The opening match of AEW’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view, the Casino Battle Royale, saw the likes of Tommy Dreamer, Shawn Spears, Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Joey Janela vie for a shot at the AEW World Championship.
Stars entered in groups, named after card suits, rather than one at a time.
MJF starred early, inciting a thunderous chorus of boos; he was easily the most over heel in the match. Janela arrived to a big pop, as did the aforementioned Dreamer, who introduced his trademark plunder to the fray.
It was the surprise appearance of “Hangman” Adam Page as the Joker of this Casino Battle Royal that drew the loudest reaction of the show. Page was originally supposed to square off with Pac, but that match was scrapped because of “creative differences.”
As the match progressed, double amputee Dustin Thomas pulled off a shock elimination of Spears, while MJF continued to be a thorn in the side of fans, eliminating Billy Gunn. The imposing Luchasaurus sent Janela through a table on the floor, drawing jeers. After hanging at ringside for the majority of the match, Orange Cassidy then entered and engaged in his very laid-back offence with Dreamer before being quickly eliminated.
Jimmy Havoc utilized a staple gun to get rid of Dreamer and then backed Jungle Boy into Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy laid out the big man but was eliminated when Havoc bit his hands, forcing him to let go of the ropes.
MJF, Luchasaurus, Page and Havoc made up the final four competitors. Page, nursing a knee injury, dumped Havoc, then Luchasaurus and finally fended off a sneak attack by MJF to win the match and a future shot at the AEW World Championship.
Result: Hangman Page won, last eliminating MJF.
The first singles match in the history of All Elite Wrestling was up next, as Kip Sabian sought revenge for a cheap low blow dealt him by Sammy Guevara at Friday’s Double or Nothing weigh-in.
An intense lockup ended with both competitors on the mat, each jockeying for position early.
The arrogant Guevara grounded Sabian, but his hubris proved costly, as the Brit sent him to the floor and wiped him out with a senton. Guevara, though, answered back with a twisting dive that left Sabien reeling.
The self-proclaimed Best Ever worked his opponent over for a moment, but Sabien countered with a leglock. Guevara fought out, delivered a standing moonsault and followed that with a standing shooting star press for a near fall.
Sabien answered with a missile dropkick and series of kicks that stunned Guevara enough for him to score a two-count out of it.
Moments later, Guevara and Sabien teased a suplex over the top rope that ended with them landing on their feet and the former delivering a picture-perfect fisherman suplex. With Sabien draped over the guardrail, Guevara delivered a running shooting star press off the apron and on to his opponent, drawing the first non-sarcastic chants of awe of the night.
A missed high-risk manoeuvre bit Guevara, and Sabien scored the pinfall moments later.
Result: Sabien defeated Guevara.
Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky—SoCal Uncensored—kicked off the evening’s broadcast to a tremendous ovation before reminding Las Vegas that it is the worst town they have ever been in. Daniels channelled in his inner Freddie Mercury before ushering in the AEW Era.
Their opponents, The Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk and Lindaman), entered to considerable respect from the crowd.
The Janapese trio controlled the opening moments, taking Daniels and Kazarian off the apron and working over Sky. The dominance by Strong Hearts continued as they turned their attention to Daniels. Quick tags and lightning-fast offence proved troublesome for SCU as the opposition maintained control.
Cima and Lindaman prevented Sky and Kazarian from making the save for their partner while T-Hawk worked a modified camel clutch.
The Fallen Angel finally made the tag to Sky, who exploded into the match, delivering a double stomp to Cima’s back. His onslaught was short-lived, as the opposition again showcased their considerable teamwork, with Lindaman dropping him with a deadlift German suplex.
A roll-up by a red-hot Kazarian on Cima ended with him delivering a dragon suplex to T-Hawk. The action broke down, with the competitors cutting a frenetic pace. A double knee from Lindaman nearly scored his team the win, but Kazarian broke up the pin, keeping SCU’s chances alive.
