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AEW Double or Nothing 2021 preview: Killers vs. quitters

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AEW is rolling hard tonight (May 30, 2021) for their latest PPV, Double or Nothing. The nine-bout main card kicks off at 8 pm ET. It is available for purchase through B/R Live (and traditional PPV) in the USA and Canada or internationally on Fite TV. Let’s run down the storylines and x-factors for each contest to get you prepared for the evening’s festivities.

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Orange Cassidy vs. PAC

Omega needed a challenger for the show. Cassidy was ranked #1, and PAC was ranked #2. Match time! Omega thought he could be crafty by interfering in the end causing a double count-out finish. Instead of the night off with no challengers, Omega’s plan backfired to defend against two challengers.

X-factor: Interference. Omega has the Good Brothers, Cassidy has the Best Friends, and PAC has the Lucha Bros all watching their backs. There’s bound to be shenanigans involving all the extras which should cancel out. Cassidy is the one with an edge in that department, because he also has Kris Statlander ready to fight. That’s where Don Callis comes in. Imagine this scenario for the debut of Tessa Blanchard. She has a connection with Callis in Impact to claim he supported her winning the Impact World Championship. Now, she can repay the favor by taking out Statlander and turning the tide of the title match. To clarify, I have not seen any rumors that Tessa is AEW bound for Double or Nothing. This is just me throwing ideas at the wall. Tessa has to show up somewhere someday.

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Young Bucks (c) vs. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston

This bout is my personal main event. The feud is an offshoot from Moxley’s beef with Kenny Omega. Long-time pals Mox and Kingston were at odds until Kingston tried to shield Moxley from the exploding ring that did not explode. It was the thought that counts, so the friends were back to bonding.

The Young Bucks came into play with the melodrama of backing Omega’s turn to the nefarious side. They eventually embraced the Elite reformation, but it was at the cost of turning on Moxley in trios action. Thus, a tag team feud was made.

X-factor: Desire. Moxley expressed his need to win the tag titles, and I believe him. That man has tremendous testicular fortitude. Kingston brought up the idea that the Bucks are quitters. I don’t necessarily agree with that take, however, the Bucks have resorted to the easy way out with rampant cheating since they turned to the dark side. If the Bucks want to win, they will have to get back to peak performance as the best tag team. Then it will come down to who wants the win the most.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD

Hikaru Shida has held the women’s title for over one year. Baker is confident in taking the top spot in the division. Despite losing her major feuds, Baker played the game to rack up wins against jabronettes to rise to #1 in the rankings.

These two also have bloody history. Shida broke Baker’s nose in a previous title defense last year.

X-factor: Predictability. The way I see the card is 8 of the 10 matches have strong favorites. I think Baker falls into that category due to the amount of camera time she has received compared to the champ. This would be a prime match to keep fans on their toes with a Shida win. Since Shida has excelled thus far in her role, it would be an unexpected result that would still make sense.

TNT Championship: Miro (c) vs. Lance Archer

HOSS FIGHT!!! Kingpin Miro has the TNT title, and Archer wants it.

X-factor: Pain.

Stadium Stampede: Inner Circle vs. The Pinnacle

MJF infiltrated the Inner Circle to destroy it from within. When Chris Jericho and his mates aimed to expose MJF, he was one step ahead with the reveal of a new power faction. The Pinnacle violently beat down the Inner Circle. That led to the Blood & Guts match, where MJF used the threat of tossing Jericho off the top of the cage to trick the Inner Circle into quitting. Once they did, MJF dumped Jericho down anyway. Inner Circle came back the next week with a bubbly cannon, and Stadium Stampede was agreed upon as the next chapter. This could also be the final chapter for the Inner Circle. If they lose, they must disband as a unit.

X-factor: Health. Jericho has his arm in a cast from the Blood & Guts fall. Santana and Ortiz were victims to jumping piledrivers through tables from FTR on the go-home show. Their necks should be in braces as we speak. That effectively makes it 5-on-2. The Inner Circle will need a shaman’s juju to heal up before the big fight.

