Date: September 1, 2021
Location: Now Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
It’s the go home show for All Out and that means it’s time for the big push to the show. As you might have guessed, CM Punk is back in the house and the ovation should crazy all over again. It’s also the 100th edition of Dynamite and that means we might be seeing something of a look back. AEW has always done those well so let’s get to it.
Santana/Ortiz vs. FTR
Tully Blanchard is here with FTR, who have Bobby Eaton themed trunks for a very nice moment. Harwood headlocks Santana down to start and then shoulders him down for a bonus. They chop it out and Santana gets knocked into the ropes. Everything breaks down in a hurry with FTR being sent outside, where Wheeler holds his bad arm. The big flip dives take FTR down and the springboard flip dives do it again.
Back in and Harwood tags his way out of a belly to back suplex so Wheeler can send Ortiz into the post. Now it’s time to work on Ortiz’s arm out of the old Anderson playbook, because FTR respects the classics. The turnbuckle pad is taken off somewhere in there and the arm is wrapped around the exposed buckle. Ortiz uses the good arm to blast Wheeler for a breather and the hot tag brings in Santana to start cleaning house.
Three Amigos have Harwood in trouble and the frog splash gets two. Wheeler comes back in and knocks Ortiz into Harwood’s brainbuster (how FTR won before) for two more. Santana breaks up a double suplex so Ortiz can small package Harwood for two. Harwood shoves Santana off the top and Wheeler plants Ortiz with a Gory Bomb for his own near fall.
The PowerPlex is broken up but the Big Rig plants Ortiz….and Santana comes off the top to drive Harwood into the cover for the save. That was a heck of a great save. Santana grabs a cutter on Wheeler though and it’s a middle rope Codebreaker into a double belly to back faceplant to give Santana the pin at 13:33.
Rating: B. This was what you would expect from these two teams as they tarted a bit more slowly and then wrestled a back and forth match. It wasn’t about the flips and dives and everything else and it made for a good showcase. These guys stood out because they did something differently and it stood out, as it should have.
Daniel Garcia and 2.0 don’t like Darby Allin overlooking them for the sake of CM Punk. This week on Rampage, Garcia is going to hurt Allin and take the match away from everyone.
Here is CM Punk for a chat. Punk asks if the fans are sick of him yet, because he could do this kind of thing for months. There are people who are going to get tired of this in a hurry, but he isn’t one of them so he’ll keep at it. This could all end for him on Sunday because he hasn’t wrestled in seven years and he is a little nervous. Cue Daniel Garcia and 2.0 for the beatdown (marking Punk’s first time getting physical in AEW) but Darby Allin and Sting come in for the save. Finishers abound, including the GTS.
Punk and Allin go nose to nose but Sting separates them. Hold on though as Punk has to clear out a bit more of the ring, allowing Sting to say he always wanted to share a ring with Punk. Sting respects him and it felt good to clear things out a bit like that. It’s time to get traffic out of the way for All Out and that includes Sting himself. Therefore, you won’t be seeing him at All Out because Allin and Punk are ready for Showtime without him. They have done a great job of making this feel like an epic dream match.
Video on Kenny Omega vs. Christian Cage, with various AEW names taking sides and talking about how Christian is one of the few people who can say they have beaten Omega in AEW.
We get a sitdown interview with Tony Schiavone and MJF. Tony doesn’t want to be here but MJF cuts him off and lists off most of Chris Jericho’s nicknames and ring names from over the years (including Cowboy Chris Jericho). After four decades, Jericho is on the Mount Rushmore of wrestling. When MJF’s career is said and done though, he is going to take Jericho’s place. Jericho is like Muhammad Ali, who was great once but he kept coming back for more. Then one day he had to be taken out, just like Jericho. On Sunday, Jericho’s music ends. The Ali analogy was good stuff, as is most of what MJF tends to say.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans
Matt Hardy is here with Evans and jumps Cassidy before the bell. Cassidy can go so Evans hammers away to start, including a shot to the back of the head and a kick to the chest. Cassidy makes the comeback but Evans bails to the floor before the Orange Punch. Back in and a high crossbody gives Cassidy two, followed by a Michinoku Driver for the same.
