Including Page to offset the lack of his match against Pac was a smart move, and the fake-out finish that saw MJF almost get the win, only for Page to come out on top was an effective end to the first match in AEW history. It's hard to hate anything on this event, but when looking for low points, one of the blander parts of the show was the Buy In match between Kip Sabian and Sammy Guevara. Fundamentally, it was fine. They didn't botch their moves or wrestle in a boring style or suffer from any kind of detrimental booking, but it was just OK.
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Since it was on the pre-show, it had the job of selling viewers on the action to come, as well as to represent this mindset that AEW is an alternative to WWE. However, an honest assessment is that this match was nothing better than what happens several times on a typical episode of NXT. This clearly wasn't a main event, so some leeway has to be given, and if this is about as low as things get for AEW, the promotion is in great hands. One of the most interesting aspects of Double or Nothing was which wrestlers would show up who weren't previously advertised for the card.
While most of the attention was drawn to things like the remaining four competitors in the Casino Battle Royale, perhaps the biggest surprise of the night came before the first women's division match. That is because Brandi Rhodes changed things up to turn the match into a Fatal 4-Way with the introduction of Awesome Kong.
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It was also great that she didn't win the match, as giving the victory to Britt Baker catapults her to the top of the division with one win. Team Aja Kong against Team Hikaru Shida was by no means a horrible contest, but compared to the rest of the night, it was the most underwhelming.
AEW Double or Nothing
Kong has a long history that should be respected, yet this probably would have been better if she were replaced by someone else who could keep the pace with the other five women. In particular, the segment between Shida and Kong battling with their kendo stick and trash can felt sloppy and out of place, especially if it were supposed to be a crescendo. This was the first time in the night that something felt like a buffer between two more important things, as there didn't seem like there was any clear direction in showing who everyone was and why they were teaming with each other beyond just being booked that way.
May 26 Update: Missed the big show? You can still buy Double or Nothing via streaming services, and watch its pre-show below. So, if you were unable to watch it live, you're probably thinking about seeing what all the fuss is for. The main card of Double or Nothing, which you need to pay for, is still available from a wide variety of services as a replay PPV. But what if you — like so many — cut the cord, or don't want to give Xfinity more money?
AEW Double or Nothing Card: Every Match in the Promotion's First Show
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