By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW All Out
Aired live September 5, 2021 live on pay-per-view and FITE TV
Chicago, Illinois at NOW Arena
AEW All Out – The Buy-In Pre-Show
The first thirty minutes of the pre-show featured the AEW All Out countdown special that aired on TNT on Friday night…
Excalibur and Tony Schiavone hosted the pre-show from the broadcast table. They ran through some the main card lineup and set up a video package on the Chris Jericho vs. MJF match with Jericho’s AEW in-ring career on the line…
Ring announcer Justin Roberts handled the introductions for the pre-show match. Orange Cassidy grabbed a fan sign that read, “Orange Cassidy Is Okay.” Cassidy showed it to the camera and did his thumbs halfway up pose…
1. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus (w/Marko Stunt) vs. Matt Hardy, Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy, Angelico, and Jack Evans. Hardy started the match with a well received “delete” chant. Hardy called for Cassidy and shoved multiple opponents to the corner until Cassidy tagged in.
Luchasaurus tagged himself in, causing Hardy to tag out. A loud “Luchasaurus” chant broke out. Jungle Boy checked in and got the better of Evans, which drew a nice pop. Yuta tagged in and was double teamed by the Private Party duo of Quen and Kassidy. Quen performed a springboard splash for an early two count.
There was a silly spot where eight wrestlers had submission holds applied. Luchasaurus entered the ring and ran into them to break it up. Luchasaurus was isolated by Hardy and Private Party, who dumped him to ringside. Cassidy entered the ring with his shades on and delivered the light leg kicks to all three men. Cassidy ducked a Hardy clothesline and then sent him to ringside.
A short time later, Yuta performed a top rope splash on Angelico and had him pinned, but Evans broke it up. Angelico came back and had Yuta pinned. Cassidy broke it up and then performed some crowd pleasing spot with his hands in his pockets. Cassidy mugged for the camera and was attacked from behind on Hardy, who put him down with a Twist of Fate.
With everyone else at ringside, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy had a comedic game of chicken with Evans and Angelico. The Blade showed at ringside and was taken out by a by dive from Stunt. Jungle Boy caught Angelico in the Snare Trap and got the submission win…
Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus defeated Matt Hardy, Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy, Angelico, and Jack Evans in 9:25.
After the match, Cassidy ended up alone in the ring with Hardy and The Blade. The Butcher made his return and attacked Cassidy. Hardy jawed at Cassidy while the others held him. The babyface team returned along with Dante Martin, The Varsity Blonds, and Dark Order members ran out for the save.
The broadcast team said they heard Hardy threaten that he was going to cut Cassidy’s hair off. They babyfaces had a big group hug. After everyone left the ring, Cassidy returned to tease climbing the ropes and gave his thumbs pose instead…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining opener. Some of the comedy spots weren’t my cup of tea, but the live crowd definitely enjoyed them. It’s good to see The Butcher back and appearing to be in great shape.
Excalibur and Schiavone spoke briefly and set up an airing of the “Rhodes To The Top” teaser…
Dan Lambert delivered a promo from a luxury box and noted that he was accompanied by the team of Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky, as well as MMA fighters Andrei Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos, and Jorge Masvidal. Page and Sky spoke about leaving the comfort zone and entering the danger zone. Lambert mentioned something about Sky signing a new five-year extension…
Excalibur and Schiavone ran through the main card lineup… A CM Punk vs. Darby Allin video package aired…
Justin Roberts introduced Jim Ross, who made his entrance to the Oklahoma fight song and joined Excalibur and Schiavone at the broadcast table. They ran through the pay-per-view card again…
AEW All Out Pay-Per-View
Pyro shot off on the stage and then the main card broadcast team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur checked in. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…
2. Miro vs. Eddie Kingston for the TNT Championship. There was a loud “Eddie” chant before the bell. Miro performed a drop toe hold and went for his submission finisher, but Kingston escaped. Kingston went for suplex that Miro avoided before ducking to ringside for a moment. Kingston threw a series of chops.
Kingston performed an exploder suplex on Miro, who rolled to ringide. Kingston followed him and ate a forearm shot. Miro kicked Kingston and ran him into the barricade. Miro threw a kick at Kingston and then picked him up and ran him into the barricade again. Kingston fired back with a boot to the face. Kingston went to the apron and dove at Miro, who caught him and power slammed him on the floor.
Miro picked up Kingston and ran him back first into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Kingston eventually fired up, but Miro tagged him with a punch that dropped him. Miro dropped an elbow and a knee on Kingston before covering him for a one count.
