AEW Revolution 2021 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

AEW Revolution 2021 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

0 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    All Elite Wrestling promised a massive signing, an industry-shaking surprise Sunday night at Revolution, its first pay-per-view of 2021 and a show headlined by an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match for its world title.

    The event, a blockbuster airing on B/R Live, featured championships at stake, title opportunities up for grabs and Sting's first match in six years.

    What went down on the explosive broadcast and how will it affect the brand moving forward?

    Find out with this recap of AEW Revolution, complete with grades and analysis for every match as they happened.

Match Card

1 of 10

    The lineup for Sunday's pay-per-view extravaganza is as follows: 


    • AEW Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match: Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega
    • AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks vs. Chris Jericho and MJF
    • AEW Women's World Championship Match: Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami
    • Street Fight: Sting and TNT champion Darby Allin vs. Ricky Starks and Brian Cage (with Taz)
    • Face of the Revolution Ladder Match for a Shot at the TNT Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Penta El Zero M vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. A Mystery Entrant
    • Big Money Match: Hangman Page vs. Matt Hardy
    • Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor vs. Miro and Kip Sabian
    • Casino Tag Team Battle Royale: Bear Country vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver vs. Stu Grayson and Evil Uno vs. Santana and Ortiz vs. The Butcher and The Blade vs. Private Party vs. Top Flight vs. The Gunn Club vs. The Natural Nightmares vs. Jurassic Express vs. The Varsity Blonds vs. SCU vs. Prest10 Vance and Alan "V" Angels vs. Matt and Mike Sydal vs. The Pretty Picture vs. Pac and Rey Fenix
    • The Buy-In: Riho and Thunder Rosa vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD and TBD


    Coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. 

Riho and Thunder Rosa vs. Dr. Britt Baker and Maki Itoh

2 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    With Rebel unable to compete following an attack at the hands of Nyla Rose, Dr. Britt Baker introduced her replacement: Japan’s Maki Itoh. The duo battled Thunder Rosa and Riho in tag team action to kick off the night’s festivities as part of The Buy-In.

    After a brief back-and-forth between Baker and Riho, the doctor bailed out of the ring, avoiding a showdown with familiar foe Rosa and tagging Itoh into the bout. Rosa and Itoh exchanged jarring strikes before Rosa dropped Itoh face-first into the top turnbuckle. From there, she delivered a wheelbarrow slam, driving Riho into Itoh for a near-fall.

    The babyface momentum ended when Rebel interjected herself in the proceedings, proving she was not as injured as she let on. Itoh looked for a headbutt to Riho and missed, but Baker retained control of the match for the heels by working over the former AEW women’s world champion.

    Rosa received the tag from Riho after several moments and exploded into the match, teeing off on both opponents. She delivered a butterfly suplex to Baker and added a senton for a near-fall. Baker recovered, delivered a sling blade to Rosa and Itoh followed with a headbutt for a near-fall of her own.

    A stunner by Rosa to Itoh allowed her to tag Riho into the match, just in time for the action to break down. All four competitors landed signature offense, including a Super Delfin-inspired tornado DDT by Itoh. She followed with a single-leg Boston Crab moments later, forcing Riho to grit her way to the ropes to force the break.

    After a double headbutt left both Riho and Itoh reeling, Baker tagged in and delivered an Air Raid Crash for two. Rosa entered the match and, after Baker crashed into Rebel, nearly scored the win with the Death Valley Driver. Riho wiped Itoh out at ringside and Rebel interfered again, this time blasting Rosa with her crutch to the head, allowing Baker to pick up the pinfall victory.



    Baker and Itoh defeated Rosa and Riho






    There was a lot to like about this one, including Itoh’s opportunity to star in the States, but the argument can also be made this went entirely too long.

    It lost some of its substance the longer it went before the finish gave Baker a much-needed victory. Rebel timed the crutch shot perfectly, Rosa sold it well and the heels earned a big win.

    As fun as it was to see Itoh in this spot, it was interesting to see Jade Cargill watching from ringside just days after she was one of the most buzzed-about performers in the industry. Would she not have been a better option to fill in as Baker’s partner and be highlighted here, following up her blockbuster victory Wednesday night?

    Either way, an energetic match that stretched just a bit too long to retain its build, this was a great teaser for the rest of the show.

