By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW All Out Hits
Bryan Danielson vs. Ricky Starks in a strap match: My favorite match of the night. It was violent and gritty, and the loser truly gained something in defeat. Danielson is so much better when he works as a babyface. The fans love the guy and it’s just hard to buy into pro wrestling’s ultimate nice guy working as a heel. Meanwhile, Starks passing out rather than quitting brought back memories of Steve Austin passing out in the Sharpshooter. That moment launched Austin as a babyface, and I wonder if this was meant to do the same for Starks. It would be a logical move given that there’s a need for a top babyface on AEW Collision now that CM Punk is gone, and Starks seems to get more cheers than boos anyway.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW International Championship: Two of AEW’s MVP candidates meeting in the main event. It didn’t jump off the page on paper, but it was a very good one in execution. Cassidy lost the match, but his stock is way up coming off his great reign, during which he impressively took a joke of a title and made it feel relevant. The title loss also comes at a time when Cassidy’s character is evolving via his quality mic work.
Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita: Another strong match and a great win for Takeshita. Omega put him over in the six-man tag match at All In, but this meant so much more. Takeshita is a star. Hopefully they are telling a long term story and there’s no rush to give Omega his win back. My only criticism is that there were so many near falls both during this match and on the overall show that I started to feel numb to some of them.
Luchasaurus vs. Darby Allin for the TNT Title: Allin always delivers, and Luchasaurus did a really nice job of working like a monster heel. There are too many lazy distraction finishes in pro wrestling, but this was not one of them. It wasn’t a wrestler climbing on the apron or walking onto a stage to distract someone. Allin was understandably distracted because his friend Nick Wayne was on the verge of taking a Conchairto.
Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs: A fun hoss fight that the live crowd embraced with their oddball chants. The former Lana finally showing up was cool, and Miro walking out on her was an interesting development that makes storyline sense given some of the things he’s said in his promos. The post match unprotected chair shot that Miro hit Hobbs with was awful. Tony Khan is a student of the game and his family owns multiple sports franchises. He is fully aware of the danger of head trauma, and there should be no place for unprotected chair shots to the head in his company or in any other promotion. In an era where people act outraged by something trivial every second of every day, where’s the outrage when it’s actually called for?
MJF and Adam Cole vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver for the ROH Tag Team Titles: A fun match. It was disappointing that the AEW World Champion worked the opening tag team match. Putting that aside, MJF and Cole continue to be a really hot act and the live crowd clearly had a lot of fun with this.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “Bullet Club Gold” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn: A nice win for BCG. Otherwise, the match felt a little too inconsequential for being in the semi main event position. Everyone involved worked hard and came through with a quality match. I just would have preferred a tag team title match over an eight-man tag.
Katsuyori Shibata and Eddie Kingston vs. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta: A quality match with a surprising finish. I assumed Kingston would beat Castagnoli to earn another shot at the ROH Championship. Rather, it was Castagnoli who pinned Kingston, which is actually an interesting development that would seem to suggest that this will be a lengthy storyline between the two.
AEW All Out Misses
Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho (w/Saraya) for the TBS Title: The body of the match was well worked and Hit worthy, but the finish was as much of a hot mess as Toni Storm’s new character is. That said, they have something with this new Storm persona if they play it right.
Samoa Joe vs. Shane Taylor for the ROH TV Title: The Miss stems from frustration over the presentation of Taylor. A small fraction of the AEW television audience saw Taylor win the tournament to earn this title shot, and he hasn’t even been appearing on AEW television. Taylor is a talented guy and while I was happy to see him on an AEW pay-per-view, it really should have coincided with a proper build.