By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Aired live March 7, 2021 on pay-per-view
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
AEW Revolution Buy-In Pre-Show
Excalibur and Tony Schiavone were on commentary to start. Excalibur ran through the pay-per-view lineup and included the rules for the main event… A video package spotlighted the AEW Tag Title match…
Britt Baker made her entrance for the pre-show match. She said Reba was attacked by Nyla Rose and can’t compete. Reba limped out using a single crutch. Baker said Tony Khan agreed that a replacement was needed. Maki Itoh made her entrance and sang on her way to the ring. Riho and Thunder Rosa made their entrances while ring announcer Justin Roberts handled the introductions…
1. Maki Itoh and Britt Baker (w/Reba) vs. Riho and Thunder Rosa. Riho got the better of Baker to start and put her down with back to back dropkicks, then performed a head-scissors takedown. Rosa and Itoh tagged in. Itoh played to the crowd and then flipped them off while Rosa shook her head in disgust.
The broadcast team noted that Itoh worked a pair of tournament matches 48 hours earlier in Japan, then took the 18-hour flight to the United States. Itoh and Riho ended up in the ring together. Baker took Riho to ringside and worked her over. Back in the ring, Itoh went for her headbutt, but Riho moved out of the way.
Riho was isolated by Itoh and Baker. Itoh applied a chinlock and held up her middle finger with his other hand, but Riho reached the ropes. Riho avoided a charging Itoh in the corner and then clotheslined her over the top rope. Rhio performed a top rope cross body block for a two count.
Rosa eventually tagged in and performed a running senton on Baker that led to a two count. Itoh checked in and delivered a headbutt to Rosa’s stomach, which led to a two count. Rosa performed a cutter on Ito and then tagged out. Itoh dropped Rosa with a swinging DDT. Rosa rolled under the ropes, but Itoh dragged her to the middle of the ring and went for a top rope headbutt, but Rosa moved.
Riho checked in and was rolled into a single crab, but Riho reached the ropes to break the hold. The broadcast team noted that Itoh had yet to beat Riho in a match. Riho and Itoh traded elbow strikes. Itoh used her head to block one of the strikes. Baker checked in and performed a side suplex and went for the pin, but Rosa ran in and broke it up.
Rosa and Baker checked in. Baker DDT’d Rosa and covered her, but Rosa hooked her into a pin for a two count. Reba climbed onto the apron and dropped her crutch. Baker went after Rosa and ended up knocking Reba off the apron. Rosa performed a Death Valley Driver on Baker and had her beat, but Itoh broke it up.
Rosa threw Itoh to ringside. The cameras missed Riho taking out Itoh with a dive at ringside. Baker avoided a move by Rosa and then superkicked her. Baker shoved Rosa, causing the referee to move, and then Reba hit Rosa with a crutch from the floor. Baker covered Rosa and scored the pin.
Maki Itoh and Britt Baker defeated Riho and Thunder Rosa in 14:50.
Afterward, the referee held up the arms of Itoh and Baker, and they both held up their middle fingers…
Powell’s POV: A nice show opening match. Itoh was a fun surprise replacement for Reba, the in-ring action was strong, and the finish was well executed.
A video package spotlighted the pay-per-view main event… Excalibur and Schiavone ran through the pay-per-view lineup again. Jim Ross entered to the Oklahoma fight song and joined the broadcast team. A hoarse Ross made a pitch for the pay-per-view and said it would have people talking for days to come to close out the pre-show…
AEW Revolution Main Card
The show opened with a memorial graphic for Jim Crockett Jr… The broadcast team of Ross, Excalibur, and Schiavone checked in again while pyro shot off on the stage…
1. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Chris Jericho and MJF (w/Wardlow) for the AEW Tag Titles. Roberts delivered in-ring introduction for the title match. Aubrey Edwards was the referee. The Bucks went at their challengers aggressively to start and brawled to ringside. Back inside the ring, the Bucks applied simultaneous Sharpshooters, which were eventually broken.
Matt draped Jericho’s legs over the middle ropes, then Nick performed a top rope senton. MJF broke up the pin. MJF held Nick’s legs from ringside while Jericho hit Nick with a springboard kick to take offensive control. The heel duo isolated Nick and mocked the Young Bucks’ pose. Matt tagged in and got the better of MJF for a moment. Matt ran the ropes, but Wardlow held them open, causing Matt to tumble to ringside where Jericho worked him over.
Jericho and MJF held up Matt in a delayed suplex position and then flipped off the crowd before dropping him. Matt nearly made a tag, but Jericho pulled Nick off the apron. Matt eventually came back with simultaneous DDTs on both opponents and then tagged in his brother. Nick went into one-man destroyer mode by dominating both opponents, including a cool Destroyer on MJF that led to a near fall.
A short time later, The Bucks set up for one of their signature moves, but MJF stopped Nick from performing his end of the move. Jericho put Nick in the Walls of Jericho, but Nick was able to tag out. Jericho quickly put Matt in the same hold, but Matt was able to spin out of it. MJF tagged in and used a backslide for a good near fall. MJF followed up with a sit-out powerbomb for another near fall.
MJF did a crotch chop and told Matt to suck it. “What motivates a man to be an idiot?” Schiavone asked while MJF continued the taunt. Matt rallied and picked up a near fall over MJF. Wardlow distracted the referee while Jericho hit Matt from behind with a baseball bat. MJF pulled Matt through the ropes and gave him a piledriver for a big near fall.
The Bucks came back with stereo top rope dives with Matt diving onto MJF at ringside, while Nick dove onto Jericho inside the ring for a near fall. Nick knocked Wardlow off the apron and got another near fall on Jericho, who then knocked Nick down. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but the Bucks double superkicked him. The Bucks hit the BTE Trigger, but MJF broke up the pin.
The Bucks hit MJF with multiple superkicks, then knocked Jericho down with a double superkick. The Bucks performed the Meltzer Driver on Jericho and then Matt scored the pin…
“The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson defeated Chris Jericho and MJF in 17:50 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A hot tag title opener. It was good to see the Bucks come out aggressively given the story that they were out for revenge for Jericho and MJF attacking their father. The match definitely benefitted from feeling unpredictable, at least with me. I didn’t feel strongly about either team going over, so I did buy into some of the near falls. I wasn’t a big fan of Matt kicking out after taking a baseball bat shot, but I really enjoyed this match aside from that spot.
Ross apologized for his voice while saying he would make it through the show. The broadcast team ran through the rest of the pay-per-view lineup…
2. Casino Tag Team Royale for a shot at the AEW Tag Titles. The two teams that started the match were “The Natural Nightmares” Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall, and Dark Order’s 5 and 10. The broadcast team explained that a new team would enter every 90 seconds, and that both team members needed to be eliminated. The countdown clock was shown on the big screen that was opposite the hard camera. The teams shook hands to start.
The third entrants were “Proud and Powerful” Santana and Ortiz. Dustin tried to stop them from hitting a sequence of moves on 5, but it obviously wasn’t time, so he just stood and awkwardly watched for a moment. Marshall hit 5 with a Diamond Cutter and then tossed him over the top rope to eliminate him.
The fourth entrants were Matt Sydal and Mike Sydal. Matt went right up top and performed a double knee dive onto Santana.
The fifth entrants were Evil Uno and Stu Grayson. Schiavone noted that the Dark Order had the numbers advantage over the other teams. Mike Sydal was eliminated by Santana and Ortiz.
The sixth entrants were Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn. Ross said they’d never hear the end of it if the Gunn team won. Ortiz tossed Matt Sydal over the top rope and onto the apron, then Santana booted him off the apron to eliminate him, making the Sydals the first team eliminated
The seventh entrants were Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi. They worked over one of the Gunns and then posed.
The eighth entrants were “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison. The Gunns eliminated Avalon. They tried to eliminate Bononi, but Marshall pushed the Gunns over the top rope to eliminate them. Dustin Rhodes took issue with Marshall, who said, “F— you,” and then eliminated himself.
The ninth entrants were “Bear Country” Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder. Grayson powered up Boulder, but Bronson broke it up and then Bear Country eliminated Grayson.
The tenth entrants were Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy clotheslined Ortiz over the top rope to eliminate him. Bononi played to the crowd and then took a kick from Luchasaurus, who then eliminated him. Luchasaurus tossed Garrison over the top rope to eliminate him. Jungle Boy eliminated Santana. In a terrible looking spot. Marko Stunt ran in and performed a huracanrana on Uno that didn’t really take, but Uno ran into the ring post and fell to the floor anyway.
The eleventh entrants were The Butcher and The Blade, who were accompanied by The Bunny. Butcher eliminated Pillman. Blade threw 10 onto the apron. Jack Evans showed up out of nowhere and pulled 10 from the apron to the floor to eliminate him. Butcher and Blade teamed up on Dustin and had him on the apron. The Bunny pulled Dustin to the floor to eliminate him.
The twelfth entrants were “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen. Private Party doubled up on Jungle Boy.
The 13th entrants were Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. Luchasaurus went for a double chokeslam, but the SCU duo slipped away. Bear Country then sent Luchasaurus over the top rope to eliminate him. The Butcher eliminated Bear Country, who pulled him to ringside and worked him over for a moment and then threw him back inside the ring.
The fourteenth entrants were Pac and Rey Fenix. They quickly eliminated The Blade and Quen at the same time.
The final entrants were John Silver and Alex Reynolds. They performed a double team move on Kassidy and then eliminated him. Daniels and Kazarian eliminated The Butcher. Ross said all the teams had entered the match. Fenix eliminated Daniels. Reynolds and Jungle Boy fought on the apron. Jungle Boy got the better of it and eliminated Reynolds. Pac eliminated Kazarian.
The final four were Silver, Jungle Boy, and the team of Pac and Fenix. Silver hung on after taking a big shot from Fenix. Silver and Pac traded forearm blows in the middle of the ring. Pac got the better of the exchange and tried to eliminate Silver, who skinned the cat. Silver caught a charging Pac with a boot. Fenix ran the ropes and threw a phantom kick that Silver sold by falling to the floor to be eliminated.
Pac and Fenix teamed up on Jungle Boy briefly. Jungle Boy pulled the ropes down when Pac charged him, causing Pac’s elimination. The match came down to Fenix and Jungle Boy. After some good back and forth action, Fenix eliminated Jungle Boy to win the match…
Rey Fenix (and Pac) won the Casino Tag Royale in 26:45 to earn an AEW Tag Title shot.
Powell’s POV: A fun battle royal. There were some rough moments, but from what I could tell the good far outweighed the bad (it’s a tough one to cover). I thought Top Flight were listed for the match at one point, but they did not appear. The outcome may have been more surprising if Pac and Fenix hadn’t been given that dominant squash win on the go-home edition of Dynamite.
Paul Wight was interviewed backstage by Dasha. They stood in front of a locker room door. Wight said everyone wants to know who the mystery person is, but only he, Tony Khan, and the talent know. Wight offered a hint by saying don’t think anyone in AEW can outwork the mystery person…
Actor Paul Walter Hauser and Diamond Dallas Page were shown in the spectator wrestler section. Al Snow was shown sitting in the crowd… A video package set up the AEW Women’s Championship match…
3. Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami for the AEW Women’s Championship. Excalibur spoke about the history between the champion and her challenger. Shida and Mizunami shook hands to start. Shida smiled and ducked Mizunami’s cheap shot attempt. Mizunami threw some chops in the corner that became comically rapid fire, yet Shida sold them. Shida came back with a running knee strike.
Shida draped Mizunami over the apron, then threw a knee lift from the floor. Shida looked under the ring and pulled out a chair. Referee Paul Turner cautioned her against using it as a weapon. Shida ran and leapt off the chair, but Mizunami caught her and dumped her over the barricade.
Back inside the ring, Shida and Mizunami fought for position on the ropes. Shida ended up placing Mizunami on her shoulders, then moved her down and performed a reverse piledriver. Shida smiled sadistically. Shida superplexed Mizunami back into the ring and then covered her for a two count. Shida let Mizunami stand up and throw some strikes before knocking her back down with a single blow.
Mizunami came back with a headbutt to the chest, then fired several more at Shida’s head. Mizunami threw a nice spinning back fist and then a couple of big clotheslines. Mizunami threw a running clothesline and then hoisted up Shida was a spike move that resulted in a near fall. Shida rolled up Mizunami and blasted her with a shot. Shida threw a running knee. Mizunami came back for a moment, then Shida put her down with another running knee. Both women laid on the mat.
Shida and Mizunami got back to their feet and exchanged blows again. Mizunami knocked Shida down with elbow strikes, then performed a uranage slam. Mizunami speared Shida, then signaled for her finisher. Mizunami went up top and performed a guillotine leg drop. Mizunami covered Shida for a close near fall. Mizunami went for a slam, but Shida rolled through to avoid it.
Mizunami charged Shida, who kicked and clotheslined her. Shida performed a straight jacket German suplex. Mizunami popped right up and hit Shida from behind. Shida came right back with a falcon arrow. Shida ran the ropes for a knee strike. Mizunami put her hands up. Shida waited until she lowered her hands and then hit her with multiple shots and a falcon arrow for a near fall.
Shida ran the ropes and ate a clothesline. Mizunami charged at Shida, who knocked her down. Shida poked Mizunami’s eyes and then put her in an inside cradle for a near fall. Shida delivered another knee strike for a near fall. Shida ended up performing another running knee and failed to get the pin. Shida threw a corkscrew knee and then scored the pin…
Hikaru Shida defeated Ryo Mizunami in 15:10 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
After the match, Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero ran out. Rose hit Shida from behind while she was celebrating her win. Rose put the boots to Mizunai and then set up for her finisher, but Shida recovered and saved Mizunami. Britt Baker, Maki Itoh, and Rebel came out. Itoh bit Mizunami’s fingers. Baker hit Shida with a crutch. Thunder Rosa ran out and the heels all fled to ringside…
Powell’s POV: The bulk of the match was very good. It got a little clunky at the end and I could have done without Mizunami kicking out of so many running knees. The post match angle was fine until the heels ran away when Rosa ran out. They had Shida and Mizunami beaten down, yet they all ran away from Rosa?
An ad aired for the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view that will be held in May. Schiavone said Double Or Nothing would be held at Daily’s Place…
Alex Marvez was about to interview Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor when they were attacked by Miro and Kip Sabian. Miro slammed Taylor’s head through a door window. “Play my music,” Miro barked while looking into the camera.
Miro and Sabian dragged Taylor to the ring and were accompanied by Penelope Ford. Miro took a mic and called Taylor “Charles” while telling him that he could make it stop. Taylor, who had some dried blood on his arm, told the referee to ring the damn bell, then stood up and hit MIro…
4. Miro and Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) vs. Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy. The match started even though Cassidy had not made his entrance. Cassidy showed up a few minutes into the match, but he sold by falling onto the stage. When Miro headed his way, Cassidy shot up and dropped him with the Orange Punch.
Cassidy tagged in and performed a DDT from the ropes on Sabian and covered him for a near fall. Sabian came right back with a gutbuster. Sabian got a couple of two counts and then Miro was shown crawling on the ground at ringside. Cassidy performed a DDT on Sabian. Taylor, who had made a blind tag, performed a move from the top rope. Taylor delivered a piledriver and went for the pin, but Miro raced in and punched him in the face to break up the pin.
Miro and Cassidy squared off. Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and did the light kicks to the shins of Miro. A short time later, Cassidy hit a stunner and the Orange Punch again. Ford distracted Cassidy by standing on the apron. Miro slammed Cassidy. Taylor threw a kick to Miro, who came right back with a clothesline. Miro ended up putting Taylor in the the Accolade and got the submission win…
Miro and Kip Sabian beat Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy in 7:50.
Powell’s POV: Here’s hoping that this is the end of the feud. I doubt it will be, but I’m over it either way.
Backstage, Marvez interviewed Jericho and MJF while Santana and Ortiz stood behind them. Jericho took issue with Marvez saying they failed to win the AEW Tag Titles. Jericho said they could change their plans in the middle of a war like good soldiers. Jericho said they would have a war council segment on Dynamite and indicated that there would be changes. MJF looked at Jericho and told him that he agreed that they needed to make changes that will make the Inner Circle stronger…
A video package spotlighted the Adam Page and Matt Hardy feud…
5. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Matt Hardy in a Money Match. They fought to ringside and then over the barricade early on while AEW Dark results were displayed on the screen. Page leapt from a handrail and knocked Hardy down. They returned to the ring and Hardy eventually targeted Page’s right hand.
Hardy took the match back to ringside and performed a Twist of Fate. Hardy was content to win via count-out, but Page beat referee Rick Knox’s count. Page came back briefly, but Hardy caught him on the ropes and performed a German suplex that led to a two count. Both men hit simultaneous clotheslines twice, then Page dropped Hardy with a discus forearm.
