All In Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Chicago Event
The most significant wrestling event of this generation occurred Saturday night in the Sears Centre Arena in suburban Chicago as Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks presented All In, the epic centerpiece of a four-day celebration of independent wrestling.
A 10-match card in front of 10,000 fans, the show featured the top stars of Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, among other notable promotions.
With champions from the National Wrestling Alliance, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor on the card, as well as the legendary Rey Mysterio, the event brimmed with recognizable names and faces.
Which ones emerged from Saturday's historic, revolutionary even, pay-per-view extravaganza?
Find out with this recap of All In 2018.
The Briscoe Brothers vs. SoCal Uncensored
The action kicked off on WGN America Saturday night with the All In: Zero Hour preshow and a tag team bout pitting Ring of Honor mainstays The Briscoe Brothers against SoCal Uncensored's Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky.
SCU started hot, taking the fight to the multi-time ROH tag team champions and drawing a chant of "SCU!" from fans loyal to its act from the Being The Elite YouTube show.
The Briscoes built heat for themselves, isolating Sky from his partner and beating him down in their half of the ring. A hurricanrana by Sky created separation and allowed him to make the hot tag to Kazarian, who took the fight to The Briscoes.
Sky interjected himself back in the match, soaring over the top rope and wiping out Jay and Mark Briscoe at ringside. SCU delivered stereo cutters and floated over into dragon sleepers. A rake to Kazarian's eyes by Mark allowed the heels a reprieve.
The Briscoes capitalized and isolated Kazarian this time, double-teaming him as Sky attempted to recover at ringside.
Sky did, and SCU delivered a uranage/backstabber combo for a near-fall. The Briscoes recovered and delivered the Jay Driller and a frog splash elbow drop. Sky broke up the pin.
The Briscoes attempted the Doomsday Device, but Kazarian caught Mark in mid-flight and delivered a powerslam off Jay's shoulders for the pinfall victory.
SCU defeated The Briscoes
If the idea here was to start the show with a kick-ass opening match featuring wrestlers fans are familiar with, this accomplished that and set the tone for the show.
SCU may be more traditional heels, but in front of this crowd, they were the babyfaces, and the match reflected that.
The Briscoes worked as heels, did a fantastic job of cutting the ring off from their opponents and dominated the action. Sky and Kazarian were great as they fought from underneath, and the finish was stellar.
A fantastic way to kick off the night's festivities with the right team going over.
Over Budget Battle Royal
A shot at the Ring of Honor Championship was up for grabs in the night's Over Budget Battle Royal, featuring such stars as Moose, Rocky Romero, Bully Ray, Billy Gunn, Tommy Dreamer, Colt Cabana, Brian Cage and female star Jordynne Grace.
Marko Stunt eliminated Moose in the first crowd-pleasing spot of the match. Trent and Chuckie T were about to engage in a showdown when "All Ego" Ethan Page broke it up, drawing a chorus of boos.
Punishment Martinez, current Ring of Honor Television champion, drew more boos by eliminating Chuckie and Trent before becoming the object of Romero's offensive onslaught. Brian Cage, the Impact Wrestling X Division champion, shut down his comeback and eliminated him.
Hurricane Helms unleashed some superhero strength, delivering chokeslams to Martinez and Cage before pairing off with Page, who eliminated him. Cabana delivered a superkick that sent Page out of the match and drew a huge hometown ovation.
As Dreamer unloaded with the Bionic Elbow in homage to Dusty Rhodes, Bully Ray blasted him and eliminated the Innovator of Violence.
Late in the match, Grace showed tremendous strength in eliminating the massive Cage and then teamed up with Cabana to deliver The Dudley Boyz's trademark headbutt to Ray.
Ray eliminated Grace and Cabana but was then eliminated by an unknown luchador, who removed his mask and revealed himself to be Flip Gordon. The much-maligned star eliminated Ray and earned himself a shot at Jay Lethal's title.
Flip Gordon won
Battle Royals are difficult to pull off, but this had just enough fan-friendly spots to keep the Chicago faithful entertained.
