SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW ALL OUT PPV REPORT
AUGUST 31, 2019
CHICAGO, ILL. AT SEARS CENTER
STREAMING ON B/R LIVE (U.S.) & FITE TV (INTERNATIONAL)
Tonight after AEW All Out, PWTorch Dailycast host Mike McMahon goes live within five minutes of AEW All Out ending for a LIVE CALL-IN STREAMING PODCAST.
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ALL OUT PRE-SHOW (7 ET / 6 CT Chicago time)
Announcers: Excalibur and Golden Boy on play-by-play, Justin Roberts ring announcing
(A) WOMAN’S BATTLE ROYALE
Leva Bates, Faby Apache, Nyla Rose, Pricilla Kelly, and Shalanda Royal were the first group out to start. AEW does a progressive entrance battle royal with groups of wrestlers coming out every few minutes. Peter Avalon was ringside for Bates. He put library books on the mat to help her “stay alive” in the match after she was eliminated because she never technically touched the floor. They had a bad missed camerashot early during a multi-woman dropkick of Nyla Rose. Rose cleared the ring of the first batch of opponents and waited for the next group. Penelope Ford, Shazza McKenzie, Sadie Gibbs, Big Swole, and Dr. Brit Baker. Rose continued to be the center of attention for the second stanza.
After a countdown reached zero, the next batch were slow to come out. After a brief delay, out came Tenille Dashwood, Ivelisse, Bea Priestly, Brandi Rhodes, and Awesome Kong. The focus shifted to Awesome Kong here. The fourth group came out including Jazz and ODB. There was a small crowd pop when Kong and Rose locked up mid-ring. ODB and Jazz joined in. ODB did her usual patting of her breasts. Fans chanted “ODB!” They had a four-way staredown. They finally broke out into a fight. They eliminated Kong just as the final entrant was revealed. ODB eliminated Jazz just as Mercedes Martinez came out onto the stage.
The announcers mixed in plugs on ordering the main PPV and the different methods on how to watch it worldwide as the action continued. Martinez was eliminated a few minutes later despite “drawing the joker card” and having an advantage. It came down to Rose, Priestley, and Baker. Baker gave Priestley a Standing Destroyer. She then ran over and tried to dump Rose over the top rope. Rose was trying to climb to the top rope despite having no target, which was weird. Baker suplexed her off the top rope. Baker eliminated Priestly, then Priestly reached up and held Baker’s arm. Rose then dumped Baker over the top rope to win. They aired a series of highlights from the match.
WINNER: Rose to earn a shot at the AEW World Title against the winner of a match later tonight.
(Keller’s Analysis: You really see the things WWE does well that we take for granted when you see how poorly timed and poorly produced this battle royal was with so many moving parts. They missed key shots left and right and overlapping or stepping on each other’s spots. There was the odd spot where Rose was climbing the top rope in the corner for no reason – because no one was nearby to leap onto – just to set up the spot where Baker would run over and suplex her off of the top rope. A sloppy match. The crowd was into it at times, though, and suitable popped for many of the key spots. Ultimately the match had focus and was booked to get Rose over as a real force, so it succeeded in that.)
-A video package aired on Bret Hart introducing the AEW World Title this summer and then a preview video of the Hangman Page vs. Chris Jericho main event tonight on PPV.
(Keller’s Analysis: So far this has felt a lot less like a big inside joke aimed at initiated members who are part of an exclusive club and more of a professional pre-show. Some will miss the irreverence and playfulness of the early pre-shows, but this is a definite step in the right direction as they move from cult favorite to major league trying to reach a new wider audience.)
(B) PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs. ANGELICO & JACK EVANS
Excalibur said if you’re new to AEW, Private Party are a great example. Evans walked on his hands down the ramp. They listed on screen the dates and locations of the first six Wednesday night TNT events. When Justin Roberts announced five minute had gone by, I had Gary Michael Capetta flashbacks because he would do that for the companies he worked for. In the end, all four were involved in some spots with some poison ranas by Private Party followed by a flying cutter finisher on Angelico.
