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KELLER’S AEW REVOLUTION PPV REPORT
FEBRUARY 29, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON PPV & B/R LIVE STREAMING
Announcers: Jim Ros, Tony Schaivone, Excalbur
(A) DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)
Before the match, Sky asked Daniels to remain backstage due to concern over his loyalties or just being a distraction. Daniels wasn’t pleased, but agreed. Taz and Excalibur discussed the possibility that Daniels is the Exalted One. In the end, Dark Order members interfered late when SCU rallied. Sky rolled up Grayson, but Uno hit him from behind. Grayson then made the cover and scored the pin.
WINNERS: Dark Order in 9:00.
-After the match, Dark Order ganged up on SCU. Colt Cabana ran out and made the save for SCU. Then Daniels came out, disguised in a black cloak at first. He revealed himself as Daniels, but instead of being with Dark Order, he joined Cabana and fellow SCU members in attacking SCU.
-Lexi interviewed Jurassic Express backstage.
-A video package aired on the Young Buck’s new autobiography.
-Justin Roberts introduced the main announce team.
-Ross, Schiavone, and Excalibur had a long discussion about the show, including chatting about the early sellout in the venue and how excited the fans were. He said the first match was Dustin Rhodes vs. Jack Swagger. Oops. He meant Jake Hager. They discussed some other matches, also.
-A video package introduced get event.
(1) JAKE HAGER vs. DUSTIN RHODES
Hager made out with his wife at ringside. She gave him a post-make-out pep talk. Ross said Hager might need a smoke. (The person next to her in the front row was PWTorch.com contributor Joel Dehnel. Nice seat, Joel!) Dustin charged, but Hager caught him and slammed him. He took control early and punched away at Dustin in the corner. Ross said if Hager underestimates Dustin, he’ll lose. Hager dominated at ringside for several minutes including a hard clothesline that Dustin was slow to get up from after a hard bump.
Dustin showed some fire on a comeback. Hager talked with his wife at ringside. She tried to hit Dustin. Dustin blocked it and rubbed his facepaint all over her face and lips. She yelled, “Gross!” (At least he didn’t force a kiss on her, although the crowd pop might have been a result of fans thinking he did.) He rallied in the ring including a bulldog and a powerslam for a near fall. Hager took over again. Ross said it was apparent why Chris Jericho wanted Hager in the Inner Circle. He made a cocky casual cover and Dustin kicked out. Ross said you don’t deserve to win with that attitude. Hager charged, but Dustin backdropped and Hager landed on the ring apron, then bounced to the floor, selling the idea that his head ricocheted off the steel steps. He was down on his back not moving.
Dustin wedged Hager in the corner so he could charge and kick him in the balls. Schiavone said it could be hard to watch. The ref scolded Dustin and delayed him. Hager bike free, but Dustin just ran up and kicked him in the gut instead. Then he landed a Code Red for a near fall. Dustin went for a cross armbreaker. Hager reversed it into an anklelock. Dustin powered out and almost sent Hager into the ref. Hager then gave Dustin a low-blow while the ref’s back was turned. Hager then let out a big yell and put Dustin in a half nelson sleeper for the submission win. Schiavone said Hager’s career in AEW is just beginning.
WINNER: Hager in 15:00. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Pretty ambitious going 15 minutes, especially for Hager who isn’t used to long pro wrestling style cardio at all, and it showed at times. Solid opener, though, and Hager came across as a heel you wanted to see lose. I could do without Dustin forcing himself on Hager’s wife like that, even if at least he did shift from the completely inappropriate “forced kiss on a woman who asked for it” spot to a face paint rub.)
-A commercial aired for AEW holding a double-cage match on Marc 25 in New Jersey at Prudential Center, but stopped short of calling War Games.
-The announcers hyped the rest of the line-up.
