All Elite Wrestling
All Out 2022
September 4, 2022
NOW Arena
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Watch: PPV, Bleacher Report, FITE

Zero Hour
AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship: Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo © def. Ortiz & Ruby Soho

The abrupt ending to Sammy’s feud with Eddie Kingston led to him shoehorned opening this show. This is the third match against Ortiz and Soho. The Kingston relationship disappeared. Now every participant in this match is spinning their wheels with no direction. The match started hot. Ortiz and Soho, wearing Aja Kong and Bull Nakano tribute warpaint, attacked Sammy and Tay in the back. They spilled to the ring. I was busy ordering pizza during this match so I didn’t pay that much attention, but it didn’t seem like I missed much. N/R

Zero Hour
Hook def. Angelo Parker (w/ Matt Menard)

Action Bronson was at ringside to give Hook an extra boost. Hook sold a little for Parker. It didn’t last long. Hook counted a Parker suplex, hit the RedRum, and got the submission. Like most Hook matches, this was a glorified squash. **

After the match, Matt Maynard attacked Hook. Action Bronson made the save. The JAS retreated, leaving Hook and Bronson to celebrate in the ring. 

Zero Hour
AEW All-Atlantic Championship
PAC © def. Kip Sabian

Kip Sabian is a wrestler that did nothing for me during his initial AEW run. I’m willing to give him a chance now. His new ring gear robe looked dorky. He went into the heel schtick, stalling and taunting the crowd. PAC hit the Black Arrow and won. Kip looked serviceable but didn’t feel different from his last run. A pretty boring match and not one of PAC’s best. **1/2

Tony interviewed PAC on the ramp. Orange Cassidy came out. PAC said Orange needed to get to the back of the line. Kip then yelled at his cardboard box in the ring.

Zero Hour
Eddie Kingston def. Tomohiro Ishii

Eddie has had a weird summer. He lost the Jericho feud. He began a feud with Sammy Guevarra to build a match on this show. That ended in real-life suspensions and no match. Last week, he had a short and disappointing match against Naomichi Marufuji. It’s been a disappointing stretch for one of my favorite wrestlers in AEW. In June I thought he was building a Wrestler of the Year case. Now, he feels aimless. Still, a rematch against Tomohiro Ishii is an appetizing one.

Within a minute, a chop battle ensued. Both chests were beet red. After what felt like minutes, Kingston took down Ishii with a monstrous double chop. Ishii’s chest had a full handprint of red welts. The chops turned into the theme of the match. Kingston returned to using them. Kingston used Ishii’s own flying forearm. There was a lot of tit-for-tat move exchanges. They both stood toe-to-toe slapping the other in the face. Kingston hit an exploder, Ishii immediately popped up for a German Suplex. Eddie hit his own throw. After an Ishii clothesline ended the sequence, both men lay on the mat. This match played into both strengths. They both are good at the quick hard hitting sprint, and they didn’t delve from that formula. Eddie hit the greatest spinning backfist he’s ever hit for a very believable nearfall. Finally, Kingston hit a Northern Lights Bomb for the win. 

This was a level above most preshow matches. Ishii is adaptable and can have good matches with anyone and can bend his style. His sweet spot is good sprints. Kingston also is very good in that style of match. This was a perfect storm of the perfect place on the card with two complimentary styles. This match is the jumpstart that Kingston needs. ****1/4

Casino Ladder Match
The Joker def. Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero Miedo, RUSH, Andrade El Idolo, & Dante Martin

I had a different review of this match written out, but most of this match didn’t matter in the end. It was a typical multi-man ladder match. After every announced competitor entered the match, masked men attacked everyone. One of them ascended the ladder and grabbed the chip. He revealed himself to be Stokely Hathaway. The other masked men were the people he’s recruited: Austin and Colten Gunn, Ethan Page, Lee Moriarty, and W. Morrissey. The Joker countdown hit zero. Symphony for the Devil played over. Another man with a mask came out of the heel tunnel, did a spin in the ring and took the chip. He made sure to make some familiar arm mannerisms. They teased the reveal of the man, but he shook his finger no and left.

