Tonight sees AEW’s latest PPV, All Out. While the big drawing point for many is the return of CM Punk to the ring after a seven-year absence, this is a top drawer professional wrestling show from opening to bell to whatever will close the night (which may very include the arrival of one Bryan Danielson). On that note, Sachin Hingoo, the returning Jeffery X Martin, and yours truly thought we’d offer up our predictions for the show:
CM Punk vs Darby Allin:
Andy Burns: CM Punk should win this as it’s his first match back and it’s in his hometown. I’d expect the two of them to be evenly matched, with Punk possibly pulling out a surprise GTS after a gruelling battle.
Jeffery X Martin: I don’t think it matters who wins this match because there aren’t any real stakes. No title on the line, no stipulations. We just want to see Punk lay in his shots after seven years out of the game. That being said, I think Punk will pull out a win.
Sachin Hingoo: I think Punk takes this in a squeaker. Based on what he’s been saying, Punk wants to help get the young talent in AEW to the next level, so expect a grueling match where Darby gives it his all but comes up just short. I’m hoping to see a Coffin Drop countered into an Anaconda Vice.
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Christian Cage:
AB: Omega and Christian had an outstanding battle on the debut episode of Rampage, with Christian pulling out the win and taking the TNA belt. There’s too many great headline matches for Omega to lose the top title in AEW. I think he’ll stay on top, by any means necessary.
JXM: Cage winning the World Championship would be a great cap to his return story. But if he wins, and I think he will, I doubt he will keep the title for long. Go ahead and blame Don Callis for that.
SH: Another great match with an all but foregone conclusion. This will be Omega’s night, but not without major shenanigans from the Elite.
Chris Jericho vs. MJF (Chris Jericho must retire if he loses):
AB: I’m not a fan of this stipulation, and I’m not a fan of Jericho “retiring” either. I think we could see him pull out the Painmaker persona and go to town on MJF, and finally manage to pin Maxwell’s shoulders to the mat.
JXM: In a non-kayfabe sense, we know Le Champion has stuff to do. The Fozzy tour, the COVID cruise… he’s a busy dude. But as far as this feud goes, I think we need to see Jericho go over MJF and end this chapter in both of their careers. It will be a good match, though. Expect Jericho to bleed.
SH: I’ve gone back and forth on this one, and I’ve landed on Jericho pulling it out. They’ve already floated the retirement angle but I think it’s just a little too early to pull the trigger on Le Champion. I’d like to see Jericho win and put MJF through his own set of ‘labours’ in order to earn a final match down the line, which Jericho could lose.
AEW World Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match: Young Bucks (c) vs. Lucha Bros.:
AB: I expect so much high-flying action here that I won’t know where to look. At the end of the day, I like The Young Bucks as champions and I think there are a lot of teams that could benefit from chasing them. They retain.
JXM: This is one of the matches I’m looking forward to the most. The Bucks and the Bros are two of the best tag teams in the company, and there will be “flippy shit” galore. I don’t think the Bucks are going to drop the titles tonight. It wouldn’t surprise me if Brandon Cutler is hiding under the ring when the cage drops to cold spray the Bros in their respective faces. Bucks retain through some creative interference.
SH: Looking at this card, it seems heavy on heel wins, and this match is the best candidate for a surprise title change. The history and chemistry between the teams is there, and the Bros as champs offers a set of interesting new matches. My pick is the Lucha Bros in the match of the night, barring Fenix killing himself jumping off that damn cage.
Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima:
AB: As someone who doesn’t know anything about Kojima (don’t @ me), this is the match I’m least interested in, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see these two do battle, with Mox ultimately coming out on top.
JXM: Non-NJPW fans may not understand what kind of monster Kojima can be. Mox is going to have to get Kojima over with the American crowd. I think this match starts as a technical wrestling workshop before becoming an all-out brawl. Mox wins, because America, but Kojima will definitely get a few lariats in there. It’s going to be a fun match. In my dreams, the All Out crowd welcomes Kojima by throwing bread at the ring.
SH: Mox is going to bring everything to this fight and brutalize Kojima. I think we’re on the road to a heel turn for Mox and having him go ham on a bonafide legend would be a great start. Maybe we get a surprise run-in or video from Tanahashi, who they’re clearly building as a major challenge for Mox in the short term. Sorry, Bread Club.
AEW Women’s World Championship: Britt Baker (c) vs. Kris Statlander:
AB: There’s no way Dr. Britt Baker DMD is not winning this one, though she’ll definitely face a challenge from Statlander. Maybe the good doctor will end up getting a little help from a notable free agent out there.
