All In (professional wrestling event)

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All In
ALL IN WGN Poster.jpg
Promotional poster featuring Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)
Date September 1, 2018
City Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Venue Sears Centre
Attendance 11,263[1]
Tagline(s) The Biggest Independent Wrestling Show Ever
Theme
song
(s)
"All In" by Downstait[2]
"All In" by Matthew Lee Massie[3]
Sponsor(s) Cracker Barrel[4]
Hot Topic[4]
Pro Wrestling Tees[5]
T.G.I. Friday's[6]

All In (stylized as ALL IN) was an independent professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event promoted by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) from the Bullet Club. It took place on September 1, 2018 at the Sears Centre in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The event aired live on traditional PPV outlets, Fite TV, and Honor Club, and was later made available for on demand viewing on the NJPW World streaming service.[7] The event included Zero Hour, an hour long pre-show that aired on WGN America. The event – while independently produced – featured wrestlers from Ring of Honor (ROH), Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Impact Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).

The event had eleven matches, with two being on the pre-show. The show's main event was a six-man tag team match which saw The Golden Elite (Kota Ibushi, Matt and Nick Jackson) defeat Rey Mysterio, Rey Fénix, and Bandido.[8] In the penultimate match, Kazuchika Okada defeated Marty Scurll. On the undercard, Cody defeated Nick Aldis to win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, Jay Lethal (with Lanny Poffo) successfully defended the ROH World Championship against Flip Gordon, and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega defeated Penta El Zero.

The event is notable for being the first non-WWE or World Championship Wrestling promoted professional wrestling event in the United States to sell 10,000 tickets since 1993.[9]

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

In May 2017, a fan asked Wrestling Observer Newsletter journalist Dave Meltzer on Twitter if ROH could sell 10,000 tickets and Meltzer responded: "Not any time soon". Cody took Meltzer's remark as a challenge and responded: "I'll take that bet Dave". Eventually, the idea evolved from a ROH show to a self-funded event (with ROH's official sanctioning),[10] promoted by Cody and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson).[9][11] It was later announced that Kenny Omega, Brandi Rhodes, and actor Stephen Amell would be participating in the event.[12]

Sears Centre, the location of All In

On December 31, 2017, Cody and The Young Bucks announced on the Bucks' YouTube channel, Being The Elite, that they were looking at different venues to hold the event.[13][14][15] It was later reported by Pro Wrestling Insider that the event was set to be held in Chicago.[16] On January 10, 2018, it was announced that the event would take place on September 1.[17][18][19] On March 5, All In's venue was revealed as the Sears Centre located in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Illinois.[20][21] Over the comings weeks, independent wrestlers would be announced to take part in the show, including Penta El Zero, Rey Fénix, Kazuchika Okada, Deonna Purrazzo (though she would later be removed after signing with WWE), Tessa Blanchard, Jay Lethal, Chelsea Green, Marty Scurll, and "Hangman" Adam Page.[22][23][24][25] Additionally, it was announced that to coincide with the event, Conrad Thompson would hold Starrcast,[26] a fan convention which would feature numerous wrestlers and wrestling and podcast personalities including Jeff Jarrett, Eric Bischoff, Bruce Prichard, Diamond Dallas Page, and Macaulay Culkin.[27][28][29][30] During the All In press conference on May 13, it was announced that Rey Mysterio and NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis would be taking part in the event.[10]

Tickets for the show were put on sale on May 13 and sold out in less than 30 minutes despite Cody and The Young Bucks announcing only one match for the show.[31][32] In the months leading up to the event, All In announced more wrestlers to take part, including MJF, Madison Rayne, Kota Ibushi, SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky), Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta), and The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe).[33][34][35][36] During this time, Cody and The Young Bucks started a YouTube series called All Us, chronicling the lead-up to the event.[37] On July 13, it was announced that Alicia Atout, Bobby Cruise, Don Callis, Excalibur, Ian Riccaboni, Justin Roberts, and Sean Mooney would serve as All In's broadcast team,[38] with Brent Tarring being announced as a commentator on August 27.[39] Bandido was announced for the show on July 25.[40] On August 6, it was announced on Being The Elite that All In's main card would broadcast on pay-per-view and Fite TV,[41] with an hour long pre-show called Zero Hour airing on WGN America at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.[41] Later that day, it was announced that the event's main card would also broadcast on ROH's streaming service Honor Club.[42] Additionally on August 6, Jordynne Grace, Moose, Rocky Romero, Colt Cabana, and Ethan Page were announced for the show.[43] From August 15 until August 18, Brian Cage, Billy Gunn, Jimmy Jacobs, and Marko Stunt were announced for the show.[44][45][46][47] On August 23, Brandon Cutler was announced for the show.[48] Punishment Martinez was announced for the show on August 27.[49] On August 29, it was announced that All In would be available for on demand viewing on NJPW World, after being broadcast live.[7] On August 31, Austin Gunn, son of Billy Gunn, was announced for the show.[50] On September 1, Tim Storm was announced for the show.[51] Wrestler Adam Birch was scheduled to be a producer on the show however in the early morning hours of September 1, 2018 he was arrested in Schaumburg, Illinois after police noticed him sleeping in his car and discovered he had an outstanding warrant in Florida.[52]

