It is pretty rare that you see a show getting the kind of nearly universal acclaim that AEW’s All Out 2021 is receiving. That show was a near masterpiece and one of the best shows I’ve seen in a very, very long time. Outside of some Takeovers, it might be the best show I’ve seen in about ten years or more. The interesting thing though is how few people are talking about the actual matches. That leaves a lot to talk about….and it is going to continue to be that way because we’re going to be talking about the really cool debuts.
All Out was built around a huge card but the show ended with a pair of huge debuts. Those were the third and fourth debuts of the night and that is what will be remembered from the event. All of them open at least a bit of a door (level of forbiddenness may vary) and today we are going to look at each one of them today. Some of them are bigger than others, but each one deserves at least a look.
Minoru Suzuki Is A Scary Human Being
One of AEW’s major deals has been the FORBIDDEN Door, despite a lack of any explanation for why it is forbidden. The idea is that New Japan wrestlers can come to AEW for some cameo appearances, which was the case at All Out with Satoshi Kojima facing and losing to Jon Moxley. It was a perfectly watchable match, but then things got interesting during Moxley’s celebration.
Noted psychopath and rather monstrous creature Minoru Suzuki appeared to confront and then attack Moxley, ultimately leaving him laying. Suzuki would be announced as the next person to face Moxley, with the match being set for this week’s Dynamite. I believe Moxley had mentioned wanting to face Suzuki, meaning that now he gets the destruction he had been requesting.
This is interesting in a few ways, not the least of which is having Suzuki vs. Moxley taking place on Dynamite just three days after the pay per view. That alone is going to be a heck of a fight as Moxley might be in over his head with the monster that is Suzuki. There are very few people who are absolutely terrifying as he is and it should suit Moxley rather well indeed.
What gets my attention more than anything else here is having a bigger name come over from New Japan. Yes there have been names like Rocky Romero and Kojima, but this one feels like a hotter name. Suzuki has been more of a player in New Japan in recent years and doesn’t just feel like some legend coming over for a quick appearance. This feels special and maybe we can get even bigger names coming over in the future. It would certainly make the FORBIDDEN DOOR seem important for once.
Destination: Ruby Soho
Since AEW seems to have a gambling problem, All Out featured the return of the Casino Battle Royal, with its weird group entrances and then the Joker as the twenty first and final entrant. This time the women got a chance, and after a grand total of almost no drama, Ruby Soho, formerly known as Ruby Riott in WWE, was the Joker and wound up winning the whole thing.
I don’t think anyone is really surprised that Soho came to AEW as she was a surprise release from WWE earlier this year and AEW has put a lot of focus and effort into its women’s division. There are going to be a lot of different opponents for her to face and I’m intrigued about what she is going to be able to do. Soho already has the title shot against Britt Baker lined up and that should make for a pretty good showdown.
The important thing here though is that Soho is another name who never got a chance to shine in WWE but is immediately being pushed as a bigger star in AEW. Soho has a unique look, can go in the ring and can talk. That alone should be enough to get her a push, or at least a shot, anywhere, but for some reason she was stuck in a faction or a team throughout her WWE run. That all changed in one night in AEW and that is a very good sign.
What mattes here is AEW Is giving someone new a shot. I don’t know if Soho is going to be the next breakout star or really anything close, but what matters is the fact that she is getting the chance. Soho is someone who had been a potential star for WWE and now she is getting the chance to show what she can do. That is where AEW has shined and I’m glad to see them doing it again here.
Now we’ll get to the big ones.
Storytime With Adam Cole Bay-Bay
Much like Soho, I don’t think this was exactly a big surprise, but AEW did a good job of making it feel like one. After Kenny Omega beat Christian Cage to retain the World Title, he went on the usual diatribe about how awesome he was and how no one could beat him. Cue Cole’s entrance and it seemed that we had the next big challenger for the title all ready to go.
Except we didn’t, as Cole superkicked Jungle Boy and joined the Elite. This shouldn’t have been the biggest surprise either, as Omega pointed out that Cole and the Elite had been friends for years. This is one of those things that is fairly well known, so why try to twist things around? Cole as the latest big villain is interesting enough, even if he doesn’t have a track record at this level.
This is another example of a potentially breakout star getting his chance on the big stage. Fans had been waiting for Cole to make the jump to the main roster for a long time now but it never happened. Why WWE continued to wait on him didn’t make sense (hint: it’s because he’s SMALL) but now he is going to get his chance. Cole has all the tools you need and his smaller size won’t matter in AEW.
While AEW might have a reputation of using some older WWE stars in prominent spots, that is not going to be the case here. Cole is 32 years old and has yet to have a chance at the top of a major roster. I’m not sure how far he is going to go in AEW, but he is already further along than he has been anywhere else, save for maybe his peak in NXT. This has me excited and I’m wanting to know where they are going with the story. Bay bay.
YES, He’s Here Too
Then we get to the big one, and again I don’t think this was much of a surprise. The Elite celebrated with Cole now part of the team….and it was time for the Ride of the Valkyries (or at least some different version). Bryan Danielson (formerly Daniel Bryan for the two people who are new at this) made his AEW debut as well, after quite a bit of hype suggesting that he would be here.
Danielson helped clear the ring of the Elite because he is the new big face in the company. I’m not sure what that is going to mean for people like Hangman Page, but I really don’t think that is much of a concern at this point. Danielson is a flat out bigger star than almost anyone else in the company, having just headlined WrestleMania about five months ago. You don’t get that kind of talent added to your roster very often and AEW would be insane to sit on it for any length of time.
This is Kurt Angle jumping to Impact Wrestling back in 2006 and thankfully we are getting to see it again here. Danielson is going to draw some attention because of how popular and talented he is, which is not something you get to see every day. AEW is getting a gem here and they instantly have someone who can work with anyone, all the way up to being the World Champion if necessary.
What matters here is that much like Cole, Danielson had the chance to stay with WWE and walked away instead. You don’t see top level wrestlers doing that very often but Danielson made the jump. It felt important because it is important and AEW is going to be able to move forward in a huge way. Let them show what they can do with Danielson, who really is capable of just about anything asked of him.
I think it’s safe to say that All Out was a heck of a show and eventful on top of that. There are a lot of fresh faces around (even if Suzuki is likely a two off appearance at most) and some of them could be players in AEW for a long time to come. AEW gave themselves a big boost here and if they know what they’re doing (which they seem to), they could do some serious capitalizing and get all out of it that they can.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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