TJRWrestling AEW Revolution 2023 Preview
It’s AEW Revolution with MJF defending the World Title against Bryan Danielson in a 60-Minute Ironman Match, Jon Moxley facing “Hangman” Adam Page in a Texas Death Match and plenty more.
John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling AEW Revolution preview. It’s a Sunday show that is AEW’s first pay-per-view of the year. Sometimes we do these AEW previews and there are so many matches over four hours. This time around, there’s 60-Minute Ironman Match in the main event, which means there are less total matches on the show. After Dynamite, they had eight matches confirmed. We are writing this preview before the live episode of Rampage.
I think when looking at this card, the match quality should be strong because you know AEW is going to give their talent plenty of time to put on great matches. The MJF-Bryan and Moxley-Hangman both have had very long term build while some others on the show have much less of a build.
Please Note: I won’t see AEW Revolution live because I’ll be at a WWE live event that’s about one hour from home on Sunday night. I’ll do the AEW Revolution review on Monday morning.
If you need info on how to order Revolution on PPV, check out AEW’s website for info on how to watch it in your country. There are different options depending on where you live.
Joining me for the preview are Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski, Marc Madison and Kristian Thompson.
Kristian: I can’t remember an AEW PPV that I wasn’t really excited to watch, probably since their inception. Unfortunately, I have felt that their product lately has been pretty flat. I have thought about why that seems to be the case and I think it’s got to do with a lot of the talent that I like either not being pushed or not even on the show. That being said, I think the build to MJF vs Bryan (despite being so predictable) has been really fun and intense, and we finally get the Perry/Cage match that I was so pumped for at All Out. Apart from those two matches and watching Joe and Wardlow beat each other senseless, I don’t have much interest in the rest of the card. I’m sure it will all be solid, as always, but for me it’s just not a card that’s stacked full of top matches that I’m used to from AEW. Hopefully, I’m proven wrong!
(Note: All graphics are from AEW.)
The Revolution Zero Hour Pre-show match is Mark Briscoe & Lucha Brothers vs. Varsity Athletes & Ari Daivari. We aren’t going to preview that.
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Christian Cage
(This was advertised as a “No Holds Barred” match earlier in the week and is now called a “Final Burial” match after Rampage. Whatever that means.)
Joel: This is apparently a “Final Burial” match, which sounds essentially like a Buried Alive match. These are not the characters that should be doing that kind of match, but it is what it is. The feud has been decent. It was probably hurt by Christian’s injury. Buried Alive matches have never been that good because too much of the focus was around putting your opponent in that hole as opposed to having a good match. Hopefully that isn’t the case here as they have an opportunity to give Jungle boy his biggest singles win on PPV.
Winner: Jungle Boy
Matthew: This feud has been going on for over nine months now, with Christian pinning Perry the last time they met in less than a minute. Both guys have done a good job on the microphone in building interest to this matchup, and it should be a very good match due to the veteran Christian leading it. As for who will win, I will go with the much younger Perry to get the win and possibly get thrown into a title picture.
Winner: “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
Alex: Christian should win this one. He has just returned and still has plenty of usefulness to AEW. He’s a solid talker and wrestler and he’s tremendous at generating heat. He needs to win here to give Jungle Boy something to work towards over the course of several weeks. If Jungle Boy wins here, what happens next? He moves on to the cluttered and bloated title scenes? Not a chance; if he were to do so he’d get lost in the shuffle faster than you can say his full name.
Instead, Christian should beat the absolute tar out of Jungle Boy and make the most of the stipulation. There should be chair-shots, big moves on the entrance ramp, and lots of excessive force from Christian. He should Pillmanize Jungle Boy’s arm or leg so that the referee’s forced to end the match out of concern for Jungle Boy’s health and safety. That would give Christian momentum following his recent return and will be a good enough angle to hook fans into wanting to see a rematch down the road.
I would’ve proposed that there be plenty of blood in this match, but then I remembered the other hardcore match on this show and realized that two matches involving heavy bleeding would lessen the dramatic impact of both.
