AEW Revolution 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2020

AEW Revolution 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: AEW

    All Elite Wrestling delivered its first pay-per-view of the decade Saturday night in Chicago with Revolution, a show months in the making and headlined by world champion Chris Jericho vs. Jon Moxley.

    Elsewhere on the card, friends competed for the right to hold the AEW Tag Team Championships as Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defended against The Young Bucks. Cody faced MJF in an intensely personal grudge match to round out the top of the lineup.

    What went down in those matches and the others that populated the spectacular?

    Find out with this recap of the massive extravaganza, broadcast on B/R Live. 

The Buy-In: SCU vs. the Dark Order

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    Credit: AEW

    After weeks of recruiting Christopher Daniels to join them, The Dark Order's Stu Grayson and Evil Uno battled Daniels' teammates, former AEW tag team champions Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, in the night's opening match.

    Kazarian found himself cut off from his partner and at the mercy of the opposition after Uno sent him crashing face-first into the steel post. Chants of "spooky perverts" spilled from the stands as Uno and Grayson teed off on Kazarian.

    The hot tag to Sky sparked the babyfaces' comeback. Sky fought off both opponents until a double hiptoss into the corner slowed his momentum. Each team fought out of the other's finisher until Alex Reynolds provided a distraction and Uno delivered a nasty shot to the back of Sky's head. Grayson rolled him up for the win.

    After the match, Dark Order pounded away at SCU until Chicago's own Colt Cabana hit the ring and took the fight to the heels. The numbers disadvantage reared its ugly head, though, and the heels resumed the beatdown.

    The Dark Order's music played, and The Exalted One appeared...until Daniels emerged from underneath the cloak and fought off the heels. The babyfaces stood tall to end the segment.

           

    Result

    The Dark Order defeated SCU

               

    Grade

    C+

               

    Analysis

    This was a fine, energetic way to kick off the night's in-arena action. The Dark Order picked up a much-needed win, we found out Daniels was not The Exalted One and the crowd popped for the emergence of Cabana. It all added up to a fun way to liven the crowd up and entice any last-minute buys.

    We have seen better from the tag team division, including these two teams in particular, but this accomplished what it set out to, so it earns an above-average grade to start the night's festivities.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Jake Hager

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    Credit: AEW

    After months spent backing up Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle, Jake Hager made his in-ring debut for AEW in the opening match of the Revolution pay-per-view, battling Dustin Rhodes in a grudge match that stemmed from the Oklahoman's breaking The Natural's arm last November.

    A slugfest gave way to Rhodes' ringside pummeling of Hager, specifically targeting his left arm as he sought revenge for the pain and agony he endured late last year. Hager, though, turned the tide and worked over his opponent's arm in an attempt to reinjure it.

    Rhodes fought back and locked lips with Hager's wife, Catalina, on whom the heel had planted a passionate kiss during his entrance. The undefeated MMA competitor halted his veteran opponent's comeback with a big slam for a near-fall. Rhodes answered by dropping Hager over the top rope and into the ring steps. A Code Red earned the babyface a near-fall of his own.

    From there, he sought a cross arm-breaker, continuing to focus on avenging his own broken limb. Hager countered out and applied an ankle lock. Rhodes countered, nearly sending Hager into referee Aubrey Edwards. The momentary distraction allowed Hager to deliver an undetected low blow and score the submission win via referee stoppage.

          

    Result

    Hager defeated Rhodes via referee stoppage

                

    Grade

    B

                       

    Analysis

    This was appropriately intense almost the entire way through, a clear grudge match between two men with a dislike for each other. Rhodes and Hager conveyed that dislike, and the fans bought into everything they did.

    It was the storytelling, though, that helped elevate this one.

    Rhodes was so hellbent on retribution, on repaying Hager for his broken arm that he opened himself up for an ankle lock, a low blow and the submission that led to his defeat.

    It was exactly the type of storytelling you expect from a grizzled veteran like Rhodes, who has made a career of elevating his own performances by drawing emotion from fans.

Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara

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    Credit: AEW

    The Inner Circle's Sammy Guevara used Darby Allin's own skateboard to damage the enigmatic antihero's throat, setting up the second grudge match of the night.

    An impassioned onslaught by Allin saw his emotions get the best of him, leading to his crashing and burning early. From there, Guevara delivered a jaw-dropping 630 senton that drove Allin through a table at ringside and sparked chants of "holy s--t!"

    Once the match began, Guevara looked to take advantage of the punishment he had dealt Allin early. He withstood a submission attempt and delivered a top-rope double-stomp that drove his face-painted opponent into the ring apron.

    A Spanish Fly from the top rope continued The Spanish God's onslaught but failed to put Allin down for the three.

    An overconfident Guevara exposed the top turnbuckle, but Allin monkey-flipped him into it, delivered a flipping stunner and scored the win with the Coffin Drop. Hager saved Guevara from further punishment as the Chicago fans chanted the victor's name.

               

    Result

    Allin defeated Guevara

              

    Grade

    A

             

    Analysis

    Allin and Guevara will be warring for many, many years in AEW. This was a hell of a match. Both men maximized their minutes and told the story they intended to tell, and the resilient, tenacious Allin overcame the early damage to pick up the win.

    The crowd's response and the commentary both indicate that Allin is the next big thing in AEW, an antihero the fans disenfranchised by the paint-by-numbers babyfaces in other companies can invest in. As extraordinary as MJF has been, it is Allin who may be the face of AEW before long.

    Kudos to Guevara, who continued to showcase the in-ring charisma and high-risk offense that has helped make him a bright spot on AEW Dynamite since the first episode. He needs momentum for fans to really embrace him in the role as the next big thing of the Inner Circle, but he is another special talent that will star for many years.

AEW Tag Team Title Match: Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. The Young Bucks

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    Credit: AEW

    Hangman Page grew more and more disconnected from his friends in The Elite, distancing himself from them as a new decade dawned. The more he attempted to get away, the more he was drawn closer as he won the AEW Tag Team Championships with Kenny Omega, and Saturday night, defended against The Young Bucks in one of Revolution's most anticipated matches.

    Tensions were high as Page locked up with Matt Jackson early. A brief exchange ended with Page spitting on his former friend, which incensed Jackson and led to an impassioned onslaught. Hangman slowed the pace, targeted Matt's previously injured back and tagged Omega into the bout. The Cleaner continued to target the challenger's lower back.

    A tag to Nick changed the fortunes of the challengers. The younger Buck downed Page and applied a Sharpshooter, but Omega answered with a Kitaro Crusher to break up the submission. The Bucks teed off on Omega—Matt stopping to spit at Page in a turnabout from earlier in the match.

    The immensely popular Page finally tagged into the match and unloaded on the challengers, wiping them out with a top-rope moonsault to the floor. Page and Matt came to blows in the center of the ring, Hangman getting the upper hand.

    The Bucks recovered, with Nick blasting Omega with a superkick and downing Page with a destroyer for a near-fall. The brothers channeled The Motor City Machine Guns for another close two-count, broken up at the last second by Omega.

    Page paid homage to missing Elite member Marty Scurll with a crossface chicken wing to Nick, but Matt delivered a 450 splash to break it up. The champions answered with a top-rope superplex from Page and a V-Trigger. Matt, again, broke up the pin. Omega delivered a Tiger Driver '98 for another dramatic near-fall.

    Matt delivered a trio of suplexes to Page on the entrance ramp. From there, the Bucks delivered the IndieTaker piledriver to Page, essentially eliminating him from the match. Back inside, they insultingly delivered a Golden Trigger to Page, to which the champion kicked out at one. 

    Sensing his brother was losing his cool, Nick stopped him. The break in action allowed Page to recover, prevent a Meltzer Driver and powerbomb Nick through a table at ringside. In the ring, the Buckshot/V-Trigger combo failed to keep Matt down.

