When is the last time you watched any professional wrestling?
For me, it was just last week as I caught up on the SummerSlam weekend. It was a great weekend for pro wrestling. NXT TakeOver was a smashing success and SummerSlam was a long, strange mix of the best of times and the worst of times. As usual, the NXT show overshadowed the WWE main roster event and the following five hours of TV that came after was just as badly organized as we’ve come to expect.
I’ve taken a big break from watching pro wrestling. I used to watch all of the weekly programming: Impact, NXT, RAW, Smackdown, Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Ring of Honor (ROH). Slowly, as I started getting burned out, I scaled it back to just watching WWE Network Specials, NXT, NJPW and ROH. I thought this was a nice balance as my weekly input went from 11 to 15 hours a week down to 3 to 7 depending on if there was a Network Special.
That was still too much wrestling to keep up on.
I then stopped watching the weekly NJPW on AXS show because it was rehashes of the NJPWWorld events I would consume on demand. ROH became NJPW-lite and I started selectively watching matches that I wanted to see. WWE moved to two Network Specials a week so I started switched to only the big five yearly specials. NXT was my lone weekly programming.
That was still overwhelming. Between work life, home life and my hobbies, it was just too much to commit to.
Now, I only watch the big five WWE events, NXT Network Specials and select matches out of NJPW, ROH and Impact shows that happen to become noteworthy. Selective consumption ended up being a better use of my time despite the possibility of missing matches that might actually be worth watching. There was one other thing I started watching weekly because it involved one of my favorite NJPW factions and many of my favorite wrestlers at this point in time: Being The Elite.
Being The Elite is a web series that is produced by The Young Bucks. Who are The Young Bucks? We could talk at length about how they have changed the independent wrestling scene but all you need to know for the purpose of this discussion is that they’re two-thirds of The Elite, a faction within the Bullet Club faction that includes Kenny Omega. Being The Elite is a webseries that has allowed The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and the entire Bullet Club faction build matches and storylines and carry them from promotion to promotion without having to attempt to get TV time dedicated to their storylines.
Being The Elite gave depth and more story to matches that were going on in NJPW and ROH that involved Bullet Club. It enhanced tournaments like the G1 Climax or ROH Pay-Per-Views that happened to be going on with talent from the faction. It also allowed newcomers to the independent scene that joined with the faction to start making a name for themselves. It also gave veterans a platform to prove that they didn’t need the WWE machine to be considered a success.
Cody, who went as Cody Rhodes and Stardust in the WWE, joined Bullet Club as The American Nightmare. He was instantly a big deal in ROH and NJPW because of his name alone and added another element to a faction that was already going strong. While Cody has had a number of high profile matches and high profile wins and losses while in NJPW and ROH, he fit right in with the Bullet Club and the Being The Elite crew.
Cody and The Young Bucks wanted to revolutionize professional wrestling and clear a path for talents to get over on their own through grassroots efforts. Being The Elite was one of those pathways. Roughly 16 months ago, Dave Meltzer was asked if ROH could ever sell out Madison Square Garden or an arena with 10,000 seats. He said, “Not any time soon.” (see: https://twitter.com/davemeltzerWON/status/864544120227848192) Cody, who was only five months into his NJPW run, thought differently. He replied to Meltzer’s tweet, saying “I’ll take that bet Dave” (see: https://twitter.com/CodyRhodes/status/864546973461950465).
Meltzer was proven wrong in a big way. Over the next year, Cody and The Young Bucks started planning an event. An event that wasn’t going to be affiliated with a promotion, fill a 10,000 seat venue and prove Meltzer wrong. In May, tickets went on sale for an event called All In. All In is an independent supershow, being held at the Sears Center, in Chicago, IL. It sold out in just over 30 minutes. It drew a wrestling convention that is going to last all weekend and other independent shows going on around it. It has made Cody and The Young Bucks the talk of the independent wrestling scene. Not only did they sell out All In, independent of them ROH and NJPW booked Madison Square Garden over Wresltemania weekend. It sold out too.
All In happens this weekend. On Saturday, September 1, 2018, at 6 PM ET the event gets kicked off with a preshow called All In: Zero Hour. If you happen to have WGN America, you can watch it right on there. If you don’t have WGN, you can download the FITE app and watch live there too. The “main card” kicks off on iPPV via ROH’s Honor Club or the FITE app. One cool thing about the FITE app is that when I bought my ticket to the PPV, I instantly got a $40 credit. So, between getting a $15 welcome credit, the $40 All In credit and the $2 for connecting my twitter account to the FITE app, I have $57 in credit to use towards other ROH PPVs, Impact PPVs or other content as I see fit. If you happen to subscribe to NJPW World, it will also appear on their streaming platform on a yet-to-be-determined date.
Here is the All In Card:
All In: Zero Hour @ 6PM ET / 5PM CT on WGN America and the FITE app
- Over the Budget Battle Royale (15-person Battle Royale to determine who will face Jay Lethal on the main card)
- The Briscoes vs. SoCal Uncensored (SCU!)
All In @ 7PM ET / 6PM CT on the FITE app or ROH: Honor Club
- Christopher Daniels vs. Arrow’s Stephen Amell
- Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page
- Okada vs. Marty Scurll
- Rey Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido vs. The Golden Elite
- Madison Rayne vs. Britt Baker vs. Chelsea Green cs. Tessa Blanchard
- Jay Lethal (ROH World Champion) vs. the winner of the Over the Budget Battle Royale for the ROH World Championship
- Nick Aldis (NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion) vs. Cody Rhodes for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
- Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Champion) vs. Pentagon Jr.
To say this is a complete card would be wrong. Cody has said in a vlog of him documenting the progress on All In coming together said that there were one or two matches that were unannounced. Where do the fit on the card? We’ll all just need to tune in and find out.
To say that I am excited for what is going to be taking place on Saturday night would be an understatement. I haven’t been this excited for a wrestling show in some time. The grassroots effort the Cody and The Young Bucks have put into this has been nothing short of jaw dropping. Okada vs. Scurll will be a treat because it’s a heavyweight vs a junior heavyweight. Mysterio, Fenix and Bandido vs The Golden Elite will be a match to watch for because of the clashing styles of lucha libre vs. Kota’s strong style and the Buck’s flashy offense. The matchup that I am most looking forward to is Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr. I only know Pentagon’s work from Lucha Underground but the little bit that I had experienced was top notch. Omega, on the other hand, has been my favorite wrestler for the last three years running. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Kenny-Okada 1 through 4, seek that content out on NJPW World. They are four of the best matches you’ll ever see.
If you’ve gotten this far and actually read everything above, good job! If you went to the bottom of the post right away, all I want to say to you is this: WATCH ALL IN ON FITE OR ROH HONOR CLUB ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2018! (and if this happens to be after Sept 1, 2018, you can watch it on FITE via VOD or on NJPW World!)
x Jacob (PS: If you do sign up for FITE, my refer code is 227g2n4. Not that they’re sponsoring this or anything, but it does get me $15 in credits and you $15 in credits.)