It’s a show that you’d needed to have been under a rock to have not known about. Yeah, we’re massively late on this one.
Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks sold out the Sears Center near Chicago, packing it with 10,000 fans for a show that perhaps redefined the word “independent.” No official ties to Ring of Honor, New Japan or any other promotion, this was a show that from the outside was “just three guys messing about.” I’m not making any comparison, nor the joke.
This show being available on both ROH and New Japan’s streaming services raised some eyebrows, particularly when Ian Riccaboni was overtly shilling Honor Club (for which you needed the annual VIP subscription in order to watch this live via ROH). Bizarrely, the Zero Hour pre-show wasn’t made available on FITE or on any of the other legal options. So it’s YouTube for us, as we open with Cody and the Young Bucks throwing out pyro, t-shirts, and a random cameo from Road Warrior Animal, because why not? There’d be a lot of in jokes throughout the show, including digs at how “TV interviewers” have to stand to look shorter than the folks they interview,
Pre-show match one was So Cal Uncensored’s Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian overcoming the Briscoe Brothers in a match that was chock full of “one… two… SWEET!” chants that everyone was fearing. Then we got the “Over Budget” battle royal, which started in the ring, spilled to the outside, before returning into the ring as the winner would face ROH champion Jay Lethal on the main show. Bully Ray and Brian Cage were the main threats in that battle royal, but while Cage was eliminated by Jordynne Grace, it was the masked Chico el Luchador who’d make it to the main show… having unmasked as Flip Gordon to finally eliminate Bully as a ROH storyline sort-of paid off on the WGN pre-show. It’d not be the only unmasking on this card.
Once they’d remembered to turn on Justin Roberts’ microphone, we had the US national anthem (complete with random Top of the Hour Nitro pyro), before pitching to Excalibur, Don Callis and Ian Riccaboni in front of a blindingly-bright light on commentary to run through the card.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Matt Cross
It’s really, really odd seeing all these indy names in a huge arena setting. Not “bad” odd, but it’s so jarring.
We’ve a decent early start as Cross backflips away from MJF, before falling to the bad guy’s offer of a handshake. MJF refuses to dive, and that just buys Cross enough time to return to the ring as he built up into a Sasuke special! Well, posing on the stage works a lot better than yelling in a cavernous arena, as MJF found…
Back in the ring, MJF throws Cross into the ring post, as he started to work over the arm. There’s some mocking of Cross’ age by M-Jeff, which instantly backfires as Cross responds with a ‘rana off the top, before a handspring back elbow into the corner and a springboard crossbody almost puts away Friedman. After going back to the arm, MJF busts out a package shoulderbreaker for a near-fall, with the crowd not exactly going wild for that, before some yay/boo punches led to a poke to the eye from Friedman.
A snappy retort from Cross saw him wheelbarrow MJF for a double stomp, but we’re going back and forth as a pendulum piledriver (or a Bliss Buster for Josh Bodom’s fan) almost gets MJF the win. One missed moonsault allows Cross to hit a rebound cutter and a shooting star press… and that’s all folks. A perfectly serviceable opener, with both guys looking good in front of a crowd that may be saving themselves for the stars. ***
ALL IN is a bit like the all star game of the indys, and it extends beyond the ring as Sean Mooney’s here from his postcast to interview Nick Aldis. Say what you will about his in-ring, but Aldis is a pretty good promo in this sort of old school situation.
Stephen Amell vs. Christopher Daniels
Jerry Lynn is your special guest referee for this one, while Stephen Amell comes out to the generic Bullet Club theme. I sense whoever wrote that’s going to be getting a lot of royalties tonight…
Holy crap, Christopher Daniels has found the fountain of something here. I’m half expecting him to pop up in a remake of the Crystal Maze…
Now, Amell’s bread and butter is acting, so my expectations are low. There’s a chop out of Amell, which Daniels reciprocates, before the Fallen Angel booted him into the corner. Still, Amell’s back with a dropkick and an enziguiri, before clotheslining Daniels to the outside, where plunder instantly comes into play as Amell pulls out a table from under the ring. Sod’s law, Amell looks for a uranage through the table off the apron, but Daniels dives back into the ring, as the veteran began to take over. Daniels hits a suplex into a simple gutbuster for a near-fall, and it’s that midsection that Daniels continues to target, smashing into Amell with an Arabian moonsault for a heavily-delayed cover.
