All In 2018 Review, 2018’s Best PPV?

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All In Match Results:

  • So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) Defeat The Briscoes via pinfall @12:35 ***1/2
  • Flip Gordon won the Over Budget Battle Royale @17:15 ***
  • Matt Cross defeats MJF via pinfall @ 10:05 ***
  • Christopher Daniels defeats Stephen Amell via pinfall @11:58 ***3/4
  • Tessa Blanchard defeats Chelsea Green, Britt Baker, and Madison Rayne via pinfall @12:59 ***
  • Cody defeats Nick Aldis to win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title via pinfall @22:29 ****1/4
  • Hangman Page defeats Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight via pinfall @20:10 ****1/2
  • Jay Lethal defeats Flip Gordon to retain the ROH World Title @15:11 via pinfall ***1/2
  • Kenny Omega defeats Penta El Zero via pinfall @17:49 ****3/4
  • Kazuchika Okada defeats Marty Scurrl via pinfall @26:12 ****3/4
  • The Golden Elite defeats Fenix, Bandido, and Rey Mysterio via pinfall @11:52 ****

We are finally here, after months of build the all-Bullet Club show has arrived. The stage set-up is awesome and I was there live. I had HUGE expectations for this show. IMG_0169

Zero Hour: 

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The Briscoes vs. So Cal Uncensored:

SCU is over as hell in Chicago. The Briscoes, however, were not, they got little to no reaction and whenever people were reacting it was just bored boos. Even though the reason that I don’t like the Briscoes has to do with their alt-right past, the super prestigious ROH tag champs have lost their heat and should lose the titles soon. Regardless, this match was pretty good. Scorpio Sky delivered some awesome aerial work and the ending was pretty great with the Doomsday Device by The Briscoes being reversed into a Spanish Fly by Kazarian for the pinfall. In the end, the match did exactly what it was supposed to do and got the crowd hot for a long night of awesome wrestling. ***1/2

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Over Budget Battle Royal, Winner faces Jay Lethal for the ROH Title later tonight:

This was such a fun match and one of the best non-Royal Rumble Battle Royals I’ve seen. Everyone was booked well too, Brian Cage and Punishment Martinez looked like monsters, Colt Cabana did some great work and got some great hometown love, Marko Stunt was flying around the ring and doing some great little guy comedy and Bully Ray continued to look like a dastardly heel. In the beginning, a random luchador was dragged out by Bully and put through a table. Colt and Bully looked to be the final two and Bully eliminated Colt getting some heat but the random luchador hopped back into the ring and unmasked to be revealed as… FLIP Gordon?? Huge pop for Flip Gordon as he eliminated the annoying Bully Ray. Flip goes onto face Jay Lethal later tonight. ***

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  • Matt Cross defeated MJF to start the main show, Matt Cross got to hit his flippy shit and MJF looked like a great comedy heel. They worked at a slower pace than desirable but Cross picked up the win with a Shooting Star Press in a solid match ***

dj8axmkuwaamy5qChristopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell:

For Amell’s first One-on-One encounter he did amazing. Stephen Amell has been in and out of the wrestling world having a match at SummerSlam 2015 with Neville facing Stardust and Wade Barrett. Then later, popping up in ROH and getting an honorary spot in Bullet Club and now we are here. This match had some really good build on BTE, Daniels being the cocky veteran and Amell being the celebrity upstart. These two started the match slowly but Amell was able to hang early on having some good exchanges with Daniels. Christopher has been wrestling for a decade plus so he was calling the shots in this match and carrying most of it. Out of nowhere, Stephen goes for a Coast to Coast and hits it without any issue, that was surprising as hell. Stephen Amell also goes for an elbow drop on a table to Daniels but Daniels moves out of the way sending Amell down to a table bump. The match had an unexplained special guest referee of former ECW star Jerry Lynn and in the end, Daniels had an exchange with him which got overbooked and it looked like that would’ve caused him to lose but Daniels picked up the victory with the Best Moonsault Ever. Amell shocked me here on how well he did and it will be interesting to see how he continues his wrestling career. ***1/2

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  • Tessa Blanchard defeats Chelsea Green, Madison Rayne, and Britt Baker in a solid match regaining the crowd’s attention. The match ended sloppily with a near break up by Green that looked like she got it but ended with a 3 count. Blanchard looked good in this match and Tully was ringside. ***

codyaldisallinCody vs. Nick Aldis(c) for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship:

