Saturday, September 1st was a momentous night in pro wrestling that had nothing to do with conglomerate World Wrestling Entertainment. Ex-WWE star Cody Rhodes left the company in 2016 and has been on fire since then. His career has gotten better since joining ROH and NJPW, having classic matches with many great talents and forging bonds with independent stars such as The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and much of Bullet Club.
That bond was taken to newer heights when it was announced earlier this year that Cody and his friends would be self-funding their very own independent wrestling show. The Sears Centre in Chicago sold out in minutes as many fans urged for a streaming service to pick up ALL IN. Fortunately, Cody listened to the fans and granted their wishes. Some streaming services, such as the FITE app, would televise the historic event. The next thing Cody and the Young Bucks tackled was talent.
Which wrestlers would be ALL IN?
Stephen Amell vs. Christopher Daniels
The actor, who has wrestled a few times on the independent scene and even WWE, was met with positive reactions by the crowd as he wrestled an amazing matchup. Of course, the best moment in the match involved a table. It's Chicago, after all.
Kenny Omega vs Penta El Zero
Another big matchup that night involved great wrestlers from different backgrounds. Lucha Libre's biggest star, Pentagon Jr. (Penta El Zero) faced off against the Bout Machine from New Japan and current IWGP Champion, Kenny Omega. The fight itself included hard-hitting moves, technical prowess, and just great chemistry all around. The best part (or, the millionth-best part) of the match was a surprise appearance of one of the GOATs of pro wrestling.
The most interesting match of ALL IN involved the figurehead behind it, though.
Cody vs Nick Aldis (NWA Championship Match)
Led to the ring by close friends Tommy Dreamer, DDP, Glacier, and wife Brandi Rhodes, Cody was vying for a championship that his father, Dusty Rhodes, fought for years before. Announced earlier this year, NWA champ Nick Aldis (Magnus for any TNA fans) faced Cody in a back-and-forth match that (SPOILER) saw Cody win the same championship held by Ric Flair, Terry Funk, and his own father.
ALL IN became a recognizable night for independent wrestling. Instead of being a WWE or WCW or even ECW kind of pay-per-view, the event itself revolutionized indie wrestling. It doesn't have to follow the guidelines or play 'catch-up' to WWE storytelling, but in fact be the alternative to wrestling fans who want something better than PG-rated wrestling.