AEW ALL OUT [Review]: You’re Welcome.

Buy-In Pre-Show

Women’s Casino Battle Royale: Nyla Rose – A fun for what it was female (mostly) jobber battle royale. It was clear from the get that they want Nyla Rose to be this division’s Kane, or Andre the Giant or Awesome Kong *wing wink smiley face*, and it was real rad to see Britt Baker pop out and look like an absolute beautyXbeast out there, destroying women left and right. Brandi hitting the stunner was great fun, and if the Queen of AEW can pop in and out on occasion for some cool stuff like that, then I’m all for it. Seeing ODB in there mixing it up with Kong and WWE legend Jazz was real fun, but arguably the best moment of the Casino Royale was the Joker– Mercedes Martinez. Yes, the awesome vet from the Mae Young Classic ran wild and destroyed some big names like Bea Priestley, Allie and Sadie Gibbs. Martinez is a great addition. Baker crushed it in the end with a destroyer and superlex on Bea, before the slowly improving Nyla got the win. This division might not be so bad after all. – 2.5/5

Private Party v Jack Evans & Angelico – Super fun match showcases two hot up and coming teams in AEW’s incoming Tag Team Tournament for TNT television. While it was not much more than 11-minutes of fun flips and dives (i.e. shooting stars, moonsaults, rana’s, 450s, 630s, tornados and cockscrews), this got me even more excited to see Private Party versus the Bucks in Boston on October 9th. That should be a fun ass flippy experience! As for Evans and Angelico, they were solid but def took a definite backseat to Kassidy and Quen here. – 3.25-3.5/5

SCU v Jurassic Express – Looks like SCU’s role is gonna be the “hot” opener and I’m OK with that. They’re all vets who can work any style with anyone and throw in good bits of comedy with a high workrate. I like it. Plus, they’re over and have a nice opening match promo, getting the crowd immediately involved. Hopefully on October 9th, they think New Bedfo.. I mean Boston is the worst town they ever been in. As for this, it was pure fun, nice work, fun and creative double teams, and a well-thought out match placement. Daniels got a nice reaction, while the crowd ate up the two boys and their dinosaur. Fun stuff, although long-term I’m not exactly sure where this is all going. – 3.5/5

Pac v Kenny Omega – This was a fantastic match marred by three things: 1.) A glaring late match poison rana botch, 2.) The crowd hating the result, 3.) Having to live up to that absolute killer WALTER vs. Tyler Bate match from earlier this morning. Yeah, that didn’t happen. That said, Kenny and Pac had an explosive 23-minute affair that was looking 4+ until a pair of late game miscues and a terrific, yet undesirable finish. With all the talent AEW has at the top, I like Kenny taking a backseat to begin All Elite. He can focus on some of his other duties, essentially taking a break from being the top guy, after being the #1 top gaijin (and, for several months, the #1 top guy) in New Japan. There’s a pretty cool story here. And he has Mox to worry about, so there’s no real crazy need to pick up wins towards a title just yet. With both Pac and Omega — who never wrestled before — taking a bit to gel but faultering toward the finish, this was still a pretty awesome dream affair. – 3.75-4/5

The Cracker Barrel Clash: Jimmy Havoc v Joey Janela v Darby Allin – Is AEW the new kings of hardcore? Now I know there is GCW, Big Japan and CZW (still), and they have much bloodier, life-shortening matches than the one’s witnessed in All Elite, but as far as mainstream madness, AEW has been batting 1.000. The promotion has poured on terrific gimmick matches ever since Janela/Page from All In. Getting Moxley back and Spears thrown into that mix can only boost its excellence. As for this Cracker Barrel Clash, it was somethin’ kinda special: staples, paper cuts, thumbtacks, skateboard with thumbtalks (way to go, Darby!), perfectly executed chair suplex spots, and a mothafuckin’ coffin drop onto an actual Cracker Barrel! BAH GAWD! Jimmy Havoc gets the huge, IMO much-needed win via Acid Rainmaker on the fuckin’ barrel Not everyone’s cup of tea, but loved this. – 3.75/5

