AEW Double Or Nothing Review & Results: Jon Moxley Crashes All Elite Wrestling's First Show
By Mat Elfring | @ImMatElfring and Chris E. Hayner | @ChrisHayner on
All Elite Wrestling had its first PPV on Saturday, May 25. Titled Double or Nothing, the new promotion featured some stellar matches, including a brother vs. brother match which was one of the best wrestling matches in recent history. The show closed out with quite a surprise as former WWE superstar Jon Moxley (formerly known as Dean Ambrose) invaded and beat up everyone left in the ring, going especially hard on Kenny Omega. You can find the final results of the show as well as GameSpot's thoughts on each match below.
Today--Saturday, May 25--a new wrestling promotion debuts on PPV. All Elite Wrestling's Double Or Nothing is a highly anticipated showcasing some of the best independent wrestlers around the world and some very familiar names filling out the event. The roster has been impressive so far, so it will be exciting to see how the talent is utilized.
Double or Nothing will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of this writing, there are nine matches on the card, but there are still some surprises coming according to the various videos AEW has been posting this week.
Double or Nothing Match Card:
- Casino (Battle) Royale (Buy-In Pre-Show… #1 Contender Match)
- Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guervara (Buy-In Pre-Show)
- Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, & Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho, & Ryo Mizunami
- The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) vs. Angelico & Jack Evans
- SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk, and Lindaman from China's OWE)
- Dr. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae
- Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes
- The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) For The AAA Tag Team Championships
- Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho (#1 Contender Match)
Below, you'll find live coverage of the event, updated as soon as each match ends. Additionally, GameSpot's Wrestle Buddies, Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner, will be reviewing the show, and each entry should be included within a few minutes of the match ending.
Casino (Battle) Royale
Hangman Page (The Wild Card) wins at 24:00
Mat: One minute in, and I'm already having the most fun I've had since Chris and I went to DDT Pro during Wrestlemania week. MJF is such an amazing heel. Nakazawa is an oddity I love. I'm actually super-bummed I'm not there, as All In was such an amazing experience live. Brian Pillman Jr.'s hair is amazing. Can we talk about his mullet for an hour or two? It's beautiful. So 9 minutes in, there is so much going on and not enough camera to cover it, which it actually a huge problem that spots aren't spread out more. Regardless, to this point, this is the most fun I've had watching a battle royale. When Hangman Page came in, I got super excited, alone in my darkened office, wearing my The Elite Page shirt--or as I call it, my "Horsey shirt." When he walked down the ramp, it felt like he was going to win. My favorite spot of the night was when Orange Cassidy came in and did his super-slow, sloth-like shin kicks to Tommy Dreamer. What an amazing moment. I came so close to correctly predicting the winner, as it seemed like MJF was going to win for a mere minute, but of course, Page got the win. I'm fine with that. This was the most fun battle royale match I've seen in years.
Original Prediction: MJF
Predictions: 0/1 (0%)
Chris: What even is Michael Nakazawa? Seriously? Having a variety of different types of characters starting off the battle royale is smart as it shows how different AEW everything wrestling can be outside of WWE. Shawn Spears got a heroes welcome, as I think most of us expected. But he also had a fire that was nowhere to be seen in his WWE run. Tye Dillinger has an attitude, and I like it. Joey Janela smoking a cigarette while sitting in the center of the ring is perfection, while MJF tossing out every single heel tactic was pure gold. Once Hangman was announced as lucky number 21, it was obvious he was going to win, but that didn't matter. It shows AEW is going to treat him like the main event caliber talent he is. But that's besides the point because so many people for the chance to shine in this, including Orange Cassidy's low-intensity offense. I also want to shout out Penelope Ford, who delivered one of my favorite moments of the match. As Luchasaurus was about to eliminate Joey Janela with a chokeslam out of the ring, she screamed as if he was being murdered and it was just perfect.
Original Prediction: Surprise Entrant
Predictions: 1/1 (100%)
Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guervara
Kip Sabian wins by pin at 9:39
Mat: Well, I'm a Sammy Guervara fan now. He came out wearing a panda head, and during the match, he kept taunting. Solid heel moves. I'm into this. I usually take notes during the match, but I was just having a blast watching the actual match. This was crazy and full of some huge, painful-looking spots. I'm surprised it was on the pre-show and not the opener to the main card, but that's fine. Solid way to close out the Buy-In.
