All Elite Wrestling’s third official PPV since their launch on TNT, AEW Revolution took place from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, and unsurprisingly, the packed card delivered once again. This was the first PPV since Full Gear in November, which allowed AEW to properly build several storylines leading to the event.
The main theme of the show was the villainous Inner Circle taking on the good guys of the company, along with the heated rivalry between MJF and Cody coming to a head at the show.
Overall, the show was paced quite well with several memorable matchups and moments. We look at the way the show went down and give our thoughts on the matches.
Buy In: SCU vs. The Dark Order
The pre-show of the ppv saw the former Tag Team Champions take on the Dark Order, who are still teasing the debut of the Exalted One. A brawl broke out before the match could even begin, and later the match itself wasn’t much noteworthy.
A clothesline from Evil Uno to Scorpio Sky allowed Stu Grayson to pick up the pinfall for the victory. Post-match, indie star Colt Cabana made his debut, trying to fend off the members of the Dark Order. Christopher Daniels appeared in a robe, playing into the rumors of him being the Exalted One, but later helped SCU and Cabana.
Result: The Dark Order defeated SCU
Analysis: There was nothing noteworthy in this matchup, which was merely a throwaway tag-match between two mid-card teams. There were several antics throughout the match, along with the debut of Cabana. The storyline of who’s the Exalted One continued, and we were assured that Daniels isn’t the leader.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Jake Hager
The former WWE superstars took on the first official match of the show, and the duo had a heated encounter throughout. Jake Hager kissed his wife several times during the match, and later Rhodes stole a kiss for himself.
Rhodes sought redemption after Hager broke his arm, and focused his offense on the undefeated MMA star’s shoulder. Both the individuals scored nearfalls, before Hager put Rhodes into the Ankle Lock. Rhodes survived and pushed Hager onto the referee. Taking advantage of this distraction, Hager applied the Triangle Choke for the win.
Result: Jake Hager defeated Dustin Rhodes via referee stoppage
Analysis: This was Jake Hager’s first-ever match in WWE and was highly anticipated considering his stint with the powerful Inner Circle. Rhodes has given much better performances in the company, although this one was right up there with the intense storytelling throughout.
Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin
The two upstarts of the company competed in a singles encounter. Allin dished out some punishment to Guevara before the match started, but a miscued attempt at a suicide dive led to Guevara taking the upperhand with an impressive 630 senton.
Once the match officially began, the highly talented youngsters kept up the high-paced aerial offense going. A Spanish Fly from the Inner Circle member couldn’t keep Allin down, Guevera exposed the top turnbuckle, but Allin countered to hit the Coffin Drop for the win.
Result: Darby Allin defeated Sammy Guevara
Analysis: These two superstars are not just the future of AEW but are certain to become the top names in professional wrestling in the years to come, and this match was a testament to this thought.
Allin has consistently shown as the babyface, with the late 2000s Jeff Hardy vibes to his character. This win will only help him further his momentum. As for Guevara, he continues to remain one of the most charismatic superstars in the company, with tremendous in-ring ability to back it up.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Hangman Page and Kenny Omega(c) vs. The Young Bucks
In a friendly rivalry, the members of Elite competed in the Tag Team Championship encounter. Tensions flared early on, with Hangman Page continuing to distance himself from his Elite buddies.
Page spat in the face of Matt Jackson, which angered the older Buck. Page was taken out of the match monetarily after the Young Bucks hit the IndieTaker on the ramp. The brothers focused on Omega’s injured shoulder, with Matt getting ultra-aggressive, and Nick having to stop his brother from attacking their good friend.
Page made his way back into the matchup and he hit a Buckshot/V-Trigger combo on Matt but it failed to keep him down. An injured shoulder prevented Omega from hitting his trademark One-Winged Angel, and Page did the honors himself. However, yet another nearfall ensued, which was followed by Page hitting the Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Result: Hangman Page and Kenny Omega defeated The Young Bucks to retain the AEW Tag Team Championships
Analysis: This match was yet another masterclass in storytelling, with the growing tension between Page and the rest of the Elite buddies. Page tried to distance himself from the group at the beginning of the year, but it only led to him and Omega winning the titles instead.
The ever-increasing tension between Matt Jackson and Page was wonderfully executed, and it will be interesting to see the Endgame of this rivalry. Apart from the storytelling, the match as usual featured some of the finest wrestling in the world today, with four top-talents stealing the show in arguably the Match of the Month.
