01st Jun2021

‘AEW: Double or Nothing 2021’ PPV Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this review of All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing pay per view…. Yes, I stayed up until 5am to watch the show in the UK and have re-watched again (thanks to Fite TV replays) yesterday. Why? Because it was one of my most anticipated PPV’s of the year! Did it live up to my hype or did it disappoint? Read on to find out!

Match #1: Serena Deeb def. Riho

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

The crowd at Daily’s Place was fired up, and so were Deeb and Riho! Serena went for a quick cover, but Riho bridged up out of it. Riho offered a handshake out of a sign of respect, but Deeb answered with a slap to Riho’s jaw! Riho returned fired but Deeb rocked Riho with a series of uppercuts. Riho used her quickness and jumped off the top rope with a diving crossbody—Deeb kicked out at the 2-count! Deeb was looking for the Serenity Lock, but Riho had it scouted and grabbed the ropes for the ref break. Deeb catapulted Riho underneath the bottom rope, the slingshot impacting Riho’s throat. Deeb gouged Riho’s nose and then stomped on Riho’s legs. Deeb connected with a neck breaker across the center strand. Riho knocked Deeb off the top rope, and then like a bolt of lightning connected with foot stomps across Deeb’s midsection! Deeb was lured in and Riho moved out of the way, following up with the Tiger Fate kick! Deeb rallied back with the flying octopus hold; Riho reversed it with a northern lights suplex. Riho tried from up top for the diving foot stomp again, but Deeb dodged it. Deeb hit a swinging neck breaker for a near fall. Deeb executed a double dragon screw leg whip and then a powerbomb for another near fall on Riho! Deeb was looking for the Deeb-tox, but Riho backdropped her way out of it! Riho blasted Deeb with a big-time dragon suplex! Serena Deeb began to clutch her neck. Riho smashed Deeb with the diving foot stomp right between Deeb’s shoulder blades. Riho charged in and Deeb countered with a single leg crab! Riho crawled and grabbed the bottom rope to force the ref break. Deeb used an inverted dragon screw and then she sunk in the Serenity Lock, which gave Riho no choice but to submit!

My Score: 4 out of 5

This was a SUPERB opener for the pay per view and a great tease for what was to come from the rest of the card. Deeb played the heel champ brilliantly and looked super-strong but Riho came out of this looking like the star, she gave Deeb such a hard time and reminded the AEW audience just how good she is. Now we just need more matches like this from Riho on regular AEW programming!

Match #2: “Hangman” Adam Page def. Brian Cage

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

“Hangman” booted Cage early on and followed up with a lariat. Page jumped off the middle rope with a clothesline; Cage was knocked down to the floor. Page flew out with a tope suicida! Page tried for another high-risk high flying move but Brian Cage caught him and then rammed him spine first into the ring post! Page fought back with a crucifix bomb for a near fall. Page used a moonsault off the ring post to Cage onto the outside. The crowd erupted into “Cowboy S—t!” chants! Page pulled off a hurracanrana, countering a powerbomb off the top rope attempt by “The Machine” Brian Cage! Page ducked a discus lariat from Cage. “Hangman” followed up with his own lariat for a near fall on Brian Cage. Page was looking for the Dead Eye, but Cage countered with a one arm neck breaker. Brian Cage duplexed Adam Page onto the ring ramp! Cage tried to emulate Page with his own version of the Buckshot Lariat, but Page countered! Cage rallied back with a buckle bomb and then a discus lariat! Cage connected with a spinning Liger Bomb for a near fall on “Hangman” Adam Page. Hook and Ricky Starks ran down to help Cage. Starks slid the FTW Championship into the ring, but Brian Cage didn’t want it. Cage kicked the belt back to Starks and in the meantime, “Hangman” Page pulled off the Buckshot Lariat and pinned “The Machine” Brian Cage!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Not going to lie, I wasn’t that excited for this match going into the PPV… but having a live, large, crowd turned this one round. The sheer pop Hangman got when he walked out really amplified the excitement levels and the match that followed didn’t disappoint either. Cage and Page put on a real display of wrestling athleticism and by the time this one ended I was as pumped as the live crowd! Page looked like he was headed back into “future champion” status while Cage’s Team Taz storyline was progressed further, with a tease of a face turn for the machine.

