The John Report: AEW Double Or Nothing 2024 Review

AEW Double or Nothing 2024 review

It’s AEW Double Or Nothing featuring a chaotic Anarchy in the Arena Match, Mercedes Mone’s AEW debut, many title matches, and more.

Happy five-year anniversary to All Elite Wrestling as they present the sixth edition of Double or Nothing, which is the company’s annual May PPV that takes place in Las Vegas. I have reviewed all of their PPVs as well as nearly every episode of Dynamite (I think I missed two) and I would consider myself a fan of the product. I will criticize AEW too because I think they could be doing a lot better. Overall, I do enjoy AEW’s content. It’s why I’m here.

I’m watching live on Fite/Triller because it has worked very well in the past and the $40 USD price tag is decent enough.

I don’t watch pre-shows because a four-hour main PPV show is long enough for me. Here are the pre-show results.

* Deonna Purrazzo defeated Thunder Rosa by pinfall. Purrazzo held onto the ropes for the cheap pin.

* There was an announcement by AEW Owner & CEO Tony Khan and Martha Hart. They said that the winners of the Men’s & Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournaments be determined on the July 10th edition of AEW Dynamite in Calgary, which is where Owen Hart and his family are from. As an addition this year, the winners will receive AEW World Title matches at the AEW All In PPV at Wembley Stadium in London, England on August 25th.

* The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn defeated The Cage of Agony (Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona) by pinfall. Gunn got the win for his team.

Let’s get to the main show.

AEW Double or Nothing
Sunday, May 26, 2024
From theMGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

It’s Sunday and you know what that means. It was Excalibur on commentary with Tony Schiavone & Taz for the show. Don Callis was on commentary for the first match.

Will Ospreay got a huge reaction for his first championship match in AEW. The AEW International Champion Roderick Strong was joined by The Kingdom’s Matt Taven & Mike Bennett since they are part of the Undisputed Kingdom group. Ospreay had a bandaged forehead because he was busted open recently. Ospreay went right after Strong right away and the bell rang.

AEW International Championship: Roderick Strong (w/Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) vs. Will Ospreay

They battled on the floor a bit with Will taking out Strong’s buddies on the floor. It slowed down when they got back into the ring as Will hit a backbreaker. Will pulled on Strong’s arm by the ropes, then Strong distracted the referee and Taven ran the ropes leading to a dive over the top onto Will, who was on Bennett’s shoulders. Bennett tossed Will off his shoulders so that Will could do a flip bump. The referee apparently didn’t notice a guy running right by him to do that dive. The replay showed that Taven’s foot hit the top rope on that dive, so that didn’t go smoothly. Strong worked over Will with punches and knee strikes. Strong did a hip-lock takeover into a side headlock. Strong and Will exchanged strikes followed by Strong hitting some punches to the body. Strong hit a backbreaker. Will did a jawbreaker along with some chops. Will hit an impressive corkscrew kick to the head. Will hit a running kick to the head. Taven and Bennett tried to interfere, the referee caught that and Wardlow wanted a Powerbomb on Will, so the referee told Wardlow to leave the ring. Will superkicked Strong out of the ring. Will hit an amazing corkscrew dive onto the guys on the floor. That led to referee Bryce Remsburg finally ejecting Taven, Bennett and Wardlow from ringside. Back in the ring, Will jumped onto Strong with a forearm I think for a two count. Will hit a jumping kick along with a Fisherman’s Suplex for two. Will went up top, Strong stopped him up there and Will elbowed Strong off the top. Will went for a twisting attack off the top, but Strong moved and Will favored his left knee on the landing. Strong picked the leg leading to the single leg crab submission. Strong applied the Texas Cloverleaf submission, but Will got to the ropes to break it. Strong worked over Will with chops along with his running elbow combination and Strong lifted up Will for a powerslam into the mat for two.

Strong set up Will on the top rope leading to a jumping kick to the head. Strong hit a superkick off the top. Strong had Will on his shoulders and tossed him so that Strong hit double knees to the back for a two count. Will blocked a gutbuster attempt. Strong charged and Will caught him leading to Powerbomb. They exchanged punches, forearms, elbows and then Will hit a kick to the head. Strong dropkicked the left knee. Will did an impressive float over into a pin. Strong flipped Will over, Will landed on his feet and Will jumped off the ropes with an Oscutter for two. That was a cool spot. The referee was checking on Strong for some reason. Will was frustrated against the turnbuckle and Callis yelled at Will to do the Tiger Driver that Will didn’t want to do anymore. Will shoved the referee away, Will teased doing it and then he stopped himself from doing it. Strong countered into an Olympic Slam. Strong slammed Will onto his two knees and Strong hit a running kick for a two count. Nice nearfall. Strong went for End of Heartache, but Will avoided it and Will hit a running elbow. Will hit the Storm Breaker slam for the one…two…and three. It went 17:40.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW AEW International Champion: Will Ospreay

Analysis: **** A great match as usual for Ospreay while Strong is more than capable in the ring as well. Putting Ospreay on first is a smart move because he’s so popular and exciting to watch, so it fires up the crowd early in the show. They did a good job of following up on the story that Will didn’t want to do the Tiger Driver anymore and it almost cost him. They did that scary spot early in the match where Will landed on his head/neck and then he stopped selling it as the match went on. That’s something that we see in AEW where guys stop selling sometimes. Strong got a good nearfall right after that and then Will managed to come back to get the win. I expected Will to win here since he’s undefeated in singles since signing in AEW and I don’t see him losing any time soon.

Will Ospreay was presented with the AEW International Title. The fans were cheering for him a lot.

Let’s Hear from Adam Cole

Adam Cole made his entrance as the leader of the Undisputed Kingdom. He was all on his own. Cole told Las Vegas that they all suck. Cole said that he shouldn’t be in this city because he should be home rehabbing his ankle and doing what he does best as a professional wrestler. Cole talked about going through hell the last two years and then said he was one of the greatest pro wrestlers of this generation. Cole pulled out the Devil mask and said that we all have a devil in us. Cole said that he promises that you will give the Devil his due and his name…the lights went out.

