It has been almost two years since I packed up my suitcase and took my trip Vegas. I was on my way to go see what I considered a huge part of professional wrestling history. Memorial Day weekend of 2019, AEW’s first Double or Nothing event!
Thanks to The Starcast Event, this major wrestling show was turned into a four-day experience. Starting on Thursday and ending on Sunday; but it tied together with the highlight being Double or Nothing on Saturday. The Starcast Event was a mixture of Legends, AEW Talent, and Independent talent. They all came together to put on an amazing experience for fans. There was some big matches on the card; which proved to lay some of the groundwork for AEW Dynamite to debut in the fall of that year.
With the next event coming up I wanted to highlight what turned out to be one of my favorite weekends. I also wanted to take a deep dive into the Double or Nothing event as a whole, and what it was like being in the crowd.
It took me about five hours to drive to Vegas (I have to admit that I was speeding due to pure excitement). I checked into my hotel and knew that the first step was to walk down the strip and head right to Caesar’s Palace. Starrcast was being held at their convention area.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from the experience and was just hoping that I could catch some wrestlers as they were walking around the hotel. My wife and I were in full vacation mode and had on matching banana outfits. The reason I mention this detail is that both Jungle Boy and Karrion Kross (FKA Killer Kross) separately, stopped us just to tell us how much they like them.
From the Ballroom
As I walked up to the ballroom, I saw Kevin Nash walking by. He has to be the tallest person I have ever seen up close. Completely, caught me off guard!
I was able to meet some of incredible wrestlers. It gave me the opportunity to have conversations with the likes of Mark Henry, Road Warrior Animal, Rikishi, and Hurricane Helms. I had a long conversation with Sean “XPAC” Waltman about dogs. Matt Striker was there as a fan just talking with other fans as well. Booker T was a humble guy as well. I enjoyed meeting Swoggle because I always enjoyed any segment he was a part of! Keep in mind; I am only naming a few people!
I was not able to participate in every event during the weekend, I did arrive on Friday and it was a nonstop experience from there.
Overall, spending Friday and Saturday at Starrcast was an amazing experience. My wife and I jumped in an Uber with some other fans and it was off to the MGM for Double or Nothing! Walking through the hotel with a large group of fans and the chants had already started! We passed by WWE Hall of Famer Pete Rose on the way there. He was signing baseballs in a memorabilia shop at the hotel. The gate attendant scanned our tickets and it was off to our seats.
Double or Nothing Event
At our seats, we could do nothing but admire the how cool the set looked. I thought the giant poker chips were a nice touch. “The Buy In” was going to start with the Casino Battle Royal.
Casino Battle Royal
I wasn’t sure what to expect when this started. Being so used to WWE’s battle royals, I was expecting everyone to be in the ring at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that this was not the case.
I popped when Tommy Dreamer out about because for me it was a sign that the night was going to be crazier than I thought! MJF was boo’d over and over again. Adam Page was the surprise entrant with the number 21 spot. The people I sat next to were upset that he won but I thought it was cool that they were spotlighting him.
Sammy Guevara vs Kip Sabien
To be honest, I had never heard of either of these guys before this. It was fast paced which what was kept me interested. Overall, Sabien won, but I am convinced that this is what made AEW want to push Guevara in the future.
After, the buy in was the official start of Double or Nothing. The fans were ready! Chants were loud throughout the whole arena. A video package played and it was go time!
SCU vs The Strong Hearts
It was a great choice to have SCU start out the official show. Like I said, the fans were hyped up but SCU took it to another level. They cut a promo about how Vegas was their favorite of the worst towns they have ever been to; then the match started. SCU came out victorious after a moonsault from Kazarian.
AEW had stated that they wanted to highlight tag team wrestling. Starting the official show off with a tag team match this exciting only foreshadowed what was to come.
Nyla Rose vs Britt Baker vs Kylie Rae vs Awesome Kong
In what originally was supposed to be a triple threat match, our first women’s match of the night soon turned into a fatal four way. Brandi Rhodes came out and introduced Awesome Kong as the fourth competitor of this match. The crowd lost it! Myself included!
The dynamic of Rose and Kong in the ring together perfectly evened out this match. Rose showed how dominate she could be, Rae was the fan favorite but ultimately, Baker would get the win. Not knowing much about Baker, it was cool to see that they were putting faith in what would turn out to be one of their top female talents.
Best Friends vs Jack Evans and Angelico
This was a good match but it seemed like the crowd wasn’t really into it. As entertaining as both teams could be, this was an obvious filler match. The highlight of the match came after Best Friends won. This is where we saw the debut of The Dark Order (FKA The Super Smash Bros).
The lights went out and these mysterious men hit the ring. They stood tall in the ring after beating up both the competing teams…but again no one knew who they were.
Loud “who are you?” chants were being made by a large majority of the crowd. Looking back at it; I think they benefitted from no one knowing them. It set the stage for them to be one of the prominent tables in AEW today. They were able to build off that mystery for a while.
Hikaru Shida, Ryo Mizunami, Rhio Abe vs Aja Kong, Emi Sakura, Yuka Sakazaki