AEW: Revolution looks to have AEW’s best pay-per-view card yet.
But it’s doubtful the results will be particularly revolutionary.
The event, set for February 29 at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, features seven confirmed matches. All are for big stakes, and all are potential show-stealers.
The AEW World Championship is on the line, as are the women’s and tag team championships.
AEW: Revolution – available in the U.S. on B/R Live – may not exactly change the game. But it stands a good chance of raising the bar.
Pac Vs. Orange Cassidy
This match was a late addition of the card, confirmed only this past week on AEW: Dynamite.
The remarkably-lethargic Orange Cassidy hasn’t been used for much besides comedy in his time with All Elite Wrestling. And Pac, the Bastard himself, is anything but funny.
Pac, after losing his rubber match with Kenny Omega, had his post-match interview interrupted by Cassidy. Presumably for no reason other than for Pac to attack the Freshly-Squeezed One and set up this match.
Later in the show, Cassidy’s allies, the Best Friends, announced something revolutionary for Orange’s character: This time he’s going to try.
I’m surprisingly excited for this AEW: Revolution match. There’s not much to be gained by Pac, but the potential for Cassidy to put forth an effort offers a chance to expand his character. And to shock the audience.
As cool as it’ll be to see Cassidy actually try at AEW: Revolution, though, the winner has to be Pac. The Bastard is determined to get back into the title hunt, and a PPV win might be the way to get his foot in the door.
Winner – Pac
Jake Hager Vs. Dustin Rhodes
We’ve made a big deal in our AEW coverage of just how great Dustin Rhodes still is.
At 50 years old, the former Goldust can still hang with the best of them. But what we haven’t seen is whether or not Jake Hager still has the goods in the squared circle.
Hager will make his in-ring debut with All Elite Wrestling at AEW: Revolution. His arrival in the company on the premiere episode of AEW: Dynamite as Chris Jericho’s muscle was a big surprise. But his feud with Rhodes has been going on pretty much since the beginning.
Jake Hager arrived in AEW just as Rhodes’s brother Cody was preparing to challenge Jericho for the championship. Since then, they’ve had memorable skirmishes, including one in which Hager broke Rhodes’s arm by slamming it into a car door.
I’m kind of nervous about this match, because it’ll either be fantastic or a disaster. Nothing in between. Hoss fights between big guys are a crap shoot like that. But I’ve got faith in the talent at AEW. Hager’s got a legit amateur wrestling and MMA background. And Rhodes might know the pro wrestling business better than any other active competitor.
When the dust settles at AEW: Revolution, though, it’ll be the Big Hurt on top, though. It’s Hager’s first match, and if he’s to play a role in AEW going forward, it has to be a win.
Winner – Jake Hager
Darby Allin Vs. Sammy Guevara
I called it during my most recent review of AEW: Dynamite. And I stand by it. This match is going to steal the show at AEW: Revolution.
Despite his small frame and his iffy win-loss record, Darby Allin is quickly becoming the most over star in All Elite Wrestling. Every week, there are kids in the front row wearing Allin’s signature face paint.
As for Sammy Guevara, he might be the most easy-to-hate heel in all of pro wrestling. His obnoxious boot-licking relationship with Inner Circle leader Chris Jericho is absolutely grating. And the guy vlogs – seriously, he vlogs – on his way to the ring. Can anything make anyone more punchable?
This feud came to a head a few weeks back when Guevara used Allin’s own skateboard to crush Allin’s throat. Since then, Allin has been a thorn in Guevara’s side, as well as the side of the whole Inner Circle. He’s been chasing Sammy with an eye toward vengeance for weeks, and he’s promised to beat the Spanish God to a pulp.
The intensity of the feud is there, and Allin is totally believable as a character who will do anything to win. But Guevara is one of AEW’s rising stars as well, and he’ll be sure to shine brightly.
But Allin is too hot to risk cooling off at this point. He needs the momentum to keep growing as a star. Guevara will be just fine either way, as he still has the legitimacy of the Inner Circle to keep his star in the sky.
Darby’s walking – or at least crawling – away from AEW: Revolution with the victory.
Winner – Darby Allin
Cody Vs. MJF
This is a feud that started strong, but it quickly ran out of gas.
First of all, from the instant Cody picked MJF to stand in his corner in the title match at AEW Full Gear, it was obvious that MJF would betray him. And that was absolutely the right call. Predictable doesn’t always mean wrong. Or bad.
But AEW waited too long to ramp up the stakes.
