I gotta hand it to All Elite Wrestling. They may be branded by the public as being the alternative to WWE’s brand of sports entertainment but they’re certainly going out of their way to not compete with the WWE’s programming. AEW put their weekly Dynamite show on Wednesday to not clash with RAW or Smackdown but the WWE had to go and move NXT to Wednesday. Even with their pay-per-view events, AEW scheduled their first one of the year, Revolution, on a Saturday, just in case the WWE pulls another fast one and schedules a big show… which they won’t because they want those Sunday numbers.
Anyway, AEW’s Revolution was over the weekend and there is a lot to talk about because they put on one heck of a show. They put on a total of 8 matches, including the Buy In show, and almost all of them were fantastic.
I said almost all because the worst match of the night was Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander for the AEW Women’s Championship. This was a slog to watch as most of the moves didn’t really seem to connect hard enough. They weren’t really botches but you could definitely see that most of the strikes weren’t hitting with any force. I also found a lot of the camera angles, especially at the start of the match, gave a uncanny perspective. For one reason or another, the production people of AEW didn’t use the center camera until the latter half of the match. They primarily used this lower camera angle that made the action just look so much slower.
That’s not to say there were no good spots. The one where Kris Statlander walked on her hands was cute. Nyla Rose’s spear through the ropes was the only move that really looked like there was some oomph behind it. The finish came when Statlander tried a hurracarana on The Native Beast from the top turnbuckle but Nyla Rose blocked it and reversed the move into an avalanche beast bomb for the pinfall victory. Nyla Rose walks out of Revolution with her AEW Women’s Championship still in tow. This was a very disappointing match and I just expected more.
That was the only real bad match, though. Everything else was very entertaining. The Buy In match with SCU vs. Dark Order was a very good match in itself, mainly because of how they built up the storyline. Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian opted to sideline Christopher Daniels because of his suspected links to Dark Order. I really like the tag team of SCU and how their moves flow into one another. Oddly enough, Dark Order showed a weak link in Evil Uno as he wasn’t in the ring all that much and, when he was, he hardly did anything but a few strikes before tagging out immediately. You hardly see him in the ring and that’s all we get?
The finish of the match came with Scorpio Sky rolling up Stu Grayson but Evil Uno blindsides Sky, allowing Grayson to get the pinfall victory in a rather anticlimactic finish. The show wasn’t over as the rest of Dark Order started beating down on Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky. Then, from out of nowhere, comes Colt Cabana for the save! Well, sorta. The numbers game catch up and Dark Order also start beating down on Cabana. That wasn’t the only run-in as a mysterious hooded figure appeared on the ramp. Under the hood was Christopher Daniels! However, instead of revealing he was part of Dark Order, The Fallen Angel goes right after Dark Order! SCU and Colt Cabana manage to turn things around. Very fun match and the after match antics were incredible to watch as well.
While I liked Dustin Rhodes vs Jake Hagar as a whole, there were some problems with it. The action was really good, especially since we have two veterans of the squared circle in a hard hitting match. All the moves had impact behind them. I will say that introducing Jake Hagar’s wife into the match didn’t sit well with me. I guess she’s always with Hagar during his MMA matches but I don’t watch Hagar’s MMA matches so I don’t know how she figures in things. I also don’t like that Dustin Rhodes smooches on Jake Hagar’s wife in the middle of the match. Sure, she did try to take a swing at him, but isn’t that a heelish move?
The finish was very interesting. Hagar had Dustin in the ankle lock but the Grandson of a Plumber manages to power out of it, sending Hagar almost crashing into referee Aubrey Edwards. Hagar manages to take advantage of a stunned referee and uses the time to nail Dustin with a low blow. Hagar then locks in a version of a sleeperhold to take out Dustin and secure the victory. This was a very good match but the wife antics did not add anything for me.
The next match I want to talk about is the Chris Jericho vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW Heavyweight Championship bout. While this was the main event and, once again, an excellent match, this just wasn’t just as good as the matches I haven’t talked about yet. Lots of action throughout, especially early on with the action spilling into the crowd. It did seem odd that the match was allowed to continue after all of those shots with foreign objects, though.
Of course, Jericho’s Inner Circle had to get involved. Even when it seemed like referee Aubrey Edwards was finally tossing them out, Sammy Guevarra still managed to rush in with one last hit behind the ref’s back. Very ingenious storytelling all throughout.
The finish came with Jericho going after Moxley’s good eye. Jericho then tried the Judas Effect but, despite seemingly blind in both eyes, Moxley ducked underneath it. It turns out his eye under the eye patch had already healed. Still, if if was covered by the eye patch, how did he see the attempted Judas Effect? Anyway, one Paradigm Shift DDT later and Jon Moxley is your NEW AEW Heavyweight Champion. Really entertaining match with Moxley selling the injured eye up until the reveal it was healed was really good storytelling with a great payoff at the end.
