By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Double Or Nothing
Aired live May 28, 2023 on pay-per-view and B/R Live
Las Vegas, Nevada at T-Mobile Arena
AEW Double Or Nothing Buy-In Pre-Show
-The pre-show was hosted by Renee Paquette, Kazeem Famuyide, Paul Wight, and Stokely Hathaway. They all stood on the floor of the venue. RJ City checked in from backstage and hyped that every AEW championship would be on the line during the pay-per-view…
-The hosts ran through the show lineup and then a video package spotlighted the Anarchy in the Arena match…
-A clip from Jim Ross’s sit-down interview with Don Callis was shown. Callis said he did the hardest thing that a parent or a family member could do. Callis said you cut out the cancer. Callis looked into the camera and said, “Kenny, I haven’t even started cutting.”
-Arn Anderson was interviewed by RJ City in the backstage area. City said it seemed like Wardlow was playing into Christian Cage’s hands by going with a ladder match. Anderson said no one was goaded into the match and played up Wardlow. City asked Anderson if he would be packing heat at ringside. “Ask your momma,” Anderson responded…
-A video package aired on the AEW Women’s Championship match. The panel spoke about the match. Wight worked in a line about he had more turns than NASCAR.
-A video package aired on the Adam Cole vs. Chris Jericho unsanctioned match and then the hosts discussed their feud and Sabu being added to Cole’s corner.
-There was a quick video on the AEW Tag Team Title match and then the panel offered their predictions. Wight mentioned Satnam Singh and said you should never dismiss a giant. Hathaway, who was dwarfed by Wight and even Famuyide, cracked up his co-hosts by saying, “As a giant, I agree.”
Powell’s POV: The first third of the Buy-In pre-show felt like a WWE Kickoff Show. They are fine if you see it, fine if you don’t. But I ultimately think this approach is better than holding four matches on the pre-show, which takes its toll on the live crowd and even the television audience.
-The Oklahoma fight song played. Jim Ross made his entrance and joined Excalibur and Taz at their ringside desk (hey, that’s new). Excalibur plugged the company’s fantasy sports partner and then an ad aired.
-Taz spoke about how it was awesome to be a ringside. Ross said the show had mystery and would be one of the most physical the company has produced. Ross looked into the camera and said the viewers would love it.
-Entrances for the pre-show match took place. Ethan Page, Colten Gunn, and Austin Gunn were introduced by ring announcer Justin Roberts. Hook made his entrance and waited on the ramp while Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Isiah “Brother Zay” Kassidy came out. Kassidy wore a bedazzled neck brace…
1. Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Hook vs. Ethan Page, Colten Gunn, and Austin Gunn. The broadcast team played up the stipulation that Hardy would take control if Page’s contract if his team was victorious. Around 6:00, Matt performed a second rope elbow drop on Colten and picked up a two count.
Page and Austin confronted Kassidy at ringside. Austin ripped the neck brace off of Kassidy, who sold neck pain by falling to the ringside mat and staying down. Excalibur announced that the opening ceremonies of the Owen Hart Cup tournament would be held after this match.
A short time later, Matt was isolated by the heels until he was able to clear them all to ringside. Matt nearly made the tag, but Page and Austin pulled Jeff and Hook from the apron. Matt eventually tagged in Jeff, who worked over both Gunns and picked up a two count on Austin.
Jeff booted a charging Austin in the face and then performed a middle rope splash for a two count. Jeff slipped and crashed to the mat while setting up for another move from the ropes. Hook tagged in shortly thereafter and worked over Page. Hook suplexed Page and then clubbed his jaw, but Page caught his arm and threw him to the mat. Page dropped Hook with a nice kick.
Colten tagged in. Matt made a blind tag. The Hardys performed a double team move on Colten. Jeff went up top, but he was cut off. The Gunns hit their double team finisher on Matt, but Jeff performed a Swanton onto both of them to break up their double pin attempt.
A short time later, the Hardys hit Twist of Fates on the Gunns. Page was left alone in the ring with all three babyfaces. The Hardys performed cutters on Page and then Hook locked in Redrum and got the submission win…
Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Hook defeated Ethan Page, Colten Gunn, and Austin Gunn in 15:10.
Powell’s POV: This was fine for a pre-show match, but I’m beyond over storylines involving wrestlers taking control of other wrestlers contracts.
-Paquette stood on the stage next to a table with men’s and women’s title belts and cup trophies. She introduced Martha Hart, who spoke about how she’s happy to be working with AEW and Tony Khan again. She spoke about dressing up for the tournament and then Tony Khan walked out wearing a fedora that had the tournament logo on it…
-Entrances for the Blackjack Battle Royal took place (I must have misunderstood the broadcast team, as it appears this will open the main card, so I deleted that line to avoid further confusion). Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta came out first followed by Bandido. “The Varsity Athletes” Ari Daivari, Tony Nese, and Josh Woods were introduced by Mark Sterling, who accompanied them to the ring.
Komander was out next. Big Bill and Lee Moriarty showed up at ringside while Penelope Ford led The Butcher, The Blade, and Kip Sabian to the ring. Jay White and Juice Robinson entered together. Dustin Rhodes came out solo. Keith Lee’s entrance followed.
