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Daniel Bryan Becomes All Elite at 'All Out'

CM Punk is back. And Daniel Bryan is now All Elite.

All Out went off the air with Bryan–now known by his real name of Bryan Danielson–getting the upper hand in a brawl against The Elite, which now features Adam Cole, who made his AEW debut just moments prior, shocking the crowd by turning heel. Danielson’s debut was nothing short of epic, instantly becoming one of the signature moments in AEW’s short yet illustrious history.

This was an outstanding pay-per-view from start to finish, with Danielson serving as the perfect exclamation point to close out a historic night in pro wrestling.

If Danielson wasn’t enough, Punk also defeated Darby Allin in his return to the wrestling ring at All Out, doing so in impressive fashion for someone that had not wrestled on that type of stage in over seven years.

As AEW continues to grow, Danielson and Punk represent the type of stars that can bring the company to the next level in terms of marketability, ratings, and international presence. Whatever Tony Khan is paying, it is worth it. There are so many intriguing matchups moving forward, with Bryan and Punk reason to watch every time they step on camera.

All Out surprises also included Ruby Soho and Minoru Suzuki. Suzuki arrived to bludgeon Jon Moxley, while Soho made her AEW debut and won the Casino Battle Royale. She brings another strong presence to AEW, and her arrival brought even more excitement to the show.

The pay-per-view also included a candidate for match of the year in the tag team title steel cage match, which pitted the Young Bucks against the Lucha Bros. With the victory, Penta and Fénix begin their first title run in AEW.

Here are the results from All Out:

  • Best Friends and The Jurassic Express defeated Hardy Family Office and The Hybrid 2 in a 10-man tag match on the pre-show
  • TNT Champion Miro defeated Eddie Kingston
  • Jon Moxley defeated Satoshi Kojima
  • AEW Women’s Champion Dr. Britt Baker defeated Kris Statlander
  • The Lucha Bros. defeat The Young Bucks in a steel cage to win the AEW tag team titles
  • Ruby Soho won the Casino Battle Royale, ensuring her a match for the AEW Women’s Championship
  • Chris Jericho defeated MJF by submission
  • CM Punk defeated Darby Allin
  • Paul Wight defeated QT Marshall
  • Kenny Omega defeated Christian Cage to retain the AEW title

The show opened with Miro extending his undefeated streak by defeating Eddie Kingston. The door was left open to continue their story, as Kingston appeared to have had the match won, until referee Bryce Remsburg was distracted trying to restore the padding on an exposed turnbuckle. The finish again leaned on referee interference—Remsburg prevented Kingston from hitting Miro’s head on the exposed turnbuckle, and Miro then used the opening for a low blow that set up the finish.

Jon Moxley and Satoshi Kojima delivered on their promise for a hard-hitting, high intensity affair. Two Paradigm Shifts by Moxley ended the match, and AEW did an excellent job paying tribute to all of Kojima’s accomplishments in wrestling. The aftermath saw a surprise appearance from Minoru Suzuki, who showed off his sadistic smile. Jim Ross added to the moment on the broadcast, recalling a breakfast he had with Suzuki in Tokyo where JR said he was so nervous in Suzuki’s presence he couldn’t even chew. Suzuki traded blows with Moxley before laying him out with a Gotch piledriver.

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Dr. Britt Baker delivered another excellent showing. She defeated Kris Statlander, seizing the crowd’s attention with a Pittsburgh Sunrise. There was just enough offense from Statlander, who also displayed heart when she kicked out of the Sunrise and the Stomp. She also took a tremendous beating from Baker, who was outstanding. This match was all about the next step in Baker’s ascent to stardom, and it succeeded–and it was also a fantastic bout.

The biggest disappointment of All Out was that PAC was unable to be part of the show to wrestle Andrade. Their match has been moved to this Friday’s Rampage, but there is no replacing the intensity and electricity of the live crowd from the pay per view. This was set to be Andrade’s first major moment in AEW, a chance to elevate himself to the top of the card, especially important as the talent pool continues to grow. Instead, all he received was a backstage interview, and this is a painful missed opportunity for him.

The match of the night was the tag title steel cage match. Penta and Fénix crowned themselves new tag team champions by defeating The Young Bucks in a match that was simply outstanding. The Bucks dominated the majority of the action, with Matt Jackson even hitting a superkick with a tack-filled sneaker. All four wrestlers had their share of highlights, particularly the Canadian Destroyer off the top rope from Penta. The momentum finally turned to the favor of Penta and Fénix, and the finishing sequence saw Fénix launch himself off the top of the cage with an insane crossbody onto the Bucks, leading to a tandem driver and a Penta pin for the victory. This was one of the greatest cage matches of all-time, 22 minutes of pure brilliance, and appointment-viewing for all wrestling fans.

The Casino Battle Royale had the unfortunate distinction of following the cage match, but it still delivered. The newly-arrived Ruby Soho and Thunder Rosa closed out the match, with Soho winning. Soho—who was Ruby Riott in WWE—is an important addition for AEW. A wrestler that possesses a great blend of precision, presence and experience, Soho should make a compelling opponent for Dr. Britt Baker. She never quite fit in WWE, but she is a big acquisition for AEW.

In another high-stakes match, MJF appeared to have defeated Chris Jericho, which meant Jericho could no longer wrestle in AEW. But Jericho’s foot was on the bottom rope. So the match restarted, and Jericho emerged victorious by submission with the Lion Tamer. This was one of the first upsets of the night, as I thought AEW could have gotten a lot of mileage out of MJF proclaiming himself as the man that ended Jericho’s run in AEW.

Following that match, all eyes were on CM Punk, who returned to the ring for the first time in seven-and-a-half years. Showing off a new look with tights instead of his trademark trunks, Punk’s return to the ring was full of emotion. The match built at a steady pace. The finishing sequence was back and forth, and this was where Punk showed off his best work. Punk’s homecoming was complete with his second GTS of the night, and he then exchanged handshakes after the win with Sting and Allin. For AEW, it is such a game-changer to have Punk.

Before the main event, Paul Wight made quick work of QT Marshall. This was Wight’s in-ring debut for AEW, and while the giant has lost a step, he played all of his greatest hits, ending the match with a chokeslam.

In the main event, Kenny Omega and Christian Cage wrestled for the AEW title. This was a hard-fought match, and Omega hit the One-Winged Angel from the second rope. It certainly had its share of captivating moments, but there was constant speculation hovering over the match about what would happen with post-match surprises.

As Omega celebrated his win in the ring with The Elite, a brawl ensued between The Elite and The Jurassic Express. The crowd began chanting “Yes!”, which is when Omega grabbed the microphone and said that the only people that could beat him either weren’t in AEW, were retired, or dead. The lights then went out, and Adam Cole, who The Elite long joked was dead after he signed with WWE, arrived. Cole then surprisingly superkicked Jungle Boy, joining The Elite.

Omega began to close out the show, until Danielson arrived—forever changing the trajectory of AEW and all of pro wrestling.

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.

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