top of page

AEW Double or Nothing Preview | Rating Builds, % of Winning and Predicted Cagematch Ratings.

Hello and welcome to a preview for AEW's fourth version of their originally inaugural show; Double or Nothing. With all the furore surrounding the (potential) return of CM Punk, the rumoured roster split and the introduction of Collision this PPV is managing to maintain in fan's minds due to it's line-up of incredible wrestlers.

That being said, it would be a travesty for an AEW PPV card to not be tantalising to fans with the current abundance of talent.

To preview this card we are going to:

- Assign each match a lettered grade for the quality of the match's build.

- Predict the outcomes by assigning each competitor odds of winning to illustrate that prediction.

- Guess the match's potential Cagematch rating.

Build: B+

A lot of people will argue much higher and I can understand why. The Moxley/Omega cage match was very popular, the Callis turn was a moment that will have narrative ripples throughout the top of AEW for quite some time and the Adam Page return was moment that will be replayed for sometime with a pop that cemented many people's belief that The Elite retain the magic that drove some of 2021's biggest moments.

However there could have been more done in-ring than just the cage match. Danielson compared Omega to Yuta to mock him, that would have been an opportunity for the lowest stakes singles match you could achieve with these two factions. With Matt Jackson on the shelf, a Nick Jackson loss to Moxley could have been useful. You could have even done Omega and Takeshita vs Claudio and Wheeler in a higher stakes match than the one vs Butcher and Blade.

Odds of Winning(%): The Elite 40 - 60 Blackpool Combat Club

This is incredibly hard to call. It feels like an Elite win to reestablish them as a force with the return of Hangman. However...

I don't think this is the end of the story. I think there's another match in this and that you can potentially finally get The Elite in a Blood and Guts match 3 years after they were originally expected to clash with the Inner Circle in the double ring. I'd even venture that's when you see the much wished for Ibushi introduction to counter-act a Takeshita turn.

My only reason for not giving the BCC more favour in predicting then to go over here is the AEW calendar. Forbidden Door is soon after Double or Nothing, is there still time for another big chapter in this faction war?

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 9.2

That's a whopping number in the world of Cagematch ratings.

People tend to throw too many 9 or 10s on Cagematch for my liking and with only whole numbers it's not as flexible a system as the .25 increments 5 star GRAPPL ratings were. However it's the strongest ratings system out there to base your wrestling viewing on.

A 9.2 would see this match top last year's Anarchy in the Arena; 9.05 but fall short of the original Stadium Stampede; 9.29. This is an ambitious prediction but I rate the creative minds of The Elite and quite frankly the other-worldly star power in actual wrestling matches of Kenny Omega. Magic was created last year in a first time ever match. That's going to be hard to match. But some upgrades have been made in terms of the participants.

Also, any time there's a chance of Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson coming together in a wrestling match, absolute magic is more than possible.

Writer: Craig William

Build: F

This has been terrible.

Before this feud you had Jungle Boy riding high fresh off PPV wins over Luchasaurus and Christian. Now he is being booed by the fans after being over-exposed as failing on the mic; something that was even explicitly highlighted as MJF stated that Jungle Boy would bore even himself to death.

Then there’s Darby Allin who in 2021 became a dependable ratings draw as TNT Champions and has moved forward over the last two years as probably the most under-rated wrestler in the world. Allin is all character; a mysterious brooding figure that always brings it in the ring. Now over-exposed on the mic after too many exposition heavy segments, he even cheered getting a bye like a sneaky heel during the ‘tournament’ and this week he gave a X-Factor style back story that felt like deja vu.

And Sammy? Guevara was made to look like the dumbest and most pathetic of heels by agreeing to take a dive and being obviously duped by MJF. Now he’s cutting the purest of babyface promos in a 180 that scarcely feels earned. However out of the challengers, he is remarkably the least tarnished by all of this.

As for MJF, he remains imperious on the mic but some complain online about the lack of ring time for the World Champion. Reports that he was heavily involved in this feud’s creative don’t reflect well on him.

