The John Report: AEW Revolution 2023 Review

aew revolution 2023 review mjf

It’s AEW Revolution with MJF defending the AEW World Title against Bryan Danielson in an Ironman Match, plus several more title matches.

I am watching this show on Monday morning after reading the results on Sunday night. I was at a WWE live event on Sunday night and got home late, so I couldn’t see AEW Revolution live. Let’s get to it.

AEW Revolution
Sunday, March 5, 2023
From the Chase Center in San Francisco, California

It’s Sunday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Taz and Jim Ross, but Tony Schiavone replaced JR during the show. Excalibur wearing a mask still looks ridiculous. I get that he did it during his wrestling career, but you’re an announcer now. It’s okay to use a professional name and stop wearing a mask. Just saying. They plugged their friends at Draftkings while a commercial aired.

Chris Jericho made his entrance first while the crowd did the “Judas” singalong as usual. Ricky Starks got a good ovation as the opponent. This is a smart choice for an opener.

Ricky Starks vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho’s stable the Jericho Appreciation is banned from ringside. Starks had his ribs taped up. Starks hit a running shoulder tackle. Jericho was on the floor, so Starks hit him with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Jericho delivered a chop followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Jericho did a double middle finger salute to the crowd. Jericho went for a Lionsault, Starks avoided it and Jericho sent Starks ribs-first across the top rope. Jericho ran Starks off the apron into Starks against the barricade. Back in the ring, Jericho worked over Starks with chops and a double underhook backbreaker. Starks tried a comeback, but Jericho hit his customary springboard dropkick on the apron. Jericho with a sliding dropkick to knock Starks down to the floor. Jericho applied an abdominal stretch submission with the fans chanting for Starks. Ricky got out of that and hit a Tornado DDT for a two count. Starks went for a jumping attack off the turnbuckle, but Jericho hit him with a knee and a Death Valley Driver by Jericho for two. That’s not a move that Jericho does often. Starks countered a move into a Powerbomb for two. Starks tried for his powerslam, Jericho got out of it, then he tried a Spear and Jericho hit a Codebreaker for two. That was a great sequence of moves. Jericho has always been a master of countering signature moves in his matches. Jericho jumped off the top with nothing, Starks avoided it and Starks hit a Spear for two. They exchanged punches, Jericho off the ropes with nothing and Starks kicked him in the ribs I guess it was. Starks jumped off the ropes, Jericho moved and Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho submission. Starks countered it into a single-leg crab. Sammy Guevara ran down to the ring like an idiot, so Action Andretti tackled Sammy at ringside. Jericho basically told Starks to let go and hit Starks in the ribs with the bat. That spot was ridiculous. Starks blocked a Judas Effect elbow and barely sold the bat to the ribs. Starks hit some knees to the head. Starks picked up Jericho and hit the Rochambeau slam for the pinfall win after 13:35.

Winner by pinfall: Ricky Starks

Analysis: ***1/2 It was pretty good with the younger guy Starks picking up the win over Jericho for the second time. Jericho controlled a lot of the action early in the match and the last few minutes were even as Starks found a way to win. The bat spot with the referee looking at guys on the floor was dumb even for pro wrestling, but I get why they did it to get heat on Jericho. Starks didn’t even sell the bat shot to the ribs either. They are pushing Starks and that’s the right thing to do. Jericho has lost more matches than usual to start 2023 as they tell the story that maybe his skills are diminishing as he gets older.

Final Burial Match: Christian Cage vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry

The only rule is you have to lock your opponent in a casket and slam the lid shut. There was a casket on the stage. Christian was in all black attire (including a turtleneck) while Jungle Boy was wrestling in jeans.

They started out brawling. I don’t know why there was a referee with them in the ring if they didn’t have pinfalls or submissions, but here we are. He’s there to tell them time cues, I guess. They were fighting on the floor, Jack with a kick and Christian bailed to the floor. Christian jumped over the barricade and ran up the steps in the crowd, so Jack went after him. Jack went after Christian in the crowd, beat him up a bit and they were back at ringside. Back in the ring, Jack with punches and then Christian pulled him by the hair. Excalibur had to mention the referee not being able to admonish Christian for grabbing hair due to there being no rules, which is another way of saying the referee is unnecessary in the ring. Christian pulled on Jack’s arms. Jack knocked Christian out of the ring and hit a suicide dive followed by a whip into the steel steps. Jack tried to stomp on the steel steps, but Christian moved his arm out of the way and tripped up Jack so that Jack landed flat on his back on the steel steps. Christian took Jack’s belt off and choked him with it while they were fighting on the stage. Christian opened the lid of the casket and there were two chairs in it. There was some dirt around it. They each tried to put eachother into the casket. Christian gave Jack a back body drop onto a thin layer of dirt that was on the stage. Jack shoved Christian off the stage and then Jack hit a somersault dive onto Christian on the floor. They were back onto the stage area with Christian doing a low blow kick. Christian opened the casket, said something to Jack about what spot to do next, put Jack in the casket and Jack prevented the lid from being shut. Jack fought back with punches, then Christian got some of the dirt and threw it in Jack’s eyes. Christian gave Jack the Killswitch on the stage onto the dirt. Christian went for a Conchairto, Jack avoided it and used a shovel to knock the chair out of Christian’s hands. Jack used the shovel to try to choke Christian with it, so Christian did an eye gouge. Christian tried a shovel attack that was never going to connect, then Jack did a Snare Trap and put the handle of the shovel in Christian’s mouth. Jack gave Christian the Conchairto to Christian’s head. Jack rolled Christian into the casket and slammed the lid shut. Jack even gave Christian a kiss to the forehead. Jack closed the lid and the casket went down to the floor. It went 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry

