John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling AEW Double or Nothing 2020 preview. It’s the second AEW pay-per-view of the year and the first one since the health crisis has caused our world to change. I review Dynamite every week and I think they’ve built up most of the matches well, but some of them aren’t that interesting.
I think the lineup is very good although it’s not as interesting as the last PPV, Revolution, was three months ago. Going into that show, the two main matches like Jericho vs. Moxley and Cody vs. MJF had long builds to them. The AEW World Title match only has about three weeks of TV time leading up to it without an interesting angle. I know that the AEW has only had the full roster at their tapings for the past few weeks whereas March and April had a limited crew, but they still could have planned some stories better. Some matches have no storyline at all. When you want people to spend $40 or $50 or whatever the PPV costs where you are watching it on B/R Live or Fite TV (that’s what I’ll use), there needs to be some hotter angles to get people excited. With that said, I expect great matches all night long, so that’s something to look forward to.
If you need info on how to order the show on PPV, check out AEW’s website for info on how to watch it in your country.
Joining me for the preview are Alex Podgorski and Kurt Zamora. Here’s Alex with some opening thoughts on this card with nine matches.
Alex: I’m excited for this show. AEW have done a great job keeping things interesting during these difficult times. They’re making the best of things with an empty arena, but luckily they’ve come up with some creative ideas to apply. They’ve taken the ‘empty arena’ concept made famous by Mankind and The Rock and have amplified it tenfold, which will likely translate into some of the craziest nonsense ever seen on a wrestling show. Oh, and the rest of the card has some pretty interesting stuff too, so I’m certain there will be something for everyone on this show.
(Note: All graphics are from AEW.)
Number One Contender’s Match: Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent) – PPV Pre-Show Buy In Match
Kurt: This should be a fun opener to set the tone for the night. Two entertaining tag teams facing off with something on the line in the Number One Contendership. Best Friends could be argued as being the AEW MVP’s during the “no audience” shows as they’ve been around seemingly every episode and made the most of their appearances. AEW had always said they were going to try to avoid overexposing people like WWE does, but unfortunately in times like these, you go with who you got, so Best Friends have gotten a ton of TV time. I think all of that will translate to a title shot for them, as it looks like Private Party are in line for a feud with the soon to be returning TH2. Speaking of Private Party, for those fellow BTW watchers, what the hell are those videos Private Party are doing?
Prediction: Best Friends
Alex: This will be the typical high-flying, high-octane battle between two smaller teams. You’ll notice the same stuff that has helped made AEW’s tag team division so explosive: incredible speed, a thousand dives, lightning-quick reversals and switches, and pure chaos in the ring and above it. Whether those are all good things or bad is up to your own tastes. As for winners, I predict The Best Friends on this one. Private Party had their chance at the tag team titles already so them winning again wouldn’t make sense in this case. AEW’s all about fresh matchups and unique combinations, so a repeat of something we’ve already seen before so soon would be uncharacteristic of this company’s booking logic. That said, if these guys get twenty minutes, this could potentially be as or more exciting than anything on the main show.
Winners: Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent)
John: There is no story here. They are just two exciting babyface teams with the Best Friends as two veteran wrestlers that are very skilled in the ring while Private Party are two young guys in their early 20s with bright futures. I think it makes more sense for Best Friends to win this match just because they have had some positive momentum of late. It should be a fast paced, exciting match that sets a tone for the show.
Winners: Best Friends
Dustin Rhodes vs. Shawn Spears
Kurt: This was a late addition to the card on Wednesday night’s Dynamite. Shawn is convinced that Cody left Dustin out to dry in his TNT Tournament match with Lance Archer, and tried to prematurely declare Dustin has retired. Not exactly a PPV quality match, but I’m sure they can turn a good story out of it and both guys are solid workers. Since it was such a late addition with not much going into it, can’t add much more than that.
