SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S AEW DOUBLE OR NOTHING PPV REPORT
MAY 30, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED LIVE ON PPV
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
“BUY IN” PRE-SHOW
(A) SERENA DEEB vs. RIHO – NWA Women’s Title match
Late in the match, Deeb applied a Boston Crab. Riho reached the bottom rope to force a break. Deeb took Riho down with an inverted Dragon Screw. Riho leveraged Deeb down for a surprise leverage near fall. She went for a crucifix, but Deebh slipped out, slammed Riho’s knee into the canvas several times, and applied a half crab with torque on the knee for a tapout win.
WINNER: Deeb in 14:00 to retain the NWA Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was really good start to finish with back and forth action throughout.)
MAIN PPV CARD
-The announcers introduced the show as the packed crowd cheered wildly.
(1) BRIAN CAGE vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
After some offense early by Hangman, Cage took control for a while. The crowd was really into everything. Hangman took Page off the top rope with rana out of the corner for a near fall. Hangman tried to powerbomb Cage off the top rope, but Cage blocked it. A minute later, Cage landed a rip cord elbow and then a one-armed neckbreaker for a near fall.
They battled on the top rope again. Cage won the battle and slammed Hangman hard to the mat with a fallaway drop. Cage set up a Buckshot Lariat. Taz said he didn’t know he was thinking of that. Cage went into the sequence, but Hangman countered and slammed Cage to the mat for a near fall. Cage avoided a Buckshot from Hangman, then gave him a buckle bomb. Hangman countered with a jackknife leverage near fall. Cage gave Hangman a spinning Ligerbomb for a near fall.
Ricky Starks and Hook (Taz’s son) came to ringside. Starks threw Cage a belt. Cage threw it back at Starks and said he didn’t need it. Cage threw Hangman over the top rope, then turned and yelled at Hook. Hangman then surprised Cage when he turned around with a Buckshot Lariat for the win. “Son of a bitch!” exclaimed Taz. He said he turned down the help after he was getting his ass kicked. Excalibur pushed back at Taz’s framing of the situation.
WINNER: “Hangman” Page in 12:00. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match, elevated with a red hot crowd. The hints of a Cage babyface turn took a big step in that direction.)
-The announcers hyped the upcoming matches.
-A video package aired on The Young Bucks. It included one soundbite after another of people saying they don’t like them and how disappointed they are in them changing. Moxley said he never liked them as soon as he met them. Ross said he was disappointed in them. The Bucks talked about how they’ve been friends with Omega for over a decade, so they didn’t really turn on Mox because they were never his friend. They used Nick Jackson’s nose ring and their expensive shoes as evidence that they’ve changed.)
(Keller’s Analysis: Fantastic segment on the Bucks. The Bucks are so comfortable and entertaining in this role. Moxley was tremendous talking about how he never liked them from the second he met them.)
(2) THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. JON MOXLEY & EDDIE KINGSTON
As Moxley and Kingston came out to “Wild Thing” and fans were going bonkers for them, it just feels like a red hot product with super-over star babyfaces. The Bucks came out, looking so much more polished as an act by far than at any prior time in AEW. Their ring gear is major league and their demeanor is pure obnoxious heel. Where were these guys the first 18 months of AEW’s time on TNT? Mox and Kingston jump-started the fight before the bell. Ross said if styles make fights, the styles really conflict between these two teams. Don Callis, who joined in on commentary, complained about the street fight style start to the match as the action stayed at ringside. Schiavone noted that the match hadn’t even officially started yet. With help from Brandon Cutler, the Bucks took control and brought the fight into the ring. The ref called for the bell.
Kingston took control pretty quickly. Fans chanted “Eddie! Eddie!” The Bucks eventually took over. Matt couldn’t have been more obnoxious with his gloating. Schiavone said he’s out of his mind. From ringside Mox tripped Matt running the ropes after extended showboating. Kingston hot-tagged Mox a minute later. Mox got a bulldog choke on Matt, but Nick broke it. Karl Anderson walked out and distracted Mox. Kingston saw Doc Gallows at ringside and leaped onto him. Frankie Kazarian attacked Anderson on the ramp.