AEW Women’s Championship Match: Nyla Rose(c) vs. Kris Statlander
Nyla Rose’ first defense of the title saw her take on the extraterrestrial Statlander, who was battling symptoms of the flu. The match saw both the competitors burst out their finest moves, but featured several botched spots, indicating the lack of chemistry between the two stars.
Statlander kicked out of a Beast Bomb and delivered an avalanche brainbuster. She went for the hurricanrana but was picked up by Rose for yet another Beast Bomb, resulting in the three count.
Result: Nyla Rose defeated Kris Statlander to retain the AEW Women’s Championship
Analysis: The match is a blimp in the card featuring otherwise fantastic encounters throughout. This rivalry lacked a proper story as well as the two women didn’t have any chemistry to perform at the level of their male counterparts on the card.
Statlander is a highly talented individual and will surely get her chances in the future, but for now, Rose will probably move on to different challengers.
Cody vs. MJF
A deeply personal rivalry finally came to head, as the former brothers-in-arms set foot inside the Squared Circle. MJF used his usual heel tactics to slow down the pace initially, but Cody retaliated and burst out a clothesline followed by an Alabama Slam.
Brandi Rhodes tried to keep Wardlow in check at ringside, who ate a Tope Suicida from Cody. Cody gave a kick to MJF barefooted, bursting him open on the ramp.
Cody tried to kick Wardlow but ended up colliding with Arn Anderson instead. Inside the ring, MJF hit a low-blow but couldn’t secure the victory. MJF tried to lash Cody with his own belt, but was stopped by the referee. Cody went on to deliver 10 lashes of his own, and a crying MJF hugged his opponent, before spitting on his face.
Cody delivered two Cross-Rhodes, but a third one was countered by MJF for the win with a punch from the Dynamite Ring.
Result: MJF defeated Cody
Analysis: MJF and Cody’s rivalry is one of the best stories told in AEW so far, and easily ranks among the top stories in professional wrestling in recent times. The match was intense, with the involvement of Brandi Rhodes, Arn Anderson and Wardlow playing an important factor.
Cody succumbed to yet another defeat on an AEW PPV, and his face told a sad story post-match. The rivalry is far from over and we will most likely get a blow-off match soon.
PAC vs. Orange Cassidy
In one of the most random matches on the PPV, the bastard PAC took on the freshly squeezed Orange Cassidy. The nonchalant competitor delivered his famous kicks to kick off the match and kept on annoying PAC throughout, who was already frustrated after his defeat to Omega last week.
The pace of the match increased considerably after a comedic start, and Orange Cassidy hit a crossbody and a DDT for a close two-count. PAC stopped Cassidy’s onslaught with a lariat, but Cassidy hit a Superman Punch and Stundog Millionaire to gain upper hand.
The Lucha Bros appeared out of nowhere and took out the Best Friends. Inside the ring, PAC applied the Brutalizer for the win and refused to let go of the hold even after the match. The referee had to physically force him to break the hold.
Result: PAC defeated Orange Cassidy
Analysis: PAC and Orange Cassidy are polar opposite characters in kayfabe, with PAC being the uber-aggressive superstar who’s always angry, while Cassidy is the most no-f’s given superstar in the history of professional wrestling.
Despite this, we got to see a surprisingly fantastic match between the two superstars, which also demonstrated Cassidy’s actual in-ring abilities.
The introduction of Lucha Bros felt quite random, and unless it is the start of a stable with PAC, the move doesn’t make much sense on paper.
AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho(c) vs. Jon Moxley
The showcase of the night saw Jericho and his Inner Cirlce buddies try to keep down the antihero from capturing his first AEW title. Moxley sported the eyepatch he has been wearing for weeks due to Jericho’s attack, and it hampered his game throughout the match.
Hager, Guevara, Santana and Ortiz tried their best to keep Le Champion as the youngest AEW Champion in history, but they were eventually ejected from ringside. Jericho did everything he could and lined up for a Judas Effect which was countered into a Paradigm Shift. Moxley removed his eyepatch to reveal his perfect eye, and delivered yet another Paradigm Shift for the win!
Result: Jon Moxley defeated Chris Jericho to become the new AEW Champion
Analysis: Jon Moxley overcoming all odds to dethrone Chris Jericho was a fantastic bit of storytelling and the entire Chicago crowd loved every bit of it. The eye-patch reveal was done perfectly, while Jericho and his Inner Circle buddies played their part to pinpoint precision.
Moxley winning the title is a smart decision, as it opens up several new avenues for the singles division. Moxley taking on Omega should be a guaranteed matchup in the future.