Ricky Starks made his entrance. Alex Abrahantes led Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo onto the stage. They were joined by “the little Lucha Brothers,” who then headed to the back. Prince Nana came out with Brian Cage and then Swerve Strickland joined them. Finally, Orange Cassidy made his entrance and walked past Nana, Cage, and Strickland to close out the pre-show…
AEW Double Or Nothing Pay-Per-View
A video package opened the show. The broadcast team remained Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Taz, while Justin Roberts continued as the ring announcer. Pryo shot off on the stage…
1. Blackjack Battle Royale for the AEW International Championship. Orange Cassidy entered as champion and the challengers were Jay White, Juice Robinson, Keith Lee, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Starks, Brian Cage, Swerve Strickland, Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, Kip Sabian, Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, Tony Nese, Ari Daivari, Big Bill, Lee Moriarty, Komander, Bandido, The Butcher, and The Blade.
Cassidy stood in the ring while his challengers were at ringside. Sabian entered the ring and threw Cassidy over the top rope to start, but Cassidy skinned the cat. Komander did a rope walk and a big dive onto some wrestlers on the floor while the broadcast team pointed out that Komander had yet to enter the ring, so he was not eliminated.
Strickland and Cage stood on the ramp and waited to enter. Cage was the first to join the match around the time that Daivari was eliminated. Cage performed an impressive power move on Bandido and Komander. Penta and Fenix worked over Cage. White and Robinson pressed Komander over their heads, but Penta and Fenix saved Komander.
Komander went up top and started to walk the ropes when White shoved him to the floor to eliminate him. Taylor eliminated Sabian. The Best Friends did their group hug, but Big Bill hit them from behind. Taz said people ask why Big Bill is called Big Bill. Taz explained that Bill is his name and he’s big. Thanks for the amazing insight!
Bill eliminated Taylor. Lee eliminated Blade. Strickland was still standing at ringside with Nana. Once Lee turned his back, Strickland finally entered the ring and tried to choke him out, but Lee quickly threw him off. They fought for a bit while Cage also helped Strickland. Penta and Fenix eliminated Butcher. Moriarty eliminated Bandido.
Beretta eliminated Moriarty. Big Bill had Cassidy on the apron and was about to hit him with a big boot, but Beretta shoved Cassidy out of the way and was eliminated by Bill’s big boot. Cage eliminated Lee. Penta accidentally eliminated Fenix. Starks eliminated Robinson.
White hit the Switchblade on Penta and then tried to eliminate him, but Starks speared White and eliminate him instead. Robinson pulled Starks under the bottom rope and punched him until referees intervened. White ran Starks into the ringside barricade. Starks crawled back inside the ring and was eventually eliminated by a big boot from Big Bill. Dustin eliminated Cage with a Destroyer on the apron, and then Strickland knocked Dustin off the apron to eliminate him.
The final four were Cassidy, Penta, Strickland, and Big Bill (unless someone is hiding). Penta threw some kicks at Bill, who clotheslined him over the top rope to eliminate him. Bill performed a sidewalk slam on Cassidy and then seemed to be on the same page with Strickland for about two seconds. Strickland tried to pick up Cassidy, but Bill stopped him. Bill pressed Cassidy over his head, but Strickland hit Bill from behind and eliminated him.
The final two were Cassidy and Strickland, who took turns skinning the cat. Cassidy performed a Stundog Millionaire, but Strickland bounced off the ropes and hit Cassidy with a big kick to the side of the head. A “this is awesome” chant broke out, which is pretty rare for a battle royal.
Strickland ended up performing a top rope double stomp on Cassidy. Strickland put Cassidy’s hands inside Cassidy’s pockets. The crowd chanted “you f—ed up.” Sure enough, Cassidy hit back to back DDT’s. Cassidy hit the Orange Punch, which sent Strckland over the top rope, but he remained on the apron.
Cassidy went for another Orange Punch, but Cassidy stuffed it and brought Cassidy onto the apron with him. Cassidy backed Strickland into the turnbuckle. Nana grabbed the legs of Cassidy, allowing Strickland to gain offensive control for a moment. Swerve went for a top rope double stomp, but Cassidy put his feet up. Strickland held the top rope with one hand. Cassidy kicked Strickland’s hand and then Strickland fell to the mat to end the match…
Orange Cassidy won the Blackjack Battle Royale in 22:25 to retain the AEW International Championship.
Powell’s POV: The creative forces clearly put some thought into this battle royal. It was fairly basic for the first half and then was pretty entertaining down the stretch. Cassidy winning doesn’t surprise me, but I wonder if this win will lead to the end of his title reign on Wednesday’s Dynamite. By the way, John Moore is doing a live review of NXT Battleground, so feel free to follow along with his report as well. John will be recording the NXT Battleground audio review afterward, and I’ll be teaming up with Jake Barnett and Will Pruett for the AEW Double Or Nothing audio review. Both shows will be available exclusively to Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
A video package set up the unsanctioned match. Entrances for the match took place. Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, and Jake Hager came out with match gear while “Judas” played. Jericho brought his baseball bat to the ring with him. Sabu made his entrance dressed in a suit and with a chair in his hand. Adam Cole’s entrance followed and he was accompanied by Roderick Strong. Cole and Strong also had chairs.
