All Elite Wrestling
AEW All Out 2020
September 5, 2020
Meet our reviewers:
Sean Sedor: Like many others, Sean hasn’t exactly been thrilled with the build towards this PPV. That being said, AEW hasn’t had a disappointing PPV yet, so hopefully (fingers crossed) that trend continues. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994.
Case Lowe: Voices of Wrestling’s official young boy, five years running. I review all of the Dragongate and AAW shows for the site. Listen to the Open the Voice Gate podcast and follow me on Twitter @_InYourCase.
Joey Janela (with Sonny Kiss) def. Serpentico (with Luther)
Sean: I haven’t really kept up with Dark that much since the pandemic went into full swing (shame on me), so this was my first real look at Serpentico. Janela ran wild early, but Serpentico gained the edge while Luther brawled with Sonny Kiss at ringside. We saw some more back and forth down the stretch, and Janela was able to overcome attempted interference by Luther (who then got taken out by Sonny Kiss), and scored the win with a top rope elbow drop. This was trending as “just ok” in the first few minutes, but it definitely picked up in the closing minutes. Serpentico looked relatively decent, and while I don’t think he’ll ever become some major player, he’s definitely a guy who’s good to have in the lower card. A perfectly fine singles bout for its spot on the card, and a nice rebound win for Janela after Jericho brutalized him on Dynamite last Wednesday. **3/4
Case: Excalibur noted early on in the match that, “…anytime you’re out there with sharp edges and Luther, you’re in trouble.” This is very true. Any time Joey Janela is in the area, that area should be childproofed. I was disappointed to see Janela tossed onto the pre show as he had a golden opportunity to do something dumb and dangerous in the Casino Battle Royale, but this match was perfectly acceptable. Serpentico is never very good, but never really bad. This match was the embodiment of his skill set. He and Janela kept things simple as they worked around the constant interference of Luther and Sonny Kiss and in the end, the two produced a Perfectly Acceptable Match. Janela landed an Avalanche Fishermanbuster for a deep two count, a move that I’d like to see him use as a finish in the future. He quickly followed that up with a top rope elbow drop for the win. **1/2
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) def. The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)
Sean: Even though this was thrown onto the Buy In on short notice, I was actually looking forward to this one a little bit. It looked like a solid matchup on paper, and when the dust settled, it ended up delivering. Now, this didn’t set the world on fire or anything like that, but it was a pretty enjoyable tag team encounter with some good action from start to finish. One particularly cool spot saw John Silver counter a Silly String attempt with a double stomp off the top rope (it looked really cool). The final few minutes saw some good nearfalls, and Private Party scored the victory after connecting with Gin & Juice. Again, not outstanding by any means, but very solid. Reynolds and Silver have been a good tag team for a long time, and while Private Party are still not quite a fully polished in-ring act, it’s always good to get them reps like this. ***1/4
Case: I’m sure this is not where Private Party envisioned themselves after they defeated the Young Bucks on Dynamite last year. Since that gem of a match, Private Party have faltered. Their in-ring performance has been shaky and their booking has suffered as a result. This match highlighted the larger issues surrounding Private Party. They bring a lot of fresh ideas to the table like the Silly String/double foot stomp counter that occurred in this bout, but they still struggle executing the basics. Hopefully those two can put it all together within the next year. As for the Dark Order side, despite their loss, they looked like the better team. John Silver has flashes of greatness. He’s unlocked a level in AEW that I did not think he had during his time on the indies. Private Party scored the win with the Gin & Juice to conclude the pre show. **3/4
Tooth & Nail Match
Big Swole def. Britt Baker
Sean: I was curious to see where they would place this, after it got moved to the actual PPV. We got Swole wandering around the dental office for a minute before Baker just nailed her in the head with her framed diploma. They brawled around the office, went outside and did some stuff with Baker’s cart-thing and a dumpster, and went back inside where Baker tried to (presumably) kill Swole with a drill. Swole counted this, stabbed Baker in the leg with a syringe, and then put her to sleep with knockout gas. In terms of cinematic means, this was far from the worse one we’ve seen this year, but it was by no means good. It was pretty much a walk-n-brawl in the dentist office. People complained about this not being on the PPV, and they got their wish, but that resulted in something that was bad making it onto the PPV. Can’t even really rate it. DUD
