Just like a baseball player, major wrestling promotions take their cuts when it’s pay-per-view time and try to hit more than they miss. For AEW’s second edition of All Out, it connected on some of the most important matches while whiffing on others in front of a limited amount of fans at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville.

Some of the lesser moments were out of AEW’s control. The debuting Matt Sydal slipped while attempting his first move ever in an AEW ring as a surprise entrant in the Casino Battle Royal, perhaps done in by the humidity of the outdoor Florida locale. Matt Hardy took a nasty looking bump to the head during his bout with Sammy Guevara, looking woozy and forcing the ref to call a stop to the action. It appeared the match was off, then it restarted, likely because the stipulation was that his career if he lost. It was an awkward moment for all involved and left viewers understandably concerned for Hardy’s well-being.

But there were highlights as well, with the title matches delivering and the Mimosa Mayhem Match between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho coming to one of the more visually satisfying conclusions to a feud in recent memory. The main event was also entertaining, featuring the long-brewing showdown between Jon Moxley and the hottest heel in the business, MJF, with the added twist that Mox’s Paradigm Shift finisher would not be allowed — in theory, anyway.

Since he never comes to the ring in traditional fashion, the world champ climbed down the steps from the adjacent football stadium and then nearly got tackled by a fan while entering Daily’s Place. Security was on top of their game, grabbing the fan and keeping him almost entirely off camera.

MJF flashed his cocky smirk right off the bat, besting Moxley in some early exchanges of holds and mat wrestling. Lance Archer, after securing a title shot against the winner with his Casino Battle Royal victory earlier in the night, looked on with interest as MJF let the fans know he had no intention of following Mox out to the floor.

He ended up on the outside anyway, falling victim to a tope suicida and getting crotched on the barrier. Referee Bryce Remsburg admonished both men to get back in the ring, but Moxley ignored those pleas and threw MJF threw another set of barriers.

Finally getting back on the canvas, MJF clamped onto Moxley’s left arm, then dropped it painfully across the apron after a momentary distraction from Wardlow. Another burst of offense to the same arm set up the first pinfall attempt by MJF, though Moxley kicked out at one, followed by a whip into the corner that got a two count.

After knocking Moxley out to the floor, MJF spent some energy mocking the champ, which proved to be a tactical error as he was catapulted into the ringpost. The challenger stood up with his face full of bright red blood as Mox appeared to be popping his left shoulder back into place in the corner.

A bloodied MJF kicked out of one pinning predicament, and didn’t have to worry about a second as Moxley’s arm proved too frail to allow a piledriver. Outside the ring, though, the champ scored with a sidewalk slam and followed with a piledriver in the ring for two.

Undeterred, Mox bit MJF’s face and brought him up to the top turnbuckle, where he was repaid in turn by MJF biting his fingers and coming down hard on the champ’s arm with a double stomp. An exchange of strikes followed, with Moxley begging MJF to bring it to him. A release German suplex by Moxley set up a huge clothesline, but MJF was able to kick out once again.

A look of concern crossed Wardlow’s face as Moxley instinctively worked into position for the Paradigm Shift, only for MJF to shift into an armbar while biting down on the figners again. A rope break bailed out the champ, and he wouldn’t stay down for three following a Heatseeker.

Flipping two middle fingers to the crowd, MJF looked for a second Heatseeker, but Mox countered with an Air Raid Crash for his own near fall. That left both men face to face on their knees, trading chops and punches. Dipping deep into his repertoire, MJF executed Cross Rhodes and was incredulous upon seeing Moxley kick out again.

In a move that was only a matter of time, Wardlow hopped up on the ring apron, tossing the Dynamite Diamond Ring to his boss. But with the ref occupied with MJF’s muscle, Mox hit the Paradigm Shift to secure the victory, then flipped the middle finger to his next challenger before yelling into the camera, “I’m untouchable in this sport.”

For now, at least, that’s hard to argue against.

The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear on Nov. 7, 2020.


Big Swole vs. Dr. Britt Baker – Tooth and Nail Match

As is required for wrestling pay-per-views in 2020, there’s a cinematic match to kick things off, with Swole making good on her promise to fight Baker at her workplace. But of course, this is Britt’s turf, and Reba is on hand to lend a hand as well. Poor Reba ends up getting thrown into a dumpster only to appear later with a syringe. Swole reverses Britt’s attempt to inject her and jabs her in the leg, leading Reba to yell, “You stabbed her!” After Swole smashes Reba over the head with a diploma, she places a mask over Baker’s face and puts her to sleep. I guess that counts as a submission? I swear to you that everything I typed here actually happened.

