All Elite Wrestling returns to pay-per-view this afternoon (Sun., Aug. 27) with All In. The show comes our way from Wembley Stadium in London, England.
After a free streaming pre-show which starts one hour earlier, the main card begins at 1:00 pm ET, and can be purchased on Bleacher Report (and traditional PPV) in the U.S. & Canada, PPV.com in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. & Ireland, or in all international markets on Fite.
The biggest heel turn in AEW history is finally here
When Adam Cole and AEW World Champion MJF wrestled to a 30 minute time limit draw on the June 14 episode of Dynamite, nobody could have imagined they would be best friends nearly one month later. But that’s exactly what happened thanks to their forced partnership in July’s Blind Eliminator Tag Team tournament. Even though both men planned to turn on each other at the outset of the tourney, they quickly developed a genuine bond and became the most popular babyface act in AEW in the process. Fans went crazy for simple tandem moves like the Double Clothesline.
Their friendship was tested at the end of July after they won the tournament and challenged FTR for the AEW world tag team titles. Max and Adam came up short, and that failure was a prime opportunity for MJF to resort to his old ways and turn his back on the only person in AEW who gave a shit about him. But he couldn’t do it, and the two stars hugged it out, much to the delight of the AEW audience. MJF actually chose friendship over championship gold and decided to give his best friend a shot at his AEW world championship at The Biggest Event in Wrestling History.
While all of that was going on, Cole’s close friend Roderick Strong couldn’t believe that Adam was being duped into trusting the devil. Strong felt rejected and betrayed, and he fell right into the arms of The Kingdom.
Throughout Cole and MJF’s brief run as a tag team, the possibility of one man turning on the other has been teased numerous times, to the point where a lot of wrestling fans expect we’re getting a heel turn at the end of tonight’s main event, rather than another hug. But what’s not clear is which man is the one who will turn on his new best friend.
MJF’s history proves that he can never be trusted, despite his recent claim that he’s finally allowing himself to be vulnerable and embrace the cheers from the audience. He’s our scumbag right now, but would anybody really be surprised if he uses that Dynamite Diamond Ring to beat Cole and reveal that the devil fooled us all yet again?
The much more interesting scenario is the one where Cole turns on MJF to win the belt and join back up with Roderick Strong and The Kingdom. MJF would be completely devastated if this happens, once again being punished after opening himself to a close relationship.
The third option is that neither man turns on the other and the night simply ends in a hug. But I mean, come on, this is allegedly The Biggest Event in Wrestling History. There has to be some kind of major twist to end the night and get people hooked to see what’s next, no?
No matter how it turns out, AEW has done a pretty good job of building up the anticipation and intrigue for how this show will end.
The rest of the card
These ten matches are also currently advertised for today at All In:
FTR (c) vs. Young Bucks for the AEW world tag team titles
The Young Bucks have been preoccupied with trios wrestling in AEW in 2023, but they decided to get back into 2 vs. 2 matches just in time for The Biggest Event in Wrestling History. FTR noticed that and challenged them to this championship match at Wembley Stadium to determine who is the greatest tag team of all-time. Cash Wheeler has since run into some legal troubles in real life; he allegedly flashed a gun during a road rage incident and was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. Even so, it appears the match will go on as originally planned. Given the two teams involved and the stage they are fighting on, this could definitely end up being a match of the year candidate.
Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker vs. Saraya for the AEW women’s world title
Tony Khan had to book one women’s match on this show, so he picked four of the biggest stars in the women’s division to battle it out for championship gold.
Shida just recently won the belt from Storm on Dynamite 200 and is looking to celebrate the biggest win of her career in front of 80,000+ people, after being AEW’s empty arena champion for a full year in the early period of the global pandemic. Storm was devastated by that loss and has completely changed her personality as a result, although she is still allied with Saraya as a member of The Outcasts. Their partnership could be tested here, though, because it’s every woman for herself, and Saraya absolutely wants to win the belt in her return home to the United Kingdom. Then there’s Baker, who is still generally perceived as the face of women’s wrestling in AEW and is always a threat to win.
CM Punk (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the “Real world championship”
Soon after Punk recovered from triceps surgery and returned to AEW in June for the launch of Collision, he and Joe rekindled their ROH rivalry in the Owen Hart tournament, where CM scored a fluke win over Samoa. Joe didn’t like the way the match ended and choked Punk out, after luring him in with a disingenuous handshake.
Somewhere along the way, Punk brought back the AEW world championship that he won last September at All Out 2022 and was never beaten for. He spray painted his X symbol on the belt and now refers to it as the Real World Championship. Joe thinks the so-called real world champion is a real bitch, and he plans to beat him for the gold in this rematch.
