AEW Double Or Nothing Preview
This Saturday night, All Elite Wrestling, returns to Pay-Per-View for our second annual “DOUBLE OR NOTHING” event! Broadcasting on all major cable and satellite providers, BRLive (Order Now), as well as FITETV for our international fans, this PPV extravaganza kicks off with the BUY-IN, and then goes live at 8pm EST/7pm CST!
It has been a crazy journey getting to this point, and it is only going to get crazier Saturday night! Let's rundown the matches and what came before...
**RANKINGS AS OF 5/20**
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Jon Moxley (c) vs. (#3) Mr. Brodie Lee (w/ The Dark Order)
The above video was but prelude to an onslaught that AEW World Champion Jon Moxley unleashed upon The Dark Order member known as 10, and yes, despite the fact that “The Exalted One” Mr. Brodie Lee is in possession of the physical belt, Moxley is indeed
the owner of said title. Despite what Lee may force a ring announcer to say during his introductions the last several weeks, it is Jon who is the true World Champion of All Elite Wrestling.
To Mr. Brodie, these facts may just be semantics, and the actions of his Dark Order several weeks ago, when they first assaulted Moxley, that was the moment he became champion in his mind. The actual defeat of Moxley is just...inevitability.
Now, anyone with eyes knows just how far from reality this vision of Mr. Brodie actually is, and that the only thing inevitable when it comes to Jon Moxley is violence. That was crystal clear on “Dynamite” when 10 ended up as little more than a sacrificial lamb to the champion:
Watching Moxley pace around the ring before destroying the arm of 10, his looking around the arena in anticipation of an assault from Lee and the rest of The Dark Order, it certainly seems as if “The Exalted One” has taken up residence in the head of the champion. And that undoubtedly is the game of the challenger; it is why he elected to make his challenge via attack when, as Moxley said, all Lee had to do was ask. It is why he went larcenous on the World Title, why he fed 10 up to Moxley as he did, and it could be a way to tip the scales in his favor heading into “Double or Nothing”.
Moxley isn't ever going to back down from physical violence, it does not matter the type nor the odds, just look at everything he went through with The Inner Circle prior to winning the World Title, and even in the aftermath of his championship victory heading into the Jake Hager title defense. But The Dark Order is different than The Inner Circle, for one Jericho actually seems to care about the well-being of his compatriots whereas Mr. Brodie Lee would just keep sacrificing his followers as needed. And in the ring, particularly as witnessed during his match with Christopher Daniels, Lee is a calculating monster. He is deliberate, everything intentional, controlled, and planned; cerebral may be an apt description. And it stands in stark contrast to the unhinged, unpredictable, rather erratic nature of how Moxley operates inside the squared circle.
And while these two men may have known each other in the past, they have both changed in the interim since their last encounters. There may be the vaguest sense of familiarity, some moves that strike a chord, but the persons have matured, evolved, from who they were once upon a time.
Who will be the face of AEW come end of business Saturday night? What banner will be flying over our heads going forward? Moxley representing the people, the fans who have helped build AEW, or The Dark Order as shaped by Mr. Brodie Lee? Tune into the BRLive to watch the future unfold!
AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT FINALS
(“IRON” MIKE TYSON TO PRESENT THE TITLE)
(#1) “The American Nightmare” Cody (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. (#2) “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer (w/ Jake Roberts)
Many weeks ago, March 30th to be precise, it was announced that a new championship would be introduced to AEW in the form of the TNT Championship title, and with it came an eight-man, single-elimination tournament to crown the inaugural champion.
On one side of the bracket stood Cody, Shawn Spears, Sammy Guevara, and Darby Allin while on the other side Dustin Rhodes, Kip Sabian, Colt Cabana, and Lance Archer would battle their way to the finals scheduled for “Double Or Nothing”. On the one side, Cody would defeat Spears while Darby bested Guevara in the first round. On the other, Archer soundly toppled Cabana as Rhodes held onto his career by defeating Sabian.
