It's been a week since All In weekend and you all are missing the wonderment of that weekend aren't you?
You're missing the expensive prices that only London can bring (£4 for an apple juice in a bar in Westfield!), the London tube map that made you thankful you weren't colour blind, the queues, the walking and the hanging out with folk from Notting Hill Carnival or Carnival as its known locally at the hotel bar.... actually I don't need to tell that story on a public platform (hangovers really aren't fun)
All In weekend lived up to the hype and brought many memories to those who attended and in this Special Edition of In Star Ratings, we look at the biggest events of All In (yeah, we're not talking Progress) and I'll give some anecdotes about the weekend.
You probably felt the magnitude of the weekend if you used public transport to get to the capital of the UK. Your first exposure of the weekend to come was seeing or hearing another wrestling fan on the same train or coach heading to London. Being the shy one I am, I waited till we boarded off the coach to ask "You guys All In?" It was that verb that I would use throughout the weekend. At one point it stopped an anxiety attack from happening. A community was gathering as the weekend gathered pace for an event we never thought would be possible.
Post leaving Victoria Coach Station came the trek to the hotel. A walk from the station to Knightsbridge then take the underground to Hammersmith then a bus to Chiswick and get some food and use the toilet on the way. Sounds easy right
First thing to notice was that there are some really architecture between Victoria and Knightsbridge especially the Egyptian Embassy (****¾ for the design of that building) Walking through Lowndes Square and seeing houses that are worth £10 million if Zoopla is correct made me thankful that I wasn’t being escorted out of the area being dressed in my hoodie over a Walking Dead shirt
As this was the first time I had used the underground tube, the thought that entered my mind as I waited for my train was that whoever had thought of the underground tube system is evil but quite intelligent. It’s well organised, the maps make sense once you’ve figured out that colours are the heart of the journey you are taking and the signage telling you which platform to take is easy to read therefore. So **** for the London Underground.
The bus from Hammersmith to my hotel never turned up. Plan B was walk the 40 minutes from Hammersmith to my hotel and with my luggage, being annoyed about the bus not turning up, getting anxiety over the window of time that I have to get to Rev Pro on time getting smaller and sweating as much as CM Punk when he realised that the Gorilla Position at Wembley has a CCTV camera, I really couldn’t appreciate the River Thames that I was walking alongside.
Luckily once I got to the Premier Inn, got myself an early check in (best 10 quid I spent at London on this weekend) and got showered and changed and off I went to the Copper Box.
I then got drenched twice.
Once at Chiswick and once at Shepherds Bush.
I could have got drenched at Stratford as I contemplated going for it and taking the walk from Stratford International to The Copper Box but as the realisation dawned that I was going to be missing the pre-show and the Battle Royal, I saw the refuge of a fellow wrestling fan and started some small talk. We joked about braving the rainstorm so we could see Tomohiro Ishii live and then he just asked if I wanted to share the taxi to Copper Box. Things like that are the wrestling community at it’s best. Less than 3 minutes of conversation and we’re in a taxi together.
Luckily, I ended up in the right place and not under anyone’s patio. £25 on a TMDK shirt later and I was in my seat for the Rev Pro 11th Anniversary Show.
NOTE- All Cagematch ratings are as of Saturday 2nd September. Also, bare in mind when Dave Meltzer gives star ratings from matches he's attended live, it usually gets an extra quarter of a star (call it a Meltzer live tax)
It was a Battle Royal, it was fine. Rhio is an interesting prospect.
First impression of the night was that I think the rapper who accompanied Drilla thought that the whole situation was a shoot. Second impression was that Leon Slater is really good. Dan Moloney has found himself as one of Bullet Club’s Killers with it all really kicking in the moment he heard the Aussie fans in Korakuen cheering their fellow countryman Robbie Eagles and Dan has been on a roll since then.
