AEW Double or Nothing put spotlight on Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara

All Elite Wrestling has formally moved out the pandemic period with a “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view that featured long-awaited moments, some implausible storytelling and matches that arrange the corporate’s future with its raucous crowd again.

Jungle Boy, with the followers at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville singing his “Tarzan Boy” theme music, gained the Casino Battle Royale on Sunday and earned an AEW championship match in opposition to Kenny Omega on this Friday’s “AEW Dynamite.” His long-awaited push to the highest of the cardboard couldn’t have been scripted higher being within the ultimate three with legends Matt Hardy and Christian Cage. After tossing Cage out for the win, the previous WWE star supplied the seal of approval with a hug of appreciation with Jungle Boy.

The funding within the youthful expertise didn’t cease there.

Sammy Guevara continues to profit most from being within the Inner Circle — who rappelled down the Jaguars’ scoreboard to open the match — and will have had his greatest second up to now within the firm. It was he that ended the Stadium Stampede match in opposition to the Pinnacle and insured the faction didn’t have to interrupt up by pinning Shawn Spears in the midst of the ring. Remember, it was Guevara that initially had pressure with MJF and left the group at one level. But now, he was being lifted on Jake Hager’s shoulders in celebration for the feel-good second to shut the present in the principle occasion.

The match itself, which had cool cameos from Konnan and Jaguars coaches Urban Meyer and Charlie Strong and a cutout of staff proprietor Shahid Khan, wasn’t pretty much as good as the unique. This model felt extra like a stable motion film that dragged a bit in comparison with the skit comedy we received final yr. It did hit the suitable be aware on the finish and can possible result in MJF in opposition to Chris Jericho at “All Out” in Chicago on Sept. 5.

Unlike Jungle Boy and Guevara, Britt Baker is already a main-event-level participant in her division. Her résumé is lastly full now that Baker, who’s over sufficient to get a blended crowd response as a heel, lastly grew to become AEW girls’s champion. It took some shenanigans, a curb stomp on the title belt and at last the Lockjaw submission, however the physician is lastly golden. The match itself was stuffed with the nastiness and physicality you’d count on between her and rival Hikaru Shida and was probably the greatest on the present. Best buddy Tony Schiavone leaving the commentary desk to provide Baker a hug was a very nice contact.

Speaking about main-event gamers, Orange Cassidy solidified his spot there in a excessive drama AEW world championship match between he, Omega and PAC stuffed with some questionable ways late. Those give Cassidy a reliable gripe for a singles match in opposition to Omega, who reversed him right into a crucifix for the win. While authorized in a triple menace match, Omega’s supervisor Don Callis pulled Orange off the champion earlier than what seemed like a positive three rely. Omega additionally knocked out the ref on objective with Cassidy practically tapping to PAC’s Brutalizer. The crowd was clearly behind Cassidy, who moved to uber-babyface standing and will keep within the title hunt for slightly bit. Beating him solely provides to Omega’s heel warmth.      

There are just a few others issues to maintain an eye fixed on so far as wrestlers probably prepared for pushes. Adam “Hangman” Page gained his match over Brian Cage, avenging his solely lack of 2021. He could also be preparing for a run at Omega in some unspecified time in the future this yr. Brian Cage’s days with Team Taz additionally look like nearing their finish. He was already on shaky floor with group however not accepting their assist to win the match and preserving his promise to Hangman might see him break free. Cage, who has made tossing round grown males an artwork type, wants a recent begin and a few significant wins.

One of the up and comers AEW handed the quick straw to was Anthony Ogogo. Building up the previous English boxer as a devastating pressure, with a kidney punch meaning the tip, had been the saving grace to this entire Nightmare Family feud. Then Cody made it a match about America vs. England (One of our closest allies, bear in mind the “special relationship.”) Granted, a match about American pleasure definitely works on Memorial Day weekend, however this story didn’t want it.

So Cody comes out in an outfit that’s half Revolutionary War soldier, half Homelander from “The Boys” and beats Ogogo in the midst of the ring on the newcomer’s first pay-per-view match. Ogogo, whose in-ring efficiency proved he has a excessive celling, can definitely be rebuilt, however there was no must have him lose this shortly. This all would have labored higher as their second match, not their first.

While “Double or Nothing” was definitely about shining a vibrant gentle on new stars, it was additionally an enormous night time for one among wrestling’s greatest legends. Sting, 62, made his official return to the ring after six years and used a counter right into a Scorpion Death Drop to earn him and Darby Allin the win over Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. Sting even took off the t-shirt and wrestled in his conventional gear whereas proving he nonetheless has some miles on the tires if AEW continues to make use of him accurately.

Allin dealt with a lot of the motion within the match, however the quick spurts Sting was utilized in have been efficient and the bumps he took have been restricted. He did get suplexed on the ramp and dove off the poker-chips prop onto Sky and Ethan Page earlier than the bell even rang. He nonetheless had power, performed the hits properly and even did a Red Dragon roll within the nook. For now, it seems he and Allin will probably be sticking collectively. Allin’s disregard for his physique (getting tossed from the ring into his brothers sitting within the entrance row) and wish to guard Sting’s look like an ideal match.

Notes

One of the opposite bouts that popped was the tag staff championship match between The Young Bucks and Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. It felt like a late ’80s tag staff match with heavy-on-character moments early based mostly on The Bucks’ cockiness and ending with the sting of the extra trendy period. All 4 guys’ charisma shined via. Hope this isn’t the final we of this pairing.

Miro’s as-advertised hoss battle with Lance Archer was quick and explosive however didn’t stand out on the loaded card. The former WWE star maintained his monster status by making Archer cross out for the win. AEW wants to provide Miro a program with a real babyface subsequent to get followers extra emotionally invested.

Serena Deeb beat Riho to retain the NWA girls’s championship on the pre-show in a fantastic professional wrestling match. Deeb, the heel, labored Riho’s knee the entire means. Lots of false finishes earlier than Deeb made Riho faucet out to the Serenity submission on her injured knee.

Mark Henry was revealed to be becoming a member of AEW as an analyst for its new present “AEW Rampage” coming to TNT in August. He can even be a coach backstage. (Henry can also be technically the fourth former WWE star – Matt Hardy, Christian, Paul Wight – Randy Orton despatched to AEW.)

Former WWE, MLW and NJPW standout Lio Rush was the shock Joker within the Casino Battle Royale. Rush has expertise and there are many individuals he can have good matches with even when it’s for a brief run.

Biggest winner: Jungle Boy

Biggest loser: Anthony Ogogo

Best match: Orange Cassidy vs. Kenny Omega vs. PAC

Grade: A-

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