Double Or Nothing 2023
Date: May 28, 2023
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Taz
We’re back to viewing on a pay per basis and that normally means some very good things from AEW. This show has an unofficial double main event, with the Four Pillars World Title match, plus Anarchy in the Arena. That should make things all the more interesting and the rest of the card is rather stacked. Let’s get to it.
Commentary is ringside here for a change. If that isn’t a first time for AEW, it’s only one of a handful of times ever.
Buy-In: Hardys/Hook vs. Ethan Page/The Gunns
If the Hardys/Hook win, Matt Hardy owns Page’s contract and Brother Zay is with the Hardys/Hook. JR: “Now is he Isiah Kassidy or is he Brother Zay?” Excalibur: “Well right now he’s injured!” Hook works on Austin’s wrist to start and wrestles him down before it’s off to Matt to stay on the arm.
Everything breaks down and the villains are cleared out, only to be throw back in. Colten starts in on Hook back inside and sends him into the corner. Hook manages a quick El Camino though and the hot tag brings in Matt to clean house. The Gunns are sent outside so they go after the injured Zay, leaving Matt to make the save. That takes too long though and it’s a double teaming to take Matt down for a change.
Matt avoids some charges to sent the Gunns outside but Hook and Jeff are pulled off the apron in a smart move. Colten misses a splash in the corner though and it’s Jeff coming in to take over. The middle rope splash looks to set up a Twist of Fate but Jeff tweaks his knee. The Whisper in the Wind is loaded up but Jeff slips and falls down in a crash.
Hook comes back in for a clothesline to Colten, allowing Matt to come in for Poetry In Motion (as Jeff’s knee seems ok). The 3:10 to Yuma cuts Matt off but Jeff Swantons in for the save. Everything breaks down again and Redrum is broken up. Stereo Twists of Fate take the Gunns down and it’s a Twisting Stunner into the Twist of Fate into Redrum to finish Page at 15:43.
Rating: C+. This was a long Kickoff Show match but it did well enough. The Hardys are going to get a strong reaction no matter what they do and that was the case here. Jeff has been gone for a long time now and it will be nice to have him around again, though pushing him in a big role would be more than risky. For now though, he did ok enough in a limited role.
The opening video looks at the majority of the card, including a special look at the main event.
International Title: Blackjack Battle Royal
Orange Cassidy, Bandido, Chuck Taylor, Trent, Lee Moriarty, Big Bill, Tony Nese, Ari Daivari, Komander, Butcher, Blade, Kip Sabian, Jay White, Juice Robinson, Dustin Rhodes, Keith Lee, Ricky Starks, Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero Miedo, Swerve Strickland, Brian Cage
Cassidy is defending and Sabian tries to get rid of him early on. A bunch of people brawl on the floor to start (as they were all on the floor before the bell and haven’t been inside yet) and Komander does a big rope walk dive to take everyone down. The four luchadors take over the middle of the ring so Bandido can get in a very delayed suplex on Nese. As I try to figure out why anyone but the Varsity Athletes would want to break that up, Nese is tossed out for the first elimination.
Daivari and Penta fight on the apron until Fenix walks the ropes to kick Daivari out for the elimination. Cage finally comes in and gets to clean house, including holding up Bandido and Komander at the same time. The Bros kick Cage down but White and Robinson jump them from behind. White knocks Komander out and it’s a Shield Bomb from the Best Friends/Cassidy to Sabian.
With Sabian out, Big Bill is back up to toss Chuck (with what seemed to be an accidental low bridge from Cassidy). Lee tosses Blade and slugs it out with Cage as Swerve gets in for the first time. Swerve and Lee slug it out (without having a match of course, because that’s just loony) and the Lucha Bros kick Butcher out. Moriarty kicks Bandido out (that’s an upset) but Trent suplexes Moriarty on the apron for the elimination.
Trent takes a big boot meant for Cassidy and gets eliminated in the process as the ring is clearing out a good bit. Cage tosses Lee but Rhodes cuts him off with Cross Rhodes. Fenix is sent to the apron and Penta accidentally knocks him out. Starks tosses Robinson and it’s White vs. Penta for a weird showdown. A springboard is cut out with a Blade Runner but Starks spears White and tosses him out.