The Bucks took control during the chaos by spraying Mox with the aerosol can. Mox came up bleeding from the forehead. The Bucks gave Mox a Meltzer Driver on the ramp. The Bucks continued to beat on a bloodied Mox before setting into a chinlock mid-ring. Mox came back with a surge of offense including suplexing both Bucks. He hot-tagged Kingston, got a big pop as he took it to both Bucks. “Eddie! Eddie!” chanted the fans. He put Mattin a stretch plum. Nick tried to break it up. Eddie no-sold it and kicked him. Matt took a cheap shot at him. They landed assisted sliced bread for a near fall.
Kingston tagged Mox back in, but the Bucks met him with a superkick. Mox surprised Matt with a sleeper. Nick landed a 450 splash on Mox. Ross complimented the offense, but noted it was illegal. Fans began chanting “This is awesome!” Nick from ringside yanked Mox to the floor. Mox dropped him over the ring apron. Kingston lifted Matt onto his shoulders and Mox clotheslined him off his shoulders off the top rope. Nick broke up the cover. A “Fight forever!” chant broke out. Mox stood and set up a Paradigm Shift on Nick, but Nick avoided it and applied a sharpshooter mid-ring. Mox crawled toward the bottom rope, but Nick pulled him back to the middle.
After a sequence of moves with all four in the ring, Moxley scored a very near fall, with Matt saving Nick. An “AEW!” chant broke out. The Bucks stereo superkicked Mox, but Mox took both Bucks down with clotheslines with each arm. The Bucks came back with superkicks. Mox kicked out at one. The crowd popped. The Bucks showed frustration. A loud “Moxley! Moxley!” chant broke out. The Bucks had a conference and superkicked Mox. Kingston returned to the ring, but he was kicked to the mat. They gave Mox four consecutive BTE Triggers to pin Mox. Excalibur said you have to give the devils their due.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 21:00 to retain the AEW World Tag Team Titles. (****1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: First of all, great tag match. The crowd ate it up all the way. Yes, there were some instances of ridiculous recoveries and no-selling major moves, but in this case it really was within the flow leading the climactic clean finish and it worked. Interesting that Mox took the fall rather than Kingston, who is the lesser star of the two by far. Eddie looked like he belonged in there and added to the match.)
-They went to the announcers sitting in front of five slot machines behind them flashing. They talked about upcoming matches. Excalibur said Blade and Q.T. Marshall are injured and will be replaced. Ross said that messes up his prediction card. Schiavone said it is so great having everyone back.
(3) CASINO BATTLE ROYALE
Big Show came out to do guest commentary. Christian, Matt Sydal, Powerhouse Hobbs, “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes, and Max Caster came out as the first group of five. Caster rapped that Christian used to be cool, but only when he had an edge. He told Dustin he’s so ugly he should paint his whole face. He made fun of Sydal for trippin’ and slippin’. Big Show said he just made himself a prime target. Dustin nearly eliminated Caster in the opening seconds. Caster eliminated SYDAL (#1) at 2:00. Christian battled Caster in one corner as Hobbs and Dustin battled in another. Christian tossed CASTER (#2) over the top rope onto the ramp, and then he dropped to the floor to be eliminated.
The next five out were: Matt Hardy, Preston, Vance, Nick Comoroto, and Serpentico. Vance beat up Hardy and Isaiah Kassidy on the ramp before entering the ring. Vance eliminated SERPENTICO (#3). Comoroto speared Vance. Dustin then dumped both COMOROTO (#4) and VANCE (#5). Comoroto hit Dustin with a cow bell out of frustration. Schiavone asked where Matt Hardy went. Hobbs then dumped DUSTIN (#6). Christian then gave Hobbs the Kill Switch. Hardy returned to the ring and squared off with Christian. The fans popped. Kassidy attacked Christian.
The next five out were Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, Anthony Bowens, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Colt Cabana. Garrison and Pillman beat up Hardy first. Kassidy eliminated CABANA (#7). Garrison and Pillman threw BOWENS (#8) out next. Hardy eliminated GARRISON (#9).