Original Prediction: Kip Sabian
Predictions: 1/2 (50%)
Chris: Sammy is great as a cocky heel. It's been fun watching him develop that character on Being The Elite and seeing it in action against Kip Sabian was rad. This is a great match for the pre-show, as it's loaded with flashy high-flying moves that can help to draw an audience in. The only drawback might be its placement. The battle royale was full of so many moments that got the crowd excited that this feels like a step back. Perhaps this would have worked best to open the show. Sammy's shooting star press to the outside, though, certainly got the audience hooked in. All told this was a fun match and giving Sabian the win is exciting. Now it's time for the show to truly begin.
Original Prediction: Sammy Guervara
Predictions: 1/2 (50%)
SCU vs. Strong Hearts
SCU wins by pin at 13:42
Mat: Going into this, I know nothing about OWE. I do know that I LOVE SCU. Unlike Chris, I'm from the Midwest, so I have no bias. This is very much a match showcasing OWE wrestlers, as AEW has a partnership with them, and that's fine. It doesn't do much for SCU, but they're getting some good spots in. There are some great tag team moments between the Strong Hearts, and they move quickly. It's incredibly fast pace when these spots kick off, and I love it. I really thought this was going to go to Strong Hearts, so I was quite surprised that--in the end--SCU came out on top. This was one of the best six-man tag matches I've seen in years. Strong Hearts really made a name for themselves in America with this bout.
Original Prediction: Strong Hearts
Predictions: 1/3 (33%)
Chris: While I'm not super familiar with OWE of the Strong Hearts, I do know and dig Cima's work. And I love everything about SCU--and I am a Southern Californian, so I'm biased. The fast and flashy offense from the Strong Hearts is pretty much what I was hoping for from OWE's involvement. I didn't expect it to blend so well with SCU's brawling and showboating, but this match turned out to be a lot of fun. Opening the show with such a fast-paced six-man tag was the right call, and this one was faster than most. SCU got the win, I'm hoping we see a lot more OWE in AEW, and I would love to see these two teams mix it up again.
Original Prediction: Strong Hearts
Predictions: 1/3 (33%)
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae vs. Awesome Kong
Awesome Kong was added by Brandi Rhodes before it started.
Britt Baker wins by pin at 11:03
Mat: We were all thrown through a loop when Brandi Rhodes announced that Awesome Kong was joining the match, and I may have said, "Oh s***" very loudly, while sitting at home, alone. This changes everything, and this was an amazing surprise. I am a huge fan of Kong on Netflix's GLOW, and to me, she's the epitome of how a monstrous female wrestler should be booked, and she continues to play that part in this match, even though she felt like a non-factor in the later part of the bout. However, when it came down to it, one of my favorite women stars from the independants took the win, Baker. If only I had picked her in my prediction. Overall, this was a solid match, and I loved the opening surprise, but it doesn't compare to what we've seen so far.
Original Prediction: Nyla Rose
Predictions: 1/4 (25%)
Chris: Well, AEW is making liberal use of the old saying "Card subject to change." Throwing Awesome Kong--who you may recognize from her role on Netflix's GLOW--in the match is not only great for the match but great for AEW. Kong is super talented, very popular, and brings a fun element to AEW's new women's division. Don't want to ignore the other talent, though, especially Kylie and Britt--who carried the early part of the match. Kylie Rae smiling at everything in sight is wonderful. She's like Extreme Bayley, which is something I'm glad exists in this weird world of wrestling. Nyla and Kong were no slouches, though. The tower of doom spot involving all four was insane. Likewise, Nyla spearing Kong into the steel steps, was an impressive sight. All in all, a great match and I'm glad to see Britt Baker get the win.
Original Prediction: Dr. Britt Baker
Predictions: 2/4 (50%)
The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) vs. Angelico & Jack Evans
The Best Friends win by pin at 12:39
Mat: Ok. I like a fast-moving PPV, but this is getting a bit crazy, and I'm trying to finish the review for the last match while this one is already underway. I can't wait to rewatch Double of Nothing because I'm sure it's real smooth, but from a working perspective, please slow down. I am now a Jack Evans fan, though. That's for sure. He's talented, quick, and a great sneaky heel here. I also think he's on the verge of actually dying every time Trent hits him. The problem I'm having is that this match feels a little flat to me. There's no build here. Everything is just a devastating maneuver. Don't get me wrong, everyone is exceptionally talented, but I wasn't feeling Evans and Angelico as a team, overall. I do like the amount of hugs in the match though. That made me happy.
