SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
Originally scheduled to take place in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Double or Nothing has been relocated to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida due to the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Despite being held in a venue with no fans in attendance, AEW is pulling no punches, even going so far as to bring in “Iron” Mike Tyson to present the winner of the AEW TNT Championship Tournament with the title belt. AEW is also taking advantage of their connections with the Jacksonville Jaguars and are holding a Stadium Stampede match at TIAA Bank Field where the Jaguars play. What all this means for the PPV buy rate will be interesting.
Cody vs. Archer, Inaugural AEW TNT Championship Tournament Final
Story in a nutshell: The finals of the tournament to determine the inaugural AEW TNT Champion concludes with Cody facing off against Lance Archer who is seconded by Jake “The Snake” Roberts who seems to have it in for Cody and his family.
Back on March 4th, Jake the Snake appeared and laid an ominous threat at Cody’s feet, of a client of Jake’s who has set his eyes on Cody. This threat manifested in the form of Lance Archer who began to make his presence in the company felt by destroying all wrestlers placed in his path. Concurrently, a new championship was unveiled and a tournament to crown the first ever AEW TNT Champion was announced. On opposite sides of the bracket were Cody and Archer set on a collision course to face each other in the finals at Double or Nothing. Along the way Cody defeated his first AEW rival in Shawn Spears and then Darby Allin. Archer took out Colt Cabana and then Cody’s brother Dustin Rhodes in brutal fashion, and along the way tortured Brandi with Jake’s help. The winner of the match will be presented with the belt by “Iron” Mike Tyson.
Prediction: What I love about AEW is how hard it is to predict the outcomes since there are always good options just around the corner no matter the result. With Arn Anderson, Jake Roberts, Brandi Rhodes, and Mike Tyson all present, I expect a whole lot of shenanigans. I think the winner of the match will be determined by the match’s placement on the card. If it is last, Cody wins, otherwise it is Archer. As a bonus, since I’m hedging a bit, if the match happens before the Stadium Stampede, watch out for a Cody turn. His actions leading up to this match, refusing to deal with Archer at first, refusing to toss in the towel to save Dustin from a beating at the hands of Archer, are some of his recent actions that can be interpreted a different way if he does turn heel.
Matt Hardy & Adam Page & The Elite vs. The Inner Circle, Stadium Stampede match
Story in a nutshell: The Elite and The Inner Circle have been at war against each other since the formation of AEW, and this latest chapter will be an all-out brawl inside and empty football stadium.
What more can I say other than that? The two groups hate each other, Matt Hardy allied himself with The Elite since he knows how much a hole of the ass Jericho is, Matt ran down Sammy Guevarra with a golf cart, and in retaliation the Inner Circle murdered Vanguard 1. Adam Page’s alignment still seems murky at best, is his loyalty with The Elite, or with himself and the bottle? What might Cody’s role in this be, he is still a member of The Elite right?
Prediction: A stunt-fest whose insanity might be determined by how much postproduction, if any, goes into this match. For those that don’t follow Broken Matt outside the confines of the show, he submerged Vanguard 1 in the Lake of Reincarnation, sorry, I meant the Reservoir of Altering Rebirth, so I fully expect Vanguard 1 to return as some other vehicle, a tank, attack chopper, or even a golf cart to run down Sammy again. As far as the winner goes, unless my theory of a Cody heel turn comes true, the Elite and friends get a feel-good win.
Jon Moxley vs. Brodie Lee, AEW World Championship match
Story in a nutshell: Finally making his identity and goals known, The Exalted One of the Dark Order, Brodie Lee and his minions brutally attacked Jon Moxley and stole his championship belt and now Moxley is coming to reclaim his property.
After months of speculation the lukewarm-est story in AEW history, the identity of the person behind the mild annoyance that is the Dark Order was finally revealed. It was Brodie Lee doing a… he totally doesn’t like calling it a Vince McMahon parody so let’s go with… homage to Vince McMahon. Like Archer, Brodie tore through some members of the roster to build some equity as a dangerous man before he and the Dark Order attack Moxley and steal his championship, letting Brodie bypass the ranking system since now this conflict is personal.
Prediction: Death, taxes, Jon Moxley retains against Brodie Lee at Double or Nothing.
Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida, AEW Women’s World Championship No Disqualification No Count Out match
Story in a nutshell: After being the number one ranked female wrester for weeks, Hikaru Shida finally gets a shot at Nyla Rose and her title.