The lights came back and they showed a hallway where the somebody opened a room that had phots of MJF on it along with some merchandise items belonging to MJF. The MJF scarf was in there. A ripped photo of MJF and Cole was in there too.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s music hit as MJF made his highly-anticipated return after losing the AEW World Title at Worlds End in late December. The fans popped huge for MJF and chanted “MJF” for him. MJF was wearing a black/blue leather jacket without a scarf. The fans chanted “holy shit” for this. Cole talked to MJF without a microphone in hand.

MJF walked up to Cole and hugged him. MJF let go of the hug leading to a low blow kick to the groin. The fans popped for that. MJF dropped Cole with a brainbuster.

MJF called Adam Cole a noodle armed bobble-headed son of a bitch. MJF told somebody to get this shit-stain out his ring. Cole was taken out of the ring and walked to the back. MJF said that he gave Cole trust and thanks to him, that shit ain’t happening again. MJF said that Cole didn’t take out MJF because all he did was wake him up. MJF remembered that he is the greatest wrestler on God’s green Earth. MJF reminded us of his name while saying his “I’m better than you and you know it” catchphrase.

MJF said that unlike Adam Cole and those other schmucks in the back, he doesn’t need a New Japan or a Vince McMahon to make MJF because MJF made MJF. (The Vince mention led to an “ooohhh” reaction.) That led to MJF saying no more haha, friendships, kangaroo kicks and it’s back to doing what he does best – hate, hate, hate. MJF said when your boy is driven by hate, nobody is safe. MJF said that masks are for people hiding. MJF said that he’s done hiding because he’s the absolute best. MJF said that your faves in comparison to him “suck a big old bag of donkey dicks.” That led to a “donkey dicks” chant briefly. MJF said he didn’t need a mask to prove that nobody is on the level of The Devil. MJF said that the Devil mask symbolizes the end of 2023 so this mask can go straight to hell. MJF even did a Ric Flair strut and elbow drop on the mask. MJF tossed the mask out into the crowd.

MJF spoke about how he was betting on himself since day one. MJF said that he’s All In, Double or Nothing. MJF said that with regard to his contract status as if it wasn’t obvious, he had a “Bet On Yourself AEW” tattoo on the back of his lower right leg. MJF said that you can call him the f’n wolf because “I ain’t f’n leaving.” MJF celebrated as his music played.

Analysis: Welcome back to MJF, who is in great shape and hopefully can return to the ring soon. I am not shocked that he is staying with AEW because that was expected for a long time. I am a bit shocked by the tattoo on the back of his leg, but more power to him if he wants to show off his AEW support by getting a tattoo with the company name on it. The language that MJF used was very aggressive and colorful, but that’s what people like about the guy. He’s one of the most complete wrestlers in the world. MJF is also somebody who can be a major player in AEW again, so I’m glad he’s back. As for MJF taking out Cole like he did, that was obviously something that needed to be done. What doesn’t make sense is why Cole was alone without this group by his side. I guess it was done that way to have Cole take a bit of a beating before MJF did his speech. Anyway, I really liked how this was done. I’m glad Max is back.

A video aired about the AEW Trios Tag Team Title match.

Unified AEW World Trios Tag Team Championships: Bang Bang Gang – Jay White, Colten Gunn & Austin Gunn vs. Death Triangle – Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes)

I missed the first couple of minutes of this. The Lucah Bros were working over Colten with some tag team moves. Death Triangle hit triple dropkicks on Colten. Penta hit a somersault dive over the top to the floor on Colten while Fenix hit a cross body block off the top onto Austin. White caught Pac in the ring, Colten pulled Pac’s leg and White hit Pac with a DDT while Pac looked like he had a rough landing taking that move. White hit a neckbreaker for two. The BBG guys made some quick tags as they worked over Pac in their corner. Whit gave Pac a stun gun into the top rope followed by the catapult into the bottom rope to continue working on the neck. Austin tagged in, Pac managed to tag out and Penta was on fire with strikes for both Gunns. Fenix tagged in with a superkick and a rope walk kick on Austin. Fenix hit a splash off Penta’s shoulders for a two count because White broke it up. White tagged in leading to Fenix hitting a spin kick and legal man Penta hit a spinning slam off the shoulders for a two count. Pac was back in with kicks to the body, White chopped Pac and Pac hit a German Suplex. Austin was back in illegally with a clothesline. Penta hit a Canadian Destroyer, Colten punched Penta in the head, Fenix kicked Colten and White gave Fenix a uranage slam. All six guys laid out so the fans could cheer. Pac was on fire with German Suplexes on both Gunns back to back. Death Triangle hit running attacks on Pac and Fenix did a Fear Factor on White. Pac went for something off the top, but Juice Robinson tripped him up and the referee never saw it. The director missed the key spot in the match or at least most of it. White hit the Bladerunner on Pac for the pinfall win at 12:20.

Winners by pinfall: Bang Bang Gang – Jay White, Colten Gunn & Austin Gunn

Analysis: ***1/4 A cheap win for the champions with Juice Robinson making his return to help his buddies get the win. It was a match filled with action and a lot of double and triple team offense. There was plenty of illegal offense, but actually not as bad as most Death Triangle matches so I wasn’t bothered by it. The champions winning in a cheap manner is fine because they are heels after all.

The champions celebrated with their buddy Juice. There was no replay of the finish even though most fans probably missed it like the director missed it. Show replays, guys. It’s important.

A video package aired about Toni Storm’s AEW Women’s Title match with Serena Deeb. The feud where Toni started as the heel, Serena started as the face, then the fans didn’t care about Deeb as a face and that led to the heel turn by Deeb so Storm is the face now.

They had Nigel McGuinness replace Taz on commentary at this point.

