AEW DOUBLE OR NOTHING REVIEW
Saturday night was the start of a new era in professional wrestling. Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Matt and Nick Jackson with the help of Tony Khan held their first Pay Per View under the new All Elite Wrestling Promotion(AEW) and my god did it deliver. From the preshow to the main event there was excitement all throughout. Now, full disclosure I did not get to watch this live as I was out celebrating a friends birthday (shoutout to you Thiel). So, with that being said I watched this a day late already knowing the results. However, I did not let that affect my viewing experience as I watched the whole thing in its entirety and loved every second of it.
We kick things off on the preshow with the Casino Battle Royal, where the winner would get an opportunity to become the first ever AEW World Champion. The winner of the battle royal will face the winner of the main event between Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. Now, like most of you I was extremely disappointed when I found out that the match between Adam (Hangman) Page and PAC (FKA Neville in WWE) was no longer on the card. We all knew that Hangman Page was still going to wind up on the card anyway, I for one was a little surprised to see him as the final entrant in the battle royal but man it was perfect. Still showing the effects from his match with PAC that happened overseas, Hangman Page made his way to the ring and got a great ovation from the fans. The action in the ring was fantastic during this battle royal. My personal favorite moment was Luchasaurus choke slammed Joey Janela over the top rope and through a table, it was an awesome spot. We end up with a final four of Hangman Page, Jimmy Havoc, Luchasaurus, and Maxwell Jacob Friedman(MJF). Being the great heel that he is, MJF ends up outside of the ring and hangs out there while the other three fight it out. Hangman Page gets Jimmy Havoc over the top rope and on to the apron where Havoc tries to fight his way back into the ring but Hangman dodges it and Luchasaurus delivers a kick to Havoc and eliminates him. Shortly after that, Luchasaurus tries to eliminate Page but Hangman pulls the ropes and sends Luchasaurus over the top and to the floor. By this point Page has forgotten about MJF who runs up from behind him and throws him over the top rope. Page is able to hold on and swing himself back into the ring and deliver a brutal clothesline to MJF who had thought he won the match. MJF gets up and is against the ropes where Page hits him with another clothesline sending MJF to the floor and giving Page the win and an opportunity to take on Chris Jericho or Kenny Omega to determine the first AEW World Champion.
Next up on the preshow is Kip Sabian vs Sammy Guevara in what was a pretty decent match overall. I don’t really know too much about either of these two guys but they were two high flyers that were able to provide a few exciting moments. Kip Sabian ended up getting the win after getting his knees up when Guevara tried to land a 630 splash and hitting his finisher.
For the first match on the main show it kicks off with a six man tag match between SoCal Uncensored and #StrongHearts. This match was a good way to kick off the main show. The action was exciting and there were quite a few good spots. SoCal Uncensored picked up the win in this one.
The next match was originally scheduled to be a triple threat match between Dr. Britt Baker, Kylie Rae, and Nyla Rose. However, Brandi Rhodes decided to change things up by adding a beast of a women to the match in Awesome Kong, much to the delight of the fans making it a fatal four way match. Overall, this match had some quality moments I would not be shocked to see Awesome Kong and Nyla Rose feud in the future once AEW starts with its weekly show on TNT. Britt Baker and Kylie Rae are two great performers and they will be the back bone of AEW women's division so expect to see a lot more of those two in the near future. Britt Baker won this match pinning Kylie Rae.
Tag team action is up next as it is the Best Friends(Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) going up against Angelico and Jack Evans. Now this was another match where I did not know much about any of the competitors but oh my lanta this match was super exciting. There were a lot of highflying moves and the action never stopped. It was back and forth until the very end where the Best friends ended up picking up the victory. After the match was where I think just about everyone was confused because the lights went out and a random team appeared with a bunch of guys in mask and took out all four competitors then disappeared as the building went dark again.
We had another six person tag match next between six women I have never heard/seen before. I am not even going to pretend that I watched this match because it was background noise as I made a quick meal.
