AEW All Out made a desperately-needed splash for All Elite Wrestling in Chicago on Saturday night.
But the company dashed any concerns away in a hurry and cemented AEW as a real player in the world of pro wrestling. Champions were crowned, names were made, and the All Elite roster left it all in the ring on what’s bound to be a classic show.
In short, All Elite went all out with AEW All Out.
Women’s Casino Battle Royale (Buy-In Preshow)
The winner of this match at AEW All Out earns a spot in a match to crown the first AEW Women’s Champion. The first five in the ring all gang up on Nyla Rose. Leva Bates gets dumped, but Peter Avalon lays books under her feet to avoid elimination. Okay. It ain’t the Kofi spot, but it’s something. Back in the ring, Rose destroys everybody and waits for the next round of competitors. Bates sneaks back in and tries to jump Rose with a book, but Rose is a giant and dispenses with her.
After a very Royal Rumble countdown, the next group makes their way down and gang up on Rose again and has more success. The debuting Sadie Gibbs gets beaten down by Rose in the corner while Britt Baker takes care of the other women in the ring. Baker and Gibbs team up on Rose but get a double chokeslam for their troubles. Rose tweaks her arm and allows Big Swol to stand toe-to-toe with Rose briefly. It does not go well. Penelope Ford tries her hand at battling Rose next. But she gets eliminated as the next group heads out.
Bea Priestley is among the next group, and Baker rushes out to meet her and beat her down on the aisle. Back inside, Tenille Dashwood (remember Emma?) dominates Gibbs and Ivalisse. Awesome Kong, with a little prompting from Brandi Rhodes, demolishes Dashwood before turning her attention to Ivalisse. Kong accidentally takes down Brandi, which gives the rest of the women a chance to jump her. In the meantime, Rose comes back to life and throws Brandi around a little bit before Brandi comes back with a Stunner.
Among the next group is Yuka Sakazaki who rushes in and goes to work on Brandi. Also out is Jazz, and now we’ve got three giants in the match. As it was bound to, it comes down to Kong and Rose, but Jazz rushes in to break it up.
Kong and Jazz gets eliminated as the last competitor makes her way out. It’s Mercedes Martinez. She immediately gets to work suplexing everybody, but Priestley makes a fight of it. Martinez curb stomps Priestly, but she walks right into Rose and suplexes her. Allie gets into it with Martinez and hits a Death Valley Driver. Baker and Gibbs square off while Allie and Martinez go back at it. Rose sneaks in and eliminates Allie but eats a lariat from Gibbs. Gibbs cleans house for awhile only to get into a fight with Priestley. Priestley eliminates her and goes after Kong while Baker and Martinez go back at it. Martinez and Baker double team Rose, but Priestley breaks it up and tries to eliminate Martinez.
Priestley superkicks Martinez over the top, and we’re down to Rose, Priestley, and Baker. Rose eats more superkicks than a Young Bucks match but manages to hang on. She throws Priestley into Baker in the corner, but they lay Rose out in the corner. Baker tries to eliminate Rose but has to settle for a middle-rope suplex. She turns her attention back to Priestley but eats a running knee. Baker finally eliminates Priestley, but Priestley holds on to Baker and allows Rose to push her over the top. And Rose earns a title shot.
Not bad but nothing special. It lacked the sheer craziness of the Double Or Nothing battle royal and didn’t tell a cohesive story on its own at AEW All Out. *1/2
Private Party Vs. Jack Evans And Angelico (Buy-In Preshow)
Angelico and Kassidy lock up to start. They trade some mat stuff, and Angelico gets a trio of two-counts. Kassidy breaks free only to get taken down on a toe-hold submission to a big pop. Angelico stays in control by punishing the arm, but Kassidy flips out of a snapmare. That was cool. Flip-floppy stuff, and Kassidy gets a heel kick. Evans tags in, and so does Marq Quen. More cruiserweight flopping, and Evans throws Quen’s sunglasses out of the ring. BASTARD.
They run the ropes, and Quen hits a single-leg drop moonsault. Evans gets isolated in Private Party’s corner, and Kassidy tags back in to put Evans down with a string of punches. Frequent tags from Private Party keeps Evans at bay, but Evans fights back with a corkcscrew kick for a two-count on Kassidy. Angelico tags back in, and Quen tags in. Evans tags in again, and they hit a tandem kick into a roll through for two. He rolls Quen into an inverted armbar, but Kassidy makes the ropes. Quen makes the hot tag, and Kassidy takes control, hitting Angelico on the outside and an over-the-to moonsault onto Evans for two.