AEW Women’s World Championship: “Timeless” Toni Storm (w/Luther & Mariah May) vs. Serena Deeb

Deeb tied up the limbs of Storm to get some offense early. The outfit Mariah May was wearing will make her very popular with the fans. Just saying. Storm came back with a hip attack to knock Deeb out of the ring. Deeb wrenched on Storm’s left knee against the ropes. Deeb hit a neckbreaker on the floor. The fans were chanting “Let’s go Toni” for the champion. Deeb applied the octopus hold, so Storm broke it by biting the middle rope. Deeb got a dragon screw leg whip on the left leg two times. Deeb and Storm exchanged pin attempts. Storm hit a headbutt to knock both women down. Storm hit a Backstabber with the double knees to the back. Storm hit a DDT followed by a Fisherman’s Suplex for two. Storm countered a move leading to a slam. Storm applied a Texas Cloverleaf submission, but it really wasn’t applied well and Deeb was able to get to the ropes. You’re supposed to do the move with a bend rather than having Deeb’s legs on the mat while applying the move. Deeb hit Storm with repeated slaps to the face. Deeb ran the ropes leading to a running clothesline. Deeb nailed a corner clothesline and a neckbreaker off the middle rope. Deeb hit a swinging neckbreaker. Deeb hit a German Suplex followed by Deeb trapping the arms leading to a clothesline for two. Deeb did more slapping along with some sort of mixup leading to a pin attempt by Deeb for two. Storm hit a Sky High sitout spinebuster for two. Deeb applied the single-leg half crab on the left knee, but Storm was able to get out of it. Deeb kicked Storm in the jaw leading to Deeb ramming Storm’s left knee into the mat repeatedly. Deeb applied a half-crab submission. May wanted to throw in a white towel, Luther stopped her and Storm got to the ropes. Storm threw the towel in during May’s match, so May wanted to do it. Storm headbutted Deeb. Storm threw the towel into the stands and looked like Storm was blaming Luther for it.

Back in the ring, Storm hit a German Suplex. Deeb did double middle fingers and got a pin attempt for two. Storm hit Storm Zero for two. That move usually wins for Storm, so it was a surprising kickout by the challenger. Deeb wrenched Storm’s against the ropes three times. Deeb hooked the arms for a sitout slam on the apron. Deeb did it again in the ring for one…two…and no because Storm got her shoulder up. Great nearfall there. Deeb went up top, Storm went after her and Storm hit a piledriver off the top. That was done as safely as you could do it. Storm hit the Storm Zero for the pinfall win at 15:02.

Winner by pinfall: Toni Storm

Analysis: ***1/2 A good championship match that was very physical and a lot of quality technical wrestling. They really did a nice job of doing different moves and counters. Storm sold the left knee a lot while Deeb was relentless in attacking the left knee. Deeb rarely goes to the top rope, so then when she did it here, Storm was there to stop her and Storm hit that big piledriver to pick up the win. They got more time than the women usually get on TV so that’s nice to see.

Toni Storm celebrated on the ramp while Mariah May was there to hug her.

A video package aired about the Orange Cassidy-Trent Beretta who were best friends and now they are bitter enemies after Trent turned on his buddy.

Orange Cassidy vs. Trent Beretta

Don Callis was back on commentary because he supports Orange Cassidy. Orange entered to his old theme song and a black shirt, so Excalibur said that could be a reference to his mood. Orange is 51-2 in his last 53 singles matches according to the stats.

They exchanged punches to start and then did a collision spot to show that they are both trying to be aggressive. Orange sent Trent into the turnbuckle pads a few times. Orange jumped off the top with a cross body block. Orange flipped around leading to a DDT. Orange nailed Trent with a suicide dive into the barricade. Orange worked over Trent with punches while they were on the floor. The referee wasn’t counting, yet Orange broke the invisible count and went back out to the floor. Trent gouged Orange’s eyes and then Trent pulled Orange’s arm so that Orange’s throat hit the steel turnbuckle. Trent worked over Orange with punches. Trent grabbed a waistlock, Orange with elbows and Trent said “here we go” leading to a German Suplex. Orange tried to fight back, but Trent hit a Saito Suplex followed by Trent hitting a German Suplex. Tony said that Best Friends were so successful in AEW even though they never held the Tag Team Titles and lost plenty of matches. Trent hit a few elbow strikes. Orange put his hands in his pockets like an idiot, so Trent smashed Orange with strikes. Orange came back with a dropkick and a running dropkick against the turnbuckle. Orange hit another running dropkick. Trent went to the apron so Orange jumped at him. Trent kicked Orange in the knee followed by Trent doing a cradle piledriver on the apron. Trent set up the steel steps at ringside. Trent teased a move, but instead Orange tripped him up. Orange hit Beach Break on the floor, which is really just a back body drop.

The match continued in the ring as Orange hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Trent hit a forearm to the head. Orange and Trent kept exchanging holds until Trent hit a suplex followed by a clothesline. Trent hit a Strong Zero move where he sat on Orange for a two count. Orange came back with a punch followed by Beach Break for two. Orange charged and Trent got the knees up to block. Trent tried a submission, but Orange flipped over for a jackknife pin cover for the win. It went 13:55.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***1/2 An entertaining technical wrestling match with a lot of nearfalls and counters by both guys. Trent did more damage to Orange throughout the match, yet Orange was able to counter the submission for the win. I liked how the finish was done because it showed how clever Orange is in terms of finding a way to win a match.

Trent Beretta got out of the ring first and walked to the back while Orange was down in the ring. Rocky Romero tried to talk to Trent. Renee Paquette tried an interview and Trent said he’s not doing this. Trent said he was done. Trent walked away through the crowd.

A video package aired for the FTW Championship match between Chris Jericho, Hook and Katsuyori Shibata.

