Wrestling Review: AEW Revolution (2020)

For the first time since their unprecedented television deal a few months ago, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) comes to pay per view with AEW Revolution. In the main event, first and incumbent AEW World Champion Chris Jericho will defend his championship against Jon Moxley, as Jericho looks to finally put this Moxley story behind him. Other members of the Inner Circle, “The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara and “The Big Hurt” Jake Hager have matches of their own, as they face off with Darby Allin and Dustin Rhodes, respectively. The new AEW Women’s Champion, Nyla Rose, will also defend her title against her weirdest challenge, in “the Alien” Kris Statlander.

The AEW Tag Team Champions, the unlikely team of Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, will also face a massive challenge of their own, as they face off against arguably the best team on the planet, and the current champs’ close friends, The Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson. PAC, fresh off a match of the year with Kenny Omega, will also see action of his own, as he faces off with Orange Cassidy, in Cassidy’s first ever singles match in AEW. And finally, after months of personal torment, mind games and a hellacious literal whipping, Cody will get his hands on his former best friend, MJF.

+ Chris Jericho (c) vs Jon Moxley (AEW World Championship): this was sloppy and sometimes a bit awkward, but in a way that added to the match (in fact, it is what Cody/MJF needed more of). Jericho and the Inner Circle have been a fantastic group of jerks, and Moxley has a real badass vibe to him, even when he is not doing the best work in-ring. This was a really good match to cap off a show of ups and downs
+ PAC vs Orange Cassidy (w/ Best Friends): the live crowd was going nuts for Orange Cassidy’s ‘style’, but it did not need to be the length and type of match it was. This was a five minute gimmick at beast, and it just dragged on way too long. If this had gone on one third of the length it would have been even better, but it was fine
+ Kenny Omega & Hangman Page (c) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (AEW World Tag Team Championships): before the ending, I was thinking this was overindulgent, even as far as Young Bucks matches go, but with the benefit of hindsight, this was great. Hangman is an absolute mega star right now. There were one or maybe two moments that definitely should have been the actual end of the match, but when all was said and done, the end came at the right time, in the right way, and the right team won. And then the aftermath was some of the best stuff you’ll ever see
+ Darby Allin vs Sammy Guevara: everything about this was just phenomenal. Sammy and Darby are both absolute STARS in this company, and they left everything in, on and around the ring for their grudge match. The smoothness in which Sammy moves, and the intensity behind everything Darby does was just incredible to watch. I loved this, so much
+ Dustin Rhodes vs Jake Hager: it was strange to start the main card with this match, and at first I was willing to call it a mistake, but this was a story heavy match and in the end it was a good match. I can’t believe the resurgence Dustin has had, and while I’ve never been the biggest fan of Hager/Swagger, he looked really good in his AEW debut

Cody (w/ Arn Anderson & Brandi Rhodes) vs MJF (w/ Wardlow): gosh Cody’s entrance was over the top (but at least Stephen Amell is having fun after Arrow). I know this was, in many ways, the lynch pin for this event, but once the match started I just did not really feel it at all. There was some baffling referee work (in story, I’m sure), and overall this never felt like the huge grudge match it was meant to be. I wanted to like this, and I gave it all the chances I could, but I just did not like it at all
Nyla Rose (c) vs Kris Statlander (AEW Women’s Championship): this was the equally least built up match on the show (to the extent where I would have suggested just having Nyla face Riho again) and it showed. Several harrowing near-death mistakes were unfortuantely the only notable thing about this match. This was not good
The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) (w/ The Dark Order) vs SCU (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian): as far as pre-show matches go, this was underwhelming. Neither team looked particularly good, the attempt at a follow up fell really flat. I don’t dislike either team, but it was a strange choice to start the event with them rather than, say, Jurassic Express

> I know it will never happen, but every time a wrestling show goes to Chicago I just expect to hear “Cult of Personality”. I still believe in CM Punk

Should you watch this event: This show really started strong, but a trio of poor showing in the middle turned this into a real drag. Thankfully that main event was good, but nothing managed to top the hype of Darby/Sammy and that insane tag team championship match, which with the benefit of hindsight should have been much higher on the card.

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