AEW All Out 2022 went down this past Sunday in the outskirts of Chicago at the NOW Arena and it had a lot to live up to, following up on one year after last year’s excellent edition. Sadly, though, it seemed like it wouldn’t be the case, on the account of some strange booking decisions throughout. Let’s go through the action in this rundown of AEW All Out 2022:
“The Joker” wins Casino Ladder Match; who is it?
AEW All Out 2022 opened in a wild way with the Casino Ladder Match to determine who would get a future AEW World Championshp shot. Looking to press their luck in this high-stakes showdown were Blackpool Combat Club’s Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler YUTA, La Faccione Ingobernable’s Rush and Andrade El Idolo, Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix of Death Triangle, and Dante Martin.
With the competitors involved, there were certainly lots of high risk moments at AEW All Out 2022, especially on the part of Dante Martin. He was taking flight in more ways than one, having the match won on several occasions. Other highlights included Penta and Fenix putting their LFI rivals out of commission with a flip piledriver onto a ladder and a diving splash through a table, respectively, Claudio creating a ladder cross at one point, among others.
This match came to a chaotic finish when Stokely Hathaway and his motley crew of clients (W. Morrisey aka Big Cass, the Gunn Club, Ethan Page, and Lee Moriarty) laid the other competitors out, allowing for Stoke to claim the Casino Chip for himself. This led to the arrival of the Joker… who was dressed in a devil’s mask and walking a very familiar strut. He took the Casino Chip from Stoke and left without unmasking.
The devilish Joker, aided by Stoke’s faction, made an impact right away, but, as we’ll see later tonight, he’d be far from done.
The Elite Become Trios Champions in Classic Clash w/ Dark Order
The Trios Championship Finals came down to another showdown at AEW All Out 2022 between The Elite and Dark Order, with the added hostilities of Hangman Page and Kenny Omega on opposite corners for this one. This was trios action at its finest with both teams giving it their all in the hopes of picking up the win and becoming AEW’s inaugural Trios Champions.
To go over every spot that happened with this match would do it a bit of a disservice as it’s one worth watching from start to finish. That said, the moment when Omega and Hangman finally got to exchange fists nearly a year after their classic Full Gear encounter was one of the match’s biggest moments. Special shout out to John Silver as well, who was on fire throughout the contest and looked as though he’d do the deal by himself.
Unfortunately for “Johnny Hungee”, however, it was not to be, as an errant Buckshot Lariat from Hangman Page caught him good, which allowed Omega to get a leverage pin to secure the Trios Titles for the Elite.
Kenny and the Bucks’ win appeared to just bring down the energy that the fans had for the rest of the match… which would be an unintentionally recurring theme as the night progressed. The continued drama between Dark Order and Hangman is sure to continue following the finish. Let’s just say our favorite cowboy may have some ‘splainin’ to do to his spooky buddies.
Jade Cargill Continues Dominant Unbeaten Run
When it came time for Athena to get her shot at Jade Cargill and the TBS Championship at AEW All Out 2022, she hoped to strike first to get the advantage.
The TBS Champ entered in full She-Hulk attire, which got a pop out of me. As for the match itself, Athena opened with her diving stunner to get the early pin, but Jade was saved by her Baddies allies to prevent the early loss. Despite the interference, Athena kept up the assault on Jade, but a stiff pump kick from the champ, followed by Jaded spelled the end for the challenger’s TBS Championship aspirations.
This was a weirdly quick match with the wrong result, in my opinion. Athena had been built up for months as potentially the one challenger to dethrone Jade, so to see her lose in such a fashion is rather disappointing. Though, I suspect they may be waiting on Kris Statlander to recover from her knee injury so that they can have her beat Jade upon her return. In any case, this was a misstep.
“FTWardlow” Silence Lethal and the MCMGs
Former Pinnacle allies Wardlow and FTR reunited again to fight Jay Lethal and the Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) of IMPACT Wrestling in this special attraction tag match. Of course, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt were at ringside to back up Lethal and the MCMGs.
A lot of this match was built on Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler’s standoffs with Shelley & Sabin, which should whet the appetites of those who want to see two of the greatest tag teams in the modern era of wrestling face off down the line. In the end, it came down to Wardlow and Lethal, with the latter falling victim to a four-strong Powerbomb Symphony from the TNT Champion and a humbling loss.
Post-match activity included Samoa Joe’s return to action to help FTR & Wardlow fend off Sonjay’s faction. This was followed by Dax’s daughter Finley entering the ring and breaking Sonjay’s pencil and getting a pinfall win over the loudmouth manager. A very cute moment to cap off this trios match, for sure.
