From the Outside looking ALL IN by LPJ
I spent my childhood as an avid WWE and WCW fan but once I got to college wrestling faded away for me. I’ve peeked in from time to time just to get a feel for where the business is and to see who’s still left from my glory days (spoiler alert: not many). I’m also a rabid podcast fan, which I suppose make sense considering I host one (Last Action Podcast every Monday at 8:00 am wherever podcasts are found or on GamezillaMedia.com). Specifically Talk is Jericho and the Steve Austin show. Those two podcasts have been my window into the industry for the past 5 or so years and I don’t feel like I’ve really missed much by not avidly watching Raw and Smackdown each week. This past weekend, however, I know I missed out, but not on the mainstays. I missed out on what is quickly being considered one of the top 10 events in wrestling history: ALL IN.
ALL IN is brain child of Cody Rhodes and Matt and Nick Jackson (The Young Bucks). It’s historic in the sense that it’s the first non WWE/WCW event to sell out 10000 seats since 1993. They did it with no major financial backing or any real previous promoting experience. That alone elicits my deepest respect. The greater historic impact, however, is what they were able to accomplish with ALL IN. They showcased the best of all of what wresting has to offer from around the world and united multiple organizations in what I would consider the first true WrestleMania. Top stars from Ring of Honor, Impact, New Japan, and Lucha Underground, all competing against each other simply because they could. They weren’t beholden to a particular storyline or contract. They all got together for the love of what they do. A DIY wrestling show for 10K people and about a million more on PPV.
I was not one of the PPV audiences. I could have been but ended up not. I was able to see clips of the show and what I saw was awe-inspiring. Some the best wrestling I have ever seen. The best wrestlers in the world do not appear to be in the WWE. All of this reminds me of what happened in music in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. The radio was dominated by bands like Limp Bizket and Third Eye Blind. Disillusioned music fans, like myself, opted for the underground Emo and punk scene. The creation of Napster proliferated this movement and eventually the underground became the mainstream. Bands like Jimmy Eat World and Blink-182 became worldwide a phenomenon. Is that what we are seeing in ALL IN? Is this wrestling’s Napster? While’s it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison, the similarities are there. ALL IN has proven to the world that you don’t need a huge wrestling promotion to put on a great show. You just need the drive and the talent. Cody and the Bucks have both and future appears very bright for wrestling world.