FTW Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Hook vs. Katsuyori Shibata

There are no rules in these FTW matches so they set up a table on the floor early. Jericho worked over both guys on the floor and sent Hook into the ring. Jericho had a black bag under the ring, which he emptied in the ring and Jericho poured out a bag of dice. Hook suplexed Jericho on the dice and Shibata suplexed Jericho on the dice. Hook and Shibata threw dice at Jericho. Hook and Shibata suplexed Jericho with a high angle back suplex that had a rough landing on the neck. Hook and Shibata suplexed eachother. Hook and Shibata brought kendo sticks into the ring. All three guys had kendo sticks in the ring leading to Jericho getting beat up by both guys. Shibata did an STO takedown on Hook. There were dice all around the ring so a lot of the bumps were on the dice. Shibata set up a table in the ring. Jericho stopped Shibata from doing a move and Hook suplexed Jericho on the dice again. Hook went up top, which is rare, Shibata went after him and Shibata gave Hook a Death Valley Driver (sort of?) onto Jericho on the table. They slid off the table, which didn’t break. That didn’t go well. Shibata tossed Jericho through the table so now it was broken. Shibata hit a dropkick on Jericho for two. Shibata went for a submission, Hook went for a kick and Shibata caught Hook’s foot, but Hook fought back with a chop. Hook suplexed Shibata. Jericho hit a Codebreaker for two. That move used to win Jericho matches when Hook was a kid about 15 years ago. Hook applied the Red Rum submission, but Big Bill saved Jericho with an elbow drop on Hook. Bill beat up Hook with punches. Hook suplexed Bill off the apron and put Bill through the table. That was an impressive bump. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Shibata, but Shibata countered it and applied a Figure Four Leglock. There was somebody in a hood and mask that had a trash can. This wrestler hit Shibata and Hook with a trash can. The masked man revealed himself as Bryan Keith. Jericho elbowed Hook and Jericho covered Shibata (who had a trash can on him) for the pinfall win at 12:38.

Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with Jericho getting another cheap win as the heel FTW Champion that keeps the title. It was cheap with Bryan Keith interfering, which was set up on Collision apparently based on what the announcers said. They had some spots they wanted to do that didn’t work as well as planned, but they got through the match okay. Jericho pinning Shibata was my prediction because they can continue the Jericho-Hook story since Hook wasn’t pinned.

After the match, Hook wanted to go after Jericho, but security got in the way and Jericho went to the back.

The Jon Moxley-Konosuke Takeshita match was up next so there was a quick video package about it.

Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita (w/Don Callis)

This is an IWGP World Heavyweight Title Elimination Match meaning if Takeshita wins he gets a shot at the title that is currently held by Moxley. I missed the first five minutes of this. Sometimes a man needs to go to the bathroom midway through a four-hour show.

Takeshita was in full control as he drove Moxley’s injured left arm into the ring apron. Moxley had his left arm/shoulder bandaged due to injuries he had coming into the match. Takeshita continued on offense with forearm smashes to the face while Moxley fought back with his own forearms. We see this in nearly every Moxley match. Takeshita hit a boot to the jaw. Moxley sent a charging Takeshita into the ropes leading to Moxley hitting a Cutter. Moxley went for a piledriver, but Takeshita got out of that and got an armbar takedown. Takeshita got back to a standing position leading to a Powerbomb and another armbar on the left arm until Moxley got to the ropes to break the hold. Takeshita put his fingers in Moxley’s eyes. Takeshita charged, so Moxley gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. Moxley hit a suicide dive on Takeshita on the floor. They went back into the ring where Moxley decked Takeshita with a clothesline. Takeshita held Moxley leading to a front slam while sitting on Mox and Takeshita hit a wheelbarrow German Suplex. Takeshita charged right into a DDT. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Takeshita and Moxley exchanged slaps followed by a forearm exchange (again with this spot that Moxley loves). Takeshita punched Moxley in the left arm followed by Takeshita doing a forearm smash to the jaw. Takeshita hit a running knee smash for a two count.

Moxley got a hold of Takeshita going for a Bulldog Choke and Moxley used the tape from his arm to choke as well. Takeshita got out of it and Takeshita sent Moxley left shoulder-first into the turnbuckle. Takeshita hit a forearm smash to the head. Takeshita hit a Death Rider for two because Moxley got his left shoulder up. Takeshita did that move better than Moxley does. Callis told Takeshita to bring chairs into the ring. Takeshita tossed three chairs into the ring. While the referee put chairs out of the ring, Moxley hit a Stomp on the chair. The dumbass referee Rick Knox was dealing with another chair that was in the ring, so apparently he was too blind and deaf to notice it. Moxley hit Death Rider for the pinfall win at 17:18.

Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley

Analysis: **** This was an awesome match that I really liked and I would have rated it even higher, but I didn’t love the finish. I get what they were going for, but they didn’t occupy the referee enough during the chair spot at the finish. If you are going to do a spot like that, you need to be more creative in terms of making the referee not see the chair being used. While Knox was getting rid of chairs, he literally saw Moxley do The Stomp on the steel chair. That should be a DQ finish. Instead, we have to act like the referee never saw it. At this level, they need to practice those spots and execute them better. Anyway, I really liked the story of the match with Takeshita working on the left arm throughout and Moxley sold very well most of the way. I predicted a Moxley win because I didn’t expect the IWGP Champion to lose non-title in a spot like this. It just didn’t make sense to me.

There was a commercial for AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door on Sunday, June 30th.

This Wednesday on Dynamite has the Forbidden Door Casino Gauntlet Match where the winner challenges for the AEW World Title at Forbidden Door.

The Adam Copeland-Malakai Black match was next so there was a video package about it.

Barbed Wire Steel Cage match for the TNT Championship: Adam Copeland vs. Malakai Black

There were weapons all over the ring. There was barbed wire at the top of the cage so the idea is that the guys won’t be able to climb to the top. A referee was in the ring with them to count the fall.

