AEW DOUBLE OR NOTHING PPV PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS: Willow vs. Mercedes, Anarchy in the Arena, Swerve vs. Christian, Copeland vs. Malakai, Strong vs. Ospreay, more

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


AEW returns to Las Vegas, Nev. in the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 26, 2024, for Double or Nothing.

Kazuchika Okada & Jack Perry & Mathew Jackson & Nicholas Jackson vs. Bryan Danielson & Darby Allin & Dax Hardwood & Cash Wheeler, Anarchy in the Arena match

Story in a nutshell: Executive Vice Presidents, Mathew and Nicholas Jackson took over AEW by taking out owner Tony Khan and now a group of AEW loyalists banded together to stop them at Anarchy in the Arena.

Members of the Elite, Mathew and Nicholas Jackson are both Executive Vice Presidents of AEW (along with Kenny Omega). The EVPs decided to embrace their executive titles and make some changes. First, they restructured their faction, the Elite, by suspending Adam Page and kicking out Kenny Omega. Omega was replaced by his longtime rival, Kazuchika Okada. Okada targeted Eddie Kingston and won the AEW Continental Championship from him.

Meanwhile, Mathew and Nicholas won the AEW World Tag Team Title that was vacated when Sting retired (and Darby Allin broke his foot) by defeating FTR when they received help from Jack Perry during the match. Jack Perry was welcomed into the Elite after he had been suspended (after he was made a scapegoat) for a backstage altercation with CM Punk that led to CM Punk’s firing from the company. A face to face between the AEW owner Tony Khan and Jack Perry led to the Elite attacking Khan and taking over the operation of the show and abusing their power.

EVP Kenny Omega, who has been out dealing with an illness, returned to deal with the situation but was attacked and sent out in an ambulance. From the hospital Omega announced that he used his EVP powers to book an Anarchy in the Arena match between the Elite and Team AEW which would comprise of Eddie Kingston, FTR (Dax Hardwood and Cash Wheeler), and Bryan Danielson. Danielson and Kingston had an intense rivalry, but Kingston earned Danielson respect in the end. Also, Kingston and Danielson both have issues with Okada. Kingston broke his leg and was replaced by a returning Darby Allin.

Prediction and analysis: It is early in a story of this magnitude, a power struggle for control of the company, so unless the idea is to ditch the whole thing, I think the Elite should win this to solidify their control. Likely the story continues until Omega returns from his illness.

Swerve Strickland (c) vs. Christian Cage, AEW World Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Newly crowned AEW World Champion, Swerve Strickland, drew the ire of EVPs Nicholas and Mathew Jackson when he condemned their attack on Tony Khan, so the EVPs booked Christian Cage to be Swerve’s challenger at Double or Nothing.

After winning the AEW World Championship from Samoa Joe at Dynasty, Swerve Strickland addressed the EVPs Mathew and Nicholas Jackson’s attack on Tony Khan, condemning their actions. Upset at being called out by “their” champion, the EVPs announced that Christian Cage would be Swerve’s opponent at Double or Nothing since Christian had apparently been buttering up the EVPs backstage. Christian’s group, the Patriarchy, went on to attack Swerve. Seeking to even up Christian’s numbers advantage, Swerve brought in his faction, the Mogul Embassy. They immediately turned on Swerve. After foiling another plan by Christian, it was revealed that Mogul Embassy’s manager who was not present when they turned, Prince Nana, was still on Swerve’s side (for now) when he blocked Christian’s escape.

Prediction and analysis: Swerve should retain the title.


Search “pwtorch” in your podcast app of choice to subscribe to the entire line-up of PWTorch Dailycasts or stream the show from the player below.

In this week’s episode of All Elite Conversation Club, PWTorch contributors Joel Dehnel and Gregg Kanner cover these topics:
      • Reflecting on five years of AEW
      • Comparing expectations for when the company first began
      • Who has been the MVP and whose fallen short of expectations
      • Preview and predictions of Double or Nothing
      • Emails and trivia

Jon Moxley (c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita, IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Eliminator match

Story in a nutshell: After Jon Moxley successfully defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship from Powerhouse Hobbs, Hobbs’s Don Callis Family faction mate, Konosuke Takeshita, called out Moxley, setting up this match.

