By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Double Or Nothing
Aired live May 25, 2019 live on pay-per-view
Las Vegas, Nevada at MGM Grand Garden Arena
The main show started with Christopher Jackson, his wife, and daughter singing the national anthem on the stage. Pyro shot off during and after… A video package aired and included footage from the Las Vegas rally…
The broadcast team of Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Alex Marvez checked in while a shot aired of the outside of the MGM Hotel and Casino. They cut back inside the building where Ross and the crew discussed the lineup. Ross said there would be an update on the AEW Championship and labeled it shocking news. Ross said it’s amazing card and questioned how you close it, then said Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho is how you close it…
“SCU” members Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky made their entrance. Daniels brought a mic to the ring on half a mic stand. He got the crowd to chant SCU. Sky did the “worst town ever” bit. Daniels sang about the crowd having a real good time. Daniels had the crowd say SCU one more time. The Strong Hearts made their entrance…
1. “SCU” Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky vs. “The Strong Hearts” Cima, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman. Rick Knox was the referee. Excalibur emphasized that there is a ten count for illegal men to leave the ring once a tag has been made. Lidaman was isolated for a stretch. The Oriental Wrestling Experience trio came back. Several wrestlers were in the ring at once, but the referee didn’t seem to care despite the rule that was mentioned earlier.
At 8:50, T-Hawk put Daniels in a submission hold. Cima and Lindaman dropkicked Daniels. Kazarian and Sky were able to get past them to break the hold. A short time later, the OVE trio hit a series of moves on Sky that led to a big suplex for a near fall. Kazarian came back with a suplex on one opponent that put him into a bridging pin on another for a near fall. Daniels performed a suicide dive onto Linaman next to ring announcer Justin Roberts at ringside.
Lindaman returned to trip up Kazarian, but then took a DDT from Daniels. T-Hawk and Daniels performed simultaneous clotheslines on one another. Lindaman performed a nice suplex into a bridge on Daniels. At 13:00, Kazarian lept from the ring and into a huracanrana on one opponent, then Sky performed a great flip dive onto Cima and T-Hawk at ringside. In the ring, Daniels and Kazarian hit the Best Meltzer Ever on Lindaman. Daniels covered Lindaman and got the pin…
Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky defeated Cima, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman in 13:40.
After the match, Daniels was celebrating when he backed up and tripped over the legs of one of his opponents. Oops…
Powell’s POV: An action packed opening match. The live crowd ate it up and seemed to be cheering for moves more than one team over the other. There was no real babyface and heel dynamic, as SCU were playing to the crowd throughout the match. Marvez was better since he had less to do now that all three men were on the call. The idea seems to be for Ross to do his thing on play-by-play, Excalibur handles the traditional color commentary duties, and Marvez chimes in similar to the way Mike Tenay did during his run as The Professor in WCW.
Ring entrances for the women’s triple threat took place. Brandi Rhodes came out prior to the match in her ring gear and wore a “Chief Brandi” jacket. She removed her jacket and spoke over the mic from the stage. She recalled telling them each that they could win the match. She said she meant it. She said it could be a great match, but she wanted more than a great match. “I want a match that is awesome,” Brandi said. Awesome Kong made her entrance to a strong reaction. “Suddenly, Nyla Rose has become a cruiserweight,” Marvez quipped…
2. Awesome Kong vs. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae in a four-way. Allie joined the broadcast team on commentary for the match. The referee was Paul Turner. Kong and Rose squared off to start the match, but all three women ganged up on Kong. She shoved aside Baker and Rae, then cleared Rose from the ring with a kick. Rae climbed onto the back of Kong, who ended up flinging her to the match. Baker charged at Kong, who slammed her onto Rae. Kong went for a running splash, but both opponents moved. Kong charged at Baker, who held the ropes down, causing Kong to tumble to ringside.