WINNERS: Private Party in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lots of athletic spots, as you’d totally expect with these two teams. Maybe a little too focused on being pretty, but it’s fun to watch.)
-After the match Evans and Angelico raised the arms of Private Party, but then attacked them from behind. They went after Quin’s legs as fans booed and chanted “Party Pooper.”
-A heavy produced “mini movie” style video aired of a pairing ramp fight with Wardlow fending off a gang of muggers to protect his lady friend.
-Jenn Decker interviewed MJF backstage. She asked if he minds not having a match tonight. He called Decker “sweetheart” over and over (unlike Roman Reigns, he was looking to come across like a chauvinistic jerk here). He mocked “nerdy idiot fans” who asked why he doesn’t have a match. He said he didn’t want a match, and instead he’s helping Cody beat Spears. She asked what if Cody doesn’t want him at ringside. He laughed at her and said, “You’re funny, you have my number, just call me.” Then he walked out.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was MJF accentuating his strengths and not going too far with the “shock value.”)
-Jim Ross made his way to the ring to his Oklahoma Sooners’ fight song. Fans applauded. They went to the announcers on camera. Ross hyped the line-up. He said it gets better and better the more he examines and studies it. He called it an “extravaganza.” He said they’re going to make history. Golden Boy agreed. Ross asked Excalibur and Goldenboy for their thoughts on the Jericho-Hangman main event. They then previewed the other top matches. Goldenboy talked about having concern for The Young Bucks in this ladder match.
(Keller’s Analysis: Maybe I missed it getting set-up and typing my report here, but they didn’t promote Kenny Omega vs. Pac at all, nor did they draw attention to the relatively recent news that Jon Moxley would not be on the show as long-advertised in posters and social media.)
-Justin Roberts introduced a live chorus singing the National Anthem. The crowd chanted “USA!” after the anthem ended.
-An introductory video package aired with soundbites from wrestlers in each of the top matches.
-They went to Ross, Golden Boy, and Excalibur on camera. They previewed each of the matches.
(1) SO CAL UNCENSORED (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels) vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt)
Sky opened with mic work saying, “This is the worst town he’s ever been in.” Daniels took the mic and said someone made a bet that they couldn’t even get a full house, but they took the bet and were All In. He said they are three aces and AEW is All Out. Kaz then prompted a loud “S-C-U!” chant. This was very New Age Outlaws in how it was executed. The announcers talked about the backstory of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt, known as “a boy, a smaller boy, and their dinosaur.” A few minutes in they worked to a series of dives by the babyface team culminating with a flip dive by Luchasaurus that popped the crowd. The heel trio then took over back in the ring and they settled into isolating Jungle Boy. Luchasaurus got a hot-tag and a near fall on Kaz that popped the crowd. They built to six-way action with Marko scoring a near fall on Kaz. SCU made a comeback and cleared the ring. Jaz gave Luchasaurus a head scissors, sending him into Stunt and Jungle Boy. Sky flip dove to ringside. Back in the ring, SCU set up Marko and Jungle Boy for a double-team spike tombstone for the win. SCU raised the arms of Jurassic Express afterward in a show of sportsmanship. No attack from behind afterward, either.
WINNERS: SCU in 12:00.
(2) KENNY OMEGA vs. PAC
They are calling him “The Bastard, Pac.” (This would have been a good time to give him a better name overall.) The announcers talked about how these two have never faced each other before. Ross said Pac is still looking for respectability whereas Omega has so much recognition already. Golden Boy said that makes him dangerous. Ross noted it’s a one-fall, 30 minute time limit. (This could easily go 30, as it’d avoid the awkward choice of who does the job.) A “Kenny!” chant rang out at the start. Really nice sequences early with the extra spice that Omega ads and some heelish gestures by Pac. They fought at ringside a few minutes in. When Pac took control at ringside, Ross wondered if Omega has been too focused on Jon Moxley because he wrestles such a different style. The announcers talked a lot about Kenny Omega being voted Wrestler of the Year in many polls by his peers and fans. Back in the ring Pac landed a springboard dropkick. Ross called it one of the most dynamic dropkicks he’s ever seen. Pac kicked Omega in the head as he began to sit up leading to a soft two count. Pac settled into a chinlock.
