Hey, apologies for taking more than two months off. The holidays took me away, and then my ego got me into a job that expected 60-80 hours per week. Whoops! I quit!
I’m happy to be back and reviewing ALL OUT 2019 which, in my memory, is a very good show. Fight for the Fallen was pretty good but a definite lull in the AEW momentum. Do they get it back here? I’m sure the feel good moment of having The Elite member Hangman Page becoming the first AEW Champion at this show will make it super memorable.
Some other stuff to note: AEW had been picked up by TNT and Dynamite was pushed heavily on this PPV. Additionally, I usually make some jokes about the announce team but this time it’s JR, Excalibur and Goldenboy who do a great job and I have nothing else to add.
You can watch the whole dang shebang legally and for free on Youtube.
It’s time for the Good, The Bad and and Mid of All Out 2019!
SCU: Super Curtain jUrkers
Kinda wild that SCU is opening again here and in a few months they’ll be the first AEW tag champs. Now that I think about it, SCU is a great opener for AEW. Between the three of them they represent the AEW wrestling style, they have tons of charisma, and have a hot catch phrase for the fans to sing along with. They’re the Twizted to AEW’s ICP.
They’re taking on the Small (Marko Stunt), Medium (Jungle Boy), and Large (LUCHA-SAURUS CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP) version of The Jurassic Express here. Marko is the odd, uh, modern homo sapiens out in Jurassic Express but his manic energy and size difference with Luchasaurus adds something to the mix. Of course, here in February 2022, we know Marko is on his way out of AEW. There’s only so much you can do with someone that small.
The crowd is hot for Jungle Boy. Khan slow rolling JB was a great idea, it let JUNGLE JACK flesh out his character which kept him from being a novelty. Novelty champions aren’t believable. Oh, wait, that’s the deal with Marko! He’s inherently a novelty act regardless of his talent or skill. That kinda sucks! He should do alright in the “Island of Misfit Toys” world of GCW. (Pitch for Editor: an article about how GCW is like the movie Freaks and Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green are like the grifter couple trying to make a buck off of the earnest human freakshow performers. Leave this pitch in the AEW column for comedic effect. Leave the part where you say to leave it in for a third beat.)
(Fourth beat letdown: Do not write that article.)
During the match JR and Excalibur put JB over, but they keep saying that he needs to put on size before he’ll reach his true form. It’s an interesting take as they compare him to a rookie NBA player who isn’t sized right for the NBA. It’s also weird and body shamey but, you know, so are sports.
It’s a hot opener with SCU taking the win with the Best Meltzer Ever. The veteran team looked great here, playing the role of heels although the audience was cheering ALL THESE GUYS ALL THESE GUYS. There are some friendly handshakes all around.
Again, from the perch of 2022 we have seen the ascension of Jungle Boy and the relative rise of Luchasauraus. He definitely lost momentum when he was out with that knee injury. I think he could be a future champ… with a gimmick change. I’ll get into that in a later column.
GREAT: BEST BASTARD MACHINE
Kenny was supposed to face off against John Moxley, but Mox got hurt in Japan and had to pull out. Kenny managed to make chicken salad by saying that Mox was trying to be Kenny, to do all the things Kenny has done and that’s why he got hurt. Good stuff.
In his place comes PAC, giving us a dream match we didn’t even expect. And, holy fuck, this match is FUCKING AWESOME. Pac is a merciless heel, and Kenny plays the role of “I didn’t prepare for this guy” really well. He’s off pace, making weird choices, not countering, getting caught on his signatures… it’s some great next level storytelling.
Pac wins clean with The Brutalizer as a counter to the One Winged Angel. The crowd AUDIBLY GASPS and mutters like “what just happened”. It’s starting to become obvious that just because someone is in The Elite they won’t be protected. I’m sure that won’t come into play again tonight *cough hangman cough*. The Best Bout Machine is now 1-2 in AEW, putting him in the same class as, like, Jimmy Havoc.
