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    Tuesday, March 3, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: AEW Revolution

    We are now two pay-per-views into the Dynamite era and if there’s one thing I can say about AEW, it’s that this is a wrestling show that rewards its fans for their loyalty and viewership. Though not perfect, AEW Revolution proves that you can have a great show where every decision makes sense and results in every participant looking like a star, especially the younger talent. 

    In this show alone, “Hangman” Adam Page became a superstar in front of our eyes, MJF solidified his spot as one of the company’s top heels at the young age of 23, and Orange Cassidy’s first singles match in the company proved that comedy wrestling can be funny and engaging. If that wasn’t enough to show that this company is thinking of the future, Jon Moxley decisively beat Chris Jericho to become your second AEW World Champion, therefore being the youngest AEW World Champion in history.

    The company is far from perfect; many of its mistakes can be seen on this show but it was hard not feeling satisfied after seeing Revolution. If you consider yourself a fan of professional wrestling, give AEW’s latest pay-per-view a shot.

    Now, let’s summarize and review the match card eh?

    Jake Hager was definitely not Dustin Rhodes's bitch

    Let’s address that big elephant in the room; SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT A BABYFACE MOVE. Whoever booked Dustin to kiss Hager’s wife needs to reflect on his life choices and be better. Hager’s wife didn’t have any presence in the feud before this match and even if she did, kissing her against her will is wrong.

    Now that I’ve said my piece, this was a functional opener, albeit one that didn’t blow anyone away. I was amused by seeing Hager’s moveset evolve as the match went on, starting with punches and kicks, before finding his Swagger and using some of his old moves, like his impressive version of the Vader Bomb and the gutwrench powerbomb he used to do in the WWE-ECW days. It’s clear that Hager was shaking off some ring rust and Dustin was the perfect wrestler to do that against.

    The nail in the coffin

    While not quite the bout I expected from both men, this was a pretty solid match, though it started out pretty rough. They wanted to have a chaotic opening by having the two try to kill each other before the bell rang, but that quickly became hard to watch after Allin barely hit Guevara with his second suicide dive, almost breaking his neck in the process.

    After that, things got better. The two exchanged some offense before Allin finally put Guevara away with his inverted stunner and Coffin Drop finisher. Good stuff, I just wish they had a proper wrestling match without the hokey opening bit.

    No heel turns here, just some honorable cowboy shit

    Holy shit. This wasn’t just a match of the year candidate; that was an all-time great tag match, one that we’ll look back at years later for its intricate mix of storytelling and great wrestling.

    Whether you’ve been paying attention to the buildup or were just checking this match out of curiosity, this beautiful execution of tag team drama was enough to showcase the months-long civil war between The Elite. What helped immensely were the roles all four men played: Hangman Page and Matt Jackson were the hot-headed members of their respective teams with months of pent-up aggression, while Kenny Omega and Nick Jackson tried to be the professional peacekeepers. 

    Helping the story were the levels of escalation in this match. It began with mat wrestling, quickly went to spitting and brawling, transitioned to each team’s signature spots, before each team eventually went to war with some of their most damaging moves. I’d be lying if I said all of the spots made sense within the story but 90% of them were important to the overall narrative.

    The ending was satisfactory but also teased big things for the future. Hangman proved that his self-exile from The Elite was a good thing, retaining the belts for his team by giving each Young Buck a Buckshot Lariat. Matt and Nick tried to shake hands with their opponents afterward, with Kenny reluctantly accepting them while Hangman refused to do so. The real story here was Hangman seemingly getting ready to hit Kenny with the Buckshot before his partner turned around, which led to Page calmly telling his partner to head backstage with him. That final bit was nerve-wracking and the audience in attendance noticed it too.

    Excellent match. Probably the best one AEW has produced, even outdoing Cody vs Dustin Rhodes from last year. 

    The alien doesn't quite land

    Not gonna lie, as a fan of the two women in the ring, this was disappointing. Both Statlander and Rose worked hard, that’s for sure, and the crowd tried their best to show their appreciation for these two athletes, even clapping for the botched kip-up that my alien leader did. That being said, the execution of several moves were sloppy and the lack of build hurt this match. Having to follow that tag match didn’t help things either.

    I’m sure both women will improve and give us a better match down the line. Hopefully, AEW can get behind them and finally give us a captivating women’s storyline. The company seriously needs to step up and do right by their female athletes.

    MJF outdoes Cody

    Solid, old-school match here and one that told a good story. Admittedly, this barely met the expectations I had after the lashing and steel cage match, but they want this feud to continue, so this match accomplished what it needed to do.

    The in-ring work between Cody and MJF was pretty good, which is an instant positive. We also had plenty of antics outside the ring involving Wardlow, Brandi, and Arn Anderson, all of which should lead to a more interesting rematch. I also enjoyed MJF crying after only two belt lashes and begging for forgiveness. The spit to Cody’s face also worked but felt a bit repetitive since we literally saw two face-spits during that tag match. 

    As it stands, this is just another chapter in the story; could have been better, but far from bad.

    Juice that's definitely worth the squeeze

    Now here’s a match that exceeded everyone’s expectations. Most of us expected a fun little bout between the two with some solid comedy but what we got was arguably the second-best match of the night.

    He might have a lot of haters, but if there’s anything Orange Cassidy does better than a lot of wrestlers, it’s making the most out of the little things. All the fun spots he does often leads to big reactions for his more impressive moves. Fact: his diving crossbody got a bigger reaction than most of the Canadian Destroyers that were used in the various matches.

    We also have to give credit to PAC, who was the perfect foil to Cassidy. PAC seems like a wrestler who is above all the comedic stuff but he was quick to adapt to it, while also getting his shit in. That moment when he interrupted Cassidy’s rolling and they both burst into smiles was one of the best moments in Revolution.

    Unfortunately, the ending kinda sucked. The Lucha Bros attacked The Best Friends for no reason, which distracted Cassidy and led to PAC winning with his Brutalizer submission. Still, the journey was more than worth it.

    The Age of the Mox

    Considering what these two are capable of, Moxley and Jericho put on a satisfactory main event. We got crowd brawling early on, which seems to be something we see in a lot of Jericho's main events, and it kept getting brutal from there. Jericho’s attacks to Moxley’s eyes were unnerving to watch, especially when blood started coming out (though that ended up being a cut from his head but still).

    In the end, Moxley survived a Codebreaker, Walls of Jericho, and interference from The Inner Circle to become your new AEW World Champion. Fans have been debating about this being the right move or not since they could have milked Jericho’s title reign for a bit more. At the same time, Moxley is so hot right now in terms of momentum that him winning it, later on, might not have had the same good feeling.

    Personally, I’m down with Moxley winning the belt. I can’t wait to see who his first challenger is going to be.

    Final Grade: AEW Revolution wasn’t a perfect show, but it was satisfactory and rewarded longtime viewers with results that didn’t insult them. I’ll be kind and give this an A-.

    Images from All Elite Wrestling

    Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: AEW Revolution Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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