(2) DARBY ALLIN vs. SAMMY GUEVARA
Guevara came out first. Darby entered second and leaped off the ring apron onto Sammy at ringside. He landed a running dropkick seconds later, sending Guevara hard into the ringside barricade. They showed Jurassic Express sitting at ringside. Marko Stunt took a selfie of his group. Darby dove through the ropes with a flying headbutt. He missed and crashed because his top heel hit the top rope, sending him hard to the mat quicker than he planned. Guevara threw Darby’s skateboard at his head, then played it like a guitar. Guevara took a table out from under the ring. Excalibur said the bell hadn’t rung yet. Guevara set up the table and put Darby on it. Guevara then leaped off the top rope and flipped what seemed like ten times in mid-air before crashing onto Darby and sending through the table. Excalibur called it a 630. Looked like a 990. Geesh. Guevara posed in the ring as the ref checked on Darby. Ross said he had to make a call regarding whether the match could even officially start. Darby pulled himself up and into the ring. Guevara posed on his side on the top rope. Darby okayed a start. The bell rang.
Guevara charged with a flying leg to knock Darby down and score a sudden believable near fall. Darby came back with a Gory Special and then shifted into a Fujiwara armbar. A minute later Guevara landed a leaping double stomp into Darby on the ring apron. He dragged him back into the ring and scored a two count. They showed Jurassic Express watching again.
Later Guevara scored a near fall after hitting a top rope Spanish Fly. Guevara tried to ram Darby into the top buckle, but Darby countered and catapulted Guevara into the top turnbuckle. Then he hit a stunner followed by a top rope Coffin Drop for the the three count. Fans popped and stood and applauded. So did Marko Stunt. Hager came out and dragged Guevara out of the ring and helped him to the back.
WINNER: Darby Allin in 5:00 (not counting five minutes of pre-match fighting). (**3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Crazy athletic hard-hitting fast-paced, densely-packed match, as you’d anticipate from these two. I wouldn’t have minded five minutes sliced off the opener and added to this if only to pace it a little better, but this worked and the crowd went bonkers for it from the start. Darby is a star in the eyes of AEW fans.)
-A video package aired on the The Elite, focused on Kenny Omega & Hangman Page as a team and then tension growing with Page and the rest of the Elite, especially The Young Bucks. Ross said in the video package that he thought the Bucks would be the first tag team champions.
(3) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE & KENNY OMEGA vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS – AEW Tag Team Championship match
Ross said fans in Chicago love Page even if his fellow Elite members don’t fully trust him. Schiavone noted that Page came out before Kenny, and with a separate entrance. He wasn’t sure how much he should read into it. Omega patted Page on his back and Page looked back at him without any sense of camaraderie. He finally turned around for Justin’s formal introductions. Some fans booed the Bucks during their introduction. Lots of tension and competitive and personal verbal exchanges before the bell.
Kenny and Matt opened against each other. When Page tagged in, definite bad blood surfaced. Matt tackled and pummeled Page. Page came back and took over against Matt. Page tagged Omega and gave him stern instructions. Kenny didn’t love it. Schiavone said it was like Page was bossing Kenny around. Page tagged back in and knocked Nick off the ring apron. Kenny signaled to Page to get back to the legal man and focus on Matt instead. Page whipped Matt into the ringside barricade. Matt made a comeback and played to the crowd and was cheered. Nick tagged in and rallied with a series of moves against both Kenny at ringside and Page in the ring. The crowd cheered. Nick sunset flipped Page mid-ring, then applied a Sharpshooter. Kenny broke it up.
Kenny went for a running dive over the top rope, but Matt broke it up by kicking him mid-air. Nick scored a two count back in the ring right away. Nick knocked Page off the ring apron to pay him back, then tagged in Matt. They tried to double-team Kenny, but Kenny outmaneuvered them. Matt took over again and taunted Page, who tried to get into the ring, but the ref blocked him. Kenny went for a tag, but Nick yanked Page off the ring apron. Matt kicked Kenny and landed a leaping Paul Orndorff style piledriver for a two count.