Baker put Rae down with a move and then mocked Rae with a posing smile. Baker dove onto Kong, who was up at ringside. Kong caught Baker, but Rae performed a suicide dive that knocked down Kong and Baker at ringside. Rose returned to the match and worked over Rae in the ring with a bodyslam and a legdrop for a two count. Rae came back, but then ran into a nice spinebuster from Rose. At 5:15, Rose performed a Samoan Drop on Baker, then followed up with a powerbomb attempt on Rae, who reversed it into a pin. Baker raced back to the ring to break up the pin.
Rose went up top, but Baker cut her off. Rae joined them on the ropes and then Kong showed up for the big tower of doom spot with Rose taking a superplex while Kong powerbombed Baker and Rae. Brandi was at ringside and pointed at Baker. Kong grabbed Baker at ringside and worked her over with a series of strikes. Kong followed up with a powerbomb attempt, but Baker slipped away and superkicked Kong on the apron. Rae kicked Kong to the floor, then Rose speared Kong into the ring steps at 9:00.
Rae and Baker fought inside the ring while Rose and Kong sold on the floor. Baker got the better of it and picked up a near fall. Rae came back with a rollup into a deadlift German suplex for a two count. Cool spot. Rae showed good fire, then walked into a big kick from Baker, who followed up with nice shoulderbreaker and scored the clean pin. The broadcast team hyped Allie vs. Brandi for the Fight For The Fallen event…
Brit Baker defeated Kylie Rae, Awesome Kong, and Nyla Rose in 11:10 in a four-way.
Powell’s POV: The Kong surprise was great. I haven’t thought about her returning to the ring since she success as an actress on the GLOW series on Netflix. I’m not sure how much Kong will be doing going forward, but she and Rose were protected by not factoring into the finish. Rae seems like an underdog character, so she could actually be helped by the loss. Baker continues to improve and she was a good pick to win the company’s first women’s match.
Separate shots aired of Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho in their respective locker rooms…
3. Jack Evans and Angelico vs. “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor. Bryce Remsburg was the referee. Ross said he likes the ten count rather than the five count that wrestlers have to get out of the ring because it’s more realistic and logical. Taylor performed a falcon arrow on Evans and got a two count. Taylor barked about no one kicking out of the falcon arrow. Taylor performed Sliced Bread on Angelico at ringside and eventually doubled stomped his back. In the ring, Beretta performed a nice DDT on Evans. Taylor performed a double stomp from the ropes on Evans for a near fall.
Taylor performed Sole Food on Angelico. The Best Friends did their hug. The broadcast team laughed and Ross said, “Oh, lord” before laughing too. Evans performed a Canadian Destroyer on Beretta. Angelico launched Evans onto Beretta and got a two count. Angelico put Beretta on his shoulders. Evans leapt from the back of Beretta and dove onto Taylor at ringside. Angelico performed a crucifix buckle bomb on Beretta. Evans performed a 630 splash and had the pin, but Taylor broke it up. Beretta caught Evans in an inside cradle for a good near fall.
Taylor caught Evans on the ropes and put him up on his shoulders. Beretta and Taylor performed a Doomsday Device. Taylor dove onto Angelico at ringside. Beretta picked up Evans and held him behind him while Taylor performed a double stomp, which led to Best Friends getting the pinfall victory…
Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor defeated Jack Evans and Angelico in 12:35.
After the match, the Best Friends offered hugs. Evans and Angelico offered handshakes, but the Best friends pushed their hands away. Eventually, the teams hugged in the ring and then the lights went out. When the lights turned on, the Super Smash Brothers were in the ring. The lights went out again. When the lights turned on again, a group of masked wrestlers dragged some of the wrestlers to ringside. The Super Smash Brothers worked over Beretta and left him lying. The nine masked wrestlers joined the Super Smash Brothers in the ring and posed with them…
Powell’s POV: A well worked and crowd pleasing tag team match. I hope there’s more to the Best Friends act in AEW than just the usual mid-match hug. They are a talented duo, but their act has always struck me as being too simplistic. The post match attack felt a little indy-riffic, especially with all the masked wrestlers. I believe I heard some “who are you” chants directed at the Super Smash Brothers.