AEW Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks vs. Chris Jericho and MJF

3 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Driven by revenge after Chris Jericho and MJF attacked their father, AEW world tag team champions The Young Bucks took the fight to their challengers early and often in the opening contest of the Revolution pay-per-view.

    A heads-up play by Jericho, bringing Nick Jackson back- and head-first into the ring apron, turned the tide in The Inner Circle’s favor. Wardlow made his presence felt on a couple of occasions, allowing Jericho and MJF to retain control of the bout, this time as they beat down Matt Jackson.

    The heels delivered a double, standing vertical suplex, continuing their concentrated assault of Matt while his wife, Dana, watched from ringside. A hot tag to Nick sparked the babyface comeback, which included a destroyer piledriver to MJF for two.

    The Bucks channeled Impact Wrestling’s Motor City Machine Guns with a modified Made in Detroit for a near-fall. The heels answered in the form of the Liontamer by Jericho on Nick. Matt tagged in, unbeknownst to Jericho, but Le Champion simply transitioned into the same hold on the fresh man.

    MJF scored a series of near-falls on Matt, who kicked out of everything thrown at him, including a baseball shot to the back by Jericho. MJF’s piledriver failed to put him down, much to the dismay of the loudmouthed heel, and Matt tagged Nick back into the match.

    Stereo crossbody blocks wiped the challengers out but Nick could not put Jericho down for the three-count. Wardlow attempted to interfere but ate an errant Judas Effect by Le Champion. The Bucks delivered a BTE Trigger for a near-fall on Jericho, but MJF broke it up.

    The Bucks uncorked a series of superkicks to the challengers and finished Jericho off with the Meltzer Driver for the successful title defense.



    The Young Bucks defeated Jericho and MJF






    Jericho and MJF threw everything they had at the Bucks, including a baseball bat and repeated interference from Wardlow, but the champions’ thirst for vengeance proved too much for the challengers.

    This was an action-packed match, with solid storytelling throughout, and a picture-perfect finish. The Bucks just obliterating MJF with superkicks until he had slobber pouring from his mouth was a great spot and the springboard spike tombstone piledriver that put away Jericho was appropriately vicious.

    The right team went over as the Bucks can move onto the winner of the Casino Tag Team Royale while Jericho and MJF have the potential nuisance named Sammy Guevara to deal with yet.

    There may have been other matches that would have been better suited for the opening spot but this was a perfect example of the energetic, fast-paced action you can expect from the show.

Tag Team Casino Royale

4 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Rules for the Casino Tag Team Royale are as follows:

    • Order of entry is selected by lottery.

    • Two tag teams will start the match.

    • Every 90 seconds, a new team will enter the match.

    • Individual eliminations occur when a competitor is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor.

    • Tag Teams are eliminated when both competitors have been ruled out of the match.

    • The match will continue until there is only one competitor/team remaining.

    • The winning team will earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Championship. 

    The Dark Order’s Allan “V” Angels and Pres10 Vance kicked off the match with Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall, The Natural Nightmares. Santana and Ortiz joined the fray next, eliminating Angels. Matt and Mike Sydal were out next, followed by Stu Grayson and Evil Uno.

    Mike Sydal joined Angels on the floor, the next man eliminated, as Dark Order dominated the action in the ring. Santana rocked the opposition, though, regaining some momentum for The Inner Circle’s entrants. The Gunn Club’s Austin and Colton entered next and wasted little time taking a page from their father, Billy’s, playbook with picture-perfect dropkicks.

    Santana eliminated Matt Sydal with a pump kick, knocking him to the floor. (Sydal Brothers eliminated)

    “Pretty” Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi entered the match next, teeing off on the Gunn Club. The Varsity Blonds’ Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison hit the ring like a ball of energy, targeting Bononi. Austin Gunn dropped Avalon with a Fameasser and sent him packing, over the top rope and to the floor. The Gunn Club continued their roll, attempting to dump Bononi.

