SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW All Out 2022 will take place at the Now Arena in the Hoffman Estates (a Chicago suburb) in Illinois. Punk tries to redeem himself for the one-side loss the took against Moxley by recapturing the now undisputed AEW World Championship. The first AEW World Trios Champions will be crowned when The Elite and Dark Order meet in the finals of the AEW World Trios Championship Tournament. And… thirteen… more… matches (four on the Zero Hour pre-show).
Jon Moxley (c) vs. CM Punk – Undisputed AEW World Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Interim champion Jon Moxley legitimized his status as AEW World Champion when he defeated the actual champion CM Punk and now Punk gets a chance to win back the title.
CM Punk defeated Adam Page for the AEW World Championship and, the next day, broke his foot. Jon Moxley won a tournament that was held to determine an interim champion. Punk returned and things between the two became really heated really fast, so they decided to have the unification match on Dynamite instead of waiting for All Out. Early in the match, CM Punk “re-aggravated” the foot injury and Moxley swarmed him and beat him in a very quick match and rid himself of the “interim” qualifier that Moxley continually bristled at. Moxley held out an open contract for anyone to be his opponent at All Out and left it in the ring. Seeing as though the rest of the roster was too afraid of Moxley to come rushing out, it was Ace Steel, CM Punk’s mentor and an executive in the company who retrieved the contract. Punk began to doubt himself, but Ace fired him up, (while dropping a convenient f’ bomb), and convinced Punk to sign the contract. Meanwhile, Moxley cut some fire promos.
Prediction and analysis: As much as I want to see Moxley continue as champion, I think Tony Khan has a story in mind that he wants to tell, good business be damned. Punk re-aggravates the injury again but this time fights through it and defeats Moxley. Unless… MJF makes his return and cost CM Punk the match. There is a real danger that MJF would return to a positive reaction but if MJF costs Punk the match in Chicago instead? You may have to worry about a riot.
Kenny Omega & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. “Hangman” Adam Page & Alex Reynolds & John Silver – Tournament Final for the AEW World Trios Championship
Story in a nutshell: The conclusion of the inaugural AEW World Trios Championship will see the Elite, Kenny Omega and Matt and Nick Jackson take on former Elite member Adam Page and Dark Order members John Silver and Alex Reynolds.
Yet another new title is introduced (joining the seven AEW, six ROH, plus several cameos from different promotions and a diamond ring, for those keeping count). The AEW World Trios Championship will be awarded to the winner of the tournament for the titles. Elite members, Matt and Nick Jackson needed a third partner to participate in the tournament and tried to mend fences with their former friend and former member of the Elite, “Hangman” Adam Page. Page kindly turned them down since he wanted to be in the corner of Dark Order as they have been there for him. Nick and Matt then turned to Kenny Omega who made his return from injury perhaps a bit too soon (commentary has been overselling how beat-up he looks). Regardless, they defeated La Faccion Ingobernable (Andrade, Rush, and Dragon Lee), and the United Empire (Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher, & Mark Davis) to advance to the finals.
Meanwhile, the Dark Order members Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and Preston “10” Vance defeated the House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Mathews). Preston got hurt so Evil Uno went to take his place. Andrade however tried to buy Preston off of Evil Uno and when Evil Uno rejected him, Andrade took out Evil Uno instead. Faced with having to face Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Trent Beretta) on a two on three situation, Page agreed to become their third member and defeated them to earn a spot in the finals.
Prediction and analysis: While the Bucks seem to have turned face, Kenny Omega is still acting heelish and is still towing heel manager Don Callis around. While the relationship between the Bucks and Page have thawed a bit, but the status of the relationship between Kenny and Page is still unknown so whatever happens I expect a lot of drama. I expect that at some point Kenny will try to take advantage of Page only to be stopped by the Bucks leading to a full reconciliation between the Bucks and Page. Kenny then will be free to pursue whatever story they are telling about his “broken” body, and what looks like to be a manager who is just using Kenny up.
Jungle Boy vs. Christian Cage
Story in a nutshell: Christian Cage showed the world he was only using Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus when they lost the AEW tag titles by attacking Jungle Boy and now Jungle Boy wants revenge.
Christian Cage took it upon himself to mentor young talent and attached himself to Jungle Boy. He coached Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus into winning the AEW World Tag Team Titles. Turned out Christian Cage was actually a parasite leeching off the popularity of Jungle Boy. When the duo lost, Christian attacked Jungle Boy not only physically, but also emotionally when he took jabs at Jungle Boy’s late father Luke Perry in front of Jungle Boy’s family. Christian also tried turning Luchasaurus on Jungle Boy, but their friendship was too strong (maybe). Jungle Boy admitted that he had started to see Christian as a pseudo father-figure making the betrayal that much more personal. Jungle Boy claimed that he was going to fight Christian not as Jungle Boy but a Jack Perry. (A declaration that would’ve carried a hell of a lot more weight if Jim Ross didn’t keep referring to Jungle Boy by his real name since the onset of the company.)
