YES! Long awaited. It finally happened. AEW All Out. Check out previous Best and Worsts here.
First up, on the Buy In, was the Casino Battle Royale for the number 1 contender spot for the AEW women’s championship. If you’re not familiar with the Casino Battle Royale, there are 21 competitors. 5 wrestlers will start in the ring and in 3 minute intervals, another 5 will join the match based on the suit of cards they drew. Then, the last entrant, the Joker card winner, comes in and it’s a fun way to differentiate Battle Royales.
BEST – a fun Kofi Kingston bit right off the bat with Leva Bates using her librarian books as a way to not be eliminated. More people should know the rules and use them. It’s “both feet hit the floor”. You could be eliminated and just have your feet hang up or just hop around on one foot. A Royal Rumble/Battle Royale is kind of weird if you think about it. I’m still not sure about these librarians, but they’re making lemonade out of lemons so I’m going to go wit it.
BEST – continuing feuds/starting feuds. I think the Battle Royale did a great job of setting up the future of the women’s division. Britt Baker and Bea Priestly is going to be a kick ass feud. Baker just storming the ramp and kicking her ass was great at the beginning and it was also very important at the end. GREAT character building and great story telling. The second of these was Allie and Brandi Rhodes who also built off of their previous match as Allie just ran into the ring and went straight for Rhodes. I love Allie and I hope she does great things because she’s wonderful in the ring.
Big Swole actually impressed me as I had never heard of her, but she is going to be someone I keep my eye on in the future. Same with Penelope Ford. These are two competitors that I had never heard of but now I’m super interested in. Overall, a lot of good work. There were some botches and some women who are less ready than others but I liked this match. Having Nyla Rose win was okay with me. She’s been doing some good work – I don’t know how the AEW Women’s championship match will go (more on that in a moment) but a good start to the PPV kick off.
When AEW started, they promised to have the best tag team wrestling in the world. I don’t know if I really believed them, but holy shit, they do. And I’m one match in. Private Party versus the Angelico and Jack Evans was GREAT. It really showcased both teams as high flying and crazy. It was a bit of a spot fest at times, but who cares, I loved it. Private Party winning was a no brainer, to me, and Jack Evans and Angelico being dicks after the match was great, too! CHARACTER BUILDING. Not difficult to follow. I loved this one.
So, to be clear, this is the first AEW event that I’ve purchased to give it a full chance. I’m going to be a little more candid with my review because now I’m invested. Let’s see if it was worth it. The first match on the actual was SCU vs. three of my favorites. A boy and his dinosaur and Marco. SCU, as a group, are talented, but I’ve never been really into them. It made cheering for this match easy.
BEST – Luchasaurus entrance. Dude, I love these guys. Luchasaurus is 6’5″ and 235 lbs doing flips and shit. Marco Stunt is 5’2″ and Jungle Boy is 5’7″ and they are a ridiculous tag team. Seriously. I didn’t love the SCU win, but it was probably the right call. They’re established and they’re veterans and a loss probably would have hurt them worse, but I do want to see a boy and his dinosaur pushed eventually.
WORST – there had to be a worst, right? It’s Jon Moxley not being cleared to fight. However, we get to see PAC (fka Neville) fight Kenny Omega instead.
BEST – win/loss records during entrances. I’m not sure how long they can do this, but if they do it forever, it’s the coolest thing ever. I want to see PAC 112-54 in like 10 years. They weren’t consistent with this, either. Maybe it’s just PAC.
I thought Omega/Moxley was going to be a brutal fight and Omega/PAC would be a little different but it turned into a pissing match of the best kind. These two have egos the size of Texas and they started to try to one up one another which turned into them beating the shit out of one another. It was great.
WORST – PAC did a huge moonsault to the outside and destroyed his leg on the top railing. PLEASE do not get these guys hurt before it starts. There was genuine concern for a moment and I was worried the match would get cut short. Instead, what ensued after was 8 minutes of pure bliss. Near fall after near fall and these guys were gassed. They gave their all. I don’t know if Omega can keep losing these high profile matches, but PAC needed a win in his first match. The crowd was audibly stunned at the finish.
WORST – Production. AEW is new and your fans need to connect with these people. They put up the wrong name for Darby Allin which is isn’t ideal when your fan base is new. Remember the XFL the first time around when it was actually pretty cool then production blew it? Don’t do that.