Jordynne Grace was phenomenal here, really standing out as one of the stars of the entire match. Her strength is incredible and was on full display more than once. She threw her body around the ring, stood toe-to-toe with some of the toughest and most established stars on the roster and really earned the spotlight tonight.
Gordon winning under the mask was exactly the type of old-school gimmick Dusty Rhodes would have booked and the perfect payoff to months of build. A great way to wrap up his story and ensure the loveable loser of Being The Elite gets a high-profile match on the show.
Matt Cross vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Maxwell Jacob Friedman, an egotistical young star trained by Curt Hawkins and Pat Buck, kicked off the main show against journeyman competitor and Tough Enough alum Matt Cross.
MJF was arrogant to start, mockingly applauding his opponent, but had his mouth shut quickly as Cross dove over the top rope and wiped the young upstart out at ringside.
The entitled villain used referee Todd Sinclair to provide a distraction and took advantage, targeting Cross' left arm.
The gutsy Cross fought his way back into the match, feeding off the rally of the audience, but MJF cut him off. MJF delivered a package shoulder breaker for a strong near-fall that silenced the crowd. He continued to cut off the veteran Cross, all while talking trash.
A late-match moonsault attempt, though, missed and led to MJF jamming his knee. Cross capitalized with a cutter and delivered a Shooting Star Press to score the win.
Cross defeated MJF
A quality opener to the show with a bit of a surprise winner.
It felt very much like Cross was there to put the younger MJF over, but after the young star dominated the match, his own hubris proved his downfall and gave way to Cross getting a signature win.
Stephen Amell vs. Christopher Daniels
Stephen Amell of television's Arrow battled Christopher Daniels in the night's first high-profile bout.
Daniels, the veteran heel, arrogantly played up the antics of his Curry Man gimmick early as a means to mock Amell. The television star fought back, walking over Daniels, delivering a dropkick and an enzuigiri, and sending Daniels to the floor with a clothesline.
Retrieving a table, Amell sought to avenge an assault from November 2017 at the hands of SCU. He set Daniels up for a uranage, but The Fallen Angel escaped and returned to the sanctuary of the squared circle.
Daniels worked the midsection of his inexperienced opponent, but Amell fought back and delivered a Falcon Arrow for a near-fall. Amell delivered the Van Terminator for a two-count as the crowd popped. Daniels answered with his Best Moonsault Ever for a count of two.
Amell knocked Daniels to the floor and onto a table. A high-risk dive did not pay off as Amell crashed through a table that Daniels had vacated a second before.
Demanding a winner, referee Jerry Lynn threw both men in the ring to the delight of the fans.
An argument between Daniels and Lynn gave way to a school-boy roll-up from Amell that nearly won him the match. A defiant Amell, beaten, flipped Daniels the bird. After countering Angel's Wings, Amell fell prey to a second Best Moonsault Ever, giving Daniels the victory.
Daniels defeated Amell
SoCal Uncensored went 2-0 on the night as Daniels scored a hard-fought victory over Stephen Amell.
Amell was much better than anyone ever could have expected, hanging with Daniels and performing spots guys with infinitely more experience than him would have.
Daniels winning in a singles match is the right call because a loss would have hurt his credibility. That he put Amell over afterward helps ease the blow.
Another really strong match in a string of them to start the energetic, nonstop show.
Fatal 4-Way: Madison Rayne vs. Britt Baker vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard
Dr. Brittany Baker, D.M.D., entered the ring for her Four Corner Survival match against Tessa Blanchard, Chelsea Green and Madison Rayne to boyfriend Adam Cole's theme music, much to the delight of fans. Green was in full "Hot Mess" mode, playing up her successful gimmick from Impact Wrestling as she sprinted to the ring, her makeup caked on her face. Blanchard drew the loudest pop of the four competitors and was treated to the star's entrance.
Blanchard and Rayne battled on the arena floor while Green and Baker squared off inside the squared circle. The third-generation star Blanchard cut off Green's onslaught with a spear but, again, found herself paired with Rayne shortly thereafter.