Robinson pulls Starks outside (not eliminated) and beats him down, including a whip into the steps. Back in and Bill kicks Stars out (eliminated this time) before Dustin Canadian Destroys Cage on the apron for an elimination. Swerve knocks Rhodes out and we’re down to Swerve, Bill, Penta and Cassidy. Penta fires off a bunch of superkicks and adds a Backstabber to Cassidy.
Bill kicks Penta in the face though and clotheslines him out, followed by a swinging Boss Man Slam to Cassidy. Swerve surprises Bill and tosses him out, leaving us with Swerve vs. Cassidy. They tease tossing each other out until Cassidy hits the Stundog Millionaire. A dropkick to the back stops Cassidy though and they’re both down. The Swerve Stomp connects but Swerve mocks Cassidy instead of throwing him out. Fans: “YOU F***** UP!”
Cassidy catches him with back to back tornado DDTs and the Orange Punch sends Swerve to the apron. Swerve pulls Cassidy out to the apron, where a Prince Nana distraction slows Cassidy down. The Swerve Stomp only hits raised boots and Cassidy knocks him out to retain at 22:25.
Rating: B-. The ending was good, but there were only so many people who were going to be viable options to win, making the battle royal a bit unnecessary. Cassidy winning makes sense, but at some point someone is going to have to crush him good and hard to take the title. Perhaps Powerhouse Hobbs this week on Dynamite.
We recap Adam Cole vs. Chris Jericho in an unsanctioned match. Jericho handcuffed Cole to the ropes while Saraya beat up Cole’s girlfriend Britt Baker, meaning Cole wants revenge. Due to reasons, he brought in Sabu. Yes Sabu.
Chris Jericho vs. Adam Cole
Unsanctioned and Sabu is the guest enforcer, with the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society and Roderick Strong here too. We start with a chair duel between Jericho and Sabu until Sabu chairs him down. Sabu goes up top and dives (meaning falls) onto what looked like Matt Menard to drive him through a table. That’s enough for everyone else and they all head to the back to even things up.
Back in and Cole takes Jericho down and wraps his leg around the post to take over. Jericho is fine enough to catch him with a suplex off the apron to the floor for a big crash. They get back inside and Jericho hits a clothesline but Cole sends him face first into a chair wedged in the corner. Cole superkicks him down but the Panama Sunrise is countered into the Walls. Making it to the ropes means nothing so Cole grabs a fire extinguisher to blast Jericho and break things up.
The blinded Jericho takes Cole down for two and sprays him with the extinguisher to make it worse. The kendo stick is loaded up but here is Britt Baker with a stick of her own to beat Jericho down. Saraya comes in and gets caned down again, with the women heading to the back. A table is set up but Jericho chairs Cole in the face, knocking him through said table. Jericho whips out a chain…with handcuffs on the ends.
That takes took long though and Cole DDTs him onto the chain for two. Cole chains himself to Jericho and hits the Panama Sunrise for two. The Boom misses and Jericho whips him with the chain. Cole manages a quick Boom but Cole doesn’t cover. Instead he wraps the chain around the knee and hits another Boom. Some right hands with the chain knock Jericho out for the referee stoppage at 19:01.
Rating: C-. And that’s being a bit generous. The match was by no means bad, but it was long, never got exciting, and felt like they were going off a Greatest Street Fight Hits list. I didn’t feel like Cole was out for blood or anything like than and the ending was the only part that felt remotely violent. Add in Sabu with the most pointless cameo in AEW history and this was REALLY disappointing.
We recap the Tag Team Title match. FTR and Jay Lethal/Jeff Jarrett are both claiming Mark Briscoe as a friend, so naturally he’s the guest referee.
Tag Team Titles: FTR vs. Jay Lethal/Jeff Jarrett
FTR is defending, Satnam Singh, Karen Jarrett and Sonjay Dutt are here too and Mark Briscoe is guest referee. Harwood takes Lethal down to start and frustration is setting in early. Back up and Lethal is taken into the corner for some hard chops, which has Lethal even more annoyed. Jarrett and Lethal need a breather on the floor and even try the clap behind the referee’s back for the fake tag.
