REVIEW: All Elite Wrestling – All Out (2022)

A Pay-Per-View Event by AEW

We have officially entered the era of “New Kayfabe” as of tonight. For the longest time professional wrestling has had the curtain pulled back so far that it has been well-known that everything’s just a TV show, these guys are basically actors, it’s all scripted yadda yadda. On most nights, a fan could basically telegraph what was about to happen o any given show based on years of experience on how it’s all structured. I mentioned in my last review that those assurances came to a grinding halt at the AEW Double or Nothing PPV and it’s following episode of AEW Dynamite when the MJF Saga, previously a series of rumors on the more reputable wrestling news sites, began. You saw folks, normally acting as know-it-alls when it comes to having the pulse of the wrestling zeitgeist, at a total loss as to what was happening until they assumed it was all real. These reputable news sites appeared to either have AMAZING sources or be deliberately planting seeds, thus confusing the situation.

We had a lot of these seeds leading into this show – the complete radio silence from MJF for the last three months, Stokely Hathaway handing out mysterious business cards – seemingly amassing an army, constant rumors of tensions and upheavals backstage, and the lines being blurred on-air between reality and fantasy at every turn. This is basically the sort of thing Vince Russo was going for in the dying days of WCW, but done in a far better way because the internet audience he was pandering to IS the current wrestling audience. Time will tell if this becomes a success or not, but all I know is that I’m along for the ride. Without further ado, here is my review of AEW All Out 2022.

For anyone wanting to watch this, It can be found on B/R Live which I am sadly not a fan of at all. For most other wrestling shows, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch these shows, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

As normal, the first few matches are free on YouTube below:

The Card:

  • 1P Jericho Appreciation Society (Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo) (c) defeated Ortiz and Ruby Soho by pinfall Mixed tag team match for the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship 6:00
  • 2P Hook (c) defeated Angelo Parker (with Matt Menard) by submission Singles match for the FTW Championship 3:55
  • 3P Pac (c) defeated Kip Sabian by pinfall Singles match for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship 12:25
  • 4P Eddie Kingston defeated Tomohiro Ishii by pinfall Singles match 13:25
  • 5 “The Devil” (with Stokely Hathaway, Ethan Page, Lee Moriarty, Colten Gunn, Austin Gunn, and W. Morrissey) defeated Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fénix (with Alex Abrahantes), Rush, Andrade El Idolo (with Jose the Assistant) and Dante Martin Casino Ladder match – Winner receives a future AEW World Championship match. 14:15
  • 6 The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) (with Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa) defeated “Hangman” Adam Page and The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) by pinfall Tournament final for the inaugural AEW World Trios Championship 19:50
  • 7 Jade Cargill (c) defeated Athena (with Kiera Hogan and Leila Grey) by pinfall Singles match for the AEW TBS Championship 4:20
  • 8 Wardlow and FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) defeated Jay Lethal and The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) (with Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt) by pinfall Six-man tag team match 16:30
  • 9 Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Ricky Starks by pinfall Singles match 5:05
  • 10 Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) (c) defeated The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (with Billy Gunn) by pinfall Tag team match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship 22:30
  • 11 Toni Storm defeated Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (with Rebel), Jamie Hayter, and Hikaru Shida by pinfall Four-way match for the interim AEW Women’s World Championship 14:20
  • 12 Christian Cage (with Luchasaurus) defeated Jungle Boy by pinfall Singles match 0:20
  • 13 Chris Jericho defeated Bryan Danielson by pinfall Singles match 23:40
  • 14 Darby Allin, Sting, and Miro defeated House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews) (with Julia Hart) by pinfall Six-man tag team match 12:10
  • 15 CM Punk defeated Jon Moxley (c) by pinfall Singles match for the AEW World Championship 19:55

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

Oh No!

This spot where Tay Melo accidentally tossed Ruby Soho onto her neck and seemingly broke her nose scared the crap out of me. I hate seeing anyone get legitimately hurt, and this match seemed to be destined for that for whatever reason. I’m all-in for AEW doing these mixed-tag matches, but this feud has bad news written all over it, and I hope we get a refrain.

I Love Kip’s New Character:

Kip Sabian has been gone for well over a year now, only appearing in the audience and outside of arenas doing renegade “Meet and greets” to show that he isn’t quite all there anymore. We saw this in practice tonight with a pretty cool new look, new music, and a character that seems to be equal parts Al Snow and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin. He lost to PAC in a solid return bout, only to start frantically arguing with his carboard box mask afterwards – I’m all in for this and wherever it goes!

The Joker:

In the opening match, we saw a masked man referred to as “The Joker” or “The Devil” (holy crap Tony must have paid a lot to use Sympathy for the Devil) get handed the title shot for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship by a bunch of masked goons revealed to be the likes of Stokley Hathaway and all of the various people he has been recruiting as of late. I would be hard pressed to say that I didn’t immediately assume this was MJF, but they left it vague enough that there could have been a swerve coming. I mean, if this was WWE this would somehow end up being Dylan Postl aka Hornswoggle or something, but I digress. This reveal definitely got the internet buzzing, and it will be interesting to see if the late PPV buys will be large due to the mystery surrounding this character.