Marq Quen tags back in, and they double-team Evans. Quen locks Evans in the camel clutch, and Kassidy leap frogs him for a curb stomp. Ouch. A DDT from Kassidy on Angelico leaves Evans and Quen in the ring, where Evans builds up a head of steam. But Kassidy cuts it off into a stunner position into a shoveling inverted suplex. Kassidy leaps over the top for a corkscrew splash onto Angelico. Back inside, Quen heads up top and hits a shooting star on Evans. He rolls Kassidy back in, who gets a two-count on Evans.
Kassidy goes up top, but Evans hits a spider German suplex and goes for a 630, but Kassidy dodges. Evans rolls through. Angelico sneaks back in and kicks Kassidy in the head. A 450 from Evans only gets two. Evans tags in Angelico, who goes up top but Quen rushes to meet him. Quen hits an avalanche poison-rana on both Angelico and Evans, allowing Kassidy to get the pin at AEW All Out. That was pretty cool, and I hope the Bucks and Luchas were taking notes. Somewhere I’m making Jim Cornette happy, and if we’re being honest that bums me out. ***
After the match, Angelico and Evans feign good sportsmanship only to jump Private Party. Cool way to build more heat and lead in to AEW’s TNT debut.
SCU Vs. Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, And Marko Stunt
They’ve taken to referring to Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy as “a boy and his dinosaur.” I’m easily-amused, so I love it. Stunt looks like an 8-year-old. Which means he looks about 3 years younger than Jungle Boy. The crowd throws up a big “Jungle Boy” chant. He and Frankie Kazarian start with a lot of mat work. Kazarian gets a pair of quick roll-ups, but Jungle Boy powers up into a predicament of his own. They trade pinning predicaments and two counts. I hope the goofy stuff doesn’t set in too quickly, because I’m enjoying this.
Kazarian beats Jungle Boy down before tagging in Christopher Daniels. they double-team the little guy, and Daniels hits a legsweep into a spinebuster. Jungle Boy pulls out a huricanrana and an Arabian armdrag into a drop kick. Luchasaurus gets the tag from Jungle Boy, and they team up on Daniels. A falling suplex-slam from Luchasaurus puts Daniels down on the mat, and he tags in Stunt. Stunt hits a short (heh) rana into a series of running dropkicks. Scorpio Sky and Kazarian run in for the assist but get dumped.
Jungle Boy and Stunt leap over the ropes to take out Kazarian and Daniels, and Luchasaurus follows with a springboard rana over the top. That was cool. Stunt climbs on Luchasaurus’s shoulders and hits a diving body press for two. Jungle Boy tags back in, and Daniels takes more punishment. Daniels kicks out at one, which is smart. Make the little guys look real but not too real. Scorpio tags in, and Jungle Boy tries to hook him around the waist. Kazarian makes a blind tag and hits a leg lariat to put Jungle Boy down.
SCU isolates Jungle Boy and triple teams him in the corner. He slips out and slugs it out with Scorpio for a few seconds, but Scorpio stomps him down to the mat. Daniels is back in now, and they keep the numbers advantage on Jungle Boy. A tandem sitout neckbreaker gets two for a tagged-in Kazarian. Jungle Boy gets obliterated in the corner as Daniels tags back in. Daniels keeps up the attack as Jungle Boy tries to get to his corner for a tag. Jungle Boy finally manages to take Daniels off his feet to make the tag. Kazarian also tags in, and Luchasaurus cleans house.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
Luchasaurus props Daniels on his shoulders, but Kazarian sneaks in to make the save. Scorpio tries to assist, but Luchasaurus cleans house again and hits a standing moonsault for two. See, Vince? You can have goofy stuff and good booking all at the same time.
Stunt tags in, and goes for a cover on Kazarian, but Daniels breaks it up. SCU finally manages to triple team Luchasaurus. The babyfaces all get thrown to the outside, and Kazarian hits a huricanrana over the top rope. Scorpio follows with a tope con hilo on Luchasaurus. Back inside, SCU triple teams Stunt and hits the Best Meltzer Ever for the win. That was better than it had any right to be. ***1/2
I’m pretty sure we just watched Luchasaurus become a bona fide superstar at AEW All Out.