Analysis: ***1/4 A definitive end to the feud with Jack getting the win after a long story going into the match. Christian was never going to win here and that was obvious. I think it’s hard having match where you have to put a guy into a casket because then you do all these other spots that don’t really lead to trying to win the match because they are far away from the casket. Jungle Boy gets the big win while evolving as a character by winning a Final Burial Match to show that he does have an aggressive side.

There was a video package for The Elite-House of Black match that has no story, yet there was nothing for the Jungle Boy-Christian Cage match that had much of a story.

AEW Trios Tag Team Championships: The Elite (Kenny Omega, Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) vs. House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews)

Don Callis joined commentary to support his buddies in The Elite. Omega started with Buddy as they exchanged holds leading some headlock takeovers and knee strikes that were avoided. Black tagged in leading to “this is awesome” before he even touched Omega. Black and Omega exchanged some holds leading to Black getting a hiptoss leading to an armbar. Black went for a spin kick to the head, but Omega ducked it and then Omega sat down in the ring with Black. Omega applauded Black just like the fans did. Matt said he wanted to face the big man King, who had some elaborate face paint. Matt ran the ropes, Nick tagged in and the Bucks hit a double dropkick. King with shoulder tackles on all three Elite guys. All six guys were in the ring for a slugfest. Nick spiked Buddy with a faceplant into the mat and a moonsault on the floor. Matt with a clothesline knocking Black out of the ring and Matt hit a cross body block onto Black/Buddy on the floor. Omega did a headscissors that sent King out of the ring. Omega hit a somersault dive over the top onto three guys on the floor. Nick was back in with King as Nick hit a 450 Splash for a one count. King grabbed Nick’s arms and tossed Nick down hard to the mat. King sent Omega into the barricade even though I think Nick was still legal. King did a running cross body on Omega against the turnbuckle. Buddy tagged in against Nick, who countered a move into a pin attempt. Nick kicked Buddy in the head, Brody tagged in and tossed Nick across the ring. Nick hit a spinning kick on King, Omega tagged in and Omega hit a cross body block on King. Omega with two double ax handles and Omega hit a leg drop to the back of King’s head for a two count. Omega went for a moonsault, but King’s knees were up and Buddy sent Omega into the turnbuckle. Both Young Bucks hit superkicks on Buddy/Black and Omega avoided a charging King. Omega hit a V-Trigger knee for a two count. Omega went for a Snapdragon Suplex, but King blocked that and hit a hard clothesline. Black was back in for his team with a kick, a leaping knee strike and Black tied up Kenny in a knee bar submission. Matt jumped off the top with an elbow drop to break up the submission attempt. Buddy with a double knee attack, Matt with two superkicks, a neckbreaker and Black hit a knee on Matt to knock him down. The fans chanted “AEW” for them.

Black and Omega got into a slugfest. Black and Omega each hit knee strikes as they knocked eachother down. King tried to choke out Nick, so Matt saved his brother with a superkick to King and Omega hit a V-Trigger knee to knock King down. Black with kicks, then Omega hit a Snapdragon Suplex two times in a row and Julia Hart was on the apron, so Omega told her to get down. Omega hit a V-Trigger knee on Hart when Black moved (that spot was very obvious as they set it up) and Black hit a spin kick on Omega for two as Nick made the save. King hit a Dante’s Inferno piledriver on Omega as Black covered for two. King hit a suicide dive on both Bucks on the floor. King and Buddy were both illegally in the ring with Black, but then the Bucks pulled King/Buddy out of the ring. Bucks were back in the ring with four superkicks for Black, double superkicks for Buddy and triple superkicks for King. The Elite hit the BTE Trigger for two and Buddy broke it up. The Young Bucks went for the Meltzer Driver, but Buddy hit Nick with a knee. Black with a back heel kick on Matt and Buddy lifted up Matt for King doing the Dante’s Inferno sitout piledriver. Black pinned Matt for the pinfall win at 18:02.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW AEW Trios Tag Team Champions: House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews)

Analysis: **** It was a great match full of action and they were given plenty of time, of course. The crowd popped big for the title change. There were so many nearfalls throughout the match. They didn’t do as much illegal offense as usual for an Elite match although the ending was all about the illegal influence as the HOB guys did three moves in succession without caring about who was legal. I’m happy for Malakai Black finally getting a title in AEW because they booked him well at the start of his run, but then they didn’t do much with him for far too long. I’m fine with the title change. I really hope Kenny Omega is out of the trios tag team division now and he can be used as a singles wrestler moving forward. I really don’t care that much about the Trios Tag Team Title division. The Elite held the Trios Tag Team Titles for about two months, but now they can move away from them.