    With Omega unable to execute the maneuver because of a previously injured shoulder, Page delivered it for a near-fall. Moments later, he delivered a Buckshot Lariat to Matt for the successful title defense after a half-hour of action.

    After the match, Page again walked away from his Elite brethren but held the ropes open for his partner.

                 

    Result

    Page and Omega defeated The Young Bucks to retain the AEW Tag Team Championships

          

    Grade

    A+

                

    Analysis

    What...a...match!

    It is still early, but this was a legitimate Match of the Year candidate with extraordinary action, spectacular storytelling and some deep character work from Matt Jackson and Page, in particular. The fans were into every second of the 30-minute match, biting on every near-fall, and that is a testament to the strength of the performers involved.

    From teasing Page's heel turn to twisting the narrative and hinting at a more aggressive, nastier side of the Bucks, this took fans on an emotional roller coaster that paid off months of booking and wrote a new chapter in the title reign of Hangman and Omega.

    There was a moment post-match when it appeared as though Page might take his tag partner out with the Buckshot, suggesting that expected heel turn may still happen sometime down the line. 

AEW Women's Championship Match: Kris Statlander vs. Nyla Rose

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    Credit: AEW

    The second of three championship bouts saw Kris Statlander, still battling symptoms of the flu, challenge Nyla Rose for the AEW Women's Championship.

    Statlander shook off some early missteps to drop Rose with a knee to the midsection and follow with a standing moonsault for two. Rose answered by running up the entrance ramp and delivering a bone-crunching spear for a near-fall of her own.

    A big superkick from Statlander allowed her to create some separation and halt Rose's momentum. The extraterrestrial competitor dropped Rose to the floor and delivered consecutive tope suicidas to keep the champion reeling.

    Rose regained control of the bout and hung Statlander up on to the top rope for her trademark knee drop. Statlander walked her way out of it and blew Rose a kiss, taunting the champion after a tremendous display of athleticism.

    Rose fought out of an attempted Big Bang Theory and applied an STF. The Native Beast delivered a massive Beast Bomb, but the challenger shot her shoulder off the mat, evading defeat.

    Statlander recovered and delivered an avalanche brainbuster. She returned to the top rope for a hurricanrana, but Rose countered into the Beast Bomb from the top rope for the win.

          

    Result

    Rose defeated Statlander

          

    Grade

    B-

                              

    Analysis

    The early moments of this one were ugly, a tad disjointed and struggled to get over with the audience after the hellacious match that preceded it. With that said, Rose and Statlander overcame the early issues and delivered a hard-fought, hard-hitting match that would have been infinitely better with a story the audience could sink its teeth into.

    As we saw with the tag team title match, fans will react fervently and passionately to stories they can invest themselves in. Unfortunately, those in charge of the women's division have yet to develop those successfully. Until that happens, we will be privy to some strong in-ring content, but fans will continue to struggle to embrace the matches in the way they do those bouts featuring Page, Omega, Cody or Jericho.

    Rose looked like a star, while Statlander resembled a future player for the company who is not quite ready for a run with a title. Hopefully, both can build on this match and deliver an even better one at some point. If they get the opportunity.

Cody vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman

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    Credit: AEW

    The most intensely personal rivalry in all of AEW culminated as Cody (accompanied by Brandi Rhodes and Arn Anderson) battled Maxwell Jacob Friendman (accompanied by Wardlow) in a match months in the making. Downstait played The American Nightmare to the ring, his close friends by his side as he stared down a man he once considered as close as a brother.

    MJF stalled, killing the early momentum Cody had on his side following the pomp and circumstance of his entrance. Once the action started, Cody unleashed months of frustration on his opponent, dropping him with a clothesline right out of The Great Muta's playbook and following with an Alabama Slam. 

    Brandi antagonized Wardlow, throwing a beer in his face and goading him right into a tope suicida from her husband. The momentary distraction allowed MJF to recover and seize control of the bout by targeting the left arm of his rival.

