Not everything about wrestling revolves around the WWE, despite what the company may want you to believe. As proof of that, hard-core and casual wrestling fans alike can expect to see a huge blip on their radar come September 1st. That is when Chicago, or at least a nearby suburb, becomes home to the first 10,000 seat independent wrestling show in history. As a matter of fact, it will be the first non-WWE show to hit those numbers since the fall of WCW in 2001.
“All-In”, the appropriately named super show, is being put together by Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks. The former WWE Superstar, along with arguably the best tag team in the world today, have recently confirmed the venue on a recent episode of “Being the Elite”, the YouTube show hosted by Young Bucks. That video can be seen here.
Back in November of 2017, Brad Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer stated that Ring of Honor, the promotion Rhodes works for, wouldn’t be able to sell ten thousand seats to a show anytime soon. Taking that as a challenge, the three friends came up with the idea, and the plans quickly started falling together in a “Perfect storm”, as Cody was quoted as saying.
In recent years, independent wrestling has seen a huge rise in popularity among fans, especially those whose only exposure to Sports Entertainment beforehand was the WWE. Since “All-In” was confirmed, many promotions have enjoyed an even bigger push, with ROH setting sales records for their upcoming Super Card of Honor XII event, and NJPW selling out their United States show set for this month.
The pressure is on for Rhodes and company to deliver on all the promise this September. The world is going to be watching, hoping for the best, but ultimately expecting just another wrestling show. Holding the event in Chicago guarantees that fans will flock to the arena in anticipation of seeing the return of CM Punk, a former independent legend and WWE World Champion who retired from in-ring competition in 2014. Punk swore he would never wrestle again, but “All-In” being held in his hometown and produced by some of his friends may just be enough to change his mind for at least one night. This goes a long way to changing that mindset, and if Rhodes and company can pull this off, it will alter the wrestling landscape in a huge way.