After tagging out, Kenny sold the piledriver for a while on the ring apron. Page then got big pops as he took it to both Nick and Matt. Page leaped off the top rope and flipped onto both Bucks at ringside. Fans chanted “Cowboy shit!” When Page and Matt squared off, fans sang “F— ’em up Cowboy, f— ’em up!” Matt chopped Page’s throat. Page came back with a boot to the face. Kenny tagged in and gave Matt a sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Page tagged back in, but soon the Bucks took over.
The Bucks delivered a double-team move off the top rope, the Motor City Machine Gun’s finisher, which Excalibur referenced. Kenny broke up the cover. Ross said fatigue was starting to factor in. Matt went for a superkick, but Page blocked it. Page then kicked Matt in the knee and followed up with a chicken wing submission attempt. Nick climbed to the top rope and 450 splashed Page. Matt scored a near fall. Kenny and Page hit a series of moves against both Bucks. Ross complimented the “tandem offense” and called it “damn good tag team wrestling.” Kenny landed a V-Trigger on Nick, but Matt broke up Page’s quick cover. Page rolled over and tagged in Kenny. Fans loudly chanted “A-E-Dub!” Kenny then went for a running V_Trigger, but Nick avoided it. Kenny blocked his superkick and hit a V-Trigger. Matt entered and blocked a Snap Dragon, but Kenny knocked him out of ht ring with a V-Trigger. Kenny then landed two snap dragon suplexes on Nick followed by a Tiger Driver ’98 for a believable near fall.
A minute later Kenny lifted Nick onto his shoulders and climbed the ropes, but Nick countered and slammed Kenny’s head into the mat between his knees. Fans gasped. Page and Matt battled on the ramp, with Matt hitting a series of suplexes. They cut away to fans who were amazed at what they were watching. Another “AEW!” chant broke out. Matt and Nick delivered an indy Taker leaping Tombstone on the ramp. Excalibur said it could have career-altering ramifications to Page.
Back in the ring the Bucks took turns super-kicking Omega. They delivered double-V-Triggers to Kenny. When Nick went for the cover, Kenny kicked out at one and showed an adrenaline rush and played to the crowd. The crowd exploded. They went another cover, but Kenny kicked out. Matt stomped away at Kenny’s shoulder. Fans booed. Excalibur said that is the shoulder Pac injured. Schiavone said you gotta do what you can to win. Nick talked with Matt and seemed to be trying to calm him. Ross said their friendships run so deep. Matt lifted Kenny for a Meltzer Driver. Page grabbed Nick off the ring apron and powerbombed him through a table set up at ringside. In the ring, Kenny favored his shoulder, but then he and Page landed the Buckshot Lariat/V-Trigger combo to score a believable near fall on Matt. Huge pop for the kickout.
Kenny put Matt on his shoulders. Excalibur said no one has ever kicked out of the One-Winged Angel. Matt countered and escaped, then landed a superkick. Page then lifted Matt for a One-Winged Angel. He landed it, but Nick broke up the cover before three. Page then hit Nick on the ramp with a Buckshot Lariat. Page then re-entered the ring with a Buckshot Lariat on Matt for the win. Huge pop and standing ovation of cheers. “Wow, just freakin’ wow!” said Schiavone.
WINNERS: Page & Omega in 30:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles. (****3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Stupendous tag match, with all the ingredients – compelling backstory, high stakes, huge moves, great story in the match, believable near falls, and unmatched passion from the crowd reacting to the smaller subtle interactions and the big near falls and finish. Any criticism of this match would begin with questioning how many big spots they kicked out of before the end, but that’s offset to a great degree but how much the crowd stayed with it and reacted the whole way.)
-Afterward, the ref raised the arms of Page and Kenny, although they seemed to be separate space bubbles. The Bucks approached for a handshake. Schiavone said all four have to be proud of leaving everything on the table. Ross said the match could have just as easily gone the other three or four times. Page watched as Kenny fist bumped the Bucks. Matt invited Page to the middle of the ring, but Page turned his back again and leaned on the top rope as his music played. He finally turned and seemed to consider approaching, but instead nodded, turned away, and left the ring. Kenny held up she belt. Page dropped his belt and watched. He teased a Buckshot Lariat to Kenny, but instead held open the ropes. Kenny left the ring and they left arm-in-arm. Page looked for a fan with a beer. He found one. Page drank it.
