For details on the Pre-Show “Zero Hour”, here’s the link: Zero Hour
All In was a sold out event (10,411 ) at the Sears Centre in Chicago, New York. Cody Rhodes & The Young Bucks produced and booked the show. There were nine matches on the main card (two on the pre-show). Former WWE announcer Justin Roberts introduced Shalandra Royal as the singer of the American national anthem. The opening match was an unannounced singles bout between MJF and Matt Cross.
1. MJF vs. Matt Cross
I missed a lot of this due to technical difficulties. I’ve seen Matt Cross before, but not MJF. Not much response at all for the young MJF. All In up to #5 in the world on Twitter. Some nice flips in the beginning, which impresses MJF. They shake hands, but MJF cheap shots. “I don’t have to flip to get over” says MJF. Cross makes him flip with a scissor takedown. Matt Cross soaks in the atmosphere after a special dive on his opponent. MJF rolls away from a possible aerial move. MJF counters Cross and shoves him in to the buckle pole.
“I’m the future if you like it or not” says MJF. Crowd claps to get behind Cross. An interesting gutwrench powerbomb on Cross. MJF mocks Cross’ age. Cross nails MJF with a hurricanrana from the top turnbuckle. Some athletic moves by Cross picks him up a two-count. MJF counters and keeps targeting the injured arm and shoulder. The match dies down a bit as both men are on the canvas. MJF tags Cross with an armbar. Cross reverses by rolling him up. A vicious piledriver on Cross almost gets MJF the win! Cross fights back, bounces off the top rope and delivers a cutter, followed up by his shooting star press finisher. Cross wins! And not a bad way to start the show. I got to see what MJF is about, and a veteran like Cross deserved a win on this stage. Rating: Good
Former WWE announcer Sean Mooney is on hand backstage to interview the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. He sells the NWA title as the most prestigious title in all of wrestling. Aside from that, he calmly says he’s not ready to let Cody take the title at this time. Next up is The Fallen Angel vs. Arrow. Jerry Lynn is announced as the “new reffing show”, so he’ll be the guest referee for this.
2. Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell
Amell out to Bullet Club’s entrance accompanied by Josh Segarra. Commentators take note that it’s Amell’s first-ever singles match. Daniels is escorted to the ring by SCU friends Kazarian & Scorpio Sky. Commentators pop when the camera pans to singer-songwriter John Mayer in the audience. Daniels plays mindgames with Amell, then spits something at him. Daniels outwrestles, then walks on Amell’s back. Venue goes black for a second. Not the only time it happens, along with several audio issues. Daniels channels his inner Curry Man with a spicy dance. Amell gets up and tells Daniels to bring it.
Amell outbrawls Daniels, then back slams him square to the mat .. and walks on his back. Amell does a good job getting the better of the Fallen Angel. To the outside, Amell gets a table from under the ring and sets it up. He tries to drive Daniels through it from the apron, but Daniels counters and steps back in the ring. Some choking in the corner with Amell’s boot, so Jerry Lynn steps in. Daniels takes advantage of the distraction and drops Amell on his front. Fans chanting “Fallen Angel”. Daniels uses his experience to work Amell over. Daniels tries suplexing Amell to the outside through the table, but Amell reverses and throws him back in the ring.
Falcon Arrow! A 2-count for Amell. Daniels gets pushed in to the corner, then Amell climbs the turnbuckle on the other side of the ring. Van Terminator! Amell paying homage to Rob Van Dam. Daniels fights back and Amell misses the enzuiguri. Daniels almost trips walking over Amell and goes for the BME (Best Moonsault Ever). He totally misses the BME, but gets a two-count anyways. Daniels starts thinking superplex to the outside through the table, and gets Amell in position. Amell hits him and Daniels falls to the apron, then places himself on the table. Amell psyches himself up and goes to elbow drop Daniels .. but he moves and Amell crashes through the table. Lynn starts counting both men.
