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AEW All Out 2023 recap & reactions: Freshly Squeezed Death Jitsu

AEW All Out (Sep. 3, 2023) emanated from United Center in Chicago, IL. The PPV featured Orange Cassidy wrestling Jon Moxley in the main event, Miro battling Will Hobbs in a hoss fight for the ages, MJF picking a fight with Samoa Joe, and much more.

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

Let’s run down the card from top to bottom.

AEW International Championship: Jon Moxley defeated Orange Cassidy to win the title. The match started with Moxley decking Cassidy when trying to put hands in pockets. That set the tone of the fight. Mox destroyed Cassidy early. When OC became a blood orange, Moxley saw red and increased his aggression. Cassidy eventually rallied for a flying DDT, tornado DDT, penalty kick, and a superman punch. Mox countered a Beach Break into a piledriver. Cassidy surprised Moxley with a crucifix pin. Moxley reacted by running a submission train of pain from a bulldog choke to a rear naked choke to an armbar to a kimura. Cassidy reached the ropes for the break.

Moxley shifted to an even higher gear of violence by removing the pads on the floor. That tactic backfired when Cassidy countered a piledriver into a Beach Break on the floor. Cassidy added a dropkick into the ring steps. Moxley barely beat the count back into the ring.

Cassidy was in control for two consecutive superman punches. On the third, Moxley caught him for a cutter. Cassidy escaped a Paradigm Shift to land another superman punch. OC followed for a spear to pin Moxley. Kick out and the fight resumed.

The moment of the match came on Cassidy’s shin kick routine. He started soft then exploded with intensity to kick Mox’s head in. Moxley weathered the storm and fought back with clubbing lariats. Death Rider! Cassidy refused to lose, so Moxley added a second Death Rider to finish the job.

The new champ celebrated with the Blackpool Combat Club, and Cassidy was given the spotlight for a standing ovation to close the show.

The main event delivered the goods. It was a war of attrition. Wrestlers will often cut feisty promos to hype a match then fail to back it up in the story between the ropes. Moxley and Cassidy stayed true to their talking points, and the match excelled because of that. Moxley tested the soul of Cassidy. Moxley was money after the match putting over how difficult it was to finish Cassidy and the exhaustion of walking out with BCC’s assistance. Even though OC didn’t win the match, he won the respect of Moxley. And frankly, Cassidy should win over the respect of anyone still hating on him.

Credit to AEW for handling the journey of Cassidy’s career. They tweaked his character slowly over time building the fanbase along the way to develop him into a genuine superstar. As much as I disliked the early gimmick in the ring, I have to admit that he won me over when transitioning to a serious wrestler. Cassidy’s reign ends at 31 title defenses. He built himself into a main event star and built the International Championship into a title worth fighting for. That is a heck of a pay-off to this story.

Bullet Club Gold defeated FTR & the Young Bucks. The babyface team had tension working together early. I’m not sure if FTR and the Bucks ever tagged between teams. They would often enter the ring tagging themselves in. As the match progressed, the teamwork improved. FTR and the Bucks would mix together to help each other finish signature teamwork moves, such as a spike piledriver, Shatter Machine, and BTE Trigger. They also had a cool spot of a superplex followed by three flying splashes.

As strong as they became, it wasn’t good enough. Bullet Club Gold moved like a well-oiled machine. In the end, White struck a Blade Runner on Dax Harwood, and Colten Gunn made the pin.

This was the one match on the entire card that I was least excited for. It felt thrown together quickly for the sake of getting everyone on the PPV. There was no value to the 8-man other than bragging rights. I’m glad AEW did it, because the match was a ton of fun. It was non-stop action. FTR and the Bucks shared an interesting dynamic to add drama wondering if they would combust as a unit. Bullet Club Gold was smooth under the leadership of White, and that was the difference in victory. That was a big win to further establish themselves in the pecking order.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Kenny Omega. Don Callis was ringside. Takeshita was close to victory on an avalanche blue thunder bomb and a running knee. Omega refused to quit, so Callis tried to stab him with a screwdriver. Omega rolled away, and the screwdriver was stuck in the mat. Takeshita grabbed the foreign object on a transition into the One Winged Angel. When Takeshita tried to cheat, the referee snatched the object. The distraction was done though. That slight delay allowed Takeshita to escape from Omega’s finisher. Takeshita stormed back with a German suplex and a running knee. Omega kicked out. On the advice from Callis, Takeshita pulled down his knee pad. Boom! Takeshita hit his target with the running knee to win.

