“What does tonight hold?! Four words Exploding. Barbed wire. Deathmatch. Will there be Explosions? Blood? Carnage? Will there be sn end of an Icon in a Street Fight? Will there be New Champions crowned? Who knows but all roads have to lead to a ‘Revolution’ and it is here!”
It’s enough of the hype, let’s just get into the review!
AEW Revolution 2021 Quick results:
- (Buy In) Dr Britt Baker, D.M.D. & Maki Itoh defeated Riho & Thunder Rosa.
- The Young Bucks beat Chris Jericho & MJF by pinfall to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championship.
- Death Triangle won the Casino Tag Team Royale.
- Hikaru Shida defeated Riyo Mizunami to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship.
- Miro & Kip Sabian beat Best Friends.
- Big Money Match: Hangman Adam Page defeated Matt Hardy.
- The face of the Revolution Ladder Match: Scorpio Sky beat Cody Rhodes, Penta El Zero Miedo, Lance Archer, Max Caster and Ethan Page.
- Tag Team Street Fight: Darby Allin & Sting defeated Team Taz.
- Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch: Kenny Omega beat Jon Moxley to retain the AEW World Championship.
Buy-In: Riho & Thunder Rosa vs. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. & Maki Itoh
Baker came to the ring announcing that Reba wasn’t able to compete and had found a replacement, that replacement being the fan favourite of the AEW Women’s Elimination Tournament Japanese Bracket, Itoh.
There wasn’t much to this match as it seemed very disconnected at times and communication between the wrestlers seemed missing as well, but highlights included Itoh acting like a crying child after Rosa hit her with a chop, before she then stomped on her foot and hitting her with a head butt. Rosa and Baker showed exactly why they show be challenging for the AEW Women’s Championship to keep the match from falling apart.
But the conclusion of the match occurred as the match descended into chaos, with Riho hitting a moonsault from the top turnbuckle to the outside on Itoh, but it would be Reba who would play the difference-maker, devious as ever, she struck Rosa with her crutch behind the referee’s back, allowing Baker to score the pin.
My Take: I strongly believe if this match was on the main show, it would have been better. All four wrestlers, five including Reba can do so much more and can tell better stories than they did in that ring. The match didn’t help anyone except maybe Itoh to showcase her to more of the AEW fanbase.
AEW Tag Team Championships: Young Bucks (c) vs. Chris Jericho & MJF
After Jericho and MJF’s assault on Papa Buck a couple of weeks ago and the Bucks wanting revenge, the match started the right way with The Bucks launching themselves at the Inner Circle duo. The Bucks were relentless as they targeted the Jericho & MJF, with stiff punches and kicks, even following them outside the ring to continue their assault then following up with stereo suicide dives and even looked to have the match won early as they locked in sharpshooters on Jericho & MJF at the same time.
The tide would turn as the looming presence of Wardlow, would make his mark on the match, causing distractions and just directly attacking The Bucks at every opportune moment. The match continued at a solid pace with both sides looking to gain the win and even when The Bucks looked to have the match finished with the Meltzer Driver, MJF pulled Nick off the ropes, allowing Jericho to counter into the Walls of Jericho and then when Matt ran in to save his brother he too suffered the same fate, but no submission.
Admittedly you’ll have to ignore the rules of tag team wrestling in this match because both teams did that as well when The Bucks were hitting Jericho with separate superkicks that seemed to go on forever but the conclusion began when Jericho smashed Matt with the baseball bat to the back as he came off the ropes allowing MJF to hit the Heatseeker, but near-fall. Jericho kept attempting to hit Judas Effect and accidentally connected with the interfering Wardlow and after this confusion, The Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver on Jericho to score the pin.
My Take: When you have the Young Bucks you know what type of match you’re going to get. There will be highflying moves, there will be superkicks and there won’t be much match psychology nor any logic at all. You get hit with a baseball bat, you should be Ko’d just saying. With the latest incarnation of Jericho and MJF, you’ll have classic heel tropes, a Walls of Jericho and MJF being a dick. When you combined the four styles in this match, that’s exactly what you got, will you remember this match in fours weeks, maybe less? No, you won’t, but it did exactly it needed, the catalyst to end Jericho with The Inner Circle (maybe) and leave Young Bucks fans happy.