Prediction: Shawn Spears
Alex: This will be the second or third match on the card, and its sole purpose is to help elevate Shawn Spears to a higher level as a villain. He got some people to hate him after that chair shot to Cody’s head, and they’ve been trying to capitalize on that by making him into a villain. But Spears hasn’t done anything particularly dastardly since then, so he needs to do something truly despicable to get people to hate him. And since rumors have circulated that Dustin is approaching retirement, it’s possible that this could be his final match, or at least, his final feud. I think the actual match will go between ten and fifteen minutes with Spears winning, and after the match he’ll decimate Dustin in truly brutal fashion. That will likely setup a final confrontation between them in the future (hopefully in front of a live audience) that will allow Dustin to have one last big match against a truly despicable opponent.
Winner: Shawn Spears
John: They added this on the last episode of Dynamite after a promo from Spears. There is a bit of backstory with Spears having a rivalry with Cody over the last year that involved Spears putting over in most of their matches. I expect this match is taking place to have Spears go over Dustin as AEW tries to build Spears back up a bit because lately he hasn’t had much to do. I’m also not sure if they are going to go back to the story of Spears finding a tag team partner because it appears as though that has been dropped. For this match, I’ll go with a Spears win.
Winner: Shawn Spears
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander
(This match may not happen due to Baker hurting her right knee on Dynamite when Nyla Rose was slammed right onto her knee. As of this writing, there’s been no official change to this match.)
UPDATE: AEW announced on Friday night that Baker is out and Penelope Ford is in.
Double or Nothing is available on all major providers, B/R Live and FITE TV – 8/7c pic.twitter.com/xOU4vPSyqy
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 23, 2020
Kurt: I wish I had a lot to say about the women’s division, but I just don’t. It’s still the weakest link for AEW. One of the few positives I can point to for the division, however, is Britt Baker’s heel turn. She has really turned a corner since going from the bland babyface to a heel with personality. She’s not the best wrestler still, but not everyone can be a Charlotte Flair or Natalya. She’s at least the closest to a total package that the company has. I would put the title on her sooner than later. I’ve never understood Statlander’s character. I chuckle at her interactions with Orange Cassidy on BTE, but that’s more so for Orange than for anything she does. I understand having gimmicks still in 2020, but she just comes across as something that was left behind in 1995. This match will probably be more competitive than it should be, because I would just have Britt win in a very strong showing. She needs to be groomed for Nyla. It looked like after I wrote this, that Britt may have injured her knee in her tag match on Dynamite, so I hope she’ll be ok for this match.
Prediction: Dr. Britt Baker
Alex: Baker suffered an injury on the most recent episode of Dynamite, and rumors strongly suggest something serious. That would be disappointing because AEW have put a ton of work into getting people to hate Baker as a performer. Given the current climate, it wouldn’t make sense for someone with a potentially-major injury to wrestle at all, much less in a competitive match. I think AEW will find a last-minute replacement for Statlander so that this match isn’t completely scrapped. It’ll be an easy win for Statlander, but otherwise it won’t be anything special.
Winner: Kris Statlander
John: I doubt Baker is going to be able to wrestle, so maybe they’ll sub Penelope Ford in here since she’s a heel on the rise while Statlander is a face. I have enjoyed Baker’s heel antics of late. It’s too bad if she has a torn ACL or something else that will keep her out for the rest of the year. If they sub in Ford or somebody else then I expect Statlander to win. Even if it was Baker, I would probably pick Statlander, who I like as a worker, but I think the alien gimmick is terrible.
Winner: Kris Statlander
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jungle Boy
Kurt: This match and the previous one drag down the card a little bit as they both come across as matches that belong on Dynamite more so than a PPV that you’re paying $50 for. I also wonder where AEW sees Jurassic Express as an act. It was either Double or Nothing last year or All Out (I couldn’t find the news source anymore) where they were the highest selling T-shirt of the weekend. Yet, since that point they’ve never been in the tag title scene, nor used as primary players. For a company that speaks to listening to the fans so much, I find that a little dumbfounding. On the flip side, I noticed how good of shape MJF has gotten in. That tells me that he knows he’s on the way to being Moxley’s next challenger for the title, as the top heel with the best promos has to enter the main even picture eventually.
