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Pantoja’s AEW All Out 2021 Review

September 6, 2021 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Pantoja’s AEW All Out 2021 Review  

AEW All Out
September 5th, 2021 | Now Arena in Chicago, Illinois

So, I have to explain something at the start here. This was the first PPV I’ve ordered since I believe 2013 (pre-WWE Network days). Anything from AEW I’ve reviewed has been ordered by someone else and I went to see it or something like that. I had a friend for the show with me and we were having a good time, so this won’t be a review that’s in-depth over moves or anything like that. It’s more of a scenario where people watched a show together and how they felt about it.

Best Friends and Jurassic Express vs. The Hardy Family Office
So, we begin with the Buy-In. I was just hoping that Fite.TV would work and it did. Anyway, of note, the person I was watching the show with had never really seen anything of AEW outside of some YouTube videos. This was exactly what it was supposed to be. A kickoff match designed to get the crowd going because it was fun. Orange Cassidy and Jungle Boy will bring that out in a match, while Matt Hardy and his buddies played their roles expertly. They didn’t overdo anything, had a handful of notable and enjoyable spots, and went home at the right time. The finish saw Marko Stunt hit a dive and then Jungle Boy made Angelico tap out to the Snare Trap in 8:34. I really like Hardy Family Office as a midcard heel group who takes losses, is entertaining, and wins once in a while. The faces are great and that made this work well. [***]

Onto the main card!

AEW TNT Championship: Miro [c] vs. Eddie Kingston
I’m doing this review after the show so I don’t have their W/L records handy. Eddie Kingston came out in a “Redeem Deez Nuts” shirt, which was incredible. I came in looking for a hard hitting match between two brutes and that’s just what I got. It was the kind of battle that actually works out well for both guys involved. Like I said, you’re not going to get in-depth stuff about moves and story from this review. It was well done all around and I honestly didn’t even catch how good the finish was until later. After Kingston survived Game Over (which I thought would be the ending), they backed the referee into the corner. It allowed Miro to hit a low blow out of the referee’s sight, redeeming his nuts so to speak, and then adding the Machka Kick to retain in 13:25. I’m all for that. Two tough dudes beating each other up for under 15 minutes. Right up my alley. [***½]

Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima
I love Satoshi Kojima about as much as that man loves his bread. He and Jon Moxley went to war but did so in a way that felt different than what we got in the opener, though I still would’ve spaced these matches out a bit. Two hard hitting matches back to back can take away from some of the impact. A lot of this was very much Kojima playing to the hits, which is exactly what he should do on a trip to the States. He did all of his signature shit while throwing in a plancha or something like that to spice it up a bit. The outcome was never in doubt though, as it felt like Moxley had a bigger match lined up that might have fallen through. He won with the Paradigm Shift in a fun 11:55 that was about as much as you could ask for from Kojima. [***¼]

Post-match, we got the real treat. “Kaze Ni Nare” hit, with the crowd singing it, as Minoru Suzuki showed up and fought with Moxley. He planted him with the Gotch Piledriver to a huge pop. They’ll meet on Wednesday in Cincinnati on Dynamite.

AEW Women’s Championship: Britt Baker [c] vs. Kris Statlander
The undefeated in 2021 Kris Statlander against the company’s top woman. Watching them since 2019, it’s wild to see how much both have improved. I was a big fan of their work here, hitting some impressive moves but the real kicker was the character work. Britt Baker has completely nailed this aspect of her game and does it better than almost anyone in the business. Little things like perfectly playing to the camera are where she shines. Statlander was a great underdog babyface and the moment where Orange Cassidy hyped her up to get her back into action was great. My biggest gripe with this was the finish. Baker hit the Pittsburgh Sunrise (an homage to Adam Cole) for two. She then added a Curb Stomp for another near fall before winning with Lockjaw in 11:33. I think that finish was overkill. It should’ve been Sunrise into the Lockjaw, even if you did the one kickout. Still, really good stuff from both ladies. How crowd too. [***½]

AEW World Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match: The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson) [c] vs. The Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero M)
The ordering of this show was odd. Anyway, I came in skeptical of this. Not that I thought I would be bad, because I knew it wouldn’t. It’s just that the storyline called for Jurassic Express instead of yet another Bucks/Bros match. Alas, they more than lived up to their past. Even if this was an in-depth review, I wouldn’t try to cover every move or spot. They did so many. They played to their past but found creative ways around it. Things really seemed to pick up steam when the Bucks had a pair of shoes thrown into the ring by Brandon Cutler. Matt Jackson revealed that they were kicks with thumbtacks attached to the bottom. I’ve seen variations of this spot but they made it work here with some sick looking superkicks. Also, when they hit big moves, the pin was broken up instead of just kicked out of for shock value sake. From there, they went into bigger stuff like the BTE Trigger, Canadian Destroyers, and a Fénix dive off of the top of the cage. That set up a piledriver combo so the Lucha Bros could win the straps in 22:02. Incredible stuff. My favorite match of theirs and giving them two years away from each other was worth it because I was sick of them together. A bonkers match that felt different from the rest of the show, capped by the feel good moment of new champions. Also, the stipulation was used right as it actually prevented interference for the most part. [****½]