Kenny Omega Vs. Pac
I’m still bummed this isn’t Moxley at AEW All Out. But as last-minute replacements go, Pac is pretty awesome. On commentary, Goldenboy earns indie cred by name-dropping Prince Devitt.
Pac stalls early to draw the big heel heat. They finally lock up, and neither guy can get an early advantage. Omega puts Pac down with a shoulder tackle, but Pac kips up. Pac goes for a waist lock, but Omega reverses into an armbar. Pac frees himself with a snapmare, and we get more posing. Smart. There was no build-up for this, so they’re making the most of their time. Crowd starts chanting “205” at Pac, because they know what 205 Live is. Omega hits a basement drop kick and goes for a crusher, but Pac dodges it.
More monkey flips and dodging, and Pac goes outside for a breather. Pac hits a step-up hurricanrana, and now Omega takes a breather. Omega rushes back in only to get backdropped over the top. Pac lands on his feet, and Omega tries to follow with a plancha but eats a knee to the gut. Ouch. They brawl on the outside for a little bit, with Omega throwing Pac into the barricades. He tries to rush Pac but eats a foot to the face. Omega goes for a pop-up powerbomb, but Pac dodges and drives Omega’s face into the ring apron. Again, I say thee, Ouch.
Pac whips Omega into the barricade again. I thought AEW was all about “rules,” and yet the referee hasn’t started a count. Back inside, Pac heads to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile drop kick to Omega’s face. That was stiff. Commentators are taking advantage of Pac’s nickname, because let’s face it: It’s fun to say “bastard.” Omega tries to fight back from his knees, but Pac keeps kicking him down. Pac gets a two count after thrusting Omega into the turnbuckle. He has Omega in a headlock, but Omega fights back up and goes whoo-choppy on Pac, but Pac gets the hold back on.
Omega clotheslines Pac down to the floor and gears up for an over-the-top attack. He bounces off the ropes and hits a baseball slide with Pac on the apron before nailing a tope suicida. But Omega tweaks his ankle on the way down. He throws Pac back in the ring and heads up top. Omega hits a missile drop kick to the back of Pac’s head, followed by a fisherman suplex for two. Omega ties Pac up in a full nelson, but Pac escapes with a back elbow. A fireman’s carry by Omega is reversed by Pac, who lands on the ring apron and dives at Omega. Omega catches him and goes for a rana, but Pac dodges.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
Now Pac is on the turnbuckle, and he goes for a rana. Omega catches him, but Pac turns it into a DDT for two. Omega is prone, and Pac goes up top again, but Omega rolls out of the ring. Pac switches position and wipes out Omega with a moonsault off the top and onto the floor. Something tells me I won’t have to eat that shoe after AEW All Out (click here, there’s no time). The Bastard (see? It’s fun) climbs up top and hits the black arrow, but it only gets two. He resorts to trying to slug Omega out, but Omega comes back with the chops.
They go tit-for-tat, with neither guy getting the better of a stiff slugfest. Omega kicks Pac into the corner and hits a vicious bucklebomb. He finally hits the pop-up powerbomb, but only gets two. He signals for the One-Winged Angel, but Pac pulls the referee in the way. Pac goes for a springboard crossbody, but Omega dropkicks him out of the air. Omega hits a backbreaker, setting up the V-Trigger. Pac gets propped on Omega’s shoulders, and hits a German for two. Omega pulls Pac up and sets up for the TigerDriver 98, but Pac backdrops him to escape.
From the apron, Pac jumps over the rope and hits a leaping diamond cutter. A series of suplexes keeps Omega down. Pac hits a deadlift German suplex, but gets 2.99. This is amazing. Pac hoists Omega on the top rope to set up an avalanche, but Omega drops him face-first on the turnbuckle. Omega hits a snapdragon suplex into another V-Trigger for another CLOSE two-count. He goes for another V-Trigger, but Pac blocks and kicks Omega in the chest. A pair of kicks to the chest has Omega reeling, but recovers and hits another V-Trigger.
Omega sets him up for the OWA, but Pac locks on the Brutalizer, bringing Omega to the mat. He passes out, and the referee awards the win to Pac. That was amazing. *****
Cracker Barrel Clash (No, Seriously) — Joey Janella Vs. Darby Allin Vs. Jimmy Havoc
So it’s a hardcore match sponsored by Cracker Barrell. But with a 20-minute time limit. Okay? If we’re being honest, this company does some weird stuff sometimes, and AEW All Out is no exception.
