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411’s AEW Double Or Nothing 2024 Preview

May 26, 2024 | Posted by Ryan Ciocco
AEW Double or Nothing Anarchy Image Credit: AEW

Hello, dear friends, and welcome to the official 411 preview for this Sunday’s AEW Pay-Per-View offering, Double or Nothing, emanating from the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas, Nevada! As always, I am Ryan, and I will be your guide through the electric slate of matches that we have on tap for one of the biggest and most celebrated shows on the PPV calendar.

But why is that you ask? Well, this year’s Double Or Nothing event marks the fifth-year anniversary of the company and the formation of what would become known as All Elite Wrestling. The shared vision of four friends, along with a financial backer who is a big wrestling fan and believer in their concept, has brought us to this point in time. And to celebrate the occasion, we are going to get the New Elite facing off against Team AEW in the return of the Anarchy in the Arena match.

Elsewhere, we will see the official in ring debut of Mercedes Mone, as she looks to extract revenge on the TBS Champion, Willow Nightingale, for events that previously took place outside of AEW. We also have Will Ospreay competing for his first singles title in AEW, facing the “Messiah of the Backbreaker” Roderick Strong for the International Title. All this topped off by Swerve Strickland’s first AEW Title defense on a PPV show as he clashes with “Father of the Year” Christian Cage.

All this and, of course, so much more, so please join me as we take this fun trip down the card and see what is in store!

Zero Hour
Thunder Rosa vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Image Credit: AEW

I have said this before, and I will say it again; the women’s division having feuds that do not focus on either the Women’s Title or the TBS Title is a fantastic problem to have for the company. That the match features two women who are as gifted in the ring as Deonna and Rosa is even better, even if it is on the pre-show.

Rosa and Purrazzo, once tenuous allies, had any alliance they may have put together broken due to petty disputes and Rosa feeling as if she did not need help from Deonna, which led to Rosa losing her title match to Toni Storm at Dynasty back in April. Since then, both ladies have traded verbal shots at each other and now, they are going to trade physical shots with one another. This match feels like it could go either way, although one surmises that whoever wins will get another shot at Storm or at whoever ends up winning the TBS Title. This, of course, would prove to be unironic since both ladies have been lost to Storm over the past two PPV shows.

WINNER: Thunder Rosa

Trent Beretta vs. Orange Cassidy

Image Credit: AEW

So, it is interesting to me at least how feuds do get pushed from out of nowhere and you know, you just know, that the first match to “end it all” does not, and so we need a rematch. I speak, of course, of the original Beretta and Cassidy match right after Trent turned on Cassidy and, by extension, ended the Best Friends tag team with Chuck Taylor. I had it in the back of mind that, at the time, that it would not be the end, for while Cassidy won the match, Beretta beat him within an inch of his very sloth style life.

And so, we have arrived here, with another chance for Beretta to get one over on Cassidy in a “wrestling match.” Which is to say, naturally, that it will be anything but a grappling affair that takes place between the ropes and in the confine of the ring (and ringside area as well, I am sure). The most interesting dynamic in this whole situation is with the involvement of Don Callis, as he publicly championed for Cassidy, but it is hard for me to believe that such a heinous individual would be able to get into the mind of an ardent fan favorite like Cassidy. There’s always the possibility that Cassidy could have enough of being the carefree guy and snap into being a bad guy, aided by Callis, but it undoes the heel turn of Beretta (even if it wasn’t that strong in the first place), and in the moment, it makes more sense for Callis to like someone like Beretta anyway.

WINNER: Trent Beretta

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Eliminator Match
Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita

Image Credit: AEW

So, you may have heard (or you have not, and you have been under a boulder the size of Jupiter) that Jon Moxley is the new IWGP World Champion, securing the top prize of New Japan, defeating Tetsuya Naito in Chicago at Windy City Showdown. Since then, he has taken on his former protégé/student and defeated Shota Umino, but this match on Sunday is quite different. While Jon is not defending the title against Takeshita, this match will be an Eliminator Match, meaning that if Takeshita wins, he earns a future IWGP World Title match.

