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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: AEW All Out 2023

AEW have been quite under the radar recently haven't they? I haven't heard much about them in the news recently. What's that? They put on the largest paid for wrestling event in world history? There was another backstage altercation that led to the suspension of Jack Perry? CM Punk has been fired for his involvement in backstage incidents? Tony Khan claimed he was "scared for his life"? The women's roster is thin due to incredulous backstage politicking? I stand corrected, I guess they have made the rounds in the news recently.

Sarcasm aside, I'm not here to review and discuss topics that I'm not involved in, also that we have very few confirmed FACTS about, I'm not here for that negativity. I'm here to be negative about the wrestling that I see with my own three eyes (I'm a medical phenomenon). The card for All Out is rushed and thrown together, I don't think the current backstage drama is a good enough justification. However, I felt that AEW rushed and threw together the card for All In, which turned out to be one of the best wrestling shows I've seen and one of my favourite moments in life. So, let's give AEW the benefit of the doubt ahead of their annual PPV trip to Chicago. Let's Review.

3rd September 2023- AEW All Out

Zero Hour

-An Awesome Danielson promo, he mentions his last strap match being against someone he loved, a beautiful nod to Bray Wyatt. Also, a promotion from the Mogul Embassy about the Over the Budget Battle Royal.

-Excalibur, Nigel McGuinness & Kevin Kelly on commentary

Over the Budget Battle Royal, the winner chooses a charity to donate $50K

Featuring 19 midcarders as well as Hangman Adam Page. Gee, I wonder who's going to win. This is a boring Battle Royal, even by AEW standards. A few comedy spots early on, a big dive by Gravity then your usual battle royal process until the final 6. I guess we have an AEW vs ROH standoff as Hangman, Trent Beretta & Action Andretti ally against Brian Cage, Kyle Fletcher & Toa Liona (even though both Andretti & Beretta have featured on ROH regularly but whatever). Eventually it's down to a 2-on-1 between the Mogul Embassy pairing and Hangman. Page, of course overcomes the odds and wins the battle royal.

Pros, gets the wrestlers on the show and money is donated to charity. Cons, it was 90% blander than A McDonald's vanilla shake.

Adam Page wins the Battle Royal (13:18)

Hikaru Shida, Willow Nightingale & Skye Blue vs Athena, Mercedes Martinez & Diamanté

Wow, I don't regularly watch AEW programming so I think this is the first time I've seen Diamanté in AEW since she was teaming with Ivelisse. I'm a fan of all of these women, great talents so hopefully they get enough time to show off. Chicago native Skye Blue is wearing heavily inspired CM Punk attire.

Blue plays a great babyface in peril and all 3 of the heels do good work against her. Willow has a hot comeback and renews her rivalry with Athena. A showdown between former AEW champion Shida and current ROH champion Athena, I would love to see more of this please. Skye Blue puts Diamanté away with the Code Blue. A very enjoyable match.

Shida, Nightingale & Blue win via pinfall (8:28)

The Acclaimed (Max Caster, Anthony Bowens & Billy Gunn) (c) w/Dennis Rodman vs Jeff Jarrett, Satnam Singh & Jay Lethal w/Karen Jarrett & Sonjay Dutt for the AEW Trios Championships

Billy introduces his chosen referee Aubrey Edwards, which surely is unfair due to her personal bias against the challengers. Dennis Rodman's appearance on Collision was hilariously unexpected. How much is he being paid for this appearance...on the fucking pre-show? Khan must have made plenty expendable income from All In.

Pretty much exactly what you'd expect from this match. Fine heel work from the challengers, Karen gets involved, the Acclaimed fight back against the odds. 'The Worm' Rodman hits Singh with the guitar to a huge pop from his local crowd. The mic drop secures a title retention. Short, sweet and inoffensive.

The Acclaimed win via pinfall (5:57)

Main Card

Better Than You Bay Bay (Adam Cole & MJF) (c) vs Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) w/EVIL Uno for the ROH Tag Team Championships

BTYBB defeated Aussie Open at All In for the tag titles, the Dark Order won a battle royal for a title opportunity. Only a week to build this, but AEW are relying on the popularity of Cole & MJF to carry this and it worked.

More of an angle than a match initially. The champs work the crowd well but then a forearm by Silver to the back of MJFs neck puts him in a lot of pain. A nice touch of psychology and storytelling from his match against Cole at All In for the AEW World title, where Cole used A LOT of big moves targeting his neck. A chair shot from Reynolds to MJF puts him out and he's taken away. Cole fights from underneath but struggling against the numbers disadvantage. I always liked Reynolds & Silver as a team, their offence is fluid they just need some character work. Dark Order mock the champs using a double clothesline but Cole survives. MJF finally returns holding his neck to a huge pop. He does well to keep selling his stinger whilst working. He fires up with his babyface scumbag offence, including his newly acquired Kangaroo Kick. A double clothesline connects and the champs retain.