This feud, sadly, hasn’t earned the TV time it has taken up. An interesting idea, no doubt, but this collection of wrestlers are not able to carry a main even feud for this length of time. A short build to an interesting TV main event would have been the sweet spot.

Odds of Winning(%): MJF 99+ - Darby Allin 0+ - Jungle Boy/Sammy Guevara 0

There is just no way that the World Championship is changing hands. The only way is if MJF gets injured mid-match, but even then I’d argue it’s more likely he keeps it and vacates it if he’s unable to return soon enough. However if in some unlikely scenario where they have to crown an alternative winner because MJF is hurt, I’d suggest Darby.

I hope the sheer unlikelihood of everything discussed in the above paragraph underlines how unlikely it is for MJF to lose this belt.

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 8.5

Here is where all that negativity ends. This is going to be a superb match. Jungle Boy and Darby Allin may be damaged by this feud but both men are utterly superb wrestlers. Sammy Guevara is an under-rated performer and MJF seems to be shooting for the moon with his in-ring work at the moment, even if he performs rarely.

This is slightly less than the rating the last multi-man AEW Men’s World Championship match got; Omega/PAC/Cassidy earning 8.89, this is because a four person match seems more geared towards utilising the ‘sugar-rush’ effect of men cutting off each other’s momentum with big moves out of nowhere.

That being said, the scope for this match’s quality is wide. It’d suggest it could earn anything between a 7 all the way up to a 9.5. AEW PPVs have created magic of late, but I also don’t trust four-way matches to be the peak of in-ring wrestling.

Writer: Craig William

Build: D

This PPV cycle has not been a good one in terms of television. There have been great episodes of TV here and there but it’s mostly been an unusual viewing experience for the long-term AEW fan. Before the advent of the Outcast storyline the AEW Women’s Division was in a good place. Full Gear 2022 saw three Women’s Division matches on the card and Jamie Hayter ended, arguably, the best in-ring women’s title reign to date; in Toni Storm. This culminated in one of the best TV matches of the year in December as Hayter defeated Shida.

Six months on and many fans are fatigued beyond belief at the repetitiveness of the two women’s stories that have dominated Dynamite TV time. For months it’s either been an Outcasts match and beatdown segment or a Jade Cargill TBS stat-padding squash.

Now we are at Double or Nothing with six women who are either high quality workers or extremely compelling talkers. We also reach that PPV with the two best workers being in a singles match. That’s great. It’s just how we have got there has been repetitive beyond belief.

Odds of Winning(%): Hayter 95 - 5 Storm

It would be madness to take the title off Hayter when there’s an All In crowd that will give her one of the, if not the, biggest pops of the night at what will be AEW’s most spectacular ever event in London. Unless they are desperate to heat the Outcasts up even more, this will be Hayter going over Storm in a well worked match.

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 8.25

Hayter’s match with Shida is actually the highest rated women’s match in AEW via the judgement of Cagematch voters. Unfortunately, the potential interference and presence of their respective factions on the outside means that this match will probably fall quite far short of it’s potential ceiling.

Writer: Craig William

Build: B

When Adam Cole suffered his concussion at last year’s edition of Forbidden Door, he was a snivelly, cocky and sly prick who had betrayed his friends. But over the nine long months it took for him to recover, his absence gradually built a sense of loss, his real life kind and likeable nature being what stayed in people’s minds. By the time he finally returned in March, to some degrees all his sins were forgiven, but also he presented the best side of himself, one who seemingly realised what he almost lost and wanted to enjoy every moment.

His first match back occurred against a young favourite, Daniel Garcia, a safe pair of hands who had broken out as a future star and trusted opponent. Cole’s victory over Garcia should have been a moment of joy, but rather, it became the match that set off the next two months of anguish. Garcia’s mentor, Chris Jericho, took this loss personally, and despite the best attempts to talk it out, Jericho and Cole’s dislike for each other culminated in a cruel attack on both Cole and his real life partner, Britt Baker. At the same time as AEW All Access showed Cole’s journey from injury and the fear the couple went through, the audience developing empathy for their plight, so did Cole become the new hero, determined to beat the leader of the Jericho Appreciation Society.

