Cody, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson are ready to do something major with their latest wrestling venture.
With the financial backing of entrepreneurs Shahid Khan and his son Tony, “The Elite” stable has birthed a brand new wrestling fed known as All Elite Wrestling. And on May 25, AEW will showcase its burgeoning roster and template for the future on its first major PPV event. That event has been christened Double or Nothing, a sequel of sorts to the 2018 independent wrestling spectacle All In. A bunch of marquee bouts have been earmarked for the big show and there’s a ton of excitement surrounding AEW’s first televised event.
Here’s a primer on AEW’s Double or Nothing spectacular and our predictions for every announced matchup.
Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guevara
Predictions & Winner: AEW is prepared to kick off its very first PPV pre-show with two of its youngest and brightest. What we have here is a preview of two individuals who could evolve into the promotion’s hottest Superstars in later years.
Sammy Guevara is a talented high-flyer who’s made his name in Lucha Underground, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, DDT, AAA and more. Kip Sabian is an up and coming athlete from the UK who’s done great work in Defiant Wrestling. This one could really go either way, but I’m hedging all my bets on Sammy. The cocky Cruiserweight hailing from Houston, TX needs a rocket strapped to his back from AEW. I think his roster ascension starts here with a major victory.
21-Wrestler Casino Battle Royal – Winner Receives a Future AEW World Championship Match against Chris Jericho or Kenny Omega (Featuring Sonny Kiss, Brandon Cutler, Ace Romero, Glacier, Brian Pillman Jr., Sunny Daze, MJF, Joey Janela, Dustin Thomas, Billy Gunn, Jimmy Havoc, Michael Nakazawa, Jungle Boy, Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Luchasaurus, and Shawn Spears)
Predictions & Winner: At All In, everyone in attendance and those watching at home witnessed a who’s-who of independent wrestling compete in the Over Budget Battle Royal. Since Cody and his All Elite higher-up’s seem to have a handle on Double or Nothing’s budgeting, the battle royal taking place here won’t damage AEW’s finances too severely. The newly christened Casino Battle Royale has a huge prize attached to it, by the way – whoever winds up becoming the last man standing will receive a future title shot against the very first AEW World Champion. Saying that the stakes are very high here is quite the understatement.
The announced lineup for this bout is quite eccentric. You have familiar 90’s throwbacks in the form of Billy Gunn and Glacier, inspirational acts such as Sonny Kiss and Dustin Thomas, and current indy greats such as Joey Janela and Jimmy Havoc. There’s even going to be a recent WWE alumni hopping into the fray – Shawn Spears aka “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger. There’s still a few spots left open as far as match participants are concerned. I’m of the belief that some sort of surprise entrant will be the one to claim the win here and the big prize. Who will that unannounced entrant be, you ask? Honestly, I have no idea. What I’m predicting here is a pretty safe bet, though – a shocking last-minute entry will be the one to walk away with the Casino Battle royal victory.
Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, and Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho, and Ryo Mizunami (6-Woman Tag Team Match)
Predictions & Winners: AEW is going out of their way to big up women’s wrestling. Besides the 3-way dance between the roster’s domestic talent, Double or Nothing will allow six of Japan’s top female wrestlers to showcase their style of in-ring excellence. Aja Kong stands out as the most familiar woman of all thanks to her prominent appearances with WWE in the 90’s. Emi Sakura stands out as the other veteran piece of this matchup – she’s actually been competing in the ring since 1995.
The rest of this match’s lineup includes Japan’s most prominent independent Joshi wrestlers – I’m sure they’re looking to get more eyes on themselves and the scene they represent back home. Any side of this matchup could get the win and either result would be just fine. But if I had to pick a winner, I’d have to go with the team that features Aja, Yuka, and Emi. Any team that includes such a domineering presence in Aja sounds like a winning combination to me.
Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) vs. Los Güeros del Cielo (Angélico and Jack Evans)
Predictions & Winners: Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta made it pretty clear that they they wanted to do something else besides compete in the Casino Battle Royale. Thankfully, they got their wish granted by being taken out of that match and placed into an exciting tag team contest. Their opponents come in the form of a high-flying tandem that’s best known for their work in Mexico (as a part of the AAA promotion) and Lucha Underground.
Double or Nothing is giving us a dream tag team match featuring four men who are known to deliver worthwhile performances across the independent/international wrestling scene. While I love the Best Friends, I love the duo of Angélico and Jack Evans even more. My bias towards their awesomeness is too hard to ignore, which is why I’m confidently selecting them as the victors of this contest.
SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) vs. Strong Hearts (CIMA, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman) (6-Man Tag Team Match)
Predictions & Winners: If you’ve ever sat through a Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling match, then you know just how insanely fast paced its action can be. CIMA, one of the company’s biggest stars, surprisingly departed the Japanese indy fed and started up his own wrestling fed soon after – China’s Oriental Wrestling Entertainment.
CIMA ended up bringing two other past Dragon Gate wrestlers with him into the fold – T-Hawk and El Lindaman. SoCal Uncensored’s situation is quite similar. Christopher Daniels remained synonymous with Ring of Honor for a very long time. Eventually, he built up a new stable with longtime friends Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky. All three men decided to take a different path with their career’s by migrating from ROH to AEW.
