All IN Review: Did It Live Up To The Hype?

All IN Review: Did It Live Up To The Hype?


In wrestling of late, nothing has been more discussed than #ALLIN, the brainchild of Cody Rhodes and Nick and Matt Jackson, the Young Bucks.  Blah blah, you can read that anywhere.  What’s important is Meltzer was the drive for the show, and they ended the show with a Meltzer Driver.

Let’s break down the fun parts of ALL IN!

All IN Review

(Pictures Courtesy of

The Over-Budget Battle Royal was as silly as a good BR should be, and having it called by Dalton Castle added a cool aspect.


There was some grimy talk between people, a few things said that I won’t repeat (and this is one match about which I will not discuss ring gear), but the favorites to win towards the end were #ColtCabana, Bully Ray Dudley and Jordynn Grace.

Bully looked like a sure thing, but it turned out that Chico wasn’t Chico at all, but FLIP GORDON!


The man ended up booking himself in the end, and he went on to fight Jay Lethal.  We all knew it was coming, but that was a very satisfying climax to the Book Flip storyline.

MJF vs.Cross


MJF v Cross was fun to watch if only because Cross really can land delightful shooting stars.  He won, we move on.  I am downplaying it a little here, it was a very good first match, but the energy of the crowd made it a little less than memorable.

Stephen Amell is a real looker.  Even when he’s getting beat up, he just looks great.  Daniels from the SCU faction, who definitely think Chicago is the WORST city they’ve EVER been in, beat the tar out of Amell.  Amell looked strong and fought clean, even though he in no uncertain terms had his butt beat.  This was the first Bullet Club member match.

Women’s 4 Way

The Women’s 4-way was next, and who did we hear on commentary but TENILLE DASHWOOD!

Miss formerly-Emma was sparkling at the mic as #ChelseaGreen, #BrittBaker, #TessaBlanchard, and #MadisonRayne squared off.  Blanchard won with a fearful looking hammerlock DDT and won a place in my heart.  She makes my heart go doki doki.  I’ll admit it.

Shoutout to the REAL Chico and his Bullet Club friend Fat Ass Masa, front row!

NWA Tile On The Line

I felt honoured to watch the next match live.  #BrandiRhodes, looking like the queen she is, came out to valet for Cody Rhodes.  For the #NWA title.  At ALL IN.  That particular belt has a history rich in Rhodes masterclasses, and for Cody to be staring it down, putting his Ring of Honor ring on the line for a chance at winning it was unmissable.

From Brandi’s crystal catsuit, to Cody’s weight belt, to Pharoah, the Siberian Nightmare’s guest appearance, there wasn’t a moment missed to bring hype without the use of tons of promos and recaps.


The fight was brutal, and watching #CodyRhodes tell this story with his whole body, watching Brandi tell her chapter, and then seeing Aldis be defeated with such high stakes made the catharsis of Rhodes’ struggle feel real.

Even Diamond Dallas Page made a show of checking on Cody after a nasty bump that left him bloodied.  Such drama!  I know rasslin’ doesn’t believe in towels, but maybe they should.


The Penis Procession Takes Page To Purgatory.  I don’t want to dismiss Adam Page as a competitor, and this match with Joey Janela was super fun (why did no one tell me about Penelope Ford?

You are not my friends), but everything was sidelined a little when my gal stared at the telly and said, almost in a trance, “Page is pretty.”  I nearly died, and then we got to witness a Chicago Streetfight that was as much a rummage sale at a furniture store as it was a wrestling match.  They had an actual barrel from Cracker Barrel.

Sponsorship these days is wild, man!  There were a lot of high spots, moonsaults, the usual from two strong wrestlers, but the details were overshadowed by haunted boots.  And the murder weapon, a landline phone.  And a rising penis.  Then a whole “phalanx of phalluses”, so to speak.

So many.

Joey Ryan has been brought back from the dead, praise dongs!  The sleaze was turned up to 11 for the finale which left Hangman …hung.  Another great storyline played to it’s satisfying conclusion.  I will never again see a match during which the commentators say things like “I am an expert in penises” and “the dark phallic arts.”  This is professional wrestling in a very pure form.

(A note, Finn Balor, founder of the #BulletClub, was in Shanghai performing with Cena and Lashley, and he posted a victory photo during this match.)

Lethal vs Gordan


The #FlipGordon match we all asked for and got was next, with the Ring of Honor championship on the line, held by Jay Lethal, thinking he was Randy Savage.  The red and yellow costume made Jay look amazing in HD, and the switches between personas kept the match fresh.

#JayLethal won of course, but Flip looked amazing and the inimitable Brandi Rhodes acted as his valet in the cutest little Army pin-up dress I’ve ever seen!  It wasn’t even a squash match; Flip showed he can run with the big boys.  Sort of.  There was another match like this and it was more effective, but that’s for later.  If you were wondering, my gal said, “Oh, Flip’s a cutie!”