(4) NYLA ROSE vs. KRIS STATLANDER – AEW Women’s Title match
Statlander went for an early kip up after a collision with Rose, but didn’t quite get up. She rolled backwards and stood, but the crowd reacted to her coming up short. She landed a standing moonsault for a two count seconds later. Rose rammed Statlander into the corner, then took it to her on the ramp before throwing her back into the ring. Rose dove through the ropes and speared Statlander. She played to the crowd before making the cover and scoring a two count. Ross said that’s the part of the game Rose has to work at – “closing the deal.” Rose hit a weak-losing short-arm clothesline, and a second one that was a bit better, leading to a soft two count. This was definitely the come-down match for the crowd.
Statlander eventually hit a superkick, but it looked to be a 60 percent speed kick without a ton of impact. Both were down and slow to get up. The ref began counting them both down. Statlander dove through the ropes and tackled Rose hard into the ringside barricade in her best move of the match to that point. She went for a second and hit it also. Rose took over again and landed a clothesline in the corner. She drove her boot into the throat of Statlander. Then she put her over the top rope. Statlander handstand off the top rope and blew a kiss to Rose. Rose went after her, but Statlander landed a kick. She followed up with a DDT for a two count.
Rose blocked a Big Bang Theory and elbowed Statlander to the mat. She applied an STF next. Statlander escaped, but Rose caught her mid-air with a Beast Bomb for a near fall. Statlander went for a brainbuster superplex, but slipped. Thankfully she still pulled off the move, which could have gone all kinds of wrong. She scored a near fall, and then shoved the ref with frustration afterward. Rose kicked Statlander in the face. Statlander caught Rose on the top rope and went for a huracanrana, but Rose blocked it, then turned it into an avalanche Beast Bomb for the three count.
WINNER: Rose in 13:00 to retain the AEW Women’s Title. (*3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s not good when you don’t get lost in the action, but instead get worried about the wrestlers pulling off spots or getting hurt in the process. This had a lot of that. It had some positives, but felt like the wrong kind of struggle at times.)
-A video package aired on the Cody-MJF saga.
(5) CODY (w/Arn Anderson, Brandi Rhodes) vs. MJF (w/Wardlow)
The announcers talked about how Cody has developed a real connection with fans. MJF came out first with a new robe. Big anticipation and buzz in the building for Cody’s ring entrance. Brandi Rhodes led Cody’s walk backstage, with Arn Anderson walking behind him. Cody’s entrance theme was performed live by the band. The live version sounded a little bit drunken karaoke at times, unfortunately. Cody had a big crew with him on his way to the ring including Dustin. Schiavone said that was an entrance of a big time star.
The bell rang and Cody charged at MJF. MJF ducked and then bailed out to the floor. Fans booed. Ross said they were about to find out how tough MJF truly is. Cody had a red, white, and blue tattoo on his neck of the Nightmare Family logo. MJF avoided a Cody Cutter attempt and then bailed out to ringside again. He jumped into the crowd and picked up a chair. Cody stared him down from the ring. MJF yapped with fans. He threw a beer in the face of a fan, then returned to the ring.
Cody took it to MJF once they got going in the ring, including his drop-down uppercut followed by a Cody Cutter. He got a one count. Cody walked to the stage, then sprinted at MJF on the ring apron and clotheslined him over the top rope. Cody scored a two count. Schiavone thought Arn at ringside called that spot. Ross noted Cody has a broken toe. Excalibur said he’s got to feel agony with every step. MJF stomped the boot, so Schiavone said MJF knows it’s broken too. Cody gave MJF an airplane spin, then landed an Alabama Slam. Cody covered MJF, but lifted his shoulder at one. Wardlow pulled MJF to ringside.
