Tuesday, March 9, 2021

AEW Revolution 2021

By Steve Ward

All Elite Wrestling returned to pay per view this evening with a star studded show from a sold out (or as sold out as they were permitted) Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. I can safely say that I haven’t watched a pay per view from this company that I haven’t enjoyed and this one was poised to continue this trend. Some of the most anticipated matches headed into this event included the icon Sting’s return to the ring, as well as, one of the most notoriously violent matches in the history of pro wrestling - an exploding barbed wire deathmatch - for the AEW World Title.

The Buy-In Pre-Show

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. w/ Rebel & Maki Itoh vs. Thunder Rosa & Riho
Winners: Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D & Maki Itoh via pinfall

The Buy-In certainly amped up the crowd by featuring some of the most talented women in AEW. This highly entertaining bout came to an abrupt end as Rebel cracked Thunder Rosa over the head with a crutch while referee Paul Turner was distracted allowing Dr. Baker to roll her up for the pinfall.

Main Card

AEW Tag Team Championship
Chris Jericho & MJF w/ Wardlow vs. The Young Bucks (c)
Winners: The Young Bucks via pinfall

The main portion of the card wasted no time getting off the ground as “Le Champion” Chris Jericho teamed with his Inner Circle cohort Maxwell Jacob Friedman to challenge The Young Bucks for the tag team titles. The ageless wonder Chris Jericho, a 30-year ring veteran, put forth a phenomenal effort, however, it wasn’t quite enough as Le Champion succumbed to the Meltzer Driver at the hands of the Young Bucks to secure the pinfall for the defending champs.

Casino Tag Team Battle Royale
Winners: Death Triangle - PAC and Rey Fenix

AEW put a unique spin on their traditional Casino Battle Royale by introducing a tag team incarnation. The rules stated a new team would enter every 90 seconds and a team would only be eliminated when both members were eliminated by being thrown over the top rope. If that weren’t enough, the winners would earn a shot at the AEW tag team titles. The competitors (in their order of entry) included The Natural Nightmares, Dark Order members 5 and 10, Santana and Ortiz, Matt and Mike Sydal, Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, The Gunn Club, “Pretty” Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi, The Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison), Bear Country, Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus), Butcher and the Blade, Private Party, SCU (“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian), Death Triangle’s PAC and Rey Fenix, and Dark Order’s John Silver and Alex Reynolds. The final four in the ring were John Silver, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry, PAC, and Rey Fenix - leaving the Death Triangle members as the only intact team remaining. Jon Silver was the first eliminated by Fenix who walked the ropes and delivered a kick to his jaw as he hung on for dear life from the ring apron. PAC was the next to go as Jungle Boy ducked and pulled down the top rope down allowing the charging PAC’s momentum to propel him from the ring. Finally, in a blazing fury of action, Jungle Boy’s momentum was halted by a stiff kick in the face that allowed Fenix to clothesline him over the top rope to earn the victory.

AEW Women’s Championship
Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Ryo Mizunami
Winner: Hikaru Shida via pinfall

This match came to fruition after Ryo Mizunami shocked the pro wrestling world by surviving the Women’s Title Eliminator tournament and overcoming Nyla Rose in the finals this past week on Dynamite. Ryo gave Shida all she could handle and withstood multiple Falcon Arrows before she finally fell victim to a brutal kick to the head that allowed the champ to retain her title. Following the bout, a brief melee ensued as Nyla Rose, Dr. Britt Baker, and Rebel jumped Shida and Mizunami until Thunder Rosa came to the rescue and cleared the ring.

Miro and Kip Sabian w/ Penelope Ford vs. Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy
Winners: Kip Sabian and Miro via submission

Before this match could even begin, Cassidy and Taylor were ambushed by their opponents backstage. After Miro used Taylor’s head and forearm to break a glass window, he dragged him to the ring where the contest began as a handicap match until Cassidy stumbled out to the ring several minutes later to even the odds. The closing moments saw Miro assert himself as an unstoppable force as he finally finished Taylor off with The Game Over for the submission victory.

