AEW ALL IN PPV PRIMER: Preview and Predictions for AEW’s Wembley Stadium event headlined with MJF vs. Adam Cole for AEW World Title

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


All In returns for the first time since AEW acquired the rights to the name after their purchase of ROH. All In was the event that led to the eventual creation of AEW. Now the name lends itself to what AEW calls their biggest, most important event ever when they present AEW All In London on August 27, 2023 at Wembly Stadium in London England. The events tagline is “The Biggest Event in Wrestling History” and while that may be a bit hyperbolic, it may very well be one of the biggest moments ever for AEW.

No pressure.

MJF (c) vs. Adam Cole, AEW World Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Despite normally being reticent to defend his AEW World Championship, MJF granted Adam Cole a shot at the title after the two became friends.

Adam Cole made his intentions clear that he was coming after MJF’s AEW World Championship. Cole was granted a Champion Eliminator match where if he defeated MJF, he’d get the title shot. Unfortunately for Cole, the match ended in a draw. MJF refused to give Cole another opportunity. After, the two were randomly chosen as partners for the Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament to determine the next challenger for the AEW World Tag-Team Titles.

While the two seemed to be playing each other at first, the two bonded over shared activities, seemingly becoming best friends much to Roderick Strong’s chagrin. This drove Roderick, who had been Cole’s longtime friend, into the arms of the Kingdom, a group that Cole had been involved with in his pre-AEW days. MJF promised to give Cole a shot at the title whether or not they won the tag titles.

Cole had bigger plans in store though. Thinking that the two could still be tag-team champions, Cole convinced MJF that they should challenge Aussie Open, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, for the ROH World Tag Team Championship in the Zero Hour pre-show.

Prediction and analysis: Hard to call with so many moving parts but my feeling is that Cole betrays MJF with the Kingdom’s help revealing himself as the group’s true leader.

Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Dax Hardwood & Cash Wheeler, AEW World Tag Team Championship

Story in a nutshell: The AEW World Tag-Team Champions FTR, Dax Hard Wood and Cash Wheeler, challenged the Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, to settle who is the better team since their record against each other stands at 1-1.

After a grueling title defense against Jay White and Juice Robinson, FTR said that they had unfinished business with the Young Bucks. They split victories in their previous two encounters and wanted to settle which was the better team once and for all.

Prediction and analysis: I’d probably lean towards FTR retaining, but Cash Wheeler’s recent real world legal issues may force the titles into the Young Buck’s hands.

Kenny Omega & Adam Page & Kota Ibushi vs. Konosuke Takeshita & Jay White & Juice Robinson

Story in a nutshell: After “trading up” from “old and busted” Kenny Omega for “shiny and new” Konosuke Takeshita, Don Callis continued his quest to destroy his former meal ticket by enlisting the help of Bullet Club Gold’s Jay White and Juice Robinson forcing Omega to recruit former partners Adam Page and Kota Ibushi.

Don Callis, as a mentor and father figure, guided Kenny Omega throughout his career, pushing Kenny Omega to greater and greater heights. In truth Callis was using Omega as a meal ticket to enrich himself while Kenny Omega burnt himself out. When Konosuke Takeshita arrived at AEW, Callis saw an opportunity to replace Omega with a newer model. Callis turned Takeshita to his side and betrayed Omega, a member of the Elite, during the Elite’s feud with the Blackpool Combat Club.

As the fight turned against the BCC, Callis and Takeshita turned their backs on them. Callis then enlisted the Bullet Club Gold to help in his persecution of Omega. It was Jay White, current leader of the BCG who took over the Bullet Club from Omega in Japan. For help, Omega called on two former tag partners. Adam Page with whom he won the AEW Tag Team Titles, and his long-time close friend Kota Ibushi who he with tagged in Japan as the Golden Lovers. (And yes, they did have a move galled the Golden Shower).

Prediction and analysis: I think this ends in an unsatisfying win for team Omega. Nothing will be resolved between him and Takeshita which is the crux of this feud.

Will Ospreay vs. Chris Jericho

Story in a nutshell: Don Callis tried to recruit Chris Jericho into his “family” but he had Will Ospreay hidden as back-up if negotiations went awry… which of course they did.