Later, Kingston avoided Miro going for a corner splash and then hit him with a leaping enzuigiri. Kingston kicked Miro to ringside. Kingston teased a suicide dive, but Miro caught him with a shot from the floor. Miro returned to the ring and was put down with a Saito suplex.
The wrestlers traded forearms. Kingston performed a suplex for a two count. Kingston went for a spinning back fist, but Miro dropped to his back and rolled to ringside. Kingston performed a suicide dive in which he threw an elbow to Miro’s head. Back inside the ring, Kingston performed a fisherman’s suplex for a near fall.
A short time later, a staggered Kingston one of the turnbuckle pads off. Miro applied his Game Over finisher, but Kingston reached the ropes to break it. Miro was upset. Kingston came back with a spinning back fist and a DDT for a great near fall.
Kingston tried to run Miro into the exposed turnbuckle, but the referee stood in the way. Miro hit Kingston with a kick to the balls that the referee couldn’t see. Miro followed up with a kick to the head and scored the pin…
Miro beat Eddie Kingston in 13:25 to retain the TNT Championship.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining main card opening match. Miro has beaten most of his opponents quickly in his television matches, so Kingston looked strong by having a competitive match that went as long as it did. The low blow kick finish was underwhelming, but it accomplished what it needed to by putting heat on Miro while protecting Kingston, perhaps for a rematch.
The broadcast team ran through the rest of the pay-per-view lineup…
3. Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima. Kojima received a nice reaction. Moxley entered to “Wild Thing” through the crowd and wore a GCW hoodie after winning the promotion’s title earlier in the weekend. Moxley and Kojima traded chops and forearms to start. Kojima teased going for a lariat, causing Moxley to duck to ringside. Kojima dove onto him and threw him back in the ring. Moxley came right back with a suicide dive.
Back inside the ring, Moxley threw chops at Kojima and then got cocky about it. Kojima threw Moxley into the corner and hit him with rapid fire chops. Kojima put Moxley down and hit him with a top rope elbow drop that led to a two count. Kojima threw some elbows to the head, but Moxley ducked one and suplex him.
Moxley threw a clothesline and went for a brainbuster that was blocked. Kojima powered up Moxley and placed him on the ropes in one corner of the ring. They took turns biting one another and then Kojima superplexed Moxley. Kojima drove Moxley’s head onto the apron and they both ended up on the floor.
Back inside the ring, Kojima performed a DDT on Moxley and covered him for a two count. Moxley rallied and applied a cross arm breaker that Kojima broke by getting a foot on the bottom rope. Moxley went for a Paradigm Shift, but Kojima blocked it and performed a brainbuster that led to a two count.
Kojima removed his elbow pad and went for a lariat that Moxley ducked. Moxley performed a wicked suplex on Kojima. Moxley waited for Kojima to stand up and then hit him with lariats that didn’t put him down. Kojima sent Moxley to the ropes and took a high knee from him. Kojima blocked a Paradigm shift, hit Moxley with a lariat, and put him down with a cutter.
Both men got to their feet and traded more strikes. Kojima performed a rolling elbow strike. Moxley bounced off the ropes and put Kojima down with a lariat. Moxley applied his bulldog choke, but Kojima reached the ropes. Kojima came back with some chops. They traded strikes and then Moxley put Kojima down with a Paradigm Shift. Moxley followed up with a second Paradigm Shift and scored the pin.
Jon Moxley beat Satoshi Kojima in 12:10.
After the match, Moxley knelt over Kojima, pointed at him, and motioned with his finger to say that Kojima was crazy. Moxley bowed respectfully over him. The crowd came to life when Minoru Suzuki’s entrance theme played. Moxley acted unhappy.
Minoru Suzuki walked onto the stage to a good reaction while Moxley looked pissed. Suzuki entered the ring and a huge “holy shit” chant broke out. Suzuki removed his jacket and then he and Moxley jawed at one another. Suzuki blasted Moxley with an elbow to the head. Moxley returned the favor.
Moxley and Suzuki went back and forth with the elbows, then Suzuki ran the ropes and blasted Moxley with a kick. Moxley ran the ropes and hit Suzuki with a clothesline, but he stayed on his feet. Suzuki put Moxley in a sleeper hold and then gave him the Gotch Style Piledriver…
Powell’s POV: A well worked match that suffered a bit from there being no suspense regarding the outcome. Kojima really is an a terrific worker for his age. The Suzuki surprise was great and this crowd was clearly familiar with him. If you’re not, you’re in for a treat.
