AEW Pro Wrestling

AEW Double or Nothing 2020 Preview

Written by Nick Byington

All Elite Wrestling’s fifth pay-per-view, Double or Nothing, takes place on May 23rd at 8pm EST/5pm PT, with the Buy In pre-show starting an hour earlier. The show will be aired by FiteTV, Bleacher Report Live, and local cable providers, and will likely emanate from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. This is AEW’s first major PPV event since the outbreak of COVID-19, and despite that, the show looks like it could be AEW’s best.

Jon Moxley (c.) vs. Mr. Brodie Lee for the AEW World Championship

While this may be one of the most important matches on the card, it is one with not very much build. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Jon Moxley did not work the tapings in Georgia, effectively leaving him off television for multiple weeks outside of a few promos. In that time, Mr. Brodie Lee debuted and wreaked havoc on the AEW men’s division, defeating QT Marshall, Lee Johnson, Justin Law and Marko Stunt. Not only that, but he began airing segments in which he plays a tyrannical CEO like character, which has drawn comparisons to the real life persona of Vince McMahon. These promos continued until the May 6th episode of Dynamite, when Jon Moxley made his triumphant return to Dynamite with a big victory over Frankie Kazarian. Following the match, The Dark Order and their minions attacked both men, along with Christopher Daniels and Scorpio Sky. After Mr. Brodie Lee laid Moxley out, he issued a challenge to him for a AEW World Championship match at Double or Nothing. Moxley immediately accepted, which lead to him being jumped again and The Dark Order stealing his championship. On the May 13th Dynamite, Mr. Brodie Lee faced and defeated Christopher Daniels in his longest AEW match yet. Following the match, Moxley entered through the empty crowd and laid out multiple Dark Order members. However, Lee and Dark Order member 10 escaped with the World Championship. The next week on the go-home episode of Dynamite, Moxley faced 10 in the opening contest on Dynamite. Moxley beat 10 handily, before placing a chair around his arm and threatening to break it if Lee didn’t return his championship. Brodie Lee came on the screen and told Moxley that 10 will make the sacrafice and he was leaving, which lead Moxley to smash a chair over the chair on 10’s arm, effectively breaking it. Will Moxley leave Double or Nothing with his World Championship in hand, or will Mr. Brodie Lee make the currently stolen possession his rightful one?

Cody vs. Lance Archer for the TNT Championship

Unlike most matches on the card, this match has been slowly built since the Dynamite after Revolution. After a heartbreaking loss to MJF, Cody came out and cut an impassioned promo, only to be interrupted by the legendary Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Roberts teased the arrival of his new client, who at the time was not named, and informed Cody of their intention to go after him. The next week, Roberts client was revealed as Lance Archer, who sat with him ringside during a match that featured Cody and Ortiz. In the following weeks, both Cody and Lance Archer had a number of matches, which lead into the tournament to crown the first ever TNT Champion. In the first round, Cody defeated Shawn Spears and Lance Archer defeated Colt Cabana. In the semi finals, Cody defeated Darby Allin, but perhaps more importantly, Lance Archer defeated Cody’s older brother, Dustin Rhodes. In fact, Lance Archer didn’t just beat Dustin, he brutalized him in front of his own brother, smashing his head into the mat over and over again. Archer’s attack on Cody’s family didn’t stop there, as on the May 6th episode of Dynamite, Archer defeated Nightmare Family member QT Marshall. After the match, Britt Baker attacked Nightmare Family manager and Cody’s wife Brandi Rhodes, throwing her into the ring. Jake Roberts then proceeded to return to his signature ways, placing a snake on Brandi’s fallen body, and even positioning himself over her in a slightly sexual manner. The following week, Roberts and Archer started the show with a promo that was quickly interrupted by Cody who, in a large Ford truck with the Nightmare Family logo emblazoned on the hood, rammed into the guardrails. Cody then attacked Archer, and after they brawled all around the arena, Cody sent Archer running to the back. Not long after, it was announced that former boxing champion Mike Tyson will present the TNT Championship to the winner of this match. This was discussed more in detail the following week on the go-home episode of Dynamite, when Arn Anderson and Jake “The Snake” Roberts had a sit down discussion. Anderson revealed that Tyson will have free reign, and Roberts said they he has given Archer full permission to take Tyson out. This meeting ended in a near brawl between Anderson and Roberts, which was broken up by three refs. As the feud comes to a head, who will walk away the first ever TNT Champion?