    Cody finally broke MJF's reign of dominance, slipping off the top rope and dropping him face-first on the turnbuckle. An inverted suplex from the top rope downed the arrogant heel. Cody delivered a bootless Disaster Kick, busting MJF open on the arena floor. The irony, considering MJF removed the boot and bit the broken toe of his opponent in the first place.

    Cody pummeled MJF, but the heel delivered the Heat Seeker. At ringside, Brandi tried a crossbody block on Wardlow, but the massive heavy caught her. Cody tried to rescue his wife with a kick, but the heel ducked, and he collided with Anderson.

    Back in the ring, MJF delivered a low blow and scored a near-fall off a schoolboy roll-up. Later, he removed Cody's weight belt and teased whipping the second-generation star with it. Referee Paul Turner stopped him, allowing Cody to recover and deliver a Vertebreaker for a two-count.

    Cody unloaded with the weight belt, at the discretion of the official, paying MJF back for the 10 lashes he received in order to even have this match. MJF cowered in the corner, a battered boy in a fight between men. Crying, he crawled over to Cody and embraced him. He then spat in his face.

    His penance? Consecutive Cross Rhodeses.

    MJF countered a third, dropped Cody with a ring-loaded fist and scored the pinfall victory.

                   

    Result

    MJF defeated Cody

              

    Grade

    B+

                 

    Analysis

    For a match that had as hot a build as any on the card and one with so many emotions rolled into it, the Chicago crowd's reaction to it was somewhat disappointing.

    With that said, the spots later in the match finally generated the type of response you would expect from a match of this magnitude. The lashing with the weight belt, the cowardice from MJF, the face-spitting and the finish all generated the type of reaction you would hope for.

    MJF probably did not need to bleed here as it would have been better saved for a blow-off match, but he was still pitch-perfect here as the punk kid getting his comeuppance, only to find a way to defeat his sworn enemy.

    Cody's post-match demeanor was excellent, selling the heartbreak his loss caused.

    This, of course, has to lead to another showdown at some point. Hopefully, that point is during the March 25 episode of Dynamite, entitled "Blood and Guts." Whether it is in a one-on-one setting is the question.

Orange Cassidy vs. Pac

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    Credit: AEW

    The most surreal match in AEW PPV history saw Orange Cassidy battle "The Bastard" Pac.

    An intense staredown gave way to a barrage of brutal shin kicks. Or...something like that. Chants of "this is awesome" and "fight forever" spilled from the fans as comedy dominated the early moments of the match. As the action picked up, Cassidy popped the crowd with an onslaught of offense, all while his hands remained firmly tucked in his pockets.

    A pissed-off Pac, still reeling after his loss to Omega on Dynamite, seized control of the bout. He sent Freshly Squeezed face-first into the steel ring post and toyed with him back inside, seemingly unfazed by the challenge his opponent posed.

    Moments later, Pac set Cassidy up for the Black Arrow, but the nonchalant competitor rolled out of the way and to the floor. The King of Sloth Style again rolled out of the way, playing mind games with his opponent and frustrating his opponent.

    Cassidy smiled at his furious foe, rolled to the ring and delivered a tope suicida. A huge crossbody and tornado DDT earned him a dramatic two-count. A big lariat by Pac turned Cassidy inside out, putting an end to his comeback.

    A fired-up Cassidy came from out of nowhere with a Superman Punch and followed with the Stundog Millionaire. As he climbed the ropes, Pac crotched him out of desperation. Pac tried for a top-rope Tombstone, but Cassidy countered with a DDT. The Air Raid Crash resulted in a two-count.

    The Lucha Bros rushed in from out of nowhere and laid Trent out. The Best Friends, Pentagon and Rey Fenix brawled to the back while Pac applied The Brutalizer for the submission win. The Bastard refused to break the hold, finally releasing when referee Bryce Remsburg physically forced it.

