AEW All In At Wembley Is Going To Fall Flat For One Obvious Reason

All In is already a huge success for AEW. Over 80,000 fans are expected inside Wembley Stadium on Sunday, registering one of the highest attendances for a live show in wrestling history. Furthermore, Tony Khan's promotion moved the majority of those tickets long before any matches were put on the books. AEW's All In at Wembley Stadium was originally announced in early April, with tickets going on sale the next month. However, the first match for the card wasn't made official until August — which is both impressive and frustrating.


While this can be viewed as great news for AEW's business prospects in 2023, especially as the promotion aims to expand globally, the slapdash build-up to the show has reportedly left some AEW talent feeling dissatisfied. Tony Khan and his inconsistent planning for this particular pay-per-view — as well as the company's creative direction as a whole — is at the heart of their discontent. And while there's certainly a contingent of fans just excited for the event itself, there are others who feel let down by the rushed nature of the card's assembly — a recurring issue with AEW recently with this year's Revolution and Forbidden Door attracting similar criticisms.

All In is one of the biggest shows in wrestling history for a variety of reasons, and that's no exaggeration. AEW's reputation indicates that the matches should deliver and knowing Khan, he's sure to have a few surprises stashed up his sleeve. But that doesn't excuse the fact that the lackluster build has had a negative effect on AEW's overall product, and more importantly, has robbed AEW's roster of a chance to make something significant and meaningful out of this moment in history.


The build to All In has been creatively underwhelming

That doesn't mean AEW deserves no credit. The build to All In's main event — MJF vs. Adam Cole — has been superb. It also stands as proof that the company is capable of creating storylines that have structure, layers, and entertainment value when the creative team really makes an effort. It's the type of match that's worthy of headlining Wembley Stadium, but...


The rest of the show is essentially a glorified exhibition. 

FTR vs. The Young Bucks should be more than it is, especially given the well-documented tension between both teams behind the scenes. There's potential for a heated program here, but so far, it's been nothing but standoffs in advance. Of course, it remains to be seen if FTR will even be on the show, following Cash Wheeler's recent arrest; he was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.

The rest of the card is mostly tag and multi-man matches, most of which feel thrown together simply for the purpose of getting more people on the show. For example, Don Callis randomly hired Bullet Club Gold to attack Kenny Omega on last week's "AEW Dynamite." Now we're getting a trios match partnering Juice Robinson and Jay White with existing Callis disciple Konosuke Takeshita to face Omega and teammates "Hangman" Adam Page and Kota Ibushi, because they're Kenny's friends. Riveting storytelling, that is.


It is truly admirable that Tony Khan wants to give as many wrestlers as possible the chance to wrestle at such a momentous event, but less is often more. And there's no guarantee that any momentum from this version of All In will actually help AEW and its stars grow in the long run. While the hype for the event is undeniable, it also highlights some of the more irksome elements of how AEW has operated lately.

AEW can't rely on good will to sell PPVs forever

As All In dominates the headlines, it's easy to forget that AEW is also running All Out a week later — on September 3. That's two pay-per-views in such a relatively short time span, both of which are being built on the hope that the brand name and good faith from the fan base will make them successful. Who else remembers when wrestling fans used to criticize WWE for doing this? Should AEW be let off the hook, because the product is targeted more toward diehard fans?


Only two matches have been announced for All Out thus far. One of them is a TNT Championship match featuring Darby Allin, who recently claimed that the title has "lost all its value" due to terrible booking. AEW is quickly running out of time to build a card for what's supposed to be another tentpole show, but it's already too late to load it with matches that boast any real significance or major stakes. The focus on All In has turned All Out into an afterthought, and this lackluster approach likely plays a factor in why AEW's ratings aren't exactly soaring in the lead-up to these events. What's the point of tuning into the weekly TV shows when they aren't gripping or leading toward anything special?


PPVs are supposed to be the culmination of engrossing storylines that provide wrestlers with career-defining moments. Wrestling in front of more than 80,000 people will be a night to remember for AEW's roster, sure. But the majority of those who'll be wrestling at All In head into the historic event with no real direction. AEW had the opportunity to build these matches for months, but when the opening bell sounds, fans will essentially get the same thing they saw at the 2018 original version of All In: a glorified yet well-attended exhibition that the doubters didn't think they could pull off. AEW should be able to accomplish more than that by now.

Disagree? Check back with Wrestling Inc. tomorrow for a companion op-ed, arguing why AEW's All In will be an all-out success, and check back all week for the latest All In news and updates.