Updated: Jun 20
Reverse Hipster's Reviews
MJF vs. Wardlow 7.5/10 C
The crowd ate up this match, which is why it is rated so high. However, I think AEW missed the mark on this match. Wardlow vs. MJF was one of the hottest matches on the card, and it turned out to be a squash. This story is one of the best AEW has told in 2022, but the ending is pretty flat. The wrestlers and crowd made the match good, but if Wardlow can't have a real match with MJF, who can he have one with? This was an anti-climatic end.
Hardy Boyz vs. The Young Bucks 8.5/10 B
It was a solid match between the Hardys and the Young Bucks. I don't think this is the best match these two teams could have had, but maybe they felt like they should hold a little back for when they have more story. The match started slow, telling the story of the Bucks being younger and faster, but that never paid off. The offense was good on both sides, but they didn't stack it to make amazing sequences. The best part of the match was when the Hardy Boyz took the Superkicks of the Young Bucks and kept coming back for more. The Hardy Boyz eventually won with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton, but I'll be interested to see if this feud continues.
Anna Jay vs. Jade Cargill (TBS Championship) 8/10 B-
This match had a huge problem to overcome. Jade is 31-0, and nobody believed Anna would beat her. The match never made me believe that Jade would lose, but it at least made some good attempts. I think this match had far too much interference. Stokely Hathaway and Athena were good, but there is no universe where Jade needs The Baddies and multiple managers to beat Anna. The best part of this match was the end when Jade hit her finisher from the second rope.
Death Triangle vs. House of Black 8.5/10 B
This match was mostly a spot fest, and the ref was just there for aesthetics. Still, the match had some really cool spots like the Canadian Destroyer off Rey Fenix's back. Julia Hart joined House of Black and gave them the win by spitting in Pac's face. We all knew she was going to join. We just didn't know when. Solid match.
Adam Cole vs. Samoa Joe 7.8/10 C
Joe is a weird wrestler. Sometimes he is magic, and sometimes he is just meh. This was a meh match. I didn't feel the chemistry between the two. The match never reached a fever pitch. When it ended on Adam's kick, it felt like that was it? I think Jeff Hardy and Darby Allin should have been the final. Also, between Cole and Joe, I think the ROH TV Champion should have won the match.
Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho 7.9/10 C+
This match had a good story. Britt was the superior one, and Ruby had to try and rise to her level while fighting a rib injury. Plus, there was the great back story of Ruby getting a chance to redeem herself by beating Britt and finally winning a tournament. Ruby and Britt fought hard and had a great match flow. However, the ending ruined the match. Britt Baker won, and it was terrible. Britt isn't a champion. This would have been the perfect time to give Ruby the win and elevate another woman, but Tony Khan missed.
He sacrificed Ruby Soho, Toni Storm, and Kris Statlander all so Britt could add another accomplishment to her Wikipedia. It was stupid and predictable. Adam Cole and Britt were the wrong choices for both tournament wins. We do not care about them being a couple that much. Also, Ruby and Britt did the victory roll spot, but nobody won. That would have been the perfect finish for Ruby, an underdog, to beat Britt just like WrestleMania 10. You would think an Owen Hart tournament would honor the Owen Hart type wrestler, Ruby, in the match instead of a Bret Hart type wrestler, Britt. Tony Khan just sent a message to any WWE woman looking to come to AEW that there is a ceiling for you. You can't win the big one.
Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti, and Frankie Kazarian vs. Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, and Page VanZant 8/10 B-
This was a weird match. Tay and Sammy turned up their obnoxiousness a lot. So much so that Kazarian got upset. I like the idea of Sammy trying to impress his girlfriend, but I didn't like the idea that he was out of sync with Kazarian, especially when this match had such high stakes for him. Eventually, Sammy's team imploded. Tay and Kazarian started arguing, and then Sammy went to kick Kazarian and hit Tay instead. Sammy was distracted, and he got hit with Scorpio's finisher and pinned. Sammy can't challenge for the TNT title now.
Paige VanZant had a nice run, but based on what I've seen and where they chose to use her, she still has work to do before she is ready for a singles run.