First Round Bye in The AEW Tag Title Tournament: Dark Order v Best Friends – This should tell you the difference between a PWG audience and an All Elite one: this rematch from The Globe Theatre just a month ago — which I had rated at a 3.75, and most fans there loved — had absolutely zero heat. Minus a few big bumps, the crowd for this was dead (they were pretty dead through much of All Out, in fact, especially in comparison to the best or second best wrestling crowd I ever been to a year ago at All In). Now that this group has done All In and All Out and, as announced in his interview earlier today from Starrcast III, CM Punk is officially done with pro wrestling (at least in the foreseeable future), maybe it’s time to retire this Labor Day tradition in Chicago and move on to something else. Ticket sales may say otherwise, however. As for this match, it was good but easily the most forgettable of the night, and almost the entire day; the Dark Order is a dying gimmick in AEW, despite how rock solid the former Super Smash Bros are. They definitely needed this win more than the fan-friendly Best Friends, so at least that happened. And like the PWG match, Chuckie T had another great hot tag scenario; hell, this one was even better. I liked the match and loved the finish, but no one cared. It was just there. At least post-match Orange Cassidy shows up and hits a huge hands-in-pockets running dive on all of the Dork Order creepers. Best Friends hug him in the post. – 3/5

Shot at The AEW Women’s Title: Riho v Hikaru Shida – Good joshi match with a slew of slick backbreakers and punishing knee strikes from Moody’s latest bae Hikaru, but Riho’s speedy resilience, 98-pound double foot stomps, and crafty cradles got the job done. While I really wanted to see waifu get the win, the Riho/Rose dynamic surely is a more intriguing match-up for the first night of TV in D.C. – 3.25/5

Cody v Shawn Spears – Another awesome “match” from Cody in AEW, and I parenthesize match because these things the CEO has had so far in All Elite feel more like wars. Cody’s on a roll (All In = 4/5, Double Or Nothing = 4.5/5, Fight For The Fallen = 4/5, Fyter Fest = 3.75/5) and the quality didn’t end here. If you’re looking for a technical wrestling masterpiece, a high “workrate”.. this isn’t it. Cody is bringing back the WWE classic feel for his matches, but still working his ass off, harder than ever, moving around and executing better than he ever has. He’ll always have that handicap of not being a great or even very good pro wrestler, but everything else that the AEW CEO brings to the ring he brings as good as any. Cody is a bonafied superstar. In this ultra built up match (thanks to the excellent “Road to All Out” YouTube series), Cody had to deal with not only his old pal and former tag team partner, the very dangerous, career rejuvinated Shawn Spears — “The Chairman” formerly “The Perfect Ten” — but also Tully Blanchard, who, of course, hates the Rhodes family. There were a bunch of wild stories flowing in this one, including Cody’s choice of MJF for his corner over the always reliable DDP and his own amazing wife and former ROH manager, Brandi. Would MJF turn on Cody? Would MJF suck up the shit and force Cody to turn on him? Thankfully, ARN FUCKING ANDERSON popped up to put away Spears via spinebuser, much to the dismay and dismissal of Tully, leading to Cody’s trifecta of Disaster Chair-Kick and Cross Rhodes. It wasn’t a wrestling match so much as a great spectacle. Jim Ross was killer on the call here and throughout All Out. Way to go, Jim! This was fun. – 3.75/5

Escalera de la Muerte: The Lucha Bros v The Young Bucks – You knew this had chance to be match of the night, if not weekend, despite seeing these four superstars face-off a multitude of times. Somehow, almost everything they did here felt new. I just hope none of them had to spend the night in the hospital. Both Jacksons definitely died here; we’ll just have to see for how long. Nick took a digger when his feet got caught in the top rope when he lept off a ladder that Penta had pushed. He landed face first into the table. Yikes! Pentagon, just moments after this spot and getting embarassingly unmasked (good he wears that paint underneath, eh?), punted over a ladder that Matt was on top off, leading to his own dumpster-crashed demise. While this also led to the finish, the road getting there was beyond incredible. There were twin ace crusher top ladder spots, a super destroyer from Penta on Matt off the ladder through a table (the most HOLY SHIT moment of the night), and tons of crazy wild ladder-bridging spots and so forth. Use your imagination and the dos pares de hermanos took it a step further. If you’re OK with pro wrestlers risking their lives for the sport of it, this was an instant classic; at least the best match involving the two teams since their classic triple treat ladder match with Ricochet and Matt Sydell from PWG’s 2017 Nice Boys [Don’t Play Rock ‘N Roll]. Amazing. LAX appearing as masked men in a post-match beatdown didn’t hurt the whole affair, either! – 5/5

AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho v Hangman Page – By now the crowd was absolutely dead from the night, from the travel to Chicago, from the AAW shows prior to tonight, from 3 days of Starrcast, from not being in Cardiff to witness WALTER/Bate, etc. You get the picture. Chris Jericho looked a litle rough in this one, but he’s 49, a wrestling/rock/podcast god and Hangman is superb but not ready for this spotlight. He’s not ready to carry the company–even if he arrived to the Sears Center in horseback! If you don’t think Jericho going over Omega and winning the inaugural AEW strap was part of that contract, you’re buggin’. Jericho is also a business god, too. While nothing in the match resembled the work of gods, both Y2J and Page worked their ass off in front of a dead crowd that just saw an incredible tag ladder war. This also isn’t the same crowd we saw from All In; despite being in the same venue, we know AEW has those fly-ins that sit front row out of privilege and not out of hardcore neccesity. Many of the first few rows of “fans” sat stonefaced throughout the whole event and barely made a stink. Fuckers. All In was something brand new, something once in a lifetime special, something everyone there was united for; All Out just didn’t have that feel. I don’t know, though; I wasn’t there this time. That said, the crowd didn’t really provide a boom in the main event until Page’s late-game Buckshot Lariat attempt flipped into a perfectly timed Codebreaker. Hangman also attempted his signature apron shooting star into a modified Codebreaker earlier, to boot. Page didn’t miss on everything though; he executed a cool looking, rope bouncing Russian leg sweep to counter Jericho’s Lion Tamer and smashed the legend with an avalanche neckbreaker. In retrospect, the match actually had a lot of cool spots, but the sluggish brawling and tired crowd prevented this from ever going next level. I really loved the finish, though, as Jericho countered Deadeye into his best — and most surprising –Judas Effect yet for the win. Great timing and the right guy won. Like it or not CHRIS JERICHO IS YOUR AEW CHAMPION, BITCH! – 3.25-3.5/5

Overall = 3.5/5 Bibles

Travis Moody

While not as good as Double Or Nothing, All Out had enough firepower down the strech to pass Fight For The Fallen and at least match-up with Fyter Fest (not entertainment wise though!). It shows you how high expectations are for AEW and were going into this one-year follow-up to All In. Workrate-wise, All Out was arguably as good as the Elite’s inaugural showcase, but just lacked the magic that event (and even Double Or Nothing carried over). Maybe a lot of AEW supporters and faux supporters (a.ka. WWE trolls) are becoming skeptics. Not everything tonight was smooth, and I really hate the 3-man booth (three play-by–play commentators, really? Jim Ross — who, for the most part, was excellent by the way, needs a color “King”; maybe that person is MJF!). Excalibur is awesome as a mostly one-man show at PWG, but seems to ramble too much and lacks chemistry with the others; while Goldenboy is a video game mark with a great voice, but feels out of place as a super fan without a ton of industry credibility. In their own, each guy offers something special; together, I just can’t. And also, how was the “educated” AEW faithful super for the joshi matches at previous events but not tonight? Maybe we’re overrating this hardcore crowd for a bunch of curious WWE holdovers or gen-pubbers who can afford tickets on the aftermarket. I don’t know. As for the action, everything was well-wrestled, and had a plethora of memorable highlights. The tag team division is definitely hot, and gaining LAX already makes it that much deeper. Not sure about this Dark Order gimmick though, and I’m definitely not sure how long they’re going to push something that isn’t working (though, that is to say, they haven’t entirely ditched the whole Librarian ordeal either). As for Pac and Omega, let’s definitely book a better built-up rematch sometime down the line, too. Is Mox needed more than we think? And, in the end, Jericho as champ is the right call, and is sure to garner far more headlines than Hangman (who never really got nearly as desperate tonight as promised in those promos, right?). Despite all these kinks needing to be worked out, you can bet I’m still excited AF to see their second week of TV live in just over a month in Boston! A-E-Dub! A-E-Dub!

-Travis Moody

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