Match #3: The Young Bucks def. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Mox and Kingston jump started the match and charged at the Bucks! They brawled with the Bucks outside the ring. Kingston decked Brandon Cutler and then Mox nearly decapitated Cutler with a lariat. The momentum shifted as the Bucks began to utilize their elite level tandem offense on the challengers. Matt Jackson chopped at the back leg of Kingston and took him down with a leg sweep. Nick Jackson tagged in, but Kingston caught him with an exploder suplex! Kingston tagged Moxley, who then cleaned house on the Bucks! Mox spiked Matt Jackson with a piledriver. Mox went for the bulldog choke on Matt but Nick Jackson superkicked Mox to save his brother. The Good Brothers came down to ringside but Frankie Kazarian, “the Elite Hunter”, saw enough and ran them off! The Bucks nailed Mox with the Indy Taker on the ramp! Mox kicked out of a senton from Nick Jackson. The Young Bucks swarmed Mox with lefts and rights to the lacerated forehead. Mox fired up with a burst of adrenaline and double suplexed the Bucks! Kingston tagged in and dropped the Bucks with big time strikes! He DDT’ed Matt Jackson and then booted Nick Jackson! Kingston used machine gun chops to Matt Jackson but Nick Jackson superkicked Kingston to the back of the knee. Nick Jackson flew off the top rope with a senton, but Kingston lifted up his knees in the nick of time. Mox tagged in but the Bucks superkicked him! They were looking for More Bang for Your Buck, but Moxley countered with a sleeper on Matt Jackson! Nick broke it up with a 450 splash on Moxley, but Moxley kicked out. Kingston hoisted up Matt Jackson and Mox jumped from the top rope with the Doomsday Device. Mox attempted a Paradigm Shift, but Nick Jackson countered an applied the sharpshooter. Kingston broke it up and then Mox hit the King Kong lariat and the Paradigm Shift on Nick Jackson. Mox tried for the pin, but Matt Jackson broke it up, saving his brother from defeat. Mox headbutted Nick Jackson repeatedly. The Bucks blasted Mox with superkicks, but Mox popped right out of that superkick party. The Bucks used four consecutive BTE Triggers on Mox and finally scored the pin on him, allowing them to retain the championships.

My Score: 4 out of 5

Good god this was great. Not because of the Young Bucks, who went through the usual motions, but because of Moxley and Kingston. Those two guys sold this match tremendously, so much so that when they DIDN’T win you really felt like they were robbed of the titles (which they apparently were if you’ve seen the BTE episode from Double or Nothing). Mox did his usual “just won’t go down” shtick – which everyone loves – but Kingston, goddamn Kingston, came out of this one as the MVP. This match really elevated Kingston – so much so that he’ll be more than fine going solo again when Moxley goes on paternity leave (if he does). Gotta admit though, the Young Bucks have the heel attitude down pat, I really f**king hate those guys right now!

Match #4: 21-Man Casino Battle Royale

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

The first group of entrants: Christian Cage, Matt Syda, Powerhouse Hobbs, “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes, and Max Caster! Dustin Rhodes stomped a mudhole into Max Caster. Matt Sydal chopped away at Powerhouse Hobbs with his educated feet! “Platinum” Max Caster tossed Sydal over the top rope for the first elimination of the match. Christian Cage was able to eliminate Max Caster. The next five competitors: Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy, Pres10 Vance, Nick Comoroto, and Serpentico! Hardy and Kassidy tried to jump Pres10 during his entrance, but Pres10 outsmarted them with his own offense. Comoroto and Pres10 Vance locked up, but 10 dropped Comoroto with a spinebuster. Dustin Rhodes pushed Comoroto over the top rope, and he pulled out 10 in the process. Comoroto returned with the bull rope and knocked Dustin in the head with it. Our next entrants: Garrison, Pillman, Jr., Colt Cabana, Anthony Bowens, and Penta El Zero Miedo! Anthony Bowens clipped Penta El Zero Miedo from behind with a clothesline! Isiah Kassidy eliminated Colt Cabana from behind! Garrison and Pillman eliminated Bowens. The next entrants were: Jungle Boy, Marq Quen, Aaron Solow, Evil Uno, and “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson! Lee Johnson eliminated Aaron Solow, but Matt Hardy clubbed Johnson out of the match. Penta El Zero Miedo knocked Evil Uno out of the ring with a front face kick. Jungle Boy eliminated Penta El Zero Miedo! Hobbs slung Jungle Boy into the turnbuckles. Christian Cage was able to dump Powerhouse Hobbs over the top rope! Private Party and Matt Hardy went after Christian Cage and Jungle Boy until our final entrant…Lio Rush! Lio Rush singlehandedly took on Hardy and Private Party! As Lio Rush was about to knock Private Party out of the match, Hardy grabbed Lio’s legs and pushed him to the arena floor, taking him out of the match. Hardy laid out Jungle Boy with the Side Effect, but Jungle Boy fired back with a lariat to Hardy! Jungle Boy and Christian Cage cooperated with one another to eliminate Private Party! This left Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, and Matt Hardy. Christian Cage outsmarted Matt Hardy and dumped him over the top rope. Our final two competitors were Christian Cage and Jungle Boy! Christian Cage charged at Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy skinned the cat. Cage tried to spear Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy dodged it. Jungle Boy backdropped Christian Cage over the top rope and won the match! Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt joined Jungle Boy in the ring to celebrate his victory.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

