Young Bucks, Kenny Omega hype up All Elite Wrestling at C2E2
By Mike Pankow
March 25, 2019
ALL IN last summer was just the first taste of what the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega & Co. are going to offer wrestling fans.
The Bucks, Omega and their friend Cody, the son of the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes announced the formation of All Elite Wrestling at the beginning of 2019.
Matt and Nick Jackson and Omega held a Q&A panel at last weekend’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), where they let several cats out of the bag.
“This is my first time here (in Chicago) since ALL IN,” Omega declared during the panel at McCormick Place last Friday.
Nick returned the volley, “Hey, Kenny, we should come back, huh?”
Omega replied “Let’s maybe come back to Chicago for what, a comic con?”
And at that point, the hundreds of fans in the panel room erupted and began chanting “ALL IN 2, ALL IN 2.”
“Let’s do what they’re saying,” Omega said. “Let’s do that instead.”
Matt interjected and said, “There’s a particular building that has our damn faces on the plaque at the entrance. Maybe we should go there.”
So let the speculation begin about a sequel to the wildly-successful ALL IN, which drew over 11,000 fans to Sears Centre in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates on Sept. 1, 2018, a show that sold out in less than 30 minutes.
Internet reports say the show might be titled “ALL OUT” and would be an AEW-branded show after last year’s extravaganza used talent from Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, IMPACT Wrestling as well as other international promotions and U.S. independents.
The thought is the show might return on Labor Day weekend and the possibility exists that another STARRCAST might be attached to it. More news likely will come to fruition once AEW’s debut show, Double or Nothing, wraps up in Las Vegas on Memorial Day weekend.
Matt Jackson said the group learned a lot when they were assembling and building toward ALL IN.
“We learned a lot about promoting and putting together a card,” Matt said. “At one point, we booked so many people and we were like ‘we actually have to put them on the card. How are we going to do this?’ This is a lot of pressure. It’s important for us to have a variety show. We want to have a little bit of everything. We wanted to have the drama, the comedy, we wanted to bring you everything. I’m so proud that show feels like it’s universally loved and praised. It’s one of my proudest achievements.”
The AEW crew said it values the fans’ input and feedback to the product and will take suggestions under advisement.
“We’re all in a bit of an office role with AEW,” Omega said. “We take what you guys say and think into heavy consideration all the time. We have an idea of who we love and who we want to be part of our team.”
The AEW roster already includes the Bucks, Omega, Cody, SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian) and Scorpio Sky), Chris Jericho, Hangman Page, PAC (formerly Neville in WWE), MJF, Britt Baker and Kylie Rae.
“I feel like we’re missing a couple people here on stage,” Omega mused during the panel. “Marty’s here somewhere, isn’t he?”
“Marty” refers to Marty Scurll, a close friend of the Bucks and Omega, who is still under contract to ROH. Scurll and former WWE and ROH star CM Punk were guests of Chicago-based vendor Pro Wrestling Tees.
Punk’s name also came up during the panel when a fan asked about the possibility of Punk signing with AEW.
“I love CM Punk,” Matt Jackson said. “I think that question is better to ask him.”
Punk, a Chicago native, left WWE in January 2014 and hasn’t been part of a wrestling promotion since. He is attempting an MMA career but has lost his only two fights in UFC. While signing autographs and taking pictures with fans during C2E2, Punk seemed happy and content.
Wrestling personalities Eric Bischoff, Tony Schiavone and Jim Cornette also appeared at the convention. Bischoff and Schiavone teamed up for special “What Happen When in 83 Weeks” show with Conrad Thompson on Friday night while Cornette told stories during his one-man show on Saturday. In addition, WWE artist in residence Rob Schamberger also had a booth at C2E2 (a Windy City Slam story & interview with Rob is coming soon). Too Sweet Cosplay also had a booth right near the Pro Wrestling Tees booth with its entrance set, so cosplayers (as wrestlers or otherwise) can pose or make their own entrance.
As for AEW, the Bucks said they want to emphasize tag team wrestling in the fledgling company.
“We feel like it’s been so long since tag-team wrestling has been pushed on a major wrestling company,” Nick Jackson said. “Hell, it’s probably since the early 2000’s when the Hardys, the Dudleys and Edge and Christian were on fire. We want to bring that back. It’s time for it. We see it as a variety show and we feel like tag team wrestling can be the main event. Why not?”
Nick’s younger brother agreed.
“A lot of times the tag team matches are the best matches on the show,” Matt Jackson said. “It supplies so much action. It’s a different take on pro wrestling. It’s become a lost art. We want to push it back to the forefront.”
Nick Jackson said AEW will have a traveling schedule like WWE, but the schedule won’t be nearly as intense.
“Definitely. We’re going to be a touring brand,” Nick said. “Not as crazy as WWE, because we all have families and I’m going to miss them, so we’re going to definitely keep that in mind because the wrestlers in the company have families. It will be a touring brand for sure.”
And it looks like the tour will be stopping in Chicago later this year.
“I love Chicago,” Matt Jackson said. “We will be back here to do another show.”
For wrestling-related photos at C2E2 and other events Windy City Slam has covered, go to https://www.windycityslam.com/photos.