To even get MJF to agree to a match, Cody had to go through three stipulations. He had to agree not to touch MJF before AEW: Revolution, he had to take 10 lashes live on AEW: Dynamite, and he had to defeat MJF’s bodyguard Wardlow in a steel cage match.
Cody ran the gauntlet and got his match. And then both he and MJF were absent from the go-home show before AEW: Revolution.
However, as inconsistent as the booking leading up to the show has been, the match should still be great. MJF is one of the fastest-rising stars in all of pro wrestling, both in the ring and on the mic. And Cody is at the top of his game and his popularity right now.
But Cody can afford to take the loss here. In failing to beat Jericho at AEW Full Gear, he forfeited all future shots at the AEW Championship. So he’s got a redemption arc to trudge through anyway.
MJF picking up the win at AEW: Revolution will cement his status as a game-changing talent in pro wrestling.
Winner – MJF
AEW Women’s Championship – Nyla Rose (C) Vs. Kris Statlander
It’s been a long, rocky road for the AEW women’s division.
After more than four months with the diminutive Riho as an absentee champion, Nyla Rose captured the AEW Women’s Championship. The division finally has a standard-bearer who’s not only on television regularly but is a genuine force to be reckoned with.
What AEW might not have reckoned, though, was how quickly the fans would come to embrace Kris Statlander. The fans genuinely love her Andromeda Galaxy-native gimmick, as well as her little eccentricities. And she’s one of the best-performing women in All Elite Wrestling.
But, the women’s division’s resident alien is about to get knocked down to Earth. At AEW: Revolution, Nyla Rose will retain the AEW Women’s Championship. There have been too many starts and stops and failed experiments with the women’s division. What it needs now is stability.
As long as AEW plays its cards right and keeps Statlander a featured player on TV, there’s no down side to her losing the match at AEW: Revolution.
Winner – Nyla Rose retains
AEW Tag Team Championship – ‘Hangman’ Adam Page & Kenny Omega (C) Vs. The Young Bucks
The tag title match at AEW: Revolution is all but guaranteed to be an instant classic. But the storyline that spawned it has been an unfocused mess.
Kenny Omega and Adam Page have lacked direction from the get-go in AEW. But their place as part of the Elite admittedly made for good storyline fodder. So, they unseated SCU to become tag team champions and immediately found themselves faced with defending the titles against their buddies the Bucks.
And all the while, Omega and Page have been at odds with each other. And the Hangman has been at odds with the whole group as a result.
‘Hangman’ Page has been positioned as the heel in this “friends at war” storyline, but I find myself cheering for the guy. The Bucks have been nothing but jerks to him, and Omega can’t bring himself to utter a peep in support of his partner.
I don’t necessarily like the Bucks, but they need to win this match. If only to break Page free from the group and allow him to make his own way as a singles star. Personally, I’d prefer it of ‘Hangman’ Page and Beer came out of AEW: Revolution as the tag team champions, but that’s me.
Winners – Young Bucks win the titles
AEW World Championship – Chris Jericho (C) Vs. Jon Moxley
I really don’t know how this one is going to shake out.
On one hand, all of the booking for this feud adds up to Jon Moxley leaving AEW: Revolution with the AEW Championship. But my common sense tells me it’s too early to take the title off of Jericho. Plus, when Jericho does drop the title, I feel like it needs to be to a “home grown” AEW talent.
Basically, the guy to dethrone Jericho shouldn’t be so easily-identified as an ex-WWE guy.
One way or another, though, this is going to be a bloodbath. It’s only February, and Moxley vs. Jericho is already a strong contender for feud of the year.
This thing has been as personal as it gets. From Moxley turning down Jericho’s offer to join the Inner Circle and smashing a bottle over the champ’s head to Jericho literally stabbing Moxley in the eye.
It’s been a classic feud. And the more I think about it, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t continue past AEW: Revolution. As it stands, Cody is out of the title picture. ‘Hangman’ Page’s status is up in the air (plus, Jericho already beat him to win the title). MJF is a heel, and heel vs. heel feuds just don’t work. It’s too soon to elevate Allin.
Above all else, though, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I see Jericho retaining the title and possibly setting up a rematch at May’s Double Or Nothing. But even if this feud doesn’t continue, I still see Jericho leaving AEW: Revolution as Le Champion.
Winner – Chris Jericho retains
How To Watch
AEW: Revolution is available for streaming through B/R Live for $49.99. The show is available for the same price via traditional pay-per-view.
Outside the United States, AEW: Revolution can be purchased for $19.99 through Fite.tv.
AEW: Revolution begins at 8 PM/ET on Saturday, February 29, and emanates live from Chicago.
All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.