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AEW Revolution 2023 Review: AEW Delivers Two All-Time Classics on the Strongest PPV in a While

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

I’ll get to the point. AEW Revolution 2023 gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. No, I’m not Dave Meltzer in disguise. I thoroughly enjoyed this PPV. Read below to find out why.

Pre-show insanity: Mark Briscoe & The Lucha Brothers defeated Tony Nese, Ari Davari, and Josh Woods

This was a fun match to warm up the live crowd and the fans watching at home. There was little storyline behind this, which was fine. Put two trios teams together and let them put on a show. Back in the ’80s and early ’90s we had these matches all the time in WWF and WCW, and NO ONE complained. For some reason everything needs some sort of meaning or story. How about having a match for the sake of having a match?

Revolution Opener: Ricky Starks defeated Chris Jericho

I will agree with the majority, this feud went on way longer than it should have. This match was the final level which Starks won, as he should have. While the stipulation was no members of the JAS interfering, Sammy Guevara still came to ringside only to be cut down by Action Andretti. Starks countered the Judas Effect into Rochambeau for the win.

Jungle Boy defeated Christian Cage in a “Final Burial” Match

Jack Perry slams the lid of the coffin to bury this feud for good. Not knocking the feud or either man, but due to injuries and issues with Luchasaurus’s mask, this feud got dragged out a bit longer than anyone probably intended for. I know some will disagree but I thought this feud was fine for the most part. Christian and Jericho are veterans in positions to put people over, and that is what happened. Jack Perry unleashed a new side which prevailed over his nemesis. Perhaps the uber-babyface persona may drop a bit, and a more serious-minded wrestler will emerge. 

I thought the “Final Burial” was a good name for the match, since Christian’s heel gimmick is intended to “bury” wrestlers. 

The House of Black defeated The Elite to become the NEW AEW Trios Champions

Perfect. Fantastic match. Hit all the notes and all the feels. So many close calls and moments where it seemed the Elite would retain after some significant and domination offensives after dispatching opponents, but somehow House of Black would not go down easily. Even Julia’s interference was significant, not a throwaway excuse for a match result. I truly thought once Omega and Bucks powered out of the Black Mass and Dante’s Inferno, then mauling Malakai Black with the triple V-Trigger, it was over. 

Instead, House of Black rallies up, going full throttle with stopping Nick Jackson in his tracks from hitting the Meltzer Driver, Matt is dispatched while Nick is flattened with Dante’s Inferno and pinned for the three count. 

The right call, the right finish, and boy did the live crowd explode. I exploded. Fantastic, fantastic finish. A great and exciting match.

Jamie Hayter retained the AEW Women’s Championship against Ruby Soho and Saraya

This started off a bit slow, but pace picked up quickly. Whether anyone believes me or not, I felt there was no way Hayter was going to drop the belt tonight. It wouldn’t have made sense and at this point, dropping to either would not have been beneficial to anyone. 

It made more sense as post-match, Ruby Soho turned heel, aligning with Saraya and Toni Storm. 

There isn’t a lot more to go into, but as far as the match goes, it was better than expected. I will be honest, I wouldn’t rate it highly as a PPV match, but it was still good. 

“Hangman” Adam Page defeated Jon Moxley by Submission

The finish. THAT FINISH. 

Page’s entrance video package and “Ghost Riders” by The Outlaws as entrance music was fitting. 

I did not expect Mox to tap out. There was no way in hell to predict who was winning this. But to see Mox tap out, was astonishing and I will say kudos to whomever booked the finish. This was a bloody, brutal, violent war reminiscent of the old school days of wild bunkhouse brawls or no holds barred matches of the 80s and early 90s. The repeated use of barbed wire was horrifying but kept eyes glued to the ring. Lots of scary, violent spots, and a few moments where I imagine all fans watching were certain someone got seriously hurt. A big chain was introduced, with Mox piledriving Page on top was skull-crushing. Bricks were used, and despite being brutalized by Mox over and over, Hangman wrapped the chain around Mox’s neck, draping him over the ropes, earning the tap out victory. 

What happens next for either man is anyone’s guess. Hangman could be next for the title chase, but perhaps it might be a little too soon. Let’s draw it out a bit, let it stew for a while and see how a potential match could be built. 

Wardlow defeated Samoa Joe by Submission to regain the TNT Championship

Good match. Of course, following up the bloodbath we witnessed was an impossible task. However, the finish was surprising enough to make up for it. Wardlow traps Joe in his own chokehold, causing Joe to lose consciousness. Unexpected but a great booking decision. 

Personally, I would rather see Powerhouse Hobbs have a feud with Joe. Maybe we’ll still get it. 