Cody dove at Wardlow and tackled him on the floor when he made a move toward Arn. Fans chanted “Cody! Cody!” Cody kept checking on his broken toe on his right foot. Excalibur said it was a result of the top of the cage moonsault. MJF snapped Cody over the top rope. Wardlow then yanked Cody into the ringpost before throwing him back into the ring. MJF threw Cody shoulder-first into the ringpost, then posed for the crowd. MJF methodically worked over Cody’s arm. Then he took off Cody’s boot and bit his toe. The crowd chanted “Holy shit!” Arn leaped onto the ring apron and protested to the ref.
Cody, with one boot, managed to hit an inverted suplex off the top rope. Both were slow to get up. Cody landed a Disaster Kick to knock MJF to the floor. Wardlow stood on the ring apron. Cody turned to him. Ross said it’s buying time for JF. Arn then grabbed a chair and made his way over to Wardlow. Wardlow backed away. MJF came up bleeding heavily from the forehead. Cody mounted him in the corner and pounded away at him. Cody landed a powerslam for a two count.
Cody, his arm covered in MJF’s blood, set up DDT off the middle rope. MJF broke free and landed a heat seeker. He put his feet on the middle rope and Wardlow held them. The ref saw it. Brandi leaped at Wardlow off the ring apron, but he caught her. Cody told him to lower Brandi. Wardlow did. Cody charged with a boot, but Wardlow moved and the boot KO’d Arn. Schiavone said Arn’s career ended with a neck injury, and that kick hit him in the side of his head. Wardlow gave Cody a low-blow from behind in the ring and rolled him up for a near fall. They both tumbled over the top rope to the floor on a Cody suplex. Both were down and slow to get up.
Cody and MJF exchanged punches, then Cody channeled his dad and set up a bionic elbow, but MJF collapsed before being hit. Fans chanted “Dusty! Dusty!” Cody went for a Crossroads, but MJF countered and scored a two count. MJF took Cody’s weight belt and was going to whip him, but the ref yanked it away from him. Cody gave MJF a low-blow and then gave him a sitout back powerbomb for a two count. Cody then whipped MJF with his belt. The ref tried to take it from him, but Cody negotiated one more and then threw it into the crowd. MJF cowered in the corner. MJF cried and pretended to be sorry, but then spit in Cody’s face. Cody came right back with a Crossroads. Schiavone said that was it and he should cover him. Instead, he gave him another Crossroads. He played to the crowd and they were with him. MJF kneed Cody to escape the third and then punched him with the ring. Cody was out, MJF draped his arm over Cody, and the ref counted to three. Excalibur wondered how Cody comes back from this and recovers.
Arn held the ropes open for Cody as he left the ring. Fans chanted “Cody! Cody!” Brandi consoled Cody as he gingerly made his way to the back.
WINNER: MJF in 24:00. (***3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: A dramatic and effective match, yet so different in almost every way from the tag team classic earlier. An ambitious length, but it largely worked start to finish and they had the crowd with them more and more as the match progressed. Having MJF win certainly can extend this feud, although it almost feels like they’d move on since MJF established he doesn’t want to fight Cody, and put Cody through such a gauntlet just to get this one match. How this defines Cody will be interesting as they move on to the next chapter for him.)
(6) ORANGE CASSIDY (w/Best Friends) vs. PAC
Justin introduced Cassidy as being from “wherever” and weighting “whatever.” Ross said he’s never seen Cassidy in a singles match and hasn’t scouted him, but knows he’s super popular and selling merchandise like crazy. Schiavone said he identified with Cassidy because he doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass and some days he doesn’t either. Cassidy put sunglasses on. Ross took some digs at internet critics. Pac and Cassidy had staredown. Fans chanted “Holy sh–!” Cassidy outmaneuvered a cocky Pac and took him down, then put his hands in his pockets. He sucked Pac’s first swing. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Cassidy slowly kicked Pac’s ankles. Fans yelled with each kick. Pac jones in with light kick exchanges. Schiavone said he’s digging it. Cassidy slow (slow) kicked Pac’s ankle. Pac shoved him down. Excalibur said Pac has had enough of the King of Sloth Style. Schiavone said he let it go on for a little while. Cassidy kept his hands in his pocket and ran the ropes and dropkicked Pac, then kipped and played to the crowd. “Forget about the Dick the Bruiser, it’s Orange Cassidy time,” said Ross. Cassidy rolled up Pac with his hands in use and scored a near fall. Pac rolled to the floor. Cassidy went back to hands in pockets, but Pac tilt-a-whirl suplexed him and took over. He stomped Pac and seemed to have enough. He threw him to the floor.
