AEW Double or Nothing took place from the Daily’s Place in Florida last night, and despite the absence of crowd and two last-minute injuries, the PPV delivered on all fronts. The PPV had the right mix of professional wrestling and sports entertainment, both of which combined to create a fun-filled event.
There were a few questionable booking decisions, but apart from that most of the matches were won by the right men and women. AEW’s decision to have wrestlers as fans in the crowd helps the show quite a lot, and it was apparent throughout the PPV.
AEW deserves tremendous praise for going out of the way for creating a PPV which in enjoyable despite the restrictions and the uncertainty in current times, and that alone is worth A+ grade.
As for the matches, we look at how the PPV went down, and which matches lived up to the expectations, and which didn’t.
Buy In: Private Party vs Best Friends
The two teams faced off for an opportunity at the Tag Team Championships held by Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, with Private Party returning for the first time in quite some time. A fun back and forth match, saw the Best Friends isolate Quen before Kasidy ran wild.
Trent delivered a bunch of suplexes and delivered the Soul Food, but Private Party responded with a Shooting Star Press from Quen followed a G9, giving tribute to Shad Gaspard.
The finish saw Trent’s broken ribs and Chuck Taylor deliver the Ground Zero for the win.
Result: Private Party defeated Best Friends
Analysis: It was everything we would expect from a match between these two teams, who have faced off in the past as well. Best Friends have received great traction on AEW Dynamite in the past few weeks, and deserve to be the No.1 contenders. They should eventually win the title as well, and with Orange Cassidy at their side, they could have some fun in the tag-team division.
Casino Ladder Match: Brian Cage vs Orange Cassidy vs Luchasaurus vs Joey Janela vs Kip Sabian vs Darby Allin vs Colt Cabana vs Scorpio Sky vs Frankie Kazarian
Former tag-team champions Sky and Kazarian opened the proceedings, before Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc joined the fray. Darby Allin entered next and immediately injured himself while trying to pull off a Jeff Hardy. Orange Cassidy entered at #5 but had no clue what to do in the match, and he was leveled by Colt Cabana entering at #6.
Joey Janela and Luchasaurus entered next as things got even messier, and Brian Cage debuted at #9 as the mystery entrant and showed off his brutal strength.
A lot of outside interference saw this match go haywire, and eventually Brian Cage retrieved the Poker Chip to win the match and get a future title shot at AEW World Championship.
Result: Brian Cage wins.
Analysis: The match would have garnered a better grade, only if AEW managed to figure out how to manage so many guys all at once. The match itself was quite fine and had tremendous performances from all those involved, but the production left a lot to be desired.
Brian Cage was presented as a brute force of nature, and this was an amazing introduction for the former IMPACT Champion. With Tazz on his side, Cage will be immediately hot-pushed into the main-event picture, and it will be a fresh sight.
MJF vs Jungle Boy
MJF was frustrated during the initial part of the match, before gaining momentum and working Jungle Boy’s arm for the Salt of the Earth submission. Jungle Boy didn’t back down and kept the pace up on the heel, showing off his agile move-set before a Hurricanrana led to MJF being checked by the referee.
MJF acted for a while before pushing away the referee. Jungle Boy recovered and hit the Sunset Flip Powerbomb, but MJF kicked out. A series of roll-ups ended with MJF winning and continuing his winning streak.
Result: MJF defeated Jungle Boy
Analysis: This was a random match on the card, with not many stakes attached to it. MJF made his return in quite a fashion, with a tremendous match against fellow young star Jungle Boy. MJF is surely a major star in the company and proved he is equally capable of performing in the ring as he is on the mic.
Jungle Boy remains the lovable babyface, and will surely rise to the upper-card one day, but for now he can be content with giving amazing matches without taking the win.
TNT Championship Match: Cody Rhodes w/ Arn Anderson vs Lance Archer w/ Jake Roberts
Mike Tyson made his way to ringside along with the brand new title. The Murderhawk Monster Lance Archer didn’t waste a single moment and immediately delivered the Blackout to Cody, but the American Nightmare rolled out to avoid a quick loss.
Cody was outclassed by Archer throughout the match, with Archer toying with the EVP of the company. Cody recovered and delivered a DDT to Archer in front of Roberts, who made this move famous. Archer responded with a Spinebuster, mocking Anderson.
Roberts tried to bring a snake into the ring, but Tyson helped Cody by cutting him off. Cody delivered two Cross Rhodes for the victory.