Omega made a comeback and flip dove onto Pac on the floor. His foot hit the ringside barricade upon impact. Omega grated his ankle in pain. Omega was fine and got in a string of offense afterward in the ring. A few minutes later Pac did a flip dive off the top rope and landed on both Omega and the barricade yet again, selling being hurt from his own landing. Pac rolled Omega into the ring, then gingerly climbed to the top rope, selling an injured ankle. He landed a 450 splash for a near fall. Omega made a comeback and scored a near fall. Pac grabbed the ref to block Omega’s momentum. Omega stayed in control and landed a V-Trigger. Pac climbed onto Omega’s shoulders, but Omega turned it into a German suplex into a bridge. Omega then set up a Tiger Drive 98. Pac backdropped out of it. Pac caught Omega with a surprise leaping stunner. Then he German suplexed Omega. He hit another German into a bridge for a near fall. The ring announcer said 20 minutes had gone by, 10 minutes remained.
Omega slipped under Pac and dropped him face-first over the top turnbuckle. Then he gave Pac his nasty looking snap dragon suplex. Then a V-Trigger for a near fall. Omega went for another, but Pac kicked him and then landed a spin kick to the test. Omega came right back with a V-Trigger and, after a duck-under and crossing paths, he hit another. Pac avoided the poison rana. Both seemed to slip out of the next spot. Ross said they were both sweaty. This is where not working with each other before seemed to show a bit. They regrouped and exchanged chops mid-ring. Pac went down. Omega lifted Pac onto his shoulders. Pac avoided Omega’s set-up and then applied a Brutalizer. Omega bent over, but stayed on his feet. The ref called off the match and said Omega was out. Fans gasped and looked on in shock. They went to crowd shots of fans who’re dismayed. Ross said the referee made the only call he could make because safety of the athlete is first and foremost every time. Golden Boy said he thinks Omega was focused on Moxley and he underestimated Pac.
WINNER: Pac in 23:00. (***3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Shocking finish. So to get Pac at the last second, did they have to promise him a big win like that? Not that it’s not a potentially good decision, although Omega losing if he’s going to be their top star – and he should be – is a curious strategy. Pac carried himself like a top star here. Omega was his usual great self.)
(3) JIMMY HAVOC vs. DARBY ALLIN vs. “BAD BOY” JOEY JANELA – Cracker Barrel Clash
Ross gushed about Cracker Barrel’s food. Havoc stapled his own forehead early. Allin and Janella taped up Havoc at ringside and then put thumb tacks in his mouth and duct taped it shut. Then they fought each other. Eventually Havoc dove onto Havoc at ringside to break him free. Janela caught Allin and slammed him hard onto the ring apron. Ross acknowledged the “Holy shit” chant. When Janela pulled a tennis racket out from under the ring, Golden Boy made fun of using that as a weapon (a dig at Jim Cornette).
The biggest gasp of the match came from Havoc yanking paper between the extended fingers of Janella. He gave Janela a staple gun to the forehead. Janela landed in s sitting position on a folding chair and smiled. Havoc yanked the paper across Janela’s lips to paper cut them. Janela landed a diving running sunset flip on Allin off the ring apron through a table at ringside. Havoc moved out of the path of Janela’s flip dive off the top rope, so Janela crashed at ringside. Fans chanted “Cracker Barrel.” Havoc grabbed the tray of biscuits and threw them into Janela. Fans booed. Havoc grabbed a barrel and dragged it down ramp to ringside. Back in the ring Janela clotheslines Havoc.
