While WWE has already aired their annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view, AEW, on the other hand, is just gearing up for possibly its biggest pay-per-view of the year, Double or Nothing. Double or Nothing 2020 is slated to air on May 23. The previous edition of this very PPV in 2019 featured a Casino Battle Royale match to determine the number one contender for the inaugural AEW World Championship. This year it is featuring a Casino Ladder Match, much like the Money in the Bank ladder match format of WWE’s.
While it is unknown if the match will have a briefcase hanging at the top, which the winner can cash-in at any time (an idea conceived by Chris Jericho), it is confirmed that the winner will be receiving a shot at the world championship. The Casino Ladder Match might be AEW’s answer to WWE’s Money in the Bank.
It can, however, be said that WWE’s Money in the Bank ladder match this year cannot be described as a “ladder” match. Most of the match took place around the lower floors of the WWE headquarter, with ladders only being involved at the very end. The match was overbooked, involving multiple cameos, two murders, men and women’s matches happening at the same time for some reason, among many other gimmicky booking decisions. However, none were more gimmicky than the ending, where Otis won the briefcase by catching it in a comical spot that was played for laughs.
WWE’s ladder match this year can hardly be called a Money in the Bank match when looked at by this perspective. While the match itself may be enjoyable for many fans, especially those that aren’t bothered by a lack of an actual ladder match, it would be misleading to call it a real Money in the Bank match. AEW’s Casino Ladder Match, on the other hand, is clearly a ladder match. And while it may not resemble the Money in the Bank match due to changes in whatever might be hanging from the top, it is a Money in the Bank match in format, structure and practice.
The Casino Ladder Match may just be the only real Money in the Bank match happening this year, with WWE unlikely to be doing another similar ladder match anytime in 2020. AEW has a golden opportunity to deliver a proper Money in the Bank match to wrestling fans, involving ladders and an actual match. AEW, as of this writing, has already announced half of its contenders for the match at Double or Nothing, including Darby Allin, Colt Cabana and Orange Cassidy.
For many, the results of WWE’s men’s Money in the Bank match may have been very disappointing. The ending itself was a result of WWE booking’s affinity towards cheap shock and humor. AEW needs to differentiate itself by presenting a conclusion that makes for a great storyline, and with booking decisions that have long-term consequences in mind. Perhaps Darby Allin or some other up-and-comer might win, or perhaps Orange Cassidy might grab the victory in a comical spot similar to Otis’s win, no one knows. AEW needs to be careful. The Casino Ladder Match is AEW’s big chance at showing fans the core difference between its product ad that of WWE’s.
AEW Double or Nothing airs May 23 at 8 P.M. Eastern Time on BR Live in US and Canada and Fite TV for international audiences.
While Money in the Bank match has been more of an overbooked gimmick than an actual ladder match, AEW is gearing up for a proper MitB-style match.