Alex: MJF is the future of AEW. He is spectacular at being a despicable prick and he goes the extra mile to stay consistent. In an age when wrestlers don’t really live their gimmicks outside of ‘work’, MJF stays in character even in public. I think that’s commendable, especially since viewers are so jaded these days about the believability of pro wrestling. And given how he has performed of late, I doubt he’s going to lose to a wrestler that’s so far beneath him. Jungle Boy doesn’t scream ‘convincing and credible singles wrestler’ to me at this point, especially since he has barely a year’s worth of experience as a wrestler. I think MJF will take this one in just over ten minutes, and will spend at least five of those minutes mocking the hell out of his opponent.
John: They are two young guys in their early 20s that the company hopes to build around in the future. There’s no rush in pushing them to the top, but I think MJF will be going after AEW World Title towards the end of this year. While I knew quite a bit about MJF before AEW launched, I didn’t know much about Jungle Boy and I have to say he’s been really impressive in terms of his work in the ring. I think the name Jungle Boy isn’t great, so that’s why I like how JR always says “Jungle Boy Jack Perry” because he probably assumes correctly that it’s just going to be Jack Perry in the future.
It’s another match without much of a story other than MJF beating up Jungle Boy’s buddy Marko Stunt a bit. They should have done something on the last Dynamite to make us care about the match more. A promo by Jungle Boy would have helped me care about it more. It’s still going to be a very good match that may “steal the show” as they say in wrestling, but it’s tough without fans there. Anyway, MJF is undefeated in 2020 and I expect his hot streak to continue. While a win for Jungle Boy would help him open some eyes, I think MJF is going to win probably thanks to assist from his buddy Wardlow. Don’t sleep on this match. It will be very good.
Winner: Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Casino Ladder Match (Winner Earns Future AEW World Championship Match): Darby Allin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fénix vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Kip Sabian vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Luchasaurus vs. TBD
(The rules are: Two wrestlers start the match with another wrestler entering every 90 seconds. The winner is the first man to take the casino chip that’s above the ring and the winner will earn an AEW World Championship Match in the future. The chip can be grabbed at any time, even before all nine wrestlers are in the match.)
Kurt: Some will say this is a Money in the Bank rip-off, but we really won’t know until we see how the match plays out. I understand the criticism though. I think anything over 6 people in a ladder match is overkill and this will turn into nothing but a spot fest, as the post match to Cassidy vs. Fenix showed us on Wednesday’s Dynamite. So this comes down to only two questions, who will be the mystery man and who will win? You can eliminate any of the WWE guys who were recently released, as their no compete clauses don’t expire until July. Apparently international travel is what’s keeping the likes of Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Pac, & Pentagon Jr off TV, so I don’t believe it’ll be any of them. I ultimately don’t think it’ll be a big surprise or a new addition to the roster. I’m leaning towards Jimmy Havoc since he got involved in the post match brawl on Wednesday. As for who will win, there’s a lot of good talent in the match, but to me there’s only guy who’s been on the cusp of going to that next level, and that’s Darby Allin. They say he’s AEW’s equivalent to Jeff Hardy, well what better way to put Darby in the main event picture than to have him shine in a match that Jeff would’ve excelled at? This may be fun, it’s definitely going to be dangerous, so I just hope everyone comes out uninjured.
Prediction: Darby Allin
Alex: I’m going to list each wrestler’s likelihood for winning the ladder match and getting a future title shot:
Darby Allin – He’s still stuck in the midcard and I don’t think anyone takes him seriously as a challenger for either Ambrose or Brodie Lee.
Colt Cabana – He’s a veteran meant for lower-tier spots and for making some people laugh. He doesn’t stand a chance.
Orange Cassidy – There’s a better chance of The Undertaker doing a shooting star press than this guy winning. Unless AEW’s goal is to murder Jim Cornette because his head would actually explode if this guy did win.
Rey Fénix – An established top-level tag team wrestler than can hang with the upper card. He could win, and he would likely be the most credible homegrown AEW star to challenge for the belt.
Scorpio Sky – He already had a title shot and lost. Even though it’s a different champion now, I doubt AEW would give the same guy another shot at the belt so soon.
Kip Sabian – Same as Darby Allin. Too much of a lower-level guy to be taken seriously as a world title challenger.
Frankie Kazarian – He’s friends with Scorpio and he has put on great matches in the past. He could very well follow his partner in getting a shot, which could also morph into an interpersonal feud between them down the road.