The next five out were: Jungle Boy, Marq Quen, Evil Uno, Lee Johnson. The fans got to sing along to JB’s theme song. Penta shoved him in the face. JB and Penta had a rapid-fire exchange. JB eliminated PENTA. Hobbs leaped back into the ring after he was out of commission from the Kill Switch. He went after Private Party and JB and then Christian. Christian avoided a Hobbs splash in the corner, then dumped HOBBS over the top. It came down to JB and Christian squaring off against Private Party and Hardy.
The final mystery entrant was Lio Rush. Ross said he’s talented and has been waiting a while. Schiavone called him one of the great high-flyers. Rush out-quicked Private Party. Hardy went after RUSH next and eliminated him. It came down to JB, Christian, and Hardy. Hardy tried to strike a deal with Christian to double-team JB. Christian pretended to agree, but then threw HARDY over the top rope. Christian squared off with JB. Christian was limping. He went after JB and tried to toss him over the top rope, but JB resisted. Fans sang JB’s song. Christian landed a flying uppercut off the middle rope. JB caught a charging Christian on his shoulders and almost eliminated him. Christian resisted. They battled on the ring apron. JB blocked a Kill Switch attempt with a back elbow. JB then backdropped CHRISTIAN to win. The crowd popped for Jungle Boy’s win. Ross said the place came unglued.
As Jungle Boy was celebrating with Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt, Christian approached him. He got in his face and seemed upset, but it turned into a pep talk and a hug.
WINNER: Jungle Boy in 24:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really fun battle royal. Just enough and not too much in terms of “moments” and key spots. Really well laid out and executed. The crowd was very much on JB’s side when it came down to him and Christian, which AEW certainly knew when they booked those two as the final two in this match. Having Christian congratulate him rather than turn on him can help fans who haven’t yet warm up to Christian as not getting overpushed and in the way of the someone they like more. Needless to say at this point, paying for rights to the Jungle Boy entrance theme was worthy every penny. Same for Moxley’s “Wild Thing.” The crowds have always been a big part of AEW’s brand and vibe, and tonight is reminding everyone of that. I’ll fill in some of elimination later when I review the match again. It was fast-paced.)
-Ross talked about the emotions in the building and was glowing about the energy he was feeling and how it’s “the greatest thing in the world to be a wrestling fan.” The announcers hyped upcoming matches.
-They held a ceremony to pay tribute to troops.
(4) ANTHONY OGOGO (w/Q.T. Marshall) vs. CODY RHODES (w/Arn Anderson)
The announcers talked about Ogogo’s boxing history and how he is 70 percent blind in his left eye. Cody went after Ogogo’s arm early after avoiding an opening right swing by Ogogo. Ogogo grabbed the ropes and then landed a body shot. Cody went down. Ogogo landed an Olympic slam for a two count. Cody sold the body shot before landing a powerslam. He then grabbed at his abdominal area before getting up. Ogogo stomped Cody to the mat off the ropes. Ogogo gloated before dropping a flying elbow for a two count.
Marshall punched Cody from ringside, leading to a near fall by Ogogo. Cody avoided another elbowdrop, then punched away at Ogogo’s punching hand. Ogogo came back with a slam and anotehr two count. Arn gave Cody a pep talk and strategy session. Cody landed a running bulldog, then played to the crowd. Ogogo came up bleeding above his right eye. Cody hit a Cody Cutter. Ogogo surprised Cody with a big right as they were battling on the top turnbuckle. Cody went down hard. Ogogo gathered himself and landed a top rope frog splash. He clutched his ribs, injured in training, and made the cover. Cody kicked out.
Cody came back with a dropkick and then applied a figure-four leglock mid-ring. Ogogo broke it up with a punch. Cody dropped back and the ref counted his shoulders down for a two count. Ogogo turned Cody over, forcing Cody to release. Ogogo countered Cody and landed two punches – one to hte body and another to the jaw. Ogogo got Cody a gut-wrench toss for a two count. Ross talked up how hard Ogogo trained for the last 18 months. Schiavone said he was showing them a lot. Ogogo pounded his chest. Cody came back with a vertibreaker for the three count. Ross said it wasn’t easy, but Cody took care of business. Cody tried to fire up the crowd afterward. They cheered him, but he worked for those cheers.
