TJRWrestling AEW Double or Nothing 2021 Preview
John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling AEW Double or Nothing 2021 preview. We could call it Double or Nothing 3 since it’s the third straight year since AEW has run a Double or Nothing PPV in the month of May. Double or Nothing takes place Sunday night, May 30 on pay-per-view.
As I sit here on Saturday morning writing/editing this preview, I’m watching last night’s Dynamite (as a reminder, no Dynamite review this week) and what stands out so much is the full crowd at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. It’s so great to have fans back at shows again. I’m tired of the wrestlers/cheerleaders at ringside and they went back to the traditional setup at Daily’s Place as well. That energetic crowd is a huge part of the show, so to have that support from the fans is going to mean so much to the wrestlers and it will make it a better show. I like the lineup with ten matches total counting the pre-show. Most of AEW’s biggest names are involved in the card and there are some strong matches, but I don’t know if it’s as good as their best PPVs. It’s up to what matches get the most time, what matches go too long and what wrestlers can really stand out.
If you need info on how to order Double or Nothing on PPV, check out AEW’s website for info on how to watch it in your country whether it’s on B/R Live, Fite TV or some other method. It’s different depending on where you live. I’ll be using Fite TV in Canada, most likely.
Joining me for the preview are Kurt Zamora and Lance Augustine.
(Note: All graphics are from AEW.)
Buy-In Pre-Show Match: NWA Women’s Championship – Serena Deeb (c) vs. Riho
Kurt: A great match to showcase the women’s division and get the night off to a solid start. Interested to see how much more of the NWA, Impact, & NJPW titles we’ll see on Dynamite now that we’re getting back to traveling. Will AEW want to focus on their titles more now and not feel a need to help companies like NWA and Impact that struggled during the pandemic? Or do they want to keep these titles in their back pocket to create big time matches for the new show Rampage? I could see it going either way. NWA does have a PPV on June 6th, so with Riho in America, it’s conceivable they set up a title match here for that PPV.
Prediction: Riho wins
Lance: Serena Deeb is probably one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, but I am torn in how she is used in AEW. I know she is the NWA Women’s Champion, but when she comes in, she should be put over in a big way and should feel like a bigger deal than how she is presented a lot of the time. We haven’t seen much of Riho since she lost the AEW Women’s Title, but in fairness, it is mostly because of the pandemic. This will be as competitive as it needs to be, but Deeb should be going over any chance she gets.
Winner and STILL NWA Women’s Champion: Serena Deeb
John: There’s no story here. They are two good workers and it looks like Riho will be back in AEW regularly after this. I assume Serena will win, but it’s hard to get that excited about who wins a title when there’s no storyline at all. The crowd should be hot since it’s the first match, so that always helps too.
Winner: Serena Deeb
Casino Battle Royale: Christian Cage, Matt Sydal, Powerhouse Hobbs, The Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison), Dustin Rhodes, Matt Hardy, The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens), Evil Uno, Colt Cabana, Preston Vance, Jungle Boy, Matt Hardy, Private Party (Marq Quen & Isaiah Kassidy), Penta El Zero Miedo, QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, and more names to be announced. There will be 21 guys in the match.
(Note: The winner gets a future AEW World Title match.)
Kurt: By my count, there are 19 names announced and this match concept uses 21. So we have two surprises. Samoa Joe can’t show up until July, so he’s out. I don’t think, even there was ANY chance for it, the likes of CM Punk and Bryan Danielson would be used in this spot either for a debut. Maybe someone from New Japan could be used if they’re in the country. My point is, I don’t expect a blockbuster name and the winner will be one of these names already announced. Christian Cage seems to be the most likely choice since he’s the biggest name in the match and has already had some interaction with Omega. I’m going to go with a curveball though and predict Jungle Boy. I think with his popularity, he’s a challenger that could have a FANTASTIC match with Omega at one of the first shows in July in front of new crowds. They constantly give him opportunities like this and it leaves Christian to continue something with Team Taz perhaps.