Winner via referee stoppage: Christian Cage
Kristian: I was really excited for this match at All Out, then unfortunately Christian got injured so they did a quick match. They have some momentum back now, but that time off did hurt the feud a bit. I’m hoping for big things from Perry in 2023. I hope he gets a significant push, which I think will start with a win over Cage here. The No Holds Barred match is perfect for the feud. I think this will be the best match on the card, apart from the main event.
Winner: “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
John: Christian is the older guy that’s going to put over the younger guy Perry and that’s pretty obvious. I would be shocked if Jack Perry lost this match. They keep talking about how Jack has his eyes set on winning a championship this year, so that will probably happen within a few months and he needs wins to build momentum. I don’t know if the “Final Burial” thing means they will do a cinematic match outside in a cemetery or something along those lines, but I guess it could be something like that. Anyway, Jack should win.
Winner: “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
Fatal 4-Way Match for the AEW Tag Team Championships: The Gunns (c) – Austin & Colten Gunn vs. The Acclaimed – Max Caster & Anthony Bowens vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal vs. Orange Cassidy & Danhausen
Joel: AEW had the best Tag team division in the world less than two years ago. How it went from that to whatever the hell this is needs to be studied. I love The Acclaimed. The Gunns get some heat but they’re just not entertaining. Why are Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal getting their THIRD Title shot when Sting and Darby, the team that beat them in their tag team debut and is undefeated in 3 years, has yet to receive one title shot? Having the four way they had on Rampage while having this on PPV should be a crime. Cassidy and Danhausen aren’t even the tag team in the Best Friends group. I’m so confused and upset by this match. I don’t even know what to say. I want The Acclaimed to win and end this misery, but I have a sick feeling The Gunns are going to take it.
Winners: The Gunns
Matthew: A few months back The Acclaimed were one of the hottest acts in AEW. Unfortunately for them however, since then they have lost the tag titles and a lot of that momentum. The Gunns have a lot of potential, but I feel should not have been given the titles so quickly. As for the other two teams in this bout, neither of them feel like they have a real chance to win it here. As for who does win it, I cannot see them taking the titles of The Gunns so quickly after winning them. I predict Billy Gunn finally turning heel here, and helping his sons get the win.
Winner: The Gunns
Alex: As soon as I saw this line-up, I thanked God that 1990s All Japan tags are still available on YouTube, because this line up is, unfortunately, very underwhelming.
I have low expectations for this. The Acclaimed are funny (well, Max Caster is, anyway) but don’t really set the world on fire in the ring. Jarrett and Lethal are the biggest “lost in the shuffle” tag team in AEW. The Gunns are clearly designed to be short-term champions unless they win via shenanigans or exploiting someone else’s hard work. And the duo of Danhausen and Orange Cassidy are clearly meant to be played for laughs and not taken seriously.
And YET, it’s obvious that Orange has supporters among AEW’s higher-ups and Danhausen gets absurd reactions just be waving his hands. To that end, I predict that Orange and Danhausen win the match and the titles while chaos unfolds between the Acclaimed and the Gunns.
This isn’t my ideal result but it’s the one I think is most likely.
Winners and NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: Orange Cassidy & Danhausen (because, why not)
Kristian: Ugh. This is an awful lineup considering the talent that AEW has in their tag team division. There were at least 3 teams (and FTR) that were in the Battle Royal on Dynamite that I would’ve preferred to have here. I don’t mind the Acclaimed (mic skills are way better than their wrestling) but when Jeff Jarrett and Danhausen are on PPV and the Lucha Bros, Aussie Open and the Kingdom are not (yes I like Impact, I’m biased!) then the quality of the match will be significantly lower than it could’ve been. The Gunns are awful but I don’t see any reason for them to lose here. If the Acclaimed were going to regain their titles, then they would’ve in a singles match.