With that not working, FTR hits a double backdrop and everyone heads outside, with Jarrett sending Wheeler into the barricade. Back in and Jeff takes over with a legsweep and some choking on the ropes, allowing Karen to get in a cheap shot. JR yells at Dutt a lot as the beating continues, only to have Wheeler get over for the hot tag to Harwood. House is cleaned and Harwood rolls some German suplexes on Lethal. Another suplex is blocked though and Lethal drops Harwood for a double knockdown.
Everything breaks down and Harwood crotches Lethal on top, setting up a top rope superplex. Harwood isn’t done though and Wheeler goes up for a powerbomb/top rope clothesline combination. Dutt gets involved for a distraction and that’s enough for the dramatic ejection from Briscoe.
Karen whips out a guitar and blasts Briscoe so here is Aubrey Edwards….who she guitar downs as well. Lethal hits a double Lethal Injection on FTR but there is no one to count. Harwood is back up with a piledriver to Lethal but Jarrett gets in a belt shot. The Stroke connects and Briscoe comes in to count two. Jeff slaps Mark, who slaps him back, and right into the Shatter Machine to retain the titles at 19:47.
Rating: B-. It was a fun, entertaining match that went all in on the insanity, as it should have. Cut it down by about five minutes and it’s even better, but there was little reason to believe that Jarrett and Lethal were going to be a major threat in the first place. Thankfully they didn’t do something stupid like having Briscoe turn, so this went pretty well all things considered.
Juice Robinson and Jay White jump Ricky Starks but FTR make the save.
Chris Jericho and Saraya are mad and want a tag match against Britt Baker and Adam Cole on Dynamite. Jericho throws a fireball at a production worker, because that’s a thing again.
TNT Title: Christian Cage vs. Wardlow
Cage is challenging in a ladder match. They take their time to start until Christian fires off some rights. Wardlow isn’t having that and runs him over but has to block the Killswitch. It’s time for the ladder, but Christian dropkicks it into Wardlow. Cage’s dive is blocked with a ladder in a hard crash and now it’s time for the tables, because of course it is.
That takes too long though and Cage knocks him onto the ladder in a hard crotching. Cage hits him with the ladder and puts it up in the ring, only to have Wardlow get back up and run him over. With Cage knocked down, cue Luchasaurus to throw him back in so Wardlow can be cut off. The reverse DDT off the ladder plants Wardlow again and Cage goes up. For some reason Wardlow goes up and dives at the ladder, which breaks as he lands on it.
Wardlow tries to climb the broken ladder, allowing Luchasaurus to hit a pair of chokeslams. Cue Arn Anderson to bite Luchasaurus’ thumb, which starts gushing blood. That lets Wardlow put Luchasaurus on a pair of tables for a CRAZY Swanton off the ladder and they’re both down. Cage pops up and tries for the title but Anderson offers a distraction. Wardlow hits a powerbomb on Christian and retains at 17:06.
Rating: C+. I have no idea why this needed to be a ladder match other than it involved Christian. Wardlow gets a win, albeit with help from Arn Anderson (who might need to see Britt Baker to look at those teeth). It was a violent enough ladder match and some of the spots were good (that Swanton was nuts), but this felt like they threw a ladder match out there so they could have one, not because the match needed one.
We recap Jamie Hayter defending her Women’s Title against Toni Storm. This is part of the Outcasts vs. the other women feud and Hayter is coming in with a bad shoulder, thanks to the Outcasts. Therefore, it’s about the title and revenge.
Women’s Title: Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm
Hayter is defending….and gets jumped backstage and falls down the ramp. The Outcasts send her into various things but Hayter says she can go, so ring the bell. Storm goes right for the near fall but the referee gets bumped on an interfering Soho. Hayter sends her into an exposed buckle but some spray paint to the face sets up the hip attack for two. Cue Hikaru Shida to go after Soho as Storm is sent into the buckle. Hayterade gets two but Storm sends her into the buckle again. Storm Zero gives Storm the title back at 2:55. This wasn’t good, but I’m thinking that can be blamed on Hayter’s injury.
