By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Double Or Nothing
Aired live May 23, 2020 live on pay-per-view and B/R Live
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Double Or Nothing Buy In Pre-Show
Excalibur and Taz hosted the pre-show. They acknowledged the changes to the lineup with Penelope Ford replacing Britt Baker in the match against Kris Statlander while running through the lineup…
Tony Schiavone interviewed Jake Roberts in a rundown building where Lance Archer was slamming a sledgehammer onto a tire. Roberts told Archer to “go in there and knock the shit out of it.” Archer entered a dilapidated bathroom and destroyed a toilet and other structures. “I love it when he’s happy,” Roberts said. Schiavone said he would say that Archer is ready…
1. “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent to become No. 1 contenders to the AEW Tag Titles. As usual, a number of wrestlers were positioned behind the ringside barricade to provide some atmosphere. There were also themed cards and chips on the stage and at ringside. The teams shook hands before the match. The video board featured a slot wheel that spun during the match.
Trent lost his headband early, then put it back on a short time later. Kassidy performed a move during which he flipped onto his partner’s back, then performed a DDT on Trent, who came up clutching his knee, yet was able to continue working. The large Double Or Nothing poker chip for the Casino Ladder Match could be seen hanging above the ring.
Later, Private Party performed the Cryme Tyme double team neckbreaker move on Taylor, which Taz acknowledged. “It’s pretty cool that they did that,” Taz said. Quen performed a shooting star press on Trent and had him pinned, but Taylor pulled Quen to ringside to break it up. Trent came back and got a near fall on Quen. Taylor ran Kassidy into the post. Best Friends hit Quen with their finisher and then Trent scored the pin…
“Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent defeated “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen in 15:10 to become No. 1 contenders to the AEW Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A decent match to open the show. There were some clunky moments and some impressive athleticism. I’m surprised that Private Party has slipped into the background. They’ve been working most of their matches on AEW Dark and now they lost this match. I guess you can’t push everyone at once, but hopefully there time is coming.
Schiavone interviewed Arn Anderson in the backstage area. Anderson wasn’t impressed by Archer’s work with the sledgehammer. “Toilets don’t hit back, Cody does,” Anderson said. Nice. Anderson spoke about what he and Roberts could do to one another or the possibility that Mike Tyson could punch them both out. Anderson said the championship will ultimately be decided in the ring. Anderson said you might look at Archer and think that he’s the favorite, but you’d be forgetting about guts, tenacity, and leadership qualities. He said Cody’s legacy starts tonight and he doesn’t doubt him when he says he’ll win the TNT Championship…
A video package focused on the AEW Championship match between Jon Moxley and Brodie Lee…
Excalibur sat at the broadcast table and introduced Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone. The Oklahoma fight song played and then both men made their entrance and joined Excalibur at the desk on the stage. The Librarians were shown reading. The broadcast team hyped the pay-per-view and noted that the Casino Ladder match would open the main card…
Powell’s POV: This was a solid 30-minute pre-show. The match took up most of the time. A pre-show should leave you excited to see the main show, not overstay its welcome to the point that it hurts the main card by making it feel like too long of a night.
AEW Double Or Nothing Pay-Per-View
A video package opened the show with the wrestlers talking about how they would like to say thank you as the world begins to rise. Shots of the wrestlers and first responders were shown while the wrestlers thanked them and talked about how we all come together no matter what life brings. A shot of an ocean shore was shown while a graphic acknowledged the death of Shad Gaspard. The video moved into showcasing the various matches…
A small pyro display shot off and then Ross, Excalibur, and Schiavone checked in on commentary. Vickie Guerrero was shown sitting in the front row along with the wrestler spectators…
A pre-taped Joey Janela promo aired. He spoke about getting a phone call the night before inviting him to replace the injured Rey Fenix. Kip Sabian was shown seated with Jimmy Havoc and Penelope Ford standing behind him. He said people wondered if Havoc or Ford would get involved. Havoc said the match is about Sabian getting his AEW Championship opportunity.
Christopher Daniels spoke about his SCU faction mates Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky being in the match. He said they are willing to go through hell and high water and even each other to win the match. Best Friends were shown talking to Orange Cassidy about how the match works…
1. Darby Allin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Joey Janela vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Kip Sabian vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Luchasaurus vs. a mystery entrant in a Casino Ladder Match for a shot at the AEW Championship. A giant poker chip was hanging above the ring and the goal was to pull down the chip to win the match.
The first two entrants were Kazarian and Sky. A huge countdown clock replaced the slot machine on the big screen to count down from two minutes until the next entrant arrives. The broadcast team spoke about how SCU and Kazarian were too honorable and prideful to collude to take the title belt down. Ross said he was told that the mystery entrant would be making his AEW debut. Sky and Kazarian did a head collision spot and were down with seconds before the clock expired.
The third entrant in the match was Kip Sabian, who was accompanied to ringside by Penelope Ford. Jimmy Havoc was already at ringside and he entered the ring and threw a ladder at the SCU duo while Ross explained that there were no disqualifications in the match. Havoc and Sabian worked over Kazarian and Sky. Kazarian performed a release German suplex on Havoc, who crashed onto a ladder set up in the corner of the ring.
The fourth entrant was Darby Allin. Sky waited for Allin and threw a punch that Allin ducked. Allin dove onto Sabian and Havoc at ringside, then worked over Sky and Kazarian separately. Allin pulled out a ladder and set it up over the ring and barricade. Allin tried to whip Kazarian into the ladder, but Kazarian slid under it. Allin threw the skateboard that he brings to the ring with him at Kazarian and placed him on the ladder. Allin climbed a standing ladder and then jumped off and put the skateboard under his feet, but Kazarian moved, causing Allin to crash through the ladder over the ring and barricade.
The fifth entrant was Orange Cassidy, who walked onto the stage and then approached the broadcast table and asked how to win the match. The broadcast team filled him in and laughed. “Orange Cassidy is so lazy that he doesn’t want to climb a ladder,” Excalibur said. He added that Tony Khan tried “on 200 separate occasions” to explain the rules to Cassidy. Once in the ring, Cassidy avoided his charging opponents and then picked up a ladder and dropped it. Ross was baffled that Cassidy didn’t know how to set up a ladder.
The sixth entrant was Colt Cabana. Some of the spectator wrestlers chanted for Cabana to help Cassidy. Instead, Cabana shoved Cassidy to ringside. Ross said Cabana has only been in three ladder matches during his career. Cabana was on a ladder that was pushed over. The other side of the ladder closed on his fingers. Ouch.
The seventh entrant was Joey Janela, who ran out and performed a somersault dive off the stage onto some opponents. Janela performed other dives onto his opponents and then cleared Cabana from the ring. Janela set up the ladder, but Kazarian cut him off and tossed him to ringside. Janela returned and slammed a chair over the back of Kazarian. Sky took the chair from Janala and returned the favor.
The eighth entrant was Luchasaurus, who worked over a number of the other entrants. Luchasaurus grabbed Sabian and ended up powerbombing him onto a group of wrestlers at ringside. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Kazarian onto a ladder that was wedged in the corner. Allin returned to the ring and performed a Code Red on Luchasaurus. Allin set up the ladder and started to climb.
The ninth entrant was Brian Cage, who was accompanied to the ring by Taz. Cage brought a ladder out with him and snapped it apart with his hands. Taz pointed to the ring while talking to Cage, who then went right after Allin. The slot machine video returned in place of the countdown clock since all the entrants were in the ring.
Cage destroyed everyone he came in contact with. Cassidy put his shades on and hopped onto the back of Cage, who climbed the ladder. The other wrestlers pulled Cage and Cassidy down and then ganged up on Cage. The SCU duo ran a ladder into the head of Cage, who was then run into the ring post. The other entrants stacked ladders, and a piece of the barricade, and one of the giant poker chips over Cage at ringside.