UM? – The triple threat match between Jimmy Havoc, Darby Allin, and Joey Janela was destined to be crazy but Jimmy Havoc pulls out a staple gun immediately AND STAPLES HIMSELF?! These guys are nuts. No other way to say it. Then he immediately gets duct taped to a chair and takes some crazy shots and gets thumbtacks in is mouth. What the hell, guys. Just look at some of this.
I don’t know…but these guys are bonkers. BEST because they’re somehow all still alive.
WORST – The worst match of the night, for me, was The Best Friends vs. The Dark Order. I really like the Dark Order as characters and I think there’s some interesting things you can do, but this match was disappointing. I’m not big on The Best Friends, either. The biggest issue was the winners got a first round bye in the tag team championship tournament and I was let down. So I don’t want either of these teams getting an advantage to be the first ever AEW Tag Team Champs. It just didn’t work for me.
BUT BEST ORANGE CASSIDY SHOWS UP. I don’t know the guy but apparently he just doesn’t care, leaves his hands in his pockets, and does this:
So Nyla Rose wins earlier in the night and the other number 1 contender for the AEW Women’s Championship would be decided between Riho and Hikaru Shida. My issue, mentioned earlier, is these two combined are smaller than Nyla Rose (Riho is 98 pounds!). I feel like if the first ever AEW champion is an unstoppable beast, it brings in issues. So you build up Nyla and no one can stop her – except for Awesome Kong, and Aja Kong who are two more giant competitors. It’s just an issue. I mean they have to almost lose in multi (wo)man matches so that they don’t lose credibility. It’s the Big Show issue. He’s huge. He should never really lose, especially not to Rey Mysterio, but then he does and you don’t know if you can ever trust him again? We will see where it goes. As far as the match…
It was an okay showing. Probably toward the bottom of the list of my favorite matches. Shida looked very strong…but, again, Riho is 98 pounds. I feel like Riho’s finisher is a surprise schoolboy pin. I will say the last 90 seconds to 2 minutes were nicely done. I’m just not sure how Riho vs. Nyla Rose is going to go. This was a bit of a lull in the card for me. I think they should have structured it differently but it gave a break before some of the bigger matches.
BEST – the buildup to Shawn Spears vs. Cody. Brilliantly done and this allowed a lot of hype to be put on this match. It didn’t disappoint.
I was worried when MJF came out with Cody. Was a turn too soon? Cody is kind of face? Kind of heel? Spears is definitely heel. What is the dynamic? Well, it’s just 2 people who HATE each other and will do anything to kill one another. Wait, maybe MJF is just a face and just dislikes people because he’s honest! I knew I loved that guy.
WORST I’m giving the Arn Anderson appearance a worst…and here’s why. Why is he out there? Arn Anderson is part of the 4 Horsemen. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were PARTNERS. They HATED Dusty Rhodes. Did I miss something? I mean he got a great pop and it was nice, but….?
The match was great – but there was a lot of confusion going on. I guess I will see what the outcomes are in the coming weeks.
BEST – The Lucha Bros vs. The Young Bucks, forever. Adding ladders was crazy ridiculous and there’s not a lot to say but I’m glad these 4 are alive (especially YB) because holy hell.
And another BEST afterwards for the debut of Santana & Ortiz (fka LAX). They attacked both teams and are clearly claiming their stake to be the best tag team in AEW.
The main event for the night was for the AEW World Championship between Chris Jericho and Adam “Hangman” Page. I was quoted before the PPV by saying this could be the 7th or 8th best match. I’m not overly into Hangman but I do love Jericho. However, Jericho looks a little out of shape and old. He wrestled fine, but if you just saw him you wouldn’t think “face of your company”. I really didn’t think AEW would put their first title on a former WWE guy – but a smart man (Other Luke) told me that maybe it’s a good idea to get more viewers once they’re on TNT since Jericho is a household name. I get it.
The match itself was a bit better than I thought. It actually made me like Page some. Jericho is on some next level heel shit right now but it was a suitable match for the first championship. We only have one short month before the debut on TNT and you can bet I’ll be here for every second of it. Drop down in the comments and let me know what you thought of All Out. What was the best match of the night?