wrestling / TV Reports

Hawke’s AEW All Out Review

September 4, 2019 | Posted by TJ Hawke
Chris Jericho AEW All Out
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Hawke’s AEW All Out Review  

August 31, 2019
Chicago-ish, Illinois

Commentators: Excalibur, Goldenboy, & Jim Ross


SCU vs. Jurassic Express

This was a fairly harmless opener. Marko Stunt is embarrassing, but he’s easily hidden in a trios. Luchasaurous is a remarkable combination of athleticism and WWE 2004 stiff to be fed to the Undertaker. Jungle Jack tries very hard. Plus, you really cannot put a price on Jim Ross trying to cover his hatred of all three men. (**3/4)


PAC vs. Kenny Omega

On the surface, this match was just all back-and-forth action from beginning to end. Really though, the work stemmed from the conveyed characterization which needs to be the subject analyzed.

PAC is now a man who forever has a chip on his shoulder no matter what success he has in the business. This is somewhat two-dimensional especially if you actually have been following the wrestler outside of AEW for the last year. However, it’s a fine starting point for him in AEW. His bitterness is conveyed in every moment he’s in the ring, and he works that way. It’s great.

This made PAC an ideal foil for Omega since Omega we’re told is having a DOWN YEAR and also is need to prove himself. But just a second, let’s examine that.

There is a fundamental issue with Kenny Omega in AEW that is ringing false right now. The story is that Kenny Omega is NOT HIMSELF. He’s having a DOWN YEAR. On paper, it means that losing to Chris Jericho, winning a video game vanity trios match, and then beating a bonafide legend in Cima has made for a DOWN YEAR for Kenny Omega.

Now, this story could be easily fixed by just acknowledging that he lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in January. (If there is a legal issue, just say he lost his “prized Japanese championship” or whatever the fuck.) This could also be fixed by just acknowledging that he was doubting himself after the Jericho match, but now he is starting to feel better after the Cima win. In the end though, this story rings false, and AEW needs to avoid shit like that. This is the trouble with saying wins and losses matter without actually putting the forethought in how you do it. AEW does not want to turn into early Evolve.

Despite the flawed (if not faulty) premise at the core of Omega’s character, this match worked out pretty well. It was mostly just the wrestlers progressively getting more and more competitive and chippy in an action-heavy bout. They have a better one in them though down the line. [PAC won with the BRUTALYZER.] (***)


Darby Allin vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. Joey Janela

It was a fine and lively garbage match brawl. On these big shows, stuff like this is a fine change of pace for what they are, but AEW needs to start doing some serious characterization of these dudes once the television kicks in before they all get slotted as goofs. Darby and Janela really have a shot to be big stars for them given their natural connection to the crowd. [Havoc got the win for some reason.] (***)


The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?) vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)

In 2012, the Super Smash Bros. were one of the hottest acts in professional wrestling. While the bullshit border policies costing them five years of work in the United States was obviously Actually Bad, they could not have asked for a better return situation given that situation than re-debuting in the hottest national promotion in the US in 20 years.

But it’s been an utter failure so far. A lot of reasons can be listed as to why it’s not worked on any level. Regardless of your preferred explanation though, it is undeniable that something needs to change with it soon before it is too late for them to become an over act in AEW.

As for this specific match, it was a bad idea for the whole thing essentially to be the Dark Order kicking the asses of the Best Friends. No one is invested in the Dark Order, and the consequences of that were on full display here for a very long time. Best Friends at least should have won. (1/4*)


Orange Cassidy saved the Best Friends from the spooky perverts after the match.


Hikaru Shida vs. Riho

The winner would get a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship.

