For the first time in over eight years, a wrestling company that has the resources, the money and a National TV deal that rivals Vince McMahon’s WWE ran a pay-per-view in Las Vegas. All Elite Wrestling was an idea that was forming for a couple of years now and tonight it came to fruition. Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks have gained a lot of popularity over the years and Tony Khan had obviously been paying attention. I will be the first to admit I was very skeptical, because all it had been was YouTube shows, press conferences and Pro Wrestling Tees being involved. As it got closer, more big events were announced and a TV deal was announced. These things got my attention and just like All In, I decided to play my cards and buy into Double or Nothing. Before I begin with my thoughts on this historical show, here the results of AEW Double or Nothing:
-The Buy In(Pre-Show): “The Hangman” Adam Page wins the Casino Battle Royale
-The Buy In(Pre-Show): Kip Sabian defeated Sammy Guevara
-SCU defeated Strong Hearts
-Britt Baker defeated Kylie Rae, Nyla Rose and Awesome Kong
-Best Friends(Trent Beretta and Chuckie T) defeated Jack Evans and Angelico
– Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe, and Ryo Mizunami defeated Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, and Emi Sakura
-Cody defeated Dustin Rhodes
-The Young Bucks defeated Lucha Bros to retain the AAA Tag Team Championships
-Chris Jericho defeated Kenny Omega
Right out of the gate, I have to say that I loved the theme for this show especially the pre-show. The called the pre-show “The Buy In,” which shows me that the pre-show has importance to it and it’s not a thrown together last minute thing. I really hope they have names for each of their pre-shows for future events. It’s a good way to capture people’s attention. The Casino Battle Royal kicked off the show and it was a different concept. I loved how competitors came out in groups of five. It made the match more intense and unpredictable. There were a lot of awesome wrestlers, intriguing characters and a Battle Royal that was pretty intense. At the end of it, Adam Page stood tall and will now compete for the AEW Heavyweight Championship in the near future. The next match on The Buy In was between Kip Sabian and Sammy Guevara. This was a great match that really set the tone for the great wrestling we saw tonight. I haven’t seen much of either competitor but I definitely know who they are now. That’s what the unknowns need to do in order to be successful. Go out there, set the tone and make a name for yourself.
The opening match was a six-man tag between SCU and Strong Hearts. The partnerships with OWE and Triple A Lucha will be so beneficial to AEW, because you’re going to have to competitors from all over the world that you can interchange. Having SCU open the show was a great way to start it up. Those three are always so very entertaining and they give us great wrestling. It was great to see SCU get the victory. Next up was the triple threat match between Nyla Rose, Kylie Rae and Britt Baker. Before the match began, Brandi Rhodes came out and brought out another competitor in the form of Awesome Kong. I have not seen Awesome Kong in a long time, but she looks as mean as she ever has. This was a really awesome surprise and all four women put on a great show for the first women’s match in AEW history. I hope this is not a one off for Kong, because she is the force the AEW needs.
I love how far Trent Beretta has come in his career. I remember how poorly he was used in WWE and to see what he’s done in New Japan, ROH and now AEW is nothing short of remarkable. Best Friends have always been a great tag team but it was refreshing to see a new team in the form of Jack Evans and Angelico. Both teams will be a force in the AEW Tag Team Division, but tonight it went the way of Best Friends. After the match was over a bunch of masked men and duo attacked Beretta. I wasn’t sure of their identities, but I am sure we will find out soon enough. Following that epic tag match, we got a six-woman tag match. On one side their was Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, and Emi Sakura. The other side had Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe, and Ryo Mizunami. It’s really great to see Japanese Women’s Wrestling because Americans really don’t get exposed to it that often. Even though the timing seemed off a points during the match, it was a great match to watch.
One of the most highly anticipated matches was brother versus brother. An old generation versus a new generation. Dustin Rhodes versus his younger brother Cody is something that wrestling fans have wanted to see for a very long time. Yes, they teamed up together in WWE but they did not feud against each other in the spotlight. I know there has been some bantering between Triple H and Cody, but I think Cody went a little bit overboard on his entrance. My biggest criticism of the entire weekend is that they focused a little too much on being anti-WWE than they did just being AEW. You can make a name for yourself, grow your company and be successful without constantly ragging on another company. As for the match itself, it was a thing of beauty. The brothers told a good story and Dustin Rhodes proved he still has a lot left in the tank. This match got real intense real fast with Brandi getting involved, Dustin bleeding all over the place and hitting moves I didn’t think they were capable of hitting. At the end of it all, Cody defeated Dustin but it got really emotional after that. Cody said Dustin Rhodes isn’t ending and that he needed his older brother. It appears that Cody and Dusty will take on The Young Bucks at the next AEW event.
Before the next match took place one of the biggest shockers took place and that was Bret Hart coming out to unveil the AEW World Championship. I wasn’t sure what Bret’s current relationship with WWE was, but it’s probably not good now. Adam Page came out to see the title, but the ceremony was interrupted by MJF who was not happy about the Casino Battle Royale went down on The Buy in. Not too long ago, The Young Bucks went down to Mexico and captured the Triple A Lucha Tag Team Championships from the Lucha Bros with help from Konnan. This set up the match we saw tonight and let me tell you that if you blinked an eye you probably missed something. This match was fast and furious from the get go and it really didn’t slow down at all. The Young Bucks paid tribute to a lot of their friends in the match including people like El Generico, Kevin Steen and the Motor City Machine Guns. With all those tributes, high risk moves and pulling out all the stops The Young Bucks kept the AAA Tag Titles. I honestly don’t agree with this move because it should have showcased the Lucha Bros winning back those titles and building up the tag division for the future tag teams of the company.
The Main Event was between Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega and Omega proved that he should always be the main event. It didn’t take long for this to be a bloodbath and a brawl. It seemed to me that Jericho was struggling at time and did not look in good ring shape. I honestly think their match in New Japan was better than tonight. I am honestly surprised Jericho won the match because he seemed to be struggling. They should have called an audible and had Kenny go over. This now means Jericho will take on Adam Page to become the first AEW World Champion. Before Jericho could celebrate, he was interupted by Jon Moxley(Dean Ambrose), which is a huge boost for AEW. I thought for sure the real brawl would be between Moxley and Jericho, but I was way wrong. Moxley and Omega brawled until Moxley absolutely annihilated Omega on the poker chips. The show ended with Moxley standing tall with the statement that this is the new hottest place to be.
Double or Nothing was a great to start for AEW. It had great wrestling matches, some shocking surprises. The only thing I didn’t care for is that almost everyone from The Elite won their matches. In order to be different from everyone else the people in charge and on top should not be winning all the time. It was annoying when Jarrett did it in NWA-TNA and it’s still annoying when WWE does it. We need upset and shocking victories that you would never guess would ever happen. I loved that they are making use of people like Jim Ross and Justin Roberts, because they are people who still love this business and should always have a place in it. At the end of the night, I am going to give Double or Nothing an 8.5 out of 10. The matches, storytelling and surprised were great but almost all the people in charge winning wasn’t so great. This was a great start for AEW but there is a lot that needs to be looked at, especially the prices of PPV and ways you’re able to watch. It’s hard to justify paying fifty dollars for one pay-per-view when you have HonorClub, New Japan World and the WWE Network all at very affordable prices. Those are things that can be worked out in the near future. For now, AEW is here and you get one chance to make a good first impression. It’s safe to say they made one hell of a good first impression and have rocked the pro wrestling world to it’s foundation.