By Anish Vishwakoti, Prowrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
Join John Moore for live coverage of All In on Saturday beginning with the Zero Hour special as it airs on WGN America at 5CT/6ET. Jason Powell will be by on Sunday with his members’ exclusive audio review of the event.
The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi vs. Rey Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido: As of right now, the advertised main event for All-In is set to be promoters Matt and Nick Jackson, and Kota Ibushi of the Golden Elite, taking on the Lucha Libre trio of Rey Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido. Considering that this is a very unique show, it does make sense that the main event features the Young Bucks who have been a staple in the independent scene for so long, as opposed to either of the championship matches that will be on the card.
Because neither Fenix nor Bandido have been featured that heavily on Being The Elite, the build up for this match has been mostly between the Bucks and Mysterio. They don’t have TV time or even the YouTube time to build this rivalry, so this match feels like it’s there to simply be a showcase for these six guys. The fact that it is in the main event as opposed to Cody vs. Aldis for the NWA title seems strange, but as with this whole show I feel the sell of the match is in the fans faith in the Youngs Bucks to have great matches. Overall, I see this match sending the crowd home happy with the Young Bucks and Ibushi taking it to Rey and crew and eventually getting the victory.
The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi win.
Nick Aldis vs. Cody for the NWA Championship: Over the past few months, this match has been getting the most serious and lengthy build on the card, both on Being The Elite, the NWA’s Youtube series, and ROH television. Because it has been confirmed that this is not the main event, it changes the way I look at the match. If this was closing the show I might have been more inclined to predict Cody winning the title and ending the show with confetti and fireworks. Since it isn’t the last match, I am leaning towards Aldis retaining.
This is one of those times where my prediction is also slightly predicated on real life as opposed to solely on the build between the two. With this being a show run by the Bucks and Cody, I don’t see these three guys all going over. The build between Aldis and Cody has been very interesting, and they’ve absolutely sold the match as if it could go either way. Aldis has held the championship since December of 2017 and since completing his ‘Aldis Crusade’ of 20 defenses has set his eyes firmly on defending the title against Cody at All In.
Ultimately, while it would be a very intriguing moment for ROH star Cody to capture the NWA Championship just over 39 years after his father did, I don’t see it happening. I believe Cody will come close to winning the title here but will be foiled by Flip Gordon, who has been a large part of Being The Elite over the last year or so. After failing time and time again to get ‘booked’ on All In, including losing an NWA Title match to Aldis, I see Flip interfering in this match and costing Cody the title.
Nick Aldis retains the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
Jay Lethal vs. Over The Budget Battle Royale Winner (My Prediction – Brian Cage) for the Ring Of Honor World Championship: The second Championship match on the show will be Jay Lethal defending his Ring Of Honor Championship. Unlike the NWA Title match, this one feels like it will have more of a focus on entertaining the crowd, although not to say in any way that Lethal and his opponent won’t put on a great wrestling match. However, Lethal’s character on BTE recently has been going through a storyline in which Lethal’s ‘Black Machismo’ character has resurfaced and has been taking control of the ROH Champion.
Cage and Lethal have both shown in their careers that they can do both great comedic and serious wrestling. Given the circumstances, I see the match going the way of Cage trying to have a serious match and capture the title, while Lethal battles his own alter ego. Undoubtedly we will see some Macho Man spots such as Elbows and some promos. All this being said, I don’t think that ROH will really want their title being won by a non-ROH wrestler, and therefore I see the end of the match coming by Lethal overcoming ‘Black Machismo’ and defeating Cage and his alter ego to retain the championship.
Jay Lethal retains the ROH Championship.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr. in a non-title match: This match has happened before, but at All In it does feel like a fresh match since both guys have done so much to elevate their place in the world of wrestling. It doesn’t have much build since Pentagon doesn’t overlap on any NJPW or ROH shows with Omega, but it doesn’t really feel like it needs the build.
The IWGP Heavyweight Champion taking on the Lucha Underground Champion is a great sell in and of itself. Add the fact that Omega could be considered the best wrestler of the past few years, and Pentagon has built a unique character for himself both on Impact and Lucha Underground and it just writes itself. This match should be fantastic, and the unique styles of both Omega and Pentagon should come together really well. Overall, I don’t see the IWGP Heavyweight Champion losing a singles match on All In, and Pentagon has the sort of character that can take a loss as long as the match is hard hitting.
Kenny Omega wins.
Marty Scurll vs. Kazuchika Okada: This match has had my personal favorite build over the past few months on BTE, ROH, and NJPW television. Scurll has put in some great performances on YouTube, having a very in-depth character arc. From originally believing that he’s a shoo-in to beat Okada, to doubting himself and desperately looking for advice anywhere he can to try and beat Okada, to ultimately finding the belief in himself that he can beat Okada even though he is a junior heavyweight.
