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AEW Double or Nothing
May 26, 2024

by Doc Allen

AEW Double or Nothing 2024

Live from MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 7,500. Tony Shaivone, Excalibur, Taz, and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary, as is Don Callis, when it suits him.

AEW International Championship:
Roderick Strong © (with the Undisputed Kingdom) vs. Will Ospreay

Ospreay immediately tries a Hidden Blade, Strong deflects, Ospreay takes time to remove the Kingdom from ringside. Strong tries a hard Irish whip but Ospreay springboards over the rails onto the Kingdom. Ospreay takes a gnarly doomsday lariat at ringside, lands right on his neck, prompting some legitimate concern from commentary. Strong goes to work on the neck, so Ospreay must be okay. Ospreay throws desperation chops, Strong cuts him down with a backbreaker. Ospreay comes back with a back handspring corkscrew knee shot. The Kingdom's distraction allows Wardlow to sneak in, but the ref isn't as stupid as most and stops the attack. Ospreay hits a Sky Twister onto the entire United Kingdom at ringside. Back to the ring, Ospreay hits a Fisherman suplex for 2. Ospreay misses a corkscrew attempt and tweaks his knee. Strong reverses the Hidden Blade into a half crab. Ospreay nearly escapes, so Strong transitions to a Cloverleaf. Ospreay survives, so Strong wraps him in the ropes for a series of running attacks. Superplex and backbreaker by Strong only gets 2. Ospreay counters into sitout powerbomb! They brawl back to their feet, trade KO blows, Strong dropkicks the knee, and they trade counters until Ospreay nails an Os-cutter! Strong kicks out! Don orders Will to use the Tiger Driver, which he'd vowed never to use again. Ospreay hesitates, allowing Strong to nail the Olympic Slam and double knee gutbuster. Sick kick by Strong, Ospreay kicks out! Ospreay reverses the End of Heartache into a rana for 2. Ospreay dodges another backbreaker and nails the Hidden Blade! StormBreaker finishes it at 18:02! Hot opener, briefly derailed due to concerns about Ospreay's health, but they pulled it together for a memorable finishing sequence, ***½.
Winner and new AEW International Champion: Will Ospreay

Adam Cole arrives, looking healthier than he's been in a while. It looks like they've quietly dropped "The Devil" moniker and he's normal old Cole again. Probably a smart move. Nevermind, he pulls the Devil mask from his pocket and demands he get his due. The lights go out and a creepy haunted hallway appears on the big screen. There's a room full of MJF memorabilia. A ripped photo of Cole and MJF as champs is put back together and it fades to black. Back in the arena, MJF returns, sporting a slick new navy jackets, reminding me a bit too much of Triple H in early 2002. Guess he missed his flight to Saudi Arabia. MJF steps over the Devil mask while fans chant "holy sh!t." Cole foolishly accepts a hug, because MJF then kicks him in the crotch and nails a Brainbuster. He orders sh*tstain bay-bay out of the ring and cuts a fiery, profane promo cementing his babyface turn. MJF doesn't didn't need New Japan or Vince McMahon to make him, he made himself. He sends the Devil mask to hell and gives it the Flair elbow drop. As far as questions about his contract status, he reveals a new tattoo sporting the AEW logo, he's not f**king leaving! Now, that's commitment.

Bet on Yourself, MJF

Unified World Trios Championship:
The Bang Bang Gang © (Jay White, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn) vs. Death Triangle (Pac, Rey Fenix, and Penta el Zero Miedo, with Alex Abrahantes)\

Looks like the "Bullet Club Gold" moniker has been retired. Not sure the branding was really helping them anymore. Pac makes the Gunns look foolish early on with rapid counters. Lucha Bros. continue the dominance on the Gunns and hit criss cross dives outside. White is forced to be the adult in the room and takes control of Pac by attacking the neck. Penta gets the hot tag and resumes making the Gunns look stupid with combo attacks. Fenix tags in and sprints across the tope rope for a PK to the head. Fenix hits a falling headbutt from Penta's shoulders. White forces a tag, berates the ref, and Fenix hits an enziguri. Lucha Bros. swarm White, Penta hits a spinning driver for 2. The match breaks down, everyone takes turns hitting finishers until everyone is down for an ovation. Match restarts with Pac dishing out German suplexes. Death Triangle swarm White and hit Fear Factor. Fenix hits a tope, but Juice Robinson sneaks in to knock Pac from the top rope! Blade Runner finishes Pac at 12:22! Entertaining stunt show, including the fun story thread of the Gunns getting punked out time and time again. The screwjob finish hurts a tad, but the Juice return was well received by the fans, ***¼.
Winner and still Unified World Trios Champions: Bang Bang Gang

