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2023 All In Reviews

Reverse Hipster's 2023 All In Reviews

Cm Punk vs. Samoa Joe Real World Title 8/10 B-

Samoa Joe ROH

This was a decent opening match. Cm Punk and Samoa have a rich history, and they played off of it well with reversals and tempo breaking. The first phase of the match was heavily focused on psychology. CM Punk was getting in Joe's head and dominating him early. Joe cut through and started taking Cm Punk to the woodshed, busting him open and putting him in every submission maneuver he knew. CM Punk kept hanging around and hanging around until he caught Joe on the top rope, hit the Pepsi plunge, and won the match.

CM Punk Taunts

This match isn't rated higher because it ended too abruptly. The match was good, but it never truly got to the next gear it seemed to be building to.

Bullet Club Gold vs. The Elite 7.6/10 C

the Golden Elite

The wrestlers didn't do anything wrong, but it was not an interesting match. I wasn't excited to see a 6-man tag match represent such a personal feud. AEW could have done this six-man match on dynamite, but it should have been a one-on-one for these wrestlers in this feud. I imagine this was so that all these names would be on the card, but I don't think that was best for business.

Bullet Club Gold

In the end, Konsuke won by pinning Omega via rollup. That win describes the entire match. Underwhelming despite the circumstances. It seems like a big deal that Konosuke defeated Omega, but it's undercut by it being a fluke roll-up. Putting all these big names in this tag match sounded good, but the result was pretty bland.

FTR vs. The Young Bucks AEW Tag Team Titles 9.1/10 A

Fuck the Revival

More than just the tag team titles were on the line tonight. A title is about the best in the company, but at All Out, it was about the best tag team in the world. This was a legacy match, and both teams did a great job honoring that. In the early going, both teams went hold for hold, move for move, in some truly amazing sequences that showed that they were among the best in the world and that there was no true distinction between the two teams in skill.

FTR YoungBuck finisher

Later, they took it to the next gear, and they both pulled out every trick they had. They hit each other with their best and even their finishing moves, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't until FTR caught one of the Young Bucks off the top rope with the shatter machine that FTR won the match. This was easily the best match of the night up to this point.

Orange Cassidy, The Best Friends, Eddie Kingston, Penta vs. The Blackpool Combat Club, and Santanna and Ortiz Stadium Stampede 9.4/10 A

Moxley Kingston bleeding

This match was absolutely incredible. This match made me yell out alone multiple times. Claudio picking Orange Cassidy up like a baby, throwing him in the air like he just didn't care, and then uppercutting him out of this word was quite the site to see. John Moxley wasn't even a wrestler in this match. He was a horror movie monster. The authentic brutality he displayed in that match was unrivaled. It just looked like he was trying to kill the other wrestlers.

The Bestfriends and sue

He stabbed Orange Cassidy multiple times in the head. It felt like Moxley stepped over some invisible line like that's not supposed to happen to Orange Cassidy. Trent Barretta, poor Trent Barretta. Moxley threw this man into ladders and tombstoned him onto the steel steps. It really looked like someone should have thrown the towel in for Trent the way Moxley was punishing him.

Trent Barretta wrecked

Speaking of Trent. When Jon Moxley kissed his mom and then got beat up, and his mother Sue started passing out deadly weapons like a hardcore wrestling soccer mom, I lost it. Absolutely hilarious. Now, the only reason this match didn't get a 10/10 was because of the finish and some of the botches, which were not easy to miss. Each time there was a botch, the wrestlers cleaned it up and got the move in, even when it meant delivering a sunset flip on a broken ladder, but that doesn't scream a perfect match.

Moxley stabbed bleeding

Another thing that held it back was Orange Cassidy's team winning. I love Orange Cassidy, and I am a HUGE fan of his. Hitting Claudio with knuckles covered in glass was metal as fuck, but it just wasn't the right time. Moxley and his team did so much damage that they deserved the win. Moxley was a god of hardcore wrestling, and his team displayed a level of violence that made the other team seem out of place in this match. Orange Cassidy's team rose to the level of violence they were met with, but they shouldn't have overcome it.

Saraya vs. Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker AEW Women's World Title 9.3/10 A

saraya and family

This was the best women's match that I have seen in AEW. The women had one match on the card, and they only got 8 minutes for it, and yet somehow, they had one of the best matches on the card. The way they fit in great storytelling with the mid-match breakup of the Outcast and the physicality of the match while making sure every woman got their shit in all in 8 minutes should be studied at colleges.

