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All Out III - 9/5/2021


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I showed that Golden Girls clip to a friend obsessed with that show.  To say she was delighted would be a huge understatement.  I also remember sharing with her the time Christian did that backstage a month ago though don't believe JB was with him.

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So, I said earlier that I went into the show "spoiler-free" on Monday morning.  That's not totally true.  I accidentally opened Instagram to see a pic of Kenny and company with Adam Cole in the ring before I watched.  So, I knew he debuted after the main.  I was a little disappointed that it was him and not Danielson.  So, I still got to have that surprise when I watched!   

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I've decided to enlist a new "No Elite Wrestling" policy in that I skip anything involving Kenny, The Bucks and The Good Brothers. It makes the shows much better for me and fits my "I don't watch stuff I don't like" principles. Please respect my new religion.

Eddie vs Miro was a nice slobber fight and did well setting the stage as Miro being an stoppable monster if you put the pieces puzzle pieces together correctly. Eddie is a great, great seller and manages to be simultaneously both sympathetic and intimidating. That's a notoriously hard line to walk. I would guess Mick Foley would be the closest but he tended to hop back and forth over the line easily rather than be on the line at the same time.  I am ready for a rematch for this one. My one note would be that they put the heat on the referee at the end when Eddie got a visual three count but Bryce was distracted. We don't want to create a feeling that the faces have their greatest issues overcoming bad calls rather than overcoming bad people. 

Mox vs Kojima - This match featured very respectful but not particularly engaged fans who are willing to give AEW the benefit of the doubt in terms of giving Kojima a chance but not so well informed that they know him well enough to have automatic buy in. For example, you got a lot of chanting for Kojima but no one in the live audience bit on the hook that he has a super devastating lariat. They would have likely needed to put together packages earlier in order to  establish Kojima and what he does more effectively. Susuki has a more interesting look and demeanor so he's more likely to catch on more quickly with less build. JR really hammered Susuki over and did a great job selling him. Excalibur seemed to be stepping on the moment more, he needs to be aware that it takes the sting out of surprises when he has his wrestling encyclopedia open to their page immediately and starts rattling off bullet points. 

Statlander vs Britt - This was well placed on the card, putting it before the top contender battle royal as it may have spoiled the winner of this match was a good idea (although I don't think the battle royal actually did that). I think AEW has now as a whole brought up a bad trope of people laying unmoving for 9 seconds to tease a count out before popping up to beat the count. It happened three times on this card and that's too many especially as AEW has never had a count out in a non elimination match that I can recall outside of a double count out during the Avalon-Cutler series. I found the finishing stretch where Britt put together a bunch of stomps (really effective ones), the sunrise, the curb stomp and the lock jaw to be effective even though I don't normally go in for multiple near falls going into a finish. Not sure exactly why, but this didn't feel as flat.  Orange Cassidy firing up might have been better spent as something more impactful to really pay off.

Battle Royal - The card suit thing is just a failed format at this point. It ruins the run in pop as they are stacked on top of each other.  The card suit reveal is pointless as no one knows who is in what suit. It may be more impactful and give us some more television if they revealed the suits and ran something to determine the entrance order. Some of the action was really off putting like Riho's elimination that wasn't, Shida's obvious demotion and too many elimination chains where one person would eliminate someone and then get eliminated because they were looking outside the ring. There were nuggets of good ideas and Ruby Soho was over immediately but the meat wasn't there.  

Jericho vs MJF - One of Jericho's better recent showings where he stepped up his game. MJF's back selling was on point if a little too on the nose for the finish. They almost put the heat on the referees again here for the restart and I think it would work better if MJF did something shitty and got caught rather than the foot on the ropes deal. They need to separate these two finally and move them on to something else as it has worn out its welcome. I'm not sure where else either guy can go as AEW sometimes locks people into working only with certain people for extended periods and I'm not sure what else you can do with two 6 man factions (assuming they still exist).  

CM Punk vs Darby - Punk's slower style helped punctuate Darby's acceleration and CM really did capture a Bret Hart sense of veteran presence here. I'm not sure I would have had the first Go 2 Sleep send Darby out of the ring because its Punk's first match but it was such a great spot, I understand why they would have done it. Watching what I watched of this show, the typical AEW pace feels much slower and more my speed where it's not 100 mph and more palatable for me.  

