Just seven days after the biggest night in All Elite Wrestling history, we are right back at it with our second pay-per-view offering in a week! ALL OUT has been at the heart of AEW since 2019 when Chris Jericho defeated Hangman Page to become the first AEW World Champion, and it has provided a lion’s share of memorable matches and moments every year since! The Chicagoland area has been home to this event every year save one, and 2023 will be no different, but for the very first time, ALL OUT will emanate from the United Center!
If you can’t be there in-person, click here for details on all the ways you can watch the pay-per-view event live no matter where you are in the world! Also be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week’s episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, highlights from ALL IN: LONDON, and more to get you up to speed for ALL OUT 2023!
AEW International Championship Match…
Orange Cassidy(c) vs. Jon Moxley
This past Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, after Orange Cassidy bested Penta El Zero Miedo in his 31st International Championship defense, he was confronted by the next man scheduled to challenge for the title regardless of who won Wednesday night’s fight, former 3-Time AEW World Champion Jon Moxley.
Three years ago this would’ve seemed a largely lopsided fight, but in the time since Orange Cassidy fought his first AEW singles match at REVOLUTION 2020, coincidentally at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago as well as the same night Moxley won his first AEW World Championship, he has proven to be in a class all his own. There was never any question that Jon Moxley was at the top of the heap in All Elite Wrestling, he pretty much heralded that himself with how he arrived on the scene at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2019, but Orange Cassidy has been questioned, doubted, bullied, and tested at every step of his AEW career.
It didn’t matter how he performed in that first fight with PAC, that he beat Chris Jericho in two straight matches, that he beat Adam Cole in a Lights Out Match, or that he took Will Ospreay to his limits at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2022, he was still doubted. But since the October 12, 2022 edition of DYNAMITE where he defeated “The Bastard” to claim the AEW International Championship, Orange Cassidy has done nothing but proven himself as one of the elite competitors in pro wrestling. His first two title defenses took place in Three Way bouts, he took on “The Wrestler” Katsuyori Shibata in his next, and from that point on, it has been a matter of fighting everyone who stepped up to the plate. Daniel Garcia, Wheeler Yuta, Big Bill, Jeff Jarrett, and Jay Lethal; they all fell before “Freshly Squeezed” and at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 he really showed the world where he stood as champion when he took on 20 challengers simultaneously in the Blackjack Battle Royale. As a result of that many simultaneous challengers in Vegas, as Cassidy heads into this fight with Moxley, he has defended the AEW International Championship 31 times against 41 different men, and been champion for 326 days. He’s defended his title more times than any champion in AEW’s entire history across all divisions, and sits behind Jade Cargill’s 508-day TBS Title reign, Hikaru Shida 372-day AEW Woman’s World Championship reign, and Kenny Omega’s 346-day AEW World Championship run in terms of duration as champ.
And if that’s wasn’t enough to make the entire wrestling world stand-up and recognize the greatness of “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy, perhaps it should be noted that at 121 overall victories, he’s got more wins than any man in All Elite Wrestling, topping Jon Moxley’s 118 overall wins, though Mox does surpass OC as a singles competitor, holding 75 victories to Cassidy’s 68.
As if that wasn’t enough, Cassidy also has the longest active singles win streak in AEW with thirty-one consecutive victories, eclipsing Moxley’s run of 25 from 11/13/19-12/2/20 and HOOK’s from 12/10/21-7/19/23. All that put together, it could be argued that Orange Cassidy is the absolute best in All Elite Wrestling, that he is the measuring stick for the company, and that he is the one everyone else should be looking to as their litmus test.
Jon Moxley clearly is not a man who sees that to be the case, and after their engagement the last several weeks, including Stadium Stampede at ALL IN: LONDON, he aims to put OC to the test this Sunday at ALL OUT 2023! Mox aims to put Cassidy through the wringer in the process of proving that it is he and The Blackpool Combat Club who run AEW, and given the AEW career path that has brought both men here, this may be one of the most important pay-per-view matches in AEW’s history. It is also a night Jon Moxley could make history as the first AEW World Champion to capture another AEW singles championship!