A video package set up the AEW Women’s Championship match…
4. Britt Baker (w/Jamie Hayter, Rebel) vs. Kris Statlander (w/Orange Cassidy) for the AEW Women’s Championship. Statlander was accompanied onto the stage by Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta. Taylor and Yuta went to the back while she headed to the ring. Statlander avoided an early Lockjaw attempt from Baker.
Baker performed a creative backslide that resulted in a near fall and then followed up with a DDT for another. Statlander came back briefly, but Baker gave her a Flatliner that drove her face first into one of the turnbuckle pads. Baker went to the ropes. Statlander cut her off and joined her on the ropes and powered her up for a superplex.
Statlander went up top and went for the Area 451 splash, but Baker moved. Baker went for the Lockjaw, but Baker powered her up into Electric Chair position and slammed her down face first. Statlander followed with a scissors kick to the back of Baker and covered her for a two count. Baker rolled to the floor while a “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Statlander went to the apron and went for a pendulum moonsault that Baker avoided. Baker performed a Stomp on the floor. Cassidy removed his shades and excitedly yelled at Statlander to get up. Statlander entered the ring and avoided Baker’s Lockjaw attempt. Statlander put Baker in a submission hold that Baker broke with kicks to the face.
Baker threw kicks at Statlander, who was lying in the corner. Referee Paul Turner tried to get her to back off, but Baker shoved him. Baker went to the ropes and performed the Panama Sunrise for a huge pop, but she only got a two count out of it. Baker followed up with a Stomp and got another near fall. Baker applied the Lockjaw and got the submission win…
Britt Baker defeated Kris Statlander in 11:25 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A strong match that exceeded my expectations. Both women were cheered and the biggest pop came when Baker performed the Panama Sunrise, which is one of boyfriend Adam Cole’s signature spots. Cole recently performed his version of Baker’s Lockjaw in NXT.
Backstage, Alexa Marvez spoke with Andrade El Idolo and Chavo Guerrero and noted that Andrade’s match with Pac would not take place due to Pac having travel issues. Marvez noted that similar things have happened to people who have had issues with Andrade. The heel duo essentially denied it while the third man in their act stood in the background…
A video package aired on the AEW Tag Title match… Rappers performed as part of the Lucha Brothers’ entrance. Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix came out wearing feathered headwear. Cool entrance. The Young Bucks came out with Don Callis, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Brandon Cutler. Only Cutler accompanied the Bucks to ringside…
5. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson (w/Brandon Cutler) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes) in a cage match for the AEW Tag Titles. Don Callis sat in on commentary. Nick had his mustache died blond while his beard was black. There was a loud “Cero Miedo” chant when the teams went face to face. Matt choked Fenix with a chain early in the match. Excalibur questioned where it came from, yet also pointed out that it’s legal in a cage match.
Fenix performed a nice double cutter on the Bucks. Penta held Matt while Fenix kicked him, then performed a Penta Driver for a near fall. A loud “this is awesome” chant broke out. Fenix went up top. Penta set up Matt for a move, but Nick shoved Fenix off the ropes and into the side of the cage. Nick followed up with an ugly suplex between the ropes and the cage and it looked like Fenix was dropped on his head. Yikes.
Matt held Penta over the ropes and Nick came off the top rope with a senton, which led to a near fall. Fenix got up and set up for a springboard move, but the Bucks gave him a double superkick. Matt held up Penta. Nick came off the top rope with a double stomp that drove Penta into a tombstone piledriver, and then Nick landed on Fenix in a cool spot. The Bucks went for a BTE Trigger on Fenix, but he moved and the Bucks slammed their knees together.
The Bucks came right back and set up for a move, but Fenix avoided it. Matt kicked Fenix and Penta below the belt with kicks and then mugged for the camera. The Bucks performed More Bang For Your Buck on Fenix, but Penta cut off the pin attempt. The Bucks got upset and tried to remove the masks of Penta and Fenix. “Let’s see how ugly they really are,” Callis said on commentary. He claimed it was psychological warfare. Schiavone said Callis is “so full of shit.”
The Bucks pressed Fenix over their heads and lawn darted him into the side of the cage. Cutler threw a bag over the top of the cage. Matt caught bag and removed one of his shoes. Matt pulled out a shoe that had thumbtacks sticking out the bottom of the heel. Penta was already bleeding. The crowd chanted “you sick f—.” Matt lined up Fenix for a kick, but Penta sat in front of his brother and took the kick.
Matt sat on the top rope. Nick ran Penta’s head into the thumbtack shoe and his mask stuck to it. Fenix got to his feet and was hit with a superkick and a Posion Rana. The Bucks hit the BTE Trigger on Penta and Matt had him pinned, but Fenix broke it up. The crowd came to life and Abrahantes ran around the ringside area excitedly to encourage them. Matt took the tack shoe off and wanted to hit Fenix with it, but Fenix came to life and worked over both Bucks.
