REVIEW: All Elite Wrestling – Double or Nothing (2022)

A Pay-Per-View Event by AEW

This is easily one of the AEW Pay-Per-Views with the weirdest, perhaps most stressful, builds in quite some time. You honestly can’t even talk about this show without addressing the “elephant in the room” that was the actions of a seemingly disgruntled Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) in the days before the show. MJF was scheduled to appear at one of AEW’s Fan Fest Meet & Greets, which the AEW superstar seemingly snubbed. Reports ran wild about people seeing him at a hotel bar, or oddly specific articles about him securing airline tickets in order to go home. It was said that both security and management were caught off guard by his absence either way.

I personally found most of this interesting because a lot of the leaks were reported by Fightful Select via Sean Ross Sap or Dave Meltzer, and read like they were being fed a narrative by somebody working for AEW. Even social media accounts run by people such as Chris Jericho were posting updates throughout the weekend which seems a bit convenient. Perhaps we won’t know what exactly was happening on that day for a long time, but I suspect that AEW fans have been led into a new era of so-called “Kayfabe” wherein news agencies are in on stories, whether intentionally or not, and the lines between real and fake are that much more blurred. MJF would later go on to cut a promo reminiscent of CM Punk’s now infamous “pipe bomb” promo calling out Tony Khan and demanding a termination to his contract. We will see if this was a storyline or if there’s more to it pretty soon, seeing that AEW All Out is this upcoming weekend.

In my attempt to “catch up” on my AEW reviews on here, These are my thoughts on All Elite Wrestling – Double or Nothing 2022 just mere days before the next big show. Better late than never I suppose!

For anyone wanting to watch this, It can be found on B/R Live which I am sadly not a fan of at all. For most other wrestling shows, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch these shows, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

The Card:

  • 1P Hookhausen (Hook and Danhausen) defeated Tony Nese and Mark Sterling by pinfall Tag team match 5:20
  • 2 Wardlow defeated MJF by pinfall Singles match – Since Wardlow won, he was granted his release from his contract with MJF and subsequently signed by AEW. Had MJF won, Wardlow would be permanently banned from signing with AEW. 7:30
  • 3 The Hardys (Jeff and Matt Hardy) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (with Brandon Cutler) by pinfall Tag team match 19:15
  • 4 Jade Cargill (c) defeated Anna Jay by pinfall Singles match for the AEW TBS Championship 7:25
  • 5 The House of Black (Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews, and Brody King) defeated Death Triangle (Pac, Penta Oscuro, and Rey Fénix) (with Alex Abrahantes) by pinfall Six-man tag team match 15:35
  • 6 Adam Cole defeated Samoa Joe by pinfall Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Final 12:30
  • 7 Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. defeated Ruby Soho by pinfall Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Final 13:20
  • 8 American Top Team (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, and Paige VanZant) (with Dan Lambert) defeated Frankie Kazarian, Sammy Guevara, and Tay Conti by pinfall Six-person mixed tag team match – Since American Top Team won, neither Kazarian nor Guevara were allowed to challenge for the TNT Championship during the rest of Sky’s tenure as champion. 12:30
  • 9 Kyle O’Reilly defeated Darby Allin by pinfall Singles match 9:50
  • 10 Thunder Rosa (c) defeated Serena Deeb by pinfall Singles match for the AEW Women’s World Championship 16:55
  • 11 The Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, Angelo Parker, and Matt Menard) defeated The Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley), Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz by technical submission Anarchy in the Arena match 22:45
  • 12 Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) (c) (with Christian Cage) defeated Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) and Team Taz (Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks) by pinfall Three-way tag team match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship 17:15
  • 13 CM Punk defeated “Hangman” Adam Page (c) by pinfall Singles match for the AEW World Championship 25:40

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

Yay! Hookhausen!

No matter how inconsequential a match between Hook, Danhausen, Smart mark Sterling esq. and Tony Neese is, I loved every second of it. It’s good to see Danhausen finally able to wrestle after his awful leg injuries, and a match like this is a solid way to re-introduce him to fans. I only wish they would let him bring back all of his gimmicks like the “tequila dance” and his jar of teeth.

Wardlow defeated MJF!

After all of the outlined issues above, many were expecting that MJF was about to no-show the event, thus screwing over Wardlow in what was obviously designed to be a HUGE payoff of a two year long storyline. Lo and behold, MJF walks out, gets utterly dominated, and takes the loss. Speculation ran wild after the match as to whether MJF was made to lose so fast, or whether that would be the last time we’d see him. If this was all an elaborate work, I think it served its purpose – for a while all anyone could talk about was MJF, and AEW made a new star in Wardlow.

House of Black wins thanks to their newest member:

What a fun match! Everyone in this went at full speed the entire time; we’re talking every spot, crazy kick combination, or dive you can think of. This was almost like watching a videogame wrestling match play out in real life. Even Brody King, who is a mountain of a man, made it seem like he was going to do a dive over the top to the guys on the floor, and he did making the crowd go absolutely insane. The moment PAC was about to get the win, the lights went out, and he got sprayed in the face with black mist from the House of Black’s newest member – Julia Hart. Many wrote all of the Julia Hart stuff off as a botched or abandoned storyline for the longest time, but it finally paid off.

Awesome match!

Thunder Rosa’s title run has, in many ways, been kind of underwhelming. Now that we know that she has been working this entire year with some kind of hip issue, it makes sense, and also explains why her appearances were somewhat sparse for a bit. That said, this was an amazing match, and one of the highlights of the entire night. It’s probably because Serena Deeb is am insanely underrated performer, and makes anyone look good when she wrestles them. Not that Rosa needs any help looking good, but a great performer can help hide issues like this.

These Outfits LOL:

As with any gimmick match involving Chris Jericho and his numerous teams at his command, the Anarchy in the Arena Match was a fun blow-off leading in to the eventual Blood and Guts showdown between the two groups. Honestly, before any spot in the match, my biggest pop was for the matching outfits the members of the Jericho Appreciation Society were rocking – looking like Droogs from A Clockwork Orange by way of The Backstreet Boys, I laughed more than I should have. Great match as always, but I wouldn’t assume anything less from Jericho.

The Summer of Punk?

It’s a bit unfair to talk about this after the fact considering what happened with CM Punk since this massive win at Double or Nothing, but here goes. While I felt the build up between Punk and Page was somewhat bland at times, the weeks prior to this show heated up a lot and I was excited to see where the match would go. Punk ends up with a hard-fought win and seemingly begins “The Summer of Punk 2022”, something that was immediately sidelined by him breaking his ankle a few weeks later jumping into the crowd and having to stand aside while Jon Moxley stole the summer with his Interim Championship. Now that Punk has OFFICIALLY lost the belt, it will be interesting to see where this story goes.

Conclusion:

Just like with the Ring of Honor show that came after this, the entire show was hanging in the shadow of the media circus caused by the “MJF Situation”. If it’s a “work”, Tony Khan has a briellince in booking that has not been seen in a long time, if not MJF should not be allowed to work anywhere seeing that pulling Ultimate Warrior-styled nonsense before a big show rarely results in too many companies clamoring to hire somebody, just look at Alberto Del Rio or Austin Aries. Overall, this was still an amazing show, and like with any AEW pay-per-view I came away with a smile on my face nonetheless.

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