As the beating continued in the ring, fans chanted “No Pulp!” Pac superplexed Cassidy off the top rope. Pac lifted Cassidy’s shoulders before three. He dragged his limp body into position for a Black Arrow. Cassidy casually rolled out of the ring to the floor. Pac jumped down and went after him. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Pac set up Cassidy again, but he again rolled casually to the floor. Ross laughed. Trent put his hands on his hips in frustration at ringside. “This is wrestling!” chanted the crowd. Ross said Pac was getting frustrated. Cassidy laughed in Pac’s face and rolled away form him. Pac looked to the crowd who stood and applauded. Pac applauded and walked around ringside. Cassidy turned it on full speed and landed a dive at ringside and a crossbody off the top rope. Then he hit a DDT for a two count; the entire crowd counted along loudly. Pac took Cassidy down hard with a clothesline. Fans booed.
Cassidy stood and hit Pac with a slo-mo light sloth chop. The crowd ohh’d. Pac yelled at Cassidy. Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and ducked a Pac lariat. He then showed fire and yanked on the top rope. He gave Pac a stun gun. He climbed to the top rope, but Pac knocked him off balance. Ross called this the sleeper match of the card. Pac set up a top rope move, but Cassidy turned it mid-flight into a DDT. He climbed to the top rope and leaped with another DDT. Pac rolled out of the ring to the ramp. Trent rolled him back in. Cassidy landed his Air Raid Crash for a believable near fall. The Lucha Bros. ran out and attacked Trent. Chuck Taylor flip dove onto the Lucha Bros. on the ramp. They fought their way to the stage as Cassidy and the ref watched. Pac yanked Cassidy to the mat and applied the Brutalizer. Cassidy gave up instantly. Pac held on afterward until Cassidy was out and the ref payed him off. Pac celebrated and trash-talked Cassidy a bit
WINNER: Pac via submission. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: That was brilliantly executed. A big part of the crowd was all in from the start, and the match won over everyone else. It was a blast hearing Ross and Schiavone warm up to and eventually fully embrace the match as it progressed and then heap praise on it. That was a star-making match for Cassidy, and Pac was a perfect foe.)
(7) CHRIS JERICHO vs. JON MOXLEY – AEW World Title match
They showed Mox enter from the streets outside of the arena into the main arena bowl. A gospel group performed Jericho’s entrance theme live. That was tremendous. Then the regular music played and Jericho walked out with Santana and Ortiz. During Mox’s entrance, Justin said he’d have to augment the words and then said, “Zero F’s Given, Jon Moxley.” The bridge of Jericho’s nose was stitched up.
Mox and Jericho went at each other with wild swings early. Mox got the better of it and threw Jericho into the crowd. Jericho bashed Mox with a water bottle to fight back, then slammed him with a steel post used to coral the fans. Mox came right back with punches on the stairs. Jericho made a comeback and borrowed a camera and aimed it at Moxley. Jericho threw a barricade section at Mox. Mox leaped off the ramp and hit Jericho with a double axe handle. Ross said it’s been a back alley brawl style match so far. Mox gnawed at the stitches on Jericho’s nose. Fans chanted “You sick f—!” Jericho threw Mox head-first into the ringpost. Mox bled from his forehead. The ref checked on the blood. “This is bad,” said Ross, wondering if Mox would be able to see out of his one eye not covered by a patch. Jericho powerbombed Mox on a table and bell at ringside. The back of Moxley’s head hit the bell. Moxley bled on the patch side of his face. He slowly stood up, looking irritated by the bleeding cut. He rolled into the ring. Jericho punched away and yelled, “Come on, you piece of shit!” Jericho walked around the ring, satisfied with himself, and then rang the bell and declared himself the winner. Excalibur said, “I guess we can all go home.” Jericho announced his name over the mic, then returned to business in the ring with stomps on Moxley.