House of Black (c) vs. The Acclaimed & Bad Ass Billy Gunn for the AEW world trios titles
Daddy Ass and The Acclaimed twice failed to win trios gold from House of Black. Ass was particularly demoralized by Malakai Black after the second loss, and it led to his sudden retirement from pro wrestling. But that didn’t last for long. He’s back now as Bad Ass Billy Gunn, and he’s determined to finally win these belts and have a scissoring party with 80,000+ fans in attendance.
Chris Jericho vs. Will Ospreay
Jericho had a falling out with most members of the Jericho Appreciation Society and was willing to cast them all to the side in order to join the Don Callis family. But Callis is an evil moron who didn’t anticipate that Chris would accept his offer to join, so he commissioned someone to make a painting where Don was holding Jericho’s severed head. By the time Jericho discovered the painting and realized he made the wrong choice, it was too late to go back; Konosuke Takeshita and Will Ospreay jumped Chris from behind and took him out, although I guess they forgot to behead him.
Now it’s Jericho vs. Ospreay in Wembley Stadium, in a match that Will has compared to Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog at Wembley Stadium in 1992. Ospreay is playing the role of the hometown hero British Bulldog, of course, which means he is confident that he’s walking out the winner.
Blackpool Combat Club, Santana & Ortiz vs. Best Friends, Orange Cassidy, Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero M in Stadium Stampede
The Blackpool Combat Club didn’t miss a beat after losing their feud with The Elite at Blood & Guts. They immediately targeted Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends, brutally destroying them in a Parking Lot Fight and damaging Trent’s mom’s van in the process. More recently, BCC maintained that level of violence by taking out Penta’s brother Rey Fenix with a crowbar.
Eddie Kingston has always been a sworn enemy of Claudio Castagnoli, so he’s joined up with Cassidy and the Best Friends in this fight, even though he doesn’t want to hurt his close friend Jon Moxley. Ortiz had a falling out with Kingston earlier this year, so he and Santana are back on the same side with BCC, just as they were at Blood & Guts 2022, which is the last time Santana wrestled. This is a Stadium Stampede match in a stadium that actually has fans in it this time, so it will be quite different from the previous two iterations of this gimmick match.
Darby Allin & Sting vs. Swerve Strickland & Christian Cage in a Coffin Match
Darby’s close friend Nick Wayne turned 18 years old in July and made his AEW debut in a loss against Swerve. As part of Swerve’s rivalry with Darby, AR Fox betrayed the trust of Allin and Wayne, and helped the Mogul Embassy leave Nick in a pool of his own blood at the Buddy Wayne Academy. Buddy Wayne is Nick’s dead father, which means Christian couldn’t pass up the chance to join this feud. There was an opening for him to join the feud because Swerve quickly fired Fox and dumped him to the side once he didn’t need him anymore. Now it’s up to Sting to help Darby put someone in a coffin and end this story for good.
Kenny Omega, Hangman Page & Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White, Juice Robinson & Konosuke Takeshita
Rumor has it that Kenny Omega was originally supposed to wrestle Bryan Danielson on this card, but those plans had to change after Bryan suffered a broken arm at Forbidden Door. Omega still needed something to do on this card, so now he’s teaming up with fellow Golden Elite members Hangman Page and Kota Ibushi in a trios match. On the heel side, White and Robinson are out to prove that Bullet Club Gold is the most elite version of Bullet Club that has ever existed, while Takeshita is a Don Callis assassin who is looking to carry out Don’s mission of ending The Elite forever.
Aussie Open (c) vs. MJF & Adam Cole for the ROH world tag team titles (pre-show)
Hours before MJF and Cole get it on in the main event, they will actually challenge Aussie Open for the Ring of Honor tag team titles on the pre-show. The fans desperately want to see Better Than You Bay Bay win championship gold, and the best buds plan to get the job done with a well-timed Kangaroo Kick that is going to receive a massive pop from the live audience.
Jack Perry (c) vs. HOOK for the FTW championship (pre-show)
Perry turned on HOOK in June at Forbidden Door and then cheated to beat him for the FTW title one month later. He ditched the “Jungle Boy” gimmick along the way, and is instead now some kind of entitled self-centered douchebag who comes to the ring with classical Beethoven music. Perry went on to retain the belt against ECW legend Rob Van Dam, before vowing to retire the belt forever by destroying it with a sledgehammer. HOOK returned to TV just in time to stop the belt from being destroyed, and now has a chance for revenge against the man who handed him his first and only loss in AEW.
Despite the belief that more than 80,000 people will be packed into Wembley Stadium for All In, it’s easy to roll your eyes at AEW’s claim that this is The Biggest Event in Wrestling History. The card falls short of that extremely high bar on paper, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that this is still an impressive lineup of matches, and AEW pretty much always delivers a great show on PPV. That AEW is running a stadium event of this magnitude is a tremendous milestone for the promotion. Lots of folks will have their eyes on this event, and it’s an opportunity for AEW to regain some of the momentum that’s been lost going back to last year’s backstage fight at All Out 2022.
What will you be looking for at All In?