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AEW All Out 2021 recap & reactions: Yes! Yes! Yes!

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@AEWonTNT

The AEW All Out PPV (Sep. 5, 2021) emanated from the NOW Arena in Chicago, IL. The show featured Kenny Omega keeping his world title, the Young Bucks dropping their tag belts, CM Punk’s return to the ring, and the surprise debuts of Minoru Suzuki, Ruby Soho, Adam Cole, and Daniel Bryan.

Get caught up on all the All Out details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Let’s run it down from top to bottom.

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega retained against Christian Cage. The champ charged for a V-trigger at the opening bell. Christian dodged it, and the action spilled to the floor. Omega took control with a running stomp off the apron to crunch a table on Christian.

The action really picked up steam starting with Omega dishing out a V-trigger, three snap dragon suplexes, and another V-Trigger. Christian rallied by countering Omega for a spear off the apron onto a table. Back in the ring, Christian speared Omega in the spine then in the ribs. Christian had momentum on his side for a frog splash, but Omega put his knees up on the landing.

Christian remained focused and worked Omega’s back. When he locked in a Texas Cloverleaf, Don Callis waved in the goon squad Good Brothers. Much like the Impact World Championship win, the chicanery backfired and Christian planted Omega with a Killswitch. Omega was able to kick out with incredible intestinal fortitude.

Callis created more distractions to buy Omega recovery time. That paid off as Omega countered Christian into a One Winged Angel off the top turnbuckle. That was all for Christian. Omega retained the title.

Chalk up another quality main event for Omega. No matter how seductive or not the angles are going into the match, he always delivers in the ring when it is time to put on a show. Given that the result was clearly heading Omega’s way, both men did their best in creating drama. I never quite believed Christian would win, but it was getting close with those spears. I would have preferred a cleaner win for the Cleaner, even though, AEW seems content to tell the story of Omega’s trifling ways to remain on top. On the positive, they executed callbacks well to the previous encounters.

Adam Cole! Daniel Bryan! After the main event, the Elite stomped on Christian. Jurassic Express raged in and went down. Omega proclaimed that nobody in AEW could beat him. Lights out. Adam Cole arrived as a surprise. It turned out he was in cahoots with the Elite as long-time friends. Cole superkicked Jungle Boy then shared a kiss on the cheek with the Bucks.

Omega kept running his mouth, and Cole added that nobody is going to stop the Elite. All of a sudden, Daniel Bryan’s music hit. A huge brawl erupted with Bryan clearing the ring on a running knee. Bryan stood tall in the end flanked by Jurassic Express and Christian.

Well, I’ll be damned. AEW is in it to win it. They’re opening up the check book to lure all the top free agents. This time it seems different than past promotions. AEW acquisitions fit their vision rather than pounding a square peg into a round hole. It’s crazy to see Bryan and CM Punk working in the same company again, one that didn’t even exist a few years ago. These are exciting times ahead for the wrestling world.

Paul Wight defeated QT Marshall. Wight did giant stuff to win via chokeslam. Beating up the Factory, tossing QT through the ropes to break a pin, and shedding off a cutter with ease kept his larger than life novelty strong. It was enjoyable to see Wight in the ring again.

I’m not a fan of the placement as second to last. The idea was a cool down before the main event, but I don’t think the fans needed that. Omega is the best Bout Machine for a reason, and there were also the hot rumors of Bryan appearing at the end. I think the crowd would have been fine carrying Punk’s energy through to the finale.

CM Punk defeated Darby Allin. Allin dragged a body bag from a helicopter then leaped out the door in his pre-match vignette.

Allin must have been unscathed by the fall, since he appeared in fine condition with Sting by his side. The Icon exited during Allin’s entrance, as he said he would. Punk changed up his gear a little to wrestle in pants.

Chain wrestling to start. Punk gained an edge with a back elbow and body slam. Allin came back with a running shoulder tackle. Allin ran the ropes. Punk scooped him up for a GTS, but Allin escaped and rolled out of the ring. High drama from the get-go.