Page clotheslined Hardy and both men tumbled to ringside. Page landed on his feet, then went up top and moonsaulted Hardy on the floor. Back inside the ring, Page performed a cross body block from the ropes for another two count. Page set up for the Deadeye, but Hardy blocked it and then put Page down with a neckbreaker.
Hardy went to the middle rope and played to the crowd. Page joined Hardy on the ropes before he could perform a move, but Hardy slipped under him and delivered a powerbomb for a near fall. Page avoided a Twist of Fate and countered into a Deadeye. The Private Party duo of Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy climbed onto opposite sides of the ring and the referee paid attention to them rather than count the pin.
Page went back to work on Hardy, then had to knock Kassidy and Quen off the apron. Page went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Hardy caught him with a Side Effect. Hardy got a good near fall off a Twist of Fate. The Dark Order ran out and roughed up the Private Party duo at ringside. Hardy knocked Page off the apron, but the Dark Order caught him and propped him up, then Page hit the Buckshot Lariat and scored the pin.
“Hangman” Adam Page beat Matt Hardy in 14:40 to win the Money Match.
Afterward, the Dark Order entered the ring and applauded Page, who joined them in a group hug. Colt Cabana gave Page a couple of beer cans. Page drank from one can, handed the other to Cabana, and then headed to the stage…
Powell’s POV: An enjoyable middle of the card match with the right guy going over. I’m still not sure where Page and the Dark Order’s relationship is going, but it continues to feel like Page should be doing bigger things. That said, Page has maintained his popularity and they can slide him into the world title picture at any point and it will feel like he belongs.
A video package set up the ladder match… Entrances for the ladder match took place. Max Caster was the first man out. He rapped and had lines about Dr. Seuss and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Lance Archer and Jake Roberts were out next and received some pyro. Caster hopped the barricade to avoid Archer, who ended up dropping someone else in the spectator wrestler section with a forearm.
Scorpio Sky was out next. Schiavone said Sky showed a bit of an attitude on Dynamite, but added that he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Penta El Zero Miedo was out next and got some pyro. The broadcast team agreed that the pyro felt good because it was warming them up.
Cody was out next and received pyro, then Arn Anderson joined him. Jade Cargill was shown clapping in the crowd and then she stopped. They cut to Red Velvet, who was cheering loudly for Cody. “All Ego” Ethan Page was the surprise final entrant (not the same as the big surprise)…
6. “All Ego” Ethan Page vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Max Caster in The Face of the Revolution ladder match. A giant “brass ring” was hung above the ring as the object for the wrestlers to pull down. Excalibur spoke briefly about Page’s history in Impact Wrestling and PWG, and then the bell rang to start the match.
Archer was dominant early. He tossed a ladder at a couple of opponents and then worked over others. Penta kicked the ladder at Archer, then gave him a sling blade clothesline while Archer had the ladder in his hand. Both men rolled to ringside. Caster cleared Sky to ringside. Jack Evans ran out with Caster’s boombox, but Dark Order’s 10 ran out and attacked Evans.
Caster picked up the boombox. Cody hit Caster with a Disaster Kick on the ramp. Cody and Archer teamed up and ran Archer into a ladder that was set up in the middle of the ring. Cody offered Page a handshake. Page accepted and then attacked Cody while the broadcast team agreed that it was the right move in this type of a match.
Caster used his boombox as a weapon on Cody. Penta entered the ring, ran the ropes, and then ran up a ladder that was leaning against the ropes and dove onto Cody and Caster at ringside. Archer waited for Penta to climb onto the apron and then dropkicked him to the floor. Archer grabbed the ladder, but Page gave him a cutter onto the ladder. Page wedged Archer in between the ladder and slammed one side of it down on him.
Page performed a crucifix powerbomb that sent Sky crashing onto the ladder, which closed on Archer. Damn. Archer tried to climb a ladder, but Penta pulled him into a Backstabber. Penta made a play for the ring, but Cody returned with a kick that knocked Penta off the ladder. Penta and Cody fought on the apron in front of ladder that was draped over the ring and ringside barricade.
Penta performed a Destroyer onto the ladder. Trainers checked on Cody, who was helped up and favored his taped left arm. Cody was helped to the stage. He dropped to his knees in front of one of the entrance areas. In the ring, Archer, Sky, Caster, and Page fought on two ladders that were set up under the ring. Sky ended up being the last man on a ladder, but Penta returned and cut him off before he could pull the ring down.