Fenix hit both Bucks with the tack shoe and ended up getting a good near fall on Matt moments later. Penta set up Mat for a move while Fenix was on the ropes. Nick shoved Fenix off, but he held onto the side of the cage. Nick followed. Matt and Penta pulled their opponents down and gave them package piledrivers on the apron. Matt, who only had one shoe on, and Penta went at it while their younger brothers sold the piledrivers. Penta performed a Canadian Destroyer from the top rope on Matt for a huge pop.
Nick rolled back inside the ring and had blood all over his face. Fenix also returned to the ring and he had blood coming from underneath his mask. The teams took turns throwing chops and then superkicks at one another. All four men ended up down in the ring while the fans cheered. Excalibur said that if this is your first time, welcome to All Elite Wrestling.
Nick and Fenix got up first. Fenix caught Nick with a kick and then joined Penta in a double team move. Penta had Nick pinned, but Matt broke it up at the last second. Penta motioned for his brother to go to the top of the cage. Fenix went to the top of the cage and set up for a move, but Nick superkicked Penta to break up whatever they had planned for Matt.
Nick climbed up the cage, but Fenix knocked him down. Fenix performed a cross body block from the top of the cage onto the Bucks. Penta and Fenix held Nick up and then slammed him down in a piledriver, which led to Penta pinning him while Fenix made sure Matt didn’t break it up…
Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix defeated “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson in 22:05 in a cage match to win the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, Abrahantes joined Penta and Fenix in the ring. The clutched the title belts and had a big post match celebration while the Bucks left the cage. The Lucha Brothers continued to celebrate while the cage was raised. Penta motioned for someone and ended up having a nice moment at ringside with his family…
Powell’s POV: Awesome match. No one can bitch about the tag rules not being enforced because it was a cage match. I was fearful of what these teams might try to do off the top of that ridiculously high cage, but fortunately the spot they chose was safe. The title change came off exceptionally well. The live crowd loved it and I loved the way that Penta and Fenix clutched the title belts like they were the most important things in the world. I continue to enjoy the work of Alex Abrahantes both as a mouthpiece and a ringside hype man.
The broadcast team narrated highlights from the matches that had taken place thus far… Justin Roberts explained the rules of the Casino Battle Royale and how cards are drawn to determine the order of the entrants…
6. The Women’s Casino Battle Royale. The Clubs entrants were Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue, Emi Sakura, The Bunny, and Abadon. Blue posed for the crowd after some early success. Abadon ended eliminating her shortly thereafter. The Bunny eliminated Abadon right after that.
The Diamonds entrants were out next with Anna Jay running out first and going right after The Bunny. The other Diamonds entrants were Kiera Hogan, KiLynn King, Diamante, and Nyla Rose. Vickie Guerrero stood at ringside for Rose. Sakura was eliminated after Rose kicked her off the apron. Hogan was eliminated, then King was clotheslined over the top rope to be eliminated.
Rose caught Shida going for a move and dumped her over the top rope to boos. Rose and Diamante celebrated with a creative handshake, but their alliance fell apart quickly as they ended up fighting one another while Bunny and Jay continued to braw.
The Hearts entered with Thunder Rosa rushing to the ring and dropkicking Rose. The rest of the Hearts included Penelope Ford, Riho, Jamie Hayter, and Big Swole. Riho was eliminated, but the broadcast team didn’t seem to know how (I missed it too). Diamante and Swole were eliminated and then fought with one another at ringside.
The Spades were out next. Tay Conti raced to the ring and went after The Bunny. The other Spades were Red Velvet, Leyla Hirsch, Jade Cargill (accompanied by Mark Sterling), and Rebel. Velvet eliminated Rebel. Jay and Bunny fought on the apron. Jay superkicked Bunny off the apron to eliminate her. Ford hit Jay with a big boot to eliminate her.
Cargill pressed Hirsch over her head and tossed her onto the others who were eliminated. Jay’s feet hit the floor, so she was eliminated. The crowd got fired up and chanted for Ruby Riott and then counted down.
The Joker entrant was Ruby Soho, who was formerly known as Ruby Riott. Soho walked out and looked to the crowd with a big smile on her face. She turned around to show off her jacket that read “Destination AEW Soho.” She removed the jacket and headed to the ring. Soho got the better of Cargill. A “Ruby Soho” chant broke out. Rose went after Soho. Rosa used Soho as a step-up before performing a huracanrana on Rose.
