All Elite Wrestling’s first official show Double or Nothing is now in the rearview, and it definitely got AEW off to a good start.
Emanating from the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, there is definitely room for improvement, especially when it comes to production. The show’s first hours had a number of miscues or wrong shots, but those errors subsided as the show went on, and the match quality increased with every bout on the card.
While there were a number of great moments throughout the night, here are the five that people will be talking about.
Honorable Mention: Jimmy Havoc stapling Joey Janela’s lit cigarette to his forehead.
How hardcore/deathmatch style things like this will play into AEW’s weekly program on TNT is anyone’s guess, but for wrestling fans tired of “TV-PG,” you might find more of what you desire with AEW.
5. J.R. is back!
AEW will have to address the dynamics of their current three-man announce team. It took a few matches for Jim Ross, Alex Marvez and Excalibur to find their rhythm with each other, but there’s one undeniable takeaway from Double or Nothing: Good ol’ J.R. sounded great and is clearly excited to have the opportunity to be on the call again.
4. The Surprise Fatal Four-way Women’s match sets the stage for the Women’s Division
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D, Kylie Rae and Nyla Rose received a massive surprise when their triple threat match was turned into a fatal four-way with the addition of Awesome Kong. Awesome Kong seemed to be making a special appearance at Double or Nothing and isn’t joining the roster, but Baker, Rae and Rose put on a solid match that showed AEW’s women’s division won’t be treated as an afterthought.
3. Bret Hart!
Fans knew the AEW World Title would get unveiled at Double or Nothing, but no one expected two-time WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart to do the honors. If you did expect this, you’re either clairvoyant or a liar.
2. Jon Moxley is #AllElite
It wasn’t totally shocking for Jon Moxley (formerly WWE’s Dean Ambrose) to show up at Double or Nothing after dropping that awesome teaser on Twitter, but seeing him again after Chris Jericho defeated Kenny Omega was still nothing short of thrilling. Only time will tell what Moxley will do next, but many wrestling fans will definitely be watching.
1. Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes
Brother vs. Brother. Blood vs. Blood. Of course, the actual blood that poured from the face of Dustin Rhodes and ended up all over the canvas took an already dramatic match to an insane level. And just when you thought these two sons of a son of a plumber were done, Cody prevents Dustin from leaving his boots in the ring and retiring and asks him to be his partner when facing The Young Bucks at July’s Fight For The Fallen. Somewhere, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes was smiling ear-to-ear or welling up like many fans watching.