SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The AEW All Out PPV will take place on September 5, 2021 at the Now Arena in Chicago, Illinois. It is the first PPV out of Jacksonville since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The biggest draw is the return of C.M. Punk to in-ring action after a hiatus of seven years. We may also be witness to the end of an era as Chris Jericho put his career on the line for one final match with MJF. The Elite defend their titles as Kenny Omega faces Christian Cage and the Young Bucks face the Lucha Brothers in a steel cage match, and more. Also lurking in the wild are free agents Brian Danielson and possibly Adam Cole who can make surprise appearances. Now on to the matches.
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Christian Cage – AEW World Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: After dealing Kenny Omega his first singles loss since AEW Full Gear 2019 and capturing the Impact World Championship, Christian Cage tries must repeat that feat to win the AEW World Championship.
Christian Cage returned from a seven-year retirement at AEW Revolution 2021 (assuming you ignore his “match” with Randy Orton on June 15th, 2020’s WWE Raw and his entry into the WWE Royal Rumble 2021). Soon after he made his intent clear that he was there to win championships, going as far as the get in the face of the current (and still) AEW World Champion, Kenny Omega.
Christian forged an alliance with Jungle Boy and the rest of Jurassic Express and proceeded to win matches, working his way up the rankings. After defeating a murderer’s row of wrestlers, Frankie Kazarian, Powerhouse Hobbs, Matt Sydal, Angélico, Matt Hardy, and The Blade, Christian found himself as the number one ranked wrestler earning himself a title shot.
The championship match was scheduled for All Out, but it was decided that Christian would get a shot at Kenny Omega’s Impact World Championship on the debut episode of AEW Rampage. The Elite interfered in the match (as has been happening frequently in matches featuring members of the Elite) but Christian turned the tables and delivered the Unprettier on a chair to defeat Omega and win the Impact title.
On the go-home episode of Dynamite, the Elite (Good Brothers and Young Bucks) defeated the team of Jurassic Express and the Lucha Brothers in an eight-man tag-team match. Kenny Omega came out to dish out punishment to Jungle Boy prompting Christian to come out to help. Kenny Omega sprung his trap, having gained control of the cage lowering mechanism for the cage that is to be used in the tag team championship match. Christian, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix were trapped in the cage at the merciless hands of the Elite.
Prediction and analysis: Safe to say that Omega retains. I just hope that interference doesn’t lead to the finish. The big question is whether someone debuts after the match. Personally, I hope it’s Adam Cole. I’m perfectly fine waiting for Brian Danielson (formerly Daniel Bryan) to debut (mostly since I hope he is in this year’s NJPW G1 tournament).
The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers – AEW Tag Team Championship Cage Match
Story in a nutshell: The Lucha Brothers, Penta El Cero Miedo and Rey Fenix won the tag team eliminator tournament earning a shot at the AEW Tag Team Championship so now they renew their rivalry with the Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson.
Normally I order these in order of import but since the drama and build has involved the Elite, I’ll just talk about it now. (For the record I have CM Punk’s wrestling debut and MJF/Jericho higher). The Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson, successfully held on to the AEW Tag Team Championship several times thanks to illegal interference by various members of the Elite and their stooges. AEW owner Tony Khan finally had enough and set a tag team eliminator tournament to determine which team would challenge for the titles in a cage match. The Lucha Brothers, Penta El Cero Miedo and Rey Fenix met and defeated Jurassic Express, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, in the finals. The Elite came out to confront the teams and took a cheap shot leading to the aforementioned eight-man tag that ended poorly for the Lucha Brothers, not only because of the beatdown but because Fenix took the pin.
Prediction and analysis: So much was made about the cage preventing interference in the match that I hope it works as advertised. I secretly wish (though not secretly enough to prevent me from writing and sharing it apparently) that the Elite come out to interfere in the match, take a look at the cage, figure there isn’t anything they can do, and just shrug their shoulders and leave. I think the Young Bucks retain since Penta and Fenix are concurrently in an angle where Andrade El Idolo is trying to come between the Lucha Brothers and Pac. This makes me think that interference might be back on the table only for Andrade to help the Lucha Brothers to prove that he is a more valuable ally than Pac considering Pac won’t be there to help. Even if Andrade doesn’t show up, he can use a Lucha Brothers loss as a wedge to break up Triangulo de la Muerte.
C.M. Punk vs. Darby Allin
Story in a nutshell: Some dude comes back from retirement, people go nuts for some reason, and this is his first match back.
So, a lot of this build, if you can call what happened in the metaverse we call the real world a “build”, happened through leaks and other obvious signposts teasing that CM Punk signed with AEW. CM Punk returned from a self-imposed exile from wrestling on the second episode of Rampage. Impressed by Darby Allin, CM Punk challenged him to be his first opponent at All Out.
Prediction and analysis: It’s Chicago, so Punk is winning. I wouldn’t want to deal with the fallout if not. C.M. Punk wins but both wrestlers find their respect for one another strengthened.
Chris Jericho vs. MJF – If Jericho loses, he will never wrestle again.
Story in a nutshell: Unwilling to deal with losing three times to MJF, Chris Jericho puts his career on the line to get on more match against his hated rival.