Hirsch was eliminated. Cargill eliminated Velvet. Rose eliminated Cargill. Conti eliminated Ford. Conti celebrated on the apron like a fool and was eliminated by Rose. The final three were Rose, Rosa, and Soho. Rose performed a Samoan Drop on Rosa. Rose went to work on Soho, while another “Ruby Soho” chant broke out. Rose put Soho in the tree of woe. Rose went after Rosa, who dumped her over the top rope. Rose remained on the apron, but Rosa booted her off.
The final two were Rosa and Soho, who freed herself from the tree of woe. They smiled at one another and then jawed at one another. Soho shoved Rosa a couple times. Rosa slapped her across the face. Soho fired back with a chop. Rosa returned the favor. They continue to trade big chops. Rosa got the better of it and backed Soho to the ropes and threw more chops.
Rosa went for a Fire Thunder Driver, but Soho avoided it. Rosa tossed Rosa over the top rope and she stayed on the apron. Rosa pulled Soho over the top rope. Soho held onto the top rope while Rosa threw kicks. Soho got back to the apron and kicked Rosa, who held on the middle rope to avoid elimination.
Soho went for a German Suplex, but Rosa held onto the ropes. Rosa hoisted up Soho for a Death Valley Driver, but Soho held onto the ropes. Soho shoved Rosa into the turnbuckle and then blasted her with a kick that led to Rosa falling to the floor to be eliminated. Ross called her Ruby Riott and then corrected himself while saying she earned a future shot at the AEW Women’s Championship…
Ruby Soho won the women’s Casino Battle Royale in 22:00 to earn a future AEW Women’s Championship match.
Powell’s POV: Soho was a popular pick for the joker and to be the winner. Sometimes going the predictable route is the right move and that was definitely the case here. She’s a great addition to the women’s division and I’m already looking forward to her match with Britt Baker. By the way, I love the match placement. I pitied whatever match would have to follow the cage match, but they played it right and the fans were hot throughout the battle royal.
They cut away from Soho’s celebration quickly and went to a preview for the MJF vs. Chris Jericho match…
Justin Roberts announced that Chris Jericho could never wrestle in AEW again if he lost the match. A Y2J-like countdown clock appeared. When it reached zero, the screen read “Jericho’s Last Match” and then MJF made his entrance. Fozzy guitarist Billy Grey played “Judas” and the crowd sang along while Chris Jericho made his entrance…
7. Chris Jericho vs. MJF (Jericho can’t wrestle in AEW again if he loses). The broadcast team noted that Fozzy performed the two previous nights and wondered how that might affect Jericho. A short time later, MJF caught Jericho in the ring skirting and threw punches at him. Back inside the ring, MJF put Jericho in an armbar and then barked at the crowd to shut their mouths.
Jericho broke free, but MJF caught him running the ropes and wrenched on his arm while driving him to the mat. MJF continued to target the arm while the broadcast team noted that he was doing so to set up his Salt of the Earth finisher. Jericho came back and performed a backbreaker that resulted in a near fall. Excalibur pointed out that it was a weak kick out by MJF. Jericho fired a chop at MJF, who caught Jericho charging him and then stomped the left arm that he’d been targeting. MJF picked up another near fall. Excalibur pointed out that MJF targeting the arm would also make it difficult for Jericho to apply full pressure while applying the Walls of Jericho.
MJF headbutted Jericho and then chopped him. MJF flipped off the crowd. Ross called him completely classless. MJF chopped Jericho and then strutted and gave a couple of pelvic thrusts. Moments later, MJF performed the Heat Seeker on the apron. Jericho beat the referee’s count. MJF went for an Asai moonsault, which Jericho avoided. Jericho powerbombed MJF on the ring apron.
Back in the ring, MJF sold lower back pain. Jericho went for a move from the top rope, but MJF caught him with a Codebreaker on the way down and covered him for another near fall. MJF continued to sell low back pain. Jericho took MJF down and went for the Walls of Jericho, but MJF avoided it. Jericho hit the Lionsault and covered MJF for a near fall. Jericho removed an elbow sleeve and fired clotheslines at MJF in the corner.
Jericho placed MJF on the top rope and then stood over him and threw punches. Jericho set up for a huracanrana, but MJF countered into a sit-out powerbomb. MJF cried out in pain while selling low back pain. MJF went for a superplex, but Jericho stuffed it and shoved MJF off the ropes. Jericho performed a Codebreaker from the second rope and covered MJF for a two count.