Paul Wight vs QT - Breather match to give people a chance to catch up for the main event I didn't watch. Paul looked physically bad and the new gear didn't help.  Not sure why you'd turn the Gunn Club on Wight last week and have them not show up for the PPV.

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The tag match was fucking incredible. A bit over spotfesty for my liking at times but overall just a great match. The eruption from the crowd after it seemed sure the Bucks would win right up until the end was something else. 
 

Imagine a WWE tag title match these days feeling THAT important, they’ve probably done it in the past with the old NXT or The Shield or now that I think of it the Usos/New Day but no way they could achieve anything like that the way the shows are booked now. 

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Funny thing is, that Hayter clearly gestures to the referees that Riho isn't eliminated, but the announcer already said she was. And then they silently let it slide. Riho was in there for seconds. Clearly they should know who stays in for how long? 

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14 minutes ago, Goodear said:

I've decided to enlist a new "No Elite Wrestling" policy in that I skip anything involving Kenny, The Bucks and The Good Brothers. It makes the shows much better for me and fits my "I don't watch stuff I don't like" principles. Please respect my new religion.

I respect that and feel @just drewmight want to consider that as much as possible.  I know it might be tough for watching the show as it airs but if things like that help one's overall enjoyment then go for it.  I would at least recommend the entrance for Lucha Bros and I'm sure you know about the post-match after Kenny/Christian with the two debuts.

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The casino battle royale is just a flawed concept and I'm not sure what they could do to improve it other than just going with a normal Royal Rumble format or doing a typical Battle Royale. It got brought up on the Discord chat, but there's literally no point into making a big deal about what suit is coming out next because no one knows who has what suit. Ok, Clubs is first. Great. So who is a part of the Clubs group? Oh, it's these people. And all of it is just a waiting game to see who the Joker card is because that will be the most important person going in and the person most likely to win, except for Matt Sydal. 

I don't think anyone would miss the Casino Battle Royale if it went away. I get that it's a way to give as many people a payday as possible, but I think a gauntlet match would be better and then on the pre-show you do a big 8 or 10 man or woman tag.

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I feel like this is a strong counterexample to “TK still reads the board” because we’ve been saying that they should announce the suits beforehand for a while, and yet...

Edited by EVA
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To my knowledge, aren't Adam Cole and Daniel Bryan (excluding Punk) the first two people to actively CHOOSE AEW over WWE? Everyone else had their hand forced by being released, but those two chose not to re-sign. Wonder how McMahon feels about that.

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2 minutes ago, Krone Meltzer said:

To my knowledge, aren't Adam Cole and Daniel Bryan (excluding Punk) the first two people to actively CHOOSE AEW over WWE? Everyone else had their hand forced by being released, but those two chose not to re-sign. Wonder how McMahon feels about that.

Chris Jericho... The EVPs... Ricky Starks... Brodie and FTR actively trying to get released... No, we've got plenty of these. 

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I was more or less referencing people who were there. Like the EVPs wouldn't count but FTR most certainly would. Jericho I also wouldn't count as he was in at the ground level before AEW took off.

I guess Moxley counts too, but damn it it Danielsons doesn't feel bigger. He almost feels like the Hogan to this situation over Punk. I really think getting Danielson may be the biggest coo of all, even more than Punk 

 

Edit-Maybe it's because of how elite Bryan is in the ring still. He adds that layer of legitimacy to Elite Wrestling.

Edited by Krone Meltzer
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Bryan’s a bigger deal in the sense that he was just with WWE and him leaving has an effect on their current plans and business. Punk is the bigger attraction because of his time away and the history of his WWE run. It was brilliant to get as many eyes on AEW through Punk so that then Danielson, the other debuts, and the card itself could leave a major impression. I think it’s way more important that Bryan and Punk get to use their rub on the up-and-comers and help season them than who’s the absolute top of the deck ace for AEW in the short term. If all goes well, we’ll be having those discussions about Darby, Jungle Boy, MJF, and Sammy in a couple of years. 