Winners AND STILL AEW Tag Team Champions: The Gunns
John: The AEW tag team division used to be one of the best things about the company, but it’s hard to get excited about this match. The Gunns winning the titles felt unnecessary because The Acclaimed are so popular. I feel like The Gunns are going to have a short title reign, so at some point soon there’s a title change coming. Could it be to Lethal & Jarrett? Maybe. I just think they got added to this match because AEW wants to get the titles on them for some reason. Cassidy and Danhausen will get cheered doing their comedy stuff, so they are fine in that role. This might be a mess, but hopefully not. I’ll go with Lethal & Jarrett winning. Just a gut feeling on my part. I know there are questions about FTR’s future in AEW although I think if they are back soon then they are probably winning the titles from The Gunns or Jarrett/Lethal when they do come back.
Winners AND NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
AEW Women’s Championship: Jamie Hayter (c) vs. Saraya vs. Ruby Soho
Joel: The rivalry between Saraya and Toni Storm and Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter just hasn’t been connecting. Saraya’s promos have been god awful. I enjoy Britt and Jamie as babyfaces, but the feud seems more about Britt and Saraya while Jamie just seems like she’s an afterthought. The inclusion of Ruby is a nice touch but how many title shots is she going to get (and lose) before they throw her a bone or something? I think Jamie needs to win. She’s only been champion a few months and doesn’t really have that signature win. Beating a star like Saraya could do that. Unfortunately, I think this match is just a vehicle to get the belt on Saraya without her actually pinning Hayter, thus setting up Saraya vs Britt Baker II at Double or Nothing for the Title.
Winner/NEW AEW Women’s Champion: Saraya
Matthew: Has there been a more disappointing signing then Saraya? The whole women’s division has been a mess for a long time, and Saraya has done nothing of note since arriving in AEW. However, AEW is likely paying Saraya a lot of money. Therefore, I will predict that Saraya wins the title here to try to justify her large contract.
Alex: I might be in the minority here, but I think Saraya is better suited as a heel in AEW. Her babyface run was completely bungled by bad booking so now the company’s doing their best to pick up the pieces by making her into this “I’m better than you because of where I used to work” villain. It isn’t the most logical story, but it works to some degree here. Anyway, given the circumstances I think that it makes the most sense for Saraya to be the heel champion for all the babyface challengers to chase. There’s easy storytelling with her running through various challengers to prove that her outside-of-AEW experience means something, only for a truly credible threat beat her for the title in several months’ time.
Winner and NEW AEW Women’s Champion: Saraya
Kristian: I think Hayter is doing a solid job as the Women’s Champion. She has been given a bit more promo time lately and that’s certainly improved. The crowd has been behind her since she’s been given a run with the strap. I think they will stick with her for now and she will probably pin Ruby to retain. She’s just there in the match whereas Saraya has been around the feud for a while, then turned heel. I think they will probably go with the tried and tested ‘hit the finisher and then throw one competitors out of the ring, then pin the woman that’s down’ finishing sequence that we see so often in triple-threat matches.
Winner AND STILL AEW Women’s Champion: Jamie Hayter
John: It seemed like this was going to be Hayter vs. Saraya in a singles match, but then they decided to throw in Ruby Soho into the mix. When I saw that happen, my immediate thought was that Saraya is probably going to win the title by beating Soho while Hayter is kept strong because she isn’t the one that was pinned. I think since Saraya has turned heel and has her buddy Toni Storm likely with her at ringside, we could see some cheating going on with Saraya getting an assist from Storm leading to the win. If you are going to push the story that Saraya & Storm are evil because they are from another company while Hayter & Britt Baker are “homegrown” AEW talent then I think it’s better for the story for Saraya to have the title. Plus, Saraya probably got a great deal to come to AEW, so Tony Khan is going to want to put a title on her.