Adam hit a flatliner to avoid a chair attack. Adam grabbed some barbed wire and when Black tried to attack, Adam put the barbed wire against his head. Black was bleeding from the forehead les than two minutes into the match. Adam gave Black a Powerbomb into the cage and then a sitout Powerbomb for two. Black went for his spin kick, but Adam hit the Impaler DDT. Adam charged, Black blocked with a kick and Black sent Adam into the turnbuckle that had barbed wire against it. Black kicked Adam’s lg so Adam went crashing onto the barbed wire. That led to Adam being cut open on the forehead. Black hit a roundhouse kick to the ear. Black grabbed a barbed wire baseball bat. Black grinded the barbed wire into Adam’s head. Adam avoided a bat attack and then Adam hit Black in the ribs with the barbed wire bat. Adam hit Black in the head with the barbed wire bat. There was a table set up in the ring as Adam worked over Black with punches. Adam set up Black on the table, then he climbed up a bit and Black kicked Adam’s legs to knock him down. They battled on the top rope leading to Black hitting a sunset flip Powerbomb to sent Adam through the table. Black covered Adam for a two count. After Black wanted to do more damage, Adam was back up and he hit a Spear for two. Adam hit a piledriver. There was another table set up in the ring. Adam put Black on the table, then Adam used the barbed wire to wrap Black on the table. Adam went up top to the top of the cage where there was barbed wire near the top. Adam found a spot to stand and then he jumped off with an elbow drop to put Black through the table. That looked painful for Adam’s knees, but he landed okay and told the referee he was okay. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. Adam didn’t do a splash because the barbed wire was on Black. Adam covered for a two count.

Adam charged at Black and Black hit him with the spin kick called The End for one…two…no because Adam got his left arm up. That’s a move that usually wins it for Black, but not in this crazy match. Black tried to a stab Adam with some metal object that had barbed wire on it, but Adam moved out of the way obviously. Black hit a running kick sent Adam into the door and the door opened, so Adam bumped to the floor. Black left the ring and Adam hit Black with a Spear on the floor. The referee stayed in the ring because that’s where the match had to end. Brody King and Buddy Matthews went to ringside. That led to King and Buddy standing beside Adam to support him or at least that’s what it looked like until Brody clotheslined Adam. Buddy beat up Adam with punches. Brody and Buddy went into the ring to wrap Adam in barbed wire. Black was wearing Adam’s wedding around his neck. The lights went dark and there was also some red light in the building. They were looking to the ceiling. Brody reached down, and there was Gangrel! It was Copeland’s former WWE buddy Gangrel coming out from under the ring. That led to Gangrel hitting Implant DDTs on King and Buddy. Black hit The End kick on Gangrel. Adam hit a Spear on Black while the barbed wire was wrapped around Adam’s body. Adam applied a Crossface submission while using the barbed wire against the head (sort of) and Black sold it like he was fading, so the referee called the bell since Black passed out in the hold. This match went about 20:23.

Winner by submission: Adam Copeland

Analysis: ****1/4 That was a crazy match. I wasn’t surprised by both guys bleeding heavily throughout the match. They were both a bloody mess throughout the match. There was a lot to take in here like Adam jumping off the top of the cage, the barbed wire attacks, the crazy table bumps, House of Black interfering and then Gangrel popping up to help Adam when he needed it most. This match really stand out to me because they got to have a bloody brawl with weapons that was unlike anything else on the show so far. The only thing that surprised me a bit is that I thought there would be a title change, but having Gangrel there to counter House of Black was a way to neutralize the group and have Adam get the win. I don’t mind Adam keeping the title, but when he loses it I hope it’s to a younger guy that’s deserving like Black is.

After the match, Adam Copeland got his wedding ring back that was on the necklace. Adam put it around his neck. House of Black left. Adam and Gangrel hugged in the ring. The fans popped big for that. Adam and Gangrel posed together on the ramp.

Analysis: A cool moment for Copeland and Gangrel considering they go back 25 years. A lot of fans remember it too because it was in the Attitude Era.

Don Callis was interviewed by Lexy Nair backstage. Callis claimed it was a great night for the Don Callis Family. Callis said he was impressed by Orange Cassidy. Callis said that this Wednesday on Dynamite, he’s going to present a contract for the Don Callis Family. He didn’t specifically say it was for Orange Cassidy.

They showed Swerve Strickland and Christian Cage separately backstage getting ready for their match still to come.

There were three matches left and they were three matches that AEW said were part of the Triple Main Event.

It was time for the Willow Nightingale-Mercedes Mone match so there was a video package to set it up.

Mercedes Mone got a big introduction talking about being a game changer while they showed images of inspirational women. Mone said to believe in yourself, bet on yourself and be the change that you want to see. There were drummers and dancers on the stage for Mone’s entrance. The announcers really put over Mone as a very big deal saying it’s the “entrance of a star” and that’s what you do when you pay a woman a lot of money to sign with the company. Mone looked a bit emotional as she got into the ring since it’s her first AEW match and her first match in over a year since suffering the ankle injury over a year ago. Willow Nightingale was up next as the champion and she was cheered a lot by the fans.

TBS Championship: Willow Nightingale (w/Kris Statlander & Stokely Hathaway) vs. Mercedes Mone

They put Taz on commentary so Nigel was out again meaning it was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Taz the rest of the way. The announcers really put over Mone a lot and the “CEO” nickname. Mone used her technical wrestling skill to get an arm drag for a two count. Willow used her power advantage to chop Mone along with a forearm to the back. Willow missed an attack by the apron. Mone went for a move, but Willow caught her and Willow gave Mone a Powerbomb on the apron. Back in the ring, Willow hit a delayed vertical suplex. Mone tried to hit a big move, but Willow caught her leading to a German Suplex on the head/neck that looked rough. Willow tried something by the apron, so Mone tripped her up by the turnbuckle. Mone kicked Willow’s left ankle. Mone did a chop block to the left knee. Mone hit the double knee attack. Mone floated over Willow leading to Mone doing a kneebar submission on the mat. They exchanged slaps followed by Mone wrenching on the left knee. Willow tried to come back as she favored the left ankle, but Mone hit backstabber with the double knees to the back. Mone trapped went for an octopus submission. Willow got out of it leading to an Ankle Lock, but Mone sent her into the turnbuckle to get out of it. Mone ran the ropes leading to Willow nailing Mone with Pounce-like tackle to knock Mone down.

