Reviews

TJRWrestling AEW Revolution 2020 Preview (Jericho vs. Moxley, Cody vs. MJF)

John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling AEW Revolution 2020 preview. It’s the first AEW pay-per-view of the year. The company has previously announced that they plan on running four pay-per-view events per year. The last PPV was Full Gear on November 9, 2019 so it’s been nearly four months since they have had a major show like this. I review Dynamite every week and I think the last month of shows have been the best run of shows they’ve done. Most matches on this card have been built up very well mainly because it’s been so long since they have had a PPV event. When you have that three or four-month gap between PPV style shows, it helps the build and it makes us more excited to watch these shows.

My comments are going to be shorter than usual in some places. It has nothing to do with the quality of the show. I’m excited for the show. I’m just exhausted after a very busy week and not feeling great, so I’m just going to keep things brief and power through it.

If you want to know how to watch this PPV in your country, check out AEW’s informative How to Watch post on their website. I’ll be ordering on Fite TV here in Canada most likely.

Joining me for the preview are Alex Podgorski and Lance Augustine. Here are some thoughts from Alex and then we’ll get to the preview.

Alex: I’m excited for this show. The matches have been built up well, the promos have been intense and realistic, and most of all, there’s an emotional investment into wanting to see these matches. I can’t remember when was the last time I felt genuine emotional connection to a wrestler, but that’s how I feel for at least one match on this show. What’s more, this show feels way more unpredictable, but in the best way possible. I get the feeling that this might be the best wrestling show until well after WrestleMania (unless NXT does something mind-bendingly awesome the likes of which we’ve never seen before). We’ll just have to wait and see.

(Note: All graphics are from AEW.)

So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs. The Dark Order (Grayson and Evil Uno)

Alex: SoCal Uncensored have been one of the best tag teams in AEW since they first launched. They’re formidable wrestlers, they have a wildly popular catchphrase, and they’ve had great matches. Alas, that won’t save them this Saturday, because they’ll be going up against The Dark Order, whose leader I’m predicting will appear at Revolution. In their most recent televised promo on February 26th, Evil Uno emphasized the word ‘obsolete’, and everyone and their mother knows who that references. If that rumor proves true, the Dark Order will go from being a cheesy rip-off of better and scarier gimmicks to one of the most eye-catching and attention-grabbing stables in the company. And I doubt such an announcement would come after a loss, and given Evil Uno’s obsession with Christopher Daniels, I can definitely see the black-clad villains winning this match.

Winners: The Dark Order (Grayson & Evil Uno)

Lance: It has been rumored for months that Christopher Daniels will be revealed as the “exalted” one and become the leader of the Dark Order thus turning his back on his longtime partners in SCU. The Dark Order have been going downhill ever since their main event segment fell a tad flat, and I feel like the reveal of their leader would have to be a little bigger of a splash to make them a legitimate force. That’s not to say that Daniels is a slouch, but to me, the leader should be a big signing from the outside. SCU haven’t been seen as much on TV since losing the AEW Tag Team Titles to Kenny Omega and Adam Page, and probably need a win here. I don’t think the leader makes his appearance just yet, and SCU will pick up that win to start getting their momentum rolling again.

Winners: So Cal Uncensored

John: This can go either way. There’s not that much of a story here other than the Dark Order guys trying to lure Christopher Daniels to join the group. I think a win for the heel Dark Order group makes sense because they’ll likely have a lot of guys at ringside, so there will probably a distraction finish of some kind. The SCU team will be fine even with a loss since they’re former champions. A win for the Dark Order would help them more.

Winners: The Dark Order

 

Pac vs. Orange Cassidy

Alex: Orange Cassidy is the living, breathing manifestation of Pro Wrestling Guerilla: he does things that are cheesy, over-the-top, and irreverent, yet his audience cheers him all the same. I get the feeling that after seeing Orange Cassidy perform, Jim Cornette has to watch a Vince Russo interview just to make his blood pressure go down.

