On a historic night in Chicago Cody takes on Nick Aldis for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, Kenny Omega battles Penta El Zero M, Young Bucks, Kota Ibushi, Rey Mysterio, and so much more LIVE from the Sears Center. Erik Vasquez has his review for the show.
All In: Zero Hour – Pre-show shown LIVE on WGN America
SCU def. Briscoe Brothers: Frankie Kazarian reverses a Doomsday Device into a roll-up pin. Fun match.
Flip Gordon disguised himself as a jobber luchador, got powerbombed through a table at the beginning of the match by Bully Ray, then spoils a big moment for Bully Ray by eliminating him and winning the Battle Royale. Flip’s All In dreams come true!
M Dogg Matt Cross def. MJF: Fun opener. Matt Cross could wrestle for 30 more years and still have great matches.
Christopher Daniels def. Stephen Amell: I have to give credit to Amell for going out there and trying his hardest to put on a good show. The Arrow superhero took one crazy crash into a table. In the end, Daniels gets the win with the Best Moonsault Ever.
Tessa Blanchard def. Chelsea Green, Britt Baker, and Madison Rayne: I thought this was a damn good show from the ladies and so did the crowd as they were loud the entire time. Chelsea and Tessa are stars flat out. Tessa pins Chelsea after a Hammerlock DDT.
Cody def. Nick Aldis to become the NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Very old school match from the entrance to the final bell. Cody and Aldis both came in from opposite ends of the arena each with cornermen. In the corner of Cody would be Tommy Dreamer, DDP, and Glacier. In the corner of Aldis would be Tim Storm, Shawn Daivari, and Samuel Shaw. Cody’s entrance gave me goosebumps. During the match, Cody went for a springboard dive and gets hit with a stiff elbow from Aldis. Cody is out for almost a good two minutes. Daivari comes back out and pushes DDP who was out there to check on Cody. Daivari gets hit with a Diamond Cutter and the crowd goes wild. When Cody comes to he is busted wide open. Aldis takes over the match and has things well in his control. Cody is locked in Aldis’ Cloverleaf submission and the only way Cody could get to the ropes was by the will of his wife Brandi urging him to grab the bottom rope. With Aldis still in control, Brandi senses bad things are on the horizon for her husband and gets in the ring to shield Cody. I don’t know if Aldis didn’t realize Brandi was there or if he didn’t care but Aldis dives off the top rope with an elbow that crashed into the back of Brandi. Another quick back and forth between Aldis and Cody when Aldis goes for a Sunset Flip. Cody blocks the rollover and traps Aldis’ leg and gets the three count. Cody is your new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. This match gave me that late 70s wrestling feels and I loved it.
Hangman Page def. Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight: This was a complete car crash match and it was amazing. Tables, ladders, and a literal Cracker Barrel. Hangman gets the win after hitting Janela with the Rite of Passage off a ladder through a table. You read that right.
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal def. Flip Gordon to RETAIN the ROH World Heavyweight Championship: I loved Lethal going back to Black Machismo character for this and bringing out Lanny Poffo. Lethal even thought Brandi Rhodes, who was ringside in support of Flip, was Miss Elizabeth. Lethal used three “Hail to the King” elbow drops but Gordon still kicked out and morphing into Hulkamania. In the end, no kicks out of a Lethal Injection. Lethal wins and retains the ROH World Heavyweight Championship.
Flip Gordon and Jay Lethal embrace after the match but the good moment is interrupted by Bully Ray who takes out both men. Colt Cabana runs down and makes the save. Cabana, Lethal, and Gordon put Bully Ray through a table with a triple powerbomb.
Kenny Omega def. Penta El Zero: This match is my Match of the Night. Hard hitting and fast paced this felt like something you’d see on a New Japan show. Lots of V-Trigger knees. Also multiple package piledrivers from both men, the nastiest one coming from Penta to Kenny on the apron. In the closing moments, Kenny hits the One-Winged Angel for the win.
After the match the lights mysteriously go out. When the lights come back on Penta is standing as if he hadn’t been in a war with Omega. He runs tooward Omega and hits him with a Codebreaker. Penta removes his mask revealing it’s actually Chris Jericho. Y2J attacked Omega ahead of their six man tag match during Jericho’s wrestling cruise.
Kazuchika Okada def. Marty Scurll: This match was just as good as the one before it. Marty Scurll told a great story. People doubted he could hang with Okada because he’s been a mainstay in the light heavyweight division of New Japan. Scurll took Okada’s best shots and still looked like he could come away with the victory at any time. The Chicken Wing submission spots from Scurll was great high drama stuff. Don Callis made a great observation on commentary. If you’re familiar with Okada’s work you’ll see that his game plan and his moves rarely change. The beauty of this is as an opponent you know what’s coming and yet you still can’t do anything about it. Try all he could Scurll could not stop the Rainmaker from coming. Okada gets the win in a great match.
Kota Ibushi and The Young Bucks def. Bandido, Rey Fenix, and Rey Mysterio Jr.: You can tell production was pressed for time as once the bell rang we were off to the races. This match was one you would expect to see on a PWG show, not that there is anything wrong with that. The only negative was that they couldn’t flesh anything out to perhaps do something like a hot tag or a comeback spot but again, timing reared its head. To be honest, unless you’re someone who’s seen countless PPVs and is obsessive with time like myself, you probably wouldn’t have known they had to rush. In the end, Bucks and Ibushi hit More Bang for Your Buck followed by a Meltzer Driver for the win as we fade to black.
The purpose of All In was to show that wrestling outside of the big machine known as WWE is still a thriving form of entertainment. With social media and video media being available to just about anyone, All In was able to show the entire world the capabilities of the pro wrestling community. At times this community can be problematic and sometimes people forget that this is a subjective form of entertainment but tonight showcased the beauty of the pro wrestling community. Cody, The Young Bucks, and everyone involved with All In worked their butts to give us Independent Wrestling with all the bells and whistles of a big show. Most importantly they wanted us to have fun. After all, isn’t that what wrestling is all about?
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