AEW is limping home toward what may be the least-anticipated pay-per-view in its four-year history with “Double or Nothing” coming up on Sunday night.
The company has been in what feels like a holding pattern all spring, with the focus being on the upcoming June 17 debut of the new Saturday night show, “Collision,” and the big Aug. 27 “All In” show in Wembley Stadium in London, which has already sold more than 65,000 tickets without a single match having been announced.
The pending return of CM Punk has also been a hangup in terms of having anything meaningful happen in terms of creative.
It just seems that Tony Khan and Co. have been treating the weekly “Dynamite” shows leading into “Double or Nothing,” and “Double or Nothing” itself, as sort of placeholders for the summer months leading into Wembley.
But in the meantime, we have “Double or Nothing,” with a card that doesn’t seem to promise much in the way of anything significant happening.
It’s hard to imagine Khan wanting to take the AEW world title off MJF, for instance, or wanting to take the women’s title off Jamie Hayter, who seems destined for a big title defense against Saraya at “All In.”
FTR isn’t dropping the tag belts; Jade Cargill wouldn’t seem to be in trouble with Taya Valkyrie.
Which isn’t saying “Double or Nothing” won’t be a fun watch, just that, nothing earth-shattering is going to come out of the big night in Vegas.
AEW world title: Four-way featuring world champ MJF, Darby Allin, Jack Perry and Sammy Guevara
This feud has been all about elevating Allin, Perry and Guevara, and it’s worked the most for Allin, who probably should’ve gotten a one-on-one with MJF instead of being one guy in a four-way.
Jack Perry has done himself no good with his weak work on the mic. Of the four, he comes out of this a distant fourth, and will venture back to the low midcard after this one is over.
Women’s title: Jamie Hayter defends against Toni Storm
Should be a fun match, but Hayter has to go over to set up what would be an epic (on paper, not in the ring) title defense at Wembley with Saraya.
World tag titles: FTR defends against Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal
I like the storyline involving Mark Briscoe being the special referee, and having a beef with Dax Harwood over that odd accidental piledriver in a recent “Dynamite” dustup.
(I mean, it might just be me, but I’ve never once accidentally piledriven anybody, or even come close.)
It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Briscoe has said that he doesn’t want to tag because he doesn’t want to tarnish the legacy of the Briscoes tag team with his late brother, Jay, but it would seem logical to see him find a partner (perhaps Lethal?) to challenge FTR down the road.
TNT title: Wardlow defends against Christian Cage in a ladder match
Cage didn’t invent the ladder match, but he was part of the group (along with Edge and the Hardy Boys) who perfected the gimmick.
Let’s see if he can lead Wardlow into a breakout showing here.
TBS title: Jade Cargill defends against Taya Valkyrie
The long Jade unbeaten streak is getting to be a problem in her booking. It won’t be resolved here, though Valkyrie would be an interesting new champ.
International title: Orange Cassidy defends in a Blackjack Battle Royale
Cassidy is set to be one of the featured talents on the new “Collision” program, so he isn’t losing here.
Anarchy in the Arena: The Elite vs. Blackpool Combat Club
Who cares, right? This will be an utter waste of 30 minutes of PPV time, because it doesn’t lead us anywhere.
Chris Jericho vs. Adam Cole
The Adam Cole return has been played out well, and a win over Jericho will move him back up toward the title picture.
I don’t get Sabu being involved.
Ethan Page and The Gunns vs. The Hardys and Hook
Somebody has to jerk the curtain; this seems like the best candidate.