Jerry decides the match won’t end this way, and takes it upon himself to get both back in the ring. Daniels argues with Jerry, so he takes off his referee shirt and challenges him. Daniels pushes him, so Jerry pushes him in to Amell who rolls him up for a two. Daniels strikes him, who valiantly asks for more. Daniels goes for Angel’s Wings, but Amell reverses in to a backdrop pin for two. Judo throw back breaker from Daniels, immediately folllowed by BME. A win for Daniels! But a good showing from Amell. The experience of Daniels played a factor, as he took advantage of avoidable mistakes. They shook hands afterwards, showing a great deal of respect. Amell wants to earn his first singles win, but he couldn’t do so against the ring general. It was nice to see a clean contest, it would’ve been easy for Bullet Club or SCU to get involved. More enjoyable than expected. Rating: Very Good
Callis leaves the table to talk to Kenny Omega. Tenille Dashwood & Mandy Leon are guest commentators for the next match.
3. Britt Baker vs. Madison Rayne vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Chelsea Green
Nothing on the line except the chance to claim the spotlight. Tessa had her father Tully, and step-father Magnum T.A for moral support. Shake of hands between them, with Chelsea Green’s split personality making it an odd moment. Madison wanted to shake Tessa’s hand, but instead got a fist to the face. “Hot Mess” Chelsea scares Tessa out of the ring. Tessa & Madison fight on the outside, and Madison gets whipped to the barricade. Britt Baker & Chelsea try for a quick win with roll ups. Few arm drags followed by a headlock. Chelsea goes old school walking on the ropes, teasing the audience before jumping off for an arm drag. Chelsea runs at Baker, but is intercepted and taken down by Tessa.
Baker keeps failing to hit the Sling Blade. Tessa takes control and beats Baker in the corner. Baker sitting on the 2nd buckle, giving Tessa the chance to hit the Magnum AKA Codebreaker! Some great wrestling from Madison gets her in a pinning position on Tessa, for two. They botch a roll-through pin. Tessa recovers and lifts Madison high up in the air, throwing her to the outside on the other two. Further on, Chelsea suicide dives Madison and Tessa. Again, Tessa suicide dives two on the outside. It’s a flurry of dives! Madison Rayne gets control. 2-count on Baker. After a lot of running to avoid, Baker finds the Sling Blade at last. Rayne hits the cutter on Baker, but Chelsea breaks up the pin.
Tessa gets a delayed vertical suplex on Madison. Tessa hits the corner post trying to spear Green. Chelsea follows up with the Woo Woo Broski boot on Tessa. Madison hits the tornado DDT on Tessa. Chelsea on the top turnbuckle almost kills Tessa with a missle dropkick. Bit of a timing issue between Madison & Briitt, with their bulldog spot from the top. Madision fails to pin Baker for the win, and as she shows disbelief, Chelsea hits the curb stomp. She follows up with the Unprettier. She turns around and is surprisingly taken out by a Magnum after Tessa’s diving from the top! Baker superkicks Tessa and tries to steal the win, but it doesn’t work as Chelsea kicks out at 2. After Tessa elbows Baker in the head, Madison crucifix bombs Tessa in to a pin! But only 2 as Baker breaks it up. “This is Awesome!”. Chelsea hits a strong unprettier on Baker, but she proves herself again by getting a foot on the rope.
Chelsea hits the Canadian Destroyer on Tessa! But still, only 2! Chelsea in sheer disbelief. Tessa hits the hammerlock DDT on her. First “All In” chants of the night. Baker and Madison go to break up the pin but they are too late, Tessa gets the fall, and the bragging rights. An amazing match, one of the best women’s matches I’ve seen this year. Wish it could’ve carried on for ten minutes longer. All four competitors showed respect to each other afterwards. A great match from beginning to end. Can’t fault quality women’s wrestling. Rating: Very Good
4. Cody Rhodes vs. Nick Aldis (c) – NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Surprised it was on so soon considering the buildup. Longest video package of the night. Brandi made her entrance and was well ..
.. so moving on. Cody was accompanied by his team, including Tommy Dreamer, Diamond Dallas Page, and his dog Pharaoh. Cody possibly had the most genuine look of the night. He was already holding back the tears as he nervously made his way to ringside. HUGE pop as Cody got in the ring and tore his shirt. The mood changed when Nick Aldis’ music started. He was escorted by Jeff Jarrett, Shawn Daivari and Samuel Shaw. Earl Hebner is the referee. Before the bell, Earl with a few words, saying good luck to both men as they fight for the ten pounds of gold.
