AEW Double Or Nothing 2022 Preview
It's been three long years, but All Elite Wrestling finally brings Double or Nothing back to Las Vegas! The very first DoN, the very first AEW show by the way, came to the fans worldwide from Sin City, and after two years of broadcasting the PPV from Jacksonville, we are back where it all began this Sunday night! The event is bring broadcast on BleacherReport (Order Now), Fite (Order Now) for international audiences, as well as traditional pay-per-view outlets, starting at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT/5pm PDT, with the Buy-In one hour earlier on the official AEW YouTube channel!
The event is absolutely loaded with four championship matches, the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation tournaments, Wardlow fighting for his freedom, a dream tag team bout, a wild ten man fight, and plenty more on tap for your viewing pleasure! AEW has always delivered more bang for your buck (no pun intended) with pay-per-view broadcasts, and this year's edition of DoN will not be any different! Do not miss out on the wrestling event of the Spring, maybe even the year after all is said and done, when Double or Nothing 2022 hits pay-per-view screens this Sunday May 29th LIVE on Bleacher Report, FITE, and more!
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
“Hangman” Adam Page(c) vs. CM Punk
The night of Revolution 2022, after he defeated MJF in a bloody Dog Collar Match, CM Punk made that signature title belt hand gesture around his waist, clearly declaring his intentions now that Max was in his rear view. In the above embedded clip, after Punk beat Dax Harwood in a top-shelf singles match, he again made a gesture that was clearly aimed at the AEW World Champion. Punk pantomimed wrapping a hangman's noose around his own neck, and pulling himself up to his feet, but in case it wasn't clear enough by that point, for those who needed it spelled out in big bold neon letters, Punk said the following on March 30th edition of Dynamite following his victory over Max Caster...
Punk would continue to make his case to being as the next contender with a victory over Penta El Zero Miedo on April 13th, but just who he was making this overtures towards wouldn't be clear until after April 15th's edition of Rampage. See that night, Adam Page and Adam Cole met in a rematch of their Revolution 2022 World Championship bout, only this time the fight would be contested under Texas Death Match “rules”. It was a match that saw Hangman go to some violent depths in order to retain the title as chairs, barbwire, and ultimately a Deadeye through a table were all utilized en route to Page retaining for the sixth time in his reign.
Now leading up to this title fight with Cole, fans most certainly witnessed a side of Adam Page that hadn't really been seen before, but an aspect well-earned after the last nine months of his life. There was a confidence to Hangman now, something he had sorely lacked during the first two years of AEW's existence, and it had been come by the hard way. It came from failing to defeat Chris Jericho at the first All Out in 2019, it came from thinking he was the weak link in a championship duo with Kenny Omega, it came from being abandoned by Omega, used and betrayed by FTR, costing himself his friendship with The Young Bucks, failing in the 2020 World Title Eliminator Tournament, and being annihilated by The Elite in 2021 as he was so close to finally getting his opportunity to fight Kenny Omega for the World Title.
This confidence came from becoming a father outside the ring, and returning to the ring after three months away to win the 2021 Casino Ladder Match to earn a title shot at Full Gear 2021. This belief in himself was earned through defeating Kenny Omega that night, from going sixty minutes with Bryan Danielson in their first match, and defeating “The American Dragon” in their rematch. It was earned by surviving a Texas Death Match with Lance Archer, by giving a young Dante Martin a show at the gold, and by defeating Adam Cole twice with that World Title at stake. Although there have been moments the fans did not appreciate from Page, like tying Cole up in the ropes during their first fight in return for the Undisputed Elite doing it to him, that seemed to stem from the expectations fans had of Hangman more than any true anger at the champion. The fans of AEW have embraced Hangman Page, they've respected his struggle to get where he is today, and in the process have also developed this belief of how he should behave. That moment was contrary to their beliefs about who Adam Page is, but what needed to be understood, what seems to have become understood since, is that when the World Title is at stake, Hangman is a man who will do just about anything to retain what he fought so hard to achieve.
