AEW Double Or Nothing has a long road ahead of it.
It’s All Elite Wrestling’s first pay-per-view in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And the card reflects a much more shallow talent pool than AEW is accustomed to.
On paper, the card for AEW Double Or Nothing looks like it could be the third-best Dynamite card of the year.
But AEW has spent the last two months turning lemons into lemonade.
Let’s run down the card for AEW Double Or Nothing and see if we can pick the winners.
AEW World Championship – Jon Moxley (C) Vs. Mr. Brodie Lee
What a long, weird road it’s been for both of these guys.
After beating Chris Jericho to become the AEW World Champion at AEW Revolution, Moxley took hold of one of the strangest world title runs of all time.
Strange in that he doesn’t have a lot of credible challengers. Enter Mr. Brodie Lee.
The former Luke Harper was revealed as the Dark Order’s Exalted One on Dynamite late in March. And while he’s spent much of his time squashing jobbers, Lee made a splash two weeks ago by attacking Moxley and stealing the AEW Championship.
It’s an odd choice for Moxley’s first PPV title defense. I don’t see the story going anywhere beyond this Saturday’s AEW Double Or Nothing, but the match itself could be a sleeper hit.
But with the company (and wrestling in general) on hold for the time being, there’s no reason to shake up the status quo at the top. Moxley retains.
Winner – Jon Moxley
TNT Championship Tournament Finals – Cody Vs. Lance Archer
At some point, Cody’s going to have to stop putting himself in positions where he needs to put guys over.
But that’s exactly what needs to happen here. Cody’s heat in AEW seems to be evergreen, despite his dead-even record in AEW pay-per-views. The American Nightmare is coming off of two straight PPV losses. He lost to Jericho at November’s Full Gear before getting beaten by MJF at Revolution.
And Lance Archer is going to make it a three-peat.
Archer has been on fire since his AEW debut, and it only makes sense for him to walk out of AEW Double Or Nothing as the first TNT Champion.
The involvement of Mike Tyson, who will present the title belt to the winner, has been underplayed. So I don’t expect Iron Mike to make a big impact on this match. If he makes one at all.
Lance Archer, and mentor Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, will emerge on top. But Cody has to win a big match at some point.
Winner – Lance Archer
Stadium Stampede – The Elite Vs. The Inner Circle
Chris Jericho destroyed Matt Hardy’s drone. I don’t know if it gets any more personal than that.
After smashing Vanguard-1, Jericho announced that he would lead the Inner Circle against the Elite in a Stadium Stampede match. The contest, to be held at TIAA Bank Field at AEW Double Or Nothing, promises to up the ante on the incredible street fight from a few weeks back on Dynamite.
And it also gives AEW the chance to film its own “cinematic” match, following in the footsteps of WWE’s surprise success with the format at this year’s two-night WrestleMania 36.
This one’s hard to call. But I’ve got to figure that whenever Blood & Guts does happen, it’s going to be the Elite finally climbing to the top against the Inner Circle.
Jericho and company pick up the W in this one.
Winners – The Inner Circle
Casino Ladder Match (Winner Gets An AEW Championship Match) – Darby Allin Vs. Scorpio Sky Vs. Frankie Kazarian Vs. Luchasaurus Vs. Colt Cabana Vs. Orange Cassidy Vs. Rey Fenix Vs. Kip Sabian Vs. Mystery Opponent
No, seriously, this isn’t Money In The Bank.
The AEW-haters emerged in full force upon the announcement of this match. They were ready to call it an MITB rip-off. And, to some extent, that’s not unfair. But AEW hasn’t steered me wrong yet when it comes to storyline decisions. And they haven’t gotten it wrong when it comes to putting the right guy over.
Also, the rules are a little different than MITB. At AEW Double Or Nothing, the match begins with two men in the ring, with another entrant every 90 seconds. So, it’s MITB plus the Royal Rumble.
