Showcasing both homegrown and migrant talent, All Out was the best AEW show yet. In front of a packed crowd at the NOW Arena in Chicago, IL AEW showed the world that they have the ability to not only compete, but put on a better product than their competitor. While Vince McMahon and the WWE have largely dismissed AEW as legit competition, fans of pro wrestling around the world will be tuned in to see what happens next.
Last night’s All Out PPV allowed AEW to flex their muscles, putting on a show that most would say was the best wrestling PPV they’ve seen in years. Top to bottom, All Out had the pacing of those classic “attitude era” shows where there was little fluff or filler. Fans were treated to an excellent night of professional wrestling, with some surprising debuts, and several interesting storylines for AEW to build upon.
Between the Women’s Battle Royal featured the debut of Ruby Soho, the insanely action-packed tag team cage match between The Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros, and of course the return of CM Punk, All Out did not disappoint. That’s not even including their World Title, Women’s World Title, and TNT Title matches that were also held on the same show.
AEW has the hot hand now and is firing on all cylinders. I’d argue that they have the most complete product on the market currently. They’ve been able to assemble all the right missing pieces to their roster, without diluting what has made them special in the first place. After the debuts of Ruby Soho, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), and Adam Cole, AEW is on the cusp of reaching levels of legitimacy no other WWE competitor has seen since WCW in the early ’90s.
Add that to the fact that they were also able to lure CM Punk back into wrestling after a 7-year hiatus, and you have all the makings of a true shift in momentum in the world of wrestling. AEW won’t immediately usurp the WWE audience by any means, but they could end up reigniting the passion of those wrestling fans who’ve since soured on the inconsistencies of the WWE product.
In the meanwhile, WWE brass will be forced to pay attention to AEW as they now have the star power to appeal to casual wrestling fans. Having shed some pretty big names in the recent months, WWE will have to figure out a way to maintain their stronghold within the realm of sports entertainment/pro wrestling while keeping more talent from opting out of their contracts upon expiration. It’s obvious that AEW is the place to be right now, but whether or not they can continue that momentum is an entirely different story.