Ovation before they lock up. Cody and Aldis shake hands. All In trend getting closer to number 1. Both men show off some. Some classic old school wrestling in the beginning. An exchange ends with a perfect dropkick by Cody. Aldis tries to escape but Cody suicide dives. Aldis suplexes Cody on the outside. Aldis keeps advantage in the ring, and works Cody over. Fisherman suplex pin for two. They crash heads at one point, and clothesline each other to the mat. Cody tries for Crossroads but Aldis snapmares. Double cross body, and both men are down again. Aldis falls to the outside. Cody springboards off the top rope to the outside, but Aldis uppercuts him on the way down. Earl throws up the “X” sign, meant to represent a wrestler is seriously injured. The fans don’t like it much.
DDP comes down to ringside to check on Cody. He;s not busted open or anything. Daivari comes down and shoves DDP over, then gets in the ring to confront Earl. DDP doesn’t like it and gives Daivari a perfect Diamond Cutter. DDP and Daivari sent to the back. Ok .. so it pans to Cody and he’s bleeding like mad now, so he’d just bladed while DDP was busy with Daivari. The match continues and Cody powerslams Aldis. Cody goes for the moonsault and misses. Aldis does a fallaway slam on Cody from the top. Big splash, but only 2. Cody gets Aldis in the figure four leg lock! Aldis reverses the pressure. Cody reverses again and they get to the ropes. Blackout.
Aldis powerslams Cody to the outside. Back in the ring, Aldis loses focus and Cody goes for the Alabama slam, but drops Aldis as he doesn’t have the strength. He tries again and adds a unique spin to it. Disaster Kick misses, and Aldis sets him up for the powerbomb pin. Cody kicks out of two, so Aldis puts him in a cloverleaf submission. Brandi encourages him to get to the ropes to break it up. Aldis piledriver’s him. Aldis goes to the top, and Brandi gets in the ring to protect her husband. Aldis decides to go for it anyways, and elbow drops Brandi. He instantly seems to regret the decision, as the fans chant “asshole”. Cody keeps fighting on.
Cody goes for a version of the Vertebreaker, but Aldis gets out. Aldis goes for a sunset flip, but Cody sits down and pins him for the win! Cody’s overwhelmed with emotion as he sits in the ring with the NWA title. An emotional night for everyone involved. Not just following in his Father’s footsteps, he’s bringing much-needed exposure to one of the greatest titles in the history of wrestling. While I found the emotion and the result satisfying, the match lacked heat. It didn’t feel like Aldis was doing everything he could as a heel champion. The match was good, but the hype/emotion was excellent. Rating: Very Good
5. Hangman Page vs. Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight
Likely going to give less highlights in this one. The hype video was super wierd. I think the less said about it the better. Never seen Janela in action before, but heard he’s pretty hardcore. Penelope Ford is useful too, she’s not just a pretty face. By the way, All In trending #1.
Fans chanting “Joey Killer” at Page. Janela throws Page in to a Cracker Barrell. Janela tries pushing the barrell Donkey Kong style at Page, but he dodges it pretty well. Hell of a lariat from Page! He gets a table out, and sets it up on the outside. They tease a superplex from the top through the table. Janela sets up a ladder on the ring apron to the cracker barrell. He places Page on the ladder, he climbs the top and Page gets back up and stops it. He gets Janela in a torture wrack position, then launches himself and Janela in to the ladder. Commentary say it was “disgusting” to watch again. Page brings a black bag in to the ring.
Penelope gets involved and Page tries hitting her, but she dodges matrix style. She gives him a stunner. She doesn’t let it up and places Page on the table on the outside. Janela recovers and throws himself through the table with Page on it! “This is Awesome”. They fight up the ramp way. Joey and Penelope set up two more tables, this time in the entrance way. Page counters and powerbombs Janela through just one of the tables. Back in the ring, Penelope breaks up a pin-fall. She’s got the bag now. Page grabs it off her, then empties it, revealing the cursed boots which had spoken to him. He decks Penelope for it.