This kind of match, given this situation, is the smart bet, since the IWGP title will not be on the line, and we can have a good (and more than likely vicious) match between two guys who can go when they want to. For those wondering why this match is an Eliminator and not a title match, it has been reported that New Japan does not want the title defended against Takeshita, who had a lengthy care (and still does appear sometimes) in DDT Wrestling. If in fact this is correct (and I am not entirely sure that is the case, but let us say it is), then it does not seem like Takeshita would win here, right? Well, again, considering the title is not on the line, it is possible that Konosuke does beat Jon and earns the title match, allowing time for New Japan to not be so anxious about the match in the first place. Then again, this feud really has come out of nowhere, so it seems possible that Moxley just wins the match and moves on. For once, I would like to see someone win an Eliminator match and earn a title shot (granted, this has happened before, but it is about as rare as a title changing hands on the Battle of the Belts shows).

WINNER: Konosuke Takeshita

AEW Unified Trios Championship Match
The Bang Bang Gang vs. Death Triangle

Image Credit: AEW

As of the time that I am doing the revisions for this preview, this match has not officially been announced for the show, although it has been reported on various sites and is, in fact, listed on the official Wikipedia page for the show’s entry. So, in that spirit, I am going to go ahead and discuss the match as if it were going to take place.

The reunion of PAC, Rey, and Penta as Death Triangle is a terrific way to bring these guys back to relevance in the company, and it gives PAC backup with his personal issues with the former Bullet Club Gold, particularly White. Death Triangle, while never winning the Trios Titles, possesses the firepower to take the Trios Titles from the champions, but with all the injury issues that have caught up with members of Death Triangle (sans Penta) it would be skeptical to assume that they will win the titles. The fact also remains that, with one missing member of the Gang, there is more gas left in the tank for White and the Brothers Gunn to retain the Trios Titles and await another challenger for their titles.

WINNER: The Bang Bang Gang (STILL AEW Unified Trios Champions)

FTW Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. HOOK vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Image Credit: AEW

So, let me just state straight away that, I never thought I would be digging Jericho again, especially after his run of winning matches that, quite frankly, he had no business winning.

(But I hear you say he put over Action Andretti once, and to that I say…meh)

But, as crazy as it sounds, The Learning Tree Chris Jericho (see also blissfully self-aware and a bit obtuse) has really won me over, and even though the FTW Title (that’s For The World, now) belongs to the Hook/Taz Family, it’s hard for me to bet against the current champion. To compound the situation, the 3-way Elminator Match this past week on Dynamite not only saw HOOK win the match, but Shibata as well, as both men made Bryan Keith tap out at the same time. This is pause enough to consider HOOK being able to beat or submit Shibata and bring his family title back home and not have Jericho being involved in the fall (and then having a rightful complaint about not being the one who lost the match). But as I have stated in this blurb, I really am finding it hard to see Jericho drop the belt, at least right now, so I suppose one way to keep the HOOK chase going is in Jericho beats Shibata, leaving HOOK to give chase for some time until he gets the family title back.

WINNER: Chris Jericho (STILL FTW Champion)

AEW International Championship Match
Roderick Strong vs. Will Ospreay

Image Credit: AEW

Given all the momentum that the Ultimate BRUV has going for him, you would think that Strong stood no chance of retaining his International Title. Well, I am here to tell you that, despite evidence to the contrary, Roddy does have a more than fair chance of, quite frankly, upsetting the BRUV One and retaining his title this Sunday.

Simply put, it will come down to the numbers game, and as much as we would like to believe that Callis does indeed have the BRUV of all trades in his stable, it is merely in name only. On the other hand, Strong is well entrenched within the Undisputed Kingdom, so he has Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, and the WAR DOG watching his back and helping him when needed. And while there was s mutual admiration for this past Dynamite between Cassidy and BRUV Love, it simply is not fair to assume that Orange will be in any state to help his new friend depending upon where his match with Beretta falls on the card. However, despite the distinct numbers advantage in the favor of the champion, you simply will not be able to keep a good BRUV down, and I feel like, out of all the male wrestlers on the roster, that the BRUV Dove has the most upward momentum of them all. I am sure there will be shenanigans and chaos afoot in this one, but there can only be one decisive outcome to this match.