CM Punk is well aware of this, and so when the match was officially made for Double or Nothing 2022, he had to know he was in store for a fight come AEW's return to Las Vegas. And both men had to know that the fans were going to be split as to who they chose to rally behind: the man whose return to pro wrestling after seven years away had been generally greeted with love for the last nine months, or the man who they'd been watching grind his way to the top since AEW day one?
When Hangman says he is not going to shake Punk's hand at DoN, but rather destroy the man, look at the crowd behind him and listen to the reaction in the arena, there are cheers and there are boos, there is certainly a CM Punk chant, but there are also cheers when Adam speaks to a fan about burning his CM Punk shirt after their PPV fight. It is clear this will be a championship fight unlike any other in AEW's history, with two of the fan's most beloved wrestlers fighting for the most coveted prize in professional wrestling, and it didn't take long for Punk to bring the heat...
Mad? Personal? Of course Hangman was mad, of course he is taking this all personally, it is all about the World Title and in the sport of professional wrestling, it doesn't get much more personal than someone trying to take it away from the champion. Punk borrowing the Buckshot Lariat to beat John Silver was absolutely a personal shot from challenger to champion, no matter what Punk may have claimed, but it was a gesture easily returned by Hangman Page in his instant classic with Konosuke Takeshita one week later.
Punk, to his credit, seemed more amused by Page's theft of the GTS to finish off the DDT Pro Wrestling athlete, and saw it as a sign he was in Hangman's head. The crowd reaction as the two men stared each other down on the stage, the loud CM Punk chants that echoed through the arena, the way Hangman brushed his challenger aside to walk towards the locker room, it made you wonder if Punk is right. Had he gotten into the head of the AEW World Champion and dragged him mentally to that place of self-doubt?
Based on how that confrontation ended, it's a reasonable statement that Punk is indeed inside the head of Hangman Page. Punk pushed the World Champion, both physically and mentally, got punched in the face for his efforts, and seemed perhaps pleased by his accomplishment. There is absolutely something deeper here, some machinations from Punk designed to throw Hangman off his game, that is clearer than ever before. This is, after all, the man who told the world he would wake up and asks himself “Am I the bad guy?”, someone who throughout his career has proven well-versed in Machiavellian behavior, and perhaps all this anger just seething from Page comes from being keenly aware of The Best in the World's track record.
Whatever its source, now there is no more time for talk, there are no more opportunities to play mental chess, and there certainly will not be any stare downs or non-violent confrontations; on Sunday night the AEW World Championship will be at stake, and there is nothing in professional wrestling more deserving of a fight than that.
CM Punk has wanted this championship from the moment he set foot in AEW last August, but he needed to prove to himself he could still go at a World Title level. His road from Darby Allin to Eddie Kingston to MJF to this last fight with John Silver has shown “The Best in the World” that he is ready to be the man atop the AEW mountain, that he still has what it takes to live up to that moniker, and that he can beat Hangman Page.
Prior to Full Gear 2021, the AEW World Title was something Hangman Page had wanted since winning the first Casino Battle Royale at the first Double or Nothing in 2019, but didn't truly believe he could achieve. It took months, years, for Page to find the strength within himself, to find that self-belief and confidence that he could indeed be the man in All Elite Wrestling. And now that he has that AEW World Championship in his camp, as he creeps towards the 200 day mark of his reign that would come after this Sunday, there is no way Hangman Page is acquiescing the title without giving Punk the fight of his life.
So this Sunday night, when Hangman Page and CM Punk stand toe-to-toe in the center of that ring before the Las Vegas crowd in the house and on the viewing screens of fans worldwide, know that for each man getting to this point was a long journey of self-discovery. Each had to find that something in themselves to push on through adversity, each had to find a lost confidence, each had to get back on that proverbial horse and keep riding. No matter who wins at Double or Nothing 2022, both of these men accomplished feats worth celebrating just to get to the T-Mobile Arena, but only one of them will get to be called AEW World Champion when that final bell tolls...
AEW WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
“La Mera Mera” Thunder Rosa vs. “The Professor” Serena Deeb
Serena Deeb has absolutely been on fire in 2022; she's won eight straight matches, she put Hikaru Shida on the shelf, she's directly responsible for the reasons the former Women's Champion was pulled out of The Owen, and has rightfully stepped up as the next challenger for Thunder Rosa's AEW Women's World Title.
