Double or Nothing 2023 Preview
All Elite Wrestling returns to pay-per-view this Sunday night, live from Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena, with DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023! As is always the case when AEW comes to PPV, the event is absolutely stacked with multiple championship matches, an Unsanctioned fight, and the return of the utterly unpredictable Anarchy In The Arena!
Select tickets can still be purchased at AEWTix.com or at AXS.com, and DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 can be watched in numerous ways including Bleacher Report, as well as, in conjunction with Joe Hand Promotions, select theaters, bars, and restaurants! For the full details on how to watch, click here, and get ready to enjoy the greatest professional wrestling on the planet today!
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
MJF(c) vs. Darby Allin vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. “The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara
Quite some time ago, four young men were labeled the Pillars of All Elite Wrestling: Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Darby Allin, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry, and Sammy Guevara. They were the four young talents looked upon as the future of AEW, the pillars supporting the infrastructure of the house, the future champions of the company who would carry it into a very bright future.
Darby Allin was the first of the quartet to capture a championship in AEW, the TNT Title on November 7, 2020, and to date he stands as a 2-Time holder of that title. Sammy Guevara was the next to capture a title, also the TNT Championship, and since his first victory on September 29, 2021, he has captured it a total of three times. “Jungle Boy” would be the third champion of the pillars, claiming the AEW World Tag Team Championship on January 5, 2022, but he's yet to become a singles champion, a fact Jack Perry stated he aims to change in 2023.
So that makes Maxwell Jacob Friedman the last one of the four to capture an AEW championship, in his case on November 19th of last year, but for MJF his first title was also the biggest prize of them all: the AEW World Championship. Regardless of the manner in which he got it, he's since managed to beat “Absolute” Ricky Starks and “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, the latter in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match at REVOLUTION 2023, names added to a list that includes Cody Rhodes, Jon Moxley, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, and perhaps most importantly, Darby Allin at FULL GEAR 2021, Sammy Guevara on the June 30, 2021 DYNAMITE, and Jack Perry at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2020. By hook or by crook, over the last four years, MJF has beaten all three of the men coming after his AEW World Championship this Sunday night in singles matches.
That history feeds this match, the journey all four men have taken to get to this point feeds this match, they've all gone through a great deal both personally and professionally, but only one has captured the ultimate prize. In fact one man, that being Sammy Guevara, has never even challenged for the AEW World Championship during his AEW career. Getting a title match this Sunday will be a first for “The Spanish God”, but it could be an even bigger first if he, Sammy, or Darby can be the one with their hand raised at DoN '23.
This Sunday night four of AEW's homegrown competitors, men who fans have watched grow up before their very eyes over the last four years, they will step inside the ring to vie for the richest prize in professional wrestling. One man, MJF, has to worry about three other foes, and has to remember he doesn't even have to directly lose this match to lose the AEW World Championship. As intense as the pressure was at REVOLUTION 2023, it's going to be even more amplified at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023.
Can he do it? Can MJF prove he is the strongest pillar of the four, or will one of his foes rise to the top of the pack and show why they are the dominant one?
AEW WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Jamie Hayter(c) vs. Toni Storm
Since FULL GEAR 2022, when Jamie Hayter defeated Toni Storm to become the new AEW Women's World Champion, fans have witnessed the world somewhat turn on its head. That night, the fans were rather torn in their support, rallying behind both Hayter and Storm, but the momentum that had been building behind Jamie Hayter, the completely organic fan support helped lead her to victory, as did the assistance of Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.
But over the half year since, fans have watched Storm grow increasingly sour, her attitude grow increasingly more disdainful towards the other women of All Elite Wrestling, and that ultimately led her into the orbit of Saraya, a woman whose arc in AEW was quite similar. She came in with all the excitement, fans eagerly anticipating that first match in years for her, but their joy soured quickly with attitude Saraya presented, and together, along with Ruby Soho, they've collectively been waging war against the women of AEW.
With spray paint, with post-match assaults, with their verbal venom, The Outcasts have made it quite clear how superior they feel to the rest of the locker room, and as the AEW Women's World Champion, that makes Jamie the face of the division, and also a target for The Outcasts. What was once respect after FULL GEAR 2022 has become vitriol, and has led Storm and her allies to attack Hayter at any opportunity, leaving Jamie beat up and injured coming into this championship rematch. Although she has the support of Dr. Britt Baker, of Hikaru Shida, of Willow Nightingale, and so many other women in that locker room, she still has to be concerned with The Outcasts and their inevitable involvement. Between the numbers game and running at far less than 100%, the defending Women's World Champion is going to have a tough go on Sunday night, but Hayter has certainly proven her ability to overcome. Can she do it again?
