(CBS Miami/CBS Local) — There is no question that this year’s Double or Nothing will look significantly different from the grand AEW unveiling last year. Yet, the show should nonetheless produce the same high-caliber level of matches that have built the year-old promotion a loyal following.
Viewership for the final edition of AEW: Dynamite before the pay-per-view was up seven percent from the previous week, proving excitement for the show is still there even if the fans aren’t. And Rhodes has stated that 90 percent of what had been planned for the show prior to the pandemic is still occurring.
So what does the Double or Nothing card have on tap?
AEW World Championship
Jon Moxley (c) vs. Brodie Lee
Favored: Jon Moxley
I just can’t see a title change here even though Brodie Lee has done a phenomenal job and left his WWE persona of Luke Harper in the rear view. Perhaps his day will come, but not this day. Pick: Jon Moxley
AEW TNT Championship Finals
Cody Rhodes vs. Lance Archer
Favored: Lance Archer
Cody Rhodes is forbidden from ever wrestling for the world title so this will make a fine consolation prize. However, I don’t believe the company nor Cody view it that way. All are excited that the network wanted its own belt. Unlike what we’ve seen with the WWE 24/7 Championship, this one will actually have meaning. I like for the good guys to come out on top in this one. Pick: Cody Rhodes
AEW Women’s World Championship
Nyla Rose (c) vs. Hikaru Shida
Favored: Nyla Rose
The belt seems to be headed Britt Baker’s way so whomever walks away victorious here is likely to have the good doctor waiting in the wings. I expect Nyla Rose to retain. Given her size and strength, she’d be the better opponent for Baker to prove she’s the next big thing. Pick: Nyla Rose
Casino Ladder Match – Winner receives AEW World Championship match
Darby Allin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Kip Sabian vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Luchasaurus vs. Mystery Opponent
Favored: Darby Allin
Who is the mystery man? Is it Drew Gulak whose WWE contract recently expired? Is it Marty Scurll from Ring of Honor who has made appearances on Being The Elite recently? Whomever it is bookmakers have given then the second best odds of winning the match. I’m inclined to agree, especially if the mystery opponent is from another promotion. I can’t see them getting a title shot. Pick: Darby Allin
Stadium Stampede Match
The Elite (Matt Hardy, Kenny Omega, Adam Page, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson) vs. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz)
Favored: The Inner Circle
Aside from the ladder match, this is the contest fans should most be looking forward to. This one is going to be absolutely bananas. We’re at a point in time where the world needs a reason to smile. Luckily this match pretty much guarantees this will happen since Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle have made it cool to be bad while The Elite are, well, The Elite. Add Matt Hardy into the mix and you’ve ensured everyone watching can toast to this one with a little bit of the bubbly. As for a winner? I’m going with The Inner Circle. Pick: Inner Circle
MJF vs. Jungle Boy
MJF is one of the best talents in the promotion. Hands down he is a bonafide wrestling superstar in the making. Expect a good showing from Jungle Boy and he’ll have his moments, but this night will belong to Maxwell Jacob Friedman. PICK: MJF
Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander
Favored: Britt Baker
Britt Baker’s time is coming. It makes no sense to slow her roll now. Pick: Britt Baker
Shawn Spears vs. Dustin Rhodes
Favored: Shawn Spears
As much as I enjoy Dustin Rhodes’ career resurgence in AEW, you have to believe Shawn Spears takes this one. Pick: Shawn Spears
The Buy In Pre-Show – Winners receive AEW World Tag Team Championship match
Private Party vs. Best Friends
I’m taking Best Friends here despite the fact Orange Cassidy likely won’t be joining them at ringside. Pick: Best Friends
News & Notes:
Rhodes was among the AEW talents to pay tribute to former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard who passed away this week.
“He was beyond motivated and as a giant, took precautions to protect folks in the ring. I’m saddened by his passing, his last moments were as an undeniable hero,” Rhodes tweeted.
Authorities say Gaspard died from drowning after being caught in strong currents at a California Beach. He told a lifeguard to save his young son moments before a wave crashed down, pulling the former WWE Superstar below the surface and claiming his life.