Hello! Today I’ll be working on back-to-back articles to cover All In with more details and opinions. I’m splitting it up because some may not care too much about the pre-show, but I’d feel bad not covering it. There were two matches on Zero Hour, one of which I did not get to see live due to technical difficulties. I’ll be re-watching the entire PPV as I go, to refresh my mind and fill in the blanks.
I’m not going to rate matches out of five stars like Meltzer. Instead, I’ll rate matches with the following terms, from worst to best: Terrible, Poor, Good, Very Good, and Excellent.
The show began with a shot of the titantron, before panning to the audience. The Golden Elite and Cody entered with custom “All In” belts, claiming they only had 90 seconds to say hi to everyone. Matt Jackson asked the audience if they should blow the budget right at the beginning with tons of pyro, and the fans were receptive. He counted to 3 for the pyros to go off .. and they didn’t, which the audience didn’t like. Matt said it’s their first show and he might have forgot to pay the pyro guy. They tried counting again, and on 3 the pyros went off this time. They weren’t huge, but it was something at least.
Next up, Nick said every big wrestling show should have a cameo from a legend. Matt got the mic and said “WHAT A RUSH”, before Road Warrior Animal came out riding a Harley. Matt asked the audience if they like free merch, before bringing out guys from Pro Wrestling tees to give fans what they want. They quickly cut away for the next thing, a commercial for Pro Wrestling Tees with Joey Ryan. After this, we go straight to the first match of the night. Commentary team includes: Don Callis (Impact), Ian Riccaboni (ROH) and Excalibur (PWG).
Briscoes vs. SoCal Uncensored: Kaz and Scorpio Sky out first. Sky got a mic and said “Chicago! This is the worst town ..”. Kaz got the fans to chant SCU, before the brothers entered. Commentary told us the Over The Budget battle royal will include almost 30 wrestlers, instead of the originally scheduled 15.
Briscoes clearly the heels as they cheap shot SCU early. They work Kazarian over as the fans chant SCU. Sky in, and SCU get their first offense in. I’ve not seen Scorpio Sky in a while, but he seems to have picked up an Apollo Creed gimmick. All In already trending on Twitter. Briscoes take the advantage again, which gets the fans fired up behind SCU. Kaz eventually gets the hot tag and takes out the brothers. A nice northern lights suplex on one brother while pinning the other. SCU stand tall after a few athletic moves to the outside. A big flip from Sky to the outside. A pair of cutters followed by simultaneous dragon sleepers! Jay rakes the eyes, then brawls with Kaz. Brothers found a way out of danger and took the advantage back.
Referee allowing a lot of double teaming. Scorpio rams Mark in to the barricade. Nice tornado DDT on Jay. They set up Mark for the finish but Jay has other ideas. A bunch of close pin-falls, and the crowd are enjoying it. Doomsday Device reversed in to a powerslam pin! Scorpio Sky stops Mark from breaking it up .. a pin-fall win for SCU! Commentators call it an upset. Nothing on the line, but a solid victory for the rising team. Surprised the Briscoes were defeated so easily. Regardless, it did the job of getting the crowd in to the show: Good
Next up is Alicia Atout interviewing Kenny Omega backstage with no mics. Kenny is on his tip toes and Alicia is trying to look smaller. He mentions they shouldn’t need to do that, so “keep it casual”. Omega mentions his and Pentagon’s accomplishments, including his opponents “TNA” World Heavyweight title win. “We are wrestlers of the people”. “Let’s Live Forever”. He thanks his fans before saying goodnight. A rather lackadaisical promo. It wasn’t always easy to hear him, and if you could, he didn’t seem interested in selling Pentagon as a threat.
Next up is a video package hyping Cody vs. Aldis for the NWA title. Clips of former NWA Champions was a nice touch. Over Budget Battle Royal up next!
Over Budget Battle Royal: Bully Ray enters. An injured Dalton Castle is at the commentary table. The winner gets a shot at the ROH title later in the night. Billy Gunn and The Hurricane can be found in the ring. Ray goes extreme and bombs a luchador through a table. Tons of spots on the outside, with Cabana getting the most benefit. Tommy Dreamer’s in there as well. Gunn & Dreamer tease a suicide dive, before taking it easy and jumping elbows at the competition (Holy S**T!). Moose goes on a punching spree. A big group suddenly converges to try eliminate the big man. The group keeps trying to eliminate, but Super Moose holds on. While Moose plays to the crowd, the smallest man Marko Stunt dropkicked and eliminated him! Stunt was knocked out of the ring (not eliminated) immediately after by Punishment Martinez.
