Brian Cage beat out eight other competitors to win the Casino Ladder match at Double or Nothing on Saturday to earn a future shot at the AEW World Championship.
The match was a star-studded affair, as it consisted of Darby Allin, Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian, Joey Janela, Luchasaurus, Orange Cassidy, Kip Sabian, Colt Cabana and Cage, who was the mystery entrant.
He arrived with Taz in tow, apparently signaling a partnership between the two.
Cage cleared a path for himself up the ladder when he dispatched of Allin. He placed Allin atop a ladder and then lifted both above his head before dumping them out of the ring.
Previous AEW pay-per-views featured a concept called the Casino Battle Royale in which wrestlers came to the ring in groups of five in a Royal Rumble-style match, with the winner earning a future title shot each time.
While the Casino Ladder match kept the title-shot stipulation, it essentially merged the ladder match and Royal Rumble concepts with a new wrestler entering the fray at timed intervals. The rules also dictated that the match could end before all nine combatants entered the ring, which added an extra element of excitement.
Of all the entrants in Saturday's match, Allin was the clear favorite going in. He has been positioned as someone on the precipice of the main event scene thanks to a series of memorable matches against Cody, as well as bouts with Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho.
Allin has a Jeff Hardy-esque feel about him, and it is no secret that the WWE star has done some memorable things in ladder matches over the years. Regardless of the result, it was clear entering Double or Nothing that Allin would have a chance to leave his mark.
Elsewhere in the match, Cassidy and Cabana figured to be good for comedy spots, Janela and Sabian brought the daredevil mentality, and Luchasaurus provided raw power.
There was also the added element of SCU tag team partners Sky and Kazarian being part of the match. While the assumption was that they would work together, there was also some intrigue regarding the possibility of tension developing between them.
To top it off, AEW left the ninth and final entrant a mystery, and the surprise factor was among the biggest reasons to tune in.
It was apparent as soon as Cage appeared at Double or Nothing that he had a legitimate chance to win the Casino Ladder match. AEW would want him to make a strong first impression in his official debut.
By virtue of his victory, an AEW World Championship match is in his future, as is the chance to become an established top guy in the company even if he doesn't win the title.
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