Sabian performed a Coast to Coast on Cabana, who had a ladder in front of him. Cassidy and Sabian both made a play for the chip and fought on opposite sides of the ladder. Penelope Ford stood on the stage. Cassidy punched Sabian off the ladder and he crashed onto another ladder in the corner. Ford rushed into the ring and climbed the ladder, but Cassidy sent her flying onto Sabian. Havoc stopped Cassidy from pulling down the chip, then Chuck Taylor and Trent ran out and fought off Havoc.
Luchasaurus went for a chokeslam on Cassidy, who slipped away and then tried a chokeslam of his own on Luchasaurus. Marko Stunt came out and climbed onto the first rung of a small ladder and joined Luchasaurus in chokeslamming Cassidy. There was a botched spot with Kazarian leapfrogging a ladder and going for a huracanrana on Luchasaurus, who didn’t catch him, and Kazarian crashed and burned.
Janela performed a Death Valley Driver on Cassidy from the ring apron onto the pile of objects that Cage was still underneath. Sky performed a TKO on Janela and made a pay for the chip. Kazarian springboarded onto the other side of the ladder. The SCU duo traded punches until Luchasaurus pushed the ladder over. Cabana tried to return, but Luchasaurus knocked him to ringside with a big boot.
Cage emerged from the pile of objects and then headed to the ring where he fought with Luchasaurus. Cage took a nice series of strikes from Luchasaurus, but then flipped out of a move and tossed Luchasaurus onto a ladder in the corner of the ring. Cage set up a ladder in the middle of the ring and started to climb it, then stopped when he spotted Allin returning to the ring.
Cage turned Alin inside out with a clothesline, then put him down with his Drill Claw finisher. Taz walked onto the stage with an orange towel in hand and shouted some instructions to Cage. Cage set up the small ladder on top of a turnbuckle, placed Allin onto it, and then tossed both at a giant ladder on the floor. Cage climbed the ladder in the middle of the ring and pulled down the chip to win the match…
Brian Cage defeated Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, Joey Janela, Scorpio Sky, Kip Sabian, Frankie Kazarian, and Luchasaurus in 28:30 to win the Casino Ladder Match to earn a shot at the AEW Championship.
Powell’s POV: It wasn’t Drew Gulak or one of the WWE castoffs, but Cage was a good payoff and I really like the idea of pairing him with Taz. It’s been common knowledge that Cage left Impact for AEW, but he’s been sidelined by an injury, so he slipped under most radars when it came to speculation about the mystery person. The match was an over the top spectacle. I was not a fan of the outside interference being allowed because of the No DQ rule. Why can’t AEW be the company that uses common sense rules by saying that the wrestlers in the match can’t be disqualified for what they do to one another, but outside interference will not be tolerated? I’m typically a fan of Cassidy, but he was way too cutesy for my taste during this match.
The broadcast team spoke about Cage and Taz being together and then ran through the lineup. Ross said no one had seen Dustin Rhodes. He said the match was scheduled, but they couldn’t confirm that it would take place. Excalibur said they would have an update on Britt Baker’s health later in the show…
2. MJF vs. Jungle Boy. The other members of Jurassic Express did not accompany Jungle Boy to ringside. Excalibur noted that Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt were both taken out during the ladder match. Wardlow actually returned to the back rather than remain in MJF’s corner. MJF feigned a knee injury early in the match. While the trainer was checking on him, MJF stood up and attacked Jungle Boy from behind.
MJF targeted the left arm. Jungle Boy came back and performed a tornado DDT and made the cover, but MJF put his foot on the rope at the last moment. The wrestlers met in the middle for a chop exchange. MJF wound up and hit the bad shoulder instead. Jungle Boy performed a Canadian Destroyer. MJF superkicked a seated Jungle Boy, then stumbled and fell onto him, which led to a two count. Jungle Boy immediately went for a crossface, but MJF bit his hand to break free.
A short time later, Jungle Boy performed a Poison Rana on the ring apron. Damn. The broadcast team played up the idea that MJF was out cold. Jungle Boy sold his bad arm while struggling before eventually getting MJF back inside the ring. Jungle Boy went up top while MJF grabbed the leg of referee Aubrey Edwards, who ended up grabbing the ropes, which crotched Jungle Boy.
