The SmarK Rant for AEW Revolution 2022 – 03.06.22
I didn’t watch all of the Buy In, but the six man was a banger.
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross
Chris Jericho v. Eddie Kingston
Eddie comes in and drops Jericho on his head with a suplex right away, and Jericho bails to the floor to recover. Back in, Eddie with a neckbreaker for two as the crowd is pretty decisively on Eddie’s side here. They slug it out and fight to the floor, but Jericho punches him in the eye like a dick and flips off the crowd to make sure we know who the heel is. Eddie pops up with the enzuigiri and they trade chops and holy shit do those look like they hurt. Eddie with a DDT for two, but Jericho gets a corner clothesline and just keeps poking Eddie in the eye. They head to the top and Jericho brings him down with a rana for two. Jericho pulls off the turnbuckle as his frustration increases, but Eddie hits him with a suplex and they fight to the apron. Jericho suplexes him off the apron and onto the floor in a simple but brutal spot, and both guys are down from that. Back in, Jericho hits him with a release german, and then another pair of them to set up the Lionsault for two. Eddie fights back with a lariat, but Jericho rolls him up and into the Walls, which actually gets a huge babyface reaction. He flipped you off, Orlando! Have some self-respect! Eddie makes the ropes, so Jericho has a shoving match with Aubrey to really turn himself heel again. Eddie with a pair of Saito suplexes and the backfist, but it only gets two. Eddie tries a Northern Lights bomb, but Jericho reverses to the codebreaker for two. Jericho hits with another german suplex and then puts him down with another codebreaker while yelling at him to stay down, and that sets up the Judas Effect. However, it misses, hitting the exposed turnbuckle, and Jericho knocks himself down and Eddie locks in the Stretch Plum and makes him tap at 14:21. An AWESOME opener, as they beat the hell out of each other and Jericho worked his ass off. ****1/4
AEW World tag titles: The Jurassic Express v. reDRagon v. The Young Bucks
JB takes Kyle down with armdrags to start, but O’Reilly counters him into an armbar attempt and Jungle Boy makes the ropes. reDRagon comes in and double-teams JB with kicks, and it’s over to the Bucks. Luchasaurus comes in and throws them around, so all the heels bail to the floor and Jungle Boy hits the pile with a dive. Back in, the Bucks double-team Jungle Boy with the senton and then everyone puts the boots to the dinosaur. Back in, Fish & O’Reilly double-team Jungle Boy with a backbreaker/kneedrop combo for two, but Nick breaks it up. So they haul Jungle Boy to the floor and he fights them off, but Fish takes out Luchasaurus and prevents a tag. Matt gets two on Jungle Boy, prompting an argument between himself and Kyle about who should be winning the titles, and this allows Luchasaurus to get the hot tag. He cleans house and hits reDRagon with a moonsault to the floor, but he tries a chokeslam on Nick and gets hit with a destroyer. He pops up and chokeslams everyone, however, and moonsaults Matt for two. Doomsday Device gets two on Matt. Matt accidentally superkicks Fish and doesn’t feel too bad about it, so Kyle comes in and slugs it out with Matt. We get a giant superkick exchange and Kyle’s rebound lariat is blocked by Jungle Boy and Matt, and all three are out. reDRagon double-teams Jungle Boy with the codebreaker into the german suplex, and that gets two for Fish. Kyle dives onto Jungle Boy’s knee and gets the kneebar in the middle, but Matt saves with the flying elbow. Nick runs wild and tries a springboard on Luchasaurus, but he counters with a chokeslam to get rid of him. Kyle jumps into the guillotine, so Jungle Boy breaks it up with a shooting star press, which gets two, and Nick saves with a 450. Matt grabs the tag title belt, and Kyle steals it and nails Jungle Boy for two. High Low gets two as Luchasaurus saves with another heart-stopping near fall. The Bucks take Luchsaurus out on the floor and then superkick Fish, before making Kyle hit Jungle Boy with a tombstone and then taking out Luchasaurus with a moonsault. Back in, BTE Trigger on Jungle Boy gets two, as Kyle saves this time, and Matt’s had about enough of him. The Bucks set up JB to finish with More Bang For Your Buck, but Jungle Boy reverses to a german suplex on Matt and Matt rolls him up for two, but then he goes for the cold spray and Jungle Boy kicks it away and finishes with Thoracic Express at 18:55 to retain. HOLY SHIT what a match that turned into after a slow start. ****3/4
Face of the Revolution ladder match: Ricky Starks v. Keith Lee v. Wardlow v. Christian Cage v. Orange Cassidy v. Powerhouse Hobbs
