wrestling / Columns

AEW Double Or Nothing Thoughts: Stadium Stampede, Britt Baker Wins Gold, More

June 2, 2021 | Posted by Shawn S. Lealos
AEW Double or Nothing Britt Baker

Welcome to the first week of 411mania’s new AEW column. It’s also my first column for the site in over five years.

For those who don’t know me, my name is Shawn Lealos, and I created and wrote the movie column Alternate Takes for 342 weeks, with my first column coming way back in 2008.

I also wrote about 200 movie reviews for the site, wrote the Movies Top 5 from article #342 until #528 (2012-2016), and did the 3Rs of movies around the same period. In wrestling, I was the first re-capper of Ring of Honor TV when it went into syndication in 2011.

I stepped away from the site in 2016 after a car accident involving my wife and now, five years later, I am back.

While I did mostly movie news before, I started reading 411mania because of the wrestling and have been a huge fan of the sport since the ‘80s. I started off following Mid-South Wrestling and World Class Championship Wrestling, while also watching the NWA religiously every Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. on WTBS. I also watched WWF on Saturday mornings but never liked it as much, as I was always an NWA guy.

When the Monday Night Wars was in full effect, I was always Team-WCW and even watched it when it fell apart in 2000-2001. That made me excited when TNA started in 2002. I got the weekly PPVs and was a huge fan as an alternative to WWE. As the years went on, I gravitated to WWE and only paid attention to TNA and Ring of Honor on rare occasions (outside of the two years I was recapping ROH).

I was growing disinterested in wrestling. WWE felt a little stale to me, despite being a fan of several of the wrestlers. That made it very exciting for me when AEW formed. It was like TNA all over again. Just like in the early days of TNA where I became huge fans of guys like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Chris Sabin, Kazarian, and more, AEW was bringing me something fresh, and I loved it.

I quickly latched on, following it as a fan and a writer ever since. I have covered every AEW PPV event for different websites since its inception, watch AEW Dynamite religiously every week, and have interviewed several talents including The Young Bucks, Brandi Rhodes, Brodie Lee, Shawn Spears, MJF, and Tony Khan.

For this weekly column, it will mostly be me discussing what is happening in AEW — the good and the bad. I don’t believe in blindly praising everything a company does any more than I believe in dissing everything another company does. I am a fan of wrestling of all kinds, from AEW and WWE to Ring of Honor, TNA, MLW, and NWA. I love NXT almost as much as AEW. I just love watching great wrestling with engrossing storylines.

I will also bring you interviews occasionally from AEW wrestlers and will keep you updated on any news you might have missed during the week.

This column will arrive every Wednesday, in time to read on the same day as AEW Dynamite. While this means it won’t include anything from that night’s show, I will catch you up on everything heading into that night’s airing.

With that out of the way, let’s talk Double or Nothing 2021.

 

AEW Double or Nothing 2021

Results

  • Serena Deeb def. Riho by submission (NWA Women’s Championship).
  • Adam Page def. Brian Cage by pinfall.
  • The Young Bucks def. Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley by pinfall (AEW Tag Team Championship).
  • Jungle Boy won Casino Battle Royal.
  • Cody Rhodes def. Anthony Ogogo by pinfall.
  • Miro def. Lance Archer by knockout (TNT Championship).
  • Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. def. Hikaru Shida by submission (AEW Women’s Championship).
  • Darby Allin & Sting def. Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky by pinfall.
  • Kenny Omega def. Orange Cassidy and Pac (AEW World Championship).
  • The Inner Circle def. The Pinnacle by pinfall (Stadium Stampede Match).

Check out Tony Acero’s full review of AEW Double or Nothing 2021 here.

Overall, I loved Double or Nothing 2021. From top to bottom, there wasn’t a poor match. There were a couple of average matches, but most were highly entertaining.

From the top, I loved having the fans back in attendance. I will not get into the masks and social distancing debates here. Having the fans in full-force, cheering and booing the wrestlers, made this feel like the first genuine show I have seen in over a year. The fans made this better than it would have been.

Serena Deeb turning full heel against Riho was a brilliant move. Fans love to get behind Riho as the ultimate underdog. While fans love Deeb, having her heel-out was a way to get fans invested.

