AEW: Revolution 2021 is going to be a weird show. It marks the one-year anniversary (give or take a few days) since the last time AEW put on a PPV event in front of a live crowd. And it was, and remains, AEW’s best overall PPV to date.
This year, we have a lot of the same main players in big matches, but the etch-a-sketch has been shaken up a bit. Instead of defending the world title, Chris Jericho is teaming with MJF to challenge the Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships. And participating in the best soap opera pro wrestling has had in years, the Inner Circle saga. Jon Moxley again finds himself challenging for the AEW World Championship. But this time, he’s chasing Kenny Omega in an exploding barbed wire death match.
The build-up to AEW: Revolution 2021 has been pretty hit-and-miss. But then again, the build to last year’s Revolution event was a little lacking in spots, too. And the results there spoke for themselves. With that, let’s have a look at the full card and pick the winners at Revolution 2021.
AEW World Championship – Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match Of Death And Exploding Death With Barbed Wire: Kenny Omega (C) Vs. Jon Moxley
The headliner for Revolution 2021 is Kenny Omega defending the AEW Championship against Jon Moxley in an exploding barbed wire death match. Moxley and Omega have been feuding off-and-on since the very first AEW PPV. Mox attacked Omega after his match with Chris Jericho at Double Or Nothing 2019. They were slated for a rematch that didn’t happen at All Out 2019. But they finally clashed in a non-sanctioned match at Full Gear 2019. The two closed the biggest AEW: Dynamite of 2020, when Moxley dropped the championship to Omega after interference from Don Callis.
Since then, their feud has become a little muddled. AEW has tried a little too hard to weave in their cross-promotional work with Impact and New Japan with the Good Brothers and Kenta. And at some points, AEW has missed the opportunity to plug this as their biggest main event rivalry in history. The storied history is implied more than anything. Which I’m guessing led to the inclusion of barbed wire, explosions, and death. At this rate, Omega has to be your clear winner.
I’m not the biggest fan of his world title reign to date. He plays smarmy, sneaky heel really well, but he’s yet to really establish a firm character as champion. Much as he’s struggled to do as a character in general since coming to AEW. But given that his reign doesn’t seem ready to end and that this is a match tailor-made for Moxley to win, it seems likely for Omega to retain the world title at Revolution 2021.
Winner: Kenny Omega
AEW Tag Team Championship: Young Bucks (C) Vs. Chris Jericho & MJF (W/ Wardlow)
The drama in the Inner Circle has been going on for almost six months now. It’s been glorious, and it may reach a new peak at Revolution 2021. MJF and Chris Jericho have gone out of their way to make their battle with the Young Bucks for the tag titles personal by attacking the Bucks’ father. But they’ve made tensions within the Inner Circle more personal than ever. To get their title shot, they had to beat Santana & Ortiz – the Inner Circle’s tag team enforcers. And they drew a huge divide between Jericho and his once-protege Sammy Guevara.
Jericho and MJF have been the absolute heart of this feud. MJF slowly making himself Jericho’s right-hand man has wreaked havoc within the Inner Circle. But to some degree, that’s been at the expense of the Young Bucks who, like Omega, have struggled to find consistent characters in AEW. Sometimes they’re the plucky underdogs, sometimes they’re the wily old veterans. Occasionally they’re the sympathetic white meat babyfaces. And occasionally they’re Machiavellian string-pullers. It doesn’t help the feud that most of their on-screen time has been spent considering Omega’s alliance with the Good Brothers and Callis. And very little time considering Jericho and MJF threats.
Still, the Inner Circle drama has carried the day so far. And I think it’ll carry Jericho and MJF to tag team gold at Revolution 2021.
Winners: Chris Jericho & MJF
Tag Team Casino Battle Royal – Winners Get Future AEW Tag Team Championship Match
Pretty much every tag team in AEW is part of this match at Revolution 2021. But, given what I just said about Jericho and MJF, Santana and Ortiz have to come away from this match as the winners. The Inner Circle Saga has been the one consistent, unifying story element in AEW so far in 2021. And this has to push it over the edge.