Daniels teases a suplex through the table, but Amell fights back and manages to hit a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, before going up top for a Coast to Coast dropkick! That too is good for a near-fall, but Amell comes up short with an enziguiri, allowing Daniels to respond with the Best Moonsault Ever for a near-fall, before he teases a superplex through the table on the floor… of course, Amell fights out, shoving Daniels onto the apron and somehow onto the table with one move, allowing him to take flight with a swandive that ends up sending himself through the wood as Daniels rolled out just in time.
Jerry Lynn starts the count-out as the crowd chants for the Broken Arrow… before the referee takes matters into his own hands and throws both men back in the ring. Daniels is incensed, which leads to Lynn taking off his ref’s shirt as he shoved Daniels into a low blow and a roll-up for a near-fall. Shrugging it off, Daniels clubs away on Amell, building up to Angel’s Wings… except that’s countered into a back body drop for a near-fall… and Daniels has had enough as a uranage and another BME gets the win. This was fine considering the limitations, but there were some bits that looked rough. Still, for a celebrity match, this could have been far, far worse. **¾
Don Callis runs off “to talk to Kenny Omega.” I didn’t know they’d booked Minoru Suzuki for this… it’s a cover for Mandy Leon and Tenille Dashwood to drop in on commentary.
Britt Baker vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard
Britt used Adam Cole’s music (hmm) and has parlayed her real life doctorate into a character for this show. Instantly, a better wrestling dentist than Isaac Yankem! Tessa Blanchard was put over huge here for her entrance, as Magnum TA and Tully Blanchard hugged her on her way to the ring.
Rather than tags, all four women are in the ring at the same time here, and we start with Blanchard dumping Madison Rayne with a forearm, before those two went outside. An Irish whip takes Rayne into the guard railings, while Baker and Green looked to snatch a pin while everyone else was on the outside. Crucifixes and La Magistrals seemed to be the order of the day, while Chelsea switched between her personalities, going up for a rope walk and a lucha-ish armdrag to Baker.
Blanchard’s back in, and she quickly dumps Baker with a lungblower in the corner before Rayne took over with some more pinning predicaments. The pair trade forearms, but Blanchard decides to get rid of Rayne by press slamming her to the outside – something the crowd seemed to enjoy. Baker looked to go for a dive, but Green kicks her away before doing the thing instead. Tessa gets her dive in eventually, while Madison scales the ropes and hits a crossbody into the pile underneath. We break into a Parade of Moves as Baker hits a hattrick of Slingblades, getting a near-fall on Green from it, before Rayne’s ripcord cutter drew a near-fall.
Tessa Blanchard misses a shoulder charge, allowing Chelsea to hit a Zack Ryder-esque Broski Boot. Blanchard’s back with a full nelson flatliner on Baker, only to take a tornado DDT from Rayne before Chelsea’s missile dropkick wiped out Blanchard yet again. Green keeps up with an Unprettier, but it sparks a too-quick-to-call Parade of Moves that nearly ends it, as we’re into some rapid near-falls that got the crowd going. A swinging Fisherman’s neckbreaker nearly won it for Baker, but she’s caught with an Unprettier from Green for a near-fall as Baker barely gets a foot on the rope. Green turns her attention to Tessa from there, landing a Destroyer for a two-count, only for Blanchard to get up and hit a hammerlock DDT for the win. With a little more polish this would have been exceptional, but much like a lot of the undercard, I’d dare say the occasion perhaps got to a few folks here – be it the size of the crowd or the ring, or both, as some of the timing looked to be off. Still a worthy four-way, but I’d wish they’d been able to make it for something… ***
NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship: Cody vs. Nick Aldis (c)
Cody had quite the entourage with him, with DDP, Tommy Dreamer, Glacier, and his dog Pharoah accompanying him for his title match. Yes… the dog got a pop. Why wouldn’t he? Meanwhile, Aldis was accompanied by Shawn Daivari, Tim Storm and Jeff Jarrett. A real motley crew…
Full disclosure here – three weeks have passed since I started watching the show. This is what coming into a card with prejudice does for you (and having a boat load of other shows to catch).
Once Earl Hebner’s gone through (what felt like) his scripted instructions, we got going with Aldis trying to frustrate Cody early, before things quickly broke down into a chop battle. On the outside, Aldis scores with a suplex, before he posts Cody and starts to edge ahead. A duelling crossbody knocks both men down, but Aldis heads outside to collect himself… and manages to catch Cody with an elbow as the challenger tried for a flying body press to the outside.