Casino Tag Team Battle Royale:
I’m not going to mention everyone who was in the match but I will discuss the highlights. The first team to go was the Sydal Brothers, which was a surprise in my eyes as they do have a lot to offer and may not have won but at least would have made something memorable. The Nightmare Family broke down before our eyes as QT Marshall argued with Dustin Rhodes and eliminated himself leaving Rhodes to fend for himself after Rhodes wasn’t happy that Marshall eliminated the Gunn Club
Matt Hardy who wasn’t in the match but continued his intentions to ruin The Dark Order when his henchman, Jack Evans, who also wasn’t in the match either, helped eliminate Stu Grayson. Bear Country and Butcher & The Blade with Bunny looked really good in the Royale, with both members of Bear Country looking dominant throughout. Butcher & The Blade brought an element of destructive chaos to the mix, and add in Bunny too who continuously grabbed the legs of opponents to pull them out the ring, more need to be done with them.
The conclusion saw Jungle Boy versus both members of Death Triangle (PAC and Fénix), and this was blistering action all the way that saw Jungle Boy eliminate PAC after using his own momentum against him to send him over the top rope leaving Fénix and Jungle Boy. Both were exemplary as they used highflying manoeuvres to keep the viewers guessing and in awe, at one point, Fénix flew through the ropes into a 360 bouncing off Jungle Boy and landing over the railings, causing confusion for one referee who thought he was eliminated. No, he was not. But despite a fantastic showing by both men, it was Fénix who would get the win and allow Death Triangle with the Title Shot.
My Take: It was a decent match that had an excellent ending. The problem with a match like this to really work is there have to be storylines wavered throughout, and there weren’t really many rivalries developed. It was a case of this team has arrived, this team has arrived…etc, and apart from the entrance pop, there wasn’t much you could get invested in, until the end, that was memorable. Seriously, give fans a Fénix vs Jungle Boy match, the finale between the two was incredible.
AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Ryo Mizunami
The match began with the narrative that ten years ago, Mizunami said that Shida could never defeat her in hundred years and when the two have fought the previous three times, they have fought to a draw, so the AEW Women’s Champion had something to prove.
It began with Shida and Mizunami exchanging chops and forearms before the Shida tried to regroup outside the ring. Outside the ring, Shida excelled, demonstrating why she is Champion, she used a chair to propel herself at Mizunami with a flying knee, and on the ramp managed to lift the Challenger and over her head drop her down, hard.
Mizunami wasn’t out though, as they both returned to the ring, she fought back with many, many leg-drops, and many chops. The match descended into a lariat and elbow strike tour de force from both wrestlers that lasted too long and then the conclusion of the match occurred when Shida hit several Tamashii running knee strikes, with several near-falls until The Champion ended the match with a jumping spin kick to the head to retain the Championship.
After the match: As Shida attempted to shake Mizunami’s hand, they both were assaulted by Nyla Rose, and shortly afterwards Britt Baker and Maki Itoh joined in on the assault as well. The beating came to a halt when Thunder Rosa made the save and Rose, Baker and Itoh retreated allowing a beaten Mizunami to show respect to Shida.
My Take: The match was, okay. Disjointed at parts and seemed to lose its flow for several moments but here’s the thing for me personally. Was this a suitable conclusion for the mammoth AEW Women’s Elimination Tournament? After weeks and matches building towards this was it worth it? The answer is no because there was (for fans) no emotional tie in. I was left going, alight what’s next. Then the ending after the match was too rushed, fans barely got to see Mizunami showing respect to Shida which was a narrative of the match, and why Rose, again, AEW fans have seen this already. And all three villains retreat as soon as Rosa arrives? C’mon, work is definitely needed within the Women’s Division. Either push Rosa or don’t. With push Baker or don’t. Seriously, Shida needs a new rivalry, a Champion can win all the matches they want, can hold the Championship as long as they want, but they need a rivalry to make that Championship reign memorable.
Miro & Kip Sabian w/Penelope Ford vs. Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor
Before the match: Cassidy and Taylor were assaulted by their opponents backstage, with Cassidy slammed onto equipment and Taylor’s head thrown through a glass door.
The match itself began with Miro dragging a limp Taylor to the ring, and telling him it could end now if he became his Butler again, with the microphone forced next to his face, Taylor instead yelled the referee to run the bell. This infuriated Miro who battered Taylor, and with Sabian, the duo looked to end the match early.
That was until a returning Cassidy arrived, who also looked worse for wear after the beating he sustained earlier, evened the odds after surprising Miro with the Orange punch and that gave Taylor the chance to strike Sabian with a piledriver.
But the ending really wasn’t in doubt as the conclusion drew closer. Ford distracted Taylor when Miro propelled him into her and then he was vulnerable to the Game Over to get the submission.
My Take: First off I love that Miro looked like an absolute monster in this match. Exactly what we should be seeing from him. The match itself was something was again, okay. The feud between the four has seen many turns, Taylor turned into a butler, Cassidy and Taylor ruining Sabian and Ford’s Wedding and the feud has gone one far longer than it should. But if this was the way to end it, it didn’t hit the mark. The emotion within the match was missing from something that should be overflowing with revenge from all four. Also, WTF are AEW doing using glass? That cut on Taylor’s arm looked and the cut above the eye looked worse, reckless.