Thunder told her story of how inspiring Deeb was to her in pursuing professional wrestling, and their initial face-to-face in the video embedded above gave the impression that, unlike Deeb's rivalry with Shida, this would be a battle more driven by respect and mutual admiration.
It didn't take long for the ego, or perhaps the insecurity, of Serena to take hold and for her to come at anyone picking Rosa for this fight instead of her. There history in singles matches shows they are pretty evenly matched, they split their two 2020 fights in AEW and Deeb actually beat Thunder for the NWA Women's Title match in their lone non-AEW singles fight, but it's been nearly two years since those bouts, and both women have gone through quite a lot in the interim. Still the truth behind Serena Deeb, the constant feeling of being unappreciated and undervalued, came out once again last week on Dynamite.
Thunder Rosa, surprisingly without face paint, came out on Dynamite just a few days ago to address her pay-per-view challenger, and share her feelings on The Professor's actions as of late. Suffice to say the AEW Women's World Champion had nothing kind to say about Deeb and the way she has chosen to proceed in her career...
With so much tension built upon between these two women, between the war of words and the championship belt across the skull, this Sunday night is going to see a fight between champion and challenger. Don't expect a technical exhibition or catch-as-catch-can struggle, this is going to be two women throwing down for the right to leave Las Vegas the holder of the most prestigious championship in women's wrestling today!
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH...
Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus(c) vs. Team Taz (Powerhouse Hobbs & FTW Champion Ricky Starks) vs. Keith Lee & Shane Strickland
Several weeks ago, after Jungle Boy lost his bid to enter the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, Christian Cage once more laid down a challenge for any team in the top five rankings to step up to the challenge and come for the AEW World Tag Team Titles.
Team Taz of Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks were right on the spot to put their name in the hat as potential challengers, and it would ultimately lead to Jungle Boy facing Starks for the FTW Title. Unfortunately for JB, in an effort to keep “Absolute” on the up-and-up, Swerve Strickland would inadvertently cost him the title shot.
Now the issues between Swerve, Keith Lee, and Team Taz have been going on since the first two men entered AEW, and it's what brought them together as a unit here in All Elite Wrestling in the first place. To no surprise though, aside from Starks and Hobbs stealing a victory in their first outing, Keith and Swerve have proven a superb unit and their four straight wins in the last month also put them into those rankings as well. In other words, it made them eligible for the challenge laid out by Christian Cage a few weeks prior, and led to the situation we have here this Sunday night.
This won't be the first time JurEx has defended their World Tag Team Titles in a Three Way bout, they successfully did it against both reDRagon and The Young Bucks at Revolution 2022 in March, two teams with far more experience as a pair than their foes at Double or Nothing 2022, and the champs obviously have far more time spent as a team than either Team Taz or Swerve/Lee. For the champions though, it's that uncontrollable factor that comes with a Three Way Match, the fact they do not have to be pinned to lose the championships, they do not have to actually be beaten to walk away from Las Vegas empty handed.
That Three Way factor came into play on Dynamite when Jungle Boy, Ricky Starks, and Swerve Strickland squared off in a little prelude of this championship fight, and Swerve proved it was his house that night when he pinned the FTW Champ to win the match. If that had been this championship fight, Swerve In Our Glory would've been leaving Las Vegas as the new World Tag Team Champions. Suffice to say, this Three Way Match is a gamble for Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, a calculated one, but a gamble nonetheless, and thus apropos that it is going down in Las Vegas!
TBS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Jade Cargill(c) vs. Anna Jay
Four months ago on Rampage, Anna Jay was the very first woman to challenge Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship. Although the fight did not go the way Anna Jay had hoped, she gave the champ one of the toughest bouts she has had in her AEW career. Jade may have walked away still the champ, but while she would never admit it publicly, she knew she'd been in a fight. Since that first defense in January, Jade has gone on to defend the title five more times and maintained her perfect record that currently stands at 31-0. Along the way she has collected an entourage, her “Baddies” as they have been dubbed, and one of those women who signed onto follow The Jade Brand was Red Velvet.
