The debut pay-per-view for All Elite Wrestling takes place tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main pay-per-view starts at 8pm ET/5pm PT with a pre-show called The Buy In at 7pm ET/4pm PT that you can watch on the All Elite Wrestling Youtube channel.
If you want to watch Double or Nothing live or later, you can do so on the B/R Live app and also on traditional PPV for $49.99 in the US. If you’re in the United Kingdom/Ireland then you can watch it on ITV. For other international fans, including my fellow Canadians, it’s available on FITE as well. That’s probably what I’m going to use.
Here’s the lineup.
Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega
This is the advertisement main event. The winner gets a future AEW Championship match against the winner of the battle royal at a later date.
AAA World Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) vs. The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. and Fénix)
Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes
SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) vs. Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman)
Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae
Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, and Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe, and Ryo Mizunami
Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) vs. Angélico and Jack Evans
(PRE-SHOW) 21-Man Casino Battle Royal: Sonny Kiss vs. Brandon Cutler vs. Ace Romero vs. Glacier vs. Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Sunny Daze vs. MJF vs. Joey Janela vs. Dustin Thomas vs. Billy Gunn vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. Michael Nakazawa vs. Jungle Boy vs. Isiah Kassidy vs. Marq Quen vs. Luchasaurus vs. Shawn Spears vs. four other surprise entrants.
(PRE-SHOW) Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guevara
TJRWrestling will also be covering Double or Nothing as best we can. Kurt Zamora is going to provide live coverage on the site tonight. My TJR review will go up on Sunday morning. I really wanted to watch this show live and support what AEW is doing, but my favorite NBA team the Toronto Raptors are up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA Playoffs and they are one win away for making the NBA Finals. It’s the biggest game in franchise history. I’m going to watch it with about 10-15 family and friends, so that means I’ll check out Double or Nothing later. Thanks to Kurt for stepping up for me by writing the live review tonight.
Best of luck to AEW tonight. I hope it’s a great show. With the lineup they have, it would be a surprise if it wasn’t a memorable night of professional wrestling.
I’ll leave you with this 45 minute video preview that AEW posted on their Youtube channel.
All Elite Wrestling has announced that Dean Malenko has joined the company. Malenko worked for WWE as a wrestler and producer for over 18 years and before that wrestled in WCW, ECW and all over the world. Malenko is 58 years old. Here’s the press release.
Globally Renowned Producer & Coach Dean Malenko Joins AEW
— AEW Signs Malenko to Multi-Year Deal as Senior Producer / Coach —
Las Vegas, NV (May 24, 2019) – AEW today announced a multi-year deal with world-renowned coach, producer and wrestler Dean Malenko. Effective immediately, the former No. 1-ranked wrestler in the PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) 500 will take on the role as Senior Producer / Coach.
Malenko, who spent the past 18 years producing and coaching some of the biggest starts in wrestling, is a second-generation wrestler trained by his father, the acclaimed Boris Malenko. Malenko’s impact will be immediate as he joins AEW this weekend at DOUBLE OR NOTHING, the highly-anticipated event on Saturday, May 25, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Dean Malenko has been a massive force behind some of today’s biggest wrestling stars,” said Cody Rhodes, EVP of AEW. “He’s never stopped being a major talent who was part of the ECW revolution as well as a fixture in the cruiserweight movement on Nitro. He’s kept an open mind to our world from Lucha Libre to Japanese pro-wrestling. He’s the perfect fit for our sports-centric mentality, and his experience will be invaluable for our team. Welcome Coach!”
“It’s not often you get an opportunity late in your career to be a part of building something from the ground floor,” said Dean Malenko. “The freedom to be able to contribute uninhibited will only lend itself to foster creativity and produce an outstanding product. I’m excited about what the future holds for AEW, and I can’t wait to be a part of the journey.”
All Elite Wrestling AEW is a new professional wrestling promotion headlined by members of The Elite (The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody and Brandi Rhodes, and Hangman Page) and Chris Jericho. For the first time in many years, AEW is offering an alternative to mainstream wrestling, with a growing roster of world-class male and female wrestlers who are poised to bring new spirit, freshness and energy to the industry. The inaugural event under the AEW banner is DOUBLE OR NOTHING on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, followed by FYTER FEST on June 29 in Daytona Beach, followed by FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN on July 13 in Jacksonville. For more info, check out @AEWrestling (Twitter), @AllEliteWrestling (Instagram), /AllEliteWrestling (FB), AllEliteWrestling (YouTube), and additionally, AllEliteWrestling.com.
TJR Thoughts: I think it’s a great hire for AEW. Dean has a lot of experience as a skilled technical wrestler and he’s spent nearly two decades as a Producer as well. He will fit in perfectly with the AEW group, especially the cruiserweight wrestlers because he’s one of the best cruiserweights of the last 30 years.
There are now four male WWE superstars (along with the entire women’s division) that are not going to be wrestling at WWE Super Showdown on June 7th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, we reported on Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens refusing to go while Sami Zayn isn’t going because he’s Syrian. We can also add Aleister Black to the list.