Nursing her knee, Blanchard joined Baker and Green at ringside, where Rayne dove off the ropes and wiped out all three of them. Baker delivered her third sling blade of the match, and Rayne responded with her Chance of Rayne finisher.
Blanchard seized control of the match but charged into the corner, running shoulder-first into the steel post. Green, calling out her boyfriend Zack Ryder, delivered the Broski Boot to her opponent.
Late in the match, the women traded finishers. Blanchard delivered her Magnum to Green, who had obliterated Rayne with the Unprettier. Baker answered with a superkick, shades of Cole, that could not keep any of her opponents down.
Chants of "this is awesome" rained down from the stands as the action broke down.
Green delivered another Unprettier, this time to Baker, but the alert dentist got her foot on the rope. Green continued to build momentum, delivering a Canadian Destroyer that popped the crowd.
Blanchard delivered a hammerlock DDT to Green, scoring the win just before Baker could break up the pin.
Blanchard defeated Green, Baker and Rayne
What. A. Match.
Laid out perfectly in a way that allowed each character to shine and each woman to showcase her abilities, it was nonstop action that did not adhere to so many of the other formulaic multi-woman matches seen elsewhere.
Green, in particular, looked like a star. On the heels of a tryout with WWE at the Performance Center, one can only hope the scouts were watching and The Hot Mess can get a shot at starring with that company.
All four women were spectacular, the timing was impeccable throughout and the finish–intended or not–added to it.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Nick Aldis
Accompanied to the ring by wife Brandi, Diamond Dallas Page, Tommy Dreamer, his dog Pharaoh, Ray "Glacier" Lloyd and other trainers, Cody Rhodes entered the Sears Centre Arena to a thunderous ovation for what was the biggest match of his career. Emotion painting his face, he made his way to the squared circle with an opportunity to make history by becoming the first second-generation NWA world heavyweight champion.
Nick Aldis was accompanied by Tim Storm, Shawn Daivari and the man responsible for him getting his start in the industry, Jeff Jarrett, Aldis entered to a chorus of boos. A confident champion, there was a swagger in his walk that suggested he was not at all worried about the challenge before him.
Over 10,000 fans rose to their feet as the bell rang and the real main event of All In was underway.
The challenger delivered a tope suicida to a pop, but Aldis turned the tides with a suplex on the arena floor.
The two competitors exchanged offense, neither really able to gain a sustained advantage. The commentary team put over the studious nature of both stars as an explanation for their back-and-forth.
With Aldis on the floor, Cody attempted a dive, but Aldis caught him with a forearm to the face. Referee Earl Hebner threw up the "X," signaling injury, and DDP made his way to ringside. Daivari tried to interject himself in the match and ate a Diamond Cutter for his troubles.
Bloodied, Cody found himself on the receiving end of a focused attack by Aldis. The challenger fought out and delivered a snap powerslam for a near-fall. Rhodes missed a moonsault, though, and Aldis re-established control with a fallaway slam from the top rope.
Rhodes applied the Figure Four, a staple of so many classic title bouts between his father, Dusty Rhodes, and Ric Flair, but Aldis survived and delivered a powerslam on the arena floor.
Running on adrenaline, Rhodes tried for the Alabama Slam, but his back gave out. A second attempt was more successful, but the challenger was still only able to keep his opponent down for the two-count. Aldis again targeted his challenger's back, trapping him in a Boston Crab.
His forehead bleeding, his body broken, Cody looked out at Brandi, who tried to talk him out of continuing. Her pleas fell on deaf ears, and the American Nightmare fell to a piledriver for a count of two. Aldis, rolling, scaled the ropes. With Brandi covering the fallen body of her husband, Aldis launched himself across the ring and delivered an elbow drop to the back of the Bullet Queen.
Rhodes fought back, delivered the Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes but could not keep Aldis down.
As the action picked up and counters became prominent, Rhodes stacked Aldis up and scored the win and title with a roll-up.
Cody defeated Aldis to win the NWA Championship
Cody and Aldis brought about every possible element to make this as dramatic and compelling a bit of storytelling as imaginable.
