AEW announced a Casino Ladder match for next week’s (Oct. 6) anniversary episode of Dynamite. The winner of the match earns a world championship match against Kenny Omega. Right away, many fans are speculating this must be the date when Hangman Page returns from his current hiatus and earns a shot against Omega at the Full Gear pay-per-view on Nov. 13.
The main issue with this theory is that AEW probably won’t wait until Full Gear to grant the title shot to the winner. Here is a list of past winners of Casino Ladder matches and Casino Battle Royal matches in AEW:
- Double or Nothing 2019: Hangman Page wins Casino Battle Royal
- All Out 2019: Nyla Rose wins Casino Battle Royal
- Double or Nothing 2020: Brian Cage wins Casino Ladder match
- All Out 2020: Lance Archer wins Casino Battle Royal
- Revolution 2021: PAC & Rey Fenix win Casino Tag Team Battle Royal
- Double or Nothing 2021: Jungle Boy wins Casino Battle Royal
- All Out 2021: Ruby Soho wins Casino Battle Royal
Every time there is a “Casino” match, the winner earns a title match for either the AEW world championship, the AEW women’s championship, or the AEW tag team championship. In only one of the above entries did the winner receive their championship match on a future pay-per-view event. That was Hangman Page in 2019, well before Dynamite even existed. It’s also worth noting that every single one of the above winners went on to lose the title match.
Hangman Page’s match with Omega will probably happen on pay-per-view, and there will hopefully be a title change, so he doesn’t really fit the bill of the typical Casino match winner.
One counterpoint that could potentially destroy my entire argument here is that all of the above matches took place on PPV, and the gap from one PPV to the next is so large that of course AEW never waited that long to book the championship match. Whereas this year’s Casino Ladder match is on Dynamite and only five to six weeks before the next PPV. Page could conceivably return to AEW next week, win the ladder match, and five episodes of Dynamite is a reasonable amount of time to build up to the title match with Omega.
That’s true. So I’ll leave you with this nugget from Andrew Zarian on the Mat Men podcast. Here is what he said when he was asked to give his thoughts on the possibility of the Hangman winning the Casino Ladder match next week:
“Hangman is coming back...in a couple weeks. Yeah.”
Coming back in “a couple weeks” would presumably rule him out for the Casino Ladder match next week, if Zarian knows what he’s talking about.
Who do you think will win the Casino Ladder match, Cagesiders?