WINNER: Cody in 11:00. (*1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: That worked pretty well in terms of ring work. Ogogo was green, but pulled off what he intended to do without embarrassing himself, a credit to both him and of course Cody, too. I’m curious where they go from here with Ogogo. He didn’t seem super-heelish, but he was cocky at various times. The problem is the crowd just didn’t care that much. They were happy to see Cody, but they didn’t seem invested at all in the storyline, which was heavy-handed and grandiose but not particularly well-built. Cody worked very hard to get the crowd cheering for him after the match.)
(5) MIRO vs. LANCE ARCHER – TNT Title match
Archer came out alone. When Miro walked down the ramp, Archer dove at him. They brawled on the ramp and then into the ring. Archer took Miro down with a boot, then walked the top rope. They battled at ringside. Miro slammed Archer into the barricade. Archer came back and rammed Miro into the ringpost and then slammed Miro through a table at ringside.
Back in the ring, Archer controlled for a while until Miro avoided an Archer moonsault. Miro landed a leaping spin wheel kick and played to the crowd. He stomped the mat. Jake Roberts showed up on the ramp with a big bag. Miro battled Jake, kicked Archer as he charged, then shook the bag and tossed it 50 feet onto the stage. Ross called it sick. The fans booed.
Archer took over against Miro. Ross suggested they do a Best of Five or Best of Seven however this turns out. Miro kicked the middle rope between Archer’s legs, then landed a sidekick to the head. He let out a big yell and stomped Archer’s back. Then he went for a camel clutch, but Archer fought it, so instead he fell back and pulled back on Archer’s head. Archer passed out.
WINNER: Miro in 10:00 via ref stoppage when Archer passed out to retain the TNT Title. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: This wasn’t nearly as long as other matches, but it totally worked for its place on the card and the style of fighting, which was all out from the start with big moves. Ross saying he wants to see it again might indicate they’re going to continue with this despite Miro’s clean win in this first match. Good to see AEW going with clean finishes.)
-A video hyped All Out returning to Chicago on Labor Day weekend. It’s another Sunday night PPV.
(6) HIKARU SHIDA vs. DR. BRIT BAKER (w/Rebel) – AEW Women’s Title match
They had a staredown. Baker threw the first punch. Shida threw a barrage of knees. Baker came back and tossed her to the mat. They stood and circled each other. There were dueling chants early of “Let’s Go Shida! / DMD!” Shida took control in the ring with a body scissors. Baker avoided a Shida dropkick and dropped to the floor. Rebel laughed in her face. A minute later Shida leaped off the ring onto both Baker and Rebel.
Baker went on sustained offense including a curb stomp and butterfly suplex. The announcers talked about the dominance of Shida over the last year. Shida made a comeback with a barrage of forearms and punches in a mount. She rammed Baker’s head into the top turnbuckle a few times. Then she landed running knees, then raked at Baker’s face. Schiavone said that’s so unlike Shida. She scored a two count. Schiavone said Baker was in real trouble. She applied a stretch muffler, but Baker reached the bottom rope quickly. Baker then caught Shida with a sling blade followed by Air Raid Crash for a near fall. Shida fought off Baker’s attempt at her finisher, then gave her a German suplex.
Shida stayed on Baker with aggressive offense and carried her to the top rope. She set up n Avalanche Death Valley Driver, but Baker slipped free. She shifted to a superplex for a near fall. Baker surprised Shida with a roll-up for a near fall. Shida applied a stretch muffler. Rebel stood on the ring apron and held up the new title belt. Shida released her hold and yelled at her. Rebel swung her crutch at Shida, but she hit Baker by mistake instead leading to a believable near fall. Shida gave Baker a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. When Rebel stood on the ring apron again, the ref kicked Rebel out of ringside. Meanwhile, Baker tried to hit Shida with the belt, but Shida blocked it. Baker superkicked the belt into Shida’s head, then curb stomped her on the belt, and scored a dramatic, believable near fall. Baker then applied her finisher, but Shida countered with a leverage two count. Shida charged and landed a jumping knee strike followed by a running knee for a near fall. Baker used a crucifix to score a quick two count. She then applied her Lock Jaw for the tapout win. Ross talked about it being a great match with a lot of great counters. Schiavone gave Baker a hug on the stage.