Winner AND NEW AEW Women’s Champion: Saraya
AEW Trios Tag Team Championships: The Elite – Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson (c) vs. House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews
Joel: This match will be off the charts, but the build has been weird. Kenny Omega hasn’t cut a single promo in front of the live crowd on television since he returned from injury. I’ve long stated that House of Black has been underutilized. They’ve basically only built this feud for a couple of weeks. It is a good mixure of styles. I think House of Black needs it more but I don’t think The Elite are done yet. Only problem is where do you go from here? The one side effect of the tag division suffering creatively is that also means the trios division is suffering creatively. They need that spark to ignite both divisions.
Winners: The Elite – Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson
Matthew: Remember when Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks were considered “top guys” in the company? Now they are having the same spot fest match every single week, while defending stupid pointless titles. This time The Elite will be having one of there spot fest against the equally disappointing team of House of Black. I predict a lot of choreographed spots while the referee ignores the tag rules completely, before finally The Elite get the win.
Winners: The Elite
Alex: The Trios titles were specifically created for The Elite. The only reason another trio held the titles was because of the All Out fiasco and nothing else. Had that not happened every single trio to step up to the Elite would fall before them. That’s exactly what’s going to happen here: House of Black have absolutely zero chance of winning…unless Kenny Omega somehow magically decides to leave AEW and sign with WWE ahead of WrestleMania.
This will be your token AEW car crash-style spotfest that has taken place on every single AEW PPV since 2019. I don’t expect any real deviation from the typical Elite formula: circus-style tandem offense, flips galore, and a general lack of cohesion or enforcement of rules. It’ll get cheap pops but I don’t expect any meaningful storytelling or forward momentum for anyone here. But plenty of people tune into AEW specifically for this sort of craziness so I guess those fans will get their money’s worth.
Winners and STILL AEW Trios Champions: The Elite – Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson
Kristian: The build to this has been pretty weak, especially the quick interaction on this week’s show. The Elite book themselves so they’ll probably win. I’d prefer the House of Black to pick up the win and for Omega to go back to wrestling singles matches. AEW needs that right now.
Winners AND STILL AEW Trios Champions: The Elite
John: I know that AEW thinks that the Trios Tag Team Titles are a big deal because The Elite got to have seven matches with Death Triangle to win the titles, but it’s really not that exciting to me. Creatively speaking, what’s the story? House of Black simply appeared out of nowhere to make it clear they want the titles, so the match was just granted. Maybe AEW needs to remember when they used to try to have a ranking system and people earning title matches. Instead, they just go with House of Black getting a title match after they did nothing for months.
I think Kenny Omega’s talents are being wasted in the trios division. I understand that he’s probably having fun wrestling with his buddies and there’s not that much pressure in trios, but AEW is seriously lacking in terms of babyface singles wrestlers. It’s time to give Omega a singles push again. Since The Elite just won the titles in January, I’ll pick them to retain because I think their title reign will be longer although I believe there’s a chance that House of Black could win.
Winners: The Elite – Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks
(Note: Everyone is banned from ringside.)
Joel: This feud confuses me. Why is Ricky Starks jumping through hoops to get a rematch with a guy he’s already beaten? He says it’s to prove a point, but he already did that by beating him the first time. Jericho feuds in AEW tend to go on months after their expiration date. Hopefully that does not happen here. Ricky Starks is a star. He needs to start getting groomed now for a proper World Title feud with MJF around All out or Full Gear. The match started with “Everyone is Banned from ringside”. Then it turned into “J.A.S. Is Banned From ringside”. That tells me somebody outside of J.A.S. is going to help Jericho get the win. The first name that comes to mind is Action Andretti. Does it make sense? No. Is it something AEW would do? Absolutely.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Matthew: I feel that Ricky Starks could be a future world champion for AEW someday. Defeating Jericho here would help Starks along that path. Any other finish besides Starks pinning Jericho clean here would be a huge mistake in my eyes. Hopefully Tony Khan is reading this right now( Hi Tony) and agrees.
Winner: Ricky Starks
Alex: This feud exists solely to make Starks into someone. What purpose does Jericho get from beating another younger wrestler? He’s already established as a legend, gets monster reactions by doing literally anything, and has his own cruise. The man doesn’t need to win; he just needs to exist in a wrestling company and money appears in his bank account.
