Reviews

The John Report: AEW Revolution 2020 Review

Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of the first ever All Elite Wrestling Revolution pay-per-view event. It’s the second PPV since AEW started their Dynamite TV show in early October 2019. The last PPV called Full Gear was over three months ago, so they have had plenty of time to build this show. I think they’ve done a great job on AEW Dynamite over the last month in terms of setting up the top matches on the card. I ordered this show on Fite TV for $19.99 US dollars, which is an option for me here in Canada. It’s a good price.

There was one match on the Buy-In Pre-Show. The Dark Order beat SCU in tag team action. I don’t plan on reviewing it.

AEW Revolution
February 29, 2020
Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois

The opening video package hyped up the matches coming up on the pay-per-view. They used a woman voiceover to talk about the matches while featuring clips of the AEW wrestlers in action and talking about the matches.

The pyro went off in the arena. The set looked pretty good and similar to the regular AEW suite although there were not tunnels. There was a ramp that was connected to the ring, which is a setup that AEW has used before for their shows. There were bigger screens on the sides. A singer named Desiree Shalice sang the American national anthem. She was introduced by ring announcer Justin Roberts. Desiree did a great job.

The announce team for the show is Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur as usual.

Dustin Rhodes made his entrance with QT Marshall by his side. Marshall hugged Dustin and Dustin went to the ring alone. Jake Hager of the Inner Circle made his entrance alone and this is his first AEW match. Hager greeted his wife at ringside with a kiss. She’s a fine looking woman, so that’s a smart move by him.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Jake Hager

Rhodes attacked with punches, but Hager managed to take control with a backdrop suplex. Rhodes tossed Hager over the top to the floor and tossed Hager over the barricade. JR said that the referee Aubrey Edwards may count them out, but in AEW most of the refs barely count people out. Rhodes broke the referee’s count and drove Hager’s left arm/shoulder into the ring post repeatedly. Hager went back into the ring and Rhodes gave him a clothesline over the top to the floor. Rhodes attacked on the floor, but Hager slammed him on the edge of the ring apron and Hager hit a running clothesline on the floor. The fans chanted “Jericho’s bitch” at Hager because Rhodes was wearing a shirt with that phrase earlier. Hager slapped on an armbar to ground Rhodes in the ring. When Rhodes got back up, Hager hit a running back elbow to knock Dustin down. Hager with a running knee that knocked Rhodes out of the ring. Rhodes sent Hager into the barricade and then Hager sent Rhodes into the ring. Hager went to his wife in the crowd for a pep talk, but then Rhodes hit Hager with a boot to the face. Mrs. Hager yelled at Rhodes, who blocked a slap and kissed her, so she had red face paint on her face. Back in the ring, Rhodes with the uppercut punch and a bulldog. Rhodes with a powerslam for a two count. Swagger with a stun gun to send Rhodes into the ropes followed by Hager hitting a diving shoulder tackle to the back of the left knee. Hager went for the splash off the ropes, Rhodes got a foot up and a rollup for two. Hager scooped Rhodes up leading to a slam and a Vader Bomb splash off the ropes got a two count for Hager. The offense for Hager continued with running clotheslines into the turnbuckle a few times including some face licking. I don’t know what that was. Hager with a gutwrench Powerbomb for a two count. Hager kicked the inside thigh of Rhodes, then he charged and Rhodes gave him a back body drop over the top with Hager taking a big bump off the apron to the floor. Hager slapped his hand on the steps to make it sound louder. Rhodes set up Hager for the corner kick, Hager broke free and Rhodes hit a low kick that the referee didn’t see. Rhodes hit a Code Red flipping sunset flip into a pin for a two count. Rhodes slapped on a cross armbreaker on the left arm of Hager, who powered out of it and Hager slapped on an ankle lock. Rhodes nearly tapped out, but the fans urged Dustin to keep fighting and Rhodes got out of it. Hager nearly hit the referee, so when he turned around he hit a running knee low blow that the referee didn’t see. Hager slapped on a submission hold where he had his hands locked around the head/arm of Rhodes, so it was like a standing arm triangle. The referee called for the bell to give Hager the win at 14:40. It was noted by the announcers that Hager has used a similar move in MMA fights.

Winner by submission: Jake Hager

Analysis: *** It was a pretty good opener with Rhodes showing that fighting spirit as a babyface, but Hager stopped the momentum with the low blow followed by the submission for the win. I thought they should have done more to set up the finish because Hager was working on the legs earlier, so the Ankle Lock would make more sense. A more dominant win for Hager may have been better to see too, but I’m fine with it being a competitive match too.

