SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Man, it’s been a long time since the last AEW PPV event hasn’t it? It seems as if the build to AEW Revolution has been endless, but the time for the show has finally come.
Given the Grand Canyon sized gap of time since Full Gear at the beginning of November, Tony Khan and company have done an admiral job of keeping the storylines of the main matches on the Revolution card simmering hot going into the show. With weekly television programs to produce, that train almost fell off the track multiple times for multiple feuds.
For example, Sting & Darby Allin vs. Team Taz. How many times did we see Sting cut a promo in the ring only to be interrupted by the rude and crude gentleman of Team Taz? Multiple weeks in a row. The feud felt like it was sputtering along like a car without gas until the last few weeks in which Team Taz finally got some much-needed heel heat and credibility back.
The Young Bucks? Same thing. Yes, they’re the tag team champions, but throughout the road to Revolution they’ve flipped and flopped, played good guys and bad guys, confronted heels and joined heels amongst other strange character nuances. In the end, they drilled it down to defending their family honor opposite the heel duo of Chris Jericho and MJF of the Inner Circle.
Speaking of, that group has navigated the time mine field well. Inner Circle has used the hours of weekly television to tell a logical story between them that kept all involved firmly within their character’s constitutions.
As for the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship? Well, more on that later.
Call this a preview, a calm look into the distant future, or a gaze into a wondrous crystal ball; just don’t hold me to anything, ok?
Adam Page vs. Matt Hardy
Anything less than a dominant win for Page here is mind-numbingly irresponsible. Adam Page is far ahead of this type of feud and the only way to get the ship righted in the proper direction is a solid win. Sure, the Dark Order can walk out for moral support, but this needs to be A to B to C, all Page, Buckshot Lariat, and done. Page can then get on the road to redemption from there.
Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami – AEW Women’s World Championship
It feels as if the pins are up for Shida to knock down with this one. Ryo Mizunami was victorious in the Women’s Eliminator Tournament and has some momentum behind her, but dethroning Shida? That’s a little much at this time. Shida has anchored the AEW Women’s division throughout the last year and laid a nice foundation for it when it was floundering. Her losing the belt means something now. AEW needs to save that and protect it for their next big project. Mizunami doesn’t appear to be that at this point, so look for Shida to retain and retain definitively.
Cody vs. Penta vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. Mystery Opponent – Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
Will the ladder match be a fun watch? Certainly. The surprise entrant carries a big level of intrigue, too. That said, the build for this has been weak. Cody barely acknowledged his involvement and as the biggest star in the match, that’s telling. None of the named participants make sense for Darby Allin and maybe that’s why we haven’t heard about the meaning of this match from anyone. This is just, there. The mystery opponent has driven all intrigue and he’ll drive the story of the match, too. That’s your winner in the end.
Kip Sabian & Miro vs. Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor
It’s time for this to wrap up and wrap up it will. It’s been a long and often silly road, but the babyfaces need to go over to put a bow on it all. What does that mean for Miro? Who knows, but he certainly hasn’t shown any additional range or attitude that says “main event.”
Chris Jericho & MJF vs. The Young Bucks – AEW World Tag Team Championship
This match is the best built match on the show. Jericho and MJF have found their heel stride again and the Young Bucks found their babyface lane coming off of the their best AEW promo to date on this week’s Dynamite. The Young Bucks are still tied to The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega. They need the championship to stay relevant in that feud and to eventually make the match against Gallows & Anderson as big as possible. They’ll keep the belts here and we’ll see some new cracks in the Inner Circle foundation as well.
Sting & Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks – Street Fight
Sting just can’t lose his first match in six years and he won’t. AEW did a nice job in giving Team Taz some momentum and heat, but Sting and Darby will definitively slow it with a victory in this match. It will be interesting to see what Sting can bring to the table in match these days, but the street fight stipulation protects him. Sting winning will open up doors to other feuds, but the real story will be how he looks out there. Time will tell.
Casino Tag Team Battle Royale
Private Party all the way. They need a big win to go along with their new personalities and though these Battle Royale’s haven’t proved to be the ultimate stepping stone to the next level on the card, a win on PPV never hurts.
Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley – AEW World Championship – Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match
I’m as intrigued about this match as the next person. Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley are both major stars in wrestling and the exploding barbed wire stipulation with their star power involved makes this can’t miss. However. The build to this match has not been successful and drastically underperformed to my expectations. The match stipulation is too violent to not treat it as a big deal. The lack of any context around this match on the go-home show was surprising and unfortunate. That said, Kenny Omega retains. He’s far too early into his run as champion and as a belt collector to lose the main staple of that act. Moxley is strangely protected because of the wild stipulation, but the show still needs to revolve around the Omega act moving forward. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Moxley pivots after this to whoever shows up as Tony Khan’s new, big signing.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TAKE: HEYDORN’S TAKE: Appreciate the career of The Miz, but question recent booking