HomeTelevisionAEW All In: All Elite Wrestling's Best Show Ever, Period.

AEW All In: All Elite Wrestling’s Best Show Ever, Period.

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling’s All In was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best event AEW has produced since it opened for business in 2019.

Hyperbole much?

AEW has produced so many amazing events throughout its short run. From the groundbreaking Double or Nothing in 2019, to the perfect tribute show for Mr. Brodie Lee in 2020, to 2021’s “return to live shows” run which included: Double or Nothing, The First Dance, the Hangman/Dark Order vs. Elite elimination match, the star-studded All Out and the first Grand Slam plus the Forbidden Door PPVs, and the countless weekly shows and PPVs that featured absolute MOTYs from Bryan Danielson, MJF, CM Punk, FTR, Britt Baker, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and so many others.

Yet, All In 2023 was easily their best.

It wasn’t because of a debut — there were none (unless you count the cameo from Mercedes Mone).

It wasn’t because of any one particular match.

It wasn’t even because it was in front the biggest paid audience in professional wrestling history.

It was because from start to finish this show perfectly encapsulated everything that is great about All Elite Wrestling — producing shows that emphasizing the hard-hitting, high-flying, bloody spirit of the sport of professional wrestling while also embracing the fun and fantastical entertainment side of wrestling. There was no misses on the show as the wrestlers, the announcers, and the production team were out to put on the show of their life, and that bled through the screen.

While no match on the card will be inducted into a Hall of Fame like MJF’s past two Revolution match (Dog Collar vs. Punk and the Iron Man Match vs. Punk) or the Bucks/Lucha Brothers Cage Match from All Out 2021 — no match was a snooze, stinker or “meh, you can skip that one.” For a card that was wildly criticized for being a “weak build” with AEW not telling enough stories or not promoting the importance of Wembley — every match had stakes, drama and immediacy. It was a show that made your bathroom/food breaks the moments in between matches, not matches themselves.

From a company perspective, this was one they needed. Tony Khan, who often comes across as the most positive man alive, freely admitted (without provocation or question) in the media scrum. This was company was red hot, nearly untouchable and ever since that fateful night in the Kia Forum in 20222 where CM Punk broke his foot and MJF walked out of the company —  things have gone sideways. The injuries, the in-fighting, the CM Punk of it all, Cody Rhodes’ ascension in WWE and that company catching fire has caused the fire of AEW to burn less brightly.

Yet, on this fateful night in Wembley Stadium everything AEW does so well was showcased to perfection.

MJF and Adam Cole’s main event reminded people that AEW knows how to tell a well-layered story that based on emotion that the audience cannot help themselves but feel tied too. We saw this with the Hangman Page vs. The Elite feud which was one of the best storylines in the last 20 years of professional wrestling. Now, here we are again watching the “Brotachos” implode and reunite and the crowd eating every moment up like Sunday brunch.

Silly things like the “Kangaroo Kick” or Orange Cassidy’s “sloth style” or Trent’s mom driving her van into the stadium or Samoa Joe’s “nope” spot worked to utter perfection — sending the crowd into apoplectic exuberance. The violence of the Stadium Stampede and the Coffin Match were violent delights that were laced with pure fun and absolute intensity. And then we were treated with just straight up killer wrestling with The Young Bucks and FTR putting on a clinic for a third (and not final time) and Chris Jericho and Will Ospreay having a generational battle.

Oh, and then there’s Sting going out there and putting on a bonkers ass match in front of 80,000 people. If that doesn’t make you feel romantic about pro wrestling, literally nothing will.

Now, could the show have used another women’s match. Of course it could have! With a two-hour buy-in, you’re telling me they could do an ROH Women’s Title Match, or a women’s trios match with the likes of Kris Statlander, Ruby Soho, Willow Nightingale, Nyla Rose, Skye Blue (who was in the UK), The Bunny, Emi Sakura, etc. taking part in? This is an ongoing issue with AEW that for the life of me I’ll never understand, and I’m not sure why it cannot get fixed.

Does the fact CM Punk and Jack Perry getting into a fight is the discourse post-show absolutely frustrating? Yup! But when I think back to All In, will I think of these two getting into a scrape or will I think of 80,000 people geeking out over AEW? If you’ve read this far into the column you already know the answer.

If you’ve been on the fence about AEW for the past year post Brawl Out, do yourselves a favor and watch All In. It’s a celebration of everything that’s great about All Elite Wrestling and everything great about professional wrestling.

AEW All In is still available via traditional PPV, Bleacher Report & numerous other platforms.


Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.


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