The story was Punk grinding on Allin’s lower back to slow him down, while Allin offered explosions of offense. Allin came alive for an over-the-top stunner, slaps, springboard back attack, roll-ups, and a Code Red. Punk weathered the flurry to hit a GTS. The momentum from impact carried Allin through the ropes down to the floor. He returned to the ring at the count of 9.

Allin escaped another GTS with vicious elbows. That kicked off one more rally for a suicide shoulder tackle and a flipping senton down to the floor. Back in the ring, Allin climbed the corner, mocked the GTS taunt, and took flight for the Coffin Drop. Allin crashed down to the mat missing the mark. As Allin was in the air, Punk sat up with a smile to signify he lured Allin into that mistake.

The first real scare for a finish came in a rapid-fire sequence. Allin scored a crucifix roll-up, Punk lifted up into a GTS fireman’s carry, but Allin countered out into the Last Supper pin. Punk was able to kick out. If AEW would have pulled the trigger on an upset, that was the moment. It would have also set up a badass rematch. But, it wasn’t to be.

The end came shortly after. Allin hopped onto Punk’s shoulder for a poison rana. Punk shifted Allin’s body into a fireman’s carry to execute the GTS for victory. Afterward, Sting came to the ring to shake Punk’s hand out of respect. Allin rose to his feet to shake hands with Punk as well. Sting helped Allin to the back as Punk soaked in the cheers from his hometown crowd.

Well, the biggest question about Punk’s return has been answered. After seven years away from the ring, does he still have it? Yes. Yes, hes does. Punk looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. Punk and Allin used strategy for entertaining storytelling. In the end, Punk’s wily veteran experience carried him through to success.

For the criticism about AEW not letting moments breath, they did perfect in the post-match. A rush-job would have teased tension one way or another between Punk, Allin, and Sting or even a heel turn. I’m pleased to say they were all cool, and Punk had his moment to shine. Allin lives to fight another day. Sting continues his role as elder statesman by giving Punk the stamp of approval for senior citizens and wee lads who may have never seen Punk before. It was a satisfying conclusion in the first chapter of Punk’s return tale.

Chris Jericho defeated MJF. Jericho’s AEW wrestling career was on the line per stipulation. Big moves of the match included a Heatseeker piledriver to Jericho then barely beating the ten-count back to the ring, a powerbomb onto the apron to MJF, and a modified Codebreaker as MJF caught a flying Jericho. That powerbomb played a role in the story causing tremendous back pain to MJF.

Wardlow came down when it got a bit hot for MJF. Jake Hager met him on stage for a brawl. That fracas distracted referee Aubrey Edwards enough so MJF could hit Jericho in the head with Floyd the bat. MJF uncorked a Judas Effect. 1, 2, Jericho placed his foot on the rope, 3. Ref Edwards missed it and called the three count. Jericho was robbed!

Referee Paul Turner informed Edwards of her error, and the match was restarted. Jericho scored a quick roll-up. MJF kicked out and transitioned to secure an armbar. Jericho rolled it over to escape then locked in the Walls of Jericho. MJF crawled close to the ropes, but Jericho dragged him back to center to sit down deep. MJF taped out in agony. The Inner Circle ran down to celebrate with Le Champion.

The referee error was a creative way to fire up emotion. Most expected Jericho to win and resume his wrestling career, so this mix-up made it seem shocking at first. How are you going to do a legend dirty like that in his last match? Order was restored and justice served. That wacky tactic was effective in the end.

I’m curious how MJF progresses from here. Are they really going to have one more match between MJF and Jericho? If so, then when will it end? Both would demand another round after defeat. I’m guessing each man moves on in separate directions. MJF needs to win his next feud, but nobody is jumping out at me right now as a fresh victim to reestablish his status.

Casino Battle Royale won by Ruby Soho. Over the top rope elimination rules. Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue, Emi Sakura, Bunny, and Abadon were the first five. The next set included Anna Jay, Kiera Hogan, KiLynn King, Diamante, and Nyla Rose. The third group had Thunder Rosa, Penelope Ford, Riho, Jamie Hayter, and Big Swole. The final five consisted of Tay Conti, Red Velvet, Leyla Hirsch, Jade Cargill, and Reba. The joker surprise popped the house with the debut of Ruby Soho (aka Ruby Riott).