Last Friday night, after Red lost her Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match to Kris Statlander (stepping in as an alternate for Hikaru Shida), the situation got out of hand as AEW witnessed the champ and her Baddies be more than just onlookers...
As evidenced by their arrival on the scene, Anna Jay and Ruby Soho were not about to let The Baddies use their numbers game to assault another woman, and their decision to do the right thing clearly did not sit well with the undefeated TBS Champion.
Thus it will be Jade Cargill putting her belt on the line against Anna Jay this Sunday night at Double or Nothing 2022 in a rematch of her very first TBS Title defense! The champion's unbeaten streak is well-documented, as for the challenger, well she is coming into this having won 19 of her last 20 bouts, with fourteen straight victories since that TBS Title loss. Anna is primed for this fight, and ready to take it to Cargill like no other competitor (including herself) has before. She has taken the measure of the Jade Brand once before, and knows this time it will be different!
Can The Queen Slayer be the one to finally end this record-setting run of Jade Cargill? Or will That Bitch continue her unprecedented domination of the Women's Division?
ELITE VS DELETE...
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Hardys (Jeff & Matt)
It's been five years since the last time the brothers Jackson and the brothers Hardy locked horns inside the squared circle. That site of that meeting was Lakeland, FL for ROH's Supercard of Honor XI event, and the ROH World Tag Team Titles were at stake in a Ladder Match. It would be Matt and Nick who ascended to the top rungs and reclaimed the championships they had lost too Matt and Jeff just one month prior at Manhattan Mayhem 2017.
It seemed likely that the two teams would never battle again after that Florida contest, their paths headed in opposite directions with the Hardys returning to the place where they first made their names, and The Young Bucks continuing with ROH (among others) until the end of 2018 saw the announcement of All Elite Wrestling.
But as is so frequent in professional wrestling, it is never goodbye, but rather see you down the road, and that was the case with these four men right here, albeit not all at once. It began on March 18th of 2020 with the very first edition of Dynamite after the COVID-19 pandemic required AEW to embed at Daily's Place in Jacksonville. It was an eerie scene, devoid of fans, but a night that saw Matt Hardy arrive on the scene to assist The Elite in their ongoing war with The Inner Circle. He would unite with Kenny Omega in a pair of unforgettable tag matches against Jericho/Guevara and Ortiz/Santana, come on board for the very insanity of the first Stadium Stampede at Double or Nothing 2020, and even unite with The Young Bucks for a trios match on the Dynamite episode after the pay-per-view. Hardy was definitely an ally to Matt and Nick in his earliest days in AEW, an alliance that sucked him into a physically brutal rivalry with Sammy Guevara, but one that would ultimately be short-lived.
Matt ultimately went the route of creating The Hardy Family Office, bringing Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade, The Bunny, Jora Johl, and The Hybrid2 under his wing, while he got into it with the likes of Hangman Page, Darby Allin, and The Best Friends contingent, as well as Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus. He would bond himself to Andrade El Idolo, bringing him in as a partner and rebranding The HFO as The Andrade-Hardy Family Office. It would be that decision that ultimately proved Matt's downfall or perhaps, in hindsight, his redemption, because it was the last few weeks of that dynamite that allowed Hardy to see just how wrong he had been. He began to see Private Party, his “kids” as he liked to call them, as people once again rather than commodities, and he wanted to do right by their careers by removing Andrade from the picture. This epiphany came far too late...
But what proved to be right on time was the arrival of Jeff Hardy into the AEW landscape, because with his arrival also came a revitalization for Matt. Reunited in the wrestling landscape for the first time in three years, The Hardys came in like a ball of fire aiming to make good for the wrongs “Big Money” Matt had committed while spiraling out into The (A)HFO. Together they made good with Darby Allin and Sting, took the fight to Andrade and the men who had stabbed Matt in the back, and Jeff even entered into the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. It would be that last element that led to where we are this Sunday night...