Prediction: Jungle Boy
Lance: This one should be fun if nothing else. Tony Khan loves booking battle royals on what seems like every show to try and get everyone he can on the card. That’s awesome of him to think of his talent like that, but it does take a little bit away when we have these four times a year. It doesn’t feel special. I think that this has some solid talent in it and with the title shot coming to the winner, the stakes will be high. I do think that eliminates a lot of guys who I wouldn’t consider “main event” talent. I believe the final four will come down to Christian Cage, Penta, Matt Hardy, and Jungle Boy. Out of those four, I could see Jungle Boy or Christian Cage coming out on top. Since Christian has been a top guy before, I will go with him.
Winner: Christian Cage
John: The winner of this match gets an AEW World Title match most likely on an upcoming episode of Dynamite. I think Christian Cage and Jungle Boy are the two best choices since they are babyface wrestlers and Kenny Omega will likely remain the heel World Champion (spoiler on that prediction later). I was hoping that Rey Fenix would be the winner of this match, but he’s out of action due to injury, so I can’t pick him. Penta would be a solid choice too. They could go with Dustin Rhodes, who is an older guy that can still go. Another name to think about is Frankie Kazarian, who is not listed, but now that his tag team is dead, he could use a big singles win. I’m not sure who the surprises are. Maybe Paul Wight can be in it making his AEW in-ring debut? I know they have said Wight is an announcer for the match, but they could put him in the match too. I’ll go with Jungle Boy because I think AEW would rather not have Christian lose a World Title match to Omega on Dynamite, but Jungle Boy would be a smart choice in that spot. I have felt like their battle royals have gone too long in the past, so hopefully they shorten it a bit and make it a better match.
Winner: Jungle Boy
“Hangman” Adam Page vs. Brian Cage
Kurt: I would normally have no problem spotlighting Hangman on a PPV, as he’s probably my most favorite character in AEW. However, this match just screams “Dynamite main event” and on a bloated card, I think this could’ve been left off. Cage scored a surprising victory over Page, which knocked Page off the #1 ranked spot to Omega’s title. Which was smart, as it delays the inevitable match those two will have when you can do it in front of a full crowd (non-Jacksonville since this show ended up being allowed 100% capacity). However, after Page lost, he hasn’t done anything about it. This match just was announced and I haven’t felt any hostility about the loss from Page. I get he’s the “Anxious Millennium Cowboy” and it’s part of his character, but for this to have ended up on the PPV, the FTW title should’ve been put on the line or something. AEW doesn’t do much 50/50 booking like WWE does, but this just feels like a match for Hangman to get his win back.
Prediction: “Hangman” Adam Page
Lance: This match has the potential to be sneaky good. I like both guys, but I have HATED Brian Cage’s booking. This guy should be booked as an unbeatable monster and instead has just been in a group carrying around a useless title. Adam Page has also had some booking pitfalls, but I still believe he will be AEW World Champion sooner rather than later. I wish he wasn’t booked in angles with The Dark Order, but at least he is on TV. This match should be fun and have some cool back and forth. Cage is athletic for his size, so they might do more high-flying stuff than normal and I am alright with that. I think Page is gearing up for a big push, and a win here would be a good way to move him forward. That’s the direction I am going to go. Also, there might be some more tension between Cage and Team Taz that peeks its head here and ultimately causes Cage to lose the match.
Winner: Adam Page
John: It’s weird how Page was booked as this unstoppable singles wrestler, it looked like he was poised to get an AEW World Title match at Double or Nothing and then he lost to Cage to knock Page down a few pegs. Meanwhile, Orange Cassidy is in the AEW World Title match when he’s won two singles matches on Dynamite this year. Page is 12-1 on the year (according to AEW’s official website) and most of those wins are on Dynamite. Anyway, that’s an issue with AEW creative. They don’t know how to value their own rankings system because wins on Dynamite should matter more than wins on Dark against non-contracted wrestlers that are there to put over the AEW talent.