Trios Titles: House Of Black vs. Acclaimed/Billy Gunn
The House is defending against mystery opponents, despite the Acclaimed and Gunn all but saying they were challenging on Rampage. Caster’s rap mentions the House of Black being Caucasian and referencing Dominik Mysterio (as Rhea Ripley is Buddy Matthews’ real life girlfriend). Black takes over on Bowens to start, allowing Black to sit down to mess with Bowens’ head.
Bowens tells him to bring it so it’s Matthews coming in to stomp on Bowens’ arm. Caster comes in and gets taken down as well as the one sidedness continues. It’s back to Bowens, who is taken down into a kneebar and then taken down into a kneebar to mix it up a bit. Matthews adds a top rope Meteora as we’re firmly in the slow beating process. Some cannonballs down onto the leg keep Bowens in trouble as we get a WHO’S YOUR MAMI chant.
Bowens tries to fight up again but gets knocked down hard into the corner again. King’s Cannonball crushes him but Dante’s Inferno is broken up. Bowens is almost over to Gunn but King pulls him down just in time. Back up and the hot tag FINALLY brings in Gunn to clean house, including a Fameasser each to King and Matthews. Black is right back up to kick Gunn in the head and retain at 15:39.
Rating: B-. Nice enough match here for something with more or less no build, though I’m still not sure who the House is supposed to be feuding with next. Gunn and the Acclaimed were one of the biggest trios left and now the House is likely back to feuding with a random pairing. For now though, this was a by the book but well done match with Bowens getting beaten down and Gunn coming in to take the fall (as he should have). Perfectly acceptable way to get the titles on the show.
TBS Title: Jade Cargill vs. Taya Valkyrie
Cargill, with Mark Sterling and Leila Grey, is defending and comes to the ring with a rapper and her dancing sorority sisters. Road To Valhalla and Jaded are both blocked early so Jade is sent outside. That lets Taya hit a dive onto Sterling and then hits the sliding German for a big crash.
Back in and Jade manages a spinning spinebuster for two before beating on her outside again. Jade pulls on both arms at the same time but Taya fights back up and hits a Blue Thunder Bomb. Back up and Jade tries a springboard but gets kneed out of the air. Taya hits a Curb Stomp for two, followed by Road To Valhalla for the same. Jade is right back with Jaded to retain at 8:48.
Rating: C. It was nice to see Jade do something different and her athleticism continues to be insane, but this was just kind of there for the most part, with Jade getting to do a move and then waiting for the next one. I’ll certainly take it over what she does most of the time though, as she finally had someone who actually tested her.
Post match Mark Sterling says there is no one let to face Jade….and Kris Statlander is back. And let’s ring the bell!
TBS Title: Kris Statlander vs. Jade Cargill
Statlander is challenging and elbows her in the face. A Jackhammer is broken up and it’s a pump kick into a failed Jaded attempt. Statlander is right back with Sunday Night Fever to finish Jade for the pin and the title at 46 seconds. Well, it’s nice to have Jade finally lose, and for someone who showed up in a surprise and pinned her after a rough match, Statlander could have been worse.
We recap the World Title match between the Four Pillars. Everyone wants a shot at MJF’s title and after a mini tournament, Sammy Guevara agreeing to lay down and then changing his mind and the match being announced, we’re ready to go.
AEW World Title: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Jungle Boy vs. Darby Allin
MJF is defending and Sammy has Tay Melo with him. They’re here with cue cards….and Melo is going to have a baby! Even Jungle Boy has to clap for that one. Allin’s intro is a mini movie where he interrupts a wedding officiated by Elvis and with the groom being a dummy with an MJF mask on.
Allin comes in and beats him up, then has Elvis help him hide the body. Then he comes into the arena in an Elvis jumpsuit, making me think that he killed Elvis and left his body somewhere. Then MJF appears in his devil mask and sitting on a throne. Oh and there are masked women trying to reach for him on the way to the ring, leaving Jungle Boy looking rather plain.
