At All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW’s) Dynamite on Wednesday, one fan’s sign said it better than anyone could have hoped.
Look in my eyes
What do you see
Where is Jack Perry
For the second time in less than a year, the wrestling community is talking about the murky details of an off-script backstage altercation involving CM Punk, this time reportedly involving fellow wrestler Jack Perry.
The buzz going into Sunday’s All In: London was the more than 80,000 fans in attendance and the world title match between “brochachos” Adam Cole and champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman.
Soon after the show, reports emerged about the altercation between Punk and Perry. Sports Illustrated reported both wrestlers were suspended. On Thursday’s media call, AEW President Tony Khan said he hoped to have a resolution before Sunday’s bell time.
As with all things in professional wrestling, the line between truth and fiction is often blurred in the process of putting together a show. Time and a skeptical eye are the best tools for viewing backstage wrestling news.
With or without the local legend, AEW will present its annual “All Out” show from Punk’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois, on Sunday.
How to Watch AEW All Out
AEW’s All Out will stream live on the Bleacher Report app for U.S. fans, with a $49.99 price tag. The event starts at 8 p.m. ET. “Zero Hour” will air for free on YouTube at 7 p.m. ET.
All Out Card and Predictions
Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jon Moxley for AEW International title
With no clearcut main event on the card, possibly due to the CM Punk incident, Cassidy’s closing promo on Dynamite seemed to set the stage for this match to anchor the show. Both wrestlers are wildly popular and the contest provides real tension around who could walk away as champion.
A former world champion, Moxley is a threat to take the title that his protege, Wheeler Yuta, couldn’t earlier this year. For his part, Cassidy has been wrestling nearly every week, with little time off. It might be time for a title change and a little break from television for the world’s laziest wrestler. Moxley carrying the belt would also help elevate AEW’s secondary men’s title.
Luchasaurus (c) with Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin for the AEW TNT Championship
There are few better heel moves in wrestling than wearing dress shoes without socks or insulting a local sports team. But if there’s one that is worse, it’s claiming to carry a title that belongs to someone else.
Christian Cage has been doing all three gimmicks for months, keeping the TNT title that belongs to Luchasaurus in his hands. But Sunday, former champion Darby Allin gets a shot to regain the championship he’s held twice previously.
Something feels oddly obvious about this match. Allin is hot and is as pure a babyface as the company has right now. Expect some shenanigans to lead to the champ retaining. Could we see the return of another former TNT champion in Wardlow? On a show missing a few regulars, a returning big man could energize the crowd early in the show.
Kris Statlander (c) vs. Ruby Soho for the AEW TBS Championship
The summer has belonged to Kris Statlander. Since winning the title from Jade Cargill, Statlander has been a consistent fighting champion. She has successfully defended her title five times on AEW programming and at two house shows.
Soho is still looking for her first championship in AEW. Her stablemates in “The Outcasts,” Saraya and Toni Storm, battled for the AEW Women’s World Championship in a four-way match at All In: London last week, with Saraya coming out on top.
As much as Soho has earned a title reign in AEW, it doesn’t feel like this is her time. In-fighting from her friends may ultimately cause the distraction that costs her the match. Alternatively, gaining gold and leaving Storm as an outcast within “The Outcasts” would provide tremendous drama.
Samoa Joe vs. Shane Taylor for ROH Television title
Samoa Joe is as recognizable a name as Ring of Honor has, and is a good reason for fans to pay for their Honor Club memberships each month. But his talent could be utilized at the top of the card in any wrestling company, including AEW. It may be time for the self-proclaimed “King of Television” to move on to “King of AEW.”
Shane Taylor is a former ROH TV champion riding a three-match winning streak into All Out. Is it enough momentum to make him a formidable opponent for Joe? If this were someone like former ROH world champ Bandido, fan favorite Keith Lee or even Kip Sabian, it might seem like a perfect moment to transition Joe to the main-event picture. As it is, this feels like a feature for Joe to rebound from his loss last week to CM Punk without ruining momentum of a featured wrestler.
In any case, it’s sure to be physical with these two big men involved.
Prediction: Samoa Joe
Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Speaking of big men, this match may feature one of the more interesting outcomes on the card. Miro is a mainstay who has always seemed to be on the edge of a main-event run. Hobbs, on the other hand, seems poised to break into the next level of competition. Both men have previously held the TNT title, but this one is sure to elevate the winner.
Prediction: Pick ’em
Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita
If you’re into matches that receive star ratings, this one’s for you. On Thursday’s media call, Khan mentioned that Omega has wanted this match in AEW since the pandemic era. With one of Japan’s best young stars across the ring and his former ally Don Callis in Takeshita’s corner, it may be too much for Omega to overcome.
But wouldn’t that make a great story?
Omega is still one of the best professional wrestlers in the world and has been out of the main-event picture for far too long. But he may need a devastating loss to drive a character change before he returns. This one could go either way.
FTR and the Young Bucks vs. Bullet Club Gold
With FTR and the Young Bucks coming off an instant classic at Wembley last weekend, they need something to propel the story forward. Dissension among the two parties could propel their rivalry while continuing Bullet Club Gold’s momentum.
Prediction: Bullet Club Gold
Eddie Kingston and Shibata vs. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta
If there’s one story that seems easily laid out, it’s Eddie Kingston and Claudio Castagnoli. The two clearly have unfinished business, and Kingston pinning Castagnoli here would put an ROH World Title match on the horizon.
Prediction: Kingston and Shibata
Adam Cole and MJF (c) vs. SPOILER for the ROH Tag Team titles
Since we’re publishing this prior to the initial airing of AEW’s pre-taped episode of Rampage, we won’t mention here who will challenge Cole and MJF at All Out for their newly acquired gold. But the “brochachos” need a new reason for tension coming out of their All In classic, and nothing splits wrestlers up faster than blaming each other for a joint loss. A quick drop of the titles would make sense to a duo who has both earned it and could use the shine as title holders.
Prediction: The challengers