As the action climaxed, Sky delivered a tope that laid out Cima and T-Hawk, leaving Lindaman alone. Daniels delivered a big Tombstone, assisted by a moonsaulting Kazarian, to secure the win for SCU.
Result: SCU defeated Strong Hearts.
The Triple Threat match originally slated to feature Kylie Rae, Nyla Rose and Dr Britt Baker became a Fatal 4-Way as AEW chief brand officer Brandi Rhodes introduced the debuting Awesome Kong to a thunderous ovation.
The original three competitors ganged up on Kong early, but the former TNA Knockouts champion and star of Netflix’s GLOW batted them away and sent Rose to the floor. Rae and Baker finally did clear her out before pairing off.
That ended when Rae delivered a suicide dive that wiped out Baker and Kong at ringside.
Rose starred next, overwhelming Rae with her power. Baker re-entered the match but was again sent to the floor. Rae countered a powerbomb attempt by Rose into a schoolgirl roll-up and nearly picked up the win.
With Rae on the mat, Rose scaled the ropes but Baker cut her off. Smiley Kylie joined in, as did Kong, for the customary tower of doom spot. Outside the ring, Kong battered Baker with back fists and teased a powerbomb on the apron. Baker fought out and delivered a superkick.
At ringside, Rose wiped out Kong. Back inside, Kylie survived a rollup and delivered a superkick that stunned Baker. A twisting fisherman neck-breaker by Baker scored a very close two-count. A German suplex by a fired-up Rae then scored a near-fall.
Baker fought back, delivered the brainbuster neck-breaker and picked up the win.
Result: Baker defeated Rae, Rose and Kong.
The aerial artistry of Jack Evans and Angelico was on full display Saturday night as they battled Chuckie T and Trent Barreta, known collectively as Best Friends.
The speed and unpredictability of Evans and Angelico kept the opposition on edge and allowed them to secure the early advantage. Angelico twisted Barretta up and applied a half crab, adding torque and punishing his back.
A desperate Barreta tagged in Taylor, and the babyface comeback was underway. The veteran competitor unloaded on the opposition and hurled Evans into Angelico.
On the floor, Chuckie delivered the Sliced Bread No. 2 to Angelico, while Barreta blasted Evans with a tornado DDT that turned him inside out.
Best Friends hugged it out, and Chuckie T proceeded to send Evans into a cutter by Barreta for near-fall.
Angelico and Evans wrested control back, and at one point, Angelico hoisted Barreta in a fireman’s carry and Evans delivered a moonsault off his back and on to Taylor. An incredible splash from Evans only scored a two as Taylor re-entered the match.
The Best Friends delivered a modified Doomsday Device before Taylor wiped out Angelico at ringside. The babyfaces scored the win moments later.
The teams showed respect for each other after the match, but the lights dimmed and The Super Smash Brothers debuted. The lights dimmed again and a group of masked henchmen hit the ring and joined the newcomers in a beatdown of the teams.
Chants of “who are you?” filled the arena, with the crowd obviously unexcited, or unfamiliar, with the newcomers.
Result: Best Friends defeated Evans and Angelico.
The legendary Aja Kong led Yuka Sakazaki and Emi Sakura into battle Saturday night for a Six-Woman Tag Team match against Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe and Ryo Mizunami.
Abe nearly stole a roll-up win over Sakura, but Sakazaki made up for it, grounding Abe. She followed with an old-school surfboard submission, inflicting pain throughout the body of her smaller opponent as chants of “this is wrestling” broke out from an appreciative audience.
Kong delivered a wicked piledriver to Abe, but the much smaller babyface was able to survive, continue to fight and make the tag to Mizunami, who exploded into the match with a series of chops to Sakazaki. A wicked clothesline grounded the heel, who made the wise decision to tag Kong into the match.
The Hall of Fame-worthy Kong halted the babyface momentum with a nasty kick and throw that nearly flattened Abe.