Everyone goes after MJF to start and he gets chopped out to the floor. Everyone gets the chance to flip over each other until MJF is back in to drop Allin. That means the strut is on but Allin knocks him to the floor. The parade of dives is on and Sammy shooting stars onto everyone else. Back in and Jungle Boy gets caught in the Tree of Woe but manages to sit up, causing Guevara to superplex Allin into MJF for a big crash.
Back up and Guevara and Jungle Boy are sent outside, setting up the headlock takeover to give Allin two on MJF. Allin tries a dive but gets cuttered down by Guevara. The frog splash gives Guevara two on MJF, who is right back with a pumphandle driver to Allin. MJF: “I DON’T LIKE YOU DARBY!” He goes into why but that’s as good of an example as anything.
Jungle Boy is back in but gets dropkicked by Allin, leaving everyone down. Allin hits a Scorpion Death Drop, Jungle Boy hits a Killswitch and MJF hits a Cross Rhodes on Jungle Boy for two, leaving us with a stunned face after a cute sequence. Hold on though as MJF grabs a mic (Tony: “Just text it to us.”) and says Sammy is having a baby and needs the money, so lay down already. Sammy says he’ll do it and the ensuing small package gets two on MJF.
The GTH is countered but so is MJF’s Salt Of The Earth. Instead Guevara grabs a Boston crab on MJF and Allin gets the Scorpion Deathlock on Jungle Boy. Neither gives up so they’re both broken up, leaving Allin to Figure Four Guevara….who ankle locks MJF….who chinlocks Allin for a circle submission. With that broken up, Allin hits a Canadian Destroyer on MJF but Jungle Boy hits one of his own, leaving everyone down again. Another Canadian Destroyer (off MJF and Allin’s backs) hits Guevara for two and it’s time to go outside.
Allin gets a running start and knocks MJF and Jungle Boy over the barricade in a nasty crash. Back in and Guevara hits a top rope Spanish Fly to drive MJF onto the other two, leaving all of them down. They get inside and slug it out until MJF fires off the eye pokes. A triple superkick drops MJF and Guevara hits a Cody Cutter on MJF into Allin’s Code Red into Jungle Boy’s sliding forearm to the back of the head.
We get a pinfall reversal sequence (for a round of applause from the crowd) until Allin Code Reds Guevara for two. MJF breaks up the Coffin Drop though and superbombs Allin, seemingly hurting his wrist in the process. Guevara and Jungle Boy go up top to chop it out until Jungle Boy crashes down. Allin skateboards MJF in the head and hits the Coffin Drop but grabs a headlock takeover instead.
Jungle Boy makes the save and hits Allin for a double knockdown. MJF brings in the title but Jungle Boy takes it away…and throws it to the ring instead of hitting Allin. That earns him a Last Supper for two and it’s Guevara back in to fire off knees. The GTH hits and Sammy goes up but Sammy shoves him down. Allin loads up the Coffin Drop, only to have MJF put the title on Jungle Boy. Allin crashes and the headlock takeover retains MJF’s title at 27:49.
Rating: A-. This was a heck of a match and they tied a bunch of stuff in to make it better. It’s also a great example of a build not exactly working out perfectly but the match made up for it very well. They didn’t have it be two in the ring and two on the floor, as there were several sequences with everyone involved at once. I got way into this one and the action worked throughout, even if MJF winning wasn’t that much of a shock.
We recap the Elite vs. the Blackpool Combat Club. They hate each other and it’s time for Anarchy In The Arena.
Elite vs. Blackpool Combat Club
Anything goes, falls count anywhere. A band plays Wild Thing live and keeps going through the start of the match and the brawling is on in the crowd. Nick hits a big flip dive off the barricade as Don Callis joins commentary. Moxley dives off of the announcers’ table onto Omega and then drops him onto said table. A Figure Four on the floor has Omega in trouble as the referee is somehow bleeding.