As an opening match it was really fun and with Leon stepping up on his biggest stage yet hitting everything perfectly and Drilla being a great villain. Upon reading the programme on my way back from Stratford on the Overground tube that Leon looks primed to be the 11th jewel in the United Empire Crown after Callum Newman I’m very confident that Leon will flourish in the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Division. ****
As a live experience this was great. Six contrasting styles with Mills and Breaks as the technicians, Wild Boar as the brawler, Sha as the heavyweight coming down in weight and it all just meshed brilliantly
While the finish was as cliché as you can get with Connor taking the win via “stealing the win” the setup and execution was good. ****
If Robbie X had charisma he'd already be in a company that wasn't Rev Pro, Breaks would be a good shout as the next TMDK young boy with Fujita on excursion in Australia for the foreseeable future. Callum Newman looked real good but did get slightly lost in the mass of humanity but I would like to see more of him in a less chaotic setting like NJPW
The story of this match was that Gale had to earn a match against Fujita’s mentor Zack Sabre Jr and judging by this match, he shouldn't get one.
One of the main attractions of this show also was it's biggest detriment and when I say detriment, it's actually not that big of a detriment when you look at the picture of the night. But those (like me) who bought tickets to Rev Pro and decided to brave the Overground did so because they wanted to see the NJPW stars and those like me (especially those in TMDK shirts) really wanted Fujita to win and those observing the UK stars for the first time, were not having Gale ***
Not gonna lie, I welled up when I saw Shibata. 6 years before, I was relieved that he was still alive after THAT Okada match but had to accept that he was never putting on the black tights again but there he was, in front of me and it was emotional to see.
I’ll be honest, along with seeing Ospreay/Takagi, Sabre.Jr and Ishii, one of the most eagerly awaited things about Rev Pro on Saturday night was getting the chance of yell things at Gabriel Kidd. Not sure the fans below me appreciated me yelling "poor mans Stan Hansen every couple of minutes"
The match itself was your classic, basic face/heel dynamic tag team which I’ll be honest I wasn't expecting after Gabe’s G1. I expected a brawl around the arena, I expected Bullet Club doing Bullet Club things but what we got was really nice and while the 2023 Shibata will never be THAT Shibata, man I was so happy to see him live. ***¾
I didn't love this match as much as everyone else did. Hearing Dave Meltzer say on WOR say that people on the ground level loved this did get me to think that this was a match that would have worked better in the 229 (see, I read the programme) ***¾
Also, someone tried to start a “Let's go Junior, Junior sucks” chant. More on him later.
I’ll be honest with you guys. This was my piss break then grab food and drink match and I wasn’t the only one.
A lot of people thought this was the match of the weekend. When we did our Q&A and asked the best match, it was a 50-50 split between this and the main event.
Had I been at the Q&A, I would have just asked “can you show us the Punk DM’s?”
Actually, I would have asked why he gave Bret vs Owen at Mania X ****¾ and War Games 1991 match the full 5 because I’m that guy.
Sometimes, you just need to bring out the greatest hits when performing and sometimes the greats find a great duet partner that will be a breakout star. Luke Jacobs is that great breakout star. Luke Jacobs is so good that he’ll probably end up being ruined by the potential NXT Europe project. He has that charisma. The moment when he showed frustration at Ishii doing Ishii things, he showed that he has IT, showing his desperation as he was getting weaker as the match went on, Jacobs' presence was something to behold and while this diamond still needs a little polish, he’s going to be the next big star from Britain along with Leon Slater. *****
And Jacobs should have won. With Ishii getting more L’s than W’s I singles matches, a Jacobs win would have worked and the crowd would have been OK with it as the “who are you” boos from the casuals that worshipped Ishii were replaced by a standing ovation for Jacobs when he walked off but it's Rev Pro and I guess New Japan guys "must pose" to quote a famous wrestling podcast.