The commentary team talked about the show with Tony Schiavone replacing Jim Ross.

AEW Women’s Championship: Jamie Hayter (w/Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.) vs. Saraya (w/Toni Storm) vs. Ruby Soho

There are no countouts and no disqualifications in triple threat matches.

The fans were strongly behind Hayter as she knocked down Ruby with repeated shoulder tackles. Saraya pulled Hayter out of the ring and sent her in to the barricade. Saraya tossed Hayter over the barricade as well. Ruby dropkicked Saraya on the floor. Ruby jumped off the barricade onto Saraya and Hayter on the floor. Saraya and Hayter sent Ruby into the barricade. Saraya hit Hayter with a forearm. Saraya continued on offense against Hayter with some repeated knee lifts to the chest. Hayter gave Ruby a uranage slam on the apron. Ruby with a cross body block on Hayter followed by an STO trip. Hayter ran Ruby into the turnbuckle, then Hayter did elbow strikes on both opponents and a corner clothesline on both opponents. Hayter with a double suplex along with a double clothesline for two. Saraya came back with a neckbreaker and Ruby hit a suplex on Saraya. Hayter hit a backbreaker onto her knee. They did the “stand and throw forearms” spot that takes place in nearly every AEW match. Hayter and Ruby took turns punching Saraya. Ruby with a kick to the knee along with a hurricanrana spike for two. They did a Tower of Doom spot out of the corner with Saraya doing the Powerbomb part. Saraya went for a submission move, but Hayter clotheslined her. Storm on the apron and Storm knocked her down. Saraya lifted Hayter for a DDT. Baker punched Saraya right into Ruby hitting the Destination Unknown neckbreaker for two. Hayter tried her clothesline on Ruby, but Hayter hit Saraya with it instead. Hayter trapped the arms for a crucifix pin on Ruby for the win at 10:08.

Winner by pinfall: Jamie Hayter

Analysis: *** It was fine for a triple threat match. Nothing special about it. A little more time would have been nice, but it’s the AEW women’s division, so they get less opportunities than the guys. The action was fast-paced and full of nearfalls. The crowd didn’t react much to Ruby’s nearfall attempts. From a logical standpoint, not using any weapons in the match felt foolish and Storm barely did anything to help Hayter even though there were no disqualifications in this match. The finish was flat. I thought a title change might happen with Saraya winning, but I’m fine with Hayter keeping the title since she’s popular and still has a lot of momentum.

Post match, Storm knocked down Baker on the floor. Storm went into the ring to beat up Storm. Saraya joined Storm in the attack, Baker was back up and tried to fight to help Hayter. Storm punched Baker while Saraya stomped Hayter. Ruby tossed Saraya out of the ring and tossed Storm out of the ring. Ruby told them that they don’t run this place and “this is our home, bitches.” Hayter celebrated with Ruby, who hit a No Future kick on Hayter and a Destination Unknown on Baker. Tony was screaming about it. Storm shoved down a camera guy and smashed a camera for some reason. Saraya grabbed the green spray paint and handed it to Ruby. Ruby spray-painted the “L” on Baker and Hayter while nobody tried to help Baker and Hayter. Saraya, Storm and Ruby celebrated.

Analysis: The story is that Ruby is now working with Saraya and Storm since they all used to work for WWE while the AEW originals are together. I love how the announcers react to heel turns like they have never seen one before in professional wrestling. It’s always comical to me.

There was a long video package for the Texas Death Match between Jon Moxley and “Hangman” Adam Page talking about their history going back several months.

Texas Death Match: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Jon Moxley

Moxley made his entrance in the back part of the arena and Page attacked him in the crowd with punches. The bell rang wit the referee following them into the crowd. Page was punching Moxley by a fan that really wanted to take a selfie. They were brawling around the ringside area again as Page sent Moxley into the barricade. Back in the ring, they got into an exchange of forearms (often in AEW) and some worked punches. Moxley punched Page in the head for a knockdown. Moxley brought some barbed wire into the ring, Page got a hold of it and gouged the barbed wire into Moxley’s forehead. Moxley bled about three minutes into the match, which is to be expected. Page put the barbed wire around his foot and tried to attack, but Moxley came back with punches. Moxley put the barbed wire in his hand to knock Page down. Moxley grabbed a fork, Page got a double leg takedown and Moxley grabbed him with a triangle choke using his legs. Moxley used a fork to gouge into Page’s head repeatedly and Page was bleeding heavily. Moxley brought some chairs into the ring while gouging the head of Page with a fork again. Moxley set up a barbed wire chair against the turnbuckle and Moxley sent a charging Page into it. Moxley gave Page a single leg crab submission on the barbed wire chair. They showed a horrified female fan in the crowd. Moxley hit Hangman with a steel chair (with barbed wire) on Hangman’s back. Moxley set up two chairs back to back along with barbed wire, but Page blocked a move onto them. After Moxley did some punches, Page gave Moxley a Powerbomb onto the chairs. Page put some of the barbed wire around his torso and jumped off the top with a moonsault onto Moxley on the floor. Page was trying to set up for something else on the floor, then he went back into the ring and Moxley hit Page with a Cutter.

