MJF. Bryan Danielson. 60 minutes.
Jon Moxley. “Hangman” Adam Page. Texas Death Match. In San Francisco, California.
Jungle Boy. Christian Cage. Final Burial Match.
All that, and a lot more, are coming to us live on pay-per-view. Folks, it’s time for AEW Revolution, which is the company’s final pay-per-view event before Double Or Nothing, which is their biggest show of the year. There are A TON of questions about what we will, won’t, might, and might not see tonight, but that seems to be the norm for AEW shows like this. Let’s have some fun!
Ricky Starks vs Chris Jericho
Pros: – Good choice for a show opener. You could make an argument that a few matches on this card deserved the opening spot, all for different reasons, but this works. Jericho remains someone that gets loud reactions from AEW crowds, no matter what, and Starks is still one of the biggest rising stars on the roster. This is going to get the crowd amped up.
– The crowd. To the surprise of precisely zero people, an AEW show features a really hot crowd that is reacting to everything.
– The right man won. Ricky Starks needs to be positioned as a bigger deal, and this can be the start of that. The problem is that people don’t really seem to benefit much from working with Chris Jericho these days. Can “Absolute” break that streak? I believe he can, but time will tell.
Cons: – The pace. Not that I was expecting Rey Mysterio Jr vs Juventud Guerrera from 1996 here, but things have been pretty slow. Jericho, of course, isn’t exactly in his 20’s anymore, and Starks is selling injured ribs. Add that up, and there’s a lot of spot, walk, walk, walk, spot, walk, pose for the crowd, spot, pose for the crowd, walk, walk, walk, etc.
Match Rating: 3 Stars. Not a bad match at all, but nothing that is going to be remembered a few days from now. If you wanted to give the match a slightly higher rating than I did, I wouldn’t cut the brake lines on your car.
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs Christian Cage – Final Burial Match
Pros: – The pace. As soon as the bell rang, these two went at it with violent intentions. As personal as this feud has been, that’s exactly what these two are supposed to be doing. It always looks so dumb when you see these types of blood feuds and a match begins with chain wrestling. This is smart.
– Christian’s ring gear. I don’t know why, but Christian wrestling in a sleeveless turtleneck is hilarious to me.
– Brutality. Jungle Boy hit Christian with a headbutt that opened Christian’s forehead up. Christian wore Jungle Boy’s back out with some insanely stiff shots with a leather belt. We’ve seen the guardrail used as a weapon, as well as the casket itself, and some chairs. As I type this, they’re trying to choke each other out with a shovel, and gouging at each other’s eyes to prevent said choking from taking place.
– The right man won. Thanks to the unfortunate timing of Christian’s injury last year, we had to wait a long time for this feud to end, but Jungle Boy really needed that. Like Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy is someone who could very well be moving his way up the card now, working their way up to singles gold in 2023.
Cons: – Nothing, really. The match did everything it was supposed to do, and it was put together very well. If you absolutely need something to complain about, I suppose you could say that the whole casket stipulation was kind of corny and seemed somewhat out of place here, but that’s about it.
Match Rating: 4 Stars. Just the right amount of violence needed to finally wrap this feud up, potentially building Jungle Boy up as a major singles player this year. Good stuff here from start to finish.
The Elite vs The House Of Black – AEW Trios Title Match
Pros: – The crowd. They’re really excited for this. We even got a loud “this is awesome” chant simply because Malakai Black and Kenny Omega were in the ring at the same time, before they had even made contact with each other.
– Variety. Only a couple minutes in here, and we’ve already seen some great technical wrestling from Omega and Buddy Matthews, fun strikes and counters from Omega and Black, great power offense from Brody King, and some high-flying moves from Matt and Nick Jackson. There’s so many possibilities when these six men are in a match against each other.
– The pace. As you would expect from this match, it has been balls to the motherfucking wall here, with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action. Once again, I’m glad I don’t have to do play-by-play for an AEW trios match.
Cons: – Julia Hart. I just don’t think she adds much to the House Of Black presentation. They can accomplish everything they’ve accomplished without her.