This one was weird. Unlike other Battle Royale matches people seemed to be getting eliminated VERY fast in this one, the ring never getting over-crowded but at the same time that lack of bodies in the ring allowed people to great their spotlight too. Gotta love Max Caster’s entrance rap, I know its all “scripted” but Caster has some huge balls slagging off his opponents pre-match! Pre10 Vance got a great spot power bombing the man-mountain that is Nick Comoroto. Unfortunately for Lio Rush his appearance seemed like something of a damp squib – not his fault as he was, frankly, amazing in this match; but the hype of a “mystery entrant” is damaging to anyone who’s not a former main-event WWE superstar jumping ship to AEW it seems. This match gets an extra .5 in the score for that ending though… By the time this was down to Christian and Jungle Boy I was on the edge of my seat. And that Jungle Boy swing round the corner post to save himself? Genius! Good on AEW for building Jungle Boy into a championship contender rather than letting Christian get the win. And good on Christian for giving Jungle Boy the rub… Christian would be, for me, more suited going for the TNT title, giving that belt some old-school “Intercontinental Championship” prestige. Meanwhile giving championship matches to homegrown stars like Jungle Boy is proof that AEW *is* different from that other promotion IMHO.

Match #5: Cody Rhodes def. Anthony Ogogo

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Cody swarmed Ogogo in the ropes. Ogogo connected with the bolo punch and then an Olympic slam for a near fall on Cody. Ogogo floated up and over, but Cody countered with a powerslam. Cody was clutching his ribs. Ogogo dropped a big boot on the chest of Cody Rhodes. Cody was going to attempt a tope suicida, but Ogogo intercepted it with a strike. Back in the ring, he belly-to-back suplexed Cody. Ogogo gouged at the eyes of Cody and then delivered a high impact clothesline on “The American Dream.” While the ref was distracted, QT Marshall smacked Cody with a cheap shot. Arn Anderson grabbed a steel chair and forced QT to back off. Ogogo was busted open, and Cody targeted the laceration. Cody dropped Ogogo with the Cody Cutter! Ogogo landed a big right hand on Cody! Ogogo launched off the top rope with a frog splash onto Cody! Ogogo didn’t go for the cover, and Cody took advantage of Ogogo’s lack of wrestling experience and locked Ogogo in the figure four. Ogogo blocked the Cross Rhodes and rocked Cody with hard strikes! Cody avoided the Governor’s Hammer and countered with a Vertebreaker for the pin!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Boy this was bad. You knew Cody was never going to win, especially with the “American Dream” moniker for the night but that was the least of this matches issues. Ogogo came out of this one looking better than Cody did IMHO – at least he showed he could wrestle too… Cody just stuck with his “underdog” shtick which is, honestly, getting stale. He can’t be an underdog if he keeps winning and he’ll keep winning as he’s becoming AEW’s version of Triple H.

Match #6: Miro def. Lance Archer (TNT Championship match)