Moxley brought a big chain and two bricks into the ring. Moxley put Page’s right hand in between the two bricks leading to Moxley stomping on the bricks. That visually looks painful, so it drew a big pop. Moxley hit a piledriver on the chain. Moxley used the chain to tie up Page’s legs while Moxley went for a choke around the head. There was a barbed wire board on the floor, so Moxley used two chairs on the floor to set up a bridge for the board. Moxley tried a sleeper in the ring, Page hit a backdrop suplex and a clothesline. Page with a forearm while the chain was on his right hand/arm. Page caught Moxley and hit a fallaway slam into the barbed wire chairs. Page hit a Deadeye slam onto a steel chair/barbed wire that was on the mat. The bump is Hangman taking it on the knees, but we are supposed to think that Moxley’s head hit the chain. Moxley left the ring, so Page hit him with a cross body block over the top that sent Moxley back-first onto the barbed wire board. The back of Moxley’s head was split open and he had cuts on his back too. Page didn’t have much blood on his head at this point. Mox did the dreaded back rake while Page was on the turnbuckle, but then Page did it back to Moxley. Page tried a move on the turnbuckle, so Moxley grabbed some barbed wire that he used against Page’s back. Page used the barbed wire to Moxley’s head. Page went up top and Moxley shoved him off the top rope so that Page landed back-first onto the barbed wire board on the floor. Page got up just before the ten count. Back in the ring, Moxley hit a running lariat to put Page down. Page was back up with punches, Moxley with a clothesline, Page with a clothesline of his own and Page wanted Buckshot Lariat, but Moxley avoided it. Moxley hit the Death Rider. Moxley hit Page with The Stomp onto a brick. The fans were singing Seth Rollins’ song at that point. The announcers ignored it. Page got up before the ten count, so Moxley grabbed a sleeper and Page passed out. Page was back up before ten, then Page hit a running lariat and Page set up two bricks on the mat. Page choked Moxley with a chain, but then Moxley hit a low blow and the fans booed that. Page grabbed a brick and hit Moxley in the head. Moxley did a middle finger gesture. Hangman hit a Buckshot Lariat along with a clothesline to send Moxley over the top to the apron. Hangman was choking Moxley with the chain by the apron, so Moxley tapped out. Hangman won by submission at 24:46.

Winner by submission: “Hangman” Adam Page

Analysis: **** This was wild. A bloodbath as expected. I’m not surprised by it based on the stipulations and Moxley’s desire to bleed in every match he has. Respect for Page and Mox for taking a beating in this match while also bleeding a lot. Moxley was more heelish of the two with that low blow spot that he did, but it’s not illegal in this match. It’s pretty disgusting seeing some of the weapons they used to cut eachother open in the match and do some other spots, but it’s a way for a AEW to present a different product than some other wrestling promotions. It makes them unique and some people do like it more than I do. Page winning was the right call since he was the one that really demanded the match and feud continue because Page wanted to prove how tough he was. Page had to choke Moxley out with a chain by the ropes to get Moxley to tap out, which is rare for Moxley to do. This match was not for wrestling fans that are against blood matches.

Hangman walked away as the winner while Moxley was helped by his BCC buddies Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta.

There was a video package about Samoa Joe’s TNT Title defense against Wardlow.

TNT Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow

Joe is also the ROH TV Champion, but it’s just for the TNT Title. Powerhouse Hobbs was watching in a skybox because he faces the winner on Dynamite.

Wardlow charged and they fought out of the ring with Wardlow sending Joe into the barricade. Joe was back in the ring with a necksnap against the ropes. Joe hit a suicide dive with an elbow smash for a knockdown on the floor. Back in the ring, Joe worked over Wardlow with jabs to the head. Wardlow jumped up to the top with a twisting splash onto Joe. Wardlow hit a snap suplex across the ring followed by an elbow drop. Wardlow with shoulder tackles against the turnbuckle along with a clothesline. Wardlow charged into Joe, who hit a uranage slam. Wardlow tried to fight back, but Joe kicked him in the legs. Joe applied a kneebar submission on Wardlow only for Wardlow to break free. Joe with punches, then he charged right into a spinebuster by Wardlow. Wardlow with a clothesline followed by the F5 that they call an F10. Wardlow went up top and hit a Senton Bomb for two. Joe applied a rear naked choke submission with a body scissors taking Wardlow down to the mat. Wardlow managed to get his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Joe hit a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Joe went for a Muscle Buster out of the corner, but Wardlow countered it into a Powerbomb, which is a classic counter move in that spot. Joe got back with a clothesline as the fans chanted “Joe” for the heel champion. Wardlow delivered a headbutt followed by his own rear naked choke with the body scissors. Joe passed out, so Wardlow choked him out to win. It went 10:15.

Winner by submission: Wardlow

Analysis: **1/2 This was just an average match. The finish was anticlimactic, but I guess Wardlow didn’t want to try to pick up Joe for a regular Powerbomb because it’s a risky move. I’m not surprised that it was one of the shorter matches of the show. The title change made sense since Joe turned on Wardlow in the past, so Wardlow finally got his revenge by getting the TNT Title back from Joe. The crowd used to be a lot louder for Wardlow in the past, but he lost a lot of momentum in the last four months. The AEW World Title often has long term champions that hold the title for half a year at least, but the TNT Title has much title reigns.

