THE PREDICTOR PREDICTS: AEW ALL OUT 2021
By Don “The Predictor” Murphy (Twitter: @DonThePredictor)
If you’re a diehard AEW fan and in your eyes, they can do no wrong, you might want to stop reading now, as you may read some things you don’t want to read. And before I get angry messages from fans calling me a WWE mark, let me explain. I’ve been a fan for 35 years. I’ve lived through most of the major periods of the business. I enjoy ALL wrestling, some more than others – but I try to find the positive while I can. And yes, WWE is going through some challenging times, while AEW is emerging as one of the hottest brands out there. I won’t deny that and I also won’t deny that once the bell rings Sunday night, many of these matches will be excellent by today’s standards. It’s just when I look at the All Out card in totality and decide whether or not I am going to drop $50 during a time when there’s so much free content on TV, I see a one-match show. The other matches will be fine, but there’s really nothing in the builds that make me excited to see them anymore than I would want to watch an episode of Dynamite or Rampage. I’ll have more to say as we run down the card and as EC3 says, “you’ve been warned.”
Kenny Omega retains the AEW World Championship over Christian Cage: This is a perfect example of what I am talking about. First, they gave this match away on Rampage with Christian going over to win the Impact World Championship. And yes, one could make the argument that the intrigue of the match is that Kenny is vulnerable and Christian has proven he can beat him. True; however, for anyone who has been around awhile, you know that’s likely not the case. Plus, let’s face it - it’s Christian. No disrespect intended, but he’s not a main event player and hasn’t been for some time. He’s solid and he’ll give you a good match, but he’s not the star they’re trying to make him. The intrigue of this match for me will be to see if any of the recent WWE departures show up.
CM Punk defeats Darby Allin: This, of course, is the match that everyone is talking about and for me, the only match that has any kind of interest on this show. And I had a hard time making a pick. The choice to go with Allin as Punk’s first opponent is a curious one. Darby, along with Jungle Boy and Orange Cassidy are among the brand’s more popular young stars. Why feed him to Punk right out of the gate? There’s a school of thought that Punk will put Darby over here. I can’t see that being a very good move in Chicago. As popular as Allin is, I don’t know how Punk’s hometown reacts in that scenario. You could always do a non-finish and have heels attack them both. I think that would be a letdown as well. I think the best you can hope for is that Punk doesn’t have too much rust from being off for seven years and that he makes Allin look as good as he can in defeat.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (with Rebel) retains the AEW World Women’s Championship over Kris Statlander: Here again, I feel like this has been flat. Baker is undeniably one of the hottest stars on the brand and one of the better workers in the women’s division. In Statlander, who recently came off of an injury, we’re getting more of a serious tone. We’re not getting the alien nonsense, which is a plus. However, I would have liked to have seen some more promo time. Who is she? What’s her background? Why should I care if she wins the title? Take me on her journey and that helps get me more involved in the match.
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (with Brandon Cutler) retain the AEW World Tag Team Championship over Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) (with Alex Abrahantes) in a Steel Cage: I’ll say right out of the gate that I recognize that this will be one of the best matches of the night for those that like that style. Booking wise – I think they missed an opportunity. First, we’ve seen this match before and yes, they’re action packed and will pop the crowd. But, if you remember, this whole scenario came about after the Bucks won a non-title match over Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus on Dynamite after all kinds of outside interference. It would be logical that they would get the shot here and with Jungle Boy being one of the top babyfaces on the brand, it’s time to give him the big moment. Yet, instead of a potential tag team title win, he’s on the pre-show. I don’t get it. Plus, logically, I get the use of the cage, but as we’ve seen, it never serves to stop interference and I think you could have achieved your objective easier by just banning everyone from ringside.
Miro retains the AEW TNT Championship over Eddie Kingston: This will be a fine match but here again, the build has been flat. I think Kingston can do so much more, yet, since he’s turned babyface, he’s been relegated to Moxley’s sidekick and we haven’t seen as much character development. By the way, if anyone points to anything anyone is doing on Dark or Dark Elevation – sorry, that doesn’t count. The sweet spot for any fanbase is TV and they have three hours of real estate to play with.
MJF defeats Chris Jericho: Normally, when you have a “loser doesn’t wrestle again” stipulation, you would assume that wrestler is going over. I think in this case, Jericho deserves and needs a break to go on tour with Fozzy and heal up some his injuries. MJF is the hottest heel in wrestling and while he would easily get his heat back after a loss, I think it would be better to keep him hot now, give Jericho a break and then, since it’s wrestling, bring Jericho back for a big match or two once in a while with the storyline.
Paul Wight defeats QT Marshall: I’m happy for Wight getting a PPV slot but I could have done without this match. Marshall is not hot enough as a heel and for a 90 second squash match, they could have just as easily done this on Dynamite or Rampage and put a better match here in its place.
Jon Moxley defeats Satoshi Kojima: I like integrating the New Japan wrestlers into AEW and I think the plan was likely to have Tanahashi face Moxley here. For whatever reason, we’re getting Kojima. He’s fine, but we just saw him in Impact and he’s not one of the hotter acts in New Japan. The match will be fine, but again, another one that kind of falls flat.
Ruby Soho wins the 21-woman Casino Battle Royale for a AEW Women's World Championship match: AEW doesn’t normally have their surprise entrant go over out of the box in the battle royals. In this case though, looking at the rest of the entrants and seeing how they’re positioned, I don’t see anyone that would make any sense. Soho will be a nice surprise, she’s a good worker and will breathe some life into the women’s division.
Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta) and Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) (with Marko Stunt) defeat the Hardy Family Office (Matt Hardy, Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) and The Hybrid 2 (Angélico and Jack Evans): This will be the standard opening spot fest to pop the crowd and set the tone for the evening. I feel like many of these guys are spinning their wheels in a pointless feud.