Case: Thank God Sean is able to complete some sort of play-by-play, because all I can say about this is that I fucking hated every second of it. I’d be embarrassed if I put my name on a product this bad. If Britt wasn’t healthy enough to wrestle a normal match, then she shouldn’t have been on the show at all. This is not an acceptable substitute. Britt’s horrid, cheap horror movie smile, the dumb, contrived spots with the power drill, and the overacting from Reba put this in contention for worst match of the year. I l would consider myself to be a fan of both competitors, but cinematic wrestling needs to die. This did no one any favors. This match was an abomination. DUD
The Young Bucks def. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus)
Sean: I’m happy we got the cinematic stuff out of the way early, and went right to the true PPV opener. The Young Bucks were on the defensive after the initial exchange, which was a continuation of sorts from Wednesday when they were flustered at the start of the eight-man tag. The fact that they were playing the heels here in general (not even overtly heelish, just more aggressive) makes a ton of sense, given the story they’re telling with them right now. That aggression even extended to poor Marko Stunt, as Matt kicked away his crutch (Stunt apparently has a leg injury, as he was wearing a boot), and superkicked his head off. The Young Bucks ultimately got the win after hitting Jungle Boy with the BTE trigger. This was a great tag team affair, which should shock absolutely nobody. The Young Bucks are one of the best tag teams of all time and (as Case has argued many times) quite possibly the best ever (I wouldn’t disagree with that at all). They were their usual awesome selves here, while the Jurassic Express more than held their own. Incredible action right from the opening bell, and too many crazy spots to keep track of. Now THIS is what a PPV opener looks like!! ****1/2
Case: I don’t know what else I can say about the Young Bucks. They are the best tag team to ever step foot inside of a professional wrestling ring. I don’t remember the last time that I saw the Bucks work this blatant of a heel style. They’ve spent a half decade playing fan-favorites. When they were heels, mainly in New Japan, they didn’t have the edge that they possessed here. They dominated Jurassic Express, who held their own end of the bargain. This was their best match ever. Jungle Boy in particular, someone who I think will be great one day but is often a tad disappointing, was brilliant in this match. His innovative offense played great with the Bucks bruising demeanor and when it came to taking the heat, he bumped like a mad man for the Bucks. This was just a brilliant display of wrestling, and going forward I will consider this to be the true opener of the show. Bravo to all four men (and Marko) for starting the show on such a high note. ****1/2
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21 Man Casino Battle Royale
Winner: Lance Archer
Sean: Daniels and Kazarian were late additions to this match, which meant that there were two spots still open (unless my match was completely off). I like how we got Fenix and The Blade in there as two of the five to start, as it immediately gave Kingston’s group an advantage. One of the two open spots was revealed after the first three minutes, as Will Hobbs (a guy from AEW Dark who they’re clearly high on) entered the match along with Chuck Taylor, Kazarian, and Proud ‘n’ Powerful. Hobbs got some immediate shine by tossing out The Blade (again, they’re clearing high on this guy), while Santana and Ortiz immediately jumped Chuck Taylor. The next set of entrants include Pentagon Jr., Billy Gunn, both members of Team Taz (Cage immediately eliminated Billy Gunn), and Darby Allin, who immediately used his skateboard to go after Team Taz. Darby actually eliminated Fenix during this stage of the match, which was a big scalp for him.
The next group of five included Shawn Spears (who immediately went to the announce table), Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, Sonny Kiss, and Lance Archer, who immediately flew into the ring and wiped out a bunch of people. Hager was eliminated by Kiss, which was a pretty big surprise. Archer scored a number of eliminations, before the Joker was revealed as Matt Sydal (who’s also in the upcoming ROH Pure Title Tournament). He didn’t exactly make a great first impression as he had a….rough time on his first big move. We then heard a massive fireworks display off in the distance, which apparently was coming from a nearby baseball field. Darby eliminated Starks, but then Darby got taken out by Cage, and got dragged underneath the bottom rope. Starks brought out a bodybag, and we saw a spot that I’m pretty sure was done in EVOLVE, where Darby was placed in a body bag filled with thumbtacks. Archer managed to eliminate both Cage and Will Hobbs. Sydal got tossed out, as it came down to Archer vs. Kingston.