OC has already made history during his International Championship reign, it started with being the man to level the belt up from the All-Atlantic to the International Championship, and has continued with each title defense he survives. But eventually the rigorous schedule Orange has kept will catch up to him, but will that point come this Sunday at the United Center? If there is anyone likely to push OC past that point, it is Jon Moxley, and if the defending champion can’t find an even deeper level to his reservoir of strength, he’s in for a rough night and most likely the end of his historic championship reign.
TNT Championship Match…
Luchasaurus(c) vs. Darby Allin
As much as Christian Cage may claim otherwise, as much as he would rather have the fans believe an alternative truth, the reality is that Luchasaurus is the TNT Champion, not Christian Cage. Cage may carry the belt around, may consistently refer to the belt as “his” TNT Title, but it was Luchasaurus who won the belt from Wardlow, it’s been the former AEW World Tag Champion who’s defended it since that victory over “The War Dog”, and it will be Luchasaurus who faces former 2-Time TNT Champion Darby Allin this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023!
But what condition is the challenger in? Like so many others at ALL IN: LONDON, Darby went through tremendous physical punishment, but the x-factor of the coffin elevated his to a whole other level. He was slammed on the metal lid, went for a Coffin Drop on Swerve while Strickland was draped across the top only for Allin to find no one home when he crashed down, he was battered and bruised, but ultimately victorious, though it also came at the expense of young Nick Wayne. Wayne, seeking to balance the scales of the bout, ended up being taken away by The Right Hand of Destruction, but that wasn’t the end of the story.
This week on COLLISION we heard Nick Wayne speak on Darby Allin’s actions pertaining to AR Fox, leading Darby out to the ring to publicly discuss the issue, but even that was interrupted by Christian Cage, who proceeded to say horrid things about Wayne’s mother, and of course promised destruction would rain down upon Allin’s head in his TNT Championship fight with Luchasaurus. Of course it wouldn’t have been Cage if he didn’t, yet again, imply he was the actual TNT Champion, but of course it won’t be he who steps into the ring to face Darby Allin, it will be the former AEW World Tag Team Champion.
Can Darby overcome the size of Luchasaurus, the numbers game that will be played by Christian Cage, and the injuries he sustained at ALL IN: LONDON’s Casket Match? If so, he will become the second man after Sammy Guevara to achieve 3-Time TNT Champion status, but if he cannot, and Cage has his way, will there be anything left of Darby to dust off and try again?
“The Redeemer” Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Forty-two days, in the span of 42 days between 3/8/23 and 4/19/23 Powerhouse Hobbs managed to defeat Wardlow to claim the TNT Championship, defend it five times, and then lose it right back to Wardlow. It was not the way Hobbs anticipating his championship reign going when he won the belt, and after it ended, he spent some time on the House Rules loop getting back on track, leading to a five match win streak, including a smashing victory over Powerhouse Hobbs in the 2023 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Quarter-Finals.
Unfortunately he ran into a familiar foe named Ricky Starks in the Semi-Finals, and “Absolute” would best his former Team Taz partner en route to winning the entire tournament shortly thereafter. Again, not the way Hobbs wanted his COLLISION career to go, but he rebounded and has since won six consecutive bouts, including an eight-second victory last night in Chicago.
As impressive as that streak may be, as rapidly as Hobbs has dispatched those foes, perhaps the most impressive thing Hobbs has done is have the gumption to call out “The Redeemer” Miro for a fight! A former TNT Champion himself, Miro is one of the most intimidating men in all of professional wrestling, and to call him out for a fight is to court pain and punishment. Thus he is also the supreme test for a men looking to redeem himself for the key losses he’s experienced in 2023.
