All Elite Wrestling
All Out 2020
September 5, 2020
Meet our previewers
Suit Williams (@SuitWilliams): Frequent contributor to Voices of Wrestling, and the co-host of the Smark Sports podcast. He was on the latest episode of the GRAPPL Roundtable podcast, where we did a deep dive on AEW as a whole. He’s generally high on the company, despite what you may read later on.
Mike Spears (@fujiiheya): Co-host of both Everything Elite & Open the Voice Gate. Been up and down about the build to this PPV, but came around to being interested in seeing what’s going to come from this show. Everything Elite will be doing an instant reaction show with friend of the show Adam/Wicca Phase Springs Eternal on our Patreon immediately after All Out.
Case Lowe (@_InYourCase): Voices of Wrestling’s official Young Boy. Reviewing Dragongate and AAW for Voices of Wrestling. Enthusiastically attended All In and All Out 2019, will be sitting on the couch for All Out 2020.
Tooth & Nail Match
Britt Baker vs. Big Swole
Suit: I understand that Britt isn’t 100% yet for this show. I understand that they’ve built up to her return at this show since the week after Double or Nothing. I understand this match with Big Swole has been built for two months. What I don’t understand is deciding to do a goofball cinematic match in a doctor’s office instead of doing an angle to postpone the match. I feel like this isn’t gonna do a thing for either woman, except get a few laughs from an easy crowd. I’m glad this got pushed to the pre-show so I don’t have to bother with it. It’s a shame, because Britt is a going to be a massive star and Swole has been very entertaining over the course of this feud. But this feels like a waste of their time. Prediction: Big Swole
Mike: Quick quiz: what’s been the longest going feud on this show? Britt Baker and Big Swole! Now it’s big payoff is on the pre-show. That stinks! They were really aggressive about being certain Baker would be back for this, and since they promised it, they’re delivering it with a cinematic match. Baker and Swole have been two of the more entertaining people on Dynamite most weeks, so I think that with them, Rebel, maybe Tony Schiavone, we could have a pretty funny match out of this. I’m not as down on the “cinematic” stuff AEW has done as folks have been for WWE stuff. I just wish this would be on the main show. Prediction: Big Swole
Case: I typed up a long preview for this match about how although I think the booking of the AEW Women’s Division has been harmless, albeit not too exciting, this match deserved a spot on the main show. I then found out that this match would be a cinematic spectacle. I now have no use for this. If Britt isn’t ready for a real match, don’t have Britt wrestle. Have her introduce a hired gun, have Swole stomp out a random jobber, I don’t care – just don’t do a cinematic match. I’m over them. I don’t like them. I don’t want them in AEW. Now I’m crabby. Prediction: Britt Baker
Broken Rules Match (If Hardy loses, he must leave AEW)
Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara
Suit: Matt Hardy debuted with AEW on March 18 of this year. We’re coming up on six months since then, which is a believable amount of time to buy into this stipulation. Hardy has done nothing for AEW in terms of being a ratings draw, at least in the ways that other name stars like Omega and Jericho have. His run in the company has centered around the Inner Circle, and Sammy is clearly the next guy up in that group. Plus, adding the Loser Leaves Town stip feels too weighty to not pay off. With the reckless chair shot, this feud feels violent and vengeful. It’s a perfect feud to put Sammy over and give him his first spotlight win in the company. Prediction: Sammy Guevara
Mike: They really turned an unfortunate situation with the errant chair throw into some gold in this feud. I originally questioned why their previous Tables Match was happening, but if you’ve got a more major stipulation attached to the pay per view, then it makes sense in retrospect. The way they set up this stipulation, on Road To, I have more questions in its reasoning.
On Road To, Sammy Guevara said he still wanted his hands on Matt Hardy, and that Hardy could name the stipulation. Hardy decided Broken Rules and that he’d leave AEW if he lost. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? The babyface got beaten in somewhat of a trademark match, so they’d do anything to get their hands on the heel so the heel can pick the match?