A commercial aired for March 25, 2020 with AEW running a Dynamite episode called Blood & Guts with a giant cage surrounding two rings. They can’t say War Games for it. Tony Khan confirmed after the show that it will be a “Blood & Guts” match while using the War Games concept for it. It’s in Newark, NJ.

Analysis: That’s a PPV like event on an episode of Dynamite. The Blood & Guts name is a shot at Vince McMahon, who mentioned AEW as a “Blood & Guts” company since they had blood in some matches, so of course AEW heard it and they are using it. As I said, they can’t say War Games because WWE owns it, but Cody owns “The Match Beyond” so that’s what they’ll use.

The announce team was shown on camera doing a rundown of the matches. They showed the German announce team for the show on Fite TV.

Sammy Guevara made his entrance. Darby Allin had a surprising entrance and attacked Sammy at ringside. Allin hit a dropkick to send Sammy into the barricade. Sammy avoided an attack and hit a kick to the face. Allin hit a suplex onto the top of the railing, Sammy laid there for a few seconds and Allin completely missed him, yet Sammy sold it. Sammy threw the skateboard at Allin to knock him down. Sammy set up a table on the floor while the referee told them to go in the ring because the match hasn’t even started yet. Sammy put Allin on the table, then a sharp punch to the face and Sammy went up top. Sammy jumped off the top and hit a 630 Senton Splash onto Allin through a table! Wow. That was very impressive and he nailed it perfectly.

Analysis: This is a way of giving Sammy the advantage before the bell rang and to get the fans to rally behind Allin even more.

Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin

They went back into the ring, the referee asked Allin if he wanted to start and he said yes, so Sammy hit a running knee for a two count. Allin stretched Sammy across his back, then he turned it into an armbar while wrenching back on the fingers and then Allin was pulling back on both arms. Sammy got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Sammy pulled Allin’s left arm into the top rope, then Sammy went up top and hit a double foot stomp to the chest of Allin to send Allin to the ring apron. That led to a two count for Sammy as they showed the Jurassic Express team watching at ringside. Sammy brought the skateboard into the ring and Allin hit a Sunset Bomb for a two count. That’s the second straight match using that move for a nearfall. They battled on the turnbuckle, Sammy got to his feet and hit the Spanish Fly slam for a two count. Sammy exposed the top turnbuckle, Allin countered Sammy’s attempt to send him into the turnbuckle and Allin sent Sammy into the steel buckle. Allin with a flipping Stunner. Allin went up top and hit the Coffin Drop for the pinfall win at 5:07. That was an impressive leap.

Winner by pinfall: Darby Allin

Analysis: ***1/4 It’s a hard match to rate because they were out there for about 12 minutes, yet the match was only about six minutes. I think the table spot before the match was incredible. When the bell rang, it was all action and very entertaining. These guys work well together with Sammy working like a cruiserweight that can fly around the ring, yet he’s also very skilled at all the basics. Allin has a unique look and style that makes him stand out as one of the most popular guys in AEW. Allin getting the win was the right call here. If AEW had a secondary title I’d put it on Allin or have him as a top contender.

Post match, Allin wanted to attack with the skateboard, but Hager showed up to save Sammy and get him out there. Allin celebrated the win as the fans cheered him.

A video package aired about the AEW Tag Team Championship match with Hangman Page and Kenny Omega defending against The Young Bucks. It featured the story of Page feeling distant form his friends in The Elite group.

The Young Bucks entered as the challengers and they got a huge pop as one of the most popular acts in AEW. “Hangman” Adam Page got a big pop as one half of the tag team champions and he got in Matt Jackson’s face when he got in the ring. Kenny Omega got one of the biggest pops of the night so far. All four wrestlers stood in the ring as ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced them. It sounded like some fans were booing the Young Bucks, but it wasn’t that loud. The fans chanted “Cowboy Shit” for Page.

AEW Tag Team Championships: “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega vs. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)

