Wednesday, March 13, 2024

AEW Revolution 2024

Normally, I'd be holding this off until after the Ramblemania business is done, by after finally watching the show this weekend (via replay), I'd figure that we'd get this out of the way now and be done with it. For context, this is the first AEW show that I've seen since All Out 2023. While I've been keeping privy of what's been happening on the programming, I've probably only watched a handful of episodes at MOST... and only bothered to post musings on ONE. (For those wondering, I may or may not post thoughts on tonight's Dynamite show, dubbed BIG BU$INE$$ and eminating from Bo$$ton... maybe.)

That is then and this is... well, also then. But let's get this one out of the way because I've got... far less to say than I thought I would.

TNT Champion Christian Cage defeated Daniel Garcia with outside interference from Killswitch, Nick Wayne, and Nick Wayne's Mother whose name I don't recall to retain the title. Outside of the outside interference, this was a perfectly fine match. Cage is the stern father figure and Garcia is the rebellious son. Good opener.

AEW Continental Triple Strong Crown Of Honor (whatever) Champion Eddie Kingston defeated Bryan Danielson to retain the triple crown. Bryan teases and eventually shakes Eddie's hand after the match... first the bad hand (which Eddie hurt by hitting the post) and then the actual hand. Tremendous back and forth between Kingston and Danielson... though with all due respect to Eddie, I was kinda rooting for Danielson and was slightly miffed when he went down. The guy's only got a few more months as a full-time wrestler. At some point, we need to belt this bastard and reward his hard work because it's hard for me to care about a Danielson match beyond "excellent pro wrestling" when there are plenty of other places that can offer "excellent pro wrestling." Sometimes, a little thing like someone winning a belt and defending it against other challengers for a little bit is all the hook you need.

That, and I really would've liked to have seen another Danielson/Okada match.

Wardlow defeated Brian Cage, Lance Archer, Powerhouse Hobbs, Chris Jericho, Hook, and a couple CMLL guys whose names I don't recall in what is bafflingly called an "All-Stars Scramble" match... which is funny because when you have eight guys in a ring together and only half that roster comes across as stars, that moniker is kind of stretching. Originally, this was supposed to be a MEAT MADNESS match with a bunch of big fuckers beating the fuck out of each other... but alas, two of the big fuckers were still on the shelf and ol' TK didn't know about that... so we got this instead. However, the four big fuckers still booked in this match immediately tossed out the smaller guys so they could the audience their MEAT MADNESS... which only lasts a while before the small guys would come in to ruin the whole thing and get booed for their efforts. As they should be, because they killed off MEAT MADNESS and gave us VEGAN VELOCITY or some stupid shit like that.

Roderick Strong defeated AEW International All-Atlantic Big Gold Western States Heritage Champion Orange Cassidy to win the title. Nice to see Strong back to doing what he does best and that's deliver great showings in the ring. I'm sure some folks liked him being stuck in a wheelchair and screaming "ADAM!" like some petulant child, but I found that grating after a while. Not sure that this Undisputed Kingdom or whatever thing is any better, but it's at least something that isn't stupid. The match was pretty damned good too. And then Kyle O'Reilly shows up to make his return, gets offered a T-Shirt to join Roddy's latest Undisputed thing, gives back the shirt, whispers something to Roddy's ear, walks out, and holds back whatever emotion he's feeling as the crowd welcomes him back. Considering O'Reilly's recent health woes that made it questionable as to whether he'd be back or not, it was good to see him back on TV... I'd even suggest he'd keep the ragged look. It's a good look for him.

Jon Moxley/Claudio defeated Fuck The Revival via double submission in an excellent tag-team match. Not much else to say here; this was a fun tag match and I enjoyed these guys going at it tremendously.