Shida hold Title

Saraya nearly killed Shida by dumping her on the side of the ring on the hardest edge of the ring. Shida is badass for agreeing to that spot. Toni and Page were the stars of the match. They started out dominating as a team, but a series of unfortunate events broke them up. First, they couldn't agree on who should go for the pin, then Toni accidentally punched Saraya's mom, and it was pretty much over from there. Saraya started whaling on Toni, and Toni attempted to end Saraya's career by taking off the turnbuckle and going for a hip attack, whiplashing Saraya against the steel, but Ruby Soho ran out and stopped it from happening.

Toni Storm lingerie

That moment of Ruby Soho stopping Toni also planted a seed in my mind, reminding me of Saraya's neck injury. That would come back up when Shida crashed down Saraya's neck after landing a Meteora. Toni got hers, too; when Britt Baker curb-stomped Toni while she was utterly defenseless in Saraya's scorpion cross lock, it looked absolutely brutal. However, when the match transitioned to Britt and Shida, and Shida was doing her best to avoid letting Britt lock in the lockjaw, Saraya hit Toni with the Rampaige and won the AEW Women's title. This win is a monumental win for Saraya and the whole AEW women's division. This is a special moment that will never be forgotten.

Sting and Darby vs. Christian and Swerve Coffin Match 9.2/10 A

Sting and Darby win

This match had to follow a lot of great matches, and on paper, it seemed unlikely, but these guys put on a clinic. Darby's gimmick is to be kind of insane and unflinching in the face of danger, and he lived up to that. He did a coffin drop onto a very hard coffin, which was very hard to watch. He did suicide dives with his hands taped behind his back, and Coffin dropped Swerve while Swerve was lying on the Coffin.

Sting slams coffin

Sting wasn't much behind Darby. Sting is 64 years old, but you would never know it watching him wrestle. He jumped on Swerve, crashing through a table. Swerve jumped off the top rope and landed on Sting's shoulders. I don't know how a 64-year-old man is able to take all this punishment and keep going, but it's a lot of fun to watch. It reminds me of Terry Funk. Sting and Darby won this match, and they deserved it after all the punishment they went through in this match, but everyone came out looking good in this one.

Jericho vs. Will Ospreay 8.8/10 B+

Jericho walls of jericho

This match defied expectations. At this point in his career, it seemed like it would be difficult to have a great singles match with Jericho. However, Will and Jericho had a Brock vs. Goldberg-type match where they spammed some of their best stuff at a quick pace. This is what that kind of match-up looks like when the two competitors are elite wrestlers with a lot of moves. Jericho took control of this match early and showed he was still top-notch, but then Will Ospeay showed he was on another level with some incredible wrestling maneuvers that brought the crowd to their feet. Ultimately, Will decimated Jericho in a dominant finish to the match and proved that he is that much better than Jericho.

House of Black vs. The Acclaimed Trios Title Match 8.3/10 B

The acclaimed scissor

This was a fun match. There was a lot of good action, but the two teams never felt like they were on the same wavelength regarding their sequences. The Acclaimed won the match, and it was definitely a moment. I never thought the Acclaimed could beat the House of Black. From a character perspective, it makes sense, but from an in-ring standpoint, they shouldn't have been the ones to do it.

Adam Cole vs. MJF 9.5/10 A

Cole and MJF faceoff

This match had masterful storytelling. This match had to follow a stacked wrestling card, and it lived up. This match became bigger than the AEW title. AEW subverted our expectations by making MJF the hero of the match and Cole the villain. MJF had opportunities to cheat Adam Cole and or severely injure Cole, but he resisted. Cole, on the other hand, took every opportunity to cheat MJF and or hurt him. Once, he did a tombstone on the table right after MJF declined to do one to him. Cole was so all in that he basically threw away the friendship to win the title. The only problem is Cole didn't win the title.

Roderick strong neckbrace

There was a hilarious side plot where Cole would do all these dastardly things except when his old friend Roderick asked him to in order to prove Roderick was his real friend. That was the lone saving grace for Cole. Even after all of that, Cole lost, and he was devastated, and it was MJF who came to comfort him.

Adam Cole ROH title

MJF went through so much character development during this match. He turned face and grew from the champion who took his title and ran after a tie to a champion who agreed to sudden death because he wanted to determine the best wrestler definitively. MJF is the greatest wrestler in AEW because he can wrestle his ass off, and he is the best storyteller in the company, and all those attributes were put on display.

Adam Cole MJF

It was incredible storytelling when MJF gave Adam Cole a chance to attack him and lamented how stupid he had been for trusting Cole, and instead, Cole and MJF ended up hugging it out after the match. MJF and Cole had their WrestleMania-like moment that will live on for years to come.