Wardlow walked out. Jake Hager walked out behind Wardlow and cut him off on the ramp. Wardlow and Hager brawled while two referees tried to stop them. MJF picked up the baseball bat that Jericho brings to the ring and hit him with it while referee Aubrey Edwards was watching what was happening with Wardlow and Hager. MJF hit Jericho with the Judas Effect. MJF covered Jericho, who put his foot on the bottom rope at the last moment, but the referee didn’t see it and made the three count.
Referee Paul Turner came to ringside and informed Edwards that Jericho got his foot on the bottom rope. Turner spoke with Justin Roberts, who announced that Jericho’s foot was on the ropes and therefore the match would be restarted. MJF and Edwards shoved each other. Jericho rolled MJF into a pin for a near fall. MJF immediately applied the Salt of the Earth. Jericho rolled him into a pin for a two count to escape the hold.
Jericho stood up and went for the Walls of Jericho and was able to apply it. MJF pressed up and screamed in agony before falling back down to the mat. MJF teased tapping out. He bit his left hand while reaching out with his right hand. Jericho pulled MJF back to the center of the ring and it looked like he was going for the Liontamer, but he moved his foot back into position for the Walls of Jericho and got the submission win.
Chris Jericho defeated MJF in 21:15 to save his AEW in-ring career.
After the match, Inner Circle members Hager, Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara entered the ring and sang “Fozzy” along with the crowd…
Powell’s POV: A good match to presumably close out the feud. I really liked the tease of MJF winning even if it did make the referee look bad. It was clever that they had the second referee at ringside due to the Wardlow and Hager brawl. Of course, it doesn’t explain why the referees have to be at ringside to correct big officiating blunders in pro wrestling, but it is what it is.
A video package set up the CM Punk vs. Darby Allin match… A video aired with Darby zipping a bodybag that had “Best in the World” spray painted on it. The person inside stuck their arm out. The bodybag with the person inside of it was then shown hanging from a helicopter that Allin was inside of. Allin leapt from the helicopter and flew past the bodybag. Ring entrances for the match took place. Yes, indeed, Punk said it’s clobberin’ time…
8. CM Punk vs. Darby Allin. Sting was not in Allin’s corner. Punk wore black tights rather than his old trunks (good look). Allin sat in the corner and stared at Punk, who locked eyes with him. A loud “CM Punk” chant broke out. Punk took a seat with his legs crossed and glared at Allin, who closed his eyes. A “holy shit” chant broke out. Allin used the top rope to pull himself up and then Punk stood up. Allin removed his jacket to reveal that half of his body was painted in black and white with the tree design that was an extension of his face paint.
Allin started the match with an arm drag. Punk shrugged it off and got back to his feet and then applied a side headlock. Allin shot him off and Punk knocked him down with a shoulder block. A loud “welcome back” chant broke out. Punk pointed at Allin, then acted like he just figured out that the chant was for him. The fans cheered and went back to chanting “CM Punk” while Allin applied a hammerlock.
Punk caught Allin with an elbow and then slammed him to the mat. Punk applied a chin lock. Allin broke free and shot Punk into the ropes and then knocked him down with a shoulder tackle. They ran the ropes again and Punk hoisted Allin onto his shoulders, but Allin scurried away quickly and went to ringside after avoiding the GTS. A “you’ve still got it” chant broke out briefly. Punk smiled. Allin returned to the ring and went on the offensive with a couple of big running shots in the corner. Allin tried to whip Punk, who reversed it, causing Allin to crash through the ropes and hit his back on the ring post before he tumbled to ringside. Schiavone said it looked like Allin’s head also hit the post.
Allin returned to the ring and was caught by a Punk knee to the gut. Punk put him in abdominal stretch position and hooked his arms around Allin’s neck. Allin broke free and ran the ropes, but Punk put him down with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. There were dueling “Darby Allin” and “CM Punk” chants.
Powell’s POV: The Punk chants were louder, but Allin had more fan support than I anticipated with a Chicago crowd. That said, I guess you never know how many people are chanting for both wrestlers.
Allin caught Punk with a cutter. When both men stood up, Allin hit Punk with several palm strikes. Allin performed a springboard coffin splash. Allin picked up a couple of two counts and then hit a Code Red for a near fall. Schiavone said he didn’t know what was expected of the match, but he loved what he was seeing. Excalibur thanked anyone who might be watching their first AEW event. Allin went to the ropes, but Punk ended up crotching him. Punk climbed up behind Allin, who countered in mid-air and landed on Punk for a near fall.
