AEW’s second major Pay-Per-View All Out came to us live on Saturday, August 31st from the sold out Sears Centre in Chicago.
SCU vs Jurassic Express
All Out starts off with tag-team action. SoCal Uncensored hypes up the crowd with some SCU chants before the match gets underway. The Jurassic Express, consisting of Jungle Boy Jack Perry, Luchasaurus and Marco Stunt, hit some nice spots early. Luchasaurus goes off the second rope, flipping to the outside, crashing down on all three members of SCU. SCU slows down the momentum, taking control of the match. Luchasaurus would regain control, delivering a stunningly athletic display for a man his size. But it’s not enough as SCU would go on to pick up the victory.
Reaction: Sort of a sleepy match, Not the energy that was needed to start the main card. Jungle Boy and Marco Stunt weren’t used in the high risk fashion we are used to and, when they did get involved, announcer Alex Mendez had trouble differentiating between the two. This match felt like a showcase for Luchasaurus, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite. But the pacing was just a bit off in this one.
Kenny Omega v PAC
PAC was inserted into the All Out card one week prior due to Jon Moxley’s serious case of MRSA, and delivered a great performance. Some playful showboating by both started off the match. Omega goes for the Kotaro Krusher early, which PAC has expertly scouted, flipping and landing on his feet. PAC goes on to counter several of Omega’s offensive attempts on the outside and hits Omega with a huge top rope dropkick when the action spills back inside the ring. Omega fights back and hits his suicide summersault senton to the outside, followed by a missile dropkick to the back of the head back inside the ring. In the ring, PAC hits a 450-splash on Omega to a near fall.
Omega gains the upper hand with a buckle bomb and then a spine buster, but can’t get the three count. The match continues. PAC uses the ref as a distraction and gets to the top rope, but is caught by Omega with a dropkick. Then a V trigger. Omega whips PAC to the corner, but he reverses up and over the top turnbuckle and hits Omega with a lovely cutter over the top rope. But Omega regains and hits yet another V trigger, but still can’t get the pin fall. Omega hits two more V triggers, then goes for the One-Winged Angel, but PAC is able to counter it into the Brutalizer submission hold. Kenny Omega goes out and is unable to answer the referee and PAC gets the upset victory in his debut.
Reaction: Great match, good back and forth. PAC had a great debut. They botched a couple of moves, but this was still a well put together match on a week’s notice. Some may not like seeing Omega start off 1-2 in AEW, but look: He’s a VP in the company and arguably the best wrestler in the world. It would be a WWE trope to make him super dominant right out the gate. AEW is giving him some obstacles to overcome mentally by pushing the narrative that he’s left his heart in Tokyo. They are also showing he can be beaten. He is human after all…isn’t he?
Jimmy Havoc vs Joey Janela vs Darby Allin
This match really got the sponsors involved in a fun way by calling it the “Cracker Barrel Clash.” Havoc starts the match off by getting weapons involved, including his beloved staple gun. Allin and Janela form the match’s first alliance, working over Havoc and taping him to a chair on the outside. Allin puts thumb tacks in his mouth as Janela tapes it shut. A mouth full of tacks, ouch! Allin and Janela back inside the ring where Allin goes to the top rope intending to strike Janela, but Havoc is asking for some more punishment so Allin hits him with a flip to the outside. The crowd erupts with chants of “holy shit” to which announcer Jim Ross agrees. “Holy shit indeed”.
Havoc eventually works his way back into the match and gives Janela a few of his signature paper cuts (yeah, you read right) and a staple gun staple to the forehead (who keeps giving him a staple gun?). Some more highlights from this one. Janela hits a flipping piledriver on Allin from inside the ring to the outside and through a table. Jimmy Havoc throws some Cracker Barrel biscuits that were ringside at Janela. Darby Allin has a skateboard with tacks on the bottom. Allin accidentally puts himself through a Cracker Barrel barrel that adorned the ramp and entrance ways, attempting to send it crashing down on Havoc who moved out of his path. Havoc hits the Acid Rainmaker sending Janela through a barrel and covers him for the win.