MJF slapped the bad arm. Jungle Boy headbutted MJF, then performed a sit-out powerbomb from the ropes for a near fall. MJF went for a double underhook suplex, but let it go and sold back pain. After back and for pin attempts, MJF elbowed the bad arm of Jungle Boy, who rolled him into a pin for another two count. MJF responded by rolling up Jungle Boy while holding the tights, but Jungle Boy reversed it, then MJF ended up on top and scored the pin. The broadcast team noted that MJF is 2-0 against Jungle Boy in AEW…
MJF beat Jungle Boy in 17:20.
Powell’s POV: A nice match. I like that AEW wasn’t afraid to have MJF go over clean without interference from Wardlow. It will be fun to see MJF and Jungle Boy have occasional matches together to measure their improvement.
A video package recapped the Cody and Lance Archer storyline…
Mike Tyson made his entrance with the red TNT Championship belt. Lance Archer came out wearing a face mask and dragged an enhancement wrestler with him. Once in the ring, Archer chokeslammed the wrestler. Tyson’s jaw dropped. Cody made his entrance along with Arn Anderson, who brought his trusty play sheet…
3. Cody (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) to become the first TNT Champion. Dasha Gonzalez delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Referee Bryce Remsburg delivered in-ring instructions and offered the wrestlers a chance to shake hands, which they balked at. Schiavone noted that there will still be gold plating added to the title belt and noted that the pandemic delayed the finalizing of the belt.
Archer performed his Blackout finisher to start. Cody rolled to ringside. Archer went to ringside and clubbed Cody, then glared at Anderson while Cody rolled back inside the ring. Archer returned to the ring and went for his EBD Claw, but Cody countered into a armbar. Archer raked his foot over Cody’s face to break the hold. Cody went for a springboard cutter, but Archer knocked him to ringside with a shoulder block.
Archer pulled the floor pad back. Cody ended up hitting him with a suicide dive. Cody climbed onto the railing at ringside, but Archer grabbed him and tossed him back to ringside. Archer brought Cody back inside the ring where he did his Old School rope walk and then performed a moonsault from the middle of the top rope for a near fall. Tyson was shown seated at ringside with a smile on his face. Cody came back and held up Archer in vertical suplex position, but opted to drop him face first instead. Archer regrouped and ripped off one of the turnbuckle pads.
A short time later, Archer pressed Cody over his head and tossed him from the ring to the floor. Archer stood on the throat of Cody while glaring at Big Swole, who jawed at him while being held back by other wrestlers. Tyson shouted encouragement to Cody from his chair. Ross noted that Tyson is a big fan. Back inside the ring, Archer performed a uranage slam. At 11:00, Archer applied an arm hold. Tyson was shown chanting “Cody” and pumping his fist. Cody got free and rolled to ringside by Anderson and Tyson.
Archer followed Cody to ringside and ended up running him into the barricade. Archer returned to the ring and then Cody followed. Archer rolled Cody into a pin for a two count, then Cody applied a submission hold and wrapped Archer’s hair around his own face. Roberts jawed at Cody from the apron. Cody moved toward Roberts. Archer went after Cody, who put him down with a DDT. Roberts fumed over Cody using his move. Archer came right back with a spinebuster. The broadcast team noted that Archer used Anderson’s move.
Archer jawed at Anderson, who told him the match wasn’t over. Cody caught Archer with a kick and then performed a springboard cutter that led to a one count at 15:10. Cody threw punches and then did the flip, flop, and fly followed by the bionic elbow. Archer grabbed Cody by the throat, but Cody emulated brother Dustin Rhodes’s suplex. Cody hit CrossRhodes and got a two count. Ross noted that Archer survived three Rhodes family moves. Cody howled and then performed a Stinger Splash. Archer bounced back with a chokeslam for a two count.
Archer slammed Cody’s head into the mat repeatedly and then fell to the mat. Ross said Archer was trying to mask the pain. Archer went to the ropes for his Old School walk again. While Roberts and the referee argued, Anderson knocked Archer down. Cody performed a reverse suplex from the ropes. Referee Paul Turner came out and informed the in-ring referee of Anderson’s interference. Remsburg checked with Tyson, who gave the sign to send Anderson to the back. For some reason, Roberts was sent to the back as well apparently.