Superkick from Janela gets a two. We get a ladder and a table in the ring, and Janela sets them up. He climbs the ladder with Page, looking to finish him off. Janela knocks him off, so Page looks in the black bag again and finds a white telephone. He climbs the ladder and hits Janela with it several times. He sets up Janela for the Right Of Passage and crashes through the table below. Page wins this street fight. And depending on who you ask, it was all up/downhill from there. Page’s attention turned to the screen, showing a “dead” Joey Ryan’s penis becoming erect, symbolizing a resurrection. A group of men wearing penis costumes made their way to ringside, and lined up to welcome the man himself. Page’s expression was priceless when Joey’s music hit.
Ryan made his way to the ring and confronted Page. He used the power of his dick to toss Page around the ring. He superkicked Page, then rolled him out so the bunch of dicks could carry him away. Should I be scared? Or happy? I’m not sure how to feel about this one. Confusing build. Nice hardcore action. Sweet finish. Love it or hate it aftermath. I like Joey Ryan, but I understand why some hate him using his dick as a weapon. Rating: Good
Jay Lethal backstage. Someone stops him and passes him a pair of familiar sunglasses. Lethal’s mannerisms change.
6. Flip Gordon vs. Jay Lethal (c) – ROH World Championship
Flip escorted to the ring by Brandi Rhodes because they are “friends”. BLACK MACHISMO! I marked out a little hearing the music, Lethal was one of my favourite characters back in the old TNA. Lethal came with “The Genius” Lanny Poffo, wearing one of Savage’s attires. Cary Silkin on hand to hold the ROH title before the match begins. Mega Powers-style handshake well received.
Jay Lethal to the outside taking off with Brandi. Black Machismo is assuming she is Miss Elizabeth. She tries moving back, but Lethal notices and brings her back to his corner. Some nice exchanges in the early going. Brandi tries to see to Flip on the outside, but Jay doesn’t like it. He chases her around the ring, and then inside. He picks her up Miss Elizabeth style and the fans pop. Brandi very lightly slaps him on the chest, which seems to knock Lethal out of character for a moment. The match continues with him no longer assuming she’s Miss Elizabeth.
Lethal tries to lock up, but Flip won’t stop kipping up. After Lethal fell to the outside, Gordon hit a cockscrew over the top rope. Gets him back in the ring, and hits another corkscrew. Lots of flips in to pins. Gordon hits a standing moonsault. A lull period as Gordon’s on offense but not much reaction from the crowd. Fans eventually start chanting for Lethal. Falcon Arrow gets Flip two. Genius gets up on the ring apron to get Lethal back in Macho Mode. He slaps Lethal on the chest and his demeanour changes again. Body Slam, followed by Macho Elbow Drop! And another! And a third! Gordon starts “hulking up”. YOU! Big Boot. Leg Drop!
Gordon keeps up the offense. Hits a standing shooting star press, followed by another corkscrew moonsault for a two-count. They teeter on the top turnbuckle, with Gordon trying to hit a hurricanrana. He fell off to the apron, and jumped back up beside Lethal, who countered in to a diving cutter! Lethal Injection! 1-2-3. A decent effort from Gordon. I think having Lanny Poffo at ringside helped a lot. They shook hands, and Gordon hugged Lethal. Bully Ray came out and took ’em both out! He hit them both with the chain. Lanny Poffo got in to stop Bully, but was kicked in the nuts. Bully smiles as he sets up a table. Colt Cabanas out and spears Bully! A nod to The Shield, Lethal and Flip lifted Bully up for Cabana to powerbomb him through the table! Rating: Very Good
7. Kenny Omega vs. Penta El Zero (Pentagon Jr.)
“Cero Miedo!”. Huge pop for Omega as well. Big match feel. Penta tries to Cero Miedo Kenny, but gets slapped. Penta responds with a spin kick, then headlocks. Kenny shoots him off with a whip and goes for a sequence but Penta surprises him. Kenny goes to the outside and Penta follows. Back in the ring, Penta hits a hell of a backbreaker. Beautiful. Omega shows he can do lucha as well, with a standing hurricanrana. Slingblade by Penta. Kenny rolls out and Penta flips over the rope on to him. Penta keeps getting the better of Kenny on the outside. Powerslam on the floor. Kenny’s finding it difficult. Big overhand chop to Kenny’s chest. Penta starts working on Kenny’s leg.
