Perkins’ Blog: Going ‘All Out’ with YEP I Like Wrestling

By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)

Hello friends and neighbors, it’s your resident Ring Bearer (I don’t care if I made my own nickname up…it’s cool) Nick Perkins and, as I write this, I am situated in the back of the bar at Jack Demsey’s Bar & Restaurant, getting ready to watch AEW All Out. This is AEW’s last show before their television program begins and we have to assume that they will be going, well, all out, with their production this evening. By the time you read this, the show will have already happened, but I will be writing my thoughts on the pay-per-view as they happen, so bare with me. This will be less of a play-by-play and more of a stream of consciousness. I will also be writing about my experience here at Jack Demsey’s, as the guys and gals behind Yep I Like Wrestling are putting on a watch party, featuring the APA’s own Ron Simmons. But enough about that. Let’s get to what we came here for – the wrestling!

  • The Casino Battle Royal or whatever it’s called is first up on the preshow.
  • Well, it certainly didn’t take long for AEW to abandon ‘The Librarian’ gimmick in favor of the much more profitable ‘Sexy Librarian’ gimmick.
  • Nyla Rose is a beast in all the best ways.
  • Britt Baker is a beauty.
  • See what I did there?
  • (That’s not to say she’s not extremely talented as well)
  • I really, really want Awesome Kong to get a solid run in AEW. She was a big fish in a small pond when she was in TNA, and she barely had a cup of coffee in WWE. ‘Cuz you’re not supposed to drink coffee when you’re pregnant.
  • The point is, she deserves at least one really good, really profitable run with a major company. Her exposure on GLOW should make her a viable wrestler for the company to get behind.
  • I’m pretty sure Brandi Rhodes is my favorite female character in wrestling right now.
  • Speaking of TNA…ODB!!!
  • Jazz! I want her to be the Amanda Waller of AEW. Comic book nerds will get the reference. The bitch is back, indeed.
  • I knew a girl named Mercedes Martinez back in high school. She was an asshole. This one is much better.
  • Remember the Disney Channel Original Movie, Alley Cats Strike?
  • That’s all.
  • Britt Baker doing a Canadian Destroyer is awesome.
  • That being said, I never thought we’d live in a world where the Destroyer becomes a move that gets overused. Somewhere, Petey Williams is crying into his mesh head dress.
  • Private Party is taking on Jack Evans and Angelico next. It promises to be the Mortal Kombat portion of the show.
  • Strike that. It’s the Tekken portion of the show, thanks to Private Party’s Eddy Gordo-esque maneuvers.
  • Forgive my lack of words. I’m just watching. I have a feeling that will be the case multiple times tonight.
  • That Buy In tag match was exactly what it needed to be to convince any late-time viewers to, well, buy in. It was clunky at times, but that’s to be expected with the amount of flips and flops and video game finishers that made up the match.
  • Now, the official show begins.
  • Excellent, basic video package to open the show. It really hit me just how many talented people this company has at their disposal.
  • Talent like S.C.U and unbelievably enough, Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Jungle Boy’s little brother.
  • HE’S JUST A LITTLE BOY!!
  • S.C.U. picks up the win after a double Tombstone, but not the kind you’d think. Meltzer Driver 3?
  • Oh wow. Kenny Omega vs Pac is the next match. I guess it makes sense, as you’d want to split up your main matches and this is the one that matters least.
  • Justin Roberts just called Pac a bastard. Not The Bastard. A Bastard. That’s rude.
  • Fun fact: I was about 25 years old when I found out I was a bastard. I was flipping through my parents’ wedding album and saw the date of their wedding was about 4 months before I was born. So, ya know. I’m working through some stuff.
  • When you can only rely on actual match quality to sell your match, you could do a lot worse than Omega and Pac.
  • Did Jim Ross just call Pac ‘a dumb bastard?’ I like wrestling.
  • And it’s like, I like good wrestling matches and high-impact moves as much as the next guy, but I’m just not sure a top rope dropkick to the head is a very bright move these days. Or like, ever.
  • Wowzer. Pac with a top rope moonsault to the outside. That was insane.
  • Kenny Omega is the best wrestler in the world.
  • Who keeps calling Pac, Pack on commentary? Ugh.
  • Okay so, you have a wrestler who has a ready-made blood feud with your biggest acquisition. Do you have his opponent, in his first match with the company, defeat him? No? Well, AEW does.
  • Whatever.
  • Next up is the triple threat match. I’m actually really looking forward to this match. Joey Janella is always entertaining and just keeps getting better with every appearance he makes. Jimmy Havoc is the same thing. But I really, really like Darby Allin. If you haven’t watched his mini doc on YouTube yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. He’s a fascinating young man and an incredible talent.
  • I kind of forgot this was a hardcore match. This could get ugly. Beautiful, but ugly.
  • I very recently visited Cracker Barrel. It wasn’t bad. Good meatloaf. Good chicken.
  • Joey Janella is about to hit somebody with a tennis racket. Oh wait, no he’s not. Why’d he act so weird about it?
  • …Ohhhh I get it. Heh. That’s funny.
  • Wow. A skateboard with thumb tacks. What will they think of next?
  • Oh, my goodness. That sunset flip to the outside table was gnarly.
  • The right guy went over. Typically, these kinds of hardcore matches are not my favorite. But this proved to be a fun match and, honestly, the match of the night so far.
  • I like the Best Friends, but I have absolutely zero interest in this match against The Dark Phoenix or whatever they’re called. I’m gonna go listen to Ron Simmons tell stories upstairs.
