Wrestling Review: AEW Revolution (2023)

The Chase Center in San Francisco, California plays host to nine matches at the 2023 edition of AEW Revolution. In the main event, a 60-Minute Iron Man Match where the challenger to the AEW World Championship, Bryan Danielson, looks to drag the champion, MJF, into deep waters and smother him. Heated words turned to fiery brawls, and the two will hold nothing back in their history making main event. Also on the card two multi-challenger matches for two of AEW reigning champs: the AEW Woman’s Champion Jamie Hayter defends her title in a three way match against both Saraya and Ruby Soho, and the AEW Tag Team Championships are on the line when The Gunns defend against all of The Acclaimed, Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal, and Orange Cassidy & Danhausen. The World Trios titles are also on the line when Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks battle the House of Black, and Samoa Joe defends the TNT Championship against Wardlow. After months of violent brawls and personal verbal exchanges, Hangman page and Jon Moxley will settle their score once and for all in a Texas Death Match, and Chris Jericho looks to redeem his first loss to Ricky Starks when the two go one on one again, this time with the Jericho Appreciate Socity banned from ringside. Finally, in what has been a deeply personal affair for all involved, Jungle Boy faces Christian in The Final Burial, where the only way to win is to place your opponent inside a coffin and slam the lid shut.

+ MJF (c) vs Bryan Danielson (60 Minute Iron Man Match for the AEW World Championship): first and foremost, these Iron Man/Ultimate Submission/any sort of multi-fall stipulation matches always (ALWAYS!) drag, because wrestling drama comes from who wins or loses a match, and if you know that nobody can win or lose until 60 minutes have elapsed, there is no reason to get invested until the 55 minute mark. That said, MJF looked absolute shredded beyond words, and Danielson is an all-time wrestling legend for a reason, and these two put on a hell of a wrestling contest. I could have done without all the blood, but there was at least a clever use of the Iron Man rules that I always wondered about but never got a good answer to. This was the main event for a reason, and I enjoyed it voerall, notwithstanding my complaints about the formatting above
+ “Hangman” Adam Page vs Jon Moxley (Texas Death Match): Hangman was looking extra thick since I last saw him wrestle. This was the blood match for the night, so both guys were pouring like stuck pigs, and that may have been memorable were it not for the fact two other matches had blood in them as well, and Moxley’s matches are always like this — even commentary was making jokes about how often Moxley bleeds. The storytelling here was good but not great, and in my mind Moxley has lost some steam since this little thing with Hangman started. Still, if you’re into this sort of ultraviolence, you’ll of course get a kick out of it, and it gets a positive mark for delivering what was advertised
+ Christian Cage vs Jack Perry (The Final Burial): Christian’s injury hurt this match if only in that it feels like they are rushing to a finish here, but overall this was really good. Christian is such a fantastic in-ring guy, and Jungle Boy has those boyish good looks and the crowd support to really make him special. I did not care for the stipulation itself, as frankly I don’t understand entirely why it came to be this match
+ Chris Jericho vs Ricky Starks (The JAS are banned from ringside): this was really good, but frankly I think it’s time for these two to both move onto bigger and better things. It’s not a common complaint I have with AEW, who until recently were not keen on rematches at all, but I feel like these two have been fighting for years now, despite it only being two months. The crowd was red hot for this one, and I really like both guys (Starks in particular has a huge upside), so it is easy to recommend
+ Ari Daivari & Varsity Athletes (Josh Woods & Tony Nese) (w/ Mark Sterling) vs Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix) & Mark Briscoe (w/ Alex Abrahantes): Mark Briscoe was clearly the star of this match, but I am a big fan of Josh Woods and, in the right circumstance, Tony Nese. The Lucha Bros feel like far too big stars to be meandering away on this pre-show, but that’s kind of company wide for AEW. This was a good match, but perhaps a bit too much for a pre-show match

The Gunns (Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn) (c) vs Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett vs Danhausen & Orange Cassidy vs The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) (AEW World Tag Team Championships): taking the titles off The Acclaimed a few weeks back was far and away the worst title decision AEW has made in some time, and the fact it has led to a clusterfork of a match like this is testament to that. I like all of the team in this match, but I did not like this match at all
Samoa Joe (c) vs Wardlow (TNT Championship): this match did nothing for me at all. Wardlow was one absolutely scorching hot, and they immediately pushed him aside at that time, and I think he’s still struggling to get even close to where he was at that time. Joe was good, and is an all-time great, but this fell flat for me
Jamie Hayter (c) vs Saraya vs Ruby Soho (AEW Women’s World Championship): Jamie Hayter is the best AEW Women’s Champion there has been in some time, not least of all because it feels like she really started from the bottom in AEW, unlike certain others. Therefore, it was strange that she would face two former WWE wrestlers, whilst in the middle of an ‘AEW Originals vs ex-WWE Invaders’ story, because Hayter specifically felt like a bit player in her own title match. This is a negative because frankly I just wanted it to be better
The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) (c) vs The House Of Black (Brody King, Buddy Matthews & Malakai Black) (w/ Julia Hart) (AEW World Trios Championships): was this good? Yes, of course it was. But there was literally nothing here that we did not already see in Elite/Death Triangle and Death Triangle/House of Black, both of which had far too many matches between them. If you want to see some crazy stuff, this is the match for you but I did not care for it at all

> AEW has such a huge roster, it’s a shame they put on so many similar matches on each show. Obviously I don’t mean that a Final Burial match is the same as a Fatal Four Way Tag Team match, but the pre-show trios match had the same type of high-spots you would expect in the Trios Title match – and then the same high-spots actually happened!

Should you watch this event: You may notice that almost all of the positives listed above begin with, “This was good, but”, and frankly that’s how I feel about the show overall. Of course it was all good, because these are talented professionals, but on this show there were two trios matches and a multi-team tag, three matches that ended with huge amounts of blood, three matches billed as ‘intensely personal grudge matches’ – they just all start to meld together. I think commentary used the line of, ‘Wow, that was physical!’ after every single match, and they meant it as a positive. But that’s not how I interpreted it.


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