Better known as the HARDCORE COUNTRY! match. The discourse afterwards on twitter, discord groups and amongst those on the train afterwards was how the minority that decided to yell the most prominent lyrics of Mickie James’ theme song ruined the match. Truth is the match wasn’t good enough to be ruined.
Also, let's be honest, had Mickie James not been in the match, Alex Windsor vs Hyan would have had a soundtrack of silence accompanying it and it wouldn't have been their fault. This match was harmed by its placement.
We all needed a cigarette break after Ishii/Jacobs and with quite a few already using up their toilet break allocation during the tag title match, people sat on their hands for the most part and some decided to yell Hardcore Country over and over again in a case of it stopped being funny after 30 seconds which is typical of British Banter humour.
Someone behind me (the Let’s go Junior…. guy), who might have been the guy who started the HARCORE COUNTRY chant, really wanted Mickie to win. He tried to get the “Hey Mickie….” chant going, he was very unhappy that Alex won. It just seemed that he wasn't intelligent enough to know how to properly support someone that he liked.
I read in the VOW Discord that match placement is a lost art and in a situation like this, that statement felt right. **½
On a weekend when Jeff Jarrett turned up during Zero Hour and Sting and Christian Cage shared a ring, the TNA tribute turned out to be this particular match.
A lot of people in our section thought Trent was the champion heading into the contest which makes sense with the fact that Trent entered the ring second and was called the holder of the title line during introductions.
The first half was OK to getting good but once it got overbooked, it not only was tiresome but it felt like it was in slow motion especially the bit with Oku’s partner Amira Blair and Trent and the tug of war with the belt. I personally couldn't help but laugh at when after Amira went through the table and in kayfabe everyone at ringside freaked out, the “shoot” paramedic who was there at ringside as part of the safety protocol sat there and watched despite everything that was going on. ***½
It would not surprise me if Michael Oku ends up getting the Cody in AEW/Cena treatment with the melodramatic match style that is now the Oku special. Fans have been notoriously harsh with talent that they think have either jumped the shark or not even capable of swimming with sharks and the moment fans start being sick of the style of match that Oku is currently putting out at big events, he might be on the receiving end of that harsh treatment.
With a couple of blown spots (Takagi being out of position for the Oscutter) which to be fair, Will coped well with like he did with the chaos in the final moments of the Naito match, this felt like the worst match Shingo and Ospreay have ever had. To quote Rich from the VOW flagship “this was the worst Shingo/Will match ****½”
Ospreay was Ospreay and Takagi was Takagi and it was really good. Our section was divided with duelling chants which with my love of both wrestlers, I just chanted “Let’s Go Ospreay, Let’s Go Shingo, which I know is the wrestling version of the half and half scarf but I may never see Shingo live and in person again. Ospreay though was a god in the building for the most part. If Ospreay had yelled I’m starting a cult and who wants cyanide, there would have been takers. When Chris Jericho, one of the greats turned up as a surprise, he was a very hated man because he went for Ospreay.
Also, on a side note, in a hot take that might get me chased, Gideon Grey is really great and was better in Ospreay’s corner on Saturday night than Don Callis was in Ospreay’s corner on Sunday.
As a first timer to Rev Pro this was a great show. Many others had the same experience as me, not only live but on streaming and this was the reverse of GCW’s breakout night at the Hammerstein which ended up doing more harm than good for the company.. This night made Rev Pro more interesting to a lot of people. When Rev Pro turns up in the West Midlands and hopefully promotes it better than they did last time they were in Birmingham, I’ll be there for sure.
Sunday morning saw me finally take in the Thames (****¾) and a Colombo movie (The Most Crucial Game) **** before I headed to Wembley.
The plan was clear according to Google Maps. Walk to Chiswick Business Park, catch a bus to Wembley High Street then walk the rest. As someone who has lived his life in Solihull and travelled round Birmingham with my nearest train station being a 45 minute walk away, I have grown up with buses and seen them as part of my life as much as food, drink and wrestling. So a bus into Wembley in a strange town like London was a comfort blanket to me.