Mox showed signs of life with chops, but Jericho avoided a charging Mox and went right back in control. He twisted his boot over the face of Moxley, then threw him to the floor. Santana and Ortiz stomped away at Mox as Jericho distracted the ref. Ross said, “You knew it was going to happen.” Jericho whipped Mox into the ringside steps. Jericho set up a superplex back in the ring, but Mox blocked it and dropped him to the mat. Mox leaped off the top rope with a flying clothesline. Mox stood and got the better of Jericho, then pounded him with punches and kicks in the corner. The ref pushed Moxley off. Jericho caught Mox leaping off the ropes and grabbed his leg to set up a Lio Tamer, but Mox countered into a leglock. Jericho immediately grabbed the bottom rope. Jericho dropped to ringside. Mox dove at him from behind with a tackle.
Mox set up a Paradigm Shift, but Santana and Ortiz interfered. Jericho landed a Lionsault for a two count right afterward. Jericho and Moxley countered each other mid-ring. Jericho went for a Walls of Jericho, but Moxley countered into a Boston Crab. Jake Hager ran out to break up the hold. Mox turned and punched him. Jericho caught Mox with a Code Breaker for a two count. He then applied a Walls of Jericho mid-ring. ox powered up and crawled toward the bottom rope, but Jericho walked him back. Mox then pushed up and collapsed back down. He pushed up again and grasped the bottom rope to force a break. Jericho put his hands on the ref, shoving her arm and shoulder. Ross said he was just trying to get disqualified. Mox pounded the mat and went after Jericho, hitting a clothesline. Hager punched Mox form ringside. The ref saw it and ordered all of them to the back. The crowd popped as the heel trio threw a fit. She held her ground and yelled at them. Guevara then snuck into the ring and rammed Moxley in the face with the AEW Title belt, then retreated into the crowd. Ross said Jericho’s Plan A, B, and C didn’t work, and Sammy was apparently Plan D. Mox kicked out of Jericho’s eventual cover.
Mox got another wind and fought back, getting the better of a mdi-ring exchange until Jericho gouged Moxley’s good eye. Jericho then gave him a boot to the face. Jericho taunted Mox verbally. Mox stood and took a wild swing and missed. Jericho then punched Moxley and then landed a knee drop off the middle rope. Schiavone said it was tough to watch now. Ross said the referee might need to make a concerted decision on whether to allow it to continue since he cannot apparently defend himself. Jericho approached with a Judas Effect, but Mox ducked. Mox then hit a Paradigm Shift. Jericho rolled out of the ring. Moxley removed his eye patch and looked okay. The crowd popped. Schiavone exclaimed, “I think he can see. He was playing possum the entire time.” He then hit another Paradigm Shift and scored the three count to win. Ross declared the start of the Moxley Era.
WINNER: Moxley in 22:00 to capture the AEW World Title. (***3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: A not-your-run-of-the-mill borderline four-star World Title PPV main event match. Intense, bloody, with a lot of bells and whistles rather than keeping it in the ring to tell the story, but it largely worked. The idea that Moxley was voluntarily wrestling with limited or no vision all so he could last that long and endure all of that interference before deciding to reveal he could see after all didn’t work for me, though. The crowd loved Mox when he celebrated, but they didn’t seem to have the crowd in the palm of their hands at the end as much as in some other matches. The night was long, though, clocking in well over three hours.)
-Moxley celebrated afterward and addressed the fans. Ross invited fans to come along for the ride with Moxley as champion. “I love this shit!” Moxley said. Moxley said the belt belongs to the fans of Chicago and all of the AEW fans at home and those who were with him for all of the ups and downs. He said it feels like beer o’clock.