A completely sold out NOW Arena from just outside Chicago, Illinois will see All Elite Wrestling (AEW) return for All Out 2022. In the main event, a somewhat unlikely rematch for the AEW World Championship between Jon Moxley and CM Punk, after a one-sided blowout just two weeks ago on AEW Dynamite. In an attempt to reunite the World Championship he held, and the Interim Title held by Jon Moxley, CM Punk returned from injury apparently too soon and was defeated in a matter of minutes. Now in front of his home state crowd, CM Punk looks to take back the title he scratched and clawed for from the unhinged Jon Moxley in what is surely going to be a one-sided crowd in favour of the Second City Saint. In the wake of an unexpected injury to AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa, four of AEW’s top female competitors will battle to determine an interim champion: two former champions, Hikaru Shida and Britt Baker, along with current number one contender Toni Storm, and fast-rising star Jamie Hayter will each be looking to stake their claim for the interim gold, with an expected unification match looming once Thunder Rosa is medically cleared. The unlikely but impressive tag team due of Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee will also be defending their World Tag Team Titles as they face Anthony Bowens and Max Caster of The Acclaimed. With Billy Gunn in The Acclaimed’s corner, will the defending champions prove they are tough as rocks and granite, or will there be a scissor party with The Acclaimed in Hoffman Estates?
Meanwhile, on the back of a gruelling tournament, the first ever AEW Trios World Championships will be decided, as Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks reform The Elite to battle The Dark Order’s John Silver & Alex Reynolds, and their partner Hangman Adam Page. This will be the first time Page and Omega have been face to face since their unforgettable AEW World Championship match at Full Gear in November last year. In a match that has become incredible personal, Jungle Boy has claimed it won’t just be his character that wants to kick Christian Cage’s ass, but it will indeed be Jack Perry himself. Ricky Starks will finally get his hands on Powerhouse Hobbs, after Hobbs not just metaphorically stabbed his former partner in the back, but nearly literally broke it in a vicious assault. Two of the all time best wrestlers in the world will also face off when “Lionheart” Chris Jericho faces the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson on a dream match for the AEW faithful. Kicking off the show, eight of AEW’s top stars will battle in a Casino Ladder Match, with the winner earning a future AEW World Championship match. In a random order, two of Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Penta El Cero Miedo, Rush, Rey Fenix, Andrade El Idolo and Dante Martin will start the match, with another joining every few minutes. The match can end at any time, even if not all competitors have made their entrance, and the final man to enter will be ‘The Joker’, a mystery competitor to be named in the match. All of this and much more on the main card of AEW All Out.
On the All Out Zero Hour pre-show, three championship will be determined, and one huge grudge match will take place, the later of which sees Eddie Kingston go one on one with Tomohiro Ishii of New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Meanwhile, PAC will defend the All-Atlantic Championship against persistent thorn in his side, Kip Sabian. Sabian made his shocking return a few weeks ago after following PAC around the world, and the two will finally meet right here, and right now. HOOK will face his toughest challenge to date when he defends the FTW Championship against “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker of the Jericho Appreciation Society, and Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo, also of the JAS, will be in action as they defend the AAA Mixed Tag Team titles against Ruby Soho and Ortiz for the second time in just a few weeks.
+ Jon Moxley (c) vs CM Punk (AEW World Championship): I am a huge CM Punk fan, and have been for as long as I can remember knowing who CM Punk was. I am also a fan of Jon Moxley, when he gets a chance to wrestle someone who can in fact actually wrestle, and not just use weapons and blood in every match (which frankly is what his most recent matches have felt like). I thoroughly enjoyed this main event match, thanks in no small part to the way the crowd was changing who they were cheering for based on what was happening in the match, which is what I think wrestling should be like. The aftermath was something I think most people expected, but frankly I don’t think it worked the way it was planned to
+ “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs Christian Cage: this was exactly what it should have been, though I imagine it will require some explanation. I enjoyed it overall. Christian is such a slimeball, it’s a joy to watch — ironically, I think a match between he and long time partner in WWE Edge would be something huge right now
+ Swerve in Our Glory (Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee) (c) vs The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) (w/ Billy Gunn) (AEW World Tag Team Championships): a match that featured an absolute first time ever chant, this eventually turned into a fantastic match that really showcases what tag team wrestling can be. I am a big fan of Swerve and how he is absolutely still a bad guy on his own team, but Keith Lee is a bit more difficult to get behind; he comes across so arrogant in his matches (in character), I don’t then buy him being a nice guy. The Acclaimed both looked great, especially Bowens who has always been the better in ring guy of the two of them
+ Ricky Starks vs Powerhouse Hobbs: I was low-key really looking forward to this one, as this sort of story is exactly what should culminate in a big PPV match. I was a little bit disappointed at the aftermath of this, and certainly disappointed in the time they were given, but overall I would call it a success. Ricky Stark is going to be a huge star if he is given a real chance, and I hope it starts now