There was a ringside brawl prior to the match. Sabu and Jericho ended up inside the ring and both men had chairs, which they slammed together. Sabu knocked the chair out of Jericho’s hands and then threw his chair at Jericho’s shoulder. Sabu went up top and dove onto Menard to put him through a table on the floor. Hager roughed up Sabu and Strong…
2. Adam Cole vs. Chris Jericho in an unsanctioned match. Cole and Jericho ended up inside the ring together and traded punches to start. Cole threw Jericho to ringside. Cole followed and slammed Jericho’s arm onto the steps while Taz spoke about Jericho nursing an arm injury. None of the wrestlers who accompanied Cole and Jericho to the ring stuck around for the match.
Cole went for a Panama Sunrise on the apron, but Jericho stuffed it and suplexed Cole from the apron to the floor. Back inside the ring, a chair was wedged between the ropes in one corner by Jericho. Cole dodged a charging Jericho, who ran head first into the chair. Excalibur reminded viewers that it was an unsanctioned match and AEW was not liable for any damages. “So personal injury lawyers need not apply,” Ross said. Funny.
Jericho came back and put Cole in the Walls of Jericho. Cole reached the ropes, but the broadcast team noted that Jericho wasn’t obligated to release the hold due to the nature of the match. Cole reached to ringside and grabbed a fire extinguisher, which he sprayed Jericho with to make him release the hold.
Cole picked up the fire extinguisher and rammed Jericho’s head with it before covering him for a two count. Jericho regrouped and sprayed Cole with the fire extinguisher. Jericho held the fire extinguisher over Cole and then dropped it on his abdomen. Jericho went to ringside and returned with a kendo stick.
Britt Baker ran out with a kendo stick and beat Jericho with it. Saraya ran out and was beaten by Baker with the kendo stick. Saraya fled the ring and then Baker chased her to the back. In the ring, Cole wrapped a kendo stick around Jericho’s neck and then performed a Backstabber for a two count.
Cole went to the top rope. Jericho stood up and threw a chair at Cole’s head (ugh), which knocked him off the ropes and through a table on the floor. Jericho went to ringside and grabbed the television camera and said, “You see what happens when you mess with Chris Jericho.”
Jericho rolled Cole back inside the ring. Jericho pulled a steel chain out from underneath the ring and handcuffed it to Cole’s wrist. Cole put Jericho down with a DDT onto the chain for a two count. Cole attached the other handcuff to Jericho’s wrist. Jericho tried to run, but Cole yanked the chain and then superkicked Jericho. Cole performed a Panama Sunrise for a near fall.
Jericho avoided Cole’s Boom knee. He eventually wrapped the chain around Cole’s neck. Cole used his feet to push off the ropes and to flip over Jericho and then superkicked him twice. Cole followed up with the Boom knee. Cole stood up and wrapped the chain around his knee and then hit Jericho with another knee to the back of the head.
Cole mounted Jericho and threw punches at him with the chain wrapped around his fist. Cole used his other hand to punch Jericho, who had a bloody eye. Referee Aubrey Edwards called for the bell while the broadcast team explained that Jericho was unable to defend himself.
Adam Cole defeated Chris Jericho in 17:00 in an unsanctioned match.
After the match, crew members brought a bolt cutters into the ring to cut Cole and Jericho loose from one another…
Powell’s POV: There were some light boos and not much else for the finish. I really wish these two would have had a standard match or two and built to the big garbage brawl. There was something about this that just felt cold despite the big angle with Baker and The Outcasts.
A video package set up the AEW Tag Team Title match. Entrances for the match took place. The heels had guitars with Dax and Cash written on the back…
3. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal (w/Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh, Karen Jarrett) for the AEW Tag Titles with Mark Briscoe as special referee. Briscoe wore a sleeveless referee shirt, shorts, and a bandana. FTR went for double figure fours early, but the challengers reached the ropes and rolled to ringside to regroup. Briscoe caught Lethal clapping to simulate a tag while Briscoe was tied up with Harwood. Briscoe ran over and bumped Jarrett, who stood up and protested.
Jarrett held the ropes down a short time later, causing Wheeler to tumble to the floor. Jarrett grabbed a chair, but Briscoe caught him, causing Jarrett to drop it. Jarrett ran Wheeler into the ringside barricade. The challengers isolated Wheeler for a stretch. Jarrett placed Wheeler over the middle rope and choked him until Briscoe stopped him. Karen reached in and choked Wheeler over the rope while Briscoe was tied up with her husband.
Jarrett put Wheeler down and then flipped off Harwood before doing the strut. Lethal tagged in and put Wheeler down with a neckbreaker before covering him for a two count. Lethal punched Harwood off the apron, so he wasn’t there when Wheeler tried to tag out moments later. Jarrett checked in and put Wheeler in the figure four.
