This is one of those weeks where there isn’t much to talk about, at least nothing that we haven’t talked about in recent weeks. With Monday Night Raw plugging three different pay per views at once and Undertaker vs. Triple H getting as much hype as a WrestleMania main event, it’s not like I have much to talk about (other than the fifteenth or so Roman Reigns/Shield discussion of course). If only there had been something big from outside of WWE. Like the biggest independent wrestling show of all time which happened to be pretty awesome.

Make sure to check out our full All In results right here.

Of course we’re talking about All In this week because it really was that big of a deal. I know it felt like a big Ring of Honor show (which it kind of was to a certain extent) but when you consider that it didn’t have any official backing from anyone else and it outdrew the biggest Ring of Honor show ever by a wide margin, it’s a pretty impressive feat. Today we’re going to look at the show, which had some good and bad parts, as well as what some of this means.

We’ll start off with the positives. First and foremost, the show was really good. The main card featured nine matches and the worst of them all was perfectly watchable. The show came in with a lot of pressure and unlimited expectations but they managed to pull it off. A lot of that came from not having many storylines to build up (the show was sold out before almost anything was announced) and a ridiculous amount of talent featured on the show, but you have to be able to actually make it work.

NEWS! ALL IN Details Announced!

The best match was (arguably) Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr., which felt like the dream match that it was built up as being. They did the exact kind of match that the fans wanted to see with a bunch of hard hitting shots and near falls, which is pretty standard for someone like Omega. There was also a solid women’s match, one of the best celebrity matches I’ve ever seen and a good main event (we’ll certainly be getting back to that one later). All in all (hey…) this was a good evening of wrestling, which is the most important thing you can have on a wrestling show.

The other big thing that worked was the overall presentation. The set looked cool and the arena was big, making the show feel like a major event. How many wrestling shows have you seen that are in a very small arena with only a few hundred people around? Of course there’s a reason that’s the case, but having an arena full over thousands of people where you can’t see the walls of the building made this feel like a major event.

It makes the show feel more major league, which is all the more impressive when you keep in mind that there really isn’t a major league in America outside of WWE. It’s the kind of rare show that you almost never get to see and it was worth the money. I know they can’t do it often, but if you’re going to put everything you have into one show (or go all in on it you might say), it makes it look like it was worth the investment. It wouldn’t work week after week, but for a one off show, very well done. Put that in front of a hot crowd and this was a heck of a visual.

ALL US | The ALL IN Story as Told By Cody and The Young Bucks | Episode 1

That brings us to the negatives, and there are a fair few to pick from. The most important thing to remember though is that these DID NOT ruin the show. These are the problems with the show that would need to be fixed if there was ever a sequel (more on that in a bit) as things can be always be improved, especially with some of the initial problems out of the way.

First and foremost, the show was a bit longer than it needed to be and too packed for its own good. The opening match was added at the last minute and didn’t really need to be on the show. The match was perfectly watchable but would have been better served either as a dark match or being absorbed into the battle royal. It ran about ten minutes, which would have been some very valuable extra time at the end of the show. It’s also kind of hard to validate putting this on the main card when So Cal Uncensored vs. the Briscoe Brothers was on the pre-show. The match was fine, but really didn’t need to be there.

Going along with the pacing issues, there was the main event, which apparently was supposed to be going about twice as long as the twelve minutes it received. How in the world can you have a match be cut off that early? Well given that the show went off the air IMMEDIATELY after the main event ended with Ian Riccaboni’s sign off being cut in half mid sentence, it was cutting it as close as it could have been. Maybe they should have cut the previous match’s twenty six minute run time (which apparently was attempted) because cutting off a match with the show’s biggest star in Rey Mysterio is pretty indefensible.

Cody Rhodes Wins NWA Title (Footage From Inside the Arena)

That ties into another problem: why was the six man tag the main event? This show was built around the NWA World Title match between Cody and Nick Aldis and the big title change that we got earlier in the night. That match wound up going on fourth and while it might not have been all that great, it felt more like the kind of big match that the show should have ended on. Sending the fans home with the title change would have felt better than the six man, which would have been a great way to recharge the fans halfway through the show. The card they chose felt strange, especially when there’s such a layup right there.

So with all of that out of the way, should there be a sequel? Taking out the financial aspects (we have no idea if this show was profitable for Cody and the Young Bucks (which is a great band name) or if it was worth their time and investment so there’s no point in trying to guess), there’s the question of is it worth it. I know it might sound like an easy yes, but let’s think about this for a minute.

The goal of All In wasn’t to have a great wrestling show (though I’m sure that helped). Instead, the point of the show was to have it actually take place. The idea here was to see if Cody and the Young Bucks could actually make it happen and have people care. Both of those things were obviously successes from the ticket sales alone, but it brings up the biggest issues: with the first show working as well as it did, what is there left for the three of them to prove?

All In showed that there was a way for the independent wrestling scene to not be stuck in the armories and tiny venues with a thousand people being a huge house. Cody and the Young Bucks pulled it off first, but that doesn’t mean they’re required to do it again. It wouldn’t shock me if the show became an annual event, but do they really want to risk the failure of not living up to the first one and losing all of the momentum that they’ve built up from the first one? They certainly might, but I don’t think it’s something they have to do.

Overall, it’s hard to imagine All In not being considered a success. It’s very much a modern day Barely Legal (complete with the show having to go off the air as soon as the main event ended): the fact that the show took place at all is what matters rather than what was on the show. It was a great night of wrestling and if that’s all it ever is, I’d certainly think the bet paid off.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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