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Double or Nothing 2020

Double or Nothing is upon us, and it promises to be a great event. Stadium Stampede, Mox v Lee for the World title, the Casino Ladder Match, a no DQ women’s title match, and more on the card.

The Buy-In starts at 00:30 GMT, main card at 1:00.

We rewatched DoN 2019, and you can get our take aways from that here.

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We’ll be updating this blog throughout the evening and we want to hear from you. What are you most looking forward to tonight?

Buy-In

There’s a segment backstage with Lance Archer and Jake Roberts. Lance is smashing stuff with a sledge hammer. Possibly a call back to Cody smashing the throne last year, Lance smashes up a toilet. There are wrestlers in the crowd like there has been for Dynamite.

Best Friends v Private Party

Th commentators mention that Private Party beat the Young Bucks in the tag title tournament. I was in and out making my food (vegan sausage rolls and nachos with Chili on top), but both teams seem to be getting in a lot of offense.

Best Friends with their finisher for the win. They are the number 1 contenders. A number 1 contenders match is a good use of the buy-in. I like how title contenders have been decided via wins.

Winners: Best Friends

They plug talk to Arn Anderson, he says toilets don’t hit back but Cody does.

There’s a package for the Dark Order. It seems like the original plan was MJF – Mox for the title, but they probably want to save that for a live crowd. Brodie probably would have got a title shot in a bit anyway. I don’t know who he would have faced here, possibly Dustin.

JR and Tony are introduced and we go to the show.

Main Card

There’s a package thanking Essential workers to start off.

Then we go into the promo package for Double or Nothing.

Joey Janela replaces Rey Fenix in the ladder match, and Penelope Ford replaces Britt Baker against Kris Statlander, both due to injury.

We get quick promos from Joey Janela, Kip Sapian (Jimmy Havoc is wearing a white suit with blood stains), Christopher Daniels, and Orange Cassidy with the Best Friends.

Casino Ladder Match

Every two minutes a new contestant enters. Anybody can grab the chip at any time during the match. Kazarian and Sky are first up. They counter eachothers moves.

Kip comes out next, Havoc interferes with a ladder. Darby Allin comes out as no.4. He straight away does a big dive. Darby goes for a jump off the ladder with his skateboard but Kazarian moves and he falls through the a ladder.

Orange Cassidy is number 5. He goes over to the commentators and asks how he wins the match. When he is told he has to climb a ladder he sighs. It takes him a full minute to get to the ring. He tries to reach the chip without a ladder, then he stands on a ladder that’s flat on the ground.

Colt Cobana comes out next. He throws Cassidy out of the ring and sets up a ladder. Sky and Kazarian push the ladder, his fingers get crushed. Cassidy does the stiff kick spot on SCU and springs up. He dives through the ropes on SCU.

Janela comes out next, he dives off the stage on SCU, then he runs around jumping on everybody. Cobana tries to climb the ladder but Janela throws him off. Janela brings in a chair, Sky hits him with it.

Luchasaurus is out next. He dominates everybody until Allin hits a CodeRed on Luchasaurus and tries to climb. The mystery entrant is out and Taz is the voiceover of the theme, he says “Who can stop the path of Cage”.

Brian Cage comes out and manhandles Darby. He lays waste to everybody. Cage tries to climb the ladder, Cassidy jumps on his back. All the other competitors try to pull him down. They eventually do. They all bury him under ladders and the Casino Chips that are parts of the stage.

In the ring Cobana tries to get the chip, Kip and Sky stop him. Cassidy and Kip climb the ladder and trade blows, Kip falls. Penelope Ford tries to climb the ladder. Cassidy grabs her arms, she falls on Kip. Havoc pulls Cassidy off the ladder. Best Friends interfere to stop Havoc.

Luchasaurus confronts Cassidy in the ring, Cassidy tries to chokeslam him. Marko Stunt brings in a tiny ladder and tries to chokeslam Cassidy. Luchasaurus helps him. Stunt dives on everybody. Janela hits a death valley driver on Cassidy on to the mass of objects burying Cage.

SCU try climb the ladder, Luchasaurus pushes them off. Brian Cage emerges and brawls with Luchasaurus. He powerbombs Luchasaurus onto the ladder. Cage climbs the ladder, but Allin comes back. Cage throws Allin and a ladder out of the ring. Cage retrieves the chip.

Winner: Brian Cage

They go through the card. They say they haven’t seen Dustin in the building today.

Here’s the TNT Championship Belt.