Harwood went to the ropes and performed a diving headbutt on Jarrett to break the figure four. Harwood eventually tagged in and performed suplexes and then a brainbuster on Lethal for a near fall. A short time later, Jarrett ran Wheeler into the ring post. Harwood shoved Jericho off the apron. Lethal chopped Harwood, who fell from the ropes. Lethal set up for a top rope elbow, but he took so long that Harwood recovered and superplexed him.
FTR performed the Doomsday powerbomb on Lethal. Wheeler performed a suicide dive on Jarrett and came up holding his knee. Harwood covered Lethal and was pulled to ringside by Dutt. Briscoe spotted it and ejected Dutt and Singh from ringside. Jarrett tried to hit Harwood with a guitar, but he moved and the guitar took out Briscoe instead. BRISCOE BUMP!!!
FTR hit the Big Rig on Lethal and Harwood had him pinned, but Briscoe was still down. Aubrey Edwards ran out. Sonjay Dutt stood in her way until she pushed him over. Karen slammed a guitar over the head of Edwards. In the ring, Lethal hit a Lethal Injection on Harwood and Wheeler.
A short time later, Jarrett hit Harwood with one of the title belts. Jericho hit the Stroke on Harwood. Briscoe was woke up and made a slow count, allowing Harwood to kick out at the last moment. Jarrett got pissed and started taking shots at Briscoe, who eventually punched him back. Jarrett stumbled into the Big Rig from FTR and was pinned by Harwood…
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal in 20:00 to retain for the AEW Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: Solid work from both teams with some good drama during the closing minutes. Even so, I stand by my belief that this should have been a television match. There’s a place for the Jarrett and Lethal crew in AEW, but there are too many other teams who feel like stronger pay-per-view challengers for FTR.
Ricky Starks was interviewed by Alex Marvez in the backstage area. Starks started to talk about how he eliminated Jay White and Juice Robinson, but they showed up and double teamed him. FTR showed up and that caused White and Robinson to run away. FTR encouraged Starks to get medical attention…
A video package set up the TNT Championship match…
Backstage, Jericho threw a fit while Saraya stood by. Jericho said they were demanding a mixed tag team match against Adam Cole and Britt Baker for Dynamite. A crew member showed up and wanted Jericho to calm down. Jericho threw a fireball at the crew member…
Christian Cage and Luchasaurus made their entrance. They stopped on the stage. Cage spoke to Luchasaurus, who headed to the back. Wardlow and Arn Anderson made their entrance together, but Anderson also headed to the back…
4. Wardlow vs. Christian Cage in a ladder match for the TNT Title. Taz noted that Wardlow didn’t wear the belt during his entrance because it was hanging above the ring. There were various sized ladders at ringside. Excalibur said there were more than 11,000 fans in attendance. Early in the match, Wardlow put Cage on a table at ringside and then went up top. Cage left the table and ran to the other side of the ring.
Wardlow went to ringside where he was chopped and run into the barricade. Cage placed a ladder over the apron and the barricade. Wardlow fought back and placed Cage on top of the ladder. Wardlow jumped onto the apron and then joined Cage on the ladder. Cage slipped away and then tripped Wardlow, who was crotched by the ladder rungs.
Back inside the ring, Cage avoided a charging Wardlow, who crashed into a corner that was set up in a corner of the ring. Cage placed the ladder over the ropes in the corner and then catapulted Wardlow into the ladder. Cage set up the ladder in the middle of the ring, but Wardlow cut him off. Wardlow made a play for the hanging belt, but Cage grabbed his foot.
Wardlow set up for a powerbomb, but Cage slipped over him and onto the ladder. Cage got his hand on the title belt before Wardlow pulled him off, caught him, and slammed him to the mat. Wardlow took the ladder down and placed it near the ropes. Wardlow pressed Cage over his head, spun around, and then dropped Cage onto the ladder. Cage rolled to ringside.
Luchasaurus ran out while Wardlow was climbing the ladder. Luchasaurus rolled Cage back inside the ring. Cage stopped Wardlow and then performed an inverted DDT from the ladder to the ring. Cage set up for a move, but Wardlow caught him with a big boot. Wardlow slammed Cage onto a ladder that was leaning in the corner.
Wardlow placed Cage on top of a ladder in the ring. Wardlow went up top and attempted a swanton. Cage rolled out of the way, causing Wardlow to crash and burn on the ladder. Cage picked up a ladder and used it to knock Wardlow off the apron.
Arn Anderson walked to ringside and spoke to Wardlow at ringside while Cage while climbing the ladder. Wardlow came to life and went to the top rope and then jumped onto the ladder with Cage, causing the ladder to bend and tip over. Cage rolled to the floor.
Wardlow started to climb the wobbly ladder. Referee Rick Knox stopped Wardlow from climbing it. Wardlow was hot and grabbed another ladder. Luchasaurus entered the ring and chokeslammed Wardlow. Anderson entered the ring. Luchasaurus grabbed Anderson by the throat. Anderson bit Luchasaurus’s thumb. When Luchasaurus pulled his thumb away, it was bloody.