As for the actual wrestling, I think this’ll be average by AEW standards. Neither wrestler is in a position to deliver some sort of classic, but they don’t need to as long as they manage to push the story forward. Expect ten minutes of standard wrestling and you won’t be disappointed.
Winner: Ricky Starks
Kristian: I’m glad to see Starks stepping out on his own again and being featured in a match against a big talent in Jericho. I felt for him at All Out because his match with Powerhouse Hobbs was so short and then at Full Gear he was on the pre-show. I think he will get the win here as he needs the push and Jericho should be putting over the younger talent in 2023. This will be pretty good.
Winner: Ricky Starks
John: Chris Jericho really has no problem putting people over clean. Jericho even put over Starks clean on Dynamite while also losing to a newcomer named Action Andretti as well. The build has been okay, but also a bit silly since they took so long to finally announce the match even though we knew it was coming a month ago. Anyway, they have a stipulation that Jericho’s JAS friends are not allowed at ringside, which could mean somebody else costs Starks the match, but I really think Starks should win, so I think they’ll do the right thing. If Jericho wins then that’s 1-1 in this series and they’ll probably do a third match with Starks winning that one.
Winner: Ricky Starks
TNT Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Wardlow
Joel: The way AEW has halted Wardlow’s momentum from the hottest guy in the company until now is astounding. That said, this match will be incredible. Samoa Joe is a bright spot every time he is on television. The build so far would lead you to believe Wardlow is winning. And with Powerhouse Hobbs waiting for a shot next week, that leads me to believe Wardlow is walking away with the TNT Title.
Winner AND NEW TNT Champion: Wardlow
Matthew: This feud has taken some weird turns, with them being partners at one point and even Darby Allen getting involved for a while. Nevertheless, I like both these guys and think they could have one of the best matches of the night if given the chance. Wardlow has all the potential in the world, and needs this win more. I predict Wardlow winning the title here, allowing Joe to go focus more on ROH.
Alex: Does anyone else think that Wardlow has been something of an afterthought since returning? I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not that convinced that Wardlow can win here. He hasn’t done much in recent weeks besides powerbomb random small guys, and I doubt he’ll able to land his powerbomb symphony on someone that weighs more than him. And even though Wardlow did a great job of explaining why this is such a personal matter, I just don’t see him winning here. He needs to win given that he’s one of AEW’s supposed homegrown creations and the company needs to build its own talent. And yet, based on all of AEW’s booking, he isn’t convincing right now. I think Joe will win instead and Wardlow will go back to destroying smaller people, which is where he truly excels.
Winner and STILL AEW TNT Champion: Samoa Joe
Kristian: It feels like these two have been feuding for a while, but there was a Triple Threat with Hobbs in there at Full Gear too, then Joe had some cool matches with Darby Allin while Wardlow was injured. This will be a pretty stiff match and I’m looking forward to it, maybe because the rest of the card is pretty average to me. Joe should win and face Powerhouse Hobbs on the next Dynamite.
Winner AND STILL TNT Champion: Samoa Joe
John: AEW really dropped the ball with Wardlow creatively. He was getting super over with the crowd, winning nearly every match he had, they put the TNT Title on him and then when Samoa Joe beat him for the TNT Title, Wardlow’s momentum was stopped cold for about three months. There’s no reason why they stopped pushing the guy because frankly Wardlow could be a main event babyface that this company needs. If they kept Wardlow strong then AEW could have had Wardlow in position to be a top contender for the AEW World Title. Instead, he was barely used for months.
The TNT Title tends to be passed around often, so I can see Joe losing here to get the title back on Wardlow. Plus, Joe is already the ROH TV Champion. I’ll go with Wardlow winning here and also beating Powerhouse Hobbs on Dynamite next week because I think AEW wants to start pushing Wardlow again. I don’t know why they stopped in the first place.
