ALL OUT 2021

Watch: PPV / Bleacher Report (US) / FITE 


Kelly Harrass: This is a very big and very important show and Kelly is very excited. Listen to Kelly weekly on the Panels on Pages PoP!-Cast, biweekly on Jumping Bomb Audio, and follow Kelly on Twitter @comicgeekelly

Gerard Di Trolio: Well Gerard hasn’t reviewed an AEW show for the site since Fyter Fest 2019. He is looking forward to this show to wash the taste of two nights of Wrestle Grand Slam out of his mouth. Since he is reviewing a show that is going to get lots of page views, he is going to take the time to plug his coverage of All Japan Pro Wrestling on this very site which definitely gets a lot less views than AEW coverage. He is on Twitter at @GerardDiTrolio


Kelly: A good preshow match is exciting, doesn’t overstay its welcome, and most of all, sends the crowd into the main show happy. This did all three of those things and then some. What a fun match. They even managed to slightly advance the Best Friends and HFO feud by bringing back the Butcher and introducing scissors which I can only assume will lead to a hair match between Orange Cassidy and Matt Hardy. Excellent preshow match. ***¼ 

Gerard: You know this is gonna be a hot crowd because they even chanted Delete for Hardy at the beginning of this. The point of this match was to obviously warm up the crowd, they accomplished that. There were some cool double teams moves from TH2 and Private Party. I’m higher than most on Private Party and I thought they looked good here. This had a simple ten-man tag format where everyone got in their spots. Jungle Boy got the submission on Angelico for the victory. They didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but that wasn’t the point. After the match The Butcher finally returned after seven months and HFO laid out Orange Cassidy until Jurassic Express and a whole bunch of babyfaces from the locker room came out to make the save. ***   


Kelly: It’s always nice when you can easily identify the strategy of both guys in the match. Miro’s going after the back. Eddie’s going after the neck. It’s simple and to the point psychology and I love it. Miro and Eddie were always going to have a physical match, but they exceeded my expectations. Miro walked away from this match with a purple chest that really put over the heavy hands of Kingston. I wish this had a clean finish, but I can’t be too upset at the hypocrite heel cheating to win. Here’s hoping for an even more physical rematch in the future! ***¾ 

Gerard: The AEW merchandise team works fast because Kingston came out with a Redeem Deez Nuts shirt. Miro’s selling of Kingston’s chops to the throat was a nice touch to the story they have been telling about the neck of the Redeemer. I didn’t expect this match to be as back-and-forth as it was. I thought Miro would just brutalize Kingston with a few good hope spots thrown in. Kingston did some of the best work I can remember from him here. I didn’t love the low blow leading to the end, especially given Miro’s character thus far, but it sets up a rematch that many expect at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Still, this was a great opener with a molten hot crowd. ***½ 


Kelly: These first two matches really feel like a New Japan efed I would have booked and I’m not mad about it. This was just some good no nonsense professional wrestling. I was pleasantly surprised by how great of a reaction Kojima got from the AEW crowd. Normally I would expect that the crowd would be 100% behind Mox here, but there were quite a few fans cheering for the world’s strongest arm. Kojima came out of this looking good even in defeat, but, being totally honest, the match was eclipsed by the post match. Not only did Minoru Suzuki appear to have a staredown and brawl with Mox, but we got to hear Kaze Ni Nare. So far I’m not unconvinced that Tony Khan has raided my brain for ideas while I was sleeping. We’ll know for sure if Suzu Suzuki is the Joker in the battle royal. ***¾ 

Gerard: I seem to have been more pumped for this match than a lot of other people. I don’t think it was a “disappointment” because it wasn’t Tanahashi here but I know I’m in the minority on that one. Kojima got a good pop coming out which warmed my heart. Excalibur noting Kojima was the first wrestler to simultaneously hold the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the Triple Crown as well as other Kojima accomplishments was nice to hear. Kojima’s pecs also proved to be over with the crowd. There were even duling chants for both men which is something I did not expect. I was concerned they would not get a lot of time, but I was pleasantly surprised that they got a decent amount. Kojima using the Mongolian Chops but Moxley reversing it into the Paradigm Shift was a great finish. Do I think this could have gone another five or ten minutes? Hell yeah. But this was still a ton of fun and exceeded my expectations. 