An ad aired for All Out on August 31 in Chicago, Illinois at Sears Center. Tickets are on sale on June 14…
4. Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho, Ryo Mizunami. Aubrey Edwards was the referee. Kong checked in during the opening minute to a decent reaction. Kong no-sold Mizunami’s shoulder blocks, but Mizunami eventually knocked her down. Kong came right back and played to a receptive crowd. The screen went black for roughly 10-15 seconds on DirecTV’s feed before it returned.
At 4:50, Kong blasted Riho with a nasty kick to the back. Ross said you could hit Kong ten times, but if she connected with one headbutt you’d be done. Kong performed a piledriver in the ring and had the pin, but Shida and Mizunami broke it up. Mizunami checked in and put on a fun show before performing various moves on Sakazaki. Riho checked in and performed a 619 on Kong, who came right back with a backdrop driver for a near fall. Kong went to the ropes and went for an elbow drop, but Riho moved.
Kong used a weapon on Shida and knocked her down. Shida performed a superplex on Sakura and had the pin, but it was broken up. A short time later, Sakura appeared to have the pin on Shida, but the referee ruled it a two count even though the timekeeper rang the bell. The fans were merciless. Kong went for a spinning back fist and hit her own partner. Moments later, Shida performed a running knee on Sakura and pinned her…
Hikaru Shida, Riho, Ryo Mizunami beat Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, Emi Sakura in 13:10.
Powell’s POV: I threw my hands up in terms of keeping up on this. It was really fun, but even Ross noted at one point that he had no idea who was legal and simply said it didn’t matter. The women worked really hard and while it seemed like they wanted Shida to be the star, it felt like the fans reacted to the group effort more than recognizing anyone as the standout of the match. Is anyone else ready for a singles match?
The broadcast team spoke at their perch about the Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes match. Ross set up a video package on the sibling rivalry…
Ring entrances for the Cody vs. Dustin match took place. The lights went out, music played, and there was an empty throne with skulls on it that looked similar to something Triple H would use for a WrestleMania entrance. Cody’s music played and he and Brandi made their entrance. Cody and Brandi approached the throne and looked it over before heading to the ring. Some pyro shot off on the stage.
Brandi reached under the ring and pulled out a sledgehammer, which she presented to Cody, who then went to the stage and slammed it onto the throne. Some pyro shot off to coincide with the hammer hitting it. The crowd roared and then Cody posed and headed back to the ring. Justin Roberts introduced Cody and noted that the match had a 30-minute time limit. There was a loud chant for Cody once his music stopped playing, and he shook hands with referee Earl Hebner. Dustin made his entrance wearing his red and black makeup on one side of his face while the other side had no face paint. Dustin wore a red and black outfit that covered everything other than his arms…
5. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. Dustin Rhodes. Earl Hebner was the referee. Ross said it was a long walk to the ring for a 50 year-old man in Dustin who is looking for respect from his own family. A Dusty chant broke out prior to the match. The bell rang and the fans chanted “this is awesome.” Another “Dusty” chant broke out. Dustin pointed to the sky and then Cody backed off. They came together and locked up to start the match. Cody put Dustin down and then did a cartwheel and posed in a way to taunt his brother.
Cody performed his brother’s uppercut while lying on the mat. Cody sent Dustin to ringside and then performed a suicide dive onto him. Cody blew his wife a kiss. Cody told the fans in the front row to move, then appeared to throw Dustin toward the ring. Dustin’s legs hit the apron so they did the spot again. Dustin slid into the ring, spun around, and kicked Cody. Dustin followed up with a cannonball senton from the apron. A “you still got it” chant broke out. Back inside the ring, Dustin performed ten punches on his brother in the corner. Dustin punched his brother a few times. Dustin wound up for a bigger punch, but Cody ducked to ringside.
Cody eventually returned to the ring. Brandi threw a drink at Dustin while Hebner had his back to them. Cody went on the offensive for a stretch. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers. Dustin fired back with a clothesline and a punch, then dropped to his knees and punched his brother. Dustin tagged Cody with a big right hand in the corner, then spread his legs apart while positioning him on the ropes. Cody reached down and pulled the turnbuckle pad away. Dustin picked it up and threw it to the crowd. Dustin charged Cody, who tripped him face first into the exposed turnbuckle at 8:15.