Havoc immediately heads under the ring to retrieve a table and some chairs. And his trusty staple gun. Nice call back to the Double Or Nothing battle royal. Havoc tries to prove how hardcore he is by stapling himself. Janella and Allin double-team him (maybe for his own good). The Bad Boy props Havoc onto a chair while Allin tapes him to the chair. Janella kicks him while he’s taped down, and Allin pours thumb tacks in his mouth before taping Havoc’s mouth shut. Um. Somewhere Paul Heyman is kicking himself for not thinking of that.
With Havoc tied down, Janella attacks Allin but eats a tope suicida that sends him into the barricade. Back inside, Allin hits a flying armdrag into a flipping stunner. Allin heads up top and hits a moonsault on Havoc, releasing him from the chair. He goes for a coffin drop, but Janella intercepts him and hits an ugly shoulder-breaker on the apron. Ugly as in “ouch,” not poorly-executed. Janella pulls another table out, and despite having free hands, Havoc finally removes the tape to spit the tacks out in Janella’s face.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
Havoc throws Janella into the steps before chucking him back into the ring. He grabs a chair and another staple gun before getting a two-count on the Bad Boy. Now Havoc takes a piece of paper and rakes it between Janella’s fingers. And then again. That might be the most hardcore spot ever. A staplegun to Janella’s head follows. That, in turn, is followed by Havoc paper-cutting Janella’s mouth. STOP IT. Janella hits a brain buster on Havoc onto the chair before hitting a flipping piledriver on Allin through a table.
This is insane. Somebody check Cracker Barrel’s stock, would you?
Janella goes for a moonsault onto Havoc on the outside, but Havoc moves and Janella hits the steel rampway. Havoc keeps up the attack with a pan full of Cracker Barrel biscuits before making his way to the entrance to grab an actual Cracker Barrell. He props it up next to another barrel. Back inside, Janella hits a running clothesline on Havoc. Allin, who is still alive, crawls into the ring with a skateboard covered in tacks. He hits an olly (wait, what?) onto Janella’s back and goes for the cover, but Havoc pulls him out of the ring.
Havoc tries to shoot staples at Allin, so Allin throws him into the steps. Allin lays Havoc across the steps and goes for a backdrop with the barrel, but Havoc moves, and Allin crashes through onto the steps. Janella (who is also still alive) hits a dangling DDT on Havoc before heading back up top and dropping the Macho Man elbow. Havoc kicks out. So Janella brings the other barrel into the ring, as one does. He props the barrel onto Havoc and heads up top again, but Havoc stops him with an uppercut and superplexes Janella onto the barrel followed by an Acid Rainmaker onto the barrel for the pin.
I just. I don’t. What? ***1/4
Best Friends Vs. Dark Order — Winner Gets 1st Round Bye In AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament
Stu Grayson and Chuck Taylor start the match, and Grayson quickly tags Evil Uno in. They go for the double-team, but Taylor fights back. It’s not enough, though, as they whip him into the rope. Trent makes the blind tag, and it’s 2-on-2. The Best Friends clothesline the Dark Order over the top and hit the hug early.
More tandem offense leads a two-count for Trent. Uno tags Grayson back in, and Trent chops him toward the Best Friends’ corner. Grayson fights back, though. Uno drags Trent out and throws Trent into the barricade. Uno sets Grayson up for a guillotine elbow after making the blind tag to Uno. Grayson tags back in and lays some punishment in on Trent. Uno gets a two-count. Probably smart to slow down the pace here. Makes the match a cool-down after the madness of the prior match at AEW All Out.
Trent goes for the hot tag, but Uno drags him back to the Dark Order’s corner. A double-stompdown ensues. Frequent tags from the Dark Order keeps Trent on the defensive, but he fights back out of the corner but still can’t make the tag to Taylor. Taylor reaches for the tag, but Grayson pulls him off the apron and onto the barricade. An enziguri/brainbuster combination gets two for Grayson. Trent hits DDT and finally leaps for the tag to Taylor. Taylor cleans house and hits sliced bread on Uno before hitting a pop-up powerbomb on Grayson.
Both Dark Order members get sent over the top and Taylor hits a running splash on them. Back inside, Uno holds Taylor down, and the Dark Order regains dominance. Trent tags back in, and they double-team Grayson with a tandem German suplex. Taylor tags back in, and they hit an inverted crucifix ace crusher, but it only gets two. Trent is back in again, and Grayson avoids a double clothesline and tags Uno back in. Grayson hits a tornillo on Taylor and some of the Order’s minions, allowing Uno to hit a senton on Trent. It only gets two.
