AEW Double or Nothing 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and HighlightsMay 24, 2020
AEW Double or Nothing 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
The biggest night of All Elite Wrestling's year arrived Saturday at Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida, with Double or Nothing, the one-year anniversary of the revolutionary company's inception and an event headlined by two high-profile, high-stakes matches.
First, the war between The Inner Circle and The Elite culminated in a wild, inaugural Stadium Stampede match, held at the 50-yard line of the home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, TIAA Bank Field.
Then, in the night's main event, the AEW World Heavyweight Championship was up for grabs as Jon Moxley defended against The Dark Order's Exalted One, Mr. Brodie Lee.
Those bouts top a stacked card that also featured:
- TNT Championship tournament final: Cody vs. "The Murderhawk Monster" Lance Archer
- AEW Women's Championship match: Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose
- Casino ladder match: Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Colt Cabana vs. Luchasaurus vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Kip Sabian vs. Mystery Entrant
- Dustin Rhodes vs. "The Chairman" Shawn Spears
- Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford
- Jungle Boy vs. MJF
The action kicked off with a No. 1 Contenders' match between Best Friends and Private Party, with each team searching for a coveted opportunity at gold.
Who emerged victorious from the night's top matches, which competitors were responsible for the most unforgettable moments and what will it all mean for the future of AEW?
Find out with this match-by-match recap of B/R Live's pay-per-view extravaganza.
No. 1 Contenders' Match: Private Party vs. Best Friends
Appearing for the first time in two months, Private Party battled Best Friends in the night's opening contest, a shot at the AEW Tag Team Championship up for grabs.
A back-and-forth first portion of the match gave way to a massive spear at ringside by Trent to Marq Quen. Trent and Chuck Taylor isolated Quen, working him over until a hot tag to Isiah Kassidy sparked a babyface comeback.
A moment of miscommunication allowed Trent to deliver a pair of wicked side suplexes before tagging Taylor back into the bout. Best Friends neutralized the onslaught and delivered Soul Food. Private Party answered with a Shooting Star Press from Quen that drove Trent into the knees of Kassidy.
Some messy back-and-forth gave way to the G9 by Private Party as the duo paid homage to the late Shad Gaspard and Cryme Tyme. An alert Taylor saved Trent from sure defeat and delivered a nasty piledriver to Kassidy on the arena floor.
The injured ribs of Trent continued to play a role in the match, as they prevented him from executing his full arsenal of maneuvers. Again, Taylor removed Kassidy from the equation and joined Trent in delivering Strong Zero for the pinfall victory.
Best Friends defeated Private Party
Best Friends winning was the right choice, as the past two months of television have been dedicated to that team building momentum and clawing its way into contention. Beating a team like Private Party puts the exclamation point on their push and sets up Taylor and Trent for the big title opportunity.
The match itself was the action-packed encounter you would expect from the two teams involved, and though there were more than a few disjointed moments attributed to some ring rust for Kassidy and Quen, it was still exactly what it needed to be: a taste of what fans can expect from the remainder of the night's card.
In that regard, it more than succeeded.
Casino Ladder Match
Nine competitors, starving for a world championship opportunity, battled in the first-ever Casino ladder match to kick off the live portion of this year's show. The first two combatants, to battle for two minutes before the next entrant arrived, were former tag team champions Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian.
With the opportunity for the top prize in the company at stake, they did battle.
A spirited back-and-forth gave way to the arrival of "Superbad" Kip Sabian. While he distracted SCU, his own tag team partner Jimmy Havoc leveled Sky and Kazarian with a ladder. A German suplex by Kazarian onto the ladder seemingly spelled the end of Havoc's night.
Darby Allin entered at No. 4 and immediately wiped out Sabian and Havoc with a tope suicida. He leveled Kazarian next and dove off the tallest ladder with his skateboard, looking to eliminate the veteran competitor for good. Instead, he crashed through the ladder, injuring his knees and shins in the process.
Orange Cassidy was out next at No. 5, showing no sense of urgency as he approached the commentary team and asked how the match is won. The Master of Sloth Style refused to set a ladder up and climb it, instead standing on the ground and looking up at the chip.
Colt Cabana entered the fray at No. 6 and immediately dumped Cassidy to the floor and set up the ladder, looking to end the match as quickly as he could. Sabian and Kazarian tipped the ladder over, crushing Cabana's fingers in it in the process.