I don’t know what to think of this. It landed weird in the arena. People expect certain tropes and checkmarks in these matches. This match began doing exactly that. Then it erased everything for a jarring angle with no immediate payoff. It is intriguing, but in the moment it feels flat. N/R

AEW World Trios Championship
The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) (w/ Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa) def. Hangman Adam Page & The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)

This was the obvious match after AEW announced the brackets for this 6-man tournament. Many argued that the Elite vs. United Empire match should have been the PPV match. Instead, AEW chose the natural storyline – the Elite facing former teammate Adam Page.

Kenny started the match with no bandages or compression shirt. He was all the way back. After some quick exchanges, Kenny and Page tagged into the match. A staredown ensued. The crowd going ballistic. Silver then blind tagged himself in, delaying the eventual showdown. The Elite then took control. Silver tagged back in. He caught fire, taking out everyone at ringside before Nick Jackson cut him off with his apron kick. The Dark Order kept finding ways to stand up to the Elite. Every time the Elite took control, the underdogs came back and almost won themselves. The Elite set up their buckle bomb triple team in the corner, but the Dark Order member moved out of the way. Hangman hit his huge moonsault to the outside. The Dark Order then hit a Pendulum Bomb. The crowd really believed that the Dark Order could pull the upset off. The pin was broken up by Nick Jackson diving onto the pile.

Omega and Page met again in the middle, but neither were the legal man. They each dragged their respective partner to the corner, tagging themselves back in. The crowd immediately rose to their feet for the ensuing faceoff. Nearfalls ensued. Each man felt like they may put the other away.  Hangman hit the Buckshot lariat to Kenny’s neck. He went for another but was distracted by Matt Jackson on the outside. By the time Page went for another, Kenny ducked out of his way. Nick hit his own flew from the other side of the ring and hit his own Buckshot. Reynolds made the save, still not allowing the Dark Order to die. Silver almost stole a win with a rollup on Kenny. Finally, Kenny went for the One Winged Angel. Silver rolled through, Omega barely kicking out. Page positioned himself on the outside. Silver held Kenny for the Buckshot, but Omega ducked. Silver took the lariat, and Kenny pinned him for the win.

This match delivered a fitting end to a tournament that has been awesome. It paid off many stories. Omega returned and is at full strength. Page didn’t want to wrestle for the Dark Order team, did it anyway and cost the team victory. This was the natural culmination of the Dark Order story. It may kickstart the next chapter. More likely, I think it will start the demise of the faction and refresh the people involved in it. The Elite also feel refreshed. ****1/2

AEW TBS Championship
Jade Cargill © (w/ Keira Hogan & Leila Grey) def. Athena

Stokely is absent from Jade’s act. It is safe to say that, after earlier, he won’t be involved with Jade anymore. Jade came out dressed as She-Hulk, breaking through walls wearing green body paint. Athena hit an O-Face very early. The Baddies missed their cue to break up the count, forcing Jade to awkwardly kick out. Athena took out the Baddies outside. Throughout the match, everything felt off. Most of Athena’s offense was sloppy, a second too late or 6 inches off. Jade hit a jumping kick off an Athena crossbody, hit Jaded and won.

This match was sloppy with not much heat, disappointing for a match built for months. Jade feels stagnant right now. I don’t think it is time for her to lose, but she needs something. Her first long term feud should have been that boost. Unfortunately, the Athena feud dragged and never grabbed crowd investment. This didn’t feel like the culmination of a feud that started in May. *1/2

Punk was interviewed with Ace Steel, his attorney from New Mexico. I’m not sure who this Ace Steel guy was – no video package for him.