Grayson hits a scorpion bucklebomb, throwing Trent into Taylor in the corner before hitting a 450 on Trent for two. Uno tags back in, and they set up for the Fatality, but Taylor throws Grayson off the rope. Trent goes for the cover on Uno but only gets two. The Best Friends hit Sole Food, and Trent tags back in. He goes for Strong Zero on Uno, but collapses. Taylor comes back in and hits a shoulder-breaker, and Trent makes the cover, but Uno pulls him out of the ring and tosses him into the barricade.
The Creepers swarm Taylor on the outside, and Uno throws Trent back into the ring. He sets Trent up for the Fatality and gets the pin and a first-round tournament bye. Not bad. Not bad at all. ***
After the match, the Dark Order carries the Best Friends up the ramp, but the lights go out. When they come back on, Orange Cassidy is in the ring, and he hits a tope on the Creepers, with his hands in his pockets no less. All three guys hug it out to make the fans happy. Cool debut, and a nice way to make the fans happy.
Riho Vs. Hikaru Shida — Winner Gets AEW Women’s Championship Match
Is it law that every Japanese women’s wrestler have 8-bit inspired entrance music?
They lock up to start, and Shida puts Riho down on the mat. Shida hits a waistlock, and they trade mat moves. Riho goes down to a shoulder-tackle from Shida but goes for an armdrag. But Shida catches it and uses her strength to escape. A backbreaker gets two for Shida. Riho tries to whip Shida out of the corner, but Shida hangs on. Shida hits a running knee on Riho in the opposite corner before hitting a driveby elbow on the apron.
Back inside, Shida hits another backbreaker for two. Shida stomps Riho down before laying in a stiff shot to the kidneys. Riho tries to slug her way back into it, but Shida hits yet another backbreaker for yet another two count. Shida locks in a Boston crab, but Riho makes the ropes to break it. But Shida locks in a hanging backbreaker stretch before depositing her in an inverted tree of woe. Shida hits a running knee to the back, but Riho bridges out of the pin at two. She lifts Riho across her back again, but Riho escapes and takes Shida down with a rana.
Shida rushes at Riho, but Riho ducks under, and Shida goes over the top. Riho heads to the turnbuckle, but Shida intercepts and goes for a suplex to the outside. She fights Shida off with a back elbow before hitting a coup de grace on Shida on the apron. Ouch.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
Riho goes back to the top again and hits a crossbody dive for two. They slug it out, and Shida rushes the ropes again, but Riho pulls out a drop toe hold to send Shida into the rope. Riho goes for a 619, but Shida blocks it and locks in a standing kneebar, but Riho rolls her up for two. They run the ropes, and now it’s Riho hitting a stomp. But Shida counters with a rising knee strike to Riho’s jaw. Both women are down, but Shida is first to get back to her feet. She sets Riho up for a brainbuster, but Riho tries to kick free. Shida deadlifts her and hits the brainbuster anyway. Yikes.
Shida goes for more knee strikes, but Riho blocks them. She tries to lift Riho, but Riho’s dead weight at this point. Shida circles Riho for a moment and tries to pull her up again and goes for another brainbuster, but Riho counters with a schoolboy. Riho goes for a cover, but Shida lifts her up and hits an enziguri that sends Riho onto the apron. She pulls Riho up to the top rope and suplexes her over the top and into the ring for two. That was close. JR’s screaming about lax covers. I missed you, Jim.
The taller Shida goes for a knee to Riho’s back, but Riho blocks it. Shida lifts her up, but Riho counters into a northern lights suplex. Riho goes up top, but Shida races up to meet her. They slug it out at the top, but Riho sweeps Shida’s legs and hits a double-stomp that drives Shida into the mat. Riho hits a double running knee, but it only gets two. With Shida prone, Riho goes up top again, but Shida rolls out of the way only to eat double-knees in the back of the head in the corner. Riho hits the ropes and charges, but Shida catches her with a backbreaker drop but again only gets two.
They’re telling a really good story with Riho here, and all signs point to a David vs. Goliath meeting with Rose. An exchange of dodges leads to Riho hitting a spinning crucifix leglock into a cover for the win. Hey, I’m right sometimes.
This was a pretty good match at AEW All Out, but there was just enough dead space to keep it from being great. ***1/2
Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) Vs. Cody (w/?)