Orange rolls into the ring and then rolls right back out again, so we get a three-way HOSS FIGHT in the ring. And then Orange tries to run up their backs and grab the ring. Work smart, not hard. Cage uses the ladder and makes the first climb, but Starks takes him down. Orange climbs the ladder with his hands in his pockets, but shockingly that doesn’t work. Hobbs and Cage both climb, but Hobbs brings him down with a cutter. This allows Keith Lee to do his horror villain entrance and take out Christian from behind. Orange tries a rana on Keith Lee and that goes badly, as Lee uses him as a weapon to take out the other guys. He climbs the ladder, but Wardlow wants a word first, and then Hobbs hits them both with the ladder. Hobbs and Starks both race up the ladder, but Cassidy does the Terry Funk ladder spin and then runs afoul of Keith Lee and Wardlow. They actually raise him in the air on the ladder, so Orange pops up on top and grabs for the ring in a cool spot. Hobbs throws him into the ladder while Taz once again bitches about Orange sealing his gimmick, and Hobbs hits him with a suplex off the ladder. Cage spears Hobbs into the ladder, but he sets it up in the corner and Starks spears him through the open ladder and climbs. Wardlow casually pushes the ladder over and climbs, but then Starks and Orange both jump on his back and we get two ladders and everyone piled up on them. Everyone falls until Wardlow and Hobbs are left, so they slug it out and they both go down. So the Three Hosses are left with Orange Cassidy, and Keith HURLS Orange over the top rope and onto the pile of people. And then Hobbs and Wardlow fight with Lee while going up the ramp, and then fight over a ladder before tearing it in twain like a wishbone. Hobbs and Lee argue at the announce desk, so Wardlow shoves them off the stage and through a table below. Back in the ring, Starks and Christian set up a ladder bridge and Starks climbs for it, but Wardlow returns and DANHAUSEN makes a cameo, cursing Starks to bring him down. He goes up again, but this time Wardlow pops up to the bridge and powerbombs Starks onto it, and then grabs the ring at 17:15. I’d call this one generally really good with some clever spots, but it felt very much like two matches, with the three hosses in one match and the three smaller guys in another match. And really, they had no chance of following the first two matches. ***1/4
Tony Schiavone joins us for a contract signing, introducing us to Swerve Strickland in the worst kept secret in wrestling. Well, maybe Jeff Hardy is the worst kept. But Swerve is up there.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Tay Conti
Tay gets in her face, so Jade grabs her for a kiss, stunning her, and goes for the finish right away. Tay reverses to the armbar, but Jade fights out and puts her down with a pump kick and buys into her own Mileena cosplay too much, allowing Tay to fight back with her own kicks and a DDT for two. That looked hella awkward. Jade bails and Tay follows with a dive, but hits Mark Sterling instead, so Jade takes out Anna Jay on the floor. Back in, Jade gets a rollup for two, but Anna hits Jade with a chair and Tay gets two. DDTay gets two. Jade escapes the TayKO and gets a spinning slam for two, and then goes up with a frog splash for two. That’s definitely new. They head to the floor and Tay gets a shot out there, and back in with a piledriver for two. Tay goes up for a moonsault, but Jade brings her down with Jaded to finish at 6:56. This one probably should have been left on the cutting room or saved for TV some other time. **
Dog Collar match: CM Punk v. MJF
MJF plays mindgames by hijacking Cult of Personality, so Punk goes back to the ROH entrance music and his original gear as well. MJF whips him with the chain right away and tries to run, so Punk hauls him back in by the neck and then wraps the chain around the post and yanks Max into the corner with it. Max offers a handshake, so Punk stomps on his hand and then slugs away in the corner. MJF escapes that with a powerbomb for two. MJF whips him with the chain and leaves some marks with it already. And Punk is busted open 5:00 in, getting right to business. MJF decides to turn it into an I Quit match, cutting a promo on Punk (“We apologize for MJF being alive” notes Tony) but Punk tells him to eat shit and pulls him off the middle rope. Punk headbutts him in the groin and [redacted] legsweep, before going up with an elbow off the middle rope and following with the bulldog. Then he makes it personal, wrapping the hand in the chain and dropping knees on it, but he tries the GTS and MJF claws at the cut and goes to the sleeper, using the chain for leverage. Punk escapes that after two arm-drops and comes back with another GTS attempt, but MJF lands on his feet and gets the armbar. Punk reverses to the Anaconda Vice, so MJF has to pull the hair and roll him over for two. MJF tries the Heatseeker and Punk blocks that, then wraps the chain around his knee and hits MJF with a Shining Wizard that puts him on the floor. This finally busts him open, so Punk goes right to work on the cut and beats on him by the railing. However, he tries the chain assisted Wizard again and hits the stairs this time. Back in, Punk tries another GTS and the knee gives out, as MJF takes over again and they fight to the apron. They trade tombstone attempts and Punk hits one on the apron, the HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and back in for a chain-wrapped flying elbow that misses. MJF gets two off that. Of course, it’s time for the thumbtacks, but Punk bites MJF on the hand to block a bulldog. They slug it out and tease a suplex on the