My assumption is that Sammy Guevara will make his return during this match at Revolution 2021 to help Santana and Ortiz earn their shot. He’ll do it for the good of the group, because all of this looks to be building to a huge Sammy Guevara face turn. But after securing the belts, MJF will for sure cry foul, digging that divide even further. And the eventual battle between Santana & Ortiz and Jericho & MJF for the titles and the soul of the Inner Circle would be electric.
Justify my faith, AEW bookers, and have Santana & Ortiz emerge winners at Revolution 2021!
Street Fight: Sting & Darby Allin Vs. Team Taz
Aside from one powerful moment when Brian Cage tried to kill Sting with a powerbomb, Team Taz has completely been the Keystone Cops in their feud with Sting and Darby Allin. Actually, their bad blood with Darby way predates Revolution 2021 and it predates Sting’s arrival in AEW.
Darby outsmarted them at every turn along the way, with occasional help from Jon Moxley and now Sting. And I’m pretty sure I stand alone on the internet with this prediction, but I think Team Taz fights back in this match and picks up the W. Allin might well be the most over person on the AEW roster. And he’s got the TNT Championship to boot, not that he needs it to be a top guy in the company. As for Sting, well, the guy’s a 9-time world champion, the former face of WCW, a hall-of-famer, and a crap-zillionaire, probably. He screams wresting credibility. A loss won’t hurt him at all.
But I feel like it would hurt Brian Cage and Ricky Starks, who have been racking up L’s left and right for the three months since Sting came onto the scene in AEW. Team Taz needs the win, and I think they’re going to get it at Revolution 2021.
Winners: Team Taz
Revolution Ladder Match – Winner Gets Future TNT Championship Match: Cody Rhodes Vs. Max Caster Vs. Penta El Zero M Vs. Lance Archer Vs. Scorpio Sky Vs. TBA
Ooh, a mystery opponent at Revolution 2021. Good thing that’s the only mystery on that show. Anyway. Not gonna spend time speculating who the sixth man should be. So let’s focus on the five we know about.
Cody Rhodes is already a two-time TNT Champion. And as soon as he dropped it the second time, AEW kind of forgot about how he was obsessed with the title. Plus, at some point they have to have Cody scheme a way to get back into the World Championship picture, right? So let’s consider him the star power of the match and nothing further. Cody became the first-ever TNT champ by beating Lance Archer back at Double Or Nothing 2020, and Archer has been drifting kind of listlessly ever since. Besides, I don’t feel like AEW is quite finished with his issues with both the Kingston family and Death Triangle.
Speaking of Death Triangle, Penta El Zero M could be an interesting TNT Championship challenger. He’s been kind of the forgotten son of Death Triangle with PAC’s return and Rey Fenix’s emergence on the AEW: Dynamite scene. Max Caster would likewise be an interesting choice. The injury to Anthony Bowens puts the Acclaimed on the shelf when it comes to the tag team division, and Caster has real potential as a singles guy. But the person with the most potential in this match that AEW just refuses to recognize – putting him in the same boat as Shawn Spears, for whom I’ll never stop advocating – is Scorpio Sky.
Scorpio Sky has all the charisma, all the talent, and all the marketability to be a top level star in AEW. Plus, I think he’s somebody that the AEW fanbase would believe can capture the TNT championship. And I think the fans would accept him beating their rightly-beloved Darby Allin. Revolution 2021 is when AEW will finally get serious with Scorpio Sky.
Winner: Scorpio Sky
AEW Women’s World Championship Match: Hikaru Shida (C) Vs. Ryo Mizunami
Ryo Mizunami earned her title shot on this past week’s AEW: Dynamite by beating Nyla Rose in the finals of the Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament. So, like most things in the AEW women’s division, there’s not much build-up to her challenging Hikaru Shida for the women’s title at Revolution 2021. Shida has been the women’s champion since last May. It’s time for a new champion, I think, and it’s time for a serious reset on the women’s division.
