08th Mar2021

‘AEW: Revolution’ PPV Review (Mar 7th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

There’s been a HUGE build for this years AEW: Revolution pay per view, with teases of new appearances and new signings; an entire womens Championshiop elimination tournament AND the promise of an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match! But it all starts with The Buy In. Oh, and given this is going live a few hours after the PPV airs… SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Buy-In Match: Britt Baker and Maki Itoh def. Thunder Rosa and Riho

Maki Itoh! Maki Itoh! Maki Itoh! Maki Itoh! Hell yes! The star of the AEW Women’s Elimination Tournament – at least on social media – made an appearance as Britt Baker’s replacement for an “injured” Reba and killed it – really stealing the show. In fact all four women really shone in this opening match; even Riho, who I think has never really clicked on AEW television since her Championship run – with Thunder Rosa looking particularly strong even when taking the pin. A fun match that mixed storytelling, comedy and hard-hitting action to near-perfection. Apart from that dirty finish; though it does keep the Baker/Rosa feud going.

My score: 4 out of 5

Match #1: (AEW Tag Team Championship Match) The Young Bucks def. MJF and Chris Jericho

A fantastic opener to the PPV, MJF and Jericho actually worked well together and against the Young Bucks – though I don’t think the Buck looked vicious enough here in terms of getting revenge for the “beating” the Bucks dad took on Dynamite. The match suffered from being too unruly (literally) at times, with Jericho and MJF getting away with waaaay too many shenanigans for a Championship match. Still this was a solid start for the pay per view and the right guys won (though I’d have loved for Jericho and MJF to win on the PPV and straight away lose them on Wednesday’s Dynamite to Santana and Ortiz, splitting the Inner Circle up for good)

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: Death Triangle win the Casino Tag Team Royale

All the build of Dark Order’s 5 (Alan Angels) and especially 10 (Preston Vance) on AEW: Dark worked well for the early stages of this match. In fact ALL the tag teams that have been working solidly on Dark over the past few weeks looked good in this Battle Royale… even the Gunns! Jurassic Express replaced both Top Flight AND Chaos Project in the match, with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus cleaning house swiftly after their entry into the match. The Bear Country/Butcher and the Blade feud from AEW: Dark continued nicely here too. John Silver looked superb in the final four, taking it to Pac like nobodies business before finally being eliminated by Death Triangle. Jungle Boy and Ray Fenix were left as the final two in the match and put on the proverbial wrestling clinic in a brilliant finish to a chaotic match. Fenix eventually clotheslined Jungle Boy out the ring for the win.

My score: 4 out of 5

Match #3: (AEW Women’s World Championship Match) Hikaru Shida def. Ryo Mizunami

The promos before this match sold the story of a Champion who was facing her personal goliath, Shida having never defeated Mizunami in the 10 years they’ve known each other; with three “draws” being the closest Shida has come. Which kind of laid out what we could expect from this match: Mizunami would bring the fight to Shida and continue the so-called “lack of respect” she has for the AEW Women’s World Champion. The fight was also a battle of two different styles of wrestling too – a brawler versus a fast-paced striker – with Shida showing not only her speed but her strength, at times tossing the bigger Mizunami around the ring! These two were actually perfectly matched, their experience – both in general and in their matches together – obviously showing. A bunch of near-falls really built excitement as the match rolled to it’s conclusion and a win for Shida, not only retaining her Championship AND finally defeating Mizunami… A kind of predictable conclusion really but this was still a great match.

My score: 4 out of 5

Match #4: Miro and Kip Sabian def. Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy

Miro and Sabian attacked Taylor and Cassidy before the match even started; with Miro putting Chuck Taylor through a glass pane in the corridor pre-match. The match looked it would be a squash match between Miro and Sabian and a solo Chuck Taylor but Cassidy eventually came out to the ring and played possum, taking out Miro with the Orange Punch. After some back and forth between Sabian and Cassidy, Miro made his way back into the match – demolishing Cassidy and then Taylor, eventually making Taylor tap out for the win.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Matt Hardy “Hangman” Adam Page (Big Money Match)

Hardy played dirty throughout this match and that’s about the only highlight of a match that looked good on paper but ended up being dull. Page deserves a LOT more than this. Seriously, a lot… Hardy literally just went through his entire repertoire – side effect, twist of fate etc. multiple times, as if he has literally nothing else to give. The entire match was saved by the interference angle, first Private Party stepping in for Hardy and then the Dark Order helping Page get the Buckshot Lariat for the win.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #6:  Scorpio Sky wins the ‘Face of the Revolution’ Ladder Match

Max Caster opened the match with another fantastic (and politically pointed) rap, before being joined by Lance Archer, Scorpio Sky, Penta El Zero Miero, Cody Rhodes and the “surprise” entrant former Impact Tag Team Champ Ethan Page, making his AEW debut… Which honestly wasn’t THAT surprising if you’ve followed Page’s career so far. Though Page’s training (begun in Impact) has really paid off – he looked in brilliant shape here.

