AEW’s Double or Nothing offered a great night of action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas capped off by Chris Jericho beating Kenny Omega in the main event in a great, but not classic, rematch from their match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January 2018.
Altogether, Double or Nothing was perfectly timed out, coming in at under five hours. Nothing lagged and every match ended right when it should have.
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Here are match grades and a recap, courtesy of SN’s Steven Muehlhausen.
AEW Double or Nothing “The Buy In” grades
The Casino Battle Royale
Muehlhausen: Genuinely surprised this started the entire show, considering the winner is set to battle for the inaugural AEW heavyweight title in the near future. The surprise of Adam “Hangman” Page at The Joker position was a significant letdown since fans thought either Jon Moxley or CM Punk would be a surprise entrant. Even with the unique concept of how guys entered, the match was flat and nothing stood out.
Sammy Guevara vs. Kip Sabian
Muehlhausen: Guevara and Sabian exceeded expectations. They worked very hard and showed great athleticism throughout, with Guevara doing an unheard of shooting star press from the barricade onto the arena floor on Sabian. The bout started slow, but Sabian and Guevara picked up the pace as time went on and it brought the crowd to a fever pitch. Watch out for these two in the future as Guevara and Sabian have superstar potential.
SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) vs. Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman)
Muehlhausen: Hot start to begin the main card. Scorpio Sky jumps out right at you and has all the makings of a future world champion. Don’t discredit the Strong Hearts, either, as they more than held their end of the bargain. Wouldn’t mind seeing these six together down the line.
Britt Baker vs. Awesome Kong vs. Kylie Rae and Nyla Rose
Muehlhausen: While the crowd reacted loudly to Brandi Rhodes announcing Kong, the latter took away from the match because she can’t move around as she used to. The focus should have been on Baker, Rae, and Rose. Baker and Rae jelled well together when they were in the ring together. Those two in a singles program for the women’s title would provide some good matches in the future.
The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Barretta) vs. Angelico and Jack Evans
Muehlhausen: To be honest, my expectations were meager because of Taylor and Barretta. The Best Friends quieted me and everybody else with perhaps their best performance against one of the most underrated tag teams in Angelico and Evans. The action was crisp and every move was well executed. AEW promised a considerable emphasis on their tag team division. So far, so good.
Hikaru Shida, Riho, and Ryo Mizunami vs. Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, and Emi Sakura
Muehlhausen: Kong was the biggest star out of the side and she hit all of her big moves to the delight of the crowd. The other five women from Japan showed great poise and let the world know that the United States isn’t the only place for women’s wrestling. You can’t blame the wrestlers for the botched spot from the timekeeper when he accidentally rang the bell near the end of the match.
Cody Rhodes vs. Dustin Rhodes
Muehlhausen: Watching this match should make people realize that if you tell a story and don’t overthink it, fans will get emotionally invested. Cody and Dustin played perfect music and let the fans enjoy the ride. The blood was excellent, the use of Brandi Rhodes was excellent, and everything the two brothers did inside the squared circle came off perfectly without a hitch. And it ended like it should have – with them hugging and leaving together.
The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) vs. The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix)
Muehlhausen: For anyone who thinks tag team wrestling is jaded and doesn’t belong in high profile positions, watch this match over and over again until you turn blue in the face. Four guys who have been thought of as just aerial artists did that, but had great psychology with Nick Jackson holding his arm like it was broken and struggling to hold Fenix for the Meltzer Driver. The finish made sense because they meet again next month in Mexico. By far the best tag team match in 2019 and it’s going to be hard to beat.
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
Muehlhausen: Expectations were high for Omega and Jericho to live up to from their first encounter at Wrestle Kingdom 12 that was one of the best bouts of 2018. Beyond the botch near the end when Jericho was supposed to transition the One-Winged Angel to a DDT, the story told was done well. Enjoyed the fact Jericho didn’t give away when he’d do The Judas Priest until he hit Omega, who sold it like a $1 million. The finish was the right one because Jericho takes on Kazuchika Okada at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Dominion in June and sets up a trilogy in the future.
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