The spirit of All In

It’s crazy to think how All In came to be.

On May 16, 2017, a Twitter user by the handle @TheWWEGuy_ asked Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer if he thinks Ring of Honor can ever sell out an arena with 10,000+ fans.

Not anytime soon,” responded Meltzer six minutes later.

Cody Rhodes must have been scrolling Twitter at the right place and at the right time because 11 minutes later, Rhodes accepted the challenge.

I’ll take that bet Dave,” Rhodes wrote. “I already gave them their biggest buyrate…put The Bucks & I on the card & 3-months to promote.”

It took just 17 minutes from the first question to the challenge accepted tweet. It did take a bit longer for the event to take place, but Cody won that bet, and how!

The event went from an ROH-backed show to a self-funded show between Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega but still with ROH’s blessing and promotion.

On January 10, 2018, the group announced that the show would take place on September 1 and a few months later, the Sears Center, now called the NOW Arena, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, was chosen as the host of All In. Tickets for the show went on sale in mid-May and within 30 minutes, all tickets were gone.

Total tickets and attendance? 11,263.

All In was the preview of what eventually became All Elite Wrestling. Just a few months after All In took place, Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega along with Tony Khan officially launched All Elite Wrestling, and that’s just after all those involved, plus Hangman Page, turned down deals from WWE.

All In was a name owned by Ring of Honor but the spirit of All In continued as AEW produced All Out, every year during the same weekend in the same location ever since. ROH never used the name again and All In remained that one and only show that was created from a simple tweet.

Rhodes eventually left AEW and Tony Khan bought Ring of Honor and all of its intellectual property rights, and that included the name All In.

It was just a matter of time before All In made its triumphant return.

Now, five years almost to the exact date of the original All In, the event is making its grand return on August 27, 2023. Under the AEW banner, President Tony Khan announced that All In would be held at the world famous Wembley Stadium in London, England, the first event outside North America for All Elite Wrestling.

Wembley Stadium held one other wrestling show before – WWE SummerSlam – 31 years ago at the old Wembley. The announced attendance for that show was 80,355, but just like all WWE attendances, the actual number is questioned since the company always inflates their numbers.

Many fans did question if AEW can fill enough seats in a place such as Wembley Stadium. After all, that stadium holds over 90,000 fans and AEW’s highest-attended event was just over 20,000 and it only happened once and never attempted again.

The original seating chart for All In showed that a quarter of the stadium would be curtained off. But then a few weeks later, all bets were off. The powers that be at AEW opened up pretty much the majority of the stadium, removing the large set and opting for an entrance way instead, freeing up more seats.

The task was now even bigger, especially with no matches announced yet.

On May 2, on the first day of pre-sale, over 36,000 tickets were sold. On May 3, that number went over 43,000 and on May 5, the first day of general sale, it rocketed to over 60,000.

By the time August 27 rolls around, we could be looking at around 75,000 tickets sold, making the show one of the biggest wrestling events in the history of the sport.

One thing is for sure: do not bet against a show that is called All In.

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Colin Vassallo
Colin Vassallohttps://www.wrestling-online.com
Colin Vassallo has been editor of Wrestling-Online since 1996. He is born and raised in Malta, follows professional wrestling and MMA, loves to travel, and is a big Apple fan!

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