Willow charged in with a corner attack while selling the left leg injury. Willow with punches. Mone did some strikes and jumped off the turnbuckle, but Willow caught her leading to a spinebuster. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Willow went for a Powerbomb, Mone got out of it and hit a knee to the face. Willow was back up with a spinebuster to counter a move. Willow hit a Fisherman’s Suplex for two while also selling the left leg injury again. Willow set up Mone on the top rope, but Mone blocked a move. Mone slipped out leading to a Powerbomb for two. Mone applied a leg submission to tie up Willow, but Willow was able to get to the ropes quickly. Mone jumped off the turnbuckle, Willow avoided it and Willow did a kneebreaker smash onto the apron. Willow swung Mone around on the injured legs. Willow hit a Death Valley Driver by the turnbuckle. Willow went for a cannonball and Mone avoided it. Mone jumped on the left leg/ankle. Mone with a knee with a hard leg slap. Mone hit the Meteora double knees off the ropes for two. After Willow left the ring, Mone hit the Meteora on Willow on the floor. Kris was there encouraging her friend, so Mone shoved her down. This allowed Willow to come back with a Doctor Bomb for two because the referee was dealing with Hathaway on the apron. The referee didn’t count the pin right away, so it gave Mone time to kick out. Willow tried a lift again, but Mone got out of it and Mone applied a Crossface. Mone transitioned to an STF on the left knee, but Willow got her hand on the bottom rope to break the hold. Mone wrenched on the left knee again. Mone picked up Willow on her back and Mone spun her around into a slam called the Mone Maker for the pinfall win at 18:04.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW TBS Champion: Mercedes Mone

Analysis: ***3/4 I thought it was an entertaining match that was probably Willow’s best match in AEW so far while Mone reminded us all why she is one of the best women’s wrestlers. I’ve always been a huge fan of Mone in the ring and she really looked awesome in this match as if she didn’t lose a step after being out of the ring for a year. The title change didn’t surprise me at all because AEW is paying Mone a lot of money and they are going to want to have her carrying a title, so of course she got the win. I liked how both women were working on the legs in the match since Mone broke her ankle last year against Willow, so it was a continuation of that story. The finish by Mone was a bit anticlimactic because it didn’t look like a big move, but I think when Mone does it to smaller opponents it can look better.

Mercedes Mone celebrated with the TBS Championship. The fans were not cheering. Some of them were booing. This crowd definitely liked Willow more, but Mone celebrated with the title.

Analysis: Congratulations to Mercedes winning a secondary women’s title in her first match.

Statlander was consoling her friend Willow. In the ring, Hathaway was yelling about the loss, so Statlander shoved Hathaway on his ass. While Statlander was helping Willow on the bottom of the ramp, Statlander slammed Willow back first on the ramp. Statlander tossed the friendship bracelet down. Statlander decked Willow with a clothesline. Stokely was happy about it. The fans were booing.

Analysis: The fans reacted to that in a big way and cared about it more than the title change. Statlander has been a face for her AEW run, so it will be interesting to see how she does as a heel. Stokely is better as a heel manager anyway.

The AEW World Title match between Swerve Strickland and Christian Cage was up next so there was a video package.

Christian Cage was up first as the challenger joined by Killswitch, Nick Wayne and “Mother” Shayna Wayne. Excalibur complained about how The Young Bucks gifted Christian this AEW World Title match while Taz said that Christian’s success earned this shot.

There was a video about Swerve Strickland’s journey in AEW. Swerve said that when you bet everything on yourself, there is nothing to lose. Swerve made his entrance with Prince Nana. They did the “Swerve’s House” thing repeatedly, which Swerve stole from my LA Rams, but that’s okay because he’s a Rams fan too.

Analysis: I am fine with this as the second last match. I think Anarchy in the Arena should be last.

AEW World Championship: Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) vs. Christian Cage (w/Killswitch, Shayna Wayne & Nick Wayne)

It was a slow pace early on. Swerve hit a shoulder tackle and a stomp to the back. Swerve wanted a suplex, but Cage hit a DDT. They left the ring where Swerve kicked Cage in the head to knock Cage into the barricade. Swerve jumped off the top, Cage moved and Swerve hit the barricade. That’s the Macho Man spot. Cage tossed Swerve into the barricade. Cage stood on Swerve’s back while Swerve was against the ropes. Cage hit a Tornado DDT. Cage went up top and jumped off with a Frog Splash for two. Nick did a cheap shot to Swerve that the referee didn’t see. Swerve came back with a hard whip into the turnbuckle while Cage did a sternum bump into the turnbuckle. Cage came back with a sunset flip Powerbomb. Cage charged, Swerve caught him and spun him around into a powerslam. Swerve used Cage’s shirt to cover the eyes leading to two neckbreakers. Swerve hit another neckbreaker against the middle ropes. Swerve hit a twisting dive over the top onto Cage on the floor. Back in the ring, Swerve hit a cross body block off the top for two. Cage avoided a jumping kick and then Cage applied a Sharpshooter submission. Swerve fought out of that leading to a cradle for two. Swerve and Cage did a collision spot to knock eachother down. Shayna had the AEW World Title, Nana took it from her, the referee saw Nana holding the title and referee Paul Turner ejected Nana from ringside. The fans chanted “ref you suck” for that.