Kong missed a falling splash, and Shida tagged in for the first time in the match. She blocked an attempt by Kong to utilize a metal container with a kendo stick. Unfortunately for her, Kong still used it. Sakura entered the ring, inciting foot stomping in line with her Freddie Mercury-inspired attire.
She engaged Shida in a series of strikes before Abe caught her with a knee to the back.
A big leg drop by Mizunami nearly earned the babyfaces the win, but Sakazaki broke up the fall. She followed up with senton off the top rope that wiped out Abe and Mizunami at ringside. Back inside, Sakura delivered a moonsault that earned a two count but the bell rang in error.
The action broke down and Shida delivered a running knee to Sakura to earn the victory.
Result: Shida, Abe and Mizunami defeated Sakazaki, Sakura and Kong.
In the most unsubtle knock on the competition to date, Cody Rhodes unveiled a Triple H-esque throne and proceeded to use a sledgehammer to smash it. It was symbolic of a new era, championed by the second-born as he prepared to end an era closely associated with his brother—and opponent—Dustin.
Confident, Rhodes mocked the Stardust character and took the fight to his older sibling, including a suicide dive. From there, he directed the fans to move and then sent his brother into the ring apron. A second time, Dustin slid through and delivered a kick. A senton from the apron flattened Cody as fans chanted “you’ve still got it!”
As Dustin built momentum, a cerebral Cody ducked out to the floor and teased walking away. A well-timed bit of interference from Brandi Rhodes at ringside allowed Cody to deliver a torture rack gut-buster and seize control of the contest.
Duelling chants broke out as Dustin mounted a comeback. He set up Cody in the corner for Shattered Dreams, but The American Nightmare, always alert, exposed the turnbuckle and sent his brother face-first into it. At ringside, Brandi blasted Dustin with the ring bell.
Referee Earl Hebner, having seen it, tossed her from the ringside area. When she refused to leave, Diamond Dallas Page emerged from the back and carried her, screaming, to the back.
His face bloodied from the bell shot, Dustin found himself on the receiving end of a relentless assault by his brother. Cody cut off a momentary comeback attempt and applied the Figure Four, a move his family members have been on the receiving end of many times.
Dustin reversed the hold and Cody rolled to the sanctuary of the bottom rope.
A momentary delay in Cody using his weight belt allowed Dustin to grab it and use it on his younger brother’s bare ass. A sunset flip bomb earned Dustin a strong near-fall.
Dustin’s nasty superplex gave way to the final cut, but the elder sibling still only garnered a two-count as crowd excitement reached fever pitch.
Cody then delivered a low blow to set up Cross Rhodes, but he was still unable to put away his opponent.
The competitors exchanged a series of blows before Cody executed a picture-perfect scissor kick and a mid-ring collision left both down. Cody recovered and delivered a modified Vertebreaker, and the referee began his count.
Moments later, Cody finally put away his brother for the most emotional victory of his career.
After the match, a crying Dustin was greeted by his brother, who requested a microphone. “You don’t get to retire here. You don’t get that because I have to ask you a favor.” Cody went on to ask Dustin to join him as his partner against The Young Bucks at Fight for the Fallen. “I don’t need a partner. I don’t need a friend. I need my older brother.”
An embrace followed and the arena erupted.
Result: Cody defeated Dustin.
The AEW Championship was unveiled to the wrestling world when Bret Hart stunned the world by appearing at Double or Nothing with the new belt.
He called Casino Battle Royale winner Hangman Page to the squared circle, but the proceedings were interrupted by MJF, who took exception to Page’s victory.
He talked trash, insulted Hart and compared Page to Seabiscuit.
Eventually, Jungle Boy and Jimmy Havoc fought MJF out of the arena, and Hart debuted the title, which Page stared intently at to close the segment.
