Thursday, May 26, 2022

AEW Double or Nothing 2022 Preview & Predictions

It's Memorial Day weekend and you know what that means....

That's right, it's time for the fourth annual AEW Double or Nothing PPV extravaganza!  Once again we've got a loaded card (ten matches on the main show - that's gonna be a time management challenge to say the least), four of them for championships and two for the Owen Hart Tournament finals.  Plus a slew of other high-profile non-title bouts.  This should be another classic show.  Let's get right into it....

Buy-In: Hookhausen vs. Tony Nese & Mark Sterling

This one's just a showcase for the newly created alliance between Hook and Danhausen, and will probably be pretty short.  Nese will get some time to showcase his in-ring skills, but Hook will likely dominate and put away Sterling with Redrum.

Pick: Hookhausen

The Young Bucks vs. The Hardys

This is a dream match of sorts, even though it did take place five years ago (I still need to go back and watch their ROH ladder match).  But it's the first time we're seeing it in AEW on a stage this big.  Matt and Jeff have been looking in pretty rough shape lately so hopefully Matt and Nick will be able to guide them through this one in a way that hides the Hardys' age.  It should be a fun tag bout and I'm sure the Jacksons are thrilled to be able to wrestle their heroes again.  I feel like the Hardys probably win this but it could go either way.

Pick: Hardys

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill vs. Anna Jay

This will be short and sweet, and hopefully on par with the Jade-Tay match from Revolution.  Jade's a superstar in the making and her in-ring is finally starting to catch up with her natural physical presence.  She's obviously not dropping the title yet - Sasha Banks needs to get free so she can join this fun.

Pick: Jade retains

Darby Allin vs. Kyle O'Reilly

This one feels more like a Dynamite match but it should be pretty damn good.  Kyle is one of the better workers in the game and Darby is super over.  I can't see Darby losing here.

Pick: Darby

Men of the Year & Paige Van Zant vs. Sammy Guevara, Frankie Kazarian & Tay Conti

One of the more unusual feuds going on right now is the heel Men of the Year faction feuding with AEW's seeming replacement for Cody & Brandy as the power couple no one likes.  Sammy and Tay are the babyfaces but they're increasingly acting like heels and it seems like a program that would culminate in a double-turn.  Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky have increasingly come off as more sympathetic, but they'd need to dump Dan Lambert for a face turn to make sense.  Maybe Lambert dumps them for Sammy?  Eh, I don't see that happening either.  Regardless, the stip here is that if Team Sammy loses, neither guy gets a TNT Title match.  Generally that would mean they win here.

Pick: Team Sammy

The House of Black vs. Death Triangle

Man, I've been looking forward to this one for months and we're finally getting it.  If this gets enough time it could steal the show.  Can't wait to sit back and watch the fireworks.  Not much more to say about this, it'll be fantastic.  I gotta think HOB is winning.

Pick: HOB

AEW Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express vs. Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee vs. Team Taz

This should be another wild, action-packed tag match.  Everyone involved is exciting, clever, and fun to watch, and this is one of those matches where you can cram a lot into 13-15 minutes so it doesn't eat up too much time on the show.  I don't see Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus losing the belts quite yet, but everyone will get time to shine (Hobbs and Strickland especially have innate star quality and need big pushes).

Pick: Jurassic Express retain

Anarchy in the Arena: Jericho Appreciation Society vs. Eddie Kingston, Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Santana & Ortiz

This one's gonna be absolute chaos.  I assume this will be similar to Stadium Stampede but without the comedy elements, where they just fight all over the arena and break off into smaller groups, and there's lots of blood.  Regardless this is gonna be a wild ride.  Looking forward to Danielson and Jericho interacting for the first time in AEW.  I think the good guys win here, as it's not time to beat the Blackpool Combat Club fellas yet.  Then again, maybe Bryan Danielson's "leg injury" leads to them losing?  We'll have a better idea after Rampage I guess.  There needs to be a Blood & Guts follow-up either way.

Pick: BCC, Eddie, Santana & Ortiz

AEW Women's Championship: Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb

This is likely to be one of those matches without much heat going in, but it turns out to be really good in-ring.  Thunder and Serena can work a helluva match and they've got experience together.  That said, there sadly isn't much of a story to this one.  Thunder is the champion and Serena is the top contender.  That's about it.  Serena's big promo a couple weeks ago was fine content-wise, but she's clearly very uncomfortable on the mic.  She could use a manager to handle that stuff.  This should be a very good match though as long as they get the crowd on board.  Thunder is retaining.

Pick: Thunder Rosa retains

Men's Owen Hart Final: Samoa Joe vs. Adam Cole

Joe just had his best-so-far AEW match this week against Kyle O'Reilly, and it's possible this will top it, given Cole's natural big-match abilities.  It seems poetic to me for AEW's power couple to both win their respective tournament matches, but then Samoa Joe has yet to be beaten in AEW and I'm not sure that will start just yet.  Maybe I'll go with Joe to win here.

Pick: Samoa Joe

Women's Owen Hart Final: Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho or Kris Statlander

Britt's opponent won't be determined until tomorrow, but I kinda doubt it matters as far as predicting the tourney winner.  I think Britt takes the whole thing down either way.  Both options for a final should yield a fine bout, but Britt is too valuable a star not to stand tall at the end.

Pick: Britt Baker

MJF vs. Wardlow

This here might be the match I'm most excited for.  This MJF-Wardlow program has been absolute GOLD week after week, one of the most adeptly built-up feuds in years.  Wardlow is an absolute mega-star in the making, pulling Goldberg/Batista-like crowd responses and walking into that ring like he owns it.  With a complete-package foil like MJF to work with, this match should be fire.  I gotta think this won't be the last time these two fight, so the question becomes, does the heel cheat his way to a win in the first bout, or does the monster babyface make a statement by beating his old mentor?  Given the stip that if Wardlow wins he's free from MJF's contract, it's gotta be the latter.  Wardlow wins here, MJF licks his wounds and bounces back on his way to an AEW Title reign.  But crowd response-wise this could have more heat than anything else on the show.

Pick: Wardlow

AEW Championship: Hangman Page vs. CM Punk

This one's the hardest to predict, as there are pros and cons to either outcome.  Hangman retaining would be good for the company's future, as he's the young, homegrown champion whose title chase was long and satisfying.  Punk winning the title would be good for the company's present, as he's the biggest name on the roster, the Forbidden Door PPV is next month in Chicago (Punk vs. Okada anyone?), and his holding the title is good for ratings at a time when AEW needs their new network bosses Discovery on board with investing in AEW programming long-term.  All that said, I think a Punk title run could be on the shorter side, where he either drops it back to Page at All Out or maybe loses it to MJF at Full Gear (those two are due for a rubber match anyway).  If Page retains I think he'd probably drop it to MJF down the line as well.  I'm gonna go with CM Punk to win the title.

Pick: Punk

Well there's your card.  It's stacked, and yet still missing some prominent talents.  Man this roster is loaded.  I assume guys like FTR, Darby, reDRagon, Sammy, Scorpio, etc. will get their day at Forbidden Door to make up for their omission on this show, but we'll see.  Anyway, sit back and enjoy....

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