Will Hobbs live to regret his choice to goad Miro into battle? Will he be humbled before “The Redeemer”, or will Hobbs instead find that redemption he’s looking for?
TBS Championship Match…
Kris Statlander(c) vs. Ruby Soho
The challenge was made by Ruby Soho, a woman that Kris Statlander has yet to defeat, and it appears a challenge born out of this Outcasts frustration at having never won a championship during the last 13 years. Just in All Elite Wrestling, after making her debut at ALL OUT 2021 by winning the Women’s Casino Battle Royale, she was frustrated in her first World Championship match at GRAND SLAM 2021 against Dr. Britt Baker, and sadly that would not be the last time Ruby’s dreams were dashed. A month later, in the inaugural TBS Championship Tournament, Soho would make it past Penelope Ford, Kris Statlander, and Nyla Rose but end up stifled in the finals by Jade Cargill, having to watch her claim status as the first TBS Champion. Even the AAA Mixed Tag Title alluded her and Ortiz at ALL OUT 2022 when they faced Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo on the ZERO HOUR, and finally at REVOLUTION 2023, in a Three Way where she and Saraya challenged AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter, Ruby was again turned away. The frustration is understandable, she is unquestionably one of the best wrestlers competing today, but has repeatedly failed to achieve the trophies that cement that fact in the history books.
That being said, it’s not as if Kris Statlander has had the easiest road to the status she now holds. Injuries have slowed her professional growth on multiple occasions since she first came to All Elite Wrestling, even her first AEW championship bout at REVOLUTION 2020 was tainted as Stat fought Nyla Rose with a debilitating flu that had kept her on bed rest for several days leading up to that night in Chicago. Even in the COUNTDOWN TO ALL OUT Statlander shared about her feelings as champion, a rather open look at the thoughts spinning around in her head despite defending her title eight times in the last 100 days on DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, COLLISION, and on the HOUSE RULES tour. She has been a fighting champion from the moment she beat Jade Cargill at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, and yet doubt still creeps.
It’s not an easy road for champion or challenger, both are driven to be the best, both have had their frustrations and setbacks, but only one has taken those challenges and used them to make herself a better version of who she was. Statlander has gotten tougher, she’s gotten stronger, and it’s led her to the status as TBS Champion whereas Ruby Soho has thrown her lot in with The Outcasts which in turn led her to watching both Saraya and Toni Storm become champions, although Toni’s current situation makes one question whether or not becoming a champion was worth the ramifications of losing it.
This Sunday, when Kris Statlander and Ruby Soho meet in their third singles match, it’s clear there is a bit more than the TBS Championship on the line for each woman. Pride, ego, legacy; they are all wrapped up in this fight between two of today’s best, but only one can walk away as champion while they other will have to find a way to handle with the disappointment and frustration…
“The Cleaner” Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita
Kenny Omega has been betrayed by Don Callis on so many levels since that Cage Match against Jon Moxley back in May, and yet this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023 he will still come to fight in the face of that sting. Whether it was Callis throwing his support behind Will Ospreay at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023, ripping Takeshita away from his growing alliance with The Elite, or signing up with BULLET CLUB GOLD, the man who was once akin to Omega’s uncle has done anything he can to wreck the former AEW World Champion’s life.
This all stems from some sense of ownership Callis has over Kenny’s career, some belief he is entitled to the credit though it is Omega who did the heavy-lifting of actually getting in the ring for the fight. Uncle Don may have shown a young Kenny the ropes, but it was Omega who did the work and earned monikers like “Best Bout Machine” and “The God of Pro Wrestling”. It was Kenny in the ring with Okada for their four matches that, over the course of three-plus hours, firmly established both men as the best in the world. It was Kenny in the ring with Chris Jericho at WRESTLE KINGDOM 12 and DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2019 not Don Callis, and point of fact, the only actual accomplishment in Kenny’s career that Callis could take some credit for would be Omega defeating Jon Moxley to become the AEW World Champion. It’s undeniable that “The Invisible Hand” played a part in assisting Kenny’s championship challenge, but it’s certainly possible that it was Don whispering in Kenny’s ear that he needed his Uncle’s help to achieve that success.