Good fun, less about the action and more about developing the bond between MJF & Cole as well as this injury angle for MJF. I imagine when the Kingdom come calling these titles will be dropped.

Better Than You Bay Bay retain via pinfall (14:08)


-Samoa Joe enters for his match and he just pushes MJF out of his way in such disrespect. MJF attacks him in response but Joe targets his neck in a choke, leading to security breaking it up. (Is that a CM Punk reference? Maybe I'm reading too much into it but it felt almost as if that's what could have happened between Punk & Perry)

Samoa Joe (c) vs Shane Taylor for the ROH Television Championship

In classic Tony Khan booking fashion, Taylor won an eliminator tournament to become number 1 contender. I love tournaments in wrestling A LOT but damn AEW/ROH is so over saturated with tournament.

A short hoss battle, primarily a striking exchange in and out of the ring with a few moves sprinkled within. Taylor puts in a good effort, he turns a coquina clutch into a rope assisted stunner which was cool. Eventually after a very 50/50 slugfest, Joe looks in the clutch for the submission victory. The action was solid and competitive, but this was a glorified TV match. On an already bloated card, this show could have done without this in my opinion, but I guess we wouldn't have got the exchange between Joe & MJF without it soooo...

Samoa Joe retains via submission (6:23)


-Jim Ross replaces Kevin Kelly on commentary

Luchasaurus (c) w/Christian Cage vs Darby Allin w/Nick Wayne for the TNT Championship

2 time former TNT Champion Darby won a battle royal to earn a championship opportunity. Huh, it feels like we've heard that before... Christian Cage holds and acts as if he is the champion but it's his monster Luchasaurus in reality. Christian lost to Darby in that tag team coffin match at All In. Luchasaurus turning heel was one of the greatest decisions for him, his characters is far more intriguing as a Christian's monster pet.

Allin is taped up from his match at All In. Allin attacks quickly but almost immediately Luchasaurus takes control, tossing him around the outside. He continues to destroy Darby on the outside, the referee not getting involved and not enforcing the count. "Referee's discretion" is a bullshit excuse, this is ridiculous. Anways, Lucha puts the steps across Allin's back and walks across it. Ouch, can't recall seeing that spot before. The champ continues to maim Darby, following Christian's orders. Darby flips out of the chokeslam to gain a brief advantage. He throws himself at the champion but he's too strong. Darby fights back with a big dive to a seated Luchasaurus, more lenient referee counting. Awesome counter by Darby from a torture rack into a crucifix bomb. Ugly (in a good but surely painful way) German suplex by Luchasaurus. Christian & Wayne bicker on the outside, Allin dives into him. He hits a top rope code red for a CLEAR 3 count but the referee says its a two. The commentary say it was a two, but it wasn't. Christian blasts Wayne with a chair to distract Darby, Luchasaurus hits 2 consecutive tombstones and a lariat to retain.

This was a good match, plagued by awful refereeing. Darby's selling was top tier throughout this match whereas Luchasaurus looked like a killer. AEW aren't very good at "less is more" but that was the case with this match. Not filed with action, but what we got was effective and complimented the story. Awful referee work though.

Luchasaurus retains via pinfall (12:14)


-Post match, Christian tries to force Nick Wayne to watch a conchairto but the AEW roster come out to intervene.

'The Redeemer' Miro vs Powerhouse Hobbs

This is being promoted like some kind of thicc boy dream match and I'm all for it. It makes both guys feel like a big deal. Miro is one of my favourites and Hobbs has great potential so this should be a good meat slapper of a match.

The lock up before the bell goes as the crowd chants "Slap that meat". They battle for control, Miro takes over initally with "MEAT" chanted for every strike. Hobbs takes control with strikes, Miro retakes control with a leg lariat. A big overhead belly to belly by Hobbs. More Big suplexes by Hobbs but Miro turns it around with a big senton to him from the apron. They go back and forth again with huge strikes and body blocks, more "MEAT" chants. This is great fun. Miro finally knocks down Hobbs with a huge lariat. Miro hits Hobbs with Sheamus-like chest blows on the apron. A big suplex from Miro from the second rope. A big kick staggers Hobbs, but he dodges a second with a powerslam for a nearfall. "MEAT Forever" chant rings through the arena. I love Chicago. More big strikes, a big kick by Miro for a nearfall. Miro locks in Game Over, Hobbs powers up and breaks it in the corner. A huge spine buster for a nearfall. This is awesome! Hobbs uses the Game Over on Miro, who reverses into a spine buster, the Game Over and the submission.