The win by Wardlow means he’ll defend the TNT Title against Powerhouse Hobbs this Wednesday on AEW Dynamite.

AEW Tag Team Championships: The Gunns (Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn) vs. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (with Daddy Ass) vs. Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett (with Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh) vs. Orange Cassidy and Danhausen

This is such a random tag team match. Two guys are legal in the ring while the other six guys are supposed to be on the apron. There are no disqualifications or countouts in the match, yet they still had to make tags.

Orange and Jarrett did some comedy spots early leading to Orange doing a dropkick with his hands in his pockets. A bunch of wrestlers looked like idiots charging at Orange, who hit back body drops. Danhausen hit a bunch of corner clotheslines while Orange did more comedy, Jeff knocked Orange out of the ring and Danhausen hit a hurricanrana on Lethal. Jarrett broke up a suplex pin attempt by Danhausen on Lethal. Colten tagged in against Danhausen with some punches. Colten hit a dropkick. Austin tagged in, Colten back in illegally, Danhausen kicked him and Orange beat up both Gunns. Orange hit a cross body on Colten, who finally left the ring and Orange hit a DDT on Austin. Orange hit a suicide dive onto Colten on the floor. Austin tagged out to Lethal, who hit the backbreaker/flatliner Lethal Combination combo move on Orange. Orange hit a Stundog Millionaire on Orange. Caster tagged in with a body slam on Lethal, Bowens tagged in, then Dutt went in there so The Acclaimed hit their Scissor Me Timbers double team leg drop to the leg/groin area. The Acclaimed did their “scissor” thing and then The Gunns attacked them. The referee was yelling at Lethal for not letting up against Caster against the turnbuckle, but Excalibur just said that there are no disqualifications. Jarrett with a legsweep on Bowens. Austin hit a knee lift on Bowens after he got a tag and Colten hit a clothesline. They did another spot with Austin hitting a delayed suplex. The Gunns and Lethal/Jarrett all did a Jarrett strut and they did a scissor hand gesture. Bowens shoved Lethal into Jarrett, who was by the turnbuckle. Caster was legal with a superkick on Jarrett and a running forearm on Lethal. Caster mocked pulling the straps down followed by an Angle Slam like Kurt Angle, but Jarrett made the sae on the pin attempt. Lethal superkicked Caster and then Jeff/Jay tossed Caster out of the ring. The Gunns hit Jeff/Jay with clothesline. Singh went into the ring, choked both Gunns and tossed them over the top to the floor. Danhausen had a staredown with Singh, so Dutt went into the ring and Danhausen broke a pencil. Orange back in the ring with an Orange Punch on Singh, Danhausen with a low blow on Singh and Billy Gunn with an awkward looking Fameasser on Singh. The Gunns hit their dad with double low blows (Colten didn’t really hit him low) and tossed Billy out of the ring. Bowens with kicks, Caster with a slam off the shoulder and Bowens hit a running knee. Bowens hit the Arrival slam on Austin and Caster jumped off the top with an elbow drop, but Colten tackled Bowens to break up the pin attempt. Colten sent Bowens over the barricade at ringside. Jarrett tossed Austin out of the ring. Max avoided a guitar shot by Jarrett, Caster got it from him and the referee took the guitar away from Caster. Why? If it’s no DQ then he can use it. Lethal hit Caster with the fake Golden Globe Award on Caster and Jeff hit The Stroke for a two count. Jeff argued with referee Aubrey Edwards, so they shoved eachother. Austin tagged in, tossed Jarrett onto Lethal and legal man Danhausen got a rollup for two. Danhausen hit a German Suplex on Austin. Colten was back in and The Gunns hit the 310 To Yuma double team flatliner slam for the pinfall win at 13:45.

Winners by pinfall: The Gunns (Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn)

Analysis: **3/4 It was okay with a lot of comedy. I think there was too much comedy and you can tell they did it just to involve the many people that were outside the ring. The rules were confusing because you had Excalibur saying it was no disqualification in a 4-way match, but then there was referee Aubrey Edwards taking the guitar away when Caster wanted to use it. The Gunns get a lot of heat. At least they won clean by beating a makeshift tag team and a guy like Danhausen that probably shouldn’t even be in the match since the team rarely teams together.

Post match, Renee Paquette talked to The Gunns about their win. Austin shouted out asking who are the Ass Boys now while Colten listed teams they beat and they demand respect. FTR’s music hit as Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance after being off for about three months. Harwood knocked Austin out of the ring easily. FTR hit a spike piledriver on Colten. Austin went back into the ring and FTR hit a Big Rig on Austin. Harwood had a cut on the side of his head after somebody hit him, I guess. FTR picked up the AEW Tag Team Titles to show that they want the titles. The dumped the titles onto The Gunns on the floor.

Analysis: Welcome back, FTR. If they re-signed with AEW on long term deals then I hope they got a big raise because they deserve it. They also deserve to be booked better than how AEW booked them last year. FTR are by far my favorite tag team in AEW.

There was a video package for the main event.

