Well, knock me down with a feather! AEW, that paragon of wrestling prowess, has decided to once again grace Nevada with their glorious presence. They’ve rolled out the 2023 edition of ‘Double or Nothing’, a name that no doubt took them all of 5 seconds to come up with.
Our good friend MJF decided it was a prime time to toss his world title into the mix like a set of car keys at a very strange party. Who’s he up against? Well, none other than Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry. A veritable who’s who of people who punch each other for a living.
The Night’s Champions: A Brief Overview
But wait, there’s more! It wouldn’t be a proper wrestling event without a 21-man royal rumble for Orange Cassidy’s International Championship. Throw in a simmering feud between Blackpool Combat Club and The Elite, and you’ve got yourself a spicy meatball of a wrestling event.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
And who, pray tell, emerged victorious from this sweaty spectacle? Orange Cassidy, that’s who! A man who’s very name makes me think of a refreshing summer drink, not a wrestling superstar.
His victory wasn’t just a victory, oh no. He pulled off a finish that could only be described as ‘a bit different’. Cassidy was about to deliver a knockout punch to Swerve Strickland when, in a move that would make a sloth look fast, he switched to a kick. Strickland reacted like he’d been shot, making for a very entertaining spectacle.
Cassidy, bless his cotton socks, has been defending his title for months now. His win, over not one, not two, but 20 other competitors was nothing short of impressive. Or ridiculous. Take your pick.
This is a win for Cassidy, and for fans of a man who sounds like he should be selling fruit juice rather than grappling with men in spandex. Even if all he’s got to look forward to now is a programme with Strickland, at least he’s still in the spotlight. I can’t wait to see what he does next. No, really. I’m on the edge of my seat.
Unsanctioned match: referee Sabu
Loser: Adam Cole
Well, well, well, if it isn’t our old chum Adam Cole. He’s been hiding away like a hermit, probably nursing his wounded pride from past failures. But like a moth to a flame, he’s drawn to the limelight, driven by a past so glittering, it could give Liberace a run for his money.
His recent ‘unauthorised’ little tango with Chris Jericho, however, was a disappointment. And that’s putting it mildly.
From the off, it was a snoozefest. The pace was slower than a tortoise on a sedative, and even with the gravity of the matchup, it couldn’t get the crowd off their seats. Cole was the poster boy for the match, but his energy was more ‘grocery store cashier on a Monday morning’ than ‘fury-filled gladiator’.
The grand finale was the icing on the crumble. A referee stoppage, despite the unsanctioned status of the match, left a bad taste in everyone’s mouths. It felt less like a planned finish and more like an abrupt ‘let’s wrap this up, lads’.
But fear not, this is Adam Cole we’re talking about. He’s made more comebacks than a boomerang. But for now, he’s a sore thumb on an otherwise solid line-up. Better luck next time, Cole. Maybe.
AEW Trio World championship: Open House Rules Match
Winner: House of Black
Next up on our esteemed loser list: House of Black. This shadowy trio – Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews, and Brody King – had an opportunity to make a splash, defend their AEW World Trios Championship, and they… sort of did?
Let’s be clear, there was about as much build-up to this showdown as a Lego set with three pieces. The element of surprise was thrown into the mix with a veritable lucky dip of opponents: Anthony Bowens, Max Caster, and Billy Gunn.
However, this surprise turned out to be about as thrilling as finding a pound coin down the back of the sofa. It only served to undermine any semblance of a genuine threat to the reigning champions.
Black quashing a standard, if slightly yawn-inducing, comeback from the babyface side just didn’t set the crowd alight. From a broadcasting perspective, you could almost hear the sound of tumbleweed passing by.
Just like our good mate Adam Cole, House of Black is pretty robust. They’ll bounce back in no time, given they’re currently one of the hottest things in wrestling. But for now, they’ve been demoted to a box-ticking exercise rather than a must-see event. Oh, how the mighty fall.
TBS Championship Match
Winner: Kris ‘The Comeback Queen’ Statlander
Oh, look who’s back from their extended holiday, folks! Our long-lost wrestling prodigy, Kris Statlander, bless her cotton socks. After roughly a year of convalescing from injury, she’s made a smashing return to the ring and promptly shown Jade Cargill the door.
With the excitement she’s brought, one could easily mistake the women’s division for a Bonfire Night celebration. Her triumphant return was prompted by what can only be described as a moment of sublime silliness: an open challenge issued by Mark ‘Foot-in-Mouth’ Sterling, hot on the heels of Cargill’s hard-fought title defence against Taya Valkyrie. It’s fair to say this feud now has more legs than a centipede’s reunion.
Statlander isn’t just a welcome sight clutching the TBS Championship; she’s one of the rare few who can go toe-to-toe with Cargill and still come out looking like a million quid.
In one glorious, well-deserved moment, Statlander has managed to spin the whole narrative on its head. Cargill is now the one doing the chasing, and wrestling fans across the globe are left cheering along with our returning hero. Fancy that, eh?
TNT Championship: Ladder Match
Winner: Wardlow, The Unstoppable Force
Well, would you look at that? It seems Wardlow has finally dusted off his throne and reasserted himself as one of AEW’s biggest draws. You’d be forgiven for forgetting that given the recent storylines. But don’t worry, our boy made a cracking comeback on Sunday night.
