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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: AEW All In 2023

AEW finally embarked to the UK and decided to do it in style by going to Wembley Stadium. Not only did AEW appear at Wembley, but so did I! I spent some good money to be down on the pitch right next to the entrance ramp. If you see a man holding a Brodie Lee & Bray Wyatt sign, that's me. This going to be a very biased review, because wrestling shows are A LOT more fun live, but I've rewatched the show on camera for a different perspectives. This was one of the best nights of my life, so that should give you a brief on how I rate the show. Let's talk about the biggest wrestling show in history. Let's Review.


27th August 2023- AEW All In


-Everyone had a go on commentary. Nigel McGuinness was active throughout the entire main show. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz & Jim Ross all took turns on the pre-show and the main show.


Zero-Hour


-We were told that the action started at 5pm, so I totally missed the contract signing between Powerhouse Hobbs & Miro. That's a real shame because I would have loved to have seen Miro live. Your usual segment of the Heel being a dick, before the face comes out and runs him off. A fine segment.


-Jeff Jarrett is out with his usual entourage and his wife. He cuts a promo belittling the United Kingdom and putting over the United States. Paul Wight comes out with Anthony Ogogo and the one and only Grado!!! A legend of the UK wrestling scene appearing at Wembley. What a moment for him. Wight hits Sat Satnam Singh with a KO punch, Ogogo wipes out Sonjay Dutt, Grado wipes out Jarrett with a guitar. Good fun.


Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) (c) vs Better Than You Bay Bay (Adam Cole & MJF) for the ROH Tag Team Championships

The friendship story between Cole & MJF is the best thing in AEW right now, and probably the best current storyline in wrestling now that the Bloodline storyline is in a cooling phase. Austin Open won the titles in a great 4-way match at Death before Dishonor the previous month. The Aussie's are usually cheered but they're heels to the super over challengers. A good tag match, the champs dominated early by isolating the AEW champion. MJF gets a hot tag to Cole who clears house. They tease an MJF suicide dive again but the Aussies attack before it can happen. MJF managed to hit them both with his newly learned Kangaroo kick, BTYBB followed up with their double clothesline finisher for the win! After the match, Cole & MJF have a showdown and the latter holds up his AEW World title. They leave separately.


This is exactly what a pre-show match should be, good action that also brings intrigue to the main show. Aussie Open looked good in this match. Their title reign was short but they have plenty of time for more success. I wouldn't be surprised if they take the titles back from Cole & MJF in the near future.


Better Than You Bay Bay win the titles via pinfall (6:58)


-Mercedes Mone is shown in the crowd! Very interesting. Is she just here to witness history? Or is she here because we'll see her in AEW sometime soon? I feel like it's only a matter of time before we do see her in Tony Khan's Carnival.


Jack Perry (c) vs Hook for the FTW Championship, FTW Rules

Jack Perry turned heel on Hook, dropping his Jungle Boy character and being a serious badass. He beat Hook for the title last month on AEW's Blood & Guts Dynamite special. FTW Rules = Falls Count Anywhere. Perry enters in JBL style, coming out in a black limo. Hook meets him on the ramp and they fight. Perry plants Hook with a brutal looking brainbuster on the top of the limo. Hook does one better, dropping Perry with a cradle suplex through the front wind screen. Ouch. The fight heads back towards the ring, where Perry regains control. Perry continues to mimic RVD's offence throughout this match and gloating the fans. Too much gloating though, Hook is able to turn the tide. Hook finishes him off with a trashcan shot to the head and applying Redrum for a submission win. Another new champion crowned.


This was really entertaining that again built intrigue for the show. They did a little bit of hardcore action, a little teaser ahead of the anticipated Stadium Stampede match. I assume this could bd the end of this feud, I hope Perry continues his path of trying to put himself over ECW.


Hook wins the title via submission (8:23)


Main Card


CM Punk (c) vs Samoa Joe for the "Real" AEW World Championship

When CM Punk returned from injury, he started carrying around a bag which was revealed to contain the AEW title. He spray painted an X on it and calls himself the "Real" World Champion. It's not a title officially acknowledged by AEW but it is being defended by Punk as if it is. Samoa Joe is the current ROH Television Championship. The crowd response was VERY mixed for Punk. 50/50 boos to cheers. I was cheering. I've been a fan of Punk ever since ECW was a lacklustre third brand in WWE. I want to take this time to address the woman sat near me. I'm not a piece of shit because I like Punk. People have opinions and they often differ. I think that your voice was annoying and your hat was lame, but that's just my opinion, it doesn't mean I'm right.