See the path of The Young Bucks following their 2020 entanglements with Matt eventually brought them to the AEW World Tag Team Titles, put them in this weird space with Kenny Omega as he pursued the AEW World Title that would ultimately bring The Elite back together stronger than ever, and see the brothers Jackson turn their backs on the fans who had supported them since AEW's inception. Unlike Matt Hardy, where it rather felt like he was betraying his core identity by giving into the “Big Money” side of himself, this version of The Young Bucks that emerged with Omega's rise as World Champion, this felt like the truth of Matt and Nick Jackson. Arrogant, obnoxious, cocky, and riding high on their own hype, the real Young Bucks had finally emerged in AEW and, in truth, it led to much success for the pair. They set a record for the longest World Tag Title reign at 305 days, tied the successful defenses record of 9 set by Hangman and Omega, and would eventually welcome Adam Cole to the AEW fold, which in turn begot reDRagon.
They have continued to be one of the premier tag teams in all of professional wrestling, even without the championships, some would argue the best team in the history of the sport, but The Hardys are another team who have more than earned the right to be in that discussion. They have been an inspiration to many, especially Matt and Nick Jackson, an example that demonstrated how to succeed, how to fail, and how to recover from those failures to achieve even greater heights than before. Matt and Jeff are a cornerstone of the last 25 years of professional wrestling, and it is safe to say that without out their existence, there would be no Young Bucks, and the face of tag team wrestling as a whole would be drastically different.
So it will be this Sunday night that these two iconic teams collide for the very first time in All Elite Wrestling! This is a battle for the ages, a generational contest between four men who have defined tag team wrestling for two decades, and who have, in their own ways, changed wrestling on a macro level. It is The Young Bucks versus The Hardys, and it is going down at Double or Nothing 2022!
MJF vs. Wardlow
When Wardlow decided to help CM Punk at Revolution 2022 in his Dog Collar Match with MJF, he made a choice that he knew would have a tremendous impact on his AEW career, as well as on his life. More than anyone, Wardlow knows just how spiteful and malicious Maxwell Jacob Friedman can be, and how he can turn on anyone when he doesn't see them as useful to his needs anymore. Wardlow was also keenly aware that his contract was in the hands of MJF, not All Elite Wrestling, and that once he elected to leave Punk the Dynamite Diamond Ring, it threw everything Wardlow had worked for the last two-plus years into turmoil.
To his credit Wardlow offered to simply part ways with Max amicably, but he had to have known it wasn't going to go down like that. There was no way MJF was letting Wardlow walk away without punishment, and definitely not while he held the man's contract in his hands. It started with Shawn Spears and MJF screwing Wardlow over in his TNT Title match with Scorpio Sky at Dynamite: St. Patrick's Day Slam 2022...
...and it would continue the following week on Dynamite when Max told “piggy” (his new name for Wardlow) that he'd be getting paid to sit at home until he was forgotten by the fans. Too bad for MJF that “War Dog” didn't see things the same way and he made sure his presence was felt at every possible opportunity. He popped his head in after FTR beat The Gunn Club, he made sure Shawn Spears lost to Shawn Dean, and cost MJF his rematch with the Captain as well...
The non-stop barrage from Wardlow finally made Max realize he had no actual control over his former bodyguard's action, but he could control what he did within the confines of AEW. So it was such that Wardlow was stripped of his entrance music, forced to be escorted by security to and from the ring, and to be handcuffed on the way. Max would get to choose Wardlow's opponents, putting him up against the monsters of the wrestling world like The Butcher, “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer, and W. Morrisey.
After that victory, after powerbombing the massive Morrisey, Wardlow would assault the security trying to handcuff him, and once more demanded to be released from his contract. Surprisingly, MJF said he would give “The WarDog” an opportunity to earn his release in a match between the two men. True to form though, Max declared there would be certain stipulations placed upon Wardlow before he could even get to the proposed bout with MJF. He'd just have to find out when AEW came to its own version of Bizarro World, the most magical place on Earth as Max calls it, Long Island, NY...
So Wardlow survived the lashings with a smile on his face, inciting the fury of MJF and Spears, and leading to a vicious assault from the two men that left “Mr. Mayhem” battered in the center of the ring. He also survived the Steel Cage Match this past Wednesday night on Dynamite despite the best efforts of Spears and the far-from-impartial referee job perpetrated by Maxwell Jacob Friedman...