Omega started with Nick, they did some tumbling around with Nick hitting an arm drag and Omega blocked a kick attempt. Page tagged in against Matt with the fans cheering the loudest for Page so far. Page did some grappling with Matt on the floor, then Matt wanted a handshake and Page spit on Matt in the face and it was a big one because we could see it on Matt’s face. Matt with a takedown leading to punches as fans chanted “Cowboy Shit” again. Omega pulled Matt off, that didn’t work and Nick pulled Matt off. Nick tagged in, Page with a slap and Nick with a kick to the gut. Matt launched Nick into a dropkick on Page and then the Bucks kicked Omega off the apron. Nick with a neckbreaker, Matt with a splash and Matt kicked Omega into the barricade. Matt with a neckbreaker on Page onto the knee of Nick. Page worked over the lower back of Matt with a forearm and repeated knees to the back. Page gave Omega hard tag to bring him in and Omega hit a running backbreaker on Matt for a two count. Page with a double sledge to Matt’s back and then a cheap shot knocked Nick off the apron to the floor. Page sent Matt out of the ring, then he whipped Matt into the barricade and Omega told Page to get Matt in the ring, so Omega sent Matt back in the ring. Page didn’t like that. Omega and Page worked over Matt with hard chops. Matt avoided a suplex, then tried a suplex of his own, but he couldn’t do at first and then Matt was able to connect with the Northern Lights Suplex. Nick got the tag with jumping kicks, then a running knee and Nick did the bulldog/clothesline on both opponents. Nick with a hurricanrana off the ropes on Omega, a rising knee on Page, a kick to Omega and an over the top facebuster. Nick hit a moonsault off the apron on Omega on the floor. Nick with a Sharpshooter on Page, Omega into the ring and hit a Kitaro Crusher legdrop to the head to save his partner. Matt into the ring, Omega with a hurricanrana on him. Omega ran the ropes and Matt kicked him to save Nick from an attack. Nick got a rollup from that as Excalibur pointed out that Omega had tape on his right shoulder to sell the Ironman match with Pac from Dynamite earlier in the week.

Nick grounded Omega with a front facelock, the fans chanted for both guys and Nick knocked Page off the apron. Matt tagged in, Omega sent Nick out of the ring and Matt got in Page’s face to get him angry. Omega broke free, but Nick pulled Page off the apron to prevent a tag. Matt hit a piledriver on Omega for a two count. Omega sent Nick into Page’s boot and Omega hit a spinning sitout spinebuster. Page got the tag with punches for both Bucks, Page with a boot to Matt and a clothesline on Nick on the apron. Page with a fallaway slam on Matt, a dive over the top on Nick and a clothesline on Matt to send him out of the ring. The fans popped huge for that as Page was on fire. Page sent both Bucks out of the ring, Page went up top and Page hit a moonsault on both Bucks with Page landing on his feet. Page ran the ropes leading to a huge clothesline on Nick, who did a flip bump to sell it. Page tossed Nick into the turnbuckle because he wanted Matt, so Matt tagged in. The fans were strongly behind Page as they argued and exchanged punches with fans doing the “yay” for Page and “boo” for Matt. When Matt ran the ropes, Page met him with a boot to the face. Omega tagged in, running back elbow, forearm by Page and Omega shoved Matt into Page, who hit a German Suplex. Omega with a Doctor Bomb sitout powerbomb for a two count. Page was legal, Nick hit a kick, then knees and a running superkick on Omega. Nick stood on the top, Page shoved him onto the ramp and Nick hit a Canadian Destroyer on Page for a two count. That was a cool sequence of moves. Matt held Page’s face against the turnbuckle and Nick hit a superkick. Matt hit a neckbreaker off the top with a Powerbomb as part of the combo and that got a two count with Omega making the save. Page blocked a superkick from Nick, then sent Nick’s foot into Matt’s face and Page with a kick to Matt’s knee. Page slapped on the crossface chickenwing submission, so Nick broke it up with a 450 Splash off the top that got a two count for Matt. They were 20 minutes into the match at this point with fans chanting “this is awesome” for them.

Page sent Matt into the ropes while Nick was on the top. Omega hit a rolling senton on Matt, Page with a splash and Omega with a moonsault. There were no tags during this and the referee didn’t seem to care. Page with a blockbuster suplex off the top for two. Page with a Powerbomb and Omega with a V-Trigger knee for two with Matt breaking up the pin. The fans chanted “AEW” for them. Omega tagged in, he missed the V-Trigger, then he hit it and Matt went in, so Omega hit a V-Trigger knee for Matt too. Omega with two Snapdragon Suplexes on Nick. Omega hit the Tiger Driver 98 sitout slam that looks amazing, but it was only good for a two count. The fans chanted “fight forever” for them. Omega with a V-Trigger knee to Nick’s back against the turnbuckle. Omega went to the middle ropes with Nick on his shoulders and Nick countered with a reverse rana that was huge. Page with a clothesline on Nick. Matt with three Northern Lights suplexes on Page on the ramp including the third one where Matt hit a release suplex. Matt held up Page on the ramp in a Tombstone position and Nick hit the springboard attack for the Indytaker double team Tombstone on Page, which led to boos from the fans. Both Bucks were in the ring as Nick hit a superkick on Omega, then Matt hit a superkick and both Bucks hit double superkicks. The fans booed the Bucks for their actions. The Bucks hit a double knee to Omega, who erupted and punched the mat to show he had fight. The Bucks hit double superkicks for a two count as fans chanted for Kenny again. Matt stomped on the injured right shoulder of Omega and took some tape off Kenny’s shoulders. Nick talked to Matt to try to get him to focus. Matt picked up Omega, but Page grabbed Nick and gave Nick a Powerbomb through the timekeeper’s table at ringside. Omega with a knee on Matt, then Page hit a Buckshot Lariat/V-Trigger combination and Nick kicked out at two. That was the finisher of the champs, but Matt kicked out! Wow. Amazing nearfall right there. Omega with a V-Trigger on Matt, Omega wanted the One Winged Angle, but Matt broke free and Matt hit a superkick. Page tagged in against Matt with Page hitting a One Winged Angel on Matt and Nick broke up the pin. They were at 30 minutes now. Wow. Another amazing nearfall. Page hit a Buckshot Lariat on Nick on the ramp and then a Buckshot Lariat on Matt for the pinfall win at 30:17.