I’ve rewatched this match twice since I saw it live and every time I watch it the more I appreciate it. These 2 worked an old school match throughout and had many callbacks to old school wrestling like the running powerslam on the outside by Aldis, the blade job by Cody mid-match in homage to his dad and the roll-up finish out of old NWA Title matches and British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart from Summerslam 2018. From the start, the crowd was hot for Cody and Cody came out with Brandi, Pharoah, DDP, Konnan, and Tommy Dreamer. They both had MMA-style entrances filming them walking in from backstage. This match had a big fight feel and made the NWA title come from out of obscurity completely. The match started with a great staredown that the crowd went insane for and then went into some solid work and a great suicide dive by Cody. The match picks up into a plancha dive by Cody but Aldis elbows him down. The special guest referee Earl Hebner throws up the X signifying that Cody was knocked out. The match takes an intermission and DDP comes down to check on Cody, Daivari Aldis’ crew member comes down and shoves DDP. DDP delivers a Diamond Cutter to Daivari to a huge pop. Cody ducks under the table and blades and starts to bleed. The rest of the match was fantastically worked and felt like a modern twist on an old-school classic. Aldis got Cody in the Cloverleaf and Cody fought out after a while. Aldis delivered an elbow drop but Brandi saved Cody and took the bump. Cody definitely played the babyface in this match which is a weird transition because he was one of the best heels in wrestling a few months ago Cody got an old-school rollup finish. ****1/4

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Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page Chicago Street Fight:

This match was an awesome spotfest centered around Page killing Joey Ryan. The match was also awesome exposure for Joey Janela who took some rough bumps. The match started fast and Page hit an awesome moonsault off the top rope to ringside. Page unveiled a Cracker Barrel that Janela jumped off of to swanton Page over the barricade. Janela chases Page down with the Barrel and Page Super Mario jumps over it and buckshot lariats Janela from over the barricade. Janela set up a ladder between the Barrel and the ring apron. Page delivers a burning hammer onto the ladder that gives Janela a rough bump.  The match kept insane and moved towards the stage. Janela hit a running lariat on the stage and then set up two side-by-side tables on the ramp. Page powerbombs Janela through one of the tables sending Janela to clip his head against the other table and the concrete floor. Page heads back to the ring and pulls out two trash bags. Penelope Ford comes into the ring and does some awesome dodging of Page’s lariats matrix-style. Ford opens one of the trash bags to reveal Page’s haunted boots. Page freaks out and Janela delivers a superkick to a distracted Page for a great near fall. A table and a ladder get set up in the ring and Janela climbs the ladder. In the other trash bag Page had the phone that he killed Joey Ryan with on Being The Elite. Page attacks Janela with the phone and delivers a Rite Of Passage off the ladder through the table below which is one of the best spots I’ve ever seen. Page covers Janela FTW. This match was crazy and mixed some intense spots with good work rate and comedy storytelling. Definitely match of the night so far. ****1/2

  • After the match, Inflatable Dicks come out like Undertaker’s Druids. Joey Ryans’s music hits and he is resurrected. Joey comes down and Dick Flips Page and throws a dick lollipop in his face. Page is carried away by the Inflatable Dicks to “Rest In Penis” chants. 

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Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon for the ROH World Title:

This match was given the dead spot after Janela vs. Page and Joey Ryan’s resurrection wowed the crowd. Flip was finally booked for all in after sneaking in earlier and he was accompanied by Brandi. The match started really slow but as always Flip started to get the pace high. Jay Lethal was playing up the Black Machismo character and Lanny Poffo was ringside and he came out to The Macho Man’s theme song. Jay lifted up Brandi as Mrs.Elizabeth too. Flip got into his flippy mode and put on some really good sequences at the end. In the end, the match got great after a Super Cutter by Lethal followed by a Lethal Injection put away Flip. ***1/2

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Pentagon Jr. vs. Kenny Omega:

This match was the best Japanese Wrestling has to offer versus the best Mexican Wrestling had to offer. These two put on a show too. I loved this match even though I felt like it could’ve been better. The match was a hard-hitting, fast-paced and surreal encounter getting “Holy Shit” chants before the match even started. Pentagon is obviously less of a star than Omega but he put on an amazing performance. Penta was over with the Zero Miedo chants which played amazingly into the match. Whenever Penta was getting striked down he would yell Zero Miedo and fire back up. Pentagon was very much able to hang with the Best in the World. Penta delivered an awesome Package Piledriver on the apron to Kenny that looked brutal. Penta also delivered an awesome Armbreaker/Piledriver sequence for an amazingly close near fall on Omega. Omega delivered a Package Piledriver of his own for another great near fall. The crowd was hot for this match getting “All In” and “This is awesome” chants. However, I think the match missed some length as Omega ended it with a One-Winged Angel before the 20-minute mark. If this match went any longer it could’ve gone the 5-stars. My opinion for MOTN changes frequently but this definitely the match of the show so far. I think it could be close to a MOTY contender as a stand-alone match though. ****3/4

  • Post-match, the lights go off and in-ring Penta is still lying down. Penta attacks Omega but unmasks to be Chris Jericho. Jericho challenges Omega to a match on the Jericho cruise. 