Luchasaurus – While AEW’s core audience loves him but he hasn’t had much success as a singles star. He’s too involved with his tag team stuff to branch out on his own at this time.
TBD – It’s possible that AEW announced a final, mystery opponent either the day of the show or right before it starts. Whoever that is, I think they’ll only be a surprise, but not someone credible enough to win.
Winner: Rey Fénix
John: I don’t know if the format of the match is going to work. It sounds confusing on paper because I expect the announcers to have to explain the rules several times. The fact that you can win the match before all nine guys are in the match is ridiculous, but I guess it could lead to an interesting story. There wasn’t much done to make me care more about the match on the last Dynamite, which is another reason why Wednesday’s show was disappointing. Having guys brawl while using a ladder for two minutes isn’t going to excite the audience that much. I still feel bad for Rey Fenix, who did a dive to the floor and the wrestlers failed to catch him properly. How do you miss the guy? Break his fall, please.
The winner getting an AEW World Title match does make this feel like a bigger deal. It doesn’t mean that title shot is going to be on PPV because the next one is over three months away in September.
The names that I don’t think of as winners are Colt Cabana (just a midcard veteran guy), Scorpio Sky (skilled tag wrestler), Frankie Kazarian (talented tag wrestler), Orange Cassidy (more of a comedy guy) and Kip Sabian, who really isn’t featured much.
That leaves Darby Allin, Rey Fenix, Luchasaurus and the mystery guys as the true contenders. I have written for months that I thought Luchasaurus should be pushed more as a singles wrestler because the crowd loves the guy, but obviously with no fans around that has changed. Fenix is normally a tag team guy although he’s very exciting in singles. I wonder if the mystery guy is somebody like Drew Gulak, who just let his WWE contract expire and he would be eligible to be here. I don’t know, though. I’m thinking maybe it’s Jeff Cobb, who AEW has used before when he didn’t have a contract. Perhaps they finally signed him and they’ll use this spot to feature him. If the mystery guy is already somebody on the roster like a Joey Janela type then it’s not that interesting.
My pick is Darby Allin, who has been impressive wrestling bigger names in AEW including Chris Jericho, Cody and Jon Moxley in the past. I can see him winning here, coming close to beating the AEW Champion in a main event match on Dynamite and showing once again that he’s a guy with a very bright future. It could be an outstanding match, but it could also be a mess. Good luck, boys.
Winner: Darby Allin
AEW Women’s Championship in a No Disqualification, No Countout Match: Nyla Rose (c) vs. Hikaru Shida
Kurt: I’m sorry, I wish I had more to say about this match and this division, but it would be stretching out for the sake of seeing myself type. I think it’s weak to make a No DQ/No Countout match out of a kendo stick shot backstage by Nyla. This isn’t a long-winded feud between these two, so I don’t see the need to make it a gimmick match. I’m glad Nyla took the title off Riho finally, but she just doesn’t have any good contenders besides Britt. I know there’s not a Charlotte Flair or Rhea Ripley just hanging out on the free agent wire, but even someone like a Sarah Logan, especially if she returned to her Crazy Mary Dobson roots, would be an upgrade to this division. Maybe Britt’s apparently injury changed things in the tag match, but I don’t see why you would have Nyla pin Shida clean on Wednesday and expect us to have interest in this match now. Even if Shida put Nyla through a table.
Prediction: Nyla Rose retains
Alex: Once again, this is the least exciting match for me. AEW are trying to present Rose as their version of Awesome Kong/Vader. To that end, each challenger has been utterly decimated, and I predict the same thing will happen to Shida. I have a very hard time believing Rose will lose, regardless of how credible a challenger Shida might be. Furthermore, AEW haven’t really succeeded in making relatable, interesting characters out of anyone aside from Britt Baker and Kris Statlander (and in the latter’s case, I use the term ‘relatable’ very loosely). And given how much time and money they’ve invested in Rose, losing the title so soon would undermine all that effort. To that end, nothing will change in this division at this show.