This match between the two rhyming last names should be solid. Cage isn’t booked as strongly as he should be while Page is a guy that AEW is clearly high on as a babyface to build around for years to come. I like Page a lot. I think Cage is on his way to being a babyface later in the year because the Team Taz thing isn’t working that well for him. I’ll go with Page here and for Taz to yell at Cage about losing to tease the split.
Winner: “Hangman” Adam Page
Anthony Ogogo vs. Cody Rhodes
Kurt: Based on social media reaction, this is the most polarizing match on the card. People in the company have said that Ogogo could be their Kurt Angle, someone coming from the Olympics and picks up pro wrestling so naturally. I like his presentation so far and do think he has potential. This is a big spot for him, however it’s being overshadowed by Cody’s… let’s say odd… promo where he accepted the match for DoN. In these times, it just felt so forced and even tone deaf at points. There are fans that truly believe Ogogo is the babyface in this match. The whole “USA vs foreign enemy” worked great in decades past when we had an actual issue with countries like Russia, but in 2020 it just falls flat. The right move here is having Ogogo win and establish a new star. Cody, however, has obviously seen and heard the reaction to this match and I think will double down on the decision by having the Stars & Stripes shine brightly. Hell, we may even have a bald eagle flay across Daily’s Place after the match.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes
Lance: This should be a fascinating one. Cody Rhodes came out a couple of weeks ago and cut a promo that was very polarizing. I felt it was average at the time, and I feel that way now. He actually came out and said people have told him it was the best promo ever, but Austin 3:16 might have something to say about that. They are creating a feud between these two with the backdrop being a rivalry between The USA and the UK. Is this 1776? Either way, the buildup to this match has been interesting. Cody had a match with QT Marshall at Blood and Guts that was fine, but that was a quick one-off, and has since moved to another member of his training squad. It isn’t surprising that we don’t know a lot of these guys and what they can do, but at least they are getting some fresh blood on the show.
Ogogo has been alright in what he has been doing, but do I think he should be having a match with Cody Rhodes this early on PPV? Probably not, but who knows what ends up happening. I do think he gets a lot of offense in with Cody hitting his usual stuff as well. With Cody beating QT, I can’t see him completely burying the entire faction, so this is where they get the win back. I am not very confident in the pick, though.
Winner: Anthony Ogogo
John: I think the story used to build this up has been lame. Having Ogogo attack Cody with a cheap shot punch to the ribs after Cody beat QT Marshall (who leads the group that Ogogo is in) is a fine way to build the match. The problem is Cody did that ridiculous USA vs. Great Britain promo and it’s like huh? Cody apparently thought it was some legendary promo, which it was not. Anyway, QT Marshall trained Ogogo to wrestle at the gym that he owns with Cody, so I’m sure Cody has been practicing the match with Ogogo for weeks now. They might pull it off, but I don’t know if it will be good. I’m not that excited for it.
Cody is going to use the “American Dream” moniker for this match. I don’t think he should win, but I think he will because he is using his father’s nickname. If he uses his father’s nickname and loses then he looks like too much of a loser. It’s good to be an Executive Vice President in AEW – just ask Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. Anyway, Cody wins here. After the match, QT Marshall and the other guys in The Factory group will attack Cody. Maybe Ogogo knocks out Cody after the match as well.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Britt Baker
Kurt: I could make the argument that the whole show revolves around this match. A division that has been battered and bruised for most of its existence. It’s finally on track and stronger than ever, and we have one woman to thank for that. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. No one has done more for their career in the Pandemic Era than Britt Baker. Some of it was by luck & chance due to some cool visuals with a woman who clearly isn’t afraid to bleed. When you’re good though, you make your own luck, and that’s what I feel Britt has done. Now, they’re in a perfect situation with a challenger everyone wants to see win the title, a champion who has made the title important with an impressive reign, leading to the most important match this women’s division has ever had. I think that makes this the most important match on the card. Britt hasn’t been on a PPV in two years, which is crazy to think, but now she’s finally back and she’s ready to truly become the face of the division like she was hired to be.