Luchasaurus went after Anderson at ringside. Wardlow slammed a chair over the back of Luchasaurus and then laid him on top of a table on the floor, which was next to a second table. Wardlow climbed the tallest ladder on the floor and then performed a Swanton onto Luchasaurus while crashing through both tables. Wow.
Cage returned to the ring and set up a ladder under the hanging title belt. Cage climbed up the ladder and got his hand on the belt. Anderson tipped the ladder so that Cage fell. Wardlow caught Cage and powerbombed him. Wardlow climbed the ladder and pulled the belt down to win the match…
Wardlow defeated Christian Cage in 17:10 in a ladder match to retain the TNT Championship.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. Wardlow did some crazy spots, especially for a guy his size. Cage was fun in his opportunistic heel role. The Wardlow and Anderson pairing does nothing for me and the bloody thumb spot was a groaner. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was still my favorite match on the card thus far. Sadly, that says more about the rest of the show than it does about the strength of this match.
A video package set up the AEW Women’s Championship match…
Toni Storm made her entrance and joined ring announcer Justin Roberts and the referee inside the ring. Tony Schiavone replaced Jim Ross on commentary. Jamie Hayter’s music played and she didn’t come out. They played her music a second time and this time she tumbled onto the stage while holding her shoulder as Saraya and Ruby Soho came out behind her.
Storm attacked Hayter at ringside and ran her into the barricade. Storm wrapped Hayter’s arm around the post and pulled on it. Saraya held Hayter’s arm against the ring steps. Hayter missed with one kick to the arm and then connected on the second. Hayter was rolled inside the ring…
5. Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm (w/Saraya, Ruby Soho) for the AEW Women’s Championship. Referee Paul Turner checked with Hayter and then called for the bell to start the match. Britt Baker ran out and attacked Saraya and they quickly battled to the back. In the ring, Soho removed the turnbuckle pad. Hayter whipped Storm into the referee, who hit the turnbuckle. Hayter covered Storm and then Turner made a two count.
Soho sprayed green spray paint into the eyes of Hayter. Storm hit Hayter with a hip attack and then covered her for a two count. Soho stood on the apron and bickered with the referee until Hikaru Shida ran out and attacked her. They fought to the back.
Hayter ran Storm into the exposed turnbuckle and then clotheslined her. Hayter sold her shoulder and then covered Storm for a two count. Hayter fired up and ripped the tape off of her injured shoulder. Hayter went for a ripcord move that Storm avoided. Storm shoved Hayter, whose shoulder hit the exposed turnbuckle. Storm followed up with Storm Zero and scored the pin.
Toni Storm defeated Jamie Hayter in 3:05 to win the AEW Women’s Championship.
Saraya and Ruby Soho ran out and celebrated with Storm after the match.
Powell’s POV: It assume this means Hayter is legitimately injured and was just working through it to drop the title. It’s a shame if that’s the case and one can only hope that it isn’t serious enough to keep her off the All In show in London. This was disappointing considering the talent involved, yet obviously understandable if Hayter was working through an injury.
The Open House Rules were listed on a graphic and then House of Black made their entrance for their open challenge. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn made their entrance. Max Caster rapped on his way to the ring and had lines about each one of their opponents and also said his team didn’t need to special rule that the Open House rules allow the challengers to include…
6. “House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews (w/Julia Hart) vs. Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens for the AEW Trios Titles. They used the HOB special lighting. A few minutes in, Bowens was put in a kneebar by Black. Bowens reached the ropes, but the broadcast team pointed out that there were no rope breaks in the Open House rules.
Bowens eventually escaped and performed a ushigoroshi on Black. Bowens sold knee pain and went to his corner, but his tag team partners had been beaten and were down at ringside. Black reapplied the kneebar. Matthews went up top and performed a Meteora on Bowens. Gunn had returned to the apron and tried to run in, but the referee stopped him. Black continued to target the knee. Bowens eventually caught him with a superkick and crawled toward his corner, but Black stomped his bad leg and stomped him. Matthews checked in and continued to target Bowens’ knee.
King tagged in and continued the domination of Bowens. King knocked Caster and Gunn off the apron and then performed a cannonball on Bowens in the corner. King had Bowens pinned, but Caster was able to break it up. Black took out Caster. King was able to clear King and then Matthews from the ring. Black ran in and was also kicked away by Bowens, who dove to make the tag, but Gunn was pulled off the apron by Black.
Matthews worked over Bowens for a moment and then leapt from the ropes and was blasted with a superkick. Bowens finally made the hot tag to Gunn, who worked over Black and Matthews. Gunn no-sold a kick from King and gave him a Fameasser. Gunn hit another Fameasser on Matthews in the ropes. Gunn turned into Black’s finisher kick, which led to Black pinning Gunn…
“House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews beat Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens in 15:30 to retain the AEW Trios Titles.
Powell’s POV: A solid match with HOB going about as long as you’ll see a team prevent a wrestler from making a hot tag. That said, I’m still not convinced that the trios division is worth taking away from the tag team division.
