Review for All In, September 1, 2018, Chicago, Illinois
We’re finally here and it’s finally happening. Can Cody and boys do it? Let’s find out. The set is a pretty great, it’s huge and they’ve got the LED lights, it looks great without feeling like a WWE set. I had no way of watching the pre-show so we’ll have to skip that. Flip Gordan won the battle royal so he’ll be challenging Jay Lethal for the ROH title.
Hosted by Excaliber, Ian Riccaboni and Don Callis
MJF vs Matt Cross
Last minute addition to the card and I’m not familiar with either of these guys. Some back and forth to start. Cross avoids a dropkick so MJF offers him a handshake, and then turns on him. He dumps Cross and teases a dive, but Cross puts him to the floor. Back in, Cross hits an enzuigiri and head scissors. MJF takes a powder and Cross hits a Sasuke special. Back in, MJF uses the ref for a distraction and runs Cross into the post and goes to work on the arm and grounds things. Gutwrench powerbomb gets 2. MJF takes him up and Cross fires back and hits a rana, and springboard elbow for 2. MJF cuts him and hits a package shoulderbreaker for 2. They slug it out. MJF spits at him and pokes the eye but eats a bicycle kick and Cross follows with a double stomp. Near fall but MJF locks in an arm bar, and Cross rolls over for 2. To the apron, MJF brings him back in with a pendulum piledriver for 2. MJF misses and Cross hits a springboard cutter, then goes up and finishes with a Shooting Star Press at 10:05.
This was fine, with a few neat spots. (**1/2)
Sean Mooney interviews Nick Aldis, who is getting impatient.
Christopher Daniels vs Stephen Amell
Jerry Lynn refereeing this one. Daniels talks some trash and takes him down, then offers some taunting, Amell fights back and they trade some chops. Amell takes him down and offers some taunting of his own. Daniels charges and eats boots, and a dropkick and enzuigiri send Daniels out. Amell finds a table and tries to slam him off the apron, but Daniels goes back in. Amell chokes, but the ref pulls him off and Daniels comes back. Daniels lays the boots to Amell and attacks the mid section. The gut buster follows and Daniels covers for 2. Arabian Moonsault but he doesn’t want to cover. The the apron, he tries to suplex him to the outside but gets suplexed back in. Amell tries Crossroads but it’s countered. He gets a Falcon Arrow for 2. Amell sends Daniels to the corner and goes up, he hits the coast to coast for 2. Another enzuigiri misses and Daniels hits the BME for two. Back to the apron for another try at getting someone through the table. Daniels loses a battle and ends up rolling on the table. Amell drops a top rope elbow but only finds the table as Daniels moves. Jerry Lynn counts and then decides to throw both back in the ring instead, Daniels is not happy about it. Lynn takes off his referee shit and wants a fight to sort out their differences, but Amell rolls him up for 2. Daniels pounds away on Amell and Lynn keeps breaking them up, so Amell keeps egging Daniels on, and reverses the Angel’s Wings into a bridging pin for 2. Daniels with another BME to finish at 11:50.
This was ok and Amell looked fine, but it went too long for what they were doing and he was really blown up the end of it. (**1/2)
Don Callis has to go see Kenny Omega, so he leaves commentary, and Mandy Leon and Tenille Dashwood join commentary for the next match.
Tessa Blanchard vs Madison Rayne vs Chelsea Green vs Britt Baker
Baker is using Adam Cole’s old music. Chelsea’s hot mess gimmick is hilarious. Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA are at ringside for Tessa, which is awesome. Tessa looks like a huge star and I have no idea why she wasn’t given a huge push in NXT. Tessa nails Rayne and they brawl outside, while Baker and Green trade near falls inside. Green with a ropewalk armdrag but Tessa gets rid of her and hits Baker with a running elbow in the corner and a codebreaker, Madison rolls her up for 2, however. Head scissors follows, but Tessa cuts her off with a rolling forearm. Tessa then press slams her to the floor onto the others. Back in, Green hits Baker with a pump kick and follows with a suicide dive onto the others, and then Tessa gets a dangerous looking dive of her own. Not to be outside, Rayne heads up top and dives onto everyone. Back in and Rayne covers Baker for 2. Baker runs wild with sling blades on the others and gets 2 on Green. Rayne hits a cutter on Baker for 2 as Tessa breaks it up and does a delayed suplex. Spear attempt misses. Green hits a broski boot but Baker cuts her off with a side suplex. Chelsea goes up with a missile dropkick on Tessa, and Rayne hits a really sloppy top rope cutter on Baker for 2. Chelsea hits Rayne with the Unprettier but Tessa hits the codebreaker on her and then Baker covers for 2. Rayne hits a crucifix bomb on Tessa for 2, but Baker gets a fisherman’s neckbreaker for 2. Green with another Unprettier for 2 on Baker, and then a Canadian Destroyer on Tessa for long 2. Tessa hits the hammerlock DDT for 2. Wait, no they interrupt stopped short and it was 3 at 12:54.