Allin went for a pin, but Punk bridged out of it. Punk hit Allin with a GTS, but it sent Allin to ringside. Punk limped to the other corner and was willing to take the count-out, but Allin returned at nine. Punk glared at the referee. Punk hit Allin with a knee in the corner and followed up with a clothesline. Punk played to the crowd while signaling for the GTS. Punk hoisted up Allin and looked into the camera, but Allin hit him with several elbow strikes to the side of the head to break free.
Punk rolled to ringside. Allin performed a suicide dive. Allin went up top and performed a Swanton style dive onto a standing Punk on the floor. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Allin went to the ropes and mimicked Punk’s GTS mannerism from earlier, which drew boos. Allin went for a Coffin Drop, but Punk moved. Punk smiled. Allin hooked him into a pin for a near fall.
Punk powered up Allin on his shoulders, but Allin blocked it and applied the Last Supper for a near fall. Punk hit a leg lariat. Punk charged Allin, who caught him with a boot. Allin went for a Poison Rana, but Punk countered into the GTS and scored the clean pin.
CM Punk defeated Darby Allin in 16:40.
“What a hell of a wrestling match,” Ross said. He added that for those wondering if Punk has anything left, he proved that “damn right” he does. Punk sat in the ring and held up seven fingers, then said something into the camera before he stood up and played to the crowd. Sting walked to ringside, entered the ring, and extended his hand to Punk, who shook it. Punk limped as he walked over and knelt over Allin and spoke to him.
The fans chanted “Darby” while Sting tried to Allin to his feet. Allin pulled free and pulled himself up. Punk offered him a handshake and Allin accepted. Allin and Sting left the ring, then Punk played to the crowd again while his entrance music played. Punk’s limp went away as he backed his way up the ramp and headed up the stage. He stopped and asked the fans which tunnel he should go through. He went through the babyface entrance…
Powell’s POV: This was tremendous. It was slower paced than most of the other matches and that’s not a negative by any means. They made the moves matter. I assumed that Allin would do some crazy bumps along the way, but that didn’t happen. This was a very satisfying return for Punk and I’m anxious to see who he faces next. Meanwhile, Allin lost nothing in defeat.
The broadcast team hyped AEW Full Gear for Saturday, November 13… A video package set up the Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall match…
9. Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall (w/Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solow). Wight cleared Comoroto and Solow from the ring and then the bell rang. Wight quieted the crowd and threw a big chop to Marshall’s chest in the corner. Wight stood on Marshall’s back. Comoroto and Solow got involved, but Wight fought them off and ended up chokeslamming Marshall and scoring the clean pin…
Paul Wight beat QT Marshall in 3:10.
Powell’s POV: This was the comedown match and rightfully so. It was a pretty basic Wight television match. My apologies if I missed anything that took place before the match. I fell behind rewatching the end of the Punk vs. Allin match and sped ahead to the start of Wight vs. Marshall.
Jon Moxley delivered a backstage promo and noted that they would be in Cincinnati for Dynamite. He said they bury bullies like Minoru Suzuki in the gutter in Cincy, then welcomed him to the jungle…
A graphic listed Moxley vs. Suzuki for AEW Dynamite. The show will also feature Ruby Soho’s debut, and Dustin Rhodes vs. Malakai Black…
Malakai Black delivered a promo in front of a black backdrop. He said he wants Dustin Rhodes to be angry because the angrier he is, the more likely he is to slip up. Black told him to think about Arn Anderson, Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson, and his baby brother Cody. He closed by telling Rhodes that it’s time to pay the boatman’s toll…
The broadcast team hyped Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo for Friday’s AEW Rampage… A video package set up the AEW Championship match…
10. Kenny Omega (w/Don Callis) vs. Christian Cage for the AEW World Championship. Justin Roberts delivered in-ring introductions to the title match. Excalibur noted that Omega had held the title for 277 days, the same length of Jon Moxley’s reign before Omega “stole” the title from him. Omega tried to attack Cage before the bell, but Cage spotted it. The ref started the match. Omega avoided an early Killswitch attempt.
The match spilled to ringside quickly with Cage on the offensive. Cage performed a dive from the top rope onto Omega on the floor. Omega came back and placed a table over Cage and stomped on it. “Did I do that?” Omega asked in Steve Urkel style while looking at the camera. Omega tried to suplex Cage through another table, but Cage reversed it and then rolled Omega back inside the ring.
Omega regained offensive control and eventually dumped Cage back to ringside. Omega slipped and landed on his ass on the barricade while setting up for a move. Omega hopped back on and performed a moonsault off the barricade and onto Cage on the floor. Back inside the ring, Omega had Cage down and went to the ropes, but Cage cut him off and placed him in a seated position on the ropes. Cage performed a hurcanrana, but he sold rather than go for the cover.