Rob's 2023 All In Reviews

Aussie Open vs. MJF and Adam Cole (ROH Tag Team Championship)

Coel and MJF Win

For hardcore wrestling fans, Aussie Open has arguably been the tag team of the year with reigns in NJPW and ROH. It was awesome to see them in this spot at Wembley Stadium. MJF and Adam Cole, for my money, were the hottest thing in wrestling going into the show. It was a great match to start the show with. Admittedly, MJF and Cole’s comedic bit is getting old, but they still got a new bit over here, the kangaroo kick, in addition to the famous double clothesline. I was surprised to see MJF and Cole dethrone Aussie Open. The match itself was nothing special, and they absolutely couldn’t risk hurting the two biggest stars of the show. If you were looking for hints for the main event, they didn’t reveal much here. MJF and Cole worked together well, nobody turned on their partner, and they still seemed focus on their main event after the match.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Jack Perry vs. Hook (FTW Championship)

Hook wins FTW Title

This match set itself apart with extreme style. Jack Perry entered in a car that quickly became an extreme prop for the match. Perry and Hook went through the windshield, which Perry assured us this time was real glass among a rumored conflict with CM Punk over the same subject. The cuts on their bodies showed, and it added to the drama of the rest of the match. Perry did some excellent heel work, and Hook came back out on top. While I’m not sure he had to lose his undefeated streak for this feud, both guys came out of the feud looking stronger, and there is a new future for the FTW Championship back on Hook.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe (Real World Championship)

Joe vs. CM Punk

This historic match in wrestling opened the main show, and it was a great pick. CM Punk and Samoa Joe played all of their greatest hits from the storied feud and added some new ones with great wrestling exchanges that almost tipped this match into greatness for me. In the end, Punk hit a Pepsi Plunge that ended the match kind of abruptly and killed it a little for me. I would have loved to see Joe get a shock win, but as long as Punk is viewed as AEW’s top guy, it was never going to happen. Now, amid reports of a new conflict between Punk/Jack Perry, Punk telling Tony Khan he quits, and a suspension for both men, it’s hard to look back on that choice favorably. I would have loved to see a game-on Punk face MJF at All Out. If this was the last time we see Punk in a ring, for what this match gave us, it was still good.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

The Golden Elite vs. Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Konosuke Takeshita

bullet club Gold

This was a great collection of wrestlers in an admittedly underbuilt feud with a lot of interesting threads throughout. If you have seen other trios matches with the Elite, this match was pretty similar spots for Kenny Omega and Adam Page. Kota Ibushi still looks like he is a step behind in-ring, but he is admittedly a big enough draw to deserve the spot. Konosuke Takeshita is excellent in everything he does in-ring, while Jay White and Juice Robinson are finally building momentum in AEW. Takeshita pinned Omega with a roll up, but after a long stretch of wrestling, it was a really unsatisfying conclusion. We still have to see Omega get revenge on Don Callis, and we still want to see a true match up of all of Bullet Club Gold vs. all of the Elite.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

FTR vs. the Young Bucks (AEW Tag Team Championships)

The Youngbucks entrance

In the third match between FTR and the Young Bucks, this match relied heavily on old storytelling instead of new work between the two. The wrestling, in-ring sequences, and timing were as good as expected, minus a couple of hiccups. The Young Bucks had a special colorful streamer entrance that plagued the scaffolding above the ring for the rest of the night. However, the whole match fell flat for me. By the end, the Young Bucks lost and refused to shake FTR’s hands. This is a great notch in FTR’s belt, although they have quite a few notches in the past few years already. On the flip side, I think the build and match made the Young Bucks look really bad. The Young Bucks basically said that FTR would only be remembered as the team on Being the Elite’s YouTube videos and then lost to them two out of three times. While cockiness is a part of the Young Bucks characters, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Stadium Stampede

Orange Cassidy glass punch

Anarchy in the Arena and Stadium Stampede matches have become a signature staple of AEW PPVs, and this was a cool chance to try it out in a stadium full of people. However, I feel like this deathmatch style was saturated even by the time it came to this spot on the show. We had seen Jack Perry and Hook make use of the stadium already. It wasn’t as brutal as Blood and Guts a month ago, and it wasn’t as well-executed as the Anarchy in the Arena matches in the past. It didn’t have any creative spots like the original Stadium Stampede. The best thing that came out of this was the gutsiness of Orange Cassidy, his first time in a match like this. Fighting through months of accumulated injuries, loss of blood, and the entire Blackpool Combat Club against him, Cassidy found a way to get the win. With the Best Friends by his side, it was a good win for the AEW originals who have never fully gotten their signature win in AEW.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker vs. Saraya vs. Toni Storm (AEW Women’s Championship)