WINNER: The Willy GOAT BRUV (NEW AEW International Champion)

AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Toni Storm vs. Serena Deeb

Image Credit: AEW

You know, on paper, these ladies are very capable of providing us with one hell of a match in the ring. Deeb is not called “The Professor” for no reason, and it is great to finally see her getting respect and being in a title match with the TIMELESS one, who she herself is no slouch in the ring, even if her current style is a little unconventional. The one thing I do not like is the shifting landscape as to who is supposed to be face and who is supposed to be the heel going into this.

Like the last title feud that Storm engaged in, the company tried to push Deonna Purrazzo as the babyface, and the fans did not accept it, instead getting behind Storm. This time around, it feels like the same thing is happening again, and no, it’s not because of that Deeb promo that got rebuked by the fans in Edmonton (although it was heartless and disgusting), I feel like it’s the fact that Storm is finally learning to accept Mariah May and likes her. In this dynamic, it makes Storm a babyface because, while her crazy woman persona has always been something the fans like, her being able to show heart and compassion for her biggest fan is what makes everything come full circle.

All that to say what I have been repeating since she won the title belt, and that is that the Show Must Go on, Darlings! With all due respect to Deeb and her amazing comeback story, it is simply not time to take the title belt from the TIMELESS one!

WINNER: TIMELESS Toni Storm (STILL AEW Women’s World Champion)

AEW TNT Championship Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match
Adam Copeland vs. Malakai Black

Image Credit: AEW

Remember when Copeland made the comment about having “Dream Matches” in AEW with people that he never faced before, or had faced before and wanted to rekindle that flame? This match with Black is one that, I admit, I had not thought about in the first place, but when Copeland became intertwined with the House of Black, it made perfect sense. That the title match is going to take place inside not just a steel cage, but a steel cage with barbed wire adorning it, makes this one even more interesting and makes it a fair one-on-one match, with Buddy Matthews and Brody King being unable to help Malakai out.

When the House not only beatdown Copeland (and his fellow Canadian compatriot, Kyle O’Reilly), Malakai took the wedding ring from Copeland’s hand. It is no secret that Copeland is married to Beth Phoenix (she does the intro to his theme song before Alter Bridge kicks in), and it is also no secret that Copeland used to be a vampire in the Brood alongside his “brother” Christian and the ringleader, Gangrel. This becomes a focal point during this past Dynamite when, after defeating O’Reilly in a singles match, Black got doused by the red liquid that does not look like blood, but we will call it blood anyway (Credit to Ryan AKA Wrestling Bios for that one). In any sense of the word, this was a response by Copeland in response to what Black and the rest of the House did to him. It has been a good run with the title for Adam, but I feel like Black is due to win his first singles title in AEW. Yes, he’s been Trios Champion with the rest of the House, but he has never gotten his due as a singles wrestler, and I feel like that could change on Sunday. You can make the argument for Copeland to retain, and you would not be wrong, but I just feel like Black must win the title and validate his lack of a singles run, turning into something better than what he has been doing.

WINNER: Malakai Black (NEW AEW TNT Champion)

AEW TBS Championship Match
Willow Nightingale vs. Mercedes Moné

Image Credit: AEW

Finally, after all these weeks and months, the one and only CEO is going to step into the ring and she is going to dazzle us, she is going to WOW us, and she is going to take some revenge on the perceived slight that she suffered (along with an injury) at the hands of Nightingale at a New Japan event months back. Yes, Mone is going to show us that is in fact MONEY (get it, clever right) and win the TBS Title belt in her debut in-ring match.

But are we so sure about that? It would be an insult to disregard everything that Willow has accomplished up to this point, finally becoming the TBS Champion after getting so close on occasions and coming up short every time. The winner of the most recent Owen Hart Memorial on the women’s side has made good on her potential and has even managed to impress fans with her promo work and ability to convey some more attitude despite still being, at her core, the same bubbly and happy-go-lucky Willow that she always has been.

