On Saturday night there was a highly anticipated wrestling event entitled “All In.” Bullet Club members Cody (Rhodes) and the Young Bucks were the men in charge of putting this event together. So let’s jump right in and discuss All In.
For those that don’t know, the All In Pay-Per-View special came about almost out of a challenge. Dave Meltzer a long time wrestling columnist said that there was no way any promotion (aside) from WWE could sell out a 10,000 seat area. So Cody and the Young Bucks took that statement by Meltzer as an insult and set out to prove him wrong. And boy did they ever, selling out tickets for the event in just half an hour.
From the opening moments where Shalandra Royal sang the National Anthem, there was a special feeling in the air in the Sears Center in Chicago, Illinois for All In, or as Ian Riccaboni stated the “Love Letter to Professional Wrestling.”
Warning: Spoiler Alerts Below. Also, many of the events matches have been broken down into what happened. But enjoy the recap if you couldn’t catch All In.
Overall Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This entire event was some the greatest professional wrestling I have ever witnessed. And no words that I can place on this article can truly capture this event. Not to compare but while most events in a WWE PPV have one maybe two matches that pull you in. Whether the story told in the build or just the actual in-ring competition that draws you in. Most of the WWE events have so few of those types of matches. Just take a look at the SummerSlam Recap.” This event, however, I felt that pull for each and every contest. If you have been reading my site for any amount of time you know that I usually have the recaps up and ready to go Monday mornings. All In, however, would run me through the emotional ringer. From the heartfelt win by Cody, achieving the “Dream” in capturing the same ten pounds of gold his father held. To the surprise attack on The Cleaner Kenny Omega by Chris Jericho. To the rekindling of a “Macho” spirit by Jay Lethal. This event had everything you could ask for from a professional wrestling event. And pardon the pun but to say that I was “ALL IN” wouldn’t begin to tell the story. So please do yourself a favor and watch All In.
MJF vs Matt Cross
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Maxwell Jacob Freeman versus Matt Cross was an excellent opening contest. Matt Cross who is better known as M-Dogg has spent many years working the indies. And is one of the most underrated workers in the entire wrestling business. A beautiful opening exchange of highspots between both men. After a fein top rope dive, MJF would shout out “I don’t need to flip to get over.” M-Dogg would then show the kind of high flying attribute that has built his name. While MJF has only been in the business three years he wrestles as if he has been wrestling for a lot longer. MJF would pull off a creative pumphandle sitout powerbomb. And he would continue to focus on the left arm in preparation for his armbar finisher. However, Matt Cross would show just why he’s a legend on the indy scene. Cross would perform a top rope hurricanrana giving M-Dogg some precious moments to recover. A back and forth contest that saw some very impressive showings like the Package Shoulderbreaker that Freeman would hit on Cross. Freeman would continue the creative move train with a rope trapped leaping piledriver. But Matt “M-Dogg” Cross would come back with a rope assisted leaping cutter setting up the shooting star press for the victory.
Stephen Amell vs. Christopher Daniels
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
In the actor’s third ever match, Stephen Amell (star of the CW’s The Arrow) he took on 25-year veteran Christopher Daniels. Amell put on an impressive showing for someone so green in the business. And having the Fallen Angel be the actor’s opponent helped the young star. I have to be honest I usually have a big problem with actors and celebrities getting involved with the in-ring competition. Just think back to the fiasco that was David Arquette’s WCW Championship run. However, Stephen Amell is a different case. It is clear that he has been working and training for this opportunity since his first match back in WWE. The showmanship performance of both Stephen Amell and Christopher Daniels was incredible to watch. This was a fun match. Watching the actor deliver a Falcon Arrow was impressive to see, but it was outdone by seeing the actor flying through the air delivering the Van Terminator. Another reason that Amell is different is the clear and ever-present realization that he is trying to truly put on a tremendous show. Amell would dive from the turnbuckle through a table but Daniels would move. Having the “New Ref’n Show” Jerry Lynn as the referee was an amazing addition to the match. Lynn would throw Amell back in the ring following the huge table spot. And even though Stephen Amell would lose the matchup to Daniels
Women’s Four Corner Survival: Britt Baker vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
In this four corner survival matchup, it is one fall to a finish. The charismatic nature of the dual personalities within Chelsea Green are a sight to behold. Tessa Blanchard would begin hitting Madison Rayne and they would battle on the outside. While inside the ring Green and Britt Baker would exchange pinfall attempts. Baker and Green would also exchange a myriad of arm drags. But Tessa would quickly come in and take out Green with a tackle and clothesline over the top rope. Blanchard would then turn her attention to Baker. Blanchard would side kick to the knee and follow that with a front dropkick. Baker would get the boots up as Tessa attempted a corner clothesline. Baker would get caught on the turnbuckle and Blanchard would hit her with the Magnum (code breaker.)