Jon Moxley won the New Japan Pro Wrestling’s top prize, the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship when he defeated Tetsuya Naito at NJPW’s Windy City Riot event. Don Callis, manager of the Don Callis family, was owed a huge favor from NJPW since he had been important in arranging Kenny Omega versus Chris Jericho several years ago, a match that drew a lot of attention to the NJPW promotion.

Callis cashed in this favor to get Don Callis Family member, Powerhouse Hobbs, a shot at Moxley for the title. After Moxley defeated Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita, another Don Callis Family member, called out Moxley. Takeshita attacked Moxley setting up a championship eliminator match for Double or Nothing. If Takeshita can beat Moxley, he would earn rematch where the title would be on the line.

Prediction and analysis: While the whole championship eliminator thing could just be an excuse to book Moxley versus Takeshita without a “pesky” title from another promotion in the way, with Forbidden Door looming, I can totally see Takeshita winning to get an actual shot at that event. Else, another Don Callis member (for now), Will Ospreay, could be next in line to challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

Willow Nightingale (c) vs. Mercedes Moné – AEW TBS Championship

Story in a nutshell: Mercedes Mone signed with AEW and immediately set her eyes on Willow Nightingale who Mercedes blames for an injury Mercedes suffered, and a shot at the AEW TBS Championship is the excuse Mercedes needed.
Mercedes Mone and Willow Nightingale met in the finals of a tournament to crown the first New Japan Strong Women’s Champion.

Willow won the match when Mercedes suffered an injury. This took Mercedes out of wrestling for a year. In the meantime, Willow worked her way through the AEW roster to earn a shot at then AEW TBS Champion Julia Hart. Mercedes signed a contract with AEW and was granted a shot at the winner of the Willow and Julia Hart match. This led to several encounters that saw Willow and Mercedes on the same side, but their encounters were always chilly and strained. After Willow won the title and Mercedes had her opponent, Mercedes admitted that she blamed Willow for “stealing” her chance at making history as the first New Japan Strong Women’s championship and costing her a year of her career.

Prediction and analysis: Mercedes Moné win the title and Willow likely goes on to feud with Kris Statlander who is totally going to turn on her friend Willow..

Adam Copeland (c) vs. Malakai Black, AEW TNT Championship Barbed Wire Steel Cage match

Story in a nutshell: For months, Malakai Black’s House of Black has been playing mind games with AEW TNT Champion Adam Copeland in hopes of drawing out Copeland’s dark side in preparation for this match.

Soon after winning the AEW TNT Championship, Adam Copeland found himself targeted by the House of Black. Copeland defended the title against Buddy Mathews and Brody King in a series of escalating violent encounters. Malakai Black’s goal was to draw out the “dark” version of Adam Copeland, going as far as misting Copeland. (In AEW canon, black mist turns people evil). Malakai might have gotten what he wished for as this led to the match becoming a barbed-wire cage match and Malakai Black getting bathed in blood in the middle of the ring.

Prediction and analysis: Copeland wins and I really hope we get to see Gangrel. Bonus if they cross paths with Christian Cage.

Chris Jericho (c) vs Hook vs. Katsuyori Shibata, FTW Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Hook gets a shot to regain the (unrecognized) FTW Championship from Chris Jericho who he has been feuding with, as does Katsuyori Shibata.

Chris Jericho, playing up on the idea of wanting to insspire a new generation of wrestlers (as a possible dig at CM Punk) tried to become Hook’s mentor. Hook followed at first and Katsuyori Shibata was drawn in as well. Jericho expected them to sit under his “Learning Tree” (which would become the name of his new faction). The idea is that Jericho is so out of touch that he thinks he could mentor Shibata who is a veteran wrestler.