My second favorite part of the night is up next we had brother vs brother as Cody took on Dustin Rhodes in what was a near perfect match. This match had it all and it started right with Cody’s entrance. Taking a sledgehammer to a throne similar to the one HHH from WWE would use during one of his Wrestlemania entrances was the firing of the first shot of what I for one am hoping is the start of a war between WWE and AEW. Dustin made his entrance to an incredible ovation from the crowd and once he got into the ring you could tell both men were just trying to soak in the moment. This match was brutal to say the least, it was dominated by Cody for the most part putting the beating on his older brother. Midway through the match Cody exposed the middle turnbuckle as Dustin had him set up for the Shattered Dreams. Cody tripped Dustin sending him into the exposed steel and busting him open. I had not seen this much blood in a wrestling match in a long time. It was just pouring out of the face of Dustin, it was awesome. With the blood dripping down the face of Dustin he did everything he could to get back in this match, he even hit Cody with the Cross Rhodes. In the end Cody was just too much for Dustin to overcome as Cody picked up the win over his older brother in the match of the night. After the match Cody cut an emotional promo telling Dustin that he has a tag team match at Fight for the Fallen and he doesn’t need a partner but that he needs his older brother. The two brothers embraced in a hug in what was a great moment that sets up a dream match between the Rhodes brothers and the Young Bucks on July 13th.
After the match of the night the surprises kept on coming as Bret Hart made his way to the ring to unveil the new AEW Championship. He invited out the winner of the casino battle royal Adam Hangman Page to get the first look at the belt. That was interrupted by none other than the man Page eliminated to win the battle royal MJF. His time didn’t last long as he went on a rant about how the belt should be his and as he tried leaving he was met by Jungle Boy and Jimmy Havoc who along with Page beat him up and sent him on his way. Bret Hart held up the belt and that was that. The belt looks pretty sick by the way a whole lot better than that new 24/7 title WWE debuted.
The co-main event was up next as it was Matt and Nick Jackson (The Young Bucks) going up against Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr (Lucha Brothers) for the AAA World Tag Team Championships. This was a match between two of the best tag teams in the world right now, if you enjoy great wrestling you need to watch this match. Everything just looked so flawless each and every move was executed near perfectly. The action was back and forth all match long. There were so many times it looked like the Young Bucks were down and out and honestly I didn’t think they were the ones going over. In the end the Young Bucks hit their well known finisher the Meltzer Driver finisher to secure the win.
It was now time for the main event, Kenny Omega Vs Chris Jericho II. The last time these two met was at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 and it was one of, if not the match of the year. Saturday night was no different, two of the best in the business battled back and forth all match long. Omega took a hard shot early on and reportedly broke his nose and continued the match. Jericho at 48 years old still looks like he is in his prime, he hit Omega with a codebreaker out of mid air and it looked awesome. I was honestly hoping this match went on forever these two are incredible and have tremendous in ring chemistry. The match ended with Jericho hitting Omega with another codebreaker but that wasn’t enough, he broke out a new finisher which was pretty much a spinning back elbow and got the victory. Props to Jericho for constantly expanding his in ring moves as he has been around for so long but he is always looking to add more to his repertoire. Jericho will now take on Adam Hangman Page at a later date to crown the inaugural AEW World Champion. For as great as this main event was, the best moment the night happened after the match.
Jericho was cutting a promo after the match saying how AEW needs to thank him for being him basically and was going on about how great he is. The crowd began cheering but not for Chris Jericho no no no the cheering was for the one and only JON MOXLEY!!! Formerly known as Dean Ambrose in WWE, his contract expired in April and the rumors began about where he would end up or even if he would wrestle again. The way WWE sent him off was so strange compared to anything they had ever done that I can remember. On Saturday Night, he had one of the best moments just by showing up. That wasn’t enough though, Moxley attacked Jericho and left him laying in the ring then proceeded to go after Omega who was just getting back to his feet. They battled into the crowd and up onto the stage area where they climbed on top of the giant casino chips. Moxley delivered his signature DDT and then picked up Omega and threw him off the stage leaving one man standing tall at the end of the show…Jon Moxely.
AEW could not have asked for a better PPV to kick off their new promotion. There was so much buzz surrounding this event and AEW in general. After Double or Nothing there is even more buzz surrounding AEW now. Wrestling fans have been asking for an alternate to WWE for a long time and finally we have something that should be able to compete with them to some degree. I for one am looking forward to what’s in store for AEW with three events coming up in the near future (Fyter Fest June 29th, Fight for the Fallen July 13th, and All out August 31st) it’s an exciting time to be a pro wrestling fan.