All Elite Wrestling just sent a shock wave through the entire Professional Wrestling industry.
Let that statement sink in, seriously. Yes, I’m writing this minutes after AEW All Out went off the air and I am extremely hyped, but the point of this article, aside from marking out, bro, is to work through why this pay-per-view was needed.
Before I go any further, the show had CM Punk make his in-ring return after seven years of retirement. I felt inspired, so I am now back to writing an article after a very long time of retirement myself. Now, enough about me, let’s get to it.
All Out was the PPV of the year. I do not believe anything is remotely close to it. Top to bottom, and the bottom was real low, QT Marshall and Paul Wight, everything delivered and most of it hit it out of the park.
To “quickly” say what happened, Miro and Eddie Kingston had a slugfest to open the show that exceeded my expectations for the in-ring quality. Jon Moxley and Satoshi Kojima had a fun match that led to the incredible debut of Minoru Suzuki in AEW. Britt Baker and Kris Statlander definitely exceeded my expectations with their match and was easily the best of Statlander’s career. The Young Bucks and Lucha Bros had an absolute trainwreck that was the most fun match of the night, leading to an incredible moment for Fenix and Penta. The Women’s Casino Battle Royale was very entertaining, even though I was wrong about literally everything. Also, congratulations to Ruby Soho on her debut.
PODCAST: Crossbody of Work Episode 78: Taz
Moving forward, Chris Jericho and MJF had a match that will be forgotten in the grand scheme of things, but was freakin’ incredible. I was so sucked into the match and believed absolutely everything. I am an adult that was brought to the edge of my seat by pro wrestling, which is still just incredible to me. MJF is a star.
CM Punk and Darby Allin had the match of the night, in my opinion. However long that went, it should’ve been longer. Those two had great chemistry, the crowd was lively, and Punk’s still got it! I wish Darby had won the match, but I don’t even care. That match was a win for wrestling as a whole.
QT Marshall and Paul Wight had a match. I legitimately went to floss and brush my teeth during this.
Finally, Kenny Omega and Christian Cage had a good match, but that isn’t what matters. After the match, Adam Cole debuted for AEW, teased a match with Omega, and superkicked Jungle Boy out of his boots, turning heel and joining the Elite. Then, Bryan Danielson debuted with the hip hop version of Flight of the Valkyries and cleared house, making it clear that he is now #AllElite.
So, why was this so important?
Aside from being an amazing show, Pro Wrestling has not felt this big since before the dying days of WCW. WWE is what it is. This is not meant to be a hit piece for the company because I’m sure there will be plenty of those. What I mean is this, my brother, who has not followed wrestling since the Ruthless Aggression era, came into the room and watched it with me because he heard about the buzz. I had friends who know absolutely nothing about wrestling and find it more stupid than entertaining asking me about the show. These are just two examples from me, imagine what it was like for people all over the world.
My Twitter feed, both public, which is heavy on wrestling, and burner, which barely has any, were filled with people talking about the PPV and the moments. The hype is absolutely real.
For the majority of 2020, there was barely any Pro Wrestling. For the past year and a half, we watched Pro Wrestling without crowds and really, without passion. It was boring for both WWE and AEW for good chunks of that time. The entire industry suffered. What All Out did was bring passion to the wrestling landscape. The crowd was lively, social media was on fire, and it felt like everyone not watching Florida State play football was watching the PPV.
Pro Wrestling is at its best when it has passion and investment and AEW gave us a reason for both. The debuts of Ruby Soho, Adam Cole, and Bryan Danielson give us something to look forward to. CM Punk looking so great in his return match gives fans anticipation to see him wrestle against other great talents. Heck, Moxley and Suzuki gave me a reason to watch Dynamite this week.
This is good for everyone. Impact, New Japan, WWE, Ring of Honor, even GCW all benefit from added investment in AEW because it is an added investment in Pro Wrestling.
I’m excited for what is next and you should be too. Pro Wrestling is better when we care.
Javier Melo is a contributor to Full Press Wrestling and co-host of the Crossbody of Work Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JMeloSports.