[Sidenote: I did love the fact AEW used a LITERAL brass ring for these guys to grab for, in another blatant dig at the house Vince McMahon built]

There looked to be a few mistakes in the match, with no-one in the ring at one point and Penta not going for the brass ring when he climbed into the ring afterwards, even though he could’ve clearly, and easily, got the win. It looked as if someone missed their cue OR a move went wrong. Plus there were a lot of moves telegraphed AND botched here too, unfortunately. It was all a bit messy TBH. Oh, and Cody did his usual “I’m injured and off out the back… oh no I’m not, I’m coming back out” shtick. Meh. The amount of times they teased Cody winning the match, and thus getting ANOTHER shot at the TNT title, didn’t help at all either… It just made me hate the match more! Thankfully the right guy, Scorpio Sky, got the win in the end.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: Tag Team Streetfight – Sting and Darby Allin def. Ricky Starks and Brian Cage

AEW going down the cinematic fight route for this one… Which looked remarkably good and at least took place in a ring in an undisclosed location rather than in the literal street. The opener was shot like some creepy music video and really sold the dark and moody nature of the Sting and Darby Allin pairing. The fact each man had facepaint that mirrored the other – each wearing half the other wrestlers usual paint as well as their own – looked remarkable and was very apt. The cinematic style was well executed, looking very much like the dark and dramatic cinematography of the Crow franchise and was helped tremendously by the commentary (including Taz, who was added to the line-up for this match). Plus there was some BRUTAL action within, with Darby Allin putting his body on the line to really sell this match. Thankfully the action also took place in a ring, where Sting – after a bit of a beating and eating a spear – eventually scored the pin over Ricky Starks.

My score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #8: Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch for the AEW World Championship – Kenny Omega def. Jon Moxley

This was just what you expected from these two guys and this particular match – it lived up to the hype and matched the brutality of the duo’s previous matches. Blood, barbed wire, and explosions of the tiny pyro kind (obviously health and safety had to be followed) made this one a thrilling match; with an end that saw Omega putting Moxley through a chair with a BRUTAL one-winged angel following interference from the Good Brothers. Though WTF was that final “explosion”? What a stupid ending to a great match. You have to hope the pyro went horribly wrong. Surely? Though it looks like terrible ending is a new beginning – the start of a beautiful, rekindled, friendship between Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley.

My score: 3 out of 5 (it loses a point for that crap “explosion”)

News of the Night:

  1. QT Marshall apparently turned heel by dumping the Gunns over the top rope in the Battle Royale AND eliminating himself on  purpose; leaving his Nightmare Family stable mate, Dustin Rhodes, in the match alone.
  2. Nyla Rose, Britt Baker and Maki Itoh gave Shida and Mizunami a post-match beatdown before Thunder Rosa came out for the save.
  3. AEW: Double or Nothing 2021 is set to take place on Sunday May 30th (why the switch to Sundays for pay per views AEW? Why?)
  4. Miro “sacrificed” Penelope Ford by pushing Orange Cassidy into her during their match, teasing a possible break-up of the duo of Miro and Kip Sabian.
  5. The Inner Circle announced yet ANOTHER waste of time on Dynamite this Wednesday, or as they called it a “War Council”, to talk about the future of the faction.
  6. Dark Order helped out “Hangman” Adam Page yet again, continuing the long-game tease of page possibly joining the faction.
  7. Jack Evans interfered in not one but TWO matches on this pay per view: the Battle Royale and the Ladder Match and beyond mention of “doing it for the money” during the former it wasn’t clear why he did either.
  8. The “hall of fame-worthy” new AEW signee was, you guessed it, Christian. Yeah, everyone guessed it.

Final Verdict: 3/5

AEW’s Revolution pay per view started strong but the show petered out after the Women’s Championship match. Thankfully things picked up with the cinematic streetfight and the insane main event – which looked like it took just as much a toll on the referee as it did Omega and Moxley! Ultimately though this was a great card let down by a terrible, terrible ending. One that did a lot to almost negate everything that preceded it… A shame.

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