Back in and Page rips off the eyepatch to reveal….a completely fine eye. Page pulls out the screwdriver but gets beaten down by the Club. The rest of the Elite comes in to beat the Club down and clear the ring with superkicks. The Elite hit stereo dives, leaving the Bucks to finally superkick the band to cut off the music. Omega hits Moxley with a piece of the announcers’ table as the Bucks dive off the stage.
Page comes back in to help beat on Moxley until Danielson makes the save. Omega gets suplexed onto the ramp as Danielson chokes Page inside. A bunch of people head to the concourse as Moxley busts out a barbed wire poker chip. Omega gets suplexed onto said chip before Moxley drives a fork into his head. We go split screen (thank goodness) as Castagnoli swings Matt Jackson near the concession stand. Back in the ring and Yuta chairs Page before Moxley knees Omega in the head.
We see Castagnoli piledriving Matt into a truck and that should leave him down for a bit. More people start getting back to ringside as the Elite continues to get beaten down. Page gets dropped onto a leaf blower (because there’s a leaf blower) but comes back with a Deadeye to Moxley on the apron. Omega, in Captain America tights, puts a trashcan lid on his arm ala Captain America and starts cleaning house. Castagnoli breaks that up but the Bucks are back in for the save.
Moxley hits the King Kong lariat into a Gotch style piledriver or two on Nick, setting up a crossface/Boston crab combination. Cue Matt and an exploding…something to the head (just go with it) clears Moxley out. A bunch of superkicks into the Buckshot Lariat gets two on Yuta and it’s Castagnoli punting…I believe Matt’s shoe. Moxley whips out the tacks (of course) and Matt goes bare foot into them, setting up a Death Rider for two.
Nick Swantons in to break up Danielson’s heel hook, with Nick’s face hitting the tacks. Castagnoli breaks up Omega’s V Trigger so Omega hits him with it instead. Danielson knees Omega down and then does it to Page as well. Moxley pours tacks in Matt’s mouth for Castagnoli’s uppercut, setting up a German suplex from Yuta.
It’s Page making the save and Omega gets up with him, as they’re family again. Danielson is back up and it’s the Deadeye into the One Winged Angel for two as Yuta makes the save. Callis offers a distraction though and slips Yuta a screwdriver. That takes Page down so Omega goes after Callis…..and it’s Konosuke Takeshita to knee Omega down. Yuta screwdrivers Omega in the head and grabs the seat belt for the pin at 27:02.
Rating: B+. This was really good as well, but just like the previous version or Stadium Stampede, it’s not really a match that you can call step by step in the traditional sense. Instead it was a bunch of fights that were all over the place, which is exactly what its name says it was supposed to be. The ending sends things into a bit of a different direction, though anytime someone wants to get Callis off the screen for the better part of ever, I’d be happy. Hard hitting, violent match here and that’s exactly what it needed to be after all the hatred to get us here.
Post match Callis chokes Omega with a belt to knock him even more out. The Club celebrates to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This show took its time to get going and did have some rocky points, but it got that much better by the end, with the last two matches being awesome. There were some rather violent matches here and some of them felt like a definitive end to a story, but it did go a bit overboard with the insanity. This show had a battle royal, a ladder match, an unsanctioned match, a four way and Anarchy in the Arena. It would have been nice to slow things down a bit and have some more regular matches, but the last two matches carried it pretty high. Not a bad show at all, but pretty low on the AEW PPV chart.
Hardys/Hook b. Ethan Page/Gunns – Redrum to Page
Orange Cassidy won the Blackjack Battle Royal last eliminating Swerve Strickland
Adam Cole b. Chris Jericho via referee stoppage
FTR b. Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal – Shatter Machine to Jarrett
Wardlow b. Christian Cage – Wardlow pulled down the title
Toni Storm b. Jamie Hayter – Storm Zero
House Of Black b. Acclaimed/Billy Gunn – Spinning kick to Gunn
Jade Cargill b. Taya Valkyrie – Jaded
Kris Statlander b. Jade Cargill – Sunday Night Fever
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Jungle Boy, Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara – Headlock takeover to Allin
Blackpool Combat Club b. Elite – Seat belt to Omega
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at:
Remember to check out Wrestlingrumors.net for all of your wrestling headline needs.