Prediction: New AEW Women’s Champion, Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
Lance: This seems like this has been a long time in the making. Britt Baker has been in AEW for two years now and in that time has risen to the top of the women’s division. She got hurt last year and I hate to say this, but it might have been the best thing to happen to her because she cut fantastic promos and had us waiting to see her get back to action. She also had a great match with Thunder Rosa that headlined a Dynamite recently and it was one of the better women’s matches I have seen in a long time. Shida has been champion for over a year now, but it still seems like her reign at the top has been uneventful. It seems like she has run through the same challengers over and over again, but hasn’t quite gained any traction. This is one of the easier matches to predict what is going to happen on this show. It will be competitive, but I do believe it’s time for the dentist to stand on top of the mountain.
Winner and NEW AEW Women’s Champion: Britt Baker
John: This will be a good match. The fans see Baker as a big star in the women’s division. Even though Britt is a heel, she will get cheered from the crowd since she stands out as a character in a division that is lacking interesting characters. Baker has impressed me a lot in the last year and she has improved so much, especially as a talker, in the two years since AEW began. If Baker doesn’t win the title then I’ll be very surprised.
This title change should have happened at the last PPV or even the one before that. Baker has been the biggest star in the division for a long time even during Shida’s boring title reign. That’s not a shot at Shida the performer. It’s the booking. They do a poor job of building up interest in the women’s division and most of the feuds have been a letdown. The best women’s feud was Baker vs. Thunder Rosa and that ended in a non-sanctioned match that didn’t even count against the precious records that we are supposed to care about. It is Baker’s time to end Shida’s year long plus title reign.
Winner AND NEW AEW Women’s Champion: Britt Baker
Sting & Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky
(Note: This will be Sting’s first match live and in a ring in nearly six years since September 2015 against Seth Rollins. AEW has specifically stated that it won’t be a cinematic match. It will be a live match in the ring.)
Kurt: I stated during our Revolution preview that the cinematic match involving Sting and Darby was the match I was most looking forward to, because of my love for Sting. He’s the reason I became a wrestling fan, and 30 years later, he’s still my all-time favorite wrestler. I knew he’d be protected in a cinematic match, so my only real concern was that he didn’t look old and slow. I thought he came out of it looking better than he has since the day WCW closed in 2001. This match is a different animal, though. It’s live in front of a crowd, and with younger opponents that you wouldn’t initially think would be picked to protect Sting. Not saying anything negative about Page & Scorpio, but I don’t think anyone would’ve picked them to be Sting’s first opponents for a live match, if the opportunity presented itself. I hope Sting can feed off the energy of the crowd, let Darby do the heavy lifting, and then come in for the house cleaning. If Darby was still TNT champion, I would predict Page & Sky to win. Coming off a loss though, I think they’re going to protect Darby here and understand that just being in this spot is big enough for Page & Sky.
Prediction: Sting & Darby Allin
Lance: We saw Sting in a Cinematic match at Revolution, and that even gave me an uneasy feeling. Now, we have a live match and I still feel as uneasy about it. I would feel a little bit better if the dude wasn’t over 60 years old. With that being said, I haven’t hated him being paired with Darby Allin since coming in, but the booking with them together has been weak. He just comes out to cut promos, it gets interrupted and sometimes he gets beat down. It’s been that way since the start. Allin is a star and is actually my pick to be at the top of the AEW mountain by year’s end. He has put in great outings time after time, although, I could do without him actually hurling himself down a flight of stairs for real. Page and Sky are just teaming up because they have nothing else for them to do. I like both guys, but this seems a little forced. In fairness, they have been growing on me, but I think either one of them would be good as singles. Allin is the star on the rise, so I don’t want to see him take a loss here, even in a tag team environment.
Winner(s): Darby Allin and Sting
John: Every time Sting is in a match I am concerned about the man’s health. He has a bad back/neck and I really don’t want to watch a 62 year old man in the ring. It’s weird to think about how a guy like Steve Austin stopped wrestling at 38 years old due to injuries, yet Sting is still wrestling at an age that’s 24 years older than that. With that said, Sting did fine in the cinematic match last month, so I’m sure he’ll get through it fine. If they are smart, the match is going to be Page and Sky working over Allin for most of it, then Sting gets the hot tag and they can go to the finish there. I don’t think Sting has to take that many bumps. I’m happy for Sky and my fellow Canadian Page being in this match because it’s a high profile tag team match. With that said, the story has mostly been about Sky/Page doing cheap attacks, so I’ll go with Allin/Sting for the win.