WINNER: Baker in 17:00 to capture the AEW Women’s Title. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: AEW isn’t doing a lot of shenanigans, so if the point of doing all of that in this match was to try to turn the crowd against Baker before she won, I’m not sure why they had Schiavone hug Baker afterward and the announcers tout the quality of the match without talking about Baker using the belt as a weapon in the lead up to the finish. The match overall, though, was really exciting. Yes, there were a handful of sloppy or mistimed spots, but nothing that was a big deal to halt the fan investment in the action.)
(7) STING & DARBY ALLIN vs. SCORPIO SKY & ETHAN PAGE
Sky and Page came out first. Then Sting. And finally Darby. Darby dove through the ropes onto Ethan at ringside. Sting whipped Sky hard into the barricade. Sky raked Sting’s face on the stage and suplexed him. Sting popped up a Sky turned his back to celebrate. The fans popped. Sting stood behind Sky, who got wide-eyed. Sting shoved Sky onto Ethan below. He then tore off his shirt and threw it before diving off the giant poker chips on the set onto Sky and Ethan. The fans popped and chanted “You still got it!”
They entered the ring and the bell rang to officially start the match. Sting leaped and drove Sky’s face into the mat. The crowd popped. Sting let out a big yell. Ross said he’s very fluid and a natural at any age. Schiavone said he first interviewed Sting in 1987. He said he told Sting he looked blown up and Sting told him he just had a match. Ross said he goes back to the Blade Runner days. He said it was an interesting time. He said Darby is so fortunate to have a friend and ally like Sting who understands so much about the business.
It settled into Darby putting an armbar on Sky. Ethan interfered when Darby tried to bounce on the top rope to escape the armbar. The crowd booed. Sky gave Darby a springboard cutter, then tagged in Ethan. Ethan had blood on the bridge of his nose. Ethan taunted Sting with a yell, then turned back to Darby with a suplex. Ethan flexed his arms and made a face. Sky was pleased on the ring apron. Sky tagged in. Darby hot-tagged Sting a minute later, but the ref didn’t see it. She ordered Sting to return to his corner. The heels tagged in and out against Darby, taunting Sting as they dished out punishment. Ethan pressed Darby and threw him out of the ring into the front row where his brother was sitting. Yikes. Sting pulled Darby back to ringside. Ethan told Sting to roll Darby back into the ring. Darby was dead weight for a while, but Darby eventually threw him back into the ring just before the ref’s 10 count (although it had been, like, 100 seconds or something).
Back in the ring, Ethan set up an Ego’s Edge. Darby fought free and ended up on the top rope. He put Ethan in a sleeper. Ethan powered out, but Darby came right back with a Stunner. He then leaped and tagged in Sting. Sky charged at Sting, but Sting beat him up and landed a Stinger Splash. The crowd popped. Sting then hit Ethan with a Stinger Splash. He then cleared the ring of Sky before landing a code red on Ethan for a two count. Darby reached for the tag as fans chanted “You still got it!” again. Darby got the tag and climbed to the top rope. Sky knocked Darby off balance. Ethan clipped Sting’s legs, then stomped on him. Ethan turned to Darby, who was the legal man. Ethan yanked Darby off the top rope onto Sting on the mat. Ethan then was going to give Darby the Ego’s Edge, but Sting broke it up and applied a Scorpion Death Lock mid-ring. Darby entered and put Ethan in the Fujiwara armbar. Sky entered and put Darby in a heel lock. Darby and Ethan slapped each other and gouged each other’s eyes as they were both locked in submission holds. The ref ordered everyone to break the holds and told Sting and Sky to get back to their corners.
Darby and Ethan were slow to get up. Both tagged out. Sting and Sky faced off. Sting threw some punches, but Sky kicked Sting’s leg. Sting pounded his chest and whipped Sky into the corner. Sky avoided a Stinger Splash. Sky went for a cutter, but Sting hit a Scorpion Death Drop. The crowd popped big.