Result: Cody Rhodes defeated Lance Archer to become the first-ever AEW TNT Champion
Analysis: The match was fantastic in establishing Archer as a dominant and indestructible heel, and Cody as the sympathetic babyface. But, the problem is, these two facts have been established quite some time ago, which made this a bit weak from a storyline perspective.
Archer should’ve won this match quite easily, as he dominated throughout and Cody won’t be hurt as much by the loss. It remains to be seen if this rivalry extends further, as Archer won’t back down after a loss following a string of dominant victories.
Kris Statlander vs Penelope Ford
Statlander’s last-minute opponent, Penelope Ford, had a part to play in the Casino Ladder Match earlier and nursed her injuries suffered during that match. Ford was accompanied by her boyfriend Kip Sabian, and both of them were taken out by a tope suicida by Statlander.
Statlander ate a huge boot and a Hurricanrana from Ford but recovered to hit the Big Bang Theory for the pinfall victory.
Result: Kris Statlander defeated Penelope Ford
Analysis: This was a last-minute matchup and it reeked of it. It had no business being on a PPV, and barring a miraculous booking decision, Statlander was always taking the win in this encounter. Statlander vs Baker would have been more interesting, as the winner would possibly become the next challenger.
Dustin Rhodes vs Shawn Spears
Spears made the ring in his suit, confident that Dustin Rhodes won’t show up for the match as he is ‘retired’ from wrestling. Brandi Rhodes came down the ramp, and Dustin appeared out of nowhere and took out Spears.
Rhodes proceeded to rip apart Spears’ suit until he was left in his boxers, which had the face of Tully Blanchard. Rhodes picked up the victory following the Reckoning.
Result: Dustin Rhodes defeated Shawn Spears
Analysis: Another filler match, which helped to firmly establish Shawn Spears’ character in AEW. Spears felt frustrated in WWE and chose to join AEW, but so far, his treatment at his new hosts has been worse than his time with WWE.
AEW Women’s Championship: Nyla Rose (c) vs Hikaru Shida
Nyla Rose used her size advantage to take down Shida, with a flurry of kendo stick shots. Shida fought back with some quality strikes and even took up the kendo stick to take down the big frame of Rose.
Shida kept up the relentless attack and delivered some of her finest moves, but couldn’t keep the champ down. It took a Falcon Arrow, a kendo stick shot to the head, followed by a running knee to see a new champion crowned at the PPV.
Result: Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose to become the new AEW Women’s Champion
Analysis: The No DQ stipulation helped Shida and Rose overcome the differences in their wrestling abilities, and the brawl between the two all over the arena was quite fun. Shida has consistently been the best performer in the Women’s Division and this was the culmination of a great journey over the past few months.
Shida won the match and will surely be at the top of the Women’s Divison for the foreseeable future.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs Brodie Lee
Brodie Lee entered the ring with the belt, which he had taken from Moxley on Dynamite. The match started out in intense fashion. The action quickly spilled outside the ring where the champion ate a suplex into a guardrail. He retaliated and hit a suplex of his own and a piledriver inside the ring.
The action continued to drop outside, and a suplex from Lee led to medical attention for both the competitors. Back in the ring, Moxley delivered a Paradigm Shift to the bloodied Exalted One, but he miraculously kicked out at 1!
Moxley had to apply a rear-necked choke and won by referee stoppage after Lee passed out.
Result: Jon Moxley retains.
Analysis: Brodie Lee basically became the Brock Lesnar of AEW with this matchup. AEW had a big task at hand with Lance Archer and Brodie Lee, both undefeated stars in crucial title matchups. Archer’s defeat was mishandled, but Lee was presented as an absolute monster.
Both the stars displayed their brutal prowess and rolled back the clock to their PWG days.
Stadium Stampede Match: The Elite vs The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle entered the stadium fully dressed as football players. The two teams went at it with the ring in the middle of the ground, as Hangman Page was nowhere to be seen for the babyfaces. Page eventually made his way on a horse and chased down Sammy Guevara. Page couldn’t find him and ended up going to the bar instead.
The action split as Guevara-Jericho took on the Young Bucks while Santana-Ortiz brawled with Omega and Hardy. Hardy had three different versions of him appear during the match.
The finish saw Kenny Omega hit a One-Winged Angel on Sammy Guevera from the top, as Audrey Edwards used a ladder to count the pin.
Result: The Elite defeated The Inner Circle
Analysis: This was the perfect way to end things between the two sides, which has been building up for months now. It was filled with comedy and hardcore action, with each of the ten members displaying their talents to perfection. The match was taped beforehand, which allowed AEW to experiment, and it ended up being a great dazzling experience to close out the PPV.