A rivalry that began in Vegas at the on-sale press conference and featured The Young Bucks travelling to Mexico to embarrass and dethrone Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix culminated Saturday night when the two teams met in the penultimate match of Double or Nothing.
A focused Matt Jackson blocked two attempts by Pentagon to execute his Cero Miedo gesture, setting the tone for the match.
The opening minutes saw the teams cut an electric pace, including a sequence in which Nick Jackson and Fenix missed strikes but connected on a stereo dropkick at ringside. Chants of “tag team wrestling” filled the arena as the intensity escalated quickly, with Nick and Fenix exchanging right hands and chops. Fenix got the upper hand with a dropkick, and the challengers to the titles executed a beautiful double superkick to a prone Matt.
Later in the action-packed match, Fenix popped the crowd with a death-defying head scissors to Nick and a cutter to Matt. Nick delivered a facebuster to Pentagon and a moonsault to Fenix as the match continued its nonstop pace.
With Matt holding Fenix, Nick delivered a springboard 450 splash.
Superkick overload saw all four competitors unleash one, leaving them all lying on their backs for a rare break in the action.
A stereo scissors kick left both Pentagon and Matt down on the apron. They followed that up with a wicked destroyer by Pentagon to Matt on the apron and a near-fall by Fenix. A dive off Pentagon’s shoulders by Fenix, wiping out the Bucks, brought the crowd to its feet again.
A package piledriver/Gory Special combo left the Bucks stunned, but they recovered in time to catch a flying Fenix with a double superkick. Matt delivered a brainbuster from the ropes to Fenix. A 450/moonsault combo resulted in another near-fall.
A double stomp from Nick into the package piledriver by Matt on Pentagon still only kept the challenger down for two.
Pentagon recovered, somehow, and snapped Matt’s arm before delivering the package piledriver.
Wracked with pain, Matt still hoisted Fenix for the Meltzer Driver, and Nick put him away to successfully retain the titles.
Result: The Young Bucks defeated The Lucha Brothers.
A rivalry revisited saw Kenny Omega battle Chris Jericho in the most anticipated match of the Double or Nothing card.
The relentless, devious and unforgiving Jericho attacked early and often, going for the Walls of Jericho before tossing The Best Bout Machine into the fans. Omega attempted to fight back, but Jericho mocked his mannerisms and delivered a dropkick from the middle rope, his focused attack continuing.
Everything that Omega attempted, Jericho had an answer for.
Omega finally recovered enough to deliver a headscissors and clothesline Jericho over the top rope. He followed with a plancha over the top but was met by a table Y2J had retrieved from under the ring. Luckily, it did more damage to the future Hall of Famer than The Cleaner.
The Best Bout Machine built momentum for himself despite a busted nose and set up the table at ringside. Back inside the squared circle, he delivered a V Trigger to the back of Jericho’s head, which was perched on the middle turnbuckle.
Up top, Omega teased a snapdragon but settled for a side suplex that left both men momentarily stunned. He scored a two-count off it.
Jericho fought back, with the grizzled veteran delivering a back body drop that sent Omega through the table that had been set up earlier in the bout. Y2J continued punishing his opponent, delivering a dropkick on the apron that turned Omega inside out. A superplex attempt followed, but Omega fought out and sent Jericho crashing to the mat. Omega launched himself off the top rope, but an alert Jericho delivered the Codebreaker for a strong near-fall.
His body battered and bruised, Omega managed to counter out of the Walls of Jericho and deliver an underhook driver for two. He tried for another V Trigger, but Jericho blocked and applied his famed submission hold. He applied more torque with a Liontamer but was unable to put Omega away.
Instead, the babyface delivered the V Trigger and set up for a badly botched One-Winged Angel. Uncharacteristically so, they repeated the spot to better success.
From out of nowhere, Jericho delivered his new Judas Effect finisher for the win.
After the match, Jon Moxley debuted and attacked both Jericho and Omega, leaving the latter laid out on the stage after a big bump.