Cage avoided a One Winged Angel attempt and threw punches at Omega in the corner. Cage eventually went for a cloverleaf, but Omega pulled at his hair and kicked his way out of it. Cage stumbled out of the corner and Omega hoisted him up, but Cage slipped out and hit an inverted DDT for a near fall. Omega came back with a knee strike.
A short time later, Cage avoided Cage’s finisher and hit him with a leg lariat that left Cage kneeling in a corner of the ring. Omega hit the back of Cage’s head with a V-Trigger knee strike. Omega performed a pair of snap dragon suplexes. Omega pointed his finger gun at Cage, who flipped him off. Omega gave him a third snap dragon suplex. Omega knocked Cage onto the apron with another V-Trigger.
Omega tried to German suplex Cage off the apron and through a table that had been set up on the floor earlier, but Cage stuffed it. Omega set up for the snap dragon instead, but Cage avoided that. Cage went for an Unprettier, but Omega slipped out and shoved Cage into the turnbuckle. Cage battled back and speared Omega from the apron through the table at ringside. Callis took his coat off and fanned Omega with it. Cage sold rib pain.
Back inside the ring, Cage rallied and speared Omega twice and got a near fall. Cage had blood in his mouth as he went up top and went for a frogsplash, but Omega put his knees up. Omega went for a move, but he sold back pain. Omega blasted Cage with a knee to the face and then talked smack before throwing another. Cage blocked the third attempt, but Omega put him down with a ripcord V-Trigger.
Omega hooked the arms of Cage and went for a Tiger Driver, but Cage countered into a sunset flip and then applied a cloverleaf. Callis motioned for help. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson ran out. Cage speared Anderson off the apron while Callis distracted the referee. Gallows held Cage. Omega went for a V-Trigger, but Cage moved and Omega hit Gallows instead. Cage hit the Killswitch on Omega for a really good near fall.
Cage set up for his finisher on the ropes, but Omega gouged his eyes. Omega put Cage on his shoulders and hit a One Winged Angel from the top rope and then scored the pin…
Kenny Omega defeated Christian Cage in 21:20 to retain the AEW World Championship.
After the match, The Young Bucks limped to the ring to celebrate with Omega, Callis, Gallows, and Anderson. Gallows threw several punches at Cage, who was still lying on the mat. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt ran out to help, but they were quickly outnumbered. A “yes” chant broke out. Omega took the mic and asked the fans if they were finally starting to understand. Omega said no one is on his level. He said the only people who could beat him are not there, retired, or dead.
The lights went out. Adam Cole made his entrance wearing an “All Elite BayBay” t-shirt. Cole got a big pop as he entered the ring and did his “Adam Cole BayBay” routine. A “holy shit” chant broke out while Omega and Cole jawed at one another. Suddenly, Cole superkicked Jungle Boy. Cole hugged the Young Bucks, who then kissed him on the cheek. Omega did his “Did I do that” bit again and mocked the crowd that Cole is one of his best friends.
Cole asked the fans who was ready for story time. Cole said there was no chance in hell that anyone was going to stop The Elite. Omega said the only thing left to do was send the crowd home happy. Omega started to deliver his closing line, but he was interrupted.
Bryan Danielson (f/k/a Daniel Bryan) made his entrance to a theme that started with “Flight of the Valkyries.” The crowd popped huge as Danielson came out and headed to the ring. Bryan stood with the babyfaces. Omega fled the ring while the babyfaces worked over The Elite members. Danielson suplexed Nick Jackson and gave him a running knee to the head. Danielson hugged the other babyfaces while Cole and The Elite fumed as they headed to the back. A huge “AEW” chant broke out. Ross said the game has changed. A “Yes” chant broke out while Bryan stood on the ropes to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Wow! I’m surprised that AEW didn’t stagger the debuts of Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson, but no complaints, as that was one hell of a way to close the show. The main event was very well worked. The live crowd didn’t seem to buy Cage as a threat to win the title aside from that good near fall after he hit his finisher, but they were still engaged in what was an entertaining match.
Overall, this is among the best pro wrestling pay-per-view events that I’ve seen. This show was fantastic. While many of the match results felt predictable, the outcomes were logical and most of the matches still had plenty of drama. There was some excellent in-ring work from the wrestlers and there was never a dull moment. The in-ring return of CM Punk was truly special, and the closing scene with Danielson and Cole debuting felt huge. I will have more to say when I get together shortly with Jake Barnett and Will Pruett for the Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review. Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend and let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below while also voting for the best match.