Winners by pinfall: “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega

Analysis: ***** This was an incredible match. I’m going five stars for it. They told an amazing story, they had the crowd on the edge of their seat and they really delivered a lot of memorable moments in the last ten minutes especially. I thought the Bucks would win before the match and then even during the match I kept thinking they would do it, but Page continued to find a way to keep going even after taking the big moves and he was the one that got the big win for his team. Omega was the glue to the whole match because he kept the action going when Page was out of it and I thought there was a time where he would win for his team, but that didn’t happen. The reason I went five stars is due to the way they paced the match without going over the top with nearfalls early and then in the second half of the match the action was nonstop. Plus, listen to the crowd. They loved it as much as anybody. It was interesting to hear the Young Bucks getting booed during some spots in the match, but that also shows how popular Page is right now. If I had to critique one thing it’s that they ignored tag rules for most of the last ten minutes and they had all four guys part of the action, but it didn’t bother me that much. I believe it’s my first five star rating for an AEW match. They deserve it.

There were replays of the key spots in the match. The fans gave them a huge ovation for the quality match. The wrestlers were all down around the ring to sell that it was a very physical match.

The champs had their hands raised. The Bucks talked to Omega and they hugged him since they are friends. Page was standing on his own by the ropes. Page turned around, stared at the Bucks and Omega and then Page left the ring on his own. Page put the title down on the apron, then he teased a possible Buckshot Lariat, but Omega turned around and Page didn’t do anything. Page and Omega walked on the ramp and Page got a beer from a fan at ringside. Page drank the beer, much to the delight of the crowd.

Analysis: There was the tease of Page turning on Omega, but he didn’t do it. I think they’ll save it for the Match Beyond match in March when they’re in the cage. Perhaps they shouldn’t even do it because Page is so popular right now and Page is one of AEW’s best characters too.

A video package aired about Nyla Rose defending the AEW Women’s Title against Kris Statlander. There’s not much of a story here.

Kris Statlander made her entrance. Excalibur tried telling his stories about her as an alien, which is cringeworthy as Schiavone made fun of him trying to say she had a fever because she was unfamiliar with Earth’s atmosphere. Nyla Rose entered as the champion.

AEW Women’s Championship: Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander

This is a tough spot following the incredible match that just happened right before them. I was still writing about that match as this one was starting. They went to the ramp where Statlander tried a dive, Rose moved and Statlander hit the ramp hard. Rose hit a running Spear through the ropes and into the ring for a two count. Rose with a clothesline. Rose sent Statlander out of the ring and you could tell the crowd wasn’t into this match that much at this point. Statlander hit some weak looking forearms, waistlock and then a superkick sent Rose into the ropes and both women were down selling. Statlander knocked Rose out of the ring, then she ran the ropes as JR said “she has to make a dive” and it was a suicide dive. Statlander went back into the ring and hit another suicide dive. Statlander went up top with a dropkick that connected for a two count. Statlander with a running forearm, Rose with a clothesline and a hard chop. Rose with a clothesline to the back of the shoulder. Rose set up Statlander on the ropes, then Statlander walked on her hands and blew a kiss to the champ. Statlander with a roundhouse kick, the poke to the nose and a DDT for two. Rose with blocked a slam attempt with a knee to the face. Rose with a weak-looking chinlock, then a splash attempt right on the knees and that didn’t look good since she jumped right on the knees instead of looking like she was going for the body. Statlander ran off the ropes leading to Rose hitting a Beast Bomb for a two count. Rose went to the top, which was not smart as Statlander punched her. Statlander wanted a superplex, there was a slip and Statlander still managed to suplex her down. I don’t know why Excalibur tried calling it a brainbuster, but he did. The referee made Statlander stop punching and Rose knocked down Statlander. They went to the ropes again, Rose blocked a hurricanrana and Rose hit a Beast Bomb off the middle ropes for the pinfall win at 12:40.