Spears come out and the crowd boos his every step. Vince if you’re watching, this was all built-up with YouTube videos. Pretend not to be watching if you want, but at least take notes. Cody’s entrance has the Nightmare Family walking backstage at AEW All Out, all dressed up as Star Trek characters. Cody, I didn’t think I could love you more. I question whether DDP should be in command red. However, I don’t question at all Brandi’s Seven Of Nine cosplay.
The whole family comes out, and Cody chooses MJF to be in his corner. Hey, I called another one!
Cody goes for a tope suicida right off the jump and nails Blanchard in the process. Blanchard stares him down, but Spears pulls him over the barricade, and they brawl into the crowd. They fight back into the ring, and Cody maintains the attack. The referee finally calls for the bell, but the fight spills to the outside again. Cody hits a vicious powerslam on the outside. Tully comes up behind Cody and holds him under the arms, and Spears hits Cody with a low blow. Spears rolls Cody back into the ring and makes with the chops.
Finally, Cody fights back with chops of his own, but Spears maintains the advantage. He climbs to the second rope, but Cody catches him on the jaw and climbs to the top for a huricanrana. Spears goes outside for a breather, and Cody charges only to catch an uppercut. He suplexes Cody into the tree of woe across the top rope and punts him in the face. Spears crotches Cody across the ring post. Cody rolls back into the ring, but Spears keeps up the attack, clotheslining him before pinning him down and punching him in the side of the head.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
More chops from Spears, as they keep up with the slow build on this match. Good call. Spears takes a swig of water and spits it in Cody’s face and rolls him back in the ring. Cody hits the Dustin drop-ad-punch and charges at Spears in the corner, but Spears dodges it. MJF keeps the referee distracted, and Spears hits a DDT on Cody onto the apron. Back inside, it only gets two. Spears pulls off Cody’s weightlifting belt and spits on it. I’ve gotta think this MJF-distracting-the-ref is misdirection. As much as I wanna see this match, I wanna see how the soap opera stuff goes down.
The referee goes to get rid of Cody’s belt, but Spears pulls his own belt off and whips Cody with it. Cody hulks up to his feet, and the crowd goes berserk. A kick to Spears’s face is followed by ye olde mudhole-stomping in the corner. Cody hits a diamond cutter variation before nailing a standing spinebuster. The Nightmare locks on the Figure Four, but Spears turns it over immediately. Nice psychology; Tully’s been coaching him on the Figure Four. Blanchard grabs Spears’s hand to give him more leverage, but the ref doesn’t see it, because MJF is making a scene trying to alert him.
On the outside, Spears hits a running powerslam on the steel rampway. Yikes. Meanwhile, my B/R Live cuts out, which is awesome.
When it returns, both guys are down in the corners. Spears is first to get back to his feet. He lifts Cody, but Cody counters with Crossroads, but Blanchard distracts the referee. MJF gets on the apron and challenges Blanchard to a fight, and Blanchard tapes up his wrists. They go at it, but Spears kicks MJF in the face. Blanchard keeps up the attack, and Arn Anderson rushes out from the back. With Spears alone in the ring, Arn hits the spinebuster!
A distraught Blanchard heads up the ramp while Cody crawls back into the ring. Spears grabs a chair from under the ring, but Cody hits a kick to Spears’s chest. Cody eyeballs the chair and grabs it. He babyfaces and throws the chair away before hitting the bionic elbow. He throws the chair at Spears who catches it and takes a Disaster Kick. Cody makes the pin and wins this one. ****
Most of those stars are for the booking, as the match itself was nothing all that special. After the match, MJF and Cody hug it out.
AAA Tag Team Championship Ladder Match — Lucha Brothers (C) Vs. Young Bucks
This is going to be a train wreck at AEW All Out. Hopefully it’s a well-constructed train wreck.
Both teams slug it out to stop, as Fenix jumps at Matt, but Matt escapes while Pentagon slams Nick into the apron. Fenix hits a running powerbomb, and Pentagon comes down with a stomp to Matt’s balls. Well, there’s something to be said for starting with a bang.