The lazy kicks abound, with Tony explaining that they aren’t supposed to hurt. We go to a standing switch (earning the boo/yay treatment) until Cassidy heads back up. Another high crossbody is broken up but Evans’ superplex attempt is blocked as well as we take a break. Back with….well Cassidy celebrating actually, as he won with a small package during the break at 6:48.
Rating: C. Totally fine way to keep Cassidy’s momentum going, though anything involving the Hardy Family Office is going to feel like a downgrade. I do like the way the ending went though, as it is enough of a twist to keep things interesting. Far too often, a show can fall into a repetitive formula so well done on mixing things up a bit for a change.
Post match here is Matt Hardy again and the beatdown is on. The Best Friends run in for the save but the rest of the Hardy Family Office runs in for the real beatdown. Cue Jurassic Express for the real save.
Eddie Kingston thinks Miro’s neck is a weak spot so he’s going after it. That strategy didn’t work when the Executioner said he was going after Tito Santana’s leg at the first Wrestlemania so I doubt it works here. Eddie is coming for the title, because that’s what makes Miro God’s favorite champion.
Miro says he only lays down for his wife after a title defense so he’s ending Kingston.
Jon Moxley has respect for Satoshi Kojima but that ends when the bell rings. He’s going back home to Cincinnati next week and he’s bringing Kojima’s scalp.
Jim Ross is in the ring and brings out Chris Jericho for a chat. Jericho says welcome to Chicago Is Jericho to (kind of) bust out one of the classics. It seems like a good time to hearken back to the past because he started his main event journey in this business here in Chicago. The man who recruited him to start that journey is the man standing in the ring with him, which earns a JR nod.
Jericho remembers signing the contract with JR, but now he wants to say that MJF is a piece of s***. He’s also diabolical and calculated, just like Jericho. They’re both button pushers and confident, so the only thing MJF has over him are three victories, and Jericho lists off the dates. Jericho doesn’t want it to be the end of his in-ring career and the fans certainly agree. He has to know he can beat MJF but if something goes wrong and he does lose, he is going to go to that commentary desk and do his best. Jericho has to know if he can win though and he’ll see what he can do on Sunday. Oh and MJF is a little p****. More good here.
Darby Allin will die to beat CM Punk in Chicago.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Brian Cage
Hook is here with Hobbs and Taz is on commentary. Cage jumps Hobbs in the aisle before the bell and whips him hard into the barricade. They head inside to officially start and a Hook distraction lets lets Hobbs get in some shots from behind. Cage gets knocked into the corner and we take a break.
Back with Hobbs firing off shoulders in the corner and Schiavone saying Britt Baker has some major free agent news. Cage makes the comeback and sends Hobbs flying with an exploder suplex. The Drill Claw is countered so Cage misses a discus lariat, allowing Hobbs to plant him with a spinebuster for two. A knee to the face staggers Hobbs though and Cage grabs an F5. Another Drill Claw is loaded up but Hook offers a distraction. Cue Ricky Starks to hit Cage with the FTW Title so Hobbs can grab Town Business for the pin at 7:23.
Rating: C+. Nice power match here and that’s what you need to see from these two. I’m not wild on the Cage vs. Hobbs feud as it has taken far too long to set things up, but at least there is even more of a reason for Cage to take off a few of Hobbs’ limbs. Good enough of a way to move things forward though, and that’s all it needed to be.
Malakai Black says he has given Lee Johnson a week to atone for his sins, but Johnson has been silent. Therefore, Black will take Johnson out and put two coins over his eyes so Johnson can pay the boatman’s toll in Hades.
Here is the Factory to call out Paul Wight, so here he is in a hurry. The swarm is on in a hurry but Wight cleans house….and the Gunn Club runs in after the ring is already empty. Marshall’s attempt to bring in a chair doesn’t work, so Billy Gunn hits Wight in the bad hip with the chair. Wight gets up so Billy chairs him in the head. Now the Factory comes back in for a cutter from Marshall. Billy Gunn being needed to boost a story is not a good sign.