Archer performed a release German suplex. Roberts returned with his snake bag. Tyson stood up and removed his t-shirt. Roberts backed off. Tyson posed on the ramp. Cody hit CrossRhodes on Archer twice and then covered him for the win.
Cody defeated Lance Archer in roughly 22:00 to become the first TNT Champion.
After the match, Tyson entered the ring with the title belt. Tyson raised Cody’s hand and then gave him the belt while pyro shot off on the stage…
Powell’s POV: A good match that went a few minutes longer than necessary. Archer seemed to run out of steam and that spot with the second referee coming out and snitching on Anderson (and (maybe Roberts?) felt unnecessary. While I grumbled about the lack of rules in the previous match, it felt silly in this case because there’s no chance they’ll be consistent with a second referee running out to inform the actual referee of cheating. For instance, where has Turner been during 95 percent of Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford’s matches?
Alex Marvez interviewed Dr. Michael Sampson about Brit Baker’s injury. Sampson said she has an anterior lateral tibial fracture, a partial lateral collateral ligament tear, and a small degree tendon tear. He said the injuries are significant, but he said they are not as bad as the patient. Sampson said Baker would appear on Dynamite and wants to tell the world when she will return to the ring…
4. Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian). Sabian had multiple wraps and used crutches to get to the ring to sell the ladder match. Statlander did her boop bit with the spectator wrestlers. A few minutes into the match, Statlander performed a suicide dive onto Ford and Sabian. Back inside the ring, Ford rolled her up for a near fall. Ford threw a slow motion kick and got another two count. Vickie Guerrero barked at the referee about the speed of his count.
Statlander ducked a clothesline and then connected with one of her own. Statlander placed Ford on the top rope and went up with her. Ford battled back and knocked Statlander back into the ring, then performed a clunky huracanrana. Ford performed a springboard move, but Statlander caught her and powerbombed her. Statlander picked up Ford and hit her Big Bang Theory inverted piledriver for the win…
Kris Statlander beat Penelope Ford in 5:30.
Powell’s POV: A decent match with a couple of scary moments, but they ended up pulling off the big moves they were going for. The right person went over. This was basically a comedown match from the TNT Title match.
Shawn Spears headed to the ring in a suit and cut a cocky promo. Dustin Rhodes’s music played, but he didn’t come out. Brandi Rhodes eventually came out and then Dustin attacked Spears from behind…
5. Dustin Rhodes (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. Shawn Spears. Dustin worked over Spears and ripped his shirt off. Spears came back and removed his belt and then wrapped it around his fist. Spears flipped off Brandi and then wound up to hit Dustin, who hit him in the gut first. Dustin powerslammed Spears and then ripped his pants off. Spears was left wearing his underwear, socks, and sock garters.
Dustin worked over Spears, who ended up at ringside with his ass hanging out of his underwear. Spears hit Dustin, then stopped and looked into the camera, which showed that Spears had Tully Blanchard’s head on the front of his underwear. Spears returned to the ring where Dustin hit him with the Final Reckoning suplex and scored the pin…
Dustin Rhodes beat Shawn Spears in 3:20.
Powell’s POV: You know who would love this comedy? Vince McMahon.
An ad aired for the All Out pay-per-view on September 5. No location was listed…
A graphic acknowledged the death of Hana Kimura. Excalibur said it was a senseless and stupid thing. He said social media was designed to bring us all together and to unite us and far too often it does the exact opposite. He asked that fans be a little nicer to one another in her honor. Ross said she was only 22 and it’s been a tough couple of weeks in wrestling…
A video package set up the AEW Women’s Title match…
6. Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida in a no disqualification, no count-out match for the AEW Women’s Championship. The broadcast team speculated that the match stipulations may actually benefit Rose. Excalibur noted that Rose is the only woman who has beaten Shida this year and said she’s done it twice, both times with her Beast Bomb finisher. Gonzalez delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.
