I wouldn’t go so far as to say ALL IN was a vanity project for Cody and The Young Bucks, but it was absolutely a show as much about what they love/want out of pro wrestling as it was about legitimately changing the landscape of the industry. Both can be true, I suppose, because this legitimately was one of the biggest independent wrestling shows of all time, insofar as it was an independent wrestling show.
It was enjoyable too, as a standalone wrestling event. The action was solid, the matches generally good. The production had its issues but it wasn’t bad. The commentary was sometimes awful, other times great, but mostly fine. There were genuinely big moments that felt just as big and maybe even bigger than anything WWE has offered in recent memory.
Most of all, it was fun, and that’s if you went in without ever having watched an episode of Being The Elite.
If you’re a fan of Being The Elite, however, and a weekly viewer of it, this was a great show. Because, really, this was basically an episode of Being The Elite with a new format. Instead of presenting the perspective of the guys traveling around between shows, they simply presented the perspective of the show itself.
- You had the long payoff to the story of Flip Gordon trying to get booked and ultimately winning the Over The Budget Battle Royal before failing to capture the ROH championship from Jay Lethal later in the evening. Speaking of Lethal, they also did the bit where he was slapped on the shoulder and became Black Machismo.
- You had the payoff to the better-than-expected build to Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell, which was as much about Daniels defending the business as it was Amell getting booked because Mrs. Matt Jackson loves him.
- You had the payoff of Cody winning the NWA Worlds Heavyweight championship, which was promoted best through various YouTube shows.
- You had Chris Jericho show up for the sole purpose of attacking Kenny Omega just to promote a match they’re on opposite sides of -- that was booked on Being The Elite -- for Jericho’s upcoming cruise.
- You had Marty Scurll going all out to prove himself against Okada after everyone had told him “you’re fucked.” While he lost, he absolutely proved himself.
- You had the entirety of the Hangman Page-Joey Janela match, which was all about the story of Page murdering famous dick wrestler Joey Ryan with a telephone (which he used to win this match, but not before getting spooked by his talking boots). Ryan was resurrected and a bunch of ghost dicks brought him out and carried out Page after he was once again humiliated by the power of Ryan’s dick. Had you never watched Being The Elite, none of this would make a lick of sense.
What Cody and The Bucks did here was take what they do on a smaller scale in weekly YouTube videos, and put together a big time event on a much larger scale on pay-per-view. But they stayed true to what got them here while paying off all the fans who took the journey with them.