Page over the top rope. Page didn’t fall for it and flip over the top rope and landed a nasty lariat to MJF and then eliminated him to win the battle royal.

Hangman Page eliminates MJF to win the Casino Battle Royale and inserts himself into the AEW World Championship Match.

Prediction: Jon Moxley or Hangman Page

Result: Hangman Page

Shots At The Juggernaut

All night AEW’s Elite took shots at the biggest dog in the Wrestling yard.

First Cody, Brandi, The Bucks and Kenny Omega joked about how WWE inflates their PPV attendance numbers and said that for Double or Nothing, AEW sold out 20,000 seats though the MGM Garden Arena only holds like 12,000 or 13,000 people.

Later on in the night, before the Brother vs Brother, Rhodes vs Rhodes match, as Cody made his entrance, there was a throne on the stage. A not so subtle mock of WWE COO Triple H and his style. Rhodes entered and saw the throne, walked to the ring, grabbed a sledgehammer, Triple H’s signature weapon and commenced to smash the pretend throne as a big middle finger to one of his former employers.

Cody Rhodes sends a message to HHH and the WWE. (Cheap plug…give us a follow on twitter!)

Now people thought this was in bad taste because it seems like Cody has a vendetta that he’s dragged the Bucks and Omega into. I personally believe it was a sign of vindication. A sign of showing WWE that they couldn’t keep him down and he rose up and became a threat to the McMahon Empire.

The biggest shot of them all though…came in the main event but we’ll talk about that later.

Best Friends vs Jack Evans and Angelico

These two teams put on a wonderful tag team match. Chuckie T was great. Angelico showed his creative style. Evans made me a fan and Trent was good. I really liked how these two teams were showcased and though they were attacked after the match by unknown assailants to me, this is a bright showing for the tag team division in AEW.

Prediction: Best Friends

Result: Best Friends

Nyla Rose vs Britt Baker vs Kylie Rae

In the first big shock of the night, this match was changed. Brandi Rhodes came out after the three participants came out to the ring and said she wanted this match to be Awesome and to do that, she had to add someone just as awesome, former TNA Knockouts Champion Awesome Kong. What an absolute shock this was to me. I hadn’t seen Awesome Kong in action since her wasted time in WWE as Kharma. This match was wonderful actually. Crazy spots, power spots. Kong looked like she hadn’t missed a beat. Kylie Rae was good. Britt Baker was wonderful, and Nyla Rose showed potential. All four participants did their job and if this is what women’s wrestling will look like in AEW, I am excited.

Prediction: Britt Baker

Result: Britt Baker

She’s Baaaaaaaaaack…..Awesome Kong is the newest member of the AEW Women’s Roster.

Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho & Ryo Mizunami

Joshi Japanese women’s wrestling was on center stage for this event. The crowd was cold at the beginning, but these colorful characters made a statement about their style of wrestling and proved that this is something that American fans need to pay attention to. I really enjoyed this match.

Prediction: Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura

Result: Hikaru Shida, Riho & Ryo Mizunami

Sammy Guevara vs. Kip Sabian

What a showcase these two put on. High flying, near falls, these young studs showed why the future of pro wrestling is so bright. I picked Guevara to go over in this match, but I am not mad that Sabian won.

Prediction: Sammy Guevara

Result: Kip Sabian

SoCal Uncensored vs. #StrongHearts

What an amazing six-man tag and what a showing for the OWE stars. It was a clash of similar but different styles, and I must say that I’m looking forward to seeing what OWE brings to the table in the future. I picked SCU for this match, but I wouldn’t have been upset if the StrongHearts had won. The future is bright.

Prediction: SoCal Uncensored

Result: SoCal Uncensored

Cody vs. Dustin

The match that wasn’t good enough for WrestleMania proved that theory wrong. The emotion from Dustin thinking this was his last match. Cody being the cocky new president. These two fought tooth and nail to entertain the fans. There were twists, there were turns, there was even a Brandi Rhodes spear to her brother-in-law Dustin. They battled and battled as Dustin poured rivers of blood. The storytelling was amazing and breathtaking. Cody ultimately won the match and as Dustin laid bloody in the ring, Cody grabbed a microphone and said that he didn’t want his brother to retire here at Double or Nothing. Cody said he needed a partner for a match against the Bucks at the next AEW PPV and said distinctly… “I don’t need a partner; I don’t need a friend. I need my older brother.”