After waiting 20 minutes, the bus came. I asked if it goes to Wembley
“No,” said the bus driver.
“But the google maps said this does go to Wembley”
“What does the sign on the bus say”
I checked. It says Stonebridge Park. As someone who had no idea what a Stonebridge Park was, I asked questions about where I needed to go
“Fucking hell, go away mate” was the bus driver’s helpful response
Cue an anxiety attack.
A helpful nearby citizen pointed me to the nearest tube station in Acton but of course I got lost, cue an extension of the anxiety attack. Luckily another helpful citizen helped me further and with the colours of the tube map helping me out, I got to Willesden Junction, saw wrestling shirts and I got the train to Wembley Central and I was breathing the air of Wembley.
For the next 90-120 minutes, I got the food I needed (KFC) the Robinsons drink I needed (a self-proclaimed wrestling YouTuber who I had never heard off actually used the “Do You know who I am” card to the newsagent I bought the drink from) I saw the queue at the merch stand and went “nope”. I then met some people in the wrestling space for the first time which was cool and then I was ready to queue
British wrestling fans do not know queuing etiquette. I saw new queues branching from from existing queues, I saw other queues trying to cut other queues. It took forever for the queue to move. I was expecting the show to be moved back to an hour late like Premier League matches sometimes are when there are ticketing problems but that probably would have seen Punk try to punch more people. Eventually I got to the scanner and in the longest five seconds, I waited for the light to go green and it did. The relief was something I can’t describe. I was really All In.
Seeing Wembley Stadium in it’s glory with a wrestling ring in the middle of it is something I explain in greater detail in our AEWeekly Roundtable. But to see a ring in the middle of one of the world’s greatest stadiums is something I will never forget. Sending the text messages with my pictures and videos of Wembley with a wrestling ring to all my friends and my group chats to tell them more or less that “I’m watching wrestling at Wembley Stadium today with 80 odd thousand other people” was a moment of bragging I never thought I'd do. For this day, I was the coolest person on my group chat on this particular day.
Then the wrestling started and it was really great.
For the record, the London Bus System- MINUS FIVE STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A very basic tag match which saw MJF as the face in peril and Cole as the hot tag guy. Being live to see a double clothesline and what is basically a dropkick over the way it is in 2023 is rather special and is evidence to the claim that under the right circumstance you could get a headlock takeover over. ***¼
Lost in the aftereffects of “Brawl In” was that this was a very tidy match. Nice use of the weapons (including the limo) and the fun in-ring segment of the match made this good. Also during the match Jack Perry decided to tell us that his favourite Justin Timberlake song is "Cry Me A River" (that's what he was doing right?). I personally preferred his time in N*Sync (Pop is a tune) but each to their own I guess.***3/4
Rewatching this back on the ITV4 replay it’s even more apparent this match was all Joe. Whilst Punk was cosplaying Terry Funk, Hulk Hogan and John Cena and generally just taking the mickey Joe was having the time of his life wrestling in front whilst being pissed off from Punk doing Punk things in the moments before the show started and was carrying Punk. ***3/4
With the end making perfect sense in the story of Punk and Joe with Punk finally beating Joe with his ROH finisher, the Pepsi Plunge, which does make the Punk beating Joe on Collision via pinning combo booking decision even weirder, the first thought from those inside Wembley would be “what next” but it was “what before” that will be the story of the what be the final chapter of the story of CM Punk.
While the story of what happened in the Wembley tunnel area depended at first on who Punk called up and who of those will publish without second sourcing, fragments of the real story came out with maybe the help of the cameras in the Wembley tunnel and with the facts on hand, Tony Khan cut the cord and Punk in AEW was no more.