Rose brought Shida’s kendo stick to the ring and used it as a weapon early on. Rose was dominant and pulled out a table from underneath the ring. Rose picked up Shida and tossed her over the barricade and through a poker table that was set up as part of the set. Rose took Shida back to the ring and got a near fall. Rose set up for her finisher, but Shida used a huracanrana to avoid it. Shida went on the offensive briefly, but Rose reversed a suplex attempt at 6:10.
Rose clotheslined Shida to ringside. Shida performed a cross body off a barricade and then threw a running knee to the back of Rose’s head. Shida dumped Rose over the barricade and then followed. Shida slammed the head of Rose onto a stack of the decorative poker chips. Shida used a hip throw to toss Rose onto the chips. Shida performed a running leap off the stack of chips and then hit Rose with a knee to the head, which drove her into a standing poker chip. Rose sold back pain.
Shida grabbed her kendo stick and hit Rose with it before rolling her back inside the ring. Shida continued to work over Rose with kendo stick shots and then suplexed her onto the kendo stick (Excalibur called it a brainbuster). Shida covered Rose for a two count. Shida followed up with a running knee for another two count.
Rose rallied with a powerslam. Rose positioned Shida in the ropes and then leapt from the top rope and dropped a knee on the back of her neck, which led to a near fall. Rose slid a table inside the ring and set it up in the corner of the ring. Rose set up for a Death Valley Driver, but Shida escaped. Shida showed some fight only to be cut off by Rose, who then powerbombed her through the table for a near fall.
Rose performed a DVD and went up top, but Shida threw the kendo stick at her. Shida performed an avalanche falcon arrow and got a near fall. Rose hit Shida with the stick, but Shida caught her with a running knee for a near fall. Shida hit Rose with a big kendo stick shot, then placed her in a seated position and delivered a running knee to the face and scored the pin…
Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose in 16:40 in a No DQ, No Count-Out match to win the AEW Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A strong brawl. Those two left it all in the ring. I’m not big on the title change, nor was I big on the call to put the TNT Title on Cody earlier. It’s been a rough night for monster heels. Rose has been a strong monster champion and it felt premature to take the title away from her.
An ad aired for AEW Dynamite on TNT…
The broadcast team spoke about how heartwarming it was to see Shida win given the tragedy. Excalibur mentioned Hana Kimura and Shad Gaspard. Schiavone said it’s been tough for everyone. He said they feel what they do is important and noted that everyone is tested. Schiavone said they love the sport and see something new and exciting every time…
A video package set up the AEW Championship match…
Brodie Lee made his entrance first with the AEW Championship belt. Lee was accompanied onto the stage by other members of the Dark Order. 10 wore a sling on his arm to sell the Conchairto from AEW Dynamite. The Dark Order members headed backstage. A group of security guards wearing medical masks were lined up in the middle of the ring. Jon Moxley made his entrance from the area near the wall with the Daily’s Place sign…
7. Jon Moxley vs. Brodie Lee for the AEW Championship. Dasha Gonzalez delivered the in-ring introductions for what Excalibur said was the first of two main events. Lee ordered Gonzalez to introduce him as the self-proclaimed champion. The security guards left the ring after the introductions. Ross noted that ring announcer Justin Roberts was watching at home and was missed.
Moxley performed an early suicide dive. Moxley grabbed Lee, who ended up suplexing Moxley onto the floor. Lee continued to control the offense inside the ring and then he dumped Moxley to ringside and hit him with a suicide dive of his own. Lee tossed Moxley onto a piece of the barricade that was leaning against the railing of the first level of seating. Lee threw Moxley back inside the ring where the wrestlers traded strikes. Moxley caught a charging Lee with a clothesline and then hit a Gotch style piledriver for a near fall at 5:10.
The wrestlers went back to ringside. Moxley went for a knee strike, but Lee caught him with a dropkick instead while the broadcast team played up how well both men know one another. Lee set up for a move on the ring steps, but Moxley back dropped him onto a bunch of debris. A short time later, Lee suplexed Moxley into the giant playing cards that were part of the ringside set. Back inside the ring, Lee performed a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall at 11:00.
