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    Monday, September 7, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: All Out 2020

    Kenny Omega and Adam Page at AEW All Out 2020

    If there’s one thing I’ve praised AEW for, it’s that the shows are solid, consistent, and are always building up to something. The company is also unafraid to give fans plenty of wrestling variety, with this year’s Double or Nothing managing to be an excellent show due to how different each match felt from each other. While the 2020 edition of All Out does have a lot of AEW's strengths on display, this is easily the weakest big show from the company thus far.

    Does that make AEW’s All Out a bad wrestling event? Not really. The majority of matches are good-to-great and a good number of stories from Dynamite have major turning points during this event. Kenny Omega has seemingly had enough of Hangman Page and his insecurities. The Young Bucks are also letting their personal issues with Page affect their matches, working like heels. Mr. Brodie Lee finally lashed out on Colt Cabana after weeks of giving him special treatment over the other Dark Order members. We even got some conclusive endings to long-running feuds, like Orange Cassidy besting Chris Jericho in their trilogy and Big Swole shutting Dr. Britt Baker up.

    Young Bucks vs Jurassic Express

    So what’s not to like about All Out? Well, there’s that major injury Matt Hardy suffered and the fact that they let his match continue when they really shouldn’t have. Darby Allin also took a nasty-looking bump when he was put in a body bag and powerbombed out of the ring by Brian Cage. Thunder Rosa vs. Hikaru Shida was a good match but the fact that someone from the NWA can get a championship opportunity without being in the company shows how poorly-built AEW’s women’s division is, while also making a mockery out of the already flimsy rating system the company always pushes. 

    Oh right, we’re also getting Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer as the next world championship feud. It should be a good match but Archer has lost a lot of his luster for me since his loss to Cody, with no real follow-up to his character aside from a mini-rivalry between him and Cage. Maybe I’m just mad because Eddie Kingston didn’t win and his promos against Moxley would have been MONEY. So yeah, the program they chose doesn’t excite me, at least not yet.

    All Out isn’t the worst wrestling show ever but we’ve come to expect a bit more from AEW, especially with all of the talents they have on hand. Thankfully, they still have some great stories under their belt and I do want to see more from this company. When you’ve fired on all cylinders right off the gate, you’re bound to shoot some blanks and this one only barely hit its target.

    Final Grade: B. Would have been a B+ if not for the stupid mishandling of Matt Hardy’s injury.

    Jon Moxley defeats MJF

    Bullet Point Party:
    • Big Swole beat Britt Baker in a surprisingly entertaining cinematic-style match: This one didn’t take too long and had enough entertaining moments to make it a fun, comedic opener. The ending where Swole knocked Baker out with laughing gas was top-tier.
    • The Young Bucks defeated Jurassic Express in an awesome match but were dicks about it: We got a pretty excellent match because the Bucks work so much better as heels since their natural dick personas are so easy to hate on and they know it. Big points for making Jungle Boy look incredible in defeat by having him kick out of so many damn moves before a BTE Trigger. I wish Jim Ross would stop being a shill for The Bucks since he enables their actions so much.
    • Lance Archer killed everyone in the Casino Battle Royale: A pretty unmemorable battle royal, to be honest. The biggest highlight for me was Taz NOT burying Matt Sydal when he accidentally botched his Shooting Star Press. The man pointed our how humid it was and saw how Sydal slipped so that was appreciated. Also, just because Darby Allin has a death wish doesn’t mean you need to try killing him all the time.
    • Matt Hardy won and kept his job but this should have been a no-contest: I don’t know why they would let this match continue after that horrific bump he took. Hardy was unconscious for almost a minute. Just bad form all around and they could have easily booked a rematch for a future Dynamite. As Randy Orton would say: STUPID STUPID STUPID.
    • Hikaru Shida bests NWA’s Thunder Rosa in a well-worked match that also had sloppy moments: A pretty good match for the most part, though some of the strikes throughout looked a little weak. Not gonna complain too much about punches and kicks lacking in oomph though, since I literally just ranted about Matt Hardy and Darby Allin almost dying.
    • Kip Sabian shits on WWE banning its employees for using Twitch: Easily the best thing on this show.
    • Cody’s friends beat The Dark Order after Colt Cabana fucked up: This was an okay match with some surprisingly decent storytelling. I liked how each Dark Order member would try to rile up Dustin Rhodes and having Cabana cost them the win after Mr. Brodie Lee already secured it for his team was the right call for this storyline. Evil Uno comforting Cabana was also interesting and could lead to some intriguing fallout.
    • FTR are your new AEW Tag Team Champions despite a strong effort from Omega and Hangman: I seemed to like this more than the audience at Daily’s Place did. A little long, sure, but the work from both teams was phenomenal and Hangman doing everything he could to be a good partner to Omega after messing up his relationship with The Young Bucks put it over the top for me. Kenny only giving Hangman the double high-five so that his partner wouldn’t break the ten count and get their team disqualified was surprisingly great storytelling. They should have ended it after that first assisted piledriver though.
    • Orange Cassidy throws Chris Jericho into a Mimosa pit to win this rivalry: This was a well-worked smoke and mirrors match that hid Jericho’s weaknesses, while also playing to his strengths. And you know what? Jericho looked surprisingly cozy while in that tub filled with Mimosa. Can’t wait to see where this win takes Cassidy.
    • Jon Moxley breaks the rules better than MJF in a great match to retain the AEW World Championship: I hate the whole “ban this man’s finisher” stipulation so having Moxley beat MJF with the Paradigm Shift behind the ref’s back was gratifying and pointless at the same time. Why even do this stip when that was going to be the finish anyway? At least we got a good main event out of it, with Moxley and MJF doing good work in this wrestling match.
    Photos from AEW.

    Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: All Out 2020 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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