Unfortunately for Cassidy (and his fans), he’s facing Pac, who will be coming into this match fresh off a narrow loss to Kenny Omega. Despite his diminutive stature, Pac is a big draw for AEW (and also a savage wrestler). He’s at the top level, and is one of their most reliable stars in terms of putting on great matches on a regular basis. And to make up for his recent loss, they’re going to sacrifice Orange Cassidy to him.

After all, there’s no way a wrestler that’s as serious about himself as Lance Storm in his prime could ever lose to a guy that doesn’t even try…right?

Winner: Pac

Lance: Pac is an absolute badass and I am still lost on where Orange Cassidy fits in to the grand scheme of things. He is over with the crowds and fits right in to the Best Friends group but this is his first singles match in AEW and it will be interesting to see how they book it. Common sense says that you just have Pac destroy Cassidy in squash fashion, but this is AEW and they think outside of the box. I think Pac still wins and they have a match that is more competitive than it has any right to be.

Winner: Pac

John: I laughed at the Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent) promo on Dynamite when they said this time Cassidy is going to try. It’s the first AEW match for Cassidy, so the crowd should be hot for it and popping for all of his comedy spots. Pac is the perfect opponent since he’s the angry heel that doesn’t want to play games. I don’t expect a long match, but they should have some creative spots that make it funny as long as you like the Cassidy gimmick. I think some of it is silly although I’m warming up to it. I’ll go with Pac for the win.

Winner: Pac

 

Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara

Alex: This is going to be a midcard match involving midcard wrestlers doing midcard things. Darby Allin is a midcard level hero and Sammy Guevara is a midcard level villain. Both wrestlers are there to add some variety to the middle of the show. I really don’t think much will happen in this match, other than Darby Allin possibly getting revenge for his skateboard being broken. Furthermore, for the bulk of this show I have predicted that the heels will win, and I feel that there will be something to break that trend. And while winning every single one of their PPV matches will definitely boost the Inner Circle’s credibility, I doubt such a feat will happen on this night.

Winner: Darby Allin

Lance: Darby Allin has come out the last two weeks on Dynamite to massive ovations so that makes me want to lean his way in this match. He is super over with this audience and I think he would be with anyone over time. The comparisons to Jeff Hardy are absolutely founded and if AEW puts the machine behind him, they could have a real star on their hands. Guevara has really grown into his role within the Inner Circle and both men have a bright future ahead of them. I think this feud could extend out longer than just this show, and I could see Guevara picking up the win here. Guevara broke Allin’s skateboard over his head this past week on Dynamite to add a little more fuel to the fire and this match should be a standout of the night.

Winner: Sammy Guevara

John: There’s a lot of good young talent in AEW with Allin and Guevara as two guys in their mid-20s that have extremely bright futures. If they get booked right in their careers, this could be a PPV main event in three to five years. The storyline is that Guevara attacked Allin’s throat with a skateboard with an assist from Sammy’s Inner Circle buddies, so I think Allin should win as the babyface getting revenge. This match might surprise people with how good it is, but I won’t be surprised. I expect them to do well.

Winner: Darby Allin

 

Dustin Rhodes vs. Jake Hager

Alex: The difference between Jake Hager of AEW and Jack Swagger of WWE is like night and day. Hager has done wonders as The Inner Circle’s silent monster that decimates Jericho’s enemies with his raw power. He has also convinced everyone of his brutality when he decimated Dustin Runnels when the Inner Circle was first formed. With Hager as something of a ‘crossover’ star that’s a draw in both pro wrestling and MMA, it wouldn’t make sense for him to lose at this point in his AEW career, especially to someone like Dustin. Don’t get me wrong, Dustin is one of the most underrated and underappreciated wrestlers of the past twenty years. But even though he’s way more experienced and knowledgeable about wrestling, he’s also smaller and older than Hager. And those two disadvantages will prove too much for Cody’s older brother to deal with this upcoming Saturday.