I feel that no matter who wins, there are going to be upset fans at any rate, with the built-in fans for Mone being upset if she loses, and the fans who do not like her/support Willow getting mad if Mone does win the title. But, despite all of this, there seems to be a reason that Mone was brought in for as high a price tag as she was and, whether fair or not, I think Willow will be dropping the title to the CEO.

WINNER: The CEO, Mercedes Mone (NEW AEW TBS Champion)

Anarchy in the Arena
The New Elite vs. Team AEW

Image Credit: AEW

Before we look at this match, did you know that The Bucks were EVP’s? I feel like I missed that information, although the reworked intro to Dynamite has been a fun little ode to the Brothers Jackson embracing power and inflating their egos, with Okada and Perry along for the ride in the New Elite. The culmination of Okada, one of the most sought-after free agents upon the end of his New Japan contract, and Perry, having been “rehired” by the Bucks after being fired and labeled the “Scapegoat,” has provided us with yet another heel stable in the company, albeit the one with the most power.

On the other side of the ring (and wherever they end up fighting over Las Vegas) is Team AEW, featuring Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Bryan Danielson, and injury replacement Darby Allin, taking the place of Eddie Kingston. Darby himself is returning from injury (and avoiding significant injury after being hit by a bus) but would not miss the opportunity to defend AEW but, moreover, a chance to stick it to the authorities in AEW. So, too, has Tony Khan, the Owner/CEO/whatever else of AEW, who was taken out the Elite with a TK Driver weeks ago but was seen arriving at the arena on Dynamite with Allin, who the Bucks had originally banned from the arena. FTR factor into this match based on their history with the Bucks in memorable wars for the tag team titles, but the placement of Danielson in this match is the most interesting one. I understand that you want him on the card (and how else would they do it), but a staunch member of the BBC defending AEW is an interesting development from a story line perspective.

With Khan back (and the return of his ultimate power in the company) it does make it seem like Team AEW should win this match. But if they do, then what was the point of the ascension of The Elite in the first place, and if they do lose, then how does that make them look losing to a completely scatterplot team? Smart money says take The Elite after Darby nearly kills himself doing something insane, and the Bucks continue to antagonize Khan.

WINNER: The New Elite

AEW World Championship Match
Swerve Strickland vs. Christian Cage

Image Credit: AEW

People have disagreed with the decision by the company to make Cage the first title defense for Strickland, claiming he is simply a mid-card guy who does not deserve the main event/world title shine. But, despite how completely asinine that sounds, there has been exterior build into the actual feud build that has taken place that makes this one intriguing.

Let us go back a couple of months, when Nick Wayne, then an understudy/friend to Allin, got attacked by both Strickland and AR Fox, beating Wayne within an inch of his life, and breaking a picture of Nick and his father, Buddy Wayne. Fast forward a couple of months, and Wayne is now the son of Cage, and obviously, this does not sit well with Cage. So, what started out as Christian making his intentions known by hitting Strickland in the forehead with a microphone and turned into Cage employing the Mogul Embassy to turn on Strickland (despite their still heel alignment versus Swerve’s babyface turn) has led to Strickland knocking off Brian Cage and Nick Wayne in successive matches and chasing Cage out of the building this past Wednesday. It is not the most compelling story going on in the company, especially given that this is a feud over the world title of the company, but you can also do worse than what they have done here.

More than anything else and, despite the cries from fans who say Cage is not a worthy title contender at this stage in his career, there is no denying that Cage has had a strong career, and his accolades and achievements make him a worthy challenger to Strickland. That he is doing the best character work of his career is a bonus, which will make it even sweeter when Strickland pins Cage and picks up his first defense of the AEW World Title.

WINNER: Swerve Strickland (STILL AEW World Champion)

AEW Double or Nothing comes to you this Sunday, starting at 6:30PM EST with the Zero Hour, followed by the main card, starting at 8:00PM EST.