Nyla Rose (c.) vs. Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship

Just like most of the matches on this card, there is very little build to this feud. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Nyla Rose missed the AEW Dynamite tapings in Georgia, taking her off of TV for a couple weeks. However, COVID-19 had no effect on the dominance of Nyla Rose. In fact, Nyla Rose has been undefeated in any type of competition since January 1st, beating the likes of Riho, Kris Statlander, and Shanna. Refusing to be outshined by the Women’s Champion, challenger Hikaru Shida has gone on a similar run, going undefeated in singles competition since January 1st. Shida has defeated the likes of Big Swole, Britt Baker, Kris Statlander, Penelope Ford and more, making her one of the best built challengers for the Women’s Championship in AEW history. All of those wins were not what secured her spot in the Women’s Title match at Double or Nothing, though. It was a win in a Fatal Four Way that also involved Britt Baker, Penelope Ford, and Kris Statlander that guaranteed her opportunity. That win did not make Nyla Rose happy, as after the match, Rose attacked Shida backstage with her own Kendo stick, striking her right between her eyes. The next week on the go-home episode of Dynamite, Nyla Rose teamed with Dr. Britt Baker to defeat the team of Hikaru Shida and Kris Statlander. Rose pinned Shida to win, and following the match, Rose attempted to put Shida through a table. However, Statlander stopped her, allowing Shida to capitalize and put Rose through the table with a superplex. We’ve now seen Rose pin Shida, but with the no disqualification rule, will the tables turn? Who will walk out of Double or Nothing with the Women’s Championship?

The Inner Circle vs. The Elite in a Stadium Stampede Match

This match has been a long time in the making. For the entire existence of AEW, members of the Inner Circle have had issues with members of The Elite. It started with Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega at the first every Double or Nothing, where Jericho picked up a victory over Omega to advance him into a AEW World Championship match at All Out. At All Out, Jericho defeated Elite member Hangman Page in order to become the inaugural AEW World Champion. Issues between The Inner Circle and The Elite continued into the next PPV, Full Gear, with Jericho defeating Cody and The Young Bucks defeating Santana and Ortiz. With that background, it made sense for the feud to be reignited with the announcement of the first ever Blood and Guts match: The Elite vs. The Inner Circle. Set for a special episode of Dynamite in March, The Inner Circle began to pick The Elite apart. They began by injuring Nick Jackson, effectively eliminating him from the upcoming Blood and Guts match. But The Elite had a plan, and when The Inner Circle least expected it, they released their secret weapon: Broken Matt Hardy. Hardy debuted as a replacement for the injured Nick Jackson to the shock and chagrin of The Inner Circle. Despite the match being set, real life came into play. The coronavirus pandemic forced AEW to cancel their Blood and Guts special, effectively canceling the match. The feud did not stop there. While Cody moved on to a feud with Lance Archer, The Inner Circle continued to target The Elite. On the May 6th episode of Dynamite, Jericho and Guevara defeated Kenny Omega and Matt Hardy in a Falls Count Anywhere tag team match, resulting in The Inner Circle celebrating on the TIAA Bank Field. The following week, Omega and Hardy defeated Santana and Ortiz. That same night, after a victory over Pineapple Pete, Jericho issued a challenge to The Elite: a Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing. The rules are simple: a ring will be placed in the field of TIAA Bank, and the match is falls count anywhere. Vanguard 1, Matt Hardy’s personal drone, flew down to accept the challenge. only to be bludgeoned by The Inner Circle with a bat. Matt Hardy ran out to mourn the broken Vanguard 1. The following week on the go-home episode of Dynamite, Matt Hardy went one on one with Sammy Guevara. Hardy would be victorious, and as revenge for Vanguard 1, he went outside and got a chair. He was then interrupted by Jericho and the rest of The Inner Circle brutalizing Elite member Kenny Omega with the same bat that killed Vanguard. As Matt Hardy rushed to his aid, both The Young Bucks and Hangman Page provided assistance to Omega, sending The Inner Circle scattering. Will The Elite be able to overcome The Inner Circle once more in this unique matchup? Or will The Inner Circle get the last laugh?

Casino Ladder Match for an AEW World Championship Opportunity

This match, which was announced during the May 6th episode of Dynamite, is the sequel to the Casino Battle Royal which took place at last years Double or Nothing. Adam Page won that match, sending him to All Out to compete against Chris Jericho to become the first AEW World Champion. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the premise has changed. No longer being able to do a battle royal due to the CDC guideline recommending there be no groups of ten or more in a close area, AEW replaced it with a nine man ladder match. The rules of the match are quite unique: two men start in the ring, and every ninety seconds a new competitor will enter. The winner must climb a ladder and retrieve a casino chip hanging above the ring. Here’s the catch: the casino chip can be pulled down at any point in the match, meaning all nine competitors may not have entered before the match ends. The competitors were announced via Twitter over the period of a week, and they are as follows: Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, Rey Fenix, Scorpio Sky, Kip Sabian, Frankie Kazarian, Luchasaurus, and perhaps more importantly, a mystery opponent. The winner will receive an opportunity at the AEW World Championship somewhere down the line. With stakes that high, everyone in this match will have to put everything on the line in order to walk away with the casino chip. Who will walk away with the casino chip and a shot at the AEW World Heavyweight Championship?

