It seems like the most popular topic among wrestling fans this week was the end of the AEW Revolution pay-per-view (my review is here). After Kenny Omega retained the AEW World Title against Jon Moxley (thanks to Anderson & Gallows) in a very good Explosive Barbed Wire Death Match, there was a timer counting down to signal for explosives to go off. The timer was set at 30 minutes from the start of the match. Omega’s match with Moxley went 25 minutes, but then Moxley was still in the ring after the match because Omega and friends kept attacking him. That led to Moxley’s friend (and former rival) Eddie Kingston running out to the ring to cover Moxley. The timer went off at zero, but the explosions barely did anything. It led to people joking that it was like Gillberg’s entrance with small sparklers.
After the show, Moxley did a promo mocking the lack of explosives:
.@JonMoxley didn’t regain the belt tonight but he regained a friend in Eddie Kingston! King came to save Mox from the final blast, which wasn’t enough to keep Mox & Eddie down for good!
“Kenny Omega may be a tough son of a b____, but he can’t make an exploding ring worth a s___!” pic.twitter.com/AHJCYVu3pw
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 8, 2021
On AEW Dynamite this past Wednesday, they had a video with Moxley and Kingston commenting about it in a joking manner. They laughed about it. Then Don Callis and Kenny Omega were in the ring laughing about how they created the explosive to not be a big deal because they wanted to trick people. They laughed about it.
In reality, there was some disappointment from AEW’s side because they wanted it to look more impressive.
Here’s a statement from Kenny Omega via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available via subscription):
“Yeah, it was really deflating to do so much preparation, test the explosions, have them be impressive in the rehearsal, and then have it be something so much different than what was promised. It made me appreciate everyone who worked hard and did their part even more, though. But like you said, we really wanted to have a good one, and we added real barbed wire to help with the feeling of danger so we really risked a lot. Again, I loved the match, glad we did it, sucks about the finale.”
TJR Thoughts: That sucks that it was impressive in the rehearsal and then much different on the PPV, but that’s what happens on live TV sometimes. The sad thing is that even though there were plenty of good things on the Revolution PPV, what will be remembered most is that lackluster explosive moment.
AEW Revolution Was a Big Financial Success
There’s some information about how successful the AEW Revolution PPV was in terms of making money for the company. This is from the Wrestling Observer by Dave Meltzer.
“The PPV numbers look to be the strongest not only in AEW history, but the strongest for any non-WWE show in the U.S. since 1999, grossing in excess of $6 million and likely will end up closer to $7 million. Of that, AEW will take in a percentage likely around 50 percent because there is a split with distribution partners.”
In addition to that, the Observer noted that while there are no television PPV numbers, the Bleacher Report Live streaming numbers were up 50 percent from Full Gear last November. Those numbers are also the highest of any AEW show in history. Streaming numbers outside of the United States were said to be up about 20 to 40 percent from Full Gear. Meltzer noted that based on that info, it’s likely that Revolution did better than the AEW record 120,000 buys that 2020 Double or Nothing did. AEW’s President Tony Khan has said that it was the biggest PPV number in history.
Another sign of success, as Meltzer pointed out, is that it was the fifth show in a row where the PPV beat the number of the corresponding show from the year before.
Since the TV PPV numbers are not yet known, there’s no official number of PPV buys yet. That information could be coming in a few weeks.
TJR Thoughts: It seems like they probably topped the 120,000 buys number that Double or Nothing did, but that’s not known yet.
There are plenty of reasons why interest was likely high for the show with the Explosive Barbed Wire Death Match being the main reason because a lot of fans likely wanted to see that. Since that “explosion” was poor, it might have upset some fans. The card was good also, plus Sting’s return to the ring after five years and anticipation about the mystery signing that was Christian Cage. There were a lot of things that interested fans.