Cassidy teed off on SCU with his trademark shin kicks and wiped out the tag team specialists with a tope.
A fired-up Joey Janela attacked anyone within sight as he entered at No. 7. He dropped Cabana with a missile dropkick and then blasted Kazarian with a steel chair as he prevented him from retrieving the casino chip. Sky blasted Janela with a chair shot of his own.
Luchasaurus arrived at No. 8 and wiped out Janela and then Cabana and Kazarian. He proceeded to send Sabian over the top rope and onto a mass of opposition with a powerbomb. He followed up with a chokeslam to Kazarian onto a ladder.
Allin returned to the fray and delivered a sunset flip bomb to Luchasaurus. Struggling to set up the ladder as he favored his knee, Allin watched as Taz introduced the debuting Brian Cage at No. 9. The former Impact Wrestling world champion manhandled Allin and Sabian and then turned Sky inside out with a release German suplex.
He punished Janela with a superplex and downed Kazarian with a superplex, only for Cassidy to slow him down momentarily. That allowed the other competitors to jump Cage, concluding with Kazarian delivering a ladder to the face.
Working together, the combatants buried Cage under ladders, guardrails and one of the big prop casino chips, seemingly eliminating him from the battle.
Back inside, Cassidy and Sabian fought atop the ladder. Freshly Squeezed dumped Sabian off the ladder and onto another and then did the same to an interfering Penelope Ford. Havoc pulled Cassidy off the ladder, and Best Friends hit the ring to negate the constant screwiness of Sabian's associate.
Marko Stunt appeared, joined Luchasaurus for a chokeslam on Cassidy and wiped out the competition at ringside. Janela battered Cassidy with a ladder and delivered a running Death Valley Driver off the apron, onto the poker chip that buried Cage.
Kazarian and Sky battled atop the ladder until Luchasaurus dumped them to the floor. At ringside, a vengeful Cage rose from his makeshift grave and paired off with the most popular dinosaur in AEW. Cage delivered a nasty powerbomb into a ladder and scaled the ladder.
Allin interrupted, but Cage dropped him with the Drill Claw. Taz reappeared, seemingly directing Cage's attack on Allin, who did not listen to the former ECW champion's advice in the weeks leading to the event.
Cage retrieved the poker chip, thus earning a future AEW world title opportunity.
Cage defeated Janela, Sky, Kazarian, Allin, Luchasaurus, Sabian, Cassidy and Cabana.
Above all else, chaos is expected from a spectacle of a match like this. The Casino ladder match delivered that in spades. While the high spots and creativity alone would be more than enough to earn it an above-average grade, the stories involved throughout elevated it to another level.
From Sabian, Havoc and Ford trying to steal the win, to Cassidy's early laziness, to the introduction of Cage and Taz's revenge on Allin for perceived disrespect, this was loaded with numerous stories to keep fans invested.
The biggest takeaway, of course, was Cage's debut. He was presented as a total badass, an unstoppable force who will be seemingly impossible to defeat. His introduction, along with the presences of Lance Archer, Wardlow and Brodie Lee, has the heavyweight portion of the roster brimming with talent.
Jungle Boy vs. MJF
Looking to protect his undefeated streak, MJF battled Jungle Boy in singles competition.
Frustrated and outwrestled early, MJF feigned a knee injury before attacking his opponent, seizing the upper hand in the match. He worked over the babyface, targeting his left arm as he prepared for his Salt of the Earth armbar.
Jungle Boy, though, fought his way back into the match and had the egotistical heel reeling, courtesy of a series of open-hand chops to the chest.
Acton intensified on the floor with a tope by Jungle Boy. When the fight returned to the ring, the young stars engaged in a chop-off, driving the wind out of each other with every strike. A wise MJF chopped the arm and then caught his opponent with a thrust to the throat. Jungle Boy answered with a superkick andf then a destroyer.
Jungle Boy applied a crossface, but his arm gave out and forced him to release.
A scary reverse rana on the ring apron drove MJF's head into the hardest part of the ring and forced referee Aubrey Edwards to check on his ability to continue. Jungle Boy rolled the dazed villain into the ring and scaled the ropes. MJF grabbed hold of Edwards, who inadvertently hit the ropes, thus crocheting the babyface.