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MJF v Jungle Boy

Jungle Boy dominates early going. MJF feigns an injury and attacks from behind. MJF takes control and works cockily. Jungle Boy counters with some chops. MJF sends him out of the ring. Jungle Boy sends him into the barricade and back to the ring. MJF works the left arm. They do the chest chop spot, but MJF hits the arm then throat.

At the start they said it was a 30-minute time limit but now they are saying 20. MJF goes head first into the ring apron. Jungle Boy pulls him into the ring and goes for a dive, but MJF pulls the Ref in the way. Jungle Boy hits a Liger Bomb off the top rope for a 2-count. The two exchange pin counters and MJF gets the 3-count with a modified European clutch.

Winner: MJF

Very good match. Looks like MJF will be the next challenger for Mox if he retains.

TNT World Championship:

Cody w/Arn Anderson v Lance Archer w/Jake the Snake Roberts

Mike Tyson comes out first with the Belt. Lance Atcher enters and man handles a stage hand. Cody comes out.

The Ref gives the two the chance to shake hands but they don’t. The title will get gold-platting at some point.

Archer hits a huge move early on but Cody rolls out of the ring. Cody tries to rally but Archer dominates. Lance does the walk the ropes moonsault spot. Cody turns things around by chopping at the legs. Archer flings Cody over the ringpost. Archer brutalizes Cody.

Cody hits a cutter to gain momentum. He hits a CrossRhodes for a two count. He hits a StingerSplash but Archer counters with a chokeSlam, Cody kicks out. Archer does the claw but can’t cover. Archer goes for the walk the rope moonsault but Arn pushes him off the rope when Roberts was distracting the ref. The ref throws both Roberts and Anderson out from ringside because Tyson tells him to.

Jake Roberts comes back with the bag, Tyson confronts him and Jake runs. Cody hits Two CrossRhodes for the win.

Winner: Cody

Mike Tyson presents him with the belt.

Backstage a medic gives an update on Britt Baker, saying the injury isn’t as bad as the patient.

Penelope Ford v Kris Statlander

Kip Sabien comes out with Ford on crutches.

Statlander dominates most of the match but Kip keeps getting involved to make it back and forth. Kris hits the big-bang theory for the win.

Winner: Kris Statlander

Shawn Spears v Dustin Rhodes

Spears comes out in a suit not ready to wrestle. The commentators say they haven’t seen Dustin all day. Spears says all mediocre careers come to an end. Dustin’s music plays, but then stops. Shawn planned that. He tells the Ref to ring the bell and start the count.

Dustin’s music plays again, Dustin appears behind him. Dustin beats him and rips his suit off. Shawn Spears has Tully Blanchard on his underwear. Dustin gets the win easy enough.

Winner: Dustin Rhodes

There was a very nice tribute to Hana Kimura.

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AEW Women’s World Women’s Championship:

No Disqualification

Hikaru Shida v Nyla Rose

Weapons introduced early. Rose send Shida through a poker table and drives a chair into her. Nyla batters Shida around the place but Shida gets back into it. Shida is on top and gets a few close pin attempts. Nyla powerslams Shida.

Rose brings in a table and tries to hit a death valley driver on it. Nyla Powerbombs Shida through it for a 2-count. She gets a kendo stick and hits Shida repeatedly. Rose goes to the top rope, Shida throws a kendo stick at her. Shida hits an avalanche falcons-arrow for a 2-count. She hits a running knee, hits her with a kendo stick, and another knee for the 3-count.

Winner: Shida

AEW World Championship:

Jon Moxley v Brodie Lee

It’s a slugfest from the off. Moxley runs right into Brodie Lee, they brawl outside and trade blows in the ring. Moxley goes for a jumping knee strike but Brodie counters. Brodie tires to PileDrive Moxley on the stairs, but Moxley flips him onto the table.

Brodie hits a superplex but Moxley tries to hook the leg for a pin. Brodie suplexes him into the cards at ringside. He powerslams him onto another card. Both men are down inside the ring. Moxley rolls to the outside, Brodie follows him. Moxley throws a Poker Chipat Brodie. Brodie tries to powerbomb Moxley on the ramp, Moxley counters into a Paradigm Shift. Both men go through the ramp.

Medics surround the hole in the rap. Moxley comes out first. Brodie Lee comes out and is busted open. Brodie goes for a lariat but Mox counters into a Paradigm Shift, Lee kicks out at 1. Mox elbows Lee repeatedly and hits another Paradigm Shift for a 2-count. Mox locks in a choke hold and Brodie passes out.

Winner: Jon Moxley via Ref Stoppage

That finish was full of brutality. And it was a unique finish with a bulldog choke winning the match.