I haven’t heard or seen otherwise, but I could entirely buy that this is it for Matt Hardy. It’s nearly 6 months after he showed up on Dynamite. Could have had a short term deal, and then in the before times, thought he’d do this and then go work the indies (again, in the before times when the indies were a thing). Regardless of Hardy’s AEW status, Guevara should absolutely win this match. He might still be in the doghouse, but with their younger stars, we’re entering year two, and it’s time for them to be elevated. Prediction: Sammy Guevara
Case: I’ve really enjoyed the build to this. Last month when Guevara wildly flung a chair into Hardy’s skull, causing him to be cut open, I deemed it to be the best thing Hardy has done in AEW. I don’t like the “Broken” gimmick stuff at all. I wish Matt Hardy was just Matt Hardy. I find his role as the mentor of Private Party to be far more interesting than the drone-driven character work he occasionally sinks back into. Guevara should bring out the best in Hardy. I hope they follow a similar format here that they did in their tables match. I know that match was drastically cut down due to earlier segments going long, but as a result, they had a compact, heated, and realistic-looking brawl that played into both men’s strengths.
The verbiage of the stipulation trips me up. I think Hardy can lose this match. He doesn’t have a ton of upward trajectory given AEW’s booking patterns. He’s not going to wrestle every single week. If the stipulation read that he could no longer wrestle in AEW, I’d say Guevara is winning, no questions asked. But since he’s forced to leave the company if he loses, I think Hardy survives and continues mentoring Private Party for the time being. Prediction: Matt Hardy
Jurassic Express vs. The Young Bucks
Suit: An impromptu match between two ranked teams finds its way onto the show, with the winner in little doubt. This match should be a whole lot of fun, as Jungle Boy has impressed me a lot since Double or Nothing. And I mean, come on. It’s a Young Bucks pay-per-view match. There’s no surer thing in wrestling at this point. Bucks get the win to get the ball rolling on their big FTR feud. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Mike: For a match that was literally thrown together this week, I’m totally fine with it. The real plan for the division/Young Bucks should be focused towards FTR. Jungleboy has been pretty impressive this summer, with an excellent match against MJF, but I frankly find the Jurassic Express trappings beneath him now. It’d be really cool if on Wednesday after this match he decided to be the singles guy, and leave the tag teaming for Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt. I’m with Case, this should open the show. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Case: I hope to God this opens up the show. This is the type of match that AEW needs to showcase and promote going forth. I don’t see Jurassic Express getting the Private Party-treatment in this match. The Bucks need a win as they continue their journey towards eventually wrestling FTR and getting a revenge on Adam Page in some way, shape, or form. There’s a very realistic chance this could be the best match of the night. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Powered by RedCircle
The Dark Order vs. Matt Cardona, Scorpio Sky & The Natural Nightmares
Suit: A spirited eight-man tag with some stories weaved in. Cardona and the Nightmares are trying to get payback on Mr. Brodie Lee on Cody’s behalf. Scorpio Sky is sticking around the TNT Title scene. Brodie seems to have gotten Colt Cabana fully into the fold of the Dark Order. This could go a lot of ways, but I see this leading to a Cardona/Brodie TNT Title match. Cardona is rumored to have been on a five appearance deal with AEW. This show will be his fourth. I can easily see him pinning Stu Grayson to lead to him doing the job for Brodie on the way out. This could be a whole lot of fun with the people involved. Prediction: Cardona, Sky, Nightmares
Mike: I’m of two minds for this match. On one hand, Brodie is going to be a different kind of TNT Champion in comparison to Cody, so having the title change two weeks ago meant that you didn’t have time really for a first defense on this show. With that in mind, Dark Order SHOULD be the hottest act in the company, so you need to get them on the show, so an eight-man against Cody’s Friends + Scorpio Sky makes enough sense and you can run through QT Marshall and keep the Dark Order strong.