The Semi-Final match-ups witnessed Cody narrowly defeat Allin in a hotly contested fight, while on the other side Archer violently decimated Dustin, leaving him battered and bloodied, with many questioning the future of his wrestling career. Cody even made his way to ringside during that match, stopping his brother's tag team partner QT Marshall from throwing in the towel to stop the match; a decision that Jake Roberts has used to question Cody's motives ever since.
With those two matches in the books, the finals were set for “DoN” pitting Cody against “The Murderhawk Monster”, and getting Archer exactly what he has wanted since the first day his presence was felt in AEW: a shot at “The American Nightmare”. At first Cody brushed off the overtures Jake Roberts made on behalf of his client, stating that Archer had to earn his way up the ladder just like everyone else. So Lance started his mission of piling the bodies up, while Roberts started his endeavor of chipping away at Cody's resolve through his wife Brandi. Jake volleyed one verbal barb after another at her, provoking Brandi to issue a response of her own, and ultimately that would lead to one of the most heinous acts seen in AEW thus far.
Now it may have been Britt Baker who knocked Brandi out at ringside, and who fed her to the wolves inside the ring, but it was Jake Roberts who crossed the line with his words, his actions, and his snake. It was foul, reprehensible, and pretty much on brand with anyone who was seen the monster inside of Roberts over the last 40-plus years.
The following week, as “Dynamite” got underway with Jake and Archer in the ring, Cody crashed the party in his truck and went straight after his opponent for this Saturday night. And as hard as Cody swung at him, no matter what he he threw at “The Murderhawk”, the best Cody could get was a stalemate. There was no triumphant moment of bringing the beast to heel for the assault on Brandi the week prior, just a cold realization that Archer took everything Cody could unleash at that moment, and remained unphased.
The tensions have escalated so greatly, the psychological warfare from Roberts has become so intense, that even the respective coaches want to swing on each other as evidenced in the face-to-face between he and Arn Anderson this week:
When this tournament began, Cody stated that he needed to win the TNT Championship, and that is what made him different from the other seven men in the bracket. It's doubtful that he expected the path to Saturday night would become so personal, so intimate, and so violent. It's unlikely Cody expected to hold his brother's bloody head in his hands, or that a close friend like QT would end up a victim of Archer's vendetta. Unquestionably, he did not anticipate his wife being dragged into this championship pursuit by the evil machinations of The Snake.
Perhaps that has been the goal all along; to fill Cody with so much rage, and his life with so much distraction, that the TNT Championship has actually become secondary to him. Cody's need to become champion has been usurped by his need for vengeance, while the needs of Archer have already been meant. His need from day one was a fight with Cody, one he now has at “DoN”, and becoming the first ever TNT Champion while crushing “The American Nightmare” in one fell swoop would just be an added bonus.
The only certainty in this chaos created by Archer and Roberts is that one man is going to make history on Saturday night as the first ever TNT Champion. We shall see soon enough if the end result of this chaos leans in the favor of “The Murderhawk Monster”, or if Cody can see his way through morass to achieve the championship goal he set out to nearly two months ago.
And let us not forget the legendary “Iron” Mike Tyson who, according to Arn Anderson, has been given free reign on Saturday night to roam as he sees fit, and who, according to Jake Roberts, best be wary of Lance Archer. What role will he play in this contest, if any, besides presenting the TNT Championship Title to the victor?
AEW WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – NO DQ/NO COUNTOUT
“The Native Beast” Nyla Rose (c) vs. (#1) Hikaru Shida
Since the start of 2020, Hikaru Shida has been on fire like few other competitors in All Elite Wrestling. She has toppled Britt Baker, Kris Statlander, Penelope Ford, and Riho just to name a few. Be it in singles competition, multi-women contests, or tag matches, she has amassed an impressive resume to not only earn the number one position in the Women's Rankings, but maintain it for several weeks with an overall 10-3 record on the year.