An Awesome fight. This was basically the previous Samoa Joe match, except far superior in every way. A real Meat-off and it was everything it needed to be. This was made even better with the awesome Chicago crowd.

Miro wins via submission (15:34)


-Post match they shake hands but Hobbs attacks Miro in a rage. Out comes CJ Perry! FKA Lana! The Redeemer's wife! She clocks Hobbs with a chair for no effect. Hobbs steps to her, enough of a distraction for Miro to drive him away. Then, Miro leaves her in the ring alone? Interesting development, I'm willing to see where this will go. I assume this is off the back of Perry in a previous company betraying Miro numerous times.

Kris Statlander (c) vs Ruby Soho w/Saraya for the TBS Championship

Soho has previously beaten Statlander. Statlander and some allies have also been feuding with Outcasts in recent months. Most recently, Ruby Soho stole the TBS Championship. Yet, she didn't come out with it here, Kris did? Okay then. Ruby cut a promo saying it's ridiculous she hasn't been a champion yet and she's right, however I love Statlander so I hope it's not tonight. I smell a future Outcasts triple threat in our future anyways.

Ruby keeps knocking Kris down but the champ keeps getting up. A sloppy knee strike by Statlander sends Soho outside. Saraya runs but Statlander for trying to get involved, a distraction for Soho to take charge. Soho buries Kris' head into the barricade with her knees. Soho maintains control, wearing down Statlander with Saraya's help. A strike exchange allows our champion to create an opening for a breather. A barrage of strikes for Statlander into a powerslam for a 2. Big Saito suplex by Ruby. Awesome Gory special by Statlander. They exchange pinfall attempts into another double down. Saraya continues to distract from the action in the ring by being a dickhead heel. It's good heel work, until you become a detriment. Why are you tearing fan signs at ringside without cause? Support your girl. A great avalanche slam by Statlander for a nearfall. A GREAT poison rana by Soho, into a big DDT INTO another rana for a nearfall. A Saraya distraction leads to a Destination Unknown for a 1-2-No! Great nearfall. Toni Storm comes out and prevents cheating from Statlander, the distraction leads to Sunday Night Fever for the win.

We're definitely seeing a future Outcasts triple threat me thinks. A very good match by two very good talents. They gave it their all and it paid off.

Kris Statlander retains via pinfall (12:20)


Ricky Starks vs Bryan Danielson, strap match

A weird set up for this match, but I guess this was supposed to be Punk vs Starks so it's understandable. Starks targets returning legend Ricky Steamboat and demands a strap match against the 70+ year old legend. Ricky signs a contract to fight 'The Dragon' at All Out, but it didn't specify which dragon, as Bryan Danielson made his return. Starks my friend, never sign such a ridiculously vague contract you utter moron. The is Bryan's first match back since his injury against Kazuchika Okada.

Ricky Steamboat comes out for commentary. This is awesome! I love Steamboat so much, he looks good for his age. Starks rolls out before putting the strap on and does a lap. He attacks before putting on the strap. He whips him with the weight belt, using the buckle to punch him in the head. Danielson is bloodied. Nigel is really going in on Steamboat for his involvement. The bell finally rings and Starks dissects Bryan. Steamboat is proving good input, he's better than half of AEWs commentary roster. Starks continues to bludgeon Bryan, mocking his yes chant. The whipping continues but Bryan fights back with headbutts and kicks. A whip to the head by Starks and he chokes him with the strap. Bryan avoids a top rope attack and begins to crack the whip himself, in some of the loudest whip cracks I've heard in wrestling. Over and over and over and over. This is brutal. 3 basement dropkicks directly to his face. Starks uses the strap to prevent being hit with a dive. Bryan ties him to the ring Post and we hear more whipping. Stiff kicks by Bryan, Ricky retaliated with a clothesline. Duelling whips to each other's head. Facking hell boys. Bryan begins to no sell the whip as he fires up with kicks and whips. Big Bill comes out to help Stark. A big spear by Ricky, a big running knee for a 2. Bryan continues to punish Starks, eventually defeating him with the Labell lock.

An awesome contest. Starks looked like Bryan's equally through this, he may have lost but this is a huge rub that can benefit him greatly. An amazing way to see Bryan return to action. It's nice for him to be back I look forward to seeing what he does next. Interestingly, he's back seemingly as a face whilst the BCC are all heels so we will see how that works out.