But Ryo isn’t the person to spark that reset. She has the pedigree to be women’s champion. And she and Shida do have history, having competed in a six-woman tag at the first Double Or Nothing back in 2019. But the next women’s champion needs to be a true out-of-nowhere challenger (think Paige the night after WrestleMania XXX). Or it needs to be someone with a lot of build-up. AEW, for some reason, didn’t slot either Thunder Rosa or Britt Baker into the latter role. So the search for a new next AEW Women’s Champion will continue past Revolution 2021.
Look for Hikaru Shida to retain.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Big Money Match – Winner Gets The Loser’s Q1 Earnings: Matt Hardy Vs. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page
Seriously, where did AEW go wrong with Adam Page? The guy was in the first-ever match for the AEW World Championship at All Out 2019. And now he’s fighting Matt Hardy for money. Don’t get me wrong, Page continues to make the best of whatever AEW deals him. I stand by my contention that he’s gonna be the face of the company eventually. But he’s fighting Matt Hardy at Revolution 2021 for money a year after being in the Match of the Year at last year’s Revolution.
As for Hardy, the big money gimmick helped turn him around somewhat after the AEW fanbase followed suit with the WWE Universe in not quite accepting the “Broken” schtick. He needs a win in AEW to avoid becoming the company’s Most Valuable Jobber, but that win doesn’t need to come at the expense of a guy who should be at the top of the card. I’m looking for the Hangman to come away from this match with the win. And hopefully he’ll come away with something other than yet another “Hangman has no friends” storyline.
We’ve seen enough of that. Let Revolution 2021 be the end of people desperately vying to be Adam Page’s best friend.
Winner: ‘Hangman’ Adam Page
Miro & Kip Sabian (W/ Penelope Ford) Vs. Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy
Hey, remember when Orange Cassidy was on the cusp of being in the main event? Like, when he beat Chris Jericho twice last summer? Oh, hey, and remember when he had the sleeper hit match of the night at last year’s Revolution against PAC? Yeah, well, at Revolution 2021, he’s a sidekick for Chuck Taylor’s feud with Miro that’s centered around a broken game console and indentured servitude. I might ask where AEW went wrong with Adam Page, but holy crap, where did they go wrong with Orange Cassidy?
Seriously, I don’t get why this isn’t just Miro vs. Chuck Taylor. Yeah, they’ve already done that, but there’s ways to freshen it up. You wanna involve Kip and Orange, fine. AEW seems to be really keen on WCW and NWA’s old tricks, have Orange and Kip in shark cages or something. At least if it was Miro vs. Chuck Taylor, we could have a finish where nobody loses anything in terms of stature or credibility. Both things that Miro desperately needs. But if Miro and Sabian win, Orange Cassidy falls a little further down the credibility ladder.
If Chuck and Cassidy win, Miro falls from his spot at the bottom of the credibility ladder straight through the floor. And poor Kip Sabian is just there because he has to be. AEW booked themselves into a corner with this one, and unfortunately somebody is gonna come away from it worse for wear. And I think that somebody, unfortunately, needs to be Not-Quite-Best-Friends. Miro needs this win. Like, needs it. Chuck needs to buy time until Trent is healthy again, and Orange has treaded water since September 2020 without completely drowning.
Winners: Miro & Kip Sabian
How To Watch
AEW: Revolution 2021 starts with the Buy-In preshow at 7 PM ET on Sunday, March 7. The Buy-In will air for free ahead of the PPV on the PPV carriers and it will stream live on AEW’s YouTube channel. Revolution 2021 follows at 8 PM ET on traditional PPV outlets. The show is also available on the B/R Live app in the United States and the FiteTV app in the UK. It’s available for $60.00 in the US on cable and satellite providers and $50.00 for B/R Live subscribers.
All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.