Jericho’s stable and his scheme of getting Cole banned from the building to protect himself built large odds against Adam, but the surprise debut of AEW’s newest member, Roderick Strong, and a Falls Count Anywhere match that lured Jericho outside to the building where Cole could get his hands on him, left Jericho desperate for revenge. With that, they announced an Unsanctioned Match, and another surprise, a former ECW favourite Sabu as the enforcer. But who says that’s the last surprise on the cards?

Odds of Winning(%): Cole 85 - 15 Jericho

There’s always a possibility of Jericho stealing a victory, especially with such a large stable to support him, but Cole is in the midst of a large push as a fan favourite, one that needs victories more than adversity. Adam Cole has always been a reliable main eventer in ROH, NXT and elsewhere, and it now seems time for him to cement his role as Babyface main eventer.

A victory for Cole could help give him the momentum to continue his escalation, coupled with the strong performances of Strong since joining, and the recent mentions of Kyle O’Reilly could suggest another shock surprise, O’Reilly returning to help Cole gain revenge. This could even possibly set up a transition into Strong, Cole and O’Reilly having a run in the Trios division, helping all three cement more victories in preparation for the rest of the year, and eventual runs with singles titles? But remember, you can never count Jericho out, no matter how unlikely it seems.

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 8.12

This will likely be a violent brawl that will allow interference from the Jericho Appreciation Society, Roderick Strong and Sabu, but also will tie into the emotional hatred between Cole and Jericho, likely bringing Baker into the fray for a big spot. In recent years Jericho’s best performances have been in matches such as Blood ‘n’ Guts, Stadium Stampede, Anarchy Arena, basically matches that allow tremendous mayhem, while Cole has stolen many a show in Ladder Matches, War Games, Unsanctioned, etc. This match could suit both, and a Cole victory would delight the audience.

Writer: Sam Preston

Build D

One of the highlights of AEW in 2023 has been Orange Cassidy and his take on all comers reign as AEW International Champion and the take on all-comers nature of his reign has been taken literally by the fact that Orange will take on 20 men in a Battle Royal or should I say a Blackjack Battle Royal (21 people in the match, geddit) While I would have preferred an Orange one vs one match on the PPV, I am looking forward to seeing how Orange solves his latest problem. My grade would have been higher had Orange played 22 instead of 21 and Renee Pacquette entered the fray. NGL I'd preferred seeing Renee over some of the people in this match (yes I'm looking at you Kip Sabian) but on a night where uniqueness is the theme, a battle royal is an oddly shaped hurdle for Orange to jump over and will make for an interesting 20 minutes. Odds of winning Cassidy 95% The Field 5% The Orange Cassidy International Title reign has been one of the highlights of 2023. With one of the fascinating elements of the reign being when does Orange's energy bar finally run out? For the bar to empty at a Battle Royal would be the biggest booking malpractice of this year and yes I'm including Roman beating Cody in that conversation. The 5% for the Field is on the basis that Orange could lose the belt without being pinned and claim a rematch in which he becomes once again champion but that feels an even worse case for malpractice. Orange has to win and should win. Anything else you can put in the small percentage of Tony Khan booking that makes you go "eh" Cagematch rating prediction 5.75 Lets be honest Cagematch rating for Battle Royales are below the 7.00 most of the the time. No one really bumps, the high spots are people being thrown over the top rope and the action usually picks up when we get to the final 4-6. Bryan Alvarez once said that Tony Khan can only like Battle Royales is because he's never had to work in one. But Tony love of Battle Royales and the fact that it keeps talent happy with a payday for little work means everyone is happy at the end. Still had a better build than the Four Pillars match though the the time. No one really bumps, the high spots are people being thrown over the top rope and the action usually picks up when we get to the final 4-6.

Writer: Peter Edge

Build: B

The history between these two teams and Mark Briscoe does a lot of heavy lifting in the lead up to this match. Briscoe and FTR are brothers in war, having had a classic trilogy of matches in ROH. On the other hand, team Triple J spent a lovely afternoon at the Briscoe chicken farm doing chores and singing songs. Where his loyalty lies is the driving story to this match and will be a factor throughout.