Earl Hebner holds up the X, which prompts DDP to run down and help… maybe a quick blast of DDP Yoga’ll help? Eh, it leads to Shawn Daivari taking a Diamond Cutter, before Cody eventually surfaces with a crimson mask. So that’s why he wore white? The blood revitalised Cody, who gets a near-fall with a scoop slam, before he heads up top and misses a moonsault. Aldis comes back with a fallaway slam off the middle rope, but Cody’s back with a Figure Four which gets reversed into the ropes as we got a break. We’re outside again as Cody takes a slam on the mats, but back inside Cody scores with a spinning Alabama Slam as we tick off “pay tribute to first man he held WWE gold with”, but the back-and-forth continues with a Cloverleaf as Aldis looked to be clinging onto the advantage he had. Despite a rope break, Cody’s squashed with a piledriver, before Aldis flies in off the top rope with an elbow drop… laying out Brandi Rhodes who’d come in to check on her husband.
Despite that, Cody’s able to mount a comeback with a Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes for a near-fall, but it wasn’t long before the end as a sunset flip from Aldis is sat down on… and Cody’s your new NWA champion! As a match, this was a lot better than I was led to believe. Sure, it felt a little long, and it was never going to be a show-stealer or anything, but the moment of Cody lifting the belt his father won numerous times was quite the thing. ***¼
Chicago Street Fight: Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page
The prematch to this focussed a lot on the Being The Elite storyline where Hangman Page admitted to murdering Joey Ryan. Uh-huh. Personally I preferred the “had an excellent G1” storyline, but that’s harder to distil into a web series! Since then he’s beaten a lot of Joe/Joeys, with Janela being the latest one in his list… and we start out hot with Janela getting booted to the outside for a tope.
Janela returns the favour, but Page keeps him outside with a boot before he went up for an Orihara moonsault that found its mark! It’s time for some plunder next as Page grabs a chair from under the ring, which he quickly uses as a landing pad for Janela as a pumphandle fallaway slam gave the Bad Boy a Bad Landing. They go back outside where Page unveils a literal Cracker Barrel. Product placement! Except Page gets thrown into it, then into the crowd as Janela hits a sweet step-up flip dive off the barrel and into the crowd!
Back in ringside, Janela goes all Donkey Kong as he rolls the barrel into Page… who leaps over it. Is Page going to save a princess? Nah, he’s back in the crowd… but just so he can slingshot back in with a Buckshot lariat that the camera barely picks up on the live feed. More plunder comes in the form of a table, but Janela decided to add to it by pulling out a ladder, which he then set up between the ring and the, erm, Cracker Barrel, only to get caught as a Burning Hammer off the apron through the ladder put an almighty dent in the ladder.
Page grabs a bin bag from under the ring, threatening to suffocate Janela with it, but Penelope Ford gets in and leaps onto Page’s back. A slap stops him… briefly, as does a Stunner and a crossbody to Page on the floor! Penelope continues to club away on Page, who’s placed on a table just in time for Janela to hit an elbow drop through the wood, before the pair went on the long runway as a clothesline from the Bad Boy keeps him ahead. Janela found more tables in the aisle, but it backfires as Page powerbombs Janela off the ramp through one of them. It looked like a bad landing to say the very least. We’re back in the ring as Page rushes in with a Buckshot Lariat, then the Rite of Passage for a near-fall as Penelope Ford breaks up the cover… and then grabs another bag that Page empties. It’s the cursed boots, which prompts Page to freak out… for a second as he then superkicks Ford.
Janela gets retribution with a superkick of his own for a near-fall, before he went back outside for more plunder… with another ladder. There’s another table too, and that ends up backfiring as an attempt to elbow drop Page through it ends with Page getting up and hitting Janela with a phone before a Rite of Passage off the ladder and through a table gets the win. The Being The Elite callbacks didn’t click for me because I don’t watch that, but my God, this was a war at times. That Rite of Passage at the end… oww… ***¾
The lights go out after the match as we have more storyline stuff… Joey Ryan awakens from the dead, and returns to the arena, complete with Penis Druids. If you hadn’t seen the GIFs of this, then you probably weren’t online when this happened. The payoff? Ryan oils up and penis suplexes Page then lays him out with a superkick before the druids carry Page to the back.