Bryan Danielson was up first as the challenger with the fans giving him a good ovation. Bryan had some kinesio athletic tape on his left shoulder.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman got a special entrance with some people with violins and other string equipment. We could barely hear them. MJF made his entrance wearing the “Devil” face mask that he wore on his way to the ring. Ring announcer Justin Roberts did the introductions while both men were standing in the ring. Bryan is 7-0 in 2023 since they booked him strong going into this match. MJF’s record in 2023 is 1-0. The announcers commented on how great MJF looks. I agree. It’s not like he is busy having matches or working a grueling schedule. Good for him.

AEW World Championship 60-Minute Ironman Match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Bryan Danielson

The most falls in 60 minutes wins the match. You can get falls by pinfall, submission, countout or disqualification. AEW countouts? Good luck. Bryce Remsburg was the referee for this Ironman match. They had a countdown clock in the bottom right of the screen, plus it was on the big screen and a scoreboard on the big screens in the arena.

They started slowly with MJF getting a hiptoss takeover. Bryan trapped MJF’s legs while applying multiple submission attempts. MJF got a shoulder tackle, Bryan with a hiptoss, MJF with an up-kick, MJF with a body slam, they both missed elbow drops and there was a sequence of arm drags by each guys. They both did kip-ups leading to the fans standing to applaud. MJF wanted a handshake, Bryan kicked his hand and MJF left the ring. MJF went over the barricade where he dumped some garbage near fans. MJF also grabbed a drink from a mother and threw a drink on a kid sitting there. The crowd shouted “ooohhh” for that. It turns out that it wasn’t a plant and MJF just did it because he’s a jerk. AEW boss Tony Khan talked to MJF about it because you can’t be doing stuff like that. If the referee was counting, MJF was out of the ring for more than a ten count, but the referee took a while to do a really slow count. MJF stared into the camera: “Oh no, is this going to cost me a star, Dave? Maybe I won’t get the Bryan Danielson Award.” There’s MJF referencing the Wrestling Observer Awards, which AEW loves more than live itself. Anyway, MJF stalled a bit, then back into the ring and they locked up again. Bryan took down MJF by stepping on the back of his knees and Bryan jumped on the knees to drive MJF into the mat. Bryan delivered some chops along with hard kicks to the chest. MJF sent Bryan into the turnbuckle. MJF did a back body drop while greeting the fans with middle fingers. Bryan got an inside cradle for two followed by Bryan doing two back body drops. MJF wrenched on the left arm across the top rope. MJF ran Bryan’s left shoulder into the top turnbuckle. MJF held onto the left arm and wrenched Bryan into the turnbuckle. MJF did a hair pull takedown. They left the ring with MJF sending Bryan into the barricade. MJF told fans to move, but then the tossed Bryan into the ring instead. That was funny. Bryan hit a dropkick to send MJF into the barricade. Bryan went for a suicide dive and MJF countered it by sending Bryan’s left shoulder into the barricade. MJF hit a hammerlock DDT for a two count. MJF had a wristlock while working on the arm some more. MJF hit a belly to back suplex on the left arm for two. They were about 15 minutes into match with MJF punching Bryan. They were battling on the turnbuckle and there were some headbutts from Bryan leading to a sunset flip Powerbomb off the top. Bryan wore down MJF with chops, kicks and three running dropkicks. Bryan with a Frankensteiner off the top for a two count. Bryan charged, MJF with a back elbow and MJF did a double stomp onto the left arm. MJF hit a Powerbomb onto the knee for a two count. MJF sent Bryan towards the ropes, Bryan tried to skin the cat back in and MJF kicked him to the floor. The inconsistent refereeing led to a count on Bryan quickly compared to not counting when MJF walked out into the crowd earlier. MJF went for a moonsault off the ropes, Bryan moved and MJF was selling a left knee injury. Bryan hit MJF with a suicide dive on the floor.

They went back into the ring with Bryan jumping off the top, but MJF caught him with the Salt of the Earth armbar. MJF got a pumphandle sitout slam for a two count. Good job by Bryan tucking his head in properly because otherwise he may have suffered a broken neck by landing right on his head. Bryan ran the ropes leading to an elbow strike. Bryan got an inside cradle leading to a series of side headlock takeovers and pin attempts by both guys. Bryan with a backslide pin, then they each did inside cradles and did the inside cradle roll around the ring. MJF sunset flip, then more two counts from both guys and MJF bridged out of a pin followed by a backslide pin attempt. They rolled into more two count attempts. Bryan ran right into a clothesline leading to Bryan flipping over to his feet. Bryan hit MJF with a clothesline and they were both laying down on the mat selling after that. That was a wild sequence of nearfalls. Bryan did a kip up to get back up first and hit a Busaiko Knee for the pinfall. It was 25 minutes into the match for the first fall.

Danielson 1 – MJF 0

There was no rest period between falls. Bryan got back up, MJF stumbled back up to his feet and MJF collapsed when Bryan charged at him. MJF did a blatant low blow in front of the referee. I guess that’s a fall for Danielson for the DQ.

Danielson 2 – MJF 0

Since there was no break between falls, MJF did an inside cradle to get a pinfall on Bryan.

Danielson 2 – MJF 1

After the fall, MJF pinned Bryan again and got a three count.