Winner: Big Swole by submission

Rating: 2.5/5

Jurassic Express vs. The Young Bucks

The Bucks are still displaying some heightened aggression, with Matt Jackson slapping Jungle Boy’s hand away when he offers a handshake during the opening sequence. An injured Marko Stunt shows off some heel-esque tendencies, interfering from the floor when the ref can’t see it. Luchasaurus’ tongue is a crazy shade of bright green, and while I sometimes give him a hard time about being a little wooden in his work, it is impressive seeing a man of his size doing a moonsault off the apron. There are some really inventive tandem moves later in the match, and Luchasaurus ends up landing out in the crowd on an aerial move. Good thing those are other wrestlers out there. The BTE Trigger spells the end for Jungle Boy, but good game, good effort, as usual for Jurassic Express.

Winners: The Young Bucks by pinfall

Rating: 3.5/5

Casino Battle Royal

The entrance gimmick is that every wrestler will draw a card from a special 21-card deck, with five cards of each suit. Five men will start out, then another group of five will join them every three minutes. One wrestler who draws the joker will enter last on his own. The Inner Circle looks like it may dominate early, with Hager, Santana and Ortiz starting to thin the field after the first two groups have entered. Shawn Spears decides to join the announcers instead of entering the ring right away, a popular tactic during battle royals. Can’t get eliminated if you never get in the ring. Sonny Kiss eliminating Hager counts as the biggest upset, but Sonny is quickly thrown out in turn by Cage. The joker turns out to be Matt Sydal (the artist known in WWE as Evan Bourne), but sadly his first attempted move in AEW sees him slip on the top turnbuckle going for probably, the SSP. Tough break for him. The feud between Darby Allin and Taz’s duo gets ratcheted up a notch as Allin eliminates Ricky Starks and Brian Cage retaliates by sealing Allin in a body bag full of thumbtacks and throwing him over the top rope. One yike. The final four turns out to be Archer, Eddie Kingston, Butcher and Sydal, but despite the machinations of Kingston’s crew, Archer manages to outlast the rest and end the match by tossing Kingston down onto Butcher and Blade. He’ll now get a title shot against the winner of tonight’s main event.

Winner: Lance Archer

Rating: 3.5/5

Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara – Broken Rules Match

This is a fancy name for a Last Man Standing Match, and it begins with a callback to a previous AEW event as it begins out near the football field with Sammy driving a Gator/golf cart in an attempt to pay Matt back in kind. Alas, he never does, and both men take a huge bump off a scissor lift through a merchandise table. The question is whether Hardy has hit his head, and referee Aubrey Edwards eventually throws up the ‘X’ sign as he is stumbling around trying to brawl with Guevara and looks woozy on his feet. The match is over … or is it? When they find themselves in the same vicinity again, the two wrestlers start throwing hands again, and the bell rings to restart the action. Not sure how I feel about a potential head injury used as an angle, but here we go. They quickly end up scaling one of the lighting rigs, where Hardy knocks Guevara down through part of the stage. Wouldn’t be shocked if both men are legitimately injured, but hopefully not.

Winner: Matt Hardy

Rating: 3/5

Thunder Rosa (challenger) vs. Hikaru Shida (champion) – AEW Women’s Championship Match

Even if you aren’t that familiar with Rosa, it’s hard to argue against AEW bringing in some top outside talent to push Shida. Rosa is made to look very strong as well, with a lot of physical offense and a walking version of a surfboard where she smacks the champ’s head into the bottom turnbuckle. She also hits a Death Valley Driver on the apron, which looks like a stiff bump for Shida. Both women trade heavy strikes and submission attempts down the stretch, but Shida is able to seal the deal with a running knee strike.

Winner … and still AEW Women’s Champion: Hikaru Shida by pinfall

Rating: 3.5/5

Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford have a big announcement: They’re engaged and will get married on AEW Dynamite. But before any wedding, there has to be a bachelor party, and Sabian needs a best man. He’s going to reveal his pick on Wednesday, and Ford holds up a sign promoting her Twitch channel. Sabian snaps his fingers and “All Elite Wrestling approves this message” appears on the screen, a subtle but still definite jab at WWE’s recent policy clarification about talent working with third-party services.