Nyla Rose raised the aggression leading up to this encounter by attacking Shida with a kendo stick backstage. Nyla was able to pin Hikaru Shida in tag-team match May 20th and followed up by trying to put Shida through a table. Shida turned the tables on Nyla and Nyla took the hit instead adding intrigue to the match now that the no disqualification stipulation, in theory, takes away some of Nyla’s size and strength advantage and putting the eventual outcome in doubt…
Prediction: …but not for me. Hikaru Shida is my favorite female AEW wrestler and I’ll be all-in on her as champ, but right now there are more established female wrestlers on the face side of the ledger than there are heels, so I think Nyla holds on to the belt and probably will for a long time.
Darby Allin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Kip Sabian vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Luchasaurus vs. TBA, Casino Ladder match
Story in a nutshell: Nine men compete for a chance to win a chip they can cash in for a future AEW World Championship Match.
This is my other choice for “Most-likely-to-be-a-train-wreck-for-good-or-ill-depending-on-your-individual-taste-in-wrestling-styles” Award (the other being the Stadium Stampede). This is a mash up of people and these are some storylines to keep an eye on. Sky and Frankie are tag partners so; will we see any friction or fragmentation between them? Orange and the Best Friends have been feuding with El Triángulo de la Muerte (sounds so much better than Death Triangle) which Fénix is part of. Kip and Darby seem destined to have a program together soon. Luchasaurus and Wardlow have been getting in each other’s faces so its possible there might be interference from Wardlow costing Luchasaurus the match especially if this comes after the MJF and Jungle Boy encounter. And finally, there is the question of TBA.
Predictions: TBA is likely a placeholder for Pac. Due to travel restrictions, there is probably uncertainty he can even be there hence the TBA designation. It would not be a good look if Pac isn’t available for another AEW PPV event he was advertised for and didn’t show (even if it’s through no fault of his own). If TBA is Pac, I expect him to win and be Moxley’s next challenger. If Moxley is the final match of the night, and the chip can be cashed in at any time like the WWE’s Money in the Bank, I can see Pac doing so and possibly emerging as the new champion. If Pac can’t make it, and if he’s out of his no-compete window, I think it will be the former Zack Ryder, in which case, I think Scorpio Sky wins since they’ve built him up in recent promo videos.
MJF vs. Jungle Boy
Story in a nutshell: Jungle Boy seeks to shut up and shut down MJF, the worst human being walking the Earth.
After getting blindsided with the news that he has a match with Jungle Boy, MJF has been getting under Jungle Boy’s skin by attacking the perceived weak link of the group, Marko Stunt. Now Jungle Boy seeks satisfaction.
Prediction: MJF wins. Cheating will be involved. The Luchasaurus and Wardlow face offs will likely finally get physical.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Kris Statlander
Story in a nutshell: Two top women fight for position in the AEW rankings.
Dr. Britt Baker has been ramping up her aggression and her latest victim was Statlander. On the May 13th episode of Dynamite, Baker refused to break the Lock Jaw hold long after the match was over.
Prediction: Hard to predict this one. I have Statlander facing off against Nyla eventually as the most likely to dethrone her and so Statlander should win this. On the other hand, AEW needs more strong women heels and it feels like Britt has lost so often lately. Still, going with Statlander.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Shawn Spears
Story in a nutshell: As Dustin mulls retirement, Spears takes the opportunity to stay relevant by coming after Dustin with venomous personal attacks and hopes to make a name fore himself by beating Dustin.
Both of these wrestlers suffered defeats in the AEW TNT Championship tournament. Not content being left off of the card Shawn Spears goaded Dustin Rhodes into having a match at Double or Nothing, by well, pretty much being a dick, going so far as bringing up Dustin’s abuse of painkillers in the past.
Prediction: Dustin is feeling like a special attraction wrestler to me and he had a great match with Archer he ultimately lost and getting a win over Spears won’t be the worst thing. Plus, unless they have immediate plans for Spears right now, he can take the “L”.
Private Party vs. Best Friends
Story in a nutshell: The winner of this match becomes the number one contender for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
Prediction: Best Friends forever.
RECOMMENDED: 5/20 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Guevara vs. Hardy, Arn and Jake sitdown interview, Cassidy vs. Fenix, Marko vs. MJF, final Double or Nothing hype