The Gunns defeated Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal, Orange Cassidy & Danhausen, and The Acclaimed to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships

This was much better than I expected it to be. It was so much damn fun. Sure, many questioned the reasoning in these four teams, but watching it unfold made sense. The comedy acts turned serious, the Gunns became so flustered. Jeff Jarrett, and I can’t believe I am saying this, played his role well by pissing people off and foiling babyface comebacks. 

Notable moments, Satnam Singh getting crushed by Billy Gunn. Here’s a crazy one, Jeff Jarrett getting into a shoving match with Referee Aubrey Edwards! She is no pushover and nearly planted ol’ Double J on his keyster! Caster hit a perfect Mic Drop elbow. Throughout the fray Danhausen shockingly nearly got the win, but a missed Pump Kick caused The Gunns to hit the “3:10 to Yuma” which for those who don’t know, looks like an elevated Flatliner. 

Post-match, Austin and Colten demand respect and demand to be qualified as the best tag team ever. Cue some music we have not heard in a few months, FTR RETURNS! A brawl breaks out with Dax and Cash spiking one Gunn with the Spike Piledriver, and the other eats the Big Rig/Shatter Machine. Somehow, Dax gets busted open! What, does everyone want to bleed tonight!?

My guess is FTR getting their belts back soon. Real soon. 

The Main Event and a Match of the Year Contender: Maxwell Jacob Friedman defeated Bryan Danielson by Submission to Retain the AEW World Championship in a 60-minute Iron Man Match

Jaw dropping. Heart stopping. Sitting at the edge of my seat or suddenly realizing I’m standing.

Sixty minutes of non-stop wrestling. This was a true wrestling match. MJF stalled for the first few minutes, heeling it up out of the ring, even at one point dumping water on a poor kid at ringside (later revealed not to be a planted fan). The ring psychology was perfect. Danielson outsmarted MJF until MJF outsmarted him. The exchanges would start slow, but you could notice them speeding it up to keep pace to end in a stalemate more than once. The minutes flew by as it was almost 30 minutes in when Danielson got the first fall. MJF turned on the cunning sinister mindgames, hitting a low blow to get a DQ, but would then pin Danielson twice in a row to earn two falls, evening the score. At some point, I am convinced MJF hurt his leg somehow, following what looked like a near slip on the ropes when performing an Asai Moonsault, or when he hit a diving tombstone through remnants of a broken table. This was after landing with a picture-perfect elbow drop off the top to the table on the floor. His leg looked inflamed, badly. The final 15 minutes saw submission holds exchanged, but went all the way to zero as MJF intentionally tapped out after the bell rang. 

However, ending this in a draw was not to be. Tony Khan, through Tony Schiavone, ordered the match to continue because he would not allow a PPV to end this way.

To be honest, I would have been perfectly fine with it. With a 60-minute broadway draw, no one lost anything, in fact MJF gained the most. 

Thanks to some shrewd sinister tactics, MJF used an oxygen tank to clobber Danielson in the head when Referee Bryce Remsburg was turned away, then locking him within his own LaBell lock, to which Bryan Danielson… Tapped Out. 

What a match. Incredible. MJF went above and beyond to hang with one of the greatest masters of modern-day wrestling. 

Let’s look at the overall outcomes:

  • Danielson tapped out to his own move, putting MJF way over, but let’s be honest, not that he needed to be put over. 
  • Samoa Joe tapped out to his own finishing hold, putting over Wardlow. 
  • Christian Cage put over Jungle Boy 
  • Hangman forces Moxley to tap out in a Death Match bloodbath. Hangman, put over by Mox. 
  • Chris Jericho puts over Ricky Starks 
  • Jamie Hayter retains over Saraya and Soho 
  • The Gunns retaining the AEW Tag Team Championships 
  • The Elite drop the trios titles to House of Black

In my not-so-humble opinion, this show had perfect booking results. Each result makes sense, and gets the homegrown, younger, up-and-coming wrestlers over. Everyone who lost, didn’t really lose anything because the losers are already locked-in main eventers. This was a PPV which collectively put the ball in the hands of future (or already current) main event wrestlers. 

The question is, where do many of these wrestlers go from here? Did the Gunns win the AEW Tag Titles simply so The Acclaimed wouldn’t have to eventually drop to FTR? Also, is Miro on his way back? Does Eddie Kingston really hate AEW? 

The surefire way to find out is by tuning into Dynamite this week, where some questions may be answered, or perhaps more questions will be asked. 

AEW scored a home run with Revolution 2023. 

AEW Revolution 2023 is now streaming on BRLive.

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