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    Wednesday, March 10, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: AEW Revolution 2021

    It’s AEW Revolution! You know what that means…


    Where’s the boom? There was supposed to be a ring-shattering kaboom!

    Yeah, you’ve all seen the memes by now, the big ending to Revolution was a complete failure and deserves all the mocking it has received online. The fact that AEW decided to pull a corporate and remove a number of these videos online shows how thin-skinned Tony Khan is and deserves even more online mocking (no threats though, ya maniacs).

    It really is a shame that Revolution ended with a fizzle because the build-up to it was a banger, pun fully-intended. Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega’s Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch was pretty great, not just for having blood and explosions, but for also telling a solid story while also having in-ring psychology throughout. That was probably expected from in-ring workers like Moxley and Omega, though I was bothered by The Good Brothers interfering.

    We aren’t in the level of Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers, but we’re close.

    Another unfortunate event to come from that weak fireworks display was Eddie Kingston becoming a babyface. Had this gone according to plan, Kingston would be hailed as a hero and this would have been one of the best pay-per-view endings in AEW history, maybe even wrestling history. But nothing went boom and we only got poof. 

    To be fair, Kingston couldn’t see how weak the explosives were and Moxley basically gave AEW the ultimate excuse on a silver platter after the show when he said Kenny couldn’t build an exploding ring, but this was a disaster. 

    Honestly, if it didn’t end in such a bafflingly bad way, this would have been one hell of a show. In fact, an argument could be made that this is still one hell of a show despite what happened because most of the wrestling was great! Some of the matches had moments of good AND bad but nothing here was truly awful. It also helps that every match felt different, which seems to be the key to success when it comes to AEW pay-per-views. Add the three surprise appearances of Maki Itoh, Ethan Page, and Christian Cage, and this would have been an easy A.

    One match I liked more than I thought I would was The Young Bucks vs. Chris Jericho and MJF. All four competitors gave us a great opener, with The Bucks shining with their usual high spots while The Inner Circle did some great heel work. Memorable spots include MJF drooling after a Superkick Party, which JR called a literal slobberknocker, so that popped me, and The Bucks actually winning with The Meltzer Driver, which we haven’t seen on Dynamite for the longest time.
    Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami was, as expected, a hard-hitting match and I also liked this more than I was expecting to. That probably comes from me not being too invested in Mizunami but she did put on a good show with Shida as these two beat the hell out of each other. I thought they could have ended it a bit earlier with one of Shida’s running knee strikes towards the end because it did start to drag after one kickout too many, but this was still a really good bout.

    My main man Hangman Page beat Matt Hardy pretty decisively and it was a fun watch. The match itself wasn’t great, almost feeling like an extended squash because Hangman was in control for such a long time, but AEW didn’t overcomplicate this when it came to the story they were telling. Hangman had the advantage at the start, Hardy worked over his hand, Hangman makes a comeback, Private Party interferes, Dark Order intercepts, Hangman wins and makes friends with The Dark Order, Matt Hardy’s broke, everyone’s happy. 

    The six-man ladder match had everyone working hard and killing each other, though you’ve seen better matches of the regular and ladder variety. It had a number of problems, like constantly cutting to the ramp so we could see Cody Rhodes cry to the medical team about how much he wants to wrestle and Lance Archer getting beat down a lot for a big guy, but those weren’t enough to detract from this match. Scorpio Sky winning the Sonic the Hedgehog ring was a really nice surprise since I liked the guy ever since he had to replace Christopher Daniels in the early days of Dynamite, so I’m hoping he beats Darby Allin for the belt.

    Speaking of Darby Allin, wow, what a cinematic match. For the shit build Team Taz vs. Sting and Darby got, this match almost made up for those weeks of repetition. Like a lot of cinematic matches, it was hokey but incredibly entertaining, with moments like Brian Cage moving up the stairs while having Darby up for a suplex and Darby hitting Cage with an insane dive from two floors up making this worth the watch. Sting pins Ricky Starks and I hope it means this god-forsaken feud is over.

    Final Grade: A fairly solid undercard and a great main event ruined by a disappointing show-closing angle. This one was harder to grade than usual. B.

    Bullet-Point Party:

    • PAC and Rey Fenix win the Casino Tag Team Battle Royale: This match would often switch between being solid and a mess within minutes but that’s just how battle royals go, I guess. Having the Natural Nightmares fight here because QT Marshall eliminated The Gunn Club was beyond stupid. Those last few minutes with Rey Fenix and Jungle Boy were awesome though.
    • Miro and Kip Sabian beat Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor: Everyone’s least-favorite AEW program finally comes to an end. The match was fine for what it was, especially since they started with a backstage attack on the babyfaces. I liked he ending where Miro knowingly threw Cassidy to Penelope Ford, since that sets up a possible Kip Sabian face turn or Miro leaving them behind.
    • The Inner Circle will have a War Council on Dynamite: Will MJF officially kick Jericho out of the group this week? It sure seems that way after Jericho ate that pin and accidentally hit Wardlow with the Judas Effect.
    • Christian Cage signs with AEW: If you hated this, you aren’t a wrestling fan. Yeah, I said it.

    Images from AEW


    Nico Parungo is a freelance contributor for Geeky PH and previously wrote for Epicstream. He provides weekly recaps of AEW Dynamite for Smark Henry and has contributed several reviews of PWR and MWF shows. 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 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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