Chris Jericho Crowned First All Elite Wrestling Champion, Capping off Historic 'All Out' Pay-Per-View

Chris Jericho AEW
James Musselwhite/AEW

All Elite Wrestling crowned its first ever heavyweight champion in Chris Jericho at the All Out pay-per-view August 31 in Chicago. The former WWE superstar and Fozzy lead singer celebrated his historic win over a game Hangman Page as blood poured down his face. The veteran performer will now go into AEW’s debut on TNT in October leading the revolution, gold around his waist. He wasn’t the only person to make history. The trailblazing Aubrey Edwards became the first female referee to officiate a main event world title match.

They say in pro wrestling, there is more money in the hero chasing the title. All signs are that we’ll see this play out in the coming months. He may also need to keep an eye out for PAC. Even though Page didn’t walk away with the hardware, the emerging star did headline his first PPV with the family watching live in person. That’s winning in my book.

Captain Rhodes

Cody Rhodes got revenge over Shawn Spears in a match that sprinkled in some Four Horsemen nostalgia. First, the legendary Tully Blanchard seconded Spears ringside, interfering on more than one occasion. Rhodes’ backup MJF attempted to stop the Hall of Famer. Though it was the surprising appearance of Blanchard’s former tag partner Arn Anderson that really made the difference.

“The Enforcer” brought the sold-out Sears Centre Arena to their feet delivering a signature spinebuster on Spears. It’s also worth noting Spears’ icy contacts looked something out of Game of Thrones and the Nigh King. By the same token, Rhodes went for a more Star Trek them complete with a belt with “The Captain” on it. His wife Brandi, MJF and Diamond Dallas Page got in on the fun wearing Starfleet and other Trek inspired attire. Beloved dog Pharaoh also got some screen time but was clearly not a fan of the pyro set off during the entrance. Perhaps he will re-negotiate his contract to have that taken out of any dates he books moving forward.

Tag Team War

The Lucha Brothers and Young Bucks always deliver and brought something special to their ladder match for the AAA tag team championship. There appeared to be a high level of trust between Matt and Nick Jackson and Pentagon and Fenix as there were some death-defying sequences throughout. This was expected by those familiar with their work, but I don’t think to the extent they took things. Nick took an especially hard fall from the ladder through a table placed on the outside.  Fenix and Pentagon Jr. weren’t able to celebrate retaining the titles for long as the former LAX, Santana and Ortiz, made their presence felt. The duo are sure to give the AEW tag division a big shot in the arm.

AEW Women’s Title Match Set

The Buy In preshow kicked off with Nyla Rose overcoming 20 others to earn a slot in the women’s championship match on the first AEW on TNT show. Rose started and finished the Casino Battle Royale, lastly eliminating Britt Baker. This was a great showcase for the talent that the company could be featuring regularly each week.

The field included Awesome Kong, Leva Bates, Allie, Brandi Rhodes, Sadie Gibbs and Bea Priestley. Tenille Dashwood, who recently signed with Impact Wrestling, surprised fans with an appearance. AEW also sprinkled in some familiar faces like Jazz, ODB, Ivelisse and veteran Mercedes Martinez in the coveted Joker’s spot. Here’s hoping many of these names continue on with the company.

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Later in the evening, Rose’s opponent for the women’s championship was decided when Riho overcame Hikaru Shida. This is an underdog story that is sure to continue in a scenario with a much bigger adversary in the “Native Beast.” The stage is now set with either Rose or Riho emerging the inaugural AEW women’s championship.

The Bastard

PAC surprised many fans by choking out Kenny Omega with his Brutalizer submission hold. After a staph infection took Jon Moxley out of a grudge match against Omega, the former WWE superstar stepped in to take his place. The “Best Bout Machine” was put to sleep, but not before leaving his mark on PAC’s chest. The fact Omega was never pinned or tapped out leaves the door open for round two, which based on how good this first-time encounter was, would be welcome. Talk about an effective way to make an impact right out of the gate.

Cracker Barrel Clash

It’s the first- time biscuits may have been used in a pro wrestling match. Jimmy Havoc, Darby Allin and Joey Janela gave fans a unique hardcore style battle that involved some unique tools of destruction. One impressive spot saw Allin break out his skateboard, which he used to drive thumbtacks in the back of Janela. Sponsor Cracker Barrel provided branded barrels that did not survive when brought into play. Havoc pinned Janela when the dust cleared. Not bad for someone who began the match with a taped mouthful of thumbtacks.

Ones to Watch

A vignette teased the imposing Wardlow was coming soon. The anticipated Orange Cassidy came in freshly squeezed to back up the Best Friends after they were defeated by the Dark Order. The victors wasn’t satisfied with just getting a bye in the tag team title tournament. However, when the lights came back up in the arean it was Cassidy who appeared saving Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta.

Luchasaurus once again proved a future viable main event star for AEW with an incredible showing along with his Jurassic Express teammates Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt. The near 7-footer can move as well as someone a quarter of his size. The trio came out on the losing end against SCU, but wow, the future looks bright for this untapped potential. Finally, when it comes to tag teams the Private Party had another strong outing overcoming Angelico and Jack Evans. Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen are ready for prime-time.

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AEW premieres on TNT October 2 at 8/7c

AEW’s next Pay-Per-View is Full Gear on November 9 at 8/7c