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Jake “The Snake” Roberts was laid out by Miro at the weigh-ins yesterday. Lance Archer came to the ring by himself tonight. Archer took flight and launched himself over the top rope at Miro! Archer walked the tightrope and flipped back, colliding with Miro! They brawled on the arena floor. Miro was sent face first into the ring post. Archer smashed Miro through a table with a spinebuster! Miro tossed Archer into the front row with a belly-to-belly suplex! Archer exploded out of the corner and muscled Miro to the mat. Miro took down Archer with a leg lariat. Archer rallied back with the helicoaster on Miro for a near fall. Archer attempted a moonsault press but Miro moved out of the way. Miro followed up with a fallaway slam for a near fall on Archer. Jake “The Snake” Roberts came down to the ring, carrying a bag with a snake in it. Miro grabbed the bag and launched it toward the ramp. Archer manhandled Miro with a chokeslam for a near fall! Archer pounced Miro with a football tackle! Miro caught Archer low by kicking the ring rope. Miro stomped Archer’s spine and locked in Game Over! Referee Aubrey Edwards called for the bell as Lance Archer lost consciousness.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Lance Archer may have opened this match with an insane dive to the outside before the bell but it was Miro who came out of this match looking like a mad titan. I loved how Miro was channeling Tong Po from Van Damme’s Kickboxer in this match, echoing the same over the top mannerisms and “unstoppable” nature. It’s going to be interesting to see Miro’s TNT title reign continue… whoever takes this one from him  – eventually – is going to have to be someone special.

Match #7: Britt Baker D.M.D. def. Hikaru Shida

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Baker looked for lockjaw right at the start of the match, but Shida rolled out. Shida attempted a knee strike, but Baker dodged it. There were dueling chants from the crowd. On the outside of the ring, Shida rammed Baker into the steel barricade. Shida used a diving crossbody to take down Rebel and Baker! Shida charged in for another knee strike, but Baker countered it and she had the champion reeling here. Baker bounced Shida’s head off the mat with a curb stomp. Baker put her glove on and tried to apply the Lock Jaw, but Shida rolled out of the way to create distance. The champ fired back up and grounded and pounded Britt Baker! Shida used a hammer throw to whip Baker into the corner and then followed up with three consecutive knee strikes! Shida began to gouge Baker’s face. Baker and Shida began to slug it out and Baker got the better of it after a fishermen’s neck breaker. Baker went for the stomp again, but Shida moved and tried to counter with a stretch muffler. Baker grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Baker took down Shida with the sling blade. Baker followed up with the air raid crash for a near fall! Shida fought back with a German suplex for a two-count on Baker! Shida was going for an avalanche death valley driver but Britt escaped…but not for long because Shida superplexed Baker! Shida applied the stretch muffler submission, but Rebel distracted her. Rebel accidentally clocked Baker with her crutch. Shida nailed Baker with the Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Baker superkicked Shida right in the face with the belt and followed up with a curb stomp, but Shida kicked out! Baker applied the Lock Jaw and Shida tapped! And new AEW Women’s Champion…Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.! Tony Schiavone left the broadcast booth to hug Britt Baker and congratulate her.

My Score: 4 out of 5

What’s that? The second women’s match on this AEW pay per view is another banger? Yes indeed! You knew (well suspected) that after giving Shida a newly-designed belt that she was losing this one. But this match actually played with the audiences expectations a little too, with Shida playing dirty and Baker seemingly being forced – through crowd response – to be the face in this match! It was clear the live crowd wanted Baker to win and she’s put in the work in recent weeks so he win was ultimately well-deserved. But doesn’t her win now mean that ALL the current AEW champs are heels? Let’s see what the coming year brings with the villains in control!

Match #8: Darby Allin & Sting def. Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

It began to snow in Jacksonville as Sting made his way to the ring. Darby launched himself from the ring at Ethan Page. Sting whipped Scorpio Sky into the barricade. Sky suplexed Sting onto the ramp but Sting popped right back up! Sting jumped off the poker chips onto Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky! Sting used Darby as a battering ram at the opposition. They isolated Scorpio Sky and worked him over in their corner of the ring. Darby was looking for the Fujiwara armbar. He spring boarded to the top rope, but Ethan Page swept away Darby’s legs. Sky followed up with a cutter on Darby. Ethan Page tagged in and whipped Darby into the turnbuckles. Ethan Page gorilla pressed Darby and launched him from the ring into the front row! Darby rallied back with a stunner on Ethan Page and then got the tag to Sting! Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky ate Stinger splashes! Sting connected with Code Red for a near fall on Ethan Page! Ethan Page attempted the Ego’s Edge, but Sting booted him in the abdomen. Sting applied the Scorpion Death Lock and Scorpio Sky got a leg lock of his own on Darby Allin! Aubrey Edwards broke the holds because Sting and Sky were not the legal men for their teams. Sting and Scorpio Sky tagged in. Sky was looking for the cutter, but Sting held on and countered with the Scorpion Death Drop!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Wow. Just wow. Sting went for it here… a SIXTY TWO year old man went toe-to-toe with guys half his age and didn’t look like he’d missed a beat. Props must go to Page and Sky for their work though – you have to know they helped Sting pull off this match. Sting certainly looked better here than ANY of his matches in that other promotion! Speaking of Page and Sky, I honestly expected them to pick up the win here. Darby and Sting didn’t need the win, but getting over on Sting in particular would’ve really made Page and Sky. For now they’re just two cocky guys who lost to Sting and Darby… but imagine the heat if they’d got the win. The pair would be on fire!