Bryan Danielson wins via pinfall (16:39)


-Nigel McGuinness confirms Adam Page will donate his 50K to the Chicago Public Education fund. Good stuff.

Katsuyori Shibata & Eddie Kingston vs Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta

Kingston has been in a long feud with Claudio. Shibata defeated Yuta to win the ROH Pure title. That's as much of a build as we have.

Yuta & Shibata begin with a technical battle, Shibata taking control with his strikes. Claudio tags in, Shibata bows gracefully. A brief exchange until Kingston tags in and Claudio immediately tags out like a bastard. Kingston puts down Yuta and goes after Claudio but Yuta attacks, the BCC take control. They work over Kingston for a good while, Kingston shows signs of life but he struggles to get the tag. Kingston finally gets a tag to Shibata who fights it out with Claudio. He pounds on him with strikes and a basement dropkick. Claudio fights out of a triangle and gets Yuta in with a big splash. A spinning back fist floors Yuta. Shibata holds Yuta in a toe hold and Claudio in an ankle lock simultaneously in a cool spot. Kingston back in who beats on Yuta. Claudio prevents the spinning backfist. Claudio and Shibata duel uppercuts with Shibata winning the exchange. They continue fighting outside as Yuta & Kingston counter wrestle each other. Finally, Claudio and Kingston Square off fairly. Kingston kicks out of a Neutraliser! Kingston fires back but ultimately loses to a flash uppercut by Claudio.

A good tag match, the finish was quite sudden and abrupt but I didn't hate it. There's nothing to complain about here, a good hard hitting contest. It was in a tough spot to follow the strap match but it did well.

Blackpool Combat Club win via pinfall (15:50)


Konosuke Takeshita w/Don Callis vs Kenny Omega

Takeshita got the victory for his team all All In, Omega has been wanting revenge against Callis since his shocking betrayal months ago. Omega is wearing some vintage tights reminiscent of his early days as a Golden Lover.

A staredown to start. A chain wrestling battle, back and forth on who's in control. The embark on an evenly matched strike exchange but Takeshita seeks to be one step ahead with a brutal back drop on his head. The fight spills outside, Omega gets back in it after a cool Barricade moonsault. Omega controls the action in the ring until Takeshita gouges the eyes. More back and forth leading to a reversed rana by Takeshita who sends Omega head first into the turnbuckle. Brutal brainbuster on the floor. Takeshita tries to use a chair but the referee disallows it. Huge dive by Takeshita. He continues to work him over until Omega fights a comeback. Terminator dive is always so clean. Diving dropkick to Takeshitas neck, snap dragon time! The third is reversed so Omega hits a poison rana instead. They take turns flipping out of moves and countering offence leading into stiff double clotheslines. Powerbomb into a V trigger. A second V trigger. One-winged angel is reversed. Some brutal germans by Takeshita. More strokes exchanged. A brutal avalanche sit-out powerbomb by Takeshita! Omega lands right on the foot which must have sucked. V trigger by Takeshita for a nearfall. Don tries to use a screwdriver but Omege dodges. Omega goes for the OWA but Takeshita has the screwdriver, the referee takes it away. Takeshita hits a wheelbarrow suplex and a huge knee strike for a nearfall. One final knee strike finally secures a huge win for him.

The first 2/3s was a formulaic Omega classic, which is far from a criticism but these big time Omega matches can get repetitive sometimes. The final 5-10 minutes though was a brilliant war. Omega showing resiliency but he put over the younger Takeshita. An awesome match that elevates Takeshita's stock. I wouldn't be shocked if he was a champion by year end.

Konosuke Takeshita wins via pinfall (22:21)


Bullet Club Gold (Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin & Colten Gunn) vs FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) & Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)

The BCG have feuded with both these teams, recently FTR defeated the Bucks at All In to retain the titles. Theyve formed an alliance out of respect against their challengers. I feel like we've seen them do this angle before with these two teams...

