A lot of words have already been written about ALL IN, the Young Bucks and Cody-produced mega-show. It sold an unprecedented 10,000+ tickets, unheard of for an indie show up until this point in history. It continues Nick, Matt and Cody's slow change of how wrestling storytelling works. And its card has been named incredibly underwhelming by a ton of critics.
I'm not going to break down the card too much, because I am not sure I will even be watching the show live on the 1st as I have a bunch of other Labor Day weekend plans. But all the critics that have ran down the card have missed the point. ALL IN sold out its entire ticket base without a single match announced. Just the roster of talent managed to do that. Being the Elite, the weekly show the Young Bucks produce every week, scores over 200,000 views every week from a subcriber list of approximately the same size. All it took was one twentieth of that base to make this event a rousing success.
Of course, those same people might decry that the same feat can't be repeated if ALL IN doesn't produce the biggest card possible. This of course ignores the fact that ROH and NJPW have just repeated the over 10,000 number for yet another show without a single announced talent. That show will come Wrestlemania weekend and will be at a venue that served as a WWE stronghold for four decades, Madison Square Garden. Times are changing, folks.
I question how many of these critics actually pay that much attention to the work the Young Bucks have put into the build on their weekly show. It always seemed likely the card would be built around matches for every member of the show's cast. Hence Cody fighting Nick Aldis for the NWA title, Hangman Page fighting Joey Janela, Marty Scurll getting a match against former IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada, the Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi teaming to take on a lucha trio consisting of Bandido, Rey Mysterio and Rey Fenix, and of course the once in a life time bout between Penta El Zero Miedo and Kenny Omega. They even built a storyline to give Stephen Amell his first singles match ever against a true ring general, Christopher Daniels. Jay Lethal has become a Being the Elite regular of late as well, so his ROH title defense doesn't come as a surprise, nor does the pre-show appearance of ROH stalwarts, the Briscoe Brothers. They built the show around people they know having battles with people fans want to see. And that's just what they're delivering, which is why all the talk of a lackluster card makes little sense.
|My pick for match of the night on September 1st.|
The show is a success by any metric before a single wrestler steps into the ring at the Sears Centre. Cody and the Young Bucks took a huge gamble, one that looks to pay off in major dividends come September 1st. And they have likely created the possibility of an independent super show for years ahead.
Independent wrestling has never been stronger in the United States. One way or the other, every fan that travels to a bingo hall or community center or armory to see their favorite stars needs to realize what this means for the industry they love enough to support on the smallest level. The sport of kings has a future even without WWE. And we should all be proud of that.