Much like WWE has its Kick-Off Show, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is holding its own free Kick-Off show on YouTube and other platforms prior to Double or Nothing, called The Buy In. The Buy In will air free on AEW’s YouTube Channel, starting at 7pm EST.
AEW Casino Battle Royale & The Buy In
Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guevara
The lone singles match on The Buy In features two of the hottest young stars in the business with a showcase match of the future of AEW. Kip Sabian is 27-years old and one of the emerging stars of the UK indie scene, where he’s been a regular since his debut in 2010 as a 16-year old. A student of the fabled Knight Family (Ricky & Saraya Knight), Sabian is a former 2x World Association of Wrestling (WAW) Open Light Heavyweight Champion, before breaking out in International Pro Wrestling (IPW) in 2017. He’s a 2x IPW Zero-G Champion and in 2018 finally won World Championship gold as the IPW World Champion. He also blossomed as part of last year’s World of Sport revival, winning WOS Tag Team titles with Iestyn Rees as Alpha Bad. Sammy Guevara is a product of the vibrant Texas indies and the 25-year old exploded as a member of WrestleCircus and Inspire Pro early on. He’s gone on to steal shows with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), Major League Wrestling (MLW), EVOLVE, The Crash Lucha, and multiple other top indies, including a reign as the AAA World Cruiserweight Champion last year.
AEW: The Casino Battle Royal
Much like the spiritual predecessor All In, Double or Nothing will feature a battle royal to open the event. While All In featured an Over Budget Battle Royal with the winner getting a shot at the Ring of Honor World Championship later on that night, The Buy In features a Casino Battle Royale, with the winner getting a future title shot for the AEW World Championship. With the casino theme, every entrant will select a card from the deck. The five men who draw a Hearts will be one group, all the Spades another, etc., until there are four teams of five men (Hearts, Spades, Clubs & Diamonds). The person who draws the “Lucky 21” (Joker) Card, will enter the Battle Royal last, for a total of 21 entrants into the Battle Royal.
While they haven’t announced all 21-people who will be in the Casino Battle Royale, they have announced a good portion of the entrants. Here’s a look at the fourteen names confirmed so far for Saturday’s Casino Battle Royale on The Buy In, vying for an AEW World title shot at a later date.
Ace Romero was trained by WWE‘s Oney Lorcan and cut his teeth in the New England indies, starting with Maine’s Independent Wrestling Entertainment (IWE). Over the past few years, “Acey Baby” has branched out with MLW, Beyond Wrestling, All American Wrestling (AAW), Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and much more, becoming one of the indie’s most dominant Super Heavyweights.
Brandon Cutler has been a longtime mainstay on the West Coast indie scene, where he was trained by the Young Bucks themselves back in 2005. He worked notable West Coast indies like PWG, Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS) and Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF) before taking a seven year hiatus from the sport. He returned last year and has been busting his butt off to get back into the game and this week on Being The Elite, he was surprised early in the episode by his former mentors with not only a spot in the Casino Battle Royale, but with a full-time AEW contract.
BRIAN PILLMAN JR.
Another MLW star entering the Battle Royale, the second generation grappler has been a huge part of the MLW product as one third of the new Hart Foundation alongside Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr. Brian Pillman Jr. has developed a strong character over the last few years, incorporating elements of his infamous father, “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman, while still creating something fresh and thoroughly modern.
Bilateral amputee Dustin Thomas has been a viral sensation since debuting last fall, but his appearance at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 shot him to new heights, and his hard work has paid off, being recently announced as one of the entrants into the Battle Royale.
Dustin Rhodes and Chris Jericho aren’t the only soldiers from the Monday Night Wars making their way to AEW’s inaugural PPV. Former WCW Superstar Glacier has been on a comeback the past few years – he appeared at the first Joey Janela’s Spring Break back in 2017 – and on Saturday he’ll be fighting for a World title shot in the Battle Royale.
One of the legends of the UK boom the past decade and England’s most dangerous man, Jimmy Havoc is a former PROGRESS World Champion who is relocating to the US this year, where he’s already made a name as a member of the MLW roster. He signed with AEW earlier this year and will be hoping to fast track his success in the company with a huge win in the Battle Royale.
“The Bad Boy” Joey Janela was one of the first announcements for AEW’s roster and he’ll get his first shot at glory on Saturday when he attempts to secure a shot at the AEW World Championship with a big win in the Battle Royale. Janela has been “The King of the Indies” for years now, with CZW, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), Beyond Wrestling, and many more.
Jungle Boy has been one of the West Coast’s rising stars and was announced as joining AEW just prior to the tragic death of his father, Hollywood actor Luke Perry. On this week’s Being The Elite, he was announced as entering this Saturday’s Battle Royale.
Another Battle Royale entrant reveal from this Monday’s Being The Elite, Luchasaurus is another West Coast star. Originally known as Judas Devlin in NXT, he was released and returned to the West Coast. He joined Lucha Underground, as Vibora of The Reptile Tribe, but with his character being killed off, he remains on the indies like PWG, Bar Wrestling, CWFH as well as stints with Ring of Honor.
Over the past two years, Maxwell Jacob Friedman – more commonly known as the MJF – has become one of the wrestling world’s most unlikable heels. The leader of The Dynasty in MLW, he’s also a regular thorn in the side for multiple indie promotions like GCW, Beyond Wrestling, AAW, CZW, and dozens more. And at only 23 years old, he has a long and bright future ahead of him, especially with a new company like AEW.
PRIVATE PARTY (Marq Quen & Isiah Kennedy)
From New York City, the tandem of Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy, known as Private Party, have been a huge part of the New York indie scene, most notably as regulars with Amazing Red‘s House of Glory in NYC since their debut together in 2015. Former HOG Tag Team Champions, Private Party has also worked for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Northeast Wrestling (NEW), New York Wrestling Connection (NYWC), and Game Changer Wrestling (GCW). Private Party will have a strong future in AEW’s tag team division, but on Saturday, they’ll get to showcase their stuff on The Buy In.
New Jersey’s Sonny Kiss has been a regular in the NY/NJ scene the past five years, primarily with New York City’s Warriors of Wrestling, where he’s the reigning WOW Heavyweight Champion. He’s also worked multiple other promotions, including Pro Wrestling Magic, Beyond Wrestling, Alpha-1 and Matter of Pride Wrestling, and was one of the first announcements for AEW’s roster.
Sunny Daze is an 11-year veteran of the Pennsylvania indie wrestling scene and has been working behind the scenes as a video editor for AEW and the Road to Double or Nothing series. On April 17’s edition, Cody Rhodes announced that Sunny would be getting a chance to show his wrestling passion on May 25 in the Casino Battle Royale.