Allin brought a skateboard into the ring. He hit a charging Janela with it. It was covered in tacks. He used it against Havoc, too. Then he leaped off the top ope and drove the tacks into Janela’s back. A dozen stuck to his back. Havoc broke up his cover. They fought at ringside. Havoc set up a table. Allin dove off the ring apron and crashed Janella through the table. Then he threw Havoc into the ringside steps. Allin dove off the top rope with a back splash, but Havoc moved and he landed on the barrel, which disintegrated between him and the steps. Janella landed a top rope flying elbow onto Havoc for a near fall. Havoc suplexed Janella o to the Cracker Barrel, but only his leg hit. Havoc then gave him an Acid Rainmaker onto the barrel and scored the three count. Ross predicted none of the wrestlers would make it to a 50-and-over battle royal. They showed a picture of a Cracker Barrel fried chicken dinner. Ross gushed.
WINNER: Havoc in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: If you like hardcore matches with apparatus used throughout, this was one of the better versions of it, I think. Allin still took the most brutal bumps of anyone including the sunset powerbomb through a table at ringside by Janela. The crowd was into it. Everyone involved was on-brand.)
(4) BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent Barreta) vs. THE DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson w/Their Creepers)
After an early flurry, Taylor and Barreta hugged. Fans cheered and they cut to a wide shot of the crowd (reminiscent of New Japan when Okada hits the Rainmaker pose). Dark Order then took control and isolated Barreta. After an Ace Crusher, Ross said they’ll have a new name for that move next time. Four-way chaos eventually broke out. Uno sent Trent head-first into the turnbuckle. Taylor entered and gave Grayson an Awful Waffle leaping pile driver. Trent made the cover, but Uno yanked him out of the ring. It was a three count, and the ref just stopped because Uno was late. That’s when Grayson has to lift his shoulder anyway to keep the ref from looking bad. Dark Order set up their finisher, the Fatality, for the win. They get a “first round bye” (or you could look at this as a first round match to advance to the second round, unless the losing team also gets to re-enter the tournament in the first round).
WINNERS: Dark Order in 14:00.
-After the match, the Creepers carried Barreta out on their shoulders. The lights went out. The lights went out. Orange Cassidy appeared mid-ring. The crowd popped. Excalibur said he was “freshly squeezed” and signed by AEW. Ross prompted his colleagues to fill viewers in on who Cassidy is. Excalibur gave some bio info on him being the training partner of Chuck Taylor. Cassidy, with his hands in his pockets, dove onto the crowd at ringside to save Barreta. They hugged. Fans cheered.
-A commercial aired promoting AEW on TNT on Oct. 2. The narrator closed, “A new league rises.” It most prominently featured Cody, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Jon Moxley.
(5) RIHO vs. HIKARU SHIDA
The winner faces Nyla Rose for the Women’s Title. The crowd respectfully into the action as it progressed, even though it’s the final match before the big three remaining main events. Shida blocked a 619. Shida went for a brainbuster. Riho resisted, but Shida managed to pull it off. She then threw a knee strike and scored a two count. A few minutes later Riho rallied and scored a near fall. Ross said she doesn’t have the body weight to execute a strong cover. The ref again was put in a bad position to stop his three count before the kickout actually came. She came back with a leverage pin for the three count after a flurry of reversals. “Are you kidding me?” gasped Ross. Excalibur said on Oct. 2 in D.C., Rose will battle Riho to crown the first-ever AEW Women’s Champion. Right after the match, Rose walked out and licked her lips. They went to a string of highlights of the match.
-They went to the announcers on camera. They pivoted to promoting the Cody vs. Shawn Spears match. Ross blanked on Spears’s name, and Golden Boy was right there for him.