Storylines[edit]

All In featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.[53] Storylines were produced on The Young Bucks' YouTube channel, Being The Elite, the NWA's YouTube channel, and at shows produced by the promotions involved.

On April 10, Joey Ryan was killed on Being The Elite by a mystery assailant in a Japanese hotel room.[54] On June 4 on Being The Elite, Japanese police arrested Arrow star Stephen Amell for Ryan's murder.[55] On July 16, it was revealed that Christopher Daniels had framed Amell for the murder.[56] On August 6 on Being The Elite, it was announced that Amell, who had recently been released from prison, would face Daniels at All In.[41] On August 27 on Being The Elite, Daniels and Amell would have their final confrontation before the event, with Amell warning Daniels that he would put him through a table just like he did during his debut in ROH.[57]

Cody, who challenged for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship at All In

During the May 13 All In press conference, NWA president Billy Corgan announced that Nick Aldis would defend the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Cody.[58] If Cody were to win, he and his father Dusty Rhodes would become the first father-son duo to win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.[59] During ROH's Honor United tour in London on May 27, it was announced that if Cody was able to reclaim the ROH World Championship before All In, then the match would become a Winner Takes All match for both the NWA and ROH world championships.[60] Cody received his ROH World Championship match on June 29 at Best in the World, but failed to capture the title despite Aldis trying to help him to win the match.[61][62] Cody would receive a second title opportunity during the June 30 tapings of Ring of Honor Wrestling, but lost again.[63] The match, now solely for the NWA title, was officially sanctioned by NWA management on July 31.[64] On September 1, it was announced that former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm would be in Nick Aldis' corner.[51]

On June 8 at a WrestlePro event, Madison Rayne and MJF defeated Burnard the Business Bear and Flip Gordon to qualify for All In.[33] On the August 7 episode of All Us, a four corners match between Rayne, Tessa Blanchard, Britt Baker, and Chelsea Green was announced.[65]

On July 5, it was announced that Marty Scurll would be taking on Kazuchika Okada at the event.[37] Scurll began training with Nick Aldis to become a heavyweight on Being The Elite in preparation for the match against Okada.[66][67] Over the subsequent episodes of Being The Elite, multiple wrestlers would dismiss Scurll's chances of defeating Okada, including The Young Bucks, Jack Swagger, Rey Mysterio, Zack Sabre Jr., and Okada himself.[67][41][68][69] On August 27 on Being The Elite, Scurll responded to all doubts, stating he would defeat Okada at the event.[57]

On July 16 on Being The Elite, Joey Janela greeted Matt Jackson and Marty Scurll, immediately drawing the ire of Jackson.[70] On July 23, it was announced that Joey Janela would face "Hangman" Adam Page at All In.[71] Later that day on Twitter, Page would send a warning to Janela and proclaim himself a "Joey Killer".[72] On August 12, on Being The Elite, Page had a nightmare with his cowboy boots telling him that he would kill another "Joey," referring to Joey Janela.[68] On August 27 on Being The Elite, Janela would provoke Page during an autograph session.[57] On August 29, it was announced that the match would be a Chicago Street Fight.[73]

On July 30, it was announced that Bandido, Rey Fénix, and Rey Mysterio would take on The Golden Elite (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Kota Ibushi) in a six-man tag team match.[74] On August 27, during Being The Elite, Mysterio and actor Theo Rossi would mock The Young Bucks.[57]

On August 6, it was announced that the Over Budget Battle Royale and a tag team match between The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) and SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) would occur on the Zero Hour pre-show.[75][43] Shortly after, SoCal Uncensored started training for their match against The Briscoe Brothers at All In.[76] On August 7, it was announced that Jay Lethal would defend the ROH World Championship against the winner of the Over Budget Battle Royale.[77][78][79]