Winner AND NEW TNT Champion: Wardlow
Texas Death Match: Jon Moxley vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Joel: This is the best built match on this card. It is the only match with a near perfect build with little to no holes in it. I like the heelish edge that Moxley and the BCC have exhibited over the last few months. Outside of MJF, AEW doesn’t really have that top notch main event heel, especially with Adam Cole now firmly as a babyface. I think Mox would fit that role nicely. The match will be great. Mox will be bleeding within the first five minutes. I’m kind of torn because Adam Page needs the win more, but Moxley is the more established star. I’m going to go with Hangman. He hasn’t really been the same since he dropped the World Title 9 months ago. This is a good way to get him back to that level.
Winner: Adam Page
Matthew: If you are a fan of lots of blood and violence, then this will be the match for you! I predict that Moxley will be bleeding within the first three minutes of the match, with Page following soon afterwards. I have no doubt that these guys will destroy one another, and this will be brutal to watch. As for who wins, I feel that Page needs the win here to get himself back into the main event picture.
Winner: “Hangman” Adam Page
Alex: For anyone curious, a Texas Death Match is like a Last Man Standing match but with one additional rule: you must be pinned before the ten-count is initiated. Assuming the match will follow this formula, we can all expect this match to be absolutely brutal.
Assuming this match does take place after the Cage/Jungle Boy match, this one will feature all of the excessive violence of that match and then some. I can see Moxley choking Hangman with barbed wire or some other material. I can see thumbtacks, kendo sticks, and baseball bats being used. And oh yes, there will be blood. I get the feeling that one of Jon Moxley’s personal goals is to have the Muta Scale renamed after himself. The guy bleeds so much and so often that it won’t be long before his head is more full of scars than Abdullah the Butcher. Then again, this savagery has made Moxley come across as such an unchained lunatic that Hangman will have to something truly reprehensible to beat him.
But will he? To be honest, I would rather Moxley win over Hangman. In my opinion, Hangman lacks credibility and believability going into this match. Going into any sort of hardcore style match favors Moxley by a significant margin, so much so that Hangman’s going into this like a man bringing a knife to a gunfight. And while the story has presented this as a must-win-and-will-win match for Hangman, I doubt he’ll be able to pull it off in the end, simply because he won’t be able to match Moxley’s sadism.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Kristian: Welcome to Bladeamania! This will be a brutal and bloody match, probably from the entrances as it involves Moxley. I’m hopeful that Page can emerge from this feud as the next challenger to MJF, but AEW book Moxley so strongly that I’m not confident with that prediction. It’s time for Page to be chasing the title, however I am going to stick with what I think Khan will want and that’s Moxley to win as usual.
Winner: Jon Moxley
John: Everybody mentions the blood with Moxley because we should. The guy bleeds in nearly every match he has. It’s ridiculous. Less is more, pal. In this match, Moxley will probably bleed within the first two minutes while Hangman will likely be a bloody mess as well. I think they’ll have a long match that goes 25+ minutes with some big bumps all around the building. The build has been good for a match between two faces where it’s two guys that hate eachother, but there’s also respect for how talented they are.
This feels like a number one contender’s match without calling it that. In Moxley’s case, since he didn’t lose clean to MJF I think he’s a guy that could get another AEW World Title shot with a win here. As for Page, he can win this to get back into the AEW World Title picture after losing it to CM Punk last May. I’m not saying one of them will headline Double or Nothing in May for sure, but it’s certainly a possibility.
My feeling for this match is that Hangman should win just because I think he needs it more. Moxley rarely loses matches although he has lost to win. I just believe that Hangman should win the feud because it would elevate him a bit while Moxley is already established as a three-time AEW World Champion. Anyway, it should be an awesome match.
Winner: Jon Moxley
AEW World Championship 60-Minute Ironman Match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (c) vs. Bryan Danielson
(Note: Whoever has the most falls after 60 minutes of action will be the AEW World Champion.)