ROH World Championship: Flip Gordon vs. Jay Lethal (c)
See, Flip got booked… and he had some help in the form of Brandi Rhodes. Paying off more stuff I didn’t keep up with! Meanwhile, Jay Lethal was out with Lanny Poffo, bedecked in Macho Man gear. Ooh yeah!
We start with the Code of Honor, before Lethal got a little too easily distracted by Brandi, trying to make her his Elizabeth it seemed. The early going was fairly even, with Flip enjoying some early exchanges for one-counts before he was forced to skin the cat… only to get clotheslined to the floor. Lethal tries to fly onto him with an elbow drop, but Brandi’s a human shield again, prompting Lethal to give chase, eventually catching her in the ring as he lifted “Elizabeth.”
Brandi chops him, which brings back Jay Lethal… but he couldn’t get close to Gordon’s see-saw kip ups, before he was taken outside for some topes as Gordon and a tope con giro wiped out the ROH champion. Back inside we’ve got some roll-ups as both men looked for the win, but Gordon reverts to form with a standing moonsault… to the back of Lethal. Not to be worried, Lethal’s able to rebound with the Lethal Combination for a near-fall, before Gordon avoids a Lethal Injection and comes back with a Falcon arrow. It wasn’t enough.
Lethal’s back with a Torture Rack, before Lanny Poffo chopped Lethal back into being Black Machismo… cue a scoop slam and a hattrick of top rope elbows… but then Flip goes all Hulk Hogan. No, not like that. Or that. He Hulks up, but Lethal avoids a legdrop, only to get met with a Pele kick and a springboard Slingblade, before he was forced to abort a leap off the top, as the reverse Finlay roll and a running shooting star press led to a corkscrew moonsault for the near-fall. Gordon tries to polish off Lethal with a top rope ‘rana, but it’s blocked as Gordon’s instead met with a top rope cutter and a Lethal Injection as the champion retained. As a match, this was quite solid, but parts fell a little flat as the Lethal/Machismo switches wore a bit thin. ***½
Post-match, Bully Ray comes down the aisle and lays out Gordon and Lethal with clotheslines and chains. Lanny Poffo comes in to make a save, but he’s kicked low as Bully finds the table that Joey Janela didn’t use earlier, only for Colt Cabana to run down and actually make the save, setting up Bully for the Cerberus bomb through the table. ROH storylines, you say?
Penta El Zero M vs. Kenny Omega
Introduced as the Cleaner, and sans IWGP title belt, Kenny Omega was treated like a God here. You expected any different?
Penta’s in Kenny’s face right from the off, which just earns him a nonchalant slap… which Penta did not appreciate! There’s a thrust kick as Omega tried to roll through, and it’s all Penta in the opening stages… at least until Omega cuts off a dive attempt with a ‘rana, so he could take Penta out for the Terminator tope. Except Penta’s back in with a Slingblade, as he finally hits a tope con giro into Omega on the outside! Score one for the man without fear…
They remain on the outside as Omega’s chopped and kicked around the place as Penta was in complete control. Chops kept Penta ahead back in the ring, but Omega fought back with some of his own, only for Penta to take him into the corner… prompting Kenny to hit back with a Finlay roll and a springboard moonsault that landed squarely into Penta’s knees. Not to worry – a tornado DDT from Omega stems the tide as Penta’s back on the outside… and now it’s Terminator dive time! Except it’s a springboard body press into the aisle! Returning to the ring again, Omega retained the upper hand, setting up for a V-Trigger, but Penta superkicks back and goes for a standing German suplex… which Kenny flips out of and nails a snap Dragon suplex instead! We’re a little too early for a One Winged Angel, as Penta slips out and hits a back cracker for a near-fall!
Omega tries to fight back with a clothesline and a snug death valley driver, but that’s good for a near-fall, and now it’s V-Trigger time as Penta’s rocked in the corner. A Del Rio-ish double stomp helps Penta get back in, but Kenny slips out of a package piledriver and nails another V-Trigger… that Penta shrugs off as he begged for more. Another powerbomb and a V-Trigger gets a near-fall as Penta got a hand to the ropes. Penta spins out of a One Winged Angel as he goes for a package piledriver, before he instead go a leaping pumphandle driver instead for a near-fall. Good Wrestlers in Doing A Good Wrestle shock!