+ The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs Hangman Page & The Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) (AEW World Trios Championships): as always, both Dark Order boys proved just how underrated they are in a tag team setting, with Silver in particular showing how good he could be if given a chance to try something big. The wait for Kenny/Hangman facing off was certainly worth it, and while there was a bit of the standard ‘finish fatigue’ that all AEW matches seem to have, this had a great ending and overall was a really fun match to watch
+ Tomohiro Ishii vs Eddie Kingston: at one point, Kingston was set to face Guevara on this show. That didn’t happen, and considering how this match went, I am incredibly grateful for that. Ishii is easily in the top two or three of my all time favourites currently in wrestling and I get invested in every single match he has. Kingston has been a bit hit or miss lately, but this was a sure fire banger and I loved it
+ PAC (c) vs Kip Sabian (AEW All-Atlantic Championship): I really, really liked this match. I would consider myself a fan of Sabian, and while I don’t really know why he hasn’t been wrestling of late, this was a great comeback nonetheless. PAC is one of AEW’s best for a reason, and as much as I love Death Triangle, I was hopeful that this All-Atlantic Championship would give him the chance to put on some banger singles matches. Thankfully, that seems to be the case, and some late- and post-match stuff was interesting, and I look forward to seeing where it goes. I also appreciate Sabian’s My Chemical Romance/Nightmare Before Christmas styled attire
– Miro, Darby Allin & Sting vs The House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews): I have absolutely no idea what the plan was for this one, but this was as standard a TV match as you can get. A collision between Miro and Brody King should have been a big moment, but they were just two more competitors in a throwaway match on a show full of throwaway matches. Darby Allin and Sting was fun, but Darby needs to get away from Sting now and start going for the TNT or All- Atlantic Titles. I was really disappointed in this one
– “Lionheart” Chris Jericho vs “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson: I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn’t get into it. Jericho had his old school entrance (but it just made the juxtaposition of his 90s footage and his 2022 appearance that much more obvious), but Danielson’s entrance was horribly lame and immediately put a damper on the whole situation. I don’t know if I can even pinpoint exactly why I didn’t like this, but Danielson’s stock has fallen so far since his arrival in AEW, and that might be because he is the only one in the Blackpool Combat Club without a title at the moment. This was the longest thing on the show, and it absolutely felt like it
– Toni Storm vs Dr Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs Jamie Hayter vs Hikaru Shida (AEW Inter Women’s World Championship): the crowd was 100 per cent behind Jamie Hayter here, and it was the inevitable teases of Hayter/Baker that got the most intrigue out of me. Otherwise, this was a really predictable and frankly underwhelming match
– Wardlow & FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs Jay Lethal & Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley): both of FTR, and especially Wardlow should be doing much bigger and better things right now. I can’t quite put it together in my head how The Acclaimed are getting a title match and not FTR. I have always been a big fan of Alex Shelley in particular, and the match was perfectly well wrestled, but this was seemingly all about the aftermath, and that could have just been a five minute segment. What a waste of everyone involved, especially the MCMGs. I still love that wind up lariat Wardlow does
– Jade Cargill (c) vs Athena (TBS Championship): this was not good at all. Another of Cargill’s comic book inspired entrance attires was my personal highlight. Jade needs something to help her get better, because she is absolutely not there yet
– Claudio Castagnoli vs Wheeler Yuta vs Penta El Cero Miedo vs Rey Fenix vs Rush vs Andrade El Idolo vs Dante Martin vs ???? (Casino Ladder Match): this was really strange. The fact that there are three tag teams in here never played into the story at all, and in fact at one point in particular had me scratching my head at how dumb it made one team look. The surprise was predictable and then drawn out too long for my liking, but I can admit the ending of this match was at least something interesting that I don’t think I’ve seen before
– HOOK vs “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker (w/ “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard) (FTW Championship): it’s another HOOK match, and win or lose it is always going to be basically the same thing. This was just another on a long list of things that felt like time fillers
– Ruby Soho & Ortiz vs Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo (AAA Mixed Tag Team Championships): this was short and fine, but entirely unnecessary. I get the feeling this all stemmed from wanting to recreate a famous Sammy Guevara moment, but I don’t entirely understand why. I didn’t care for this
> I am incredibly embarrassed to say that I have only just realised that the Jericho Appreciation Society’s “JAS” logo is a spoof of the Justice Society of America logo from DC Comics. I deserve your shame
> for the first time in as long as I can remember writing AEW reviews, there was too much to fit into the opening three paragraphs. Considering I usually stop at two paragraphs, that is telling of a card with too many matches
Should you watch this event: Of course this was a good show, but there was just far too much going on. Fifteen matches is simply too many for one show (counting the Zero Hour and PPV proper as one, as is how I watched them). On a show where the Trios champs were crowned, there was no need for two other random trios matches. Eight of the 15 matches were for championships, and another was a ladder match for a future title match, and Wardlow and FTR were not even defending their titles. It’s just too much. I’m exhausted just trying to recap it all.