AEW All Out 2021 Preview
All Elite Wrestling returns to pay-per-view on Sunday night September 5th with ALL OUT 2021! This may be the most highly anticipated event in AEW's history, which is saying quite a lot given the events presented over the last two years, but with so many championships on the line, the return of CM Punk to in-ring competition after 7-plus years against Darby Allin, and the possibility of Chris Jericho's last AEW match, as well as so much more on tap, that is not hyperbole.
The festivities begin at 7pm EDT with THE BUY-IN on AEW's official YouTube channel and the HFO/Best Friends battle, then the pay-per-view extravaganza kicks off at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT on all major providers, Bleacher Report, and FITE TV for the International audience.
The AEW World Title, the Women's World Title, the World Tag Team Titles, and TNT Title will all be in contention, CM Punk returns to the ring to battle Darby Allin, the Women's Casino Battle Royale, Paul Wight gets back into the ring to smash QT Marshall, Chris Jericho puts his in-ring career on the line, and the legendary Satoshi Kojima comes to AEW from New Japan Pro Wrestling with Jon Moxley in his sights! This card could not be more loaded, and it goes down LIVE on pay-per-view SUNDAY NIGHT!
AEW WORLD TITLE MATCH...
“The Cleaner” Kenny Omega (c)
(#1) Christian Cage
From the very first day he entered into All Elite Wrestling, Christian Cage has made it clear that his intentions were to become AEW World Champion. As stated before, it even led to a face-to-face confrontation between Kenny Omega and Christian Cage that nearly saw the World Champ eat canvas with a Killswitch.
Since that moment, the highly-decorated veteran has climbed the ranks of AEW with ten straight victories, seven of them in singles matches over the likes of Frankie Kazarian, Matt Hardy, The Blade, and even Omega himself when the IMPACT Title was on the line. Christian Cage has proven that not only does he deserve this championship opportunity, but also that his seven years away from the ring actually made him an even BETTER wrestler.
Look at the bouts he has had thus far and it is quite clear that the number one contender is at the top of his game, likely the best he has ever been in 26 years, and a clear threat to the dominance of “The Belt Collector”. The fact that Cage bested Kenny for the IMPACT World Title is already proof that the AEW World Title could very well find a new home this Sunday night.
Clearly Christian Cage is in the head of Kenny Omega, and clearly he believes the man is a threat based on the obscene conduct of The Elite on Wednesday night. Just watch the video embedded above to see who Kenny and The Young Bucks took advantage of the Steel Cage hanging over the ring to garner some added leverage heading into ALL OUT 2021.
The vicious assault that took place inside that cage, the previous one that got Cage dropped on his head via One Winged Angel, they all have one thing in common: the numbers game. They all have come about as a result of The Elite banking on those odds, but this Sunday night, Kenny has to fight alone to try and retain his title. Although he seemed okay at the ALL OUT FAN FEST, Christian Cage has to be feeling the effects of what happened, so the question is just how much that will linger once the bell rings to begin this championship fight?
One historical note about this fight: should Kenny Omega walk away from this still the AEW World Champion, he will officially become the longest reigning champion, having set himself up to break the 277 day record of Jon Moxley. Not only is the future of AEW at stake here, but so too is Omega's piece of AEW history with his championship reign!
STILL THE BEST?
Darby Allin (w/ Sting)
7 years, 6 months, and 17 days...
For that long, fans around the world have been chanting the name of CM Punk since he last appeared at a wrestling event on Sunday night, January 26th of 2014. From the following night until the August 12th, the chants echoed throughout arenas worldwide regardless of the fact that Punk himself was not in attendance. On Friday night August 13th, when RAMPAGE: THE FIRST DANCE went live on TNT at 10pm EDT, those cheers and chants were finally answered when “The Best In The World” strode into The United Center in Chicago with “Cult Of Personality” echoing through the largest crowd in AEW's history. It was likely the most emotional night AEW had experienced to date, the words Punk delivered to the audience coming straight from the heart and letting them know that he heard all 393 weeks of chants, but he had to self-care in order to get back to a place, physically and mentally, where a return to wrestling was feasible.
Thankfully that time has finally come, and that All Elite Wrestling has become the home for CM Punk for some time to come! Whether it be in Chicago when he made his return on RAMPAGE, or in Milwaukee where Punk appeared on DYNAMITE for the first time, the response from the fans for his presence has been vociferous. All of it was to be expected; a reception that, while quite anticipated, still managed to dwarf all expectations, but this Sunday night the trust test for CM Punk takes place when he steps into the ring with the man who called him out before Punk even appeared in AEW: Darby Allin.