Dark Order (Mr. Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) vs. The Natural Nightmares, Scorpio Sky and Matt Cardona

This is kind of a strange, stitched-together eight-man tag, but it’s not completely without merit since there are some quality performers in it and multiple revenge subplots. Brandi is part of one of them, and she gets some payback on Anna Jay for choking her out a few weeks back. Dustin goes looking for a piece of Brodie Lee in Cody’s name, but leaves the carcass for Cabana. That turns out to be a mistake, as Colt misses his moonsault and gets rolled up by Dustin for the three count. Lee is enraged, but Cabana is apologetic and manages to avoid a beating … for now.

Winners: The Natural Nightmares, Scorpio Sky and Matt Cardona by pinfall

Rating: 3.5/5

Backstage, Dustin Rhodes tells Tony Schiavone that he and his teammates did it for Cody. In return, Rhodes learns he’s getting a TNT Championship shot on Dynamite, and to say he’s psyched up for it is an understatement.

FTR (challengers) vs. Hangman Adam Page and Kenny Omega – AEW World Tag Team Championship Match

Omega and Page put their trust to the test right off the bat, with the Hangman asking to start the match and wasting no time tearing into the challengers. Remember folks: The team that dishes out knife-edge chops together, stays together. Page is the wrestler who takes an extended beating, but the flow of the match allows both he and Kenny to get hot tags, and there’s the usual tag team smarts by FTR in-between. Cash Wheeler’s top rope splash nearly pins Omega, and since there is no flip involved, I suppose that isn’t against the group’s ethos. Foiled in every pinfall attempt, FTR turns to working on Omega’s leg and slaps an inverted Figure Four on him. Things turn bad for the champs when Page is holding Wheeler, who ducks and exposes Hangman to the full fury of a V-Trigger. FTR hits the Mindbreaker, sending Tully Blanchard into a celebration, but Page manages to kick out. With Omega struggling to even get back between the ropes, FTR hits a second Mindbreaker that keeps Hangman down for the count. FTR sarcastically leaves a beer for Page as they leave with their new titles.

Winners … and new AEW Tag Team Champions: FTR by pinfall

Rating: 4/5

After the bell, Page has a ringside TV tray in his hands, teasing that he is going to hit Page before tossing it aside. But Hangman also falls forward and finds no partner to catch him. Omega walks backstage and tells the Bucks “I’m done.” The Jacksons try to talk him down, but he’s clearly furious and tells them he wants things to go back to the way things used to be. Omega leaves in an SUV, with the Bucks standing around looking as helpless as they’ve probably been in the Elite era.

A video package hypes up Chris Jericho-Orange Cassidy III, supplemented by the Demo God’s promo pushing the idea that Jericho has done this whole thing as an experiment to prove that he can make and destroy main event stars at his whim.

“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho – Mimosa Mayhem Match

There are two vats of mimosas, one on either side of the ring, though you can also win by pinfall or submission. This is the loudest the fans have been all night, proving that the buildup has been effective. There are also no DQs, which Jericho uses to his advantage early on, smashing a tray over Cassidy’s head. There are more than a few teases of someone being sent into one of the vats, including a powerbomb that ends up sending Cassidy through a table instead. With no rope breaks, Cassidy appears to be in trouble as he is stuck in the Walls of Jericho, but he fills a pitcher with mimosa and throws it in Jericho’s face to escape. A rally by Orange threatens to pin Le Champion, but if no one is going into the mimosas, what are we even doing here? As if on cue, Cassidy digs down deep and uses a Superman Punch to knock Jericho off the top rope and splashing back-first into the mimosa.

Winner: Orange Cassidy by submersion in mimosa

Rating: 4/5

MJF (challenger) vs. Jon Moxley – AEW World Championship Match

Winner … and still AEW World Champion: Jon Moxley by pinfall

Rating: 4.5/5

AEW All Out (2020) 09/05/20

Daily's Place, Jacksonville, Florida

With pay-per-views only coming every few months, AEW feels like it should hit a home run every time out, and that’s a somewhat unfair bar for it to clear. This show wasn’t amazing from beginning to end, but the final few matches perked things up, which is a plus for any big card. Not bad overall but there’s room to improve for the promotion’s final PPV of 2020 in November.