Don Callis is seeking to expand his power base by bringing more wrestlers into his sphere of influence. Callis started with Konosuke Takeshita bringing him completely into the fold. Callis the extended a helping hand to Will Ospreay when Ospreay faced Omega. While Ospreay did not fully embrace Callis, he was willing to work with him as long as their goals aligned.

Callis then made overtures to Chris Jericho playing on their long-shared history, both having come up in the industry at the same time. Jericho offered to listen to Callis which upset his faction, the Jericho Appreciation Society who accused Jericho of being selfish. The group disbanded and only Sammy Guevarra stayed with Jericho, albeit at a distance as Jericho sorted himself out.

Jericho, self-professed leader-not-a-joiner surprised everyone when he agreed to join Callis’s family. Among those surprised was Callis himself who had a (poorly thought out) plan B which Jericho (easily) discovered. Callis, so sure that Jericho would turn him down, had prepared an ambush he was forced to activate. Takeshita then Will Ospreay attacked Jericho until Sammy Guevara, armed Jericho’s signature baseball bat, made the save. Jericho versus Ospreay was set for All In.

Prediction and analysis: Ultimately Sammy betrays Jericho and officially joins the Don Callis Family. Further down the line Jericho and Omega will set aside their long running enmity and team up.

Eddie Kingston & Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta & Penta El Cero Miedo vs. Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta & Santana & Ortiz, Stadium Stampede match

Story in a nutshell: After losing to the Elite, the Blackpool Combat Club has been bullying everyone leading to unlikely bedfellows Eddie Kingston, the Best Friends, and Lucha Brothers to get involved.

Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta of the Best Friends, Rey Fenix and Penta El Cero Miedo of the Lucha Bros, and Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli BCC wrestled in a triple threat tag-team match. The fight continued after the match, setting up an Anything Goes match between Trent, Moxley, and Penta. While Trent won the match, the BCC continued their assault. This led to ta Parking Lot Brawl between BCC’s Moxley and Claudio and Best Friends’ Trent and Taylor, won by the BCC.

Moxley then claimed the Best Friends weren’t on the BCC’s level and took credit for taking Pac out. The BCC defeated the Lucha Bros and stole Penta’s mask. BCC’s Yuta then challenged Best Friends’ Orange Cassidy for the International Championship. Cassidy retained but was attacked after the match. The Best Friends, Lucha Bros, and a returning Eddie Kingston (returning from New Japan’s G1 tournament) made the save. A Stadium Stampede challenge was made and accepted. Moxley then faced Fenix and defeated him. The BCC continued their attack on Fenix after the match, but Kingston and Penta were intercepted by a returning Santana and Ortiz before they could make the save. Fenix was ruled out of Stadium Stampede.

Prediction and analysis: The heels should win this. The BCC lost that last match of this type and Santana and Ortiz just returned.

Darby Allin & Sting vs. Swerve Strickland & Christian Cage, Coffin match

Story in a nutshell: Darby Allin and Swerve Stricklands pre-AEW rivalry continues after Swerve led a brutal attack on Darby’s “protégé” Nick Wayne and turned AR Fox against him (though he turned back).

Darby Allin and Swerve Strickland have a rivalry stretching back to their days as wrestlers in the independent circuit. Darby has taken interest in Nick Wayne, son of his trainer Buddy Wayne after the elder Wayne passed away. Darby paved Nick’s way into AEW. AR Fox, a mentor and friend of Darby’s was upset that the same wasn’t done for him and so Fox turned on Darby, culminating in a brutal attack on Nick Wayne by AR Fox and Swerve that left him lying in a pool of Nick’s own blood. Darby confronted AR Fox and Swerve despite Swerve having backup from his Mogul Embassy associates. Darby’s current mentor Sting had Darby’s back, though. It was decided that Sting and Darby would face AR Fox and Swerve in a Coffin match. However, AR Fox took the pin when Swerve and Fox wrestled Darby and Nick Wayne, so he was unceremoniously fired from the Mogul Embassy for being a loser. Darby saved his former mentor and Swerve revealed that his new partner was Christian Cage.