Gameplay footage from the AEW video game was shown as Excalibur said it was a simulation of the Four Pillars match…
There were two dancers on the stage while Taya Valkyrie made her entrance. A woman sang while six women danced. Jade Cargill came out and danced with them while Excalibur identified the women as Cargill’s sorority sisters. Leila Grey appeared at ringside and handed Cargill her title belt…
7. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling, Leila Grey) vs. Taya Valkyrie for the TBS Title. Cargill’s husband and daughter were shown in the crowd. Valkyrie went for the Road to Valhalla, which Cargill countered into a failed attempt at Jaded (it’s the same move with different names). A short time later, Valkyrie performed a sliding German suplex on Cargill.
Grey grabbed the leg of Valkyrie long enough for Cargill to recover and knock Valkyrie to the floor. Cargill followed and suplexed Valkyrie at ringside. Back inside the ring, Cargill performed a nice spinebuster for a two count. Both wrestlers ended up back at ringside where Cargill picked up Valkyrie and dropped her on the top of the barricade.
A short time later, Valkyrie escaped a submission hold and performed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Cargill came back and went for a springboard move. Valkyrie went for a Codebreaker. Both women collided hard and crashed to the mat. They got back to their feet and traded forearms. Valkyrie took Cargill down and tied Cargill’s legs behind her, then picked her up by the arms and dropped her face first on the mat. Valkyrie covered Cargill for a near fall.
Grey climbed back on the apron and took a swing at Valkyrie, who quickly knocked her down. Cargill rolled up Valkyrie for a two count. Valkyrie came right back and hit the Road to Valhalla and went for the pin. The referee stopped just short of making the three count. Valkyrie hoisted up Cargill, who slipped out and threw a kick to the face and then hit Jaded for the win.
Jade Cargill defeated Taya Valkyrie in 8:50 to retain the TBS Title.
After the match, a 60-0 graphic appeared on the big screen. Sterling took the mic and said that while Cargill is wiling to defend her title any time and any place, there is nobody left. Kris Statlander made her entrance to a nice ovation…
8. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling, Leila Grey) vs. Kris Statlander for the TBS Title. Statlander took it to Cargill and caught her with a boot to the head. Statlander hoisted up Cargill and held her up, but Cargill caught her with a knee to the head. Cargill threw a big boot to Statlander’s head and set up for Jaded, but Statlander elbowed her. Statlander performed an inverted piledriver and scored the clean pin…
Kris Statlander defeated Jade Cargill in 0:48 to win the TBS Title.
Afterward, the referee presented Statlander with the title belt and then confetti shot off. Cargill left the ring and was helped up the ramp by Sterling and Grey.
Powell’s POV: The Cargill vs. Valkyrie match was fun. There was some clunkiness, but there was more good than bad. Statlander returning and winning in an unadvertised match was definitely a moment. I’m surprised they didn’t build to her title win rather than give it away as a surprise, but it definitely got a rise out of the live crowd.
A video package set up the AEW World Championship match. Jack Perry made his entrance. Schiavone said one of his proudest moments in AEW was announcing the Four Pillars match.
Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo were out next. They brought back Sami’s sign gimmick. It closed with the announcement that they are having a baby. The fans cheered. Congratulations! Perry applauded in the ring. Guevara kissed Tay’s belly and then her lips before she fired him up and sent him to the ring.
Footage aired of an Elvis wedding with a guy wearing an MJF mask. Darby Allin showed up and hit the MJF mask wearing guy with his skateboard and then worked him over with punches. Allin asked the Elvis impersonator to help him dispose of the body. The impersonator said it wouldn’t be the first time. They put the body in a car, which Elvis drove while Allin held on to the back while riding his skateboard. In the arena, Allin skateboarded through the main floor while dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit. He hopped the barricade and entered the ring.
MJF was out last. He wore a mask and sat on an elevated throne that lowered. He stood up and removed his mask and headed to the ring…
9. MJF vs. Darby Allin vs. Jack Perry vs. Sammy Guevara in a four-way for the AEW World Championship. Once the bell rang, MJF rolled to ringside. MJF pointed at his wrist and said we’re on his time. Perry went to ringside. Guevara did too and hit MJF. They got him back in the ring and all three challengers cornered him and took turns hitting him.
Guevara threw Allin aside to get another shot at MJF, who rolled to ringside when Perry and Allin went after Guevara. The three challengers had a sequence that concluded with them all throwing simultaneous dropkicks that missed and then they all kipped up. Perry grabbed the arms of Allin and Guevara and then performed a double armdrag spot. Perry set up for a dive, but when he ran the ropes he ate a clothesline from MJF.
MJF taunted the crowd by clapping and then teased a dive. MJF ran the ropes a couple of times, stopped, and then strutted and swiveled his hips. Allin sent MJF to the floor and hit him with a suicide dive. Perry returned the favor by hitting suicide dives on Allin and then MJF, and capped it off with a flip dive onto both men. Guevara climbed up top and performed a shooting star press onto all three opponents.
