HomeTelevisionAEW Double or Nothing 2024 Review: Proving the Best Wrestle in AEW

AEW Double or Nothing 2024 Review: Proving the Best Wrestle in AEW

MJF IS BACK!

Maxwell Jacob Friedman, in one of the most emphatic promos in recent memory, absolutely went scorched Earth and reaffirms there will be no more shenanigans, no more goofy shtick, just the MJF who made MJF what everyone knows. We can cheer or boo, it doesn’t matter. He took a shot at NJPW and WWE in one sentence, kicked Adam Cole in the nuts, and dropped more vulgarity bombs than I could count. MJF vs. Adam Cole might be the first return feud, but I imagine there will be no hesitation to get him into the main event. MJF channeled Ric Flair and then took some shots at WWE with the “return vest” worn by Triple H to a jab about a former head honcho. 

MJF tattooing the AEW logo on his ankle certainly drills the point he intends on staying with AEW for the foreseeable future. 

One thing which sticks out from the start, is the red-hot live crowd in Vegas. Definitely a different contrast than last year which had a card the crowd struggled to get invested in. This year’s Double or Nothing definitely better than last year. 

The Double or Nothing pre-show featured “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo defeated Thunder Rosa and The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn defeated Gates of Agony and Brian Cage

Both fun little openers. Nice way to get the crowd hyped for the main show, which kicked off with a freaking wrestling clinic of unfathomable proportions. Will Ospreay defeated Roderic Strong to become the new AEW International Champion. A phenomenal match with some breathtaking reversals and maneuvers. You have to see this for yourself to believe it. 

One spot went terribly wrong which saw Ospreay crashing on his head after Taven failed to clear the ropes on an outside dive. Later on Wardlow attempted to interfere but was easily spotted by Referee Bryce Remsburg. Wardlow shrugs it off in an “I don’t care” manner. What was the point anyway?

After the match, Adam Cole comes to the ring and wants to address the crowd. This clearly doesn’t go well with the return of MJF who kicks him for a field goal, then cuts the aforementioned promo. 

Bang Bang Gang retain the Unified Trios Championships against Death Triangle

Fun, high speed match. PAC is just so damn good. Here’s the interesting part, Juice Robinson is yet another return tonight and one who has been sorely missed. Could PAC, Penta, and Fenix have believably won? Absolutely. However, allowing White and the Gunn brothers to earn a victory here continues the credibility of their reign as Trios Champions. 

The question everyone asks remains the same: “Who is left?” Besides House of Black, The Acclaimed, and Death Triangle, we don’t have established trios groups. Could the Blackpool Combat Club or The Elite pursue the Trios Championships? Yes, but it doesn’t seem either option would do much moving forward. The Bucks have the tag team championships, Okada has the Continental Crown, the Trios would be extra baggage. BCC seem a bit fragmented for now. Team Jarrett or the Callis Family could briefly chase, but neither seem credible contenders. 

Where does the Death Triangle go from here? I’ve got nothing. 

Champion Toni Storm retains the AEW Women’s Champion against “The Professor, Serena Deeb

What a match. Dean Malenko should be proud. Out of all recent contenders, Deeb was the one whom I believed could have dethroned Storm. The wrestling exchanges were fluid and not a moment went by with any stagnation. The intriguing interference by Mariah May is sure to raise eyebrows, her nearly tossing in the towel but being stopped by Luther, only for Storm to chastise him for it! In wrestling, dissension always makes for good stories and future matches. We are a little closer to Mariah May vs. Toni Storm. 

Deeb, despite the loss, looked fantastic in a main event position. AEW has got to find a way to keep her on television as much as possible. I would be unhappy if she was simply rotated out just because the arc is done. Give her another feud. 

Orange Cassidy defeated Trent Barretta in a “Straight-up Wrestling Grudge Match”

One great match followed up by another. Cassidy sporting a black t-shirt and came down to his original theme music. We’re getting a slightly dimmer side of the light-hearted O.C. Instead of goofy spots, the match consisted of some hard shots and slams. Big credit to Trent, his facial expressions and the hate displayed with each slam or driver added the important element of emotional investment. I honestly thought Trent would get the win. I’m fine with Cassidy winning, but like other matches tonight, I question what direction Trent goes in after losing cleanly, storming off, and even shoving aside Rocky Romero with a vehement “I’m done.” 

Chris Jericho defeated Hook and Shibata to retain the FTW Championship

I don’t know if it was on purpose, but Jericho did not look good. Sick? Run down? Hook and Shibata did a lot of damage, but I will give credit to Jericho for taking a few terrifying bumps. Once this was made into a triple threat it was clear he’d win, either by interference or the typical everyone hitting finishers and stealing the win. 

The weird part was having “Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith as the surprise factor, interfering to help Jericho win. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the extremely scary spot where Big Bill was thrown through a table, and a table leg shot out like a spear, inches away from him. Four inches to the right and things would have turned out horribly. 

I still hate this “Learning Tree” gimmick, but it’s safe to say since it is hated so much, Jericho is going to lean into every jab and use it to make us hate it even more. 

IWGP Champion Jon Moxley defeated Konoske Takeshita in an Eliminator Match

Fantastic match, but not the right outcome. Individuals on social media will have a field day with Takeshita being underutilized and booked badly. For now. 