Darby Allin vs Sammy Guevarra was definitely one of the night’s highlights, which was astounding as Revolution was packed with highlights. As these were two agile high-flying risk takers, there were obviously going to be some really death defying spots. I wasn’t a fan of the match actually continuing after all of the mayhem that happened before the bell rang but, hey! It was still fun to watch!
There were a few moments that did feel a little too dangerous like when Darby Allin tried a suicide dive… sorry, tope suicida… to Guevarra but he missed since his ankles scraped the top rope. The finish came with The Spanish God taking off the turnbuckle pad but Allin used it to his advantage. He smashed Guevarra’s head into the exposed turnbuckle, did his flipping stunner and, finally, got the pinfall victory with a Coffin Drop senton. Really great action all throughout but maybe ease up on the spots that seem too dangerous next time?
Next up is Cody vs. MJF. Now this feud had a lot of build up so the match should have delivered. It did, with spades! MJF played the heel role really well and he played it up to a hilt, even exposing Cody’s broken toe and biting into it! Some antics, like Wardlow and Arn Anderson getting into a heated argument and Anderson even brandishing a chair, I love. Others, like Brani Rhodes attempting a crossbody to Wardlow, leading to Cody having to save her, I didn’t.
The finish was good but kind of confusing. MJF looked like he was begging for mercy but spit in Cody’s face in the end. This enraged Cody and he did a couple of Cross Rhodes on MJF. When going for a third, MJF managed to counter with a kick, which shouldn’t be possible since he was already hit with two finishers! MJF should’ve been unconscious by the third attempt. Anyway, MJF then takes out the Dynamite Diamond Ring and whacks Cody with it, enabling him to get the pinfall victory.
I get they had to have MJF win as to really cement him as one of the top heels in AEW. However, I didn’t like that he also had the capacity to take two finishers and still have the mental fortitude to reverse the third Cross Rhodes with a knee! If he walloped him with the Dynamite Diamond to get out of it, sure. Using a simple kick to the head just didn’t do it for me.
Is it weird that my 2nd favorite match of the night was technically a comedy match? Orange Cassidy vs PAC was the most fun I had but it still wasn’t the match of the night because, while it was a blast to watch, it didn’t really leave a lasting impact when all is said and done. Pairing Orange Cassidy with a super intense performer like PAC was a stroke of sheer genius as it shows how even a comedy wrestler can put on a good show against a serious performer if it’s booked right. It certainly helped that the live crowd was really into the joke as they cheered for the sloth-like attacks of Cassidy.
The think that kind of blew the match for me was the run in by the Lucha Bros to attack Best Friends, who was with Orange Cassidy. I definitely would’ve preferred a clean but hard fought victory for PAC. Alas, this wasn’t the case. Anyway, after the run in, PAC locks in the Brutalizer on Freshly Squeezed for the submission victory. Extremely enjoyable match but I do hope they don’t overexpose Orange Cassidy just because he’s red (or orange?) hot at the moment.
Finally, we have to talk about the match of the night, which was “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega vs. The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships. They did a lot of buildup for this one and dropping lots of hints that something big was going to happen with The Elite. Nothing really did but it does look like the story hasn’t ended yet.
What made this the match of AEW Revolution was the in-ring storytelling. Things started out with Hangman spitting in the face of Matt Jackson, riling him up bad. This did lead to things really heating up for everyone, including Kenny Omega, who is still banged up from his match with PAC at Dynamite on Wednesday. This looked more like a blood feud than a bunch of friends competing in a match. It looked really natural and everything flowed together nicely.
Lots of near falls, maybe just a smidge too many, but a lot of them, especially near the end felt like they could’ve closed the match nicely. The real finish came after Hangman used Kenny Omega’s One Winged Angel on Matt Jackson but Nick Jackson makes the save. Adam Page then dumps Nick to the outside and delivers a Buckshot Lariat to Nick. Page then turns around and knocks Matt with a Buckshot Lariat to get the pinfall victory and retain the AEW Tag Team Championships.
After the match, The Young Bucks try to reconcile with Hangman Adam Page and Kenny Omega. Omega is amenable to it but Hangman isn’t having any of it. It even looked kind of like The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were going to turn on Adam Page and deliver a triple super kick to Hangman… but it was just a tease. Page leaves the ring but turns around and it looks like he’s going to deliver a Buckshot Lariat to Omega! It’s just another tease, however. Adam Page and Kenny Omega leave with their titles but it looks like the story isn’t over yet. Like I said, really great in-ring storytelling here, which made it Revolution’s stand out match out of a card filled with stand out matches.
All Elite Wrestling Revolution was a super good wrestling pay-per-view event. If this is what they’ll be offering on their pay-per-view events, then you bet I’ll be watching. Heck, I’ll even say it beat a lot of WWE’s big shows last year! If you like wrestling, you deserve to watch this.
Have you seen AEW Revolution? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!