Interesting items to my eye included Abadon’s badass red mohawk, big boos for the eliminations of Shida and Riho, Cargill gorilla pressing Hirsch out of the ring down onto two wrestlers and two referees, Cargill being dumped by Rose as she was preening after an elimination, and Thunder using Soho as a stepping stool for a headscissors takedown to Rose.

What I appreciated most about the match was the focus on feuds. All the beef heading in was prime for payback. Thunder immediately attacked Rose. Swole made a beeline for Diamante, and they both continued fighting on the floor after being eliminated. Jay and Conti had issues with Bunny and Ford. The list goes on. I like that attention to detail being carried into the battle royale.

The final three came down to Rose, Thunder, and Soho. Thunder lowered the rope for Nyla to land on the apron. A dropkick sent the Native Beast packing. Thunder and Soho exchanged heated chops, running strikes, and reversals. They both spilled onto the apron for a duel. Soho escaped a DVD to shove Thunder into the ring post. A kick knocked Thunder down to the floor for Soho to win a title shot against the women’s champ.

Soho is a solid choice as winner. Might as well maximize on her popularity straight into a title fight. That creates the illusion that she could dethrone Dr. Britt Baker DMD. I don’t think it will happen for Soho, but at least I can talk myself into believing. A good layout for their match would make me fully invested in the outcome.

Full order of elimination:
1. Blue by Abadon
2. Abadon by Bunny
3. Sakura by Shida
4. Hogan by Rosa
5. King by Rose
6. Shida by Rose
7. Riho by Hayter
8. Diamante by Swole
9. Swole by Hayter
10. Reba by Velvet
11. Bunny by Jay
12. Jay by Ford
13. Hirsch by Cargill
14. Hayter by Cargill
15. Velvet by Cargill
16. Cargill by Rose
17. Ford by Conti
18. Conti by Rose
19. Rose by Thunder
20. Thunder by Soho
Winner: Soho

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Lucha Bros defeated Young Bucks to become new champs. This match was contested inside a STEEL CAGE!!! The idea was to keep interference out. It worked in terms of extra people, but Brandon Cutler still managed to throw a big bag over the top. Matt Jackson took out a thumbtack soled sneaker to bloody the luchadores with superkicks. The big crazy spot was Fenix leaping off the top of the cage for a flying crossbody onto the three men below. Fenix kick-started the rally leading to victory. A teamwork piledriver set up Pentagon to pin Matt.

When the Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros compete against each other, there is a certain style of match to expect. That would be high-octane constant action. Add in a steel cage, and they upped their game. The excitement was delivered exactly as fans desired. The Bucks did a great job building bad guy heat by bending rules and ripping masks. It was so effective that the crowd erupted when the Lucha Bros won. I’m still shocked about the result. The Bucks are one of those teams that I just don’t expect to ever lose. I have to see it to believe it, and even then, I still don’t believe it. That also helped make the result so emotional.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Dr. Britt Baker DMD retained against Kris Statlander. Baker fired up in the end to hit a flipping piledriver, curb stomp, and then the Lockjaw submission to win.

Solid match with an explosive finish. The story did a good job giving false hope for an upset. It seemed to be building toward Statlander hitting the Area 451 splash with how she missed a moonsault and also a pendulum moonsault off the apron. Even Orange Cassidy aided the drama by uncharacteristically firing up to motivate Statlander.

It wasn’t meant to be the alien’s night. Baker ripped off a series of moves to extinguish hope of a new champ.

Jon Moxley defeated Satoshi Kojima. The Forbidden Door was opened for the Japanese legend. Moxley kept true to his words about no respect once the bell rang. Kojima offered a handshake. Moxley swatted the hand away and flashed the middle finger. Kojima hit most of the big moves. Moxley survived a flying elbow drop, superplex, DDT on apron, DDT in ring, and cutter throughout the fight. The tide turned when Mox ate a rolling elbow strike then bounced back off the ropes to deliver a hefty lariat. He followed with a bulldog choke. Kojima reached the ropes for the break. Mox countered a lariat into a double underhook DDT. He continued with a Paradigm Shift for victory.