Prediction and analysis: Jungle Boy should win this, there is already enough heat on this personal conflict. However, Luchasaurus was “suspended” for attacking an AEW official during a skirmish and has been conspicuously missing as of late. They can extend the feud by having Luchasaurus ultimately betray Jungle Boy, shifting the feud to those two for the time being.
Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho
Story in a nutshell: The spill over of the Kingston/Jericho feud now expands to Chris Jericho and Brian Danielson fighting over what it means to be a wrestler with Daniel Garcia trapped between his mentor and his idol.
As the feud between the Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS) and the alliance between Eddie Kingston’s group and the Blackpool Combat Club played out in Anarchy at the Arena, Bryan Danielson got (legit) hurt. The JAS took credit for taking Danielson out. When Danielson made his return, he wrestled Daniel Garcia where Garcia scored an upset win (with Jake Hager’s help). After a second encounter in a two-out-of-three-falls match that Danielson won, Danielson showed Garcia respect. When Jericho went after Danielson after the match. Garcia got upset at Jericho stealing the moment from him since Brain Danielson was his idol. Jericho demanded to know what side Garcia was on. Once face to face, Danielson barged in and emphasized that Garcia was a “wrestler” while Jericho demanded Garcia admit he’s a “Sports Entertainer”. Garcia was torn between the two men and left. Danielson then challenged “Lionheart” to a match, (“Lionheart” is the “wrestler” persona of Chris Jericho). Jericho agreed. Later, Garcia reaffirmed his loyalty to Jericho and encouraged Jericho to be honorable when he faces Danielson. Jericho agreed that he’d be fair during the match but outside of the match, anything went. After a match between Danielson and another JAS member, Jake Hager, Jericho attacked Danielson. Members of the Blackpool Combat Club assisted Jericho but ultimately it was Garcia who prevented the worst of the damage. This led to Jericho getting distracted, opening himself up to get hit by Danielson’s Busaiku Knee.
(For clarification in this context “Sports Entertainer” is considered a pejorative describing the style of wrestling storytelling the WWE has employed in the past where the emphasis is on more storylines and pageantry and pretty much what AEW was created to counter.)
Prediction and analysis: I think these two are going out there with something to prove. Jericho puts on a great honorable fight but when he can’t get the win, he’ll resort to dirty tactics which will draw out Garcia ultimately leading to a Danielson win and a Garcia/Jericho feud.
Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm vs. Hikaru Shida – Interim AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa is out with an injury so a fatal four-way between Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, Toni Storm, and Hikaru Shida will determine who will be the interim champion.
Originally set to be Toni Storm taking on Thunder Rosa for the AEW Women’s World Championship, an injury to Thunder Rosa put the kibosh on those plans. Rosa and Storm had been teaming up against Britt Baker and her henchman Jamie Hayter and their upcoming match was making things awkward between Rosa and Storm.
Prediction and analysis: If I had my druthers, I’d give the title to Shida who was AEW best, yet unheralded, women’s champion. Or give Britt the title and let Shida who has a pinfall on Britt claim a one-on-one shot. Alas, I think Storm wins it and they go through with Storm and Rosa once Rosa returns.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Wheeler Yuta vs. Penta El Cero Miedo vs. Rey Fenix vs. Andrade El Idolo vs. Dante Martin vs. ??? – Casino Ladder Match for an AEW World Championship title shot
Story in a nutshell: The winner of this match will be awarded a future AEW World Championship match.
The winner of this match will be awarded a future AEW World Championship match.
Prediction and analysis: If Claudio wins it could continue playing into issues between Punk and the Blackpool Combat Club assuming Punk wins the main event, so I lean that way. I don’t really like the other’s chances unless there is a big surprise. Since the participants all have a partner in the match except Dante, Darius Martin might be a possibility (Darius has been out since earlier this year and while I don’t know his current condition, early estimates had him back between October-January so this would be early). Another possibility is Dragon Lee who had his brother Rush and Andrade turn on him after they lost in the trios’ tournament. Glancing at the New Japan schedule only Will Ospreay and Tomohiro Ishii aren’t on tour as far as I can tell and Ospreay claims he is done with AEW for the time being. Morrisey just debuted and I can never discount Archer.
