REVIEW: AEW – All Out (2021)

A Wrestling Pay-Per-View by All Elite Wrestling

This Pay-per-view, without a doubt, was possibly one of AEWs biggest shows in their short history, and perhaps one of their most important. AEW All Out 2021 is basically the beginning of their new era, one of surprises, fun, and the beginnings of the spark that could make ALL wrestling companies do better. We all know that when WWE has no competition, things get bad. Now the pressure is on to keep up the pace, or lose out to a young upstart company. Hot off of the recent signing of CM Punk, the internet is all abuzz with everything AEW. With their main competitor in a seeming tailspin of bad-press and critical disdain, the time seems to be right for a “New Golden Age” of professional wrestling, and AEW is spearheading that charge with “The Forbidden Door” in full effect.

Prior to the show, one match was cancelled due to travel issues – Pac vs Andrade El Idolo – this match was replaced with a 10 man tag pre-show match. Honestly, had that match been there, I worry the near perfect pacing would have been lost – and it gave Andrade time to shine on AEW Rampage the following week – perhaps his best match in AEW to date, and anywhere in a while.

The Card

  • Preshow – Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta) and Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) (with Marko Stunt) defeated Hardy Family Office (Matt Hardy, Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen), and The Hybrid 2 (Angélico and Jack Evans) (with The Blade) by submission 10-man tag team match 9:25
  • 2 Miro (c) defeated Eddie Kingston by pinfall Singles match for the AEW TNT Championship 13:25
  • 3 Jon Moxley defeated Satoshi Kojima by pinfall Singles match 12:10
  • 4 Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (c) (with Jamie Hayter and Rebel) defeated Kris Statlander (with Orange Cassidy) by submission Singles match for the AEW Women’s World Championship 11:25
  • 5 Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) (with Alex Abrahantes) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) (with Brandon Cutler) by pinfall Steel Cage match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship 22:05
  • 6 Ruby Soho won by last eliminating Thunder Rosa 21-woman Casino Battle Royale for a future AEW Women’s World Championship match 22:00
  • 7 Chris Jericho defeated MJF by submission Singles match – Had Jericho lost, he would have retired from in-ring competition. 21:15
  • 8 CM Punk defeated Darby Allin by pinfall Singles match 16:40
  • 9 Paul Wight defeated QT Marshall (with Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto) by pinfall Singles match 3:10
  • 10 Kenny Omega (c) (with Don Callis) defeated Christian Cage by pinfall Singles match for the AEW World Championship 21:20

Favorite Moments

As I’ve stated in previous reviews, I don’t do star ratings, and usually pick my favorite moments – so here we go – in no particular order.

Three Big Surprises

I full expected Ruby Soho to show up at the show considering her promos leading up to the night of, so that wasn’t a BIG surprise, but what floored me was her being allowed to use Rancid’s Ruby Soho as her theme music. The reaction she got coupled with the crowd singing along seemed to choke her up for a bit, which was awesome to see considering all the nonsense WWE did with her over the years. Next up was Adam Cole (Bay-Bay!), which despite the rumors, I figured WWE would practically beg him to stay. Thankfully I was all wrong and The Elite is almost fully reformed yet again. Finally we got Bryan Danielson coming out to an interesting version of Flight of the Valkyries. His appearance was also rumored, but I honestly felt like he might be saved for the upcoming New York show they are currently on pace to sell out. I’m most excited about Danielson simply die tot he potential matches he will finally be able to do outside of Vince’s thumb. Here’s hoping he’s also the catalyst for ROH to finally open the Forbidden Door”.

That Cage Match!

Holy Smokes! What a match! When you take away the main things that make up the Lucha Brothers main arsenal, such as dives to the floor and hot tags, there’s always this fear they won’t be able to deliver, but how wrong I was. I should have known, considering the incredible stuff done in Lucha Underground as singles stars, but AEW has always kept them in the background a tad – that is until this show. I won’t go out and say this is “the best cage match ever!” like others have stated, but it’s definitely up there. Some of the spots were things I’ve never seen before, and Rey Fenix taking a dive from the top was crazy. I would say if you were to watch a single match from this show, it better be this one.

The Return of The Butcher

Most may not be too excited about this, but I love this guy. He looks absolutely nothing like any other modern wrestler, and takes cues from wrestlers way back in the circus days without being an over the top parody of it. I’m not even a fan of Andy Williams’ music, but I’m glad to see him back! He just needs some other “big hoss” guys to take some swings at and I’m all set.

CM Punk’s First Match in seven years

I didn’t pick up on the fact that this match was a deliberate throwback to an older one, since I was not a huge “New Generation WWF” fan back in the day. Apparently, parts of this were paying homage to a 1-2-3 Kid vs Bret Hart match when 1-2-3- Kid (Sean Waltman/X-Pac) challenged for the WWF Championship in July of 1994. The match was solid, and shows that Punk has not really lost a step, and Darby can crank his speed down to build ring psychology if he needs to. I need to seek out the original match now, and see how it stacks up.

The Moxley vs Suzuki Mini Match

Moxley vs Satoshi Kojima was already an awesome match to begin with, but toss in a surprise appearance by Suzuki and I can see why the crowd went to crazy. Someone I know was confused, but based on the crowd reaction (especially singing the song), remarked “this must be some badass murder Grandpa”, which definitely fits the bill. It will be interesting to see if he sticks around in the US for a few weeks, perhaps he can do some more in AEW?

Conclusion

This was easily AEW’s best Pay-Per-View, and that’s even without the PAC match. It’s an old idea that these sorts of shows should “under-promise, and over-deliver”, and boy did this one do that. Anyone burned by the accidental explosion botch at AEW Revolution 2021 didn’t have much to latch onto here, it was nearly a perfect show, that some are even comparing to some of the better regarded WrestleMania shows (Even Jim Ross has compared it to WrestleMania 17). I try to not get in the middle of recency bias arguments, but I think they may be right. The ball is definitely in AEW’s court, hopefully they can take this momentum and go completely into Full Gear! (see what I did there).

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