Can’t say they weren’t working their asses off, this was very good but really sloppy at times. (***1/4)
NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Nick Aldis vs Cody
Cody has Brandi (who is looking smoking hot), DDP, Glacier Tommy Dreamer and his dog with him, but WHERE IS BERNARD THE BUSINESS BEAR? Aldis has Shawn Daivari, Tim Storm and Jeff Jarrett. I’d say Cody wins the battle of the corner people. Earl Hebner is the referee, unfortunately they let him speak, though. Holy shit this thing suddenly feels like a big deal, they got the big fight feel WWE is always trying for and did an excellent job of it. They trade wristlocks as we get the stalemate to start, and they exchange chops before Cody gets the dropkick to put Aldis out. Cody follows him out with a rope but Aldis takes over with a suplex and runs him into the post. Back in, Aldis takes over. Fisherman’s Suplex gets 2, and Aldis goes to a chinlock. Cody fights out but Aldis works over the back and slugs him down. Cody tries to come back but gets knocked down again. Cody hits a super kick and they collide on a crossbody. Aldis bails and suckers Cody into another dive so he can elbow him on the way down. Good stuff. Earl throws up the “X” sign and declares Cody unable to continue, but DDP comes down and offers some positivity and yoga tips. Daivari comes down and piefaces DDP and gets Diamond Cutter in the ring to get rid of him. DDP gets sent back and Cody is wearing the crimson mask. Match finally starts again. Cody comes back with a forearm and powerslam for 2. Moonsault misses by a mile. Aldis takes him and hits a fallaway slam, that’s follows with a top rope splash for 2. Cody fights back with a figure four, but Aldis makes the ropes. Back to the floor and Cody slams him on the apron, but Aldis hits a powerslam on the floor. Back in, Cody tries the Alabama Slam, but can’t get it due to the back injury. Second try works and gets 2. Disaster kick misses and Aldis gets a sick powerbomb for 2. He goes for a Cloverleaf but Cody makes the ropes while Brandi pleads with him to let it be over. Aldis drags him back for a piledriver. To the top and Brandi begs him to stop, and puts herself on top of Cody. Aldis doesn’t give a shit and drops the elbow on both of them anyway, to a monstrous heel reaction. It gets 2. Cody comes back with the kick and Crossroads for 2. They slug it out and Cody hooks him in the Vertebreaker, but Aldis escapes that and tries a sunset flip, which Cody counters for the pin and the title at 22:07.
This was a mixed bag if I ever saw one. It went too long and was dull at times. They did a great job building up the match and got a huge reaction before they even touched. They had good drama with the referee stoppage and the closing moments after the elbow on Brandi were incredible, and then the finish itself was anticlimactic (it should’ve ended with the Crossroads when the crowd had peaked). Touch one to rate, actually. (***)
Don Callis is back on commentary.
CHICAGO STREET FIGHT: Hangman Page vs Joey Janela
This could be insanity. How is Page walking around free after murdering Joey Ryan? Although killing Joey Ryan should be legal anyway. Penelope Ford is out with Janella. Page immediately dumps Janela and follows with a dive, but Janela hits his own and then Page follows with a moonsault to the floor of his own. Hangman brings a chair in and sets it up. He throws Janella over his head onto it. Outside, an actual Cracker Barrell gets involved. Janela slams him into it. Janela the jumps off of the barrel onto Page in the crowd. Mario vs Donkey Kong action with the barrel and they trade strikes. Page now hits a buckshot lariat on the floor. Page sets up a table and heads back in. To the top they fight over a suplex, no one wins, but Janela hits a Death Valley Bomb for 2. Next up, a ladder gets put onto the barrel and apron. Janela goes up and gets caught by Page, who follows with a Burning Hammer onto the ladder. Back in, Page tries to suffocate him with a garbage bag, but Ford saves him and they do a little sequence that ends up with her hitting a stunner and a huge dive. She sets him up on the table and Janela drops an elbow through him. They fight up to the stage and Janela hits him with a hilarious running clothesline. Page lies around for about an hour while Janela finds another table under the stage. Page fights back with a superkick and running powerbombs him off the stage through the table, which looked nasty, and not very good either. Page may have committed another murder because Janela seems dead and he pulls him back to the ring to finish him. Rite of Passage only gets 2 because Ford saves. She has a trashbag which Page takes and inside are Page’s talking boots. He freaks out and superkicks Ford, and Janela superkicks him for 2. Janela tosses another ladder in and puts Page on a table, but Page finds the telephone that he murdered Jory Ryan with. He chokes Janela out with it hits the Rite of Passage off the ladder for the pin at 20:15. Post match, walking dicks make their way out and Joey Ryan is revealed to be alive! Oh no, it’s a res-erection. Ryan oils up and Page gets freaked out. Joey Ryan uses his dick to attack page and flip him down. He then lays him out with a superkick. The dicks carry Page out to “rest in penis” chants.