Winner and STILL AEW Women’s World Champion: Nyla Rose
John: The women’s division has been a weak spot for AEW no matter how hard the announcers try to push it. They don’t have enough interesting characters past Britt Baker’s heel persona. Nyla Rose is a dominant heel champion that will probably control most of this match, then I expect Shida to come close to winning multiple times and I think Rose is going to retain the title. If they did a title change to get it on a face that would drop it to Baker then I’d be all for that, but with Baker injured that seems less likely now.
Winner: Nyla Rose
TNT Championship Tournament Finals: Cody (w/Arn Anderson and Brandi Rhodes) vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake “The Snake” Roberts)
Kurt: It feels a little odd for AEW to spring for a Mike Tyson on a show when they won’t have any fans, but if it leads to any additional PPV buys, I suppose it’s a win for the company. Tyson still carries a big name and will bring extra press to the company, especially with Tyson resurfacing on social media of late with talks of him wanting to box again. Cody seems like the obvious choice here, the big babyface getting all the photo ops with Tyson, not to mention he can’t get back into the world title picture. But I think it would be unfortunate to derail the momentum Archer has right now. I think I would’ve actually switched Brodie Lee and Archer on this show. Archer seems like the more credible title contender currently, especially with Jake as his mouthpiece. Whereas Brodie fees like he needed a solid mid card role for the time being, which I’ll explain later. Archer does things at his size that not many can do, or have ever been able to do. They have a primo opportunity to make a new star here, and I think they need to take it. Jake and Archer have a TON of potential moving forward.
Prediction: Lance Archer becomes the first TNT Champion
Alex: This is an interesting match because either man could win, and there would be good reason for each of them. Archer is a monstrous villain that has been on a global hot streak since his appearance in last year’s G1 Climax Tournament. He has really shone as a singles star and he’s the perfect upper mid-card villain to destroy the myriad of smaller wrestlers that surround him. At the same time, Cody is arguably AEW’s biggest hero and people adore him for simply existing. And since AEW seems to be filled with high-profile villains right now, logic would dictate there be a high-profile hero to ‘balance things out’. That said, I think that Archer will win here because Cody is someone that’s better suited as a challenger than someone being challenged. Despite his top-level status, I prefer stories in which he’s chasing after something or someone than the other way around. I can see Jake Roberts getting involved in the finish somehow to screw Cody out of a completely clean win, guaranteeing more hatred towards his charge Lance Archer. I think this match will get plenty of time and will be very competitive. As a pure wrestling match, it might even steal the show.
Winner and Inaugural AEW TNT Champion: Lance Archer
John: Archer has been booked as a dominant heel that has targeted Cody since the day he joined AEW. I think for the most part, Archer has been booked very well although I hated that it took him over ten minutes to beat Dustin Rhodes. Archer should have won in a shorter, more dominant way. The TNT Championship is going to be another prize for male wrestlers to go after and the way AEW is talking about it makes it seem like they want it to be seen on the same level as the AEW World Title. This match has been built up well for over two months and I’m interested to see what happens. My friends above picked Archer, but I’m going in another direction.
The presence of Mike Tyson should be interesting. The way they have talked about him in the build up to this match makes me think he’s going to punch somebody. I don’t know if it’s Jake Roberts because an older guy like him probably shouldn’t take a bump even if it’s a bump. Maybe Tyson will punch Archer after Archer provokes him and that leads to Cody capitalizing for the win. It would make Tyson a babyface as he presents the title to Cody. That’s my prediction. I expect Cody to win in close fashion in order to protect Archer and it wouldn’t shock me if the rivalry continued after this show.
Winner and the FIRST EVER TNT Champion: Cody
Stadium Stampede Match: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega, “Hangman” Adam Page, Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson and Matt Hardy)
Kurt: AEW has absolutely owned WWE when it comes to doing shows without audiences. Even just the roster members on each side of the ring, with the way they shoot the show, gives the allusion of a crowd and can make you feel like you’re watching a normal wrestling show. Whereas WWE is dead set on the deathly silence in their shows, which completely takes me out of everything they do that’s not a cinematic shoot like the Boneyard Match. This match is another example of AEW doing the most with what they’ve got and I cannot wait to see all the stops they pull. The Street Fight with Jericho & Guevara vs. Omega & Hardy has been the best match in the “no audience era”, and I think this will top it.