Winner: Jimmy Havoc
Reaction: These types of matches are always wildly entertaining and serve as a nice change of pace to the rest of the show. On top of that, Havoc’s winning shows he can actually compete and win and is not just going to be a death match whipping boy. I hope Cracker Barrel is cool with seeing their 50-year commemorative barrels smashed over the bodies of unwilling competitors, because I sure would love to see another “Cracker Barrel Clash” sometime down the road. Let’s be honest, how many of you said “Bawh Gawd that barrel has a family” at some point during the match? Be honest.
Best Friends v Dark Order
The winners here get a first round bye in the upcoming tag team tournament. The Best Friends, Trent Baretta and Chuck Taylor, get the better of the Dark Order early on, knocking them to the outside and giving each other a best friend hug to the crowd’s delight. Chuck Taylor hits a standing sliced bread, then a dive to the outside, taking out the Dark Order and making it look easy, landing on his feet. Stu Grayson of the Dark Order takes out the best friends and creepers (the Dark Order’s masked minions) with a springboard corkscrew to the outside. The Creepers eventually get involved and work over Taylor, effectively taking him out of the match. The Dark Order hit the ‘Fatality’ on Barreta for the pinfall.
After the match, The Creepers attempt to ceremoniously take the Best Friends out of the arena when the lights go out. When they cut back on freshly signed Orange Cassidy is in the ring, hands in pockets and, as cool as you like, dives out of the ring and takes out all of the Dark Order. The Best Friends hug around the nonchalant Cassidy and the crowd approves.
Winners: The Dark Order
Reaction: The pacing wasn’t all together there. The Dark Order doesn’t look as sinister as I think they want to be. Chuck Taylor looks great, but the match itself wasn’t anything too spectacular. The Orange Cassidy debut gave this match a huge bump.
Hikaru Shida vs Riho
The winner faces Nyla Rose to crown the first ever AEW Women’s Champion. Both of these ladies have spent time in Ice Ribbon, a women’s professional wrestling league in Japan. Shida dominates the early going. She has the size and height advantage over Riho. Riho finally gains a little offense and hits a diving foot stomp on Shida. The momentum in the match swings from Shida to Riho with good pacing. After surviving a swing back breaker, Riho hits a spinning crucifix for the victory.
Reaction: Solid match that highlights the women’s division. Looking forward to seeing Riho go up against Nyla Rose, who won the Casino Battle Royale match on the ‘Buy In’ preshow. Nyla has the size advantage, but as she has shown that doesn’t seem to stop the 98-pound Riho.
Cody vs Sean Spears
Cody goes right after Spears and the fight immediately spills out into the crowd at the Sears Centre and the fans are loving it. Tully Blanchard, Spear’s cornerman, and a Rhodes family rival from way back, gets involved and swings momentum back to Spears. Both men go at it in the ring. Tully Blanchard hands spears his belt behind the ref’s back but the beltshot wakes Cody up and the match really gets going. Rhodes slaps on the Figure 4, which Spears counters. Blanchard helps Spears, giving some momentum to the reverse Figure 4.
Cody hits Cross Rhodes, but Tully Blanchard distracts the ref, involving himself yet again. MJF, who is in Cody’s corner, gets in to confront Tully. They are about to square off when Spears connects with a big boot to the face of MJF. Tully goes after MJF on the outside when ‘the Enforcer’, the Legend Arn Anderson, comes to ringside and hits a massive Spinebuster on Spears to even the odds. Cody hits Spears with a few stiff rights, channeling his father, and ends it with another Cross Rhodes for the 1, 2, 3.
Reaction: This match had a nostalgia factor with Tully Blanchard and the surprise appearance of Arn Anderson, but there was too much outside interference that took away from Cody and Spears. I think these two are capable of delivering a top quality match, but this simply didn’t live up to the hype surrounding the chair shot heard round the world from Fyter Fest.
AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Bros(C) vs The Young Bucks
Tag Team heavyweights do battle in this one in a highly anticipated match. The Bucks and Bros start by going back and forth with a little verbal one upsmanship. The Lucha Bros have the upper hand early when the Young Bucks introduce the ladder for the first time, catching the Bros as they attempted a dive to the outside. Young Bucks go to pose on the ladder and the first superkicks of the night find their mark, sending the Bucks to the outside. Fenix launches himself off the top rope and vaults over the ladder and onto the Bucks on the outside.