Madison Rayne would then re-enter the fray and would exchange pinning combination with Blanchard. Tessa would display her power by Gorilla Press throwing Madison Rayne onto Green and Baker. Green would then hit a big Tope Suicida onto Tessa and Britt. Blanchard would recover and then hit Green and Baker with an over the top rope plancha. Madison Rayne would take advantage of the chaos and would five off the top rope and land a crossbody on all three women. Britt Baker would show off her own prowess delivering a trifecta of Slingblades. Rayne would hit a ripcord cutter on Baker. Blanchard would deliver a delayed vertical suplex on Rayne.
Chelsea Green would then pay homage to her boyfriend Zack Ryder and would hit the “Woo Woo Woo” corner face wash kick on Tessa. A beautiful exchange of counters by Tessa Blanchard and Britt Baker would have Tessa get the advantage with a variation of the flatliner. Rayne would plant Tessa with a Tornado DDT. Green would hit a missile dropkick on Blanchard. Rayne would hit Britt Baker with an avalanche bulldog. After a near fall that Britt Baker was able to kick out of, Rayne would get Curb Stomped by Chelsea Green. Chelsea Green would then deliver an Unprettier to Madison Rayne. Then Green would get caught with a Superkick by Britt Baker. Tessa would come off the top rope to hit a stumbling Green with the Magnum (diving code breaker) only to get caught with a Britt Baker Superkick. Britt Baker would then go for a cover on Chelsea Green, but Green would kick out at two. Baker would the lay Chelsea Green out with the TKO Cutter but the pin attempt would be foiled by Blanchard. Tessa would roll up Baker for a two count. Madison Rayne would capitalize and hit Blanchard a crucifix pin bomb, Baker would break up the pin count. Baker would hit Rayne with Spinning Fisherman Neckbreaker. Baker would go for the cover but Chelsea Green would break it up. Green would then hit Britt Baker with an Unprettier. Britt Baker would show off some veteran ring awareness by getting her foot on the ropes to break up the pin attempt by Green. Chelsea Green would then hit Tessa Blanchard with the Candian Destroyer, and go for the cover but Blanchard would kick out at two. Blanchard would recover and hit Green with a Hammerlock DDT and go for the pin. Although Baker and Rayne would try to break up the pin they were a half second too late and your winner Tessa Blanchard.
Following the matchup, the four women would embrace in the middle of the ring. And raise each other’s hands in an amazing show of sportsmanship and the bond of professional wrestling.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship: Cody (Rhodes) vs Nick Aldis
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Wow, what an incredible entrance for a member of the Royal Family in Professional Wrestling Cody Rhodes. The American Nightmare’s opponent would have a camp of his own with some high powered names as well. The atmosphere in Chicago for this match was incredible and absolutely electric which radiated through the screen. After a few collar and elbow tie-ups, Cody would pay homage to his legendary father the American Dream Dusty Rhodes with his patterned cartwheel. The crowd was clearly in favor of Cody. Cody would hit Aldis with a beautiful tope suicida. This matchup told an incredible story. The two men would work over the other. Cody would continue the homage payment with the drop down throat thrust that his brother Dustin Rhodes (Goldust) would perform. Cody would dive off the turnbuckle but would get caught with an Aldis’ elbow. Cody would remain down for an extended period of time.