Casino Battle Royale
I just have to say that I really dig this battle royal format. I was explaining who each participant was to my viewing buddy. Again, not going into detail but this worked well. They had the existing angles take part like Nyla Rose turning on Jade Cargill to eliminate her and the continuation of TayJay/Bunny & Ford. Some wrestlers got less shine than I was hoping for (Leyla Hirsch, Jamie Hayter, Skye Blue, Hikaru Shida) but you can’t win them all. When the Joker entrant arrived, the crowd knew who it was beforehand. Ruby Soho made her debut to a great ovation and looked good out there. I’ve been a big fan of hers for a long time so this was special. It came down to her against Thunder Rosa. They had a fun closing stretch, with Soho kicking her out in 21:48. I had a great time with this and some might complain about the result since it’s a new signee but I think it works. Soho gets a big win, she’ll likely take her first loss to the champ, and you hold off on Baker/Rosa II for a bit. [***]

Chris Jericho vs. MJF
I couldn’t really care less about this one. It’s two guys who know what they’re doing but it has dragged on for so long that I stopped caring, had time to come back to it, and realized I still didn’t care. Regardless, like I said, Jericho is a veteran who knows just what he’s doing. However, with the way the storyline went, you just knew he wouldn’t lose here. He wasn’t going to go 0-4 against MJF. Still, they made a lot of this work and MJF even seemed to save Jericho at one point on a top rope spot that could’ve ended badly. They went with the dusty finish as MJF seemed to win but Jericho got his foot on the ropes. They restarted the match and Jericho won with the Walls in 21:08. I really hope that finish doesn’t mean this continues. [***]

CM Punk vs. Darby Allin
It’s what the world had been waiting for. CM Punk wearing long tights looked off to me like when Jericho started wearing trunks. Anyway, Punk immediately looked better than he did in UFC, putting on a quality match and seeming like he hadn’t missed a step. You could tell that this was worked around making Punk got his shit in and felt comfortable but they also included some notable Allin spots where he got to do his thing. That included the Code Red, which always looks cool. Darby totally throws caution to the wind with spots like his tope suicida that he took a vicious fall on. The closing stretch saw a good GTS counter before Punk hit the actual move and it looked great. Far better than when the dude from 2.0 took it on Dynamite. Punk won in 16:08 and it was very good. Punk can still go and he shook Darby’s hand afterward to put him over. [***½]

Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall
Coming into this, I was like “just have Paul squash him in 5 seconds.” This went 3:12, so it was much longer than that. Paul got to beat up Aaron Solo, so that was cool. He looks rough out there though, like he can barely move. He won with a chokeslam. It happened. [*]

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega [c] vs. Christian Cage
Their match on Rampage was really good but this surpassed it. They saved a lot of bigger spots that you’d expect from a PPV main event, including Kenny hitting a double stomp onto a table and Christian delivering a Spear off the apron and onto a table. Kenny looked a bit rough on a spot or two, including his moonsault off the guardrail. Still, he pulled it together and Christian is a veteran who helped make it all work. Kenny threw several big V-Triggers from what I can remember. More Spears couldn’t get it done and then Kenny got his knees up on a frog splash. Soon after that, we got shenanigans from Don Callis and some of the Elite boys, which led to Christian fighting them off and going for a top rope Killswitch. Kenny blocked that and own with an avalanche One Winged Angel in 21:21, winning a great main event. [****]

Post-match, the Young Bucks hit the ring for a big Elite beatdown. Then, the debuting Adam Cole showed up to a huge pop. He got in the ring and superkicked Jungle Boy (other faces showed up to try and save Christian), joining with his Elite buddies. That seemed obvious, to be honest. They couldn’t end on that note, so we then got a hip-hop remix to “Flight of the Valkyries” and Bryan Danielson made his debut. He helped clean house to end the show.

Was AEW All Out 2021 one of the best PPVs in wrestling history? 411’s Blake Lovell discusses the reaction to the show.

The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
I’ll be the guy to give the perfect shows. I’ve seen events that were better top to bottom in terms of pure wrestling quality (look at TakeOver: New Orleans for example) but this worked on so many levels. It had a bunch of good to great matches, some really cool moments, and an ending that will be talked about for years. Plus, CM Punk returned to the ring. What an atmosphere and show, sets up a big AEW Dynamite on Wednesday night.

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AEW All Out, Kevin Pantoja