The aftermath of the match was awesome. I don't know who these guys were or why they were attacking everyone, but I like the cult-like stable. Frankly, I just like stables. Give me more. And the two leaders of this group had a sweet finisher. GIVE ME MORE CULTS AND STABLES!
Original Prediction: The Best Friends
Predictions: 2/5 (40%)
Chris: I love Best friends, I was a big Jack Evans fan back in the day, and Angelico seems nice enough. Like most Evans matches, though, this is mostly a showcase of his flipping and flopping around the ring, both on offense and defense. Once the Best Friends got rolling, though, this match got a lot more entertaining. Unfortunately, the trademark of matches like this is that nothing is devastating enough to actually finish the match, even when every move is a finisher. That takes a bit away from it for me. I'm glad to see Best Friends win, but this match was the type of indy spot fest that gets tiring after a while.
Original Prediction: Jack Evans & Angelico
Predictions: 2/5 (40%)
Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, & Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho, & Ryo Mizunami
Hikaru Shida, Riho, & Ryo Mizunami win by pinfall at 13:30
Mat: There is something about this match that appeals to me, as it feels a bit like '80s wrestling with some of the spots, and it reminds me of some of the more serious moments of DDT Pro (sure, there were some kinda serious moments). During the middle of this match, my computer decided it wanted to schedule a restart in 10 minutes, so I panicked and tried to stop it, as I'm streaming the show from my computer. I cannot rate the match, as I missed a bit of it, but from what I saw, I enjoyed, but missing it didn't upset me.
Original Prediction: Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, & Emi Sakura
Predictions: 2/6 (33%)
Chris: This quality of this match is a question of taste. If you are a fan of the Japanese women's style, you're probably into this. For me, it's hit-and-miss. On this show, though, it's mostly a miss. It's not a bad match; it's just not the kind of match I like to watch most of the time. It's also following the four-way women's match, which I enjoyed a lot more. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad match, it's just not for me. There were also two badly timed near falls that took me right out of this one close to the end.
Original Prediction: Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, & Emi Sakura
Predictions: 2/6 (33%)
Cody vs. Dustin
Cody wins by pin at 22:24
Mat: How did Triple H's throne get there? I bet Cody is going to have to pay for it after destroying it. Also, I am so happy Dustin is going by "The Natural" for this match. It reminds me of his WCW days, which was the last time we really got to see him wrestle without makeup on. Nothing made me happier than Cody channeling his inner-Stardust early on. This reminds me a lot of All In where Cody faced Nick Aldis. It's slow paced, brutal, and is telling a story. This isn't full of high spots because the focus is the feud between these brothers.
Personally, I would have liked to see a little more actual wrestling between the two, as once Dustin was cut open, it was a bloodbath, and he wasn't as effective in the ring. This is a bit too much blood. I'm fine with color when it works for the story, but when you can't tell which side of Dustin's face was originally painted, that's too much blood. Everyone, including ref Earl Hebner is covered in Dustin's blood. But this match made me exceptionally happy, as someone who has followed and loved Dustin Rhodes' career for the past 30 years, since I first saw him on WCW. And I'm just such a fan of Cody's ringwork. These two put on a spectacular match, and it would have been a little bit better with a little less blood.
I am very pumped for Dustin and Cody Rhodes vs. Matt and Nick Jackson.
Side note: I'm really tired of hearing "Topa suicida!" And AEW did way too many "crowd reaction" shots during this match.
Original Prediction: Dustin
Predictions: 2/7 (29%)
Chris: Cody destroying the throne was a nice way to send a message to WWE on missing the boat. Dustin going by The Natural is a great touch. Cody doing his Stardust taunts was a sweet nod. This match was as old school as it gets, with Cody and Brandi Rhodes putting all manner of heel tactics on display and Dustin bleeding like a stuck pig. It's not about dives, flash moves, or anything else. It's just these two brothers beating the heck out of each other, and that serves the story they're telling so well. I have to say, though, I was very concerned about the amount of blood Dustin shed. My only wish is that instead of Dustin bleeding so much, we got more wrestling between the two. Instead, the story of this match was the amount of blood lost.
