Against All Odds: All Elite Wrestling’s Inaugural Event Double Or Nothing Recap *
(***Warning: This article contains spoilers. ***)
History was made at AEW’s “Double or Nothing” inaugural pay-per-view event on May 25, 2019, at the sold out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pro wrestling fans in attendance and watching around the world on pay-per-view were in for a night of pulse-pounding action and dramatic edge-of-the-seat storytelling that had the entire wrestling industry buzzing. AEW’s “Double or Nothing” was the number one trending topic on Twitter on Saturday night, and would proceed to occupy five of the Top 10 trending topics.
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega main evented the card, pulling out all the stops in the second chapter of the Alpha vs. Omega feud. This was a wrestling clinic that showcased the lengths that each competitor would go to in order to come out victorious on the other side of battle. Spectators witnessed an all out war, with Omega suffering a broken nose at the hands of Jericho. Despite the injury, Omega continued the bout as the stakes were high: The winner will be challenging “Hangman” Adam Page to determine the first ever All Elite Wrestling World Champion at a later date (Page won the Casino Battle Royale by eliminating MJF). The stunningly designed championship title, crafted by the “Ace of Belts”, Dave Millican, was unveiled during a ceremony by Hall of Famer Bret Hart.
Jericho and Omega have been studying footage and scouting each other for months, as was evident with each managing to counter the other’s patented arsenals. It was the grizzled veteran Jericho, possessing the experience edge, who caught Omega with his new finisher, the devastating Judas Effect, for the win.
The stunned yet heated crowd was at a fever pitch, but the scene was about to get turned on its head with the shocking debut of Jon Moxley. The defiant Moxley wasted no time in making his presence felt and putting the entire AEW roster on notice.
In an epic confrontation that left many in tears, including commentator Excalibur (who, along with the legendary Jim Ross, and Alex Marvez, provided play-by-play commentary for “Double or Nothing”), Cody, accompanied by Brandi Rhodes, faced off against his brother, Dustin Rhodes in a battle of generations.
Blood may be thicker than water, and there was no shortage here, with Dustin Rhodes’ crimson mask covering his entire face (and some of the wrestling canvass), courtesy of a nasty shot from Cody. To say there is a lifetime of history between these two would be the understatement of the year. Cody nailed his Cross Rhodes finisher on Dustin, and senior referee Earl Hebner counted the pin fall. At “Double or Nothing”, the past was put behind them, differences between Dusty’s sons were settled, and the Rhodes family reconciled.
In a high-octane barnburner, the AAA World Tag Team Champions, Matt & Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks, successfully defended their titles against The Lucha Bros., Penta El Zero M & Fenix. This left fans breathless, with The Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros. shining a megawatt spotlight on the art of tag team wrestling.
Tag team wrestling enthusiasts would hit the jackpot at “Double or Nothing”, with SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Scorpio Sky) kicking off the pay-per-view broadcast and racking one up in the win column after a back-and-forth bout against the Japanese trio known as Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk, & El Lindaman), from OWE (Oriental Wrestling Entertainment).
“Double or Nothing” also featured Dr. Britt Baker vs. Kylie Rae vs. Nyla Rose. Before the match could get underway, Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes declared she wanted to up the ante and guarantee the match was “awesome,” and putting her money where her mouth is, Brandi Rhodes introduced surprise competitor (and star of Netflix’s EMMY-winning series, GLOW), Awesome Kong. Despite the fierce competition and last minute addition of Awesome Kong, Dr. Britt Baker pulled out the victory.
In a heart pounding display of daredevil one-upsmanship, Best Friends, the team of Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta, outmaneuvered the highflying team of Angelico & Jack Evans. What transpired after this match was eerie and unsettling. Angelico and Evans were about to congratulate Taylor and Beretta on a hard fought victory, when the arena went pitch black; the lights flipped back on, and both teams were attacked by a mysterious duo and their small army of minions.
Proving that AEW offers something unique for everyone, fans were treated to joshi puroresu, with the legendary Aja Kong, along with Yuka Sakazaki and Emi Sakura, engaging in a six-woman tag team match against Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe, and Ryo Mizunami. Ultimately it was Shida, Abe, and Mizunami standing victorious, but this special attraction—along with all six women—won the crowd over, some of whom may have been experiencing joshi puroresu for the first time.
From top to bottom, each and every match on AEW’s “Double or Nothing” gave fans something to talk about, and it felt like a moment in time that will go down in the record books as a night that changed the course of the sport of pro wrestling.
Don’t get left behind—order the replay today! Available in the United States via BleacherReportLive.com, all major cable & satellite providers, in the United Kingdom @ITVWrestling – ITVBoxOffice.com, and internationally through www.FITE.TV.