All Elite Wrestling’s inaugural event “Double or Nothing” has the wrestling world buzzing and for good reason. The hope of having a real alternative to WWE has existed for almost 20 years and last night AEW proved they can be that company. Not only did they sell out the MGM grand, they delivered a show that gave us a bit of everything and one that was topped off by the absolutely electric debut of Jon Moxley (FKA Dean Ambrose.)
Of course there were many questions going into the show – how would the production be? How would the commentary be? Truth be told, those things were not perfect nor should they be expected to be. All Elite Wrestling had never run a show, and their first one was a massive production in front of a sold out crowd. They’re taking on a huge endeavor as they’ll soon be bringing us a weekly show on TNT which will further change the current landscape of wrestling. Of course they will have room to grow but what they’ve done so far is nothing short of amazing.
So why was Double or Nothing so good? It basically gave us everything WWE doesn’t. Unique matches you can’t see multiple times a week that are continuously repeated, a mix of well known talent and rising stars, and maybe biggest of all – the unpredictability factor. Whether it was Awesome Kong showing up a surprise in the women’s match or Bret Hart making an unannounced appearance to present the AEW World Championship, AEW has that “anything can happen so I can’t miss it” vibe.
Another major factor was AEW’s delivery of the stories behind matches like Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes. It’s not hard, but WWE’s over scripting has made things so bland and unbelievable, a real story like the Rhodes brothers was able to capture real emotion which is rarely done these days. Their match had a built in backstory, the match itself was a bloodbath, and the ending brought things full circle and gave AEW one of it’s first unforgettable moments.
Of course the icing on the cake was Jon Moxley debuting at the end of the show to confront Chris Jericho who had just defeated Kenny Omega. Moxley took out Jericho, the referee, and even Omega and the crowd was rabid for it all. A star like Moxley who has been featured recently as a major star on WWE TV walking into AEW and presenting himself as unfiltered and uncensored finally gave us a character that came off as “cool” – a major missing element in wrestling today. Just sitting back and thinking about the stars in AEW and the matches we could potentially see is a fun part of wrestling that seems to have been gone for far too long.
If you love wrestling and miss the days of great shows that were driven by competition, AEW just might be for you. Double or Nothing has us wanting more and highly anticipating the TNT show this fall. If you get a chance, be sure to catch a replay of Double or Nothing as history was indeed made and a new era feels like it has officially begun.