A few months ago, it would be inconceivable to see Okada losing, however since he lost the IWGP Title to Omega, the Rainmaker has become a different person. The NJPW storyline has really come at a great time for All In’s purpose, as it has given Scurll winning an air of credibility. I don’t see this being the last match between the two, both because of the story they have been telling and because I’m sure they can have a great match. Therefore, I see Scurll using some sort of villainous tactic to beat Kazuchika Okada.
Marty Scurll wins.
Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell: Stephen Amell returns to the world of pro wrestling for his first ever singles match. Amell has previously garnered one victory in a tag team match with Neville over Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett at SummerSlam in 2015. Three years on, Amell who is now a member of the Bullet Club won’t have Neville, or indeed anyone to tag out to when facing Daniels.
The two have been exchanging promos on BTE over the past months, and funnily enough their ‘rivalry’ started as a result of Daniels framing Amell for the ‘murder’ of Joey Ryan on BTE. Since then, the feud has evolved, and Amell has been shown training with his former opponent, Cody Rhodes, in order to get revenge on Daniels for putting him through a table and ridiculing his attempts at breaking in to pro wrestling.
Amell showed that he knows how to entertain and is willing to put himself in harm’s way at SummerSlam and at ROH shows since then. Since he has also been training with Cody and will be facing Daniels, who is a phenomenal wrestler, I can see this being a very entertaining match. At the end of the day, I see Daniels winning clean, but then jumping Amell post-match along with Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian.
To come along and make the save, I see Neville making his return to the independent scene. It would make sense given Neville’s history with Amell, and since his contract with WWE just ran out, there is nothing stopping the former NXT Champion and WWE Cruiserweight Champion from being All In.
Christopher Daniels wins.
Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page in a Chicago Street Fight: The story of this match doesn’t really lie between Joey Janela and Hangman Page, but rather between Page and Joey Ryan, who was ‘killed’ by Page on BTE. I originally felt like this match would quickly lead into the Ryan vs. Page angle, however with the last-minute announcement of it being a street fight, I believe that they will get some time.
Considering none of the other matches have any crazy stipulations and considering the style of Janela, I see this match pulling out all the stops, foreign objects and anything else they can find to assist in the action. Because of the stipulation, I see them brawling throughout the arena and stage until eventually, Page gets the upper hand. Near the finish, I see interference from the ‘deceased’ Joey Ryan and a ‘dick flip’ or two later, Janela getting the victory with the assist.
Joey Janela wins, Joey Ryan is resurrected.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Britt Baker in a four-way: The only advertised women’s match features four extremely talented individuals and I could see any of them winning. There hasn’t been much build to the match on BTE so it’s hard to call. I’m totally guessing, but I’ll go with Blanchard, who is getting a big push in Impact Wrestling.
Tessa Blanchard wins.
ROH Tag Champions Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky in a non-title match: Before the match, we will probably see a promo by SCU about how Chicago is the worst city they have ever been in, and I could see them insulting the Briscoes as well. I believe that this will prompt the Briscoes to put their ROH Titles on the line, especially since the ROH Title is already on the line at All In.
All four men are extremely talented and should by all means have a good match. Because I don’t predict either of the singles titles changing hands at All In, I believe that the ROH Tag Team Titles will be won by SCU. Kazarian and Sky have been a key part of BTE and I think that with how popular they are, ROH will be happy with them winning the titles from The Briscoes, who have been champions since March.
SoCal Uncensored defeats The Briscoe Brothers for the ROH Tag Team Championships.
Over Budget Battle Royal for an ROH Title shot later in the night: The advertised entrants are Brian Cage, Jordynne Grace, Moose, Rocky Romero, Colt Cabana, Ethan Page, Billy Gunn, Jimmy Jacobs, Marko Stunt, Punishment Martinez, Brandon Cutler. With four empty slots and the already announced names already presenting some juicy match-ups, I have no doubt that this will be a fun way to open All In.
Ultimately, I see Cage winning, because of how big a name he is, and because he and Lethal have never had a one on one match. I think that of all the potential opponents for Lethal, Cage makes the most sense for a card like All In. I’m not sure I can see a surprise entrant winning. Some people believe that Flip Gordon will be in this match, but after the weeks of build-up I can’t see them simply putting him in a Battle Royal.
I also can’t think of any huge name that would make sense for this slot. I don’t think Chris Jericho will make an appearance as I feel he is committed to solely working for NJPW when not with WWE. And because of Lethal’s story on BTE, I don’t see Jericho, the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, coming in to work Black Machismo.
While the CM Punk rumors have been rampant for All In, it does seem an underwhelming prospect for his grand return to wrestling to be in a Battle Royale. Therefore, I don’t buy into that.
Brian Cage wins and challenges Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship.
Check below for All In wrestler Britt Baker’s appearance on the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast, which includes Jason Powell’s predictions for the event.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...