Hook saw though Jericho’s falsity and walked out on him. Jericho tried to “mediate” their issues, but he “accidentally” took out Hook’s father Taz. This led to a match at Dynasty for the (unrecognized) FTW Championship which Jericho won when Hook “accidentally” walked into Jericho’s baseball bat. Shibata, who was disrespected by Jericho, got a shot at the (unrecognized) FTW Championship but lost when Big Bill interfered and joined Jericho’s Learning Tree.

Both Shibata and Hook both wanted rematches, but Jericho made them earn another shot at the (unrecognized) FTW Championship. Hook, Shibata, and Bryan Kieth (who ws thrown in for whatever reason) faced Johnny TV, Rocky Romero, and Boulder in the most random trios match in company history.

The winners would face each other in a three-way match for the right to challenge for the (unrecognized) FTW Championship at Double or Nothing. Team Byan Kieth pulled out the upset win. During the three-way, both Hook and Shibata simultaneously locked in submissions on Kieth who tapped out. It was decided that both Shibata and Hook won the match so they both would be facing Jericho for the (unrecognized) FTW Championship.

Prediction and analysis: I’m expecting Jericho to retain the (unrecognized) FTW Championship and hope to see someone else join the Learning Tree.

Roderick Strong (c) vs. Will Ospreay, AEW International Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Will Ospreay won the Casino Gauntlet to earn a shot at Roderick Strong for the AEW International Championship.

Don Callis Family member, Will Ospreay, won the Casino Gauntlet to earn a shot at Roderick Strong for the AEW International Championship. Roderick Strong had his faction mates, the Undisputed Kingdom, brutally attack Will Ospreay. Don Callis, who was on commentary, walked away while the beatdown was taking place, and no one came to save Ospreay.

Prediction and analysis: The Ospreay relationship with Don Callis stretches credibility at this point since Ospreay’s presentation runs counter to that of the Don Callis family. Don Callis has had to bend over backwards to make this relationship make a quantum of sense. The only way Ospreay loses is if the Family decides now is the time to excommunicate him, but more likely Ospreay wins to set up a champion versus champion match against Okada at All-In to unify the AEW Continental Breakfast Championship and AEW International House of Pancakes Championship. Maybe into the AEW Intercontinental Championship?

Toni Storm (c) vs. Serena Deeb, AEW Women’s World Championship match

Story in a nutshell: The undefeated (for the year) Serena Deeb made her intentions known that she was coming for Toni Storm’s AEW Women’s World Championship and brutalized Storm’s ingenue, Mariah May to prove it.

After an altercation Toni Storm was involved with in the ring, Serena Deeb came out and picked up Toni Storm’s AEW Women’s World Championship belt, Storm had left on the stage in her haste. Deeb, who was undefeated for the year, made her intentions known that she wanted a title shot. Mariah May, who is Toni Storms ingenue, faced Serena Deeb in a match. Deeb got the advantage and worked over May’s knee to such an extent that Toni Storm, who has grown fond of May and was at ringside, threw in the towel. A championship match was scheduled for Double or Nothing.

Prediction and analysis: Storm wins. The match is just a backdrop for the continuing drama between Toni Storm and Mariah May.

Jay White & Austin Gunn & Colt Gunn (c) vs. Pac & Rey Fenix & Penta el Cero Miedo

Story in a nutshell: Pac dare to not show deference to Jay White and the Gunns, so they later targeted him, but Pac’s Death Triangle faction mates evened things up setting up this match.

And that is pretty much it.

Prediction and analysis: As of writing this, it doesn’t seem like the Trios title/titles are on the line, in which case Death Triangle wins. Even if the titles end up on the line, I hope Death Triangle wins and Jay White can be actually used better than he has been.

Trent Beretta vs. Orange Cassidy

Story in a nutshell: Long time Best Friends member Trent Beretta had enough of the faction and turned on Orange Cassidy.
Trent Beretta attacked Orange Cassidy claiming Cassidy was only concerned about himself. Chuck Taylor sides with Orange Cassidy and faced Beretta in a parking lot brawl. In the aftermath Taylor was force to retire.

Prediction and analysis: I expect Orange to win, maybe with help from Chuck.

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