AEW Women's Championship:
Toni Storm © (with Luther and Mariah May) vs. Serena Deeb

Deeb is supposed to be the babyface, but the fans are far more into Toni's act. They exchange holds and reach a quick stalemate. Deeb takes Toni down and sits on her in disrespectful fashion. Storm retaliates with a hip attack through the ropes. Deeb recovers with a neckbreaker at ringside. Fans chant "Let's go, Toni!" Deeb applies an octopus and forces Toni to bite the ropes. Maybe Deeb is the heel, afterall. Abdominal stretch by Deeb. Toni escapes and nails a costly headbutt. DDT by Toni, then a fisherman suplex for 2. Serena survives a Cloverleaf and unleashes a flurry of slaps. Serena gets some boos while rallying, and hits a neckbreaker in the ropes. Toni eats another neckbreaker, fans chant "Toni!" Deeb doesn't like this and counters her way into a German suplex. Hammerlock lariat by Deeb gets a close 2 count. Toni responds with a sitout powerbomb for 2. Deeb locks on a tight half crab. Luther stops Mariah from throwing in a towel. Toni escapes, sees the towel in Luther's hands, and mistakenly berates him. Toni folds Serena with a German suplex, but Serena flips double birds in defiance. Storm Zero only gets 2! Deeb answers with Detox on the apron, then a second Detox in the ring, but TONI KICKS OUT! Toni hits an avalanche Piledriver and Storm Zero one more time to win at 15:37! Started awkwardly, but once they adjusted to the crowd reaction, this became a compelling back and forth battle. They had me forgetting that there was no reason to expect Serena to go over, hat's off to them, ***½.
Winner and still AEW Women's Champion: Toni Storm

Trent Beretta vs. Orange Cassidy

No silliness from OC at the bell, he trades punches with Trent in an aggressive brawl. Trent punches the throat, Cassidy repeatedly knocks him in the buckles. High crossbody, DDT, and tope suicida by Cassidy! Trent comes back by attacking the eyes and wrenching the throat into the buckles. Trent angrily works Cassidy over, and hits a German suplex. Trent's mood starts to improve, he even grins, fans chant "a$$hole." Cassidy puts his hands in pockets to send a mean message rather than just be goofy, and runs wild with his novel offense. Trent reverses a piledriver on the ring frame! Trent gets the ring steps but Cassidy sweeps him spine first onto the steel. Cassidy mockingly asks for a Best Friends hug, instead hits a Michinoku Driver! Trent answers with a KO elbow shot, they trade counters until Trent hits a half n' half suplex. Code Zero by Trent only gets 2! Cassidy hits Beach Break out of nowhere for 2. Trent reverses the Orange Punch into a Triangle Choke, but Orange kicks the ropes to float over to score the pinfall at 13:54! Decent grudge match that clearly wasn't designed to be the blowoff. Cassidy's victory was clever but not definitive, ***.
Winner: Orange Cassidy

Trent rejects an interview with Renee.

FTW Championship:
Chris Jericho © vs. Hook vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Everyone hates Chris, so he gets double teamed early on. Hook gives Jericho a German suplex, only then focusing on Shibata with a T-bone suplex. Hook sets up a table, Shibata interrupts with a running big boot. Hook whips Shibata into the barricade, Jericho pounces with a vertical suplex on Hook. Jericho pours dice all over the ring, but he suffers a series of suplexes onto the mess. Shibata and Hook find time to trade suplexes onto the dice. Jericho wakes up and gets double teamed again, this time with kendo sticks. Hook places Jericho onto a table, but Shibata gives him a DVD onto Jericho and the table. The table doesn't break, so look for that on Botchamania. They recover by throwing Jericho through the table, and Shibata hits a gnarly dropkick for 2. Come on, guys, the FTW title isn't worth all of this. Shibata unleashes duel submissions, Hook escapes and shoves Hook down while snapping Jericho's legs. Codebreaker on Hook only gets 2. Hook gets Jericho into Red Rum, but Big Bill runs in to break it up. Hook blocks a chokeslam and suplexes Bill through a table! Shibata puts Jericho into a figure four, Hook crawls back for a choke hold. A masked man breaks up the submissions and gives Shibata a senton through a trash can. The man is revealed to be Bryan Keith! Hook removes Keith, but suffers a Judas Effect anyway, Jericho picks up the win at 12:39. This was kind of rough around the edges, Shibata seemed a bit loopy at times, almost losing his balance and slipping here and there. Jericho's "Learning Tree" shtick isn't quite connecting either, and this seems to be heading towards another Not The Inner Circle stable, **¼.
Winner and still FTW Champion: Chris Jericho

Hook isn't finished with Jericho and fights through a security squad to chase him through the tunnel.