The pop for Rhodes' victory was thunderous, the type saved for the most popular and beloved stars in the industry. The tears streaming down the new champion's face added to the moment, and the in-ring celebration was the stuff of dreams for everyone who ever imagined themselves a professional wrestler.
Brandi threw herself in harm's way to help her husband, Rhodes repaid her with a championship victory and one of the three architects of this show had the moment in the sun that he was not allowed while in WWE.
A goosebumps- and chill-inducing moment that probably should have closed the show.
Chicago Street Fight: Adam Page vs. Joey Janela
"Hangman" Adam Page would have to set aside all of the drama surrounding his alleged murder of Joey Ryan (no, not really) on Being The Elite and focus if he were to leave the arena with a victory over "Bad Boy" Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight Saturday night.
He did, early, blasting Janela with a big boot and flying through the ropes with a nasty tope. Janela, though, answered with a tope of his own as the commentary team put over the exhausting G1 Climax run Page just spent the last month on.
Page recovered and delivered a huge moonsault from the top rope, wiping out his opponent on the floor. He delivered a pumphandle fallaway slam to Janela, who writhed in pain as Hangman continued to roll. In a solid bit of product placement, Page produced a literal cracker barrel, from Cracker Barrel, but soon found himself sent back-first into it.
Janela took advantage of a prone Page, delivering a somersault senton onto his opponent, some five rows into the crowd.
Page, recovered, produced a table at ringside and teased a superplex from the top rope and through it, but Janela fought out and delivered a Death Valley Bomb into the corner for a count of two.
With a ladder laid out between the ring and guardrail, and Page sprawled on it, Janela climbed the ropes. Page caught him in a torture rack position and delivered a Burning Hammer onto the ladder.
Back in the ring, Penelope Ford interjected herself in the match, trying to assist her charge Janela. After flipping her way out of an attack by Page, she delivered a stunner that sent Hangman to the floor. A crossbody block leveled him at ringside. Laying Page out on a table, she ducked out of the way, and Janela delivered an elbow, sending him through it.
Janela seized control, taking the fight up the aisle and onto the stage. With Ford's assistance, he set up two tables, looking to put Page away. He failed as Hangman recovered and delivered a running powerbomb from the stage and (barely) through one of the tables.
Back in the ring, Page delivered the Rite of Passage, but Ford broke up the pin.
Handing over a black trash bag, she told Page to look inside. The boots that had talked to Page throughout the YouTube show spooked him, but not enough to keep him from blasting Ford with a superkick. Janela landed one of his own for a near-fall.
With Janela scaling a ladder, Page produced the phone he may or may not have bludgeoned Ryan with. From there, he delivered the Rite of Passage from the ladder and through a table to score the win.
After the match, Ryan rose from the afterlife and made his way to the ring, to the shock and awe of Page. Ryan hit his signature moves.
Page defeated Janela
The match itself was a car crash with some sick bumps from Janela and standout interference from Ford. Page looked every bit the breakout star he has become, but the real headline of this lengthy segment of the show was the return of Ryan and the payoff to his months-long story with Page on Being The Elite, much of which I cannot discuss here.
There are some who will criticize the decision to so heavily feature stories from that YouTube production on a pay-per-view watched by fans who may not have a single clue as to what it is or what it's about, but considering The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody and Page gained a considerable amount of popularity on the creative outlet, it makes sense.
An entertaining romp with superb theatrics, violent bumps and an awesome payoff post-match.
Ring of Honor Championship Match
The butt of so many jokes in the build to All In, Flip Gordon had the opportunity to get the last laugh Saturday night as he won the Over Budget Battle Royal and challenged Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor Championship.
Lethal emerged from the locker room under his Black Machismo persona, but after enduring an early chop from an unamused Brandi Rhodes, who accompanied Gordon to the ring, he reassumed his championship persona.
Gordon surprisingly controlled the match, working the full body of the champion and keeping him off guard with his raw athleticism.
