STARRCAST 2 SPOTLIGHT: Double Or Nothing official weigh in and press conference


Ongoing coverage, reviews, grades, and analysis of this weekend’s Starrcast 2 shows and events from Las Vegas, Nevada.

MAY 24, 2019

Hosts: Justin Roberts and Jen Decker

Throughout this entire weekend, AEW is going to have to walk the walk in terms of the content they put out and the production pizazz in which they put it out. Such is life when you play with the big kids on TNT. The Double Or Nothing official weigh in and press conference delivered on half of that equation.

Content was king. Production was not.

Justin Roberts and Jen Decker welcomed the audience to the program and did so with a bright light bouncing off of their corneas. Worse, it appeared that both Roberts and Decker had forgotten some lines or truly didn’t have the “how to watch” information in front of them to read. One of the many production issues that plagued the event. More on that later.

Kylie Rae was introduced first and cut a fine promo “in character” about loving the business and just being happy to be on the card. She then brought up a special fan who proceeded to propose to his girlfriend onstage. Rae may wish for her closing line back as she finished by proclaiming that AEW was about creating moments. Not sure how that plays with the athletic focus and statistical based analysis that will surround the AEW product.

Cody and Brandi Rhodes were introduced next and received a massive pop from the Starrcast 2 crowd. Cody teased going after WWE again, but was convinced by Brandi not to. From there, the fan questions started and Cody was able to address his Double Or Nothing opponent, Dustin Rhodes. Cody said he had no animosity for his brother, but that he owned what he said about him and the attitude era. In the end, he said the match at Double Or Nothing would be to finally find out who was better.

Sammy Guevara and Kip Sabian cut a nice promo together for their Buy-In match and it did the trick in hyping a match that otherwise would have gone overlooked. The Young Bucks followed and received a Cody-like pop upon their entrance as well. Onstage, Matt Jackson told an impassioned story about the journey that he and his brother Nick went on to get to Double Or Nothing. He called the event their destiny before calling out the Lucha Brothers. Nick went on to say that they would prove to the world that they were the best tag team.

When Nick finished, he introduced Dustin Rhodes to the stage. Rhodes received a nice pop and also delivered the line of the night in saying, “is this where the senior citizens are supposed to stand.” Rhodes was the star of the event. He was comfortable and direct in terms of his message to Cody. Rhodes wrapped by removing his jacket and revealing that he was wearing a shirt that said Dusty’s Favorite. Like his overall promo, that move got a big reaction.

Storylines were on display throughout the event, but the AEW messaging and public relations rhetoric was on hand too. Brandi Rhodes discussed how Double Or Nothing would be the first ever sensory inclusive wrestling event. In addition, all of the acts played to the fans and made them feel a part of the moment while giving them ownership of the moment itself.

See? Content, check. It worked in hyping the AEW brand and mission, while sprinkling in promotion for tomorrow’s main event bouts even if the true main event wasn’t represented by either Chris Jericho or Kenny Omega.

Production? Not so much. Yes, it was just the weigh ins, and it was at Starrcast, but this event looked similar and in places, worse, than the All In weigh in event. Crowd questions weren’t loud enough, camera cuts were slow and mistimed, the bright white light lingered, and the host banter back and forth felt unprepared. Poor production will be the piece of the AEW puzzle that sinks the concept if not executed properly and taken seriously. Cody, The Bucks, and all involved should be cognizant of the fact that they’re now seen in a brighter light than ever before. Making sure everything they’re involved with is up to those new standards is part of their job now.

The purpose of this event was to remind fans of the storylines surrounding key Double Or Nothing matches while hyping the audience on the idea of AEW itself. Specific storylines took a backseat to the AEW concept as a whole. While that will need to be flipped in the very near future, it worked tonight and left fans wanting more.


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