Winner by pinfall: Nyla Rose

Analysis: ** This was a below-average match that didn’t really go well. The crowd was dead for most of it likely in part because of how good the match before it was. Statlander had some nice moves, but they also messed some things up. Rose winning was the right call since she recently won the title. They need to figure out what woman should be the top babyface and build her up because that’s something AEW is lacking right now.

There was a commercial for the AEW Podcast hosted by Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards.

A long video package aired showing the history of Cody and MJF to set up their match here. MJF turned heel on Cody at Full Gear on November 9, they spent over three months building it up in a great way and I’ll never forget that Cody moonsault off the cage. That was amazing. They have built this up very well.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance with his buddy Wardlow by his side with Wardlow in a suit as usual. Cody was greeted on the stage by wife Brandi, Arn Anderson, Dustin Rhodes and other people. Arn and Brandi stayed with Cody at ringside. The band Downstait was on the stage singing Cody’s theme song too. I like the song, but this performance didn’t do much for me. Cody has a Nightmare Family tattoo on the right side of his neck now.

Cody (w/Arn Anderson and Brandi Rhodes) vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman (w/Wardlow)

The story early on was Cody going for moves, then MJF bailed to the floor and MJF jumped the barricade. MJF knocked the hat off a fan in the crowd and tossed a beer onto another fan. I think MJF looks more tanned than ever. When MJF finally got in the ring. Cody hit an uppercut and then the Cody Cutter with MJF leaving the ring on the ramp as well. While MJF was laying on the ramp, Cody ran all the way to the back and then ran back with a clothesline that sent MJF over the top and back into the ring for a two count. Schiavone tried to put over Arn’s playbook by claiming that Arn called that play. Cody got a sunset flip for a two count. MJF with an eye poke, then MJF stepped on Cody’s foot since Cody had a broken toe. Cody picked up MJF, he spun him around and hit an Alabama Slam. When MJF was up against the ropes, Wardlow pulled him out of the ring to give MJF a breather. Wardlow turned his back to the ring, so Brandi tossed a beer in Wardlow’s face. Wardlow walked over towards Brandi, so Cody hit a suicide dive onto Wardlow on the floor. MJF managed to get control by wrenching Cody’s arm against the ropes. Wardlow sent Cody left arm first into the ring post and then MJF whipped Cody shoulder first into the turnbuckle. MJF with a gutwrench slam for a two count. MJF worked on the left arm of Cody, MJF even did a slow strut followed by a wristlock. MJF jumped off the middle ropes with a double foot stomp to the left arm of Cody. MJF slapped on the armbar on the left arm with Cody getting to the ropes to break the hold. MJF put his hands on Cody’s right boot and took it off to expose the broken toe that Cody has on his right foot. MJF bit on the foot with the crowd yelling “oooohhhh” to react to that and JR told him to stop that. Anderson was on the apron complaining about it. It worked in terms of getting heat. Cody grabbed MJF and sent him face first into the top turnbuckle. JR said that he thinks Cody’s neck tattoo is a surprise. Anyway, they went up top and Cody hit a reverse superplex to slam MJF back into the ring. Cody hit a Disaster Kick to send MJF off the apron to the floor. Wardlow got on the apron to prevent Cody from doing another attack. Anderson grabbed a chair under the ring and approached Wardlow, who backed away. MJF was busted open, so I guess we’re supposed to think it happened after a Disaster Kick? They could have had a better spot for that. Cody sent MJF into the steel steps and then back in the ring, Cody worked on the cut with some punches. Cody with a powerslam. Orton did an arm pose like Randy Orton, then he teased a DDT off the ropes, but MJF came back with the Heatseeker like a DDT to Cody. Wardlow was about to get involved, the referee stopped that, Brandi jumped onto Wardlow on the floor, Cody told her to put him down and Cody went for a kick, Wardlow moved and Cody kicked Anderson down by accident. The ringside doctor checked on Arn on the floor as Arn sold the kick. MJF hit a low blow that the referee didn’t see and then MJF got a rollup for two. Cody gave MJF a suplex over the top to the apron and then MJF held on, so he gave Cody a suplex onto the floor. That was a unique spot that ended up working well.

