AEW Double or Nothing Results, Grades and Thoughts
AEW Double or Nothing took place last Saturday marking the third Pay-Per-View for All Elite Wrestling since launching weekly programming in October. Once again, it absolutely delivered.
Unfortunately, I was not able to watch live. Fortunately for good reason, my wife and I welcomed our second child and first daughter into the world. Good problems.
The card itself was a strong one with plenty to be excited about moving forward. Wrestling has been in a weird place like most things due to Covid19. However, AEW has done an adequate job being entertaining by slowly increasing the crowd by using a mixture of talent, employees and randoms. It was a nice treat to see Vickie Guerrero in the crowd for Double or Nothing.
(Pre-show) Tag Match for #1 Contender Spot
Best Friends def. Private Party
Since Private Party’s debut, I have loved their high flying style and overall gimmick. One of my favorite parts about private party is their billed weight being 24 oz. of vodka cranberry. As much as I would have loved to see them win the number one contender spot for the tag titles, Best Friends has been on quite the hot streak lately. That is thanks in large part to Orange Cassidy. One real cool moment of this match was Private Party hitting the G9 to pay respect to the late Shad Gaspard, who recently died saving his son from drowning in a riptide current.
Hotard Huddle Grade: B
Casino Ladder Match
Brian Cage def. Orange Cassidy, Joey Janella, Luchasaurus, Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian, Kip Sabian, Darby Allin and Colt Cobana
The winner gets the right to challenge a champion of their choice. Brian Cage notched the win in his debut. Although, I don’t know much about Cage. First thought was well this guy is a fucking specimen and he is accompanied by Taz. Hopefully that is a sign of things to come. He did enough in the match to impress me to deserve the win. He was throwing around the smaller competitors like rag dolls. He had an amazing sequence with fellow big man Luchasaurus toward the end of the match. The field put him over by literally burying him under a bunch of ladders, a barricade and giant poker chip. Overall, I am excited to see him moving forward.
The match itself was a shit show in the best way imaginable. I loved adding the idea of bringing in a new entrant every two minutes. When you have a ladder match filled with people in alliances, you can expect plenty of high spots and interference. It certainly delivered.
Allin had the high spot of the match when he climbed a ladder with his skateboard and attempted to end Kazarian’s life. Allin attempted to jump from the ladder onto his skateboard plowing into Kazarian, who was sprawled across a bridged ladder at ringside. That looked brutal when he missed.
The highlight of the match was of course Orange Cassidy, who came out 4th.
He first goes over to the announce table and asks the rules, only to be told Tony explained that to him 400 times. He walks away slowly killing more time before the next person comes in. Keep in mind, everyone else is out cold right now adding to the hilarity of him not going for a quick win. Classic Cassidy.
He finally reaches the ring with about :45 seconds to go before the next person enters the match. He refused to pick up the ladder that was in the ring. Instead, he proceeds to start reaching for a chip 15 feet above the ring, getting increasingly pissed that he can’t reach it.
He is on another level of gimmicks that should never work. Damn it if he doesn’t nail it every single fucking time. Later in the match, he jumped on Cage’s back who was climbing the ladder instead of climbing it himself.
Cassidy took most of the memorable spots in this match as expected.
Hotard Huddle Grade: A-
MJF def. Jungle Boy
MJF is easily becoming one of my favorite talents on the roster. He may be the best on the mic and he works so well as a heel in the ring. This match was no different. MJF executed a classic heel move by pretending to hurt his knee. While being looked at by medical staff, he waited for Jungle Boy to turn his back before going after his foe.
While it certainly wasn’t the longest match (17:20), both competitors made the most of the time.
They did a great job going back and forth with strikes, tie ups and groundwork giving it that old school feel. One of my favorites spots was a series of ground work where both bridged facing each other. That was when MJF delivered a slap to Jungle Boy’s face only for the latter to return the favor.
The match ended on a flurry of pin reversals. MJF gained the upper hand rolling up Jungle Boy for the 1-2-3 continuing his undefeated streak.
Personally, I believe they setting up a feud between he and Moxley in a battle of the undefeated.
Hotard Huddle Grade: A
TNT Championship presented by Mike Tyson
Cody def. Lance Archer
The match began with Archer hitting his patented blackout and Cody smartly rolled out of the ring. For a second I thought, “holy shit, is Cody really about to get squashed and lose another major rivalry?” But it wasn’t the case. Both men looked strong in a classic case of the bigger heel opponent (Archer) dominating the smaller babyface (Rhodes) most of the match. Every time Cody gained a little momentum, it was quickly cut off. Arn Anderson got involved leading to both he and Jake the Snake Roberts getting ejected from ringside. Roberts attempted to bring his snake back to the ring before Mike Tyson intimidated him into retreating. Rhodes ended up countering an attempted blackout into two consecutive Cross Rhodes for the finish and his first AEW title.