Moxley sat in the corner and fired himself up with some punches to his own face. Moxley got to his feet and stumbled. Moxley and Lee went to the stage. Moxley threw a decorative giant chip at Lee. Moxley performed a Paradigm Shift on the ramp and both men crashed through it. The referee called for the doctor, who was right there. Referees and coaches (agents) Jerry Lynn and QT Marshall came out.
Moxley climbed out of the hole and returned to the ring. Lee got up and had a bloody forehead. Lee went for a discus clothesline, but Moxley ducked it and drilled him with a Paradigm Shift that only produced a one count. Moxley hit Lee with several punches and performed another Paradigm Shift that led to a near fall. Moxley applied a rear naked choke. The referee checked on Lee and called for the bell…
Jon Moxley defeated Brodie Lee in 15:30 to retain the AEW Championship.
Powell’s POV: A good brawl with a clever finish. Moxley retains the title, but Lee can say that he wasn’t pinned nor did he submit. This wasn’t the main event, so they didn’t need to stretch this out to make it feel more epic, which also lets them save some things for the rematch. I assume they will be going back to Moxley vs. Lee on television one of these weeks since there’s such a long wait until the next pay-per-view.
An ad aired for AEW action figures… The broadcast team recapped some highlights from throughout the show… A video package focused on The Inner Circle vs. The Elite feud…
Each team member received football like introductions, complete with fire, smoke, and medical mask wearing cheerleaders and a drum line. The Inner Circle members wore jerseys and football pants. The Elite members entered from the opposite side and wore their typical gear. Matt Jackson had his ribs taped from the injury he suffered on Dynamite. Hangman Page didn’t come out when he was introduced.
8. “The Inner Circle” Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hager vs. Matt Hardy and “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Hangman Page in a Stampede Stadium match. Referee Aubrey Edwards blew a whistle while standing in the middle of the ring, which was placed on the 50 yard-line. The teams rushed together and fought, including some members using weapons. Schiavone emphasized that pinfalls count anywhere in the stadium.
The broadcast team noted that Guevara had a rough couple of weeks and recalled the golf cart bump. Hangman Page showed up wearing a bandana over his face while seated on a horse. Page had the horse run toward Guevara, who ran into the concourse area. Jericho and Nick fought in the ring. Matt joined his brother for a double team move on Jericho. Santana and Ortiz joined in and hit Matt (I’ll use that name for Matt Jackson and “Hardy” for Matt Hardy) with a powerbomb and a kick.
With the Inner Circle dominating, Guevara ran back to the ring area and kicked Nick. Guevara went for a shooting star press on Hardy, who moved out of the way. The Elite team worked over Guevara (Page and his horse were gone again). Nick performed a springboard flip dive onto Hager and Hardy. Santana performed an Asai moonsault onto a pile of wrestlers. Guevara went up top and performed a shooting star press (the wrestlers below had to reach out with their hands to break his fall). Excalibur noted that there were multiple referees and they had devices that allowed them to communicate with one another.
At 9:00, Matt performed a moonsault off one of the goalposts onto a couple of the Inner Circle members and his own brother. Meanwhile, Omega fought with Santana in the stands until Oritz hit him from behind with a pylon. Santana and Ortiz doubled up on Omega, then Hager showed up with Hardy and ran him into the walls of the stadium. Page was shown riding his horse in the concourse area.
A short time later, Omega was powerbombed off a pair of standing tables and through a piece of a barricade by Santana and Ortiz. They had Omega pinned, but Hardy broke it up. Santana and Ortiz worked over Hardy and tossed him into the stadium pool. Santana leapt in to go after Hardy. Ortiz said he can’t swim and slowly climbed down the ladder. Hardy emerged in Hardy Boys mode. They held him underwater and a Version 1 style graphic listed that he could hold his breath for 346 seconds. Another version of Hardy emerged after they dunked his head. Excalibur said it must be similar to the water in the Lake of Reincarnation.