Now we have a situation where two teams of indy greats will do battle in a 6-man that’s sure to be chaotic (the good type of chaotic, though). While SoCal Uncensored would do well to get the win here, I think the OWE team will prevail. A win here solidifies them as must-see international stars and legitimizes their fed in the eyes of American fans. For those reasons alone, I’m predicting a win for CIMA and his trusty cohorts. I’m guessing the powers that be within AEW (which happens to include SoCal Uncensored) want to start their partnership with OWE on a high note. Letting CIMA, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman get the win here is the best way to do that.
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae (Three-Way Match)
Predictions & Winner: Brandi Rhodes’ women’s roster are going to be put front and center here! Three of the company’s rising female talents will show the world how serious AEW is about women’s wrestling during this three-way dance. Dr. Britt Baker, the part-time dentist/wrestler, will lock up with the super intimidating Nyla Rose and the always cheerful Kylie Rae.
All three of the participants within this bout would do well to walk away with the win. AEW instituting a women’s division with a major championship attached is a foregone conclusion. And I’m guessing that the woman who stands tall at the end of this bout will be a major player for that major title. Baker and Rae are the perfect babyface personalities the division needs, but Rose is certainly the most domineering and interesting of the pack. I’m placing all my bets on Rose getting the win here and keeping her unstoppable force act intact during the beginning stages of AEW’s ascension.
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
Predictions & Winner: AEW Double or Nothing is presenting one of the most anticipated rematches from NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 – Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho. Last January, both men wowed the crowd with a grudge match filled with vicious brawling and a healthy serving of technical wrestling. Jericho’s old age hasn’t hindered him one bit – he’s managed to freshen up his character on a regular basis and still perform at a respectable level. Omega is one of the best wrestlers not signed to WWE at the moment – his past few years spent as a NJPW regular have made him a top 10 (or maybe even top five!) wrestling talent.
This rematch will be just as good or even better than both men’s 2018 Tokyo Dome war. Even though Jericho has been setup as a major pillar of AEW, I see him acting as more of a torch bearer that’ll do more to help the fed’s fresh young talent get over. Omega’s certainly one of those up and coming guys who could use a major win over a WWE legend to propel him to greater things in AEW. Omega will go 2-0 over his heated Canadian foe and use this major victory to reach the main event talent throne he so richly deserves.
Cody vs. Dustin
Predictions & Winner: Ever since Double or Nothing was announced, fans speculated about who Cody’s PPV opponent would be. Signs were pointing to Stu Bennett (formerly known as WWE’s Wade Barrett) being the one to lock up with Cody, but a curveball announcement threw everyone for a loop. So it turns out that Cody will go head to head with his own brother, Dustin. The man who made his fame in WWE as the outlandish and insanely creepy Goldust has ditched his golden moniker for a more “Darth Maul” inspired face-paint style. This one’s incredibly personal – this brother vs. brother feud has gotten all the more interesting thanks to amazing promos from both men.
I’m expecting this match to be presented like an old-school, Southern wrestling spectacle. Cody and Dustin have the blood of Dusty Rhodes running through their veins, so they’re very familiar with how to present a throwback match that’s still entertaining to modern wrestling fans. This match looks to be Dustin’s last hurrah – I figure he wants to go out on a high note against a top talent. And the best way to do that is by wrestling his best match yet against his own flesh and blood. Cody’s most definitely ready to wipe away the stink of WWE Fastlane 2015’s disappointing Stardust vs. Goldust encounter. This matchup will be better than anyone expects it to be and result in Cody retiring his brother after a barn burner of a match!
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) vs. The Lucha Bros (Pentagón Jr. and Rey Fénix) (AAA World Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: When this tag team dream match was first announced, both teams were simply taking on each other for bragging rights. Then something unexpected took place – during a recent AAA event in Mexico, The Young Bucks made an impromptu appearance and defeated The Lucha Brothers for their AAA World Tag Team Championship. This title change has raised the stakes even higher now – Pentagón Jr. and Rey Fénix are not only looking for revenge, they’re also looking to recapture the AAA tag team titles they once held and defended so proudly. This tag team encounter is a main event worthy matchup that’s sure to elicit the biggest reactions of the entire evening.
Matt and Nick Jackson may have taken a break from in-ring competition to help develop AEW. But their new managerial roles haven’t stopped them from popping up unexpectedly to antagonize The Lucha Brothers. All the while, Pentagón and Fénix have been tearing it up on the indies, Impact Wrestling, and AAA. Both men have sharpened their skills and become even more impressive in 2019.
Both teams will go for broke during this match and undoubtably entertain fans of high-spot wrestling. As far as the winners are concerned, I gotta go with The Lucha Brothers here. Pentagón and Fénix are incredibly over and worthy of being the leaders of AEW’s tag team division. I’m sure these teams will meet further down the line in a future best-of-series. The first major win from this feud will go to the world’s most popular luchadores!
“Hangman” Adam Page vs. PAC won’t be taking place at AEW Double or Nothing, but it did take place on May 18th in Nottingham, England for Wrestlegate Pro. The footage of that match can be viewed below: