By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Aired live February 29, 2020 on pay-per-view
Chicago, Illinois at Wintrust Arena
AEW Revolution Pre-Show
-The pre-show broadcast team was Excalibur and Taz.
-Tony Schiavone interviewed SCU members Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky. Daniels delivered an upbeat promo. Scorpio Sky told him it might be best if he remains backstage. Daniels wasn’t pleased, but he agreed before Kazarian and Sky headed off without him.
1. “The Dark Order” Evil Uno and Stu Grayson (w/Alex Reynolds, John Silver, two masked Creepers) vs. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky. The SCU duo charged the ring and went right after Uno and Grayson. The ref called for the bell to start the match moments later. Excalibur and Taz spoke briefly about the possibility of Daniels being the Exalted One that the Dark Order refers to and assumed that possibility is why he was asked to remain backstage.
Kazarian was isolated by the Dark Order pair. He eventually ducked under a clothesline and tagged in Sky, who worked over both opponents. Sky threw a nice dropkick at Grayson. A short time later, Grayson performed a double overhead kick at both opponents and then tagged in Uno. The Dark Order hit The Scorpion on Sky for a near fall. They followed up with a toss into a powerbomb for another two count. An SCU chant broke out briefly.
Uno and Grayson set up Sky for their Fatality finisher, but he avoided. Sky monkey flipped Kazarian, who clotheslined both opponents. SCU set up for a move on Grayson, but Uno broke it up. The rest of Dark Order tried to get involved, but Sky fought them off. Sky rolled up Grayson, but Uno hit him from behind, then Grayson hooked the leg and got the three count.
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson defeated Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky in 9:25.
Taz said they were hearing that the Exalted One was present. The Dark Order all ganged up on Sky and Kazarian. Colt Cabana’s music played and he headed to the ring and worked over Silver, Reynolds, and the Creepers before entering the ring. Cabana and Grayson fought. The other Dark Order members regrouped and attacked Cabana.
A man wearing a black cloak over his head walked onto the stage. The man removed the cloak, revealing himself to be Christopher Daniels. Daniels headed to the ring and attacked the Dark Order members. SCU and Cabana quickly cleared the ring and then celebrated together…
Powell’s POV: A decent tag match. There wasn’t nothing particularly memorable about the pre-show match, though Cabana coming out to make the save in Chicago was cool. The Daniels swerve was fine and I assume it means we can officially rule him out of contention for the role of the Exalted One.
-Backstage, Lexi spoke with Jurassic Express members Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. She asked Luchasaurus what he’s most excited about. He said that he doesn’t get excited by much after 55 million years. But he said they would be keeping a close eye on the Cody vs. MJF match to make sure that it would be a fair fight…
-Excalibur set up a video package on the Young Bucks’ autobiography…
-Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone. The Oklahoma fight song played and then Ross and Schiavone joined Excalibur on commentary for the main show. The broadcast team discussed the pay-per-view matches. Ross spoke of the show opening with Jake Hager vs. Dustin Rhodes (though he mistakenly said “Swagger”). The hosts discussed other matches and closed the pre-show…
AEW Revolution Pay-Per-View
The show opening with a video package that spotlighted the various matches… Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Dezirae Schalice, who sang the national anthem on the stage… The main show broadcast team was Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone…
1. Dustin Rhodes vs. Jake Hager. Dustin wore a t-shirt that read he was there to fight Jericho’s bitch. Hager came out and kissed his wife, who was standing in the front row. Rhodes dominated the early action and took the fight into the crowd briefly. Hager picked up Dustin and slammed him onto the apron, then clotheslined him on the floor. Hager’s wife Catalina continued to be shown on camera. The crowd chanted “Jericho’s bitch” at Hager.
At 7:15, Dustin stood in front of Catalina, who jawed at him and tried to slap him. Dustin blocked the slap then kissed her cheek and/or rubbed his face paint on her. Back inside the ring, Hager was dropped face first onto a turnbuckle pad, which led to Rhodes getting a two count. Hager came right back and got a two count of his own. A short time later, Rhodes launched Hager over the top rope and then Hager bumped his face on the ring steps (nice spot) and landed in front of his wife. Rhodes brought Hager back inside the ring.
At 12:30, Dustin kicked Hager below the belt and hit a Canadian Destroyer for another near fall. Rhodes applied a cross arm breaker, which Hager quickly escaped and then applied an ankle lock. Dustin rolled free and Hager stopped short of running into referee Aubrey Edwards. Hager turned and gave Rhodes a low blow while the referee was turned around. Hager applied a standing arm triangle hold. The referee called for the bell…
Jake Hager defeated Dustin Rhodes in 14:40.
Powell’s POV: Hager going over is logical in his first AEW match. He looked a bit winded at times, but the effort was there. He had some forgettable outings on the independent scene, so it was nice to see him looking motivated. The standing triangle hasn’t really been established in pro wrestling, so the crowd seemed surprised that it was used for the finish.
A video package hyped “AEW Dynamite Blood & Guts” and what was essentially a WarGames cage (Cody copyrighted The Match Beyond)… The broadcast team ran through the pay-per-view lineup…
The German broadcast team checked in…
2. Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin. Roberts said the match had a 20-minute time limit. Before the match, Allin dove through the ropes at Guevara and took him out at ringside. Allin crashed and burned going for a move, then Guevara went on the offensive. Allin battled back and Guevara was hanging over the barricade.
Allin went for a suicide dive and hit his foot on the top rope, but he still made a little contact. Guevara threw Allin’s skateboard at him. Guevara placed Allin on top of the table on the floor, then then performed a 630 splash that drove Allin through the table. Referee Paul Turner checked on Allin, who returned to the ring.
Turner confirmed that Allin was good to go and then called for the bell to officially start the match. Guevara immediately blasted Allin with double knees to the head. Allin applied a Fujiwara armbar. When Guevara neared the ropes, Allin applied it on his free arm until Guevara got a foot on the ropes. Guevara came right back and hit a double stomp onto a standing Allin on the apron at 2:30.
Back inside the ring, Allin performed a Destroyer for a two count. Allin went to the ropes and was cut off by Guevara. Allin pushed Guevara off, but he leapt back up there, nearly slipped, and then performed a Spanish Fly from the top rope that led to another near fall. Cool spot. Excalibur said Guevara may have slipped due to an injured ankle. Guevara removed a turnbuckle pad and ended up being slammed face first into it. Allin performed a Coffin Drop onto Guevara, who was lying in the middle of the ring, and scored the clean pin.
Darby Allin beat Sammy Guevara in 5:00.
After the match, Allin was about to go after Guevara with his skateboard, but Jake Hager came out and pulled Guevara from the ring and helped him up to the stage. Allin celebrated while Guevara and Hager headed to the back…
Powell’s POV: A crowd pleasing big spot match. The win could have meant more for Allin if Guevara hadn’t lost so frequently on television lately, but the crowd ate this up and Allin continues to be super over.
A tale of the tape was shown for the AEW Tag Title match. A video package focused on the drama involving Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and the Young Bucks…
3. Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson for the AEW Tag Titles. Roberts delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. There were probably more boos than cheers for the Bucks, while the tag champions were cheered. The referee was Rick Knox. There was a loud “cowboy shit” chant. Page spat in the face of Matt a couple minutes into the match.
At 6:20, Page was setting up to perform a move on Matt at ringside, but Omega intervened, which drew boos. Schiavone said it looked like Page was going to do a move on the ring bell. Back inside the ring, Nick tagged in and worked over Page and Omega with a nice offensive flurry that was cheered. Nick applied a Sharpshooter on Page, which Omega broke up around 9:00.
Around 11:30, Matt, who was selling a back injury, performed a piledriver on Omega. Excalibur spoke about the move putting a strain on the lower back of the person who performs it. Omega tagged out a short time later. There was another “cowboy shit” chant while Page went on the offensive. At 13:50, Page performed a moonsault from the top rope onto both Bucks at ringside.
At 15:00, Page and Matt met in the middle of the ring and jawed at one another while dueling chants broke out. There was a near miss moment when Omega launched Matt at Page, who performed a suplex in the same motion. Matt was going to land on his head, but it looked like he used his hands to avoid doing so. Whew.
Nick checked in and was standing on the middle of the ropes when Page shoved him off. Nick did a backflip and landed on the ramp, which is level with the ring. Nick performed a Canadian Destroyer on Page that resulted in a near fall. Matt checked in and performed a Blockbuster on Page and had him pinned, but Omega broke it up.
A short time later, Page went into Marty Scurll mode before applying a chicken wing on Matt. Matt escaped it, then Nick performed a senton bomb. Matt covered Page for a two count. A “this is awesome” chant started. Excalibur said he assumed that the first team to make a mistake would walk out with the loser’s purse. Page and Omega performed some moonsault, then Page performed a fallaway slam on Nick from the ropes for a near fall.
At 21:20, Omega tagged in and signalled for a V-Trigger, but Nick avoided it the first time around. Omega came back and hit the move on both Bucks, then hit Nick with a pair of snap dragon suplexes. Omega put Nick down with a Tiger Driver 98 for a good near fall. A “fight forever” chant broke out.
At 23:00, Nick performed a Poison Rana from the ropes. Page ran in. Matt ended up performing three suplexes on Page on the ramp. The Young Bucks performed a Meltzer Driver onto Page on the ramp, which drew some boos. The Bucks entered the ring and took turns hitting Omega with superkicks, then hit him with a double superkick. Fans booed.
The Bucks teamed up for the double V-Trigger on Omega. One of the Jacksons went for the cover, but Omega kicked out at one. Matt tagged in and stomped the right shoulder of Omega, who had it taped coming into the match. Matt removed the little bit of tape that remained on his shoulder. Matt looked down at the tape in his hand. “It’s a very emotional time for all these men,” Ross said. “Their friendships go deeper that we can all imagine.”
The Bucks set up for a Melter Driver, but Page cut off Nick and powerbombed him through a table at ringside. In the ring, Omega hit a couple of big knees to the head of Matt, then Omega and Page performed their V-Trigger and Buckshot Lariat combo finisher for another near fall. Omega performed another V-Trigger, then hoisted up Matt for a One Winged Angel. Matt slipped out while Excalibur chalked it up to Omega’s bad shoulder.
Matt superkicked Omega. Page checked in and hit the One Winged Angel on Matt, but Nick broke up the pin. Page ended up hitting a Buckshot Lariat on Nick on the ramp. Page followed up by performing a Buckshot Lariat on Matt in the ring and then pinned him to win the match right after Roberts noted that they were 30 minutes into the match.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated The Young Bucks in 30:05 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, the Bucks had a moment with Omega in the middle of the ring. Matt spoke to Page, who remained against the ropes while the broadcast team said he was keeping his distance. Omega approached Page, who turned his back on the trio. Page turned around and faced them, then opted to exit the ring.
Page stood on the apron while Omega played to the crowd and the Bucks excited the ring. Page put his hands on the ropes as if he was going to perform a Buckshot Lariat, which the broadcast team acknowledged, but he didn’t follow through. Page helped Omega out of the ring, then took a beer from a fan and drank it as they headed up the ramp…
Powell’s POV: Amazing athleticism and a fun atmosphere with so many in the live crowd siding with Page over the Bucks. Some of the near falls became too much, but it was an excellent match for its style. The post match angle was interesting with Page showing that he considered taking out his own partner. I was hoping that we’d get a major development in the story between the two teams, but I also don’t mind waiting. The risk is that they leave fans frustrated if they make them wait too long for the payoff, but I don’t think we’re there yet.
A tale of the tape aired for the AEW Women’s Championship, then a video package showcased the match…
4. Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander for the AEW Women’s Championship. Rose wore a black and orange costume mask on the stage, then removed it. The stage lit up and looked especially cool with Rose’s red and black theme. Roberts delivered in-ring introductions for the title match and noted that it had a 60-minute time limit. Bryce Remsburg was the referee.
Rose was on the ramp and avoided an early spear. Rose sent Statlander back into the ring, then performed a running spear through the ropes on her. Later, Statlander performed a suicide dive onto Rose. Statlander returned to the ring. Ross griped about her not being able to finish the match at ringside. Statlander performed another suicide dive, then rolled Rose back inside the ring. Statlander executed a missile dropkick and got a two count.
At 8:50, Rose positioned Statlander over the middle of the top rope. Rose went up top, then Statlander did a handstand. Rose gave a look of surprise while Statlander ended up lying down in the ring and posing. At 10:10, Rose applied an STF. She released the hold and went for a splash, but Statlander put her knees up. Statlander charged at Rose, who powerbombed her for a near fall.
Rose went to the top rope and was cut off by Statlander. This was followed by Statlander performing a clunky superplex, which Excalibur labeled a brainbuster. Rose ended up powerbombing Statlander from the ropes and scored the clean pin…
Nyla Rose defeated Kris Statlander in 12:45 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: Rose and Statlander were given the tough assignment of following up the tag title match. The crowd was very quiet early on. The match quality was decent at times, but there were definitely some rough moments along the way.
The broadcast team set up a quick ad for the AEW podcast… A tale of the tape was shown for Cody vs. MJF, then a video package set up the match…
5. Cody (w/Arn Anderson, Brandi Rhodes) vs. MJF (w/Wardlow). The band Downstait performed Cody’s entrance theme. Cody was walked to the ring by Dustin, Brandi Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Stephen Amell, and others (presumably from his training facility). Cody also debuted a new neck tattoo that featured the logo of the Nightmare Family.
Cody performed an early move that Schiavone attributed to the coaching of Anderson. Cody made an early cover, but he picked up MJF and punched him a few times. Wardlow pulled MJF to ringside for a breather. Cody ended up diving onto Wardlow and throttling him with punches. A short time later, Wardlow pulled Cody into the ring post, then threw him back inside the ring. MJF ran Cody into the corner, then raised his hands while looking to the crowd and was booed. MJF tucked Cody’s left hand in his weight belt and then slammed him down for a near fall.
MJF targeted Cody’s left shoulder. He also removed Cody’s right boot. The broadcast team stated earlier that Cody broke his toe. MJF ended up biting Cody’s toe through his sock. The fans came to life. Arn protested on the apron. Cody cut off MJF on the ropes and performed a reverse suplex. Cody caught MJF with a Disaster Kick that sent him to ringside. Cody set up to run the ropes, but Wardlow climbed onto the apron to stop him. Anderson grabbed a chair and approached Wardlow, who backed away.
MJF came up with a crimson mask. Cody went for a draping DDT, but MJF slipped out of it and stomped Cody’s bare foot. MJF performed a nice piledriver. Brandi dove onto Wardlow, who caught her. Cody went to ringside and told Wardlow to put her down. Cody went for a big boot, but he ended up kicking Anderson. In the ring, MJF caught Cody with a low blow and got a two count once the referee returned.
Cody went for a suplex over the ropes, MJF held on and pulled Cody to ringside with him. Both men returned to the ring to beat referee Paul Turner’s count at 19:30. The wrestlers got to their feet and exchanged punches while the fans did the “yay/boo” bit. Cody got the better of it and did the flip, flip, and fly, but MJF fell to the mat before Cody could cap it off with an elbow. Cody picked up MJF and set up for CrossRhodes, but MJF countered into Double Cross for a near fall at 21:00.
MJF removed Cody’s weightlifting belt. The referee took the belt away. While the ref was turned around, Cody kicked MJF in the balls and performed the Din’s Fire move. Cody hit MJF with the belt. The referee allowed him to deliver one more. MJF crawled to Cody and hugged at his foot while trying to look sympathetic. MJF crawled up Cody to get to his feet and then hugged him.
MJF spat in the face of Cody and then charged at him, but Cody put him down with CrossRhodes. Cody picked him up and performed another, then picked him up for a third, but MJF hit him with his Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF put the ring in his tights, then fell onto Cody and got the pin.
MJF defeated Cody in 24:40.
After the match, MJF headed to the back. In the ring, Anderson helped Cody up and hugged him, then held the ropes open for him to leave the ring while the fans chanted Cody’s name. Excalibur said it will go down as a win in the record books for MJF over the No. 2 ranked Cody…
Powell’s POV: A fun match with the right finish, as MJF really needed to go over to extend this feud. It will be interesting to see if they move forward with this feud or if they have MJF duck Cody to move in different directions temporarily.
A video package recapped the Pac vs. Orange Cassidy build from Dark and Dynamite…
6. Pac vs. Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor, Trent). Remsburg was the referee. Cassidy started the match wearing shades and went to put his hands in his pocket. Pac stopped him, then Cassidy flipped him over and then put his hands in his pocket. Cassidy kept his hands in his pockets and did the light kicks. Pac didn’t sell them, but he went back and forth with light kicks for a bit before shoving Cassidy to the mat, which sent Cassidy’s shades flying. Cassidy performed some of his usual moves with his hands in his pockets for a big pop.
Pac cut off Cassidy with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and went on the offensive. Pac sent Cassidy to ringside, then ran him face first into the ring post, which looked vicious. Back inside the ring, Pac performed a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Pac superplexed Cassidy (Excalibur called it an avalanche brainbuster). Pac had the pin, but he picked up Cassidy. Pac went up top for his Black Arrow, but Cassidy rolled to ringside. Pac rolled him back inside the ring and went back to the ropes, so Cassidy rolled out of the ring again.
Cassidy was lying on the mat and he smiled at Pac, looked to the crowd and clapped. Cassidy came to life with a series of moves that included a DDT. Cassidy went for a cover and Pac was kicking out at one. Pac cut off the flurry with a clothesline. A short time later, Cassidy put his hands in his pockets again. He took them out and hit a Superman Punch and followed up with a cutter.
Cassidy went to the top rope and was cut off by Pac, but Cassidy countered into a DDT from the ropes. Cassidy leapt from the top rope and performed a DDT on the way down. Pac rolled out of the ring and onto the apron. Trent threw Pac back inside the ring where Cassidy hit another move that led to a near fall. Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr. ran out and attacked Trent. Taylor saved his partner. The teams fought to the back. Pac applied the Brutalizer and got the submission win…
Pac defeated Orange Cassidy in 13:00.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with Pac looking sadistic and brutal at times, while Cassidy showed good heart and popped the crowd with his offense before taking the loss. The light kicks aren’t for me, but the live crowd went crazy for that sequence. The interference by Fenix and Pentagon felt unnecessary.
The Blood & Guts video aired for the AEW version of WarGames… The broadcast team hyped upcoming dates and then set up a tale of the tape for the main event… A video package aired for the AEW Championship match…
7. Chris Jericho (w/Santana, Ortiz) vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW Championship. Moxley entered through the crowd. A gospel choir sang “Judas” on the stage. The Fozzy version played while Jericho made his way to the ring with Santana and Ortiz. Justin Roberts delivered in-ring introductions for the main event. Jericho had the big cut on his face from Wednesday’s headbutt, and Moxley was still wearing the eyepatch. Aubrey Edwards was the referee.
Jericho and Moxley traded punches to start the match. They ended up bawling into the crowd. Jericho grabbed a television camera and pointed it at Moxley at one point. They fought their way back to ringside where Moxley bit the cut on Jericho’s face. Edwards barked at both men about returning to the ring. Moxley bowed to her. Jericho ran Moxley into the ring post. Moxley came up bleeding. Jericho powerbombed Moxley onto the timekeepers table.
A short time later, Jericho went to ringside and rang the timekeepers bell and dubbed himself the winner. Jericho returned to the ring and put the boots to Moxley. Schiavone mentioned the possibility that Moxley had a concussion. The fans chanted “stupid idiot.” Jericho responded by flipping them off. Moxley threw Jericho into the corner and worked him over, but Jericho came right back by whipping him into the opposite corner.
Jericho sent Moxley to ringside. Santana and Ortiz put the boots to Moxley while Jericho distracted Edwards. Later, Moxley was in offensive control when Ortiz hit him with the loaded sock. Jericho performed a Lionsault for a near fall. Moxley avoided the Walls of Jericho, then applied the move himself. Jake Hager ran out. MMoxley released the hold and punched him, then turned into a Codebreaker from Jericho, who covered him for two.
Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho. Moxley reached the ropes to break it. Jericho shoved Edwards. The broadcast team agreed that he was trying to get himself disqualified. Moxley came back with a clothesline. Hager hit Moxley with a punch from the floor. The referee saw it and ejected Hager, Santana, and Ortiz. As Edwards was tied up getting rid of that trio. Sammy Guevara ran in through the crowd and hit Moxley with the AEW Title belt. Jericho covered Moxley for a two count.
A “let’s go Moxley” chant broke out briefly. Jericho threw punches at Moxley. Jericho gouged Moxley’s good eye. “Jericho may have found the formula for how to beat Moxley tonight,” Ross said. Jericho taunted Moxley for not being able to see. Jericho went to the middle rope and lowered his knee pad, then dropped the exposed knee onto Moxley. Jericho set up for the Judas Effect, but Moxley ducked it twice. Moxley dropped Jericho with a DDT, then stood up and removed his eye patch. Moxley performed a Paradigm Shift and scored the clean pin.
Jon Moxley defeated Chris Jericho in 22:20 to win the AEW Championship.
After the match, Moxley put on a t-shirt that read “I Was There” on the back and then celebrated with the AEW Championship belt. Ross said this is AEW Wrestling and “this is our champion.” He invited viewers to come along for the ride. Moxley’s music stopped playing and he took the mic and said, “I love this shit.” Moxley said it’s been a hell of year for him. He said the title doesn’t belong to him, he said it and AEW belong to the fans. He told the fans that they are the energy that fuels AEW.
Moxley said they had a conversation a year ago about bringing pro wrestling back to the people. Moxley said the belt belongs to all the fans in Chicago and all the AEW fans at home, and all the fans who have been with him from the beginning and through all the ups and downs. Moxley said the fans are the most important part of the AEW family. Moxley said it feels like it’s beer o’clock.
Moxley looked to the back. Moxley’s music started to play. “Hey, what the f—,” Moxley said and then the music stopped. He said something about lining them up and he’ll knock them down. Ross hyped the new era beginning in Denver on Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite.
Powell’s POV: The match was felt a little off early on, but it got better as it went deeper with some help from the outside interference creating some decent suspense. That said, both men have had better matches lately and this would not have felt memorable were it not for the title change. Moxley’s post match promo felt like something that would have been better off being only for the live crowd so that his first comments could have been saved for television when he’d be more focused on the promo.
One of the fun things about AEW is that we’re not familiar with their booking style compared to the decades of familiarity with Vince McMahon’s style in WWE. In other words, the booking feels less predictable and formulaic. The overall show was entertaining and felt like a big event. I will have more to say when Jake Barnett and I get together for our Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review shortly. Let us know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade and by voting for the best match in our post show polls available on the main page.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...