(Keller’s Analysis: Just a note on the announcing. It’s so much better. Ross seems to be comfortable and more engaged early on. He seemed, frankly, cranky and tired on some of the previous shows. Golden Boy and Excalibur are working well with Ross. No one is stepping on one another. Ross is clearly the conductor, and the other two are taking his cues and gelling well with him. Also, the early production issues haven’t continued and it’s been a smooth, professional presentation the rest of the way after those ominous early minutes in the pre-show battle royal.)
(6) SHAWN SPEARS (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. CODY (w/MJF)
Spears (formerly Tye Dillinger, for newer AEW viewers) sat on a chair on the stage. He carried the dented chair to the ring within. Excalibur noted the dent was made by Cody’s skill. Spears wore a blue hood and didn’t show his face until he got to ringside. Tully then walked out behind him in a sports jacket, with a little strut to his gait, but with sneering attitude. He pulled back Spears’s hood. Spears has contact lenses that turn his eyes white with black pupils visible. That’s one of the better uses of contact lenses I’ve seen in terms of building character and aura. They cut backstage to Brandi Rhodes with Pharaoh (her and Cody’s pet dog), then DDP, and and finally MJF joining them and heading toward the entrance stage. The music changed and Cody rose through the floor of the stage. Justin Roberts did a great job with his inflection here introducing Cody. Cody’s regular entrance theme then took over and he headed to the ring. Ross noted how intense Cody’s demeanor was here. Cody chose MJF to be his ringside second; he only got one, per Tully’s match stipulation demand at the contract signing.
Cody jump-started the match with a leap from the ring onto Spears at ringside. When Cody turned to Tully, Spears grabbed Cody from behind and yanked him into the crowd area. They fought there. Back in the ring, the ref called for the official start. They fought to ringside almost immediately, with Cody landing a snap powerslam on the floor. Spears, with Tully’s help, took control after a low-blow at ringside. Ross said: “This is not pro wrestling booking that was thrown together in a meeting.” Cody came back inside the ring a minute later and landed a top rope rana. Spears punched a diving Cody out of mid-air. Excalibur speculated Spears saw Cody on the big screen and was able to counter him. Spears crotched Cody into the corner post, although Cody’s crotch never came close to impact yet Cody sold it like it did. Spears hit a short-arm clothesline back in the ring, then pinned him down with a mount choke for a one count. He stomped on Cody’s head and then tinted MJF a little at ringside. Spears sprayed water in Cody’s eyes. It’s almost like Spears is channelling Triple H here.
Back in the ring, Cody channeled Dusty or Dustin with a dropdown uppercut. Ross noted the family tradition of that move. Spears set up a face plant DDT and drove Cody into the ring apron with it. The announcers wondered if MJF distracting the referee there was inadvertent or not. (“Who’s side is he on!” one might wonder aloud.) Spears took off Cody’s weight-lifter belt and spit on it. Ross said it’s a total showing of disrespect. Ref Earl Hebner scolded Spears. Spears poked and pushed Hebner. Hebner poked and pushed Spears back. Spears backed away and said, “Okay.” He acted suitably intimidated by the referee’s authority. Tully then gave Spears his own belt. Spears whipped Cody with it as Hebner got rid of Cody’s. Cody began no-selling the move and hulking up. He no-sold a belt shot and then high kicked Spears in the face. He turned it up with an explosion of kicks in the corner. He played to the crowd and showed fire.
Spears took over again and drove him into the metal ramp at ringside. Both were slow to get up, but Spears got up first and re-entered the ring. MJF tried to drag Cody into the ring to save the countout. Hebner told him to back away. Cody leaped into the ring just in time. “Cody! Cody!” chanted the fans. this has an old-school vibe in terms of crowd heat for Cody and Spears, which is great, and now a pattern with Cody’s matches when he’s working against a strong heel. Cody caught Spears with a surprise Crossroads. He draped his arm over Spears, but Tully stood on the ring apron and distracted the ref. Ross was great being disgusted with Tully’s interference. MJF stood on the ring apron and yelled at Tully. Tully taped his fist and entered the ring. MJF entered next. Tully then took off his jacket. Fans cheered. MJF took off his jacket, then carefully folded his scarf and threw it at Tully. Tully grabbed MJF by his throat. Spears gave MJF a kick to the head. Tully then went after MJF at ringside with some stomps. Out walked Arn Anderson to a huge pop. He slid into the ring. Ross said, “We don’t know why he’s coming.” He gave Spears a spinebuster and had his gameface on. Golden Boy said Arn is “tired of the shenanigans.” Tully couldn’t believe what he just saw. Ross said he was aghast. He followed Arn to the back, seeking an explanation.