On the surface, it seems like it could be anybody’s match. But in my mind, it comes down to Darby Allin or Scorpio Sky. Allin has been featured very prominently on recent editions of Dynamite. And Scorpio Sky had his own series of weekly sit-down interviews.
Unless there’s something completely out of left field on tap, I feel like this is the show where AEW pulls the trigger on Darby Allin.
As for the mystery opponent, that’s anybody’s guess. With all the travel restrictions, it’s really not even worth speculating about at this point. Considering his appearance on AEW: Dynamite, PAC is a definite possibility. Hopefully be a satisfying surprise at AEW Double Or Nothing.
Winner – Darby Allin
Dustin Rhodes Vs. Shawn Spears
So this one came just a little bit out of nowhere.
There’s been some measure of foreshadowing of a Spears vs. Dustin match for a while, I guess. Ever since Lance Archer destroyed Dustin on AEW: Dynamite, Spears has been reminding Cody every chance he gets that the American Nightmare let it happen.
I would say this will be another great leg of Dustin’s farewell tour. But Dustin’s farewell tour is starting to take on Undertaker proportions.
It’s been great seeing Spears get some TV time lately. He’s been a virtual non-factor since being in the semi-main event at AEW All Out. And a win against Dustin at AEW Double Or Nothing might be just the thing to jump start the Chairman.
Winner – Shawn Spears
AEW Women’s Championship – Nyla Rose (C) Vs. Hikaru Shida (No Disqualification)
I’m torn here.
I am a bona fide Hikaru Shida mark. She has the support of the fanbase, and she’s easily the most over babyface in all of AEW’s women’s division. By all rights, she should emerge from AEW Double Or Nothing as the new AEW Women’s Champion.
And yet, Nyla Rose isn’t really a monster if she gets dethroned in her second PPV defense. In terms of the right thing to do, Nyla Rose should retain, with Shida giving a legendary “leave it all in the ring” performance.
AEW could go either way on this, but I think they’re going to stick with the champ. There’s enough upheaval in the world right now, and there’s no telling how or when AEW could resolve the dust settling on a new champion.
Nyla Rose comes out of AEW Double Or Nothing with the belt.
Winner – Nyla Rose
MJF Vs. Jungle Boy
Aside: Jim Ross, for the last time, his name is Jungle Boy. Of course, I know full well JR will call the guy ‘Jungle Jack’ Perry through the whole thing at AEW Double Or Nothing.
This is an easy one for me. Jungle Boy is another evergreen talent, but not in the same way as Cody. He and the Jurassic Express – well, he and Marko Stunt, anyway – are the favorite underdogs of the AEW fanbase.
And nobody benefits more from completely squashing an underdog than MJF.
The guy is the best heel in the business, and he’s one of the best workers. This one’s a no-brainer.
MJF will continue to be better than you at AEW Double Or Nothing.
Winner – MJF
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. Vs. Kris Statlander
Oh, wait, did I say MJF was the best heel in pro wrestling?
Yeah, my bad. That distinction belongs to Dr. Britt Baker. For the last two months, Baker has been the most obnoxious, vicious, hateful, and spiteful character in all of professional wrestling. And she does it all with a smile on her face. Of course, why wouldn’t she? She’s a dentist, you know.
She got her “Becky Lynch” moment on AEW: Dynamite a few weeks ago when she suffered a bloody, broken nose. And she has a chance to start a wicked role with a win at AEW Double Or Nothing.
Statlander is a great talent, and she’s definitely a fan favorite. But she still has a lot to learn and plenty of time to learn it.
Dr. Baker needs to keep her momentum going, so it’s academic that she’ll emerge from AEW Double Or Nothing with her hand raised.
Winner – Dr. Britt Baker
How To Watch
AEW Double Or Nothing airs this Saturday, May 23, on pay-per-view for $49.99 on traditional pay-per-view via major cable and satellite providers.
AEW Double Or Nothing begins with the free live pre-show, The Buy In, at 7 PM/ET with the main card to follow at 8 PM/ET.
All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.