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Best Moments of AEW Double or Nothing 2023

Wrestling

Best Moments of AEW Double or Nothing 2023

5 Best Moments from a tame AEW Double or Nothing

For the second time in a row, AEW delivers another PPV with no more than 10 advertised matches. Double or Nothing 2023 was a night of expected title retentions, big title changes, a conveyor belt of weapons, and a whole lot of awkward fluff. While I’ve found the misses outnumbered the hits on this night, it still wouldn’t be an AEW PPV without great suspense — and anarchy.

5) House of Black (c) v The Acclaimed (Open House, World Trios Championship)

Image: AEW

It’s unfortunate that this had zero build whatsoever. But hey, at least it happened?

I’ve seen the opinion floating around that The Acclaimed rapping on HOB has the potential to kill the latter’s mystique. If that’s why this didn’t have any build to it, it would be a damn shame. Max Caster’s bars hit harder than they have recently, and seeing Brody King react to it alone was worth it. HOB aren’t going to be one-dimensionally revered or be stone-faced forever. Pro wrestling TV is built on a juxtaposition of characters — and was this ever.

The star pairing here was Anthony Bowens and Malakai Black, who gave us the scissor sit-off, and a comical kneebar counter to the Scissor Me Timbers. Great interactions all around. The Acclaimed put up a solid effort, but they were thoroughly, thoroughly overwhelmed tonight.

4) Jamie Hayter (c) v Toni Storm (Women’s World Championship)

The Outcasts
Image: AEW

Let’s get the headline out of the way. Storm becomes the first 2-time Women’s World Champion, costing Hayter her chance at entering historic All In 2023 as champion.

This match immediately stands out as unlike most World title matches in AEW, regardless of division. The Outcasts attacked the injured champion virtually all weekend, beginning Rampage on Friday until minutes prior to this bout. All the champion could muster was a valiant backbreaker and Hayterade that she put her all into. But the damage had already been done, and the inevitable would happen.

Jamie Hayter
Image: AEW

(3) Blackjack Battle Royal (International Championship)

Orange Cassidy - Double or Nothing 2023
Image: AEW

In a promotion with consistently fun battle royals, the Blackjack Battle Royal saw perhaps the most dramatic closing moments in AEW history. Rivalries, most notably Bullet Club Gold/Ricky Starks and Mogul Embassy/Keith Lee, wove in and out seamlessly. This match almost single-handedly made Big Bill a force moving forward. Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana were absolutely panic-inducing but capable threats to Orange Cassidy’s unbelievable reign.

So much packed into the final act of this melee. Thank God for the revitalizing power of pockets.

(2) Kris Statlander ends Jade Cargill’s undefeated streak, wins TBS Championship

Kris Statlander
Image: AEW

The headline alone shoots this moment straight to the top. Kris Statlander’s return was huge, in many ways unpredictable and predictable at the same time. And most of all, a long time coming for one of AEW’s most beloved homegrown stars.

Many thought it would be Statlander to dethrone the dominant Jade Cargill’s 2-year streak. I’m not sure anyone thought it would happen like that. Cargill’s attempt to take on two challengers in one night looked perhaps to be the start of a mini-trend on TV. And then she did it on PPV, and that arena knew. In any case, this was surely one of the most successful moments of Double or Nothing.

(1) Blackpool Combat Club v The Elite (Anarchy in the Arena)

Matt Jackson, Jon Moxley - Double or Nothing 2023
Image: AEW

Beautiful pro wrestling violence is such a fitting description. A quick aside: The live version of “Wild Thing” had, I’d say, suspect quality in the beginning stages of this match. But I’ll admit it very quickly grows on you: the soundtrack to a feel-good bloody brawl, before the collective breath of a wholly invested crowd slowly takes over.

Wheeler Yuta, Adam Page, Nick Jackson, Jon Moxley - Double or Nothing 2023
Image: AEW

Matches like this have you watching every second. Doing away with the habit of comparing matches to other matches as they’re happening, or judging at what point a match becomes “good.” What Anarchy in the Arena creates is so unlike any other match style or template, or any other No Holds Barred type of gimmick. Anarchy in the Arena is an environment of trust wrestlers create with the fans; where stories are heated and loaded up before the match, but as soon as the bell sounds, we just have to focus on what happens in front of us and be open to whatever’s next.

It usually upsets me when World title matches do not main event PPVs, as it makes little sense for them not to. But Anarchy in the Arena, along with Stadium Stampede, has reached icon status in AEW, and an integral part of the Double or Nothing brand. And that’s all thanks to innovative, monumental matches like we got from BCC, The Elite, and Konosuke-fucking-Takeshita.

Konosuke Takeshita, Don Callis - Double or Nothing 2023
Image: AEW

Honorable Mentions

  • Jade Cargill’s entrance
  • Jade Cargill gets hit with Road to Valhalla
  • MJF (c) v Jack Perry v Sammy Guevara v Darby Allin (World Championship) – The “pillars” show us their vision of modern wrestling: dives, tributes, and Canadian Destroyers. Was nice, just wasn’t my thing. Maybe it’ll grow on me.
  • All four members of The Elite share one entrance
  • Adam Page and Kenny Omega sing to each other
Written By

Harvey Garcia is sometimes a poet and freelance writer from Manila; always going to pop for a butterfly suplex, and a good line cut.

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