WINNERS: Sting & Darby in 13:00. (***1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Wow. Sting looked 15 years younger suddenly. I suspect he worked really hard to get into great shape. He was reasonably careful about the spots he took part in and the bumps he took, but I don’t think anyone watching thought he did anything but go all out. He hit his signature spots and mannerisms. Sky and Ethan were great in the Miz & R-Truth or Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode type of role as the heels who were just there to bump like crazy and make it all the more satisfying when the babyfaces won.)
-A video package aired on the AEW World Title match.
SUMMER SALE: GO VIP FOR JUST $1.21 (save 88%)
•Tonight’s Post-Double or Nothing PPV Roundtable Podcast w/Wade Keller, Todd Martin, Rich Fann
•30+ Years of Archives – Deepest Library of Insider Pro Wrestling Coverage Anywhere
•Decades of retro radio shows from the 1990s through podcasts starting in 2003 to today
•Over 1,700 back issues of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter – Major Event Star Ratings since late 1980s, backstage insider news, hard-hitting editorials, feature cover stories top happenings
•Hundreds of historically significant long-form big name Torch Talk interviews in transcript and audio formats
•Ad-free Wade Keller Podcasts & Post-shows and PWTorch Dailycasts
•Dozens of VIP-exclusive podcasts per week, wide range of formats and host specialties
SUMMER SALE: GO VIP FOR JUST $1.21 (save 88%)
(8) KENNY OMEGA (w/Don Callis) vs. ORANGE CASSIDY vs. PAC – AEW World Hvt. Title match
After formal ring introductions, Omega knocked Cassidy out of the ring with a quick punch, then took over against Pac. Callis joined the announcers. When Pac and Omega took each other down, Cassidy entered and casually covered Pac for a one count. He crawled over to Omega and scored a casual one count. He seemed okay with it all. Cassidy ducked both Pac and Omega, then took them both down. He dove onto Pac at ringside, then gave Omega a tornado DDT for a two count.
Pac settled into the attack on Cassidy a few minutes later. Omega re-entered the ring. Pac yelled at Omega, but Omega thrust kick him in the chest and him hard into the corner. Later, Omega charged at Cassidy, but Cassidy caught him with a back elbow. Pac yanked Cassidy by his legs to ringside. Omega then flip dove onto both on the floor. He threw Cassidy back into the ring and set up a suplex, but Cassidy countered into a cutter.
Pac landed a 450 splash onto Cassidy as he was bridging over Omega. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Omega gave Pac a snap dragon suplex. Then he gave one to Cassidy. He another. Cassidy sold it great. As Omega celebrated, Pac recovered and gave him a high-angle released German suplex and a boot to the face. Omega caught Pac with a knee. Pac went to kick Omega ducked and Pac kicked Cassidy. Omega took over with a clothesline. He then gave Cassidy a V-Trigger from behind in the corner. He lifted Cassidy onto the top rope and set up an Avalanche Dragon Suplex. Cassidy powered out of it while standing. The crowd cheered as Cassidy put his hands into his pockets to block the move. Pac then entered and tossed Omega off the top rope with an Avalanche Released German suplex.
Omega gave Cassidy a Tiger Driver ’98 for a near fall. Callis complained that the ref was counting slowly. Omega then picked Pac off the top rope and suplexed Pac backwards into a bridge for a near fall. Omega gave Cassidy some knees to the jaw. Cassidy put his hands in his pocket, but then fell forward. Pac and Omega went back at it. When Omega went after Cassidy, Pac went after Omega with a spin kick. Omega chopped his chest and landed a V-Trigger. Cassidy gave Omega a Michinoku Driver, but Pac gave Cassidy a quick brainbuster for a near fall. Pac sat up and looked at Omega and Cassidy, who were down on the mat. A loud (earned) “AEW!” chant broke out.