JXM: Statlander is a beast, and this is going to be a tremendous match. I see Statlander pushing the good Doctor to her limits, but Baker is going to win this one. After all, we have to start a program between Baker and that one person who may or may not show up that I don’t think we’re supposed to talk about Ruby Soho oh no I said the words.
SH: Kris has stepped up her in-ring game a lot since her return, but she’s not quite there as a champ for me. Britt is one of the biggest stars in the company and its way too early for her to drop the strap. My biggest intrigue going into this one is the staredown with her next challenger and winner of the Casino Battle Royal, whether that’s Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, or someone else.
AEW TNT Championship: Miro (c) vs. Eddie Kingston
AB: I’m super excited for this match. Miro has been dominating in the ring and his promos have been gold. I’m only discovered The Mad King since his AEW arrival, and the more I watch him, the more compelling he becomes. Miro’s not done as TNT champ yet, so I think he’ll retain the title tonight, with a setup for further battles with Kingston.
JXM: My gods, do I love the Mad King. Kingston is over with the fans and he’s a freakin’ pit bull in the ring. I’m betting on Kingston to take the title from Miro, but that’s probably just me wanting to hear promos from Miro wondering why God has abandoned him.
SH: This should be an absolute war, but God’s Favourite Champion wins this one, maybe with some assistance from a certain flexible wife. Eddie will have his day, but I think even he would prefer that to happen in the Big Apple. Maybe at Arthur Ashe in a few weeks?
Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall:
AB: I’m expecting a PCP from Wight – Punch. Choke slam. Pin.
JXM: It feels like this is the flexible match of the night. If the Battle Royal goes over time, then Wight squashes Marshall. If they need to pad the show out, then Wight still goes over Marshall. It will just take longer. Regardless, Wight goes over Marshall.
SH: This is mostly a showcase for Tall Paul and I’m expecting him to dispatch the Nightmare Factory and the Gunn Club in short order. That being said, I don’t want to see Paul wrestling regularly, outside of showcase matches, so I hope he gives the rub to someone that’s already on the active roster to continue a program with QT and The Gunns (which is also the name of my swing band).
21-Woman Casino Battle Royale:
AB: I think this is where we’ll see Ruby Soho make her debut and win the whole thing. Yes, there are many deserving competitors entering the match (love you, The Bunny), but I’d expect Soho to make a big splash to mark her arrival and demonstrate that she’ll be just fine with her future endeavours.
JXM: I’m super glad this match got moved to the main card but this is going to be too good to give away. The Women’s Division has improved by leaps and bounds over the past six months. I’m expecting great showings from Jade Cargill, Jamie Hayter and Legit Leyla Hirsch. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing Abadon crawl into the ring and freak everybody out. I think Abadon is great, end of story. But I think most fans are pretty sure that Ruby Soho is going to be the wild card and come out on top. I’m fine with that.
SH: To me, there’s only three potential winners here: Thunder Rosa, Jade Cargill, or a debuting Ruby Soho. Jade is definitely going to be a champion and star for the company but #ThatB needs a little seasoning first. I’d like to see her feud with Nyla before she goes for the women’s championship. Rosa is a safe choice to win, has beaten Britt before, and in my opinion should be the next champion in early 2022. Do they start building that now, or hold off? And then there’s Ruby. She’s the kick in the pants this division needs and her debut might be enough, even if she doesn’t win. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say she comes close but doesn’t quite pull it out, setting up an interim feud before she gets to DMD. Prediction: Rosa
Orange Cassidy, Wheeler Yuta, Chuck Taylor and Jurassic Express vs. Matt Hardy, Private Party and TH2
AB: I don’t envision the Buy In kicking off All Out on a downer, so expect to see Cassidy, Yuta, Taylor and Jurassic Express take the win with a lot of singing after the bell. The big question is – will Jungle Boy have learnt the words to “Thank You For Being A Friend” by tonight?
JXM: People are sleeping on TH2. They may be the best midcard tag team in AEW right now, so expect some sweet glory in the ring from those guys. That being said, Best Friends are incredibly fun to watch, even without Trent Baretta (get better, Trentylocks). Orange Cassidy is the best comedy wrestler in years. Even with his laid-back schtick, that kid can go. Best Friends and Jurassic Express will take this match, perhaps furthering a potential program between Freshly Squeezed and Big Money Matt Hardy.
SH: This one is meant to get some last minute buys for the show, and Hardy’s goons winning would be a major downer. This one goes to the Friends and Friends, sending the crowd into the show happy and maybe catalysing a fracturing of the bloated Hardy Family Office.