The match itself was awesome, and a lot of fun, but the post match was something else. Might as well shut the show off now, because there’s no topping this! (****)
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Jay Lethal vs Flip Gordon
Flip has Brandi with him, and Jay Lethal is Black Machismo doing his old Macho Man impression and brings out Lanny Poffo with him! Jay offers the megapower handshake to Flip and then confuses Brandi with Miss Elizabeth and hauls her off to the corner to really sell the gimmick. Awesome. Flip gets some armdrags and Lethal tosses him, but Flip skins the cat and Lethal clotheslines him back out. Brandi tries to save Flip and Lethal chases her off again, then picks her up and poses with her on his shoulders in the Elizabeth spot. She slaps him back into Lethal mode. Flip heads back in with a low kick into a standing moonsault for 2, then he flips away from Lethal to frustrate him and hits him with a dive into the railing. Back in, Twisted Bliss gets 2. They fight over a suplex and trade near falls. They slug it out on the apron and Flip kicks Lethal down and then misses a splash. Lethal hits a neckbreaker combo for 2. Flip blocks the Lethal Injection with a rollup for 2 and follows that with a Falcon Arrow for 2 more. Flip lays in chops, but Lethal cuts him off and hits the rolling rack. Lanny tells him to go into Macho mode again and he hits a slam and goes up top. The elbow connects, as do two more, but they only get 2. Now Flip hulks up! The big boot and Pele set up a slingblade. Flip goes up and misses a stomp, but hits a shooting star press and goes up with a corkscrew splash for 2. Flip tries a rana off the top, but Lethal brings him down with a cutter and Lethal Injection to retain at 14:24. Bully Ray heads down and attacks both guys and takes out Lanny while he’s at it, but Colt Cabana makes the save and the three of them put him through a table.
They were in a tough spot following that street fight. The wrestling was solid, the antics were a lot of silly fun and the crowd were loving it. (***)
Kenny Omega vs Pentagon
Crowd is right into this before they even touch. Pentagon removes a glove, and Omega slaps him and we’re underway. Penta kicks him out of the ring right away and fires away in the corner, then takes him down with a backstabber and Kenny bails for a breather. Back in, Omega hits a rana and attempts a dive but gets cut off with a sling blade. Omega bails and Pentagon hits a somersault plancha. Pentagon beats him up outside and they trade chops. Omega tries a moonsault but gets blocked with knees. Omega manages to fight back and hit a tornado DDT. Omega now hits a springboard crossbody to the floor. Back in and Omega heads up top and hits the missile dropkick. Neckbreaker across he knee gets 2. He tries a V Trigger but eats a superkick. He fires back with snap dragon. One Winged Angel gets countered and Pentagon hits a backstabber for 2. Pentagon misses the double stomp and Omega hits a lariat, followed by a Death Valley Driver for 2. He takes Pentagon up top and follows, but Pentagon drops down and hits a superkick and double stomp for 2. Omega escapes a piledriver and hits a V Trigger but Pentagon has ‘zero fear’ and wants more. Omega obliges with a powerbomb and another V-Trigger. Another try at the One Winged Angel but Pentagon counters and hits the Pentagon Driver for 2. Awesome near fall. They slug it out on the apron and Omega kicks him in the head. Pentagon trash talks him in Spanish and then package piledrives him on the apron! “Holy shit”, and I agree. Back in, the double stomp gets 2. Omega battles back and he hits a package piledriver for another awesome near fall. V-Trigger and another One Winged Attempt, but Pentagon escapes and looks to break the arm. Package Piledrive gets another 2 and the crowd loses their shit! Pentagon looks for a superkick but it’s countered. Another V Trigger and reverse rana gets 2. One more V Trigger and the One Winged Angel finally connects and Omega wins at 17:46. Omega celebrates and then the lights go out. PAY YOUR BILLS! Lights come back on and Pentagon kicks the shit out Omega and hits the Code Breaker. Hey, wait a minute. THAT’S CHRIS JERICHO! Oh boy, I wonder how Vince feels about that?