Inside the ring, both Pentagon Junior and Matt Jackson look at each other seemingly daring one another to take out their counterparts in this match. Neither shys away and both hit double spears through the ropes respectively, sending Nick Jackson and Fenix through two conveniently placed tables. Pentagon hits Matt with a sling blade off the ladder. Fenix springboards through the ladder and hits a Canadian destroy on Nick Jackson. The crowd is very into it chanting “Fight Forever”
Matt Jackson catches Fenix on the ladder, but Pentagon gets involved and delivers a Canadian destroyer off the ladder onto the table. Loud “holy shit” chants from the crowd, and “this is awesome.” How is Matt’s neck still in one piece?
Nick and Fenix, this time on ladders on opposite sides of the ring double dare and launch themselves on their counterparts, driving them through tables. The table count in this match is massive. Nick gets to the top of the ladder under the tables, but Pentagon is there to push the ladder and send Nick through some more tables. No one in the crowd is upset about it. The Lucha Bros hit Zero Fear onto a ladder. Pentagon and Fenix now have a clear path to victory. They climb the ladder and retain the AAA Tag Titles.
After the match two men in presidential masks enter the ring and push the Lucha Bros off the ladder, then they turn their focus to the Young Bucks. With both sets of brothers laid out, the mystery men remove their masks. It’s Santana and Ortiz. LAX has arrived in AEW with their sights set on the tag team division.
Winner: The Lucha Bros
Reaction: Can we get a count on how many tables were destroyed in this one? The match was a non-stop highlight reel. The crowd was dialed in with very audible chants throughout, and a huge reveal that LAX is now in AEW was the icing on the cake of a fantastic match.
AEW Championship: Hangman Adam Page vs Chris Jericho
Quick note: this match had the first female referee to officiate a world title match, so kudos to Audrey Edwards.
The match starts out very technical, with the momentum shifting back and forth. Jericho’s experience comes through, and he gains control, working on the injured arm of Hangman. Jericho puts him in a Walls Of Jericho, which Page is able to fight out of. Jericho injures Page’s eye, but he is able to regain control and busts Jericho open. With blood pouring from Jericho’s head, Hangman goes for the Deadeye, but Jericho reverses it into the Walls of Jericho again. Hangman tries the Buckshot Lariat, but the veteran Jericho has it scouted. Page goes for the shooting star press, but Jericho again is able to counter.
Page is able to put Jericho into and execute the Deadeye, but Jericho kicks out at two. Hangman hits the Buckshot Lariat, but doesn’t go for the pin. Instead, he looks to be going for one more Deadeye, but Jericho catches him with the Judas Effect and scores the pinfall, making Chris Jericho the first ever AEW World Champion.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Reaction: These two delivered a strong match, but it was hard to be the match that follows that ladder match. Jericho winning and becoming the inaugural AEW Champion was the right call. He is perfect on the mic, and he’ll make a great heel champion as AEW moves to their weekly format on TNT. Hangman will have his day on top, but that time just isn’t now.
All Out Summary
When All Out hit it hit it in a big way, and when it lagged at times it felt a little flat. But this is a new promotion, one that has had 4 events (2 major and 2 minor) from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and nothing more. I saw May’s Double or Nothing as a definitive coming out party for AEW and I saw All Out as a stepping stone to get us to that weekly TNT show. Once there AEW will be able to establish their brand identity a little better. And once they find their footing the narrative in their storylines will start to flow more naturally than it did at All Out.
Hot Takes: Winners and Losers
He was heavily featured in his six-man tag match.
Losers: Jungle Boy and Marco Stunt
They were barely used in that same six-man tag.
Winner: Kenny Omega
He’s human and he is beatable but this will give way for the Terminator to rise in an epic way. Just you watch.
Loser: The Dark Order
They were a little flat. I don’t think the fans are buying the not-so-intimidating villains at this point.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
The crowd erupted for the polarizing wrestler. Love him or hate him. Orange Cassidy is now All Elite.
Loser: Sean Spears
Outside interference really took away from the in-ring action, and I think it hurt Spears more than anyone.
Winners: The Lucha Bros and Young Bucks
Like the fans on hand in the Sears Centre, I want them to “fight for ever”.
Winner: Chris Jericho
He has to be in consideration to be the GOAT at this point.
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