Reverse Hipster's 2023 All Out Reviews
The Dark Order's Reynolds & Silver vs. MJF & Adam Cole 8.15/10 B
I say this nonironically, The Dark Order are the best Jobbers in the world. They always fight well enough to win and put on an entertaining match. I liked seeing them work heel for a change. It was refreshing. However, as soon as I saw that, I knew they couldn't win. The Dark Order have to be faces when they finally win the big one.
MJF and Adam Cole wrestled a comedy style, but the crowd ate it up, and so did I. MJF and Cole are just so in their bag it feels like they could do this blindfolded. MJF was taken out of the match early from an injured neck that Adam Cole gave him at All In. I love that the story showcased the after-effects of that battle. Cole had to fight by himself for a while until MJF made his triumphant return, and MJF and Cole retained the titles. MJF and Cole remain the hottest tag team act in wrestling.
Shane Taylor vs. Samoa Joe 8/10 B-
I freely admit I came into this match knowing nothing about Shane Taylor, but I was impressed with what I saw. Shane Taylor was intense and powerful but without being boring. Joe was the perfect opponent for Shane because Shane took it to Joe and stood toe to toe with him, and not many people can do that.
Joe is used to bullying his opponents and having a power and skill advantage that most people can't overcome or contend with easily. Shane Taylor's size and boxing prowess allowed him to dominate Joe early, and even when Joe took control, he couldn't dominate Taylor. Joe couldn't get Taylor down, which is an unusual position for Joe to be in. These men wrestled for dominance for much of the match, and Taylor looked really good until Joe sunk in the move that takes everyone down, the Coquina Clutch. I liked this match and appreciate the professional fight feel these two brought. It was fought like an MMA fight, and it ended just as suddenly as well.
Darby Allin vs. Luchasaurus TNT Title Match 9/10 A-
Luchasaurus is a menace. On a normal day, Darby would be severely outmatched by Luchasaurus, but Darby was injured from All-In, and Luchasaurus was fresh. Darby got fucked up immediately. He was busted open two minutes into the match. Luchasaurus reminds me a lot of Kane. AEW finally has its monster.
Much like Kane, Luchasaurus has no regard for anybody else body. In fact, he enjoys destroying people, and he dissects Darby. He slammed steal steps into Darby's injured back and then walked on them with Darby under the stairs. He German suplexed Darby on his head and then put him in a torture rack.
Even when Darby was making his comeback and pulled out some truly fantastic offense, it didn't feel like Darby should win because there was no way he could make up the gap in damage that Luchasaurus had done to him. Still, Darby got close, and the original savage Christian Cage threatened to hit Nick Wayne with a conchairto which distracted Darby long enough to allow Luchasaurus to regain control, and from there, Luchasaurus left no doubt. He tombstoned Darby three times in a row, never letting go until the final one, and then he pinned him. If not for the locker room interfering, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus would have smashed Darby's brain into Jello after the match with a chair.
Miro vs. Hobbs 8.35/10 B
I'm not a big fan of Hobbs because I generally find his style boring. However, this is the best I've' seen Hobbs. He was athletic, leaping all over the ring, and he was physical but in an interesting way. Miro and Hobbs had one of the most exciting big-man matches I have seen.
The match highlighted how similar the two men were in power and agility because they went move for move. The two men wrestled as equals, but in the end, Miro proved to be a step above, but the Hobbs still looked great in defeat because of how he fought. After the match, when Hobbs tried to take advantage, Lana returned to save Miro. So far, ALL OUT is rolling.
Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander TBS TITLE 8.4/10 B
Ruby's quest for her first title was more significant than face or heel dynamics. I was rooting for Ruby in this match, and it did a good job keeping me on the edge of my seat, going back and forth. I was so sure Ruby would win when she caught Kris with the no future off the top rope. That move was so wonderfully brutal that it made me involuntarily shout out Ooh at home. Then she followed that up with another finisher, and I thought she had it in the bag for sure.
But no, Kris kicked out, and then Ruby tried to cheat, and Toni stopped her and cost Ruby the match. AEW should have pulled the trigger on Ruby here. I know they wanted to cover her by having Toni interfere, but realistically, it just took away from Kris Statlander's victory. This match would have been rated higher if not for that awkward finish.
Ricky vs. Bryan Danielson Strap Match 9.1/10 A
This match wasn't about skill or strength. This was about the savage nature of man. It was only a Strap match with nothing technically on the line, but it felt like a death match. It felt like two men tied together and told only one man gets to live.
The brutality in this match was unmatched. The spears, kicks, and the wicked slaps of the leather against bloodied faces were brutal. Bryan refused to get up even when getting hit with the leathered in his busted open face repeatedly, and in the end, Ricky may have lost, but he showed he was no punk. He wasn't pinned, and he didn't tap; after a very violent match, Bryan had to choke Ricky and make him lose consciousness to keep him down. I don't generally love Strap matches because they can be quite limiting, but I love this one.