Joel: This should be a good one. Bryan Danielson is on another level right now. MJF has been okay but his title reign hasn’t caught the world on fire yet. MJF needs a strong performance here to get him to that next level. Bryan has done a great job conveying the emotion of how much he hates MJF and MJF has countered nicely in reminding people how much of a bad guy he is. I think we are in for a year long title reign for MJF. This is just the first stage. I’m looking forward to it.
Matthew: Finally, we come to the match I am most excited to see. MJF has been killing it as champion, and has been the highlight of AEW for me for weeks. Danielson is still one of the best wrestlers in the world, and this match is a perfect chance to showcase that. MJF is also very good in the ring, and I believe will be able to keep up with Danielson here. As for who wins, I think it would be a huge mistake to take the title off of MJF this quickly. Therefore, I will go with MJF finding a way to cheat to win, and keep his title.
Alex: Oh, this is going to be good.
This match could go in a myriad of different ways. They could copy Bret/Shawn from WrestleMania 12 and go an hour without falls only to then go to sudden death. They could follow the Angle/Lesnar approach and have nine falls in sixty minutes. Or they could meet in the middle like with this match and have a few quick falls early, nothing much for the middle and then go for a mad dash as the final seconds run out. Anything’s possible here, which is what makes this match so exciting.
With that being said, I think a few specific things will happen as well:
- MJF will get himself intentionally disqualified by hitting Bryan’s left arm with a chair
- He will then even the score minutes later with his Salt of the Earth armbar to destroy Bryan’s arm
- Bryan will get at least one or two falls by actually wrestling while MJF will get his falls by cheating
- MJF will have some hired guns come in and beat Bryan up; even if that causes more DQs, MJF will rebalance the score with easy covers or tap-outs
As for a winner, there’s a compelling argument to make for either. Bryan should be the world champion by virtue of being the best in-ring wrestler in AEW by a substantial margin. But MJF represents the company’s future and is by far the best actual gimmick/character they have. While Bryan winning would be the feel good ‘you deserve it’ moment, MJF is the villain AEW needs and the company can’t move forward by overemphasizing and over-booking feel-good moments.
Winner and STILL AEW World Champion (6-5): MJF
Kristian: I have enjoyed the build up here. It was fun seeing Danielson’s different challengers that he had to overcome. MJF has been on fire with his promos, although at times he just wanders off on a random tangent like he did two weeks ago. I fully expect that he will retain the title as it’s early in his reign. I think it would be cool to have him face Page at the next PPV as that’s a fresh match up. Like most Ironman matches, I think it will come down to MJF being ahead and Danielson has him in a submission but the clock will run out before he taps. Either that, or even a Sudden Death scenario could occur to provide a bit more of a surprise. I think it will be a fantastic match and I’m glad we are seeing it in 2023.
Winner AND STILL AEW World Champion: MJF
John: This is MJF’s first PPV title defense so I doubt many people would pick Bryan Danielson to win here, nor should they. We know MJF is likely going to hold the AEW World Title for most of the year and if he really is a free agent in January 2024 then how this title reign goes for him could help to determine what he does in the future.
Bryan Danielson is my favorite wrestler in all of AEW and I have really enjoyed the amazing matches he has had in the company. I think he’s going to likely have some creative ideas for this match and will do his best to guide young Max to a very entertaining match. I’m not doubting MJF’s ability to go long in a match like this because he’s very talented. I’m just saying Bryan is way more experienced, so he’s going to likely have a big say in how the match goes.
Since it’s an Ironman Match going 60 minutes I think they’ll go slow-paced early and pick up the pace by the end. Most likely it will be MJF going up early by one or two falls, then Bryan makes the big comeback and let’s say it’s tied 3-3 at around ten minutes left. I think MJF will find a way to win. It won’t be that decisive of a victory because he’s a heel and it may be cheap too. I just think it’s a lock that MJF is going to win.
Winner: MJF (4 falls to 3)
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Joel: Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page
Matthew: MJF vs. Bryan Danielson.
Alex: MJF vs. Bryan Danielson.