tacks, but Punk hits him with a high kick and then sets up the Pepsi Plunge, which MJF escapes. And he follows with a superplex into the tacks, although they actually land fairly short of them. MJF can’t get the pin, so he yells for Wardlow, but he sadly can’t find the ring. And Punk hits the GTS, with MJF bumping into the tacks. And Wardlow realizes that he DOES have the ring after all, and leaves it for Punk. And MJF spits on Punk one last time, so Punk knocks him out with the diamond ring and pins him at 26:39. This had most of what we wanted out of the match with the blood and violence and FINALLY Wardlow turning on MJF, but it was a bit long for what it was and dragged at times. Feels like they stretched out the feud for too long and missed the peak. Still, it was pretty great and the finish was PERFECT. ***3/4
AEW Women’s title: Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Thunder Rosa
Uh oh, they could have some trouble following that chain match. I would have went with the wacky trios match instead. Rosa takes her down and goes for the arm, and they trade rollups for two. Rosa with a backbreaker, but she misses a charge and Britt chokes her out in the corner. Rosa fights back with an enzuigiri, but Britt puts the boots to her in the corner and the goons get their shots in. Britt with a suplex for two. Rosa tries an armbar, but Britt reverses to a hammerlock and Rosa escapes with a german suplex. She makes the comeback with the dropkick on the ropes and a northern lights suplex for two. Britt catches her with an Air Raid Crash for two and a suplex for two. That was terrifying, with Rosa almost bumping right onto her head. Britt with another suplex for two and she loads up the glove, but Rosa dropkicks her into the corner and hits a superplex into a fireman’s carry neckbreaker. Britt escapes the Thunder Driver and gets the neckbreaker for two. They slug it out and Britt gets the Lockjaw, but Rosa counters for two and powers into a suplex for two. They fight to the top and Britt brings her down with an Air Raid Crash off the top, for two. They trade tombstone attempts and Rosa rolls her up for two, then hits a tombstone while Rebel takes the ref. They trade rollups for two and Britt superkicks her and grabs the new title belt from Jamie Hayter, and gets the curb stomp on it for two. This sets up the Lockjaw, but Rosa reverses to her own version and then into a choke, while Rebel takes the ref AGAIN. Rosa spears Rebel off the apron and then takes out Hayter as well, but walks into another curb stomp and gets pinned at 17:24. Ugh, I’m very over all the gaga with the Britt Baker reign. She’s already cleaned out the division and it’s been weeks since she had anything interesting to do. This was the right time to switch the title and the right person to win it from her, and they didn’t pull the trigger on it. The match wasn’t bad, but as predicted they couldn’t follow the chain match. ***
Bryan Danielson v. Jon Moxley
The crowd wants VIOLENCE. You’d think they would have gotten their fill already. They do some mat wrestling and Bryan hides in the ropes, so Mox gives him a lovetap and wants it brung. So Bryan takes him down and gives him the kick to the back, before hiding in the ropes again. Mox wants more, so they trade chops and slug it out and Moxley stomps a mudhole in the corner. Moxley gets his own Yes kicks, but Danielson takes him down with a dragon screw and returns fire. Bryan just cracks him in the ribs with a kick and goes to work on them, beating on Mox in the corner, but that just wakes him up and he fires back. Bryan goes up and misses the diving headbutt, but he throws more kicks in the corner and hits the running knees. Moxley fights back with a pair of german suplexes, but Danielson jumps into a guillotine and Moxley fights out of that. They slug it out and Danielson rakes the eyes, so Moxley dumps him to the floor and they slug it out down there. Moxley is busted open from the elbows and headbutts, and they fight over them more in the ring, with Moxley hitting the rebound lariat to put Danielson down. They fight to the top and Danielson brings him down with a backdrop superplex and goes for a sleeper on the mat, but Moxley makes the ropes. Moxley gets his own sleeper, but Danielson rolls into his own dragon sleeper, so Moxley beats on him with elbows and switches to an armbar. Bryan escapes that and switches to the Lebell lock, but Moxley makes the ropes. Bryan tries to kick his fucking head in, but Moxley gets his own head-kicking in an awesome sequence and sinks in the bulldog choke. Danielson rolls him over for two, but Mox is fired up, so Bryan hits the running knee for two to put him down again. Bryan with the triangle and he starts flexing in preparation for the submission, but Moxley pulls on the beard and then rolls him over and pins him at 21:11. Just a hellacious fight here, totally different than anything on the show. ****1/2 And they keep fighting, so WILLIAM REGAL makes his AEW debut and talks some sense into them, not taking shit from either of them and demanding that they make peace. You better listen to William Regal! And indeed they shake hands and form a new partnership thanks to Regal.