Cody Rhodes vs. Anthony Ogogo

This feud began as Cody versus QT Marshall. The problem was that nobody believed QT stood a chance against Cody. QT took some Nightmare Factory students to secede as the Factory. Anthony Ogogo was part of QT’s loyal faithful. Ogogo is an Olympic bronze medalist who has used his fists to pummel opponents and Cody too.

There is also a USA versus UK angle. Mileage may vary on that aspect. Cody provided a patriotic promo using the American Dream to springboard into representing his father’s legacy as the Dream for this match.

X-factor: Wrestler versus boxer. Randy Couture laid the blueprint for defeating a boxer in combat when he pummeled James Toney. Obviously, it would not be all that exciting to see Cody duplicate that win in the realm of professional wrestling. That means sports entertainment aspects will be on full display. That could give Ogogo the winning advantage to unleash his hands. Or Cody could heroically absorb the blows, shout, “America!” then use the Bionic Elbow to score a takedown transition for the figure-four.

Sting & Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page

Sky and Page are offended by the star treatment AEW provides for Sting and Allin, so they have made it their mission to torment the face paint fellows. Sky and Page view this as a stepping stone match toward fulfilling greatness. Sting and Allin want payback for violent malfeasance, such as heel hooking Sting and tossing Allin down stairs.

X-factor: Sting. This will be Sting’s first sanctioned match since 2015. The Icon is 62 years old. Will he be able to keep up with his younger counterparts?

Hangman Page vs. Brian Cage

Cage used Team Taz tactics to soften up Hangman en route to victory in their previous encounter. That loss knocked the cowboy out of the #1 spot. Hangman desires to avenge the defeat, and he played keen mind games by getting Cage to agree to a strictly solo contest. That means Team Taz will stay away.

X-factor: Team Taz. Even though Cage agreed to rumble alone, that doesn’t mean Taz’s stable will honor Cage’s word. There is potential for backfiring antics or even Cage feeling disrespected by Taz and rebelling against the orange crew.

Casino Battle Royale

The competitors include Christian Cage, Matt Sydal, Will Hobbs, Pentagon, Jungle Boy, Matt Hardy, Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy, Blade, Evil Uno, Colt Cabana, 10, Griff Garrison, Brian Pillman Jr., Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, Dustin Rhodes, Lee Johnson, and a mystery wrestler. A world title shot is at stake for the winner.

As for potential candidates for the mystery man Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Daga are the biggest realistically available free agents I can think of. Andrade could make a splash after drifting at sea. Someone associated with NJPW or Impact is another route to venture. WWE’s recent releases haven’t cleared their 90-day non-compete clause yet. So, I guess the answer is Daniel Bryan or CM Punk imminent? Just kidding.

X-factor: Dark horse. Christian is the favorite, but he doesn’t need the win as a shortcut to a title shot. He’s already doing a good job working the rust off at 3-0 with wins over Frankie Kazarian, Will Hobbs, and Matt Sydal. His story toward a championship bout can be told without a win in the battle royale. This contest is an opportunity for AEW to shake things up by having a dark horse emerge victoriously. I’m pulling for Will Hobbs or Dustin Rhodes. Neither of them are in rankings contention, so winning the Casino Battle Royale would live up to the spirit of the gambling concept.

NWA Women’s World Championship: Serena Deeb vs. Riho

There is no immediate story, but Deeb has a chance to get her win back after losing to Riho in the women’s tournament in February.

X-factor: Who is more box office for the NWA? Both women are signed to AEW, so a title change depends solely on the NWA’s powers that be. NWA currently has a #1 contender feud between Thunder Rosa and Kamille. For Rosa, there is the story of regaining the NWA title from the women (Deeb) who took it from her. If Kamille is destined to become champ, it doesn’t matter so much who has the title as long as NWA can sell PPV interest.

If you are yearning for some AEW merch, now is the time to make a move with a sale at the AEW shop.

What are your x-factors for each bout at Double or Nothing? Which contest will steal the show?