This match fulfilled its potential for greatness. I like that Takeshita won relatively clean. Sure, there was funny business, but it feels like he actually earned the win to cement his status as a major player. Credit to Omega for his help in making a new star. I enjoyed Callis’ work on the outside as a manager. He felt like a real coach passing on strategy and helping Takeshita keep his composure when Omega would kick out of pinfalls.

Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta defeated Eddie Kingston & Katsuyori Shibata. The story was the hatred between Claudio and Kingston. Claudio had no problem dishing out punishment, but he was disgusted to look at the man. Claudio put Kingston down on a Neutralizer. Kick by the Mad King. Eddie rallied by escaping a Ricola Bomb to explode for a spinning backfist. Kingston added a Northern Lights bomb, but Yuta made the save on the pin. Shibata grabbed Yuta for a sleeper. Shibata shoved Yuta toward Kingston for a spinning backfist then back to the sleeper. Kingston turned around into a thunderous European uppercut for Claudio. Match over. Claudio earned the win.

All four had moments to shine. Shibata is always a treat to witness in the Tony Khan multiverse. Yuta was impressive with aggression. Kingston showed heart. Claudio demonstrated why he is a champion. The finish was surprising in the way it played out. I certainly wasn’t expecting Kingston to lose on an uppercut. If the goal was to increase the appetite for more Claudio versus Kingston, then I think it failed. Claudio proved he is the better wrestler once again. It can be argued that he was saved by Yuta, but that’s fair game in a tag team bout. Claudio’s clean uppercut rocked Kingston bad enough to eat the pin. From a sports perspective, there is no reason Claudio needs another round with Kingston. It’s time for them to move on for new feuds. From a personal perspective, Kingston can’t let anything go, so he’ll have to come up with a reason to force Claudio into combat.

Strap Match: Bryan Danielson defeated Ricky Starks. Ricky Steamboat was on commentary. Rules dictated the competitors to be strapped together by the wrist with a winner via pinfall or submission. Big Bill Morrissey made an appearance, but Steamboat pulled him off the apron. Danielson leaped into the air to take out Starks and Bill. The closing sequence began with Starks hitting a spear to counter the Busaiku Knee. Danielson escaped Roshambo to counter with the Busaiku Knee. Danielson stomped Starks head in and used the strap to choke him with the LeBell Lock. Starks’ face turned red, and he passed out.

Fiery contest. The climax worked the crowd into a frenzy. Danielson brought his typical performance of excellence. Starks showed moxie as a rising star. I like that he passed out rather than submit. It shows toughness for his fancy pants persona.

TBS Championship: Kris Statlander retained against Ruby Soho. Saraya was ringside. When Statlander was in the groove down the stretch, Saraya distracted her on the turnbuckles. That opened the window of opportunity for Soho. She pulled Statlander off the turnbuckles into the No Future Kick and followed for Destination Unknown. The champ kicked out on the cover. The Outcasts tried to cheat with the spray paint, however, Toni Storm ruined the plan. Storm was hiding under the ring, popped out for the finish, and stole the spray paint before Soho could use it. Statlander took advantage for the Sunday Night Fever piledriver to win.

Statlander and Soho put on a really good wrestling match that was flushed down the toilet with a stupid finish. The Outcasts were okay together, for the most part, in trios action on Collision. All of a sudden, Storm is their enemy now? I guess it could be considered payback for Soho butting in at All In, but then why have the match on Collision? The Outcasts angle is fine, however, the PPV was the wrong time for it. Save that for television. This finish also did no favors for the champ. Statlander deserves better. She won the match, but it was pretty much handed to her. How is she going to build a memorable reign with shoddy victories like that?