With the Minoru Suzuki appearance and brawling after the match, this was just an incredible experience. Suzuki actually seemed to be thrilled to be in front of a crowd that could make noise. ***¾   


Kelly: Even though I never bought into Statlander as being the one to beat Britt, I still managed to get sucked into this one. The bit where Stat missed the pendulum moonsault and Britt crushed her with the curb stomp on the floor was a brilliant spot. That’s one thing that Britt is tremendous at. Most of her big matches have one really memorable moment or an incredibly striking visual. Britt is so great and Statlander really held up her end of the match as well. I also thought that Orange Cassidy did really well as Statlander’s second. I was glad to see that none of the seconds ended up contributing to the finish of the match. This show is on a roll. ***¾

Gerard: I’ve heard a few people say they aren’t very high on Statlander, which is puzzling to me. She is one of the most consistent women in AEW. This match had a good pace and had no meandering which some Baker matches tend to have. But to her credit, Baker has continued to improve and it showed here. The big flaw in this match, as Kelly said, was that Statlander winning was out of the question. I think Statlander should have also gotten a few more near falls on Baker. The crowd heat also really helped this match and I think this might have been the best women’s match in AEW since the Baker versus Thunder Rosa Lights Out match.***¾  


Kelly: Before I say anything else, Nick Jackson looks like an absolute maniac and it’s incredible. Damn, what a match this was. I love a cage match that doesn’t have the wrestlers fully concerned about running away from the match. This was brutal and violent with the insanity that comes from a Young Bucks and Lucha Bros match. These guys went all out (heh heh). I loved the return of the thumbtack shoe to you the violence level of the match. Fun fact for all you sneakerheads, I asked my buddy Tito and he said the Bucks were wearing Jordan 1 Mid’s in the black and orange peel color way. Unsurprisingly, following the thumbtack shoe attack, Penta was bleeding buckets. We even got an extremely rare sight of a bloody Nick Jackson. The match escalated very well, eventually culminating in a huge dive from Rey Fenix off the top of the cage. This was a match that both teams should be proud of. ****½ 

Gerard: What a fucking entrance for the Luch Bros. After seeing that, I was pretty sure they would win this. This match felt like a huge deal when the bell rang to begin. Gotta say I loved the callback to the legendary 6/9/95 Misawa & Kobashi versus Kawada & Taue match when Penta tried to protect Fenix from Matt Jackson’s thumbtack shoe. I thought the standing and wobbling around while everyone was Superkicking each other was a bit hokey, but that is a small complaint. This is a match where you just want to sit back and watch the insanity unfold and not care if all the transitions are perfect. This still had lots of outrageous spots and blood, and the ending was incredible with Fenix doing a Crossbody off the top of the cage. While I don’t think it was the greatest cage match ever, or even the greatest tag team cage match ever, it is still up there. ****½  


Kelly: I have to wonder if this casino battle royal format came from Tony Khan’s fig fed days. It seems exactly like the kind of idea a kid would come up with to make their show feel different. While this match started off feeling like a much needed cool down following the previous cage match, it eventually picked up and got pretty good. The final stand off between Thunder Rosa and Ruby Soho was awesome. The crowd was going absolutely nuts. My only major complaint about this match was whatever the hell happened with Riho’s elimination. Even Jamie Hayter broke character for a second to try to tell the referee’s that she wasn’t eliminated for rolling out of the ring. Putting that aside this was a solid enough battle royal with a great finish. *** 

Gerard: Congrats to Lulu Pencil on her North American PPV debut when she accompanied Emi Sakura to the ring for this Battle Royale. Abadon was eliminated early which was nice but I heard reports from people in the building who said she was very over which is just mind boggling. I was surprised how short a time Sakura and Hogan were in there. I thought this did a good job of establishing and continuing storylines like Diamante versus Big Swole. While there was some sloppiness throughout, I liked the match as a whole and dug the Ruby Soho versus Thunder Rosa ending sequence on the arpon. The enthusiasm from the crowd, especially for the entrances, certainly helped as well. ***½ 


Kelly: I think the biggest hurdle this match had to get over was that it had no drama due to the stipulation and to be honest, I don’t think they made that jump. No one believed that Jericho was going to retire so there was no drama. I thought MJF was fantastic here, breaking out offense we’ve never seen from him in AEW to try to put Jericho away. While I didn’t care much for the false finish, it certainly got the crowd reinvested in the match. Jericho didn’t do his best work here, making this a major step down from his recent 5 Labors work. It wasn’t even as good as their previous match. While Jericho doesn’t have to retire, maybe he should take some time off. *** 

