AEW Double Or Nothing took place last night at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville Florida. Mike Paul’s report on the event can be found here and early reports from the PPV are broadly positive.
One intriguing question going into the event was the identity of the mystery opponent in the Casino Ladder match. Fans had speculated it could be anyone from Rusev to Sting and pretty much everyone in between.
As it turns out, the man in question was Brian Cage who entered as the final man and unsurprisingly, went on to win the match after a trademark display of power and finesse.
One interesting note was that he did not come alone. Cage was joined by AEW commentator Taz who will seemingly act as a manager for ‘The Swolverine’ going forward.
AEW’s use of legends as managers for younger guys continues to be a strong suit for the promotion. Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts have been used as seconds for Shawn Spears, Cody and Lance Archer respectively.
Not only does this give the younger guys a certain transplanted credibility if they need a little boost, but it also acts as a shorthand for newer viewers on the attitude and character of the AEW stars.
If you’re watching AEW for the first time you might not know Brian Cage but you remember Taz as ‘The Human Suplex Machine’ so in your mind, you kind of know what Cage is all about. It’s a small thing but a smart one.
By winning the Casino Ladder match that ensures he gets a future World Title shot, Cage is clearly being positioned as a main eventer right from the start. His mix of power, agility and physical charisma will stand him in good stead in the company. One criticism early on in their existence was that AEW relied too heavily on smaller wresters, lacking a little variety in size and style. The signings of, among others, Brodie Lee, Lance Archer, Wardlow and now Brian Cage certainly addresses that minor flaw.