AEW Revolution is just a few days away and comes as the perfect climax to a number of stories that have been bubbling away since the start of the year, some even before that. The way AEW haS slowly built each one and taken the audience on a journey has been a joy to experience and is something I hope will be a trademark for the company going forward
So before the big night, let’s have a look at the three highest profile stories heading into this weekend’s pay-per-view.
Has Jon Moxley Picked The One Fight He Can’t Win?
Ever since Jon Moxley arrived in AEW he has run headlong at everyone who stood in his way and so far has been able to overwhelm everyone he has faced. Janella, Allin, Omega and PAC are just some of the names that have been unable to withstand the onslaught of AEW’s unhinged rebel. However since Moxley set his sights on the AEW Champion Chris Jericho back in December he has found himself marching towards a very different wrestler to those he has been able to leave in his wake.
For every step Chris Jericho has lost athletically he has gained exponentially in ring IQ and veteran experience. This was so clearly evident when Jericho made his first approach to Moxley. Where Le Champion had previously swanned in to put down and toy with wrestlers like Scorpio Sky, Jungle Boy and even Cody Rhodes, when he entered the ring with Moxley he edged towards him in the way someone would approach a wild tiger, with palms up, showing submission and sitting on a hair trigger, ready to get out of dodge the second Moxley showed aggression.
Instead of running Moxley down as he did every other opponent he had faced, Jericho flattered Moxley and did everything in his power to avoid having to fight an opponent he knew he couldn’t beat, even offering him a place next to him as equal owner of The Inner Circle. Of course Moxley rejected him, Moxley is hardly someone you would label admirable but he has his own sense of right and wrong and will stick to that above all.
Since that moment The Painmaker has made it his mission to dismantle Moxley week by week. Even though Moxley has persevered and overcome each obstacle thrown his way, each week he has been a little worse for wear. Last week against Jeff Cobb, Moxley looked busted up and vulnerable, a far cry from the wrestler who has dominated AEW for nearly six months. Even though he was up against a man he handily defeated in 2019 he looked a step slower than Cobb and was unable to match the strength and power of the bounty hunting former Olympian.
In an interview Jon Moxley once described his character as being like Jon Maclean from the famed Die Hard series. If he really is the tough as nails everyman he claims to be then Jericho is the perfect Hans Grubber, a man of massive intelligence who knows how to deploy the assets at his disposal to perfection to stop the seemingly unstoppable force. At Revolution we will see if he has done enough to become the one man that can stop Jon Moxley.
Hard Times for Cody Rhodes
MJF versus Cody Rhodes is a feud we have known we were going to eventually get since the minute AEW was announced. MJF was a wrestler Cody personally picked out of obscurity, took under his wing and made into one of the fastest rising stars in the wrestling world. Of course they were going to face off at some point.
However the match we have coming up this weekend is so much more than just a fight between a mentor and his former protégé. As well as that simple but highly effective emotional clash, we have a feud that has defined who these two wrestlers are as men.
Cody Rhodes is a man on a mission: he left everything behind to build All Elite Wrestling and the blood of a true champion and wrestling pioneer flows through his body. At Full Gear he had the chance to become champion of the company he built and that was taken away from him by MJF. That made Cody’s next mission simple, get to MJF and take him down, a man he sees as standing in the road of the success of his company. Week by week Cody has shown exactly how much pain he is willing to go through and what kind of extraordinary risks he is willing to take to take down MJF and ergo, help this company succeed.
One of the big reasons MJF latched onto Cody Rhodes early on was because he thought Cody was a man cut from the same cloth as himself. Despite his bluster on the mic, MJF is a man well and truly aware of his athletic limitations and in Cody he saw the same kind of suits, swagger and charisma. The difference between the men though is that MJF assumed Cody wore that swagger for the same reason he does, as armour to cover up his own insecurities and personal limitations. MJF threw in the towel when Cody was trapped in Chris Jericho’s Lion Tamer because at that point he would have quit, MJF put so many obstacles in front of Cody Rhodes because each of them would have caused him to quit. It is why after dolling out ten lashes to Cody he was angrier than when he started, because he had failed to make Cody quit. It showed that Cody wasn’t the man MJF claimed he was and showed MJF exactly the force of will he is up against.
On the weekend MJF has nowhere left to run, no more obstacles he can throw in Cody’s way and he is up against a man driven like no other in AEW. In a fair fight MJF has no hope so by Saturday night he will have had to find a new way to get to Cody or he will be exposed for the fraud he is.
Will Adam Page Turn On The Elite?
Before there ever was All Elite Wrestling, before they put ten thousand butts in ten thousand seats at All In and before even Cody Rhodes joined the group, The Elite was just Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson. They had a motley crew of friends they travelled with: the now deceased Adam Coleat (at least according to all concerned in the matter), The Villain, Marty Scurll and a young rookie with a good look and a lot of potential ‘The Hangman’ Adam Page. Page has always worked very hard for his spot and has improved a lot over the years but it has always been pretty clear that he owes a lot to the fact he struck up a friendship with some of the hottest wrestlers in the industry.
This has never been too much of a problem for Page until he lost the chance to win his first ever world championship title against Chris Jericho last year. Suddenly his failure where his more decorated friends had previously all succeeded began to weigh on Page’s mind, the difference between who him and his friends were as people never felt more stark and as a result Page decided to try to distance himself from his Elite stablemates. However the more he tried to get away, the more they pulled him back into the fold to the point where Page found himself in a tag team with Kenny Omega and finally won his first championship, The AEW Tag Team Championship.
It has been an uneasy alliance to say the least. Page has been giving his all the keep his championship and has been working with Omega as a teammate but still celebrating by himself and keeping his own company backstage. His frustrations hit another level when his supposed friends The Young Bucks won the chance to be his title challengers at Revolution and compounded more when Omega accepted an Iron Man Match on the go home show of AEW Dynamite, just five days before their defence at Revolution. To Hangman this championship is everything, to Kenny and The Young Bucks it seems like just another trinket, something that is worth having but not something worth losing a friendship or putting aside a grudge for.
How Hangman’s frustrations come out at Revolution is yet to be seen. Will he be able to play along with Kenny Omega after Omega went against his wishes and fought PAC? Will he instead take his frustration out on The Young Bucks, perhaps targeting them in ways he knows will put them off their game or going after old injuries he knows haven’t fully healed? Most importantly, will he continue to choose The AEW Tag Team Championship over his longstanding friendship with the rest of The Elite?
Ok, here goes nothing, to wrap things up let’s do a quick round of predictions, make sure you let me know in the comments who you are picking:
Chris Jericho v Jon Moxley
Cody Rhodes v MJF
Kenny Omega & Adam Page v The Young Bucks
Nyla Rose v Kris Statlander
Sammy Guvera v Darby Allin
Jake Hager v Dustin Rhodes
S.C.U. v The Dark Order
PAC v Orange Cassidy
That wraps it up for this week, let me know what you are looking forward to at AEW Revolution and who you think will win the big matches. You can also chat to me further on Twitter @Sir_Samuel or in the AEW section on the LOP Forums.
Missed last weeks column? Check it out here.
Cody Rhodes & Jon Moxley, So Old School They’re Cool