           

    Result

    Pac defeated Cassidy

              

    Grade

    A

                      

    Analysis

    This was the most pleasant surprise on wrestling pay-per-view in a long time.

    Yes, Pac is excellent, and Cassidy is uber over, but the story they told had the fans hanging on every spot in a way they did not for Cody vs. MJF just minutes prior. The underdog story of the charismatic slacker captivated them, and Pac's willingness to sell for Cassidy made the match that much better.

    The introduction of the Lucha Bros was interesting, but unless they have some sort of connection to Pac, it felt forced and seemed like an excuse to drive Trent and Chuck Taylor from the ringside area and set up the finish.

    Considering how Pentagon, Fenix and Pac are sort of lost in the shuffle creatively, a pairing that allows them to terrorize the AEW midcard might make for some damn fun television.

AEW World Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. Chris Jericho

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    Credit: AEW

    Jericho took out Moxley's eye. Saturday, Moxley sought to take out Jericho's championship reign of terror over AEW in the main event of Revolution.

    Moxley entered from the streets of Chicago while a choir serenaded the fans with Fozzy's "Judas" ahead of Le Champion's arrival. Jericho, accompanied by Ortiz and Santana, sported the same jacket from which he pulled the spike that he used to injure his challenger's eye.

    The fight spilled into the crowd early. Moxley bit at the stitches above the heel's left eye and Jericho responded by targeting the injured right eye of his opponent. He powerbombed Moxley through a table at ringside and seized firm control of the bout.

    Moxley continued to be hampered by the eye injury, unable to fend off Jericho's attack or even see clearly enough to do so. The ferocious competitor eventually fought his way back into the match, stomping away at Jericho in the corner. He later converted a Liontamer into a heel lock, as taught to him by UFC great Randy Couture.

    Moxley cued up the Paradigm Shift, but Santana used the loaded sock to knock him out and set up the lionsault. Jericho tried for the Codebreaker, but Moxley countered. He tried for the Walls of Jericho, but the challenger countered, again, into his own version of the submission to the approval of the Chicago faithful.

    Hager appeared, forcing the break, and Jericho capitalized with the Codebreaker. Moxley kicked out at two. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho, looking for the submission win. The resilient antihero fought through the pain, though, inching to the ropes as Santana and Ortiz talked trash from ringside.

    Another attempt at interference by The Inner Circle led to referee Aubrey Edwards banning them from ringside. The distraction allowed Guevara to sneak in and blast Moxley with the AEW title. The challenger still managed to kick out.

    Moxley absorbed a flurry of punches and dared Jericho to bring more. Le Champion raked the good eye, proceeded to taunt him and then dropped him with a right hand to the face. A knee to the face followed, and Jericho basked in the jeers of the AEW fans.

    Moxley dodged the Judas Effect and delivered the Paradigm Shift. From there, he removed the eyepatch, revealing he could see the entire time. Another Paradigm Shift gave way to a new AEW world champion.

    After the match, Moxley cut a passionate promo about the last year of his career and the triumph that has been AEW.

                    

    Result

    Moxley defeated Jericho to win the AEW World Championship

                

    Grade

    A

                  

    Analysis

    Moxley revealing that he could see the entire time was a great spot. The crowd reacted exactly as you would have hoped, and the finish was every bit as red-hot as you would hope for from the main event of an extraordinary pay-per-view.

    The match that preceded the finish was very good, told a great story and presented Moxley as the unflinching badass that could absorb any amount of punishment and continue fighting. A bloodied, triumphant rebel, he is the perfect representative for a company looking to be exactly that in today's wrestling landscape.

    On a night of dramatic near-falls and stunning athleticism, this was a throwback to the days of Steve Austin overcoming the interference of Mr. McMahon's Corporation in a wild Attitude Era brawl to win the title. It was a great bit of business, to paraphrase Jim Ross.

    Moxley remains unbeaten in singles competition in AEW, making the inevitable moment that someone beats him mean that much more. In all, the match, the moment and the fallout from it were superb.

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