    Marshall eliminated The Gunn Club before jumping over the top rope himself and walking out on partner Rhodes, essentially ending The Natural Nightmares. (The Gunn Club eliminated)

    Bear Country’s Bear Boulder and Bear Bronson entered next, using power and tenacity on the opposition, including Grayson, who they sent to the floor. Jurassic Express’ Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus entered to a huge pop. Jungle Boy sent Ortiz to the floor, followed by Santana, and Luchasaurus finally dumped Bononi. (Santana and Ortiz and Avalon and Bononi eliminated)

    Jack Evans perpetrated the elimination of Vance despite not being involved in the match, while Marko Stunt helped eliminate Evil Uno. (Both Dark Order teams eliminated)

    The Butcher and The Blade and Private Party entered next, the former dispatching of Rhodes, followed by SCU’s Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. (Natural Nightmares eliminated) As Luchasaurus was about to send them both packing, Bear Country eliminated the mask-wearing big man. Butcher and Blade dumped Bear Country. (Bear Country eliminated)

    Death Triangle’s Pac and Rey Fenix entered the ring and immediately sent Marq Quen and The Blade to the floor. John Silver and Alex Reynolds entered to a thunderous ovation and eliminated Isiah Kassidy. (Private Party eliminated) Daniels and Kazarian eliminated Butcher. (Butcher and Blade eliminated)

    Fenix sent Daniels to the floor while Jungle Boy and Reynolds battled on the ring apron. Reynolds got the lesser of that battle and landed on the floor. Pac delivered a back suplex to Kazarian, sending him to the floor. (SCU eliminated)

    Fenix and Pac’s team remained intact, with Jungle Boy and Silver representing their respective teams.

    Silver and Pac teed off on one another with jarring strikes, the former getting the best of his opponent with hard kicks to the chest. Pac used Silver’s momentum against him, though, delivering a snap German suplex. Silver staved off elimination from Pac but Fenix added a kick that sent him packing. (Silver and Reynolds eliminated)

    Almost poetically, Jungle Boy proceeded to use Pac’s momentum against him, sending him to the floor. Jungle Boy delivered a poison rana and Fenix answered with a rebound kick. A clothesline followed and Death Triangle earned the win. (Jurassic Express eliminated)



    Death Triangle won






    There was some great action and solid storytelling to be had throughout this match, but battle royales are already convoluted and messy enough without adding more rules and bodies to the mix.

    There were rapid-fire eliminations to clear out room, featuring teams that never really had a shot at winning.

    So why were they involved?

    Among the biggest takeaways was the split of The Natural Nightmares, which will likely see Marshall turn heel and feud with Dustin Rhodes. Jungle Boy turned in another star-making performance late, Fenix wowed and John Silver and Alex Reynolds again showed why they should be a top-tier team in the AEW tag division.

    With all of that said, this is a match that should probably be put back in mothballs or, at the least, reconfigured to make things less messy. For starters, one teammate’s elimination should lead to the departure of the unit, since the idea of tag team wrestling is working as one for a unified goal.

AEW Women's World Championship Match: Hukaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami

5 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Motivated by humiliation suffered by Ryo Mizunami five years ago, AEW women’s champion Hikaru Shida battled her fellow countrywoman, her title up for grabs in the night’s next match.

    Early, ear-ringing chops set the tone for the match, as did Shida’s ferocious, hard-hitting offense. The veteran Mizunami answered. Shida rocked a charging Mizunami with a kick, then folded her up by driving her head-first into the entrance ramp. 

    A superplex back into the ring followed as Shida scored a near-fall. Shida rocked her foe with a forearm, to which Mizunami answered with a barrage of headbutts. A clothesline followed before the challenger executed a devastating, modified Death Valley Driver for a near-fall of her own.

    Shida returned fire, delivering a Tomoshi. Twisted smiles painted the faces of both competitors as they dared the other to unload with another strike. Mizunami delivered a uranage, followed by a spear. The challenger headed up top for a guillotine leg drop but Shida kicked out at two.

    Shida rocked Mizunami with a straightjacket suplex but her opponent fired up and delivered a lariat to the back of the head. Shida recovered and delivered two Falcon Arrows, but could not score the win.

    The competitors continued to score near-falls, each coming within inches of earning the victory.

    Shida delivered another Tomoshi, but Minzunami just barely rolled her shoulder off the mat to prevent the defeat. Shida added one last shot and finally put her opponent down for the win.

    After the match, Nyla Rose, Vickie Guerrero, Britt Baker and Rebel attacked the combatants until Thunder Rosa made the save.



    Shida defeated Mizunami to retain






    First things first: this match does not work as well as it did without Excalibur calling the hell out of it. He laid out the backstory, added layers to it and in the end, helped elevate it even beyond what the women accomplished in the ring.