Big Money Match: Hangman Page vs. Matt Hardy
The match began with Page wanting to end the match early, focusing on hitting the Buckshot Lariat. The veteran Hardy regrouped and rolled out the ring several to disrupt the momentum of Page and disrupt the flow of the match too. He returned to the ring targeting Page’s hand with stomps, pulling at the fingers and even biting them trying to at least stop Page using the Lariat.
Hardy then turned his attention to getting a count-out victory by hitting a Twist of Fate on the floor realising that he didn’t enough in his arsenal to keep Page down within the ring, but yet again his plan failed and Page rallied back on the attack hitting a moonsault from the top rope to the floor and a top-rope crossbody within the ring.
The action was all Page until the Private Party arrived causing distractions and interfering, but that was until Page knocked them both out on either side of the ring with Buckshot Lariats. Hardy, who watched this, waited until Page turned toward him and struck with a Side Effect and Twist of Fate, near-fall. The conclusion looked to be Hardy with the win until The Dark Order arrived, got rid of Private Party and helped Page with the assist to allow him to knock Hardy out with the Buckshot Lariat for the win.
My Take: A match that went too long but tied up the loose end, that being that Page finally has a faction that actually has his back. Hopefully, this is the end of the Hardy/Page feud, Page should be challenging for a Championship and this feud can only be seen as a stepping stone to get there.
The face of the Revolution Ladder Match (Winner earns TNT title opportunity): Cody Rhodes vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. Ethan Page:
The mystery opponent joining the match would be Ethan Page. Now, this match was chaotic as all good ladder matches are, filled with brutal moves and awe-inspiring moments. Miedo showed this right from the beginning as he hit Rhodes with a destroyer while both were balanced on a ladder suspended between the ring apron and the ringside barricade. Afterwards, Rhodes had to be taken to the back to receive treatment.
Next, it was Archer who kicked Sky off the top turnbuckle onto a ladder that was balanced on the ring and the railings on the outside of the ring. Page showcased why he should be in this match as he dismantled Archer with a ladder, placing Archer inside it and just crushing him with it.
Rhodes then returned, with his belt in hand using it as a weapon then striking Page with Cross Rhodes. But the action never stopped as Archer hit a suplex from the top turnbuckle while Caster connected with a flying elbow off the ladder. Everyone had their chance to shine in this match and that they did but it was Sky who would shove Rhodes off the Ladder in the final moments to grab the brass ring for the win.
My Take: That damn ring. Seriously that ring. The amount of Sonic the Hedgehog jokes/memes I read within minutes of it being shown was in the hundreds. Does Scorpio Sky have to carry the ring everywhere he goes? I joke, but not really. To many, he’s a surprising winner, but it is a smart result. Miedo and Archer are AEW Championship contenders, Page has just arrived, Caster is still developing in the Tag Team Division and Rhodes will no doubt be making his appearances less and less with the arrival of the new addition to his family. Sky is someone who can showcase his own talent while boost Allin, hopefully, the two will have a decent rivalry.
Paul Wight’s Major Announcement, AEW’s next signing:
Who was it? Was it CM Punk? Was it Brock Lesnar? Was it Kurt Angle? Was it Max Moon? It was unveiled to be now-former WWE superstar, Christian Cage, who didn’t say anything but did wear a T-shirt, stating “outwork everyone.”
My Take: I get it and I love Christian but I do genuinely think AEW should focus more on the ever-growing number of wrestlers they have already. I can’t see Christian losing in his few months especially when he is wrestling full time. He will be that added layering of storytelling to matches and develop many stars in any of his matches but this could have been unveiled on Dynamite.
Street Fight: Sting & Darby Allin vs. Team Taz (Brian Cage & Ricky Starks)
How can Sting wrestle in a Street Fight after the near career-ending injuries he has sustained? AEW have the answer, cinematic match! The match began with long entrances of the wrestlers walking to an abandoned warehouse, building up the drama of what was to come. Sting, alongside Allin, was accompanied by a horde of followers all wearing Sting masks.
Once the ring came into view, and the two factions went to their corners, the scene developed into a full-fledged movie, with Allin versus Cage and Sting against Starks portrayed as the stars. Once a few moves were executed, the four wrestlers began destroying each other all over the building and on every floor. From Cage throwing Allin into walls and doors to Sting using Starks as his own personal door opener by throwing him throw the doors.