Kenny takes advantage of Penta’s playing to the crowd. He rolls Penta to the floor, then attempts a moonsault which is countered by Penta’s knees. Tornado DDT by Omega. Top rope springboard to the outside! Really well done. Missile dropkick to Penta. Kenny drops Penta on his head and gets a 2. Several counters ends with a discus clothesline to Penta. Penta gets out of the one-winged angel. He nails him with a backcracker. Both take some time to recover. Penta up first. Kenny clothesline, then a death valley driver for 2. Kenny hit the V-Trigger, then lifts Penta to the top turnbuckle. Penta resisting. Kenny gets caught up and Penta comes down with the double stomp. They exchange in the middle of the ring. Kenny hits another V-Trigger! Penta no-sells and taunts Cero Miedo!
Penta asks for another and Kenny delivers. Again, Penta tries to taunt Kenny, so he gets annoyed and powerbombs him. V-Trigger to the chin! Penta gets the ropes to break up the pin. Back up to their feet, Penta reverses and sets him up for the package piledriver, Kenny counters but walks in to the Pentagon Driver! Close to 3. Fans on their feet. They roll to the apron and stand up. Exchanging blows. Package piledriver on the apron! “Holy S**T”. Back in the ring, Penta double stomps him. Weak cover lets Kenny escape. “All In” chant. Kenny hits a spinning package piledriver! Only 2. Another V-Trigger! Penta escapes the One Winged Angel.
Penta goes to break Kenny’s arm, and snaps it! Another package piledriver! How is it only 2?? The crowd loves it and are on their feet. “All In”. Penta kicks him. V-Trigger! Reverse hurricanrana for two. Kenny V-Triggers again. One Winged Angel! We got a pin-fall! A classic match between two of the best in the world today. But wait .. the lights have gone out. Commentators apologize for the technical difficulties. Lights are back on. Penta is up again. He goes crazy on Kenny and stomps him in the corner. The crowd pops as he hits the codebreaker! He unmasks .. it’s Chris Jericho! He’s done it again! Hits him with another codebreaker. Y2J gets a microphone and tells Omega he’ll see him at the Jericho cruise. Just to top it all off, Jericho had a go at the commentary table and sent his friend Don Callis falling to the floor. What more can be said? Rating: Excellent
8. Marty Scurll vs. Kazuchika Okada
Backstage segment with Scurll snapping two guys fingers for fun. Tiger Hattori is the guest referee. Of course, fans couldn’t resist the “woop woop” during The Villain’s entrance. Okada came out and man .. that’s a warm reception. The fans appreciate Okada for finding time to work shows like All In. Slow start. Okada seems to look down at Scurll literally and figuratively. Okada mocks Scurll. They wrestle, and Scurll gets the better of him. Marty asks Okada for a shoulder block. Scurll starts playing to the crowd.
After Okada’s knocked to the outside, Scurrl hit a suicide dive and the fans liked it. Okada’s in unfamiliar territory. Scurll gets Okada in the ring and works the arm. Okada fights back and smoothly hits a neckbreaker. The match pace is methodical. Okada DDTs Scurll on the floor. Okada taking his time to punish Scurll. He lets Scurll get up and chop him. Okada laughs at his pitiful chops. Okada smashes him with an elbow. They have a long test of strength, which Marty eventually counters in to a backbreaker. The pace quickens, as Scurll takes Okada off his feet. Swinging DDT by Scurll for a 2. Tiger’s counting slow apparently. Okada connects with some flying elbows. Another DDT by Okada, for 2. Much faster pace now, as they run back and forth connecting with big blows.
Scurll tries to fake a kick to throw Okada off, but it doesn’t work and Okada gets a shot in. Marty runs in to an uppercut. Okada goes to suplex, but Marty counters with a brainbuster! Okada looks dazed. Marty wasting so much time playing to the crowd. Marty psyches himself up, but it backfires as Okada hits a unique shoulder breaker for 2. Okada up on the top turnbucle, Scurll jumps and uppercuts. Okada tries punching him off, but Scurll refuses. Scurlll hits a superplex! “Heavyweight” chant for Scurll. Stiff strikes to Okada. Pin-fall combinations. A really close one on Okada! Powerbomb pin on Okada for two.
