SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•10 vs. Jon Moxley – MISS: Prior to the match, Brodie Lee cut a promo. Lee spoke about being at an elite level and the elevation of 10. Lee made him take a knee before he was to sacrifice himself for the greater good. As the world title segment on the go-home episode before Double or Nothing, this felt weak. Their program feels like the third most important match on the PPV. They did little to make the viewer think that Brodie Lee has much of a chance of winning the title. Jon Moxley looked dominant throughout the match and destroyed 10’s arm with a chair. Moxley looked like a star, but this feels like a real step down from previous pay-per-view builds. Some of it is the booking and some is what they can’t help which is having no fans.
•MJF vs. Marko Stunt – HIT: MJF was a bully and dominated Marko Stunt. Stunt was able to get in some offense poking holes in MJF’s game. This would’ve been a good opportunity to hear from Jungle Boy who has been largely silent during his run in AEW. With MJF looking strong, it seems like there’s a good chance Jungle Boy pulls off an upset at Double or Nothing.
•Jake Robert and Arn Anderson Promo – HIT: Both men are seasoned talkers. Some of the best in business during their primes. While they both are clearly showing their age, I thought this segment worked. They could’ve done more to build the match itself by having Cody and Lance Archer present. Instead they allowed the veterans to carry the segment in a satisfying way. AEW has proven that there is plenty of value in keeping older wrestlers around and putting them in different on-air capacities.
•Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix – HIT: I didn’t know what to expect, but they nailed this one. This is one of the Orange Cassidy matches to show people who say “he can’t work.” Cassidy was able to hang with Fenix in a fast pace athletic match. Yup, I just said that about Orange Cassidy. In the post-match, the rest of the competitors for the ladder match came to the ring for a brawl. The biggest piece to note was Fenix went for a dive onto a cluster of the wrestlers. Instead of being caught he fell splat to the floor. Fenix has endure a tremendous amount of damage through his career and continued to shake it off and march onward.
•Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander vs. Nyla Rose & Britt Baker – MISS: Not a good showing that may result in a serious injury for Britt Baker. At one point in the match Nyla Rose was tossed onto Baker and landed directly on her knee. Rose had to drag her back to the corner and tag herself in and pin Shida. This was an odd finish going into the PPV which makes me think this was not the planned ending given the circumstances. Accidents happen in wrestling, but this feels like something that could have been avoidable.
•Shawn Spears Promo – HIT: If there is any wrestler that’s been given a bigger spotlight during this situation, it’s Shawn Spears. Spears hosting his own news segment was a bit odd, but he’s risen to the occasion in these opportunities. He challenged Dustin Rhodes to a match Double or Nothing which was subsequently announced on commentary.
•Sammy Guevara vs. Matt Hardy – HIT: Despite the loss, Sammy Guevara looked great in this match. He’s the perfect type of wrestler who can create movement in the ring. Matt Hardy looked better this week and appeared much stronger than when he was mourning the loss of Vanguard 1. In the post-match, The Inner Circle beat Kenny Omega with a baseball bat in the end zone of the TIAA Bank Field. The Elite made the save with The Young Bucks making their return in face masks and diving from the stands. Hangman Page sprinted down the field to hit a huge lariat. They teased what was to come in the Stadium Stampede and eased right back into the dysfunction and uncertainty surrounding Hangman’s status with the group.