It just fits, the combination of these two men for CM Punk's return to professional wrestling. Allin, in many ways, represents what Punk did 20 years ago when he first laced up those boots. Darby is the antithesis of the pro wrestler stereotype, he is a poster child for the DIY ethos, and in the way Punk has never shown fear for the words he shares with the masses, Allin shows no fear for the punishment his body physically endures in the ring as well as in his extracurricular activities.
Darby is the kind of wrestler Punk himself has stated would've been his favorite growing up as the Punk Rock skateboarding aspect of the former TNT Champion's personality hits close to home for the Chicago native. Punk is the kind of wrestler Darby likely looked up to himself, especially as Punk's straightedge beliefs reflect that of Allin's own lifestyle. It's an intriguing match-up on a myriad of levels, not just because of the seven years factor, and Punk certainly has a monumental task ahead of his at ALL OUT 2021.
This fight may be historic for CM Punk, and for All Elite Wrestling, but for Darby Allin it is his opportunity to further establish himself as the best wrestler in the world. Allin already holds the record as the longest reigning TNT Champion since the title's inception, he also set the bar for successful defenses of said championship, and while both of those accomplishments are reason enough to place him in the upper echelon of AEW's locker room, a victory over Punk would skyrocket his profile around the world. Every athlete in that locker room would love to be the one to make their bones as spoiler this Sunday night, knowing just how big that headline would be, but Darby did not wait for his name to be chosen nor risk someone else getting the nod.
Allin sent out the call, Punk responded in kind, and at the NOW Arena history will be made as these two relentless competitors battle to see who really deserves to be dubbed “The Best In The World”! This is one of the most important matches in All Elite Wrestling's history, there is no question about that, and it goes down Sunday night on Bleacher Report, FITE TV, and every major pay-per-view provider! Do not miss out!
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE STEEL CAGE MATCH...
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c)
The Lucha Bros (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix)
Two years ago, ALL OUT 2019, these two teams engaged in Escalera De La Muerte, a ladder match for the AAA Tag Team Titles that redefined what is possible in a tag team ladder match. The four men involved threw absolutely everything they had at each other, both with their own bodies as well as the ladder, and doubtlessly shaved time of their respective careers. The punishment, the torture that Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson endured that night is legendary in the annals of AEW's history, and although the Lucha Bros emerged as the champions, all of them felt the pain that getting their caused for quite some time.
2021, same building, different situation. No longer are The Young Bucks the beloved duo in the equation, nor is this one over championship titles held by Penta and Fenix. Instead, with their alliegance to The Elite, the brothers Jackson have created personas that infuriate the fans around the world. And instead of the AAA Tag Team Titles held by The Lucha Bros being on the line, it is the AEW World Tag Team Titles owned by The Young Bucks that are up for grabs. Oh yes, and this one is taking place inside a Steel Cage!
With those four metal walls, the hope is to nullify the involvement of Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa, put the kibosh on the interference of Gallows and Anderson, to let champions and challengers fight it out between themselves! Just think back on that ladder match, what the four men involved in this Steel Cage Match did to one another on that night two years ago, and fear for what may be to come this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2021. They risked everything over the AAA Tag Titles that night, what will they be willing to do when it is the AEW World Tag Team Titles on the line with history beckoning for The Young Bucks to become, not only the longest reigning champions, but also the most successful tag team champions as well. One more win breaks the record of nine successful title defenses set by Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, but to taste that success, Matt and Nick have to survive a Steel Cage with two of their deadliest foes.
Will we see the crowning of new champions on Sunday night with The Young Bucks falling victim to the combination of the Steel Cage and their own massive egos? Or will Matt and Nick continue to dominate the tag team division of AEW as they have over the last 300+ days? Also, one must question just how much of an effect Monday night's attack from the champions and their friends will have on the challengers?
AEW WOMEN'S WORLD TITLE MATCH...
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D (c)
For the third time in AEW's history, Kris Statlander will challenge for the AEW Women's World Title on Sunday night during ALL OUT 2021. For just the second time in their careers, Dr. Britt Baker and Kris Statlander will go one-on-one with “The Galaxy's Greatest Alien” having gotten the win back in December 2019. Also for the second time, Statlander will challenge for the championship in the state of Illinois with her second shot having come back at REVOLUTION 2020 against Nyla Rose.
But this match, this Kris Statlander, is unlike the woman who entered into any of those aforementioned fights. Sure there are moves that are the same, there are mannerisms that are consistent, and of course there is always that BOOP, but this Statlander that fans have seen since her return from injury in March has felt like something different.