Wardlow & FTR def. Jay Lethal & Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) (w/ Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh)

FTR were accompanied to the ring by Dax’s daughter, wearing a shirt that said “Fight Like an 8-Year-Old- Girl.” Sonjay wore a shirt that said “Fight Like an 8-Year-Old Brat.” Wardlow and Lethal started, but Sabin and Dax came in. The match was built around the Machine Guns and FTR interactions. Finally, the heels started to work over Cash’s leg, destroying it in the corner. Then, they all started working over Wardlow. Wardlow came back and delivered a Powerbomb Symphony to Lethal. He pinned Lethal after four powerbombs.

This match was decent but never hit second gear. I love that the Machine Guns are in AEW, but their inclusion in this feud felt forced. My hope is that the Guns stick around, ditch Lethal, reset and then have a major match against FTR. ***

After the match, the heels were about to take out FTR. Samoa Joe made the save and cornered Sonjay. Dax’s daughter ran out, broke Sonjay’s pencil, and pinned him in the ring. FTR, Joe and Wardlow celebrate. Somehow, through all of this, Joe started bleeding.

Powerhouse Hobbs def. Ricky Starks

One of the positives of this show is that many home-grown AEW wrestlers were finally given big PPV spots. In a different era of AEW, this would just be a Rampage main event. Now, it is a major match on All Out. Starks’ gear looked like AJ Styles, complete with long tights and gloves. Hobbes took control early, even mocking Starks’ pose. After only a few minutes, Hobbes hit the spinebuster for the win.

A weirdly short match that didn’t have that much heat compared to the build. The crowd was expecting a longer match and sat back waiting for it to heat up. Then, it ended. There will be more to this story, but today, it was disappointing. Starks has been so close to being given the ball. It finally felt like he had it. But now, it’s hard to tell if the company feels the same way. Hopefully this is the start of the story, not the finish. **

AEW World Tag Team Championship
Swerve in Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland) © def. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) (w/ Billy Gunn)

Swerve in Our Glory came out in wild berry Pop Tart colored gear. The Acclaimed have been a real home grown AEW success story. They’ve gotten over naturally and feel like one of the most popular acts on the show. The crowd was chanting “Oh Scissor Me Daddy” to the tune of Seven Nation Army. The first part of the match was pedestrian. Then, Bowens got the hot tag from Caster. He tried to jump off the second rope, but completely slipped and favored his knee. The match kicked into another gear from here. Strickland savagely attacked the knee. He did a diving kick to the knee when Bowens was on the outside. He ripped Bowen’s knee brace off. Swerve in Our Glory gave a double team kneebreaker. Bowens fired up and hit a flipping neckbreaker, finally tagging Caster. Lee was going for the pounce on Caster, but Caster ducked. Lee hit Strickland instead. The crowd was incredibly behind the Acclaimed at this point. Every time Anthony Bowens ducked, they cheered. Any time Swerve in Our Glory misstepped, they cheered. Every time Max Caster saved his injured companion, they cheered even more. Max Caster threw the giant Lee from his shoulders, and the crowd thought that was it. Lee tried to throw Bowens to Strickland for a kick, but Bowens fell onto that injured knee. Strickland kicked Lee in the head instead. The Acclaimed took advantage, but Lee kicked out of a rollup. Sadly, it ended shortly after. Lee and Strickland hit a Spirit Bomb/Swerve Stomp combo and won.

This was the match of the Acclaimed’s career. They moved up another level tonight. They are no longer a novelty comedy tag team with a good rap gimmick. They are a real deal tag team that the crowd is heavily invested in. They lost the match, but they are now an elite team. I thought that an Acclaimed tag team title win would be nothing more than a novelty. Now, it feels inevitable, and soon. ****1/2

Lee and Billy Gunn scissored after the match.

Interim AEW Women’s World Championship
Toni Storm def. Hikaru Shida, Dr. Britt Baker DMD (w/ Rebel), & Jamie Hayter

Immediately this was worked at a fast pace. All four women in the ring were going after each other. Jamie superplexed two women at the same time. Shida hit a nasty superkick off the ringsteps on the outside. Shida and Storm finally broke off one-on-one. Rebel tried to interfere, but both headbutted her. Britt and Hayter took out both. They dragged Shida to the top of the ramp and destroyed her. Medical personnel took Shida to the back. Baker and Hayter turned their attention to Storm. Shida returned, two kendo sticks in hand, and attacked Baker and Hayter. Here, the match turned to Baker and Hayter vs. Storm and Shida. Jamie almost got the pin, but Britt pulled the ref out. Then, Britt tried to pin Hayter herself. Storm came in and DDT’d Britt, nailed another DDT on Hayter and picked up the victory.