Stadium Stampede

I have no idea what to expect from this.

The ring is in the middle of the Football stadium. The Inner Circle are wearing Inner Circle American Football Jerseys. There are Cheer Leaders with Face Masks. The Elite are in their regular gear, maybe that signifies how they aren’t on the same page. Kenny Omega ad Hangman Adam Page don’t come out together but the Young Bucks do. In fact Page doesn’t come out at all.

The whistle blows and they all run at each other. Kenny has a mop, there’s trash cans and American Footballs. Pinfalls count anywhere in the stadium.

HangMan Adam Page enters on a horse and chases Sammy away. In the ring Nick Jackson and Chris Jericho fight, while Hardy and Hager brawl outside. Omega hits SnapDragons on Santana and Ortiz, until Hager comes in. Sammy comes back and hits a shooting star press, but nobody is there. Matt Hardy hits a Twist of Faith on Sammy.

The two teams brawl on the outside. Matt Jackson jumps off one of the goalposts. they go up into the stands. Hangman is still going around the stadium on the horse backstage, He gets off the horse and goes to the Lobby to go to the bar. Omega scoop slams Santana on to a recycle bin. Proud and Powerful powerbomb him through a barricade.

Proud and Powerful through Hardy into a pool. He comes out as Hardy V1.0. He comes out a few times as different versions. Hardy puts Santana through Ortiz and a Table. Hardy brawls with Santana and Hardy puts him in the Ice Bucket.

Hager walks backstage and sees the horse, he goes to the bar. He sits beside Page. He drinks a whiskey and they start brawling. Hager slams Page onto a pool table. Hager slides him across the bar and gutwrench powerbombs him through a table. Omega shows up and smashes some beers over his head. Kenny hits a V-Trigger and HangMan hits the buckshot lariat.

Matt Jackson brawls with Sammy. Matt hits three Northern Lights suplexes on the pitch. Nick Jackson brawls with Jericho. Matt’s still Suplexing Sammy. Nick starts throwing American Footballs at Chris Jericho. Jericho sends him into a big Jaguar head and hits the Judas Effect on the mascot. Jericho gets a two count and challenges the play, they go to a replay. They argue in the replay tent. Matt Jackson suplexes Sammy all the way to the end zone. Then he superkicks the ref for giving a penalty for excessive celebration.

Nick Jackson runs down the whole stadium and splashes Chris through a table. Hangman runs over him with a line marker. Sammy tries to crawl over but the sprinkles turn on. He thinks he won. Matt and Kenny come out in a golf cart and try run him over again. Sammy jumps up into the stands. Kenny follows him. NEO 1 the drone shows up. Kenny hits a V-Trigger, then a One-Winged-Angel off the stands through a table for a 3-Count.

Winners: The Elite

The show ends with the Elite celebrating.

Let us know your thoughts on AEW Double or Nothing 2020.

Jon Moxley v Brian Cage has been confirmed for Fyter Fest.

Rewatching AEW Double or Nothing 2019

Double or Nothing 2020 is around the corner, and despite no fans in attendance it will still be a celebration of the company that has now been holding events for a year. In this article, we will rewatch Double or Nothing 2019 with or takeaways and the benefit of hindsight to learn what worked and what didn’t.

Background

AEW was launched on January 1st. The event sold out within 4 minutes of tickets going on sale. Originally Hangman Adam Page was supposed to face Pac, but Pac pulled out due to wanting to protect his status as the Dragon Gate Champion. There was a rally and a road to series that built up the event.

Buy-In

The first thing that strikes me is how shaky the commentary is. IT’s really improved, but it was very rough. They are going through the matches and if you knew nothing going in they aren’t exactly pumping you up. But it should be said it is miles improved now.

Casino Battle-Royal

Looking at the Casino Battle-Royal I’m surprised it hasn’t become a yearly thing (or at least hasn’t yet). Dutin Thomas, MJF, Sunny Days, Brandon Cutler, and Michael Nakazawa start off. MJF had so much heat already. He called Dustin Thomas (who if you aren’t familiar with him, has no legs) ‘Lt. Dan’. They said they were going to randomly shuffle the deck but the commentators say the diamonds are next before the actual draw. The announcement wasn’t very emphatic, it sounded like an announcement of how long is left in the match.

The Diamonds enter, it’s Issiah Kassidy, Jimmy Havoc, Joey Janela, Brian Pillman Jr., and Shawn Spears. Pillman is over, and Shawn Spears gets a huge pop when he comes out. MJF is the star of the match so far, he is getting such a loud reaction. Shawn Spears gets a huge ’20’ chant. It’s a shame they didn’t play any entrance music, playing 15 seconds of entrance music for each entrant would have given the wrestlers more identity and a chance to get a bigger reaction.