A bit later, Pac gave Omega a top rope Falcon Arrow. Cassidy ran in and threw Pac out of the ring and almost stole the pin on Omega with a dramatic near fall. Pac and Cassidy faced off mid-ring. Cassidy did some slo-mo kicks. Pac low kicked Cassidy, then flip dove onto Omega at ringside. He climbed to the top rope and landed a Black Arrow on Cassidy for a very near fall, broken up by Omega. “This is awesome!” rang out. Pac placed Omega on the mat for a Black Arrow, but Omega moved. Omega lifted Pac onto his shoulders. Pac shifted into a Brutalizer while Omega was standing. Cassidy landed a Orange Crush that sent Pac and Omega backwards into the ropes. Then he landed a Beach Break on Omega for a near fall. Omega rolled to the floor. Fans chanted “Fight forever!”
Cassidy blocked a Pac low-kick, but Pac set up a Liger Bomb. Cassidy gave him a Liger Bomb. He then ducked a V-Trigger and hit the Orange Crush. Callis yelled, “Oh shit!” and bolted to the ring. Cassidy showed fire and began to believe. He then gave Pac an Orange Crush for a near fall. Callis yanked the ref out of the ring at the count of two. “Get him out of the arena!” yelled Schiavone. The fans chanted “F— You, Don!” The ref yelled at Callis. Cassidy looked with disgust back at Callis.
Cassidy climbed to the top rope, but Omega yanked at his shoes. Cassidy head-butted Omega three times to knock him to the floor. He dove at Pac for a DDT, but Pac countered into a Brutalizer mid-ring. Omega rolled into the ring to break it up with two stomps, but Pac held on. Omega then hit the ref with a double axe handle. Callis tossed Omega a belt, and he whacked Pac in the face with it. Callis threw Omega another belt, which he hit Pac with again. Callis threw Omega another belt. Fans chanted “Bullshit!” Pac stood and Omega whacked him with anotherof his belts. Omega said there is one more. Callis handed it to him. Schiavone called him a chump and told him not to disgrace the championship like that. Omega hit Pac with it. Cassidy punched Omega with an Orange Crush. He covered Omega. A second ref ran in and began a count. Omega countered into a crucifix for the win.
WINNER: Omega to retain the AEW World Hvt. Title in 27:00. (****1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Until the last three minutes, the crowd was 100 percent behind the match and AEW as a company and they could have done a straight up finish and stopped the show and it’d be a leading contender by a mile for the show of the PPV of the year. Then they went into a convoluted finish with Omega using his belts as weapons with Pac, ridiculously, standing over and over after taking belts shot to the head, followed by an Orange Crush punch supposedly being enough to knock out Omega. It was exciting and fun and dramatic, but I don’t think they needed to go that far. I didn’t hate it myself, but I did sense that it took the wind out of the sails of the fans who were just into the crazy hard-hitting top shelf battle up until that point and they’d have been totally content with Omega pinning Cassidy with a crucifix without the sequence of belt shots. It almost felt designed to give Callis something significant to do, or else it was meant to just pile heel heat on Omega. In that sense, it probably worked, because great matches like that can get fans cheering Omega, and that’s clearly not what AEW wants, nor should they. But you don’t wants to start resenting overbooking finishes, especially when it was completely unneeded in this situation. That caveat noted, what a great match. Great state of the art athleticism, and they manged to make it seem like Cassidy was on the verge of ending Omega’s reign.)
-They announced Full Gear will be Nov. 6 in St. Louis, Mo.
-Tony Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced a surprise analyst for the AEW Rampage TV show, Mark Henry. Henry walked onto the stage and absorbed cheers from the fans. Schiavone said they’d hear from Henry on Friday night on TNT, a special night and time.
-Excalibur announced this Friday’s Dynamite line-up: Comotoro vs. Dustin, Bucks vs. Pac & Penta, Marshall & Ogogo vs. Cody & Johnson, and Baker’s title win celebration. And then in two weeks Omega will defend against Jungle Boy.
