Home AEW ‘All Out’ midcard review: Winners and losers, highlights and lowlights
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AEW ‘All Out’ midcard review: Winners and losers, highlights and lowlights

Chris Graham
ricky starks aew
Ricky Starks. Photo courtesy All Elite Wrestling.

CM Punk is the AEW world champ, as expected, and top heel MJF is back, also as expected. The Acclaimed, buried for two years, emerging as a top-tier tag team, maybe that wasn’t expected.

Here are the winners and losers, highlights and lowlights, from among the guys and gals in the midcard at Sunday’s “All Out.”

Winner: The Acclaimed

OK, yes, technically, The Acclaimed – Max Caster and Anthony Bowens – dropped the match with AEW tag champs Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland, but still, this match was the coming-out party for the upstarts.

Caster and Bowens have patiently worked their way into the upper part of the card through three years of working the YouTube shows, then blasting through that ceiling with their showing in the TV feud with the Gunn Club.

They looked like a team ready for prime time last night in what was easily the match of the night on the show.

Question now is: does Tony Khan forget them, with everything else he has going on?

Loser: Wardlow

The only title not defended last night was Wardlow’s TBS title, with the big man stuck in a meaningless (to him) trios match with FTR against the Motor City Machine Guns and Jay Lethal.

The prospect of FTR and the Machine Guns in a straight tag match is alluring, but for Wardlow, being grafted onto the side of this one is another reminder of how Khan has too much on his plate to try to keep up with everything.

Wardlow was the hottest star in the company following his win over MJF at “Double or Nothing.” His booking since has been nothing short of creative malpractice on the part of Khan.

Winner: John Silver and Alex Reynolds

Like The Acclaimed, Silver and Reynolds have starred for three years on AEW’s YouTube shows, and always look good in what are usually wins there.

It’s another thing entirely to look good in a trios match with two former singles world champs (Kenny Omega and Adam Page) and former tag champs The Young Bucks.

Silver and Reynolds may not get another chance to shine like they did last night, but for the one night, they looked like they belonged.

Loser: Athena

Athena got rushed into the TBS title match with Jade Cargill after the injury to Kris Statlander, who needed a fresh opponent, but the relatively convincing loss will do nothing for her moving forward, certainly.

Winner: Daniel Garcia

Kid didn’t even wrestle on the show, but by being inserted into the Bryan Danielson-Chris Jericho feud, which played out last night with Jericho getting the win after delivering a low blow, then a Judas Effect, Garcia is clearly being positioned for a big push, which he seems ready to take on.

Loser: Ricky Starks

Starks losing to Powerhouse Hobbs means Khan isn’t done with their feud, I guess, you have to hope, because otherwise, it means he’s done with the tiny bit of push he’d been teasing for Starks with his face turn.

Push: Stokely Hathaway

Hathaway was brought in to be the organizing piece for Jade Cargill, then branched off to start his own stable of dudes, recruiting the likes of the Gunn Club, Ethan Page, Lee Moriarity and W. Morrissey, basically, the Island of Misfit Toys.

Which is fine, but using this group to establish the return of MJF is akin to what Khan did in pairing Page with the Dark Order before and after his AEW title reigns.

MJF sure as heck doesn’t need a mouthpiece, which Hathaway is good at being, so, poor guy, as with Cargill, he’s just in the way again.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].