The chance to redefine the pro wrestling landscape takes place on Saturday night at the Sears Centre just outside Chicago, Illinois at All In.

By Justin Barrasso
September 01, 2018

The chance to redefine the pro wrestling landscape takes place on Saturday night at the Sears Centre just outside Chicago, Illinois at All In.

The show, which is set to draw over 10,000 paying customers from across the world and is available on pay per view, will showcase a wrestling alternative to the WWE product. The concept was envisioned, then manufactured into reality, by Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks’ Matt and Nick Jackson. The Zero Hour pre-show airs on WGN America at 6pm ET, followed by All In at 7pm ET.

“If we go out there and do our job, then I think we’ll wake up on September 2 and the entire business will be a different place,” said Matt Jackson. “This is bigger than us, it’s bigger than wrestling.”

Jackson believes that if All In is a bona fide success–generating a colossal rating on WGN America and following that up with a mammoth pay-per-view buy rate, as well as putting on a critically-acclaimed show–it could change pro wrestling’s hiring process and parts of the entire infrastructure.

“This one show could change everything,” said Jackson. “Now we just have to go out and deliver.”

The eight-match card, featuring the Bucks teaming with New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kota Ibushi against wrestling legend Rey Mysterio in a six-man tag, as well “The Villain” Marty Scurll battling “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada, is also attempting to give wrestling fans an alternative to WWE.

New Japan’s IWGP heavyweight champion Kenny Omega has stood for change his entire career, and he is grateful to be part of such a compelling alternative at All In in his highly-anticipated match with Pentagon Jr.

“The feelings and the emotions and the belief that people have in me is what pushes me forward,” said Omega. “There are people who truly believe in me, and that’s what fuels me to continue to fight and to represent each and every one of them as the alternative at All In.

“All In serves as more of an indicator that, yes, people here on this planet we call earth are ready for a change, they’re willing to accept that there is more than one dog in town–more than one ‘Big Dog’ in town. There is a choice, and that shows that All In was a wonderful idea by Cody and the Young Bucks.”

Friday’s All In press conference included an official weigh-in for the two men facing off in the NWA world heavyweight title match, champion Nick Aldis and the challenger Cody Rhodes.

Rhodes weighed in at 206 pounds, over 30 pounds less than the 238-pound Aldis. The weigh-in put a spotlight on the story of the match, which is Rhodes’ uphill battle to reclaim the same title–proudly proclaimed by new NWA owner Billy Corgan as the most famous 10 pounds of gold in all of wrestling–last worn by his late father, the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, in August of 1986.

“All In is the party that wrestling needed right when it needed it,” said Rhodes. “I’m confident in the talent. I’m confident in Matt and Nick, I’m confident in myself, but the thing I don’t have to think about at all is the fans because they’ve been so incredible. Seeing what I’ve seen at Starrcast, I have no doubt All In is going to be the most fun show, wrestling-wise, of the year.”

The press conference, which included a $10,000 donation to PAWS Chicago animal shelter, included question-and-answer sessions with Hangman Page, “The Villain” Marty Scurll, Britt Baker, and a profanity-laced interruption from the self-proclaimed “Bad Boy” Joey Janela.

“This show means a lot to me,” acknowledged a more serious Janela, who will wrestle Hangman Page at All in. “Cody and the Bucks decided to self-finance a show of 10,000 people and sell it out–and they did. These guys are amazing; they’ve wrestled at Wrestle Kingdom in Japan, they’ve wrestled all over the world. So it’s an honor for me to also be a part of the first All In, and there is a lot at stake for me.”

Janela has a long and distinguished history of putting his body on the line to create outrageous moments in wrestling, and confirmed–for better or worse–that he is ready to do whatever it takes to give the crowd their money’s worth at All In.

“If I have to, I’ll kill myself out there trying,” said Janela. “I’ve killed myself at shows of only 40 people, and this one is going to be a lot bigger. I’m ready to take that to the next level at All In.”

After months of hype, the lofty vision of All In now turns into a reality.

“What we’re doing tomorrow is going to shock a lot of people,” said Jackson. “It’s a representation of what we think about the business. It’s our version of what we think this should be, and I hope everybody enjoys the show.”


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