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
FTR(Cash Wheeler & Dax Hardwood)(c) vs. Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett
***SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE: MARK BRISCOE***
It is an amazing ability that Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, and company have, this innate ability to push people's buttons and get what they want. Fans watched them do it with The Acclaimed during the AEW World Tag Team Championship bought, they saw them do it when Jeff Jarrett weaseled his way into an AEW International Championship match, and now they've done it to FTR in rapid fashion.
Lethal beat Cash in singles competition while Jarrett beat Dax in a head-to-head clash himself, but that wasn't enough, they also had to use Jay Lethal's history with Mark Briscoe to further aggravate the situation. Mark and Lethal have history that dates back the early 2000s when Ring of Honor was in its infancy, and they've been both friend and foe inside the ring. Now last year, over the course of three unforgettable ROH World Tag Team Championship matches, Mark and his late brother Jay grew quite close with Dax and Cash. They spilled blood and tequila together, were bound to one another by dog collars and chains, and produced three of the greatest tag matches of the last 20 years. They formed a bond in their violence, and although it is relatively new, it seems pretty strong.
So of course Lethal and Jarrett would play on that to get into the heads of the defending champions, they're going to use anything they believe can turn into an advantage, be it person, place, or object. But clearly Mark Briscoe has had his fill of all this drama, from both camps, and isn't taking any side! Mark is apparently going to call this contest right down the middle, and may the best team win. Will that hold once the bell rings, or will the plays involved try to sway Mark one way or the other?
AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BLACKJACK BATTLE ROYALE...
Orange Cassidy(c) vs. Ari Daivari vs. Bandido vs. Big Bill vs. Brian Cage vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Jay White vs. Juice Robinson vs. Keith Lee vs. Kip Sabian vs. Komander vs. Lee Moriarty vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Rey Fenix vs. Ricky Starks vs. Swerve Strickland vs. The Blade vs. The Butcher vs. Tony Nese vs. Trent Beretta
For nearly 230 days, through twenty-two successful defenses, and twenty-three different challengers, “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy has remained AEW International Champion. He's not only taken on challengers of all shapes, sizes, and styles, but he's also been incredibly active in tags, trios, and other multi-man matches in which the championship was not at stake. That's forty-two match situations since defeating PAC on October 12, 2022, twenty-five of them in the twenty-one weeks of 2023 thus far.
It's all quite impressive, as mentioned several times before, Orange is unarguably the hardest-working man in All Elite Wrestling right now, but his body has paid a price for that schedule, especially since the moment The House of Black's Buddy Matthews used a title belt as a shield from The Orange Punch. Since that night, we've seen one opponent after another go to work on that right hand, making it increasingly weaker with each and every match, thus far less effective with each use since it hasn't had a chance to properly heal.
Can Orange survive this situation where, just as with MJF in the AEW World Championship Match, he could very well have nothing to do with the final moments that bring an end to his historic reign? But unlike Max's situation, with this being a Battle Royale, Orange just has to be tossed out of the ring for his AEW International Championship run to come to a conclusion. No pinfall, no submission, just having it all slip away as you fall to the floor below...
TBS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Jade Cargill(c) vs. Taya Valkyrie
Fifty-nine wins, zero losses, with twenty-four TBS Championship defenses against sixteen different opponents; that's the kind of wrestling resume that makes legends, and that's where we are with Jade Cargill as she heads into DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 to meet Taya Valkyrie for the second time.
The first time out, though it took a stacked deck of legal machinations banning Taya using The Road To Valhalla, Jade Cargill managed to escape with a victory, but that won't be the case this time. This time around Valkyrie's signature maneuver is fully in play, whenever she can hit it, and there's nothing “Smart” Mark Sterling or his client can do about it.
There is still the matter of Sterling and Leila Grey trying to get involved in the contest, but Taya is laser-focused, nothing is going to distract her eyes off getting this prize, and putting the 1 in 59-1! Taya has all the tools, as well as the experience, to make this a reality, and to make a bit of history of her own in being the one to end Jade's streak. If Taya can do that, one can't help but wonder how Cargill will rebound from that first loss when it happens? If Taya fails, who is left?
TNT CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH...
Wardlow(c) vs. Christian Cage
Wardlow reclaimed the TNT Championship from Powerhouse Hobbs on the April 19th edition of DYNAMITE, beginning this third reign in Pittsburgh, and with the intent that this would be the kind of reign he has always wanted; the kind of reign where Wardlow defends against all-comers, where the championship's fate isn't determined by the interference of others in the matches, rather by the skills of the men involved in the match.