I felt they had a little bit of a spoiler on Dynamite by showing the graphic of the match including the Young Bucks and Hangman Page. The story was if the entire Elite would show up to the match since Omega and Hardy have been on their own. Ultimately they finished the show well with everyone arriving, but yet Hangman is still not fully committed. It’s been a great story with Hangman, will he leave The Elite and turn on them? I thought they might be headed that way when Blood & Guts was on the table, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that Hangman is too big of a star to turn heel. Especially when the crowds come back, they need a feel good superstar like Page to have as their own. He’s the type of guy that makes everyone feel better. I think this will be built up to having Hangman needing to save the day for The Elite, and doing so for the win. Its hard to predict what’s going to happen in something that literally anything is possible, but I cannot wait to see it play out.
Prediction: The Elite
Alex: This is going to be the wackiest match on the show. They will take the concepts that WWE used at Money In the Bank and go to even further lengths to make this into something unique. I predict this’ll feature a ton of utter insanity and slapstick violence. And given the participants, there’ll also be lots of tongue-in-cheek humor and ‘wink-wink-nudge-nudge’ references to other things happening in the wrestling industry. As for a winner, I’m going with the Elite team because they have Matt Hardy on their side. Now, this isn’t to say that Hardy will be the deciding player in the finish, but his character will be a central part of this match. I think he’ll be out for revenge for Vanguard 1’s destruction and will try and parlay that into a brutal fight with Jericho. Since Hardy is AEW’s biggest recent acquisition, it would make sense for him to be on the winning side so early into his AEW tenure. After all, wins and losses are supposed to matter in AEW, so it stands to reason that ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy will somehow keep that positive momentum going.
Winners: The Elite (Kenny Omega, “Hangman” Adam Page, Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson and Matt Hardy)
John: It will be fun to watch. There are a lot of great wrestlers here with creative minds, so expect them to make it very entertaining. My guess is they pre-tape the match in order to edit some of it and make it look great in the post-production. If it’s a live match then it could get confusing with ten guys involved in a match where they can brawl all-around a 75,000 seat empty football stadium. Anyway, there’s so much talent here that works well together that I think it’s going to be the most talked about match on the show and maybe the best match even though it will be unconventional. I have a lot of trust in these guys putting on a unique match especially when sharp minds like Jericho and Hardy are involved.
Since the heel Inner Circle team won the main event tag team match a few weeks back thanks to a 5 on 2 attack, I expect The Elite to get the win here. There will probably be some big highspot in the match with somebody like Kenny Omega or Nick Jackson doing a crazy dive off a platform onto some heels below. Perhaps Nick Jackson will get the win for his team since he was “injured” by The Elite a few months back when his wife was having a baby and he was given time off. It makes sense as a comeback story.
Winners: The Elite
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Brodie Lee
Kurt: I hope that even though this is the AEW Title Match, this doesn’t close the show. It’s at best the 3rd best match on the card. Mox has been tremendous as champion and has really shined on AEW. I feel like the person who has suffered the most during this pandemic has been Brodie Lee. Without Evil Uno and Stu Grayson by his side, he looks like a leader of a bunch of jobbers. He needs the two guys who had credibility to add credibility to him. With the way the group is presented without them, Brodie just doesn’t come across as a contender for the AEW title. Plus, the lack of crowd hurts him, as the crowd they would’ve been in front of during this time, would’ve helped him look like more of a big deal. Don’t forget that his debut was supposed to happen in his hometown of Rochester. I’m happy for him getting this opportunity, as he’s a hell of a worker and this is a spot that WWE refused to put him in.
However, as I said earlier, I think I would’ve had he and Archer switch spots on this card. Archer would’ve come across as a much more credible contender to Moxley, especially with Jake facing off against Mox on the mics. Then I could much easier stomach Brodie’s current persona and followers in the Dark Order in a secondary feud with Cody. It would’ve helped him develop more. Plus, in hindsight, it would’ve given Tyson an easy target to knock someone out in Dark Order. I have no doubt that this will be a hell of a match, as both guys are familiar with each other and I’m sure Brodie feels he has a lot to prove. But even with everything I’ve said, find me a storyline where someone stole a title and then ended up just winning it outright. It never happens.