Not having Mox here actually worked in the long run. It got Pac over immediately, it built anticipation for the eventual Omega/Moxley match, made Pac and Omega into rivals, and gave another wrinkle to the Moxley feud. AEW really pulled it together in the face of adversity.
ALSO THIS IS A MUST SEE MATCH. YOU MUST SEE IT.
Good: The Middle of the Barrel
Speaking of Havoc (someone who we don’t speak of anymore, for good “speaking out” reasons), he’s in the next match, a hardcore Four Way Dance with Joey Janella and Darby Allin and the 50 Year Anniversiary Commemorative Cracker Barrel Barrel. Pretty wild that Cracker Barrel ponied up twice for a wrestling show.
Part of the deal here is that the four men and the barrel are all known for hardcore/deathmatch wrestling. The match features a bunch of fun but contrived spots. You get some reminders that Allin and Havoc are good grapsmen, actually, and Janella has that small room charisma which has gotten him nowhere in AEW. It’s a wild fuckin’ car crash that is way more clever than it has any need to be.
- Jimmy Havoc getting taped to a chair and his mouth taped up with tacks in it.
- Allin cannonball diving over the ringpost to Jimmy and his conjoined chair twin on the outside.
- Janella taking another dig at Cornette.
- Havoc hitting Janella with some buttery biscuits.
- Allin using the 50 Year Anniversiary Commemorative Cracker Barrel Barrel’s twin brother to Coffin Drop onto the steel stairs, making matchsticks out of the fuckin’ thing.
- Allin hitting an Ollie with a tacked-up skateboard
The match ends with Jimmy Havoc superplexing Janella onto the 50 Year Anniversary Commemorative Cracker Barrel Barrel, then hitting an Acid Rainmaker through the remnants of The Barrel, allowing him to get the double pin.
To be honest, the 50 Year Anniversary Commemorative Cracker Barrel Barrel was a real lump during the match, only getting involved at the very end. Worst celebrity wrestler of all time.
Mid: It Ain’t No Lie, Baby, Bye. Bye. Bye.
The OG Dark Order vs. The OG Best Friends face off for a first round bye for the AEW Tag Title Tournament. You can hear how meh the audience is for The Dark Order vs. the pop that The Best Friends get.
This match is pretty flat and I can’t make any jokes. The Dark Order will be great fodder for foolishness through the rest of 2019.
The part that sucks the most is how good Uno and Grayson are here. They have some really interesting double teams and combo moves, but nobody in the Sears Center cares. Not every match can be a knockout but it’d be nice if there was a little more appreciation for innovation.
Anyway, the Dark Order wins with The F@t3@l!+y!!!!, getting that much vaulted bye.
GOOD: The Orange Order
After the match, the Creepers lift an insensate Trent Barretta and begin taking him to the back when SUDDENLY LIGHTS OUT. The lights come up and ORAAAAAAANGE CASSIDY IS IN THE RING! HE’S DOING NOTHING! THE ROOF COMES OFF! HE STANDS THERE!
Cassidy takes out the Creepers with a no-hands Tope Suicida, which gets a “jeepers” out of J.R.. Big Hug, give the people what they want, and Orange Cassidy is All Elite. A very consequential debut for AEW.
Mid: Think less but see it grow, like a Ri, like a Riho
Riho vs. Shida, the winner takes on Nyla Rose for the first Women’s Title at the inaugural Dynamite. Shida v1.0 is still putting it together both in the ring and as a character. Champion Shida blows Shida v1.0 out of the water, and post-Deeb Shida has been fantastic. Riho just does not impress me. I try not to get hung up on size, but Riho weighs the same as my pitbull did when we were overfeeding her. Don’t worry, Juniper the Pitbull is down to a sleek 70 lbs. What I’m saying is that her moves don’t have much impact. Also she has the personality of a bucket of skim milk.