That all said, this match delivered more than I expected it to. Obviously, Cody is due his fair share of the credit, but seeing Dustin still be able to go at this level is impressive. I'm glad they're going to team up. The Rhodes' vs. the Young Bucks will be a great match.
Original Prediction: Cody
Predictions: 3/7 (43%)
The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Bros.
For The AAA Tag Team Championships
The Young Bucks win at 24:53
Mat: What do you do when your two favorite tag teams are facing each other? You lose your mind. I really like how this match plays up the fact that Matt and Nick haven't been in the ring in a while and have ring rust, through some miscues during the match.
Sorry, my notes for this match aren't extensive for this one because I was enjoying it. This is just some amazing tag team wrestling, which needs to feel like people working together, not just two singles wrestlers paired together.
Around the 23 minute mark, my heart is going a mile a minute (60 mph), and the back-and-forth between these two teams is exhilarating. When will this match end? How will it end? I totally didn't expect the Young Bucks to come out on top, with the AAA tag titles on the line. This may be one of my favorite tag team matches I've ever seen. The storytelling wasn't as strong as Cody vs. Dustin, but this was tag team wrestling at its best.
Original Prediction: Lucha Bros.
Predictions: 2/8 (25%) -- I am bad at this
Chris: The Bucks wearing custom Elvis jumpsuits is a perfect 10/10. There was no way this match was going to be anything other than incredible, given the teams in it. I loved how much they taunted each other, though. Pentagon, especially, was tuned into the crowd and using it to his advantage when heckling the Bucks. I also enjoyed how this match paid off on the Being The Elite storyline of the Bucks being out of sync after not having a match since they left New Japan. Naturally, the moves on display were amazing to see--and often seemed to defy gravity. Once the Bucks finally figured out their timing, their classic offense was as awesome as ever, but the Lucha Brothers were with them at every step. The Lucha's double destroyer, in particular, was wild.
What's interesting about this match was it included just as many--if not more--high spots than the Jack Evans match earlier, but there was a story involved that supported them, so it didn't feel like overkill. These two teams proclaim to be the best of all time and both wanted to prove it. The Young Bucks won, which I didn't expect, but I can't wait to see these two teams go again.
Original Prediction: Lucha Brothers
Predictions: 3/8 (38%)
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho wins by pin at 26:32
Mat: Chris Jericho is the only wrestler I've made a sign for at a live event, ever. Back in the WCW days, I had one referring to conspiracies. As a teenager and young adult, he's the first wrestler I really gravitated towards and saw as the "total package"--sorry, Lex Luger. Jericho's antics were in full effect, early on. He beat up a Cracker Barrel barrel, rang the bell himself during the match, and filmed Omega writhing on the ground.
I just want to point out that while this match is fantastic, there has been some really sloppy officiating here--and throughout a bunch of matches tonight. The counts aren't at the same rhythm, and things feel off during pinfalls.
Anyway, I loved the match. It wasn't as great as their Wrestle Kingdom battle, but that's fine. Jericho's "Judas Effect" finisher is hot garbage compared to all his previous finishers in his arsenal, and that's really my only real problem with the match. The finish just feels weak, and the Judas Effect finisher doesn't have the same impact as the Code Breaker, etc. Regardless, this was a classic, and a great match to close out AEW's PPV.
I had a good feeling Jon Moxley was going to show up tonight, and I'm glad it was saved for the very end, where he came to the ring and beat everyone up. I'm actually really excited for an Omega/Moxley match now. That's something I thought I'd never say, as who would have thought Dean Ambrose would have left WWE?
Original Prediction: Jericho
Predictions: 3/9 (33%)
Chris: I was looking forward to this more than anything else, and it delivered more than I possibly could have asked. So much so that I didn't keep detailed notes. That said, I love a good V Trigger, and they were used expertly here. Meanwhile, Jericho's old finishing moves not working out--Codebreaker, Lionsault--were a nice touch leading into his new Judas Effect elbow thing (which I'm not a fan of). Like Mat, the only real nitpick I have here is the officiating. It's not to the quality we've seen elsewhere on the card. Chris Jericho won with that new elbow of his and will face Hangman for the AEW Championship. That should be fantastic, but it won't top this.
Holy cow, though. The end of the show including the arrival of John Moxley adds the perfect special moment to end Double or Nothing. I badly want to see Moxley vs. Omega.
Original Prediction: Chris Jericho
Predictions: 4/9 (44%)