Brandi slapped Dustin while Cody distracted the referee. Brandi followed up by spearing Dustin. Hebner spotted it and ejected Brandi from ringside at 9:30. Brandi barked at Hebner. Dallas Page came out, put Brandi over his shoulder, and carried her to the back. Dustin was a bloody mess when they showed him on camera again. Cody wiped some of the blood on his own chest and then covered Dustin for a two count at 10:50. Marvez said Cody can be a good guy, but he also has a sick and twisted side to him.
Cody put the boots to a bloody Dustin in the corner. Cody whipped his brother into the corner, and Dustin crashed to the mat. Cody smirked while looking down at his brother. Dustin continued to bleed buckets and they played up that he was blinded by the blood as he swung and missed. Cody followed up with a stomp on Dustin and covered him for a near fall. Marvez said he knows Cody wanted to beat his brother, but asked if he really wanted to beat him like this. Cody went up top and leapt at Dustin, who ducked. Dustin powerslammed Cody for a near fall at 14:10.
Cody applied a figure four. Dustin sat up and Cody punched his face. Hebner counted Dustin’s shoulders down for a two count. Rinse and repeat with a punch and another two count. Dustin rolled the figure four over. Cody rolled and both men reached the ropes to break the hold at 15:40. Cody took off the weight belt that he wears in the ring. Hebner took it away. Dustin caught Cody on the ropes, pulled down the back of his pants, and whipped him with the belt once. Dustin followed up with Code Red in the corner for a good near fall. “The old man is still in it, he’s fighting his ass off,” Ross said.
Cody went to the ropes and Dustin cut him off. The fans were on their feet as Dustin ended up superplexing Cody awkwardly. Dustin followed up with a version of CrossRhodes for a two count. Dustin set up for the move again, but Cody hit him and then connected with a low blow that drew cheers. Cody performed a Disaster Kick and then CrossRhodes, which led to a near fall at 18:40. Blood continued to drip from the head of Dustin while the fans chanted “fight forever” and Ross compared it to a Dusty Rhodes vs. Terry Funk bloodbath. Dustin performed CrossRhodes and got another near fall at 19:45.
Dustin and Cody traded punches in the middle of the ring. Cody threw a kick, then dropped to his back and threw an uppercut. Dustin responded with an uppercut from his knees. Cody threw a kick at Dustin, who came back with what appeared to be a neckbreaker for another near fall. Another “fight forever” chant broke out. The wrestlers got to their feet. Dustin slapped Cody, who powered him up and performed his Din’s Fire move. Hebner started to count both men down. Cody got up and stopped Hebner from counting. Cody hit CrossRhodes on Dustin and pinned him.
Cody beat Dustin Rhodes in 22:30.
After the match, Cody eventually returned to the ring. Dustin fell down into the corner while trying to avoid his brother. Cody took the mic. Fans chanted “thank you, Dustin.” Cody told the fans to hold on. “You don’t get to retire here, you don’t get that,” he said. “Because I have to ask you a favor in front of God and the whole world.”
Cody said he has a match at Fight For The Fallen in Jacksonville. He said the match is Cody and a partner of his choosing vs. The Young Bucks. Cody said he doesn’t need a partner or a friend. Cody’s voice cracked as he said, “I need my older brother.” Cody and Dustin hugged in the middle of the ring while the fans roared. Both men looked emotional as they hugged and another “Dusty” chant broke out. Cody held open the ropes for Dustin and then they walked to the back arm in arm…
Powell’s POV: A hell of a match. The other matches on the show had more high spots and all sorts of insanity, but this singles match had intensity, drama, and the storyline of two brothers doing battle. They did a great job. Cody did a great job of creating emotion at the All In show, and again here on this event. This was just terrific. I love big high spots as much as the next guy, but pro wrestling is at its best when they tap into real emotion. It’s also worth noting that the match answered the question of whether AEW will allow blading.