Yet almost immediately his reign was thrown into the machinations of Christian Cage, the man clearly having eyes on the TNT Title, but it seemed like it would be Luchasaurus he'd throw at “The War Dog” rather than getting his hands dirty himself. Turned out the speculation was wrong, and not only was it wrong, but Cage was absolutely willing to sully his hands when Luchasaurus was at his side. One can only guess how the dinosaur feels about being used as a red herring for Christian, but there was no question how being assaulted with a ladder made Wardlow feel.
And that is why this Sunday night the TNT Championship will be at stake in a Ladder Match! Wardlow is going to meet Christian Cage on his own turf, and show Cage that he's more than ready to carry the load of being TNT Champion. It's not like Wardlow is unfamiliar with the ladder, he was the victor of the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match in 2022, but Christian Cage has been in more such matches than anyone in AEW, maybe even more than anyone in professional wrestling today. He knows how to use it as a tool and a weapon, and knows quite intimately the kind of sacrifice it requires to be victorious when the ladder is in play.
It's reasonable to assume Luchasaurus will be at the side of Christian Cage for this one, and that Cage will try to use him as a weapon, it just means Wardlow will have to toss a ladder or two his way as well! Will we see a Powerbomb Symphony come Sunday night, serving as prelude to Wardlow pulling his championship down and leaving Christian Cage humbled below? Or will it be another Killswitch that sends Wardlow crashing down into the ladder before Cage ascends to his first All Elite Wrestling championship?
AEW WORLD TRIOS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
The House of Black (Brody King, Buddy Matthews, & Malakai Black)(c)
After their dominating victory over AR Fox, Blake Christian, and Metalik, the Open House Rules Match challenge has been laid out for Sunday night at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023! Who will step up to the door of the House and bravely knock live on pay-per-view? And if anyone does, what will they make their Dealer's Choice rule? That one can be a game-changer if applied properly, but someone first has to be willing to step into the darkness and face down Black, King, and Matthews before that even becomes a concern.
ANARCHY IN THE ARENA II
The Elite (Adam Page, Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson)
The Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, & Wheeler Yuta)
If you were witness to last year's Anarchy In The Arena spectacle, be it in person or watching on pay-per-view, then you have some understanding of just what this match entails. Chaos reigns supreme, violence goes down everywhere, and there is blood, a cornucopia of blood. Last year there was even some gasoline when Eddie Kingston seemed hellbent on burning...well...even his own teammates if that's what it took to get the job done. There are some differences from last year though, at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2022 The Blackpool Combat Club was still in its infancy, having only come together in the aftermath of REVOLUTION 2022 three months prior, and they were far more on the side of the angels than they are today.
Today, after fifteen months of training together, fighting together, bleeding together, The BCC is a well-oiled machine of violence and suffering. They are as elite a unit as any other in AEW, choosing to make The Elite their focus of attack in recent months. The Young Bucks, specifically Matt Jackson, have suffered at the hands of Claudio, Yuta, Danielson, and Moxley. Kenny Omega has suffered at their hands, as well as at the hands of Don Callis who he thought of as family. “Hangman” Adam Page has also suffered under their violent tendencies, Jon Moxley deciding he liked his old eye patch look so much he was going to inflict it to Page the same way Jericho inflicted it upon him.
But there was an unexpected side-effect of The BCC's relentless brutality, something that had been hoped for many times over the last several years, but always seemed just out of reach for one reason or another. Perhaps there was too much baggage, or perhaps the bridge had been obliterated with all parties standing on it, whichever of the myriad of reasons there are to chose from, the bottom line was that it seemed The Elite would never mend fences. Maybe The Bucks and Hanger could co-exist, but it didn't seem possible that Page and Omega could ever find that again.
Until they did, until the day Hangman strode out onto the stage, stood next to Kenny when he did it, and Omega handed him a weapon to head into battle with The Blackpool Combat Club. That moment told the story, it offered hope, much the same way it broke a heart several years ago when Hangman went to hand Kenny one of their tag titles and he wasn't standing their to accept it. And then when Hangman stood in that ring, made the Anarchy In The Arena challenge, and declared himself, Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson once more The Elite, it felt like their world was finally healing. The core of AEW, the foundation upon it was constructed, the foundation that makes it possible for those Four Pillars to be built up, it was finally whole once more, and it was ready for war!