On the other hand, I can’t really see anyone on the Cody’s Friends + Scorpio Sky team who should be a first defense for Brodie, so other than storyline reasons, there’s no reason why Dark Order shouldn’t run through them. Colt and the Dark Order is a really compelling storyline, I think it’s been executed really well and we are probably nearing the “Colt having the scales drop from his eyes” moment. I don’t think that should happen here. Sky definitely feels like a “next TNT champion,” so having him in this match so early in Brodie’s reign is somewhat puzzling. Prediction: The Dark Order
Case: I’m absolutely disappointed that “The Queen Slayer” Anna Jay is not being represented on this show. I think she could single-handedly choke out all the dorks that The Dark Order is squaring off against in this match. The good news is that this is The Dark Order’s A-Team with Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, and the team formerly known as the Super Smash Brothers, so there’s no reason that between them and Scorpio Sky that this match shouldn’t be good. I’m more intrigued by the interactions between Brodie and Cabana than the actual match itself. The storytelling that they’re doing with Cabana is some of the best storytelling in all of wrestling right now. Brodie is going to stomp someone’s teeth in, and I hope that this time around it’s Matt Cardona. Prediction: The Dark Order
21-Man Casino Battle Royale
Suit: AEW has had two good battle royals, which makes them the best company of all time when it comes to battle royals. This match has some heavy hitters in it. Darby Allin, The Lucha Bros, Brian Cage, Lance Archer, Jake Hager. There’s a lot of credible names to choose from in this list. So of course I’m not gonna pick any of them. I’m gonna have some guts and pick an outsider. Who is an outsider that can come in with immediate credibility? Who is an outsider that can have a great World Title match, no matter who wins in the main event? Who has spent the last year trying to convince people that NXT UK was a thing worth watching? I’m picking Chris Hero to win this battle royal. Why? Because fuck it, that’s why. Prediction: Chris Hero
Mike: I look at who all has been announced for this, and it’s a question what they are doing here. Allin vs Team Taz has been a feud that’s been heating up. Shouldn’t Darby Allin finally get his hands on Ricky Starks? Same with Santana and Ortiz versus Best Friends? Switching gears and thinking about who might win this match, I see this challenger being another Dynamite/Named Dynamite defense, which opens up the possibilities a bit. Cage getting a title match again feels too soon, Archer coming up empty on another title shot would be disappointing, and then I look and see this person’s name. They’re one of the top five wrestlers in the world, and really haven’t been given the opportunity to show it. Some of that is COVID, but some of it is being in a tag team. Unless there’s a huge surprise, Fenix should win this match and be the next AEW World Title challenger. Prediction: Fenix
Case: It’s a battle royal. I don’t know. These matches are always weird. The build to this has been weird. There is an unusual amount of star power in this match which is being looked at as a negative (more so not getting an Allin vs. Starks match on this show) by some, but I think having credible contenders in a battle royal is a positive. I don’t know who will win, but I hope it’s Lance Archer. He’s so good in his role. He’s been crushing it lately and he needs something to do. Prediction: Lance Archer
AEW Women’s Championship
Hikaru Shida © vs. Thunder Rosa
Suit: The last thing I feel like doing is having the same conversation about the women’s division as always. You all know the problems, and we all know the solution is finding some more higher-end talent. Thunder Rosa is a great pickup for this women’s division, and my hope is that she sticks around. Her and Shida have the potential to have a fantastic match here, and I hope they do. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Mike: The last two times Hikaru Shida has been given something with time (specifically her title win at Double or Nothing, and then her title defense at Fyter Fest), she’s knocked it out of the park. And those were in situations where she had opponents who were less talented than Thunder Rosa. This could very well be the best match on the show, and I’m extremely stoked for it. I wonder if there is a deal here where, with NWA starting up in some fashion soon, that Rosa wins this and then comes back as a make good, but I can’t wrap my head around that possibility. My only hope is that this match gets the time it deserves to knock it out of the park. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Case: The build to this has been terrific. The NWA roster is very weird, I’m not thrilled at the prospect of many of the men on the NWA roster joining the AEW roster, but Thunder Rosa is a great pickup. I hope this match delivers. The women need it. Shida, who I’m a huge fan of, is in need of a great match to give the division a much-needed boost in stature. I don’t see any way Rosa picks up the win, but I hope she sticks around after this match. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
AEW World Tag Team Championship
Kenny Omega & Adam Page © vs. FTR
Suit: I am incredibly excited for this match, and for once on this card, the build adds to my anticipation. FTR got in Hangman’s head, led him to get them what they wanted, and are now gonna take his tag team titles. It took some time to develop, but it’s this grounded type of storytelling that has helped to get Hangman to the next level as a star. And that’s not to mention that the match is gonna be tremendous. The ceiling for this match is a Match Of The Year contender. Hangman and Omega are my tag team of the year by a solid margin, with a string of exceptional matches pre-COVID, with some solid TV defenses in the empty arena period. And I don’t know where this doubt in FTR came from, but these guys were in some critically acclaimed tag matches in their NXT run, which includes my 2016 Match of the Year. I haven’t seen anything that would make me expect a decline, and nothing about their performances has told me that they will give anything less than their best effort. These guys are hungry to prove that they can still have that high-level output that they had in NXT, and they’re paired up with the right guys to do it. FTR win the belts in a barnburner before moving on to the real money match with the Bucks, and Hangman moves on to his redemption arc. Prediction: FTR
Mike: The Omega & Page tag team has had a nice run. Tons of title defenses. Solid matches against the Bucks and Best Friends. But it’s time for the big boy title reign and feud, and it’s time for Adam Page and Kenny Omega to do bigger and better things. I’ve found FTR one of the more cringe acts in the promotion. They talk about being Southern Tag guys, but their best matches in their past weren’t Southern Tag matches! Fully turning heel and aligning with Tully Blanchard was smart because they really need a better mouthpiece than them talking about being “marks for old tag teams” and “being excited for an athletic competition.” The best part of any promo they’ve had was in the go home show where they finally went mask off and called out Adam Page. The bigger program, the program that FTR is in this company to do, is on the horizon. They aren’t here to do eight-man tags. We aren’t watching them to see them versus Omega & Page: It’s time for FTR to be champions and for the Young Bucks to chase them, and that starts Saturday. Prediction: FTR
Case: Other than the slow burn between Colt Cabana and Brodie Lee, the best story that AEW has told during the COVID-era is the slow descent of Adam Page. I think the wheels officially come off here. Page is going to cost Omega the match, their tremendous tag title run is going to come to an end, and FTR, for as strange as their AEW run has been, are going to become the tag champions.