A short time later, Guevara performed a corkscrew dive onto Perry on the floor. Guevara went up top again and frog splashed MJF for a near fall. Guevara got MJF on the ropes. MJF bit Guevara’s forehead. MJF followed up moments later by powerbombing Guevara onto his knee and then launched him into Perry in the corner. MJF performed a wicked piledriver style move on Allin for a near fall.
MJF grabbed the house mic and said Guevara has a baby on the way and should just lay down and do the right thing for the money. “Think about the baby, Sammy,” MJF said before passing off the mic. Guevara said he would lay down for MJF and take the money. Guevara laid down in the middle of the ring. MJF went to cover him and was hooked into an inside cradle for a two count.
MJF stuffed the GTH and countered into his own finisher, which Guevara avoided and put MJF in the Walls of Jericho. MJF reached the ropes, but there were no rope breaks due to the style of match. Allin caught Perry in a Scorpion Leg Lock. MJF teased tapping, but Perry stopped him. They eventually escaped the holds and then Allin put Guevara in a figure four. Perry put Allin in a crossarm breaker. MJF applied a submission hold on Perry, while Guevara put MJF in an ankle lock.
Once that concluded, they took turns hitting Destroyers on one another. Perry capped it off with by leaping off of one opponent’s back and hitting MJF with a Destroyer on the way down for a near fall. The wrestlers ended up at ringside. Allin clotheslined MJF and Perry over the barricade and tumbled over with them. Allin threw both men back over the barricade to the ringside area.
Allin went up top. Guevara flew into the picture and caught Allin with a knee to the head. Guevara joined Allin on the ropes and then performed a Spanish Fly that resulted in both men landing on MJF and Perry at ringside. A “holy shit” chant broke out.
All four men stayed own for a moment. Once they got to their feet, MJF poked all three opponents in the eyes and then flipped off the crowd. MJF ran the ropes and took a triple superkick. Allin and Perry held MJF while Guevara went up top and hit him with leaping cutter. Allin performed a Code Red on MJF and then Perry blasted MJF with a knee to the back of the head.
MJF was tossed to ringside and then the three challengers took turns trying to pin one another. Allin had Guevara down and went to the ropes, but MJF returned and crotched Allin on the ropes. MJF powerbombed Allin from the ropes. MJF came up holding his wrist while Taz noted that the move was a tribute to the late Chris Candido. Excalibur announced that Tony Khan made the mixed tag match with Cole and Baker vs. Jericho and Saraya official for Dynamite.
MJF continued to hold his left wrists while the challengers went for rapid fire pins around him. Guevara performed a TKO on Perry from the ropes. Perry rolled to the floor before Guevara could cover him. Guevara approached MJF and was low-blowed. MJF smiled and pulled out his Dynamite Diamond Ring.
Darby Allin appeared behind MJF and hit him with a skateboard. Allin performed a Coffin Drop on MJF and then did a side headlock takeover for the pin, but Perry broke it up. Allin and Perry traded punches until they knocked each other down.
MJF grabbed his AEW title belt and returned to the ring. Perry stood up. MJF tried to hit him with the belt, but Perry blocked it. Guevara clotheslined MJF and they both tumbled to the floor. Perry ended up with the title belt and looked at it while Excalibur recalled MJF stating that Perry lacked the killer instinct.
Excalibur questioned whether Perry would do whatever it takes to become champion. Perry threw the title belt down and was booed. Allin hooked Perry into a pin for a two count. Guevara returned and hit Allin and Perry with knee strikes. Guevara performed the GTH on Perry. Guevara went up top and was pushed to the floor by Allin, who went up top. MJF slipped the title on top of Perry before Allin landed on Perry with his coffin drop finisher. MJF covered Allin and pinned him…
MJF defeated Darby Allin, Jack Perry, and Sammy Guevara in a four-way in 27:50 to retain the AEW World Championship.
Afterward, MJF looked into the camera and boasted that he’s the best professional wrestler in the world…
Powell’s POV: A fun four-way with a lot of intricate spots. The tributes spots gave it a choreographed that won’t sit well with some fans while others will love it. There wasn’t much mystery regarding the outcome, but that’s mostly because we’re still early in MJF’s title reign. I think we’re almost to the point where fans will start buying into the idea of him potentially dropping the title if he’s in there with a strong enough challenger. It’s interesting that Perry threw the belt down. There were a lot of theories about him turning heel and while it didn’t happen during this match, I still wonder if that’s the direction they are going in, as they had to know he’d be booed. Warning: I’m not even going to try to keep up with the craziness of the main event. I’ll be hitting the key points (if I’m lucky).
A video package set up what Excalibur referred to as the second half of the double main event… Justin Roberts introduced Anarchy in the Arena. The Elite entered to “Carry On Wayward Son.” A band with a black masked and face paint wearing singer performed “Wild Thing” on the stage. The Blackpool Combat Club members walked down the steps of the middle section of the venue.
10. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. “Blackpool Combat Club” Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta in Anarchy in the Arena. The Elite met BCC on the steps and brawled while Excalibur said the bell rang to start the match. Don Callis was on commentary. The band continued to play Moxley’s entrance theme. Once they were done, they started playing the song again. The first person to bleed was referee Rick Knox.
