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Stipulation: If the heels lose, The Hardys win Ethan Page's contract.
Even the presence of the perpetually over Hardys could not make up for a cold story and a match that did not have much in the way of real interest.
Matt and Jeff Hardy drew a big pop as the first big stars in the arena but it was a real struggle to get the fans to invest in the action in this opening match as they teamed with FTW champion Hook to defeat "All Ego" Ethan Page and The Gunns.
Page has earned the right to be involved in something better, more cohesive and important than this undercard program and it showed as he was very clearly the best worker in this match, despite the presence of the Hall of Fame brothers.
The stipulation of this one, though, does not encourage much faith that what awaits him following Double or Nothing will be much better, unfortunately.
The Hardys and Hook defeated Page and The Gunns
Participants: Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, Ari Daivari, Tony Nese, Lee Moriarty, Big Bill, Komander, Kip Sabian, The Butcher, The Blade, "Switchblade" Jay White, "Rock Hard" Juice Robinson, Dustin Rhodes, Keith Lee, "Absolute" Ricky Starks, Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, Bandido, Swerve Strickland, "The Machine" Brian Cage and Orange Cassidy
"Freshly Squeezed" Orange Cassidy spent months leading into Double or Nothing gutting out victory after victory, overcoming every challenger to his AEW International Championship. Faced with 20 different challengers in Sunday's opener, the king of sloth style once again emerged victoriously, outlasting Swerve Strickland to ensure his reign would continue.
There was some to like about the Blackjack Battle Royal, such as the booking of Big Bill as a monster giant and the calculating Strickland waiting to enter the ring until late, but this was very much one of those battle royals where lots happened without any lasting effect.
Cassidy winning at least makes sense but does beg the question: what's next for Freshly Squeezed?
Does Tony Khan and the AEW creative team have a long-term plan or are they content to let Cassidy continue his winning ways before acquiring a new star to take the title from him? Maybe there is a "wait and see" approach as the company seeks out an appropriate victor.
Whatever the case may be, this at least got the fans into the show and they remain solidly behind Cassidy, despite booking and a win-loss record that would get him "John Cena'd" five years ago.
Justin Roberts announced ahead of the night's next match between Adam Cole and Chris Jericho that it was unsanctioned by AEW and that the company could not be held responsible for any injuries that occurred within.
One can see where there may be confusion around the decision to book a referee-stoppage victory for Cole.
Not only is it a cheap win for the babyface in that he never actually earned it, but it also flies in the face of the stipulation. It negates all of the hardcore action that preceded it, renders the already head-scratching involvement of Sabu pointless and left a bad taste in the mouths of the AEW faithful who were left booing as the bell sounded.
This was likely a concentrated effort to protect Jericho's heat for an eventual rematch but given everything that led to the match in the first place, he could have easily eaten a loss and got his revenge Wednesday to keep this progressing forward.
Instead, the finish here adversely affected the overall quality of a match that felt a step off for most of it but featured some good, hard-hitting action from the combatants. A major disappointment and a really questionable bit of booking early in this broadcast.
Cole defeated Jericho via referee stoppage
If there is one thing FTR does not need, it is overbooking in their tag team title matches.
While there were elements of Memphis and Attitude in this one, there was far too much outside interference and shenanigans. There wasn't nearly enough of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler proving why they are the best tag team in wrestling as they defeated Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
Between Sonjay Dutt running around like a fool, Karen Jarrett using a guitar on a referee and the drama surrounding special referee Mark Briscoe, this had a little bit of everything and a whole lot that was not needed for this to be a success.
Double J is an all-timer, Lethal is a grizzled veteran and FTR are the best of this generation, so this was better sports entertainment than it would have been if left to others. Still, it felt wholly unnecessary and did not really help anyone involved in any way that a straight match would not have.
FTR defeated Jarrett and Lethal to retain
There are few instances of Christian Cage being involved in a ladder match that can be best described as underwhelming and, at worst, plain bad.
Sunday's battle with TNT Champion Wardlow falls somewhere in between, with strong effort from both men but several spots did not click and the crowd was not nearly as with the competitors as one would expect.
That Arn Anderson played a key role late and looked every bit his age, while the monstrous new and improved Luchasaurus was neutralized rather easily by Wardlow, only enhanced the issues facing the match.
At least the creative forces resisted the urge to beat Wardlow again. The guy is the future of the company, but really needs some consistent booking to help him get there. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction for the uber-athletic heavyweight.
Just leave the ladders out of it for a bit and save the gimmicks for a feud more deserving of them.
Wardlow defeated Cage
AEW World Women's Champion Jamie Hayter was injured entering the event and even the booking preceding the pay-per-view suggested she may not be able to defend her title.
She did, albeit in a short match that protected her injured right arm and concluded with Storm benefiting from exposed turnbuckles, interference from The Outcasts and their trusty spray paint to score the win and title.
Storm winning the title was a great call given the circumstances and solidifies her as one of the most trusted members of the AEW roster. When things do no go according to plan, management has repeatedly felt comfortable asking her to carry things and she has excelled.