Winner: Jake Hager

Lance: This one has been brewing since Hager made his AEW debut and joined the Inner Circle. They all ganged up and attacked Dustin a couple of months ago and left him with a broken arm for his troubles. This will be Hager’s AEW in-ring debut, and we have seen that Dustin can still go after all of these years. I expect the match to get some time and for these two to really show off what they can do. Hager is very athletic for how big he is, but also has a ton of power moves he can deliver. This is one I am looking forward too and at the end of the day, should deliver. I’m picking Hager to win because I can’t imagine him losing his debut and Dustin wouldn’t be hurt at all by a loss here. I can also see these two continuing to go at it, so I don’t think this will be the last time these two bulls lock up.

Winner: Jake Hager

John: Hager is another wrestler making his AEW debut. Obviously, we know him from wrestling as Jack Swagger for a decade, then he moved and has had success in MMA with AEW touting his undefeated record. Dustin has been impressive in every match he has, so I think they’ll have a solid match with the crowd getting into it because they’re two veterans that know how to work. I think Hager could be one of AEW’s biggest stars if they book him right. A win for Hager seems likely even though the match was set up after Hager broke Dustin’s arm a few months ago. It’s just the right call to put Hager over.

Winner: Jake Hager

 

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

Alex: I don’t expect much out of this contest. Rose is being presented as an Awesome Kong-style beast, and her first opponent is a woman that thinks she’s an alien. Even in the most ludicrous of wrestling promotions, that’s a hard sell.

This will likely be a one-sided squash, with Rose winning with little difficulty. I doubt AEW would have their recently-crowned new champion lose so soon after winning, especially since there isn’t much of a grand narrative surrounding this title defense.

Winner and STILL AEW Women’s Champion: Nyla Rose

Lance: Nyla Rose is a freshly minted champion after taking down Riho a few weeks ago on Dynamite in a good back and forth match. She will continue to be a dominant player in the AEW Women’s Division and I don’t think this match will be any different. I am not saying that beating Statlander here will be an easy task though. Statlander has taken the division by storm as of late, and I would dare to say that she is the most over out of anyone in the division. That’s not saying much seeing AEW’s track record with building up the division, but still it’s worth something that she is getting the shot here. I expect a big time, hard-hitting match with Rose ultimately coming out on top.

Winner and STILL AEW Women’s Champion: Nyla Rose

John: I think one of the biggest problems in AEW right now is the lack of stories and character development in the women’s division. With these two, we know their gimmicks with Rose as the dominant heel champion while Statlander…is an alien. I think the alien gimmick is the stupidest thing happening in AEW. I like Statlander’s look, her matches are good and I think she warrants a push based on her talents, but the alien gimmick where she touches the nose of the other person is ridiculous. They need to dump the alien bullshit. There’s not much of a story here, so that hurts the match. The match should be okay, but I don’t have high expectations for it. I’ll go with Rose retaining the title since she only won the title a few weeks ago. I really hope AEW improves in terms of storytelling in the women’s division.

Winner: Nyla Rose

 

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

Alex: This is going to be a demolition derby of a match, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Three of the four founding members of AEW will be wrestling each other in a match that’ll likely steal the show in terms of pure in-ring match quality. The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega know each other so well and have for years. If their previous work together is any indication, this match is going to be one hell of a wild ride. I expect daredevil aerial acrobatics, brutal kicks and knee strikes, ten thousand superkicks, and new champions once the match is over. This is because they’ve been teasing the dissolution of the team of Omega and Page for months, both on AEW programming and on the Being The Elite YouTube channel. Page has come across more as Omega’s reluctant tag partner than as his brother-in-arms. It looks like he’s going to feud with Omega going forward, and I think the best way to do that is for him to screw Omega out of the tag belts.