Referee Earl Hebner would throw up the “X” symbol with his arms indicating that Cody was hurt. This would lead American Nightmare member Diamond Dallas Page to come down to ringside to check on Cody. Which would lead to Shawn Daivari (a member of Aldis’ camp) to come down and push DDP. Page would get his revenge quickly and hit Daivari with a Diamond Cutter. When Cody would emerge from the ground he would be bleeding from the Aldis Elbow. Cody would hit a Powerslam out of the corner but would only get a two count. Blows would be exchanged by both men. However, Aldis would hit and avalanche Fall Away Slam on Cody but only get a two count. Cody would lock in the Figure Four Leg Lock. After the two men would roll outside, Aldis would hit Cody with a Running Powerslam onto the mat on the outside.
The storytelling in this match was beautifully done. When Cody was locked in the King’s Cloverleaf, Cody would look to his wife Brandi Rhodes for strength as she cheered him on, on the outside. Aldis would then deliver a devastating piledriver on Cody. After the piledriver, Aldis would begin ascending to the top turnbuckle and Brandi would enter the ring pleading with Aldis. Pleading that he does not dive onto Cody. Aldis would dive for an Elbow Drop but Brandi would sacrifice herself and cover Cody taking the brute of the Diving Elbow Drop from the NWA Worlds Champion Nick Aldis. The crowd would begin ferociously booing Aldis. Aldis’ face would show a level of disbelief in his actions but the title remains the focus. Aldis would cover Cody, who would kick out at two. Cody would then fight back hitting a Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes but would only get a two count. After a slugfest in Chicago and an exchange of reversals, Cody would roll up Nick Aldis for the victory. The winner and New NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion The American Nightmare Cody.
Chicago Street Fight: Joey Janela w/ Penelope Ford vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This match would start off hot, and Adam Page would deliver a huge big boot. Page would then follow up with a Tope Suicida. Janela would reciprocate with a Tope Suicida of his own. Adam Page would demonstrate the unbridled reckless athletism that he is known for with a big diving moonsault from the top turnbuckle to the outside. Page would be the first to go for weapons and bring a chair into the mix. Page would display his power advantage with a Pumphandle Fall Away Slam onto an opened chair. Janela would kick out at two. The Chicago Streetfight would quickly break down as Janela would throw Hangman into a literal barrel from Cracker Barrell. Joey Janela would the step up a chair and ran up the chair to the barrel for a Triple Jump Somersault Plancha onto Page in the crowd. Janela would then bring back the days of his youth playing “Donkey Kong” as he would attempt to roll the barrel into Hangman Page. Page would leapfrog the barrel but lead into an exchange of blows that would knock Page over the guardrail again. Page would recover and deliver a devastating Buckshot Lariat onto Joey Janela on the outside.
Page would set up a table on the outside behind the turnbuckle. Joey Janela would catch Page and deliver a powerful Death Valley Driver into the turnbuckle. Janela would then set up a ladder bridge with the Cracker Barrel barrel. Janela would place Page on the ladder but would get caught and Page would deliver a vicious Burning Hammer onto the ladder. Page would grab a trash bag from under the ring. But before Page could use the bag, Penelope Ford would get involved. Hangman would attempt several blows but Penelope would evade them with back handsprings and back bridge. Penelope would the deliver her very own Stunner to Page. But she wouldn’t be done as she would dive for a crossbody off the top turnbuckle. Penelope would place Page on the table and Janela would dive from the turnbuckle with his own Diving Elbow Drop. Joey Janela would then drag Adam Page up the entrance ramp. Janela would use the entire catwalk to deliver a Running Clothesline.
Janela would set up a pair of tables in the entrance way. But the time Janela took to set up the tables allowed Page to recover and deliver a Superkick. Hangman Adam Page would the Powerbomb Joey Janela off the stage through the tables. Page would then drag Janela back to the ring and hit another Buckshot Lariat. Page would follow that up with an Inverted Tombstone Piledriver. Page would cover Janela but the pin would be broken up by Penelope Ford.
Penelope Ford would have the trash bag that Adam Page pulled from under the ring. In the bag would be the “Cursed Boots.” A vignette was played prior to the matchup about the “murder” of Joey Ryan. Penelope Ford would go to pick up one of the boots and receive a Superkick from Page for her effort. Page would pick up a boot and begin speaking to it, only to turn around into a Superkick by Joey Janela. Janela would cover but only get a two count. Janela would then put a ladder and a table in the ring. Janela would place Page on the table and ascend the ladder. But Page would recover and ascend the ladder as well. But Page would be met with punches by Janela. Janela would hit the canvas and reach inside the bag once again. This time pulling out the “murder weapon” the corded phone Page used on Joey Ryan. Page would repeatedly hit Janela with the phone and then wrap the cord of the phone around the neck of Janela and deliver a Right of Passage (Inverted Tombstone) off the ladder through the table.