So that is what they will get tonight inside T-Mobile Arena with Anarchy In The Arena II. No rules save the match must end inside the ring, no restrictions, no regard for life or limb, and all four men are willing to shed blood in order to end this violent nightmare. Bryan Danielson has called them amateurs, Jon Moxley just simply said “F*** The Elite”, and there seems to be a belief on The BCC side that The Elite can't get as dirty and violent as The BCC when it comes time to fight. Mox should know better, especially given he's been in a Lights Out with Omega before, perhaps go watch Hangman's Texas Death Matches to see what he's got in the dark parts of his soul, and ask The Lucha Brothers what happened when they were inside a Steel Cage with Matt and Nick; suffice it to say, there is a sick and twisted part in the soul of The Elite as well.
This one will not be for the squeamish or faint of heart...
Adam Cole vs. Chris Jericho
Someone else got the spotlight; ultimately that's what this comes down to and as a result Chris Jericho, with the aid of his J.A.S. and The Outcasts, decided to make Adam Cole's life hellish. It could've simply been a case of Daniel Garcia losing and living to fight another day, but “Le Champion” decided to use Cole's relationship with Dr. Britt Baker, her issues with The Outcasts, and amplify any slight issues with Adam into a very personal situation.
It could've just been Adam Cole versus Chris Jericho in a wrestling match, but “The Ocho” had to stand there as Baker was being brutalized by Saraya, Ruby, and Storm, and encourage them to further violence on the former AEW Women's World Champion...all while taunting the handcuffed, helpless Cole. It was all just a litany of mistakes made by the original AEW World Champion; the mistake of thinking Britt was just a means to antagonize Adam Cole, the mistake of thinking Adam Cole was alone in the wrestling world, and the mistake of running scared from the repercussions.
Roderick Strong's arrival in AEW proved that Adam Cole is not alone in this fight, and the shocking appearance of wrestling legend Sabu last Wednesday night on DYNAMITE further illustrated that fact. Adam Cole has support, he has allies, and even though it is inevitable that J.A.S. will involve themselves in this fight, especially considering it has no rules and it unsanctioned, at least there is some balance provided by those entrants into his scenario. So finally, after having to spend a few events banned from the arena, Adam Cole will be able to get his hands on Jericho inside the ring, and make him pay for his part in what was done to the Good Doctor, and to pay for postponing these repercussions that should've been doled out weeks ago.
Unsanctioned...no restrictions...AEW is washing their hands clean out of concern for what these two men may do to each other, and everyone else involved in this fight from referee to ring crew to camera man. They'll liable to throw everything and everyone at each other, but at least Sabu will be there at ringside to enforce some form of control. Yes, the Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal extreme icon known for barbwire and violence is the one to enforce some decorum...
TRIOS GRUDGE MATCH...
The Hardys (Matt & Jeff) and FTW Champion HOOK vs.
“All Ego” Ethan Page & The Gunns (Austin & Colten)
***IF THE HARDYS & HOOK WIN, MATT CONTROLS ETHAN'S CONTRACT***
It's all coming to a head this Sunday night at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, the issues between Ethan Page and Matt Hardy have existed for months, ever since the contracts of Hardy and Private Party were essentially sold to Stokely Hathaway and The Firm. At one point it seemed their was a friendship blooming, which was admittedly odd considering the circumstances of why they were all together, akin to some Stockholm Syndrome perhaps, but the truth was Matt Hardy played the long con, until he finally got an opportunity to get their freedom from The Firm. Not only that, but with The Firm Deletion fight that took place at The Hardy Compound, Matt and his allies ended The Firm's existence and thought they were free of that situation as well.
But Ethan Page won't let it die, and that is why he's now in this situation with the future of his AEW contract is at stake (albeit thanks to The Gunns agreeing on his behalf), in this Trios match going down Sunday night. Originally it was supposed to be Brother Zay siding up with Matt and Jeff, but Ethan made his own bed, and now one of the biggest banes to All Ego's AEW life is stepping up into his place. Over the last several months, Ethan has tried numerous times to defeat HOOK for the FTW Championship, the HOUSE RULES events have featured their battles many times, but “All Ego” hasn't yet bested “The Cold Hearted, Handsome Devil”, and just wants to be done with him. Yet here is he, popping up once more, and lending a helping head to some Hardys in need. Will Ethan wake up Monday morning with the fate of his world in the hands of Matt Hardy, or will this situation between them finally be over?
When it comes to pay-per-view nobody does it like All Elite Wrestling we are back at it this Sunday night with DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas! With the AEW World Championship on the line in a Four Way match between the Four Pillars, Anarchy In The Arena II, the Unsanctioned fight between Jericho and Cole, the heated Women's World Championship bout between Hayter and Storm, there is already so much on-tap, and that's just a small portion of the card! This is one of the most loaded PPV events in AEW's history, and limited tickets are still available at AEWTix.com or at AXS.com, and for details on how you can watch DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 in your area, check out these details here!