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    Wednesday, September 8, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: All Out 2021


    It’s AEW’s All Out! You know what that means…

    A new golden age in professional wrestling BAY BAY.

    Seriously. The fact that All Out ended with the debuts of Adam Cole, the face of NXT for the longest time, and WrestleMania 37 main-eventer Bryan Danielson is a game-changer if I ever saw one. Having their debut take place after the main event was a brilliant call, as it felt like a dramatic bookend to an already excellent show. 

    This isn’t a case where bitter wrestlers were misused in WWE and can now prove their worth; Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson had great careers over there and still chose to go to AEW after it was all said and done. How can that not change the wrestling landscape a little?

    Did we also mention that CM Punk made his in-ring return at All Out? Well, CM Punk made his wrestling return at All Out

    Anyone expecting to get five-star CM Punk right off the gate would have been crazy, but he did great prevailing against Darby Allin with his signature GTS. Punk did seem nervous as the man was clearly trying to shake off his ring rust, relying on rest holds so he could call spots with Darby, but it all worked out in the end and these two gave us a really good bout.

    Yes, CM Punk had a good return match, and it wasn’t even the best match of this show.

    Wrestling-wise, this was a stellar effort, even for AEW’s very high standards. 

    The opener where Miro retained the TNT Championship against Eddie Kingston was perfectly booked, with The Redeemer needing to cheat to beat The Mad King. Jon Moxley’s quest to kill New Japan’s greatest legends continued, as he beat Satoshi Kojima but now has to take on Minoru Suzuki on Dynamite, which will be epic. 

    Kris Statlander had a star-making performance in a losing effort against Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. as the two put on one of the best women’s matches we’ve seen for the AEW Women’s World Championship and it was up there with some of the best NXT women’s matches, showing that Tony Khan really needs to promote his women’s division better.

    Match of the Night has to go to the Lucha Bros beating The Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championship in a fantastic Steel Cage Match. This had it all: The Young Bucks being pricks? Check. The Lucha Bros flipping all the shit? Check. Showdowns between the big brothers and the little brothers? Double-check. It was so good, just watch it already.

    While the build was a bit rushed, Christian Cage vs. Kenny Omega proved to be a worthy main event for this show. I’m not sure if it was better than their Rampage match, which had the benefit of minimal shenanigans, but the match was perfectly paced and had the right amount of spots and drama. Omega won with a top-rope One-Winged Angel and that was a thing of beauty.

    In case my gushing didn’t give it away, this is an all-time great show from AEW, maybe even an all-time great show in the history of professional wrestling. 

    Admittedly, the show wasn’t perfect. The Women’s Casino Battle Royale was booked and produced badly, with various entrances not getting caught on camera, while most of the eliminations lacked drama. Ruby Soho debuting was good and the final bit with Nyla Rose and Thunder Rosa was well-worked so that almost makes up for it. 

    Paul Wight squashing QT Marshall should have been on Dynamite or Rampage but at least it was short, giving us a chance to go to the bathroom.

    Still, those are minor quibbles. The 2021 edition of All Out is one for the ages and everyone should see it, whether you’re an AEW fan or have never seen an AEW show in your life.

    Final Grade: A+

    Bullet Point Party

    • I weirdly enjoyed the screwy finish of Chris Jericho vs MJF III. Hear me out. MJF can use the fact that he pinned Jericho with his finisher and claim he got "screwed" by the referees and Le Champion gets to wrestle again. What matters is, they both move on to new programs now.
    • Speaking of Jericho, how embarrassing was it to see the audience not sing along to the guitarist Judas? They really should have gone for a regular Jericho entrance, this was cringe-inducing.
    • Why in the hell was Skye Blue, a Chicago native, eliminated first in the Casino Battle Royale? Come on AEW, you usually let the hometown hero shine for a bit, not all of the Chicago rub has to go to CM Punk.
    Images from AEW 

    *****

    Nico Parungo is a freelance contributor for Geeky PH and previously wrote for Epicstream. He provides weekly recaps of AEW Dynamite for Smark Henry and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF shows. 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 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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