The reason for Black not going to Jeddah is because of his tattoos. It was reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Black not appearing at Super Showdown was a WWE decision because some of the tattoos on his body are religious. The report from Meltzer notes that it wasn’t made clear if the Saudi General Sports Authority told WWE he wasn’t allowed or if WWE decided that he should stay home because his tattoos might offend the hosts.
“I don’t really talk about the meaning of my tattoos, but I will give you that one. The being on my back is Lilith, in some folklore she is the first woman to ever rebel against paradise. The reason she is there for equality, equality for every man and woman – which is the most important thing there is.”
Equality for every man and woman is not something that exists in Saudi Arabia (a country that recently allowed women to drive, but has many restrictions against women), so it’s probably a good thing that Black is staying home.
Since the Superstar Shakeup took place last month, Black has been kept out of the ring on Smackdown. He has been doing one-minute promos in darkened rooms on Smackdown although he was not on Smackdown this week. Perhaps WWE will keep him off TV until after Super Showdown and then he can return to TV after that.
In April 2018, WWE issued this statement when they were asked about why Sami Zayn wasn’t allowed to compete at the Greatest Royal Rumble event: “WWE is committed to embracing individuals from all backgrounds while respecting local customs and cultural differences around the world.”
In other words, they aren’t going to mess around with other people’s cultures and beliefs when they are making $80 million per year to run two shows in Saudi Arabia. It’s a cash grab for WWE as we all know.
When WWE promotes the show, they say that it will be “as good or better than WrestleMania.” I’m not saying that WrestleMania was an all-time great show, but to promote this event that way is ridiculous. The reason WWE does it? Money, of course.
The foursome of Bryan, Owens, Zayn and Black are the only wrestlers not expected to go since WWE has likely finalized the card by this point. John Cena is not an active wrestler in WWE, but he refused to wrestle at Crown Jewel last year after he did beat Triple H at Greatest Royal Rumble last year.
WWE Super Showdown, featuring The Undertaker vs. Goldberg for the first time ever, will stream live on June 7 — only on WWE Network.
* In other WWE news, the company announced today that Monday’s Smackdown house show that was scheduled for Salina, Kansas on May 27 has been rescheduled. The new date will be Saturday, October 26th. Tickets purchased for May 27 will be honored for October 26 and if you can’t go, you can get a refund.
This is the third Monday live event featuring Smackdown where WWE has canceled a show due to the “Wild Card Rule” being in effect. They also didn’t run the scheduled live events on May 6 in Corbin, Kentucky and this past Monday, May 20 in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The reason for the cancellations is because WWE brings in at least four Smackdown wrestlers to Raw due to the Wild Card Rule, so apparently they feel like they need to cancel the live events. It sucks for the other Smackdown wrestlers that are wrestling on Saturday, Sunday, then off on Monday and remaining on the road for Tuesday when Smackdown is on TV. Not only do they lose out on money for working one less house show on the loop, but they also get a day off where they are on the road waiting for Smackdown to take place on Tuesday.
If you are planning on going to a WWE Smackdown live event on a Monday, I wouldn’t expect it to actually happen now since WWE is canceling them.
The legendary WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is back on TV with USA Network announcing a new interview-based show where Austin talks to guests from the world of sports and entertainment. The show will air Mondays at 11pmET after Raw.
Here’s the press release:
Today, USA Network announced the pickup of Straight Up Steve Austin, a unique interview-based series hosted by retired WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The series of seven half-hour episodes will air on USA on Mondays at 11/10c following WWE Monday Night Raw, beginning August 12!
In each episode, Austin and a celebrity guest swap stories about their lives and careers during one-of-a-kind custom-tailored adventures in different cities across America. In this unique interview format, there’s no studio, no couch and no cue cards — just a straight-up good time and some good old-fashioned American fun.
Guests include country singer and actor Trace Adkins, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr., comedian Gabriel Iglesias, WWE Superstar Becky Lynch, NFL Quarterback Baker Mayfield, actor and retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer Rob Riggle, and Impractical Jokers star Sal Volcano.
Straight Up Steve Austin joins USA’s growing unscripted lineup, which includes family docu-comedies Chrisley Knows Best, Growing Up Chrisleyand The Radkes, WWE-related series Miz & Mrs, and buzzy reboots Temptation Island and The Biggest Loser.
Cody Rhodes has a very big weekend ahead of him with the first ever All Elite Wrestling show called “Double or Nothing” set to take place this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It’s a huge event, wrestling fans are excited about it and Cody is at the forefront as one of the Executive Vice Presidents in the company.
Cody took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to WSVN-TV Miami, FL Entertainment Reporter Chris Van Vliet (subscribe to his Youtube channel here) to talk about the launch of AEW and his big match against his brother Dustin Rhodes. Thanks to Chris for sending along these notes.