This match was a solid reset of the women’s division. It was a fairly standard affair with new directions. Storm feels like a fresh champ, Shida feels more relevant than she has in ages, and seeds were planted for a Britt and Hayter split. ***1/4

Christian Cage (w/ Luchasaurus) def. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry

More TV time was invested into this match than most on the show. It built for an entire year. It felt like it was going to be a long, epic style dramatic brawl. The stage was set when Christian was slapped by Jungle Boy’s mom during his entrance. Then, the entire match swerved. During Jungle Boy’s entrance, Luchasaurus emerged from the heel tunnel and chokeslammed Jungle Boy onto the ramp. He powerbombed Jungle Boy through the table. Jungle Boy finally got into the ring, stood up and told the ref to ring the bell. Christian speared him immediately. Jungle Boy overcame and kicked out. Christian hit the Killswitch for the win. Christian climbs atop the dinosaur’s shoulders and vanquished his former protégé.

That was it. No real match, but the story progressed majorly. The last thing I expected was an angle and squash. The Luchasaurus turn was teased and built for months, but the clues and signs were ignored or interpreted as an eventual return to the face side. N/R

Chris Jericho def. Bryan Danielson

Danielson and Jericho have only wrestled each other once in a singles match, on the debut episode of NXT. Christian came out with the Lionheart gear. Danielson came out to a guy singing his theme with no shirt on looking like Machine Gun Kelly without tattoos. Immediately this felt like a big match. The two traded matwork to start. Jericho began to show a nasty side, slapping Bryan. Bryan went into his zen-mode yoga pose while Jericho still slapped him. Danielson went for a top rope hurricanrana. Jericho caught it and lowered Danielson into the Walls of Jericho. Jericho made a point to be able to hang on the mat and wrestle to Danielson’s level. Danielson’s ability to invent and reinvent little submissions and transitions to fill a match impresses me. It feels fresh and unique. As the match went on, the struggle between the two felt real. They got a little sloppier and both seemed exhausted, but this only enhanced the match. Danielson whipped out the Cattle Mutilation and even did the “I Have Til 5.” The finish came Jericho low blowed Danielson while the ref was in the corner, hit a Judas Effect and got the win. The trend of Jericho wrestling clean but winning cheaply continues.

Jericho continues to pick up wins almost every match. It is feeling tired at this point. That said, I did like the match. It felt like it could have kicked into another gear, and the crowd wasn’t as into it as I expected. Still, I appreciated Danielson’s work. While parts were sloppy, I thought Jericho did an admirable job of keeping up. I’m just not sure what is next for Jericho now, while Bryan has felt like a little bit of an afterthought since his return. ***3/4

Darby Allin, Sting, and Miro def. House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, & Buddy Matthews) (w/ Julia Hart)

Early on, Miro would not tag his teammates in. He wanted to take out the House of Black himself. He even waved off Sting. Buddy Matthews shot Miro into the ropes, allowing Darby to tag in. After Brody took control over Darby, Miro desperately tried to get back in. Miro got the tag, but the ref didn’t see it and wouldn’t let him in. Darby tagged in Sting, who called in Black. The crowd was very into this confrontation, seeing it as a major deal. The two had a hockey brawl. Black took quick control, but Sting applied a Scorpian Deathlock. Black’s eye started bleeding while in the Deathlock, a cool visual. Brody went after Sting, who hit a Scorpion Death Drop, and then Darby hit a Coffin Drop. Buddy broke up the pin. After more action, Black went for the Black Mass, but Sting misted Black’s face. Darby rolled up Black with the Last Supper for the win.