Okada dropkicks Scurll to the corner. Okada goes to the top, hitting Scurll with a shotgun dropkick. Tombstone on Scurll … Rainmaker! Camera pans out. Okada mocks Scurll by saying “2 .. 0 .. 5”. Scurrl doesn’t like that and snaps his fingers. Marty runs the ropes and turns in to a perfect Okada dropkick. Okada misses The Rainmaker, and Scurll gets behind him to lock in a submission. Okada refuses and backpacks him down to the mat. Submission! Okada’s in trouble. He rolls out. Okada misses Scurll and takes out Hattori. Scurll gets the umbrella out and hits Okada with it. Scurll uses The Rainkaker on Okada! But it’s only a 2-count! What’s it going to take?? Scurll goes for Turn out the Lights, but Okada hits The Rainmaker! “This is Awesome!”
Okada can’t capatilize. He recovers and Scurll asks him for more. Okada laughs at Scurll again. Marty asks for more and spits at him. Marty tries to snap his fingers, but Okada counters in to the Rainmaker! And to be sure, he hits it again! And there’s literally no aftermath as the crews come in to clean up the ring.
I don’t mean to get any hate for this, but there was something odd about the match. It felt like Okada didn’t want to be there, almost like it was an afterthought. To Marty it’s the biggest match of his career, but yet, I have to question the lull periods. Apparently they ran 12 minutes longer than scheduled, and it’s clear why. They were trying to sell a story, I get that, but the deliberate slow pace made the first half hard to watch after seeing Omega & Penta. It picked up a lot in the second half, and there were times you could almost believe Scurrl would win .. but it’s Okada. We all know it takes an extroadinary effort to take him down, and Marty’s not up to the task yet. A great experience for my fellow Brit, I’m sure. Rating: Very Good
9. Rey Mysterio, Rey Fenix & Bandido vs. The Golden Elite
Due to time constraints, the main event started ASAP. Waiting a long time for Rey’s team to come out. Rey Fenix is out first, followed by Bandido. Mysterio out wearing Wolverine inspired gear. Last entrance of the night, Matt & Nick Jackson with Kota Ibushi. Matt vs. Bandido to start out. Some fast and furious action early on, with Bandido getting the upperhand via a cockscrew. Matt goes to clothesline Bandido but he flips over in to a handstand. He’s very good, I like him already. He hurricanranas Matt to the floor, and follows up with a dive over the top; landing on his feet. Nick blind tags in and The Young bucks team up on Bandido with a double hip toss and dropkick.
Rey Fenix tags in and double crossbodies The Bucks. Fenix kicks and strikes them, then grabs Nick’s arm. He almost botches a springing arm drag off the ropes, but recovers and does it anyway. Fenix rolls and jumps in to Nick with a cutter outta’ nowhere. Nick escapes Fenix and tags in Ibushi. Fenix tags in Mysterio. The crowd pops as we get the chance to see Mysterio vs. Ibushi. Such speed as one tries to outwit the other. Rey gets the better with a hurricanrana. They keep trying to get each other, but the other counters. They’re both unsure on how to proceed. Rey flies at Kota but he kicks him out of the air. Matt Jackson in, and Rey gets him set up for a swingng DDT. Rey tags in Fenix. Matt hits some kind of Spanish fly move on Fenix.
Matt tags in Kota and Fenix tags in Bandido. They exchange hard strikes. Bandido sweeps him, then misses a standing shooting press. Ibushi uses his kicks to get the advantage. Kota hits a standing moonsault footstomp .. impressive. Fenix comes in to help Bandido, but Kota surprises them with a double bicycle kick! Nick Jackson tagged in, and he kicks away at Fenix & Bandido. Bulldog/Clothesline combination. Some crazy dives from top turnbuckles from Nick Jackson and Kota Ibushi. Only Rey is active on the lucha team, and he hits a springboard hurricanrana on Matt, whol roles to the outside. Asai Moonsault on The Golden Elite! Mysterio is in control. Fenix hits a twirly, whirly flip over the ropes on to Golden Elite. Bandido does his own flip and takes everyone out! “All In”.