I’m not an expert in booking, but when you have an “Eliminator Match” on a pay-per-view, there should have been a different outcome than on Dynamite and Collision. When was the last time anyone won an “eliminator” match? Takeshita could have won, and it would have been believable because he’s a freaking machine, they could have played up the injury angle, and have someone interfere. Takeshita would then represent AEW against Mox who would represent NJPW at Forbidden Door III, which where Mox could then retain the IWGP Championship.

Outcome aside this was a great match, because it heavily featured Takeshita as the dominating force he is. 

I feel like a broken record, but where does Takeshita go from here? The guy looks incredible, win or lose. But DO something with him! Anything!

Also, why have these “Eliminator” contendership matches if not a single challenger wins them? 

Adam Copeland defeated Malakai Black in the Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match

Holy mother of Primus this was fantastic. The blood flowed early and often. Table spots. Tons of horrifying barbed wire spots. Oh, and few wrestling moves too. I loved the spot where the fight spilled to the floor, which prompted Buddy Matthews and Brody King to show up. In a tense moment, they stepped away from Black and stood next to Copeland. For a brief moment, I thought this was the formation of AEW’s Brood. But alas, they quickly revealed the double-cross and blindsided Copeland. However, my teenage self rejoiced as through the ring, Gangrel crawls out and spits red mist/blood at the House of Black! He hits a picture-perfect Impaler DDT on King and Matthews. Copeland chokes out Black with barbed wire to win. 

Seeing Gangrel and Copeland celebrate in the ring and on the entrance ramp was just so cool. I’m sure someone out there in social media land crapped on it, but come on, for everyone who clamors for old school, you can’t get any more old school Attitude Era than that. 


Mercedes Mone defeated Willow Nightingale to win the TBS Championship

While I personally would have preferred Willow retaining, I completely understand the need for the title change. The manner in which it happened was also well done, having Stokely and Statlander “inadvertently” distract the ref while Willow had Mercedes pinned, which was later revealed as a ruse. 

Skepticism about how well Mone could do coming back from injury was relieved. I am sold. She’s got it. Injury and time off didn’t take anything away, in fact, whatever training she did to get back to in-ring condition paid off. Some of the reversals and counters were damn impressive, and a lot of her offensive stuff came off smooth as well. Mercedes and Willow worked great together. 

The live crowd seemed split on who to favor, but it did seem to lean more in Willow’s favor as the match went on. Willow looks so damn professional. Both Women’s matches were great. Find a way to dispute this. Try. 

It did somewhat protect Willow, to lose in a way which wasn’t completely clean. Post match it seemed Statlander and Willow had enough of Stokely. However as they left up the ramp, Statlander turns and decks the former champion, and former friend. One could say this was a long time in the making which we will hear about on Dynamite or Collision. 

Statlander vs. Willow will be good. I was hoping for Statlander vs. Mone, but I’m sure that will be in the pipeline too depending if they decide to forcibly book Mone as a babyface. 

Swerve Strickland retains the AEW World Heavyweight Championship against Christian Cage

Extremely well-booked championship bout. If not for Anarchy in the Arena this would certainly have closed the show. A lot of head games being played, each one trying to outsmart the other with both wrestling finesse and mental strategies. One can forget Christian Cage is 50, he wrestles like he did a decade ago. Swerve continues to stay on point at the top of his game as well. Some clever moments which saw both Prince Nana getting ejected to the ire of the ive crowd, but then turn to cheers as the entire Patriarchy gets tossed as well. Swerve is then able to defeat Cage clean after a great back-and-forth contest. 

Granted, there was no way Swerve would lose the championship, but still made for a damn good title bout. 

Christian will continue doing what he does best, he’s pissing off crowd and that’s all he needs to do. Throw Swerve another contender and he’ll continue to make it amazing. 

The Elite wins Anarchy in the Arena

Another bloodbath of a fight. We did see some wrestling moves, but as expected this was mostly a gruesome brawl all over the place. Surprisingly it did take place more often in the ring than I expected. Of course the highlight is Jack Perry being lit on fire by Darby Allin. 

I enjoyed the various themes being played as the match progressed. I laughed when Matthew Jackson demanded “The Final Countdown” to be stopped because it causes them to go over budget. Brilliant. Of course there was a litany of insane spots, but watching Darby get hung upside down and superkicked with thumbtack-coated pumps was crazy.

The Elite continue their reign of terror. Tony Khan attacked yet again, Eddie Kingston out of action until next year, and with a decisive victory at Double or Nothing, who would dare try to stop them now?

Double or Nothing was a solid event. It was very enjoyable, and had its share of moments which we will all talk about for the next few weeks until our memories fade or something else replaces it.

AEW 100% must, must, must capitalize on the return of MJF. Do NOT drop the ball. We need Takeshita on TV more often. Give some direction for tag teams and trios. Copeland appears unstoppable. House of Black needs to regroup or disband. AEW Women’s division appears to have come back to life, but needs to stay this way. They have Toni Storm, but we need more women showcased. Perhaps Samoa Joe will challenge Chris Jericho next. Ospreay is a champion now, so what is next for him?

Despite the daily criticism of AEW, I continue to enjoy the show. Does AEW have its negatives, for sure, just like every other promotion. AEW has big potential to provide more great wrestling in the next few months. I’m hopeful and plan to enjoy it.

AEW Double or Nothing 2024 is now available to be streamed on Triller, B/R Live and various PPV outlets.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.
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