So it all comes down to this Sunday night and Double or Nothing 2022, Wardlow's opportunity to either earn his freedom from MJF's contract or find himself permanently unable to sign a contract with All Elite Wrestling. The risk is worth the reward for “The WarDog”, he would likely pay any price to get free of Maxwell Jacob Friedman, likely suffer through any punishment just to be able to breath, and that is what Max has counted on this entire time. Can Wardlow successfully take this final step to freedom, or will MJF find a way to kill hope in Las Vegas?
TRIOS GRUDGE MATCH...
Death Triangle (PAC, Penta Oscuro, & Rey Fenix)
The House of Black (Brody King, Buddy Matthews, & Malakai Black)
For six months the The House of Black and Death Triangle have been entangled with each other. It started before Full Gear 2021 when PAC united with Cody Rhodes to fight the Malakai Black/Andrade El Idolo pair, and has just escalated week-by-week. On Thanksgiving Eve, PAC was maliciously blinded by Malakai's black mist and then on December 3rd's Rampage, Black would try to gouge out The Bastard's other eye.
On the heels of Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix losing the World Tag Team Titles to Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, things only escalated further with PAC's return to action, although he appeared to be coming back without his sight. That turned out to be a ruse as PAC would be in full form on his February 2nd return to action, but unfortunately Malakai would turn his disgusting mist on Penta El Zero Miedo, seemingly driving him out of action, and leaving PAC as the lone Death Triangle member still standing since Rey Fenix was still recovering from injury.
But just as PAC seemed changed by his experience with The House of Black, and Malakai's mist in particular, so too would Penta find himself transformed by his exposure. Gone was the El Zero Miedo from Penta, and in its place:
Penta Oscuro rose from the ashes of Penta El Zero Miedo, and in his place was a far darker and more sinister presence, even Alex Abrahantes was transformed by the changes to his ally, now garbed like some dark priest spat from the depths of purgatory. Everything crashed together at Revolution 2022 when The House of Black signed on to face, and then defeat, PAC, Penta Oscuro, and their ally Erick Redbeard. The impromptu alliance did not lead to victory for Death Triangle, and it would be several more weeks of The House making life hell for the likes of Julia Hart, The Varsity Blonds, The Dark Order, and Fuego Del Sol before Death Triangle decided to remind them of their past transgressions:
With Rey Fenix back in the fold, the three aspects of Death Triangle were ready for war, and they did not hesitate to make their challenge known in rather theatrical fashion:
So it is that this Sunday night on pay-per-view these two powerful units, these six man, will collide in a trios fight for the ages! This is a fight that certainly worthy of stealing the movie tag line “Who will survive, and what will be left of them?”
ANARCHY IN THE ARENA...
Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, Ortiz, & Santana
The Jericho Appreciation Society (Angelo Park, Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, & Matt Menard)
Uncontrollable mayhem; that is what All Elite Wrestling is courting by putting these ten men in battle together and no amount of officials, referees, agents, or coaches are going to control what unfolds once they enter the arena.
The fact this is even happening is all Chris Jericho's fault when it comes down to brass tacks. If “The Wizard”, as he has dubbed himself, had just accepted his submission loss to Eddie Kingston with some class and dignity, if he'd been willing to see the issues Ortiz and Santana were bringing to the table, perhaps The Inner Circle would still be standing tall as the dominant unit in AEW. Instead, Jericho found himself a group far more sycophantic than The Inner Circle ever was to feed his ego and elected to burn down what he had created rather than accept reality.
Since the night Jericho orchestrated the former 2point0 and Daniel Garcia assaulting Kingston, Ortiz, and Santana, there has been utter chaos around the first-ever AEW World Champion, and he seems to relish in causing it. He threw a fireball into the face of Kingston rather than live with being verbally humiliated during their sitdown, he cheated to beat Santana in their singles match, The JAS cheated to win their trios match in New Orleans, and all of that insanity, playing the numbers game, led Kingston to reach out to a familiar friend who'd made some new friends of his own.