A competitive back and forth to start, things started going Joe's way when he swung Punk into the announce table and busted him open. After a beatdown, Punk finally got back into the match and channelled his inner Super-Cena with 3 of the 5 moves of doom. He holds up the end, does the Hulk Hogan ear taunt and drops a leg. Joe kicks out at one! He's hulking up! He's Joeing up! They continued to go back and forth, Punk narrowly escaping his STF by transitioning into a pin. We see a spinning toe hold, an homage to the late Terry Funk. Samoa Joe sets up a Muscle Buster, but Punk reverses into the Pepsi Plunge to win.


Very good match to start the main card. These two always had good chemistry and it's still there. CM Punk matches are so unique now, because he can be both the face and the heel depending on where he is and who you are. There's an argument that this was face vs heel, heel vs face, face vs face or heel vs heel.


CM Punk retains via pinfall (13:58)

3.5/5


Bullet Club Gold (Juice Robinson & Jay White) & Konosuke Takeshita w/The Gunns vs Golden Elite (Adam Page, Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)

Battle of the gold factions. The feud originates with Callis betraying Omega, as well as Takeshita betraying the Elite. This feud is also over who are the REAL elite to stem from Bullet Club. I'm absolutely hyped to see all of these men live, especially Kota who was my favourite wrestler for New Japan during his time there. We see a nice ex-NJPW showdown between Kota & White. We get an awesome exchange between Kota & Takeshita. There isn't really much to say about this match. They all worked pretty hard and the match was good. They didn't take it to the level that they could have done, I have to admit I was slightly disappointed but it wasn't bad or anything. The card can't be full of top to bottom bangers otherwise we would die of tiredness. This was good and it got everyone on the card. The Gunns kept interfering, preventing the Elite gaining momentum. Page finally got a hot tag and ran wild. It seemed like the Golden Elite were going to win, but Takeshita got a roll up on Kenny for a flash pin. A good match, I imagine we will see some form of rematch between some or all of these members at All Out next week.


Bullet Club Gold & Takesita win via pinfall (20:28)

3/5


FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) for the AEW Tag Team Championships

A lot of AEW's biggest stars in the opening 3 matches. Each team as a victory of the over in amazing tag matches, so this is a third with high expectations. The crowd were hot for the Bucks but later for crowd reactions they also got mixed cheers & boos. I'll put this out there now too. I wasn't a fan of the chants about Cash Wheeler's legal situation. It's an actual criminal charge that is effecting real people, one of them is right in front of us putting his wellbeing at risk for our entertainment. It's distasteful I think. FTR are one of my favourite teams. I like and appreciate the Bucks as performers, I just don't buy them as babyfaces.


This match is a tale with two acts. The first third of the match was real slow. Although the action was good, I was honestly a bit bored. Even the crowd were quiet. It really felt like going through the motions. The last two thirds though OOF absolutely fucking excellent. The slow start was worth what we got after. Great wrestling and great psychology with many callbacks to their previous encounters. Plenty of legit nearfalls. They stole each other's moves which I always love in wrestling. The Bucks kicked out of the assisted piledriver and the shatter machine. FTR kicked out of the BTE trigger TWICE. A meltzer driver is reversed into a shatter machine for the retention.


An absolute classic, I absolutely loved this match once it got into it. If the first 10 minutes was a bit better it would have earned 5 stars from me. I'm glad FTR retained, that means we'll still be seeing Cash around for a little while.


FTR retain via pinfall (21:46)

4.75/5


Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Santana & Ortiz) vs Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent Baretta & Chuck Taylor), Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero M, Stadium Stampede

Santana & Ortiz just recently returned, aligning as thr secret members of BCC. Its great to see them back, I hope they win their greatly deserved tag titles soon. Eddie has long term beef Claudio, the Best Friends only recently feuding with the BCC over their attacks on Orange. There is SO MUCH happening in this match. It was difficult to watch live I must admit, but I'm sure other audience members would have had a blast seeing it up close. I've rewatched it. I'm just going to run through the most iconic parts of the match.