Back to ringside, Cody lifted Spears. Spears shoved Cody into the ring apron edge. Spears pulled a chair out from under the ring. Fans booed. Cody kicked Spears as he entered the ring, then gave him a quick facebuster. Ross said it was “bowling shoe ugly but effective.” Cody picked up a chair. Golden Boy asked if he wanted to risk being disqualified. Cody imitated his dad and took Spears down, then hit a Disaster Kick and Crossroads for the win. Ross said Cody got some redemption.
MJF entered to celebrate with Cody, presumably. Hebner lifted Cody’s arm. NJF lifted a chair. Fans got nervous. Ross got nervous. MJF threw the chair down and they hugged. MJF lifted Cody’s arm. Ross said MJF was a good choice, it turns out. Ross said maybe MJF’s friendship with Cody is legit after all. Cody kissed the ring as his music played. Then they went to a series of match highlights.
WINNER: Cody. (***3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Old school is now new school again. This worked start to finish. It got the crowd response. It had tension, suspense, violence, psychology, strategic nostalgia, heel heat, babyface heat, satisfying finish. Nicely done.)
-Ross plugged AEW on TNT on Nov. 6. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.
-A video package previewed the main event. When Nick Jackson said he had big balls and asked if the Lucha Bros. do, Matt shot him quite the look.
(7) LUCHA BROTHERS (Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson) – AAA Tag Team Titles
The crowd was into both teams. Excalibur talked about these two teams facing each other five times already this year. The Bucks landed an early double-team double-stomp. The Lucha Bros. knocked them to the floor and then hit dives. Fenix, in particular, wound up and springboarded onto the ladder down onto the Bucks and Pentagon Jr. who patiently waited for his long set-up. Excallibur said that will be seen as relatively tame by the end of the match. He said both teams have basically a death wish. Golden Boy said they want to see them wrestle for years to come, though. They fought at ringside.
A couple minutes later one member of each team hit running spears to knock their other respective opponent off the ring apron through tables set up at ringside. It was as if they were working together with the same idea in mind. Matt and Fenix did a series of Northern Lights Suplexes with Fenix eventually ending up slammed on at the ladder. Fenix came back with a springboard huracanrana on Nick onto a ladder. Fans chanted “AEW!” After several mote minutes of spots, Matt and Pentagon climbed a ladder and Pentagon gave Matt an aerial sling blade. Fans again chanted “AEW!” Nick did a running dive under the ladder and through the ropes onto Pentagon at ringside. Fenix delivered a destroyer on Matt which drew applause from the crowd. “This crowd is eating this up!” said Ross. “It’s like good barbecue sauce, you can’t get enough of it.” Pentagon slid a ladder into the ring. Pentagon gave Matt a top rope inverted sunset destroyer through a table. Excalibur said he’s never seen anything like that in nearly 20 years in wrestling. Ross said it was extraordinary. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Matt was out on his back on a table at ringside. Nick climbed ladder on the opposite side of the ring. The again worked as mirror images on opposite sides of the ring and his leaping splashes onto their respective opponents through tables at ringside.