MJF vs. Jungle Boy

Perhaps the most out of the blue match on the card, this match also has an insane amount of potential. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, both Jungle Boy and MJF missed the Georgia taping, taking them out of action for a few weeks. While MJF still appeared on television, cutting promos from his “Rat’s House” about his career threatening injuries such as a hangnail, Jungle Boy disappeared from television entirely, only appearing on Being the Elite, a YouTube channel associated with AEW. That is why it was incredibly shocking that upon MJF’s return to the crowd on May 6th, AEW television, Tony Schiavone informed him that not only would he return to the ring the week after, but he would face Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing. This caused MJF to become livid, as he did not sign up for this match. MJF proceeded to take his anger out the following week, not only defeating Lee Johnson, but costing Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus a tag team match against Best Friends by attacking Jungle Boy. The following week on the go-home episode of Dynamite, MJF defeated Marko Stunt, one of Jungle Boy’s teammates, and hit him with his AEW ring. MJF remains undefeated in singles competition. Will Jungle Boy end his streak? Or will MJF continue his winning ways?

Dr. Britt Baker, DMD. vs. Kris Statlander

Dr. Britt Baker, DMD was the first woman’s wrestler signed to All Elite Wrestling. When she was signed, she was earmarked as the likely face of the woman’s division, but that is not how it turned out. Quickly it became apparent that Baker was not the best AEW had to offer, and her spot was quickly taken by women such as Riho, Nyla Rose, and her opponent for Double or Nothing, Kris Statlander. When Statlander started working matches on AEW Dark, everyone immediately saw her as a potential star. Less than two months after her debut, Statlander was challenging Riho for the AEW Women’s Championship while Baker sat on the sidelines, waiting for her opportunity. Not long after, Baker realized that she could no longer sit patiently, and began reforming herself in order to help her career. She began to show traits of narcissism, declaring herself a “Role Model” for everyone. Throughout the coming months, Baker would make herself one of the most talked about women in the division, promoing from her dental office about how great she is and how great you’re not. During that time, Statlander faded from television due to the coronavirus pandemic. Statlander would return on the May 12th episode of Dark with a victory over Dani Jordyn. The next night on Dynamite is when this feud truly began. During a Fatal Four Way match which also included Hikaru Shida and Penelope Ford, Baker would lock in her submission move, The Lockjaw, on Statlander outside of the ring. Despite Shida pinning Ford for the win, Baker would not let go of The Lockjaw, causing multiple referees to come break up the move. Not long after that attack, the match was announced for Double or Nothing. The following week on the go-home episode of Dynamite, Baker teamed with Nyla Rose against Statlander and Hikaru Shida. Rose pinned Shida to win, technically giving Baker a victory over Statlander. With Britt Baker getting the upper hand two weeks in a row, can Statlander redeem herself at Double or Nothing? Or will Baker put Statlander down once and for all?

Shawn Spears vs. Dustin Rhodes

This feud all began the week after Dustin Rhodes lost to Lance Archer in the semi-finals of the TNT Championship tournament. Due to how mangled Dustin Rhodes was after the match, Spears fully believed that Rhodes was done with wrestling. He would continue to push that point of view until the go-home episode of Dynamite, where he held the first ever episode of Shawn Spears News. His first major story was about the retirement of Dustin Rhodes, proceeding to blame it on Cody. His next story focused more on Spears himself, asking why he does not have a match at Double or Nothing. Spears then proceeded to challenge Dustin Rhodes to a match, which was immediately confirmed after Spears went off the air. Spears has always had an issue with the Rhodes family, but has never been able to get a singles win over them. With this rivalry moving from Cody to Dustin, will Spears finally get a victory over a member of the Rhodes family? Or will Dustin Rhodes prove he still has a lot left in the tank?

Private Party vs. Best Friends in a #1 Contenders match for the AEW Tag Team Championship

This match, which will occur on the Buy In pre-show, was announced on the May 13th episode of Dynamite, along with a slew of other matches. Due to the number two ranked tag team Evil Uno and Stu Grayson being out of action due to the coronavirus pandemic, this match will feature the number one and number three ranked tag teams battle for a shot at the gold. Both have had their encounters with members of the AEW World Tag Team Championship duo, Hangman Page and Kenny Omega. On the April 4th episode of Dynamite, Best Friends picked up a victory over Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa, thus picking up a win over one half of the Tag Champions. Private Party, however, have had their issues with Hangman Page on the AEW affiliated YouTube series Being the Elite. With both teams wanting championship gold, this will be the first and perhaps most important step in accomplishing that goal. Who will walk away number one contenders?

About the author

Nick Byington