The finish was a tad lame, as Jake Roberts used what I guess was a fake snake to distract Kingston, which led to Archer tossing Kingston onto Butcher and Blade for the win. Again, the finish wasn’t exactly stellar, but I thought the rest of this was pretty enjoyable. I loved the fact that they continued all the various stories in this one (Darby vs. Team Taz, Archer vs. Cage, Best Friends vs. PnP). You also got a clear elevation for Will Hobbs, which was nice to see. Finally, I ADORED the fact that they finally fixed the entrances, to where everyone who came out in the groups got their own individual spotlight entrances. Previously, the groups of five all came out together, which made everyone looked like geeks. They finally tweaked it to where the entrances were handled much better. ***1/4
Case: Christopher Daniels, Jake Hager, Rey Fenix, The Blade, and Trent were the first pod to enter the match. After three minutes of nothing, they are joined by Chuck Taylor, Kazarian, AEW Dark’s Will Hobbs, and Santana & Ortiz. Will Hobbs tossed out The Blade for the first noteworthy elimination. Hobbs is someone who will hopefully one day be looked at as a homegrown success story. His look is top notch and his potential is limitless. Billy joined the fray with Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, Penta El Zero M, and Darby Allin. Cage tossed out Billy with a press slam which is a monumental feat of strength. Darby, as expected, went straight after Starks with a skateboard. Lance Archer, Sonny Kiss, Shawn Spears, The Butcher, and Eddie Kingston followed suit. Archer immediately made the match better. His presence is second to none. Dragongate alumni Matt Sydal pulled the joker card and narrowly avoided death when attempting his first Shooting Sydal Press.
Cage stuffed Darby into a body bag with thumbtacks and powerbombed him over the top rope. Purely mental. Completely psychotic. The match came down to Hobbs, Cage, Butcher, Kingston, Archer, and Sydal. Archer knocked out the two hosses in Hobbs and Cage, then Butcher. Sydal attempted to use his speed and agility to his favor, but Archer tossed him out as well. Archer and Kingston wound up on the apron, and thanks to Jake Roberts and Eddie Kingston’s fear of snakes, Lance Archer became the last man standing, just as I predicted.
This match had a million things going on, but we ultimately got the elevation of Will Hobbs, the continuation of Darby vs. Starks, the debut of Matt Sydal, and the eventual rightful winner in Lance Archer. I enjoyed this for what it was. ***1/4
Broken Rules Match
Matt Hardy def. Sammy Guevara
Sean: So this started in the same area where that anything goes tag team match several months ago ended. This time, Guevara tried to get revenge by running over Matt Hardy with his own golf cart, but he missed, and the match got going. They brawled for a bit before they did a huge spot where they spilled off a scissors lift through a set of tables. The match then appeared to just end, as I guess Matt really landed rough on that table spot. However, they then resumed the match, and appeared to go straight to the finish, as Guevara took a big bump off a truss in an obvious crash pad spot. Honestly not sure what to think of this. Obviously it seemed like they rushed straight to the finish, but the two or three big spots that did do were spectacular. Of course, we all hope that Matt Hardy is ok. It kinda sucks that these two have had two straight matches that were impacted by circumstances they weren’t counting on (the Tables Match clearly getting time cut and Matt getting hurt here). I’m guessing the only reason they kept going was because Matt was clearly supposed to win, especially due to the “Matt leaves AEW if he loses” stipulation. If you remove that, I’m sure the match gets stopped immediately after the table spot. Much like Case, I guess I’ll throw the Gentleman’s Three at it. You have to give them some credit for the effort. ***
Case: I normally have no patience for Matt Hardy, but he and Sammy Guevara have attempted to murder each other multiple times and I’m very entertained by that. This match continued that trend. Hardy took an all-time disgusting bump off of a forklift through a table that sent his head bouncing off of the concrete. The match came to a halt as referee Aubrey Edwards threw up the dreaded “X” (and she wasn’t at an Earth Crisis show, folks!) and called for the medic to attend to Hardy. After some deliberation, Hardy continued the match. He and Guevara seemed to rush towards the finish, quickly climbing some scaffolding which led to Guevara getting knocked off and through some plunder for the finish. Truly a bizarre, albeit unforgettable match. I’m not entirely sure how to rate what I just saw, but I applaud the effort and the toughness of Hardy. It gets the Gentleman’s Three from me! ***
AEW Women’s World Title
Hikaru Shida (c) def. NWA Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa
Sean: Outside of the tag title bout and Young Bucks/Jurassic Express, this was the match I was looking forward to the most (I guess my third most anticipated match is another way to put it). I like how they mentioned straight away that Hikaru Shida talked to CIMA so that she could be prepared for any of Thunder Rosa’s lucha-influenced offense. These two had a really good match, and ultimately, Shida managed to retain her title after connecting with a running knee strike. I don’t believe anyone was really expecting a title change here, but they still managed to put together a very compelling back and forth title bout. We saw great wrestling from both, along with some pretty big spots sprinkled throughout. Obviously Thunder Rosa is committed to the NWA, but hopefully her performance in this spot opens up the possibility of her coming back down the line. The AEW women’s division could use someone with her incredible talents as a wrestler. ****
Case: Shida and Rosa beat the living hell out of each other. I’ve been a vocal supporter of Shida as I think she’s an incredibly talented worker who has been forced into some poor situations that haven’t shown her strengths, but she got exactly what she needed here against NWA’s Thunder Rosa. I’m not sure what the contractual status of Rosa is, but if AEW can continue to use her, they would be foolish not to.
