Best and Worst Booking Decisions of AEW All Out 2022 Results

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured Columnist IIISeptember 5, 2022

Best and Worst Booking Decisions of AEW All Out 2022 Results

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    Chicago's own CM Punk finished the night recapturing the AEW World Championship. (Credit: AEW)

    AEW All Out 2022 was five hours of continuous action and could prove to be one of the most important shows in All Elite Wrestling history.

    Some titles changed hands, and many wrestlers took a step forward in boosting their careers, while others were smacked down to a lower rung of the hierarchy as some power shifts on the roster could pave the way for major changes to come.

    There were great moments worth revisiting, but also some hiccups and questionable calls along the way. Not everything was rainbows and sunshine.

    For better or worse, let's look back on what happened at All Out and break down some of the best booking decisions of the night along with the parts that weren't quite up to snuff.

Full Match Results

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    Credit: AEW

    Zero Hour Results

    • Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo retained the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship over Ortiz and Ruby Soho by pinfall.
    • Hook retained the FTW Championship over Angelo Parker by submission.
    • Pac retained the AEW All-Atlantic Championship over Kip Sabian by pinfall.
    • Eddie Kingston defeated Tomohiro Ishii by pinfall.

    Main Card Results

    • Casino Ladder Match: The Joker (later revealed to be MJF) won after being handed the chip by Stokely Hathaway.
    • The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) defeated Dark Order (Hangman Adam Page, Alex Reynolds and John Silver) by pinfall to win the AEW World Trios Championship.
    • Jade Cargill retained the AEW TBS Championship over Athena by pinfall.
    • Trios Match: Wardlow and FTR defeated Jay Lethal and The Motor City Machine Guns by pinfall.
    • Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Ricky Starks by pinfall.
    • Swerve in Our Glory retained the AEW World Tag Team Championship over The Acclaimed by pinfall.
    • Four-Way Match: Toni Storm defeated Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., Hikaru Shida and Jamie Hayter by pinfall to win the Interim AEW Women’s World Championship.
    • Christian Cage defeated Jungle Boy by pinfall.
    • Chris Jericho defeated Bryan Danielson by pinfall.
    • Trios Match: Miro, Darby Allin and Sting defeated House of Black by pinfall.
    • CM Punk defeated Jon Moxley by pinfall to win the AEW World Championship.

Best: Most of the Winners

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    Credit: AEW

    Generally speaking, much of the results from All Out made sense, even if there isn't much to unpack.

    Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo are much more of a duo than Ruby Soho and Ortiz. If they had dropped the AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship, that would have been an odd direction to take that company's belts.

    Hook, Pac and Jade Cargill retaining their titles, Toni Storm winning the interim women's championship and even Chris Jericho beating Bryan Danielson after cheating are all natural outcomes with more to explore in the future.

    The Elite winning the trios titles after an inadvertent Buckshot Lariat from Hangman Adam Page was a nice touch. It should help drive the wedge even further between Page's tenuous friendships.

    Even CM Punk beating Jon Moxley, as predictable as it was, felt right. The whole point was for Chicago to get behind him so he could have the gumption to grit his teeth and win back the title.

    It remains to be seen what happens with these choices going forward, and hindsight might treat these decisions less favorably—especially after the controversy following Punk's appearance on the media scrum—but in the heat of the moment, and within the bubble of this event, these choices were logical.

Best: Finley Pins Sonjay Dutt After FTR and Wardlow Win

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    Credit: AEW

    Wardlow's four powerbombs on Jay Lethal emphatically prove he should be done with that feud and move on to a new challenger for the TNT Championship. Him scoring the victory in general was the smart decision, as he's the guy to build up to a main event spot in the coming months and years.

    Since The Motor City Machine Guns didn't take the pin, a future match against FTR isn't outside the realm of possibility. Those two teams could tear the house down and this match might have just been the first taste of something great.

    But an even better decision than just the babyfaces winning this trios match was what happened after the bell rang.

    Samoa Joe returned to get some vengeance on Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh, hopefully wrapping up that angle, too.

    Then, Dax Harwood's daughter, Finley, came out for the cherry on top of the segment.

    As payback for Dutt's comments calling her a brat, Finley snapped his pencil for some intimidation (to a roaring crowd) and, after Harwood laid him out with a right hand, placed one foot on him before the referee counted to three for a sentimental pinfall.

    "Fight like an eight-year-old girl" has been one of the most feel-good things on AEW television this year and if you'd like to pick up one of the shirts here, all of the royalties are donated to The American Heart Association.

Worst: The Acclaimed Fail to Win the AEW World Tag Team Championship

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    Credit: AEW

    The AEW World Tag Team Championship match was arguably the loudest and most consistently intense segment throughout the night as the crowd was red hot from bell to bell.

