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Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Real Winners and Losers from 2022 AEW Double or Nothing

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    AEW Double or Nothing 2022 had a massive card that stretched over four hours, filled with big matches. While not everything landed, enough did to make this another successful show for All Elite Wrestling.

    Hangman Adam Page met the biggest challenge of his career in CM Punk, and an inopportune referee bump cost him the AEW World Championship.

    The women’s division enjoyed a massive night. Thunder Rosa and Serena Deeb had the second best match of the night. Athena arrived in AEW to help fight off Jade Cargill’s Baddies.

    Paige VanZant debuted in a solid effort, Julia Hart joined The House of Black, and Britt Baker won the women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament over Ruby Soho.

    Wardlow also got his revenge, taking out MJF with a fire and dominance no one else has managed against The Salt of the Earth.

    This night was defined by some big wins and some notable losses. Here are the real winners and losers from AEW Double or Nothing.

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    MJF has defeated many of the greatest wrestlers in AEW past and present. He holds victories over CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy and more. Few have been able to outmaneuver him over the years.

    However, Wardlow did not just defeat The Salt of the Earth…he squashed him. While it went seven minutes, Mr. Mayhem completely dominated the action. He never let his former boss get in a lick of offense, just deciding how many times he wanted to powerbomb him.

    AEW rarely books matches like this, certainly not on pay-per-view, but given the build, it was the only story that made sense. Wardlow needed to make an emphatic statement fueled by the rage he has held against MJF for years.

    There was much talk about The Salt of the Earth going into the night. It was possible MJF did not even show up. It is still possible this was the last time MJF competes in an AEW ring. If so, he did the honors on his way out for the man he has helped build over these past few years.

    Wardlow is officially a member of the AEW roster in every way, and he will be a force to be reckoned with. It is hard to imagine he won’t be a champion before long.

2 of 5

    Julia Hart has finally made the biggest move of her career. In the closing moments of The House of Black vs. Death Triangle, she interfered to make sure The House stood tall. It was the moment many have long awaited in her career.

    At 19 years old, Hart signed with AEW as a valet for The Varsity Blonds. Now a year older, she has been given some chances early, but it was clear she is still learning. While Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison are solid performers, playing the role of valet for them was always going to limit her.

    The House of Black puts her on another level. This is the biggest story she has been a part of since joining AEW and is a clear indication that it is ready to start featuring her.

    Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews and Brody King can help her find her voice and become a star in her own right. If she is truly ready, she will be a major addition to the women’s division title scene before long.

3 of 5

    Ruby Soho has struggled in AEW since her big win in her debut at All Out 2021. She has lost twice to Britt Baker including at Double or Nothing, and she suddenly looks directionless again.

    Many expected her to be a bigger star from the outset, but she has been on a relentless journey to win gold without success. AEW may be missing the mark with her unless there is a big story on the horizon.

    If playing the good guy isn’t working for The Runaway, perhaps she needs to use some underhanded tactics to get ahead.

    With Thunder Rosa retaining against Serena Deeb, she will need a new challenge. Soho might be the best talent who could face the AEW women’s champion.

    Until that happens, Soho has been more of a promise than a true success story. She is lacking that statement moment that proves she is a star.

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    AEW Double or Nothing did quite a bit for the women’s division. The female talent wrestled in four matches on the card including a sensational bout between Thunder Rosa and Serena Deeb, and Athena made her debut to boost the company’s roster.

    It was the most respect All Elite Wrestling has showed the division since its inception, and much of what happened set the stage for more stories to tell in the future.

    The biggest criticism that can be leveled at AEW’s treatment of the women’s division was that each Dynamite or Rampage only had time to tell one or two stories. There are now too many things moving for the company to leave it at one match per night.

    Rosa is the dominant champion, awaiting her next big threat. Jade Cargill has new challengers in her way in both Athena and Kris Statlander. Baker has a new accolade to lord over the division. Julia Hart is now an integral member of The House of Black.

    Bring on a future where the women of AEW steal the show from the men with major performances under earned spotlights.

5 of 5

    “Hangman” Adam Page held the AEW World Championship with honor and prestige for 198 days, longer than the inaugural champion Chris Jericho. He defeated Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, Lance Archer and more along the way.

    Eventually, every title reign ends, but it is always a major loss when it happens. The world title in AEW has now been held by just five men, and The Cowboy treasured that gold more than any before him.

    Losing to CM Punk did not feel inevitable, but it was always likely. The Best in the World is the star of the show. Putting him on top is the right move to boost attention on the product.

    The question left hanging is how good a champion was Hangman. He had great matches, but many stars got more screen time during his reign. Will he be overshadowed in the aftermath as well?

    Nothing will be answered right away, but the foundations of AEW have been shaken. The aftermath should be fascinating to watch.

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