Eddie & Claudio fought up the ramp, backstage into the second tier of seats. Santana & Ortiz renewed their rivalry and beat the life out of each other. Penta stabbed Moxley in the head with skewers. Moxley stabbed Orange in the head with a fork, followed by an ugly brainbuster on the chair. Yuta & Chuck Taylor fought in the car park. Yuta & Penta joined Eddie & Claudio in the crowd. Trent took an ugly ladder bump. A Barbed Wire board was used, a Barbed Wire Kendo was used. Ortiz stabbed Orange up some more. Sue appeared in her minivan with cookie sheets for her boys. Penta (taken out earlier) remerges as Oscuro and hits a Destroyer off a ladder through two tables to Ortiz (the ladder broke and they saved the spot so well). Orange taped his fists and coated it in glass shards. Kingston returns with a Barbed Wire chair for Claudio. Moxley again resists fighting Kingston, but Eddie spears him through the Barbed Wire Boards. Orange nails a glassy orange punch on Claudio to win.


Yeah, fucking insanity this was and I LOVED IT. An absolute bloodbath that was uncomfortable to watch at times, but enjoyable in a Saw movie type way. I'm glad the good guys got the win, a big win for them. Penta challenged Orange at the press conference, I think a Best Friends vs Death Triangle is incoming.


Team Best Friends win via pinfall (21:22)

4/5


Hikaru Shida (c) vs Toni Storm vs Saraya vs Dr Britt Baker for the AEW Women's Championship

Tough spot for the women, after two back to back bangers the crowd are tired. I was knackered. Saraya comes out with her family and to "We Will Rock You" by Queen. A heroes welcome. She's lost a beat in the ring but I was and will remain a huge fan of hers. Toni is ouf to the British national Anthem even though she's Australian. The two outcast members hug.


Toni & Saraya initially unite to dominate the match, but they both try to pin Britt and start to disagree. The alliance continues until Toni accidentally wacks one of her family members. They begin to fight in the ring. Toni goes to target Saraya's neck with the exposed turnbuckle, bringing out Ruby Soho! Toni slaps her and she leaves, bye Ruby! Saraya has Toni in her signature submission, Britt stomps her in a brutal looking spot. Britt has Shida in a submission, she doesn't see Saraya nail Toni with the cradle DDT and Saraya wins! A really nice, heartfelt moment for Saraya who finally gets to be back on top after being forced out by injury.


A good match, Britt & Shida worked the best in the match but the story was all about Saraya & Storm. I don't think Saraya should hold it for very long. A good moment for her but I think once Hatter is healthy she should immediately win it back.


Saraya wins the title via pinfall (8:43)

3/5


Darby Allin & Sting vs Swerve Strickland & Christian Cage, Coffin match

Flash Garments & DJ Whoo Kid perform for Swerve's entrance. It was hype as fuck. Personally a cool as moment to see Christian in the flesh. A vignette plays for Allin & Sting, Sting being like Jack the Ripper. THEN, HE REVEALS HIS JOKER FACEPAINT! JOKER STING IN AEW! If you haven't seen Joker Sting, search for it on YouTube, a great gimmick in the TNA days.


Christian & Sting have a TNA stand-off.

It's your standard AEW Sting match. Early offence for the faces, heels takeover and target Allin mainly, babyfaces fight back. Allim does a suicide dive whilst handcuffed which was pretty cool. Sting has a cricket bat instead of a baseball which is funny. Us Brits love cricket. Sting drops Strickland through a table. Allin does a cool coffin drop to a seated Christian. Luchasaurus comes out to aid his new master, which brings out Nick Wayne to help his friend. Luchasaurus murders him, then carries him to the back as if he just retrieved tonight's dinner. Strickland moves out of the way of a coffin drop, Allin lands directly on the coffin, an ugly bump. Christian & Strickland focus on putting Sting away but they can't close the coffin because Sting's bat blocks it. Sting dodges Swerve who splashes onto the coffin in another ugly coffin bump. An even uglier Scorpion Death Drop on the coffin, because the lid is all bashed and pointy. Swerve refuses to stay in the coffin, so Allin hits his finisher whilst Strickland is sandwich in there. They close him in for the win.


This was a lot of fun. I'm glad I was able to say I've seen Sting live even if it's when he's old. He was awesome considering his age and limitations. A predictable outcome but a good match.