The Hearts are next, Billy Gunn, Glacier, Jungle Boy, MArq Quen, Ace Romero. Nakazawa is the first eliminated. Glacier went through the middle rope, nobody reminded us he wasn’t eliminated. Glacier blows mist at Daze and eliminates him, before he’s eliminated by MJF. Havoc stables a lit cigarette onto Janela’s head, but the cameras don’t do a great job at showing it.

The spades come out, Luchasaurus, Marko Stunt, Sonny Kiss, Tommy Dreamer, and Orange Cassidy. The production isn’t great because the announcements and the camera aren’t in sync. Ace Romero does a dive through the middle rope, I don’t know how he fit. Tommy Dreamer brings in a trash can to a huge ovation.

Hangman Adam Page comes out as the Joker Card. He’s got his knee taped. He gets a big ovation. If you remember he was getting go-away heat before the title match but was over here. I’m glad he’s back on track.

The match is fun but a bit messy. The crowd are into it but we probably should have had more eliminations by now. The bump Marko Stunt took when getting eliminated was impressive, and Jungle Boy eliminating Romero got a huge reaction.

Dustin Thomas was really over, as was Brandon Cutler. Orange Cassidy did his stiff kicks and got a big pop. His hands in the pockets stuff is over. For some reason the commentators call him the 22nd man even though he was one of the spades.

The final 4 are MJF, Luchasaurus, Jimmy Havoc, and Hangman Adam Page. Luchasaurus could be a future maineventer. MJF thinks he’s won but Hangman eliminates him to a huge reaction. The match itself was fun but the production was very messy. I’m glad to say a year on that has improved.

Winner: Hangman Adam Page

After the match Kylie Rae was being interviewed but it turned into a Librarian segment. The Librarian stuff was terrible, truly bad. I’m glad it didn’t continue to get a high profile spot.

Kip Sabian v Sammy Guevara

For the first ever singles match in AEW Sammy Guevara enters first. He had different music, his new theme suits him better. I don’t know if anybody realized how big a name he would be a year on. Being associated with Chris Jericho has done wonders for him. Kip Sabian comes out next. He’s not really in the character he has taken now. He seems more comfortable nowadays than in this match.

Winner: Kip Sabian

Both competitors did a really good job of drawing the crowd into the match and making it feel important. The finish was exciting.

The Elite come out to end the Buy-In. They are really over. The crowd are really into this event.

Main Card

SoCal Uncensored v Strong Hearts

SCU get a huge reaction. There’s confusion on commentary when JR asks Ecalibur to explain the rules but Excalibur points out Christopher Daniels is going to say something. SCU were the right choice to be inaugural tag champs. They are experienced enought to have given the belt legitimacy, but at the same time they weren’t hurt when they eventually lost the belts.

It’s surprising we haven’t seen more of the Strong Hearts or other OWE talent on Dynamite. Daniels got the pin after the Best Meltzer Ever. The crowd were really into it.

Winners: SCU

Britt Baker v Kylie Rae v Nyla Rose v Awesome Kong

Allie joins commentary. She is much more bubbly then she is now as The Bunny. She keeps saying she’s so excited. Kylie Rae enters. It seems like Kylie was going to get a big push. She probably would have been in and around the title picture. Britt Baker was really over, but she is much better now as a heel. When Awesome Kong’s music hit and she was announced for the match the place went wild. It’s such a shame she got injured, she could have been huge in the women’s division.

Winner: Britt Baker

Baker seemed like she would be a really great face, but she is doing much better as a heel. I’m glad the whole Nightmare Collective thing ended, it wasn’t getting over.

Best Friends v The Hybrid2

You could tell from this match that tag team wrestling was going to be taken seriously in AEW. What I like about these tag matches is that they aren’t all the same formula. This match has a really good pace. It looks like Best Friends could get a push towards the tag titles. Their hug was over here and still is, but nobody said “Got to give the people what they want”. Best Friends would be a good choice to take the belts off Omega and Hangman. They’ve had run-ins with Omega recently, and Hangman and Omega look like they will break up and feud soon. Maybe Double or Nothing 2020 is the beginning if Best Friends win the no.1 Contenders match.

The Hybrid 2 were really impressive here. They haven’t been prominently featured in AEW so far, but I think they’ll be good hands in the tag division.

