As witnessed by everyone tuning into AEW's Double or Nothing PPV, and as a Pro Wrestler myself, I can attest that there's nothing quite like an excitedly hyped up live crowd. A point to which I think I'm echoing the sentiments of all in the Internet Wrestling Community when I say, never again will we ever take for granted the energy of a live crowd! With that said, kicking off the night and setting the tone for AEW Double or Nothing was none other than Serena Deeb, the NWA Women's Champion. After a brief hiatus from AEW, Serena Deeb made her return as part of Buy In preceding Double or Nothing after a Dynamite match.
As announced leading up to Double or Nothing weekend, Serena Deeb would be highlighted in a championship match. She would stake her claim as the reigning NWA World Women's Champion and put her coveted NWA Women's Title on the line. The match would feature Deeb going one on one with a worthy AEW competitor. Serena Deeb would begin the event as part of Buy In against the former inaugural AEW Women's Champion, Riho.
Recently making her own way back to AEW after her own hiatus due to the pandemic, Riho has come back full force doing everything she can to reclaim her steam as the first and youngest AEW Women's Champion on record. A reign that began when she beat out all others including The Beast Nyla Rose, Britt Baker, and Hikaru Shida. Riho made her return just in time for the AEW Women's World Elimination tournament, and coming across Serena Deeb in the process made this bout almost a certainty at that time.
As the two clashed in the ring the energy reverberated through the arena. Excellent technique. Veteran experience. And of course the very lifeblood of competition within Sports Entertainment and Pro Wrestling were alive and well. They indeed set the bar high for the rest of the show. In the end, however, much to the dismay of Riho, Serena Deeb successfully defended her title and will leave AEW Double or Nothing to see another day as the reigning and defending NWA World Women's Champion. A spot that leaves her with Thunder Rosa, Kamille Brickhouse, and Allysin Kay breathing down her neck.
Overall, the match was a great way to start the event. As I've often said, if you aren't the semi main or main event, being the first match is an excellent spot. No one has seen anything repetitive yet. The crowd is amped up, excited, and not tired. And you have the responsibility of setting the tone for the rest of the card that leads up to the main event. A key link in the psychological structure of putting a Pro Wrestling card together in my opinion.
In this the ladies killed it in the best of ways. The match had technical wrestling that made sense and told a methodical story with meticulous attention to detail and the act of picking a part a body part that ultimately over time led to the finish. Classic old school story telling with modern twists and exciting turns with some cool and well executed high-flying skills. Everything you'd expect from the NWA flavor mixed with the AEW style. Job well done!
Serena Deeb's signature Serenity Lock won the match, but if AEW fans have noticed anything about Riho, it's that she never falls for the same tactic twice. She never backs down from a challenge and comes back better and smarter. In this I think we haven't seen the last of Serena Deeb versus Riho… And to add another additional follow up point, the competition in both NWA and AEW heating up, I wouldn't be surprised if both Women's Divisions tuned in to this match. Studying. Predicting. Choosing sides for material gain. Looking for the edge up.
In the midst of Tony Khan's recent announcement of the return of the AEW Women's Casino Battle Royale. The very match that led to Riho's first run as AEW Women's Champion being ended by Nyla Rose. Tune in to NWA and AEW for the fall out of Double or Nothing as to women all vye for championship gold.
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