Match Rating: 4.25 Stars. I don’t know if I should be surprised that the titles changed hands here, but I am. This was so much fun, as the trios matches tend to be in AEW. I know some people are going to automatically assume this means Kenny Omega is leaving the company, but he’s still under contract for another eight months, so this result doesn’t mean much of anything when it comes to his status.
Jamie Hayter vs Ruby Soho vs Saraya – Three-Way Match for the AEW Women’s Title
Pros: – The pace. Another match that got off to a hot start. As a viewer, that is greatly appreciated. It makes things a lot more fun.
Cons: – Missed strikes. I don’t know if she’s still working off some ring rust or if it’s something else, but there have been multiple times where Saraya is on the receiving end of a strike that doesn’t even come close to actually landing, but obviously, she has to sell it, anyway. It stands out in a match like this, where Jamie Hayter and Ruby Soho are taking some heavy shots from each other.
– There’s no disqualification, ladies. In these matches, there aren’t any disqualifications, and yet, we’ve seen multiple instances where Toni Storm and Britt Baker jump up on the ring apron to distract the Referee to allow for some shenaniganery to take place behind his back. For what? Just do it.
– An unnecessary heel turn. After the champion successfully retained the title, we got a heel turn from Ruby Soho after the match. Ruby joining forces with Saraya and Toni Storm just means we haven’t seen the end of this lame ass feud. Oh, joy.
Match Rating: 2.75 Stars. Perfectly acceptable, but not much else. It was more about the post-match happenings, with Ruby turning heel and joining up with Saraya and Toni.
Jon Moxley vs “Hangman” Adam Page – Texas Death Match
Pros: – Violence. It’s a Texas Death Match, after all. Both men are already bloody messes, with (some gimmicked and some real) barbed wire being used, Moxley’s trusty blade to cut himself open, and a fork jabbed into Page’s head repeatedly.
– More violence. I hope nobody was expecting some chain wrestling here. Almost everything we’ve seen has involved a weapon of some sort. Both men are literally bleeding from several different places on their body.
– Even more violence. Seriously, though, this is insanity. The levels that both men are willing to go to is ridiculous. Barbed wire, chairs, a steel chain, more barbed wire, a fork, bricks, even more barbed wire, objects wrapped in barbed wire, and still more barbed wire.
Cons: – AEW production. For the millionth match in a row, Moxley was caught on-camera blatantly cutting his own forehead open before disposing of the blade. How fucking difficult is it to not put that on-camera? You know it’s coming, and yet, there he is, blading himself for the world to see.
Match Rating: 4 Stars. I think. Maybe. I don’t even know how to properly rate a match like that. Of course, that type of thing isn’t for everyone. This is going to be something that is argued about for a while. If you’re a huge AEW fan, you probably loved every minute of that because it’s the type of thing that AEW can deliver to make them stand out. However, if you’re a huge WWE fan, you probably hated that, because you feel it’s something that AEW continues to rely on far too often. Personally, I think Moxley needs that vacation he’s been after. We’ve seen him bleeding so often over the last several months, and it means less and less each time it happens. “Hangman” got the win here, so let’s have him move on while Moxley goes away for a while.
Samoa Joe vs Wardlow – TNT Title Match
Pros: – Hoss fight. Good, hard-hitting action from two big badasses.
Cons: – Follow that! Joe and Wardlow are in an almost impossible spot here, having to follow a memorably violent Texas Death Match. Not an enviable spot to be in. Even the crowd seems exhausted.
Match Rating: 2.5 Stars. Maybe I’m also exhausted after the previous match, but this one didn’t really reach any sort of special level, in my opinion. I think a bit of a sudden ending, with Joe unexpectedly passing out to his own finishing move, didn’t help matters much. The crowd didn’t even really react to the finish. Not particularly good, but not particularly bad. Just… existing. It’s worth pointing out that the first TNT Champion was crowned about 33 months ago. In that span, we’ve seen the title change hands 16 times, and have also seen one interim reign take place. That’s too much. The number could be added to soon, as Powerhouse Hobbs gets his title shot on Dynamite this week.