Kyle O'Reilly vs. Darby Allin 8.5/10 B
This match had low stakes and not much story, but it was pretty good. Darby and Kyle wrestled a very physical and technical match. Kyle seemed to have an answer for everything Darby wanted to do. Darby took some crazy risks to try and get the advantage. In the end, technique beat high risk, but these two had excellent chemistry. I would love to see them have a proper feud. They would make great rivals.
Serena Deeb vs. Thunder Rosa (AEW Women's Championship 8.2/10 B
The match was good. Thunder Rosa and Serena Deeb wrestled a pretty technical match with a few above-average spots. The match suffered a little from not having an emotional backstory to make it mean more. However, it was an entertaining match with the right person going over.
Anarchy in the Arena 8.7/10 B
Anarchy in the Arena was exactly the type of sports entertainment Jon Moxley and The Combat Club say they are against, but it was good. The match started out rough with Moxley's music playing over the action and everyone in different spots all over the arena. It was difficult to follow. Every once in a while, someone would do something cool like a blockbuster into the tables or tombstone onto the steel steps off the ring apron. However, the action really picked up when everyone came back to fight in the ring. Eddie Kingston tried to burn Chris Jericho, tossing gasoline on him and Bryan Danielson, which led to a fight between Eddie and Danielson. This was the moment everything turned for The Combat Club's team. Moxley was thrown into a barbed wire table, Danielson was eventually choked out, and The Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS) won. Hopefully, this match leads to a Bryan vs. Kingston feud.
AEW Tag Team Championship, Triple Threat 8.6/10 B
The triple threat was really good. There were many great spots in the match, but it didn't feel like a spot fest, just three teams wrestling at a very high level. Each team got to shine, and each challenging team seemed like they had the titles at one point. I think Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee were the best team in terms of their performance. They pulled out some mind-blowing moves. Swerve backflipped off Keith Lee's chest at one point onto everyone else. Another standout was Jungle Boy. He kept his team alive and made sure they walked away with the titles. When Jungle Boy does go solo, he will be unstoppable.
CM Punk vs. Adam Page (AEW World Championship) 7.8/10 C
This is a difficult match to grade because CM Punk becoming champion is exciting, and the match definitely had good aspects. However, I can't overlook its four major errors. CM Punk failed to kick out of one of Adam Page's moves. That's a mistake Eva Marie, former WWE star, still gets killed for from a random episode on NXT. CM Punk did it in the main event of a PPV. Not only that, but he very blatantly failed to execute two Buckshot Lariats in an embarrassing fashion. These mistakes were glaring, and all from CM Punk, and CM Punk won the title. Adam Page outwrestled CM Punk, and I say that as someone who was rooting for CM Punk and is looking forward to his title reign. AEW missed an opportunity to tell a great story. It seemed like CM Punk was playing the wily veteran, picking his spots and luring in Adam Page. It seemed like CM Punk was in Adam Page's head, and Page needed to show up CM Punk, allowing CM Punk to pick Page apart. However, that story was blown up when CM Punk tried, and failed, to do two Buckshot Lariats. The best part of the match was when Adam Page had a chance to cheat, and after almost turning heel, decided to fight the honorable way.
