By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
All In “Zero Hour”
Aired live on September 1, 2018 on WGN America
Chicago, Illinois at Sears Centre
All In started off with the Bullet Club video wall on the big screen as the Being the Elite YouTube theme played. Cody [Rhodes], Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson made their entrance as Cody welcomed the crowd to All In. Cody and The Bucks went into their forth wall breaking humor by teasing pyro and it not popping up at first. Eventually the Sparklers and fireworks went off. Nick said a wrestling legend was coming, it was Road Warrior Animal who drove in from the side on a motorcycle. Matt called out Hot Topic representatives who shot out free merchandise to the crowd. A Pro Wrestling Tees ad aired…
Ian Ricaboni, Excalibur, and Don Callis were on commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer. Scorpio Sky and Kaz cut a promo where they did their typical tongue in cheek cheap heat, but then went into praising the historic nature of All In…
John’s Thoughts: Not the biggest budget thing, but there is that NWO PPV special type feel which isn’t a bad thing. I have a feeling that this could be a lot better than those WCW NWO or WWE DX PPVs which were a little too much praising those factions rather than praising pro wrestling.
1. “SoCal Uncensored” Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. “The Briscoes” Jay and Mark Briscoe in a non-title match. The commentators acknowledge SCU’s Apollo Creed and Rocky attire. The Briscoes put the boots to Kaz early on in the match. Mark and Kaz were the first in when things settled but The Briscoes cut the ring in half with quick tags. Sky took down both opponents with a dropkick and headscissors to start a kick rally. Kaz caught Jay with a corner slingshot dropkick. It was time for SCU to control the ring. Mark tried to get a roundhouse in to get control but Sky didn’t get fazed. Mark turned the tables with an inside out Lariat. The Briscoes went into the isolation.
Jay hit Sky with a twisting Suplex for a nearfall. The Briscoes maintained their isolation game. Sky tried to fend off both Briscoes with right hands but The Briscoes found efficient ways to get their quick tags in to keep the ring cut in their favor. Sky managed to get the hot tag in after hitting one of the briscoes with a huracanrana. Kaz came in with the hot tag and took down both opponents. Kaz got a good double nearfall with a rollup into a Northern Lights on both Briscoes. Kaz hit Mark with a legdrop. Sky sent Jay out with a belly to belly. Kaz hit Mark with a inside-out huracanrana to start a SCU chant. Sky hit both Briscoes with a Tope Con Hilo.
Mark and Jay managed to regain control with high impact moves. Mark hit a facebuster on Kaz for a nearfall. Jay took out Sky at ringside. After hitting a Redneck Boogie from the ground Jay went for a super version of the move but Sky escaped the corner with a Frankensteiner. Frankie hit Mark with an assisted Tornado DDT. Frankie then hit Jay with a nice assisted backstabber. Mark and Jay hit Kaz with the Froggie Bow and Jay Driller combo. The Briscoes went for a Doomsday Device but Frankie reversed it into a super power slam for the surprise victory.
SCU defeated the Briscoes via pinfall in 12:33.
The commentators ran through some of the upcoming segments… [c]
John’s Thoughts: This was sorta expected given the non-title nature of the match. It was logical to give SCU the win to set up a title match on ROH television. A lot of wrestling fans are familiar with the Briscoes but this was a good introduction to SCU to new fans who haven’t been keeping up with Ring of Honor. SCU managed to come out as cool babyfaces despite their excessive love for Southern California (that’s a face move to me though. I know, damn Californians).
The Bucks managed to have All In and Pro Wrestling Tees commercials spliced into the regular WGN commercials…
Alicia Atout (I’m assuming she has a last name here. I also found out that “Atout” is pronounced like the Canadian About, A-boot) interviewed Kenny Omega backstage. Kenny joked about Alicia going split leg and wearing slippers to look shorter than Kenny. The sound was a bit rough due to the hallway acoustic. Kenny talked up the battle between a former Impact against an IWGP Champion. Kenny talked about being familiar with Pentagon’s work and talked about how Kenny is fueled by the fans. Kenny said he wants to make this a night people will remember… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m guessing an interview boom mic wasn’t in the budget? I’m kidding somewhat, the cheap audio here gives this event more of a charming grassroots feel and it wasn’t offensive.