Odds of Winning(%): FTR 85-15 Triple J

Of all the championship matches I feel like this one has the least chance of resulting in new title holders. Triple J don’t need gold, they are much better served being the cowardly heels that pester the babyfaces. I will say that outside of the Anarchy in the Arena match, this tag match may have the most surprises. It’s going to be a wonderful mix of Nashville, Orlando, and Carolina wrestling. With Karen, Satnam, and Dutt on the outside you know there’s going to be interference. Beyond that though we may be in for a surprise or two. Does a TNA alumni like Dixie Carter or Kevin Nash show up? Does Samoa Joe use this time to sneak attack on Briscoe? Does Taylor Swift play “My World” as Jarrett walks to the ring?

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 7.2

The readers of Cagematch may appreciate technical over entertainment in matches, but I think that they’ll appreciate this one just a little bit more. These are two top tag teams and all four men understand the fundamentals of putting together a good match.

Writer: Tim Morehouse

Build: C

Wardlow’s relationship with the TNT Championship has been a recurring tale of long journeys, big victories, and then sudden, shocking losses. His first reign required battling for his contract from MJF, eventually defeating MJF a year ago at Double Or Nothing 2023, earning an AEW Contract and going on to defeat Scorpio Sky for the title. His reign lasted 136 days and ended up being snatched from him in a Triple Threat match at Full Gear, losing to his former partner Samoa Joe.

His second reign was another journey of bouncing back from loss and betrayal to Samoa Joe, losing his hair that once symbolised his relationship with his lost father, and refocusing his mind, his anger, before finally vanquishing Joe, to become a two-time TNT Champion. It seemed an opportunity to right his previous reign, but instead, he lost the title just three days later to ‘PowerHouse’ Hobbs with the support of QT Marshall.

Finally, he returned again, taking on Hobbs and defeating him, taking back the TNT Championship and becoming a three-time TNT Champion, tying the record with Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara. But before he even had time to rejoice, a new villain rose, the legendary Christian Cage, accompanied by his heavy, Luchasaurus.

It would be Wardlow who eventually issued the challenge to defend his title against Christian, but it was the challenger who revealed the stipulation that it would be a Ladder Match, a match that Christian is personified by. With the challenger’s speciality and a gigantic dinosaur to battle, will the odds be too much for Wardlow once again?

Odds of Winning(%): Christian 70 - 30 Wardlow

Possibly one of the three top male heels in AEW, alongside Swerve Strickland and MJF, in terms of heat, it may surprise many to hear that Christian has only had 25 matches in AEW. Of those 25 matches, only 13 have been one-on-one matches, with losses just to Kenny Omega for the AEW World Title, Adam Cole, and Jack Perry. As a favourite of Tony Khan’s, Christian could legitimately have a run as AEW World Champion within the next two years, possibly dethroning or defeating Jack Perry in the process. Could this be an opportunity for Christian to preview a title reign as one of the best heels in the business?

Each of Wardlow’s reigns have changed him. The first required him to move away from MJF, earn his own contract, and stand alone. The second required him to accept failure, move on and focus his anger in the right direction. The third could be the one that offers him an epiphany, a realisation that maybe going alone leaves him vulnerable, an ironic lesson learned previously by his sworn enemy, MJF. Could this be the victory that allows Wardlow to move on and truly define himself as a champion? Or could it be that Wardlow has to accept his difficulties, and move on, maybe reaffirm his friendship with FTR and focus on different gold?

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 8.06

Christian has proven himself a tremendous storyteller, his feud with Jack Perry especially helping elevate the youngster into a much more serious, capable individual. Coupled that with a match that Christian often exceeds in, and a willing opponent in Wardlow, and this could be a sleeper hit for the PPV. Depending on how it flows, it could easily average 3 and a half stars, but it has potential to do something special and get that little bit better.

Writer: Sam Preston

Build: C-

I don’t think you could say that this was a good build for some obvious reasons. The litigious nature of the feud (where Mark Sterling had Taya’s “Road To Valhalla” banned in their first fight) is kind of silly and makes the usually unflinching Jade look cowardly. The initial bout between these two had some compelling moments but was ultimately marred by its ending, a shoddy execution of a nothing booking. This was followed up by Taya putting her hands on a referee and getting suspended which was a clever/lazy way of writing “CUT TO: one month later” on the feud script to make sure it was ready for Double or Nothing with as little excess as possible.