    Which was, to say, intense.

    Shida and Mizunami beat the hell out of each other in an incredibly physical match. The strikes were wicked, the ferocity behind each undeniable. It was stiff, intense, and surprisingly dramatic. It felt very much like two women battling for both the top prize in the sport and personal bragging rights.

    The post-match antics suggest more of the same involving Baker, Rose and Thunder Rosa is to be expected. Whether any of those three will eventually dethrone Shida remains to be seen but for now, the champion’s historic reign continues.

Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor vs. Miro and Kip Sabian

6 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Miro and Kip Sabian attacked Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy prior to their advertised tag team match Sunday, the unstoppable Miro sending Taylor crashing face-first into a glass window backstage.

    The gutsy Taylor demanded the match be started and demonstrated grittiness as he fended off both The Best Man and Superbad until Cassidy made his presence felt inside Daily’s Place.

    Cassidy obliterated Miro with an Orange Punch but quickly found himself on the defensive against Sabian. Taylor re-entered the match and joined his partner is working over Superbad until Miro rocked The Kentucky Gentleman with a right hand.

    Cassidy fared well against Miro until accidentally wiping out Penelope Ford. Miro showed little concern for his partner’s wife, instead flattening Cassidy with a roundhouse kick and applying his Accolade finisher to Taylor for the submission victory.



    Miro and Sabian defeated Cassidy and Taylor






    Miro and Sabian’s partnership is not long for AEW if the booking of this one is any indication.

    The Best Man used Ford to his advantage. She was a pawn to be taken out, a distraction he could capitalize on. That will not sit well with Sabian, who opted to check on his bride rather than concern himself with Miro and the match at hand.

    Not that it mattered.

    Miro dominated here, withstanding the best a battered Taylor and Cassidy had to offer en route to a win that should help him build momentum moving forward.

    Sabian is a talented competitor and his on-screen pairing with real-life wife Ford is an act AEW should continue to focus on. But that partnership feels beneath Miro at this point as the Bulgarian seeks the bigger, better things that eluded him elsewhere.

Big Money Match: Hangman Page vs. Matt Hardy

7 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    First-quarter earnings were up for grabs in the night’s next match as “Big Money” Matt Hardy battled Hangman Page.

    A cerebral Hardy targeted the right hand and arm of Page, looking to take away Page’s Buckshot Lariat. He stomped on, bit, and twisted the fingers of his opponent as he continued his torturous onslaught. Page scored a near-fall off a crucifix rollup and added a Death Valley Driver for another.

    Hardy nearly earned a count-out victory as Page struggled to recover on the arena floor, but the resilient babyface fought his way back into the squared circle. Hardy continued his onslaught, bringing Page off the top rope with a powerbomb for two.

    Page finally built some momentum for himself with a picture-perfect moonsault off the top rope, wiping Hardy out on the floor.

    Private Party made their presence felt as Page began to roll. The Anxious Millennial Cowboy deposited them to the floor, allowing Dark Order to make the save and wipe Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen out. The misfit faction caught Page, set him on the apron and allowed him to deliver the Buckshot Lariat for the win.

    After the match, Page embraced the group in a big hug.



    Page defeated Hardy






    This was an excellently worked match.

    Hardy showed that veteran in-ring intelligence, recognizing his opponent’s strength and taking it away to the best of his ability. He spent the entirety of the match targeting that right arm and hand, then had Private Party perfectly positioned for the run-in if necessary. 

    What ol’ Big Money did not account for was the genuine friendship between Page and Dark Order. That friendship, not based on money or what one side could do for the other, proved impenetrable and helped Hangman earn the win.

    It was a great example of storytelling elevating what was perfectly acceptable professional wrestling.

Face of the Revolution Ladder Match for a Future TNT Championship Opportunity

8 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    All Ego went All Elite as former Impact Wrestling world tag team champion joined Cody Rhodes, Max Caster, Scorpio Sky, Penta El Zero M, and Lance Archer in the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match for a shot at the TNT Championship.

    Caster used his boombox to his advantage on more than one occasion while Page sandwiched Archer in a ladder. Penta delivered a backstabber to Page, bringing him off the ladder and to the mat below. Rhodes, nursing a shoulder injury, delivered a missile dropkick to Penta.