Dustin wearing the Crimson mask of blood.

I’m not crying. You’re crying.

The two brothers embraced in the ring and walked off together. So it seems to be official that The Bucks will face the Rhodes Brothers either at Fight for the Fallen show or All Out later this year. Cannot wait.

Prediction: Cody

Result: Cody

AEW Championship Presentation

In a shock turn of events, the new AEW Championship was presented by the now 2-time WWE Hall of Famer, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Hart called out Hangman Page and then MJF came out and verbally assaulted Page and Hart. Then Jungle Boy, son of late actor Luke Perry came out to confront MJF. Then Jimmy Havoc came out then everyone fought. Bret then showed off the new title to the audience. And the segment ended. People are mixed with reactions to the new championship but then again…it is not the 24/7 championship.

Bret Hart debuts the AEW Championship on their debut PPV. Does Bret get the final laugh on Vince?

The Young Bucks vs The Lucha Bros for the AAA Tag Team Championship

Oh…my…freaking…God. These two have to be the best tag teams on the planet. These two put on such a classic. It was the usual Bucks spot fest dialed up to 1,000. From Canadian Destroyers to the apron to superkicks to flips to acrobatic feats by Ray Fenix and Nick Jackson, this match had everything. These two teams put it all on the line. You thought you knew how the match would go, then something would happen to quickly change your mind, that’s how wonderful of a story these two teams told. I could watch these two teams for 10 hours straight and never get tired. The Bucks got the win and retained the AAA Tag Team Championship, but I really hope to see these two teams battle once again.

One of the top spots in a great match!

Prediction: The Young Bucks retain

Result: The Young Bucks retain

The Main Event: Alpha vs Omega II: Jericho vs Omega

It’s fair to say that Jericho and Omega had to live up to the expectations of their war from WrestleKingdom 12 and they delivered. Insane table spots, near falls, submissions, V-triggers, blood…everything about this screamed main event. Jericho knew he could not come into this match with a losing attitude and though Omega fought tooth and nail, Jericho prevailed. So it will be Chris Jericho vs Hangman Page to crown the first AEW Heavyweight Champion at Fight For The Fallen. I look forward to that as well.

Prediction: Jericho

Result: Jericho

A Shock Lunatic Debut

After the war between Omega and Jericho, Jericho talked on the mic while Omega was down in the ring. He said the fans don’t matter and the company isn’t about them. It’s about him and him only and as he’s talking, the crowd looks around and starts getting loud. Then a recognizable face walked down through the audience: WWE’s former Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose, now back to his old persona of Jon Moxley. Moxley confronted Jericho and gave him Dirty Deeds in the ring. Moxley then proceeded to give Dirty Deeds to the referee. Then Moxley aimed his attention to Omega. As Moxley set up the Dirty Deeds, Omega reversed, pushing both of them to the outside and they brawled up towards the stage where Moxley gave the Dirty Deeds to Omega on the poker chip platform. Then Moxley proceeded to throw Omega off the platform onto the floor below. The show fades to black and moments later, AEW’s Twitter officially announced that Moxley is signed with the company.

Jon Moxley throwing Kenny Omega to the ground in an impact statement!!

This is game changing because WWE knows how badly they screwed up. You had a big star in Ambrose/Moxley, and you used him so poorly that he didn’t want to resign. Now he is with your biggest competition and you can’t do anything about it but to change your own product to counteract the coming revolution.

The Verdict:

This was an excellent show. Sure, it had some hokey segments and unnecessary shots at WWE, but the wrestling was wonderful to watch, Awesome Kong showed up, Jon Moxley is a member of AEW, and Chris Jericho or Hangman Page will be AEW World Champion before this year is over with.

After watching this event, I am now willing to apologize because this event WAS worth the insane amount for PPV. I had tremendous doubts, but it was worth it absolutely. AEW showed that they have promise and potential. AEW showed that they have what it takes to take over the world.

This is only the beginning but then again…change doesn’t happen overnight.

The future is bright and the future is All Elite.

J.D. Phillips