She has gone 16-0 in singles matches, won 18 overall matches since that comeback, and looked like such a dominant, confident force inside the squared circle. All one has to do is look at her RAMPAGE handicap bout on Friday night to see just how dominant a presence Statlander has become, and just perhaps why Dr. Britt Baker should fear this challenger more than she did Red Velvet or Nyla Rose.
Yes, the good Doctor has been a force herself over the last year, culminating in that championship win over record-setting title holder Hikaru Shida at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021. She has found herself in the position of being so good the fans rally behind that whether she likes it or not, and regardless of how she treats them in response. And yet on Sunday night, the accomplishments of the Women's World Champion will all be on the line when the number one contender comes for her title with a momentum unlike anything Baker's previous challengers had entering into their challenges.
Live on pay-per-view this Sunday night, we will see if The Era of D.M.D rolls on into the fall months, or if the Reign of The Alien will begin at The NOW Arena! Join us on Bleacher Report, FITE TV, or your traditional PPV providers to watch two of the best women in wrestling today go at it with the AEW Women's World Championship on the line!!
AEW TNT TITLE MATCH...
“The Redeemer” Miro (c)
“The Mad King” Eddie Kingston
Fuego Del Sol has been an inspiration for this bout in ways both positive and negative. For the negative, the inspirational young man gave Miro a target to set his sights on, a man to redeem, and make suffer for his supposed sins. Fuego became an example for Miro of a man who needed to suffer, who did not deserve to become an official member of the AEW locker room UNLESS he could survive “The Redeemer”, and yet still earned a contract in the face of that loss. That contract, undeserved in Miro's eyes, also caused Miro to gaze over the AEW roster and find other men he felt were not worthy of their status. The next man he found who didn't “deserve” their contract was one “Mad King” Eddie Kingston, and once more, the reigning TNT Champion made a challenge.
Now as a positive, Fuego's attack on Miro in his desperate attempt to win the TNT Title, as well as a contract, gave inspiration to Eddie Kingston for this very bout right here. He gave Kingston a blueprint for how to assault the defending champion, the ways to attack Miro's neck, and wear the man out in hopes of dethroning “The Redeemer”. Clearly this is a battle of two of AEW's roughest men inside that ring, and the kind of match fans salivate over getting to see in reality. Well, the reality is here this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2021 when Eddie Kingston challenges for the TNT Title for the second time in his AEW career against “The Redeemer” Miro LIVE on pay-per-view! Which of these fighters will emerge champion come end of business Sunday night? Tune in on Bleacher Report, FITE TV, or your PPV provider to watch it all go down LIVE!
THE FINAL FIGHT...
***IF JERICHO LOSES, HE WILL NEVER WRESTLE IN AEW AGAIN***
Everyone watching DYNAMITE last Wednesday night saw the new shirt MJF wore as he strolled out to the ring. Without giving it more attention than it deserves, let's just say it illustrates the fact that Max holds three victories over Chris Jericho while the original AEW World Champion is winless. If you really need to know what the shirt says, it's on ShopAEW.com, just search for it.
The only reason to even bring it up is that this piece of apparel illustrates what has gotten MJF and Jericho to the point this Sunday night where “Le Champion” has put his in-ring career on the line for just one last chance to defeat Maxwell Jacob Friedman. First, Chris was put through absolute hell over the course of four labours; he had to fight Shawn Spears in a bout where “The Chairman” was free to use his preferred weapon, and then survive a Deathmatch with the king of that realm Nick Gage. In the third labour, it was combat against the Lucha stylings of long-time rival Juventud Guerrera where Jericho was forced to win with a top rope maneuver, and then in the fourth, it was MJF's hired gun Wardlow who was sent into war while Max stood at ringside.
Chris survived them all, still struggling with a fractured elbow from Blood & Guts, before he finally got his hands on MJF in the fifth and final labour. The first stipulation that Jericho could not use his “Judas” entrance music made for one of the most awesome moments in AEW's history as the crowd sang it for him, much to the indignation of Max. The second stipulation that banned The Judas Effect elbow may have hampered the most effective move in Jericho's arsenal, but over a 30 year career, Chris honed plenty of tools in his tool bag.
And yet...it was Jericho who tapped out to Maxwell Jacob Friedman in front of the whole world to lose that fifth labour, and further fuel the already planet-sized ego of his former Inner Circle partner. And perhaps that's what makes all of this so much worse, 10 months ago MJF won his way into the group by beating Chris at FULL GEAR 2020, and now the former AEW World Champion sits on the precipice of the end of his epic career. The Pinnacle, Blood and Guts, Stadium Stampede II; they were all but prelude to this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2021 when MJF could walk out of The NOW Arena as the man who ended thirty years of professional wrestling greatness. Maxwell Jacob Friedman could leave Illinois as the man who ended the legend of Chris Jericho...OR Jericho could rise up as he has done so many times before, as he did four times over during these labours, and put MJF in his place live on pay-per-view! One of these men will be looking at life a bit differently come Monday morning: which one will it be?