Sting & Allin win (15:50)

3.5/5


Chris Jericho w/Sammy Guevara vs Will Ospreay w/Don Callis

I was excited to see Sting live because he is a living legend. I was excited to see Ospreay live because he is the best wrestler on the planet right now. Don offered Jericho a place in his family, but it was a trick and Don wants Ospreay to destroy him. Because of Callis' offer, the Jericho Appreciation Society disbanded as they all refused to be associated with Callis. Chris Jericho has his band Fozzy with him, he does the "AYY-OH!" thing that Freddie Mercury made famous. A lot of Queen references tonight. We have other bands you know. A live Fozzy performance as Jericho heads to the ring 81K People singing Judas was quite magnificent. Ospreay gets one of the loudest crowd reactions tonight. He deserves it.


A lot of people bashed this match when it was announced, Jericho absolutely proved his critics wrong here. This was a competitive back and forth, Jericho was able to maintain control using his experience, Ospreay was able to take control due to his superior speed & agility. Ospreay did his homework, reversing a lionsault with his knees. Both men exchanged big moves, codebreaker & an Ozcutter. Jericho reversed a stormbreaker into a hurricanrana which looked INSANE. Props to Jericho. Ospreay kept reversing the Judas effect into his own moves which showed he studied. A low blow and a Judas Effect for a great nearfall. Ospreay hits a stormbreaker for a nearfall, but he follows with a hidden blade and a second SB for the huge win.


This match was awesome. We got limited from Sammy & Callis, enough for them to be relevant but not enough to taint Ospreay's clean win. Ospreays biggest career match and this put him over in a big way. This exceeded my expectations and they were high. Post-match, Sammy tries to console a disappointed Jericho. Chris shoves him and walks away. We'll see where that goes.


Will Ospreay wins via pinfall (14:56)

4.5/5


-Nigel McGuinness announces an attendance of 81,035, officially breaking the record for the largest paid audience for a single wrestling event in history, surpassing Wrestlemania 32 (Wrestlemania 3 was massively inflated). Collision in Korea were larger crowds, but I'll go out in a limb and suggest they might not have had a choice.


House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews) (c) vs The Acclaimed (Max Caster, Anthony Bowens & Billy Gunn for the AEW Trios Championships, House Rules

Billy left his boots in the ring on collision, seemingly retiring. However, attacks by the House on the Acclaimed brought him back to fight alongside his new sons once again. A lantern is carried to the ring by the house, a touching tribute to Bray Wyatt. We miss you Bray. Rest peacefully. The Acclaimed come out, Max Caster raps about Prince Andrew, Megan Markle & he calls the House "Hermione, Harry & Ron Weasley". Hilarious stuff as usual from the world's biggest scissor enthusiasts. The house rule chosen is No Holds Barred.


This was a fun fight, Billy looked impressive as always. They hit a Scissor me Timbers to Julia Hart for a crowd pop. The House work so well as a unit, but also so we'll individually. Buddy has crazy athleticism, Black has crazy strikes & Brody is a humanoid ham hock. The Acclaimed won't be denied though, they show resilience and keep fighting back. Brody accidentally wipes out Black, Buddy is hit by 3 Famousers for a certain win buf Hart pulls referee Aubrey out. Brody eats a ton of offence and is still able to kick out at one! He is eventually put down by a big splash and we have new champions! In a show of respect, the House hand over the belts personally.


A good match to carry the energy from the awesome Ospreay vs Jericho match to our main event. Everyone had their moments, Brody especially looked like a tank. A nice moment for Billy, winning his first major title in almost 10 years. This was a feel good match to work the crowd and it was done well.


The Acclaimed with the titles via pinfall (10:04)

3.25


MJF (c) vs Adam Cole for the AEW World Championship

Here's the story so far. They wrestled in a 30-minute time limit draw. Cole asked for 5 more minutes, MJF said no and leaved. With a tag tournament coming up with random pairings, Cole & MJF were paired together. They clicked in-ring and started to form a bond which has now become a wholesome friendship. After failing to win the AEW Tag titles, MJF granted him a rematch for the World title. Will MJF betray another friend? Will Cole turn heel on almost babyface MJF? We'll see. Both men recieve loud, positive reactions from the crowd. MJF has his fiery devil entrance that looks DOPE. The sign that says "Piledriver? I barely knew her!", I'm stood pretty much there.