Great Match, Just Wish Dark Order Won:

Sigh…Not sure I like The Elite giving themselves these titles right from the get-go. This entire time we saw the rise of The Dark Order, a team that has been left in ruins after half of it’s ranks left, all the way to the finals of this bout – only to get beat because Hangman messed up. I’m not sure we need another “Hangman feels bad he let somebody down” storyline unless Jon Silver snaps and becomes the new leader of a less happy version of the group. We shall see, but for right now this was somewhat underwhelming for me.

Chicago is Apparently Acclaimed Country:

This match had the same vibe as Bret Hart in Canada or John Cena at ECW for no reason other than The Acclaimed, hot off the heels of their hilarious new T-Shirt release, are suddenly the hottest act in the company much to the confusion of themselves. You could actually see Billy Gunn look around when everyone was loudly chanting “OHHHHH SCISSOR ME DADDYYYY” as if he was being pranked. The match was solid, and I have no idea why the entire crowd turned on Swerve and Lee, but perhaps an audible should have been called to avoid the ire of an unruly crowd. It seems a bit like some fans are starting to reject any former WWE guys that was brought in during the aftermath of the numerous firings during the last year of Vince’s regime, which will be annoying if it keeps up. We even see a bit of that in the next match…

Toni Wins the Big One:

The crowd obviously wanted Jamie Hayter to win this, but Toni Storm was who I assumed would win, so I’m not surprised. It was a great match with some former champions and the beginnings of what I assume will be an awesome feud between Britt Baker and Hayter. Winning the interim World’s Heavyweight championship also sets up the eventual confrontation between Storm and Thunder Rosa which should be a solid bout assuming Rosa heals up quickly.

Just as I Suspected:

After CM Punk won back his recently removed championship belt, the lights went off and fans were treated to a clip of an audio recording of Tony Khan practically begging someone to come back at the show from a phone message. Tony seemed at wit’s end, offering an undisclosed sum of money and promising no contract extensions. “The Devil” comes out, takes his mask off and puts his douchey scarf on to reveal what many already suspected – MJF was back. I’m amazed they didn’t turn this into a “money in the bank” situation and have MJF win the belt tonight, but we’d miss out on months of scathing promos I’m sure we’ll get leading in to Full Gear. We’ll likely never know how much truth was in this entire thing, but so far it’s almost all anyone can talk about, which is great for the company. All I know is Dynamite on 9/7/22 has suddenly become must watch TV.

BONUS: Holy Crap!

I normally don’t see much value to these “media scrums” AEW does post-show as they show tired people blankly staring at the screen answering dumb questions while Tony Khan hugs people. This one, however, was different. Punk was almost immediately asked a very “NO-NO” question regarding his relationship with his one-time friend Colt Cabana, and it started:

“I haven’t had anything to do with Scott Colton in almost a decade,” Punk said. “Probably wanted nothing to do with him even longer than that. It’s f***ing unfortunate that I have to come up here and speak on this when I’m on my time and this is a f***ing business. Why I’m a grown-ass adult man and I decided not to be friends with somebody is nobody else f***ing business.”

“But my friends, if I fall backward, will catch me, Scott Colton, I felt, never would have.  My problem was I wanted to bring a guy with me to the top that did not want to see me at the top, okay? You call it jealousy, you call it envy, whatever the f*** it is. My relationship with Scott Colton ended long before I paid all of his bills.”

Then when asked about his issues with Hangman “Adam Page”

“We’re far beyond apologies,” Punk said of Page. “I gave him a f***ing chance, it did not get handled, and you saw what I had to do, which was very regrettable, lowering myself to his f***ing level. But that’s where we’re at right now, and I will still walk up and down this hallway and say if you have a f***ing problem with me, take it up with me. Let’s f***ing go.”

and even the EVPs:

“Now, it’s 2022. I haven’t been friends with him since at least 2014, late 2013. And the fact that I have to sit up here, because we have irresponsible people who call themselves EVPs, and couldn’t fing manage a Target, and they spread lies and bulls and put into a media that I got somebody fired when I have f*** all to do with him, want nothing to do with him, do not care where he works, where he doesn’t work, where he eats, where he sleeps. And the fact that I have to get up here and do this in 2022 is f***ing embarrassing. And if y’all are at fault, f you. If you’re not, I apologize.”

Punk comes across like every bit of the bitter egotistical jerk that the rumor mills have been speculating about, and I honestly feel that this is being done on purpose. If this leads to a second encounter with Adam Page, I’m down, and if they do the unthinkable and bring in Colt Cabana for something, the internet will likely implode. I honestly doubt Tony Khan would let Punk go off like this unless something was planned, but we will see. Tony Even got his own time to yell and curse about WWE contract tampering, so it seems everyone was having a bad day.

Conclusion:

Overall, this show had its ups and downs, but this may end up as one of the most important shows in the history of the company. If we have truly entered the era of “New Kayfabe”, this could be a pivotal moment like when Hulk Hogan turned heel or Vince McMahon saying “Bret Screwed Bret” in the aftermath of “The Montreal Screwjob”. Despite the audience trying too hard to change the course of the show in an annoying way, I enjoyed this one a lot, and can’t wait to see the fallout from everything. If they can keep this mystery and build going, Full Gear could be absolutely incredible.

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