Eliminator Match:
Konosuke Takeshita (with Don Callis) vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley

Moxley is sporting a bandaged arm but unleashes chops with his good arm. Takeshita wastes no time attacking the injured arm and hits a running clothesline. Takeshita wastes time mocking the fans but cuts off Moxley's ambush with and armlock takedown on the apron. Takeshita tampers with the bandages, Mox angrily retaliates with a running boot into the guard rail. Takeshita responds by stomping Moxley's arm against the barricade, wrapped in a chair. Takeshita follows with an armbar takedown in the ring, he's just toying with Mox now. Moxley mounts a comeback, absorbs a big boot, and nails a cutter to buy some time. Takeshita grabs a Fujiwara armbar, Mox reverses into a triangle choke, Takeshita thumbs the eyes and nails a deadlift powerbomb! Tight armbar by Takeshita, Mox gets a necessary rope break. Mox hits a desperation tope suicida. Mox barely pulls himself up to nail a King Kong lariat. Style Clash by Takeshita, then a wheelbarrow German suplex! Mox hits the Paradigm Shift out of nowhere but collapses into a heap. They brawl back to their feet, Takeshita hits a running boot for 2. Takeshita's elbow pad comes off, but Mox into a snug Bulldog Choke. Mox gets carried away using his bandages for choking, Takeshita hits a roaring elbow and Death Rider. Mox kicks out! Don orders Takeshita to fill the ring with chairs, but Mox hits a curb stomp onto a chair. Death Rider by Mox finishes it at 17:34! This was a totally ruthless, knockdown brawl. I love the finish of Don's shotcalling causing Takeshita to lose. Moxley took a beating, and looks both lucky and bad-@ss for coming out on top, ****.
Winner: Jon Moxley

TNT Championship (Barbed Wire Steel Cage):
Adam Copeland © vs. Malakai Black

Copeland rises through the stage as his Brood persona. Black is wearing Adam's wedding ring on a necklace.The cage is full of weapons, they start with a chair duel. Copeland hits a flapjack and grabs a fistful of wire. Black tries an ambush, but gets his forehead carved open. Copeland avoids a wired turnbuckle, then hits a powerbomb into the wall, followed by a Liger Bomb. Implant DDT by Copeland, Black blocks the spear, and sweeps the legs so Adam bonks the wired buckles. Black goes to town working Copeland over with numerous weapon shots. Copeland withstands the barrage and positions a table. Adam climbs, but Black crotches him on the top rope. Black nails a sunset flip bomb through the table, Copeland kicks out! Adam recovers with a piledriver and then uses wire to tie Black to another table. Copeland nails a flying elbow from the very top! A late cover gets 2. Fans chant "holy sh!t!" Black reverses the spear with Black Mass for only 2. Black finds a wired spool, Copeland dodges a potentially deadly blow. Black kicks Copeland through the cage door! Black takes too long pursuing and eats the spear! Brody King and Buddy Matthews arrive, pretend to align with Copeland, but then beat him up as originally expected. The HoB haul Copeland back into the cage and wrap him up like he's getting crucified, but then get distracted by red, flashing lights. GANGREL crawls through the canvas and nails King and Matthews with Impaler DDT's! I cannot begin to describe how much I love this. Black takes Gangrel down (boooo!) but Copeland ambushes with the spear. Copeland applies a wire assisted crossface to win at 20:18! **** brawl, a million kajillion stars for the Gangrel cameo.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Adam Copeland

Copeland reclaims his wedding ring and shares a special moment with Gangrel. I feel like a kid again, which for the record, is one of the things that keeps me invested in AEW.

Backstage interview with Don Callis, who thinks his stable is having a great night when you consider the grand totality. He was very impressed by Orange Cassidy's performance earlier and will offer him a Family contract on Dynamite. I'm 100% sure that will go well for Don.

