Miro (C) def. Eddie Kingston – TNT Championship
In my opinion, this was a very good, physical outing from both men. I liked how commentary focused on the average match length of Miro’s title defenses because it put an added spotlight on how far Eddie could go.
These two really went at it at times, and while I do believe the offense was a bit repetitive with all the suplexes, it worked in the context of what they were trying to do. Plus, the finish protects Kingston as well. No complaints here, a good physical match to get the crowd warmed up. ***1/2
Jon Moxley def. Satoshi Hojima
I think this match was more or less on par in quality with the opener. With that said, it’s still quite amazing to see Hojima move as well as he does at his age. Just like the opener, this match was also more physical, if not a bit more subdued. There were some noticeable gaps in the action, and while Miro and Kingston were suplexing each other, Moxley and Hojima were just boxing each other out with haymakers until Moxley finally got the advantage. ***1/4
Dr. Britt Baker (C) def. Kris Statlander – AEW Women’s Championship
A lot of things to like here. Statlander and Baker’s styles really coincide with each other rather well, and Baker’s such a great heel that she can really compliment her offense well with Statlander’s comeback attempts. Despite that though, the crowd popping for Baker’s Panama Sunrise is the highlight of the night thus far.
Could this be a potential indication that a certain someone is on the way? Whatever the case, a high quality match for the women’s division here as Baker continues her solid reign. As this deviated from the style of matches that the two had before it, I think this has been the best match of the night so far. ***1/2
The Lucha Brothers def. The Young Bucks (C) – AEW Tag Team Championships (Steel Cage Match)
Scratch that, this is your match of the night so far. Any match involving the Lucha Brothers and The Young Bucks is bound to be good, but these two teams somehow constantly find ways to re-invent themselves and make things as interesting as possible.
A lot of people believe The Young Bucks are overly choreographed, and maybe fear that might set in within a confined environment, but when you have two teams that know each other so well and is capable of performing incredible feats of athleticism, it makes every transition and every spot more meaningful. These four men were the only ones capable of executing this specific kind of match in that environment and it was entertaining as all hell. Everything just flowed seamlessly. You don’t really see a lot of tag team cage matches these day, but boy did these two teams make me want to see one soon. Incredible effort. ****3/4
Ruby Soho Wins Casino Battle Royale
Very happy for Ruby that she can get a fresh start in AEW, and it looks like they wasted no time establishing her as one of the premiere women in the division. This battle royale was pretty much all about introducing her and nothing more. I don’t really care much for battle royals and I often have difficulty rating them. This was a bit long for me, but accomplished its purpose. **
Chris Jericho def. MJF
A pretty passable match in my opinion, but kind of took a bit too long to get to the point. The Dusty finish also didn’t really do much for me. I think between the Labours of Jericho and seeing these two already face off before kind of dumbed down the freshness of this match to me. Aesthetically speaking it was just fine and was definitely good ring-wise. I just felt like there were a few bells and whistles that weren’t needed to give Jericho his redemption win. It’s also one of the reasons why I didn’t like the battle Royal going as long as it did because we’d follow it up with a match of equal length with a predictable outcome. MJF selling the back was a nice touch. ***1/4
CM Punk def. Darby Allin
The main thing that I was looking for here was CM Punk’s wind and conditioning. 7 years is a very long time to be away from the ring, so ensuring that you are in shape when you’re back in is very important.
Ultimately, I thought this was more or less a successful return for Punk, and Allin was the perfect opponent to put him to the test with his high flying moves. One thing I did notice was that there were quite a few rest spots here so Punk could catch his breath, which was to be expected. But overall I think the the two worked extremely well together. I’m sure as Punk faces new adversaries, he’ll gradually get all his mojo back, but this was about as good as it could get for his return. ***1/2
Paul Wight def. QT Marshall
Short, sweet, to the point and in under five minutes. Exactly what it needed to be. *
Kenny Omega (C) def. Christian Cage – AEW World Championship
You could tell the energy for the main event kind of gradually deflated despite the chants because of all the burnout from cheering for Punk, the tag match and everything that came before it.
Much like Jericho/MJF and Allin/Punk, this was a well worked match and a solid main event overall. Maybe people prefer the Impact World Title match, but this one is still a hard worked, physical outing that brought out some of the best in both men, especially Christian, who’s working at an incredibly high level. I guess the only thing you could say hurt this match was the predictability of knowing Omega wasn’t losing. ***3/4
And holy shit, we have some guests afterwards.
AEW made some power plays tonight. CM Punk’s first match in about 8 years and debuting Ruby Soho, Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole on the same night. AND Minoru Suzuki. It’s likely WWE won’t lose any sleep over this, but AEW is stacking the deck on their high-end talent at the moment. The PPV itself is a thumbs up because everything was pretty solid and the tag match was a barn burner. But seeing the new signees puts everything over the top, and as AEW begins a new season and new storylines, the possibilities are bound to begin. Thumbs up for AEW All out. Let the fun begin.