Rosa dominated most of the match, not surprising given the political implications of this bout. Rosa had counters to all of Shida’s signature spots and outlasted the dreaded Falcon Arrow with a shocking kick out at one. Shida had to dig deep, and that she did, as she eventually put Rosa away with her signature running knee. This was hard-hitting and action packed. Great job by both ladies. ***1/2
Matt Cardona, The Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall with Allie & Brandi Rhodes), & Scorpio Sky def. The Dark Order (TNT Champion Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, & Stu Grayson)
Sean: There was a power surge in my house right as this match was about to get this one going. Thankfully it lasted literally a second, and I was able to get the TV back up and running. Anyway, they immediately started this off with a brawl, which is exactly how this should’ve started. The babyface side wants revenge on the Dark Order for what they did to Cody, so of course they went after them straight away. In terms of match quality expectations, this was about what I was expecting. Not outstanding by any means, but very solid. It felt like it went a tad long, but there was good action throughout, and all the competitors involved had opportunities to shine. The big story coming out of this was that Colt Cabana cost the Dark Order the match by going for one too many moves. Cabana missed a moonsault, and Dustin then rolled him up to score the victory. So the babyface side gets a measure of revenge while the story with Colt Cabana and the Dark Order progressed. Not much to complain about with this eight man tag. Perfectly solid for what it was. ***1/4
Case: This was by no means a great match, but I liked its inclusion on the show. The dynamics between Dark Order and Colt Cabana have been consistently one of the most entertaining things in AEW and this progressed that story as Cabana took the fall after a flash pin by Dustin Rhodes. I would’ve liked to have seen more of Brodie Lee throwing fools around, but instead they opted to have Stu, Uno, Marshall, and Rhodes do the heavy lifting of the bout. Had this match been a few minutes shorter it would’ve been much better. Instead we got this, a middling affair that was at least effective from a storytelling perspective. **3/4
AEW World Tag Team Titles
FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler with Tully Blanchard) def. “Hangman” Adam Page & Kenny Omega (c)
Sean: The biggest news right out of the gate was that Adam Page was wearing long tights for this match, which was certainly a…..unique change. Anyway, while Page and Omega had the edge over FTR in the early moments of the bout, we immediately got teases of tension between the two. The first portion of the match was pretty solid, with some good action from both sides. However, things definitely ground to a halt when FTR started working over Omega’s leg. That section felt incredibly slow, and it really exposed that a big southern style tag team match like this needs a full crowd to work effectively. It felt like the pace picked up a bit once Page got tagged it, but then it seemed to just keep going.
It was a couple of minutes after the Page hot tag that this match really reminded me of the Adam Cole/Pete Dunne NXT Title match from Survivor Series. The crowd was only reacting to the big highspots, but they were timid for mostly everything else. Towards the end of the bout, there was miscommunication between Page and Omega, and that led to FTR getting the victory to capture the AEW World Tag Team Titles. It’s very clear what the story was here, and while the effort was clearly there, this went too long and just fell flat. This didn’t suck, but considering the teams involved, this was an incredible disappointment. A shame that Page and Omega’s incredible title reign finished with a whimper. ***1/4
Case: I enjoyed how FTR swarmed Omega at every opportunity. They clearly told the story that FTR were a firm unit and that Omega and Page were two men in the same match fighting on their own. The issue here is the execution of this bout. I was very much invested in the story of this match, but an extended heat segment on Omega’s knee took me out of the match. It was identical to the issue that plagued the prior eight-man tag. I liked what they were trying to do, but it just kept going and at some point that became an issue.
Adam Page’s hot tag, which was capped off with a swanton bomb to the floor, boosted the quality of the match and under normal circumstances, a crowd would’ve gone ballistic for what he did. In this environment, it came across as just okay. Page’s hot tag ultimately came short as two stuffed piledrivers put the anxious millennial cowboy away for good. Page and Omega’s superb tag reign came to an end in this match.