  • Update – Ron Simmons’ voice is as deep as you think it is. And he really likes football. And he thinks too many wrestlers are trying too hard to ‘steal the show.’ His argument, and it’s not a bad one, is that in order to have a successful show, you need to have an ebb and flow during the show’s entirety. Not every match can be a 5-star match, because where do you go from there? Words of wisdom from a true legend of the sport. I just wish he was drunk enough to let me play poker with him and then get hired to go beat up somebody. Sigh. Nothing good ever happens to me.
  • So anyway, Orange Cassidy is fun. And if you don’t think he’s entertaining, you take your wrestling too seriously. The dude did an entire run in with his hands in his pocket, looking like a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.
  • Simmons started talking again so I missed most of the women’s match. Sorry.
  • Shawn Spears vs Cody Rhodes is up next. I’m very much looking forward to it. This story is one that has been done very, very well and, depending on the result tonight, it could be one that continues for a few months to come.
  • Wow. Does Shawn Spears look like a star or what? I am so glad that he’s found new life in AEW. It’s all about presentation sometime and Spears has been presented very, very well.
  • MJF being one of Cody Rhodes’ corner men is fun.
  • But his ineptitude seems to be to the detriment of Cody. I hope this doesn’t lead to MJF turning on Rhodes. I think MJF being the biggest heel but still loyal to Cody is enormously complex and could lead to a lot of story paths going forward.
  • Shawn Spears backing down from Earl Hebner, only to flip him off behind is back is both hilarious and Heel 101. Thank you, Mr. Blanchard.
  • Dude. Cody just took a belt whip to the face. As a member of a family that did not spare the rod to spoil the child, I know firsthand how much a belt hurts.
  • I know that he’s the heel in this match, but I really want to see Tully Blanchard beat up MJF.
  • But not as much as I want Arn Anderson to come face-to-face with Tully.
  • Man. Double A has still got it.
  • MJF trying to fight an old man, while still technically being on the “good side,” is some of that complexity I was writing about earlier.
  • Why do Cody Rhodes matches always make me cry?? Rhodes throwing the chair away, only to channel the spirit of his father and deliver some Dusty elbows legit brought tears to my eyes. And looking around the bar, I’m not the only one.
  • Rhodes won, which kind of ends the story between he and Spears, yeah?
  • Please don’t turn, please don’t turn, please don’t turn.
  • MJF didn’t turn. Yet.
  • Tag team ladder match is up next! This was also one of the matches I was most looking forward to. I’m kind of blasé about the main event, but so far, the big matches have delivered, save possibly the Omega/Pac match.
  • This is definitely going to be a match I watch more than write about.
  • Yeah, I got nothing. That match was everything we all thought it would be and more. We’ve come a long way from Hardys vs Edge and Christian, that’s for sure. These guys left it all in the ring.
  • And then it was LAX, er, Santana and Ortiz who picked up the pieces and threw them in the trash. The tag team division in AEW is so strong and it proves that, when done correctly, tag team wrestling can be just as entertaining and important as single divisions.
  • And now, the main event. I’m still not quite sold on the AEW championship design, but I imagine it will grow on me. At least it’s better than the majority of WWE’s belts, err, titles, er, championships.
  • Adam Page came to the ring on a f—ing horse, just like he said he would. I love him.
  • No matter what naysayers say, Chris Jericho has proven himself to be the living legend he said he was all those years ago. When the history books are written, Chris Jericho will not be among the Hulk Hogans, Steve Austins and Rocks of the world. But he has firmly cemented himself alongside Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Ric Flair. The guy has worked harder, longer, than anybody else in any promotion right now. He constantly evolves and he continues to prove himself to be one step ahead of everybody else.
  • Adam Page is a workhorse (heh), but I don’t see him as the first AEW Champion. It has to be Jericho, right? He deserves to go down in history books as the first AEW Champion. He’s more than earned the title. Page’s time will come. It just won’t come tonight.
  • In a WWE ring, this match would steal the show. It’s a very good ‘WWE-style’ match. It just didn’t stand a chance against the other matches on this show.
  • Jericho very clearly rolled out of the ring to blade himself after a punch from Page. I would definitely prefer that to an inadvertent gusher like with Cody Rhodes, but the obvious blade job kind of took me out of the moment.
  • That in-ring flip entrance into the Codebreaker was pretty impressive though.
  • Aubrey Edwards is the unsung hero of this match.
  • That final sequence definitely improved the overall match.
  • Chris Jericho won, and all is right in the world.

And so ends our night. ‘All Out’ delivered a solid, if not spectacular show. The big matches delivered, but the undercard matches suffered from not enough buildup. Most fans know who guys like The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and Chris Jericho are. For now, they can get by on name-value to sell their matches. But the other ones can’t. This is why they need good storytelling. Hopefully, once the weekly show starts, we’ll get those stories. I have a feeling we will.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the watch party put on by the YEP I Like Wrestling folks. Not only was the event a fun experience (seriously, watching wrestling with other wrestling fans is the best way to watch wrestling), but the guys who put it on are truly passionate about bringing wrestling fans together and giving them an experience to remember.  Check out the video below for a glimpse into Jack Demsey’s Bar, along with an interview with the ‘YEP’ crew. Some of the things they said were extremely insightful. On more than one occasion, their statements gave me chills and, on that night, they reminded me that yep – I like wrestling.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...


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