A storm cloud enveloped All Elite Wrestling 24 hours prior to Double or Nothing 2022.
Where once MJF's difficult contractual saga was considered a medium to long-term problem, given his deal's 2024 expiry date, it became a right now problem the moment he no-showed a Saturday meet and greet. A plane ticket had reportedly been booked for him, ready to whisk one of AEW's biggest and brightest out of Las Vegas on DoN eve. While MJF didn't end up boarding the flight, the question of whether or not he'd make the pay-per-view hung heavy, creating a new layer of murky intrigue.
Suddenly, a show that had suffered for its under-developed, inconsistent build was potentially without one of the few things on its lineup that felt fully formed. So far, two consecutive Feud of the Year candidates have comprised MJF's 2022. Losing his high-stakes showdown with Wardlow would hurt AEW and his Batista-like opponent both.
The past few weeks of AEW programming have been rough. MJF had the chance to make the situation even rougher.
Despite this, 'Hangman' Adam Page and CM Punk's World Title fight, creatively imperfect though it was, brought immense unpredictability. Match graphics for Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb, Death Triangle vs. House of Black, and the three-way Tag Team Title firestorm teased a night of bangers. Paige VanZant was booked for her first wrestling match ever. Genius workers Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and Eddie Kingston anchored a plunder brawl. These things, and much more, brought appeal beyond the MJF saga.
Let's light the fuse...