DMD Britt Baker

Hikaru Shida got to celebrate her legacy in AEW by coming out as the champion, but the story of the match was Saraya and Toni Storm. Both came out to special entrances, and the Outcast partners worked together until they realized that they both wanted to win. A series of well-executed miscommunications led Saraya to fully turn on Storm. It was great storytelling from the two. For a moment, Britt Baker seemed like she would get her big win and reclaim the championship. While Baker and Shida were entangled in a submission, Saraya hit Storm with spray paint and a DDT to get the win. Again, the women put on something unique of anything else on the card in a match that was unfortunately rushed. Anyone could have won, but Saraya got a huge win in her home country, and it will be interesting to see how she leads the division with a limited wrestling schedule.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Darby Allin and Sting vs. Christian Cage and Swerve Strickland (Coffin Match)

Darby and sting enter

Again, this was an underdeveloped feud with a weird tag team of convenience. The coffin match stipulation also was helpful to set it apart while still blending into the other extreme matches throughout the night. It wasn’t more violent than the Stadium Stampede match, but Darby Allin always works hard to take crazy bumps, and this match was no different. Sting did some crazy spots, like diving through a table (after two tries). Swerve Strickland and Christian Cage had a lot of heat from the crowd that added to this match. The end result was fun, but I would have loved to see each of these wrestlers get more solo spotlight on this card.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Chris Jericho vs. Will Ospreay

Ospreay does backflip

Chris Jericho is simultaneously a living legend, and the clock is ticking for him to hang up the boots. For my money, Will Ospreay is the best wrestler in the world right now. In front of his home country, he did everything he could to pull this match into good territory, and it worked. The story going in was weird because Jericho was supposed to be good, while Ospreay was supposed to be bad in association with Don Callis. Obviously, that’s not what happened here. Thankfully, Ospreay won, and it was just awesome to see him wrestle on this stage. Jericho did some storytelling as commentary, emphasizing that this has been a string of losses for him. While he didn’t fully turn on Sammy Guevara, there is definitely a chance for that going forward.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

House of Black vs. the Acclaimed (AEW Trios Championship)

The Acclaimed

This match fell into the territory of we have seen it too many times, and it was too late in the night to get excited about. I thought Billy Gunn was genuinely retiring, and I was happy for him. I didn’t really understand the gimmick of the Badass Billy Gunn returning because I didn’t see it that different from Daddy Ass. The match was okay. It was a bummer to see the House of Black lose the titles even if it was a big moment for the Acclaimed. They got Daddy Ass a title, but I would have much rather seen them rematch FTR.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

MJF vs. Adam Cole (AEW Championship)

MJF wins the title

The biggest match of the night in the biggest show in AEW’s history started off big. By the end, I think MJF and Adam Cole tried to have their cake and eat it too. They tried to have a match that was funny and dramatic with a story that was an epic without a conclusion. The wrestling portions of the match were really good, and I would be down to see them in chain wrestling counters for an hour. The silly spots like the t-shirts and double clothesline were funny but stood out awkwardly among the main event match atmosphere. This match shined in the moments of will they won’t they uncertainty. At one point, I thought it was certain that Cole and MJF had pulled off a slow burn double turn. In the end, Cole didn’t fully turn on MJF, and that’s what cost him. MJF won the match with a roll-up, which I think was a horrible and inconclusive end to a great match and story that required one. Cole got mad at MJF and ultimately embraced him, and it really broke me that AEW didn’t book an end to this story for Wembley Stadium. The match itself was so good, but with a bad finish, it didn’t nearly crack its potential. That’s still match of the night for me.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Rob's Final Thoughts

AEW All In was marketed as the biggest show in wrestling ever, and the stadium felt like it. However, the stories were underbuilt going into the card, and AEW has such a deep roster that they tried to put together large matches and teams that didn’t quite make sense. Individuals like Orange Cassidy, Darby Allin, and Swerve Strickland didn’t have the featured singles matches they deserved while individuals like Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia didn’t get a match at all. The only match that earned it storywise, MJF and Adam Cole, ended up being great in the ring and bad in the story. While everyone in AEW is capable of having a good match, none of the matches at All In got to amazing territory. In the end, the fallout of All In has also impacted my grading. Drama is at the center of the company again, and it is unclear what they are planning for All Out in one week, with the announcement of more new PPV’s on the horizon. At this point, I fear AEW has not earned the right to ask for more of your hard-earned money.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.8/10 B+

2023 All In Reviews. This was a fantastic PPV! Since the debut PPV reviews on the Reverse Hipster site. 2023's All In has now become the third highest-rated PPV. Money in the Bank edges it out by 1.9, and Crown Jewel edged it out by two.

If only AEW had cut the Elite match, they may have had a shot at being first. Still, some people have said that this PPV didn't feel like WrestleMania, but I call bullshit. This PPV had the match quality of a mania and the moments of a mania. In fact, this PPV is ranked way above all the Wrestlemania's I have reviewed. Tony definitely justified his Booker of the Year award with this PPV. The talent was simply incredible. The women especially performed the best AEW women's match I have ever seen.

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