The feud between the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle faded to the background putting the spotlight on the rivalry between the leaders of those two factions. MJF has had Jericho’s number, having defeated Jericho twice previously. As the rest of the members of their respective factions spun off to face off one another in one-on-one matches, only MJF refused to face Jericho. He would only fight Jericho if Jericho faced the Five Labors of Jericho, a call back to when Jericho forced Moxley to run a gauntlet of Inner Circle member for the right to challenge Jericho. Jericho defeated Shawn Spears in a match where Spears could not get disqualified, deathmatch king Nick Cage in a death match, his old rival Juventud Guerrera in a match Jericho could only win with a move from the top rope, and Wardlow in a match with MJF in Wardlow’s corner. Unfortunately, for the fifth and final labor, MJF declared the Judas Effect, Jericho’s current signature finish, an illegal maneuver for the match. This, and the wear from the other labors cost Jericho his third match. Frustrated, Jericho wanted one final shot at MJF and has place his wrestling career on the line.
Prediction and analysis: I’ve had a feeling for a while that Jericho has been soaking up each moment in the ring like someone who knows the end is near. MJF retiring Jericho will be one hell of a feather in his cap. Plus, the word used in the stipulation is “wrestle.” No one said he couldn’t “fight.”
Miro (c) vs. Eddie Kingston – AEW TNT Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Miro has been going after those he deems unworthy to be on AEW and now he seeks to “redeem” Eddie Kingston as he defends his TNT Championship.
Miro believes that he is has be tasked by God to redeem those that have been rewarded even though they were weak, brutalizing those he has faced. Most recently, his ire was focused on Fuego del Sol. If Fuego defeated Miro, he’d earn an AEW contract. Despite coming up short, he was impressive enough in his courage to be offered a contract. Upset that he hadn’t earned the contract, Miro brutally attacked Fuego. Eddie Kingston, who had been previously called out by Miro, came out to save Fuego, and this match was made. For his part, Kingston believes he knows Miro’s weakness, his neck, and knows how to attack it in a vain attempt to but the outcome of the match in doubt.
Prediction and analysis: God’s favorite champion stays down for his wife in a hotel room after his victory.
Britt Baker D.M.D. (c) vs. Kris Statlander – AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: The number one ranked woman in AEW challenges the AEW Women’s World Champion, Britt Baker D.M.D.
After returning from injury earlier this year, Kris Statlander went undefeated in 2021, gaining fifteen victories (mostly on Dark) to work her way up the rankings to be the number one position and earning this title match.
Prediction and analysis: Britt Baker wins. Not much more to say here.
Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima
Story in a nutshell: Upset with so many wrestlers from outside AEW coming through the “forbidden door” to make their mark, Jon Moxley invited anyone from New Japan Pro-Wrestling to face him, so he can prove how dangerous a proposition that would be, and Satoshi Kojima was the one to step up.
With the “forbidden door” open (a reference to different companies working together, this time NJPW) Jon Moxley has wanted a match with Hiroshi Tanahashi, the Ace of New Japan. Accusing Tanahashi of ducking him, he sent out a bunch of contracts to the NJPW office. The only one to take him up was the legendary Satoshi Kojima.
Prediction and analysis: Satoshi Kojima is one of New Japan’s veteran wrestlers like Yuji Nagata ,who Moxley wrestled earlier this year. Kojima can still bring it so this should be a fun match. Not for Kojima, who’s gonna lose.
Casino Battle Royal for an AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: The winner of this match will be awarded a future AEW Women’s World Championship match.
Twenty-one wrestlers draw from a deck of twenty-one cards, five of each suit plus the Joker. A suit is chosen and all of the wrestlers who drew that suit start the match. After a specified time interval, a second suit is chosen and those wrestlers are added to the match and so on until the person who drew the Joker enters last. A wrestler is eliminated by getting tossed over the top rope and the last person standing gets a shot at the AEW Women’s World champion. The participants for the match are Thunder Rosa who was previously attacked by participants Nyla Rose Jade Cargill. Penelope Ford and the Bunny allied to go after Tay Conti who was saved by a returning Anna Jay. Britt Bakers new “heavy” Jamie Hayter and Rebel are there to protect Britt’s interests. Hikaru Shida and Riho are former champions. Finally, Big Swole, Julia Hart, Diamante, Red Velvet, Emi Sakura (hopefully sans Freddie Mercury gimmick), Kiera Hogan, Abadon (oh boy), Leyla Hirsh, KyLynn King, and Skye Blue round out the cast.
Prediction and analysis: The winner of this match will likely be challenging on a big show on TV, not on PPV, ergo Thunder Rosa is out. I can see Leyla Hirsh, who has been kinda hot lately and is my choice. A rematch with Shida is also possible and it could be a good time to push Riho back to the forefront. I’m also surprised there is no mystery entrant as of right now with all twenty-one entrants accounted for. I can’t discount one of the participants getting taken out for a Ruby Soho (formerly Ruby Riott) surprise.
Paul Wight vs. Q.T. Marshall
Story in a nutshell: Paul Wight wants revenge for how QT Marshall bullied Tony Schiavone.
Upset with Tony Schiavone’s unflattering (though true) portrayal of him on commentary, QT Marshall began bullying Shiavone and his family. Paul Wight (formerly the Big Show) came to Shiavone’s defense. On a later date, QT called out Wight who confronted QT and his Factory faction. Wight barreled in and handled himself well until the Gunn Club, Billy and his sons, came to make the save. Only it wasn’t a save and they turned on Wight, attacking him with a chair and laying him out.
Prediction and analysis: Wight Beats QT. Hopefully quickly.
Pre-show match: Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor & Wheeler Yuta & Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus vs. Matt Hardy & Isaiah Kassidy & Marq Quen & Angélico & Jack Evans
Story in a nutshell: It’s another step in a feud between Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy.
Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy have been fighting one another but that doesn’t really matter since the purpose of this match is to put a bunch of people in a fast-moving car crash of a match to drum up excitement for the PPV.
Prediction and analysis: Orange Cassidy and his crew get a feel good win to kick off the show.