Hurricane comes close to getting rid of Bully. Marko back in, but soon runs in to Bully. He’s almost eliminated by accident, but Bully holds on to his head and saves him. He chops him, then Marko quietly falls to the floor. Cutler’s out. Baretta and Chuckie T hug it out after some awesome double team offense on Jimmy Jacobs. Martinez breaks up the hug and eliminates both! After getting the better of Martinez, Rocky Romero goes on a clothesline flurry. Brian Cage steps in and stops it by eliminating Romero. Cheeseburger takes it to Cage! Never thought I’d see that.
Cheeseburger channels Liger til Cage grabs and F-5s him to the outside. Oof .. Martinez & Cage staredown. Standup hurricanrana on Martinez! Headscissor Takedown on Cage! My god .. Cage sends Martinez in to the hands of The Hurricane, chokeslam time! Chokeslam on Cage! Ethan Page stops a chokeslam, but Hurricane no-sells a kick to the head. Ethan Page & Hurricane fight on the apron, til Page boots him in the face; eliminating the super hero. Cabana surprises Page and eliminates him. Dreamer gets extreme and throws weapons in the ring! EC-DUB! EC-DUB!
Cookie tray and trash can shots for everyone! Martinez won’t go down though .. and chokes Dreamer. Tommy gets out of it by biting his hand. He channels Dusty before giving Martinez the Death Valley Driver. While he gets fan support, Bully smashes him in the face with a trash can and eliminates his ECW brother, much to the disdain of the fans.
Seems Marko wasn’t eliminated earlier, as he tries standing up to the far bigger Bully Ray. Markos offense does nothing. Bully tries to powerbomb Marko, but Billy Gun literally steals Marko and uses him as a weapon. Billy’s son Austin Gunn targets Bully as well. Austin tells Jacobs to “suck it”. Jacobs grabs his nuts, which wasn’t the instruction given. Jacobs and Martinez form an alliance on Austin. Jacobs hits the 5-knuckle shuffle. Jacobs tells Austin to suck it and tries for the pedigree. Billy saves his son, but Jimmy ends up kissing him. Billy tells Jacobs to “suck this bitch”, before eliminating him. Martinez and Billy brawl. Austin surprises Martinez and eliminates him! Billy and Austin hug it out, but Bully hits Billy with the trash can and eliminates his son in brutal fashion! Bully tells Austin to suck it, then Billy tells Bully to suck it before hitting the Fame Asser (famouser .. I can’t remember how it’s spelt). Cage and Billy Gunn staredown.
After some hits, Cage lifts Gunn up for the gorilla slam .. then throws him out. Marko Stunt goes for Cage, who throws him up in the air .. Marko reversing with an amazing codebreaker (?) move, just before being eliminated by Bully. Only Brian Cage, Bully Ray, Jordynn Grace and Colt Cabana left in the ring. Grace stands up to Cage! Grace lifts Cage up on to her shoulders and tries to squat lift him, but it’s too much. Cage literally tosses her over his shoulder. Buckle bomb. Cage misses a clothesline and gets on the buckle. Grace powerbombs Cage! She eliminates Cage!! The fans erupt. She stands up to Bully. He rakes her eyes, then sets her up on the buckle. She pushes him off, and Cabana’s there to set Bully up for the “WASSSUUUP!”
Graces tries to eliminate Bully but he reverses and sends her out. Just Bully and Cabana left in the ring. Cabana uses a chair on Bully, then tries eliminating him. But Bully did the same to him as he did to Grace and Cabana’s gone. Sigh. Bully celebrates in the ring as the fans boo. Chico El Luchador is back in! Remember the guy Bully bombed through the table at the start? Chico unmasks and is revealed to be Flip Gordon! He eliminates Bully and he celebrates becoming the #1 contender to the ROH World Championship.
Half of the names were not announced in advance, so it was a (too) sweet blend of old & new. I was impressed with Marko Stunt, as well as a few others who could’ve easily featured on the main card. Bully was a haunting presence, and Billy Gunn looked as good as ever. Even Hurricane got a few good spots in. Jordynn Grace was exceptional, and I’d like to see more of her in the near future. The battle royal could’ve been saved for the main card, that’s how good it was. The winner wasn’t easy to predict, and it gave a newer face the opportunity to shine on a big stage. With all that said, i’ll rate it: Very Good
Commentators asked us to order All In before advertising the main card. I didn’t catch it live, but they told us the six-man tag was the main event. Zero Hour was not a pre-show you wanted to miss, so if you couldn’t see it due to technical difficulties or having other commitments, I’d highly recommend it. I’ll be leaving for now, and getting something to eat .. before turning my attention to the main card. Might take a few hours as there’s a lot to cover. I’ll try to finish it before the end of Raw. Thanks for joining me, and see you again soon.