Prediction and analysis: Since Darby looks primed to wrestle for the TNT Title currently in the hands of Luchasaurus/Cage, he should win this. Otherwise, gets taken out by Luchasaurus.

Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. Toni Storm vs. Saraya, AEW Women’s World Championship Four-Way match

Story in a nutshell: An AEW Women’s World Championship Qualifier tournament was held to determine who would join Toni Storm (who received a bye) in a four-way match to crown the next AEW Women’s World Champion.

I was loathe to put the (c) next to Hikaru Shida’s name since they aren’t really treating her as the champion. When the tournament was set, Toni Storm received a bye in lieu of her contractual rematch (that we were told AEW doesn’t have) so she was basically entering as the defacto champion. Hikaru Shida had to defend her title against Anna Jay to earn her way into the match. Saraya defeated Skye Blue and Britt Baker defeated the Bunny to earn their spots in the match.

Prediction and analysis: I really hope Hikaru Shida wins. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of what she can do. I can see Saraya coming out with this one though.

Malakai Black & Brody King & Buddy Mathews vs. Billy Gunn & Max Caster & Anthony Bowens, AEW World Trios Championship match

Story in a nutshell: After retiring when he lost a match, Billy Gunn was forced to return when the House of Black kept targeting his kids, Anthony Bowens and Max Caster.

After losing a match, Billy Gunn surprised everyone when he left his boots in the ring which is a symbol of a wrestler’s retirement. As the Acclaimed, Anthony Bowens and Max Caster tried to come to terms with their daddy’s surprise retirement, Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Mathews continued their assault on the Acclaimed and destroyed Billy Gunn’s boots. This drew back Gunn who is back not as “Daddy Ass”, but as “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn for one more ride.

Prediction and analysis: This is fun. I like Billy Gunn. I say give the Acclaimed and Daddy Ass a title run.

(As I proofread this, I realized I accidentally made that rhyme. It was not intentional.)

C.M. Punk vs. Samoa Joe – B.S. World Title belt match

Story in a nutshell: After C.M. Punk finally defeated Samoa Joe for the first time ever after a historic rivalry in a meaningless match, Joe challenged Punk to a rematch which was finally made official and for the belt Punk has been carrying around.

Punk and Samoa Joe had a long term rivalry stretching back to their ROH days. Punk had never beaten Joe until they met in the first round of the Owen Hart Cup tournament where Punk won with a lousy roll up. Joe then challenged Punk so Joe could prove he’s the better of the two. When the cowardly Punk did not answer, Joe attacked him to force the issue. It wasn’t until Punk disguised himself as the Golden Vampire (in obvious shot at the Golden Elite) and attacked Joe like a cowardly little bitch that Punk finally accepted.

Prediction and analysis: I hope Joe smokes Punk then smokes that fake-ass belt. Unfortunately, Punk wins this one. (What… me BIASED? I’m not biased, you’re biased.)

Zero Hour match: Jack Perry (c) vs. Hook, FTR Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Hook seeks to reclaim his family legacy after having lost it to Jack Perry, as well as claim a measure of revenge for Perry’s betrayal.

Jack Perry and Hook tagged together once and formed something of a friendship, coming to each other’s aid in times of need. However, Jack Perry began experiencing setbacks in his career which wound him up tighter and tighter. Perry encouraged a more formal alliance with Hook as a tag team but when that didn’t go well, Perry blamed all his failings on Hook and turned on him. This led to a match where Perry won the FTW belt from Hook.

Prediction and analysis: Hook wins the belt back and maybe retires it for good.

Zero Hour: Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher vs. MJF & Adam Cole, ROH World Tag Team Championship match

This was covered in the main event.

Prediction and analysis: The biggest question is whether a betrayal happens here, or there is miscommunication or what. The story of MJF and Adam Cole can go in many directions and this match is the first domino to fall that will lead up to what happens in the main event. Aussie Open retains though.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW RAMPAGE REPORT (8/18): Moynahan’s report on Fenix vs. Komander in a standout opener, Guevara squash win, Storm & Soho vs. Shida & Blue

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: AEW Collision results (8/26): Moore’s live review of CM Punk, Sting, Darby Allin, and a partner vs. Jay White, Swerve Strickland, Luchasaurus, and Brian Cage, the final push for AEW All In

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