It is massively disappointing for Hayter, who has been one of the best wrestlers in the business this year, but she was booked in a way that made her look like a valiant and gutsy performer who still came within seconds of retaining until heel interference proved her downfall.
The women's division will need reshuffling in the coming weeks but The Outcasts are a quality heel act and both Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida will provide quality opposition for the time being.
Storm defeated Hayter to win the title
Like much of the show to this point, the Open House Rules Match for the AEW World Trios Championship failed to garner the level of fan engagement as one would have hoped for, despite two of the more over acts in the company
The House of Black's Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews and Brody King successfully defended their titles, knocking off mystery opponents Anthony Bowens, Max Caster and Daddy Ass of The Acclaimed.
To do so, the heels overcame a late babyface comeback from the latter before Black shut him down and scored the uncontested pinfall.
A lack of story, despite some teases here and there in recent weeks, hurt this one and led to a match that was merely OK and did not have the crowd investment to really enhance it beyond that.
The House of Black defeated The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass to retain
Jade Cargill had been one of the few constants in AEW leading into Double or Nothing. Sunday night, her run as TBS champion came to an end, but not before winning match No. 60.
Cargill successfully retained her title in a grueling match, defeating Taya Valkyrie with Jaded and doing so in a relatively clean fashion. Then, as he has done numerous times in the past, "Smart" Mark Sterling let his mouth get him in trouble as he issued an open challenge on behalf of the victor.
Kris Statlander returned to the squared circle after a year away and proceeded to do what no one else has been able to: defeat Cargill for the title. The moment, a great one for the performer herself and fans that have waited patiently to see her back in the ring, brought an end to Cargill's title reign with an exclamation point.
There is very much an argument to be made that a babyface storming back to defeat a champion who just had a grueling match is not the most, well, babyface way to book things but it is something we see elsewhere and it tends to work out OK.
Cargill is still the star of the future but this was a wonderful moment for Statlander and the change for the TBS Championship picture that the women's division needed.
Big props to Valkyrie, who was fantastic here and worked well with Cargill.
Cargill defeated Valkyrie to retain; Statlander defeated Cargill to win the title
AEW World Champion MJF successfully retained his title in a legitimate Match of the Year Candidate Sunday night in Las Vegas, defeating "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry, Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin in a match that solidified why those four men have been considered the pillars of the company.
Easter eggs, high spots, pro wrestling psychology, storyline callbacks, and a brilliant finish from the best and slimiest villain in wrestling today came together to create one of the best matches in company history.
Guevara was remarkably great, no doubt riding an emotional high from the revelation that he and his wife, Tay Melo, are expecting a child. Sometimes criticized for being too spot-happy, everything he did was crisp and on point, with low-key additions to his work that suggested he ware very aware of the enormity of the match.
It was MJF, though, who continued to assert his greatness with a performance that was excellence personified.
He was brilliant, using the sort of pro wrestling psychology we are not privy to often enough in today's wrestling landscape and put an exclamation point on things by sliding the world title in the way of Allin's Coffin Drop. He then pinned his sworn enemy with the same insulting headlock takeover that he infamously used at Full Gear 2021.
At a time when the AEW product is as uneven, creatively disjointed and ever-changing (for better and worse), MJF is consistent excellence.
MJF defeated Allin, Guevara and Perry
Konosuke Takeshita has aligned himself with Don Callis, as AEW fans found out in the closing minutes of the Anarchy in the Arena Match.
The international star, once considered by many to be one of the future can't-miss prospects in the company, betrayed Kenny Omega and contributed to The Blackpool Combat Club's Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta picking up the victory over The Elite.
Hangman Page and The Young Bucks' Matt and Nick Jackson were able to avenge some of the agony dealt them by the heels in the weeks leading up to the show in a match that was uber-violent, bloody and featured some stomach-churning spots involving thumbtacks.
Even with that said, the match itself was an exhausting heap of spots that would have meant so much more had we not been desensitized to them on free television over the last month.
Barbed wire and blood? We got those in the steel cage match between Omega and Moxley. The arena brawl? Had that too, in the Falls Count Anywhere Match between Roderick Strong and Chris Jericho.
The constant need for excess in AEW has hurt its ability to tell stories and engage audiences without going so over the top that they venture into eye-roll territory, which this main event flirted with on occasion.
The most effective stuff came late, with the turn of Takeshita, which is a storyline development that demands answers and should set up a match between he and Omega that plays to both of their strengths.
If you like deathmatch wrestling or were a big fan of the Attitude Era brawls that dominated the late 1990s, you probably thought this was awesome. If you are a fan of the guys involved, ditto, and good for you. Everyone is entitled to like what they like.
It would be easier for others to appreciate and acknowledge the value of if they were not fed it every week by a company that is often to turn to gimmicky matches, sometimes for no apparent rhyme or reason.
The Blackpool Combat Club defeated The Elite
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