The Luchas charge toward the outside, but the Bucks throw the ladder into their faces. A powerbomb-enziguri combination followed by a catapult into an enziguri decimates Fenix. The Bucks climb one of the ladders, but the Luchas superkick them off of it before Pentagon hits a springboard crossbody. Fenix jumps the ropes and the ladder to hit a moonsault on the Bucks. In the ring, Fenix sets up a ladder under the belts, but the Bucks chase the Luchas up the ladder and pull them down. The Luchas dodge double clotheslines and head up the ladder again, but the Bucks intercept.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
Fenix and Nick jump to the ring via some unnecessary choreography, and they slug it out atop the ladder. Matt and Fenix hit their respective opponents with swinging neckbreakers off the ladder. Fenix chops the hell out of Nick. They both end up on the apron and double-pump kick each other onto the apron. Their brothers spear them through the ropes and through a pair of tables. This stuff is what bugs me about these matches. Why would the opponents work together to help take out their own partners?
Anyway. Back inside Pentagon and Matt slug it out before Pentagon hits a pair of nasty kicks to Matt’s quad. Matt hits a series of locomotion suplexes, culminating in Pentagon hitting a ladder in the corner. More madness follows, and the Luchas set up the ladder. Fenix hits a rana on Matt, and Pentagon gets a crossbody on Nick. A taller ladder enters the fray, but Matt pulls Fenix off with a gorilla press slam before spearing Pentagon.
Fenix climbs the ladder and hits a moonsault onto Nick (and Pentagon, but I don’t wanna talk about that anymore). Pentagon sling blades Matt off the top of the ladder, which looked absolutely sick. Everybody’s down now, but somehow Pentagon comes back from the dead long enough to set up another ladder. More kicks to Nick’s quad, but Nick hits a plancha through the ladder onto Pentagon on the outside. Matt and Fenix fight over the ladder on the apron, and Fenix leaps between the ladder and hits a destroyer. O-U-C-H.
Now a table gets slid into the ring, with a ladder propped in the corner. Fenix climbs up, with Matt sprawled out on the table. Matt springs up ad races to the top and goes for a superplex. Pentagon rushes in for the save, and hits a flying destroyer through the table. That was cool and horrifying and amazing.
On one side of the ring, Fenix has Matt sprawled on a table, and Nick has Pentagon sprawled on another. Each guy goes to the top o the ladder and splashes through. For the record, an eighth of a star comes off every time they do this. I don’t even know what that means.
Nick drags another table into the mix, while Fenix has a ladder bridging the barricade and the apron. A jumping DDT puts Fenix down while Nick goes for yet another table. Inside, Nick sets Fenix up for a powerbomb through the tables on the outside, but Matt makes the save with (guess what) a superkick. Matt climbs the ladder, but Pentagon pulls him off. Nick hooks the sharpshooter on Pentagon, and Matt pins his neck under the ladder and hooks a crossface. That’s cool. With the Bucks occupied, Fenix climbs the ladder, but Nick climbs to intercept.
Matt sets Fenix up for a piledriver, while Nick is an arm’s length from the belt. Instead, he stalls, and Pentagon superkicks Matt. Pentagon topples the ladder and sends Matt through Chekhov’s tables. Now Pentagon and Nick are fighting on the ladder. In desperation, Nick goes for Pentagon’s mask and yanks it off. For those who keep score with lucha libre tradition, that means f’ing war.
Pentagon secures the mask, and they tandem piledrive Matt onto the ladder. Yikes. The Luchas scale the ladder and secure the titles. ****1/2
That could have been a perfect match. But there were spots that, while cool, were stupid when it comes to the story being told. After the match, a couple guys wearing ex-president masks hit the ring and push the Luchas off the ladder and put the boots to them.Next they turn their attention to the Bucks, and they hit a flipping neckbreaker-powerbomb on Nick. They remove the masks, and it’s LAX! I’m gonna add a quarter star, just because they’ve made an official transition from the Bucks vs. Luchas feud. ****3/4
AEW World Heavyweight Championship Match — Chris Jericho Vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Here we go. We’ll find out which rumors were true and which ones are B.S. when the final bell rings.
Aubrey Edwards referees the match, making her the first woman to call a major world title match. Awesome. They lock up to start, and Page pushes Jericho into the corner. Page hits an armdrag, and Jericho laughs it off. Both guys get some distance from one another before locking up, and Jericho hits an armdrag of his own. Page lays in the punches and chops before hitting a fallaway slam followed by a nip-up. He clotheslines Jericho over the top and down to the floor.
Jericho tries to get a breather, but the Hangman gives chase. Page keeps up the attack, and they slug it out on the floor. Jericho talks smack, and Page chases him into the ring and hits the big boot. He goes for a cover but only gets a one-count. More chops from Page, and he whips Jericho into the corner but eats a boot. Jericho comes back with a missile drop kick for two. The Painmaker goes for the Liontamer, but Page escapes and hurls Jericho to the outside. Page comes off the ropes and hits a running tope suicida through the ropes.