But that third loss, the one that occurred this week on “Dynamite”, that one might prove the most important single notch in the record book as it pertains to “Double or Nothing”. Why you may ask? Because it came directly at the hands of AEW Women's World Champion Nyla Rose, albeit in a tag team match, and it was not Shida's partner who took the loss on this occasion. The Beast Bomb put the number one contender down for the pin, with Kris Statlander unable to make a save. More impressively, the latter portion of the contest was a glorified handicap match as Rose's partner for the night, Dr. Britt Baker, was being attended to by the ringside doctor and Nyla still picked up the victory.
Unfortunately for Rose though, she could not leave well enough alone, and much like she did in the closing months of 2019, elected to bring a table into the ring. But unlike that assault that got Rose suspended, it was the champion who would end up tasting the table at the hands of her “DoN” opponent.
For Shida, the long road to a championship match comes to a head this Saturday night on pay-per-view when she finally gets Nyla Rose in the ring one-on-one. She has tasted her own Singapore Cane upside the skull from Nyla, she has felt the wrath of the Beast Bomb, but has weathered it all to get to this moment. Will it be Hikaru Shida's shining moment, or will it be Nyla Rose further cementing her spot atop the Women's Division?
STADIUM STAMPEDE MATCH
***FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE IN THE STADIUM***
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz, & Jake Hager)
vs. The Elite (World Tag Team Champions Kenny Omega & Hangman Page, Matt & Nick Jackson, & Matt Hardy)
The war between The Inner Circle and The Elite has been waged since the inception of “Dynamite” last year, and despite the occasional bright spot in a tag team match, or six man battle, it has been a rather dark journey for the men who comprise The Elite. The relationships have been strained, to say the least, with Hangman Page divorcing himself of the unit quite awhile ago. Yet despite his best efforts to drunkenly alienate The Young Bucks, Cody, and Kenny Omega, Page has still popped his head up at opportune moments to throw an assist their way, even if just to rub it in their face that The Elite actually needs him. Kudos to Omega, through sheer force of will at times, for keeping Page together enough that the pair captured the World Tag Team Titles together.
In spite of himself, in spite of his spoken desires, Page's actions have shown that he wants to be a part of something, just not the way he believes the other members of The Elite want him to be. He has poked and prodded at The Young Bucks, and in return been questioned and berated by Matt and Nick. At least he can say that he and Kenny defeated them at the instant-classic back to “Revolution”. And there is a curiosity if maybe Hangman blames himself for all this, for everything with The Elite, because he failed to stop Chris Jericho from capturing the AEW World Title in the first place. And that's just Hangman...
The Young Bucks have been absent for quite some time, in part so Nick could heal up from injuries suffered at the hands of The Inner Circle, and in part to due to the various restrictions affecting all aspects of life. But, as seen on “Being The Elite” during this time, the Bucks have not been completely inactive, finding their own unique ways to avoid ring rust, biding their time for when a return was possible. And that return finally came this week on “Dynamite” following a bout between Matt Hardy and The Elite's Sammy Guevara...
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Before everything went pear-shaped, “Broken” Matt Hardy stepped up to the plate as an ally of The Elite in the aftermath of the aforementioned injury to Nick Jackson. And while the necessities of life forced the reasons for Hardy's arrival to change, his staunch support for The Elite has remained unchanged, as evidenced by his verbal battle with Chris Jericho, his tag team bouts serving as Kenny Omega's partner, and the Guevara match. Hardy's companion Vanguard-1 even fell victim to The Inner Circle as part of Matt's support of The Elite.
So, with all that drama surrounding the situation, a week ago when Le Champion first issued a challenge for The Elite to meet The Inner Circle in a Stadium Stampede, there were certainly questions if there was even an Elite outside of Omega and Hardy to fight against. Page was out living in the woods, Matt and Nick had remained in California, and Cody clearly was wrapped up in other endeavors with the TNT Title and Lance Archer.
