AEW’s next PPV is one week away with All Out in Chicago, IL on Sunday, September 4. The card is almost full, but one major item is missing. There is no main event world title fight yet. Let’s break down the card and try to figure out potential challengers for Jon Moxley and the AEW World Championship.
All Out currently consists of:
- AEW Interim Women’s World Championship: Toni Storm vs. Dr. Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida
- TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Athena
- AEW World Tag Team Championship: Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland (c) vs. The Acclaimed
- AEW World Trios Championship: Tournament final
- Casino Ladder Match
- Jungle Boy vs. Christian Cage
- “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. “Lionheart” Chris Jericho
- Wardlow & FTR vs. Jay Lethal & Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley)
- Ricky Starks vs. Will Hobbs
With Thunder Rosa unable to compete due to injury, AEW decided to crown an interim champion in a four-way bout. Lee & Strickland wanted someone ranked to defend the AEW tag titles, and The Acclaimed were in the right place at the right time to get the shot. The trios tournament semifinals are The Elite (Kenny Omega & Young Bucks) versus United Empire (Will Ospreay & Aussie Open) and Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent, & Chuck Taylor) versus Dark Order (Alex Reynolds, John Silver, & 10). Sonjay Dutt swerved Wardlow and FTR by declaring that Lethal’s partners would be the Motor City Machine Guns.
AEW PPVs generally have nine bouts on the main card. The last PPV was an exception with Double or Nothing packing in twelve contests. I can see All Out rolling with eleven matches. The two remaining would be:
- AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. TBA
- Darby Allin, Sting, & Miro vs. Malakai Black, Brody King, & Buddy Matthews
The AEW World Championship is kind of a big deal, in case you haven’t noticed. Moxley obliterated CM Punk on Dynamite to unify the titles. Punk injured his surgically repaired foot early and that led to his downfall. The way Punk crumbled in pain makes the rematch a tough sell. However, reports indicate that Punk is likely to get the nod as Moxley’s opponent at All Out.
For the sake of discussion, let’s analyze the possibility of other options to wrestle Moxley. Former world champion Hangman Page is kicking dust in his cowboy boots without a crystal clear direction for All Out. Hangman has never wrestled Moxley in singles action. That first-time bout would have a big fight feel, even though, there would be no storyline.
Kenny Omega is another former champion. He’s currently involved teaming with the Young Bucks in the trios tournament. If the Elite lose in the semifinal round, Omega could slide in to wrestle Moxley. They have deep history as rivals. One major issue would be Omega’s health status. In Omega’s return bout from injury, he did not look like he would be able to handle the buzzsaw of violence known as Moxley.
ROH world champ Claudio Castagnoli and ROH TV champ Samoa Joe would be worthy picks in a pinch. Adam Cole has main event experience, but he is currently on the injured list not medically cleared to compete. I don’t think those three are realistic options at this point in time. MJF would make headlines, although, being injected into the world title picture upon a surprise return wouldn’t make any sense as a reward for his verbal tirade towards Tony Khan last time we saw him. That exhausts all options for top-shelf talent on the AEW roster.
Looking outside for a splash, Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman are chilling in free agency. John Cena showing up in AEW would make the world explode. Who’s next? Goldberg! And then there’s always the Forbidden Door with perhaps a megastar from NJPW.
I imagine we’ll be getting our answer this week on Wednesday night Dynamite.
Another interesting match without competitors is the Casino Ladder Match. The winner will earn a world title shot, so the field should be strong. Hangman Page, PAC, Fenix, Pentagon, Andrade, Rush, Sammy Guevara, Eddie Kingston, Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, Lance Archer, and Brian Cage are all free to compete. One wild card that would be cool is Shane Taylor. He hasn’t be seen in any televised promotion since ROH went on hiatus.
Other potential matches for the PPV or pre-show include:
- AEW All-Atlantic Championship: PAC (c) vs. Kip Sabian
- FTW Championship: Hook (c) vs. Daddy Magic or Cool Hand
- Eddie Kingston vs. Sammy Guevara
- ROH title defenses (Claudio Castagnoli, Samoa Joe, Wheeler Yuta, Mercedes Martinez)
PAC took his eye off the ball in trios action to allow Sabian the upper hand for an ambush. Daddy Magic and Cool Hand want a taste of Hook, so it’s only a matter of time before El Diablo Guapo obliges. Kingston and Guevara appeared to be set to settle a story feud, then a real life feud erupted backstage. I’d like to think they can both be professionals and still have the match.
How does the All Out card look to you? Who do you hope is Jon Moxley’s opponent for the main event?