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dhx6yfcu8aackb8-e1530828478682Marty Scurrl vs. Kazuchika Okada:

I loved Marty Scurrl in this match, he always had to convince Okada and the crowd that he was a heavyweight. This match was the most storyline driven of all of the all in matches. Scurrl was fighting against the chances and Okada stayed at the legendary status of his NJPW title run. Both of these men left this match looking great. The match started slow but during the beginning, some of the logic and technical work was top notch. Scurrl led most of the match fighting into hitting his brainbuster. These 2 also had a great dynamic and chemistry for people who hadn’t faced before. This match was a story in itself and built on itself to a great finish. The match was long which would affect the show later but as a standalone match, this is an absolute classic in storytelling an in-ring work. There was also one of the best near falls I’ve seen. The special referee Tiger Hattori got knocked down and Scurrl opened his umbrella to Okada fending him off revealing the All In logo. Scurrl ducks a Rainmaker and hits Okada with the umbrella and knocks him down with a Rainmaker of his own, Tiger Hattori gets back up and you start to believe that Scurrl cheated to win against the living legend but the count gets close to 3 and Okada kicks out. After that, a “This Is Awesome” chant explodes. Scurrl tries hard to tap Okada with the Chicken Wing and fends off the Rainmaker finisher. Scurrl gets close to passing out Okada but Kazuchika rises up and gets frustrated and knocks Okada down with 2 Rainmakers. This is my favorite match of the night by a very little over Penta vs. Omega but this match’s storytelling was fantastic and built out like a saga. ****3/4

pjimage-3-696x392The Golden Elite vs. Rey Mysterio, Fenix, and Bandido:

There is a lot I have to say about this match that has nothing to do with the actual in-ring work. One, this shouldn’t have main evented especially with the way it ended. The show could’ve gone off air with Cody grabbing the NWA Title but instead ended with The Bucks winning a meaningless match. Two, this match would’ve been perfect to open the show and get the crowd hot but that didn’t happen and three, Fuck Fite TV. Their time slot made this match get absolutely neutered. What would Fite TV need to have on the 11:00 PM Saturday Time slot that ended this show which I guarantee was a huge payday for them. You can see how Ian Riccaboni was carrying the show and Nick Jackson yelling “It’s time to go home!” to close the show-off. Fite TV took this match from being a classic and ended The Buck’s hard worked show with an awkward finish. Because I was live, I was able to see the aftermath and The Bucks talk about ending the match which did give me some closure but I’d be pretty mad if I was Matt or Nick and the show had to end like that. Now to the match, it was a really fun encounter. It was great seeing Mysterio back in full flippy force and Bandido turned in an awesome performance. it was just pure flippy nonsense for 10 minutes which was really fun but honestly nothing special. It was some of the finest flippy shit I’ve seen for about 5 minutes but the match was unable to end or carry out like they probably had intended. It was also awesome to see Kota and Mysterio face off. It should’ve been a match for the ages but got cut early and is instead a match for the moment. ****

 

Grade: A-

Last Words: The Bullet Club show went over awesome. They totally succeeded in making it a quality show. Matches like Omega vs. Penta, Okada vs. Scurrl and Cody vs. Aldis made this an incredibly well-rounded show. Even though, none of the matches were historically awesome there were a lot of great matches and no “bad” matches. I was incredibly surprised by Stephen Amell too and his performance was a highlight of the night. Some of the spots from Janela and Page I will never forget and the resurrection of Joey Ryan was awesome. The show had some of the best moments in 2018 and was indy WrestleMania for sure. 

Ranking the Matches: 

  1.  Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurrl
  2. Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr. 
  3. Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page Street Fight
  4. Cody vs. Nick Aldis NWA Title
  5. The Golden Elite vs. Bandido, Fenix, and Mysterio
  6. Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell
  7. Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon ROH Title
  8. SCU vs. Briscoes
  9. Women’s Fatal 4-Way
  10. Over Budget Battle Royale
  11. MJF vs. Matt Cross