Hookhausen vs. Tony Nese and Mark Sterling (Pre-show)
With favorite fan wrestlers and a story, this match was perfect for the buy-in. Mark Sterling did a great job in the comedy wrestling role, and it made Tony Nese look good to carry him enough to make the match competitive. I'm not sure if Hookhausen is a long-term tag team or a fun detour, but for now, it's working. It was right to put them over to start the show with a beloved babyface win.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
MJF vs. Wardlow
AEW built this card smartly, again starting the main show with a highly anticipated match sure to pop the crowd with a babyface win/moment. After the drama of the night prior, MJF absolutely worked the crowd, taking extra time to enter, miming flying away on a plane, and running away at every chance he got. MJF reversed the powerbomb with heel tactics three times before Wardlow finally got his hands on him and hit ten powerbombs. It was the perfect payoff to the story, but it wasn't much of a match, and it made MJF look bad (maybe intentionally). Wardlow obviously had to win regardless. What he can do with this momentum will define his career, but right now, I fear this is the best feud he will ever be in.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
The Hardys vs. the Young Bucks
I hate to speculate anything without confirmation, but Jeff Hardy seemed a little out of it in this match. The match suffered as a consequence. He still hit all his spots, but it seemed like he was just running through the motions with Matt Hardy guiding him through and the Young Bucks doing everything to make it a good match. The Bucks hit so much offense on the Hardys that the knockouts made the Bucks look kind of weak. The highlights were definitely in the last quarter of the match, with the storytelling in the superkick spots and high spots with Jeff. I really think putting the Hardys over was the wrong choice, but it does give you options for the Tag Team Championship scene, and the Young Bucks have enough credibility that they can always be inserted.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Jade Cargill vs. Anna Jay (TBS Championship)
This match started with some smooth wrestling sequences, but it devolved into sloppiness kind of quickly. It was clear that both women had a lot of potential, but they both needed some more training before getting put on a show like this. Building the undefeated streak and legend of Jade Cargill, she was the absolute right choice to win. The highlight of this segment was definitely Stokely Hathaway, Kris Statlander, and the debuting Athena. This was an awesome spot for Statlander after the Rampage loss, and the fans popped hard. The debuts of Hathaway and Athena were pleasant surprises and easy wins for the AEW fans. The post-match showdown was maybe the most exciting segment of the whole night, so I'm grading just the match.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Death Triangle vs. House of Black
Wow. At every opportunity, the Lucha Brothers impress me, getting me to pop at home by myself in weekly TV matches. When they get an opportunity like this, they knock it out of the park. I can't even recount all the action, but I was consistently popping at the moves of Rey Fenix, Penta Oscura, and Pac. I'm even willing to say Fenix is the best all-around wrestler in the world right now- fast, dynamic, athletic, great seller, and awe-inspiring high-flying. What more could you want? This is the best House of Black has looked in AEW too. Malakai Black looked more like he did in NXT, Buddy Murphy was on par with everyone, and Brody King absolutely blew me away with his power and agility. After such a high work rate and competitive match, the finish was a little disappointing, but it was supposed to be. In story, it made the House of Black look like they always have a plan, and I think it will be great for Julia Hart too. She looked awesome, and this was undoubtedly my match of the night to this point.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Samoa Joe vs. Adam Cole
How do you follow the trios match before them? Influenced by Owen, I think Samoa Joe and Adam Cole went for a slower, more technical match with intentional spots. It felt kind of boring compared to the match prior, but it was solid. I'm surprised that Adam Cole was the first to beat Samoa Joe in AEW, even though it was protected with help from Bobby Fish. In kayfabe, it didn't make much sense for AEW to let cheating persevere in their prestigious tournament to honor Owen. I was happy with Cole going over regardless, as I think he is in a fight to stay relevant on a crowded AEW, and I'm predicting Joe will be fine, assuming he keeps the ROH title and champions their weekly show.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Ruby Soho vs. Britt Baker
Likewise, I think Ruby Soho and Britt Baker tried to have a more technical story match to honor Owen's legacy. I think they did a much better job story-wise because they had the storytelling going in of Soho not being able to win the big one with Baker being the final boss heel of AEW's Women's division. It really played out in submission spots later in the match. They both got special entrances, with Soho's entrance being played by the entire Rancid band being more notable, but it was surprising that this is the match that got that honor out of everything on the card. In the end, I think it was another average match because the action wasn't quite as smooth as the men's, and the story was better. It's a little bit of a disappointing finish to what started as a really promising tournament. I like that Baker and Adam Cole are the eventual winners, and I think they can run with this gimmick by being really annoying about it on Dynamite. My dream booking is that another couple saves us from that displeasure- Johnny Gargano and Candice Lerae, anyone? It was right not to have a moment like this on this PPV, though, and I loved that the crowd gave Martha Hart and Owen's legacy such a warm pro wrestling reception.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Paige VanZant, Scorpio Sky, and Ethan Page vs. Tay Conti, Sammy Guevara, and Frankie Kazarian