This was quite solid. It once again established that Riho is quite crafty and fully capable of pulling off a win even when she is deeply behind in a match. That’s a good thing to get over as she goes into the match with Nyla Rose to crown the first AEW Women’s Champion. The only thing preventing this one from getting to the next level was a more physically dominating performance from Shida. The structure of the match was more than enough though to make sure this worked. (***)


Cody Rhodes vs. Shawn Spears

This was the quarterly overbooked Cody match that gets disproportionately over in comparison to the talent in the ring. That’s not a criticism. It’s a testament to how much thought gets put into Cody’s matches. They pulled out essentially every trick they had to do in order to make sure people stayed invested throughout. It all pretty much worked with the Arn Anderson spinebuster being the highlight (in regards to emotion if not physical execution). (***)


The Young Bucks vs. Pentagon Jr. & Fenix

This was an Escalera De La Muerte ladder match for Fenix and Pentagon’s AAA Tag Team Championship.

There have been way too many ladder matches for the last twenty years. In fact, this happened almost twenty years to the date of the match that unintentionally started the ladder match deluge that has diluted any impact this type of match may have had.

There are only a handful of things any one match can reasonably do that feel different or innovative in a ladder match. The only thing you can really do at this point is truly create a feud people are really invested in and then work the ladder match like it’s a street fight that happens to require a ladder to climb to win (Rock and Mankind provided a very successful template for this type of ladder match in 1999).

This match did not attempt to do that. As such, it mostly just was a collection of spots that ranged from convoluted to insultingly choreographed. Hopefully, this rivalry has come to an end and these dudes stay away from each other for a very long time. Both teams desperately need to mix it up with other teams and only other teams for years before they should even consider doing another televised match together. It’s so played out.

The only real good part of the match was towards the end. Nick was taken out in brutal fashion by falling from the ring to the floor in a terrifying manner. Matt was left on his own and in his desperation ripped off the mask from Pentagon. That caused Pentagon to recklessly knock Matt off a ladder in yet another terrifying manner. Fenix and Pentagon then ended Matt with an overkill ghetto stomp piledriver onto a ladder before picking up the victory. This final sequence ever-so slightly salvaged this whole experience. (**)

Santana and Ortiz attacked both teams after the match. Good pickup by AEW.


Chris Jericho vs. Adam Page

This was for the AEW Heavyweight Championship.

This was some classically fake good professional wrestling. It went a really long time. They teased a lot of finishers. They connected on a lot of finishers. They kicked out of a lot of finishers. All of those things can be fine and potentially positively contribute to a match. They all felt cheap though because the general execution of the match was just sad.

Chris Jericho is over the hill. That does not mean he cannot contribute to the promotion! Just by existing he lends his credibility. This idea that he should be doing uber long main events as if it’s 20 years ago or even ten years ago is just a complete misunderstanding of what are his remaining skills.

This was such a damn slog to get through, and it’s morbidly hilarious to see a wrestling company go all the way with Jericho right now. He moves so poorly and has not adjusted his in-ring game enough to compensate for those deficiencies. He needs to become a nasty brawler who takes a lot of shortcuts to try to win compact matches in order for this reign to be successful. That does not seem to be in the plans though which makes his title reign more ominous than exciting. Yikes. (*)


Other reviews from this very busy weekend in professional wrestling

Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Cesaro vs. Ilja Dragunov

WALTER vs. Tyler Bate

The Filthy Fucks vs. Violence is Forever

Los Serpientes vs. Los Beasts

The final score: review Average
The 411
This felt like a sideways step for AEW in the big picture. While it was obviously better than the sinfully boring Fight for the Fallen show, it really feels like the company is having trouble understanding the best roles for some of their most heavily pushed wrestlers. To anyone not completely blind, Jericho cannot work this "main event style" anymore. It is certainly amusing to watch him act like an idiot online and dress up like a goof, but his big matches still suck at the end of the day. The Young Bucks and Lucha Bros. hopefully have put a ribbon on their feud, as they truly did not bring out the best in each other. On the flip side though, they continue to present Cody Rhodes incredibly well. It actually feels similar to the presentation of Nick Gage in GCW. It's not that as a performer Cody does not have very noticeable limits and weaknesses, it's just that the company actually does recognize them and makes sure to hide them as much as possible most of the time. He comes across like the biggest star in AEW at the moment and should probably be the champion by that logic.

article topics :

AEW All Out, TJ Hawke