VIRGINIA BEACH–Another Sunday night has come and gone you smarks, and I was soundly sports entertained. Tonight was All Elite Wrestling’s first major PPV event of the calendar year and I was pleased from start to finish. Was it perfect? No. Did it have to be? Nope. And that is entirely ok with me. This PPV left some things to be desired, and we’ll get there, but overall I was expecting a “B” show and got a little more than what I paid for.
My first winner of the night is freakin’ Wardlow. It’s about damn time y’all. Wardlow showed up in Orlando ready for all that was coming his way. Not only did he declare himself the “Face of the Revolution” tonight after grabbing the literal, and almost comical brass ring and is now the number 1 contender for the TNT title and will hopefully provide some direction in a strangely booked men’s midcard.
All fine and dandy, but the real reason he’s on here is due to his actions after the ladder match. Wardlow *insert middle name here* Wardlowington, you sly dog you. When called upon to help your employer-MJF- defeat CM Punk in their dog collar match, you answered the call, but misplaced the infamous diamond ring Max had been using to beat his opponents until now. With a simple “Oops” line, the tables quickly shifted and Wardlow walked out grinning, now a free man. Think like a way more chiseled Andy Dufresne after crawling his way through a nightmare in order to come out clean on the other side, a free man.
Second winner of the night is the Jurassic Express. These boys hit hard and take harder hits. Jack Perry especially. Ol’ Jungle Boy was flipping like a crackhead cooking at IHOP. He was here, he was there, he was everywhere, and Luchasaurus added in his own athletic spots throughout the contest. These guys had already been a face staple on this huge roster, consistently over with the crowd and always seem to attract attention despite whoever else they share the ring with.
Seriously, go watch this three way title defense vs the Young Bucks and ReDragon, you’ll be sports entertained.
My final winner is “Hangman” Adam Page.
Need I say more? Ok, fine.
In a world where we thought Page’s days as AEW World Champ were numbered, we got swerved (with all do respect to Mr. Strickland, of course). Page came out and opened an Austinian (a word I wanted to make up, but apparently already exists?!) can of whoop ass all over Adam Cole (Bay Bay)(obligatory). Page pulled out all the stops. A Deadeye of the apron through a table, selling a Moonsault countered by a Super Kick in midair, a revenge spot using his belt in order to tie Cole to the top rope and unleash a Super Kick of his own, my man was on one tonight and is undoubtedly deserving of a spot in the winner’s circle.
Jade Cargill- The more we get to know the Jade Cargill character the more intrigued I am. She is an attraction made for sports entertainment. Her natural in-ring tendencies mixed with her stellar physique and athleticism combine together for the clear future of this women’s division.
Wrestling fans- Like I said earlier, this show didn’t premiere with the highest expectations, but the fans could be considered winners after tonight's PPV. The mixture of the ladder match, triple-threat tag, main event, a 62 year old Sting diving onto a table pyramid (you read that right), and many more all add up to a fun show that expanded a lot of new and fun angles as well as closed the doors on feuds that had to end. Good show, not great, but a lot of fun.
Britt Baker: It’s time, friends. Get Britt Baker back chasing ASAP. This match against Thunder Rosa wasn’t going to top the two’s hardcore contest last year (Baker’s launching point), but I really didn’t leave that match at all satisfied. Baker cheated (surprise surprise), but they mimicked the title belt usage from the triple- threat tag match earlier to try and get a pop when Rosa kicked out, but came with no real reaction from the fans at home. The match just felt dragged. Could be due to crowd exhaustion, but I think that this whole “I’m a heel with friends, so why wouldn’t I cheat” thing is getting stale. No Hayter turn. No Mercedes Martinez appearance. Just a lacking match that hopefully shut the door on this feud for a while. Put the title on Deeb already, Tony.
Dog Collar Matches: This should be the last dog collar match in AEW for a while. MJF vs CM Punk has been a roller coaster of emotions. From an oddly timed role reversal, to an undoing the following week followed by a ton of color, this feud hasn’t always been great. My issue is the payoff wasn’t as satisfying for Punk fans. He had assistance from a turning Wardlow, and got his revenge ultimately, but was it all worth it? The stipulation left me unsatisfied until the tacks came out. If only Punk had just made it a Chicago Street Fight. I get the reference to old ROH, but it just came up short. Oft boring, with played out visuals that reminded me of Wrestlemania XIII (Here’s looking at you Austin). Cody and Brodie did it better.
Adam Cole (Bay Bay): Reap what you sow dumbass. How’re you going to let another dude use your finisher as a setup move for the Buckshot Lariat. Hold this proverbial “L.” Cole should retreat inwards for a while and try to sort out this mess he’s made between the Bucks and ReDragon. Stay away from the title for a while, maybe until Omega has a return date.
AEW did put on a good show. A ton of new stories moving forward, such as Moxley and Danielson potentially teaming up with one another and being managed by William freakin’ Regal, Wardlow vs MJF, Swerve Strickland debuting, what happens with Santana and Ortiz now that Jericho walked away from Kingston’s handshake, or how does Adam Cole try to patch things up among his buddies? This PPV didn’t halt any storylines, it did a great job to progress the TV product into what’s new. While their competitors got by for years by having PPVs that felt like additional episodes of Raw, AEW, at least for now, makes use of their limited PPV schedules in order to get the most out of them. Take away the constant near falls, overused blood caps, and a non-gimmicked Britt Baker match and you’d have an “A” show in my opinion. Now we patiently wait for Wednesday. The road to Vegas begins, friends.
Google Search, Google, https://www.google.com/search?q=britt%2Bbaker&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjC4rvo0bT2AhUIFFkFHSdpBFgQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=britt%2Bbaker&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzILCAAQgAQQsQMQgwEyCwgAEIAEELEDEIMBMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQ6CggAELEDEIMBEEM6BAgAEAM6BggAEAUQHjoGCAAQCBAeOgQIABAYOgcIIxDvAxAnOggIABCxAxCDAToICAAQgAQQsQNQ8QFYnD1ghT5oAXAAeAGAAYECiAHMB5IBBjExLjAuMZgBAKABAaoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1nwAEB&sclient=img&ei=L1AmYoKPN4io5NoPp9KRwAU&bih=789&biw=1600&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS906US906#imgrc=MBBdpvi_xCRQLM.
Jade: CBS Sports
Google Search, Google, https://www.google.com/search?q=aew%2Brevolution%2B2022&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS906US906&biw=1600&bih=789&tbm=isch&sxsrf=APq-WBsgrTZVCUXF2taEKntEo1lzEEYmcw%3A1646677948792&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjWtcmx0bT2AhVdg3IEHWYbACIQ_AUoAnoECAEQBA#imgrc=dUD_4LO0V_pv7M.