Cody has been booked as one of the top faces of AEW, but he’s done so great at putting others over both in victories and of course defeats. MJF is legitimate after going over on Cody. The Inner Circle didn’t really need the legitimacy, but it allowed AEW to build around other faces in the main event scene, leading to Moxley defeating Jericho for the AEW Championship. Cody finally got his. Again, the long build pays off. The fallout should be interesting as this rivalry feels far from over.
Hotard Huddle Grade: B+
Kris Statlander def. Penelope Ford
I felt this was a much better PPV showing for Statlander, who seems to be one of the most popular and utilized women on the roster. She picked up a big PPV win in the match despite Ford’s boyfriend’s (Kip Sabian) distractions. It was relatively quick which was expected. Nothing great. Nothing bad though. The build for Statlander continues.
Hotard Huddle Grade: B-
Dustin Rhodes def. Shawn Spears
The match began with Spears cutting a promo saying Dustin was not there as Rhodes’ music hits. Spears laughs and admits to trolling viewers. Then he demands Rhodes to be counted out for not showing up. Mid-count, Rhodes’ music hits again. Brandi Rhodes walks out as Dustin slides in the ring from behind to attack Spears. It was more of a comdedic spot as Rhodes stripped Spears down to his underwear before pinning him. His underwear had picture of manager Tully Blanchard on his crotch, which was weirdly funny.
Hotard Huddle Grade: C-
No DQ / No Countout AEW Women’s Championship Match
Hikaru Shida def. Nyla Rose (c)
Nyla Rose is without a doubt the dominant force of the women’s division currently. She is the biggest brute and most powerful of the bunch. That usually leads to her carrying matches by decimating her opponents. However, her first run as champion wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. She set her bar high in her debut on the first episode of dynamite when she surprisingly lost the title.
This match was no different than her norm in terms of flow and storytelling, but a more brutal fashion given that anything goes. Once Shida got her hands on a kendo stick, the dynamic changed a bit allowing her some offense. The coolest spot of the match was Shida hitting a damn falcon arrow from the top rope on Rose. That was fucking insane. A full crowd would’ve definitely led to a loud holy shit chant. Shida was damn impressive and I am excited to see the run of the third AEW Women’s Champ.
Hotard Huddle Grade: B+
AEW World Championship
Jon Moxley def. Brodie Lee
Moxley retained by way of TKO after choking out a busted open Lee. Much of the match (as per usual with the brawler that is Mox) took place on the outside of the ring. Despite Lee suffering his first loss in AEW, he looked strong in the match. The Exalted One of the Dark Order didn’t take a big blow as a result. Moxley hit an elevated Paradigm Shift through the entrance ramp busting Lee open. After going for the Discus Clothesline once they made their way back in the ring, Moxley countered and hit another Paradigm Shift. Lee no sold kicking out at one. Moxley continued his assault with more elbows another Paradigm Shift for a two count. Moxley then won by locking in a rear naked choke leading to Lee passing out, thus never tapping. Moxley wins as Lee still looks strong. Win/win.
I am sure this will lead to Lee going ape shit thus taking it out on The Dark Order.
Hotard Huddle Grade: B+
The Elite (Kenny Omega, Hangman Adam Page, Young Bucks) and Matt Hardy def. Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara., Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz)
To say this match was entertaining is an understatement. From the Jericho one liners to hilarious and awesome spots, it delivered. The match took place primarily on the field of the Jacksonville Jaguars while diverting around the stadium. Both squads were introduced similar to an NFL team. The Inner Circle wore their own custom football uniforms.
Page of course did Cowboys shit showing up late. He entered the equation on a fucking white horse chasing Guevara. LOL! When he couldn’t catch up to Guevara, he rode his horse to a bar in the stadium and started drinking. LMAO! Have I mentioned how much I love drunk Cowboy Shit Adam Page?
Matt Jackson hit a damn moonsault off the uprights.
Ortiz and Santana tried drowning Matt Hardy multiple times in a pool. It only reincarnated him to Version 1 before returning him back to Broken. That was a nice touch.
Jake Hager shared a drink with Page in the bar he settled in before they began a bar brawl breaking bottles of A Little Bit of the Bubbly on each other’s heads.
Matt Jackson went 100 yards with consecutive northern lights suplexes.
Chris Jericho smashed Nick Jackson’s face with a first down marker before screaming “THAT’S HOW YOU MOVE THE CHAINS!” He also challenged a near pinfall as Aubrey Edwards went to the review booth with Jericho forcing his way in to see. It was a clear two count confirmed by Edwards only for Jericho to yell “The camera lied and you’re a shitty referee!”
The finale was Omega hitting the One Winged Angel (on Guevara) from stadium seats through a platform about 15 feet down to pick up the pinfall.
Hotard Huddle Grade: A