AEW Rocks The Wrestling World At Double Or Nothing
Written by Michael Reiner on May 26, 2019
Photo Credit: whatculturewrestling.com
All Elite Wrestling has officially put the pro wrestling world on notice. The new company wants to provide an alternative to WWE, their goal being to provide an edgier presentation with highly skilled in-ring performers. The buzz started on New Year’s Day when The Elite (The Young Bucks, Cody, Kenny Omega and Adam Page) announced that they were forming a brand-new wrestling company on the wildly popular YouTube show, ‘Being The Elite.’ Tickets sold out in only 30 minutes for Double or Nothing pay per view and fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas were in for a treat.
The card had nine hard hitting matches that did not disappoint. All of the tag team matches provided highflying, scintillating action. There were a lot of wrestlers from the independent scene that I had not seen before. The matches were exceptionally placed throughout the card and all of the surprise debuts made sense.
However, it was the final three matches that kept my brother and I on the edge of our seats. If you are a wrestling fan who wants to feel inspired, you need to watch these three amazing matches:
Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes
Cody and Dustin Rhodes are two brothers that have always wanted to fight each other and leave it all in the ring. At Double or Nothing, they gave us the match of the year in professional wrestling. The build up to this match was spectacular, including two promos on YouTube showcasing the power struggle between both Cody and Dustin. Both brothers were out to destroy each other, so that they could see who was the better man.
The pandemonium began when Cody made his entrance to the ring. A throne emerged with symbols that pertain to WWE COO Triple H. Cody’s wife Brandi handed him a sledgehammer, and he destroyed the throne.
The crowd popped huge for this moment because it showed that WWE is on Cody’s radar. The act symbolized that AEW is Cody’s kingdom, and that nothing stands in his way. Then, Dustin made his way to the ring to a huge crowd reception.
The two brothers gave us the most emotional match of the modern era. The match was as violent as anything that we had seen in some time. Fans were in awe of Dustin’s athleticism at 50 years of age.
Brandi and Cody quickly established themselves as the heels in the match when Brandi would periodically attack Dustin from outside of the ring. Legendary referee Earl Hebner ejected Brandi after she busted Dustin wide open. Dustin’s blood flowed profusely and his face became a crimson mask.
The violent match was reminiscent of the bloody battles that their father Dusty Rhodes had with Ric Flair and Harley Race in the NWA. The match went back and forth, near fall after near fall, until Cody finished Dustin off with his second Crossroads finishing move.
After the match, fans chanted “thank you Dustin” because they thought that they had seen the last of The Natural. However, Cody returned to the ring with his eyes filled with tears. Cody booked himself in an upcoming tag team match against the Young Bucks on July 13 at Fight for the Fallen.
“Dustin, I don’t need a partner,” Cody said. “I don’t need a friend. I need my brother.”
The two of them embraced in the middle of the ring, and they walked to the back.
These two men shared the ring after they both went through knee surgeries a few short months ago. All of the obstacles were against them and they gave us a magical encounter. It is rare in professional wrestling that a single match is the best match of both wrestlers’ careers. This was Cody and Dustin’s finest hour, and their father ‘The American Dream’ was looking down, smiling from ear to ear.
Lucha Bros. vs The Young Bucks-AAA Tag Team Championship
This match was definitely the match that I was looking forward to seeing the most from an in-ring stand point. I have seen Pentagon & Fenix in Impact Wrestling, and MLW throughout the past couple of years, and they definitely represent the future of the industry. Their lucha libre style helps them create innovative offense with lots of high spots.
However, the Young Bucks helped them take their game to another level. Matt and Nick Jackson entered the ring in Elvis Presley inspired ring gear. Both teams pulled out all of their greatest hits to prove who would be the best tag team in the world.
There were so many big moves that it almost made my brother’s head explode from the excitement. Even though the Bucks had only wrestled two matches in 2019 up to this point, they did not miss a beat. Matt & Nick eventually hit Fenix with the Meltzer Driver to retain their titles.
The Young Bucks have now beaten the Lucha brothers in both Mexico and America as Matt & Nick established themselves as the top dogs of the AEW tag team division.
Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega
Chris Jericho has established himself as the backbone of AEW. He is the most famous wrestler in the promotion and his notoriety definitely influenced PPV buys. Jericho is more than just an older performer who is looking for more days in the sun. He has a strong desire to help the talent around him and to reach the top of the wrestling world during the backend of his storied career.
Jericho had an all-time classic match with the fan favorite of the online wrestling community Kenny Omega, at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January 2018. It was one of Jericho’s best matches of his career because Omega helped Jericho reestablish himself as a top player in the industry. The rematch was very entertaining, but the post-match segment overshadowed the contest.
Jericho and Omega went back and forth, and Omega even suffered a broken nose. The psychology of this match was great as Kenny was unable to hit Jericho with his ‘One Winged Angel’ finisher. After several Codebreakers, Jericho managed to hit Omega with his brand new finishing move: The Judas Effect. The back elbow to the face left Kenny laying on the canvas for the three count.
Jericho avenged his loss against his rival and became the new #1 contender for the AEW world heavyweight title. Jericho then continued to be a dastardly heel by demanding a thank you from the AEW brass and everyone in attendance. Then out of nowhere, business began to pick up.
Fans lost their minds as Jon Moxley ran through the crowd and entered the ring. Moxley, formerly known as Dean Ambrose in WWE, laid out a distraught Jericho and the referee with double arm DDTs. Then, Moxley and Omega fought through the crowd as legendary commentator Jim Ross described the chaotic scene as only he could.
The two new rivals fought on the stage at the top of the massive poker chips. Moxley planted Omega face first on the poker chips and then launched him off the stage to the floor.
The whole event looked like it was in slow-motion. The rumors were indeed true. One of the most popular wrestlers of this generation has jumped ship and joined AEW.
In the post-show interviews, AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes explained that he wants to ‘play ball’ and compete with WWE. I think it’s safe to say that AEW hit a home run in its first at bat.