Nick put Pentagon in a sharpshooter a few minutes later. Matt put the ladder’s bottom rung over his neck and then applied a crossface. Fenix then climbed the ladder, so Nick had to release the sharpshooter. Nick rammed Fenix’s head into the top of the ladder. Matt then set up Fenix for a tombstone. Nick climbed the ladder and considered grabbing the belts or spiking the pile driver. Pentagon got up and superkicked Matt, then tipped the ladder over and Nick crashed through one of two tables at ringside. His feet caught the top rope as he flew to the mat and that could have been much worse. It changed his course and that’s why he came up slightly short on the second table to help break his fall. Matt and Pentagon battled on the top rope. Matt yanked off Pentagon’s mask. Fans booed. The announcers said that was too far. Fenix then knocked the ladder over Matt crashed awkwardly onto the ladder. Golden Boy asked for the announcers to cut away from Fenix’s face. Pentagon leaped off the top rope and drove Matt onto a ladder bridged at ringside as Fenix was package piledriving him.
Matt was out at ringside. Nick was struggling to stand. Fenix and Pentagon climbed the ladder and pulled down the belts to win.
WINNERS: Lucha Bros. in 22:00. (****1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Man, that was breathtaking and seemingly genuinely dangerous. Also inventive and dramatic. The Bucks, especially, were lucky to walk out of there after a couple spots in particular that seemed to go wrong or had room to go badly.)
-Two wrestlers came to the ring in Halloween masks. They tipped over the ladder with the Lucha Bros. still on top. Some fans chanted “LAX!” They went after Nick next and gave him a top rope flipping neckbreaker/powerbomb combo. They unmasked to reveal Santana and Ortiz, LAX. The crowd popped. Golden Boy said as a fellow Puerto Rican, he’d like to say he’s happy to see this, but their timing to attack those two teams after all they went through makes him hesitant to applaud their arrival. Ross said the tag team division just got deeper. He had spent time earlier touting AEW’s tag team division. They shifted to commenting on a series of highlights of big spots in the match.
-Ross announced the Nov. 9 “Full Gear” PPV in Baltimore. That’s another Saturday night PPV. That’s just over two months after this major PPV. That gives AEW on TNT’s TV shows a purpose early on as they focus on building to those PPV matches during the first six weekly TV shows.
-They aired a video package hyping the main event AEW World Title match.
(8) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. CHRIS JERICHO – AEW World Title match (inaugural)
Page rode a horse to the ring. They had talked on “Road to All Out” that they wouldn’t be able to do that for various reasons and were worried about the potential horse droppings. They showed Page’s family in the first row who came from their tobacco farm to watch him wrestle in person. The belt was in a glass case at ringside. Page looked emotional as his entrance music faded. Jericho came out this Fozzy theme. He wore a spiked leather jacket and silver glittery scarf. Robrts handled formal ring introductions. The referee held the belt next to him. Justin called Jericho “The Painmaker Chris Jericho.” Page was introduced second and his wife cheered loudest. Ross noted that Page has never wrestled a PPV main event before or held a major singles championship. The referee, Aubry Edwards, said she would call it down the middle. Ross said this is the first time he knows of that a woman has been assigned the referee duties in a men’s PPV main event match. Golden Boy confirmed it. Ross said he’s never seen Jericho so focused and said he’s in great shape.
A dueling chant of “Let’s Go Hangman!/ Y2J!” broke out. Page gave Jericho a fallaway slam followed by a kip up and then he clotheslined Jericho over the top rope to the floor. Page chased Jericho back into the ring. Jericho ran the ropes and ate a Page boot leading to a two count. Page dove through the ropes and speared Jericho into the barricade at ringside. Ross said Page is 28 and Jericho is 48. When Page went for a shooting star press, Jericho caught him mid-air and drove him into the mat. Both were slow to get up. Jericho rolled into the ring first. They cut to Page’s family. His wife was smiling, but his mom looked especially concerned. When Page broke the count barely and stood on the ring apron, Jericho knocked him hard to the floor. The ref checked on his condition. Jericho took it to Page right in front of Page’s family. Jericho took the bell and rang it and declared himself the winner. He tossed the bell over his shoulder. Ross said he’s imposing his will but also being a pain in the ass. Jericho then hit Page with the mic. Ross said that should’ve been a DQ.