Riho’s size does allow her opponents to throw her around like a bucket of skim milk. Shida pulls off a full suplex from the apron, over the top rope to the mat. Riho ends up winning with a crucifix into a spinning waistlock which rolls through into a high stack pin. It looks pretty fuckin’ rad.
Good: Tears for Spears
Spears wrapped a chair around Cody’s dome at Fyter Fest, later explaining that he was furious that Cody underestimated him, calling him “a good hand” instead of a main eventer. They both sold the animosity here. Spears really looks like an Mirror Universe Cody with the dark hair, tattoos, shaved eyebrow, beard but similar body type. Tully Blanchard makes his AEW PPV debut as Spears’ manager, a role he still plays here in early 2022.
For some reason Spears has white pupil contacts in and I’m not sure why. He’s not really a spooky boo guy, more of a cretin. Tully must have seen those pale eyes and been like “Okay, buddy, you do you.” Cody saw Spears’ sight based showmanship and said “Hold my Romulan Ale”. He does a Star Trek TNG bit, where his Nightamare family is all dressed like the crew of the U S S EN TER PRISE (points for people who know what I’m trying to reference.) It’s the nerdiest shit I’ve ever fucking seen and so goddamn Cody. Three years of this kind of stuff is why he started getting booed. Big Drama all the time.
This is a good match! Legit Spears’ best match in AEW, possibly his best televised match ever. He never got much of a shot to show off even when 10MANIA was runnin’ wild in the NXTZONE. His call up to the main roster sucked all the life from him, whattashocka.
The HEAT between these two really carries what would be an above average match and puts it up to great. I mean, it’s not a hidden classic or anything. If you’re a Cody completionist then it’s a must see. Spears gets heat and Cody’s comebacks get big reactions. It’s definitely a throwback match with a modern coat of paint on it.
MJF is a gem during the match, freaking out when he sees the cheating that he would do, hollering at Cody to get back into the ring, getting the crowd to cheer for Cody, fighting with Tully Blanchard. It’s so great that they are buddies and nothing will break that bond.Arn comes in for the Four Horseman pop, but instead of hitting Tully, he gets a really great looking SPINEBUSTER on Spears. Tully is so GOB SMACK ED that he leaves!
The match finishes with Cody refusing to hit Spears with a chair, but that doesn’t stop him from DISASTER KICKING the chair into Spears’ noggin, then hitting the crossroads for the full three count. MJF picks up the chair to tease a turn, but instead he raises Cody’s hand. Such good buds.
FCKIN GREAT: Bucks vs. Lucha Bros for the AAA Tag Team Titles Numero Dos
I’ll talk about everything but the match because, AGAIN, it’s not worth trying to sum up. You gotta see it AND YOU CAN FOR FREE ON YOUTUBE. I love tag wrestling and it doesn’t get better than these two teams.
It’s an ESCALERA DE LA MUERTA aka LADDER OF THE DEATH match for the AAA tag team titles between two absolutely fearless teams. The four men live up to the name by trying to die for 70% of this thing.
The Lucha Bros come to the ring looking like they’re Mr. Negative’s top henchmen in Spider Man the video game EXCLUSIVE TO THE PS 4 or PS 5.
The Bucks are dressed like if two undead elk went to Mardis Gras
The masks might be a dig on the costume-ery of The Lucha Bros but, tbh, they look cool on their own.
Have a bunch of gifs. It’s my gif to you.
^^^^This is about 5 minutes into the match.
It’s just gifs all the way down.
I get the feeling that Penta is one of those masked wrestlers who is really good looking.
Nick doesn’t get up from that ugly table spot and Matt eats a NO FEAR onto a LADDER and it’s FUCKED.
Now that The Bucks’ souls are floating around the Sears Center like Slimer in the ballroom scene of Ghostbusters, the Lucha Brothers have nothing between them and the AAA title belts.
Absolute carnage, all the stars.