Adam Page has been in a slump lately. I love his stuff with The Dark Order, but he just hasn’t had the same fire he did in the start. He went from someone I thought could beat Kenny Omega for the title to someone I questioned in regular matches. He has picked it up somewhat, and while his match with Brian Cage was more about Cage turning babyface (which will probably happen on Dynamite this week), Page looked good. I am more interested in Cage right now, showing AEW has work to do with Hangman.

The Young Bucks are glorious jerks. These guys are so easy to hate, it is shocking they remained babyfaces as long as they did. Everything they do in the ring, in the back, and in interviews makes fans want to see someone punch them in the face. It shocked me they pinned Jon Moxley. AEW has really protected Mox since he arrived, so to see him pinned instead of Eddie Kingston was surprising. It makes the Young Bucks seem unbeatable, but where does Mox go from here?

Jungle Boy winning the Casino Battle Royale was a major shock. Everyone I listened to thought Christian was winning here to give him a title match, but showing he had to earn it. Instead, watching Jungle Boy come to the ring with fans singing his theme song proves Tony Khan made a brilliant business move by licensing this music (same thing with fans singing Wild Thing for Mox). The fans love to cheer on Jungle Boy and he is a perfect babyface. Seeing someone fans love as much as Jungle boy try to beat the hated Kenny Omega should make for a special match when they fight on Dynamite in two weeks.

Cody Rhodes was always going to win this match. If he hadn’t pulled out the American Dream gimmick, I might have questioned the ending. Once he said he was wrestling as the Dream, he couldn’t lose. That is disappointing. AEW built Anthony Ogogo into a beast and he is going to be fantastic one day. He has the look and charisma of a star. I liked they did the blood spot above Ogogo’s eye since he is legally blind in the other eye, but I wish the commentary team had talked more about it to let fans know who otherwise might not understand that part of the story.

Miro vs. Lance Archer was a great hoss battle. It went long, but Miro throwing Jake Roberts’ snake bag up the ramp was great. This is the Miro WWE fans wanted to see. However, this is two years in a row Archer fell short. AEW needs to do something with Lance before he becomes irrelevant.

Check out my interview with Lance for 411mania from back in 2012.

Britt Baker, D.M.D. was always going to win this match. It was time to run with Baker, as she is the best female heel in AEW. The honoring of Hikaru Shida as the longest-reigning champion in AEW made it seem in doubt, but in the end, it was the right move. Let’s see if Britt can be a great heel AEW champion. On a side note, this means every champion in AEW is a heel. That seems weird.

Darby Allin & Sting taking on Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page was what it needed to be. Honestly, I don’t know what AEW has in store for Page and Sky. With Sting pinning Sky, their future is even more cloudy. Sting looks a lot better in this run than he did in WWE. That is mostly because of his booking. I guess Sting getting the pinfall win was great for fans who love seeing him back in the ring (I have been a massive Sting fan since his Blade Runner days in Mid-South). Darby Allin might have been better to get the pin as revenge for them throwing him down the stairs on Dynamite.

Kenny Omega kept his title against Pac and Orange Cassidy, and there was little chance he was going to lose here. Honestly, it will be someone special to beat Omega, and that person hasn’t shown up yet (or its Page after some rehabilitation). Orange looked good as unusual, and Pac was on fire. Kenny using every one of his titles to cheat to win was brilliant, but Omega still hasn’t had a match to rival his NJPW work yet.

The Inner Circle beating The Pinnacle was a shock. I never thought this was going to happen, assuming they would end Jericho’s faction. By listening to the fan reaction, The Inner Circle is more over than ever. AEW made the right choice to keep them together. Having Sammy Guevara get the pinfall win over Shawn Spears was absolutely the right move. Spears is the one member of The Pinnacle people expect to take a pinfall. The more important thing here is that Sammy got the pin. He has massive upside. He was also the guy who lost matches over the last two years. It is time to build up Sammy as the star he is, and I could see Sammy Guevara vs. Kenny Omega down the line if AEW plays its cards right.

Things are getting exciting in AEW with fans back and touring starting in July. I can’t wait to share this journey with you and I will be here every Wednesday with my thoughts, analysis, and some interviews in the coming months.

I’d love to hear how you became a wrestling fan and whether or not you enjoy AEW. Drop a line in the comments below and let your voices he heard.

You can still donate to the GoFundMe for Larry Csonka’s family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/larrymania-living-on-in-his-girls

And, hey, every column needs a good name. Any ideas? Fire away in the comments. See you all next week.