They say there is no such thing as a stupid question. All In — the independent wrestling supershow financed by Cody and The Young Bucks — was birthed from one simple question that led to one boastful answer.
@davemeltzerWON do you think ROH can ever sell out an arena with 10k+ fans? Something like the Madison Square Garden?
— WWE Guy (@TheWWEGuy_) May 16, 2017
Not any time soon https://t.co/Vu3xLV2ThZ
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 16, 2017
I'll take that bet Dave
I already gave them their biggest buyrate…put The Bucks & I on the card & 3-months to promote
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) May 16, 2017
Reactions were mixed. Fans of Bullet Club said it would be easily done. Fans of mainstream wrestling did not see how it was possible guys they never heard of and Cody Rhodes could even sell one thousand tickets. The fans who tried to stay neutral played both sides. Nothing had even been set in stone, and All In was already one of the most polarizing events in wrestling.
Little was said about the event for months and it became something of a running joke. It would be brought up occasionally, but seemed like nothing more than another part of the ultra-cocky Cody character. Things changed in early 2018.
In January, The Bucks and Cody tweeted the show would take place on September 1st. In March, the Sears Center Arena in Chicago was announced as the venue. What once seemed like a gimmick became a reality in a matter of weeks. As the show began to take form, fans began to argue once again.
The mental gymnastics performed from both sides would be impressive if they weren’t so sad. Fans who months earlier thought 10,000 tickets was attainable now said that even if the show did not sell out, it should be considered a success. After all, they would probably sell at least 5,000 tickets, which is an impressive number.
Ironically, those who said selling 10,000 tickets would never happen immediately began giving ways it could happen, the caveat being it would not count. For example, using CM Punk or Daniel Bryan would be considered cheating. Bringing celebrities to WrestleMania has never been counted against the WWE, but some fans had already decided if All In used big names it was going against the spirit of the initial “bet.”
29 minutes & 36 seconds.
Thank you. Very much. pic.twitter.com/imOxKUSNsC
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) May 14, 2018
Tickets went on sale on the afternoon of May 13th and sold out. Unsurprisingly, there are many who are not impressed. Immediately, there were cries of scalpers buying in bulk. While scalpers were undoubtedly able to get tickets, no one pointed out they are attracted to the hottest shows. The reports of how many tickets went to scalpers also seemed exaggerated, as there were only a couple hundreds tickets available on secondary market websites after the initial sale — a far cry from the thousands people claimed had been bought.
There were also those that claimed that weekend’s Starrcast provided unfair publicity, the argument being that additional advertising is…a bad thing? Oddest of all is the claim that somehow Dave Meltzer provided favorable coverage that contributed greatly.
These fans also fail to realize that all of their favorites are a result of the wrestling they claim to dislike. AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, and Kevin Owens all honed their skills on the indies. Unless you are a fan of Roman Reigns and Big Cass exclusively, chances are your favorite wrestler toiled on the independent scene before making it to WWE.
@ALL_IN_2018 sold their 10,000 tickets in an hour today! @CodyRhodes got more than the in-ring from the Dream, Congratulations! Regardless of what I think about the conduct of certain parties on the show, that's a hellofa house!
— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) May 13, 2018
What has been lost is how impressive the feat is. Since Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001, there has not been a wrestling promotion in the United States besides the WWE that has sold 10,000 tickets. Even the biggest critics of the Bucks and Kenny Omega have been impressed by what All In has accomplished. This is also a positive for wrestling overall since it shows there is still interest for more than WWE and more alternatives is better for fans, wrestlers, and media. It’s easy to see: the success of All In is great for everyone.