The broadcast team spoke at their perch and recapped Adam Page winning the Casino Battle Royale…
Actor and comedian Jack Whitehall stood in the ring and introduced Bret Hart to present the AEW Championship belt. Hart walked out to a huge ovation and carried the AEW Title in a belt bag. Hart handed the title belt to Whitehall. Hart took the mic and greeted and thanked the fans, who chanted “holy shit” in response. Hart said he defended the world title in Vegas 26 years ago and it was an honor, and it’s also an honor for him to appear on this show. Hart thanked AEW for allowing him to be the first presenter of what he called “an absolutely beautiful belt.”
Hart introduced Hangman Page while saying he would face the winner of the Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho match on a pay-per-view next month. Hart corrected himself and said “or in a few months.” Hart told the crowd that it’s been awhile. Page made his entrance and then Maxwell Jacob Friedman came out with a mic in his hand. MJF got strong heat and “asshole” chants from the crowd. “Really, I’m the asshole?” MJF asked. “You people bought a ticket to see me, so shut up.” MJF said he’s the youngest and fastest rising star in pro wrestling today.
“Wait, Bret, a fan’s coming at you…” MJF said before he laughed at Hart, who smirked in response. MJF said the fans boo him because they are jealous. MJF said a horse can’t be the face of the company. MJF asked if the fans like that Page is a horse. MJF said he’s not a horse professor, no matter how strong or fast a racehorse is, if they have a bum leg then they become as useful as the fat hicks in the crowd, so you take them around back and blow their brains out. MJF told Page to save himself a beating and give him his title shot.
MJF climbed on the apron and started to use Hart’s catchphrase before deciding that it sucks. Page took a swing at MJF, who dropped off the apron. Jungle Boy came out (Marvez noted that Jungle Boy is the son of late actor Luke Perry). MJF blew off Jungle Boy and started to head backstage, but Jimmy Havoc came out and blocked his path. MJF was trapped between Page, Havoc, and Jungle Boy on the entrance ramp. Havoc and Jungle Boy punched him, then Page threw him over the barricade. Havoc and Jungle Boy worked over MJF.
Hart held up the AEW Title belt in the ring. An AEW chant broke out. Hart handed the belt to Whitehall. A “thank you, Bret” chant broke out and then Hart headed to the back and slapped some hands along the way…
Powell’s POV: The Hart surprise was a really nice touch. Yes, he was at Starrcast II, but he was never advertised for the pay-per-view. Hart didn’t face the camera for long with the title belt, but I paused the feed to get a look at it and it was impressive. MJF is getting tremendous heat tonight. Here’s hoping they don’t make him an ass who is constantly shown up by the babyfaces because he can be a terrific heel if they take care of him creatively.
A video package set up the AAA Tag Title match…
6. “The Young Bucks” Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson vs. “The Lucha Brothers” Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix for the AAA Tag Titles. Rick Knox was the referee. Justin Roberts delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match and said there was a 60-minute time limit. The broadcast team noted that the Bucks have had a long layoff whereas the Lucha Brothers worked the night before. Pentagon led the crowd in his Cero Miedo catchphrase while standing on the middle rope. Knox delivered mid-ring instructions to both teams.
Matt and Pentagon Jr. started the match. Matt jawed at Pentagon, who motioned for him to stop. Pentagon removed his glove and tossed it to the referee. Pentagon went for an early Penta Driver, but Matt avoided it. Pentagon did his Cero Miedo hand gesture in Matt’s face. Fenix tagged in. Fenix ended up taking down both Bucks, then teased a dive and bounced into the ropes instead. The broadcast team played up the rust factor for the Bucks. Nick and Fenix took turns ducking the other’s moves and then performed simultaneous dropkicks at ringside before getting up and shoving one another.
The wrestlers returned to the ring and the Lucha Brothers performed a double team move on Nick that led to a two count. Marvez plugged the Fyter Fest event and tickets going on sale on Wednesday. At 6:00, Matt pressed Fenix and slammed him, then speared Pentagon. Excalibur said the Bucks used their time off to work on new moves that they were showing off in this match. Marvez said they even have a new finisher. Nick accidentally double stomped Matt, who sold back pain and then tagged into the match. Matt launched Nick into a huracanrana on Pentagon, then they teamed up to knock Fenix off the apron at 7:55.