There is a chance I was one of multiple tens of thousands to watch Punk’s last ever match. On the rewatch you can see Punk say the words “goodbye”. He knew that on a night that multiple “you f***** up” chants rang through the stadium that he himself committed the biggest f up in the stadium since Gareth Southgate’s tactics in the Euro 2020 final.
If this is Punk’s Last Dance, he wasn’t Michael Jordan in the end, he was Ron Artest and maybe he shouldn’t thank his psychiatrist like Meta World Peace once famously did because to quote a former World Champion
"Let's be honest, Jungle Boy doesn't rub anyone the wrong way, if you have a problem with Jungle Boy, chances are, you're the problem"
To be honest, this was a house show match until Hangman’s hot tag which was incredible live. Once the match got going, it was really fun.
In the Captain Obvious of all Captain Obvious statements, Kenny Omega is fantastic to see live and Jay White was magnificent in this but the 2023 version of Kota Ibushi is never going to live up to the 2018 variant but what will, to be honest. Injuries and illness have affected Kota but I got to see Kota live and if I get to watch part-time Kota teaming with his Golden Lover once every so often, yeah, I’ll take it. It’s worked wonders for Sting. ****
This was the worst of their trilogy ****¾
See what I did there.
Bucks/FTR was fantastic. The only problem was that their previous two matches were 5 stars in my Book of Ratings. So what was “wrong” with this when everything was so right in I and II?
Nothing much to be fair. It just didn’t have the magic of the previous two matches from the pair. It wasn’t the love letter to tag team wrestling that the Daily’s Place match was and it wasn’t one of the great face/heel dynamic tag team matches of all time that happened in Boston. It was just a great match.
That sounds rather stupid doesn’t it
It was the best wrestling match in the history of Wembley Stadium but when compared to the previous two this match was to the FTR/Bucks Trilogy what The Two Towers was to the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.
This was basically the same as Anarchy in the Arena, except it was in a stadium.
Had it been like the first Stadium Stampede the “TK has bought all the tickets” conspiracy theory would have actually been true.
This felt better in my living room than it did in the stadium. Mainly because it was so chaotic that it was difficult to watch live. The tv version showed the chaos was a little more organised and less sensory overload than it looked like in person. There were many highlights in the match
Moxley having skewers dug into his head in the same spot where Nobby Stiles was dancing with the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Kingston and Claudio having the second fight in the gorilla position on this night.
Eddie doing a sequel to the zombie walk during Anarchy in The Arena last year.
Getting to see the devastating kicks from Orange
Finally hearing the word “Sue” under the Wembley arch (Did you know that Cristiano Ronaldo has never scored in 90/120 minutes at Wembley Stadium)
But the best thing about this match was Orange Cassidy’s performance. The vicious abuse he took from Moxley (who is a visceral experience live) and co and the selling we saw was really good. When the Top Ten WOTY lists are compiled at the end of the year, this match will be Evidence A for Orange’s case.
While there were negatives in the match with lots of spots not coming off thanks to slipping and plenty of redo's and a lot of people were confused about the Penta Oscuro spot live, in a match where violence was advertised, Stadium Stampede did do what it said on the tin. ****
The entrances looked magical in person and on tv. Baker looked every bit the star that those in charge of AEW hoped she would be upon the promotion’s birth. I hope Toni Storm keeps God Save The Queen (it’s now King of course but still) as it suits her wonderful new character and in the second of the three Queen references on the night (in an alternate universe we could have got Tony Khan as Planet Earth’s foremost Freddie Mercury historian) Saraya came out to We Will Rock You with her family (would have preferred Nick Frost and Lena Headey to have come out instead to be honest)
As for the match. It was great for the time they had. They worked really hard, the crowd were with them and told a very interesting story with the cracks in the Outcasts, a group formed out of convenience more than love collapsing at the smell of the AEW Women’s Title.
With some cool spots such as the stomp from Britt when Saraya had the PTO submission on and Shida’s defence of the Lockjaw in the match, the 8 minutes didn’t feel enough. The thing is though, what do you cut from the other eight matches? Writing this up, I don’t really know and while questions about the way the women of AEW are presented are absolutely justified.