Just like Shida in the women’s division, FTR is in need of a great match. They’ve been involved in great matches since they jumped ship to AEW, but they haven’t felt like FTR matches. They’ve been cogs in the eight-man tag machines, but we’ve yet to get a truly great, straight, old school-style tag from the two guys in wrestling that pride themselves on doing that style. I expect Omega to sell for a long period of time. This match should come down to an Adam Page hot tag and whether or not he can deliver. In the end, I think Page will falter, and FTR will take advantage. We’re looking at new tag team champions in this match. Prediction: FTR
Mimosa Mayhem Match
Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy
Suit: They don’t want Jericho beating Orange in the pivotal match of the feud, which is smart. You don’t want the hot new star losing the most important match on PPV. However, they don’t want Orange to pin Jericho again, which is fair. Jericho had dropped two falls in a over a year before this feud, so doing two in as many matches may be too much. Thus, the Mimosa Mayhem Match is born. As you can see, I can understand where this comes from. A match that gets the company what they want, with an added bit of levity during these tough times.
On the other hand, I would like them make a decision and live with where it goes. Do you want to see what Orange Cassidy can do as a top guy? Then have him win. If not? Then have Jericho win. That’s simple, and I’m appreciating simplicity more and more as wrestling seems to be getting even more gimmick heavy. As far as this goes, I think Orange wins the match. Jericho gets the real win by diving in a pool of flavored alcohol. Prediction: Orange Cassidy
Mike: I’m most interested in this to see what exactly a “Mimosa Mayhem” entails. Is it just going to be troughs of Mimosa? Are we going to get someone break a champagne bottle and use it as a weapon? Pouring orange juice into a cut? (Just think of the acid burns!) Personally, I’m hoping that we get a giant Mimosa fountain. Get whatever person who designed a Florida McMansion pool fountain and let them go hog wild. Bellagio this Mimosa, Tony!
The feud, and the matches are whatever. Some parts have been great. Some have been funny in the Jody Hill/Danny McBride “dumb angry male” vibe. The matches haven’t been the best, so you might as well do the blow off in a match where they’re going to be all around champagne and orange juice.