Cody remained in the entrance area while Anderson could be seen talking to him. In the ring, Page made a play for the ring, but Caster climbed up the other side of the ladder and punched him. Caster ended up flipping over Page’s back and pulling him down from the ladder with a powerbomb. A short time later, Sky performed a top rope frogsplash onto Caster, who was lying on a ladder.
Archer returned to the ring and catapulted Sky toward the ladder, but Sky jumped onto the ladder and had to be stopped from grabbing the ring. Sky ended up on the top rope. Archer threw a knee at Sky, who fell from the ropes and crashed through the ladder that was set up over the ring and barricade. Page knocked Penta off a ladder that was set up in the middle fo the ring.
Cody favored his bad left arm, but returned to the match by hitting some of his opponents with his weightlifting belt. Cody performed CrossRhodes on Page. Schiavone said it appeared to hurt Cody as much as it hurt Page. Cody set up a ladder in the corner and started to climb it, but Archer ran up it and suplexed him into the ring. Caster leapt from the same ladder and dropped an elbow onto Cody’s back.
Penta and Caster fought on top of a ladder until Archer shoved it over. Archer chokeslammed multiple opponents. Archer performed his Blackout finisher on Caster by slamming him onto a ladder that was lying in the middle of the ring. Excalibur told viewers that Archer was going to be the Face of the Revolution (so you had to know this wasn’t the finish). Page hit Archer from behind. Archer chased Page into a corner of the ring, but then Page ended up low blowing him.
Jake Roberts entered the ring and hit Page with a short-arm clothesline. Roberts flipped the bird. Penta took out Roberts. Cody performed a springboard cutter on Penta. Cody made a play for the ring, but Penta recovered and ended up hitting Cody’s bad left arm with a chair. Penta made a play for the ring, but Sky hit him with a chair and knocked him off the ladder.
Sky and Cody climbed opposite sides of a ladder and fought at the top. Sky got the better of it by wrenching Cody’s bad arm over the top of the ladder. Sky shoved Cody to the mat. Sky unhooked the ring to win the match…
Scorpio Sky defeated Ethan Page, Cody Rhodes, Lance Archer, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Max Caster in a ladder match in 23:15 to earn a TNT Title match.
Excalibur noted that Sky will challenge Darby Allin for the TNT Championship on Wednesday’s Dynamite. Cody was shown being helped to the back by Anderson. The broadcast team spoke about the big talent announcement and Paul Wight joining Schiavone on commentary for the forthcoming AEW Dark: Elevation show…
A podium was set up on the stage. A countdown clock was shown and then a graphic on the big screen read “Out. Work. Everyone.” Christian Cage made his entrance and received loud cheers. Cage grabbed a contract off the podium and took it to the ring where he signed it. Cage opened his jacket to show off an “Out. Work. Everyone.” t-shirt. Cage headed backstage without speaking…
Powell’s POV: Cage was one of the most guessed wrestlers over the weekend. The hype took on a life of its own and there will be some fans who are disappointed, but it’s a nice signing for AEW considering that Cage was in the Royal Rumble recently. Apparently, Cage and WWE were unable to come to terms. I was surprised that we didn’t have Paul Wight involved in the segment in some manner, but perhaps it’s best not to have him hover over Cage on his first night in. The ladder match was MITB-like with lot of big spots. Cody has been nursing a legit injury, so I assume that this is part of the story that will lead to him being written out if he needs time away to get healthy.
A video package set up the street fight… Taz joined the broadcast team on commentary. He said he would rather be at the fight, but his men don’t need him. Ross said the street fight was taking place at an undisclosed location…
7. Sting and Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a Street Fight. The cinematic started with Cage and Starks getting into a sports car on a parking ramp and then they were shown arriving at what appeared to be an old warehouse where a ring and a referee were waiting. Black and white footage of Allin and “his army of hoodlums” was shown while Allin’s entrance theme played. Allin skateboarded and grabbed the back of a pickup truck that Sting was driving. The duo arrived at the warehouse and were joined by the army that was sporting Sting masks.