Malakai Black & Brody King & Buddy Mathews vs. Darby Allin & Sting & Miro
Story in a nutshell: The House of Black has declared war on Darby Allin and Sting, and Miro got caught up in it and now they’ve aligned to take revenge.
Darby Allin and Brody King have been feuding. Along the way, Miro got the black mist from Malakai Black. Black mist, in wrestling, traditionally causes as much spiritual damage as it does physical. Julia Hart, for example, was fully corrupted by it and joined the House of Black. She was sent to entice Miro into joining them, but he saw this as an attempt by his god to stop him, so he resisted. Sting too, seems unaffected outside an alteration to his face paint.
Prediction and analysis: You know… I really should be more into this story than I am with black mist, spiritual corruption, a battle of wills against a god, all things totally up my alley but all we’ve really gotten are some snippets of high concepts which makes the whole exercise pointless. Miro wins.
Ricky Starks vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Story in a nutshell: Ricky Starks wants revenge after Powerhouse Hobbs ruthlessly betrayed him.
The FTW champion Ricky Starks kept putting the belt up for grabs repeatedly in less-than-ideal circumstances. Eventually that bit him when Hook took him up on the offer and won the title. Starks then cut an impassioned promo basically stating that he is ready to move on to the next stage of his career (in other words, leave his Rampage exile and join the rest of the cast on Dynamite). Unfortunately, his partner Powerhouse Hobbs had other ideas and sensing weakness, as Hobbs claimed, he struck. Stark was upset that his best friend went for his bad neck knowing while knowing that the injury nearly cost Starks his career.
Prediction and analysis: Both of these wrestlers seem poised to move on to the next step in their careers and so are acting as each other’s gate keeper. I go with Starks unless management thinks his neck is too frail to put him in a more elevated position.
Jade Cargill (c) vs. Athena – AEW TBS Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Jade Cargill defends her AEW TBS Championship AND her undefeated streak against their greatest threat, Athena.
Athena made her debut and quickly made her intent known that she was coming for the TBS Championship. So was Kris Statlander who she befriended. Together they faced Jade Cargill and her Baddies in various combinations, knowing that at some point a decision would have to be made on who gets the title shot. Unfortunately, fate intervened when Statlander was (legit) injured clearing the deck for Athena to challenge the champion.
Prediction and analysis: Athena does look like to be the one with the best chance of ending Cargill’s undefeated streak. I’d keep it on Jade though, and maybe give her some more serious screen time.
Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland (c) vs. Anthony Bowens & Max Caster – AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: The Acclaimed, Anthony Bowens and Max Caster are a ranked tag team and are challenging Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland: “Hey Acclaimed, we noticed you are ranked number two… fancy wrestling at All Out?”
Anthony Bowens & Max Caster: “We just pounded the Ass Boys, so, why not?”
And here we are. Only Keith Lee likely used bigger words.
Prediction and analysis: Champs retain.
Wardlow & Cash Wheeler & Dax Hardwood vs. Jay Lethal & Chris Sabin & Alex Shelly
Story in a nutshell: Wardlow brings allies into his expanding feud against Jay Lethal and his crew, only this time Lethal has brought in outside reinforcements.
Jay Lethal challenged for Wardlow’s AEW TNT Championship and lost. This didn’t sit well with Lethal so he and his goons, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh attacked Wardlow. Pinnacle stablemates (assuming if the Pinnacle is/was ever a thing even though they had T-Shirts made) Cash Wheeler and Dax Hardwood made the save. The “Pinnacle” demanded a trios match which was accepted only they through in a swerve when they revealed that Lethal would be partnering up with the Motor City Machine Guns, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelly.
Prediction and analysis: I am stoked to see the Motor City Machine Guns on AEW and hope one of them pins a member of FTR so we get a match between the two teams.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Eddie Kingston 2 – No real reason only that Ishii is available, and everyone loves to watch Ishii. Ishii has been on a losing streak in New Japan, so I hope to see him win here.
Pac vs. Kip Sabian, AEW All-Atlantic Championship match – Someone wearing a box with “under rated” and “over it” has been appearing on and around shows for a long time now. I saw him wandering the concourse at AEW Revolution, and last time they were here in Miami. This was Kip Sabian. He stalked Pac and now challenges him for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship.
Hook vs. Angelo Parker – They sent Hook yet again.
Tay Melo & Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Ruby Soho & Ortiz, AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship match – This is the fifteenth match for the event AND added at the last minute. I don’t care. I REALLY don’t care.
CATCH-UP: HEYDORN’S TAKE: Don’t hold me to this – AEW All Out 2022
Possibly one of the worst previews I have ever read. Good job!