Bully Ray Dudley and Colt Cabana stormed the ring at appropriately dramatic times, and we were treated to a fun Eff You to the Dubya.  Flip, Colt, and Jay triple powerbombed Buddy Ray through a table.

That’s not familiar AT ALL. Wink bloody wink.

Kenny Omega vs Penta El Zero M

Penta El Zero M versus Kenny Omega was next, one of the crowning gems of a show full of treasures.  Penta is a BEAST in the ring, this is the first time I’ve seen him wrestle, and even though it was Kenny’s moves I was counting, it was Penta showing us what a real fight looks like.


Seriously, his package piledriver to #KennyOmega on the ring apron made me gasp!  By the way, in the Kenny Count, we had 5 V-triggers (though I may have missed a few), 4 missed One-Winged Angel, and the one One-Winged Angel that counted.  Kenny didn’t need Tokyo Dome-style ring costumes tonight, his domination of the sport was clear without it.



And then everything went black.  Penta took off his mask once the lights returned….AND IT WAS CHRIS JERICHO!  The man was wearing his new Blackcraft Cult shirt available at various online retailers and went after Kenny, beating him down and challenging him to the big match of the Jericho Cruise.  What a man!

Okada vs. Skurll

The match everyone knew the outcome of but no one knew how was #Okada v Skurll.  Okada is considered blah blah best in the world blah blah Meltzer whatever.  He’s been all IGPW and he’s amazing to watch, and after this match all I wanted was to watch more of him.


He didn’t make Marty look weak, but he did emphasize his own strength and skill.  Every moment of near taunting was countered by #MartySkrull, who looked ready to win more than once.  His ALL IN umbrella was super neat, but Okada’s holo jacket and rainmaker swagger took the cake.  The man-bun was cool, but the red shock of Okada’s hair was even cooler.

Okada took the victory with a pair of rainmakers after Marty spat in his face and tried to break his fingers.  The crowd loved it, I loved it, it was great.  This was the more effective of the Little Guy Can Run With The Big Guys matches, and I think it’ll be the one with longer-lasting effects.

Historic Main Event

The final match was a three-man-tag, truly an historic main event.

The Golden Elite, consisting of the Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson, and Kenny Omega’s tag partner in the Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi, held down one side of the ring.

The other was a lucha fan’s dream lineup of #ReyMysterio, Fenix, and Bandito.  This match…you know, I don’t think I took many notes, because the clash of flying-type wrestling and top-level lucha had me stuck.

I couldn’t look away because I was terrified I’d miss it.

Kota looked adorable in his little gold trunks, and the Bucks were as always in top fashion-backward form.  But when the luchas took to the ring, the best masks in the industry came out.  Not only was this a masterclass of wrestling, it was a masterclass in tailoring and storytelling.

all in main event

There had been some Being The Elite build up for this match, but not the way the others had been.  The wrestlers all told stories that I wanted to follow here, and I hope this match, both strong and pretty, goes down in the books as a supernova in an event filled with stars.

Did ALL IN Deliver?

And unlike other pay-per-view events, it ended exactly on time, even at the expense of final commentary.

Overall, I was deeply satisfied watching ALL IN, and it was worth the $40US to watch it live.  The stream cut for everyone at exactly 2300 EST (11pm), the very second the match ended with the Bucks making a pinfall on the Luchas with a Meltzer Driver.  What a punctuation.

It’s impossible to talk about this show without talking about the WWE as well.  This show changed the profile of the whole indy scene, and many sly and not-so-sly references were made.  Nods to Goldust, discussion of Rhodes leaving a sure thing for the indies, Finn posting the second he was free from his match to watch, the commentators talking about “Kev”, meaning Kevin Owens…I mean, Steen.  Kevin Steen.

Chatting about “the Network”, the use of the triple powerbomb against a big mean problem…it felt as though not only were the ALL IN crew deserving of the chance to poke at the big corporation, they weren’t going to do more than make little swipes because their big night was far more important than petty revenge.  Or, rather, that their petty fight with Meltzer was far more important than anything to do with the Dubya.  The show transcended my expectations by being classy, even in the face of a penis procession.

Thanks to Bree NicGarran for her insight and record-keeping.


 It seems that yes, the main event was cut early due to broadcasting time, and the Bucks were proud that they ended on time, with 3 seconds to spare.  It’s a blatant swipe at the Dubya, whose PPVs now threaten to run 6-7 hours with pre-show.

No one got up or left as the Bucks brought the Elite to the stage, and the crowd cheered Kenny, Cody, Marty, Page, and Brandi.  To finish off the night, Cody reminded the crowd that the good thing about a bet is, you can go double or nothing. It’s down to Daddy Meltzer to take that bet…and maybe we’ll have a 20k arena to sell out at ALL IN 2.


#LaurenGoodnight thinks you’re all numpties.
Follow her on twitter @lulugoodnight and Instagram @iamlaurengoodnight

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All IN Review: Did It Live Up To The Hype?
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All IN Review: Did It Live Up To The Hype?

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