That loyalty is simultaneously both Kenny’s biggest positive and negative, especially since his return to action in August 2022 after taking 10 months to recover from a litany of injuries collected over his wrestling career. Despite Callis’ entire oeuvre being a stark contrast to where The Elite stood as people in the fall of 2022, Omega kept Don by his side and Callis clearly bristled at the fact Kenny was not on the same page as he when it came to how to conduct business. Omega’s loyalty was that strong, his love for everything Uncle Don had been to him and his family was that strong, and yet Callis clearly grew unhappy with the fact he was no longer the primary voice in Kenny’s ear as he’d been during Omega’s championship reign.
All that anger and disappointment led Callis to betraying Kenny inside that Steel Cage, allowing Jon Moxley to get some revenge for Omega’s equally shady victories several years prior, and has taken us all down this path to ALL OUT 2023. It led Callis to put Takeshita inside the Blood & Guts Cage, and to pull him away from the fight when things weren’t looking promising for The Blackpool Combat Club, it led to the BC GOLD attack on Kenny when he sat down to talk to Jim Ross in Jacksonville, and now has Takeshita fighting Omega on Sunday night.
The relationship between Omega and Takeshita dates back to the earliest years of the latter’s career, so far back that Kenny was the opponent for the fifth match on record in Takeshita’s career, the first of their thirteen encounters in DDT Pro Wrestling between 9/30/12 and 10/26/14, all which posted them as opponents. It wasn’t until Takeshita first came to AEW in April 2021 that the two men fought as partners, and when he became a regular part of the roster one year later, it looked as if Takeshita would ride alongside The Elite as he pursued the growth of his own career.
Then Don Callis got in his ear, promising the sky, and turned Konosuke against those who’d supported him, leading to Takeshita’s impact on Omega’s face during Anarchy in the Arena at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, and now here we are, four months later, with the two men colliding in their first AEW singles match, and their first head-to-head in a decade. It should be noted, though they were over a decade ago during Takeshita’s early days as a wrestler, Omega is 2-0 in their singles matches, but obviously Takeshita has grown exponentially since that time.
So should Takeshita fail in this singles match, will this be the end of Don Callis’ pursuit of Omega’s end? If Kenny walks away with the victory, will Uncle Don give up this mission to end his nephew, or is Kenny stuck in this infinite loop of Don Callis throwing everything at Omega just hoping he breaks until the weight of it all? And what is the future if Takeshita pins Omega as he did at ALL IN: LONDON? That is the kind of victory that potentially bolsters Takeshita up into championship contention, but what would it mean for Kenny Omega’s immediate future? The ramifications for this one will be felt for some time by all parties involved, but just looking at it as a fight, this one could possibly steal the show at ALL OUT 2023!
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match…
AEW World Champion MJF & Adam Cole(c)
Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)
After defeating Aussie Open at ALL IN: LONDON to become the new Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions, Adam Cole and AEW World Champion MJF were informed they’d have to defend their championship against the winner of a Tag Team Battle Royale at ALL OUT 2023. So, in typical MJF fashion, he took the week off to recover from his UK journey while Adam Cole came to work only to be confronted by Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett, including Roddy throwing his name in the hat for the Grand Slam Tournament of Champions and telling Cole he would do what Adam couldn’t: beat MJF.
While that is indeed a concern for Cole, the more immediate matter is the match this Sunday with the winners of the aforementioned Battle Royale: The Dark Order of Alex Reynolds and John Silver! Though they have been part of AEW since the earliest days of DYNAMITE, the pair have only challenged one time for the AEW World Tag Team titles, during the reign of Jurassic Express, and they were unsuccessful in that endeavor. Since coming into the ROH fold back in April, the duo has been embroiled in their own violent affair with The Righteous, one that culminated with victory in the first-ever Trios Fight Without Honor at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2023. But none of that matters to MJF who, having some experience with both Alex Reynolds and John Silver early in his career, doesn’t have a bit of respect for either man.
