Normally, I’m a WWE-only type guy who doesn’t get a chance to pay much attention to the indie wrestling scene, or even more mainstream companies like New Japan, Impact and Ring of Honor. But when ALL IN was announced, it certainly caught my attention enough for me to set aside the time to deviate from my norm and give it a shot.
As such, welcome to another post-show reaction and Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint podcast review! Per usual, you’ll find the video at the bottom of this page with my full breakdown of the card along with my usual cohosts, Robert DeFelice and Callum Wiggins—two guys who are far more knowledgeable about the indies than myself—but before that, I want to give you my more generalized thoughts in a short-form approach who don’t want to sit through 2 hours of the show.
The Overall Concept and Show As a Whole: Just selling out period would have been a success. Selling out as quickly as they did, turning it into a whole spectacle like it became and then delivering on what was a damn good show is extremely commendable. Hats off to everyone for pulling it off and for drawing a lot more attention to not just the individual people who were involved, but indie wrestling in general. Awesome.
Starrcast: I’ve only had time to check out the Roast of Bruce Prichard, the Prichard/Bischoff debate, Spend My Days Karaoke and part of the Botchamania set. Frankly, all of them were underwhelming, or awful. I hope that’s not the same for everything else, but those just weren’t good.
Zero Hour: Unfortunately, I had come across a site that promoted All In as being a 7pm start time with 8pm for the main card, so I missed the entirety of Zero Hour and the pre-show in general. Sad about that, as I wanted to see the battle royal, in particular, but the angle with Flip Gordon showing up in a mask and getting onto the card that way sounds great.
Matt Cross vs. MJF: I actually missed most of this, too, as Fite was giving me issues. What I did see was fine, but without the proper context, I can’t really judge it too much. Since later on, there were timing issues, I feel like maybe this match shouldn’t have been on the card, and these two guys should have been added into the battle royal instead, but again, no context.
Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell: I didn’t expect this to be the best match of the night or anything, as some leeway needs to be given to Amell for, you know, not being an actual wrestler. However, despite some of the sloppiness, this was better than I thought it would be. Nice coast-to-coast. Kudos for doing a table spot, too.
[Four Corners Survival Match] Tessa Blanchard vs. Britt Baker vs. Chelsea Green vs. Madison Rayne: Not my favorite match of the night, but if I ignore some of the slip-ups, it might be my #3, as I did enjoy this quite a bit. Blanchard is a star. Baker and Green shouldn’t be discounted by any means, either, and I have no idea how WWE hasn’t snatched those three up. What are they thinking? Rayne was the weakest link, but she had her moments here and there, too. Thumbs up, for sure.
[NWA Worlds Championship Match] Nick Aldis vs. Cody: From the entrances alone, I was already digging this quite a bit, as it had a big match feel to it that got me pumped. Admittedly, I was a little less psyched when they did the angle with Earl Hebner putting up the X, as it didn’t come off too believable to me, but I enjoyed the match and I’m glad Cody won.
[Chicago Street Fight] Hangman Page vs. Joey Janela: This was brutal and scary in some ways that I hope they’re smart enough not to do again, like the powerbomb spot and the finish itself. Holy cow, Penelope Ford took me by surprise! She was one of my biggest standouts of the night, for sure. Didn’t see that coming. Page struck me as someone who could fit in WWE rather well. As silly as the stuff with Joey Ryan was afterward, I thought it was funny, so this ended up being one of my favorite parts of the night.
[ROH World Championship Match] Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon: Flip Gordon is awesome. Love Black Machismo. This was probably my favorite match of the night. The post-match stuff was fun, too.
Kenny Omega vs. Penta El Zero M: Admittedly, I didn’t think this was as good as I was hoping it would be. That’s not to say I disliked it, as it was still good, but I expected it to be absolutely amazing based off some of the hype, and it didn’t reach that level. Still, Omega is awesome.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll: I enjoyed it, but I don’t have much to really focus on as to why. It was just one of those scenarios where I had fun watching it from start to finish and I think Scurll came out of this looking great even in defeat.
The Golden Elite vs. Rey Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido: I don’t quite get why this was the main event, but it was still a very good match, so I’m not complaining. It’s a shame they didn’t have enough time to really let this breathe and the event ended so abruptly, as that kind of sucked the wind out of me.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews ALL IN with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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