By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
It’s Sunday, May 30, 2021. If you’re a fan of All Elite Wrestling, well, you know what that means.
Today is the wrestling company’s third annual “Double or Nothing” pay per view event, and it will air on B/R Live and select PPV channels live from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. If you’re not familiar with AEW, next to the WWE it’s the biggest pro wrestling promotion in North America, and in its two-year existence has already attracted a loyal fan base.
Here are my predictions for today’s card (for entertainment purposes only, naturally):
Pre-Show: NWA Women’s Title Match: SERENA DEEB (champion) vs RIHO. These two had a terrific bout earlier this year, and Riho pulled out the victory largely due to Deeb being injured. Expect another fun match, but this time the champ will retain via submission. As for Riho, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to shine in the company, as she has relocated from her native country Japan to the U.S.
AEW Casino Battle Royale. This is a 21-man battle royal, with the winner receiving a future world championship title opportunity. AEW has historically used this match to initiate future feuds/storylines as well as introduce a surprise new talent or two. There two wrestlers who have the best shot at winning this one: Christian Cage recently left the WWE to join AEW, and I can see him using this match to propel himself to the front of the line. And then there’s Jungle Boy (Jack Perry, the real-life son of the late actor, Luke Perry). Jungle Boy is young, talented and extremely popular with the fans. I just flipped a coin, and it came up “Jungle Boy.”
“Hangman” Adam Page vs Brian Cage. The storyline here is that the chiseled Cage beat the Hangman on a recent episode, but that was largely with the help of Cage’s buddies in Team Taz. Hangman has challenged Cage to a rematch, but this time as strictly a one on one match. Both these guys are great, and this match could steal the show. I predict Team Taz will again interfere, but this time it will backfire, and Hangmsn will score the win.
Sting & Darby Allin vs Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page. This will be Sting’s first in-ring match since 2015. The wrestling legend is now (gasp!) 62, so expect his young partner, the charismatic Darby Allin, to do the heavy lifting here. Sting and Allin will pin because that’s what good guys do.
TNT Title Match: Miro (c) vs Lance Archer. Miro is the Bulgarian powerhouse who used to be Rusev in the WWE, and he just recently captured the TNT title from Darby Allin. Archer, meanwhile, lives up to his nickname, the “Murderhawk Monster.” This match will be physical and brutal – think Kong vs Godzilla – but I can’t see the championship being taken off Miro so soon. Miro retains in a short but violent slugfest.
AEW Women’s Title Match: Hikaru Shida (c) vs Dr. Britt Baker. AEW on Friday honored Shida for her year-Long reign as the women’s champion. No doubt, she’s been a great champion during the most tumultuous time in our recent history – the COVID era – but it’s probably time for a new champion. Since turning “bad” in early 2020, Britt Baker has developed into one of the most entertaining performers in wrestling, male or female. I expect Baker to win after pulling some shenanigans, and we’ll have a new champ.
AEW World Tag Team Title Match: Young Bucks (c) vs Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston. The Young Bucks have been on fire ever since turning to the dark side. They’re smug, cocky and…well, awesome. They’ve become the perfect villainous tag team, with personalities to match their top-level ring work. The challenging team is a makeshift duo of Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, longtime pals who would rather brawl than do fancy moves. It’s a clash of styles, and there will be a lot of sentimental support for the veteran Kingston. The logical outcome is a successful title defense by the Bucks, but I think Mox and Kingston will pull off thevfeel-good upset.
AEW World Title Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs Pac vs Orange Cassidy. For the first time in the company’s short history, the world title will be defended in a Triple Threat match. Pac is one of the most skilled and believable performers in wrestling and he already has a PPV win over the champion, Omega (Pac rendered Omega unconscious at the 2019 “All Out” show). Orange Cassidy is in this match because he is wildly popular with the fans, and his unique wrestling style will add a fun element to the threeway. But Kenny Omega is in a roll as the belt-collecting champion (even winning belts from other companies), and there’s no way he’ll lose today.
Stadium Stampede Match: Inner Circle vs The Pinnacle. The Stadium Stampede was conceived last year during the early days of the pandemic. Looking for a way to entertain its audiences without the benefit of having fans in attendance, AEW created a gimmick match where two teams go at it inside a football stadium. The result was a wild and highly entertaining spectacle. So they’re doing it again, this time between two warring factions. The stipulation here is that the Inner Circle must permanently disband if they lose. Last year’s Stadium Stampede had a lot of comedic elements. I think today’s match will be more serious, and definitely more violent. I see the Pinnacle winning it and establishing themselves as the top group in AEW.
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