Enter: The Blackpool Combat Club
The love and respect between Kingston and Jon Moxley is well-documented here in AEW, their bond brought Eddie to Mox's aid at Revolution 2021 even after months of being at each other's throats in 2020, and has kept them together ever since. It's similar to the relationship between Ortiz, Santana, and Kingston; it has had its ups and downs over the years, but here in All Elite Wrestling, they've given each other space to handle their business, until the three men came together when targeted by Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, and Daniel Garcia.
Even before Jericho brought them to his side, these men have been going to battle against one another, and the ties that bind run deep across all the men involved here. Jericho and Mox, Mox and Hager, Mox and Eddie, Eddie and Bryan, Ortiz and Jericho, Santana and Jericho, Jericho and Danielson, Jericho and Regal; there is connective tissue between all these men, some years if not decades old, and some very fresh. All of it, mashed up and jumbled together, with Jon Moxley bridging the gap between The BCC and the Kingston/Ortiz/Santana trio, has brought us to what has appropriately been dubbed “Anarchy in the Arena”!
Wednesday's bout between Moxley/Kingston and Private Party erupted into chaos after the pinfall, and Friday afternoon's fight between Danielson and Matt Sydal proved that “The American Dragon” was ready to go for this Sunday night's battle with The Jericho Appreciation Society!
With all the emotion wrapped up between these ten men, eleven including William Regal, is there any doubt this will be a work of beautiful violent chaotic art?
OWEN HART FOUNDATION MEN'S TOURNAMENT FINALS...
Adam Cole vs. ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe
Tomohiro Ishii, Dax Harwood, and Jeff Hardy; those are the three men Adam Cole had to fight his through in order to make it to this Sunday night and the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Finals.
Max Caster, Johnny Elite, and Kyle O'Reilly; that was the path of Samoa Joe in his route to The Owen Finals at Double or Nothing 2022.
Neither man had an easy route to get to this point, for Cole it was thirty-four minutes of ring time over his three matches while Joe spent 26 minutes in his bouts, with a vicious ROH World TV Title fight with Minoru Suzuki and a defense against Trent Beretta sandwiched in-between his tournament matches.
Now each man comes to Las Vegas with bad intentions in mind, and plans to become the very first Men's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament winner. This pay-per-view fight also marks the first time Joe and Cole have ever stepped into the ring together, so there is plenty of history wrapped up in battle to come.
Will it be Adam Cole, representing the Undisputed Elite, who takes home the victory on Sunday night, and if so will it be with some assistance from the rest of his ilk? Or will it be Samoa Joe who adds The Owen to his rich resume to go alongside the ROH World TV Title currently in his possession? Will Jay Lethal and his lot have their eyes on this one?
OWEN HART FOUNDATION WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT FINALS...
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho
For Dr. Britt Baker, the road to the finals of The Owen has gone through Danielle Kamela, Maki Itoh, and then Toni Storm this past Wednesday night on Dynamite. As is usually the case with the Good Doctor, she made her way here by hook or crook, and now is in the position to make history as the first woman to win The Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. It would go a long way toward further cementing Britt's claims of being the face of the women's division, if not the face of AEW, but in order to do so, she's going to have to contend with a very familiar face.
Ruby Soho, the woman Dr. Britt Baker beat at Dynamite: Grand Slam in a Women's World Title defense, punched her ticket to the tournament finals on Friday after beating Kris Statlander in an excellent one-on-one clash. Her road went through Robyn Renegade and Riho prior to Statlander, and following Friday's victory, “The Runaway” had some words to share with her DoN '22 foe...
Will it be the former Women's World Champion who claims the crown as the winner of the inaugural Women's Owen Hart Tournament? Or will it be Ruby Soho who delivers that receipt and evens the score for their September clash?
MIXED TRIOS MATCH...
Frankie Kazarian, Sammy Guevara & Tay Conti vs. TNT Champion Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, & Paige Van Zant
This one has been building for months now, with the history between The Men of The Year, Dan Lambert, and Sammy Guevara dating back to before Full Gear 2021. While it wasn't always right at the forefront, it really came back strongly as Scorpio Sky stepped up to challenge for the TNT Title that Guevara had, and thanks to his allies, defeated “The Spanish God” to become champion.