    Penta answered with a destroyer piledriver over the top rope and onto a ladder propped across the guardrail and ring. His body wracked with pain, Rhodes found himself taken to the back for medical attention. In the ring, Sky brought Caster off the ladder, preventing him from grabbing the brass ring.

    Archer joined both Sky and Caster on the ladders before Page joined in on the festivities. All four men battled atop the ladders until The Murderhawk Madman was knocked to the mat, followed by Page and Caster. Penta stopped Sky from retrieving the ring and Caster brought Page off the ladder with a powerbomb.

    Later, Archer rocked Sky with a jumping knee strike to the face that sent the former world tag team champion off the top rope and through a ladder at ringside. Penta laid out Page and Caster in the corner, then flattened Archer with a crossbody.

    A one-armed Rhodes made his way back to the ring, whipping his opponents with his weight belt and obliterating Page with a Cross Rhodes. He scaled a ladder but Archer met him up top and delivered a massive superplex. Caster followed with the Claim to Fame elbow drop to the back of The American Nightmare. 

    Archer unloaded on his opponents, chokeslamming everyone in sight and delivering a Blackout to Caster onto a ladder. Page stopped Archer from climbing, delivered a low blow and flattened him with an impressive Razor’s Edge. Jake Roberts downed All Ego with a clothesline but ate a superkick from Penta.

    Rhodes delivered the Cody Cutter but Penta recovered and The American Nightmare’s arm with a chair. Sky blasted the Lucha Bro with the same chair. Sky slammed Cody’s arm into the ladder and retrieved the brass ring for the win.



    Sky defeated Rhodes, Penta El Zero M, Archer, Page, and Caster






    The teases of Cody overcoming the odds like John Cena, shaking off injury and winning this match were great. They added a level of drama that could not have been accomplished with any other wrestler on the roster. Why? Because Cody has become the golden boy of AEW, the star everyone just readily assumes is going to win, even if his history does not necessarily reflect that sentiment.

    It is that mindset that allows his matches to be even more heated than they may have otherwise been. They are dramatic and emotional and everyone that works with him benefits.

    Sky’s win was infinitely hotter because he overcame Cody to achieve it. Now, it will be interesting to see if the former SCU member can build on the momentum he has coming out of the match, if only because Allin is one of the top stars in AEW right now and shows no signs of slowing down.

    Page enjoyed a solid-if-understated debut, Penta impressed throughout, Caster took big bumps and Archer still comes out of the match looking like an unstoppable badass.

    The match accomplished what it set out to and provided fans a look at a few programs (Page/Archer, Cody/Sky) they may see play out in the weeks and months to come.

Street Fight: Sting and Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage and Ricky Starks

9 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Prior to the night's penultimate match, Justin Roberts announced AEW's latest signee: Christian Cage. Captain Charisma made his way to the ring and signed his contract amid a nice pop from fans.

    Team Taz’s Brian Cage and Ricky Starkz arrived at the undisclosed location for Sunday’s Street Fight in a sports car. TNT champion Darby Allin skateboarded behind a pickup truck driven by Sting. All four competitors took to the squared circle inside an abandoned warehouse for their much-anticipated showdown and wasted little time taking the fight to each other.

    Cage overpowered and punished Allin, throwing him through a door while Sting proved he didn’t need his trademark baseball bat to neutralize Starks.

    Cage hoisted Allin in a vertical suplex, walked a flight of stairs and dropped him into a trash can. Later, Cage recovered from a table spot to drive Sting into a brick wall, all while Powerhouse Hobbs and Taz’s son Hook double-teamed Allin. The duo sent Allin crashing through a pane of windows while Team Taz focused their attack on The Icon.

    Cage blasted Sting with a shovel and had the legendary competitor in peril before Allin recovered and tossed him the black baseball bat. Sting pummeled the opposition with it and Allin fell several floors through the air, wiping the heels out with a Coffin Drop.

    Back in the ring, Sting looked for the Stinger Splash on Starks but missed. Starks answered with a spear for a near-fall. The former WCW world champion recovered, reversed Starks and delivered the Scorpion Death Drop for the win.



    Sting and Allin defeated Starks and Cage






    The grade for a match of this type is solely reliant upon one’s feelings on cinematic wrestling. It is a trend in the industry that was deemed necessary by the ongoing global pandemic, one that has split audiences. In this instance, AEW and those involved delivered a creative masterpiece.

