Wrestling Review: AEW Double or Nothing (2020)

In spite of ongoing circumstances, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) will once again comes to you live for Double or Nothing. Two huge matches will headline the show, including the unstable champion, Jon Moxley defending the AEW World Championship against Brodie Lee, recently revealed to be the Exalted One of the Dark Order. In the co-main event, The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) and the Elite (Kennt Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Hangman Page & Matt Hardy) will finally meet in the first ever Stadium Stampede, a match with no disqualifications, no count outs, falls count anywhere throughout the entire TIAA Bank Field. Opening the show itself will be the first ever Casino Ladder Match, where nine of AEWs top competitors — Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, Joey Janela, Scorpio Sky, Kip Sabian, Frankie Kazarian, Luchasaurus and one mystery entrant — will compete for a future AEW Championship match.

Double or Nothing will also crown the first ever TNT Champion, as the tournament for the inaugural title holder reaches its conclusion, when the heart and soul of AEW, Cody faces off against the Murderhawk Monster, Lance Archer, with wrestling Hall of Famers Arn Anderson and Jake Roberts in their corners, respectively. But that’s not all, as in the ringside area, ready to present the winner with their title, will be Boxing legend Mike Tyson. The AEW Women’s Championship will be defended, when Nyla Rose faces off against Hikaru Shida in a match with no disqualifications and no countouts, stemming from several weapon-filled interactions between the two over the past months. All of this and two huge grudge matches, a battle between two of AEW’s youngest up-and-comers, and the crowning of new number one contenders for the AEW Tag Team Championships.

+ The Elite (Kenny Omega, Hangman Page & The Young Bucks) & Matt Hardy vs Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) (Stadium Stampede Match): there have been a lot of pre-taped matches/battles/action scenes/whatever in wrestling lately, and this was easily on par with the Boneyard in terms of action, comedy, callbacks and the wrestling aspect of it. This was definitely the funniest wrestling match in quite some time, but it never felt like the guys were not trying to win (except for maybe one or two moments). Overall, this was clearly made with the idea of entertaining, and it succeeded beyond any expectations
+ Jon Moxley (c) vs Brodie Lee (AEW World Championship): this was a really good fight between two guys who had a fair bit to prove after leaving the WWE, though Moxley has mostly already done so. I’m a very long time fan of Brodie Lee, back to when he was using this name the first time, so I was glad to see him going all out in this, arguably the biggest match of his career (I don’t think he ever got a one on one world title match in WWE, at least). Jericho was a great first champion for AEW, and Moxley was the best choice to be second following his WWE departure. This was really good, and arguably the best match of the show. As a side note, I hate to spend this whole chunk talking about these two in WWE, but it was arguably where most people would know them from, and it just shows how restrained they must have been while there
+ Nyla Rose (c) vs Hikaru Shida (No DQ, no count-out for the AEW Women’s Championship): Shida’s cosplay outfit and the new lyrics in Nyla’s theme set my hopes quite high from the beginning. This was a really solid hardcore brawl, and it has really helped me turn the corner a bit on Nyla Rose. Shida is easily one of, if not the best woman workers in AEW and her underdog style worked great against the (obviously) significantly larger Rose. This was great
+ Penelope Ford vs Kris Statlander: this was a bit sloppy, and not very good, but it was hardly the worst match you’ll ever see. I am really high on both of these women, and I think they’ll both be big stars, but just not right now
+ MJF vs Jungle Boy: this was absolutely fantastic. MJF is such an old-school jerkass and Jungle Boy is such a cutie patootie (which, let’s be honest, is the real way to tell if someone is a good guy or bad guy). These two went back and forth and had a few really great technical moments between them. Between these two, Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin, AEW’s future is looking incredibly bright
+ Darby Allin vs Colt Cabana vs Orange Cassidy vs Joey Janela vs Scorpio Sky vs Kip Sabian vs Frankie Kazarian vs Luchasaurus and one mystery entrant (Casino Ladder Match): this went a little bit longer than it should have, but dammit it was so much fun. There were the standard ladder match spots we have all come to expect, but also a few really creative moments, and a lot of incredible character interactions; Orange Cassidy might be the best character in wrestling right now. Not to be outdone, the mystery entrant was a great addition to the AEW roster. I really liked this match

Dustin Rhodes vs Shawn Spears: this was unnecessary as a match, and could very easily have been a cool down spot near the end of the show. I like both guys, but this was not a PPV worthy segment
Cody (w/ Arn Anderson) vs Lance Archer (w/ Jake Roberts) (AEW TNT Championship): this was fine, and maybe even good, but it didn’t quite reach the heights that they had hyped it to be. Cody was on defence for the vast majority of the match and that was good to show off Archer’s intensity and power, but it just dragged the match out to be longer than I think it should have been. A few interesting shoutouts are clearly setting the seed for later happenings, but overall I expected more from this
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs Best Friends (Trent & Chuckie T): holy smokes, the Private Party team looked horrible in this match. Trent and Chuckie were doing all they could, but almost ever major moment the Private Party attempted went wrong, almost to a dangerous degree. This was a negative, and it was nothing to do with the Best Friends

> Vickie Guererro was in the live crowd at Daily’s Place, the site of all the matches bar the Stadium Stampede. It was good to see her, and looking so happy

Should you watch this event: Outside of Private Party botching up a storm, and then Cody once again going too long with not enough action of his own, this was a really, really good show. Check out the Casino Ladder Match if you like those sort of spot fests, Rose/Shida and Moxley/Lee if you like a really solid brawl, and that Stadium Stampede if you like these new wave of pre-taped, long form pieces. Dang I am entertained.

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