Yet in the darkest of moments, with Kenny Omega being brutally assaulted by whole of The Inner Circle, the Young Bucks returned to the fray and Hangman Page arrived on the scene. Regardless of how he walked away from the moment, Adam Page returned to help his Elite brethren. It went to show that there is always hope...and that despite their consistent cohesiveness, The Inner Circle needs to be worried.
CASINO LADDER MATCH
**WINNER EARNS AN AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH**
(#5) Darby Allin vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Joey Janela vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Luchasaurus vs. Colt Cabana vs. Kip Sabian vs. ?????
Nine competitors will enter into “Double Or Nothing” fully aware that they will have to engage in battle with a ladder in their midst. And as fans witnessed in the clip embedded above from “Dynamite”, chaos will inevitability erupt with great opportunity at stake.
Within the confines of All Elite Wrestling, Rey Fenix was the only one of these men that had competed in a Ladder Match, but after this past Wednesday night, he has been sidelined from competition, and now it is “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela with the golden opportunity. And he, like many of these eight individuals, have had to climb the rungs before outside of AEW.
Many have experienced the pain of crashing down across the metal from 10 feet, 12 feet, even 16 feet high. Many have been felt the pain of the ladder across the flesh when their opponents have wielded it as a weapon. And each one has had to ask themselves if it's worth it as they struggle to their feet, as they prepare to feel the sting of the ladder once more, as they place a foot on each step while ascending to the top. Invariably the answer is yes, the prize is worth the pain, and in this case, with a future AEW World Title opportunity on the line, that still holds to be true.
Only two of the men here have had such an opportunity since Chris Jericho became the inaugural champion at “All Out” last year, Darby Allin and Scorpio Sky, and neither was successful in their bid. One can imagine it made them want another opportunity all the more. And for those who haven't had that chance, this is their time to make a dream a reality, and prove to the world they have what it takes to fight whomever the champion may be come May 24th.
There are certainly some issues interwoven within this battle, that of Joey Janela and Kip Sabian immediately springs to mind. But there have been issues between Colt Cabana and Kip Sabian as well, including the latter being victorious on “AEW Dark” a couple weeks back, and it would be remiss to not acknowledge the dynamic of the former World Tag Team Champions Sky and Kazarian BOTH being in this contest. And then there is the mystery entrant who will remain so until Saturday night!
Some have speed like Cassidy, some have size like Luchasaurus, some have a partner on which to rely like SCU; they all bring something to the table that makes this match anyone's ball game!
(#2) Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford
Unfortunately, this past Wednesday night on “Dynamite” Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D suffered an extremely serious injury during the course of the aforementioned tag team match pitting her and Nyla Rose against Hikaru Shida and Kris Statlander. As clearly seen during the course of the bout, Baker was unable to compete and required medical attention on the spot, leaving Rose to wrestle an impromptu handicap match. As we have learned over the last several days, that injury will also prevent Baker from participating in her scheduled match with Statlander at “Double or Nothing”, and we expect to know more about her status on Saturday night.
But in this case, one woman's misfortune is another's opportunity, and Penelope Ford now finds herself in a premium position. She has the opportunity to take on the #2 ranked athlete in the women's division live on pay-per-view! Prior to this, the biggest match of her AEW career was undoubtedly picking up a victory over former Women's Champion Riho, but this one is going down on BRLive, on all the traditional PPV providers, and could slide Ford into the rankings with a victory!
And while Statlander may be losing her chance for some comeuppance with Baker being out, she's now facing a competitor in Ford who hasn't had this big stage opportunity yet in her AEW career. Conversely, last time AEW was on PPV, “The Galaxy's Greatest Alien” was challenging Nyla Rose for the AEW Women's World Title.
Either way, this match is sure to set have an impact on what the future holds when it comes to a challenger for either Nyla Rose or Hikaru Shida following “Double or Nothing”!
MJF (w/ Wardlow) vs. Jungle Boy
In the last two weeks since his “miraculous” recovery from injury, Maxwell Jacob Friedman has certainly impressed. First in his decimation of Lee Johnson on the May 13th “Dynamite”, and then in his submission victory over Marko Stunt just a few days ago. He demonstrated once again that he is, in fact, a pretty damn good wrestler. The problem, as always, is that he is an absolutely horrible human being who rubs that ability in the face of everyone. He made Stunt eat his own boogers if that isn't enough to tell you all you need to know about the kind of “man” MJF is at his core.
