In case you haven’t heard, All Elite Wrestling has arrived. Saturday night they put on a pay per view called Double or Nothing. The event took place from the infamous MGM Grand building in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card was full of anticipated matches and the night, in a nutshell, was absolutely enjoyable.
Every match from the battle royal to the main event was really good. And even though I didn’t recognize or even know of some of the wrestlers in the matches, it didn’t matter. They put on great matches and really had me interested in what was going on. That’s more than what I can say WWE has been doing for me lately.
Cody vs Dustin Rhodes was a great, throwback wrestling match. Neither man used a lot of high impact moves, but the story and drama were certainly there. Obviously, these two are the sons of pro wrestling icon and hall of famer Dusty Rhodes. And several times throughout the match, you could hear a Dusty chant.
It was an emotional match, not just for Dustin and Cody, but for every long time wrestling fan. Early in the match Dustin cut his forehead on an exposed turnbuckle and the amount of blood he lost was, quite honestly, a little uneasy for me to watch. But he continued the match and although he didn’t win, clearly showed just how good he really is.
After the match, Cody asked Dustin to be his tag team partner against the Young Bucks at their next pay per view and Dustin accepted. With tears in both their eye, the two embraced with a hug to the delight of the Las Vegas crowd. Both Excalibur and Jim Ross were also misty eyed when the camera went to them after the match.
The main event was Kenny Omega versus Chris Jericho part two. Both of these men brought it as expected, and although in my opinion their first match was better, they certainly had one of the best matches on the card. Jericho picked up the win and will now face Adam ‘Hangman’ Page at the next pay per view for the AEW world championship.
A championship that was unveiled by pro wrestling legend and hall of famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. The belt looks amazing and honestly makes WWE’s titles look cheesy. AEW did everything right Saturday night and I know for sure, that WWE took notice. Not only is AEW new, fresh and a great alternative to WWE, it’s becoming the desired destination of a lot of up and coming wrestlers as well as current WWE, New Japan, Ring of Honor and Impact wrestlers.
With that said there were a couple things that I really didn’t care for Saturday night, one being the commentary of Alex Marvez and the comments from Dustin Rhodes after the event. Alex Marvez came across as flat and un sure of the product he was calling. I realize he has been in the NFL scene, but I really just didn’t care for him on commentary. I am sure in time he will be better, especially sitting next to the best commentator of all time, Jim Ross.
After the show was over Dustin Rhodes was quoted as saying “Vince McMahon better watch his ass.” If it were me, I would have not said that. I think after the sledgehammer to “Triple H’s throne” the shot was heard loud and clear. AEW had a great night and I certainly understand that perhaps he was frustrated with WWE, but I would recommend staying humble.
With all that said, there is no denying that AEW is on WWE’s radar. Several WWE superstars tweeted about Double or Nothing, the crowd at RAW last night could be heard across my tv chanting AEW on a couple of occasions. And even Sami Zayn dropped AEW’s name during an on air segment.
It has been in question whether or not the name drop by Zayn was scripted or not. Personally, I don’t believe it was. Vince has long been the type to not even recognize that their are other wrestling organizations outside of WWE. And the way that Corey Graves immediately side swiped it by going onto another topic quickly lets me know that it probably wasn’t scripted.
After all of that, and after seeing Jon Moxley, formally known as Dean Ambrose, show up at Double or Nothing, there is no way WWE isn’t at least slightly worried about AEW. Many current WWE stars are turning down new contracts and after seeing Moxley make the impact that he did at Double or Nothing, there is a lot of underused talent that have to be weighing their options.
Now, I don’t think it’s AEW’s intention to eliminate WWE, because they are smart enough to know that competition creates cash and makes for a better product all around. But I think they are out to prove that other companies, if run properly, can thrive in a industry ruled by the WWE for the last three decades.
I for one have grown stale with the WWE product and my pro wrestling fandom was revitalized Saturday night after watching Double or Nothing. WWE is sports entertainment, AEW is professional wrestling. Pro wrestling is what I grew up on and in my humble opinion is better that sports entertainment.
You may ask, what’s the difference? The difference is kayfabe. What’s kayfabe? Kayfabe is the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic. Basically in sports entertainment there is no kayfabe, in pro wrestling it’s the entire premise. AEW will protect kayfabe and the business.
I am excited for AEW and am looking forward to getting to watch pro wrestling again. It sounds crazy to say, but WWE could learn a thing or two from AEW and how to put on an entertaining pay per view. I even said last night that if AEW had a show on the same time as RAW, I would have watched AEW.
Thanks for checking out today’s blog and tomorrow I will have my weekly top ten. There is a good chance there will be some AEW wrestlers in for the first time. Also this week, I will have my NXT TakeOver twenty five predictions, and I look for that show to be a response to AEW’s Double or Nothing.