A KOZY CLASH...
Jon Moxley wants to fight the entire wrestling world; not because he hates them all or has some perpetual grudge, but rather because he craves the fight itself. He wants to be in the thick of battle, to feel the impact of an elbow striking him in the face, or a kick to his back sending shockwaves down to his toes. Mox wants to throwdown with the best wrestlers, not just in All Elite Wrestling, but from all around the globe, with a particular interest in wrestlers who call New Japan Pro Wrestling their home.
With that as his desire, an open contract was sent out to the NJPW offices to bring Moxley an opponent for ALL OUT 2021 this Sunday, and it was none other than the legendary Satoshi Kojima who signed on the dotted line for this pay-per-view throwdown!
For those unfamiliar with his resume, Kojima is one of the most decorated competitors in modern Japanese wrestling having captured championships from virtually every promotion whose ring he has entered. He has been All Japan's Triple Crown Champion two times over, the NWA World Tag Team Champion, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, NJPW's NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Champion, the MLW World Heavyweight Champion, the IWGP Tag Team Champion, twice the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the All Asia Tag Team Champion, and the AJPW World Tag Team Champion. He held the IWGP Heavyweight Title and the AJPW Triple Crown Title at the same time, and is just one of three wrestlers to hole those two championship and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. At fifty years old and with thirty years of experience under his belt, he was once part of a group, alongside another recent Moxley foe in Yuji Nagata, referred to as “Third Generation”, and also holds a G1 Climax win under his belt, as well as multiple Real World Tag League wins for All Japan, the G1 Tag League for NJPW, the Champion Carnival, and the 1994 Young Lion Cup.
Suffice it to say, he has experienced it all, won it all, inspired countless wrestlers in the generations that have followed him, and is still regularly competing at a high level for New Japan Pro Wrestling. In other words, Moxley is heading for a battle with one of the toughest men of the last three decades, and is salivating for that fight.
No doubt this one is going to be a treat to experience as two of pro wrestling's toughest fight it out LIVE on pay-per-view this Sunday night!
A GIGANTIC RETURN...
QT Marshall (w/ The Factory)
Over the course of the last month, QT Marshall had become increasingly disrespectful to Tony Schiavone but kept putting it out there that he was going to make a public apology to the broadcast legend. Well on the August 11th edition of DYNAMITE, that alleged apology turned into Marshall and his Factory goons assaulting Tony's son Chris Schiavone in front of his father just to bait an apology out of Tony.
Tony gave it, QT rebuked it, and laid out Chris with a Diamond Cutter while Tony was restrained by Nick Comoroto, helpless to do anything for his son. Cue the music of Paul Wight as he came to offer some assistance to his long-time friend, and it was Aaron Solo who paid the price when QT shoved his own student into a devastating chokeslam.
One week later, as seen in the video embedded above, Wight stood in the middle of the ring along with Tony and discussed how good it felt getting back inside the ring. Paul had not competed in over a year, and just that little bit of action seemed to stir up a desire for more. Before Wight could say anymore on the subject, QT and his Factory interrupted to run off footage about Wight's hip surgeries, presumably in an attempt to humiliate the AEW's commentating colossus, but it would be Marshall who ended up with egg on his face. Much to the chagrin of Marshall, Paul Wight revealed that he and QT would meet at ALL OUT 2021 in a one-on-one match!
Calling QT shocked would not do it justice, but his face in the video when the news hits is quite priceless, as was his face when he allowed Paul Wight's presence on commentary to distract him during a six-man tag between The Factory and The Gunn Club. With QT's eyes not remotely on the prize, he got rolled up for a flash pinfall, leaving egg on his face for the second time in as many weeks.
On Sunday night, Paul Wight aims to make it a trifecta when he steps into action for the first time since July 20th of last year. Size, power, experience; all those factors tip heavily into the Wight camp, but so too does the mileage on the body and the surgeries he has undergone. QT will have the quickness advantage, his body hasn't experienced the wear and tear that just comes from being a 7 foot tall human, nor has he required the surgeries Wight has had to endure. Plus, QT certainly has The Factory around him who will get involved in this at a moment's notice. Now prior to Wednesday night, it was a reasonably belief that The Gunn Club and other Nightmare Family members would have Wight's back, but clearly that has all changed after the assault on DYNAMITE. Still, no matter what numbers Marshall has at his side, if Paul Wight gets those massive hands around QT's throat, it is game over.