Britt Baker announces that Jamie Hayter and Reba will be in the Casino Battle Royal. As for her free agent news, a top name has indeed signed with AEW. That would be….Baker herself!
Penelope Ford vs. Tay Conti
Bunny is here with Ford and Conti dives onto both of them before the bell. Conti grabs something like a dragon sleeper to hammer away with forearms to the chest and a pump kick gets two. We take a break and come back with Ford missing the handspring elbow into the corner and missing a running boot as well.
Conti scores with a high crossbody but Ford sends her throat first into the bottom rope. The Muta Lock is escaped and Conti grabs a leg crank of her own. That’s broken up so Conti hits some running boots in the corner. A fireman’s carry gutbuster plants Conti for two, with the bad leg slowing down the near fall. Bunny’s trip fails so Conti sends Ford into Bunny and grabs the rollup pin at 8:28.
Rating: C+. These two have gotten better in the ring with Conti being one of the best success stories in a long time around here. What matters here is that the two of them have gotten so much more comfortable in the ring and can have a good match like this one. The fans are into Conti as well and that’s a positive sign for her in-ring future.
Post match the double beatdown is on but Anna Jay makes the return for the save. She’s in the Casino Battle Royal too.
Thunder Rosa gets interrupted before she can talk about the battle royal so Nyla Rose and Jade Cargill beat her down. Mark Sterling breaks up the fight.
All Out rundown, including a special look at MJF vs. Chris Jericho.
Jurassic Express/Lucha Bros vs. Young Bucks/Good Brothers
Marko Stunt and Brandon Cutler are here too, with Don Callis joining commentary. Gallows and Luchasaurus start with the big showdown with Gallows driving him into the corner. The suplex is reversed into one from Luchasaurus though and it’s off to Fenix vs. Nick. The pace picks up and the Lucha Bros and Bucks come in for a superkick off. Matt knocks Penta down and some pelvic thrusting takes us to a break. Back with Jungle blasting Anderson with a clothesline on the floor and bringing in Fenix to pick the pace way up.
House is cleaned, including the very springboardy armdrag to Nick. A Death Valley Driver sets up the Lucha version of What’s Up for two more. Another Bucks vs. Bros kickoff gives us a four way knockdown and it’s back to Luchasaurus to clean house. Nick is shoved off the top and onto the Good Brothers. Back in and Anderson gets chokeslammed for two but Cutler offers a distraction, setting up a Magic Killer for two on Fenix. The BTE Trigger only has the Bucks’ knees clashing together but they counter Fenix’s springboard into the Meltzer Driver for the pin at 10:11.
Rating: B-. It was fun while it lasted but this was shorter than the usual wild tag matches. The Bucks got in their big beatdown on Fenix, which makes me think that the title change on Sunday is that much more likely. That is certainly the way things should go, as there is no reason for the Bucks to hold onto the belts any longer. Good match, but not as wild and crazy as you would have expected.
Post match here are Kenny Omega and Don Callis to lead the beatdown on the Bros and the Express. A Magic Killer puts Luchasaurus through a table and Omega tells Jungle that he isn’t in contention anymore. Christian Cage runs in but the beatdown is on again. Omega tells Callis to lower the cage so everyone is locked in (minus the top). Dante Martin and Frankie Kazarian come in but get knocked down, mainly via sprays to the face. The big group beatdown is on and the BTE Trigger knocks Christian silly to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. They did a very nice job of making me want to see the pay per view and that was the point of the entire show. It was a good use of two hours and the action was working as well. If they can raise their game up for the pay per view even more, then everything should work out well in the end. Nice show here, and better than last week by a pretty wide margin.
Santana/Ortiz b. FTR – Double spinning belly to back slam
Orange Cassidy b. Jack Evans – Small package
Powerhouse Hobbs b. Brian Cage – Town Business
Tay Conti b. Penelope Ford – Rollup
Young Bucks/Good Brothers b. Jurassic Express/Lucha Bros – Meltzer Driver to Fenix
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