A music video highlight package aired hyping the Nick Aldis vs. Cody match for the NWA Heavyweight Championship… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Random thought, It would be cool if the main show had Dave Lagana as a production consultant. That guy has a great attention to production detail even with minimal equipment. BTdubs, they just keep going to commercials, but this technically an All In infomercial…
All the wrestlers were already at ringside for the Battle Royal. I don’t think the crowd was booing the Ring of Honor Championship but rather Bully Ray who was making his entrance….
2. The Over the Budget Battle Royal. I’m not going to try to say everyone who is here. Bully Ray pulled people from under the rope and beat them up outside. Trent Barretta gave Bully a suicide dive after Chucky T was pulled out. Madness ensued until Colt Cabana hit a portion of people with a Asai Moonsault. Jimmy Jacobs and Rocky Romero pummeled Cabana. Billy Gunn and Tommy Dreamer teased a suicide dive but instead hit a mild dive by walking out. Moose was eliminated after he got a sequence. All Ego Ethan Page got a cutter onto someone. Page blocked elimination from the Best Friends. Cage hit Dreamer with his signature deadlift suplex. Cutler hit Stunt with a Five Second Ride.
More madness ensued. Marco Stunt and Brandon Cutler were both eliminated. Romero saved the Best Friends due to their RPG vice relationship. Jimmy Jacobs was hit by a long dart cutter from the Best Friends. Punishment Martinez eliminated Best Friends during their hug. Rocky Romero avenged his friend with a huracanrana. Romero then hit many people with his signature non-stop lariats in the corner. Cage eliminated Romero. Cheeseburger was caught midair by Cage but Burger escaped and hit everyone with his palm strikes. Cage recovered and F5’d Burger outside to eliminated him.
Punishment and Cage had a standoff and brawl. Cage showed off his agility with a huracanrana. Punishment came back with a huracanrana and heel kick. Cage and Martinez blocked chokeslams which allowed Hurricane Helms to hit both Cage and Martinez with chokeslams. Hurricane couldn’t chokeslam the heavy Ethan Page. Dreamer and Punishment put Hurricane and Page on the apron.
After a brawl, Ethan eliminated Helms. Cabana eliminated Ethan with a forearm. Dreamer was wearing polka dots again by the way and he went into his Bionic Elbow spot on Punishment. Bully Ray elminated Dreamer. Marko stunt returned for revenge on Bully but Bully no sold the moves.Billy Ray got control and told Jimmy Jacobs to suck it. Jacobs crotch clawed Gunn. Jacobs wore a corset and tutu. Jacobs kissed Gunn. Gunn yelled “suck this bitch” and eliminated Jacobs. Bully Ray eliminated Austin Gunn. Billy Gunn gave Bully a fameasser. Cage and Billy had a standoff punch battle. Riccaboni clearified that Marko Stunt wasn’t eliminated.
John’s Thoughts: Jimmy Jacobs did more in his limited time here than he’s done character-wise during his entire Impact run.
Stunt hit an impressive lungblower on Cage. Stunt was then tossed like a basketball to the outside. Cage and Jordan Grace had a battle. Cage reversed Grace’s impressive deadlift into a Fireman Carry. Jordan hit Cage with a running power bomb.. Cage then eliminated Cage with a lariat. Bully Ray was shoved off the top rope by Grace. Grace and Cabana hit Bully with the What’s Up. Bully Ray and Cabana were the last two in the ring. Cabana dodged a top rope senton. Cabana hit Bully with a chair. Bully eliminated Cabana with a toss. “El Hijo de Chico” who wasn’t eliminated since Bully power bombed him early in the match, returned and revealed he was Flip Gordon. Flip Gordon eliminated Bully.
Flip Gordon won the Over the Budget Battle Royal in 17:06 to earn a title shot later on in the show for the Ring of Honor World Championship.
More commercials ensued… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A fun battle royal with plenty of abridged stories. Cage and Punishment Martinez had the spotlight from a serious perspective. The legends were your typical Billy Gunn and Tommy Dreamer appearances. Other than that it was essentially a Ring of Honor battle royal. I did like the Flip surprise because Flip was off my radar given the obvious Colt Cabana story they could resort to due to cheap hometown pop. This was a good payoff to the Flip is All Out storytline but I don’ t think it’s time for Flip to win the ROH title despite the long build to Flip getting in All In.
Ian Riccaboni welcomed Ring of Honor, New Japan, and Impact fans to the show. Riccaboni then ran through the show to transition to the main PPV…