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I guess what I'm trying to articulate is this. If WCW was "where the big boys play" before Hogan comes in, it feels empty because WCW doesn't have the "biggest boy". When they steal Hogan from WWF, they take their biggest star and legitimize themselves in the process.

Now I'm not saying AEW hasn't been legit all along, BUT when you take a star the level of Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson - a person who has been in multiple world title matches at WrestleMania - and arguably a (not the, but one of) face of the company (WWE) for a lot of fans that's a really really big get. You just sniped the best technical wrestler WWE has to offer and a former multi time world champion who is a part of some of, if not the biggest moments for said company in the past decade.

I'll take Bryan's stuff from Mania 30 or other stuff more recent and say it was more important  or bigger in the WWE Universe than anything Jericho, even Moxley, Brodie, FTR, ect have done. I don't know, this just actually feels like the biggest signing of all. I know Punk is really, but man, I can't put over enough how big I think this really is for AEW.

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I really like Bryan's demeanor during his surprise and the scrum. Yeah, he couldn't help but smile to take it all in but it lasted a few seconds and it was all business from there on out. He's not here to uplift young guys but to kick their fucking heads in (he still talked about wanting to work with all the young guys because he can't help himself). There's an edge there that an ace needs that Punk hasn't quite shown yet, but likely will. Punk certainly started to show it near the end of the match and even his celebration afterwards. It's like the WWE personas of Punk and Danielson swapped and we've got chip on his shoulder Bryan and awe shucks Punk for now. I like it. Punk will regress to the mean and get his game face on and stop talking about wanting to do for the next generation what guys like Eddie did for him, but it's a nice change of pace for the time being. Danielson going back to his pre WWE persona rules.

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7 minutes ago, Krone Meltzer said:

I was more or less referencing people who were there. Like the EVPs wouldn't count but FTR most certainly would. Jericho I also wouldn't count as he was in at the ground level before AEW took off.

I guess Moxley counts too, but damn it it Danielsons doesn't feel bigger. He almost feels like the Hogan to this situation over Punk. I really think getting Danielson may be the biggest coo of all, even more than Punk 

 

Edit-Maybe it's because of how elite Bryan is in the ring still. He adds that layer of legitimacy to Elite Wrestling.

One way in which Danielson might feel like a bigger deal because he's not really rejecting WWE, so much as he's choosing something else. FTR, Moxley, and of course Punk could be written off as malcontents who just were never going to be happy, and with whom there would always be a disconnect between how they and WWE saw themselves. But Danielson is a famously easy guy to work with, who, even now, really has nothing bad to say about WWE or Vince, his time working there, his pay, booking, any of it. They would have happily paid him millions and presented him as a consistent main eventer with a high degree of creative freedom. (To a lesser extent you could say this about Cole, too.)

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2 hours ago, Craig H said:

My wife and I got very teary eyed for not only Ruby coming out, but winning the damn thing. I have a ton of pride for my hometown and the cool people that come from it. She's always making us proud.

Yeah, Ruby, DB, and Adam Cole all seem to be reenergized.  I just hope the ticket and merch sales can support this payroll.  AEW's roster is crazy and is not exactly full of people that you're paying per appearance anymore.

AEW does appear to be dragging Impact upwards as it rises, so there's that.  Here's hoping AEW's other partners like AAA and NJPW Strong are also seeing some benefit

Edited by J.T.
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4 minutes ago, Krone Meltzer said:

I guess what I'm trying to articulate is this. If WCW was "where the big boys play" before Hogan comes in, it feels empty because WCW doesn't have the "biggest boy". When they steal Hogan from WWF, they take their biggest star and legitimize themselves in the process.

Now I'm not saying AEW hasn't been legit all along, BUT when you take a star the level of Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson - a person who has been in multiple world title matches at WrestleMania - and arguably a (not the, but one of) face of the company (WWE) for a lot of fans that's a really really big get. You just sniped the best technical wrestler WWE has to offer and a former multi time world champion who is a part of some of, if not the biggest moments for said company in the past decade.