Cage tossed Swerve out of the ring. That led to Killswitch and Nick attacking Swerve with punches. Shayna distracted the referee, Killswitch went for a headbutt, Swerve avoided it and Killswitch hit Cage by accident. Swerve beat up Killswitch and Nick on the floor. Back in the ring, Swerve jumped off the top, Cage avoided it and Cage hit a Spear for a two count. The referee Paul Turner caught Cage’s allies trying to cheat, so Turner ejected all three of them from ringside. Swerve hit a knee to the sternum followed by a leaping flatliner for two. They left the ring leading to Swerve hitting a suplex on the floor. Swerve set up the steel steps on the floor. Cage avoided Swerve doing a move and Cage gouged the eyes. Swerve stomped on Cage’s chest while on the apron. Christian came back with the pendulum kick by the ropes. Swerve delivered chops while Christian was by the ropes. Swerve hit a suicide dive, Cage moved and Swerve’s head/arm hit the steps, but it was really his hand hitting the steps. Cage tried to take the turnbuckle pad off, referee Turner stopped that and Nick Wayne was at ringside with a Cutter. Christian hit the Killswitch finisher for a two count. Prince Nana ran down to the ring with pipe and he chased Nick to the back. Cage and Swerve left the ring. They battled on the Spanish commentary table, Cage went for a move there, but Swerve got out of it and Swerve did a double foot stomp to Christian on the table. These are hard tables, so it didn’t break. Back in the ring, Cage was moving just fine after the table bump and got a two count counter. Cage did a neckbreaker using the ropes. Swerve ran the ropes, Cage was leaping for a move and Swerve hit a House Call kick out of mid air. Swerve went up top and hit a Swerve Stomp. Swerve hit the House Call kick for the pinfall win. It went 24:44.

Winner by pinfall: Swerve Strickland

Analysis: ***3/4 I liked the match, but it never felt like a great match at any point. I think it was hurt by the fact that it was pretty obvious that Swerve wouldn’t lose the title in his first PPV title defense. They did have that nearfall where Cage hit the Killswitch for a two count. Other than that, it was about Cage trying to cheat to win and failing to do it while Swerve kept on coming back. I think this match went too long by about five minutes or so because this is such a long show and you don’t need to go over 20+ minutes just because it’s a World Title match. I did enjoy it and I like Swerve as the World Champion, but I hope his next challenger is built up better as a threat.

Swerve Strickland celebrated with the AEW World Title. Swerve posed with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather at ringside. They didn’t show any replays.

The Anarchy in the Arena match was up last as the main event. There was a video package to set it up.

Analysis: The show was at the four-hour mark at this point. I know Vegas is on the west coast so it’s not that late there, but going on past Midnight ET is a really long night. It’s especially long for me after writing a 10,000-word review along with reviews the previous two nights as well.

It was main event time as ring announcer Justin Roberts said: “Welcome to the shit show.” That was funny. The Elite were up first led by The Young Bucks as the AEW Tag Team Champions. The Young Bucks have new shoes that look ugly, but kudos to anybody who buys them. Anyway, Jack Perry was about to make his entrance, but the Team AEW guys attacked The Elite guys rather than making their full entrance. Actually, the lights went out and then Darby Allin ran down to the ring to start the match.

Anarchy in the Arena Match: The Elite – Kazuchika Okada, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson & Jack Perry vs. Team AEW – Bryan Danielson, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler & Darby Allin

The eight guys were fighting around the ringside area. Allin had a mask on that had tacks on it. Matt did a promo calling for his theme music to play. Bryan said turn this shit off and called for the best theme music. They played “The Final Countdown” at that point. Anyway, there was a lot of brawling all around the arena because that’s the name of this crazy match. It was hard to keep up with everything as Dax fought with Matt in the concession area and threw a trash can on him. Allin hit a Coffin Drop dive off a balcony onto a bunch of the wrestlers. Okada teased tossing Bryan over a barricade, but Bryan fought back. Somebody gave Matt a microphone in the card and Matt told them to cut that music because it cost a lot of money to play that song. Okada worked over Bryan with a kick in the crowd. Allin and Perry were fighting in the backstage area. Nick was fighting with Cash by ringside while Okada and Bryan were also fighting around there. The fans chanted “we want music” since there was no music playing. Somebody sent Cash into the side of the ring apron. We didn’t see it, but we heard it. Okada had a sign that said “Rainmaker Drive” and then Okada hit a cross body block on Bryan on the floor. Allin tossed Jack into an ice bucket that was in the backstage area. They were out near the parking garage. Perry hit Allin with a metal pipe to the ribs. They showed the ringside area as The Young Bucks hit Shatter Machine on FTR for two. Dax was bleeding heavily from the forehead. Young Bucks accidentally kicked Okada when somebody from Team AEW moved to avoid the kick. Bryan went for a dive, but Okada had a chair so Bryan hit the chair. Nick threw a chair at Bryan. Perry drove a truck or maybe an old bus that said “Scapegoat” on it and Perry drove the truck onto a pile of trash. We don’t know if Allin was there, but he might have been. They showed it in the arena.

FTR was in control at ringside as they hit a spike piledriver on Nick on the apron. FTR hit the Powerplex combo with a superplex and splash like Power & Glory. That got a two count as Okada made the save. Okada slammed Dax into the knee. Bryan was bleeding heavily from something cutting him open. Okada jumped off the top with an elbow drop on Dax. Okada did a middle finger salute, so Cash snapped the finger. Okada hit a dropkick on Cash. Okada hit a safe Tombstone on Cash. Allin was stumbling from the backstage area and he got into the ring with Okada. Allin attacked Okada punches, so Okada stomped on the left foot since Allin had a broken foot recently. Allin did a headbutt to the ribs followed by a Code Red for two. The Bucks pulled Allin out of the ring and hit a double Powerbomb onto four chairs set up on the floor. Meanwhile, Bryan hit a running dropkick on Okada. The Young Bucks pulled Allin to the entrance area. They put Allin on the backstage lift and then closed the display so Allin was behind the display. The Bucks fought with Bryan by the ramp area where there were huge poker chips. Matt rammed Bryan into the gigantic poker chip. The fans chanted “holy shit” as the Young Bucks hit their TK Driver on Bryan on the giant poker chip. Nick suplexed Wheeler on the poker chip. Dax gave Matt a DDT on the giant poker chip. Cash threw Nick into the LED board. Cash hit a piledriver on the ramp on Nick, which the director missed. Matt superkicked Dax and Cash superkicked Matt. Cash brought out a table and put it on the stage. Okada got back into it with a DDT on Cash on the stage. Okada did an elbow drop putting Cash through a table. Nick went up to the top of a tunnel and did a Senton Bomb onto Cash through the table.