While the match was telegraphed to have Sting seen as the Icon he is, Allin wasn’t portrayed as the sideman either, he showcased his insane array of moves to have fans on social media in shock. But Team Taz showcased exactly why they weren’t afraid of the Street Fight announcement as they had a plan, step forward Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook, who joined the fray to attack the fan favourites.
Immediately Team Taz threw Allin through a window that smashed against a wall and pursued a beaten Sting. As Sting looked to be surrounded, Allin threw Sting’s Baseball Bat to him and Sting’s retaliation began by striking Cage that hard, Cage fell onto a wooden platform. Cage didn’t get a break as almost immediately Allin from out of nowhere drove him through the platform with a huge elbow. Once Sting dispatched Hobbs and Hook, that left Starks versus Sting and the younger was no match for the veteran who hit the Scorpion Death Drop for the win.
My Take: Has there been better cinematic matches in wrestling? Course there has, but for entertainment value, this certainly ticked all the boxes. Did it showcase Sting and at least Allin to a degree, definitely. So on that merit, it’s exactly what was needed for Sting, but for Allin, he is the TNT Champion, AEW needs to get him decent rivalry to showcase why that Title means something, Hopefully, Scorpio Sky can assist in that.
AEW World Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Jon Moxley
This was it, the finale of the show and the finale of the Omega vs Moxley war.
The beginning of the match saw both men attempt to throw each other into the barbed wire, and the first man to feel that explosion would be Moxley after Omega threw power into his eyes, he was then pushed into the ropes. What followed was carnage, from Moxley thrown into a barbed wire table that resulted in his ace covered in blood, to Omega catapulted into the ropes face first for his first explosion but immediately after Moxley kicked him again into the ropes resulting in another explosion.
The devastation continued as Moxley propelled Omega through another barbed wire board in the corner, Moxley wasn’t done as he hit a slide slam onto a barbed wire-covered chair. Another explosion followed as Omega tackled Moxley into the ropes, but Omega seemed to get the worst of it. Moxley capitalised on this and hit a Paradigm Shift off the ring apron onto the exploding barbed wire boards on the floor, driving Omega head first.
The battle raged on, with fans in shock at what they were witnessing, Omega hit the One-Winged Angel, but as it looked like he would win, Moxley kicks the ropes causing an explosion in the face of Omega breaking the pin. That was when The Good Brothers arrived and gave Omega an Exploding Barbwire Bat to use and use he did, it exploded on impact leaving Moxley vulnerable to another One-Winged Angel, this time on top of a barbed wire wrapped chair for the win.
After the match: The trio continued to beat down Moxley and handcuffing…
John: We interrupt your regularly scheduled review for a message from yours truly, the editor of gore. You didn’t think I’d let this match slip away without my thoughts, right? First off, how cool is it that we have an Atsushi Onita approved exploding barbed-wire deathmatch as the main event to one of the biggest US PPV’s of the year so far. Moxley is a veteran of the deathmatch scene and we’ve seen Omega get wild against Moxley before. This was going to be special for better or worse. We had a whole host of references to the old-school with a plastic-wrapped ref, the triple-hell landmines, the warning siren and the eventual finish all added to them trying to modernise the FMW aesthetic. This was as much a homage as it was two guys going to kill each other. The match itself in my opinion was pretty damn good. It had a nice build and drama, we had plenty of explosions throughout the match and as always, both guys were willing to bleed and fry for the match. I applaud the creativity and the drama they managed to build as well as the fact they didn’t half-ass most of it. Between the use of conventional and barbed-wire weaponry, the well-timed explosive spots and the general wrestling throughout, it all made up one hell of a fight. You try taking a face-full of explosion or a Paradigm Shift into landmines…
Plus, it was funny to see The Good Brothers try to interfere only for Moxley to smash Anderson in with a barbed-wire bat. We even got to see an exploding barbed-wire bat. All the classics were there. With every explosion, Moxley had taken and the eventual One-Winged Angel to a chair, gave Moxley a fighting loss as Omega gets to gloat despite needing help. The clock was still ticking though and the ring was going to blow. Omega and co. tied him up and left him for the explosion. Eddie Kingston made the save or at least tried to make a save as both he and Moxley ate that final explosion. Yes, the “the exploding ring” was a bit laughable but I am more than happy to see Eddie Kingston pull the classic Onita save on Moxley as the ring goes up in smoke. Again, for better or worse that is going to be an iconic image. Hopefully, this means more deathmatches from AEW as this one was pretty well-received and definitely got people talking. Who knows, if AEW wants to continue the deathmatch trend they could dip into BJW’s archive and bring the piranhas or alligators next time…
Photos by All Elite Wrestling – Special thanks to Deathmatch Editor John Dinsdale for the deathmatch segment