They head back to the entrance way. Matt does a sick cannonball off it. They get Bandido back in the ring and start hitting their big double team moves. Only 2 though. They got for a triple super kick on Bandido, but he reverses in to a triple hurricanrana! He tags Mysterio in. He sets Matt up for the 619. Matt catches him and they set him up for the spike piledriver. Fenix literally runs across the rope and kicks Ibushi in the face! Fenix helps Rey set Matt up for the .. 619! Fenix hits his version of a Canadian Destroyer. Bandido drops him with a reverserana. Fenix and Bandido cannonball Nick and Kota on the outside. Rey hits the Frog Splash! But Matt kicks out! Matt somehow recovers and fights the luchadors off. He ends up on the top turnbuckle with Bandido. Backflipping blockbuster by Bandido! Nick saves his brother. Superkick on Bandido! Superkick on everyone! Moonsault, moonsault, 450 on Bandido.
Fenix brakes it up, but only just. Young Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver on Bandido and win this main event. The commentators literally have seconds to thank everyone before they are forced off the air. Considering the time constraints, the match was pretty good. They had to pick up the pace and get as much in as possible, which suits lucha libre and the Young Bucks. So they lost 12 minutes, but I don’t feel robbed by that. It was a solid main event with less filler than usual. Rey looked awesome. I was already a fan of Fenix. Bandido made a new fan in me. I’m not sure why this match was the main event specifically, but I’m glad we lost time on this and not a singles match. Rating: Very Good
This was a win for professional wrestling. It showed that an event focused on wrestling could draw. It proved many promotions could come together and produce magic. It gives hope for a brighter future, with other events like All In bringing the world together for wrestling. The wrestlers seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the fans were vocal. The best matches got the “All In” chant out of them. There were some audio, lighting, and timing issues, but this is to be expected on a first-time out. Now they have the experience, they can do it again better, and smoother. There were also issues streaming the event from certain platforms, which is another thing they could clear up.
There were limits on booking as well. For example, there were only two titles defended, one of which didn’t have much hype due to the #1 contender being decided on the same night. The most hyped match happened early, which could be seen as Cody not wanting to take too much of the spotlight on his own show. He clearly had to have the title change agreed upon with Billy Corgan and the NWA before it could happen. And I’m sure they wouldn’t mind, as it brings prestige back to the coveted title. The main thing that All In did, was bring wrestling fans back to watch good old-fashioned wrestling matches without the unnecessary filler. Women were showcased very well, and all promotions got their talents over in some way. In what’s supposed to be a “hard month for promoting” (Vince McMahon), All In defied the odds and delivered everything and more.
I could be nitpicky and say they should’ve dropped a match to allow the others more time, but I don’t think it mattered too much. The point was delivering as much wrestling as possible and give opportunities for the talent to showcase their skills on a bigger stage. Also, I have to compliment the choice of commentary team, as well interviews, announcers, and other cameo roles from wrestling legends. They were there, but they didn’t take up too much time from those on the card. There’s a lot to look forward too, and let’s hope All In 2018 sets a precedent which could go on to being something special. Could All In become the Wrestlemania of the indy scene? Could the indy scene grow to the point it can challenge the big, scary monopoly held by WWE?
I don’t watch PPVs outside WWE or Impact often. I always catch Wrestle Kingdom, and this years was great. It’s hard to compare, but I think All In rivals it. The mix of talent was far better at All In, and better served to an English-speaking audience. For all the work put in by Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, ROH, NJPW, Impact, and everyone else involved in All In, all I can do is thank them for putting in the effort and working together so well. There could have been drama. There could have been controversy. But instead, everyone came together to celebrate wrestling. Because if they can’t, then no one else will. I rate this event Excellent based on the example it sets for future generations. All In could be the turning point, and this weekend we witnessed history. Cheers for staying with me through all this. It’s taken hours to write up, and I’m glad I’ve been able to cover this historic event in detail. Thanks for reading.