After swapping and changing by the heels, eventually we begin with Cash & Colten who do some good chain wrestling. The more experienced Cash takes control but a blind tag by Austin takes him out. Matt Jackson tags himself in to a chorus of boos. The Bucks take out the Gunns with tandem offence. Harwood now tags himself in to the match, who squares up with Jay White. After Harwood wins a strike exchange, White tags out to Juice. A distraction gives the BCG the advantage to begin working over Harwood. They taunt too much and Harwood fires off chops. Cash comes in for more chopping and some classic southern wrasslin tag work on White. Juice comes in and takes control. All 8 men come in and it devoles into a brawl. We see 4 Sharpshooters on stereo by team FTR-Bucks. Juice retakes control over Harwood who again is worked over by BCG. The beatdown and heel up segment goes on for quite some time. Harwood dodges a cannonball and reluctantly tags in Nick Jackson who does his usual hot tag. Your usual energetic tandem offence by the Bucks. Matt nearly superkicks Cash by accident, but they unite to throw superkicks together. Some good tag offence by all members of the good guys. Nick clearly misses a moonsault to Juice but he sells anyways. Some big moves around the outside by all men. White is in and he throws chops at Harwood who eats them and fires back tenfold. Shatter machine is intercepted, but hit on a Gunn. Dax & Matt hit a BTE trigger but the pin is broken up. A quick blade runner on Cash then Austin sneaks in with a pin to win.

You knew this was going to be good due to the level of talent involved. Bullet Club Gold needed a big win and I think this well deserved. Young Bucks & FTR argue on their way out. My biggest issue is that AEW have already done this story before! Remember? Fyter Fest 2020? FTR's debut match was alongside the Young Bucks against 4 lucha boys and they lost because they couldn't properly gel? AEW have literally done this story already. Bland, repetitive booking aside, this was really good action.

Bullet Club Gold win via pinfall (21:41)


Orange Cassidy (c) vs Jon Moxley for the AEW International Championship

Orange Cassidy as made himself into a star with his 326 day title reign. Defending the championship almost weekly, going from an effortless sloth to the man who tries his best. The most fighting champion. Best Friends have been feuding with the Blackpool Combat Club, even winning Stadium Stampede at All In.

Whoever suggested Cassidy's "pyro" is a genius. OC goes for his usual sloth style but Moxley immediately goes on the attack with strikes. Cassidy fires back and goes for the Orange punch early but takes some hard suplexes by Mox. Cassidy has to throw quantity strikes to match Mox's quality of strikes. Mox reverses a DDT into an X-Plex. Aggressive stomping by Mox, he just launches OC outside. He continues to dissect him, eventually busting him open. Brutal piledriver for a 2. Mox removes his tape and chokes him. More biting on the wound. If Mox falls ill, we know why. Orange is pummelled by strikes, he's bleeding A LOT. Mox mocks OC, putting his hands in his pockets and throw headbutts. OC tries to fight back but again he's put down. Orange uses some of Mox's tactics against him, an Orange Punch for a nearfall. Gotch piledriver by Mox for a pin but OC rolls through for a pin, but Mox rolls into his Bulldog choke, but OC rolls into a pin, but Mox rolls into a choke, then into a cross crossarm breaker, then into a labell lock. Awesome stuff. OC manages to break the count and roll out. Mox exposes the concrete floor, OC reverses a piledriver and hits a beach break on the hard floor! A running dropkick puts Mox head into the steps. Orange punch x2, a third is reversed into a cutter. A paradigm shift is reversed into a third punch. A spear for an awesome nearfall. Next thing you know we'll a curb stomp. Hands in the pockets for OC. He doesn't the sloth kicks but gets harder and more aggressive in a great character building spot. Mox lays him out with lariats. A death rider but OC just manages to roll up. Awesome! OC just manages to stand, eggs Mox on. A final death rider for the win.

First, props to Mox for not being the one to bleed like a pig. Second, I've seen a few opinions saying that Mox doesn't need this and made OC look weak losing his first big main event challenge. Bro, did you watch the match? Not every guy kicks out of a death rider. This match was awesome, this elevated Cassidy as a unique main event player and he deserves it. The title is elevated by OC's run and it stays elevated as it took a major effort from the company's biggest star to take it from him. Whoever manages to dethrone Mox should hopefully get a huge rub from it. Post match the fans give Orange thanks and love for his efforts.

Jon Moxley wins the title via pinfall (19:43)


Overall- 69.5%

Some people are saying this is AEW's best PPV yet. I understand that point of view. I stil think All Out 2021 is one of the goated PPVs in wrestling history but that's my take. An awesome show that confirms that AEW don't have anything to worry about losing one of their biggest draws. As long as they keep their heads straight and make some positive changes, they'll be good. Top to bottom a great card, I'd maybe take out a match or two and this would have been a GOAT for sure but this is still an exhilarating watch.

MOTN- Jon Moxley vs Orange Cassidy

Thank you for reading, I don't have any scheduled shows to watch upcoming so I'll probably drop a unique blog entry next week. If there's a show I should be watching and reviewing let me know. Until next time, see ya.


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