Danielson 2 – MJF 2

It was a confusing sequence, so Excalibur explained that it was 2-2. MJF tried a pin attempt, but Bryan kicked out of it. MJF took a water break with Taz claiming the water will make you more tired. Bryan blocked a Heatseeker DDT attempt, MJF was favoring the left knee again and Bryan hit a missile dropkick to knock MJF out of the ring. Bryan worked over MJF with chops, kicks and sending MJF into a steel chair. Bryan went back in to break the referee’s count that was probably very slow. Bryan charged into MJF with a clothesline while they were on the floor. MJF took way too long, charged and Bryan worked him over with kicks. Bryan was back in to break the count and Bryan hit a running kick on MJF on the floor. They were 30 minutes into the match at this point. Bryan wrapped MJF’s left knee into the ring post a few times. Back in the ring, Bryan wrenched on the left and applied the Figure Four Leglock submission. MJF said he hated Bryan as he slapped Bryan a few times, so Bryan slapped him back. MJF managed to get to the ropes to break the Figure Four Leglock. Bryan teased a piledriver on the apron, MJF countered it and Bryan punched the left leg to break out of a move. Bryan kicked MJF in the left leg repeatedly. They battled on the top turnbuckle for a suplex, but MJF punched Bryan down to the apron. MJF sent Bryan into the ring post. MJF gently put Bryan on the ringside table, then MJF slowly climbed the turnbuckle while favoring the left leg injury and MJF delivered the elbow drop on Bryan through the table. That was an impressive leap. Putting somebody through the ringside table is not a DQ in AEW. I don’t really agree with it, but that’s AEW. The referee checked on the guys on the floor instead of counting them out of the ring. MJF made the referee get back into the ring to count Bryan out of the ring. Bryan got back in at nine to beat the slow ten count that started late. MJF gave Bryan a Tombstone Piledriver on part of the broken table. Once again, the referee was checking on Bryan instead of issuing a count. Bryan did a blade job after going through the table as MJF brought Bryan into the ring. MJF delivered a Heatseeker DDT from the apron into the ring for the pinfall. There were 19 minutes left.

MJF 3 – Danielson 2

MJF drank some water and threw the bottle at a fan. Taz criticized the water MJF worked over Bryan with punches. MJF trash talked Bryan for being the best in the world and telling Bryan that “you f**king suck.” MJF shouted the names of Bryan’s kids while gouging at the cut on Bryan’s head. Bryan was too tired to throw a punch, so MJF blew a snot rocket on him. Bryan with a slap and MJF punched him down. They were on the floor again with Bryan countering MJF by throwing him into the ring post. Bryan hit a running knee off the apron onto MJF on the floor. Bryan jumped off the top rope onto MJF with a jumping attack like a cross body block that knocked MJF down. They were back in the ring with Bryan delivering a spider superplex where he didn’t take the bump himself so he suplexed MJF into the ring. Bryan curled back up and jumped off the top with a diving headbutt onto MJF’s left arm/shoulder. MJF was bleeding from the forehead even though Bryan clearly hit him on the shoulder/arm and not the head. At least the camera cut away from MJF while he was doing the blade job. MJF was bleeding heavily in his face as Bryan got a two count. Bryan’s cut on his head wasn’t too bad while MJF looked like he was drinking the blood pouring down his head. Bryan hit a Busaiko knee to the head followed by a Regal Stretch submission. Max tapped out with 10:40 left in the match.

MJF 3 – Danielson 3

MJF was able to get some energy back as he applied the Salt of the Earth armbar. Bryan got out of it while going for his LeBell Lock submission and MJF looked like he was going to tap out, but MJF got out of it. MJF applied the Salt of the Earth armbar on the left arm, Bryan wouldn’t give up and then MJF applied a different version of an armbar. MJF pulled back on Bryan’s right arm as well along with his right leg, but Bryan managed to drag himself toward the rope to get his left foot on the bottom rope. The fans correctly chanted “this is awesome” for this performance. They got into a slugfest while exchanging headbutts (into their hands of course) and then they exchanged forearms. They continued to throw forearms until both guys were knocked down to their knees.

There were under five minutes left as announced by Justin Roberts. MJF and Bryan exchanged chops, Bryan delivered a roundhouse kick to the head and Bryan hit a running forearm to the head. MJF wrenched the left arm across the top rope. MJF hit the Heatseeker DDT for just a two count this time. MJF had some more water with Taz criticizing it again while the fans chanted “H20” for the water. There were under three minutes left as Bryan delivered elbows to the jaw, which is really forearms to the chest. MJF grabbed Bryan on the middle turnbuckle and gave him a jumping Tombstone Piledriver. Ouch. That was a big spot and a risky spot, but MJF did it safely. MJF was grabbing his left knee, so he was unable to make a cover. There were two minutes left as the referee talked to both wrestlers to likely give them time cues going into the finish. MJF crawled towards Bryan after a long delay for a two count. Bryan came back with a single leg crab submission on the left knee with the fans screaming “tap” at MJF. Bryan sat down on the single leg crab submission as the referee asked MJF if he wanted to quit, but MJF managed to power out of it. MJF nearly tapped, then Bryan grabbed the left arm and the clocked went down to zero. MJF tapped out immediately after the 60 minutes expired.