On August 12, it was announced that Kenny Omega would face Penta El Zero at All In.[80]

Event[edit]

Other on-screen personnel
Role: Name:
Commentators Don Callis
Excalibur
Ian Riccaboni
Dalton Castle (Over Budget Battle Royale)
Tenille Dashwood (women's match)
Mandy Leon (women's match)
Brent Tarring (NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship match)
Ring announcers Justin Roberts
Bobby Cruise
Referees Earl Hebner
Jerry Lynn
Paul Turner
Rick Knox
Tiger Hattori
Todd Sinclair
Interviewers Alicia Atout
Sean Mooney

Pre-show[edit]

Two matches were contested on the one-hour long pre-show, called Zero Hour, which was shown live on WGN America. Cody and The Young Bucks opened the event and brought out Road Warrior Animal. Afterwards, Cody and The Young Bucks offered those in attendance free Hot Topic and Pro Wrestling Tees merchandise.

The first match of Zero Hour featured a tag team match between SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) and The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe). During the match, Jay performed a Jay-Driller on Kazarian and Mark also performed an Elbow Drop on Kazarian for a near-fall. In the end, The Briscoes tried to execute a Springboard doomsday device on Kazarian, but he reversed into a powerslam to win the match.

Next was the Over Budget Battle Royale with the winner facing Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship on the main card. In the climax, Bully Ray eliminated Colt Cabana. Ray thought he won, however, Flip Gordon, in the guise of Chico El Luchador, appeared and eliminated Bully Ray to win the battle royale and the ROH World Championship opportunity.

Preliminary matches[edit]

The actual pay-per-view opened with MJF facing Matt Cross in singles match. In the end, Cross executed the Shooting star press on MJF to win the match.

Next, Christopher Daniels faced Stephen Amell. After extensive blows with Amell, Daniels pinned Amell with the Best Moonsault Ever to win the match. After the match, the two shook hands.

After this, Tessa Blanchard, Chelsea Green, Madison Rayne, and Britt Baker faced off in a four corner survival match. In the climax, Blanchard performed the Hammerlock DDT on Green to win the match. After the match, the four embraced.

Next, Nick Aldis defended the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Cody. As Aldis went to the top rope to perform a Diving Elbow Drop, Cody's wife Brandi Rhodes tried to plead with Aldis to not do it. Aldis, however, did the move and as soon as he jumped, Brandi laid across Cody, taking the bulk of the hit. Aldis then pinned Cody, but he kicked out. Cody performed a Beautiful Disaster and then the Cross Rhodes on Aldis for a near-fall. Cody and Aldis attacked each other with punches and then Cody hit a Vertebreaker on Aldis, but Aldis reversed it. In the end, Aldis tried to steal Cody's finisher, but Cody reversed and Aldis tried to pin him, but Cody countered into a Sunset flip to win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. With this win, Cody and his father Dusty Rhodes became the first father-son duo to win the championship.

In the next match, Hangman Adam Page faced Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight. In the end, Page performed the Rite of Passage on Janela from the top of a ladder through a table to win the match. After the match, the lights went out. Similar to The Undertaker, druids appeared, but instead of druids, it was men in inflatable penis costumes. Joey Ryan, thought to be dead, appeared and Page tried to attack him, but Ryan attacked Page and performed a superkick and Page was carried out of the arena.

Next, Jay Lethal defended the ROH World Championship against the Over Budget Battle Royale winner Flip Gordon. Lethal came out in his Black Machismo gimmick. During the match, Gordon performed a Stardust Press on Lethal for a near-fall. Lethal tried to perform a diving powerbomb, but Gordon reversed and Lethal performed a Lethal Injection II on Gordon. In the end, Lethal executed the Lethal Injection on Gordon to win the match and retain the title. After the match, the two showed mutual respect for each other. Bully Ray then came out and attacked both Lethal and Gordon. Chicago's own Colt Cabana appeared to make the save and then the three performed a triple powerbomb on Ray through a table.

Next, Kenny Omega faced Penta El Zero in singles match. Omega tried to perform the One-Winged Angel, but Penta reversed into The Sacrifice. Penta executed the Fear Factor on Omega for a nearfall and later Penta tried to perform a lariat, but Omega performed the V-Trigger followed by a Reverse frankensteiner. In the end, Omega performed another V-Trigger and then the One Winged Angel to win the match. After the match, the lights went out. When they came back on, Penta got up and attacked Omega with the Codebreaker, revealing himself to be Chris Jericho, who challenged Omega to a match at his Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager at Sea cruise.

