ALL IN was a smash success by basically any measure possible. From the event selling out to the sustained buzz to the huge Starrcast convention to the final product, it was a brilliant display of fan service paying off.
For most of the wrestlers on the show, the event was a career milestone. With the opportunity to wrestle in front of a crowd unlike anything they’ve experienced in their careers.
I talked to “All Ego” Ethan Page about that on this week’s edition of Bitter Boys Club (presented by CagesideSeats.com!).
Page participated in the Over the Budget Battle Royal, something that may not have been exciting on paper, but turned out to be a tremendous coup for those involved.
“Cabana admitted this on his podcast this week and to everyone in the locker room, when you get announced for a battle royal, you’re like, ‘Well, it’s a battle royal.’” Page said. “Yes, everyone’s excited to be on the show, but everyone is like, ‘Man, I wish I had a match.’
“The way this was put together, everyone had their moments to shine. I’m not kidding, when I got to the back after my segments were done, I was like, ‘Man, I’m just so happy that I got the opportunity on multiple occasions in one match to showcase my skill, have moments with people I’ve never worked before and I got two eliminations.’ Ethan Page would say he was booked well.”
Part of what made the battle royal work was simply not putting it together like a typical battle royal.
There was not a lot of the battle royal standard “everyone standing in the ring at the same time, awkwardly trying to lift someone’s leg or throwing punches.” Instead, the ring was cleared often, people were put in opportunities to showcase themselves and not get lost in the shuffle on the biggest stage most of them have ever been on.
“It was a team effort,” Page said. “Everyone really worked together. You have think about the generations of people that were in that match. Imagine us trying to explain to Bully Ray and Billy Gunn we wanted to do dives at the beginning of a battle royal and they’re thinking, ‘We have to call stuff? What do you mean?’ It was an experience and a testament to everyone involved in the match because it came off as it should and was a fun and exciting different spin on a battle royal.”
The “team effort” aspect was something clearly central to the success of the event. With everyone pulling the same direction, they were able to do some impressive things.
“I’ve done extra work for WWE and it wasn’t that,” Page said. “Yes, we were in a 11,000 seat arena. Yes, there was lots of money coming in and out, but it wasn’t a big business feel. People showed up in shorts and t-shirts. It was like the biggest party for you and your friends. No one is there to judge each other, they’re all there to support each other and I think that’s why it had the atmosphere and feeling that it did. It was special, but people didn’t change who they were because of the success.”
And that made for some truly special things, even in a battle royal.
“It was the best. It was the greatest day of my career. I’m not joking. A battle royal. For real, a battle royal was the greatest thing in my wrestling career. I’ll never be able to explain it but I’ll never be able to forget.”
- We also got into the Marty Scurll going over time thing. It’s super interesting, but you’ll have to listen to the show to get that. Listen above or subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher.
- Last night brought us Impact Wrestling’s latest effort and you can read our recap and reactions here.
- Or, if Lucha Underground is more your thing, we’ve got that recap as well.
- HBK might return in-ring. Unfortunately it’s for a show paid for by an oppressive government.
- Bray Wyatt is hinting at a Wyatt Family reunion. Meanwhile, Luke Harper is showing up at NXT.
- WWE and a tell-all book? Color me skeptical WWE’s access won’t be conditional.
- D-Bry has reportedly re-upped his contract with WWE.
Happy Friday, y’all.