The Hangman hits a top-rope lariat but only gets two. Page whips Jericho into the ropes, but Jericho hangs on. The Hangman keeps running, but Jericho catches an elbow only to get thrown to the outside. Page follows with a running shooting star off the apron, but Jericho gets his knees into Page’s face. Jericho is first to make it back into the ring, and the referee starts her count. Page makes it back inside at the count of nine, but Jericho knocks him back into the barricade. Jericho makes chase and hurls him into the barricades again before pulling the covering off the barricade to expose the steel.
He uses the space between the railing as leverage to cinch in an armbar (in front of Page’s parents no less). I love Chris Jericho.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 1, 2019
Jericho throws Page back in the ring and lays in the boots. Page gets some chops in, but Jericho goes after the injured arm with a stiff armdrag takedown. More punishment on Page’s arm, as Jericho uses the ropes for extra torque. Jericho pulls Page back up, but Page fights back long enough to take an running elbow to the chest. Ever the heel, Jericho uses the top rope as a hammock before hitting a senton for two. Back to the armbar, but Page fights back only for Jericho to put him back down with a drop kick for two.
Y2J makes with the chops, but Page fights back and hits a blockbuster on Jericho. Both guys are down now, and Page hulks up, nipping to his feet. He hits a rolling powerslam on Jericho before diving at him with a sliding lariat. A standing shooting star press follows, but it only gets two for the Hangman. Page whips Jericho into the ropes, but Jericho braces himself, and Page misses a dropkick. Jericho goes back to the ropes, but Page hits a nice Russian legsweep off the ropes for two. Page goes for a piledriver, but the arm gives out, and Jericho counters into the Liontamer.
But Page fights out of it and throws Jericho off before hitting a discus elbow above Jericho’s eye. Jericho rolls out of the ring. I’m gonna guess his face will be red when he comes back up. Hey, look, I was right! I’m smart.
Jericho stammers around the ringside area, but Page gives chase. He targets the cut above the eyebrow with more punches before throwing him into the barricade. Jericho rolls back into the ring, and the referee makes sure he can continue. A right hand puts Jericho back down on the mat, and Page commences with the Greco-Roman mudhole-stomping. Page rushes Jericho, but Jericho deposits him over the top rope and onto the apron. Jericho clubs Page on the apron and heads to the top turnbuckle, but Page gets the advantage and hits a jumping swinging neckbreaker. WOW. It only gets two.
Page keeps kicking at the cut on Jericho’s head and wails at him with another discus elbow. The Hangman goes to pull Jericho up and sets him up for a suplex, but Jericho counters, draping Page over the top rope and onto the apron. Jericho goes for a running springboard, but Page halts the momentum with a superkick before jumping back into the ring for the Buckshot Lariat.
He sets Jericho up for the Deadeye, but Jericho rolls through and hooks the Liontamer again. Page gets to the ropes, but the referee has to throw him off of the Hangman. He shoves the referee, and she threatens to disqualify him. Page heads up top and goes for a moonsault. It hits Jericho, but he bangs up the knee that’s been injured all summer. He tosses Jericho back in the ring and goes for another Buckshot, but Jericho hits the Codebreaker for two.
Jericho goes for the Judas Effect, but Page counters with an elbow of his own. He goes for another running shooting star, but Jericho gets the knees up. A dazed Page turns around into a Codebreaker attempt, but tries to reverse to a Deadeye. Jericho reverses to a pinning attempt, but Page kicks out and hits the Deadeye. And it only gets two!
Crowd starts coming to life. Page sets up for yet another Buckshot and hits it. He pulls Jericho up and sets up another Deadeye, but Jericho reverses into a backslide into the Judas Effect for the pin. And Chris Jericho is the first AEW World Champion! ****
Some dead spots robbed it of getting more than four stars, but it was still great.
Discounting the women’s battle royal (which doesn’t count, since it was on the preshow), this was a nearly-perfect pay-per-view.
Not a single bad match (again, discounting the battle royal), strong booking, and every member of the roster coming out of it stronger than they came in? You can’t ask for better than that.
This was the best American pro wrestling pay-per-view I’ve seen in years. AEW All Out leaves any remaining doubt on the curb. All Elite Wrestling is for real.
All images courtesy of AEW.