Gerard: The Y2J countdown was an incredible troll from MJF for his entrance. Jericho’s entrance was not so great as the live guitar drowned out the crowd singing Judas, at least for those of us watching from home. I thought the match started hot but got a little slow in the middle. But MJF’s selling of his back brought me back in and he carried the rest of the match from there. He was working really hard to make something of this as Jericho was clearly gassed in this by the midpoint. I don’t like restarting the match gimmicks even though the crowd was hot for it. They clearly felt like they needed to do it because everyone correctly thought Jericho was winning here. My rating here is mostly for MJF’s performance. It’s way past time to be saying stuff like “Is MJF a good worker?” or “I don’t think MJF is a good worker.” While Jericho lives on to wrestle another day, I really think the amount of matches left for him that will provide big returns is diminishing fast. MJF on the other hand is only 25, and I think will become an all-timer. ***¼ 


Kelly: My greatest fear for the night was that I would watch this match and think it was bad. Well, thankfully, my fears were unfounded. What a great comeback for CM Punk. The match started off very slow, but whether it was the story of the match or Punk working his way back into things or if it was both, I thought it totally worked. Punk tried to wear down Darby with grappling, but eventually Darby figured him out (or Punk figured things out) and this turned into more of a Darby match. Darby came out of this match looking great even in loss, he survived Punk’s finisher and nearly put Punk away a couple times. All these years later, Punk looks great. Honestly, I’d say his strikes never looked better. The knee in the corner in particular looked worlds better than it did previously. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see a wrestler have a good match. Welcome back, Punk! **** 

Gerard: I will start off by saying that I don’t have the emotional connection to CM Punk that many others have. I wasn’t watching WWE during most of his run, especially by the time he became a main eventer. But I have enjoyed his return because of how much it has energized wrestling fans. While CM Punk in long tights is jarring, I have to say he has gotten himself into great shape. It was funny to hear some dueling chants where Punk’s were so much louder than Allin’s. It felt like an epic even before the bell rang. This had a slow but steady build that really fit a match of this type. I loved the use of the Code Red given Punk mentioned previously when on commentary that he would have to look out to avoid being pinned by it. The Go 2 Sleep with Allin falling out of the ring and then getting back in at nine felt contrived. But after that point, this really felt like a struggle and had an awesome finishing sequence. I am really late to this, but I am on the Punk train now. ****      


Kelly: No more BS wiped the floor with the Factory and this was exactly what it should have been. ** 

Gerard: Not surprisingly, the crowd seemed pretty dead for this during the entrances. Wight managed to get some noise out of the crowd for his chest slaps. He then beat up Comoroto and Solow then Chokeslammed Marshall who was coming off the top rope for the win. At least AEW knows how to book Wight to seem like a monster. Embarrassingly, despite my 22 years as a regular watcher of pro wrestling I thought the placement of this match meant there was an incoming angle like the return of Anthony Ogogo. When I realized this was going on second from the top, I should have known, this was simply just to cool down the crowd before the main event. This definitely did what it was meant to, which is something star ratings don’t always accurately reflect. **¼   

KENNY OMEGA © def. Christian Cage

Kelly: I’ll lead off my review with this; I don’t get the whole Christian thing. When I read reviews of his matches, I always feel like I watched something else. I don’t think Christian is a bad wrestler, but I also don’t see him as a main eventer. So if you really like Christian, maybe skip my review. I found this match to be very boring for the most part. Kenny did his best with what he had. The table spots were cool, but they felt out of place to me. The interference was 100% unneeded, especially when Omega could have used a strong, independent victory. If not for the post match, this shouldn’t have been the main. ***¼ 

And to think, for all the time we all spent thinking about whether Adam Cole or Bryan Danielson would debut tonight, Tony Khan just said “why not both?” What an incredible moment. This is one of those nights that we might look back on as a major turning point in the history of American wrestling a couple years down the road. AEW certainly went ALL OUT tonight and gave us a great show. 

Gerard: Despite Omega being a heel, the chants for him were louder than Christian’s. I thought this was very good from the beginning, but the crowd was clearly tired at this point. Even when they did pop for some big spots it felt like only 70% of the intensity it would have been if it was earlier on the show. Things did pick up a little bit after Christian’s Spear through a table off of the apron. Things were looking up until the interference attempts began though they were not egregious. The One-Winged Angel off the top rope looked cool but I would have gone higher if there was a hotter ending sequence to build up to it. I dare say their match on Rampage was better than this. ***¾  

The post match was absolutely one of the greatest moments in wrestling. We got just an incredible swerve where everyone thought Adam Cole would be the big surprise of the show but we were then treated to the debut of Bryan Danielson that was expected. 

While I don’t think this was an all-time show from an in-ring standpoint, this was definitely AEW’s best top-to-bottom PPV since the very first Double or Nothing. This show made you feel more excited to turn into next week’s Dynamite. There is absolutely zero question, this is the hottest promotion in the world right now, and nothing else has felt like this in wrestling in a while.