Page removed his eye patch. Shockingly, his eye looked fine. The Elite had a meeting in mid-ring and then performed stereo dives onto the BCC members. The Bucks took Danielson and Castagnoli to the top of the ramp and threw them off.
The Bucks turned their attention to the lead singer who showed off his BCC t-shirt. The Bucks double superkicked the singer to end the music. The Bucks dove off the stage onto Danielson and Castagnoli. In the ring, Moxley was a bloody mess and fought with Omega, who had a big weapon with him.
Moxley suplexed Omega onto some barbwire. Matt and Castagnoli fought in the concourse. Danielson and Yuta whipped Nick with belts at ringside. Moxley pulled out a fork and jabbed Omega’s head with it. Castagnoli performed the Swing on Matt in the concourse and sent him flying into a trash bucket. There was a split screen shot momentarily.
Moxley choked out Omega for a moment, but then Omega stood up and dumped Moxley onto the barbwire, which the production crew missed (they replayed it). Moxley’s back bled from the barbwire. Page and Nick were both bleeding from the forehead while being worked over by Danielson and Yuta at ringside. Yuta slammed a chair over the back of Page. Moxley showed up at ringside and threw a knee to the head of Omega, then raked at his wound.
Castagnoli and Matt fought into the back of a pickup truck outside the venue. Castagnoli performed the piledriver in the back of the truck. IN the ring, Moxley wrapped a cable around the head of Page while Danielson had him in the LeBell Lock. Omega returned and broke it up. Yuta hit Omega with a leaf blower (yes, really). The broadcast team pondered if The Elite had bitten off more than they could chew.
Castagnoli returned to the ringside area and ran Omega into the barricade. Moxley put Nick in a Boston Crab while Yuta wrenched on Nick’s neck. Matt returned while holding his neck. Matt threw a superkick at the head of Moxley and somehow pyro shot off in Moxley’s face. Page performed a Buckshot Lariat on Yuta for a near fall.
Castagnoli removed Matt’s shoe and punted it into the crowd. Moxley poured thumbtacks inside the ring. Moxley picked up Jackson and slammed him feet first (including one bare foot) onto the tacks. Moxley covered Matt for a near fall. Danielson put Matt in a submission hold, which Nick broke with a swanton. Omega set up for a V-Trigger on Danielson, but Casgtagnoli cut him off.
Omega rallied with a V-Trigger on Omega. Danielson caught Omega with a running kick and then did the same move to Page. Danielson hooked Omega’s arm and beat him with elbows to the side of the head. Yuta and Moxley did the same to Nick and Page. Matt hopped back into the ring and threw flailing punches at the heels. Yuta low-blowed Matt.
Moxley poured tacks into the mouth of Matt and then Castagnoli hit him with an uppercut. Yuta suplexed Matt into a bridge, but Page broke it up. Omega and Page had a moment and then opted to fight all four opponents. They got the better of them and it was capped off with Omega hitting the One Winged Angel on Danielson. Omega had the pin, but Yuta broke it up. Schiavone said he’s seen a lot of shit, but not like this.
Omega and Page hit a series of moves on Yuta. Page went up top and dove on other opponents. Callis stood up. Yuta ended up with a screwdriver and hit Page with it. Omega ducked it and hit Yuta with a V-Trigger. Omega set up Yuta for his finisher.
Callis entered the ring. Omega dropped Yuta and turned his focus to Callis. A man dressed in black entered the ring with a red hat on. Callis dropped to the mat and then the masked man hit Omega with a knee to the head. The man unmasked and revealed himself to be Konosuke Takeshita. Yuta grabbed the screwdriver and hit Omega with it and then pinned him…
“Blackpool Combat Club” Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta defeated “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in roughly 27:00 in Anarchy in the Arena.
After the match, Callis removed his belt and choked Omega with it. Callis held up Takeshita’s arm and the BCC members celebrated. Taz assumed that Callis and Takeshita are now with BCC. Excalibur questioned whether they area. Taz said he didn’t know for a fact, but he was just observing what went down. Moxley spoke into the camera and concluded with a “f— you” while holding up both middle fingers right before Excalibur wrapped up the show…
Powell’s POV: Well, that will require a second viewing. Believe it or not, I don’t think this didn’t actually live up to Moxley’s hype of this being the bloodiest match in AEW history, not that I’m complaining. It more than delivered in the type of all around (and outside) the arena brawling that I recall from the first version of the match and it seemed like the live crowd was having a blast with it. The Takeshita turn was pretty easy to see coming. Even so, I’m curious to see how he does as a heel given that he won fans over with his great in-ring work.
Overall, this was underwhelming compared to past AEW pay-per-view events. It didn’t look like it would be a great show on paper and yet I was still optimistic because of their track record. It wasn’t all bad and I’m sure it will have its defenders, but it’s hard to imagine this show being remembered as fondly as its predecessors. I will have more to say when I team up with Jake Barnett and Will Pruett for our Dot Net Triple Threat audio review of AEW Double Or Nothing for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by voting for the best match and grading it below.