AEW: Should Audibles Have Been Called In the Title Matches At All Out?


While the buzz around AEW All Out shifted from MJF’s return to CM Punk’s blowup at the media scrum and all that followed, one of the more interesting questions surrounding the pay-per-view got lost in the shuffle.  That question is, should Tony Khan have called audibles during the women’s interim title match and the tag team title match?

It was very apparent to anyone watching these matches that the live crowd in Chicago had a very boisterous opinion on who they wanted to win both of these highly entertaining matches.  Both The Acclaimed and Jamie Hayter had the crowd at Chicago’s NOW Arena solidly behind their quest to become champions on this night.

However, Tony Khan made the decision to keep the winners of both matches as planned, leading to crowd reactions that ranged from disappointed to disinterested.  But what the fans want isn’t always what’s best for business,  so let’s examine if Khan and AEW made the right choices by sticking to their guns in both these championship matches.

Did AEW make the right call at All Out by having Swerve in Our Glory and Toni Storm walk out as champions?

Let’s look at the new interim AEW Women’s Champion, Toni Storm first.

The original plan for All Out was a one-on-one match between Storm and Thunder Rosa for the AEW Women’s Title which it is thought that Storm was slated to win. So despite the injury to Thunder Rosa and the change to a four-way match, it was no surprise when Storm walked out of All Out as the new champion.

Toni Storm is a perfectly fine choice to put the title on.  She has done nothing to shake anyone’s confidence in any of her skills.

But to be blunt the AEW women’s division is facing a number of challenges.  They are booked poorly quite often, do not get a lot of match time on television, and have struggled to garner much crowd reaction since the cage match in which Thunder Rosa beat Britt Baker to win the AEW Women’s Title.

So putting the title on Jamie Hayter here is a call that Tony Khan should have made.  A Hayter title run had a built-in storyline.  Hayter’s relationship with Britt Baker and the jealousy that would manifest by Hayter holding the prize that Baker so desperately covets would make for an exciting program between the two.  And the thing that this women’s division needs right now is something to create excitement, something to create a buzz around the division.  At All Out, Tony Khan missed a golden opportunity to do just that.

Then we have the case of The Acclaimed versus Swerve In Our Glory.  Going into the match it seemed like a no-brainer for Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee to retain.  The duo has meshed perfectly as a team and they complement each other both in the ring and on the mic.

The Acclaimed went into All Out as a heavy underdog with a chance to show out on the big stage and earn a bigger push moving forward.

However, something magical happened at All Out during this AEW Tag Team Title match.  The Acclaimed’s motto of “Everyone loves the Acclaimed” went from being a tagline to the truth inside the NOW Arena, as Max Caster and Anthony Bowens won over what seemed like every single person present for the tag team title match.

The crowd was hot for this match from the start and that grew into a fever pitch with each near finish as Bowens and Caster came so very close to winning the AEW Tag Team Titles multiple times.

There would have been nothing wrong with calling an audible here.  But Tony Khan made the correct call by sticking to his guns and keeping the belts on Lee and Swerve.

The buildup to this match was very lacking, and even though the crowd was disappointed to see The Acclaimed fall short at All Out, the duo hit Dynamite the following Wednesday as hot as ever.  That gives the promotion a couple more weeks to really let Lee and Swerve accentuate their tweener roles as well as Bowens and Caster to continue to build their rapport with the AEW fans.

Add to it that Bowens and Caster will get another shot at the title at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam in Caster’s home state of New York, (while Bowens is originally from New Jersey) and you have the perfect setting for a grand payoff in the rise of The Acclaimed.

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As tough as it was to watch The Acclaimed fall short at All Out, it will make it that much sweeter to see the young tag team reach the top of the mountain in just a couple of weeks in front of what will most likely be an even louder crowd.  And Bowens and Caster can celebrate by etching their names on the ever-growing list of AEW’s home-grown up-and-coming stars.