The wrestlers went back into the ring with Cody wanting MJF to stand as they exchanged punches, forearms, kicks and Cody did some Dusty punches, but then MJF went down before the elbow could hit. MJF got a hold of Cody and hit the Double Cross neckbreaker for two count. Anderson was back on his feet at ringside after Dr. Sampson checked on him. MJF took the leather belt off Cody and the referee Paul Turner took the belt away to prevent lashes with the belt. Cody with a low blow and a Vertebreaker from Cody got a two count. Cody got his hands on the belt with a lash to the back and Cody told the referee to let him have one more, so Cody did it again. Cody tossed the belt into the crowd. MJF did the cowardly heel thing of crawling over to Cody’s leg and faking like he was crying. JR said he didn’t mean to be a Richard aka dick. MJF spit in Cody’s face, so Cody got a hold of him and hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker. Cody hit Cross Rhodes again. MJF with a knee to the face and MJF punched Cody in the face with the diamond ring on his finger (the ref never saw it) and it knocked Cody out. MJF covered Cody with one fall across the chest for the pinfall win at 24:37.

Winner by pinfall: Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Analysis: ***3/4 It was pretty good for the most part with MJF getting the cheap win. This is one of those matches that felt even longer than it was because there were a lot of slow spots and drawn out moments that kept it going. I thought the finish was smart with MJF cheating in a major way to find away to win. It’s fitting for his character. Cody was great all match long with the selling of the foot, then nearly putting MJF away with his finisher two times and not coming away with the win. I picked Cody to win the match although it was really a tossup because either guy could get the win and it would be fine because I expect more matches between them.

Post match, MJF left as the winner with Wardlow joining him. They showed replays while Cody looked devastated about the loss in the ring. When Cody left the ring, he turned back and said “I’m sorry” as the fans chanted Cody for him.

Analysis: Cody is one of the best babyfaces in AEW for sure. He lost to Jericho at the last PPV and MJF here. I think that shows how willing he is to put people over and tell some interesting stories along the way. Awesome professional wrestler.

There were videos shown to set up Pac vs. Orange Cassidy although not a full video package.

Pac was introduced first looking pissed off as usual. Orange Cassidy entered with his Best Friends buddies Trent and Chuck Taylor. Cassidy is in his usual attire for his first match in AEW.

Orange Cassidy (w/Trent and Chuck Taylor) vs. “The Bastard” Pac

Cassidy got some offense as he grabbed the arms of Pac to swing him down. Cassidy put his hands in his pocket, they did the low kick routine and Pac knocked Cassidy on his ass. Cassidy ran the ropes, jumped over Pac and hit a dropkick. The fans chanted “this is awesome” and “fight forever” for them. Cassidy got a hip toss and then used his legs to get a rollup for two. Pac went to the floor to regroup, then he went back in and hit a backbreaker. They left the ring with Pac whipping Cassidy into the barricade. Pac whipped Cassidy into the ring post with a bump that looked brutal. Pac hit a body slam. Pac went up top with a missile shotgun dropkick as the fans booed him. MJF with three kicks followed by a sitout Liger Bomb for a two count. The fans chanted “No Pulp” for the Orange guy. Pac with an avalanche brainbuster off the top rope for two and then Pac pulled him up. When Pac went up top, Cassidy rolled out of the ring and Excalibur said that’s why they call him the “king of sloth style.” That’s funny. Pac rolled Cassidy in again and Cassidy rolled to the floor again, so that drew cheers. Pac sent Cassidy in the ring again, Cassidy rolled away, Pac was standing there, Cassidy smiled and kipped up. Cassidy with a suicide dive on Pac on the floor because every match has to a have a suicide dive. Cassidy went up top and hit a cross body block followed by a Tornado DDT for a two count. Pac stopped the momentum with a hard clothesline. Cassidy did some weak slaps, then Pac decked him with a hard forearm and Cassidy put his hands in his pockets. Cassidy with a Superman Punch that looked familiar. Cassidy picked up Pac and gave him a twisting Stunner. That was impressive! I think Excalibur called it the Stundog Millionaire after the move Slumdog Millionaire, so that’s cool. Cassidy went up top, Pac tripped him up there and Cassidy countered a slam attempt into a DDT. Cassidy went up top again, then he jumped off and hit a diving DDT. Pac crawled out of the ring, Trent sent Pac back in, the referee was distracted by Taylor and Cassidy hit the Air Raid Crash for two. The Lucha Bros went to ringside and they knocked down Trent with a spin kick. Taylor hit a dive on the Lucha Bros. The Best Friends and Lucha Bros went brawling up the ramp. Cassidy was distracted, Pac wrenched the arm and Pac slapped on the Brutalizer submission for the victory. It went about 12:55. After the match, Pac held onto the hold a bit more and then finally let go.

