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All Out Preview – Will This Be The Best Wrestling Show During The Pandemic?

All Elite Wrestling returns to pay-per-view this Saturday for All Out from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL.

Several titles are on the line including the top singles championship. Jon Moxley defends his AEW World Championship against one of AEW’s breakout stars. That challenger is MJF, who is arguably one of the best pure heel characters in pro wrestling today.

MJF is a heel and seemingly proud of it. He heels on practically everyone, including other characters in his entourage. In many ways MJF is a throwback to heels of a bygone era. He seems unafraid of heat. MJF relishes it. He is not trying to be a cool heel. He is a unabashed antagonist.

Moxley is the protagonist. Even though his wife wrote a cookbook, Moxley is anything but cookie cutter. Since arriving in AEW over a year ago, he’s been a dynamic character who broke out of the generic mold WWE placed him in.

AEW World Championship Match

Holding a top singles championship is nothing new for Moxley. He held the WWE Championship as Dean Ambrose, but even he admits to flaws in that reign. That was then and this is now. Moxley seems far more motivated, and his matches in AEW have an intensity that his WWE reign lacked.

Moxley’s reign does seem in jeopardy if only because MJF is very much pushed in AEW as the future. His future does indeed look bright, so maybe this is his coronation. Moxley as a character does not need a championship to be a top star, and MJF becoming champion would elevate him further.

The outcome of the AEW World title match is possibly the most intriguing of any other bout on the card. Another title match is also interesting as it puts two of the company’s top tag teams on opposing sides. The intrigue for the tag team title match is compounded by storyline plots leading into the showdown on Saturday.

Much like showdowns depicted in Western movies, the tag match even has a cowboy. Hangman Page has developed into a charismatic figure in AEW known for doing “cowboy sh*t”. That includes riding onto the scene on horseback during the last AEW pay-per-view.

Page holds the AEW World Tag Team Championship alongside partner Kenny Omega. He is far from a cowboy, which makes for an odd couple tag team. Their characters were even at odds during much of their title reign, yet those tensions smoothed over in recent months. However, new tension between them in recent weeks casts doubt on their partnership. Will that factor into the match?

AEW World Tag Team Championship Match

Playing up that existing tension is the team of FTR. They continue to drive a wedge between Omega and Page ahead of their title match. Dax Hardwood and Cash Wheeler busted onto the AEW landscape with something to prove.

After a lackluster run on the main roster in WWE, FTR seems on a mission to prove they are one of the best tag teams in pro wrestling. They are redefining tag team wrestling in AEW with a firm grasp on the storied history of tag teaming, while also building towards the future.

Changing the tag titles at All Out makes sense in terms of continuing to push FTR. Built-in storylines with Omega and Page give them reason to not be on the same page so to speak. Still, Page and Omega won plenty of matches while not getting along. Will they celebrate once again with a round of beers and milk respectively, or does FTR dip into their styrofoam cooler for a celebratory toast to new champions?

Building towards the future is a common theme in AEW with stars like FTR and MJF. Sometimes fans make future stars just as much as the booker’s pencil. It is still up to the company to latch on to momentum.

Since arriving in AEW, Orange Cassidy has momentum on his side even is he seems an unlikely star. That unlikeliness is only because of an unassuming character. Cassidy has nevertheless captivated fan attention while at times seeming indifferent. That indifference is part of his trademark, and fans love him for it.

Cassidy’s recent feud with Chris Jericho catapulted him up the cards as he became a celebrated figure in AEW, even with his hands lackadaisically in his pockets.

Cassidy faces Jericho at All Out in a gimmick match that plays on both of their character traits. They collide in what is billed as a “Mimosa Mayhem Match” in a continuation of their ongoing feud.

Chris Jericho in a bloody Orange Cassidy shirt

A mimosa is an alcoholic drink that mixes orange juice with a little bit of the bubbly. Although in this instance, there is more than a little of bit of champagne mixed with orange juice as the two liquids are combined in a large vat inside Daily’s Place.

Jericho or Cassidy can win by traditional rules of pinfall or submission, but the vat of mimosa adds another element as either wrestler can also win by throwing the other into the drink. Much like a birthday cake in a wrestling angle, someone is likely going into the tank of mimosa. Foolish not to because there is not need to waste such an opportunity.

A different opportunity on the show allows for cross promotion between two separate wrestling companies. NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa challenges for the AEW Women’s title against current champion Hikaru Shida at All Out. Both wrestling promotions benefit from this match.

NWA gets some much needed publicity on national television while AEW gets a great match-up for its PPV. The women’s division in AEW is often criticized as one of the things the company can surely improve upon. Women on the AEW roster work hard, but the division still receives criticism in comparison to other women’s divisions.

Some of that criticism is fair, and AEW is actively taking steps to address that. Part of that is bringing in more talent. Enter Thunder Rosa. She is perhaps the best challenger to face Shida so far. Both being a champion adds another level of intrigue, even if the AEW Women’s title is the only championship on the line in the match.

AEW Women’s World Championship Match

Tony Khan in a recent media call talked about his company’s relationship with Billy Corgan and the NWA. Khan said the connection between the two is retired pro wrestler Chris Nowinski, who has a Ph.D. and is a co-founder and executive with the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Whatever the connection, the women’s title match is a positive for both brands no matter which wrestler wins or losses.

Another women’s match on the All Out card is Big Swole meeting Dr. Britt Baker in a “Tooth and Nail Match”. This match is vastly different than the women’s title match in terms of presentation. Khan in the media call revealed that Dr. Baker against Swole is a cinematic-style match.

At first slated for the pre-show, the placing the match on the Buy In was strategic according to Khan. Basically he says the philosophy is to put name stars on the pre-show in front of a larger audience in an attempt to create more buys. That philosophy changed somewhat a day before the show as the match has since been moved to the main card.

The philosophy of driving more buys still seems to makes sense. What makes less sense is a stipulation in the “Broken Rules Match” between Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara. Khan said the match is “last man standing” rules, so possibly similar to an old school Texas Death Match. That can make sense, but another added stipulation is odd in that it only applies to one person.

Matt Hardy faces a loser leaves town stipulation in the match, but that stip only applies to him. The feud between Guevara and Hardy turned bloody almost from the start. AEW is not shy about blood. Several wrestlers bled in recent weeks either by accident or on purpose. Odds are someone on All Out gets color.

Blood red can turn into green dollars, and Khan has high hopes for the show on Saturday. He predicts All Out will be the best wrestling show since the start of the pandemic. That is confidence, and AEW has the talent to deliver on such a prediction.

Khan is not only bullish on the card for Saturday, he also hinted at upcoming surprises after All Out. “There’s a lot more surprises ahead for you in the upcoming weeks,” said Khan.

Here is the full lineup for All Out:

  • AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. MJF
  • AEW World Tag Team Championship: Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs. FTR
  • AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida vs. Thunder Rosa
  • Mimosa Mayhem Match: Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy
  • Broken Rules Match: Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara
  • Tooth and Nail Match: Britt Baker vs. Big Swole
  • The Young Bucks vs. Jurassic Express
  • The Dark Order vs. Matt Cardona, Scorpio Sky & The Natural Nightmares
  • 21-man Casino Battle Royal for an AEW title shot

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