It is finally All Out weekend!
Some of the finishing touches have been polished over the past week or two. While one of my most anticipated matches in Andrade vs. Pac has been rescheduled to a date to be determined, the card is still very deep, featuring three different championship matches and a number one contender’s battle royale. There’s also the guy who bought Chicago like ten thousand ice creams bars a few weeks ago wrestling his first match since 2014. Let’s get to it all.
The Casino Battle Royale
At the last PPV, Jungle Boy outlasted (or outworked?) Christian Cage and 19 other men to win a title shot against Kenny Omega. This time around is the women’s turn for mass chaos. The match was recently bumped from the Buy In to the main card with the winner receiving a championship match at a future date. Twenty-one total participants will enter a field that contains all three former AEW Women’s champions (Riho, Nyla Rose, and Hikaru Shida). Perhaps most anticipated is who the final entrant (or Joker) will be, with a lot of signs pointing at Ruby Soho, who has been posting intriguing videos detailing her journey back to a wrestling ring.
My Pick: Ruby Soho is one of the best in the world (no disrespect to CM Punk) and wherever she lands will be made a better promotion. I think she debuts here and wins.
Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall
It is certainly not unusual to see Tall Paul involved in a turn of alignment, but this time around we saw The Gunn Club betray Wight on Dynamite, with Billy delivering a couple of chair shots to the giant. Now there is a touch more intrigue to the matchup, as Wight will likely need to have some backup to deal with the continuously evolving Factory behind QT.
My Pick: This is feeling like a quick match to break up some of the others that promise a bit more length, which should suit Paul Wight’s strength over the craftiness of Marshall.
Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima
Moxley delivered a few sharp words last week to Kojima, who has been making his way around an American tour after a few matches in Impact. Kojima, as Moxley essentially put it, has by this point ascended closer to legend status than title contender, but he is someone who can still go. Moxley’s run through the NJPW G1 Climax in 2019 offers a good preview of what this match should be: hard and tough.
My Pick: Moxley’s general level of agitation is at an all time high and he is going to take it all out on Kojima.
MJF Vs. Chris Jericho
Until this past week’s Dynamite, the last before All Out, I was convinced this wasn’t the end of the road for Jericho in ring. If he loses to MJF he has sworn to step away from wrestling and will only remain in AEW as an announcer. This really makes sense as the end of the line. Jericho got one last title run. He has helped put over some younger guys, including MJF. He also suffered a legitimate arm injury earlier this year, perhaps a sign that the end is near for a guy who has rarely been injured in three decades of wrestling. Then on Dynamite, he and Jim Ross both appeared to be quite emotional in a segment to set up this match.
My Pick: MJF retires Jericho and pretends to cry.
Miro (C) vs. Eddie Kingston
I am going to confidently declare these two as God’s two favorite wrestlers and the feeling this matchup elicits from me is more akin to the build towards the climax of a Ridley Scott movie than a wrestling match.
My Pick: To paraphrase Zack Sabre Jr., Miro is never losing the TNT Championship and it is going to be buried with him next to his hero, Pope Urban II.
The Young Bucks (c) vs. lucha Brothers
This is a long awaited follow-up to one of AEW’s best matches ever. In 2019 at All Out, Rey Fénix and Penta El Zero Miedo defeated Matt and Nick Jackson in an “Escalera De La Muerte” ladder match for the AAA Tag Team Championship. The Bucks and Lucha Brothers have been feuding on and off for more than two years, across a number of different promotions, in singles, tags, trios, and eight mans. I don’t know if this is the finale but it really has been built that way. The two teams will be locked inside the same gigantic cage that housed Cody vs. Wardlow, and the box like structure is just begging for Nick and Fenix to show off.
My Pick: The main event story of The Elite isn’t over quite yet, but I think this puts a wrap on the Bucks as champions: Lucha Brothers win in what is probably match of the night.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (c) vs. Kris Statlander
Kris Statlander is undefeated in AEW since her April return from a major knee injury. She has been entertaining, quietly dominant and has more than earned this matchup. Britt, though, has been expanding her influence with the recent link up with Jamie Hayter to go along with her usual pairing with Reba/Rebel. If Statlander is to be successful in her second attempt to win the AEW Women’s Championship, she is going to have to look in three places at once. Luckily, she’s not human.
My Pick: Britt’s talent and team will be too much for Statlander to overcome.
CM Punk vs. Darby Allin.
It is hard to overstate what CM Punk debuting in ring means for AEW, for him, for the crowd in Chicago, and for wrestling fans. He is going up against his hand picked opponent, someone who represents a lot of the same corners of fandom that early Punk did, but wrestles in a vastly different style. How those styles clash will be an interesting story to watch unfold in front of a crowd that is going to be turned up to 11.
My Pick: CM Punk has home field advantage and it really feels like he can’t lose.
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Christian Cage
Kenny Omega has managed to evolve his character over the course of the nine months he has been champion. The way he follows up his own team’s antics costing him his Impact World Championship will be something to pay attention to as Kenny has nothing if not a brilliant wrestling brain. Christian, too, has shown he is not only just as clever as Kenny but can be just as ruthless if need be, finishing their last match by spiking Omega’s head through a chair with the Killswitch. Omega is likely to be more desperate going into this rematch. Whether that plays out as a more cautious Kenny Omega or a more ruthless one remains to be seen.
My Pick: Kenny has learned a lesson and doesn’t mess around. We simply see the best wrestler in the world outmatch an excellent but less athletic Christian Cage.
AEW All Out is scheduled for Sunday, September 5th at 8pm ET, with “The Buy In” preshow at 7:30pm ET.