Allin’s army surrounded the ring and pounded on the mat while the match started. Allin did a cool push off the brick wall next to the ring, but Cage caught him and suplexed him. Cage took Allin outside the ring and worked him over. In the ring, Sting dominated Starks and gave him a Stinger Splash and Snake Eyes. The camera looked as if it flew over to the area where Cage pressed Allin over his head and threw him through a doorway. Taz said Allin should have aligned with him. In the ring, Sting hit another Stinger Splash and then clotheslined Starks out of the ring.
Sting, who wore a long-sleeve shirt and pants, grabbed his baseball bat and threw it at Starks. Sting was able to grab the bat again, but Starks ended up jawing at him and then Sting threw the bat into the upper level of the warehouse. Sting roughed up Starks. They cut to Cage, who held up Allin in vertical suplex position while walking up a flight of steps. Cage slammed Allin onto a trashcan. All four men ended up in the same area. Starks rolled a barrel at Sting while Taz said his guys were “kicking the shit out of people.”
Cage accidentally hit Starks with an object. Allin put Cage in a sleeper. Cage fought Sting and ended up backing into a wall to get Allin off him. Cage set up Allin for a move, but Sting sprayed a fire extinguisher at him. Allin slammed a bottle over Cage’s head. Sting and Allin teamed up to slam Cage through a table. Allin and Starks traded strikes. Starks charged at Allin, who moved, and then shoved Starks into a pole. Allin climbed the pole and did a trust fall onto Allin.
Powerhouse Hobbs showed up wearing an orange ski mask and attacked Allin. Hobbs removed the mask. Cage dumped Sting and then went to the area where Hook was punching Allin while Hobbs held Allin in place. Cage took a shot at Allin, then joined Hobbs in swinging Allin through a frame of small windows. Taz said what was happening to Allin was a gift to his friend Scorpio Sky, who would challenge for the TNT Championship on Dynamite.
The heels worked over Sting and hit him over the back with a shovel. Allin called out for Sting and then threw him his bat from the upper level. Sting worked over the Team Taz members with the bat. Sting hit Cage with the shovel and then rolled him onto a platform. Allin leapt from the second level and elbow dropped Cage through the platform. Sting entered the ring where Starks was lying. Sting ended up powerbombing Starks and covering him for a near fall. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop and then pinned Starks…
Sting and Darby Allin beat Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a Street Fight in 13:40.
A video aired for AEW Double or Nothing, which will be held on Sunday, May 30 in Jacksonville…
Powell’s POV: Taking the cinematic approach is logical for Sting at this point in his career. Some will love it, some will hate it. It really comes down to what you thin of cinematic matches and/or whether you feel like the company did a good enough job of indicating that it would be a cinematic rather than a regular match. Meanwhile, I’m surprised to see AEW running another Sunday pay-per-view.
The broadcast team hyped Matt Jackson vs. Rey Fenix, Hikaru Shida, Ryo Mizunami, and Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker, Reba, and Maki Itoh, the Inner Circle War Council, and Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky for the TNT Championship for Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite…
A video package set up the main event… Jon Moxley made his entrance from the usual area and wore a leather jacket with small spikes on it and had “MOX” in spikes on the back. The referee stood in ring wearing a white bomb suit with a face shield. Kenny Omega and Don Callis came out together. Omega wore jeans and a white (get ready for blood) t-shirt that had the match name and date on it.
Callis joined the broadcast team and said it was a great day to die right here at Evolution. Callis said he and Omega oversaw the construction and this was a special sendoff for Moxley. He said it was the only way to get rid of Moxley or he would keep coming. Justin Roberts delivered introductions from the stage.
8. Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match for the AEW Championship. Moxley removed his jacket and wrestled in jeans and a t-shirt. Bryce Remsburg was the referee. Excalibur explained that if the match wasn’t over in 30 minutes, all of the explosives would go off and the person who survived would be named the winner. Callis laughed and explained that the plan was to end it as soon as possible.
Three sides of the ropes were wrapped in barbed wire and there were barbed wire tables leaning against three corners of the ring. There were also barbed wire tables on the floor and other weapons on the stage. Moxley clotheslined Omega over the ropes without the barbed wire and onto the ramp. Moxley took weapons out of a trashcan that was on the stage. He settled on a barbed wire bat, which he worked over Omega with. Moxley followed up by hitting Omega with a kendo stick.