I'll take Bryan's stuff from Mania 30 or other stuff more recent and say it was more important  or bigger in the WWE Universe than anything Jericho, even Moxley, Brodie, FTR, ect have done. I don't know, this just actually feels like the biggest signing of all. I know Punk is really, but man, I can't put over enough how big I think this really is for AEW.

Yeah, I get it. Even people who've been stars in AEW will be further legitimized by going toe-to-toe with guys like Danielson. This isn't like Jericho, where he was outside of the title picture for a while because of his age. This is a 2021 Wrestlemania headliner. I don't like the "the stars are finally here" shtick but Omega got over in Japan because he beat the top guys in Japan. Beating Chris Jericho in 2020 isn't the same (though he lost their only singles match in AEW). Danielson should have the shortest queue to the title than any of the other bigger names to debut in AEW so far, Christian included. Give him one or two matches to get him ranked and get him and Omega going ASAP. 

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6 hours ago, hammerva said:

I wonder if Andrade will eventually beat up Chavo for sticking his nose into business. 

My joke in the chat was that Pepe was the one who changed the flight. He could always pull that out of his back pocket. 

And yeah, I hate to agree with Vince in any way, but Andrade IS really hard to understand. And that is usually no problem with me. 

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32 minutes ago, Krone Meltzer said:

I guess what I'm trying to articulate is this. If WCW was "where the big boys play" before Hogan comes in, it feels empty because WCW doesn't have the "biggest boy". When they steal Hogan from WWF, they take their biggest star and legitimize themselves in the process.

Now I'm not saying AEW hasn't been legit all along, BUT when you take a star the level of Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson - a person who has been in multiple world title matches at WrestleMania - and arguably a (not the, but one of) face of the company (WWE) for a lot of fans that's a really really big get. You just sniped the best technical wrestler WWE has to offer and a former multi time world champion who is a part of some of, if not the biggest moments for said company in the past decade.

I'll take Bryan's stuff from Mania 30 or other stuff more recent and say it was more important  or bigger in the WWE Universe than anything Jericho, even Moxley, Brodie, FTR, ect have done. I don't know, this just actually feels like the biggest signing of all. I know Punk is really, but man, I can't put over enough how big I think this really is for AEW.

I'm not denying it's a big signing. It's a huge deal and an important contributing element to the growing enthusiasm around the company. I'm just articulating that, strictly speaking, Bryan and Cole are very far from the first to actively choose AEW over its largest competitor as you were wondering about earlier. I know Christian and Andrade aren't setting everyone's world on fire, but they're right there. 🙂 

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Bryan is the biggest deal so far as he’s someone who wasn’t being misused and didn’t seem to be unhappy with his treatment in WWE.

The guy literally main event Wrestlemania about 4 months ago, so he’s definitely the biggest star to “jump ship” so far. Only ones that I think would come off as more shocking would be Cena, Reigns or maybe Brock.

Edited by eikerir
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@Goodearbrought up a good point and that is the slower pace of some of these matches on the card. The Women's Title match, Jericho/MJF, and Darby/Punk all felt slow in comparison to the typical PWG AEW go-go style and it helped the card breathe. They need more of this going forward. 

Also there were Miro/King and Mox/Kojima, but I wasn't getting a feel of pace in those, instead more of stiffness. And speaking of stiffness Suzuki is really gonna show the crowd what that is with his elbows, those things have evolved into a Misawa level of jaw-cracking force. You can tell by sound alone. 

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55 minutes ago, Jiji said:

Yeah, I get it. Even people who've been stars in AEW will be further legitimized by going toe-to-toe with guys like Danielson. This isn't like Jericho, where he was outside of the title picture for a while because of his age. This is a 2021 Wrestlemania headliner. I don't like the "the stars are finally here" shtick but Omega got over in Japan because he beat the top guys in Japan. Beating Chris Jericho in 2020 isn't the same (though he lost their only singles match in AEW). Danielson should have the shortest queue to the title than any of the other bigger names to debut in AEW so far, Christian included. Give him one or two matches to get him ranked and get him and Omega going ASAP

A quick win over Colton Gunn is sure to shoot him up the rankings. This is what they've been waiting for.

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