This felt like a reset to the card after the Owen Hart Tournament segments, going back to a relatively low-stakes match past the halfway point. Again, I think this was really good card-building on AEW's part and lessons learned from their last PPV. This was a tricky match because everyone but Frankie Kazarian was a heel, but they pulled it off really well. It honestly had no right to be as good as it was. Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti are fully into their heel roles. Paige VanZant looked good in her debut, and Conti wrestled well in response. VanZant had a scary moment where it looked like she dropped Conti on her head. I only point that out because AEW had more than a few moments like this in the PPV, and it's something they should keep a close eye on risk-wise. The best part was Kazarian finally snapping on his own team, leading to Guevara accidentally kicking Conti. Kazarian had an insane run against American Top Team before Scorpio Sky stopped it short and won the match.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Darby Allin vs. Kyle O'Reilly
This really could have benefitted from more of a build because the match itself was excellent. I'm glad AEW didn't make the mistake of leaving Darby Allin off the card. I think this was Kyle O'Reilly's best single's match since before his NXT days. They both wrestled excellently on the mat. Allin took some more insane bumps, including a failed suicide dive that saw him spike himself. O'Reilly's great strikes and grappling proved too much for Allin's daredevil ways to overcome in a huge win for O'Reilly, showing he is more than just Adam Cole's lackey in AEW.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb (AEW Women's Championship)
I wasn't sure what to expect in this match, and these women used it to their benefit to really go above and beyond. Serena Deeb was a technical master in this match, arguably Bryan Danielson levels of submissions. This was a long match with very few high spots, but there was never a point in this match where I was bored. That's a testament to both women's performances. Thunder Rosa was the right person to go over, as her reign is relatively new. For me, Deeb is the real winner of this match, though, and AEW would be downright stupid to let her fall out of relevancy after that performance.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Anarchy In The Arena
New match of the night alert. Justin Roberts started the match by saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, shit's about to hit the fan." And he couldn't have been more right. The build to this ended up being hilarious and gripping, with a combination of "the wizard" Chris Jericho gimmick and Eddie Kingston's promo saying he was going to do something he regretted, and Bryan Danielson saying he didn't like Kingston, but he just wanted to fight with his hands and feet. The Jericho Appreciation Society let the crowd sing Judas all the way through this time, and they were hilarious with their matching white gear (surely meant to accent the coming blood). The thrown-together team of Blackpool Combat Club, Proud and Powerful, and Eddie Kingston came out through the crowd to Jon Moxley's theme "Wild Thing," which was a nice way to show some unity. It felt like a fight was brewing. Danielson wore a tank top and pants that I have never seen him wear in decades of wrestling. It made me want to see him choke someone out with a tie (call back). The camera couldn't even keep up with all the fights going on, and "Wild Thing" kept playing for two loops, which added to the ambiance. It felt like a bar fight scene in a movie. Finally, Jericho got heel heat for breaking the audio machine that was playing Moxley's song. Moxley looked like he was having the time of his life, throwing coolers, swinging cameras, and doing everything to fight. Ironically, it was as much sports entertainment as pro wrestling. Kingston and Matt Menard/Daniel Garcia ended up fighting around the arena through merch tables covered in mustard and ketchup, disappearing in a freight elevator for half the match. Santana and Ortiz hit a blockbuster through two tables on Jake Hager and later hit a double dive off a ladder through tables.
Danielson stayed true the whole time to fighting with just his hands and feet. It looked like he had the match won when Kingston came back out through the ramp soaked in blood and carrying a garbage can. The image is haunting, and Kingston was believable. He looked like he was going to kill Jericho. He poured gasoline on Jericho while Danielson had him in a submission, but Danielson got pissed, leading to the fight and inevitable breakup of the thrown-together team. Moxley took a gnarly bump on the barbed wire he set up, and Danielson almost took on the JAS by himself before Hager took him out with a bat. Jericho hit him with the Walls of Jericho while Hager choked him out with a belt leading the referee to call the match.
This was perfect chaos and perfect storytelling. Everything that played out made perfect sense with their characters and what we know about the dynamics between everyone involved. The finish was disappointing, but it was supposed to be. The only thing keeping this from a perfect score is that they didn't conclude a lot of the stories that I wanted an answer to. Kingston didn't get his revenge on Jericho. Neither did Santana or Ortiz, as Jericho spent most of his time-fighting Moxley or Danielson. On the bright side, there are awesome new stories to tell out of this match, which in my opinion, was an instant classic.
Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing
Jurassic Express vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland vs. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks (AEW Tag Team Championship)
This was a weirdly built match that always had the potential to steal the show. Following up a chaotic brawl with good tag team wrestling was smart. I feel like Jurassic Express had to win this, as neither of the other teams were true tag teams or built up to win. Ricky Starks continued to impress in the match, strutting his stuff on the rope before getting caught by Jungle Boy. Luchasaurus is super underrated- the things he can do at his size are impressive. Swerve Strickland is so good in the ring you have to wonder how WWE missed on him. His tandem offense with Keith Lee made me believe they were a true tag team that could win the titles even when my brain knew otherwise. Lee's "Ohhhh my gooddd" vocalization was hilarious too. Great spots and great timing from everyone involved, and the right team absolutely went over. Even at the end of the night, I wasn't too tired to enjoy this match.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Adam Page vs. CM Punk (AEW World Championship)
Purely AEW fans will hate me for saying this, but these two guys worked a WWE main event style with AEW's work rate, and the result was pretty good. Pure work rate would not make the fans love them at this point in the night, but they worked the crowd. Both guys were getting cheers, boos, and chants throughout the match. It made for a main event atmosphere. I loved what ended up being the story of this match. CM Punk, at the end of the day, is the kind of guy who is cocky to a fault that he thinks he's the hero. Every time he becomes the champion, he turns on the company he is in. Adam Page is trying to protect AEW from that fate while defending the pride of being an AEW original when so many of AEW's stars now are WWE defects. I knew no matter who won, I would be equally happy for the winner and sad for the loser. Punk deserves a world championship run to return to the point he was at in WWE, but this time with the support from AEW and demeanor that comes when you actually love what you're doing. Page had one of the best rises to the top stories in recent years, and I don't think he has fully realized his potential as the champion of AEW. This is, I think, what the fans were grappling with through confusing cheers and boos. Page and Punk stole each other's finishers and sold knee injuries that added to the drama of this match. In terms of work rate, a lot of people are going to call out the botch from Punk attempting to do the Buckshot Lariat (twice).
From my point of view, whether intentional or not, the botches added to the story of the match because it just showed that Punk can't do what Page can do right now and has to get by on veteran instinct and resilience alone. The spot at the end with the title was excellent drama, but I think the result is going to play on the core issue of the story. If Page was trying to protect AEW from Punk, was it for the greater good to use the title to win? How does Page come to terms with this failure? And does an AEW under Punk start to show that he is the villain that Eddie Kingston, MJF, and Page all think he is? Because of that nuance in the story, because no other titles changed hands on this show, and because there are SO many fresh matchups for Punk to have as champion, I think Punk winning at Double or Nothing was the right choice. I'm more fascinated than ever to watch Dynamite and see what's next.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Rob's Final Grade
AEW Double or Nothing was not a card for the weak, approx. Five hours of professional wrestling. Regardless, AEW learned a lot from its last PPV and built a smarter card where each match felt unique. I think they could have used a few more gimmicks, like the Hardys vs. the Young Bucks needing ladders or extreme rules. AEW is way better than WWE at building stories for a show like this, but Double or Nothing's build was good, not great. A lot of thrown-together matches could have used more story before this show, but the matches that had great stories coming in were near-perfect. Overall, the matches were good, especially at the end of the night. There weren't as many surprises as we've come to expect from an AEW show, mostly in the first half like Stokely Hathaway, Athena, and Julia Hart. The highlight of this show is that the booking made a lot of sense, and it set up more possibilities for AEW moving forward. After a detour at Forbidden Door, I expect All Out to capitalize on the booking momentum this show created.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.1/10 B
This show was a little underbuilt. Some smaller matches overdelivered and some bigger matches underdelivered. Overall, I felt like Double or Nothing didn't feel as long as AEW Revolution. AEW structured the match card well. There were no matches that amazed me, but there were no stinkers either. AEW Double or Nothing was decent at worst and above average at best.