Both men returned to the ring. Omega threw powder at Moxley, who then swung and missed with the bat. Omega whipped Moxley into the ropes and there was an explosion. Omega apparently went for a cover, but they were replaying the explosion. Omega worked over Moxley with the kendo stick. Moxley slammed the trashcan over Moxley’s head, then set it up, and dropped Moxley knee-first onto it. Omega choked Moxley with the kendo stick and slammed it over his back, then bulldogged him onto the trashcan and covered him for a two count.
Moxley bled heavily from his forehead. Omega put him in a figure four. Moxley grabbed a chair wrapped in barbed wire and raked it over the leg of Omega to break the hold. Omega sidestepped a charging Moxley and sent him crashing into one of the tables wrapped in barbed wire in a corner of the ring. Omega went for another figure four, but Moxley kicked him off and Omega crashed into the ropes, which triggered an explosion. Moxley kicked Omega into the ropes again for another explosion. After jockeying for position, Moxley suplexed Omega onto one of the barbed wire tables in a corner of the ring.
Moxley set up for his finisher onto a chair wrapped in barbed wire, but Omega avoided it. Moxley suplexed Omega, who landed on or came dangerously close to a bat. Moxley slammed Omega onto the chair wrapped in barbed wire. Moxley grabbed a piece of barbed wire and wrapped it around his arm while Excalibur recalled that he did something similar to make Eddie Kingston give up in their “I Quit” match. Omega avoided being clotheslined with the barbed wire, but Moxley dropped him with a clothesline from the other arm. Omega came back briefly, but Moxley clotheslined him with the barbed wire.
Moxley went for his finisher, but Omega drove him into the ropes to trigger another explosion. Omega had the referee get him water, which he doused his eyes with. Both men got up and fought on the apron. Moxley got the better of it and threw a knee to the head of Omega, then gave him a Paradigm Shift from the ring onto two boards that were covered in barbed wire, which triggered a couple of weak looking explosions. Moxley winced as he freed himself from the barbed wire boards, while Omega was lying on the floor next to the boards.
Moxley grabbed more barbed wire and bent it before rolling Omega inside the ring and following him. Around 22:00, music played that the broadcast team said was a warning for the explosion. Omega hit a couple of V-Trigger knees, then put Moxley down with a One Winged Angel. Moxley went for the cover, but Moxley’s foot hit the ropes and it triggered an explosion. It came nowhere near Omega, but he sold it like he was blinded anyway. Moxley grabbed the barbed wire bat.
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson came out. Moxley fought off Gallows with the bat while Anderson handed Omega another bat wrapped in barbed wire. Omega hit Moxley with the bat and it triggered an explosion. Callis recalled saying there was a surprise and he said that was it. Omega covered Moxley, but he only got a two count. Anderson set up a chair and then helped Omega hoist up Moxley. Omega performed a One Winged Angel onto a chair. Omega covered Moxley and scored the pin.
Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley in 25:15 in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match to retain the AEW Championship.
After the match, Omega celebrated briefly, then he, Anderson, and Gallows attacked Moxley and handcuffed him. Omega slammed a barbed wire bat into the gut of Moxley multiple times. Callis said this is the end of Moxley. A countdown clock appeared on the screen and started counting down from one minute. Omega, Gallows, and Anderson left.
Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny came out. Kingston headed to the ring to help Moxley while the others ran backstage. Kingston covered Moxley. Weak pyro shot off around the ring. Kingston acted like he was out cold as he laid over Moxley even though the pyro didn’t come anywhere near them. A trainer rolled Kingston off.
Powell’s POV: What a shame. I assume the pyro didn’t go off as it was supposed to at the end. They had to have something bigger than that planned. Either way, they really should have called an audible by having Kingston simply stand up while Callis acted like the weak pyro at the end was a sick game. As it played out, it was a really weak grand finale to a match that worked for the most part. Some of the explosions were better than others, but it was a violent spectacle . The wrestlers deserved a better finale and it will be interesting to see how this is addressed on Dynamite. Either way, I really liked the story of Kingston running out and covering Moxley. It makes sense given the story that’s been told with the two of them.
Overall, the disappointing pyro at the end wasn’t enough to ruin a fun pay-per-view event, but that grand finale will be remembered for all the wrong reasons for a very long time. I will have a lot more to say in the Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review that will be co-hosted by Jake Barnett and I coming up later tonight. Let us know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade and voting for the best match below.