Lethal fought his way back into the match and was rolling until Lanny Poffo, who accompanied him to the ring, interrupted to draw the Machismo out of him. Channeling Randy Savage again, Lethal scaled the ropes three times and delivered his Hail to the King elbow drop. Gordon, summoning the comeback abilities of Hulk Hogan, fought through Lethal's onslaught and delivered three punches and a big boot.
A Pele kick and a springboard sling blade had Gordon rolling.
Lethal fought through it all and delivered his Lethal Injection finisher to score the hard-fought victory.
Lethal defeated Gordon
Their effort was certainly there, and the work from both Lethal and Gordon was there, but the Black Machismo gimmick took up too much time. It hurt the flow of the match at times and essentially forced the ROH title to play second fiddle to the silly gimmick.
The post-match bit, which saw Bully Ray attack Lethal, Gordon and Poffo before Colt Cabana made the save and tabled the former TNA world champion, was fine and a nice way to get Cabana on the show in front of his hometown. It did not necessarily add anything, but it was OK for what it was.
A description that sums up the entire segment.
Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr.
IWGP heavyweight champion Kenny Omega battled former Impact Wrestling world champion Pentagon Jr. in what was a dream match for many. Though no titles were up for grabs, there was a big-match feel that fell over the arena as Omega made his way to the ring.
Perhaps that was a reflection of his star power or the fact that he has repeatedly delivered some of the best matches in the history of the industry in recent years. Maybe it was the overall quality of Pentagon Jr.'s recent work. Whatever the case may be, the fans in Sears Centre were ready for the inter-promotional showdown.
After some early back-and-forth, Pentagon caught Omega with a nasty snap powerslam on the arena floor that made a nasty thud as Omega's head smacked the mat.
Omega fought back, delivering a series of chops to the chest and a tornado DDT that had Pentagon reeling. A springboard crossbody from the top rope to the floor left his opponent flat on the floor. The Cleaner tried for the V-Trigger, but Pentagon countered. Omega, himself, countered and delivered a snap dragon suplex.
After a rapid exchange, both men were left to recover.
With Pentagon propped in the corner, Omega delivered a V-Trigger. After fighting out of a superplex attempt and hanging Omega up in the ropes, the luchador delivered a double stomp to the chest.
Pentagon survived another V-Trigger and taunted, only to bring more pain his way via powerbomb and a third V-Trigger. The former Lucha Underground and current Impact Wrestling star answered with a Pentagon Driver for a near-fall as the fans came alive.
On the ring apron, Pentagon talked trash with Omega and then delivered a package piledriver that left the IWGP heavyweight champion nearly lifeless at ringside. A double stomp back inside the squared circle nearly earned Pentagon the win.
Another V-Trigger from Omega set up Pentagon for the One-Winged Angel, but he escaped. Pentagon countered and delivered an armbreaker, followed by another package piledriver that came within inches of ending Omega's night.
Chants of "All In" filled the arena as Omega countered a big kick and followed with another V-Trigger, a reverse rana and, moments later, the One-Winged Angel for the win.
After the match, the arena darkened, and when the lights came back on, Chris Jericho (disguised as Pentagon) attacked Omega and left him lying.
Omega defeated Pentagon
A stunning wrestling match that did not rely on the bells and whistles of other matches on the card, instead focusing on the in-ring product. Omega and Pentagon tore down the house with a dramatic, energetic match that tested Omega and put Penta el Zero over as his greatest threat to date.
The post-match attack by Jericho was...disappointing, if only because it was used to sell Jericho's upcoming cruise rather than serving as any sort of storyline propeller. With that said, it was interesting to see Jericho work another promotion in the United States not owned by Vince McMahon.
Given the quality of performances by Omega and Pentagon over the last year, expectations were lofty, and the wrestlers delivered and then some. A five-star classic? Maybe not. The best pure match of the show to this point? Absolutely.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll
The evolution of Marty Scurll continued Saturday, as The Villain battled Kazuchika Okada in a match in which he sought to prove he not only could hang with one of the best wrestlers on the planet but also was more than a comedy wrestler.