After a staredown, both men put on their Tag Team t-shirts to wrestle in. It's starts as a friendly wrestling competition, getting one up on each other and playing the crowd. After a playful eye poke, Cole is ready to take the fight. Cole uses the referee to take advantage. Cole keeps pulling MJF down by his hair, so Max gets up and does it himself. MJF chickens out of doing a dive. Cole starts trash talking him and rips off his shirt. MJF gets angry and fires back. He teases the dive once again, this time HE HITS IT!! Holy shit indeed Wembley. Back and forth moves and pinning combinations until a double down. MJF goes for Panama sunrise but eats a superkick. Cole hits the heatseeking missile for a nearfall. Cole loses it, hitting a brainbuster on top of the steps. He looks regretful. The referee counts and MJF makes it in on 9. Why did Cole risk the count out. MJF rolls away out from Panama sunrise. Angry from the earlier incident, MJF goes for a tombstone on the announce table but he decides against it. Cole however, turns around and hits the tombstone himself. Crowd starts to boo Cole and MJF cheers get even louder. After an excellent sequence, both men call for the clothesline and hit each other. Both mens arms are on each other's chest and are counted. The referee calls for a draw.


Adam Cole says bullshit and asks for 5 more minutes. Max says no....they'll go on for as long as they need until they have a winner! The match restarts and the referee is immediately taken out by accident. Both men start laughing. MJF grabs a chair and he and Cole throw it at each other, fighting over who can play possum. Cole lies down first, so MJF puts the chair on his head and lies down too. I love this so much. They go right back at it, Cole kicks out of the missile. A brutal apron German by Cole then a Panama sunrise on to the floor. Another nearfall. MJF moves the referee in front of him so HE takes a Panama sunrise instead. MJF has the Diamond ring. He is conflicted about using it, and he eventually decides against it. Roderick Strong appears and low blows MJF! Panama sunrise into the Boom knee strike. The referee eventually comes to for the 1-2-KICK OUT! I jumped up and nearly fainted in shock. Cole grabs the AEW title from Strong and thinks about using it but he throws it away and Strong storms to the back. The hesitation gives MJF a window to roll him up to win.


Post match both men are spent and emotional, MJF tries to console Cole. He grabs the ROH Tag titles but Cole throws them away in a rage. MJF, rightfully, is angry and shouts at him. He throws the AEW title at him and turns around telling him to hit him already. Cole holds and thinks about it, Strong is back out to encourage Cole. Cole...does not do it and they hug it out! Matt Taven & Mike Bennett come out to support a frustrated Roderick Strong. I assume they are upcoming ROH tag title challengers. The show goes off the air with Better Than You Bay Bay celebrating together.


This was perfection in every sense. The in-ring action was at a high quality, the psychology was impeccable and the storytelling was poetry. I really thought we'd see a betrayal, but we didn't and I'm more than happy. It is coming at some point, but not yet. MJF has fully completed his face turn here. He has been almost there for weeks but I think this match and how he refused to take the low road absolutely solidifies him as a good guy. MJF proving he can be AEWs top face AND top heel. He's the best. This is possibly my favourite AEW match ever.


MJF retains via pinfall (27:30)

5/5


-After the show goes off the air, MJF cuts a heartfelt promo then Adam Cole announces All In for next year. Tony Khan comes out and says we'll see them all again next year. I got to high five his hand as he ran up the ramp!!


Overall- 76.6%

This will most likely end up as my favourite show of the year. This was off the chain. One of AEWs best pre-show cards. A wide variety of matches of such high quality. I have nothing but praise for this event. The greatest show I've ever attended. Who would have thought that the weakest match on the show would have featured Omega, Hangman, Ibushi, Takeshita & Bullet Club?!? Definitely not me. It was still good, but for a 20 minute match it didn't have much in it. Besides that, this was a show of epic proportion that overdelivered.


I have one complaint, but it's not AEWs fault. It's the security. I understand they're doing a job to keep everyone safe and ensure everyone can enjoy the show as much as they can, but they were annoying. They kept telling us to sit down and not stand by the barrier. Like, come on guys. I haven't been to many big shows at all, but I don't think I've seen that shit at big shows usually. Tell me if I'm wrong please but I felt that they were being a real pain in the ass. We're going to keep getting up anyways you might as well just let it happen, just act when you need to act. I appreciate their work, but it felt a bit controlling.


That's it for my review, thank you for reading. I'll have a brief video review with some footage I took whilst I was there. It's not the best footage and you can here me a few times but I'll share anyways. Check that out on my YouTube. Hopefully I'll be back at Wembley next year. Later this week I'll have another tribute article posted this time for the late Windham Rotunda.


Until next time, see ya!

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