AEW Double or Nothing 2022 Review and Match Ratings

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Wardlow def. MJF

Results were pretty predictable. Only thing that matters is that MJF actually showed up. The squash was fine, but I got the point after the first couple of powerbomb. Wardlow got his rub, though. Good for him. **

The Hardyz def. The Young Bucks

This was pretty much every Hardyz/YB match that you have ever seen. Only this one felt like it was a fast forward of their greatest hits. I was into the match, but I was also not into the match. This was primarily because it felt like everything was sped through. Sounds weird considering the match went nearly 20 minutes. But the transitions were just very rapid. One second it’s the superkick party. Next it’s a Twist of Fate here and a Side Effect there. Then there’s more superkicks and outside dives.

They packed a lot within that time frame and it got a bit difficult to enjoy because of the swiftness with which they transitioned. It is kind of impressive the Hardy’s are still able to do their signature moves with such precision, though. Even if they are less nimble as they were in their prime. Overall, it was a very good tag match, albeit with some pacing issues and some unnecessary padding, like all the time it took to set up Jeff’s Swanton on the outside. ***1/2

Jade Cargill (C) def. Anna Jay – TBS Championship

This was every Cargill match you’ve ever seen since she became the champion. Only thing memorable is the post match bits with Athena. That should be good. Otherwise, like I said, nothing that you have not already seen. **


House of Black def. Death Triangle

Another very balls to the wall action-filled event featuring these six. This match I felt was a bit more elaborate than the Hardys/YB tag match, which is more impressive considering there are two more people to integrate here. Plenty of high spots, plenty of storytelling and plenty of staredowns. Considering that this was a story that was months in the making, I think it ended up being a pretty good pay-off all things considered. ***3/4


Adam Cole def. Samoa Joe – Owen Hart Tournament Men’s Final

Cole and Joe was a match that I actually wanted to see in NXT before both men had moved on, so I’m glad we at least got to see it here. The match was fine, butt I felt like it could have been better. It was a bit too slow-paced for my liking, but I did like the limb work and how it incorporated into the finish. Cole winning pretty much signaled how the Soho/Baker match was going to play out, by the way. Overall, I thought it was just a well-worked solid match. I wish I could rate this match a bit higher, but it didn’t set me on fire like I thought it would. Basic limb work, and a simple structure, makes for a solid, but unspectacular Owen Hart tournament final. ***1/4

Britt Baker D.M.D def. Ruby Soho – Owen Hart Tournament Women’s Final

As I said, Adam Cole winning his match gave away the finish of this match from a mile away. I think this match was aesthetically solid, and had some great intensity towards the end. Baker’s heel mannerisms carried things along to make up for the gaps in actual in-ring action as well. ***1/4

American Top Team w def. Sammy Guevara, Frankie Kazarian & Tay Conti

Being real honest, I didn’t care too much for this trios match. It was really more comedy if anything, and at the same time, I’m starting to hit the wall, so seeing yet another tag match involving multiple people is starting to grow stale. It isn’t there fault, and the action was good enough to at least keep people watching, but beyond the finish and the interactions of Sammy and Tay, you could easily forget this happened. **1/2


Kyle O’Reilly def. Darby Allin

For those of you who do not know, Kyle O’Reilly is one of my favorite professional wrestlers on the planet. He’s just built for this and can adapt to any style. Doesn’t have the typical top guy look, and perhaps he doesn’t stand out in the crowd, but he can wrassle with the best of them. This match wasn’t the most exciting and didn’t have all the bells and whistles that other matches did, but it was just a very entertaining clash of styles. You have Darby Allin’s high flying moves combined with O’Reilly’s ground game it made for a simple, but very compelling clash of styles. The finish was also simple but made finish in the context of the story they were trying to tell. ***1/2


Thunder Rosa (C) def. Serena Deeb – AEW Women’s Championship

This was all about two women who wanted to prove something to us and themselves, and they turned out an impressive performance that featured something of a game of chess, more or less. I think it a bit for them to get their groove together, but once they reached their highs, it got very good towards the end, despite a few sloppy spots here and there. Interesting to note that even Jim Ross noted that. It also felt like it went a tick too long for what they were going for. ***1/4

Jericho Appreication Society def. Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz

Not even sure how you rate something like this, kind of like how I had trouble rating AJ Styles and Undertaker’s Boneyard match. It’s just a flat out fight with so many storylines and other things to follow. You have Eddie Kingston carrying gasoline, you have people choking others out with the ring apron, barbed wire and about 4902 other things to follow between 10 men. It’s basically a drunken bar fight, more or less. I guess it was fun to see them beating the crap out of each other, but I’m not sure how this would do on a star rating basis. I do better with just rating formal matches. I just feel this was more of an elongated segment to blow-off this feud. And yes, it was “fun”. But I always find that term to be a relative one when it comes to situations as these.

Jurassic Express (C) def. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland and Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks – AEW Tag Team Championships

This was balls to the wall non-stop action from six men who worked tremendously hard and had a lot of chemistry. Plenty of things to like here, primarily the teamwork of Lee/Strickland and Hobbs/Starks. They’re clearly building up something towards Cage and Jungle Boy, so that is something to observe going forward. I actually thought they would go through with pulling the trigger of Christian screwing them over. Regardless of such, plenty of great near-falls, action and a match flow that simmered beautifully until we got to the good stuff towards the end. ***3/4

CM Punk def. Hangman Page (C) – AEW World Championship

Man, we’re cracking 1 in the morning here on the East coast. I don’t think Page has missed in any of his title defenses since becoming champion, and we got another knock out of the park with this main event. Page came into the event claiming he had to defend AEW from what it would become under CM Punk’s reign, and Punk still wanted to prove to himself that he is still the best. People were anticipating Punk’s world championship win from the moment he signed with AEW, and sure enough, he finally reached the top of the mountain once again. Match was very good from start to finish, plenty of good reversals, intense deserpation on Page’s side some pretty cool innovative spots as well. I’m the crowd was sent home happy and fatigued. It’ll be interesting to see how Punk’s reign will turn out, but I’m excited for the possibilities. ****1/4

Conclusion:


Call me a lightweight, but there was just way too much content on this show and could have easily stood to have lost an hour or two. The roster is deep and flowing with talent, but not everything needs to be on the show, you know. I started to zone in and out about halfway through the night. It may be difficult to follow, say, NXT’s style of PPV where there’s just 5-6 matches on the card over the course of a couple of hours. But seeing everyone on a 13 match card for 5-6 hours can be incredibly draining. Especially when some of the matches are repetitive tag matches. I don’t know if my fatigue influenced my ratings a bit, but this was still a high quality show. My problem is just with the length. Perhaps I’m a lightweight, but everyone has their preferences. I’ll recommend Double or Nothing off the strength of the Anarchy brawl, Punk winning the title and some other title matches. But be warned, you’ll need a lot of time to burn because you’ll be up a while.

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