It was announced as a draw with a 3-3 finish. The medical team was checking on Bryan and MJF while giving MJF some oxygen. Tony Schiavone was being told something and went down to the ring to make an announcement. Bryan was back on his feet while MJF was being given oxygen.

Tony Schiavone informed Justin Roberts and referee Bryce Remsburg that Tony Khan would not let the match end this way, so the match will enter sudden death rules for one more fall.

Analysis: This is a way for Tony Khan to put over himself by having them phrase it that way saying “Tony Khan will not allow the match to end this way.” Obviously, it wasn’t going to end in a draw.

The match restarted with MJF pushing the referee and the referee pushed back right into Bryan getting a rollup for two. MJF did a low blow kick that the referee didn’t see and MJF rolled up Bryan while grabbing the trunks for a two count. MJF had the AEW World Title while referee Remsburg told MJF if he uses it then he’ll get disqualified. The referee took the belt away, MJF put his diamond ring on his finger, threw a punch that wasn’t even close to connecting, Bryan ducked it and Bryan did a Reverse Rana spiking MJF on the head. Bryan hit a Busaiko Knee for one…two…and no! What a great nearfall that was. Tony S: “The sucker kicked out!” Bryan applied a single-leg crab again and the referee Remsburg took the ring off MJF’s hand. MJF grabbed the bottom rope and tapped out. Bryan never saw the rope grab and heard the tap, but the referee told Bryan that MJF got the bottom rope. MJF grabbed the oxygen tank that was used on him earlier, Bryan leaned over the ropes and MJF hit him in the head with the steel tank. The referee didn’t see it and is apparently deaf as well. Excalibur said, “it could have been a right hand, the referee never saw it.” Yeah, a right hand doesn’t sound like an object. MJF applied the LeBell Lock submission that Bryan uses. Bryan was fighting it, but MJF held onto the LeBell Lock and Bryan tapped out to give MJF the win. The official match time was 65:20.

MJF 4 – Danielson 3

Winner: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (4-3)

Analysis: ****3/4 I thought this match was outstanding. It’s just under five stars to me, but it was really close. I don’t think they needed the overtime part of it, but that puts over the story that it was such an even matchup. It also allows them to say it was the longest match in AEW history because there have been 60-minute matches in AEW before. Going into it, MJF winning was obvious since he just won the title at Full Gear last November, so Bryan winning seemed like a stretch. I think they did a great job of telling a grueling story for 65 minutes with Bryan selling the left arm injury throughout the match while MJF did a tremendous job of attacking it and MJF sold his own left knee injury well too. I could probably nitpick about some things like doing two table spots that don’t cause a DQ or the inconsistent counting by the referee, but they are minor things. The conclusion of the match with MJF leading 3-2 and Bryan trying to make the comeback was the best part of it leading into the final ten minutes that was full of action before the OT. I’m exhausted after just watching it and writing about it, so kudos to Max & Bryan for putting on such an incredible performance. It’s not easy to go that long and have such an excellent match, but they pulled it off with a lot of story going into it. The oxygen tank spot was too silly because we have to assume the referee didn’t see it and didn’t hear it. They didn’t even try to do a spot to make the referee miss it. They just did the spot anyway. I think some of the gimmicky stuff they did was a bit too much, otherwise, I would have given it five stars. It was so close. MJF throwing the drink on a kid at ringside was a stupid move. I understand being a heel, but if it was not a plant in the crowd (and it was not) then you should never do something like that. Being a heel is fine. I get it. Just don’t do something foolish like that.

MJF was handed his AEW World Title, he sat up against the turnbuckle with it. End show.

AEW Revolution had a runtime of 3:48:55 on pay-per-view.

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Bryan Danielson – He lost, but he’s the top star.
  2. MJF
  3. House of Black/The Elite
  4. “Hangman” Adam Page/Jon Moxley
  5. Ricky Starks

Final Thoughts

It gets an 8.25 out of 10 from me.

I thought Revolution was a very good PPV in terms of match quality. I think storyline wise there were some issues with the show, but match quality was strong as usual for AEW. My rating for MJF-Bryan Danielson was nearly five stars and I tried to explain why I went just under it. Obviously, we knew MJF was going to win, but I still thought they put on a tremendous performance. I never really doubted MJF as an in-ring performer. However, when you only wrestle one match in the year prior to this match, of course there will be critics because you barely wrestle. Danielson was amazing as usual and you could tell his fingerprints were all over the match in terms of coming up with how they booked it.

This show felt like it set a record for AEW shows in terms of how many people bled throughout the four hours. There was a lot of blood. The Hangman-Moxley match was entertaining, but probably went a bit too far for some people. I’m glad FTR is back. I’m also happy that The Elite lost the Trios Tag Team Titles to House of Black because it’s time for Kenny Omega to be a singles babyface in AEW.

A lot of younger guys (Starks, Jungle Boy, Hangman, Wardlow, MJF) beat the older guys (Jericho, Christian, Moxley, Joe, Danielson), which is the right way to book for the future. You have the veterans putting over the younger talent to try to elevate them. It works.


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


Twitter: @johnreport