AEW Double or Nothing airs tonight on PPV from Daily's Place in Jacksonville. Originally scheduled for Las Vegas, the coronavirus had other ideas, forcing AEW to hold their big event inside an empty building. Luckily, AEW has found a pretty good formula for wrestling shows with no crowds by putting wrestlers and crew members in the audience to create that much-needed background noise. There are nine matches on the card for tonight, and we've put together some predictions in a two-part article. Below, see our thoughts on Private Party vs. Best Friends, MJF vs. Jungle Boy, Penelope Ford vs. Kris Statlander, Shawn Spears vs. Dustin Rhodes, and the Casino Ladder Match. Then, check back in a short while for our thoughts on Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose, Cody Rhodes vs. Lance Archer, Brodie Lee vs. Jon Moxley, and the Stadium Stampede Match.
Private Party vs. Best Friends – #1 Contender for the AEW World Tag Team Championship
After beating the Young Bucks way back in the opening round of the inaugural AEW Tag Team Championship tournament, it feels like Private Party hasn't really had a big, memorable win in AEW. That seems strange, considering Private Party has a 4-1 record in tag team competition for 2020. Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy have been featured heavily lately on Being the Elite, but it's Best Friends who have had most of the attention on Dynamite, with a major feud running through the recent Georgia TV tapings. It seems like Best Friends, with a 7-3 record for 2020, is next in line for the Tag Team Championships, presumably in a feud that could see the dissolution of the champs, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, another storyline that's been building for months. On a side note, it should definitely be Omega who turns heel in that feud, not Page. Anyway, Private Party's time will come, but not tonight.
Predicted winners: Best Friends
MJF (with Wardlow) vs. Jungle Boy
Jurassic Express is a popular babyface team whose members could use some big wins, but MJF (5-0 in singles competition for 2020) is on the rise to an eventual AEW Championship feud and so he seems to be the likely winner here over Jungle Boy (0-1). Expect some heavy interference from Wardlow in the match, followed by an intervention from Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt. In the chaos, MJF will sneak in the victory. That's pretty much wrestling 101 and there's no need for a swerve here.
Predicted winner: MJF
Penelope Ford vs. Kris Statlander
For replaces an injured Britt Baker in this match, and as such, it seems unlikely that she'll get the victory here unless AEW plans to replace Baker with her in their long term plans for the women's division. Instead, Ford (2-2 in singles competition) will get a chance to show off her skills on the big stage while Statlander (3-4) picks up a victory to become the next contender for Nyla Rose. That is unless Rose is dropping the title to Hikaru Shida tonight. Since the women's division only has one belt, it's likely these two matches will be inextricably linked in their outcome.
Predicted winner: Kris Statlander
Shawn Spears vs. Dustin Rhodes
This match was seemingly thrown together at the last minute, with Spears challenging Rhodes on the go-home episode of Dynamite. Spears's singles record for (4-1 in 2020) is much better than Rhodes's (2-3), though Rhodes has been much more successful (5-0) in tag team competition this year. Even so, it still feels like Spears needs the win more, as he's basically treading water since his feud with Cody Rhodes last year. Both men came to AEW with something to prove so expect them to try really hard tonight to make this match special. Whether they succeed or not will depend largely on their chemistry, but ultimately, Spears winning is the right choice tonight.
Predicted winner: Shawn Spears
Darby Allin vs. Colt Cabana vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Joey Janela vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Kip Sabian vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Luchasaurus vs. Mystery Opponent – Casino Ladder Match
The winner of this match gets an AEW World Championship title match, which likely means they'll be the next feud for Jon Moxley (more likely) or Brodie Lee (less likely). That means we can probably rule out more than half the competitors, who are here mostly to make the match good and not necessarily to catapult them to the World Championship scene, though a surprise is always possible. I think that leaves Darby Allin, the mystery opponent, and maybe Kip Sabian as the most likely to go on to feud with Jon Moxley.
My gut tells me that AEW would prefer to delay Darby Allin's (6-3 in singles competition) eventual championship win until they can have full arenas again, though they may not have much choice in the matter. However, with the next PPV three months away and Jon Moxley's AEW Championship run just getting started, it seems like the winner of this match will go on to another feud where Moxley is victorious, and that's not where Allin needs to be for the next few months.
The Mystery Opponent is a viable option based solely on the fact that we have no idea who it could be. But I have to go with Kip Sabian (7-4) here, and here's why. Sabian's act with Penelope Ford could benefit from the exposure of being involved in the main event feud and they would both probably come out the other end better for it, even if there's no chance in hell Sabian would win the said feud. But this largely depends on the identity of the Mystery Opponent, which could obviously change everything.
Predicted winner: Kip Sabian
AEW Double or Nothing starts at 8 PM Eastern Time, with the Buy-In preshow (featuring Private Party vs. Best Friends) starting an hour earlier at 7. You can order the PPV from your cable provider, or through B/R Live if you're in the United States, or from Fite TV if you're outside the U.S. (or at least if your IP address is). You can find more info on ordering here. Check back in a little bit for the second half of our predictions for the show. We'll also have live match-by-match coverage tonight.