Shibata & Eddie Kingston vs. Yuta and Claudio 7/10 C-
I like all the wrestlers in this match who didn't need to be on PPV. The action was pretty standard for AEW, and the result of CClaudio and Yuta barely scraping out a win didn't change anything. This one could have just been on TV. This is like the Omega match from All in.
Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita 8.4/10 B
I didn't like the story of this match. Right in the beginning, Konosuke dumps Omega on his head, which is an attention grabber. Taz starts talking about losing consciousness during a fight, and the ref is prevented from checking Omega out, which leads the audience to wonder how hurt he is. However, Omega takes control of the match back way too fast and starts performing moves that show he is clearly unaffected, and just like that, the intrigue of that moment is gone. Then, at the end of the match, when Konosuke finally pins Omega clean and gets his big win on PPV, Omega kicks out after the three count is over. I understand the concept of the weak kick-out after the loss, but this wasn't a quick shock victory. Konosuke put Omega on his back by force, and Kenny shouldn't have undercut the moment by feigning a kickout. That was the time to just lay there defeated and let Konosuke have his win. Ultimately, these are two very talented performers and the incredible offense that these two performed carried this to a B.
Bullet Club Gold & The Gunns vs. FTR and The Young Bucks 8.9/10 B+
Simply an amazing workrate match. You Put four of the best tag teams together; surprise, you get a great match. There are so many great spots in this match, but my favorite had to be the Young Bucks and FTR doing the Shatter Machine together. Plus, the Gunns not only hung in there with the pack, but they also got the win for their team. The Gunn's tag team title reign looks better and better in retrospect.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley International Title 9.1/10 A
This main event completely delivered. I love the story they told. This match told the story of a mauler who came up against someone who refused to give up. Moxley very quickly established that he was the better wrestler by running right through Orange Cassidy's normal offense and busting him open. However, that just forced Orange Cassidy to evolve and dig down deeper and become grittier and more violent.
Orange Cassidy, the monster, got out of himself and started to become more vicious to get on Moxley's level.
It worked initially, and Orange Cassidy took over the match, but then Moxley adapted. Instead of just brutalizing Cassidy, he began to chain wrestling and slicing Cassidy up with Submission holds. Every time Orange Cassidy turned, he was being rolled into a different submission hold, and Moxley wouldn't let him go. Orange Cassidy got out of that situation based on will and determination. He kept rolling around trying to get away until. Eventually, he got his legs to the ropes, and Moxley had to let go.
From that point on, it was just about who wanted it more. Moxley still looked to have the edge, but Cassidy would not give up. They even pulled out WWE moves. Moxley did the RKO, and Orange Cassidy did a Roman Reigns-style spear. Also, Orange Cassidy had one of the coolest kickouts ever, where he just barely rolled his shoulder like he didn't have enough energy to kick out, yet he still did. Orange Cassidy kept reaching down deeper until there was nothing left to reach for. Orange Cassidy pushed past his limits, but Moxley was too much in the end.
This match is the perfect end to Orange Cassidy's reign. He looked like a million bucks going out and lost to the first-ever two-time AEW Champion. The fact that he even raised the title to the level of being sought after by a former world champ is a compliment in itself. Plus, Orange still got a win over Mox at ALl In.
Rob’s All Out Reviews
MJF and Adam Cole vs. Dark Order (ROH Tag Team Championships)
MJF and Adam Cole opened the night in front of Chicago. Though a PPV card without an AEW Championship defense feels lacking, this is a pretty good substitute. Better Than You Baybay is beloved by the crowd, and Dark Order is underrated in ring. Surprisingly, they decided to tell a MJF hurt/Cole underdog/MJF return spot that kind of undercut the match. I would have loved to see a shock win from Dark Order, but in the end, I suppose AEW has more story to tell with MJF/Cole going forward.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Samoa Joe vs. Shane Taylor (ROH TV Championship)
This was a weird match to be on the card, but it was a good contest between the two. Obviously, the highlight of this segment was Samoa Joe bumping MJF and starting a brawl that will surely start a longer feud between the two. The bump turned out to be a callback to Joe in NXT bumping a jobber MJF. There could be some great storytelling between Joe and MJF going forward.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Luchasaurus vs. Darby Allin (TNT Championship)
This felt like a big payoff between two AEW originals who were shorted with their spot or lack thereof on the All In card last week. They got time to wrestle and show off. Darby Allin spots always take my breath away. The way he takes bumps is unique, dangerous-looking, and awe-inspiring. Luchasaurus has been one of AEW’s most underrated assets, so I was excited to see his reign continue with more story to tell with Christian Cage.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Big E’s influence has permeated all of professional wrestling as Chicago fans chanted for two big meaty men slapping meat. While some people may think this undercut the match, I think it enhanced it. By the end, the crowd was so hot, they were popping off for any moves Miro and Powerhouse Hobbs hit. While they were making the ring shake, Chicago was making the building shake. In the end, it was a great time for Miro and Hobbs to both put in, dare I say, each of their best matches we have ever seen. It was a big win for Miro who has been largely absent on AEW this last year. Miro’s real-life wife CJ Perry made her debut, and Miro chose to ignore her, meaning we will have exciting stories for Miro moving forward.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho (TBS Championship)