Nick dropkicked Matt’s ass when Pentagon moved out of the way. The broadcast team called it another miscue while continuing to play up the rust factor. Fenix performed a wild jump between the ropes while holding Matt’s arm, then performed a huracanrana on Nick, who was standing on the second rope. Fenix rolled into a cutter on Matt for a good near fall. A short time later, Matt suplexed Fenix a few times and then applied a Sharpshooter. Pentagon ran in to break it up, but Matt suplexed him at 11:45.
Nick performed one of his staples by performing a springboard facebuster on Fenix and then rolling into a moonsault onto Pentagon on the floor. The Bucks applied stereo Sharpshooters at 13:20, but the Lucha Brothers reached the ropes to break the hold. Ross said it would have been humiliating for the Lucha Brothers to lose the tag titles in Mexico, then come to the U.S. and lose the rematch via submission. Matt positioned Fenix over the middle rope, then Nick performed a 450 splash and had the pin, but Pentagon broke it up at 14:30.
Matt performed a buckle bomb on Fenix, and Nick snuck his foot in to kick Fenix as he made contact in the corner. The Bucks performed a powerbomb and sliced break combo on Fenix that resulted in a two count. The color commentators praised the Motor City Machine Guns for being the innovators of the move used by the Bucks. The wrestlers exchanged superkicks, regular kicks, and simultaneous clotheslines that resulted in all four being down on at the mat at 16:40. The fans roared. Matt and Pentagon fought on the apron and both connected with kicks at the same time. Pentagon performed a Canadian Destroyer on Matt on the apron, then Fenix performed the same move on Nick for a great near fall at 17:55.
Pentagon launched Fenix off his shoulders in the ring and onto the Bucks at ringside. Pentagon positioned Matt on his back and then performed the Penta Driver on Nick at the same time. Fenix performed a springboard swanton onto Nick for a near fall. Pentagon punched the ribs of Nick and set up for an arm hold, but Matt returned and blasted Pentagon with a superkick, then went to the corner where he took a tag from Nick. Matt performed a suplex on Pentagon. Fenix leapt from the top rope into a double superkick from the Bucks. Matt performed a running big boot to the head of Fenix in the corner. Matt set up Pentagon on the top rope and then performed a brainbuster onto the turnbuckle, which led to “holy shit” chants and some screaming from Excalibur. The Bucks performed More Bang For Your Buck on Pentagon, but only got a two count at 21:45.
Matt set up Pentagon in package piledriver position, then Nick performed a top rope double stomp that drove Pentagon down. Nick ran over and performed a dive onto Fenix while Matt got a near fall on Pentagon. The Bucks set up for their Meltzer Driver finisher, but it was broken up. Pentagon wrenched the arm of Matt, then performed the Pentagon Driver for another good near fall. “Man, I’m getting exhausted, literally exhausted,” Ross said. “This is amazing.” Fenix superkicked Matt twice and then placed him seated on the top rope. Fenix played to the crowd and then charged, but Matt dropped down and scooped up Fenix with his good arm, and then Nick performed his end of the Meltzer Driver, allowing Matt to pin Fenix…
The Young Bucks defeated Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix in 24:55 to retain the AAA Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: Wow! This was a spot crazy match that also had good emotion with two of the best teams in the world fighting over the AAA Tag Titles. Between this match and the Cody vs. Dustin match, it’s hard to believe that someone sampling the product wouldn’t be blown away by one or both matches depending on their preferences. This was excellent and the Bucks didn’t seem to have any issues with their long layoff.