The story of this match was clear, the individual performance of Adam Page was superb, but the execution of this match was poor. This should’ve been much better. ***
Mimosa Mayhem Match
Orange Cassidy def. Chris Jericho
Sean: So the setup for this features two hot tub sized pools filled with the orange juice/bubbly mixture. I was expecting one giant container thing off to the side somewhere, but I didn’t mind this setup. Jericho nailed Cassidy with the codebreaker right away to get this one started. For the most part, the action was relatively solid in this one. I would definitely put it over the second match, but it definitely fell short of the first match. Portions of this felt like a typical walk-n-brawl, though we did get some good spots around the pools. The crowd did pop huge when Cassidy eventually set Jericho into one of the pools for the win. Honestly, I’m struggling to find things to say about this one. It was good for what it was, but that’s about it really. I suppose it’ll be interesting to see where Cassidy goes from here. The one thing I’ll say is that I definitely believe this feud with Jericho iis as close as Cassidy is going to get to main events in AEW. ***1/4
Case: My takes echo what VOW correspondent Garrett Kidney had to say. The work in this match was not bad – actually, it was better than I was expecting. The stakes were too low, however. I want danger. I want intensity. A pool of orange juice does not provide that. I think this feud will ultimately be looked at as a failure as none of the numbers that the public has available to them point to Cassidy as being a legitimate draw. He should be cycled back down the card and hopefully the attention he’s getting is shifted to Trent.
The match was less embarrassing than I expected it to be. This was the best of their matches, but it still never hit the high bar that Jericho has hit with the rest of his opponents in AEW. This was a step up from the slog of the tag titles match and the marathon eight-man tag, but still not what this show needed to steer it in the right direction. ***1/4
AEW World Title
Jon Moxley (c) def. MJF (with Wardlow)
Sean: Coming into this match, I thought MJF’s chances of winning the title here were a little better than some were expecting. However, when Lance Archer won the Casino Battle Royal earlier in the show, I felt the chances of MJF winning here went drastically down. MJF vs. Lance Archer just sounds like a super awkward title match. These two had a solid exchange to start, before getting into the bulk of this main event. MJF going after Mox’s arm quickly became one of the big stories of the match, while the other was MJF managing to survive the beating that Mox was dishing out. He got busted open at one point after being sent into the ring post on the outside, but still kept taking the fight to Mox throughout.
Everything in his arsenal, even his biggest stuff (the armbar and the Heat Seeker Piledriver) wasn’t enough to put Mox down for the count, so MJF resorted to cheating in an attempt to steal the title. One of these tricks was the Dynamite Diamond ring, but Wardlow fumbled the pass, so to speak. This allowed Mox to hit MJF with the Paradigm Shift while the referee was distracted with Wardlow, and Mox scored the pin to retain this title. Very obvious that the finish is meant to continue the build towards the eventual MJF/Wardlow split. As a whole, I thought this really delivered as a main event. Moxley was great as always, though MJF deserves a ton of credit here as well. His in-ring work was the one part of his game that always got criticized during his run on the indies, but after his performances on PPV this (the match with Jungle Boy, and the match with Cody to a lesser extent), it’s fair to say that MJF has vastly improved as an in-ring performer. On a show that really needed this main event to deliver, I thought both guys did a very good job putting together a compelling World Title contest. ****
This was a very weird show. It was easily the worst PPV that AEW has ever produced, but at the same time, it’s very unfair to call this a bad show. Out of the nine matches on the main card (really eight because Matt Hardy/Sammy Guevara got screwed up by the obvious injury to Hardy), three of them were great, while a couple of others were pretty solid for what I was expecting. One match was a severe disappointment, while the only truly bad match on the show was something that we were all expecting to be bad. A very up and down show from AEW, but I do believe there are some things worth checking out.
Case: MJF had the crimson mask of a new champion, he put forth a performance worthy of being a new champion, but in the end, his plan with Wardlow backfired and a Paradigm Shift behind the referee’s back cost MJF the match. The work was great here. This was possibly the best MJF performance I’ve ever seen which is comforting. He felt like the right guy for this big opportunity and given his potential and the way he’s pushed, this will not be the last time he’s in this spot. I feel much better about the future of MJF coming away from this match.
In a vacuum, this match was good. After four hours of wrestling, some of which was really bad, it felt like a long chapter in a book that wouldn’t end. I powered through my malaise though and watched this match intently, and by the end of it, I have no issue calling this a borderline-great match. Moxley retains, as he should’ve, in what was a strong way to close out a bizarre show.
Anyone saying this show was a complete failure is out to lunch. This was not a great show by any means. No show can be truly great with the dentist abomination that began the main portion of the show. However, the Young Bucks match, the battle royale, and the main event provided the entertainment that I’ve come to expect from AEW. Everything else, well, it certainly existed. All Out was a troubling, head-scratching show at times, but in the end, Jon Moxley left with his hand raised after an entertaining main event, making this entire process worthwhile. ***3/4