AEW on TNT will be a 2 hour live show that travels to different cities each week:
“It’s really likely the show is going to be 2 hours. That’s the sweet spot. In terms of the schedule we’ll find out probably within the next few months for sure and it will be in a great spot to be in prime time on TNT, they’ve really set us up. Now you’ve got to go deliver the bell to bells and the sports-centric. Another thing that is really cool is you’ll be able to find out per market where we’re going to be all around, this isn’t going to be something that is just stationed in one spot. This is a touring brand. We’re really, no pun intended, going all in on the concept of it and it’s so special because we aren’t doing a live event system so when we come we’re bringing our absolute best from match quality to star quality. I feel like I’m giving away a lot here. Did Tony already say it? It’s 2 hours, live.”
The AEW World Heavyweight Championship will be unveiled at Double or Nothing and the Battle Royale winner will get a title shot:
“I’ve said title and I’ve said championship in our little circle now and everyone is really adamant that we say “belt”. On Saturday there is the chance that you might see the greatest World Championship Title that has ever been created and there’s also a chance that I might have showed Chris a picture of it before this interview. He might have got a sneak peek. It’s really great. Every day the progress shots have been cool and I’ll be able to see it. I’m not guaranteeing it will be there on Saturday, (Cody winks to the camera) but that was a wink, and I’m excited about it. But actually the stakes of the Battle Royale and getting that opportunity to potentially wrestle for the World Championship and to wrestle for the World Championship, every match has high stakes placed on it.”
Is he still on good terms with WWE?
“I would think I do but it’s dawning on me that I likely don’t if that makes any sense. I would think that we are still. I learned a lot there, I had a great time, I met my wife and I also got to wrestle some of the best. The Undertaker was still pretty active, I got to be in there with Taker. Shawn Michaels was active, I got to be in there with Shawn and Hunter himself. But I don’t know maybe I’m not too well received. We were kind of always the enemy, me and my family. We were like the bastard family of wrestling. Dusty was always an individual, he never really fit into the corporate structure. He did great there and they really took care of him but I think we were always kind of the enemy.”
His match against Dustin Rhodes will likely be Dustin’s retirement match:
“I would think this is his last match. I would think it is. Now that has not been stated and we’re not putting some sort of element like that on it because that’s his decision and his world and one of the big things about this match is it’s really now or never. People wanted this match 3 or 4 years ago a lot more than I wanted it mainly because it was time for us to go our separate ways. We’re solo acts and we had a really great run as a team but it was time for us to go our separate ways. And now as we got to this event and it kind of fell into place the way that it did, there are so many elements of it that are real and that’s such a great thing to bring to the screen and it beams across but I would think this is his last match. But by no means does he have that pressure on him, he’s just getting older and he’s actually said himself that he’d like to slow down so we’ll see.”
How far ahead have they planned out storylines?
“I’d say we have a pretty good bearing on 6 months to a year. Exactly that. Long form storytelling is great in every medium whether it is film or TV or whatever it may be to know and work backwards. We’ve got a good, what would I call it, like a syllabus? There’s a syllabus to what we’re going to do but one thing that Matt Jackson is really good about pointing out is some things just catch fire and one thing that we want to do differently than any other wrestling that’s out there is you can’t deny something when it catches. So if something catches, we’re going to push that, we’re going to promote that. If an individual catches, we’re going to push that, we’re going to promote that. And that all starts at Double or Nothing.”
Will there be pyro at Double or Nothing?
“Yeah there is. But you say that and I don’t run a pyro company so I haven’t seen the rehearsals. Honestly, it’s got to be big pyro. Because if you do like sparklers, which are cool, if you do those it’s like meh. You want rockets, you want like the big mortar bang that scares you to death. You want the big stuff.”
There are some surprises in store at Double or Nothing:
“I think what we have ready to go is the best wrestling show ever. I really do. It’s a wrestling show, by wrestlers, for the fans. It’s 100% fan service. It wouldn’t be that if there weren’t surprises.”
You can watch the full 28-minute interview with Cody below. Thanks again to Chris for sending this in.
A huge match was announced for NXT Takeover XXV (that’s 25) on June 1 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The NXT Tag Team Titles were recently vacated, so that means NXT has to crown new champions. What they have decided to do is to have a 4-team Ladder Match.
The match will feature The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) vs. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler). Of the four teams, only The Undisputed Era are former NXT Tag Team Champions, so there’s a strong possibility that we will see new champions at NXT Takeover XXV.
There are two other official matches for NXT Takeover XXV right now:
NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai
There are two more matches that are expected to take place on the five-match card, but I don’t want to spoil it for people. If you want to know what those matches are, you can click here because I wrote about them two weeks ago.
TJR Thoughts: I’m going with The Street Profits for the win. I think they have a great act, they are popular and it’s time to crown them as NXT Tag Team Champions. They’re the best choice in this group, but if WWE wants to go with another team then that’s fine too and they can build up The Street Profits to challenge whoever the champions are down the road.