Since All Elite Wrestling exploded onto the scene, changing professional wrestling forever, the pursuit of competition, championship glory and personal grudges has never been hotter, but with AEW’s All Out set for Saturday September 5th, the blood is boiling ever hotter, the pursuit of glory ever more dangerous and the anger between combatants has never been more
This is a FULL SPOILER review of the All Elite Wrestling’s ‘All Out 2020’ pay-per-view.
A big finish it may have had, but AEW’s All Out 2020 show was the companies weakest pay-per-view so far. Not to say it was terrible. In fact, the good matches outweigh the bad. But it was terribly long and will remain in fans memories for the laugh-out-loud botches and minutes spent worrying about Matt Hardy.
The opening cinematic match between Dr Britt Baker and Big Swole was awkward. Unlike previous efforts like the Stadium Stampede, it was missing that X-factor. It was messy, but at least it’s the beginnings of Baker’s return to the ring.
That match did set the tone. And if Britt holding a drill above Swole was making you uncomfortable, you were in for far more of that.
The Casino Battle Royale had one surprise entrant. Matt Sydal made his AEW entrance by climbing up to the top of the rope and slipping into an awkward fall after attempting a ‘Shooting Star Press’. Shortly following this, the much-hyped finale to the Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara feud came to a shocking and rushed finish after Matt Hardy was knocked out cold and obviously dazed.
Hardy is what everyone will remember from this event, unfortunately. Is he okay? We’re lead to believe so and I sure do hope he is. Should the match have finished? Probably not. Even if the doctor cleared him it was uncomfortable to watch him climb a scaffold. Fans would have been more understanding of any story twists to make the “Hardy loses, he leaves AEW” storyline work. Fan also would also have been more positive of the manner in which AEW handled the injury if the match had been called off. Hell, have someone come out and finish Sammy off and call it a double DQ.
There was a decent match amongst this messy first half. The Young Bucks took down Jurassic Express at the start of the show in an aggressive push to get The Elite more aligned as heels. Or, chaotic-neutral as I like to call them. It was a good match, but after the show ran for nearly 5 hours (buy-in included), you have to wonder if it was PPV worthy.
The same can be said for The Dark Order VS Cody’s friends. Solid wrestling from everyone, but having Cody’s friends, which included The Natural Nightmares, Scorpio Sky and Matt Cardona win just made the match feel like a whiff. It set up Dustin to take on Brodie Lee next week on Dynamite, but you could have pushed that even harder if he’d lost the 8-man tag.
Colt Cabana was left, for the first time, in the billowing waves of Mr Brodie’s smack talk after costing The Dark Order the match. But Evil Uno helped him up. I dunno what’s going on with this Colt story but I do need it to start doing something soon and I don’t think this needed to be on the card.
Jericho v Orange Cassidy III was a lot of fun but carried no weight. Any pin-count of submission was pointless. We all knew someone was going into the mimosa. Even then, the two kids pools weren’t big enough to carry the hype of this match and there were far too many convenient near misses at the edge of the pool.
What carried this event were three fantastic title matches.
Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa had an all-time heavy Woman’s title bout. A ‘Death Valley Driver’ on the ring apron was just one of many highs. There may have been one or two awkward moments but never enough to slow down the momentum the two had. Hikaru retaining was a given, but this was one of her all-time best AEW matches.
My most anticipated match didn’t let me down in the wrestling department, but somewhat in the post-match story. Adam Page and Kenny Omega managing to get some cohesion back together only to lose to FTR was what we all smelled coming, but boy did they have me doubting myself half-way through a hard-hitting match. Kenny seemed to want to take his anger out on Page in the post-match but walks off exclaiming they “need a clean slate.” Which is, I’m sure, going to have many (myself included) looking for the return of ‘The Cleaner’ persona of Kenny Omega.
Even with that slight tease from Kenny at the end we really didn’t get much post-match story in this PPV at all which was my biggest disappointment.
The main event saw MJF prove he could stand up to Jon Moxley, but he couldn’t out-hit or outsmart the champ. MJF truly followed in his old mentor Cody’s footsteps with a solid display of blood. This was a combination of solid in-ring wrestling and hard-hitting brawling. But it was the storytelling that made this match so engaging. Early work on Moxley’s left arm left him at a clear disadvantage, but it was the finisher that was the best-booked part of this entire show. After having Moxley sign a contract that banned the ‘Paradigm Shift’ from Moxley’s move set he was able to perform it as the finisher as MJF struggled to pick up a fumbled Dynamite Ring thrown into the ring by Wardlow distracting MJF and the referee — chef’s kiss.
Full Gear, the final pay-per-view event for 2020 from All Elite Wrestling is set for November 8th. Let’s hope they can put on a better paced, safer and less-botch prone show to finish the year off.