On a recent edition of the “Dale Jr. Download” podcast, WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes recalled putting together the inaugural All In event in September 2018 with The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson).
Rhodes defeated Nick Aldis to win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship at All In 2018. Later, AEW President Tony Khan acquired the rights to the first All In event following the acquisition of Ring of Honor (ROH) last year.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the original concept for the first All In: “Here’s what people don’t know, or here is what people suspect. We told everybody, it’s all us, it’s all me, Matt, and Nick.’ We presented it as ‘We’re doing this, we’re breaking all the rules, we’re bringing all the companies together, we’re literally going All In.’ We did have help from a company, Ring of Honor was the company that helped produce it. People think Ring of Honor footed the whole bill or we footed the whole bill. The truth is somewhere in the middle. We, literally, did have to go All In. We were going All In on our name alone in the sense that we had to get over 10,000 people. The comments on social were that we couldn’t put 10,000 in an arena and I, all pre-workout up at the gym, ‘I’ll take that bet.’ Now, we’re stuck. We can’t sell 5,000 tickets. We have to sell 10,000 tickets.”
On what it became: “We did everything we possibly could, we broke every rule. I never use PayPal, but I laugh when I look back at my PayPal, and all the paydays are still there from these different little things that I had to pay for to get, like Road Warrior Animal to come over to ride his motorcycle. My buddy Conrad [Conrad Thompson] did a convention because he said, ‘I bet if this sells out, people will piggyback off it, you should let us piggyback. We’ll do a whole convention, and you can steal some legends and assets.’ It was like Woodstock for wrestling. I walked into the hotel and the energy was through the roof. The lobby was filled to the brim with fans. It was mind-blowing.”
On the day before the show: “That day, before any of this had happened, we were riding back from the press conference where I couldn’t get the mic to work — here he is, putting on a show and the mic wasn’t working — we come back from the press conference, there was a fan driving us to the show. We were trying to go on the site to buy tickets, and I’m thinking, ‘If the site is frozen, we’re screwed’ or ‘is it blowing up? Can it crash?’ It crashed immediately. It was 11,236 in 28 minutes. I said ‘We need this,’ that welcome to the Indies letter. ‘It can be bigger.’ I like to think big. It was all in front of us, and we had to execute and make it happen. A wonderful memory. I have trouble with the fact that I no longer own the name to it. I kind of look at it in the sense of, it’s not mine, it’s the fans’. Let them have a good time with it.”