Winners: Best Friends

Watching the Dark Order attack after the match you wouldn’t have thought a year on they would be in a main event angle. Brodie Lee is the best thing to happen to them. The crowd were kind of into it but also chanted “Who are you?”.

Hikaru Shida, Riho, & Ryo Mizunami v Aja Kong, Emi Sakura, & Yuka Sakazaki

Riho comes out first with very different music. She seemed like the right choice at the time to be the first Women’s Champion, but looking back she wasn’t around enough during her reign. Yuka Sakazaki’s theme music is incredibly stupid and if somebody could show me how to make it my ringtone that would be great.

The match is going down great. “This is wrestling” chants. Aja Kong did a STIFF kick to Riho and he crowd ate it up. The bell rang for a two-count, not sure if it was intentional or not. Shida wins with a knee on Sakura. I’m glad to see Shida in the women’s title picture, even if she doesn’t win the title just yet.

The match gets a standing ovation.

Winners: Hikaru Shida, Riho, and Ryo Mizunami

We go to the commentators and JR didn’t know where we were supposed to go. It’s been a great show but these production issues take away from the viewing experience.

Cody v Dustin Rhodes

This is one of my favorite matches of all time. It’s amazing how both Cody and Dustin are somehow more over now than they were here, because they both got a huge reaction. The crowd are so into both of these guys.

The tone drastically shifts when the blood starts flowing. ‘A Waterfall of blood’. Every piece of Dustin offence gets a huge pop. This match has perfect psychology. The blood is everywhere.

In the final stretch every move gets the crowd off their seats. Cody winning was the right choice, he had to win at the first ever AEW event. He’d be the right choice to be the first TNT Champion. Dustin would be worthy of an AEW Championship reign. He can still go, it wouldn’t have to be long. He could be the kind of Champion that’s a survivor rather than dominant.

Winner: Cody

AEW World Championship Reveal

Bret Hart gets a huge ovation coming out to reveal the AEW Championship Belt. It’s the first time we ever saw it. Hart flubs a line and says “It’s been a while”. Hangman comes out and gets a big cheer. It’s a shame he started getting go-away-heat before the title match. I think that was unfair. I’m glad he’s over again as a face. MJF was incredibly over as a heel even back then. He is such a good talker for somebody so young. Loud ‘asshole’ chants. He is incredible at being at a massive dick. If you didn’t know who he was before this, you knew all about him now. “I’m no horse professor” is a great line.

JungleBoy comes out and gets a big cheer. It’s coole that MJF and JungleBoy are facing eachother at this years Double or Nothing having had a run-in yesterday. Jimmy Havoc comes out. This was a good way to get a few people from the preshow on the main show and introducing some midcarders/future stars. A camera man nearly walked into Hangman.

The camera missed the reveal of the championship belt at first but got it afterwards. It’s a beautiful belt. It looks like a World title, it looks like a big deal.

AAA World Tag Team Championships:

The Young Bucks v Lucha Bros

It really added something to the card to have a title match on the show. They were right not to have any AEW titles on the line yet, because they needed more times to build contendership. Having the AAA titles on the line helped boost the partnership between the two companies. Particularly now that Kenny Omega is the AAA Mega Champion.

The Young Bucks won with the Meltzer Driver. It was an exciting match. What you would expect. I’m really glad the they haven’t run this pairing into the ground and have kept them somewhat separate. They can have a great series for the tag titles at some point soon, and Rey Fenix and Pentagon could be big stars in the main event scene.

It was smart not to have the Young Bucks monopolize the tag title scene so early in AEW. They should probably go win the titles soon, maybe after Blood and Guts happens. But it makes sense that they have let other teams get some attention.

Winners: The Young Bucks (Retain)

Chris Jericho v Kenny Omega

Always the right choice to main event the first AEW event. Two of the biggest stars. Chris Jericho has defined AEW in it’s first year. He was the right choice to legitimize the World Championship by being the first star to hold it.

The match was full of counters and kickouts with some big bumps. Crucially they protected both finishers. The Judas Effect got the win, and has since been a killer move.

Winner: Chris Jericho

After the match there was a huge reaction in the crowd. Jon Moxley appeared, laid out Chris Jericho, and brawled with Kenny Omega. Moxley was the right choice to take the belt from Jericho, and Omega should beat Moxley eventually to finally rise to the top of the mountain to bring things full circle.

AEW has had a successful year, and Double or Nothing helped by being an incredible event. There were production issues, but that side of thing has drastically improved. A year on, AEW has fulfilled it’s goal of becoming an alternative in mainstream wrestling.

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