The broadcast team recapped highlights of the tag title match and then spoke about how the winner of the Omega vs. Jericho match would face Hangman Page on a future event to become the first AEW Champion. Ross said he sees this match as must win for Jericho and therefore he expects him to find a way to win the match… A video package set up the main event…
The lights went out and then it was time for Jericho’s entrance. “Lionheart” appeared on the screen and a man with a look similar to Jericho’s younger days stood with his back to the crowd. The lights went out again and then someone holding up The List appeared. The lights went out and next up was the lite brite jacket. Fozzy’s “Judas” played and then Jericho made his entrance wearing a leather jacket and hat (no NJPW makeup). Justin Roberts stood next to a barrel that had the Cracker Barrel logo on it (no, I’m not making that up) while introducing Jericho. Omega entered while a trippy video wall followed by his name appeared on the two big screens above the stage. Pyro shot off for Omega on the stage and then he slapped hands with fans around the ringside area before entering the ring…
7. Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho for a spot in the match to determine the first AEW Champion. Paul Turner was the referee for the match. Excalibur noted that Omega defeated Jericho in Japan with a One Winged Angel onto a chair. He said he believes Jericho learned from that match. Turner struggled to get the Cracker Barrel out of the ring, so Jericho walked over and shoved it between the ropes onto a poor person at ringside before barking at Turner. Jericho pushed Omega into the ropes. Omega slapped Jericho after the rope break.
Marvez noted that AEW was trending number one on Twitter (he did a lot of trending updates throughout the show) and thanked “pro wrestling nation” for making that happen. Both men ended up at ringside and exchanged hard chops. Omega slammed Jericho onto the small timekeepers table. Jericho came right back with punches. One of the broadcast team members noted that the referee was giving them leeway rather than counting them out. Omega set up for a springboard move from the barricade, but Jericho shoved him into the front row.
Jericho picked up a camera and filmed Omega, who spat water at the camera. Omega performed a springboard kick off the barricade. The wrestlers returned to the ring. Omega performed a rolling senton and then followed up with a moonsault for a near fall at 5:25. Jericho came back and targeted the right eye of Omega. Jericho chopped Omega in the corner while Marvez told the story that Jericho is jealous of Omega becoming the face of AEW. Jericho performed a missile dropkick from the middle rope and covered Omega for a two count at 7:00.
After trading strikes in the middle of the ring, Jericho turned Omega inside out with a clothesline and covered him for two. Jericho sat up and flipped off the crowd. Jericho jawed at the fans. The crowd chanted for something that was happening in the crowd. Omega bled from the nose while the broadcast team questioned whether he suffered a broken nose from a Jericho chop. Omega looked down at the blood on his hands, then struck the pose while the fans did the Terminator clap. Omega ran the ropes and kicked a table that Jericho pulled out from under the ring. Omega ran the ropes and performed a flip dive onto Jericho and the table at 10:20. Excalibur played up the table landed on the left arm of Jericho. Omega picked up the table and dropped it on Jericho. Omega went up top and then performed a springboard double stomp onto the table that was on top of Jericho at 11:15.
Omega set up the table on the floor while Ross assumed that Omega had a broken nose and perhaps some dental issues. Back in the ring, Omega performed a bulldog style move on Jericho and covered him for two. Jericho ended up with his face toward the corner. Omega performed a V-Trigger running knee on Jericho. Omega placed Jericho on the top rope and set up for a move, but Jericho fought him off. Omega fought Jericho and set up for a straight jacket dragon suplex. Jericho fought free for a moment. Omega stood on the top rope behind Jericho and then performed a wild suplex from the top rope. Damn. Omega used his head to push Jericho over and got a two count at 15:00.
Omega ran the ropes and Jericho stood up and caught him with an elbow. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Omega put his knees up. Omega caught Jericho with a V Trigger. Jericho came back with a release German suplex. Jericho performed a Lionsault that didn’t look great, so he performed it a second time and landed the move before getting a two count. Omega stuffed Jericho’s Codebreaker attempt and then performed a high knee to the head. Jericho stuffed an Omega move attempt and then backdropped him from the ring and through the table that was set up at ringside. A “this is awesome” chant broke out at 18:00.