The pair roll onto the apron to trade chops, but it leads to a boot from Omega, before he’s caught with an apron package piledriver. Good GRIEF. Back inside again, Penta nails a double stomp for a near-fall, before Omega one-upped Penta with a spinning package piledriver for a near-fall, then a V-Trigger and finally the One Winged Angel? No! Penta fights out… and pulls Omega down for the arm snapper, before another Package Piledriver draws a two-count!
Penta keeps not hooking the leg, and it’ll cost him as he ends up getting caught with one more running V-Trigger, then a reverse ‘rana, before he finally pulled Penta into the One Winged Angel… and you know the rest! With no storyline going into this, this was a really good Kenny Omega Match, with the story being Penta escaping the One Winged Angel… but in the end those V-Triggers wore him down enough to get caught with the hold that nobody’s ever kicked out of. ****¼
Post-match the lights go out again… and when they go a back up nothing’s changed. Or has it? Penta’s back up with some different tattoo’s… he lays into Omega with some boots in the corner, and with some familiar offence, we’ve got another man in disguise. A Codebreaker gives it away: Penta el Y2J?! It seems Chris Jericho’s getting some form when it comes to cosplaying as other wrestlers… and he’s back in with a second Codebreaker as Y2J stood tall.
Tiger Hattori is our referee for the semi-main event, which was built up to well in Being The Elite with Okada mocking Scurll’s “impending move to 205”.
Marty Scurll vs. Kazuchika Okada
Ah yes, the infamous match that “went long”. 26 minutes, in fact, so… did it feel long?
We started out fairly methodically, with the clean breaks in the ropes as Scurll grounded Okada early, before he went a little too early for the Ghostbuster over-the-knee brainbuster… but Marty had problems getting Okada up… because he’s a heavyweight, and Marty’s a junior. Okada eases ahead with a suplex, but European uppercuts took the Rainmaker outside, where he was met with a superkick off the apron, then a lowpe as Scurll was using “being a junior” to his advantage. They brawl around ringside, but back in the ring Okada nails a flapjack, then heads back outside as Marty’s spiked with a DDT.
In the ring again, a slingshot sentons squashes Scurll, who’s then invited to hit his best shot. It wasn’t good enough. Okada tries to make Scurll submit to a straitjacket hold, but they spend an age reversing it with Scurll breaking it up with a back cracker… before nailing Okada with a Just Kidding superkick. A tornado DDT’s next out of the corner for a near-fall, but Scurll loses a double underhook as Okada breaks free with an elbow and another DDT, only for his neckbreaker slam to get rolled out of as Scurll nearly wins with a sunset flip. The pair trade strikes, but Okada avoids another Just Kidding, only to get caught with a huge brainbuster!
Okada’s able to hit that neckbreaker slam anyway for a near-fall, but Marty catches him up top and looks for a superplex… finally landing it after hitting a bell clapper to catch Okada off guard. They go to ground again as Okada and Scurll trade some indy’riffic near falls, before a powerbomb from Scurll draws another near-fall out of the former IWGP champion. Another double underhook’s thwarted, but Okada’s forced to shove away a tornado DDT and hit a shotgun dropkick instead. A missile dropkick’s next for a near-fall on Scurll, before Okada looks to go for the tombstone and eventually nails it, leading to a Rainmaker pose for full effect. Okada motions for “2-0-5”, but it just gives Scurll his hand for a finger snap.
Scurll runs into a dropkick though, before he ducks a Rainmaker and locks in a chicken wing… only for Okada to stand up and back bump his way free. Except Scurll grabs the hold again, this time with Okada rolling free for a near-fall, and we end up with a ref bump as Scurll shoves Okada into the ref. Cue shenanigans as Scurll grabs his umbrella, but Okada ends up taking the umbrella to the head, then a Rainmaker for a near-fall!
After getting back up, Okada hits a Rainmaker of his own, as the two then start to trade shots back and forth. Scurll laughs it off as he goes for another finger snap, only for Okada to land a discus Rainmaker, then the original for the pin. This match was… okay? Going by what these two are capable of, you’d have to say they “laid an egg” here, going too long at too slow a pace – to the detriment of the main event, as you’d tell by them RUSHING to it. ***
Rey Mysterio, Rey Fenix & Bandido vs. Golden Elite (Kota Ibushi, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
You could tell they were pushing fast-forward here, as we barely had 15 minutes left on the VOD when all six men got into the ring.