Jack Perry was shown walking backstage and Jack grabbed Tony Khan, who was sitting backstage with a headset on. Allin re-emerged with a flamethrower in his hand. Jack threw Tony Khan down on the ramp. Allin put Jack on fire and the Young Bucks were there with fire extinguishers to put Jack out! The AEW Medical Team checked on Jack immediately. That was a wild scene since Perry was on fire.

The Young Bucks brought Darby Allin into the ring and Matt took off the mask that was on Allin’s face. Nick jumped off the top with a 450 Splash, but Allin moved and Nick went crashing into a trash can. Allin sent Matt out of the ring and Allin kicked Okada in the groin. Allin jumped off the top with a Coffin Drop onto Okada for two. The Young Bucks made the save. Matt sent Allin face-first into a trash can held by Nick. The Elite’s Young Bucks and Okada tied up Allin’s leg while a rope was sent down from the ceiling. They tied up Allin’s legs while Dax tried to fight back and he hit a suplex on Okada. Cash went into the ring and FTR hit a Shatter Machine on Nick for two because Okada made the save. Matt Jackson went into the ring and hit Dax with an exploding chair to the head. That was wild. Nick superkicked Cash. Okada had a thumbtack arm sleeve. Okada hit a Rainmaker clothesline to Cash so that the thumbtacks were part of it. Okada brought out a shoe box for The Young Bucks and they were shoes that had thumbtacks on the bottom. Matt told them to pull up Allin so Allin was being hung upside down by his feet and he was connected to a rope. The Young Bucks hit a double superkick with the double thumbtacks into Allin’s face so Allin was covering his face. Bryan got back into it by avoiding a kick by Matthew, who kicked his brother Nick by accident. Bryan hit a running knee on Okada. Bryan used the thumbtack shoe to hit both Bucks. Bryan worked over both Bucks with kicks leading to roundhouse kicks to the head. Bryan stomped on Matt’s head repeatedly while Allin as still upside down hanging above the ring. Bryan hit a Busaiko knee with a chair onto a bloody Nick for a two count because Okada broke up the pin. Okada hit Bryan with a Rainmaker. The Young Bucks hit the EVP Trigger double knee on Bryan. The fans were chanting “please help Darby” as Bryan held onto Allin. Jack hit a running knee to Danielson (just like Danielson does it) for the one…two…and three. This insane match went about 30 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Elite – Kazuchika Okada, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson & Jack Perry

Analysis: ****1/4 This was chaos. It’s not an easy match to put together, to perform in and it wasn’t easy for AEW to film either because they did miss some stuff for sure. There are probably going to be some fans who loved this and thought it was one of the best matches. I don’t know about that. I think it was a lot of fun, but after four hours of content, I was pretty tired of watching this show. With that said, they did go all out to have some memorable moments throughout the match. I don’t think the car/truck/bus thing worked because we never saw the setup of it, so we don’t really know if we are supposed to that Jack Perry drove into Darby Allin or what happened there. The fire spot was pretty wild so of course that got a big reaction. That one was set up well because Allin was placed behind the LED boards so he got to regroup, get his hands on the flamethrower, and use it on Perry, who was probably wearing some clothes that protected him at least a bit before the fire was put on him. They quickly put the fire out. The spot in the ring with Allin getting hogtied by the legs isn’t something you see very often either. I liked a lot of the match and my rating is high for it, but it’s not like I’m calling it a Match of the Year or anything like that. It’s a chaotic, wild brawl that’s a very unique match. I just don’t think it’s fair to compare it to matches where two or more guys are in the ring having a wrestling match. This is a different sort of thing entirely.

After the match, Darby Allin was lowered down to the mat by the referee and then some AEW guys from ringside untied Allin to free him.

The Elite celebrated on the ramp as The Young Bucks put Jack Perry on their shoulders. That was the end of the show.

AEW Double or Nothing had a runtime of 4:32:49 on pay-per-view.


Five Stars of the Show

1. The Elite

2. Will Ospreay

3. Mercedes Mone

4. Adam Copeland/Malakai Black

5. Swerve Strickland

I could pick more people, but that’s a good amount.


Final Thoughts

It gets an 8.25 out of 10 from me.

This was a great and entertaining show that likely satisfied the AEW fanbase very well. The main event left a lasting impression due to how insane it was with so many big spots, blood and even fire as well. You don’t see many flamethrower spots in pro wrestling, so kudos for the creativity there.

When I think about everything that happened, there were so many matches that I rated around the same four-star level. Some of them went a bit over while others were close to that level. I just don’t think there was anything at a five-star level like we saw at the other AEW PPVs earlier this year. There’s still a lot to like. I was so impressed by Will Ospreay as usual, Mercedes Mone did an awesome job, and of course, the main event delivered.

With that said, it’s a bit difficult to summarize it all considering this was nearly a five-hour show and I think that’s too long, quite frankly. It does hurt the show a bit because the crowd sounded like they were exhausted at times and barely reacting to certain things. I enjoyed the show overall and I’m happy to see MJF back on AEW television. That’s a good thing.

Here are my AEW PPV reviews of 2024 so far:

Revolution 9 out of 10 – March 3 (Sting & Darby Allin vs. The Young Bucks)

Double Or Nothing 8.25 – May 27 (Anarchy In The Arena: The Elite – The Young Bucks, Kazuchika Okada & Jack Perry vs. Team AEW – Bryan Danielson, FTR & Darby Allin)

Dynasty 8.25 – April 21 (Swerve Strickland vs. Samoa Joe)


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Twitter: @johnreport