After the match, Minoru Suzuki made a surprise appearance. He entered the ring to engage in respectful fisticuffs with Moxley. Both men smiled and laughed throwing blows back and forth. Suzuki stood tall in the end by using a rear naked choke to transition for a Gotch piledriver.

Moxley helped make Kojima look like the star that he is. I loved the clothesline showdown. The match overall left me wanting more from Kojima in AEW. The post-match fisticuffs were fireworks. I want Moxley versus Suzuki so bad for Wednesday night on Dynamite. Don’t make me wait longer, please. (And thank you to AEW for giving me what I want. Mox versus Suzuki is official.) AEW has done an excellent job booking Moxley in his days as an ex-champ. They have kept him fresh and relevant. Running the Japanese legend circuit is so much fun to watch.

TNT Championship: Miro retained against Eddie Kingston. Kingston was on point of the merch train with a Redeem Deez Nuts t-shirt. The style was street fight versus superior athletic powerhouse. The story was Kingston going after Miro’s neck as the Redeemer’s weakness. Throughout the match, Kingston hit an exploder suplex, Saito suplex, and two consecutive back drop suplexes. That planted the groundwork for the finish.

Kingston inadvertently ripped off the turnbuckle pad trying to prevent a German suplex. Miro exploded for the Game Over submission. Kingston dramatically reached the ropes. Miro picked up the pad in frustration. That lack of focus opened the window for a spinning backfist and DDT from Kingston. 1, 2, oh wait, referee Bryce Remsburg was too busy placing the turnbuckle pad in place to start his count. Miro ended up kicking out after precious time was wasted by Remsburg. The turnbuckle was still exposed, so Kingston tried to ram Miro into steel. Remsburg stepped in front to protect the safety of the wrestlers. Miro used that to his advantage to mule kick Kingston. A thrust kick and a running high kick put Kingston down for good.

Good choice for an opener. It had a big fight feel, emphasis on fight. The action was satisfying. The flow was executed well to work the crowd into a frenzy. There’s two sides to the finish. If this feud continues, then it was a great way to set up the rematch. If the feud ends here, then it was unnecessary. Kingston doesn’t need to be protected, and Miro doesn’t look as strong as he should in victory like the slayer he is portrayed to be. It will be interesting to see how long the weak neck story carries on. That is the blueprint for all future challengers unless Miro starts doing neck exercises 24 hours a day.

Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, Jungle Boy, & Luchasaurus defeated Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Jack Evans, & Angelico. The pre-show match got wild with a 7-man submission train. Luchasaurus entered the ring to bulldoze the pile into pieces.

There was also a chicken fight between TH2 and Jurassic Express.

The chaos escalated leading to the Snare Trap submission victory from Jungle Boy on Angelico.

Afterward, HFO beat up OC to set up the return of Butcher. Varsity Blonds, Dante Martin, John Silver, and 10 ran out to chase away the baddies. The scene closed with a massive group hug.

This match is worth checking out for free if you have the time and interest. The moves were creative and lots of fun. The babyfaces stood tall to set the crowd in a good mood heading into the PPV. The return of Butcher was a nice surprise, as was the babyface support from the locker room. There’s plenty of directions for feuds splintering off with HFO’s tag teams.

Also on the pre-show, Dan Lambert was joined by Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, Jorge Masvidal, Andrei Arlovski, and Junior dos Santos. Time for the Men of the Year to step out of their comfort zone and into the danger zone with their friends from American Top team. Sky and Page are only waiting for Lambert’s instruction on whose ass to kick.

Also of note during the PPV, Andrade brushed off accusations of sabotaging PAC to miss the match. Chavo Guerrero was shifty while answering making it look like he was clearly behind PAC’s travel issues. Andrade wants no more excuses. He will pay for PAC’s flight for him to show up for their match on Friday night Rampage.


Grade: A

Exciting fights up and down the board, major surprises, and satisfying conclusions provided for a great evening of entertainment. There are minor things one might take issue with, but the overall picture was well done. Credit to the crowd for popping hard all night long. Best of all, the show left electricity in the air and urgency to tune in to Dynamite for the fallout. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Share your thoughts about All Out. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?