Prediction: Jon Moxley retains
Alex: As much as I don’t like the idea of two ex-WWE guys fighting for AEW’s biggest prize, at least the characters feel fresh. Both guys have been interesting since coming to AEW, and both have won many high-profile matches. But I’m going to make a bold move here and predict that Brodie Lee wins, thanks to interference from the Dark Order. Now, it won’t be one giant pile-up where ten guys all team up and destroy Moxley; AEW can’t do that even if they wanted to. But what they could do is have one Dark Order member after another interfere at different times throughout the match, gradually wearing Moxley down through increasing amounts of shenanigans. AEW have been desperate to get fans to believe that The Dark Order is more than just a cheesy, low-tier rip-off of previous ‘dark’ wrestling gimmicks. And I don’t think there’s a better way of doing that than having their ‘exalted’ leader take the biggest prize in the company.
Winner and NEW AEW World Champion: Brodie Lee
John: These guys know eachother well from their WWE days, so I expect them to have an entertaining match. Lee has been dominant in AEW so far although he hasn’t faced many of the big names yet. Is the title shot rushed? Perhaps, but I think AEW needed a strong heel for Moxley to face and there’s nothing wrong with putting Lee in this spot. By putting Lee in the main event spot in his first PPV, that tells the AEW fans that Lee is going to go a major player in AEW. I don’t know if anybody is going to be as motivated as Lee considering how he wasn’t used very well in WWE and because of that, he’s got as big of a chip on his shoulder as anybody in AEW. Moxley’s AEW World Title reign has only been about three months. If it ended here then maybe that might surprise people and maybe that’s something AEW is considering. I also feel like this is early in their story, so the rivalry doesn’t have to end here.
I think Moxley will win here and if he doesn’t I’ll be very surprised. This should be a very good match that could be the best match of the night. Moxley wins here and maybe Lee kicks his ass after the loss to keep the feud going. That’s how I think it will be.
Winner: Jon Moxley
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Kurt: The Stadium Stampede because it’s something brand new with a ton of creative minds involved.
Alex: Either the Stadium Stampede match or the World Title match. Both have potential to be great, and it’ll be nice to see Brodie Lee in a competitive, high-profile singles match for once.
John: I’ll go with Stadium Stampede since there are ten guys involved and it’s going to be different than anything else.
The Match I Care About The Least
Kurt: Either of the women’s matches.
Alex: Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida. It’s just too predictable for me to care.
John: Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker or whoever fills in for Baker.
Kurt: It should be the Stadium Stampede, but I could see Cody/Archer going longest.
Alex: The Stadium Stampede Match: They have an entire empty stadium to brawl in. This will go over half an hour for sure.
John: I think the Casino Ladder Match will be the longest, but Stadium Stampede might be longer.
Kurt: MJF vs. Jungle Boy.
Alex: Either of the women’s matches. The title match will be a one-sided demolition and the other will be average, at best.
John: Shawn Spears vs. Dustin Rhodes. Just a hunch.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Kurt: I won’t go full AEW fan boy and say a 9 or 10, the card has too many “Dynamite” type matches for that. I’ll say a 7.5. There’s enough there to look forward to, and I expect some memorable moments.
Alex: 7.75 – I’d be far more excited if this were in front of a live audience. Sadly, the lack of fans is starting to get to me and is really affecting my ability to enjoy ‘live’ pro wrestling at this point. I think the matches will be anywhere from good to great (nothing will be overtly bad) but the whole show will feel incomplete without fans reacting. Even if some of those fan reactions are silly and overplayed.
John: I’m going with a 7.5 out of 10 meaning that I think it’s going to be a very good show. I like that there are unique matches like the Stadium Stampede and Casino Ladder matches that will allow them to stand out. Most of the singles matches are pretty solid. With that said, I wish some of the storylines going in were better in some cases. Obviously it’s tough to do a show without fans, but AEW has done a nice job of having wrestlers at ringside to make some noise. I’m looking forward to the show.
John: I’ll be back with a review of AEW Double or Nothing on TJRWrestling.net on Saturday, so check that out during the show or after it’s over.
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