Winner: Darby Allin & Sting
AEW TNT Championship: Miro (c) vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts)
Kurt: A match that I feel could be an excellent match, especially if it was perhaps a Dynamite main event, that ultimately might get lost in the shuffle during this show. There wasn’t much build-up to this match, but Archer has always been pegged in that top of the middle, bottom of the top role. Miro was the biggest miss in AEW, but ever since he finally ditched Kip Sabian, he’s now the killer everyone expected him to be and that WWE wouldn’t allow him to be. I think these two guys will try to steal the show, but I’m not sure how much time they’ll be given. Hopefully this is the start of a rivalry and not just a throwaway match to give Miro a quality title defense.
Prediction: Miro retains
Lance: Imagine if they would have booked Miro when he first came into the company like they are booking him now. He would probably be the World Champion already. This is the Miro we have all been clamoring for and knew he could be if booked correctly. He ditched Kip Sabian and had a very solid match with Darby Allin to win the TNT Title. All in all, I can’t complain about the way he has been booked over the last month and a half. Archer, on the other hand, has turned into the Big Show of AEW. Is he a face? Is he a heel? No one knows and we probably never will because heels and faces don’t matter in this company. Either way, I don’t want to burst the bubble of any Archer fans, but Miro will be TNT Champion for longer than two weeks.
Winner and STILL AEW TNT Champion: Miro
John: This should be a hard-hitting, physical brawl between two believable characters that you know are going to bring it in the ring. I’m so happy that AEW finally booked Miro right over the last month and I still don’t know why it took them so long. I don’t know if Archer is face or heel from month to month or even week to week sometimes, but I enjoy him as a performer. While I’d like to see Archer get some gold at some point in the future, I doubt it happens here. Miro has had the title for only a few weeks, so if he doesn’t retain then I’ll be very surprised. This is one of those matches that should go about ten minutes, have them work a fast pace and bring it home. Don’t go too long. It doesn’t fit their style.
AEW World Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
Kurt: I can’t help but wonder how this match would look had the Revolution ending gone the way it was planned to. Three months after the flub of the blowing up of the ring after the Death Match between Mox and Omega, and AEW is still trying to pick up the pieces. I still love the concept of WHY Mox and Kingston came together, but I can’t get the image of Kingston selling the lame sparklers like he’d been killed. I appreciated the reason they gave him to try and cover for it, but some mistakes just can’t be erased. Combined with the fact that AEW went far too long with the “Are they? Aren’t they?” storyline with the Bucks being babyfaces or heels, and this matchup has been fighting an uphill battle the entire time. The other thing that makes me uneasy about this match is that AEW has been notorious for making its Tag Title matches go too long on PPV’s. This shouldn’t be a 25+ minute match. This needs to feel like a personal, bitter, rivalry that’s all brawling and action for 10-12 minutes.
I do think a title change is possible, but there was a line that Matt Jackson said on this week’s BTE that made me decide they’ll keep the title on the Bucks. This is not a company where two single stars come together and win the titles to get a big pop. They pride themselves on having legitimate tag teams.
Prediction: Young Bucks retain
Lance: This should be an interesting match with two teams that have very different styles. After spending the first couple of months putting other teams over, The Young Bucks have come into their own a little bit and have had a nice run as AEW Tag Team Champions. Kingston and Moxley found themselves in an “explosive” situation at Revolution and have been by each other’s side ever since. This match should get some good time and will showcase what all of these guys can do. The Young Bucks will get their usual, over-the-top stuff in, but it should be countered nicely by Moxley and Kingston’s grit. I feel like this is going to be one of the longer matches on the show and it seems to be like there is a turning of the page on the horizon. I don’t think that leads to a title change here, but I think the Elite reign is coming to an end. If Moxley wasn’t having a child, I think there would be a title change. Instead, there will be a post-match angle that writes him off TV for the time being.