Over the course of the weeks that have followed, AEW has seen Guevara reclaim that championship only to lose it right back to Sky, Sammy and Tay Conti smash the title belt to pieces, the fans begin to turn on the couple as a result of their attitude and behavior, and Frankie Kazarian come into the mix only to be screwed over by his former friend and championship partner. And all of that is saying nothing regarding Dan Lambert, his repeatedly vile comments, and Paige Van Zant's involvement in the matter.
Suffice to say it's been a wild ride between these people, but it is all coming to a head this Sunday night at Double or Nothing 2022! After months of pursuing a mixed tag match involving Van Zant, the challenge was finally accepted on the condition that if Frankie, Sammy, and Tay lose than the two men will never challenge for the TNT Title again while Scorpio is the champion.
In a rivalry that has been full of challenges with stipulations tacked on to seal the deal, this was just the latest agreement for the parties to get what they all want, and so Paige Van Zant will step into the ring for her first wrestling match, alongside TNT Champion Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page, to battle with former 2-Time TNT Sammy Guevara, Frankie Kazarian, and Tay Conti! Paige may be new to the wrestling ring, but she's a strong mixed martial artist who spends every moment possible training. It may be a new fight, but it's far from her first, and she aims to impress the world with this fight on Sunday night. More importantly than that, she aims to defeat Tay and do her part to put an end to this rivalry.
We know we will see Scorpio Sky head home to California as the TNT Champion with a new belt in tow, but will he and his unit be making that trip as losers? Or will it be Sammy and Frankie shut out of the TNT Title picture after tasting defeat?
OUT FOR REVENGE...
Darby Allin vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Quite simply, Darby Allin wants some revenge against Kyle O'Reilly for injuring Sting and he's coming for it this Sunday night at Double or Nothing 2022! If he doesn't get this fight, then the former TNT Champion has threatened to make life hell for the Undisputed Elite and interfere in everything they're involved with on AEW's latest pay-per-view extravaganza.
Not one to back down from a fight no matter how banged up he may be from his fights with Rey Fenix and Samoa Joe in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, Kyle aims to take the fight to Darby and set him up on the shelf right next to his brother-in-pain. On an absolutely stacked night of professional wrestling, this fight could rightly steal the show!
Tony Nese & “Smart” Mark Sterling vs. Danhausen & HOOK
It may be the most unlikely pairing in AEW's three year history, but it is one the fans have bonded with quite quickly, it is HOOKHausen and this Sunday during the Double or Nothing 2021: Buy-In they will unite in action for the very first time!
At first it seemed they were destined to be enemies, given HOOK utterly ignoring Danhausen's bids for attention to the point that he even challenged “The Cold Hearted Handsome Devil” to a fight, but a peace offering was made in the form of some chips, and that seemed to warm HOOK's heart just a bit.
On the other side of this, Tony Nese has been skirting around the edges of HOOK's career for several weeks as well. He took umbrage with the young man's existence on AEW events, saying he had not earned his place, and that it was sheer nepotism that got HOOK his chance. Nese did all but actually challenge him to a fight, instead Tony took a fight with Danhausen, the latter's first AEW bout to be exact, and defeated that Very Evil, Very Nice individual in short order.
Which brings us to this Sunday night fight pitting Tony Nese and a very battered “Smart” Mark Sterling teaming up to fight HOOKHausen! Now Sterling is clearly in questionable physical condition, questionable here meaning if he's just faking this all to try to get out of the fight, but he is still expected to compete in just his second AEW match. Last time he tried his hand at a fight it was with Jon Moxley and one can quickly figure out how that went for AEW's resident lawyer. Clearly Nese is going to be doing the heavy lifting for his team, and on the other side of the ring it will be quite interesting to see how the HOOKHausen dynamic plays out in the context of an actual match.
This one is going to be unforgettable, and it will be available absolutely free on AEW's official YouTube channel as part of The Buy-In!
All Elite Wrestling is back in Las Vegas, and back on pay-per-view this Sunday night for Double or Nothing 2022! Coming to fans on BleacherReport (Order Now), FITE (Order Now) for international audiences, and on traditional pay-per-view outlets, the events kicks off at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT/5pm PDT, with the Buy-In one hour earlier on the official AEW YouTube channel!