When fans think about and discuss What To Expect from the matches that All Elite Wrestling is presenting at their inaugural event, AEW Double or Nothing, this may be the one they are the least sure about. It is a given that anyone planning on watching AEW Double or Nothing is very familiar with the members of SoCal Uncensored, SCU and know what those men bring to the table against Strong Hearts. Christopher Daniels, one of the progenitors of the modern independent scene, has been in the business for over twenty-five years, and Frankie Kazarian has been around for over twenty. And don’t overlook Scorpio Sky; while he has not spent as much time performing on the bigger stages in the industry as his partners, he is very like them in that he has extensive experience in the ring.
But although fans have seen a lot of SCU, they may be uncertain about their opponents, Strong Hearts. It has been well documented that AEW has formed a partnership with fledgling promotion Oriental Wrestling Entertainment out of China, and Strong Hearts come to Double or Nothing representing that brand against SoCal. OWE’s exposure in North America has been very limited, but AEW has done an excellent job of educating fans about this new promotion that is focused on developing new performers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and incorporates elements such as martial arts in a very different fashion than has been done previously.
OWE invades AEW
However, OWE has been very selective in who they are sending to this big event, and some fans may, in fact, be more familiar with who will be opposing the old friends from Southern California than they first thought. Leading Strong Hearts is, of course, CIMA, the founder of OWE and a veteran with just as many years of in-ring experience as any of his opponents in this match. CIMA performed for Dragon Gate, including Dragon Gate USA, for a long time, and also appeared for Pro Wrestling Guerilla, so there are lots of North American fans who have seen him perform, and his solid combination of technical wrestling and high-flying.
AEW Double or Nothing SoCal Uncensored vs. Strong Hearts
He has selected as his partners T-Hawk (no, not the Street Fighter character) and El Lindaman, two men who, though newer to the business than CIMA, also performed for Dragon Gate. These two talented technical grapplers were brought over when CIMA started OWE, in order to serve as the foundation of the company, and he has teamed with them already in previous OWE visits to other promotions, including Wrestle-1 and DDT Pro on Japan.
The back story here has two distinct facets, and both will come into play in different ways, informing how the match proceeds. The rationale for the bout is that SCU issued a challenge to CIMA to come and battle them, and bring his promotion’s best men as his partners. As is their won’t, SCU has spoken of their opponents in promos for the match in a contemptuous manner and highlighted their own qualifications while dismissing those of the OWE representatives. Fans can likely expect this arrogant attitude to carry over into the bout, which will lead to attempts to embarrass the three Japanese natives.
But the second facet is that the three members of SCU go way back with CIMA, and in candid moments they have spoken glowingly of their colleague, Daniels in particular. CIMA has battled these men before in Pro Wrestling Guerilla, and no doubt all involved here are looking forward to locking up one more time. And very recently, all three of them traveled to Shanghai (it is unknown if they then proclaimed it The Worst Town We Have Ever Been In) and became acquainted with all of the OWE roster.
So when these two teams meet in the ring there will be mutual respect and familiarity amongst all of the participants, which will doubtless lead to a well-paced, perfectly executed match. Strong Hearts will bring their technical skills, and perhaps some martial arts-influenced offense, to bear, while the ageless members of SoCal Uncensored will mix their own form of grappling with aerial attacks and an attitude that should lead to some smash-mouth offense against Strong Hearts.
The story of the match will have one of two endings: either the arrogant North American veterans in SoCal Uncensored will get their comeuppance from the representatives of the upstart promotion, or the men from Asia in the Strong Hearts who will see their first North American foray as a team be unsuccessful, but with seeds laid for better things to come in the future. Regardless, this will be something unique for everyone watching.AEW Double or Nothing will be quite the event.