A sunset flip bomb from the top rope by a recovered Jungle Boy earned a near-fall. A series of near-falls gave way to MJF savagely elbowing the shoulder of his opponent while looking for his aforementioned submission hold.
A series of roll-ups saw MJF catch his opponent with a modified European clutch for the pinfall victory.
MJF defeated Jungle Boy.
This was just a superbly wrestled match. Every spot meant something, the psychology was on-point and the efforts of both men enhanced the meaning of the match.
MJF targeting the arm while looking for the Salt of the Earth finisher was smart. As was the finish, which proved the cerebral young competitor could adjust and adapt to the flow of the match.
Both of these young wrestlers are the future of the company, two guys who will be headlining pay-per-views as long as they can continue growing and evolving as performers. On the big stage, with a ton of pressure to deliver after the spot-heavy opener, they more than excelled and earned every bit of praise sure to be heaped on them.
TNT Championship Match: Cody vs. Lance Archer
Mike Tyson presented the TNT Championship to referee Bryce Remsberg prior to the bout.
After pre-match instructions, "Murderhawk Monster" Lance Archer wasted little time taking the fight to Cody, delivering the Black Out. The American Nightmare rolled to the sanctuary of the floor, evading an early defeat.
Back in the ring, an overzealous Cody tried for the cutter, but Archer blasted him with a shoulder block, sending him back to the floor. A momentary distraction allowed Cody to deliver a tope that sent his opponent over the guardrail. Archer responded by tossing the EVP of AEW over the rail and on to the floor.
Archer dominated the action until Cody fought his way back into the match, targeting injured ribs. He wrapped the big man around the ring post, looking to further damage his opponent's core. As had been the case more than once, though, Archer halted Cody's onslaught, this time tossing him over the turnbuckle and into the stands.
The heel overwhelmed Cody, punishing him with a barrage of rights and lefts while demanding the cameraman get a close up of his opponent's suffering. On the floor, he sent Cody into the guardrail. The American Nightmare looked to fire up, but Archer dropped him again.
Back in the ring, Cody applied a crossface using Archer's hair, but referee Remsberg forced the break. Jake Roberts provided a momentary distraction, but it was ineffective as Cody tauntingly dropped Archer with a DDT in front of the master of the move.
Archer recovered a delivered a big spinebuster, mocking Arn Anderson.
Cody recovered and delivered a big springboard cutter off the top rope, but Archer kicked out at one. He unloaded with the flip, flop and fly of the Bionic Elbow and then pulled out the Final Reckoning made famous by his brother, Dustin. A Cross Rhodes followed, but Archer again kicked out at one.
A Stringer Splash followed, to which Archer responded with a chokeslam for two.
Later, Arn Anderson got involved in the match, prompting referee Paul Turner to hit the ring and order Double A from the ring. Roberts attempted to bring a snake to ringside, but Tyson cut him off.
Back inside, Cody fought out of the Black Out and delivered consecutive Cross Rhodeses for the historic victory.
Cody defeated Archer to win the title.
Archer was presented as a dominant force throughout the match, kicking out of everything thrown at him by The American Nightmare. He looked every bit the destroyer he had been booked as to this point. Perhaps that is why it was such a curious booking decision to have him fall apart the minute Roberts disappeared from ringside.
It's not as if Archer has never competed without Roberts before. He has achieved success in both TNA Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling without The Snake, and he dominated the action without needing Roberts to interfere on his behalf.
That bit of the booking hurt the overall quality of the match.
What helped the finish, booking aside, was the intensity Cody showed and the emotion expressed after the bell. The win meant something to him, and thus the importance of the title is not in question.
It will be interesting to see how Archer rebounds Wednesday on Dynamite because he looks somewhat weak in having to rely so heavily on Roberts.
Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford
Despite a back injury suffered in the Casino ladder match earlier in the night, Penelope Ford seized control of her match with Kris Statlander early and worked her over with a number of kick-based strikes. Kip Sabian, nursing his own injuries from the opener, cheered her on until Statlander wiped them both out with a tope.
Back inside, she tried a top-rope attack but ate a boot to the face.
Ford resumed control and delivered a picture-perfect hurricanrana from the top rope. She looked for a cutter, but Statlander caught her and delivered a suplex.