Great: Dead Presidents
As the Lucha Brothers celebrate, the two horniest presidents ever, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton come to the ring dressed in hoodies, cut off The Bros and dump them off the ladders, then fuck up the Young Bucks. It’s pretty fucked up, even for Kennedy.
BUT WAIT THOSE ARE JUST MASKS IT’S LAX LOS PUERRTORRIQUENOS PROUD N POWERFUL SANTANA AND ORTIZ!!!
Good: The Origin of The Anxious Millennial Cowboy
Time for the crowning of Adam Page– okay, I’ll stop acting like Page is going to win here. It does all seem set up to put the belt on Page though. Page beating Jericho is instant credibility, something he needs as a young champion. Jericho is “too old” and “too WWE” to be the inaugural champion… except that’s not what happens.
It’s another outstanding match on a card full of them. Page and Jericho have a reason to fight outside of the belt, although Jericho’s ambush is just window dressing for the AEW championship. In the end it’s up to the two of them to make it worth watching.
I’m not going to gif the hell out of this one, but, remember, YOU CAN WATCH IT FOR FREE and see how Painmaker Jericho can still go against the much younger and more athletic Page. It’s touch to follow the Escalera match but they do a FANTASTIC job of keeping the audience involved. A must see if only for the crowning of the first AEW champion.
I must gif a Shooting Star Press of the apron into a Codebreaker though.
This finishes with a Buckshot Lariat into a Deadeye, but Jericho reverses into a backslide and hits a flash Judas Effect out of nowhere. Expectations dashed. Everybody learned a lesson tonight; being Elite is not a ticket to the gold.
Jericho, bloodied and battered, is the inaugural AEW champ.
So what does this get AEW? A recognizable name as their first champion, a shocking win, and that same instant credibility that Page would have gotten goes to the belt instead. Smart move, Mr. Khan.
And that’s it! Fade to black!
All Out really does show the growth from All In; it’s much more coherent and it’s the first show that feels like it’s part of a larger story instead of just a bunch of indie dream matches. Page and Jericho have a reason to fight outside of the belt, although Jericho’s ambush is just window dressing for the AEW championship.
This is the PPV that takes AEW from being a collection of indie dream matches and makes it into a fully formed federation with stories and personalities to go along with the stellar matches. All Out really does show the growth from All In; it’s much more coherent and not just a collection of BTE bits. Definitely a must watch.
Compare/Contrast with TNA Weekly PPV #4
AEW, hands down. The best TNA match (Style-Lynn and Profile-Lynn vs. THE SATAN GANG) could have hung with this card but that’s about it. The business has changed so much in 20 years that it’s not super fair to compare these… but ROH had some straight to DVD bangers around the same time so…
Well, AEW wins again. This time AEW has stories to go along with the matches so I can’t automatically give TNA the win like I have in the past. TNAs stories are ROUGH where the AEW stuff feels like it serves what’s going on in the ring. The Bucks and The Bros talking shit is better than unneeded racial tension heat for K-Krush.
AEW showed it’s commitment to tag wrestling by having a rematch between two of the greatest teams of ALL OF THE TIMES and then adding in the fantastic Proud N Powerful to set up more great matches. TNA has a slapped together but extremely talented pair holding their belts. AEW is always going to feature Tag Team wrestling, capitalized for emphasis. TNA has tag wrestling because it’s part of their semi-old school philosophy; you can’t have rasslin without tag team rasslin! It’s definitely a good thing and much better than Vince’s abject hatred of anything involving people slapping hands.
4 Way X Division Championship Match – TNA Weekly PPV 2
The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers for the AAA Tag Titles – Double or Nothing 19
Cody Rhodes vs. Dustin Rhodes – Double or Nothing 19
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho – Double or Nothing 19
The Elite vs. The Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid – Fyter Fest 19
The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers for the AAA Tag Titles – All Out 19
Kenny Omega vs. Pac – All Out 19
I’m happy to be back! I can’t wait to dunk on TNA again. Honestly, it’s so much easier to write.