(9) INNER CIRCLE vs. THE PINNACLE – Stadium Stampede
MJF was driven into the stadium in a white stretch limo. He said this is the end of the line for the Inner Circle. Then Jericho’s music played. Inner Circle rappelled down the scoreboard and charged toward the limo that MJF had retreated into right after yelling, “Come on, you ain’t shit!” They banged on the windows. Jericho yelled for them to get out. “Turn that thing over!” yelled Schiavone. A vintage pick-up truck drove into the stadium where the rest of The Pinnacle charged at Inner Circle.
Guevera and Spears battled inside the ring. The rest fought on the field and into the stands. MJF sprayed Jericho with a fire extinguisher from the back of the white limo’s trunk. Meanwhile, Dax and Santana battled in the bleachers. Jericho chased MJF into the stadium office area. MJF threw coffee at Jericho. Jericho came back using a laptop as a weapon.
Wardlow and Hager brawled in a cooler backstage. Wardlow speared Hager through a sheet rock wall set up for that spot. They cut to Guevara searching for Spears. Spears was sitting in a room where they store floor chairs. They fought in that room. Spears lawn darted Guevara into a metal garage door. Spears handcuffed Guevara to a metal shelf and walked away.
They cut to Santana & Ortiz next who said they’re still breathing. They found Dax, Cash, and Tully Blanchard hanging out at a bar with a nightclub vibe. They all walked up to a table and did shots together. Konnan showed up at the DJ table and then the two pairs of wrestlers began brawling. Konnan blocked Tully from using a weapon against Ortiz. Ortiz and Cash fought into an elevator. They cut back to Wardlow and Hager fighting. They battled onto a golf cart.
Then they cut to MJF and Jericho battling through the corporate offices. Jericho used a Shad Khan cardboard cutout as a weapon against MJF. Schiavone explained who that was. MJF stomped on Jericho’s arm on a desk. Jericho came back and stapled a “Thank You” card onto MJF’s head. MJF cried out in pain. MJF tried to take a hammer to Jericho’s arm, but Jericho battle out of it. Jericho whacked MJF with a bat. Jericho said, “You really are an asshole.” He then threw MJF head-first through a glass window on a door. He came up bleeding.
Back to Spears wandering backstage, but he was chased down by the Inner Circle motor cycle club. Jericho and MJF brawled into the stands of Daily’s Place. Jericho dropped MJF onto an arm rail. He sold it briefly, but then made a comeback and tried to toss Jericho over the balcony onto a crowd of fans below. Schiavone called for security to intervene. Jericho fought back and hit MJF with a spotlight. Then he powerbombed MJF through a storage crate.
Spears wondered back onto the field. Guevara rammed into Spears with a golf cart. He stood on the roof of the golf cart and played to the crowd. They roared with cheers. He pursued Spears into the ring with a chair. Spears picked him up, but Guevara slipped free and kicked him. Guevara springboard at Spears, but Spears knocked him out of mid-air with the chair. He scored a near fall. Spears measured another chairshot and milked the moment. He said he should have stayed down. He hit Guevara, who raised his forearm to try to block most of it. Spears scored a near fall. Ross said he believes Spears is a somewhat unbalanced man. Guevara came back with a GTH. He threw off his jacket. Then he kicked Spears’s face into the chair Spears had wedged in the corner. Guevara climbed to the top rope and landed a 630 senton for the three count.
WINNERS: The Inner Circle in 32:00.
-Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, and Hager joined Guevara in the ring to celebrate their win. Jericho’s music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a mix of good and bad, and I’m really curious to see how polarizing that match was. The Stadium Stampede in small segments viewed in isolation would have been good, but it was ambitiously long and lacked that key ingredient the rest of the show had, which was that rabidly enthusiastically crowd. They might have saved it by making sure some key spots occurred back in front of the fans who stayed around patiently watching on the big screen. Guevara beating Spears was the predictable finish since Spears is the most expendable, and it was a scene that elevated Guevara to another level. I enjoyed most aspects of Stadium Stampede, and it veered into being “too cute for its own good” only a few times.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Coming in just under four hours, the show flew by. The finish of the AEW World Title match and the self-indulgent length of Stadium Stampede might be marks against it. That said, Double or Nothing collectively will be remembered for years for many reasons. The first true packed house with high-energy coming out of the pandemic and some truly great matches and performances.