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8 Reasons 'All In' Is Already A Groundbreaking Wrestling Event

"Now the show can't suck."

If you glance at the subheading of this article, you'll see Cody's hilariously uneasy quote in the most recent 'Being The Elite' episode. Although it's clearly tongue-in-cheek, the fact remains that the build to All In has already given the event a place in wrestling immortality.

Of course we're still several months away from the show, but its construction has captivated the wrestling world throughout 2018 - from the visually unique marketing campaign to several running gags (the mystery venue, Flip Gordon's desperation to be on the show, and so on).

Astonishingly, only one bout has so far been announced for September 1, but All In has genuinely been about everything other than the matches. It sounds like a ludicrous statement to make about a pro wrestling show - even WrestleMania has fans obsessively pouring over the card months in advance, despite its status as a business-transcending mega-event.

But in the case of Cody and the Bucks' brainchild, such a proclamation rings entirely true. Whether we see a barn-burner in Chicago or not, the very concept of All In has taken on a life of its own months in advance.

Let's take a look at the biggest reasons for this - the reasons All In is already a groundbreaking wrestling event. And it's only May.

8. Lightning Fast Ticket Sales


Cody Rhodes/Twitter


Let's start with the most recent factor - and the reason All In has dominated wrestling headlines over the past few days. Tickets for the show sold out in less than half an hour, easily achieving Cody and the Bucks' goal way ahead of time.

The whole event was sparked into life by a desire to prove Dave Meltzer wrong - the head-honcho of wrestling journalism had previously claimed a ROH show couldn't draw 10,000 fans. Cody took this as a challenge, provided himself and the Young Bucks were on the card and they had three months to promote.

Soon after, the concept of the (then-unnamed) show evolved into an entirely stand-alone event, unaffiliated with any wrestling promotion.

In surpassing Meltzer's target (in an astonishingly short space of time), All In will become the first non-WWE show to sell 10,000 tickets in the United States since the death of WCW.

7. A Uniquely Independent Show


Cody Rhodes/Twitter


As mentioned, All In isn't just an independent show in the non-WWE sense. It's also free of official ties to any promotion.

Of course, substantial chunks of the announced line-up have come from the rosters of Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling - the promotions in which Cody and the Bucks ply their trade - but that shouldn't take away from the unique nature of All In.

To use WWE as a point of contrast, this becomes clear. Since the end of the Monday Night Wars, it could be argued that WWE shows aren't sold on the names appearing, but on the company name itself - a phenomenon which has only increased throughout the 21st century, since the megastars of the Attitude Era have faded away.

In a peculiar way, All In almost stands for independent wrestling itself - albeit an incredibly popular, bigger budget version of independent wrestler. It's the show equivalent of Bullet Club, a success built in spite of (and perhaps because of) its distance from WWE.

6. Modern-Age Marketing


All In/Twitter


There's little doubt that All In wouldn't have done nearly as well in terms of ticket sales were it not for Cody and the Bucks' savvy use of social media. No wrestling show has embraced the internet as fully and cleverly.

Not that it should come as a surprise, given the names steering the ship. Long before Bullet Club resembled the multi-platform phenomenon it is today, Matt and Nick Jackson were already renowned for their hilarious, fourth wall-breaking presence on Twitter.

Cody is similarly internet-friendly, given his high-profile departure from WWE. His initial run on the independent scene was expertly marketed; remember his list of dream opponents?

As such, it makes sense that All In was marketed very well indeed. The simple (but unique) style of revealing names - as well as the bold aesthetic accompanying such announcements - has all been designed to generate hype and catch the eye.

5. Not Built On Matches, Or Even Individuals


WWE


As mentioned in the introduction, only one match has so far been announced for All In. Despite this, the immediate ticket sales seem to imply that fans are attending the show regardless of any potential card.

Despite the announcement of several huge names - from the household name of Rey Mysterio to NJPW ace Kazuchika Okada - I'm not even sure it's fair to label this a show built on name value either.

The appeal of All In lies not in its roster, but rather the atmosphere cultivated by that group of individuals. Yes, people will always buy tickets to see Mysterio or the Bullet Club, but the quick success of All In signifies something greater.

Admittedly, marketing a show blind isn't a unique concept. Promotions like PWG and PROGRESS do so on an annual basis, announcing no matches in advance. However, in tapping into the passion of independent wrestling fans, Cody and the Bucks have (perhaps unintentionally) taken this concept further. They've created a movement rather than a supercard.

4. New And Old School, Combined


All In/Twitter


At first glance (and, indeed, as I may have been guilty of suggesting in this list) All In seems like an entirely new-age show. No promotion, unique marketing, Bullet Club-affiliated - it carries all the ingredients of a completely modern wrestling show.

However, a key part of the event's appeal lies in its old school flavour. Even the name itself can be linked to an old British term for professional wrestling, a semi-pejorative reference to the seemingly lawless nature of the sport.

Similarly, the only match announced so far will see Cody challenge Nick Aldis for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship - the oldest surviving pro wrestling championship, and one inextricably linked to the legacy of his legendary father who was a three-time holder of the title.

3. Big Time + Indy Factor = Totally Unique Atmosphere


All In/Twitter


Another unique combination that has set All In totally apart is its blend of big time razzle-dazzle and that intangible independent cool factor.

The event's origin naturally lends it a punk rock, DIY vibe - three wrestlers taking it upon themselves to put on a landmark show, free of history, promoters, and of course, WWE's global reach.

With that said, it's impossible to ignore the event's massive feel. The names are there: Mysterio, Okada, Omega, various Bullet Club members, and so on. The complicated Bullet Club civil war will surely come to a head on September 1 too, arguably the biggest non-WWE storyline in pro wrestling right now.

It's a fine balance, but one which seems to have been achieved without either aiming low or selling out. What other wrestling show would boast both Hollywood star Stephen Amell and bonafide cult hero Joey Janela?

2. Starrcast


Starrcast18/Twitter


It's time to talk about the convention.

In the days leading up to September 1, Chicago will see all manner of industry names converge in perhaps the biggest celebration of independent wrestling ever seen outside of WrestleMania weekend.

The list is already extensive and diverse: Lawler, Luger, the nWo, Blanchard, Funk, Jarrett, Schiavone, Leva Bates, Macauley Culkin, WrestleCrap's RD Reynolds and Botchamania's Maffew (who, lest we forget, is also affiliated with this humble website).

In inviting the biggest names from the inside and outside of the business, new and old, the event has already billed itself as something more than a one-day wrestling show.

1. CM Punk...


WWE


Obviously, we had to talk about CM Punk.

The Chicago native, internet messiah, and former WWE Champion has transcended wrestling fandom. To this day, when WWE put on a match or event that resonates particularly poorly with a certain crowd, dissent is vocalised in the form of 'CM Punk' chants.

He remains a symbol of what it means to be an internet wrestling fan and was the first indy darling to truly cross the divide and become a WWE megastar. His departure from the company is just as iconic as his ascent - and All In weekend will mark his first out-and-out wrestling appearance since leaving the business in 2014...

It must be noted that Punk has not been announced for the show itself on September 1, but he's definitely in town that week. The prospect is absolutely mouthwatering and represents the cherry atop the All In cake. Should he involve himself in any way, a moment could be created to go down in wrestling history forever.

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]