All Elite Wrestling’s “Revolution” lived up to his high expectations with one of the better in-ring pay-per-views in recent memory.
The show — which had no founding members Kenny Omega or Cody Rhodes on the map – wasn’t perfect. It was missing a title change and watching the pre-show for all five hours felt long at times. But where AEW continues to shine is in the consistent quality of its matches, storyline payouts, and memorable moments.
“Revolution” was a perfect example of the amazing buffet of pro wrestling that AEW can offer. It left us with a new star in Wardlow, CM Punk on their way to a world title and a surprise debut that led to the climax of the night.
Here are five food stalls from Orlando’s AEW “Revolution” on Sunday night:
Beautiful bloody violence
“Revolution” featured two matches you could count on to bring the blood with MJF and CM Punk in their dog collar match, and Jon Moxley said he had to bleed with Bryan Danielson before they could team up. And while Punk and Moxley certainly wore crimson masks, those fights also provided two of the best stories of the night.
MJF, a fan of punk as a kid, has said he wanted to see this old version of his hero. He caught him on “Revolution”.
Punk did not compete on Living Color’s “Cult of Personality” but rather on his Ring of Honor theme “Miseria Cantare” on AFI, wearing the same ring attire he faced Raven in during a dog collar match in that promotion.
This grudge match revolved around Punk being hampered by an injured kayfabe knee and MJF by an injured hand. It also featured thumbtacks where Punk was superplexed and MJF was KO’d with a GTS after Wardlow’s betrayal. The big man that MJF knocked out for weeks presented Punk with the Dynamite Diamond Ring after pretending he didn’t have it for his boss. It felt like a poetic ending here and the true arrival of everything it takes to win CM Punk. The Welcome Back Tour is over and we’re into serious pro wrestling business and passion.
Danielson and Moxley gave us a brutally physical yet beautiful technical performance. Mixed in with the sounds of slaps, punches and plenty of bravado was the Rolodex of both men’s wrestling maneuvers. Both competitors had a counter, hold, or submission to thwart what the other threw at them. Mox had the last laugh, countering an assist from Danielson into a pin near the ropes to claim the win.
The result so angered Danielson that he went after the referee and attacked Moxley again. The two began fighting and a barrage of AEW officers failed to stem them. It brought in a debutant, William Regal – a mentor to both men in real life – from behind to finally speak to them and blow some sanity into them with a vicious (and loud) palm slap for each. Eventually both men shook hands and we could have a really great new tag team with Regal – who will also play a big role behind the scenes in developing AEW talent – as the manager. just wow.
A star Is Born
What a night for Wardlow. AEW did a fantastic job making him a potential babyface champion, and Revolution put some finishing touches on the transformation.
Wardlow, who exudes Kevin Nash-like cool with his physical build and charisma, won a really fun Face of the Revolution ladder match to earn a shot at the TNT Championship. The 34-year-old had to shove both Keith Lee and Will Hobbs off the stage and onto a table in one of the highlights of a match involving the big man trio.
Like his Power Bomb Symphonies, Wardlow’s Victory and Betrayal of MJF both received huge reactions from the crowd. It all paid off after MJF said – and then retracted – that Wardlow would have to give him the TNT Championship should he win. There’s a good chance MJF or Shawn Spears will cost Wardlow the belt when it comes time to fully kick off their eventual feud.
The titular reign of “Hangman” Adam Page added another building block. The AEW World Champion’s first defense was a Texas Death Match against Lance Archer that tested his toughness.
Beating Adam Cole in his second major defense in Sunday’s main event did two things. It gave him that go-home moment of keeping the belt to close a pay-per-view and allowed him to get past a doubter from his past. He continues to prove he is no longer “the other Adam” by defeating Cole, a former Ring of Honor and NXT Champion.
This match was filled with a slew of near falls including Cole hitting the boom knee after interventions from Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish who kicked Page from late. Cole had his fingers on the rope after taking the first buckshot lariat. A knee pad down boom knee and a second buckshot lariat was what it took to eventually win it. In a nod to her time at Ring of Honor, Page shook hands with a knocked out Cole when it was over.
While Cole is likely to find himself in a feud with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega when the former AEW World Champion returns, there is no clear challenger for Page at the moment. Is AEW ready to go to him and CM Punk or will there be a stopgap feud before that? ReDRagon and the Young Bucks’ collaboration collapsed in their match for the AEW Tag Team Championship, allowing Jurassic Express to keep. The elite have many problems to solve.
Daredevil Darby Allin can be a terrible and huge influence on Sting at the same time. We saw a nearly 63-year-old Steve Borden jump off a balcony on Andrade El Idolo and through a stack of four tables. It wasn’t pretty since Sting looked like he’d hit his head on a table, but boy was it wild. Sting was fine and was the first person at the post-show media session.
Also on six-man tornado tag, which felt like the TLC-esque portion of the show, TNT champion Sammy Guevara hit a Spanish fly on Isiah Kassidy — from an elevated portion of the staging — through a table. While much of the four-hour main map felt like a marathon, this was just a fun sprint that ended with Allin barely jumping far enough to get the Coffin Drop to Matt Hardy to finish it. It was a great bridge from Danielson-Moxely to the main event.
At some point, AEW will have to fully embrace what they have in Eddie Kingston and at least give him a run with the TNT Championship. Maybe “Revolution” was the beginning. He and Chris Jericho felt super motivated in the opening match, which had great pace and gave us just two veterans fighting for respect. Kingston eventually got his first win on an AEW pay-per-view with a huge pop after Jericho missed a Judas effect on an exposed turnbuckle. It gave Kingston the opening for a second spinning backfist and a transition into a stretch plum submission, which Jericho knocked out. It’s the biggest win of Kingston’s career. Whether Jericho, going back on his promise to shake hands, could reignite tensions with Santana and Ortiz, or continue this feud with Kingston, is now the question.
Thunder Rosa’s day is not yet here. She feels destined to eventually win the AEW Women’s Championship from Dr. Britt Baker – who debuted a new belt – to win. It just wasn’t Sunday as interference from Rebel and Jamie Hayter cost Rosa the match. Rosa meets Leyla Hersh in a No. 1 match on Wednesday’s “Dynamite.” The winner gets a shot at the title of Baker. A rematch in Rosa’s hometown of San Antonio the following week feels like a great place to crown her.
Keith Lee was heavily booked in Face of the Revolution ranked match. However, if he doesn’t win, he could end up in no man’s land in the middle of AEW’s map. The rise has presented him well so far so we’ll see.
Jade Cargill and Tay Conti continue to be two of AEW’s most improved wrestlers, as evidenced in a match for Cargill’s TBS Championship. While Cargill moved up to 29-0 and got a big boost, Conti has now lost games for both women’s titles. It’s hard to see where the latter leads from here.
At The Buy In, Hersh continued to be built as a heel and used a turnbuckle clamp to hit Kris Statlander. Hook defeated QT Marshall. Taz’s son gets huge pops with every win and looks like a star-to-be. The House of Black outperformed PAC, Pentagon and Erick Redbeard.
AEW announced the signing of former North American NXT Champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland performing live.
Biggest Winner: Wardlow
Biggest Loser: Tay Conti, Keith Lee
game of the evening: Jon Moxley vs. Brian Danielson
https://nypost.com/2022/03/07/aew-revolution-cm-punk-wins-regal-debuts-sting-jumps-on-tables/ CM Punk wins, Regal debuts, Sting jumps onto the tables