Jon Moxley's Injury Ramps Up the Degree of Difficulty for AEW to Nail All Out

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2019

Jon Moxley as IWGP U.S. champion.
Jon Moxley as IWGP U.S. champion.Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

All Elite Wrestling has held three pay-per-views, but Saturday's All Out event from Chicago is the company's most important heading into its weekly television debut on TNT on October 4.

Double or Nothing, Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen were all helpful in creating buzz for AEW and All Out is being touted as the biggest show yet to help launch the weekly series. This PPV is a test they cannot fail.

The fledgling promotion has already established itself as a potential threat to WWE with its aggressive strategy of hiring top talents and giving its Superstars more creative control over their matches. 

AEW has done a great job pushing guys like Kenny Omega, Adam Page, Chris Jericho, Shawn Spears, MJF, The Young Bucks, Cody and Dustin Rhodes as major players, but Jon Moxley was arguably the company's biggest signing.

WWE has been trying to keep people by offering more lucrative contracts for longer periods so the competition doesn't steal its biggest stars, but the former Dean Ambrose chose to walk away from the company when his contract expired in April.

Management did not appear to hold any grudges and gave him a great sendoff with a WWE Network special focusing on The Shield and a final match at a live event alongside Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

Moxley was a grand slam champion having held the intercontinental, U.S., WWE and Raw tag team titles during his career. He was making a lot of money and being featured regularly on television, but he was frustrated with the direction his character had taken and decided to see what else the world had to offer.

Since leaving WWE, he has made a name for himself as one of the biggest stars on the indie scene. He is the current IWGP United States champion and was set to face Kenny Omega on Saturday.

Unfortunately, he announced on Twitter that he would have to pull out of the event due to a bad case of MRSA in his elbow. He said the surgery and recovery should be quick so he can be back for AEW's debut on TNT.

Jon Moxley @JonMoxley

I'm absolutely gutted to have to deliver this news but I'd rather it come directly from me. In a nightmare scenario, a serious case of MRSA has returned in my elbow. The timing couldn't be worse. In this circumstance I am forced to pull out of the fight 8/31 vs Omega at All Out .

Jon Moxley @JonMoxley

I apologize to all involved, most importantly the fans. I am incredibly frustrated and pissed off. I'll have surgery this week to remove the bursa sac in my elbow and be done with it for good. Should be a quick recovery so I will be 100% for AEW Wednesday nights on TNT.

As one of AEW's biggest draws, a lot of the promotion for All Out was centered around his unsanctioned match with Omega. With less than two weeks until the show from the time Moxley announced his status, the company had to scramble to replace him.

Fortunately, Pac (fka Neville in WWE) was able to step up and take his place. He is going to have a great match with Omega, but it will not be the same hardcore-style encounter we would have gotten.

As great as this bout will be, it is no longer the marquee contest. AEW has to rely on matches like Cody vs. Shawn Spears, Jericho vs. Page and the 100th encounter between The Young Bucks and Lucha Brothers to entice people to tune in.

Jericho is a living legend and the rest of the roster includes some incredible stars from around the world, but Moxley was the guy AEW was hoping would draw WWE fans to the show.

The bout was billed as being unsanctioned, which means people were expecting a lot of violence and a good chance for both Superstars to end up bloody. For some fans, having a few hardcore matches like this is part of the appeal.

While losing Moxley this close to the show is unfortunate, it is not going to completely derail All Out. This PPV has several interesting feuds that will come to a head and the possibility for several other Superstars to make a name for themselves.

The tag team division is going to be on full display with Best Friends vs. The Dark Order, Lucha Bros vs. Young Bucks and Private Party vs. Angelico and Jack Evans in addition to SoCal Uncensored vs. Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt in a six-man contest.

The women will also be given two chances to shine with a 21-woman Casino Battle Royale and Riho vs. Hikaru Shida. 

Saturday is important to AEW's future. A successful event, with or without Moxley, will help the company launch its weekly TV show and set it on a path toward success.