Miro defeated Will Hobbs; plus the debut of Lana. This was a classic big man matchup of meat on meat. Miro applied the Game Over submission, but Hobbs powered out to ram Miro into the corner. Hobbs caught Miro for a spinebuster. Hobbs turned the tables going for the Game Over, however, Miro quickly escaped. Miro regained control for a spinebuster on Hobbs. Game Over! Hobbs tapped out in defeat to Miro’s submission.

After the match, Hobbs and Miro exchanged respect for a handshake reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers in Predator. As soon as Miro turned his back, Hobbs attacked. “Hot & Flexible,” appeared on the big screen. CJ Perry (aka Lana, Miro’s wife) was in the house. She hit Hobbs with a chair to no effect. Miro grabbed the chair to smash Hobbs and clear the ring. Miro was confused by the unexpected appearance from CJ. He couldn’t believe his eyes and muttered that she wasn’t real. Miro exited alone.

Hoss fight! This match was gangbusters. This was the type of performance from both men that showed they can be in the AEW main event scene. It was quite enjoyable in its own regard as an epic clash of behemoths. The crowed elevated the viewing experience with their rowdiness and various meat chants. It was a wild time. The handshake between Miro and Hobbs makes me want to see them as a tag team one day. The surprise of CJ was icing on the cake. I’m confused about Miro’s reaction thinking she wasn’t real, but that will likely be explained for another day.

TNT Championship: Luchasaurus retained against Darby Allin. Christian Cage and Nick Wayne were ringside for support. Luchasaurus mauled his prey. Allin was bloodied and his spine was squished under the ring steps. Allin rallied with a leaping somersault to the outside. A crucifix bomb had Luchasaurus down, but the dino kicked out. Luchasaurus was back in control with a torture rack. Christian taunted Wayne to throw in the towel. Allin escaped and clobbered Christian on a suicide dive. Allin hit an avalanche Code Red, but that wasn’t enough to keep Luchasaurus down. Christian proved to be the master strategist. As Allin went up top for a Coffin Drop, Christian hit Wayne with a chair. That distraction allowed Luchasaurus time to recover. The champ crushed the challenger with two tombstone piledrivers and a lariat to the back of the head for victory.

Afterward, Christian forced Wayne to watch a conchairto on Allin, but Shawn Spears led a group of babyfaces to the ring for the save to prevent the heinous attack.

Damn, that was a fierce win by Luchasaurus. He made sure there would be no doubt with back-to-back tombstones. I can’t blame him. AEW has shown Allin to be almost invincible to defeat lately. Christian’s run with the TNT title has been a fun joke, but this performance from Luchasaurus legitimized the reign. I also like the result as a way to keep viewers on their toes. On paper, this match felt for sure like a title change. Nope. Luchasaurus won in a manner that makes me excited to see what’s next in the TNT title scene.

ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe retained against Shane Taylor. Heavyweight haymakers were thrown at the opening bell. This was a slugfest from start to finish. Taylor gained control for his best shot at winning. Joe went for a sleeper over the ropes, so Taylor countered by pulling Joe into the ring for a hanging stunner. Taylor landed a massive flying splash, but Joe kicked out on the cover. Joe turned up the heat in the end. A stiff punch rocked Taylor, then Joe unloaded a barrage of knee strikes to the body. Joe snatched Taylor’s neck for the Coquina Clutch chokehold to win.

Hoss fight! That was damn satisfying. Joe and Taylor were full steam ahead on a collision course. Taylor looked strong, and hopefully he earned new fans with that exposure. Joe was badass in victory. The finish showed Joe as a man of strategy to tenderize the body in an effort to set up the submission.

ROH World Tag Team Championship MJF & Adam Cole retained against Dark Order. Evil Uno was ringside to support Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Johnny Hungiee took a cheap shot from behind to strike MJF’s neck. MJF went down in pain, then Reynolds blindsided him with a chair in the same spot on his neck. MJF bailed on the match due to injury. Cole was outnumbered, but he showed heart surviving the Dark Order combo German suplex to jackknife pin finisher and a double clothesline. Cole turned the tide with a desperate rally, but he suffered too much damage. That’s when MJF heroically returned for a kangaroo kick and a double clothesline to win.