Hardy continued to fight Santana and Ortiz. He rang the stadium bell while Ortiz’s head was underneath it. Hardy placed Ortiz in a wheelchair and then duct taped him. Hardy got the better of Santana and tossed him inside and ice chest and used a broom to lock it shut. They cut to Hager, who spotted Page’s horse. Hager entered the bar area where Page was drinking. Page asked Hager if he came to fight or drink. Hager took a drink, then the started brawling. Hager performed a uranage slam onto a pool table. Hager placed Page on the bar and slid him down the length of the bar while knocking a bunch of debris off. Hager powerbombed Page through a table and covered him for a two count.
Omega showed up and slammed a bottle over the head of Hager, who no-sold it. Page hit Hager with a bottle, then he and Omega hit Hager with several bottles. Omega blasted Hager with a V-Trigger knee to the head. Omega assisted Page into a Buckshot Lariat, which sent Hager tumbling over the bar. Page poured a glass of milk while Omega poured a glass of whiskey. They toasted and then Page drank the whiskey while Omega drank the milk.
Back on the field, Matt performed three Northern Lights suplexes on Guevara. Meanwhile, Jericho was getting the better of Nick. Jericho picked up an NFL first-down marker and slammed the bottom of it into the head of Nick. “That’ll move the chains,” Jericho quipped. Funny. Jericho grabbed a megaphone and started telling Nick that he should have stayed at home. Nick came back and ended up throwing several footballs at Jericho, who regrouped and threw Nick into the mouth of the mobile Jaguars logo. Jericho hit the Jaguars mascot with his Judas Elbow.
Nick kicked Jericho into a kickers practice net. Ross said it was long enough and good. Funny. Jericho ended up getting a near fall on Nick and argued with referee Aubrey Edwards about the count. Jericho threw a red flag and said he was challenging the call. Jericho and Edwards entered a replay booth and continued to bicker while replays were shown. Edwards ruled that the match will continue. Jericho told her that she’s a shitting referee. Matt continued his series of suplexes into one of the end zones. Ross said it was 100 yards of suplexes. Matt celebrated and referee Rick Knox threw a flag for an excessive celebration. Matt superkicked Knox.
Matt placed Jericho on a table near the wall. Nick ran up the stadium steps, then ran back down and leapt from the guardrail onto Jericho and drove him through the table. Page showed up with a line marker and drove it over Jericho’s crotch, body, and head. Guevara was shown lying on the field when a sprinkler went off in his face. Guevara got up and thought he’d won the match. Matt and Omega showed up in the golf cart. Guevara shook his head no and then started running while Hardy and Omega took off in pursuit. Guevara made it into the seats off the field. Omega and Hardy chased Guevara into the stands. Guevara caught both men with kicks.
The camera view shifted to drone view, then a shot of a drone hovering near the fight was shown. Omega hit Guevara with a One Winged Angel from the seats through a platform below. Edwards made the count to give The Elite the win…
Matt Hardy, Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Hangman Page defeated Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara in 34:00 in a Stadium Stampede.
After the match, Hardy poured Gatorade over Omega and celebrated with the Elite members. Fireworks shot off on the opposite side of the stadium behind Hardy and The Elite. Ross quickly wrapped up the show…
Powell’s POV: Wow. There was clearly a crash pad when Omega and Guevara hit, but that was an incredible visual with that long drop. I have not been a big fan of the cinematic approach in most cases, but this was a lot of fun. It was super over the top and won’t be for everyone, but it was quite the spectacle. It combined two of my passions in pro wrestling and football, so that helped the cause with me, but even putting that aside there were a lot of creative and entertaining moments and it closed the show in a memorable way.
Overall, this was a fun empty venue show. AEW continues to benefit from having spectator wrestlers at ringside and it’s just baffling that other companies haven’t followed suit. The $50 price tag was a lot to ask in this tough economy, but those who forked over the money likely came away satisfied with their purchase. Dot Net Members will hear the AEW Double Or Nothing audio review hosted by Jake Barnett and I coming up later tonight. Let us know what you thought of the show by voting for the best match and assigning the event a letter grade in our post show polls available on the main page. Have a great holiday weekend.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...