He swept the floor with Christian Cage in what could very well be the most underrated bout of the evening, walking away with the TNT Championship and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Oh, and would you believe it, in the middle of all the wrestling chaos, Wardlow also found the time to dispose of Luchasaurus, sending him crashing through tables. I mean, come on! That’s like trying to juggle whilst riding a unicycle on a tightrope, isn’t it?
And do you remember that moment when he snapped a ladder rung as if it were a measly twig? We could hardly believe our eyes either.
If this spectacular showing is anything to go by, we reckon it’s safe to say that Wardlow’s journey back to the top is just getting started. So sit back, grab your popcorn and prepare to watch the Wardlow show. It’s set to be quite the spectacle! AEW Double or Nothing 2023 is amazing so far.
AEW World Championship: The Pillars
Winner: MJF, The Devilish Maestro
Oh, what a shocker, folks! MJF keeps his spot at the top of the AEW food chain. Who would have thought it, eh? In a stunning turn of events, he won over Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This was as predictable as a British summer rain. But hold your horses, this was no yawn-inducing ordeal. Far from it. It was an absolute cracker of a match, a likely contender for Match of the Year, featuring four blokes who are essentially the lifeblood of AEW.
And boy, did it have everything, all with a little sprinkle of MJF’s unique brand of villainy. There were storyline throwbacks, dirty tricks (who remembers when he told Guevara to think of his unborn child, eh?) from arguably the best baddie in the business. And let’s not forget his grand entrance as a literal devil on a throne, swiftly followed by him cheekily sliding his championship in the way of Allin’s trademark Coffin Drop. If that’s not devilish cunning, I don’t know what is.
At this point, it’s hard to argue against MJF being a sublime force in pro wrestling. He’s as sharp as a tack and as cunning as a fox. And let’s be honest, this win is one for the history books, considering the calibre of the blokes he bested to keep his belt. We say, long live the devilish king!
Anarchy In The Arena: The Elite Versus The Blackpool Combat Club
Winner: Blackpool Combat Club, The Classic Ruffians
Well, well, well! It’s a bit tough to moan when you’ve got the likes of Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, The Elite and a few other lads and lasses stepping into the ring, isn’t it?
They don’t just churn out wrestling moves that would make the Olympic committee giddy; they also throw in some nasty spots that’d make your nan cringe. Oh yes, this was Anarchy with a capital ‘A’ – some spots so familiar, you’d think they were running reruns.
However, it wasn’t all seen-it-done-it action, was it? The lads at Blackpool Combat Club managed to pull a fast one. This sense of déjà vu within a rather lively match gave us a cracker of a storyline. Konosuke Takeshita, a bloke you should be keeping an eye on, pulled a bit of a Judas on Kenny Omega and his merry band, stirring up an intriguing plot twist that’ll likely reverberate for a fair while.
All in all, this was a bit of a nostalgic throwback, wasn’t it? A mixture of classic deathmatch and a pinch of Attitude Era flair. It was a bit over the top, but hey, sometimes more is more. Moxley and the crew got to strut their stuff in a main event worth its salt and the club keeps rolling on.
Where BCC goes from here is anyone’s guess, but who’s complaining? If AEW can roll out this type of match with BCC at the heart of it every six months or so, we’re all winners. The wrestling world needs a bit of spectacle and BCC is more than up to the task. So here’s to the Blackpool Combat Club – keep the spectacles coming, lads!
Our beloved sloth king, Orange Cassidy, managed to fend off 20 other blokes to retain his shiny belt. He did so with an absurd, sloth-like kick that would make even a footballer chuckle.
Despite Adam Cole’s storied history, he bizarrely decided to act like a goody two-shoes during an unsanctioned match. It’s a bit like entering a pub brawl and offering to shake hands, innit?
In short, yes. They defended against surprise opponents that were as surprising as rain in England. The crowd was as thrilled as a pensioner at a rave party.
Kris Statlander made a triumphant comeback and swiped the title from Jade Cargill. Just like taking sweets from a baby, eh?
He smashed Christian Cage and claimed the TNT Championship, doing it with a ladder rung-breaking spectacle. He’s one to watch, that Wardlow.
Of course, he did! Our favourite heel brought his best devilish antics, retained his title, and proved that he’s still the cat’s pyjamas in the wrestling world.
All in all, AEW’s Double or Nothing 2023 was as unpredictable as a British summer—full of surprises, triumphs and peculiar flops. You’d have more chance predicting the lottery numbers than some of these match outcomes.
From Orange Cassidy’s comic-strip finish to retain his International Championship, to Kris Statlander’s triumphant return that proved she’s still the bee’s knees of the women’s division, it was a night packed with both edge-of-your-seat action and head-scratching oddities.
Adam Cole and House of Black may have had the appeal of a soggy chip butty on this card, but it’s all swings and roundabouts in the wrestling world, isn’t it? They’ll be back. As for MJF and Wardlow, well, they proved they’re about as likely to let go of their titles as a dog with a juicy bone.
So, there we have it. AEW Double or Nothing 2023, another wild ride on the AEW rollercoaster, as thrilling, dramatic and wonderfully bonkers as we’ve come to expect. Until next time, wrestling fans!
For more information, visit AEW directly.