I started watching AEW at the beginning of Dynamite on TNT. I made my way back, bit by bit to watch the PPV’s I missed. I have now seen absolutely everything with the exception of last years All Out. I wanted to watch it before this years event and as fortune would have it, AEW have uploaded it to their YouTube channel. Perfect! Because All Out is a whopping 5 hours long, I will break the review down into 3 parts : The Buy-In, Part 1 (on AEW’s YouTube as of today) and Part 2 (hopefully on YouTube next Wednesday).
Chicago, Illinois. My favourite city on earth and host to last years All Out event. It’s weird seeing a crowd at a wrestling event! 11,263 packed into the Sears Centre. It honestly feels like forever ago we could have packed stadiums and sell out crowds. I look forward to the day that fans can safely attend events again. Anyway, we are here to talk about wrestling so let’s get into it!
First up was the women’s Casino Battle Royale. I don’t typically enjoy Battle Royal style matches but I’ve enjoyed every single one AEW has done so far. This was no exception. I want to say it was obvious Nyla Rose was going to win from the start, but considering I knew ahead of time she won this match, I can’t say for sure. How cool are the Librarians? I think they make me laugh every time I see them. I really wish Peter Avalon would get more time on the microphone each week. Props to them for using books to prevent Leva’s feet from touching the ground. I’ve never seen that before! Too bad it didn’t work out for them. On first watch, that looked like a big fall for Priscilla Kelly when Nyla threw her over the top rope. Was someone supposed to catch her? It didn’t look as bad on the slow-mo replay afterwards though.
Remember when Britt Baker was a babyface? Seems like a lifetime ago (on that note, Rose was warmly received by the crowd as well). I know Britt Baker has a legitimate problem with Bea Priestley. What I want to know is what it’s like for the two of them to work together to put on a wrestling match? Do they trust each other to pull punches? Is it awkward for them to use Britt’s real life grudge as a wrestling story? Just some thoughts I had when I watched Britt leave the ring to jump Priestley on the entrance ramp. Speaking of Britt and Bea, that standing destroyer looked brutal! In a good way, they executed that perfectly.
As mentioned, Nyla Rose (somewhat obviously) went on to win after Bea and Britt couldn’t put their differences aside to eliminate the bigger threat. It was cool to see ODB make an appearance in the Royale, took me back to staying up late on Saturday nights to watch TNT. Mercedes Martinez got a big pop from the crowd as well.
Sneak preview of the Hangman and Jericho main event title match. Chris Jericho cuts such good promos. He has to be one of the best to ever grace the business. I had forgotten how nasty Hangman’s black eye was.
Up next was a tag team match, Private Party vs The Hybrid 2. The first time I saw both of these teams was the tag team tournament on Dynamite. I took a liking to Private Party instantly. TH2, not so much. It was mainly Angelico’s fault. I didn’t like his fringe, his goofy long sleeved top or the way he would shimmy. He reminded me of an overgrown 12 year old who would bully him. Usually I always like the heels, but not Angelico. Maybe he is the greatest heel of all time because I did not like him. I will say that he has grown a me lot, especially since he stopped wearing long sleeve tops and cut his fringe. I fell in love with Jack Evans after his astonishing Lights Out match with Kenny Omega in one of the early episodes of Dark. Anyway, I digress. The point is, 4 incredible athletes in this match.
Pretty solid match from start to finish. The first sequence between Jack Evans and Marq Quen was phenomenal. Remember when “silly string” was called “from the windows to the walls”? Yeah, me neither. I’m glad they changed that one. I miss when Cassidy would dust off of his shoes. I will also get in trouble if I don’t mention that my girlfriend misses when he would squeal at the top of his lungs. Personally, I get enough of that from my daughter. Anyway, I digress again. Quen got some serious hang time on that shooting star press. Just incredible. Private Party pick up the win after connecting the Gin and Juice on Angelico. TH2 congratulate them on the win. Hmmmm, I wonder what happens next? Private Party turn their attention to the crowd to celebrate and TH2 jump them from behind. Cowards! The crowd starts a very funny “Party Poopers” chant. I really miss having an audience at wrestling (Although I will say, AEW do a great job of hiding the fact there isn’t an audience in attendance). A top quality tag team match, there are so many good teams in AEW. It’s unfortunate there isn’t enough screen time for them all.
Next we cut to a Wardlow promo. Back before the man bun! He beats up some dudes in a parking lot. I think one of them was Lee Johnson? Not sure what attack Johnson was planning but it was nevertheless ineffective.
Cut to MJF for a promo (before he hired Wardlow, so it’s just a coincidence at this stage…or is it?). Man, MJF has such a promising future. I’m glad he ditched the “Cody is my best friend” bit. He is so charismatic and such a great in ring talent. When he says he will be the face of AEW for the next 25 years, I believe him. He is that good.
The buy in ends with the commentary team of JR, Excalibur and Golden Boy discussing the upcoming card. The camera pans various members of the crowd. Someone is wearing a Mike Tyson Punch-Out!! t-shirt. It struck me as an odd choice and then I remembered that in about 6-8 months time, Mike Tyson will debut in AEW. This guy called it. Nice.
Alright, that ends Part 1 of my All Out review. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow for Part 2!