Big Money Match
Matt Hardy vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Winner: “Hangman” Adam Page

Following Hardy’s failed attempt to persuade a drunk Page to sign a contract with him that would financially benefit Matt, an interesting stipulation arose for this match as the winner would collect all of his opponent’s income from the first quarter of 2021. In the closing moments of this bout, Hardy’s associates, Private Party, made their way to ringside to serve as a distraction. It appeared their efforts would prove to be the deciding factor as Hardy executed the Side Effect and Twist of Fate, however, it wasn’t enough. The reinforcements for Adam Page then made their way to the ring in the form of The Dark Order. Adam Page shortly thereafter hit the Buckshot Lariat to put Hardy away.

Face Of The Revolution Ladder Match
“Platinum” Max Caster vs. Lance Archer w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Cody Rhodes w/ Arn Anderson vs. “All Ego” Ethan Page
Winner: Scorpio Sky

This contest had five of the six competitors designated prior to this evening with the final surprise entrant revealed as former two-time Impact Tag Team Champion, as one half of The North, Ethan Page. The winner of this match would be crowned after ascending to the top of the ladder and retrieving the literal brass ring suspended above the ring earning him a shot at Darby Allin for the TNT Championship. The closing moments saw Cody and Sky face-to-face at the top of the ladder trading blows. Cody and his battered left shoulder could only hang on for so long as he was dropped to the canvas allowing Scorpio Sky to retrieve the brass ring setting up a title opportunity this Wednesday.

The next segment revealed the “hall of fame worthy” wrestler who would be signing a long term deal with AEW, as alluded to by Paul Wight this past Wednesday. After a countdown on the screen, he was revealed as none other than Christian Cage! Cage made his way to the ring with a contract in hand where he signed it, left it in the center of the ring, and departed.

Street Fight
Sting and Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage and Ricky Starks
Winners: Sting and Darby Allin via pinfall

Darby Allin had found himself with a target on his back for the past several months following his rejection of the invitation to join Team Taz until he found some backup in the form of the icon Sting. Their rivalry finally came to a head this evening in the form of a street fight at an undisclosed location. The fact this was a “cinematic match” made perfect sense being positioned just before the main event as it allowed the ring crew to set the stage for the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. As far as cinematic matches go, this ended up being one of the better efforts I’ve seen. Sting and Allin overcame the numbers game when Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook came to the aid of Cage and Starks as the great equalizers proved to be the signature baseball bat and then a shovel in the hands of Sting. The match reached it’s conclusion as Sting executed the Scorpion Death Drop on Ricky Starks to earn the pinfall.

AEW World Heavyweight Championship Expolding Barbed Wire Death Match
Kenny Omega (c) w/ Don Callis vs. Jon Moxley
Winner: Kenny Omega via pinfall

The main event of the evening saw Jon Moxley attempt to regain his title from Kenny Omega in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. In this match the ring ropes were covered with barbed wire rigged with explosives that would be triggered on contact on three sides of the ring and if that weren’t enough, the ring would “explode” if the match reached 30 minutes. Additionally, the referee for the bout was dressed in a flame retardant hazmat suit with a face shield to add to the narrative for the gravity of the situation. This was a bloody, visceral affair that sadly saw its conclusion come with the interference of The Good Brothers who allowed Kenny Omega to gain the upper hand. Omega used this advantage and proceeded to execute a One Winged Angel that broke Moxley’s body over a chair allowing him to secure the pinfall retention of his title. Following the match, Omega, Gallows, and Anderson left Moxley handcuffed in the ring as the timer was displayed in the arena counting down to the detonation of all the remaining explosives. 

As Omega and The Good Brothers exited with Don Callis, Eddie Kingston made his way to the ring to rescue Moxley. In what ended up being a truly comedic moment, that drew an onslaught of boos from the crowd, Kingston covered Moxley (as if to protect him from the imminent explosion) only for sparklers to fire from the ring posts and firecrackers to go off on the ropes - but give credit AEW for putting forth their best effort to sell it as Kingston remained on top of Moxley seemingly rendered unconscious from the “devastating” explosion, the commentary team responded with shock and terror, and the medical team swarmed the ring. Despite this development, it was a solid and entertaining main event to conclude the show minus this blunder.

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