Winner(s) and STILL AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks
John: The team of Moxley and Kingston is great together. I just find it strange that a company full of tag teams has a second straight PPV where two singles guys are a team challenging for titles (Jericho & MJF at Revolution) instead of one of their many tag teams. I think the reason I like The Young Bucks as heels is because they are annoying as faces, so at least when they are heels, I find the act entertaining. The problem with their matches is that the referee (usually Rick Knox) doesn’t know how to count wrestlers when they are out of the ring, which leads to the matches turning into spotfests. The work is still good and I have rated many Young Bucks matches highly, but it would be nice if they cared enough to honor what tag team wrestling is. This will probably be one of the longest matches because The Young Bucks are always given a lot of time. It’s nice to be an EVP.
A title change is possible here because when I look at the other title matches, I see heels retaining or winning titles. There should be a big babyface win, so I’m going with Moxley/Kingston winning the gold. With that said, I know Moxley’s wife Renee Paquette is giving birth to their daughter soon, so maybe Moxley will get some time off for a few weeks. I don’t know if he will get that time off or keep going. Anyway, I just think a title change makes sense. The Young Bucks have had a good run as champions and I’m sure they’ll hold the titles again down the road. I don’t know if Moxley/Kingston should be long term champions or anything like that. I just think it would be a feel good moment considering all the beatings they have suffered and the fans love them. This might be the best match on the show in terms of star ratings. I think it could be awesome if they book it the right way.
Winners AND NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Pac vs. Orange Cassidy
Kurt: The argument for Orange Cassidy getting signed to AEW was that he was highly entertaining to a niche audience, an audience that the majority of is what made AEW even possible. However, it’s not like he would ever be made World Champion, so what harm is it to have some comedy on the show? Here we are, two years into AEW’s existence, and Orange is in an AEW Title match. Not just that, but he’s arguably their most popular wrestler. The only wrestler in AEW to have two shirts in the Top 10 selling shirts of 2020 on Pro Wrestling Tees. The ratings for AEW have shown they have between 800K-1 million fans that will watch every week, no matter what. Then depending on what they have on Dynamite, like a Blood & Guts type match, they can get up to 1.2-1.4 million fans. My point with that is, I don’t know that AEW is growing at the rate they would’ve liked two years in, but it’s clear that they have a die-hard fan base that will stick with them through thick and thin. Orange Cassidy being AEW World Champion is not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, I think those die-hards would completely embrace it. With all that being said, if AEW is into long term storytelling like I think they are, there is only one man that can beat Kenny Omega for the title and that is Hangman Page. Pac is in this match for nothing more than to take the pinfall so they can showcase Orange and he still looks strong after the match. It hurts the match a little bit that it’s a predictable finish, but I’m sure this will be a tremendous triple threat.
Prediction: Kenny Omega retains
Lance: This is probably one of the weaker and more predictable World Title matches that AEW has produced. I think Pac is really cool and looks like a million bucks, but he hasn’t been featured much on TV as of late. He did have a one on one match with Cassidy to determine who would face Omega here and proceeded to hit him with the stiffest looking kick and Powerbomb I can remember seeing. Orange Cassidy has no business even being in this match and they can tout his win/loss record all they want, but a majority of that was on the YouTube show. Have they run out of guys to fill out the top of the card? It’s not that I don’t think someone like Pac doesn’t deserve a shot, but do it one on one. This has going for it because it is a triple threat match, and those have been rare in AEW thus far. How far does that take this match, though, is anyone’s guess. This will have the usual Omega stuff in it and I am assuming Cassidy is here to take a lot of punishment. I also think he takes the fall so that Pac isn’t completely taken out of the title picture. It’s just lame when World Title matches feel thrown together. Omega won’t lose the belt here, but I do think his reign will be coming to an end in the next couple of months.