The Gunns vs The Acclaimed vs Orange Cassidy & Danhausen vs Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal – Four-Way Match for the AEW Tag Team Titles
Pros: – Jeff Jarrett’s ring shape. He’s going to turn 56 this year, but he looks to be in great shape. He still has no business competing in title matches on pay-per-view in 2023, but hey, at least he’s in good shape.
– Wrestling is a variety show. The focus here was more on comedy, and that will help it stand out on the show. Whether you liked every match or not, there has been a little something for everyone on this show so far, with an Ironman Match still to come.
Cons: – Match placement. I don’t mean at this spot on the card. Instead, I mean being on the card at all. With the names involved here, this is a match that could’ve/should’ve been on Dynamite instead.
Match Rating: 2.75 Stars. Another perfectly acceptable match for what it was. I still don’t think it belonged on pay-per-view, but at least it didn’t suck. After the match, FTR makes their return and it looks like they’re next up for a shot at the Tag Team Titles, still owned by Austin and Colten Gunn. With FTR’s AEW contracts expiring next month, let the speculation begin that they’re re-signing now.
MJF vs Bryan Danielson – Ironman Match for the AEW World Title
Pros: – MJF’s physique. He opens his ring robe to show that he appears to be in the best shape of his career. He is absolutely JACKED.
– Great technical wrestling to start. We know the pace isn’t going to be insane because of the guaranteed 60 minutes they need to use, but there was just a lengthy back-and-forth that featured lots of chain wrestling, counters, and reversals from both men. That was fun.
– The pace. We’re about one-quarter of the way through the match, and while the action hasn’t resembled a trios match yet, things haven’t exactly been slow, either. Even when there isn’t action taking place, it’s because MJF is playing to the crowd and getting more heat.
– Not a ton of falls yet. There’s still plenty of time for it to happen, but it took over 25 minutes for the first fall of the match, with Danielson picking up the pin after a Busaiku Knee.
– The pace, part deux. Just over 40 minutes in, and these two have been busting their asses for just over 40 minutes. A lot of these types of matches feature a ton of rest holds, stalling, and inactivity. We haven’t really seen any of that here.
– Blood. If you like that sort of thing, that is. Danielson has been wrestling with a bloody forehead and elbow for a while now, but MJF was just busted open, and howdy doo, it is a mess. Within seconds, his entire face is covered in blood.
– Drama. We end the 60 minutes at 3-3, but Tony Khan tells Tony Schiavone (but not Excalibur or Taz, for some reason) that the match can’t end this way. Time for SUDDEN DEATH.
– The match itself. Fucking hell, that was phenomenal.
Cons: – MJF’s spray tan. To go with being in the best shape of his career, he appears to have the worst spray tan of his career. He is numerous shades of brown all throughout his chest, stomach, and arms.
– Me jinxing things. I literally just typed that we haven’t had many falls. Mere seconds after MJF was pinned, he hit Danielson in the little Bryans, getting himself disqualified, but then followed it up by picking up two immediate pins. Just like that, we went from 0-0 to 2-2 in the matter of 90 seconds. To be fair, that’s some great strategy from MJF. It’s just funny that it happened right after I praised the lack of falls. I just happen to prefer an Ironman Match that ends at 2-1, for example, than one that ends at 6-5 or something like that.
– Blood. If you don’t like that sort of thing, that is. We’ve seen a ton of blood tonight. Like… a lot of it.
– Wanting Bryan Danielson to win the AEW World Title. At this point, I’m not sure it’s going to happen. The cycle continues. Danielson wins and wins and wins, earns a title shot, loses the title shot, then wins and wins and wins, earns a title shot, loses the title shot, and so on and so forth.
Match Rating: 5 Stars. That was epic. Kudos to both MJF and Bryan Danielson for delivering what might be the best Ironman Match of all-time, but special kudos goes to MJF for proving the doubters wrong. There was a lot of concern that he wouldn’t be able to carry his end of a match this long, and all he did was give the performance of his life. This is going to be talked about for a long, long time. My goodness.
Overall, there were a couple of matches that never really seemed to get out of first gear, but I’m not complaining about Revolution. Eight matches on the main card, and four of them received great ratings from me, with the main event being a Match Of The Year classic. I can’t ask for much more than that.