Would it have hurt AEW to do a Women’s Casino Battle Royal during the two hour Zero Hour with Skye Blue, Ruby Soho and Emi Sakura in London plus you add the likes of Session Moth and Alex WIndsor and you could have had Mickie James in the Joker slot (actually, we would have probably had 5 hours of “HARDCORE COUNTRY” so scratch that idea)
There’s nothing apart from maybe the match winner and even then that is understandable with where we were, that you would change about the presentation of this 4-way. ***1/4
The highlight of this match was Sting’s British accent which made Dick Van Dyke sound like Frankie Fraser.
Seriously though, on watch back this was good. Live, our section took this match off mentally and with an ominous black cloud heading from Central London towards the stadium worrying those near me, the attention wasn’t 100% on this but on telly this was a very good watch. It was Sting’s best performance of the year and maybe since Forbidden Door last year and Darby and Christian were great as was Swerve but it mainly got me excited for Christian vs Darby should Darby win the TNT belt at All Out. ****
It might have been the best Casket/Coffin match ever that wasn't on Lucha Underground (Undertaker/Kama from Summerslam 95 is guilty pleasure of mine though)
The video I took of Jericho’s entrance is something that I would send friends on WhatsApp in the 24 hours after All In. It was something that told a lot of people that this thing called wrestling is really fun and cool.
Ospreay’s entrance at Wembley looked right. Elevated might a contender for the Rushmore of Wrestling Theme tunes best set for Big time Wrestling matches
An expected excellent match. Jericho came out with Fozzy playing and Jericho singing his way to the ring. This was the entertainment highlight of the show. Even though this show had a WrestleMania crowd, it didn’t feel like WrestleMania. It didn’t feel like WrestleKingdom.
Dave is right. It felt like an All In event
….this was a WrestleMania moment
Dave, I’m a fan. I've subscribed to your newsletter for years. You deserve your victory lap over the AEW backstage BS, I’ve defended you a lot when numbskulls on twitter are being numbskulls. Please can you never say those words again.
If a North American wrestling match and a modern day puro match had a baby it would look like Jericho vs Ospreay on this night.
It was really good but it could have been better had they had 5 minutes extra but as stated before what other match do you take time off from. I kind of wished we got the Wrestle Kingdom version of this match which the pandemic robbed us of. ****1/2
But with Ospreay being showcased on the eve of contract season which the ending of feels as predictable as getting lost in London, the Will Ospreay Is All Elite render will be a big moment for the company for those in the know that Will is on the way of being a Top Ten of all time but nights like this with the PPV buyrate seeming to be as big as it is will make Ospreay’s burst out of the traps as an official AEW roster member very easy.
With Rev Pro giving us Will's 28th *****+ rating from Meltzer, I guess I need to get going on this look at Ospreay's "achievement"
Nigel McGuiness would announce the 81,000 number to rapturous applause. I kinda expected Bryan Danielson to show up. Fightful told me that might happen. It didn’t. I was disappointed
A No Holds Barred match that had no-one waiting on the apron for a tag. This is already more than fine. ***
This was a victim of match placement. People went for a wee or for drink/food during this match. To be fair, I saw people heading for a beer during Bucks/FTR because let’s be honest Great Britain is a country full of alcoholics.
The match with a result more predictable than me getting an anxiety attack in London was secondary to the post-match. We ended up with the biggest scissor party in history. I scissored a lot of people at that time. I scissored the guy next to me, I scissored the drunk guy in front of me, I scissored a woman in front of her boyfriend, I scissored a woman on Wembley Way, I scissored multiple guys on the tube, I scissored somebody in my hote…. Actually I should stop now.
There is so much to say about this match
First off, when you bought your tickets for All In, did you think that MJF was the one you were wanting to win the main event?