Tony reveals that Thunder Rosa faces Leyla Hirsch on Dynamite for another title shot the week after, so I have to assume that Rosa will finally win the title there.
Sammy Guevara, Sting & Darby Allin v. Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy & Andrade
Big brawl to start and Jose the Assistant gets destroyed by Sting and Darby and a garbage can, but Andrade takes out Darby with a chair. They regroup and Andrade gets suplexed on the floor, while Sting holds off Kassidy and Matt in the ring, but Andrade comes back in and cleans house on the babyfaces. Double stomp on Darby in the corner and Matt hits Sammy with the Twist of Fate, and they all fight to the floor again as Marc Quen joins the match and assists with a Silly String on Sammy outside. They all go walking into the crowd and now the Butcher and Blade join in as well. And then Sammy hits Kassidy with a Spanish Fly off the entrance ramp gimmick and through a pair of tables. Back in the crowd, 18 tables get stacked up and Andrade winds up on top, and Sting dives off the balcony and puts him through. Pretty sure Sting should not be doing that at 60 years old. Anyway, Darby pins Matt Hardy with the Coffin Drop at 13:24. This was just a messy Attitude Era brawl and would have been better served on Rampage or something. I mean, really, what was the point in the end? **1/4
AEW World title: Hangman Page v. Adam Cole
The very witty crowd chants “Let’s Go Adam” to cover their bases. They trade wristlocks as the crowd takes it to the next level with “Let’s Go Adam / Adam Sucks”, and Page beats on him with chops in the corner. Hangman with a pair of corner clotheslines and Cole bails to the floor (“We want Adam!” notes the Orlando crowd.) They fight on the floor and Page hits the post by mistake, allowing Cole to superkick him and throw him into the stairs to take over. Back in, Cole chokes him out and hits the fireman’s carry neckbreaker for one. Neckbreaker and Cole goes to work on the arm in the corner, before hitting a powerbomb for two. Page tries a samoan drop, but Cole reverses to a backstabber in mid-air and gets two. Page comes back and tosses Cole to the floor, then hits an apron powerbomb and follows with the moonsault out there. Back in, he sets up for the Buckshot, but Cole bails to escape and catches him with a kick from the floor. Page powerbombs him and they fight to the top, but Page tries a moonsault and Cole superkicks him on the way down for two. Cole sets up another superkick, but Page reverses to the Deadeye for two. They trade superkicks and Cole takes him down with a crossface, but Page makes the ropes. Cole tries another neckbreaker, but Page hits a tombstone for two. They slug it out and Page hits a german suplex, but Cole hits the ushigoroshi for two. Cole goes up for the Panama Sunrise, but Page cuts him off and brings him down with a top rope fallaway slam for two. This brings reDRagon out to run interference, allowing Cole to hit the Panama Sunrise off the apron, and that gets two. Another Sunrise is blocked, but reDRagon takes the ref and Cole goes low and hits another Sunrise, before lowering the BOOM…but it only gets two. So Cole hits another superkick and lowers the kneepad this time, but Hangman counters with the lariat. Cole counters the Buckshot with a superkick, but Page collapses and thus Cole can’t hit the BOOM. So Fish and O’Reilly put a table at ringside and Cole wants a piledriver off the apron, but Hangman reverses to the Deadeye through the table, which brings out the Dark Order to finally even the odds. So this leaves the Adams alone in the ring, and the Buckshot lariat gets two as Cole is barely in the ropes. So Hangman ties Cole in the ropes with his belt and beats on him with superkicks, but Cole fights back with his own. So Page hits another superkick and lowers his own kneepad, then hits a Cowboy Boom and finishes with the Buckshot Lariat at 25:45 to retain. I’d say that one lived up to the expectations. No one expected Cole to win but they had a pretty great match and Hangman looked like a star. ****1/4
A couple of clunkers aside, this was another top level show from AEW with very little bullshit and four excellent matches that make it well worth your $60. Thumbs solidly up.