After the match, MJF exited up the ramp, and Samoa Joe entered for his match. Joe shoved MJF, much like the infamous WWE scene when MJF was a young lad on screen as an extra. MJF exploded with rage and attacked Joe. Samoan Joseph put MJF in a guillotine choke, and security ran in to restore order.

That was a dynamo of entertainment to open the PPV. The match failed logic of the rules with MJF never tagging in Cole before his injury break as the match continued, however, that detail didn’t matter much in terms of enjoyment. MJF and Cole played the crowd magnificently to blow the roof off several times. They worked the desperation of Cole without a partner, the return spot from MJF, and the double whammy kangaroo kick with double clothesline. I liked the edge shown by the Dark Order. That performance backed up their recent promo content. Too bad they looked like goobers failing to win with the deck stacked in their favor.

The spot with MJF and Joe was outstanding. That was instant fire for a world title feud. AEW likes to recall history, and what better way than to recreate the shove by Joe. You know that moment had been eating a hole in MJF’s soul ever since it happened all those years ago. Now is the time for payback.

There were three bouts featured on the free pre-show.

AEW World Trios Championship: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn retained against Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, & Satnam Singh. Dennis Rodman was in the house to help the Acclaimed. Sonjay Dutt and Karen Jarrett were ringside to back the bad guys. Daddy Ass called out referee Aubrey Edwards to call the match, and Karen threw a fit. Karen’s hysterics backfired in the end. As Karen was arguing with Edwards, Rodman took advantage to hit Singh with the guitar. Billy hit a Fame-asser on Lethal, and the Acclaimed finished with the Mic Drop to pin Lethal.

That was an amusing use of Rodman. AEW kept it simple for him to create a memorable moment. It also helped protect Singh as a giant. He was dominating to that point, so the guitar shot cleared the path for victory.

Hikaru Shida, Willow Nightingale, & Skye Blue defeated Athena, Mercedes Martinez, & Diamante. Billie Starkz was ringside to support Athena. The ROH champ shoved Diamante into the fray to start the match, and trust between partners was destroyed. In the end, Willow and Blue double-teamed Diamante, then Blue scored the Code Blue for victory.

Nice little match for a toss-in on the card. The character dynamics of distrust were amusing among the heels. The sequence winding down to the end was exciting with a spider suplex from Martinez and Willow with a blindside pounce on Athena into the barricade. A showdown between Athena and Shida was teased, and that would be a dandy if it gets booked for the ROH title.

Over Budget Charity Battle Royale: Hangman Page wins $50,000 to donate. The finish came down to Hangman, Brian Cage, and Toa Liona. Hangman walloped a buckshot lariat to Liona then clotheslined the beast over the ropes. The cowboy and the machine dueled on the apron. Hangman gained the upper hand for a Deadeye piledriver sending Cage tumbling down to the floor. It was later announced that the money would go to the Chicago Public Education Fund.

A fun battle royale to open. The energy was popping with creative moves and cool eliminations. Highlights include Tony Nese tossed out first after trying to conduct group training, the Boys saving Dalton Castle but dropping Cool Hand Ang on the floor, Daniel Garcia dancing his hips on the walk of shame up the ramp after elimination, Liona trucking Hangman with a huge shoulder tackle, and the final exchange between Hangman and Cage. Hangman earned the babyface win, and his star power is shining.

Notes: Los Ingobernables regrouped at Rush’s mansion. He pushed Dralistico and Preston Vance to the limit to ignite the fire of violence. Rush needs badasses with attitude. They are coming back to AEW to dominate and take titles.

Stud of the Show: Orange Cassidy

Cassidy established himself as a main event star.

Match of the Night: Miro vs. Will Hobbs

Miro and Hobbs were the medicine for hoss fight fever. They exemplified the idea of meaty men slapping meat.

Grade: A-

On paper, this card didn’t hold up to the typical level of AEW PPV events. In execution, All Out rocked. The fun factor was high, and the matches entertained from start to finish.

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

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