This was awesome and both guys delivered. Kenny is always great, I’ve never seen a Pentagon match before and he was awesome and looked like he might even win a few times. My only complaint here is that Pentagon broke the arm but Omega was fine two moves later. The post match angle was an awesome surprise to. (****1/2)
Marty Scurll vs Kazuchika Okada
They brought Tiger Hattori over to referee this one, where is Red Shoes?! Marty offers some power posing and takes him down with a hammerlock and into a rollup for 2. They trade shoulderblocks, Okada wins that one. Marty chops him in the corner and tells off the ref. Okada misses a charge and Marty tries a suplex, but that gets reversed. Marty puts him outside with an apron superkick and hits a tope into the railing. He chops the shit out of Okada on the floor and throws him back in. Back in, Marty goes to work on the arm, but Okada comes back with a flapjack and neckbreaker for 2. Back to the outside and Okada hits a DDT on the floor. Back in, Okada hits a senton and ignores chops and takes over. Marty fights back and hits and hits a backstabber. Enzuigiri and tornado DDT get 2. Okada counters the Graduation and follows with elbows and a DDT for 2. Marty manages a sunset flip for 2, but Okada boots him in the face. Brainbuster, but Marty hits it instead. Marty tries a piledriver but he wastes too much time and gets taken down for 2. Okada goes up and they slug it out on top, but Okada can’t knock him down and Marty gets a superplex. They trade forearms and near falls. Marty gets a powerbomb and stacked pin for 2. Okada drops him into the turnbuckle and goes up. Missile dropkick gets 2. Marty tries a tombstone but that doesn’t work and Okada hit his own. Rainmaker time, camera zoom out and all! He sets him up for it but makes the 205 live joke and Marty snaps his finger! Awesome. Okada hits the dropkick, but Marty reverses the Rainmaker into the chickenwing. Okada powers out of that, but Marty reapplies the hold and Okada fights out and bumps the ref. Marty grabs the umbrella which proves to be an effective counter to the rainmaker. He waffles him with it and hits his own rainmaker for an awesome near fall. He wants another chickenwing but it’s countered to the real rainmaker, but Okada can’t capitalize. Marty wants him to bring it on, and Okada obliges. Marty still wants more and spits at hime and tries to break the finger again, but a pair of rainmakers put him out of his misery at 26:05.
Took a while to get the crowd into it but they did and it was a really good match, particularly in the second half and it ended with a really hot closing sequence. I think this could have been paced better, especially knowing they ran way too long and cut into the main events time. (***3/4)
Rey Mysterio, Bandido, and Fenix vs The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi
No messing around here, Matt and Bandido start and do a nice sequence. Bandido takes over and hits a head scissors and tope follow. Back in, Nick tags himself in and the Bucks hit a double dropkick. Nick gets the high kick before walking into a cutter that gets 2. Ibushi and Mysterio tag in and the crowd loses their shit before they even touch. Rey with a rana, but Ibushi counters out of another one and it’s a stalemate. Ibushi kicks him down, and drags him to the corner. Matt tags in Rey hits a DDT. Fenix in now and hits a superkick but tries a facebuster which gets reversed for 2. Ibushi comes back in and hits Fenix and Bandido with a double Pele kick and makes a tag to Nick. He comes in and hits everyone with a kick and dives on Fenix. Ibushi hits a golden triangle and then Rey hits a springboard moonsault. Fenix then follows with a step up tornillo as Bandido his a top rope corkscrew to the floor. Matt hits a big dive off of the ramp. This is wild. Back in, and they hit Bandido with a buckle bomb and Ibushi hits a German Suplex for 2. Bandido fights back with a rana. Rey tags in and runs the Bucks into each other. 619 attempt but Matt blocks it and sets up the Meltzer Driver. That gets cut off by Fenix. Rey gets the 619 on the second try and Bandido hits Matt with the reverse rana, into Mysterio’s frog splash for 2. Everyone fights to the top and Matt fights them off, but Bandido takes him down with a backflip blockbuster off the top for 2. The Bucks recovers and it’s time for a superkick party. Ibushi’s back and we get more bang for your buck on Bandido for 2, as Fenix saves. Meltzer Driver finishes at 11:42. And we are desperately out of time and the show goes off the air about 15 seconds later.
This was obviously a total rushjob but they made the most of it and it was still an awesome and very entertaining spotfest. Can't help but feel really bad The Young Bucks, they worked so hard on this and deserved their 20+ minute main event. (****)
Absolutely fantastic show. The atmosphere was great, it had the same kind of feel that ECW One Night Stand gave me (though, not in a nostalgic way). The commentary was great, that team was an excellent mix. There was great variety on this show from the entertainment to the wrestling styles (better sports entertainment than WWE have done in many years). Omega/Pentagon was the easy match of the night. Thumbs way up and let’s hope they go All In again next year.