Winner and STILL AEW World Champion: Kenny Omega
John: I would be very surprised if there is a title change here. I don’t like how they set up the match. Keep in mind that AEW has had three months between the last PPV and the two guys they have as title challengers have won like two or three singles matches each on Dynamite this year. They should have had Pac and Cassidy winning matches for several weeks if this was the plan. Did they plan this match three months ago or figure it out only in the last month? I don’t know, but it seems like there wasn’t long term planning and I expect better from AEW.
The good thing about this triple threat is that unlike WWE, AEW doesn’t do triple threat matches that often. I don’t remember that many triple threats especially on their PPV shows, so at least it will feel fresh. Omega is an outstanding wrestler, Pac is one of my favorites in AEW and Cassidy has definitely grown on me. I think Cassidy can more than hold his own in the ring with these guys, plus the fans really like him and we know Tony Khan has talked about Cassidy as one of his favorite guys in AEW. I don’t know if the match will be as good as some of the Omega vs. Pac matches, but it probably will be because of how talented those two are. I’ll go with Omega winning. I think Omega may drop the title at the next PPV to Darby Allin or Adam Page, but he should hold onto it here.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Stadium Stampede Match: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana & Ortiz) vs. The Pinnacle (MJF, Shawn Spears, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler & Wardlow)
(Note: The Inner Circle must break up if they lose.)
Kurt: For my money, Stadium Stampede 2020 was my favorite match of the year. Considering the circumstances with the pandemic being brand new, DoN being only the third PPV AEW had done with Dynamite on the air, and the fact that Matt Hardy’s debut was derailed due to not being able to being in front of fans, the magic all 10 men made in that match cannot be understated. It’s the epitome of making chicken salad out of… well, you know. This year’s match though cannot be the same as last year’s. First, the obvious of the fact they’re going to have fans this year so it can’t be a fully cinematic match. So it’ll be interesting how much of the football stadium they actually use, as to keep the fans invested since I assume this will be the match that closes the show. Also, this rivalry with Pinnacle and Inner Circle feels far more personal and violent than Inner Circle and The Elite felt. Last year, again due to circumstances, leaned more comedy. So I would expect less light hearted spots in this one. A lot of fans can’t get past the fact that this is coming AFTER Blood & Guts, as that feels like it should’ve been the end. I can’t say that I disagree, but I also appreciate the story they’re telling, especially with Jericho and MJF, so it makes sense to me. The popular theory making the rounds is that Sammy will turn on the Inner Circle and cost them the match. I would HATE that decision. This rivalry, if nothing else, has proven that Sammy can be a HUGE babyface. I think if anything, Sammy needs to be the one that wins this for Inner Circle. I think this storyline still has a ton of legs, especially when you start breaking off the members into single and tag matches (I can’t wait for the FTR vs. Pride & Powerful matches), so to me the stipulation of the Inner Circle having to break up is a red flag that they won’t lose. Plus, as someone that owns an Inner Circle Stadium Stampede Winners shirt from 2020, I can’t wait to see and own the “Back to Back Champions” shirt that’s sure to come out. If you get it, you get it.
Prediction: Inner Circle wins
Lance: This feud has had some of the wildest booking in wrestling history. The first match they had was essentially War Games, and now we are getting a repeat of the Stadium Stampede that we got last year. I think this one is a little more serious with the guys involved, but I am interested in seeing how the whole things play out. MJF has been doing a great job as the leader of The Pinnacle and it feels like the groups of old with guys that should be at the top of the card joining forces. I just wish the booking was a little better. Have these matches towards the end of the feud, not the first two to start it off. Either way, I think this should be entertaining for the most part. The Inner Circle lost Blood and Guts and now with the stipulation of breaking up if they lose, I feel like no way is going to happen. If I had to guess, I would say this feud has at least one more gimmick match coming. It’ll also be interesting to see how they handle this with the live crowd in attendance. I can’t imagine that this will be live and will be a pre-tape, so, I assume they are just going to have people watch it on the screens. This will be a long match with a lot of physical spots and I believe that Jericho and MJF will continue the end to Blood and Guts and both of them will be involved in the fall. I think Jericho gets his win back and this 50/50 booking continues moving forward.