Matt Jackson and Bandido get us going, trading right hands before Bandido crashed into Matt with a tornillo off the top rope. Headscissors from the luchador takes Matt outside for a Sasuke special, but Nick tags in and helps his brother hit a pair of dropkicks as Bandido just about crawled out to tag in Fenix, who leaps into play off the top rope, before he counters a back body drop into a ‘rana!
Fenix nearly loses his footing on a springboard lucha armdrag, before catching Nick with a cutter for a near-fall. A suplex is stopped as Matt tags in.. and we’ve got Ibushi vs. Mysterio! Yep, this was good, with Mysterio landing a ‘rana before he rewind-leaps onto Ibushi’s shoulders… only to take a superkick as the pair ended up squaring off. Ibushi manages to restrain Mysterio and take him into the corner, but Matt Jackson tags in and takes a DDT as Fenix returns to keep the pace high, as all of a sudden you hear loud and clear on the feed “you gotta go home.” Matt hits back with a wheelbarrow driver, before Ibushi and Bandido return to light into each other. A missed standing shooting star press from Bandido set up Ibushi for a standing moonsault for a quick two-count, before Ibushi cuts off Bandido and Fenix with a Pele kick. Nick’s back with a flurry of kicks, then a bulldog/clothesline combo. Too many dives for me to count happen, before a springboard ‘rana from Rey and a springboard moonsault to the pile on the floor leave all six men down and out.
Fenix adds to it with a corkscrew plancha, as does Bandido with another Tornillo as you sensed that commentary was perhaps a little panicky here… For some reason, Matt and Bandido head up the aisle so Matt could hit a cannonball senton. Get Your **** In! A bucklebomb with a gamengiri from the Bucks has Bandido rattled, before a high German suplex from Ibushi draws a near-fall. Ibushi and the Bucks surround Bandido, but he somehow hits back with a triple ‘rana. How is that anatomically possible?! Mysterio’s back in and he eventually wheelbarrows Matt into the ropes… but the 619 is caught as a Meltzer Driver is athletically stopped. Bandido hits a ‘rana from the apron to the floor on Nick, and we’re back to the 619 as Matt takes the move before a Fenix Destroyer and a reverse ‘rana from Bandido left Matt down for a frog splash as Rey Mysterio gets a near-fall.
A moonsault fallaway slam off the top from Bandido gets a near-fall as Nick breaks it up… Bandido tries to Matrix out of a clothesline but he just takes the start of a Superkick Party, before Ibushi joined in for More Bang For Your Buck for a near-fall as Fenix broke up the pin! Fenix couldn’t do anything though as the Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver to Bandido seconds later the win. As a main event, it was certainly flashy, but it reminds me of when you’ve perhaps put a little too much timber on, and try to squeeze into that shirt rather than go for the one that fits you much better. I get they had to throw out the planned match, but this felt like they didn’t cut out anywhere near enough – leading to this being the modern day equivalent of those early 00s indy matches where everyone flipped a mile a minute and barely sold. Disappointing because these six could do so much better, but the limitations weren’t entirely their own doing. **½
ALL IN all, this was a really fun show to watch, but with the benefit of hindsight… I’d perhaps have swapped the second and third matches from the top. If you’re not going to enforce time cues on Okada and Marty, then at least you’d have two matches to try and claw time back from, rather than have a main event that was too rushed for its own good… especially as we went off the air with Ian Riccaboni barely starting his sign-off!
So, why have we left it over a month before posting our review? Well, the simple thing is – while the world and their dog were seemingly tripping over themselves to review and give their hot takes, nothing tangible was going to change overnight. In no way am I trying to belittle the efforts of Cody, the Bucks and everyone else involved, but to quote another event from earlier this year “revolution isn’t a one time event.”
The results of ALL IN were never going to materialise overnight. They’ll materialise in the longer term, with maybe an ALL IN 2, or just a change in how promotions handle their talent (contracted or otherwise), in the confirmed knowledge that there is at least confirmation that, at a certain level, maybe, just maybe, promotions need wrestlers more than the wrestlers need them. Will there be an ALL IN 2? Who knows. There’s certainly lessons to learn if there is: a bigger room? Higher ticket prices? Tighter control of match times? Then again, from the wrestler’s perspective, what is there to gain? You can only have one “first time”, and if ALL IN didn’t hit targets… what would “doing the same, but bigger” change?