Well Dark Order is quite the motivated, driven duo, one whose bond runs far deep than just the last couple months of this year, and they aim to break this championship drought on Sunday night!
Adam Cole and Maxwell Jacob Friedman have proven themselves to be a strong tag team duo, with a genuine bond that defies all logic and reason, but they are facing a team who’ve been together for over a decade, and who have a whole lot to prove to themselves and the world. Adam Cole and MJF are in for a fight, and they will have to pull out every Double Clothesline, Kangaroo Kick, and any other offense to keep these ROH World Tag Team Titles around their waists.
ROH World Television Championship Match…
Samoa Joe(c) vs. Shane Taylor
The history of Samoa Joe in Ring of Honor has been well-documented; for 645 days he reigned as ROH World Champion, elevating the title from a regional one to World Championship status, and engaging in legendary fights that proved influential to the modern wrestling scene. Even after that reign ended at FINAL BATTLE 2004, Joe remained integral to the workings of ROH, claiming the ROH Pure Championship from Jay Lethal at MANHATTAN MAYHEM, and keeping that for 112 days until he was dethroned by Nigel McGuinness. Even then, his influence on both ROH and pro wrestling at large was felt as he engaged in one of the hardest-hitting, most memorable bouts in modern wrestling history when he fought the legendary Kenta Kobashi at JOE VS. KOBASHI, and even after Joe first parted ways with ROH in March 2007, his presence loomed large over every individual who held the ROH World Championship in his wake. All World Champions were compared to Joe and his legacy, and every big man who ever entered into ROH competition was sized up against Samoa Joe’s shadow as well.
That was the world into which Shane Taylor entered when he first joined Ring of Honor in November 2014 at GLORY BY HONOR XIII, and though he reigned as a dominating ROH World TV Champion for 218 days, and a ROH World Six Man Champion for 295 days, the comparisons to Samoa Joe never ceased, but Taylor never had a chance to tackle those comparisons head-on until now.
When Samoa Joe re-entered the ROH landscape at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2022, the fanbase was excited at the prospects of all that could be, speculating on if Joe would pursue the ROH World Championship he lost, or who he may want to lock horns with inside the squared circle. It turned out his first mission was to claim a championship that he had no opportunity to hold during his original ROH tenure simply because it did not exist until 2010, the ROH World Television Championship.
Shortly after his arrival, Joe dethroned Minoru Suzuki to claim the title, and 508 days later, he is still standing tall as the champion with 13 successful defenses to his reign! This makes Joe the second longest reigning TV champion of all time, behind Jay Lethal, and put him just above Shane Taylor on the list of successful defenses, a list Jay Lethal is also at the top of, having retained the belt on 36 occasions during his 567 days.
So it shall be this Sunday night in Chicago that two of Ring of Honor’s most dominant forces, two of the most imposing competitors in professional wrestling today, will engage in combat for the very first time, a right Taylor earned with victories over Serpentico, Christopher Daniels, and Gravity in an Eliminator Tournament. This is a fight about the championship, about legacy, and about who will be the dominant force moving forward, and for Shane Taylor, with a visit to his hometown of Cleveland looming next Saturday, it’s absolutely about being able to go home a champion!
NO DISQUALIFICATION STRAP MATCH…
“Absolute” Ricky Starks vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson
Well Ricky Starks certainly did not anticipate getting the match he’s got to face on Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023, he was looking to fight a 70 year old “Dragon” in a Strap Match, but instead he got a date with a different Dragon, an “American Dragon”. This came as a shock to the AEW faithful in Chicago, as well as those watching at home, as no one was aware Danielson was cleared for competition following his injury in the Kazuchika Okada match at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023.