This was a filler match with six guys who need direction. The Sting and Black interaction felt big, but the rest was pedestrian. Buddy Matthews looked good in the match and deserves to be showcased more going forward. ***

After the match, the live crowd reported that Black hugged his House of Black teammates and appeared to say goodbye to AEW. This did not air on the broadcast.

AEW World Championship
CM Punk def. Jon Moxley ©

There was a lot of discussion about the build to this match, but once they were both in the ring, the match felt hot. They stared each other down for a while. Mox flipped off Punk with both hands. Punk came out fast. The crowd was split to start, sometimes loud in favor of Mox, sometimes in favor of Punk. Punk hit a GTS almost immediately, harkening back to Moxley quickly beating Punk on Dynamite. The crowd was now molten for Punk. Punk worked with a chip on his shoulder. Dueling chants boomed through the arena. Mox opened Punk’s head on the ringpost. Blood poured immediately. Like a shark, Mox immediately went after the cut. He shifted into a completely new, vicious gear. Punk bled a gusher while Moxley licked his blood. Blood was on camera lenses. Moxley was covered in it.

Moxley focused on Punk’s bad foot. Moxley hit a piledriver on Punk and continued to wear away. Everything felt a little more vicious than normal. This wasn’t the normal Jon Moxley. There was an edge. Every time Punk came back, Moxley cut him off and dashed that sliver of hope. The crowd was all in for the local hero. Punk came back, Moxley bit Punk’s bloody forehead and stomping Punk’s face again. Punk went for the elbow off the top, but Mox caught him right into a rear naked choke. Every time, Punk’s support grew. Punk came back again. Moxley absolutely murdered him with a brutal lariat. Even Stan Hansen winced. A staggered Punk picked Moxley up for a GTS. Moxley caught Punk’s leg and decimated it with a kick. Moxley hit the Death Rider but Punk kicked out. He wouldn’t give up easily this time. CM Punk chants reverberated through the arena. Punk tried for GTS opportunities. He finally hit one. Moxley ricocheted off the ropes and landed right on Punk’s back again. After a moment of getting his wits, Punk squatted Moxley up for another GTS and hit it.  Moxley never got up from the second.

I loved this match. The whole story was built around Punk getting destroyed but not giving up early like he did on Dynamite. It was held together by an incredible Jon Moxley performance. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him better than tonight. He was vicious every step of the way and made sure that the crowd was against him and behind Punk. Just masterful. I’m sad that Moxley’s second title reign has come to an end. His first was marred with Covid. His second was thrown at him with a weird interim title. He took the ball and ran with it. Moxley made the interim title work and felt like the right man to beat Punk. But he laid the groundwork for Punk to regain the faith of fans. Punk has felt like he’s in a weird place with crowds recently. The Chicago crowd was weirdly against him on Dynamite last week. His promo on the show turned them around. Tonight, he solidified that they will be behind him forever. ****1/2

After the match, the lights went out. A voicemail from Tony Khan played to an unknown answering machine. Khan said the extended absence was unacceptable. His final offer was adding the person to the Casino ladder match without a contract extension. A clip from the CM Punk “I am the Devil himself” ROH promo played. The masked man from earlier popped on the screen, turned around, removed his mask and put on a Burberry scarf. The lights came back on. MJF’s music played. He came out and motioned he wanted the belt. He flipped off the crowd while the announcers said that the devil was right there.

Final Thoughts

All Out 2022 had massive expectations to live up to. Last year’s edition was the greatest in company history. This year was more of a mixed bag. I was excited to see young talent given the ball. Unfortunately, the Acclaimed were the only homegrown team that had a real opportunity to shine. Ricky Starks and Jungle Boy both lost in quick angle-driven matches that will play out later. Other matches, such as Jericho vs. Danielson, were good but didn’t quite deliver on their promise. Conversely, other matches delivered or over-delivered, culminating in a unique and memorable main event. MJF has returned and will be positioned as the top heel in the company. It will be interesting to see if the crowd accepts that. Overall, a good show.