#OneYearDON is a look back at All Elite Wrestling’s debut event with match by match retrospectives on how talent has fared in the year since the event as well as other profiles looking at how some performers have progressed from one DON to the next. This piece looks at the company’s first-ever main event between Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho and how they faired since.
When All Elite Wrestling announced it’s existence, people were hesitant as to how they would make it work. And then Chris Jericho showed up and made it clear to the world this was something serious in the wrestling business. Add in the fact that the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega would select working with his friends instead of the WWE or a return to Japan and you had the perfect duo to build your company around the first year and beyond. So it made them perfect partners for the first-ever AEW main event at Double or Nothing, with the winner moving on to All Out to fight for the AEW World Championship.
The winner of this match proved to go on to bigger and better things with the loser seemingly struggling to find his former self. Here’s a look at the match itself and what transpired after for both competitors.
The Match: Double or Nothing – Winner Goes To All Out Fight For AEW World Champion
Originally, the idea of Chris Jericho being the first champion in AEW history made fans angry. They believed rolling with the “WWE guy” would only hurt the company. Meaning the idea of Kenny Omega winning this match would make all the sense in the world. Considering how much fans around the world loved him and his standing as “The Best Bout Machine” made it a sure thing that he should be the inaugural AEW World Champion. As time moved and the event came closer, people liked the idea more and more that Jericho would be the best choice to establish the gold. In retrospect, most would say it was definitely the right choice considering Jericho’s run. As the match came to a start, it was a big fight feel between two guys who had a recent history in Japan.
Jericho debuted a rougher style than previously, while Omega had to eliminate any ring rust after such a long layoff from Wrestle Kingdom at the beginning of January to May. For Jericho, that was second nature and worked into his advantage. Both men gave each other the “kitchen sink” and more, trying to secure their spot at All Out. The never-ending change of Chris Jericho was ultimately what got him the victory, as the debut of his Judas Effect elbow put down Omega. After the three count, most felt this was going to be Jericho’s time. And the debut of Jon Moxley answered what would be next for Omega. One part that wasn’t expected was the treatment of Omega, however.
The Aftermath For Jericho & Omega
It really was two different tales for Jericho and Omega following their main event match. The main event match that would help set the standard of the top stars in the company, but also one that would put them on the path to being in the same match one year later.
Chris Jericho – Le Champion, Inner Circle, And Reinvigoration
There’s a good chance that Chris Jericho was the Most Valuable Player of professional wrestling in 2019. Following his AEW debut at Double or Nothing, Jericho went on to All Out where he would face Hangman Page for the AEW World Championship. A Judas Effect decided the fate, as Jericho became the inaugural champion and added to his legendary status. That wasn’t it for Jericho, as he then formed The Inner Circle to take out The Elite and established themselves as the dominant faction of the company. In doing so, Le Champion was also born.
“A little bit of the bubbly” was only one part of Jericho’s major genius in the past year. His promos and new group gave him more to work with than he ever had in his career. It was must-see television any time Y2J was on television and hasn’t really changed leading up to Double or Nothing this year. At the show, he will team with his group to finally face The Elite to decide once and for all who is the superior group of All Elite Wrestling.
Kenny Omega — Loss After Loss, Questionable Booking, And A Tag Team Champion (!?)
The story of Kenny Omega since his first match as a member of the AEW roster is an interesting one. Most would say that he left “The Best Bout Machine” version of him behind in Japan and was a whole different person in AEW. His feud with Jon Moxley managed to take most of his time, as it was delayed from All Out to Full Gear. He also entered a feud with PAC, one that produced his best singles matches by far. But most fans would agree the signature Omega match has yet to come and he has been regulated to the mid-card rather than the main event. Somehow, his tag team with Hangman Page has done more for him than the latter. Shocking, considering Omega carries such a presence with him.
What Omega has managed to do was be a successful team with Page, delivering what some believe to be the best tag team match in wrestling history and more than likely AEW’s finest. So in a sense, Omega has delivered, but his fall out of the main event and into a lesser role has been stunning. It’s a tale of two different years for Omega and Jericho.
Somehow, it has brought them full circle to face each other at the same show again. Perhaps it’s a chance for Omega to change his fortunes moving forward and set-up something new for Jericho as well.
More From LWOPW
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and Dark weekly on YouTube.