11 Match Star Ratings From AEW Double Or Nothing 2023

Literally EXPLOSIVE Match of the Year contender elevates uneven AEW PPV...

Kenny Omega Bryan Danielson

The road to Double Or Nothing wasn't quite NXT TakeOver of 2019 tier - unremarkable and generic TV storytelling as the obligatory phase before the signature rave-reviewed big show - but the Four Pillars storyline simply didn't connect as a worthy, main event-level concern.

A story about four young men finding their identity and value system through their journey in a new major outfit, certain characters in it played the role almost too well. Is Sammy Guevara a heel or a babyface? Is Jack Perry doing this immature trash talk stuff on purpose? Why is Darby Allin celebrating a bye?

The three challengers didn't do enough to draw interest, and in opting for a worked shoot approach - Perry, remember, is part of a "Cali kliq" - Tony Khan misjudged the demand for this sort of thing in AEW. It can only suffer in comparison to the very real rivalries playing out offscreen. This approach threatened to undermine the Elite Vs. Blackpool Combat Club feud, at least until the BCC's motives started to reflect Bryan Danielson's mission statement promo (as opposed to CM Punk's opinion of the Young Bucks).

Elsewhere, it was strange to see the epilogue of Matt Hardy Vs. Ethan Page given valuable PPV time, when their storyline was never really over. AEW did however present us the sight of Satnam Singh in overalls, which puts DoN 2023 in the top five AEW PPV builds.

Was DoN as good as the phenomenal all-timer that was Revolution?

10. BUY-IN: Ethan Page & The Gunns Vs. The Hardy Party

Kenny Omega Bryan Danielson

A quick note on the pre-show match before the review proper, since there wasn't a great deal to it. The fans loved it.

They love the Hardy Boyz. They literally can't get enough, since the love affair has endured for a quarter of a century. They didn't mind that the match went 15 minutes, but if you aren't pissed up on Delete nostalgia, this was flabby and dragged towards the finish. The Gunns are slowly mastering the wild, flailing bump to the outside of the ring. HOOK and Ethan Page have clearly developed chemistry on the House Rules circuit. Matt Hardy says "Delete!", and fans say it back. It's fine if you like it, not worth 15 if you don't, and the match almost fell apart completely when Jeff Hardy seemed to hurt his leg, seconds after which he lost his footing when attempting Whisper In The Wind.

He spent what felt like several minutes lying down after that. He fought through the pain to play his role in the finish, which nudges his team closer to World Tag Team title contention.

That doesn't seem like a capital idea, since a loud house show quality match is their ceiling in 2023 - and the they limped badly to get there.

Star Rating: ★★½


Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71