Winner: The Inner Circle
John: I feel like this will be the main event. I don’t know how they are going to do it because it’s a different situation from last year. They couldn’t have fans at the show last year, so filming the Stadium Stampede match in advance in an empty football stadium made sense. This time, I would assume that if they tape part of the match tonight (Saturday) then they will probably want to finish the match back in the ring in front of the fans. Stadium Stampede doesn’t mean they have to end in the football stadium, which is beside Daily’s Place. Anyway, I’m intrigued to see how they do this match. Based on the end of Dynamite, The Pinnacle had the advantage as they hit piledrivers on all of The Inner Circle guys to end the show. By the way, I think regular 2 on 2 tag team match between FTR and Santana/Ortiz will be awesome one day whenever they choose to do it.
I think The Inner Circle will win here, so that will even up the series after The Pinnacle won the Blood & Guts match. There is no reason for The Inner Circle to split up since they just turned babyface and AEW is going to need a babyface teams to feud with the 27 heel factions they have. Yeah, I’m just kidding about the number, but there are a lot of heel groups and not enough face groups, so keep The Inner Circle together. I wonder how much Chris Jericho will participate in the match since he’s got the legitimate arm injury that hasn’t healed yet, so maybe they do some injury angle to take him out for most of it. Anyway, I expect The Inner Circle to win to set up a third match between the teams probably on an episode of Dynamite over the next month or two. Since they don’t want to beat MJF and Wardlow is always booked strong, it will probably be Shawn Spears who gets beat by his team. Let’s go Sammy Guevara beating Spears for the win in what should be a chaotic, fun and creative match.
Winners: The Inner Circle
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Kurt: Biased answer is Sting/Darby vs. Page/Sky due to my love for Sting, but unbiasedly it’s the Women’s Title match.
Lance: It’s either Adam Page vs. Brian Cage or The Stadium Stampede, just to see the spectacle.
John: I like Stadium Stampede a lot, so I’ll go with that. As far as regular matches, I like Moxley/Kingston vs. Young Bucks just because of how much I like Moxley/Kingston together.
The Match I Care About The Least
Kurt: Hangman vs. Cage.
Lance: Probably Miro vs. Archer. It has the potential to be a good match, but it’s just so predictable.
John: Cody Rhodes vs. Anthony Ogogo. Keep it short.
Kurt: Tag Title Match.
Lance: Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky vs. Sting & Darby Allin.
John: I’ll go with Stadium Stampede since last year’s SS match went 34 minutes. It’s possible that Moxley/Kingston vs. Young Bucks is the longest.
Kurt: Hangman vs. Cage.
Lance: Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky vs. Sting & Darby Allin.
John: Cody Rhodes vs. Anthony Ogogo. They aren’t going to book Ogogo in a match longer than ten minutes. At least they shouldn’t do that.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Kurt: It’s an 8 for me. I think this is an overcrowded show that could use one or two matches being taken off. Lends to a long night, but I’ll take only 4 of these a year because every match at least has a story and keeps me invested. There’s a lot to like on this show.
Lance: AEW does deliver, most of the time, with these Pay-Per-Views. With that, I will go with an 8 because there should be some long-overdue title changes and there is potential to be another solid outing for everyone involved.
John: I’m going with an 8 out of 10 also. I swear we didn’t talk about it beforehand. I think this card has the potential to be a 9 out of 10 type show after I review it because there’s a lot to like, but it always depends on the booking. We know the wrestlers are talented. What matters is what matches get the right amount of time, what ones go too long and what ones are disappointing for being too short. I think Stadium Stampede will be awesome, the Tag Team Title match will probably be the best match in the ring and plenty of others will be very good too. Most importantly, I love that a vocal crowd will be there to support the wrestlers. That’s going to make it a lot of fun to watch. I’m looking forward to it.
John: I’ll be back with a review of AEW Double or Nothing on TJRWrestling.net after the show. Check that out during the show or after it’s over.
Our Twitter handles are: Kurt Zamora – @KTankTJR, Lance Augustine – @CollectiveHeel and John Canton – @johnreport.
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