Wednesday, March 29, 2023

AEW Revolution 2023

Well, now that we've finally caught up, it's time to watch the Revolution PPV from earlier this month. I've heard good things about it, which compelled me to order the replay and give it a watch. Also, we now have a date for the Double Or Nothing PPV, which I will make a point to watch this year in a timely manner.

Anyway, a couple big matches. Hangman vs. Mox in TEXAS DEATH! Danielson vs. MJF in a 60-minute IRON MAN MATCH! The Elite defends the Trios titles against THE HOUSE OF BLACK! It's the battle of the WOMEN WITH THE FUNNY ACCENTS (and Ruby Soho) FOR THE WOMEN'S TITLE... which is a weirdly inappropriate name for a three-way between three fine talents, but is certainly more appropriate than saying that your reigning World Tag-Team champions... are THE GUNNS.

That last statement earned a wet fart from the dog... I betcha that makes headlines in the next Observor.

Anyway, enough talk. Have at this PPV then.

"Absolute" Ricky Starks defeated Chris Jericho in a pretty entertaining opening match. The crowd was into Starks and his win over Jericho felt like something resembling a big deal. Whether the booking takes advantage of that and uses that to make Starks into a bigger star is another story, but as far as this was concerned, this was a fine match and Jericho was more than fitting a foil for Starks to overcome.

"Jungle" Jack Perry (don't @ me; @ Justin Roberts who's trying to get on JR's good side, apparently) defeated Christian Cage in what was dubbed a "Final Burial" match but is really just a plain ol' casket match. I'd ask if Undertaker was upset about somebody stealing "his" match, but I'm sure he isn't watching anyway, so... anyway, this was a good brawl and again, a show-making performance for the ol' Jungle Boy that puts the final nail in his feud with Christian, who was sporting a rather stylish turtleneck singlet. That should be more of a thing.

The House Of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews) defeated AEW World Trios Champions The Elite (Kenny Omega And The Bucks) to win the titles in another show-stealing performance from the Elite, who continue to wow people with their talent. More importantly, this is giving the House Of Black some legs to run with because they've been floundering somewhat ever since the Cody deal ages ago, so it's nice to see that group get a spotlight to showcase their stuff.

AEW Women's Champion Jamie Hayter defeated Ruby Soho and Saraya to retain the title via roll-up to Soho, who is so upset by this blatant WWE-esque roll-up that she attacks Hayter and joins Saraya and Toni Storm's group of outsiders... 'cuz you see, Saraya and Toni Storm came from a company way up north and are considered outsiders while Hayter and Britt are the homegrown talent who were there from the beginning despite the fact that Hayter joined the company about a year or so ago. Oh, yeah, what a story to elevate the women's division in AEW, guys; rehashing shit from 1996 because that's worked well for TNA, WWE, WCW, etc. Unfortunately, Ruby ain't no Hollywood and the only Hogan you have under contract ain't scratching that floor, much less the ceiling.

Now, silly story aside, this was a pretty fun, highly energetic match. Saraya seems to have found her groove again and it helps that you've got two other talented women in Hayter and Ruby to carry the load a bit. I'm generally not a fan of three-ways, but this was one of the better ones.

Hangman Adam Page defeated Jon Moxley in a Texas Death Match... or as they often call it, TEXAS DEATH! Well, your mileage is going to vary, of course. Mox bled of course. Hangman also bled. There's some barbwired stuff in there. There's a fine line between brutal bloodbath and total farce and this dangled on that line quite a bit. Either way, this was a big win for the Hangman and, again, we'll see if the booking will take advantage of this.

Wardlow defeated TNT Champion Samoa Joe via rear choke submission (Joe's own move!) to win back the TNT Title. Fortunately, Samoa Joe is still ROH Television Champion and thus, still the King of Television... whatever that means these days. Two big guys beating the crap out of each other is almost always a fun time and this was no exception, but following TEXAS DEATH was a tall order for any match that would follow this one.

AEW World Tag-Team Champions *shudders* DUH GUNNS defeated The Acclaimed, Orange Cassidy/Danhausen, and Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal to retain the titles... and yes, Danhausen was indeed the unfortunate Victimhausen to take the fallhausen. So I got that much.

And then long-dormant tag-team Fuck The Revival make their return from the abyss to kill the Gunns and tease going after the tag titles. Finally, a real tag-team worth my time.

AEW World Champion MJF defeated Bryan Danielson to retain the title in a 60-minute Iron Man match that ended in a draw (3-3) that left the crowd chanting bullshit, but then continues in Sudden Death rules, allowing MJF to try and cheat his way a few times before eventually smashing Danielson with an oxygen tank and locking him in the LeBell Lock (Danielson's own move!) for the eventual tapout win. Iron Man matches are almost never my cup of tea. It's not the matter of the match being long, but it's the matter of making everything before the last five to ten minutes of the match matter. That having been said, this was a perfectly fine match with Danielson doing his damndest to win the title, but having an epiphany of sorts to tap out so that he can go home and play with his kids. What that means in the long run... who knows?

So the one common thing I noticed with this PPV is how a lot of the veterans are losing to the younger and/or homegrown talent, which is probably the biggest takeaway you can get from this show. And I think that's a smart idea because the whole point of having veterans around is so that they help get the younger guys (and gals) over enough to gain the tools needed to become stars. Sometimes, that doesn't necessarily means having them lose outright, but eventually those guys have to win something and those wins have to feel like big deals.

On paper, Revolution gave some of the younger guys some "big wins" but whether the booking capitalizes on that or eventually flakes out - something of a common issue with AEW, I've noticed - is going to be witnessed over the course of several weeks. As far as the show itself is concerned, it's probably one of the better AEW PPVs that I've seen in a while. The matches were fine, the stories told made some sense, and the pacing was such that all four hours flew by quickly. All in all, a worthwhile PPV event from All Elite Wrestling.

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