TBS Championship:
Willow Nightingale © (with Stokely Hathaway and Kris Statlander) vs. Mercedes Mone

Mercedes gets an extra special entrance with glowing drummers and Vegas showgirls. I don't like the "CEO" music, but if Mone is a heel, it works well enough. The fans are ready for this one. It's hard to imagine Mercedes not winning the belt, at the same time it doesn't feel like the right time for Willow's reign to end. Bell rings, Mercedes gets flustered and runs away, forcing Willow to give up the high ground. Mone delivers some elaborate arm drags, but Willow fights back with a headbutt and stiff shots. Mercedes recovers with a spin kick from the apron, Willow counters into a gut wrench powerbomb onto the ring frame! Back to the ring, Willow's vertical suplex gets 2. Electric chair German suplex by Willow, but Mercedes blocks another gutwrench suplex and zeroes in on Willow's previously broken ankle. Willow aggressively breaks free from an ankle lock, Mone hits a backstabber for 2. Mone can't quite get an Octopus and settles for an abdominal stretch. Willow reverses into an ankle lock! Mone escapes unscathed but Willow blindsides with THE POUNCE! Fans chant "This is awesome!" Mone blocks a Doctor Bomb, but Willow recovers with a dead lift powerbomb. Fisherman suplex by Willow gets 2. Mercedes desperately counters into a powerbomb and locks on a Figure Four. Urgent rope break by Willow, she then delivers a brutal knee breaker onto the apron. Willow spins Mercedes around in an inverted cloverleaf! DVD into the buckles by WIllow, but she crashes and burns on a cannonball attempt. Mone stomps the bad ankle and hits Meteora for 2. Mone hits a second Meteora to the floor! Kris and Stokely get involved, the ref doesn't see Willow's gut wrench Liger Bomb and costs her a probable 3 count. Mercedes reverses the Doctor Bomb into the Bank Statement, then switches to an STF! Dramatic rope break saves Willow. Mercedes nails the Mone Maker to win at 18:01! Mercedes needed to deliver a great performance and she brought her working shoes. Willow's title loss stings, but in the positive sense, you can imagine some great rematches down the road, ****.
Winner and new TBS Champion: Mercedes Mone

Kris has had enough of Stokely's nonsense and shoves him down. She helps Willow out of the ring, only to turn on her! Kris rips off their friendship bracelet and leaves her in a heap. Looks like Kris is getting Stokely in the divorce. Tough night for Willow, who should have enough sympathy to go on a warriors journey from here.

AEW World Championship:
Swerve Strickland © (with Prince Nana) vs. Christian Cage (with The Patriarchy)

Speaking of warriors, Swerve enters cosplaying The Warriors movie. I know the outcome is a 99% foregone conclusion, but Cage has been such a bastard in this feud, I'm pretty interested to see how this plays out. Bell rings, Cage plays the role of cagey veteran and enjoys a hot start. Swerve dodges a flying crossbody and forces Christian to flee from an armbreaker. Swerve misses a flying hammer and bonks his face against the rails. Christian smells blood and takes control. Swerve survives a Frog Splash and flying tornado DDT. Nick Wayne interferes for the hell of it. Strickland nails a hard Irish whip to buy time. Swerve nails a scoop powerslam for a hot nearfall. Flying uppercut by Swerve sets up a series of neckbreakers. Swerve follows with a running moonsault to ringside. High crossbody by Swerve gets 2. Nana prevents a belt shot but the ref blames Nana and ejects him. This leaves Swerve vulnerable to interference from Wayne and Killswitch. Swerve dodges a Killswitch headbutt, Cage takes the blow. Cage dodges the Swerve Stomp and nails a spear! SWERVE KICKS OUT! The ref smartens up to The Patriarchy's cheating ways and ejects them all. Swerve capitalizes with a Flatliner for 2. Swerve gator rolls Christian to ringside for a suplex. They trade numerous counters teasing a bump onto the ring steps until Swerve misses a tope and lands face-first on the steel. Nick Wayne returns for an ambush cutter, Cage hits the Killswitch, but SWERVE KICKS OUT! Nana runs in with a pipe to lure Wayne away. Cage tries another Killswitch on the announce table, but takes a Swerve Stomp instead! They stumble back to the ring, Cage scores a scary rollup nearfall, then snaps Swerve's neck on the rope. Swerve blocks the spear and nails a running House Call! The crowd roars while Swerve perches on the top rope and hits the Swerve Stomp! Another House Call finishes it at 24:51! I was hoping for a good match, but they served a great match. If you're going to build up Cage for the better part of a year with a mean stable, you either have to put a top title on him, or have him throw everything he's got at a World Champion like he did here. Triumphant title defense for Swerve, the arena crowd forgot about any foregone conclusions and played along perfectly. ****¼.
Winner and still AEW World Champion: Swerve Strickland