Winner by submission: Pac

Analysis: ***1/4 This was an entertaining match with the crowd firmly behind Cassidy as much as anybody on this show. Pac was tremendous in getting his spots in, he was the angry guy that was sick of Cassidy’s actions throughout the match, but then Cassidy managed to impress with a lot of his offense. Cassidy hit several different types of DDTs throughout the match too and a lot of the nearfalls that Cassidy got were believable as well. Pac winning was the right call even though it happened with a bit of an assist from the Lucha Brothers. They worked well together and it was better than I expected.

After the match, Pac made the referee raise his hand as the winner of the match.

A commercial aired for the AEW Dynamite episode March 20, 2020 for their Blood & Guts episode. It’s in Newark, New Jersey.

The announcers talked about upcoming episodes of Dynamite in March. JR asked for predictions for the main event so Excalibur and Tony picked Jericho while JR picked Moxley. The Tale of the Tape was shown and it claimed Moxley is 6’4” which is a lie and Jericho at 6’0” is probably a lie too. I’ve met the Moxley, I’m 6’2” and he’s the same as me or shorter, but that’s pro wrestling. They lie.

A video package aired about the main event with Chris Jericho defending the AEW World Title against Jon Moxley. The feud has been built up very well with the main story being that Moxley turned down an invitation to join the Inner Circle group led by Jericho. After that happened, Jericho injured the right eye of Moxley, which has led to Moxley wearing a bandage on his right eye for about two months.

Jon Moxley made his entrance by walking in from outside the building, then he walked into the building with a cleared path around him and Moxley walked into the building with the fans giving him a big ovation. Moxley still had the bandage on the right eye.

There was a choir on the stage singing Chris Jericho’s “Judas” theme song and they did an awesome job of it. That was a great idea, so whoever came up with it deserves some props because it added to the entrance. Jericho made his entrance with his buddies Santana and Ortiz joining him at ringside. Jericho had a visible scar on his face from this past Wednesday on Dynamite when Moxley cut him open with a headbutt. The crowd chanted along with the “Judas” theme song from Jericho’s band Fozzy as usual.

The wrestlers stood in the ring for the championship introduction from Justin Roberts including his unique way of yelling “Jon Moxley.” That always sounds great. I like Justin’s announcing work. Jericho was introduced as well. The referee for this title match is Aubrey Edwards. The match started at 11:02pmET, so it’s over three hours into the show.

AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (w/Santana and Ortiz) vs. Jon Moxley

They started throwing punches as soon as the match began. Moxley tossed Jericho over the barricade and Jericho hit Moxley with a bottle of water. Jericho attacked Moxley with some weapons, then they went brawling up the steps and Moxley worked over Jericho with punches to the face. Jericho tossed Moxley down the steps into a fan that was standing there. Jericho grabbed a camera and put his middle finger in front, so that was funny. Jericho tossed part of the barricade into Moxley. They battled around ringside with Moxley hitting forearms followed by a double axehandle to the shoulder. Moxley bit Jericho in the forehead near the cut that Jericho had on his head. The referee let them continue to fight on the floor as Jericho whipped Moxley into the ring post. Moxley had some blood on his head and Jericho gave Moxley a Powerbomb that Moxley through a table at ringside. Moxley put his hand on the eye patch and a lot of blood leaked out. Jericho beat up Moxley with punches to the head and called him a piece of shit. Jericho hit the ring bell and said he was the winner. I believe fans called Jericho a “stupid idiot” leading to Jericho giving them the middle finger gesture. Moxley came back with chops, but then Jericho whipped him sternum first into the turnbuckle. The blood around Moxley’s eye slowed down. Jericho sent Moxley out of the ring leading to Santana getting in some cheap stomps. Jericho whipped Moxley into the steel steps at ringside and the referee checked on Moxley, who said he was fine. Back in the ring, Jericho with a running dropkick to Moxley for a two count. Jericho with a running clothesline, then he set up Moxley on the top rope and Mox countered with a front suplex. Moxley jumped off the top with a clothesline. Moxley jumped off the ropes with a dropkick, but Jericho moved and Moxley tried a heel hook. Jericho to the floor and Moxley hit a suicide dive on Jericho on the floor. Back in the ring, Moxley got a running knee to the face. Moxley knocked Santana down, the referee looked at that and Ortiz hit Moxley in the head with the sock full of baseballs and Jericho hit a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho with a clothesline to knock down a running Mox. They each countered eachother and Moxley slapped on a Boston Crab submission with Jericho on his elbows. Jake Hager showed up at ringside, so Moxley punched him to knock him down and Jericho hit the Codebreaker and a slow cover got a two count. Jericho slapped on the Liontamer (Walls of Jericho) although this was more of a Boston Crab submission. When Moxley got to the ropes, Jericho didn’t let go until the five count and then the referee Edwards yelled at him about it. Jericho got in her face. Moxley hit a back suplex on Jericho. Hager punched Moxley, the referee Edwards saw it and she ejected Hager, Santana and Ortiz from ringside. That drew a big pop. Sammy Guevara showed up at ringside, he hit Moxley in the head with the AEW Title and knocked down Moxley. Jericho did a slow cover for a two count. You can tell Moxley told the referee to help him cover the eye patch because it moved, but he was selling the attack. Anyway, it was a good nearfall. They were about 20 minutes into the match at this point.