Omega returned to the apron and traded shots with Jericho. Omega knocked Jericho down to one knee with a punch. Jericho raked the eyes of Omega, then used the ropes to springboard into a dropkick. Omega took a vicious bump on the apron to sell the dropkick. Jericho slammed Omega’s head into the top turnbuckle. Jericho went for a superplex. Omega blocked it and then punched Jericho off the ropes. Omega leapt off the ropes and Jericho caught him with a Codebreaker on the way down to set up a near fall. Jericho pleaded with the referee, then jawed at Omega and slapped him a couple times. Omega came back with a tiger driver for a near fall at 23:10.
Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho at 23:45. Omega powered his way toward the ropes, but Jericho pulled him back into the ring and countered into the Liontamer. Omega rolled out of it and kicked his way free. Omega and Jericho traded hard punches, then Omega performed a V Trigger. Omega pulled Jericho to his feet and set up for the One Winged Angel, but Jericho countered out of it. It looked like Jericho was going for a DDT, but Omega landed awkwardly on his head while Ross called it an ugly DDT. Omega actually covered Jericho for a two count. Jericho performed an enzuigiri, then drove a knee into the head of Omega while he was down. Jericho set up for another Lionsault, but Omega caught him and went for his finisher. Jericho slipped out and performed the DDT. Jericho performed a Codebreaker. Both men got to their feet and Jericho threw an elbow to the face of Omega (the broadcast team called it the Judas Effect) and pinned him.
Chris Jericho pinned Kenny Omega in 27:00 to earn a spot in the first AEW Title match.
Jericho took the mic and asked the fans if they were going to boo him after that. He said he just got the crap kicked out of him, but he’s smart enough to know that it’s his time now. Jericho said he is AEW. Jericho said the company is for him. He took credit for everything the company has done so far. Jericho said he beat Omega by the skin of his teeth and recalled saying that he would demand a thank you.
Jon Moxley (f/k/a Dean Ambrose) made his entrance through the crowd and entered the ring where he glared at Jericho while the fans roared. Omega was still down in the ring. Jericho barked at Moxley, who kicked him and hit him with his Dirty Deeds, er, DDT finisher. Moxley kicked referee Paul Turner and gave him a DDT. Moxley played to the cheering crowd.
Moxley rolled the referee out of the ring and then turned his focus to Omega. Moxley knelt down and spoke to him, then got Omega back to his feet. Moxley kicked Omega and set up for a DDT, but Omega tackled him and they tumbled out of the ring and onto the broken table. Moxley and Omega fought into the crowd and then to the side of the stage. Omega slammed Moxley’s head into a giant poker chip that was used as part of the set. Moxley pushed another chip down and then climbed onto the stack of giant chips where he gave Omega his DDT finisher. Moxley sat up and the crowd roared again. “How do you like AEW now?” Ross asked. Moxley picked up Omega and blasted him with a knee to the face, then performed a Death Valley Driver that sent Omega crashing down below. Moxley soaked up the fan cheers while Ross closed the show…
Powell’s POV: Jericho and Omega definitely left it all in the ring. It was sloppy here and there, but they worked really hard and delivered a strong main event with a surprising outcome. It will be interesting to see if the idea is for Page to beat the most recognizable name in the company to become the first champion or if the plan is to put the title on Jericho, perhaps with the idea of Omega and/or Moxley chasing him. The Moxley surprise was very well received and the crowd didn’t seem to cheer any less for him when he went from attacking Jericho to attacking Omega. The set up some intriguing match possibilities with that final angle.
Overall, the big three matches made the show. The undercard was spot-heavy and pleased the live crowd, but the big three matches had real storyline support and were very well worked. AEW delivered big in its first pay-per-view effort. We still don’t know much about how they will present their weekly television series, but I came away impressed with the pay-per-view and looking forward to seeing what comes next from the promotion. Grade the show and vote for the best match in our polls on the main page. I will be by later tonight with my members’ exclusive audio review with Jake Barnett. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Gursinder Singh (a/k/a Tony Gill), who explains why he asked for his release from Impact Wrestling. He also discusses his background, being trained by Lance Storm, being in the Desi Hit Squad, his future, and more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...