The Big Bang Theory finished Ford as Statlander picked up the surprisingly hard-fought victory.
Statlander defeated Ford.
Ford looked like a star here.
Is she the polished performer others on the roster are? No. But she has that star aura and turned in her best showing to date. The kick-based offense is wholly different from that of the rest of the women's roster, while the visual of Sabian as the cheerleader is a great change on the old trope.
Statlander needed to win the match to remain in title contention, something a loss would have eliminated her from, but Ford looked like a wrestler on the rise, and in that regard, this exceeded expectations.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Shawn Spears
A suit-clad Shawn Spears, confident that Dustin Rhodes had retired and would not appear for his scheduled match with him, hit the ring and mocked the legendary competitor.
Brandi Rhodes appeared and, moments later, Dustin hit the ring from behind and unloaded on Spears.
Rhodes pummeled Spears, ripping and tearing at his suit until the heel was left in his boxers.
More high jinks ensued, including a close-up of Tully Blanchard's face on the crotch of Spears' underwear, and Dustin picked up the win with The Final Reckoning.
Rhodes defeated Spears.
There was nothing to this one other than some quality comedy spots and the heel getting his comeuppance.
Sometimes, that is all that is necessary.
As a break from the action and the prepper for the rest of the card, this worked and gave Dustin a much-needed PPV victory. Spears, as long as he can continue to up his over-the-top heel work, will recover in short order and resume being an invaluable asset to the AEW product as a veteran performer.
No Disqualification Match for the AEW Women's Title: Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose
A no disqualification, no count-out contest awaited Hikaru Shida as she challenged the dominant Nyla Rose for the AEW Women's Championship. Her game face on, her typical smile conspicuous by its absence, Shida appeared more determined than ever to score a victory.
Using her own weapon-of-choice against her, Rose punished Shida with a kendo stick before wisely tossing it to the arena floor. Shida fought back, grounding Rose and taking away her strength and size advantage. It was short-lived, though, as the champion pummeled her at ringside and sent her crashing through a poker table at ringside.
Shida fought back with some quality strikes in the ring but was overpowered and dropped with a suplex. A clothesline sent her back to the floor. It was there that Shida stunned Rose with a crossbody block and a running knee to the back of the head.
In the stands, Shida sent Rose crashing into the giant poker chips with a big hip toss, which she followed with a running knee that sent Rose crashing into another chip. Shida pulled another kendo stick out and unloading on Rose, exclaiming, "I found my kendo stick, bitch" in response to the champion's recent attack on Dynamite.
Back inside, a brainbuster on the kendo stick and running knee continued the challenger's roll.
Rose recovered, draped Shida over the top rope and began to climb. A big knee to the back of the head earned the champ a near-fall as Shida just barely shot her shoulder off the mat before the three.
The champion teased sending Shida through a table but the challenger fought out. She did not fight out of a powerbomb through said table, though, but still managed to kick out at two. A Death Valley Driver followed, and Rose climbed to the top rope. Shida recovered and threw the kendo stick at her. She met the champion at the top and delivered an avalanche Falcon Arrow but could not keep the champion down.
Yet another running knee failed to put down Rose as the match built to its crescendo. Shida delivered one more kendo stick shot to the head and finished her with a knee to the face for the win and title.
Shida defeated Rose.
The No DQ stipulation was key to the success of this match, as Rose's dominance was offset by Shida's ability to evade and strike. She avoided Rose's punishing offense and relied heavily on what brought her to the dance: her striking offense and trusty kendo stick.
The action here was great, and the brawl into the stands was fun and showcased a Shida hellbent on taking the title. She wanted it more, and she dealt the final blow with the very kendo stick Rose used against her in a vicious sneak attack.
The build to this match was all about Shida. Her journey into title contention dominated the past two months of AEW Dynamite, and losing here would have rendered that all for naught. This was the emotional payoff her journey deserved and a feel-good moment in a week when the wrestling industry needed it.
AEW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. Brodie Lee
"The Exalted One" Mr. Brodie Lee may have entered the AEW Championship match against Jon Moxley as the challenger, but he arrived carrying the belt, something that infuriated the already vengeful antihero.
Moxley attacked from the opening bell and stunned Lee with a rope. The challenger answered with a suplex on the floor. He followed moments later with a tope of his own.