He takes his cheap shots when he can, look at his attack on Jungle Boy on the 13th, and uses Wardlow as his heavy whenever possible, demonstrated in the video embedded above. His mouth never stops running, he has nothing good to say about anyone other than himself, and has no problem telling the world he is better than everyone. But his overall record, the people he has defeated, his victory over Cody specifically, it all stands as testament that his claims have merit.
One of those people who has been MJF's victim before, back on February 12th to be precise, was none other than Jungle Boy Jack Perry himself. In just his second AEW singles match, and last one to date as matter of fact, Jungle Boy took the “L” in just under 12 minutes, and gave Max yet another thing to brag about. Not that he needs much motivation or prompting...
So it was announced several weeks back, in conjunction with Max declaring he was making his triumphant return to competition, that he would meet Jungle Boy at “DoN”, leading to the usually collected MJF to nearly spit-take all over Tony Schiavone who was delivering the news.
Since the match was set, MJF has made it his and Wardlow's mission to make life hell for Jungle Boy and by extension The Jungle Express. He was directly responsibly for The Best Friends defeating the pair on May 13th by attacking Jungle Boy while Wardlow did the same to Marko Stunt. And then he would not only defeat Marko just a few days ago on “Dynamite”, but also humiliate the man by forcing him to “kiss the ring”.
Saturday night, it's time for Maxwell Jacob Friedman to answer to Jungle Boy for his actions these last two weeks. And if he needs any further motivation, Jack just need listen to the message MJF delivered in this week's “Road To Double or Nothing...”
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. “The Chairman” Shawn Spears
You might say that Shawn Spears talked his way into the building. In the span of just a few minutes Spears went from an afterthought for “Double or Nothing” to being slotted in a featured match opposite the legendary “Natural” Dustin Rhodes. Now this SSN segment from “The Chairman” just a few days ago was not the first time he's elected to trash talk Dustin since the man's bloody defeat by Lance Archer, it was the key to getting a pay-per-view slot. Heralding the retirement of Rhodes was just the right call to punch the PPV ticket, but it seems (based on his @Perfec10n tweets) that Spears is banking on Dustin not even showing up to the dance. Underestimating the Rhodes family does seem to be the leitmotif of Shawn Spears doesn't it?
(#1) The Best Friends (Trent & Chuck Taylor) vs. (#3) Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy)
As always, the night will kick-off the The Buy-In Pre-Show, and during it there will a match to determine the number one contender for the AEW World Tag Team Titles held by Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page! The number one and three ranked teams will collide, their first meeting since The Best Friends defeated Private Party back in November on “AEW DARK”, and the winner shall go onto challenge for the championship. All four of these men have grown tremendously as teams since that match six months ago, and both have proven worthy of this opportunity. Trent and Chuck have yet to challenge for the belts, while Marq and Isiah earned an opportunity back at “Full Gear” as part of a Three Way with SCU and the Lucha Bros.
Best Friends are on a bit of a hot streak, having won five of their last six tag team encounters, including a No DQ battle with Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian, as well as beating Kenny Omega/Michael Nakazawa, and Jurassic Express, so they come in with momentum certainly on their side. Private Party, on the other hand, only recently returned to action after being forced home due to travel restrictions, but they've been victorious in their two return matches, and also in four out of their last five contests. This one will certainly make an exciting tag team kick-off to a night loaded with action!
With three championships on the line, including the crowning of the first TNT Champion, the Casino Ladder Match, The Stadium Stampede, and more, “Double or Nothing” is jam-packed with the greatest in-ring competition imaginable! Do not miss out on this landmark event, coming to you on Pay-Per-View, BRLive, and FITETV (international customers), this Saturday night at 8pm EST/5pm PST!