Following the match, another vignette would begin to play and it would show the uh “Rise” of Joey Ryan from the dead. The vignette would then be followed by a “phalanx of phallus” would line the entrance way for the one and only Joey Ryan. Adam Page would have a look of unbridled fear. Then the one and only Joey Ryan would do what he does best. Words can not describe what was witnessed by the fans at the Sears Center in Chicago. But they gave the moment a “Standing Salute.”
ROH World Championship: Flip Gordon w/ Brandi Rhodes vs Jay Lethal
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Jay Lethal would enter the arena accompanied by Leaping Lanny Poffo and donning the ring jacket of the late great Macho Man Randy Savage. Lethal would pay homage to the Macho Man for several years under the moniker of Black Machismo. A fitting tribute during an incredible event. Both of these men have a level of athletism that is unprecedented. Channeling the spirit of the Macho Man would see Black Machismo mistake Brandi for Miss Elizabeth. But a slap from Brandi seemingly knocked Jay Lethal back into control. A beautiful exchange of maneuvers. Flip Gordon would show off the skill set that matches his name. Flip Gordon would hit two Tope Suicidas and follow that up with Somersault Plancha. The two men would exchange several reversals. This match would personify what made this event so special. Both men would have to display their athletism and resilience. Lanny Poffo would then chop Lethal and would seemingly revive Black Machismo. Jay Lethal would deliver three “Hail to the King” (diving elbow drop.) The Flip Gordon would have an “Immortal” burst. Flip Gordon would pull off a string of beautiful aerial maneuvers. Including a Flipping Samoan Drop and Running Standing Shooting Star Press and a Springboard Spinal Tap. Jay Lethal would then take over and deliver two devastating Lethal Injections (cutters.)
Then a wonderful display of sportsmanship by Flip Gordon and Jay Lethal. Then Bully Ray would come down to the ring and attack Flip Gordon. The Lanny Poffo would enter the fray and get a kick below the border for his effort. Bully Ray would then bring out a table. Then Colt Cabana would come to the aid of Lethal and Gordon. Then three men would then deliver a big three men powerbomb through the table.
Penta El Zero vs. Kenny Omega
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This was a match that I was really looking forward to seeing, as both men have some truly amazing talent. This match had two men who are capable of changing the gameplan on a dime. Penta and Omega would deliver a very impactful performance. Penta El Zero would dominate much of the matchup. Penta would have Omega well scouted and would be able to counter some of Kenny’s moves. This is a match that must be watched to appreciate what was witnessed. No words I can put down will capture the essence of this match. Watch this match! Period end of story! #ALLIN
Following the match, the lights would go out. Then “Penta El Zero” would recover and attack Kenny Omega. Then following a Code Breaker he would remove his mask revealing himself to be Y2J Chris Jericho.
Marty Scurll vs. Kazuchika Okada
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2
The second of the “Big Three” main events for All In. Although if you watched this event nearly all of the matches could have main evented. Marty wanted to prove that he could hang with the heavyweights and he proved he had a game plan going into this match. Scurll would seemingly have a counter planned for everything Okada had to offer. Scurll would have a grounding game plan. As with just about every match on the All In Card this match had amazing storytelling. Both men would put on a highlight reel of their best. Scurll would use the energy of the crowd to gain momentum. This contest was very much a back and forth bout. Another incredible contest, Marty would continue to fight and not stay down.
6-Man Tag: Rey Fenix & Bandido & Rey Misterio Jr vs. Kota Ibushi & The Young Bucks
Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
The pace quicken in this matchup. As all six men in this match have some of the greatest agility in the wrestling world. The match moved fast and furious and the crowd was extremely vocal during the contest. The speed for each of the six men was absolutely unbelievable. This event was probably the best event I have witnessed in a long time. Like several matches on this card, words can’t describe the action. Watching is the best way to understand the majesty that was brought forth during this event.