In the penultimate match, Kazuchika Okada faced Marty Scurll in singles match. In the end, Scurll provoked Okada and he tried to break his fingers, but Okada reverted into Rainmaker followed by a second Rainmaker to win the match.

Main event[edit]

In the main event, The Golden Elite (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Kota Ibushi) faced Rey Mysterio, Rey Fénix, and Bandido in six-man tag team match. Bandido hit Matt Jackson with backfliping backbreaker. Nick Jackson hit Bandido with superkick. The Young Bucks also superkicked both Fenix and Rey Mysterio. Ibushi and The Young Bucks performed the More Bang for Your Buck with Ibushi on Bandido for a nearfall. In the end, The Young Bucks performed the Meltzer Driver on Bandido to win the match.

Reception[edit]

All In received positive critical reviews. Sports Illustrated called the event "near perfect pay per view debut".[81] John Moore of ProWrestling.net recommended the event, but pointed the event "suffers that ROH and New Japan problem of having too many matches".[82]

Larry Csonka of 411Mania gave the event a final score of 8/10, saying "I found All In to be a tremendously fun show, with a lot of good to great wrestling and an absolutely great atmosphere".[83] During the final matches, the production found time problems, so the main event was shortened almost 12 minutes.[83] Also, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match went six minutes shorter than originally planned.[83] Many wrestling personalities such as Tazz and Bryan Danielson praised the event and its production and the quality of matches.[84][85] Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson praised Cody for his championship win on Twitter two days after the event.[86] Wrestling Observer Newsletter journalist Dave Meltzer said the event was a "great success" and "he was happy for losing the bet" [...] the event exceeded his expectations especially the Over the Budget Battle Royal, which he called the "best laid out battle royal he had ever seen".[87]

Jesse Collings from Wrestling Inc said "the most important thing for the group was to put on a memorable show that satisfied the hardcore fans [...] while also entertaining more casual fans who were seeing a lot of the wrestlers for the first time and were not watching Being The Elite every week".[88] Griffin Peltier from Voices of Wrestling said "ALL IN was not only a great PPV but a historic event in pro wrestling history. Everything on the show felt fresh and felt rewarded as a viewer".[89] Writing for The Ringer, Mike Pielluci praised ALL IN, calling it, "one of the greatest wrestling shows in recent memory."[90]

Dave Meltzer gave six matches on the card four stars or higher. Despite the main event being significantly cut short due to time constraints, Meltzer gave that match a 4 1/2 star rating.[91]

Results[edit]

No. Results Stipulations Times[92][93]
1P SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) Tag team match[43] 12:33
2P Flip Gordon won by last eliminating Bully Ray[Note 1] 19-person Over Budget Battle Royale to determine the #1 contender to the ROH World Championship[75] 17:06
3 Matt Cross defeated MJF Singles match[93] 9:23
4 Christopher Daniels (with Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated Stephen Amell (with Josh Segarra) Singles match[94] 12:30
5 Tessa Blanchard defeated Chelsea Green, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and Madison Rayne Four Corner Survival match[95] 12:41
6 Cody (with Brandi Rhodes, Diamond Dallas Page, Glacier and Tommy Dreamer) defeated Nick Aldis (c) (with Jeff Jarrett, Samuel Shaw, Shawn Daivari and Tim Storm) Singles match for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship[74] 22:01
7 Hangman Page defeated Joey Janela (with Penelope Ford) Chicago Street Fight[74] 20:08
8 Jay Lethal (with Lanny Poffo) (c) defeated Flip Gordon (with Brandi Rhodes) Singles match for the ROH World Championship[78] 14:21
9 Kenny Omega defeated Penta El Zero Singles match[80] 17:47
10 Kazuchika Okada defeated Marty Scurll Singles match[74] 26:05
11 The Golden Elite (Kota Ibushi, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated Bandido, Rey Fénix and Rey Mysterio Six-man tag team match[74] 11:48
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • P – indicates the match took place on the pre-show
  1. ^ Order of eliminations: Moose, Brandon Cutler, Chuckie T., Trent Barreta, Rocky Romero, Cheeseburger, The Hurricane, Ethan Page, Tommy Dreamer, Jimmy Jacobs, Punishment Martinez, Austin Gunn, Billy Gunn, Marko Stunt, Brian Cage, Jordynne Grace, Colt Cabana and Bully Ray.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]