Match #9: Kenny Omega def. Pac and Orange Cassidy

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

The 1st pinfall wins. No count outs, no disqualifications! Omega is unbeaten in singles matches for 638 days. The champ cheap-shotted Orange Cassidy as the bell rang. PAC and Omega collided midair with cross body blocks. Cassidy took down both men with hurracanranas. Cassidy used a tope suicida on PAC and then a DDT on Kenny Omega! PAC used a double dropkick to wipe out Omega and Orange Cassidy. Omega couldn’t be held down for long as he hit a backstabber on Cassidy. He raked PAC’s eyes across the top rope. Omega and PAC exchanged elbow strikes. Kenny knocked PAC halfway across the ring with a front kick! Cassidy went looking for a DDT, but Omega countered with a backbreaker! Cassidy came back with a Stundog Millionaire on Omega. Cassidy covered Omega and Omega tried to bridge out when PAC crashed down with the 450 splash! Omega clobbered Cassidy with two snap dragon suplexes. Omega walloped Cassidy with a V-trigger! He tried for one on PAC but PAC suplexed him. PAC went for a thrust kick on Omega, but Omega shoved Orange Cassidy in the way of it. Omega nailed another V-trigger on Orange Cassidy! Omega attempted an avalanche dragon suplex, but Orange Cassidy resisted. In the meantime PAC jumped onto the turnbuckles and used an avalanche German suplex to bring Omega down to Earth the hard way! Cassidy dispatched of PAC. Then Omega nailed Cassidy with a Tiger Driver ’98 for a near fall. PAC jumped back into the ring, but Omega planted him with a German suplex. Omega pulled down his knee pad to expose the bone and then he smashed Orange Cassidy with two vicious knee strikes! PAC got to his feet and hit a brainbuster on Orange Cassidy for a near fall. PAC nailed Kenny with a sunset flip powerbomb! Then PAC brought down Kenny with an avalanche falcon arrow and Orange covered Kenny, almost stealing the pin! PAC kicked Orange with a low blow! PAC smashed Orange with the Black Arrow but Omega broke up the pin attempt. PAC crashed and burned after trying for a black arrow on Kenny Omega. The champ lifted up PAC, but PAC countered with the Brutalizer. Orange Cassidy got a near fall on Kenny after the Orange Punch and the Beach Break! Orange scored with Orange Punches to PAC and Omega. Orange covered PAC but Don Callis pulled PAC’s leg to break the pin attempt. Orange Cassidy went for the diving DDT, but PAC caught him and applied the Brutalizer! Kenny stomped on PAC, but PAC would not release the submission. Omega knocked out the referee with a double ax handle. Callis tossed a championship belt to Omega and Omega nailed PAC with it. Cassidy came back into the ring and connected with the Orange Punch! Orange Cassidy rolled up Omega and ref Aubrey Edwards ran down to make the count! Kenny Omega reversed it and scored the pin on Orange Cassidy!

My Score: 4.5 out of 5

Some people say near-falls ruin wrestling, that too many of them weaken matches. That was certainly NOT the case here! AEW did a great job of making the outcome of this match less than obvious… There really were a few points where you thought Omega could lose this one; and goddamn if EVERYONE didn’t hope – and at one point expect – Orange Cassidy to get the win. The way in which this three-way match put each man in danger of being pinned was sublime. Oh, and this one also showed, to an AEW audience, why Kenny Omega is the best in the world – one of, if not the, best matches he’s had in AEW. But Orange Cassidy should’ve won shouldn’t he…