Anarchy in the Arena:
The New Elite (AEW Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks, AEW Continental Champion Kazuchika Okada, and Jack Perry) vs. Team AEW (FTR, Bryan Danielson, and Darby Allin)

Not surprisingly, a huge brawl breaks out before the bell. Darby rushes in wearing a protective mask, covered in thumbtacks. Darby's music keeps playing until Nicholas demands the Elite's music instead. Danielson interrupts and orders production to play the greatest theme in all of wrestling, which apparently is "The Final Countdown." Earlier, I felt like a kid, now I feel like I'm in my mid-20's. Taz hums along with the music while all the various brawling spills out all across the arena. It's hard to keep track of everything going on at once, but Darby hits a Coffin Drop from a balcony. Okada tries to dump Danielson from a ledge. Matthew orders the Final Countdown to be cut off, because it costs AEW $200,000 every time they play it. The fans chant "we want music" while the brawling continues left and right. Darby and Jack head to the parking lot, where Darby tries to drown him in a bucket of ice. Perry dismantles Allin with a steel pipe. Meanwhile, FTR and the Bucks are having a mini match of their own. Okada comes to help but the Bucks hit him with double enziguris by accident. Bryan tries a tope but flies into Okada's chair shot. Elsewhere, Perry tries to run over Darby in a Scapegoat-mobile and seemingly injures himself in a collision. Back in the ring, FTR hit a spike piledriver on the ring frame, then a superplex/frog splash combo for 2. Okada broke up the cover and serves a neckbreaker to Harwood. Flying elbow by Okada, who flips off the fans, only for Cash Wheeler to bite his finger. Okada recovers with a dropkick and Tombstone Piledriver. Darby stumbles into the arena and hits Okada with Code Red for 2. The Bucks trip Darby and powerbomb him through a collection of chairs. The Bucks order the production team to bury Darby under the set. Danielson is forced to go it alone and gets thrown into the oversized poker chips. Those things have been around since 2019, AEW is sure getting their money's worth. The Bucks give Danielson a TK Driver onto the chips! FTR come back to life and resume battling against the Bucks. Okada hits a flying elbow through one table, while Nicholas hits a Swanton Bomb off the top of the tunnel through a chair! Meanwhile, Perry attacks Tony Khan at the back table. Darby returns wielding a flamethrower and sets Jack on fire! The Bucks make a quick save with fire extinguishers, the crowd is going nuts. The Bucks haul Darby into the ring, remove his mask, but fail to smash his face through a can. Darby blocks a Rainmaker and kicks Okada in his manhood. Coffin drop on Okada, the Bucks break the pinfall! The Bucks finally smash the can into Darby's broken nose. A rope descends from the rafters so the Elite can hogtie and hang Darby. FTR make a timely save and hit the Shatter Machine. Okada saves the match, Dax tries a piledriver, but Matthew cracks him with an EXPLODING CHAIR! Okada dons an arm sleeve covered in thumbtacks for a brutal Rainmaker on Cash. The Bucks put on their thumbtack sneakers, and superkick Darby while he hangs upside down! Matthew misses another superkick and hits Nicholas. Danielson returns for a Bu Sai Ku knee on Okada. He clocks the Bucks with their own sneaker and unleashes YES kicks. Danielson hits a chair-assisted Bu Sai Ku knee on Nicholas, Okada breaks the pin. Rainmaker on Bryan! The Bucks hit the EVP Trigger. Allin has been hanging this entire time and the fans chant "Please help Darby." Perry hits his own variation of the Bu Sai Ku knee and pins Danielson at 29:57! Audacious main event that tried to capture the magic of the Stadium Stampede matches from the pandemic era, and came pretty close, ****.
Winners: The New Elite

Final Thoughts: DoN 2024 is an overwhelmingly enjoyable show with terrific variety up and down the card. Thumbs up for the creativity and thoughtful storytelling.

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