Powerhouse Hobbs Crushes Starks in Surprise Win
Ricky Starks finally had a chance to get his hands on Powerhouse Hobbs after the shocking betrayal he suffered from his former Team Taz ally last month. It just didn’t turn out the way he hoped.
Despite all the rage he had to pay back the betrayal, Hobbs’ power was simply too much for Starks, who fell victim to a spinebuster to end this match at around the five minute mark. It was a curious choice to have Starks lose in this fashion, but I’m willing to see what happens next.
Everyone Loves The Acclaimed
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland put their AEW World Tag Titles on the line at AEW All Out 2022 against the red-hot Acclaimed duo of Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, who had “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn out there as moral support.
Perhaps seeing that there wouldn’t be any way they’d be cheered over the Acclaimed, Swerve in Our Glory opted to work a heel style for this match. Bowens sold a knee injury halfway through the match, giving him sympathy with the fans and allowing for them to cheer when he’d try to mount a comeback for his team in spite of the bum knee.
As the match wore on, the tension was incredibly palpable, especially when Bowens kicked out of a Swerve Stomp to stay alive in this match, and when the Acclaimed nearly had the Tag Titles won following a Mic Drop elbow by Caster on Swerve. When Keith Lee broke up the pin there, the fans were not pleased, even moreso when Lee and Strickland finally got the win after the Spirit Bomb/Swerve Stomp combo on Bowens to retain their titles. You could feel the mood dampen quite severely because of the result.
Of all the finishes that needed a last-second audible, this was the biggest one of them all. The Acclaimed were extremely over with the live crowd and were chomping at the bit to see them crowned Tag Team Champions. While the finish felt flat, it does hopefully set up a rematch for the Grand Slam at Arthur Ashe Stadium where Bowens and Caster could potentially win the titles. It just has to happen.
Other than that, this match was The Acclaimed’s big moment and they seized upon it. Caster and Bowens proved themselves to be ready for the big time, and it’s only a matter of when until they become champions.
The Interim AEW Women’s World Championship
With Thunder Rosa on the shelf due to an injury, the time came to name an interim AEW Women’s World Champion, with the title to be decided in a four-way dance between former champs Dr. Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida, as well as Jamie Hayter and Toni Storm.
Putting this match on after an intense tag team championship match with a deflating ending gave it an incredible uphill battle to climb in terms of a crowd reaction.
At first, it seemed that the Team DMD alliance between Hayter and Baker would pay dividends as they teamed up to seemingly take Shida out of the equation with a stage attack. The fiery Shida made her triumphant return later on when she brought two kendo sticks with Hayter and Baker’s names on them to wreck house. This brought the crowd back into things.
It seemed that Hayter would get the win to become interim Women’s World Champion, but Dr. Britt pulled out the referee just as her ally had Shida pinned. Toni Storm pounced by flattening Hayter with Storm Zero, but got thrown out of the ring by Baker, who tried to get the pin on her supposed friend. Two-count.
Storm would bounce right back and deliver DDTs to both Baker and Hayter to get the pin and win to become interim AEW Women’s World Champion. A solid enough match that was somewhat hampered by a tepid crowd response following the previous match. That said, Storm’s title win now brings her back to a collision course with current Women’s World Champ Thunder Rosa when she returns from injury.
Meanwhile, the increased hostility between Dr. Britt and Jamie Hayter should finally move along their inevitable feud after months of stalling.
The Inevitable Betrayal
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry looked to get some revenge on Christian Cage, the mentor who betrayed him and made disparaging remarks about his late father, Luke Perry. However, that chance wouldn’t come at all as Jack had to deal with another betrayal at AEW All Out 2022.
Luchasaurus channeled his inner “Big Show” Paul Wight and re-turned heel by attacking his best pal Jungle Boy on the ramp. After a vicious chokeslam on the stage and a powerbomb through the table, this left Jack easy pickings for the opportunistic Christian, who got the tainted victory during AEW All Out 2022.
Yet another weird booking decision to put this on a PPV, seeming more like a swerve to put on Dynamite or Rampage. It does, however, give Jungle Boy a feud to win before getting a proper shot against Christian in a true blowoff match… one that should probably have a major stipulation attached to it.
The Lionheart Tames The Dragon
Chris Jericho brought “The Lionheart” back to take on American Dragon Bryan Danielson in this technical showdown at AEW All Out 2022. While Jericho entered with his Lionheart gear and entrance music, Danielson was accompanied by musician Elliott Taylor, who gave fans a live performance of Bryan’s (very catchy) entrance theme.
