It’s 12:57am as I write this. I’ve just come back from something more then a pro wrestling show. I know, even I cringed reading that. But that’s what it was. ALL IN wasn’t just a show. It was a feeling, a moment, and a spectacle.
I was lucky enough to attend Flip Gordon’s ALL OUT pre-show party. Meet and greets were held and I was able to meet my personal favorite, Marty Scurll. It’s the second time I’ve met Marty. And he’s always been one of the nicest guys I’ve met.
I was able to get into the arena about two hours early. And two hours is a long wait. But every time I would get fussy or restless I’d just look up. Look up and really take in where I was and what I was witnessing. I was seeing an arena with 10,000 seats slowly fill to capacity. With a half hour left, the arena was already filled and buzzing with electricity. This was gonna be one hell of a show.
Cody and The Young Bucks came out and got the crowd hyped. The crowd became unglued from their seats. To kick off the show we got to see a 15 man (and woman) battle royal. It was filled with so many fun moments. And the winner, Flip Gordon, went from being ALL OUT to ALL IN.
There was some very good opening matches to kick off the show. From Matt Cross vs MJF (who called me Goth R Us 😒) to the women’s Fatal 4 Way (Britt Baker, Chelsea Green, Madison Rayne, and Tessa Blanchard). I really liked the match that the women put on. Each one was able to have their own moment and shine. But in the end it was Tessa Blanchard who would come up victorious.
”The Bad Boy” Joey Janela (w/ Penelope Ford) and “Hangman” Adam Page put on a crazy, hilarious, Chicago street fight. And we finally got see the confrontation between Adam Page and famous Dick wrestler Joey Ryan (yes I know what I typed. YouTube Joey Ryan and you’ll understand).
It may not have been main event, but with the reception this guy got…it might as well have been. Cody, the man who left the WWE to take a chance on himself, and one of the three men behind ALL IN. Cody had an amazing “boxing/UFC” like entrance. He was accompanied by his wife Brandi and his husky, Pharaoh. But the best part was that he was walking with ECW legend Tommy Dreamer and WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page who were close friends with his dad, Dusty Rhodes. Cody was able to pull it off and defeat Nick Aldis to win the match. You could see the emotions overwhelm Cody as he had just won the same belt his dad one.
Kenny Omega and Penta el Zero put on a killer match. The crowd was ready for some hard hitting action. The two hadn’t even laid a hand on each other and the crowd was already chanting “holy shit!” Every one was stoked to see the lucha libre of Pentagon clash with the hybrid style of Kenny Omega. The match was great, but the end of the match is what made it extremely memorable. Kenny pins Penta for the 1,2,3 count and celebrates with the ecstatic crowd. But then the lights cut out. When the lights came back on, Penta was back in the ring. But was it Penta? I remember scanning the body looking for any tattoos or giveaways. Sure enough, I did. It was Chris Jericho. The legend “Y2J” Chris Jericho hit Omega with a flurry of punches and two Code Breakers. Jericho standing over a beaten Omega grabbed the microphone and simply said, “I’ll see you on the Jericho cruise.”
The co main event rolled around and blew the roof off. Getting to see “The Villain” Marty Scurll and Japan’s superstar “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada was amazing. It was a great back and forth match that told a great story. But sadly the villain couldn’t stop the rain. The two put on an amazing technical match that had everyone on their feet.
The main event was finally happening. But there was one big problem. We only had about 13-10 minutes left. Which sounds like a lot of time. But in all actuality, it’s not. It was the team of Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Kota Ibusi “The Golden Elite” vs Fenix, Bandido, and Rey Mysterio. But the time limit just made the match more insane. Back to back dives and flips left and right. It was a great exclamation point to an amazing night of pro-wrestling.
At the end of the night, the entire “Being the Elite” cast came out and gave amazing speeches of appreciation and gratitude to the fans. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt) and Cody took a chance on themselves. They believed they could sell out a 10,000 seat arena. And they did. That night, September 1st, will truly be remembered as one of the most important nights in pro wrestling history.
On the plane back I listened to an episode of “The Art of Wrestling Podcast” that had Nick and Matt Jackson. Nick mentions that he had to convince his brother Matt not to quit. Matt just had his first kid and wanted to call it. But Nick told him, “Matt, there is a reason why we’ve been in this for 10 years. We’re here for a reason.” Imagine if they had retired? ALL IN wouldn’t have existed and who knows what the world of pro-wrestling would be like today.