To his credit, Starks recognized the mistake he had made, and essentially told the world “if this is the bed I made, than I’m going to make myself comfortable”. After all, it’s a huge opportunity for the 2023 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament winner, the chance to spoil Danielson’s return to action almost two years to the date since his AEW debut at ALL OUT 2021, and continue to rise up towards the championship status he craves.
Will Sunday night be Ricky Starks night, or will it be the night “The American Dragon” roars?
Tag Team Battle…
NJPW STRONG Open Weight Champion Eddie Kingston & ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata
Blackpool Combat Club (ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta)
The bad blood between Eddie Kingston and Claudio Castagnoli has kept these two men bonded across many, many years, and even years wrestling in drastically different spheres did nothing to lessen the feelings of disdain. It’s spread from AEW to Ring of Honor and back again, putting Kingston inside Blood & Guts alongside The Golden Elite, putting him on the same side of Stadium Stampede as The Best Friends and Penta El Zero Miedo, and even putting him at odds with a man who was like a brother: Jon Moxley.
It’s been story of Eddie and his strange bedfellows, doing whatever he needs to do in order to get to Claudio, uniting with whoever has motivates that align with his, and hoping it leads to ending Castagnoli. This Sunday night in Chicago that means uniting with ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata to face the ROH World Champion and the man Shibata dethroned to claim that Ring of Honor title, the only 2-Time Pure Champion in ROH history, Wheeler Yuta!
The sad reality is that the animosity between Claudio and Kingston will probably never be satiated as long as both men are breathing. It’s shattered promotional boundaries, it’s bled across years and years, and sustained itself even when both men were on opposite sides of the wrestling world. Given that these men were once friends, roommates even, it’s a shame it’s gotten to this point, but that familiarity has bred contempt like none other. Is this a case of mutually assured destruction? Can either survive their own hate?
AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
BULLET CLUB GOLD (Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, Jay White, & Juice Robinson)
It may come as a shock in 2023, but in 2020 The Young Bucks and FTR actually united on two occasions ahead of their first clash at FULL GEAR 2020. Neither ended up as positive moments for the four men, they lost both the eight and ten man tags in which they participated, and as history as shown, they’ve since fought it out in three landmark bouts. The first won by The Young Bucks at FULL GEAR 2020, the second by FTR on the April 6, 2022 edition of DYNAMITE, and the third also by FTR at ALL IN: LONDON just a week ago. Though the brothers Jackson walked away from the match without shaking the hands of Dax and Cash, a common foe had brought them together once again this Sunday night at ALL O UT 2023.
BULLET CLUB GOLD has been a thorn in the side of FTR since the inception of COLLISION, and have also inserted themselves in Elite business time and again, including Kenny uniting with Ibushi and Hangman Page in a losing effort to Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Takeshita at ALL IN: LONDON. Now all the worlds collide as FTR and The Young Bucks try to put aside their differences to fight BC GOLD live on pay-per-view! Is it possible? Or will BC GOLD celebrate in the Windy City tonight!
ALL OUT 2023: ZERO HOUR…
-AEW World Trios Championship Match: The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens, Daddy Ass, & Max Caster)(c) vs. Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, & Satnam Singh
-ROH Women’s World Champion Athena, Diamante, & Mercedes Martinez vs. Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue, and Willow Nightingale
-Over Budget Charity Battle Royale: Winner gives $50K to the charity of their choice
ALL OUT 2023 emanates from the United Center in Chicago, IL this Sunday night, and live on pay-per-view beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT! Make a point to check out the official AEW YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFN4JkGP_bVhAdBsoV9xftA/videos) to get up to date with highlights from the lastest episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the CONTROL CENTER, highlights from ALL IN: LONDON, and more to get you ready for ALL OUT 2023!
Article source: allelitewrestling.com