Kristian: Jungle Boy vs Christian. I really wish Christian didn’t get injured because that feud was red-hot last year.
John: MJF vs. Bryan Danielson. It’s predictable as far as who will win, but I’m such a fan of Bryan’s storytelling in matches.
The Match I Care About The Least
Joel: Fatal Fourway Tag Title Match.
Matthew: The Elite vs. House of Black.
Alex: Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks.
Kristian: Either the Women’s or Tag Title matches.
John: The Gunns – Austin & Colten Gunn vs. The Acclaimed – Max Caster & Anthony Bowens vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal vs. Orange Cassidy & Danhausen
Longest Match (Other Than The 60-Minute Ironman Match)
Joel: Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page.
Matthew: Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page.
Alex: Moxley vs. Hangman (~20 minutes)
Kristian: Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page.
John: Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page at around 25 minutes.
Joel: AEW Women’s Title.
Matthew: Jamie Hayter vs. Saraya vs. Ruby Soho.
Alex: Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow (~8 minutes)
Kristian: Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow.
John: Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow. Some big moves from both guys, but it doesn’t need to be more than ten minutes.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Joel: 6. The matches will be good but the build could be sooooo much better. The Tag Title match is just egregious. The Women’s Title match feels like a backdrop for Saraya and Britt. The Death match and Iron man matches have been built well but other than that, nothing feels like a big deal. The gap between Full Gear and Revolution is one of their biggest gaps between Pay Per Views and it feels like this has been one of the worst builds to a PPV in their history. Outside of the two matches I mentioned, nothing makes sense. Why is Jungle boy challenging somebody to a buried alive match? What have Jarrett and Lethal or Cassidy and Danhausen done to warrant a title shot on a PPV? As I said, the action will be good. I just think the booking needs to be better going forward or they’re going to have a hard time advancing past where they are now.
Matthew: 6. It is a mixed bag for me as there are a couple of matches that I am excited for and a few I don’t really care about. The main event will make or break this show for me, with me having high hope for it.
Alex: 6.5 – This is a two-match show for me. I’m excited for the main event because it’s between AEW’s best wrestler and best talker and I’m looking forward to how they interact. The other match I’m curious about is Moxley vs. Hangman, simply to see how badly Mox will try to make the Texas Deathmatch literal. Other than those two matches, the rest is kind of average. Should still be fun, though.
Kristian: 6 – Apart from the fact that MJF as champion and Moxley is out of the title scene, I have found AEW providing shows with less quality in 2023. I really can’t say that any of the matches on the card intrigue me that much but I’m interested in how they’ll book the end of MJF/Bryan. Unfortunately, Christian got injured which killed their match at All Out- the match I was most looking forward to on the card. I don’t care for any of the tag teams currently pushed at present (who have the Lucha Bros and FTR pissed off?) and the constant shoving down our throats of Moxley and the Elite literally puts me to sleep. Along with the same names being used in the TNT scene, you can tell that I’m not really loving the product at the moment but I think my reasons are valid! I actually haven’t predicted any title changes because I’m hoping for some new feuds on the horizon. AEW do PPVs very well, so despite my disappointment with the current booking I know the match quality will be great as usual.
John: 7 – I think the MJF/Bryan and Moxley/Hangman matches are going to be outstanding, so if they are four-star level matches that won’t surprise me. The Elite and House of Black match will get all the time they want to have a great match because the EVPs are in the match, but the lack of a story hurts the match, in my opinion. Most of the rest of the card is okay. I just think that going into the show, it’s one of the weaker AEW cards for a PPV that there’s ever been. The weird is that they had four months since Full Gear, so why isn’t there a better lineup? That’s on the creative direction of AEW. They care so much about match quality, but what’s really going to draw viewers is telling better stories. I’d like to see AEW do a better job of that in the future.
John: I’ll be back with a review of AEW Revolution on TJRWrestling.net on Monday.
You can also tweet me @johnreport. If you want to send an email, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as well. Thanks for reading.