Lee delivered a wicked pump-handle suplex into a guardrail. Back inside, Moxley sucked it up and delivered a teardrop suplex. A piledriver followed for a near-fall.
Moxley moved the ring steps into position but ate a nasty dropkick to the midsection. The champion recovered and back body-dropped Lee through the timekeeper's table.
Lee delivered another release suplex—this one into a set piece on the floor. Moxley, stunned, struggled to enter the ring, where he was met with a big boot to the face.
The fight spilled to the stage, where Moxley delivered the Paradigm Shift through the ramp, leaving both men in need of medical attention.
Moxley fought out of the hole, shrugging off the docs and trainers. Lee followed, with his face bloodied.
The champion delivered the Paradigm Shift, but Lee kicked out at one. A barrage by the champ was followed by another kick out by the challenger.
Moxley applied a rear-naked choke and scored the win by referee stoppage.
Moxley defeated Lee.
This was Moxley's best PPV match to date, a balls-to-the-wall brawl that was appropriately brutal and intense.
Moxley may have won, narrowly escaping defeat, but Lee looked like a total badass as he fought through everything thrown at him. Unlike Archer's loss earlier in the night, Lee's was disputable. He never quit. The referee made the call to protect the wrestler when his body gave out on him.
His booking in this match will help him build a connection with audiences more than any rapid push, Vince McMahon mockery or Dark Order angle ever could.
Stadium Stampede Match
A massive spectacle, the Stadium Stampede Match saw The Elite (Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Matt Hardy and Hangman Page) and The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz and Jake Hager) introduced like legit sports athletes, complete with Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders.
The heels embraced the gimmick, wearing matching jerseys, while Page was conspicuous by his absence until he rode in on horseback.
The fight continued at the 50-yard line, with some competing in the ring and others on the field.
Signature moves and finishers were traded as Guevara returned from being chased by Page in time to assist his partners. He missed a Shooting Star Press on Hardy and ate a Twist of Fate.
Guevara eventually hit the SSP, wiping everyone out at ringside.
Later, Matt Jackson delivered a moonsault off the goal post and on to Jericho for a near-fall.
The fight spilled into the stands, with Hardy and Omega pairing off with Santana and Ortiz. Hangman Page parked his horse in the corridor and found himself a club and had a drink.
Hardy fought off Santana and Ortiz while Hager and Page brawled in the club. Omega appeared and helped neutralize the Oklahoman.
The tag champs shared a drink before focus turned to Jericho and Nick Jackson. Le Champion delivered the Judas Effect to the Jaguars mascot. Meanwhile, Matt Jackson continued to suplex Guevara.
Jericho challenged a near-fall, joining Aubrey Edwards in the replay booth.
The Young Bucks laid out Jericho on a table, and Matt ran the steps before delivering a big splash through it. Page used the line marker on Jericho as Guevara fought the sprinkler system.
Hardy and Omega emerged on a golf cart and chased Guevara into the stands. The Spanish God threatened Hardy until a new drone, Neo 1, distracted him.
Omega delivered the One-Winged Angel from the stands and through a wooden platform for the win.
The Elite defeated The Inner Circle.
This was the most ridiculous, chaotic, asinine, awesome, absurd piece of artistry and spectacle ever.
Will there be old-school fans who crap all over it and the fact that it "killed the business?" Oh, hell yeah. Will others applaud the creativity and reward the hard work of those involved with due praise? Absolutely.
This is going to split the wrestling world, and understandably so, but given the circumstances and the current tone of things, this was exactly the sort of care-free fun we deserved.
The Hardy transformations will have their critics, but the pool stuff was fun, as was Page's horse ride and bar fight with Hager. Jericho working with the Bucks was fresh, while Guevara, as has been the case for quite some time, was the star of the entire ordeal. His late-match antics put a nice bow on the most unique match we have ever seen (and may never see again).
And that is saying something given the Firefly Fun House contest WWE produced in April.
If this was the conclusion of this rivalry, one that began back in October with the advent of Dynamite, it was apropos. It wrapped up several threads, with the most notable being Hangman Page and Omega finally coming together over a drink, and put the heroes over in the end.
It will be interesting to see the fresh direction AEW takes with all involved come Wednesday night on TNT.