I don’t really worry or care about Orange Cassidy’s position. He’ll go back to being a second for Best Friends and random trios matches after this. That’s fine. I wonder what Chris Jericho’s future in AEW is after this. This has been an interesting come-down feud after the first year of the promotion being based around him as champion against the Elite. Does he end up feuding with Kenny Omega, fresh from the tag team belt? Do him and Sammy Guevara do their tag team? I find what’s going to happen after this match more fascinating than the goofy spectacle that we’re going to see. Prediction: Chris Jericho
Case: I don’t know, man. I’m not into this. This match is hurting the entire show for me. I just don’t want to have to sit through this. The first match was fine, the second match was bad, and this has a really dumb gimmick attached to it. I just don’t buy Orange Cassidy as anything more than midcard fodder (which he’s GREAT at) and so I can’t get behind him semi-main eventing the second biggest show of the AEW year. I get Cassidy, at times I like Cassidy, but never this high up on the card. I hope that eventually, Trent becomes the standout in the Best Friends trio. I would’ve vastly preferred a Trent vs. Jericho program instead. We have this, though, which could be offensively bad, or, best-case scenario, it could be fine. Prediction: Orange Cassidy
AEW World Championship
Jon Moxley © vs. MJF
Suit: When it comes to the “sports-centric presentation” that Tony Khan had been touting in the earlier days of the company, AEW has been a lot of talk and far less substance. The build to this main event is proof of it. MJF is a 24-year-old prodigy in pro wrestling, performing a decade ahead of his experience level. Jon Moxley is an unchained badass, having escaped the confines of WWE to wrestle his way for his fans. Neither man has been pinned or submitted in an AEW ring since the company began in May 2019. A sports-based presentation would center the entire feud around seeing who will stand tall as the undefeated, undisputed World Champion. The loudmouthed young dynamo, or the tough-as-nails veteran? Instead, MJF has been running a pointless faux-political campaign to become world champion, and Moxley took some time to beat up MJF’s lawyer in the worst segment in Dynamite history. This is a point in AEW’s young history where a strong decision needs to be made. Do you want to be a true alternative in a world of pro wrestling that’s been stagnant for three decades? Or do you want to be a weaker derivative of the mainstream product, in the same vein as TNA? Because the path they take will determine how high the ceiling is for this promotion, and how high my interest level stays in it.
As far as the match goes, I think people are writing off MJF far too quickly. As I said before, he has never dropped a fall in an AEW ring. There are some guys underneath, like a Hangman Page, Kenny Omega or Darby Allin that a heel World Champion could feud with. And most importantly, I don’t think he’s done feuding with Cody yet. I can’t see Cody’s character changing or evolving until he wins the AEW World Title, even with the stipulation that states the opposite. How did Cody lose the right to challenge for the title? With MJF throwing in the towel at Full Gear in the match against Jericho. Where did that lead? To MJF cheating to beat Cody at Revolution. I cannot get the idea out of my mind of the crowd begging Cody to go back on his word, just this one time, to get the title off of this little prick. They have the ban on Moxley’s finish to give him an out. They’ve built him up for over a year for this moment. I think at the end of this night, MJF stands tall as the new face of All Elite Wrestling. Prediction: MJF
Mike: I think this feud did terrible damage to MJF. Having a bad and hokey “campaign” for a title shot, when you haven’t dropped a fall in the company and are ranked number one, was groan-worthy. Banning the Paradigm Shift makes zero sense as a heel tactic (let alone as something Moxley should agree to), as he’s won title matches with armbars and chokes! MJF’s promos work best when it has been two or three minutes, or staged backstage ones like he had before the Jungleboy match. That wasn’t the case in this feud, and it only enabled the worst aspects of Jon Moxley (really no one has gotten less out of discovering they were funny as Jon Moxley has). MJF is a future champion, but I’m not going to remove the “future” tag. There’s a better feud and build up for MJF’s first title, and it’s going to take a while to get him back to that point.
Moxley has solid as a champion in uncertain times. A lot of the better opponents for him (PAC and Fenix up until recently), have been unavailable, but they’ve made due with what they had, and I view it as an unqualified success. This could be the landing for his reign, but I sincerely hope that’s not in the cards for Saturday. Maybe the number of challengers are running low, but I don’t think it’s time for a switch.
For the match itself, I’m going to be interested in what we get. Moxley works best when he’s able to brawl, and MJF should fit that style. If there’s no trappings of the failed campaign/the lawyer, we could get a really fun gritty match. In a promotion where they’re not afraid of blood, I’m hoping that we get some juice and we see MJF get put to sleep. Prediction: Jon Moxley
Case: The build to this match has been very inconsistent. I thought MJF knocked a few of his promos out of the park, but this build was ultimately plagued by too much goofiness and stuff that could be found on Monday nights. I just want two guys to care about winning the title. That’s the build. MJF is a good enough promo to do that, as is Moxley. I don’t need the clown show antics of either man to creep in like they did.
The result of this match feels truly 50/50. Moxley has been a valiant champion who has produced a number of good matches, but one could make the argument that this run is at the end of the line. On the other hand, I think MJF is ready for a title run, but if the wrestling world learned one thing from COVID, it should be that young champions should not be crowned in empty arena or limited capacity settings. Drew McIntyre flopped due to no fault of his own. I fear a similar fate for MJF. He has the rest of his career to challenge for the title. I want him to eat a DDT and crawl back to the midcard for a while. Mox still has the likes of Lance Archer, Eddie Kingston, and Ricky Starks to fend off. Prediction: Jon Moxley