Cole not seeing the funny side of MJF’s banter in the eye-poke would start the Cole control period and the escalation and the removal of the t-shirt getting a strong heel reaction and Cole showing the frustration that led to the big moves that enhanced the match (brainbuster on the steps and tombstone on the announce table) even when the MJF count-out spot made no sense, even more so when the announcers talked about the AEW World belt not changing hands via count-out a couple of minutes earlier.
The double clothesline spot was rather silly and the double pin did get heat but they were not ending “The Biggest Show in Wrestling History” on that and “we’re going until we get a winner at f****** Wembley” might have been the biggest pop of the night so it all worked.
Everything after was pure “sports entertainment” and while those words that begin with S and E might usually be like pineapple on a pizza for me, on this night, being in f****** Wembley Stadium (I’m guessing UEFA used that bit during the Champions League draw to advertise that the final for the 23/24 competition is at Wembley right?) with 80,000 like minded people around me, the final stanza of this match was an out of body experience and on the rewatch on ITV4, while the flaws I have mentioned above were even more obvious when not in the heat of the moment under the arch, the highs I experienced felt the same on my sofa and on the rewatch spending it with my dad, he loved every second of this.
This match divided opinion and not liking the Battle of Better Than You BayBay isn’t like not liking Omega/Ospreay at the Tokyo Dome. It wasn’t perfection, it had logic holes but as an experience in the stadium it was something else. ****¾
I guess that “Meltzer Live Tax" is really a thing.
A few had cottoned onto the logo on the bottom left of those big screens above the ring that All In in 2024 at Wembley was going to be a thing but Tony Khan making the announcement that we were doing it again next year got a Top 5 pop on the night. It was his crowning achievement as a promoter even if it has been overshadowed by the Muffin Man's antics.
Standing in front of 81,000 paying customers in a stadium his family had tried to buy around a decade ago, he was in that moment the owner of Wembley Stadium. His mistakes in the last 52 weeks, his weaknesses as a booker did not matter. The “Thank you Tony” chant was a thank you from those to TK who for one night put together a show that we could tell our friends about for years to come, to tell them that wrestling was cool after all.
As the masses left Wembley to head to wherever they were sleeping on Sunday night, you could not help but look forward and look back and see that accumulation of moving bodies. If you were lucky, you got the train back, if you weren't it was a long road to your bed but as you saw the mass exodus, one thing couldn't be shaken from my mind.
The "No. 2 company" in wrestling had held an event in Wembley Stadium. WCW never tried that, they never even held an event in the UK during their boom period (Eric Bischoff everybody) TNA could do a 5,000 attended show which was a very good feat but 80,000? That's impossible for a wrestling company that isn't WWE we all thought but it was possible because it had happened.
While the discourse of the week after was about one man and his disapproval of Jack Perry’s taste in Justin Timberlake songs and while this review of the weekend that was All In shows has fallen into the trap of talking about Punk (I could do a paragraph on what someone wearing a CM Punk shirt said to me on the walk back to the hotel with the resignation that Punk had made another whoopsie on the carpet) this week really should be about the unbelievable accomplishment of 81,000 filling one of the world's biggest stadiums to see a company that wasn't supposed to last a year according to some. AEW achieved something unfathomable. It was a moment that made being a wrestling fan for 30 years so justifiable.
All In weekend was the weekend that I realised that I wasn't alone in my love of wrestling. As I headed to Victoria Bus Station to take the bus back home, seeing people with wrestling shirts on who had been All In, many of them who like queuing better than I judging by the AEW shirts they were wearing, seeing them from the window of my seat as the coach navigated the streets of London, you knew that you weren't just not alone but there's a hell of a lot of us.
As we got off the coach at Digbeth, I said to the woman next to me who, like many on the same coach, had been All In “next year then?” and like many who I had wryly asked that questioned to in the previous 17 hours, she said “absolutely”
We then scissored.