Jericho returned to the ring, showed off his abs, and then flexed his arms and chest. Fans chanted, “Stupid idiot!” Jericho smiled and cupped his ears. Page chopped Jericho in a sign of life. Jericho stopped it quickly and took Page down again. Jericho rested on the corner turnbuckle casually, then landed a senton on Page. Jericho hit Page with a nice strong dropkick for a two count a minute later. Page finally made a comeback a few minutes later and gave Jericho other fallaway slam. Both were slow to get up. Page leaped up and showed some fire. Golden Boy said adrenaline was kicking in. Ross said Page’s endurance should be stronger than Jericho’s because of age. He hit a rolling Samoan drop and a shooting star press for a near fall. Page gave Jericho a Russian leg sweep off the middle rope for a near fall. Jericho countered a Page piledriver set-up and position Page into a Walls of Jericho. Page hit Jericho in the eye area with a spinning elbow. Jericho rolled to the floor and he came up bleeding above his eye. Ross said time could be running out on Jericho who might never have a title match like this again. Ross said if Page is the future of AEW, Jericho doesn’t want be the one to pass the torch.
The ref checked Jericho cut. Page then took Jericho down with a hard clothesline. Golden Boy said they said if this match went long, Page would have the advantage Jericho backdropped Page over the top rope to the ring apron. He continued to wipe heavy blood out of his eyes as he continued to fight. Jericho climbed to the top rope. Page took control and leaped off with a swinging neckbreaker off the top rope. He made the cover and scored a very near fall. The cut didn’t clot and continued to drip from his cut. Page threw off his lebowpad as Jericho begged off from his knees mid-ring. Page hit another discus elbow. Jericho collapsed. Page went for a suplex, but Jericho blocked it and dropped Page over the top rope gut-first. Jericho then leaped off the second rope with a springboard move, but Page met him with a kick to the chin. Page then landed the Buck Shot Lariat. Page played to the crowd who were politely backing him. Page set up the Dead Eye, but Jericho rolled through and tried for another Walls of Jericho. He locked it on. Page reached for the bottom rope and finally got there. Jericho held for three extra seconds until the ref yanked him away. Jericho didn’t like her putting her hands on him. She shoved her. She gave him a fierce verbal warning. Page threw a charging Jericho to the floor. Ross said that interaction with the ref might have cost him the match. Page hit Jericho with a top rope Asai style moonsault.
Back in the ring Page went for a Buck Shot Lariat, but Jericho countered with a mid-air backstabber for a believable near fall. Jericho kneed Page a few times, but Page popped up and landed a rolling elbow strike across Jericho’s jaw. Page went for a running shooting star press. Jericho lifted his knees. When he charged, Page countered. Page delivered the Dead Eye piledriver mid-ring for a believable very near fall. Excalibur told Page not to get rattled. Page landed a Buckshot Lariat. Jericho went for a backslide. Page escaped, but Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow for the win.
WINNER: Jericho in 26:00 to capture the first-ever AEW World Title. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Definitely main event worthy. The crowd seemed either tired or else not that into Page at the level you’d like for this moment. This deep in the show, that was more of an issue than it would have been on a tighter three-and-a-half hour or four hour show (including the pre-show) instead of five total. They came through, though, with a strong match. Jericho was dominant early, Page made comebacks in the second half and scored believable near falls, and in the end Jericho won clean after a hard-fought battle. I think this was Jericho’s best traditional match performance in quite a while. This was less “character driven” or reliant on brawling and antics. This was a standard main event performance start to finish. For a while I thought they were going to try for a double-turn, as Jericho seemed to get sympathy from the crowd after he was cut open and showed great fighting spirit. Shoving the ref ended any speculation in my mind that they were headed there.)