Jericho worked over Moxley with punches, then Moxley got back up to his feet and they exchanged punches. Jericho countered a Paradigm Shift by gouging Moxley’s good left eye. Jericho kicked Moxley in the left eye. Jericho continued to work on the eyes with a knee drop off the ropes. Jericho signaled for his elbow smash, but Moxley ducked it and he hit the Paradigm Shift double arm DDT. Moxley took off the eye patch to reveal that his right eye is just fine now. Moxley pointed to the crowd as if to say he can see them all. Moxley hooked up the tights of Jericho and hit the lifting Paradigm Shift DDT for the pinfall win at 22:23.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW AEW World Champion: Jon Moxley

Analysis: **** I thought it was a very good match, but I think it would have been better if he did the “my eye is okay” reveal earlier in the match. If he did it during a spot where he stopped Inner Circle from interfering it would have led to a huge pop. I think there were parts of the match that were slow and you can tell the crowd was tired this late into the show. Jericho cheated quite a bit, he got help from his buddies and he carried most of it. Moxley’s comebacks worked. It was definitely a fine match although if you were thinking this would be some classic match, they just didn’t get to that level of greatness. I still liked it for the most part. Moxley was my pick to win because I just think the story made sense with Jericho attacking the eye and wanting to see the babyface challenger get the title. It was the right call, I think.

The celebration continued for Jon Moxley as he celebrated with the AEW World Title. Moxley put on one of his t-shirts. Moxley posed on the turnbuckles with the AEW World Title and the fans cheered him for his effort. Moxley held up the AEW World Title in the air again. There was some blood on the title belt. They showed some replays of the match.

The celebration continued for Moxley, who decided to grab the microphone.

Moxley: “God dammit, I love this shit. It has been one hell of a year for yours truly. It’s been one hell of a long road.” Moxley thanked the wrestling fans for driving AEW forward and you are the energy that fuels AEW. Moxley said that a year ago they had a conversation saying they were bringing pro wrestling back to the people. Moxley said that this is exactly what they’ve done and this title belongs to everyone here in Chicago and all the fans at home. Moxley thanked the fans that have been with him through the beginning, all the ups and downs and he thanked the fans for helping to push him forward. Moxley said that the most important part of the AEW family is you – he meant the fans. Moxley said it felt like it was “Beer O’Clock” and he sounded pretty tired. They played his music, so he said, “what the fuck?” That was funny. Moxley said he’s not going to hide behind this belt because he’ll take on anybody any time and any place…and now it’s time to have some whiskey. Moxley left through the crowd to end the show.

Analysis: Good speech that you can tell was unrehearsed. They gave him a chance to thank the fans as you would expect a babyface wrestler to do. The swear words were funny too.

This event had a run time of 3 hours and 33 minutes. That’s about eight minutes shorter than the last PPV, Full Gear. I’m fine with 3:30 as the length.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Adam Page/Kenny Omega
  2. The Young Bucks
  3. Jon Moxley/Chris Jericho
  4. MJF/Cody
  5. Darby Allin

I’m bad at this when I pick way more than five people!

 

Final Thoughts

It gets an 8.5 out of 10 from me.

This was a very good show from top to bottom and I enjoyed it a lot. The highlight of the card was the Tag Team Title match with Omega and Page beating the Young Bucks in what I thought was a five star match. They had a lot of time, they told an incredible story and it was fun to watch from the moment it began. There were plenty of other people that impressed me like Adam Page, Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy and MJF to name a few. I think the main event with Jon Moxley winning the AEW Title was the right call even though I enjoyed Chris Jericho as the champion. It just felt like the right storyline with Moxley coming back after the eye injury to take the title from Jericho. Once again I don’t mind shelling out $20 for a show as good as this. It was worth it to me.

I think they could have been more creative with the card because it was just seven matches without any stipulations or any gimmicks at all. If they would have made a match a Street Fight or something to make them stand out then maybe that would have helped.

Great showing by AEW. I hope you liked it too if you watched it.

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Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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