He succeeded early, targeting the elbow of Okada in an attempt to take The Rainmaker out of his arsenal. A step quicker, a bit more determined, Scurll controlled early.
A DDT on the arena floor left The Villain clutching his neck and turned the tide in Okada's favor.
Scurll, fighting through neck pain, escaped a submission and delivered a lung blower to create separation. A big kick from Okada halted Scurll, but a low dropkick to the knee allowed The Villain to take control. A tornado DDT led to a two-count and gave the Brit an opportunity to catch his breath.
A back-and-forth exchange between the competitors gave way to a brainbuster from Scurll to Okada, stunning the former IWGP heavyweight champion. Scurll appeared to be gaining momentum, but an ill-advised attempt to power up Okada for a powerbomb gave way to a neckbreaker from The Rainmaker.
The action picked up, each man scoring near-falls as counters gained prominence in the bout. A corner dropkick from Okada popped the crowd. He tried for a tombstone piledriver, but Scurll countered. He did not the next time, as Okada finally executed the maneuver.
Scurll grabbed hold of the fingers, and Okada taunted him, saying "205 Live." The Villain snapped the fingers and applied the chicken wing. Okada nearly tapped but fought through it. A miscommunication spot saw the referee knocked down.
After producing an umbrella and smacking Okada in the head with it, Scurll delivered the Rainmaker to its creator and nearly scored the win. Scurll spat at Okada and ate two straight Rainmakers, ending his night in disappointing fashion as the former IWGP champion scored the win.
Okada defeated Scurll
A damn fine match that took some time to get rolling late in the bout but, once it did, told one heck of a story and had fans biting on the idea that Scurll could actually upset Okada.
Given the story behind the match, that The Villain was somehow screwed to have drawn Okada as an opponent, Scurll comes out of the bout much better off for having delivered the performance he did in a loss than if he would have stolen a win or scored a fluke victory.
The psychology was solid, and Scurll wrestled one of his better matches on a huge stage, against an all-timer in The Rainmaker.
Rey Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido vs. The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi
The action was fast and furious early, luchadors Rey Mysterio, Rey Fenix and Bandido out-quicking The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi at the start of Saturday's All In main event.
There was no semblance of order, no psychology or storytelling to be found.
The main event was a dazzling display of high-risk aerial assaults, including a twisting dive from Fenix and a dive off the ramp from Matt Jackson that gave him, brother Nick and Ibushi control for the first time in the match.
Said control only lasted momentarily.
Mysterio delivered a 619 to Matt, Fenix followed with a destroyer and Bandido finished with a hurricanrana. A frog splash from Mysterio to Matt scored a near-fall as chants of "Eddie" filled the arena in tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero.
The action continued, and as the referee was overheard saying "go home," The Young Bucks and Ibushi delivered a series of moonsaults and the Meltzer Driver to score the win.
The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi defeated Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido
Yes, The Young Bucks are the most integral part of The Elite. They are extraordinary performers, master businessmen and deliver some of the most jaw-dropping spots in the industry. They are must-see professional wrestlers and the cornerstones of this show.
With that said, there was no real reason for this to go on last.
It was in no way a better match than Omega-Pentagon, nor did it have the raw emotion or historical significance of Cody-Aldis.
Perhaps it was a sacrificial lamb, its minutes shaved toward the end because of tight time constraints. Perhaps the Bucks took on that burden so the other matches could thrive. The show did run out of time toward the end, to the point that the referee could be audibly heard giving time cues throughout the bout.
Maybe they were more confident show producers than Cody, so they got through everything else on the card and booked themselves last for that reason.
Whatever the case, it was not exactly the blow-away main event this show deserved.
That seems harsh, but it is not necessarily meant that way.
It was still a wild, chaotic match that showcased the ridiculous abilities of the stars involved and gave the show the credibility of a Mysterio. With all the work and preparation that went into the show, the Bucks absolutely deserved to headline the show.
More time or a more lucid story would have made the match that much better and more worthy of its spot on the card, is all.