Danielson and Jericho wrestled a very deliberately-paced match not unlike a match that legends like Bret Hart or Ricky Steamboat might have. Jericho seemed to be at his best, channeling a similar effort to the one he gave in the AEW World title match against Jon Moxley at Quake by the Lake last month.
After twice escaping Cattle Mutilation, Jericho used a timely corner distraction to catch Bryan by surprise with a cheap trip to Dick Kick City, followed by the Judas Effect for the inexplicable win. He was joined by his fellow Jericho Appreciation Society members for the celebration afterwards, with the exception of Daniel Garcia.
I hate to say it, but it was, once again, another match with a confounding finish. Everything before Jericho’s low blow was great, as I do enjoy his whole Lionheart vibe.
Shortly after, we got a backstage segment where Jericho admonished Daniel Garcia for not being there to celebrate his win, challenging him to win the Pure Championship from Wheeler YUTA on Dynamite without the help of the Jericho Appreciation Society.
Sting, Darby, and Miro Outlast The House of Black
The final match before the main event saw the unlikely alliance of Sting, Darby Allin, and Miro fighting common enemies in the House of Black.
This match’s highlight was, of course, Sting getting the hot tag and cleaning house on the House of Black. It’s still incredible that a man Sting’s age can move so well as he does and not look out of step with his younger peers.
The HoB looked to get the upper hand as Buddy Matthews struck Miro with Sting’s baseball bat, giving the numerical advantage against Sting and Darby. However, the good guys rallied for the win after Sting blasted mist in Malakai Black’s face, opening him for a Last Supper pin from Darby.
It was a standard Sting & Darby trios match, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Seeing Sting wrestle is still a special attraction and it’s one that gets a fantastic reaction from AEW crowds. This match was a nice warmup for the main event ahead.
What wasn’t shown on PPV was an apparent farewell from Malakai Black, who hugged his House of Black stablemates before taking a bow and making an exit to “thank you” chants from the crowd. Whether this means his time with AEW is done or he’s just taking some time off from wrestling is up in the air.
CM Punk Becomes AEW World Champion; The Joker Unmasks
While the road to get to this rematch for the AEW World Title may have been bumpy after the sudden squash win for Moxley to unify the championshps a couple of weeks ago, the action appeared to more than make up for it at AEW All Out 2022.
As the match started furiously between the bitter competitors, Punk got the jump on Moxley by hitting a GTS out of nowhere. That, however, wouldn’t be the end of the match. Not just yet. From there, the battle spilled into the crowd for a bit as Mox threw Punk into the ring post to make him bleed.
Mox was relentless on the attack, using every bit of tool in his arsenal in the hopes of keeping the AEW World Championship around his waist. He’d catch Punk with a surprise Death Rider DDT after countering GTS, but that wasn’t enough to put the hometown hero away.
Incensed, Mox applied his Bulldog Choke on Punk, but the Chicago native valiantly escaped and looked to have another GTS planted. Mox escaped that time, but he wouldn’t escape after a volley of dueling counters, falling victim two to GTSes from Punk and the pin. This marked Moxley’s second-ever singles loss in his three-year AEW tenure.
Punk didn’t get much time to celebrate his newly-won title as the lights shut off. A voicemail message from Tony Khan played, mentioning how the absence of a certain figure was apparently hurting AEW. Then a clip from ROH with Punk from his heel turn was shown before the masked Joker appeared in the darkness. “And I am… the Devil himself,” said the Joker as he unmasked and put on a very familiar Burberry scarf.
Out came a returning MJF, who now had an avenue to take the championship that CM Punk fought hard to win back… and apparently, the crowd’s support.
The Rest of the Best
- Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo def. Ortiz & Ruby Soho via pinfall to retain their AAA Mixed Tag Team Championships after Melo got the pin on Ruby while Sammy held Ortiz back to prevent a breakup. Ruby appeared to suffer a broken nose following Melo’s Tay-KO, and an earlier spot saw Sammy roughly dropping Ruby on her neck during a double team move with Melo.
- HOOK def. “Cool Hand” Ange Parker via submission to retain the FTW Championship. Parker gave it his best try against HOOK, with “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard providing some assistance, but it wasn’t enough to put HOOK away. After the match, Menard and Parker tried to beat down HOOK, but were foiled by Action Bronson (the rapper who sings HOOK’s theme song).
- PAC def. Kip Sabian via pinfall to retain the All-Atlantic Championship following a Black Arrow. Orange Cassidy appeared after the match, apparently wanting a shot at the AAC, but PAC refused to oblige Orange’s challenge.
- Eddie Kingston def. Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall after two Spinning Backfists and a Northern Lights bomb to pick up the win.
Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.