Winners and NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks

Lance: This match has a lot of things going for it and should be a match that everyone is wanting to see. Ever since Omega and Page have formed as a team, there has been a slow burn of tension between the two. It’s Page stealing a win from Omega after he hits hit finisher one week, and its Page hitting Omega by accident and nearly costing them the match the next week. Needless to say, the tension will remain high going into this match on Saturday, and because of that I think The Young Bucks will come out on the top. There is a slight chance, and I mean slight, that The Young Bucks and Omega are the ones that actually turn on Page here, turning all three of them heel in one sitting. It’ll probably just be Page turning on Omega and costing them the match in the end.

Winners and NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks

John: This should be a crazy match featuring four guys that know eachother very well. I mean crazy in a good way too because I think they’re going to all out to have the best match of the night and maybe one of the best AEW matches this year. They are legitimately close friends, which is part of the storyline, but it will also mean the chemistry will be there in the ring. The story is that Page is off in his own world at times because he feels ostracized from The Elite as a group, so that has led to Page having a drinking problem.

My friends above are predicting a title change. Is that the right call? Yeah, I think so. It’s time for the Young Bucks to carry the tag team division.

Winner and NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks

 

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

Alex: This has been, without a doubt, the best rivalry since AEW started. Cody has been an outstanding hero to cheer for, he has made people really believe in him, and he has put himself through hell to get his hands on MJF.

But all the while, MJF has simply been better, which is why I think he will beat Cody in their match.

The main reason for this prediction is asking, ‘where do they go from here?’ This confrontation is meant to be a blow-off, without continuous rematches and extensions of their rivalry. So if Cody wins here, he’d go on to do…what exactly? He can’t challenge for the world title ever, despite being the brand’s biggest hero. The only role I can see him in is that of some elder statesman that uses his veteran status to help AEW’s younger stars gain more exposure and credibility. He can easily do that with someone else by losing to MJF instead of winning. If he beats MJF, it’ll mean the end to a great story but won’t do much for Cody’s credibility. Meanwhile, MJF’s star power would jump enormously if he beat Cody. All of his scathing promos and taunts would be vindicated and that he wasn’t just some loud-mouthed villain talking smack for the sake of talking smack. He’s AEW’s best talker (sorry Jericho) and is something of a pure villain in an age when fans cheer for the bad guys because they tend to reject the traditional hero vs. villain dynamic. You can put MJF in a rivalry with any hero and MJF will have fans cheering for that person in a matter of no time. That’s why he’s going to win here: he’s the kind of TV villain fans love to hate, and AEW will (hopefully) use that to help build even bigger heroic characters for their brand.

Winner: MJF

Lance: This rivalry started all the way back in November at Full Gear when MJF turned on Cody after he lost his match against Chris Jericho. MJF threw in the towel for Cody which stopped the match, and we all knew something was coming after that. Since then, Cody has gone through the ringer just to get this match. He has been whipped by MJF and that looked brutal, he had a Steel Cage match with MJF’s muscle in Wardlow, which was a war, and he hasn’t been able to touch MJF this entire time. It all comes to a head Saturday in a match that I think will be just as emotional as it is physical.

The buildup has been masterful and because of that we all want to see Cody finally be able to get his hands on MJF. It’s old school wrestling booking at its finest. There are pros and cons to both men picking up the win, and I can’t imagine after everything they have went through that this will be their only match. Cody will probably win here, but I am sure MJF has some more in store for The American Nightmare.

Winner: Cody

John: I want to applaud both guys as well as AEW’s creative time for the way they have built this up. MJF turned on Cody at Full Gear in early November, then they didn’t even get into a brawl or get thrown in some tag team match. They were kept apart with Cody having to “earn” this match thanks to MJF’s ridiculous stipulations that made like Cody even more as a babyface. The ten lashes to the back were memorable and so was that was amazing moonsault off the cage by Cody. The heat should be immense for this match because MJF plays the heel role so well and fans want to see Cody kick his ass. Once again, though, the key thing is they didn’t touch eachother since November. Make people pay money to watch this pay-per-view to see it. That’s the right way to set it up.

