Buy In: Nyla Rose Won a 21-Woman Casino Battle Royale to Advance to the AEW Women's Championship Match on October 2nd
Despite the level of talent involved in this thing, I didn't think it was particularly good. Some women were randomly eliminated, there were a number of botched/blown spots, and it didn't have the strongest flow. That isn't to say it was terrible, but it definitely could have been better. On the bright side, I did like who this Battle Royal came down to and appreciated that Britt Baker got to shine before losing. Meanwhile, Mercedes Martinez received a superstar reaction when she entered last. All Elite Wrestling would be foolish not to sign her. Plus, Tenille Dashwood made a surprise appearance, though this may have been a one-off as she's currently under contract to IMPACT.
Buy In: Private Party def. Angelico and Jack Evans
I've been thoroughly impressed with Private Party since getting introduced to their work earlier this year. They have charisma in boatloads and are a blast to watch in the ring. Of course, the same can be said for Angelico and Evans, so I had no doubt that this would be an enjoyable outing. It was more of a spot-fest than anything else, but the crowd was hot for it and Private Party had a breakout performance. They picked up the big win and then Angelico and Evans turned heel afterward, so everyone came out of this looking great.
SoCal Uncensored def. Jurassic Express
I like how SCU has been positioned as one of the opening acts over the last few AEW shows. I think that's the perfect spot for them to be in and the audience is always into their shtick. Although everyone had solid showings here, I thought Luchasaurus had a better performance than anyone else. The crowd was behind him throughout and he felt like a total star. SCU was the right choice to go over in this bout, but keep an eye out for Luchasaurus. He is something special. I'm a big fan of the package deal he has with Jungle Boy as well.
PAC def. Kenny Omega
Of course, Omega was originally scheduled to go one-on-one with Jon Moxley, but an injury to Moxley prevented that from happening. I was shocked this went on second on the main card, but there were enough marquee matches on this show that it didn't matter much. I've missed seeing PAC in action and he did terrific here, along with Omega. It wasn't a Match of the Year contender or anything, but it was excellent enough that I was left satisfied. PAC beating Omega clean was certainly a surprise, but perhaps this means he has finally signed a full-time deal with the promotion.
Jimmy Havoc def. Joey Janela and Darby Allin in a Cracker Barrel Clash
Personally, I don't care for hardcore matches such as this one (especially when there isn't much of a story to it), but I found certain spots to be fun and it was incredibly different from everything else on the card, if nothing else. I wouldn't want to see stuff like this all the time in AEW, but props to the performers for giving it their all and producing something insane. Havoc was the last person I expected to win, but I guess even he needed a victory eventually to begin building credibility.
The Dark Order def. BEst Friends for a First Round Bye in the AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament
I realize I'm not alone in having this opinion, but Dark Order just bores me to tears. Yes, they are very talented in the ring, but their gimmick does nothing for me and isn't exciting at all. Best Friends are always entertaining, so at least they were able to make this match decent. This was the least invested the crowd had been the whole night, a sign that the act isn't working. AEW will likely continue to push them anyway, but I have no desire to see them become the inaugural AEW World Tag Team Champions.
Riho def. Hikaru Shida to Advance to the AEW Women's Championship Match on October 2nd
I'm still not overly familiar with either one of these women, but I've seen plenty of Riho since she made her AEW debut at Double or Nothing and believe that she's one of the best female wrestlers they have right now. Shida is also skilled and thus this was a very well wrestled match. I liked the dynamic they had and Riho did exceptionally well in the babyface role. She will now face Nyla Rose on AEW's debut show on TNT to crown the determine the first-ever AEW Women's Champion.
Cody def. Shawn Spears
I'm not typically high on interference in matches, so I'm not going to gloss over how this one had plenty of it. There were almost too many shenanigans between everyone who got involved and everything else, but on the whole, I loved the match. They told a stellar story with Cody seeking revenge on his former friend and Spears looking more aggressive and intense than I've ever seen him. Tully Blanchard got more physical than anticipated, but it coincided nicely with the Arn Anderson run-in (which the crowd popped huge for). This was Spears' matchup to win, but he had a memorable enough performance that I'm confident he won't get lost in the shuffle going forward. I really thought MJF would turn on Cody (as was teased afterward), but they're clearly saving that for down the road.
AAA World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers def. The Young Bucks in Escalera De La Muerte
This had the potential to be a wild Ladder match and they did not disappoint. I almost feel like we've seen too many Ladder matches in wrestling this year, but these guys were innovative and found ways to keep it exhilarating. I have no clue how they didn't kill themselves doing half the stuff they did, but hey, it was quite the spectacle and I have no complaints. This might be my favorite AEW match to date, as everything about it was outstanding and reached that next level most of the other matchups on this show didn't. Santana and Ortiz (formerly LAX in IMPACT) showing up afterward to lay out both teams was simply the icing on the cake.
Chris Jericho def. Adam Page to Become the Inaugural AEW World Champion
It's no secret that Jericho isn't the same wrestler he was a decade ago, but he's had a handful of above-average matches since leaving WWE. So, it's not like he's incapable of contesting a great match. Unfortunately, this fell flat for me, at least to a small degree. It had the big fight feel and the nearfalls down the stretch were suspenseful, but it didn't have that electric atmosphere that it should have (which you can't blame the crowd for because the show was way too long) and didn't need to be almost a half hour in length. That said, Jericho winning the title was the correct outcome. I had my doubts too, but he's a recognizable name and an amazing heel at the moment. Plus, Page wasn't ready for that spot just yet and needs more character development before he can be considered a true main event player.
I don't want to sit here and compare this show to NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff or even Double or Nothing. All I'll say is that it was another top-notch effort from AEW. It was far from my favorite event of the year, but virtually every match ranged from solid to fantastic and the crowd was largely lively. Throw in Jericho becoming the inaugural AEW World Champion and Santana and Ortiz debuting and you have yourself a strong show. My biggest complaint about All Out is that it ran four hours long. If this is going to be their WrestleMania, then fine, but otherwise, they need to either shorten certain matches up or take them off the card completely. Thankfully, there should be enough buzz coming out of this event to carry AEW through their debut on TNT in early October.
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