Kris Statlander and Ruby Soho were the only women on the main card, but they got time to wrestle and tell a story. In the final sequence, Saraya tried to interfere so Soho could get a cheap win, but Toni Storm came from under the ring and cost Soho the match. I would have loved to see Soho finally get her big win in AEW, especially since I think Statlander has underperformed since returning. However, the finish let the women tell a bigger story with the official explosion of the Outcasts. Perhaps Soho will get her big win on a bigger stage for an even bigger championship, and Statlander definitely regained some momentum here.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Bryan Danielson vs. Ricky Starks (Strap Match)
Bryan Danielson got the crowd hot again, coming out to Final Countdown (presumably thanks to some recently recouped money by Tony Khan) and working the crowd. Ricky Starks carried with his work in-ring in this match, but even more importantly, his storytelling. Starks seemed like he was willing to do everything to win the biggest match of his career, and it showed in the finish, being choked out by Danielson in place of getting tapped out. These two used the strap in a creative way, and I was glued to the screen throughout the contest. Danielson is officially back in AEW, ready to lead Collision and be a steady centerpiece.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Eddie Kingston and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Blackpool Combat Club
This was a fun match and continued the dominance of the Blackpool Combat Club on All Out night. Eddie Kingston’s blood feud with Claudio Castagnoli is funny yet gripping at the same time. Wheeler Yuta looked the best he has in a long time and thankfully avoided eating the pin. Katsuyori Shibata is fun to watch, especially on these big AEW shows in front of American audiences that haven’t seen him as often. I would have loved to see Yuta get the pin, but Castagnoli’s pin on Kingston gives more ammunition to the neverending fire. You love to see it.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita
Finally, Kenny Omega got his chance to get revenge on Don Callis. This match had a little bit of everything, with a thread throughout of really, really good wrestling. Omega is still one of the best in-ring, and I thought we might see him finally get his win on Callis. Instead, AEW took the chance to launch one of their most promising young stars with a clean pin on Omega. The long match gave the chance for Takeshita to shine in storytelling, as the commentators talked about how he is a student of the game, picking up big moves from his rivals along the way, like the top rope Blue Thunder Bomb from El Generico. In tandem with the calculated Don Callis, Takeshita could be lethal to the entire AEW roster.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Bullet Club Gold vs. Young Bucks and FTR
We have seen this spot in NXT before with DIY and FTR (then the Revival), but I think it may have been executed even better here. Rushed into this match, FTR and the Young Bucks had to do a lot of their storytelling in-ring. They had to overcome a ravenous Chicago crowd who blamed the Bucks for CM Punk’s departure. By the end, everyone was just paying attention to what was going on in-ring, as odd pairs worked together to deliver tag team finishers. Although they weren’t the feature in this match, Bullet Club Gold can still claim that all they do is win. In every big match, the group seems to find a way to pull it off, which has been Jay White’s signature in NJPW for years. For now, they can say they are the best version of the faction after two big losses for the Elite.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley (AEW International Championship)
The storytelling throughout this match was incredible. The commentators emphasized how Orange Cassidy has had a historic reign, functionally turning the International Championship into a second world title and earning this main event spot. Jon Moxley gave Cassidy credit. Moxley is the standard-bearer in AEW, and he wanted to get the best version of Cassidy. Moxley dominated him for a while before Cassidy rallied. Bloodied and bruised, a defiant Cassidy flipped off Moxley before taking one last Death Rider and ending the historic reign. In the end, Moxley is champion again, but Cassidy proved he belonged as a main event guy in AEW. I recall someone saying that Cassidy’s gimmick set him apart, but he had the ability to be the best wrestler on any roster. I believe it now.
Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing
Rob's Final Thoughts
Going into the night, AEW All Out was anticipated to be their worst PPV yet. With an underbuilt card and jaded with drama, all of the talk going into the night was outside the ring. By the end of the night, everyone in that arena and everyone at home was glued to what was happening inside the ring. That’s what makes AEW great.
For Elite haters, they made some stars tonight by putting over Konosuke Takeshita and Bullet Club Gold. Other new stars rose even higher like Ricky Starks and Orange Cassidy. AEW Originals ruled the night like MJF and Luchasaurus.
For context, my 8/10 metric for a great match is one that I use to decide which matches I should watch back for Match of the Year Candidates. 9/10 matches will likely be Match of the Year Candidates, and 10/10 matches are reserved for generationally good matches. This PPV had four 8/10’s and one 9/10. The card was perfectly built, and the match quality was amazing throughout.
Will AEW will be fine without CM Punk? Can AEW survive bad management and the drama? I think they’ll be just fine.
Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts 8.44/10 B
Well, well 2023 All Out Reviews This show was better than ALL in, but it was still a really fun show. Only one match slowed down the night's pace, and the crowd was really hot. AEW did a way better job than they did last year on this show.