I think either guy can win, but this does not feel like their only match. I can see them having another big match on an episode of Dynamite and then they can do a third at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view in May as the blowoff of the feud. I’m going with the Cody win here, then MJF wins the second match and I don’t know who wins the third match. Maybe they’ll do something where Cody wins, then MJF and Wardlow beat him up after the match, so that’s what leads to a rematch. It’s the biggest match of MJF’s career and I’m sure Cody will be up to the task to make it memorable for both of them.

Winner: Cody

 

AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Jon Moxley

Alex: There are three reasons why I think that Chris Jericho will retain the title here. First, despite all the work he has done to distance himself from his former employer, Moxley is, in the eyes of many casual viewers, still seen as an ‘ex-WWE guy’ in another company. He was a top performer in WWE who left for a lighter schedule and more freedom while still retaining many elements of what made him a success in WWE in the first place. In this way, Moxley is to AEW what Kurt Angle was to TNA Impact. But AEW cannot afford to make the same mistakes that both TNA AND WCW made in the past: they cannot put stars from other companies in their top spots at the expense of homegrown stars. If they do, then fewer people will take them seriously as a company, and they will continue to be dismissed as trying to be ‘WWE-lite’.

Secondly, Moxley is already IWGP United States Champion, and he isn’t technically a fulltime AEW employee at this time. His contract allows him to go back-and-forth between AEW and NJPW, though when wrestling in the US he has an exclusivity deal with AEW. Having him become a dual champion would complicate things far too much. If/when NJPW does their bigger US shows, they’ll definitely want their US Champion as a major attraction, which he wouldn’t be able to do if he had a fulltime commitment to AEW as their world champion.

Thirdly, I predict that recent AEW signee Lance Archer will interfere in the match and screw Moxley out of the title. He has unfinished business with Moxley vis-à-vis the IWGP US Championship, and it stands to reason that Archer would be out for revenge upon his arrival in AEW.

Winner and STILL AEW World Champion: Chris Jericho

Lance: We have arrived at the main event for the show and it feels like the biggest match on the show, which is exactly what it should be. This has been a great build throughout as well, with Jericho and The Inner Circle getting some old school heat with taking out the eye of Moxley. He got his back though by going after the eye of Santana, so he got his in the end. Jericho has been the only AEW Champion so far, but this is his best chance to lose the title.

Jericho could win, and the feud would continue down the line with the rematch happening at Double or Nothing. It would make sense because he would continue his reign at the top and give the brand continued credibility and it would also give The Inner Circle a chance to grow as well.

Moxley winning opens up a whole other box of worms. Moxley is a big time Babyface in AEW, and as much as they say they don’t want to put emphasis on that, it’s the truth. The only problem I can foresee happening is the lack of opponents he could face. Obviously, he has people like Pac and MJF but other than that, the heel side of AEW is pretty scarce. I think he’s going to win ultimately, but that would be my only reservation about it. I’m sure it’s going to be one hell of a match either way.

Winner and NEW AEW Champion: Jon Moxley

John: This is an excellent major title feud between two of AEW’s best overall talents. They will have an awesome much together that is better than their matches in WWE. I think Moxley looks as comfortable as ever in AEW while Jericho has been amazing as AEW’s MVP since the day the company started. It was smart to make Jericho the first champion last year, but I don’t know if he needs to keep the title for that much longer. With that said, I have also thought about what Alex said regarding Moxley holding the IWGP US Title, so that makes me think it may be difficult for him to win. There is no AEW working relationship with NJPW right now as far as we know. Perhaps it’s not a factor to AEW management, but it might be.