Match #10: Stadium Stampede – Inner Circle def. The Pinnacle

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

If Inner Circle loses, they must disband. MJF and The Pinnacle pulled onto the field in a limousine. Inner Circle repelled down the scoreboard! MJF jumped back into the limo. It was a trap—The Pinnacle weren’t in the limo—they pulled up in FTR’s pick-up truck and ambushed Inner Circle. Sammy and Shawn Spears went at it in the wrestling ring in the middle of the football field. Sammy hit a cutter and Shawn Spears came back with a blue thunder bomb! MJF finally got out of the limo, but Jericho was waiting for him. They began to slug it out. MJF sprayed a fire extinguisher in Jericho’s face and then ran off. MJF lured Jericho inside the stadium offices. MJF flung hot coffee into Jericho’s face. Jericho battered MJF with a garbage can and then a brutal cross face. Jericho threw footballs (courtesy of the Jags’ head coach) at MJF and then smacked him with a laptop! Wardlow manhandled Hager. He was about to lock Hager in the walk-in freezer, but Hager escaped. Hager dropped Wardlow with a head and arm triangle in the freezer. Wardlow rammed Hager into an equipment rack and then punched him in the face with a brutal right hand! Hager gave Wardlow the middle finger and then Wardlow speared Hager through a wall into the kitchen! Sammy jumped off a forklift and kicked Spears. “The Chairman” lawn darted Sammy into a garage door! Spears picked up a steel chair, but Sammy caught him off guard with explosive offense. Sammy took electric cables and started to choke out Spears, but Spears countered by hitting Sammy with a ladder. Spears handcuffed Sammy to a metal rack and walked off to help his friends in The Pinnacle. Santana and Ortiz found Cash, Dax, and Tully in a night club. Konnan was the DJ! FTR and Santana and Ortiz got into a full-fledged bar brawl! Tully tried to interfere but Konnan blocked Tully’s arm before Tully could strike. Santana whipped Cash Wheeler with Cash’s belt! Ortiz attacked Dax with a trash can! Cash threw beer bottles at Ortiz! Santana and Cash brawled into an elevator. Hager choke slammed Wardlow off a golf cart through wood pallets below! MJF stomped on Jericho’s injured arm. Jericho used a stapler on MJF’s forehead! MJF waffled Jericho with a haymaker punch! MJF hit a piledriver on Jericho onto a table for a near fall. MJF took a hammer but before he could use it on Jericho’s arm, Jericho swung a garbage can at MJF. Jericho grabbed his baseball bat and smacked MJF with it! Jericho shoved MJF through the glass window of a door. The Inner Circle Motorcycle Club found Shawn Spears and he retreated! Jericho and MJF brawled back to Daily’s Place. Jericho dropped a bloody MJF onto a steel handrail. Jericho picked up a big spotlight and dropped it on MJF’s forehead. Jericho powerbombed MJF! Spears was outside the arena, but Sammy chased him down with a golf cart! Sammy ran down Spears! Sammy spring boarded but Spears swung a chair at him for a near fall! Spears smashed the steel chair into Sammy again, but Sammy kicked out! Spears wedged a chair into the corner turnbuckle. Sammy came up from behind and surprised Spears with the GTS! Sammy shoved Spears into the steel chair in the turnbuckles. Sammy crashed down with the 630 senton and pinned Shawn Spears!

My Score: 4 out of 5

Well I didn’t expect the Inner Circle to pick up the win but they did. And Sammy Guevara got the pin – in the centre of the ring in front of the live crowd no less! A great bit of storytelling… Sammy leaves the Inner Circle over MJF; he surrenders to The Pinnacle to save Jericho and redeems himself here in front of a crowd of fans! You could tell, post-match, that this was all about pushing Guevara to the moon; and it worked. He looked a (pardon the cliche) a million dollars! Some of his moves were literally jaw-dropping… running up a wall and then doing a flying kick?! What is he, Jackie Chan?!! Superb. And the match itself was a lot of fun too – loved how Santana & Ortiz and FTR weren’t really taking things seriously, a great juxtapostion of what was happening between Guevara & Spears and Jericho & MJF. I thought this would be a weak ending for the PPV but AEW proved me wrong.

News of the Night:

  1. Lio Rush was the 21st “surprise” entry in the Casino Battle Royale
  2. All Out takes place September 5th
  3. Full Gear was announced for November 6th
  4. Mark Henry has joined AEW as a coach and analyst for new show Rampage
  5. Konnan made a surprise appearance as the DJ during the Stadium Stampede match

Final Verdict: 4/5

Simply my favourite PPV of the year – of ANY promotion… So far. Yes, I was hoping for another huge surprise (more surprising than Mark Henry… sorry Mark) but instead we got a solid card with only one match letting this pay per view down; and this PPV really cemented AEW’s commitment to its younger stars too!


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