WOMEN'S CASINO BATTLE ROYALE...
Abadon, Anna Jay, Big Swole, Diamante, Emi Sakura, Hikaru Shida, Jade Cargill, Jamie Hayter, Kiera Hogan, KiLynn King, Leyla Hirsch, Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, Rebel, Red Velvet, Riho, Skye Blue, Tay Conti, The Bunny, Thunder Rosa, and ?????
***WINNER EARNS A FUTURE WOMEN'S WORLD TITLE MATCH***
For the first time since 2019, the Women's Casino Battle Royale is back and with a future World Title bout at stake, the battle to be the victor is going to be hard-fought. Nyla Rose, the winner of the first Battle Royale at the inaugural ALL OUT has entered the field looking to repeat, but she's not the only former champion in the field! The longest reigning AEW Women's World Champion in company history, Hikaru Shida, has thrown her name in the hat with aspirations to getting a second run with the gold. Former NWA Women's World Champion Thunder Rosa, a woman with 22 straight singles victories since a March 1st loss to Nyla has entered the field. Some like The Bunny, Big Swole, and Penelope Ford were part of the 2019 edition of this spectacle, while others like Jade Cargill, Julia Hart, and Tay Conti will be doing this for the very first time in their AEW career. Perhaps that prior experience is why The Bunny and Penelope Ford appear to have struck up an alliance heading into ALL OUT 2021, and likely why we will see more pairing during the bout itself.
And of course, one thing that cannot be forgotten, is the actual construct of the match and the mystery that it brings. The situation is broken down into four groups of five women, each named for one of the suits in a deck of cards, with one final entrant pulling the Joker's card and arriving all by themselves. For the women, Mercedes Martinez got the nod in 2019 while in the men's variations, Adam Page pulled the card in the 2019 as Matt Sydal unforgettably drew the Joker in 2020. Of the three, only Hangman parlayed that enviable spot into a victory, but it is still the best card to draw in terms of playing the odds, the hope being that by the time of entry most of the competitors have been eliminated.
Whichever woman emerges the victor from this chaotic, unpredictable situation will have a date with either Kris Statlander or Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D in their future so while those two women will be focused on one another, each better keep an eye on how this one plays out because the future of the Women's World Title bout winner will be determined by this ALL OUT 2021: BUY-IN Battle Royale!
The Hardy Family Office (Angelico/Isiah Kassidy/Jack Evans/Marq Quen/Matt Hardy)
Best Friends (Chuck Taylor/Orange Cassidy/Wheeler Yuta) & Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus)
As a result of the PAC and Andrade El Idolo match being moved to the September 11th RAMPAGE, the Women's Casino Battle Royale was moved up to the pay-per-view portion of ALL OUT 2021, and this 10 Man Grudge Match was added as part of the BUY-IN!
The battles between The HFO and The Best Friends has exploded all over AEW's programming, much like how Hardy's nose exploded at the hands of Orange Cassidy in their one-on-one match, and now it will continue as part of the ALL OUT 2021 extravaganza! OC just beat Jack Evans in one-on-one competition right after topping Matt Hardy, but nothing will stop The HFO as long as there is money in the “Big Money” bank account. And the OC/Chuck Taylor/Wheeler Yuta group haven't been there only targets in the last few months, just their most frequent one, the Jurassic Express has also been on The HFO radar in large part due to their relationship to Christian Cage. Now, Sunday night, these paths all come together when a 10 Man battle goes down inside the AEW ring! Will it be Matt Hardy and his money that fuels five men to victory, or will it be the bonds of friendship and mutual disdain of The HFO that drive their other five men to a win?
The ALL OUT 2021: BUY-IN begins the party at 7pm EDT on AEW's official YouTube channel where The Hardy Family Office will go into battle against The Best Friends and Jurassic Express! The pay-per-view proper kicks it into high gear at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT and is available to view on all major PPV providers, as well as Bleacher Report, and FITE TV for the International audience.
Every AEW Championship will be on the line, including the World Tag Titles defended in the very first Tag Team Cage Match in company history, plus CM Punk laces up his boots for the first time in over 7 years to grapple Darby Allin! Paul Wight also returns to competition to fight QT Marshall, while Chris Jericho puts his in-ring career on the line against MJF as Jon Moxley welcomes NJPW legend Satoshi Kojima to AEW! This Sunday night, All Elite Wrestling presents ALL OUT 2021 LIVE on pay-per-view, and it will be the surefire hottest ticket in professional wrestling this summer! Do not miss out on a night that will no doubt be a landmark one for AEW that fans will be talking about for some time to come!