AEW Women's Champion "Timeless" Toni Storm defeated Deonna Purrazo to retain the title. They did a little swerve thing by having Toni's other blond girl come out to her old gimmick to fool people somewhat, but other than that... yeah, this was probably the weak link on this show. Not necessarily because the women were bad or anything. They did a fine enough match, but the crowd was largely silent and nobody gave a shit. Timeless Toni is supposedly a heel, but people seems to like her schtick and want to cheer her. Deonna, meanwhile, is the new girl that they signed from TNA - which I'm surprised didn't get a mention here considering AEW is more than happy to reference STARDOM, even the majority of the TV audience probably have no clue as to what STARDON is - that they made no effort to give people a reason to cheer for beyond she and Toni sharing the same tattoo or something. I'm sure that I am missing something here, but I'm also sure that I don't care. And that's the problem with a lot of these women matches. A lot of the time, they feel like they're there for the sake of being there. That's never a good sign.

Will Ospreay defeated Takeshita in an excellent wrestling match... match of the night. I enjoyed this tremendously. I'm not saying anything else about this match. Go watch this match. Watch it right now. Stop reading this scratchpad in digital form, buy the fucking PPV, and watch this match. It's tremendous. Everything Will Ospreay does is tremendous - the handful of matches he had in TNA this year have been tremendous. And the crowd seem to love him. And so do I.

So, uh... yeah... note to TK: you want a babyface champion who can carry your company into the stratosphere for the next five years. You've got it in Will Ospreay. The man deserves a big push the minute he put pen to paper. Don't wait for Kenny, don't wait for MJF, don't give me Swervy-Swerve Guy. Fucking Ospreay. Push him now. Do NOT wait until summer. Do NOT wait to strap a fucking rocket up his ass and launch him to the fucking moon. Do it RIGHT NOW. And then Belt him at Wembley. No Fucking Brainer, brah.

AEW World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe defeated Hangman Adam Page and Swerve Strickland via Hangman submission to retain the title. Apparently, Hangman is a bit of a dick nowadays, beating up refs and even tapping out to Joe's finish, just to keep Swerve from winning. People were cheering for Swerve, even though he was supposedly the heel or something. Well, Joe is supposed to be a heel, but people cheer him anyway... as they should because Joe is awesome. This was another great match and one of the rare three-way matches in recent memory that kept me somewhat engaged despite the fact that I've only watched a handful of AEW shows as of late. I'm happy to see that they pulled the trigger on the Swerve face turn on Dynamite and honestly, I feel that whenever he and Joe go at it, that'll be the time to put the rocket on him. Swerve's a cool dude who's done some bad things, but he's likable... and Prince Nana is a good bad dancer too.

AEW Tag-Team Champions Sting and Darby Allin defeated The Young Fucks (Matthew and Nicholas Jackson) via Scorpion Deathlock submission to retain the titles in Sting's last match, which means the guy goes out a conquering hero and champion and can now retire in peace, while Darby is stuck doing another match tonight on Dynamite before he makes the climb to Mount Everest later this month. To say that this was a crazy-ass match is an understatement; you've got Sting's two boys (cosplaysing as Wolfpac Sting and Surfer Sting, no less) doing splashes, you've got a bunch of tables being broken, Darby diving through REAL GLASS - a controversial spot, no doubt - and even ol' Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat (guest timekeeper for this match) got some action... and yes, Steamboat still looked fine in his short bit. Flair... well, presumably he got paid. Your mileage is definitely going to vary on this one, but I thought this was a really fun match that had a few crazy spots and a couple cool moments that ultimately ended with the Icon riding off into the sunset with his head held high. If this isn't the greatest retirement match that I've ever seen where the dude actually STAYS retired after the match, then it's certainly high on that list.

AEW's first PPV of 2024 is probably the first AEW PPV that I've seen in a good long while where (almost) everything has been exceptional and even the few low points on the show still held up better than most. ... Perhaps most of all, it's shows that you can give a legend a proper send-off in a respectful (enough) manner without sacrificing them in a needless desire to "give back." One of the all-time great retirement matches topping out one of the greatest AEW shows in years. Definitely worth the watch.

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