But if you want to spin it another way this is definitely a feud over something, which is more than can be said for a lot of the TBS title matches, including those that end up on pay per view. They plotted this out, set these two up as natural enemies, and then slapped them on the big card in a way that does feel justified by the TV time that built it. If we graded on that curve, this would be at least a B. Sure, getting mad about who had the finishing move first (obviously, indisputably Valkyrie) isn’t the type of feud that can go very far, but it will have been worth it if they can build a match around them both being familiar with the other’s finisher, and the shared need to transcend that move in order to walk out with the gold. (All the more so if that person is Cargill, who c/ould use an extra power move in her arsenal and this would be the perfect time to debut it.)

Odds of Winning(%): Jade Cargill 75-25 Taya Valkyrie

The 59 wins for Jade Cargill feels like a strong indicator they plan on hitting 60 wins with her. The only question then would be what happens after the bell? It might be unsatisfactory for Jade to walk away 60-0 with no clear next challenger. You could see a Kris Statlander return, but the armchair backstage doctor in me says she’s probably still a few months away. Jordynne Grace was recently revealed to be a free agent, but if Jade’s going to be dethroned by a former Impact Knockouts champion with huge muscles, why not just go with the one you’ve got in the ring right now?

The other big factor to consider is the upcoming debut of AEW Collision. The obvious assumption is that they want the title on a big star like Cargill for the opening episode. But beyond that publicity opportunity (and Warner Bros. Discovery has been nothing if not eager to put her on promotional material) this new two hours of wrestling means a larger opportunity for the TBS title to become a real workhorse title. In the past I’ve always supported Jade as the TBS champion because nobody in the division has the ability to exude champion qualities if there isn’t time made for weekly 10+ minute matches. That screentime bottleneck appears to be coming to an end though, and consequently, so might Jade’s undefeated streak.

Cagematch Rating Prediction: 4.6

Jade Cargill matches don’t perform well on Cagematch, which shouldn’t be surprising. She’s not booked to appeal to Cagematch users. She’s there to appeal to people like my wife, Mrs. Elevation, who could not be more apathetic towards wrestling but if she’s walking by while Jade is on screen, she stops to see what she’s doing.

On PPVs the matches get scored even more harshly because of the surrounding card. The match against Nyla Rose from Full Gear 2022, which I would describe as “fun but skippable” holds a 3.67, was sandwiched between Death Triangle vs. The Elite and an ROH 4 Way Match. Even her highest rated PPV, Revolution 2022 vs. Tay Conti, at 5.11 probably benefits from the fact that card had a lacklustre Women’s Title match that made it comparably engaging. I don’t think this match will have such an advantage. But what I do think it has is character stakes. We’ve been led to believe that Taya and Jade truly despise each other, which means it could come to resemble Jade’s feud with Red Velvet, where all of their singles matches are rated 5.42 or higher. So let’s split the difference between the median rated Red Velvet match (5.43) and the previous Taya Valkyrie match (3.77) and settle in at 4.6.

Writer: Dirk Elevation

Build: C+

Will this be House of Black vs The Acclaimed plus Billy Gunn? If so both teams have been on TV, if only Rampage in The Acclaimed’s case, and winning regularly. However it’s hard for the build to be judged on the assumption that that’s the match. So if you look at the House of Black’s build coming in to this match, it’s been good. They’ve looked incredibly strong in their recent matches. Simple as that.

Odds of Winning(%): House of Black 99 - 1 Potential Opponents

Unless something goes wrong or Tony Khan has managed to book some sort of legendary trio to get a huge pop (and even then…) it’s pretty impossible to see why the House of Black would be booked to lose here.

Cagematch Rating Prediction: Between 6 and 8?

Again, we don’t know who will be in this match, but House of Black matches usually deliver and it’ll be interesting to see how their House Rules presentation works on such a huge stage.

Writer: Craig William


bottom of page