The big story of this match is that Jericho injured the eye of Moxley about two months ago, Moxley has been wrestling with a bandage on his right eye ever since then, so does Moxley get the ultimate revenge by taking the title from Jericho? I think it might happen. I’m a bit apprehensive about this pick because I was naïve enough to think that Cody might take the title from Jericho last November and that didn’t happen. This is a different scenario, though, and I think with the story they have set up, a win for Moxley makes a lot of sense. I also really like that it’s not an easy prediction. Either guy winning would make sense to me. I’m just leaning towards a Mox title win. It just feels right.

Winner AND NEW AEW World Champion: Jon Moxley

 

BONUS TOPICS!

The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Alex: Cody vs. MJF. This feud has been built up for months and I feel like there’s going to be a huge payoff when they clash. After all, Cody had to endure a ton of cleverly-built stipulations just to get his hands on MJF, including getting whipped like a dog. This is going to be violent, emotional, and, if I get my prediction right, controversial enough to get tons of people to watch the next episode of Dynamite to help AEW maintain its winning streak in the Wednesday Night Wars.

Lance: AEW Title Match and Cody vs. MJF.

John: I like a lot of the matches, but if I have to pick one I am going with Cody vs. MJF just to see how they book it and how the impressive young talent MJF does in the biggest match of his career.

 

The Match I Care About The Least

Alex: Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander. The AEW Women’s division does nothing for me right now. Few of the characters have had the chance to really speak and give us more insight into their reasons for wrestling or their personalities. I’m especially apathetic towards Statlander, whose ‘alien’ gimmick is simply too silly for my tastes. It’s also way too obvious who’ll win this match, which makes watching this contest completely unnecessary.

Lance: I actually care about all of them on this show but to pick one I’ll go with Rose vs. Statlander.

John: Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander. I think they’re good wrestlers. It’s just the lack of story makes me care about it less than anything else on the show.

 

Longest Match

Alex: Jericho vs. Moxley: with so much hype going into the match and with such high stakes, you can be sure this will go long. I expect anywhere from twenty-five to thirty minutes of wrestling, more than anything else on the card.

Lance: Page and Omega vs. The Young Bucks.

John: A few matches might top 20 minutes. I’ll go with Omega/Page vs. Young Bucks as the longest match.

 

Shortest Match

Alex: Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander: I get the feeling they’re going full Vader with Rose, which means Statlander doesn’t stand a chance. This won’t go more than five minutes, and they’re going to need a crane to pull Statlander off the ring canvas when it’s over.

Lance: I’ll go Cassidy vs. Pac.

John: I think Pac vs. Orange Cassidy will be the only match under ten minutes. This is there for comedic purposes, so it will probably be five minutes or less.

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

Alex: 8.5 – I’m very excited for this show. The two biggest singles matches have been built up tremendously, and they and the tag team title match will feel like confrontations of epic proportions. The undercard looks like it will be full of interesting matches, and even the pre-show will be must-see because of the exciting possibility of an appearance by a certain ‘broken’ wrestler. I can’t wait to see how this show unfolds.

Lance: It’s definitely a solid 8.5 for me. The buildup has been fantastic and I expect AEW to deliver on every level.

John: I’ll go with an 8 out of 10 for what is the best AEW PPV lineup so far. I think the top three matches of Jericho/Moxley, Cody/MJF and the Tag Team Title match will carry the show. I have no doubt that those three matches will deliver in the ring. I have questions about the other matches, though, so that hurts things a bit. It would be nice if they had a stipulation match or two to make them stand out a bit because a lot of these matches are just basic. I’m excited about it overall. It should be a fun night of AEW action.

In Closing

John: I’ll be back with a review of AEW Revolution on TJRWrestling.net on Saturday, so check that out during the show or after it’s over.

Our Twitter handles are: Lance Augustine – @Collectiveheel and John Canton – @johnreport

If you want to send an email, send it to me at mrjohncanton@gmail.com as well. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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