    While Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland are very popular and talented in their own right, it was clear the Chicago crowd was firmly in support of The Acclaimed, cheering them at every possible chance and giving significantly less love to the champions.

    Any time Max Caster or Anthony Bowens would get a near-fall, the audience jumped up, eager for the titles to change hands. Whenever Swerve in Our Glory was on top, fans erupted if the tables turned.

    In the end, the champions retained and the wind was sucked out of the arena for a little while.

    Though it wasn't the plan, this might have been a situation where Tony Khan should have called an audible, changed the outcome and put the belts on The Acclaimed.

    At the very least, it would have resulted in one of the biggest pops of the night, which will probably be hard to replicate if the decision is made to run this back and do a title change on Dynamite.

    Grand Slam could be when that happens, and that might get as much or even bigger of a reaction, but there's no guarantee. At least here, it was a genuine, natural response to prove The Acclaimed is over and would have been welcomed as champions with open arms.

    Swerve in Our Glory is great, but AEW might have missed out on a lightning in a bottle situation with a fantastic match leading to the roof being blown off the place, instead of a disappointed crowd for the finish.

Worst: Ricky Starks and Jungle Boy Squashed

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    Credit: AEW

    Two of the featured feuds heading into this revolving around pillars of the future of AEW, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs and Jungle Boy, fell far short of expectations.

    Both matches could have been fantastic. The storylines built up enough animosity that the underdog babyfaces could have had the crowd wrapped around their fingers as they took the fight to their evil opponents.

    Instead, Hobbs won a glorified squash match out of nowhere just when it was starting to get going. Then, Luchasaurus jumped Jungle Boy and set him up to lose to Christian Cage in 20 seconds.

    These matches had potential to steal the show. Booking these "gotcha" fake outs just to stall and drag these feuds out even longer, after months of waiting to get to this point, was cheap.

    Pay-per-views used to be when feuds reached their conclusions. This era of using television to set up a special event that just puts a pin in it with a promise of more down the line is exhausting.

    Why should fans want to see Hobbs against Starks again, when the latter got destroyed? He's had a bad run of luck, as of late, and this only made him look worse, instead of making Hobbs look that much better than before.

    If Cage is too injured, why was the match booked to begin with, instead of doing this angle on Dynamite and having Jungle Boy against Luchasaurus at All Out?

    If the answer is just to stretch it to Grand Slam or Full Gear, that's the type of booking fans have come down on WWE for doing over the past few years. It wouldn't be fair to complain about one company doing that and give excuses for the other.

    Anyone who tuned into this event for these two matches has every right to feel slighted. Just because they technically did happen to avoid false advertisement accusations doesn't mean they weren't built up for something more grandiose and failed to deliver.

Best: MJF is The Joker

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    Credit: AEW

    The Joker for the Casino Ladder Match was a story with a few ups and downs that balanced out to an overall major win.

    At first, seeing several masked guys storm the ring and wreck shop felt like the second coming of WWE's Retribution. Stokely Hathaway climbing the ladder, grabbing the chip and unveiling himself was worth a pop, though.

    The Joker entrant coming out with a mask on, only to be handed the chip to win the match could have been a lame finish, but refusing the take the mask of added more intrigue. Who was in possession of the future title shot? That's a solid hook.

    But by the end of the night, stealing the thunder from Punk's title win, the Joker revealed himself to be a returning MJF.

    Admittedly, if a title match had started right there and he walked out with the title, it would have been an even bigger deal than just ending the show with Excalibur telling fans to tune in to Dynamite to find out more of this situation.

    Nevertheless, MJF's promo on where he's been, why he returned that way, his association with Hathaway and his plans for his title shot are now the biggest reason to tune in on Wednesday night, so that mission's been accomplished.

Worst: Overbooking the Event

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    Did the mixed tag team match really need to take up time if it wasn't even continuing the Eddie Kingston feud and the only outcome was Ruby Soho getting injured? (Credit: AEW)

    Arguably the biggest criticism of this event should be that it was just simply too long.

    What makes the Zero Hour a pre-show if it consists of four matches that take up the entire hour? Isn't that just the first hour of the show, but for free?

    Considering those matches and several others weren't as important and didn't need to be on this card at all—as they could have been main events for past or future episodes of Dynamite or Rampage to boost those shows—and some matches were kept short just to cram everything in, AEW should consider not making these five hour long marathons.

    Fans clearly get burned out. The crowd can't maintain the same energy for every match, so some suffer and look worse when the audience isn't as thrilled as it could have been if the fans were fresh.

    Sometimes, less is more. If the problem is the price tag and trying to make it feel like fans are getting their money's worth, perhaps cutting these down to three hours and charging less is a better tactic AEW should experiment with.

    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.


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