    The camerawork, the lighting, the spots and the storytelling throughout came together for a presentation that struck the right chord and perfectly masked Sting’s physical shortcomings at this point in his career. 

    The advent of cinematic wrestling has allowed veteran in-ring performers whose bodies otherwise would not be able to withstand the grind of a regular match the opportunity to deliver an acclaimed match. Such was the case for The Icon here, whose performance was infinitely better than expected and more importantly, was true to his persona.

    Not enough can be said about Allin’s creativity and willingness to take risks that others simply would not ever dream of, let alone execute. His Coffin Drop late in the match, falling through the air before crashing into his opponents, was a jaw-dropping spectacle while his bumps throughout really put over the ferocity of Team Taz.

    Kudos to Cage for the stair-climbing vertical suplex spot that was equal parts visually stunning and, in his case, a major flex.

    The right team went over here and, as long as they can continue to utilize him in a similar form or fashion, Sting will be a major asset for AEW for the foreseeable future.

    As for the revelation that Christian has signed with AEW, his value will also be directly tied to his ability to stay healthy. His return at January's Royal Rumble was an emotional moment but was it enough to warrant a an even semi-regular return to the squared circle?

    Time will tell.

Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match for the AEW World Championship

10 of 10

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The opening moments of the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match for the AEW World Championship between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega saw both men avoiding the razor-sharp wire surrounding the squared circle. Moxley got the first upper-hand of the bout, blasting the champion with a kendo stick across the back. 

    His advantage was short-lived as Omega triggered the first explosion of the match, sending the challenger back-first into the barbed wire. Mox nursed his lower leg, which Omega immediately targeted. He trapped a bloodied Moxley in a Figure Four, looking for a submission. Moxley answered by grabbing a wire-wrapped chair and sawing away at his opponent’s leg.

    Omega tried for a snapdragon. Moxley fought out but The Cleaner sent him into a barbed wire board, cracking it in half. A moonsault followed for two. Mox, in a moment of desperation, sent Omega into the wire twice, detonating two explosions.

    Moxley sent Omega into another wire board, driving him down with a suplex of his own. He wrapped wire around his own arm and tried for a clothesline, only to eat a snapdragon. Then another. Omega rocked him with a V-Trigger but Moxley, feeding off his own adrenaline, delivered the lariat.

    Omega drove his foe into the ropes, necessitating another explosion, before selling the explosives’ affect on his eyesight. Moments later, champion and challenger were introduced to one-third of Triple Hell as Moxley delivered a Paradigm Shift off the apron and onto a large bed of barbed wire, complete with more pyro.

    Back in the ring, Moxley used a spool of barbed wire on the now-bloodied Omega. A piledriver followed as the commentary team sold the countdown to the ring exploding at the 30-minute mark.

    Omega delivered consecutive V-Triggers, then added the One-Winged Angel. Moxley hit the ropes during the pinfall, igniting an explosion that blinded Omega. The Good Brothers made the save and gave Omega an exploding barbed wire bat that he used on his opponent, but could not keep him down.

    Omega delivered a One-Winged Angel on a chair and earned the hard-fought win.

    After the match, Omega and The Good Brothers beat a handcuffed Moxley down. The countdown clock aired on the screen and Eddie Kingston hit the ring, fending off the heels and covering Moxley up. 



    Omega defeated Moxley to retain






    Much like the cinematic match that preceded it, opinions of this match are related directly to one’s enjoyment of that particular style.

    Death matches are not, have never been, and never will be this writer’s forte. The best ones convey a level of violence befitting the rivalry and the worst are merely exercises in unnecessary gore. The feud between Moxley and Omega certainly earned a death match conclusion.

    The problem is, they already had that match in November 2019 at Full Gear. There was nowhere to go from there but bigger, louder, more ridiculous and absurd.

    That’s what we got here. None of the violence matched what they accomplished in that first match. Here, it was all bells and whistles. It was, quite literally, smoke and mirrors. 

    Were there gutsy performances from guys putting their bodies at risk? Absolutely, and they deserve a ton of respect for doing so.

    Did anyone watch that match and think for a second that it was absolutely necessary in order to tell Moxley and Omega’s story? Probably not.

    That the climax, the “exploding ring,” was a dud that made both the wrestlers and commentary only made matters worse. It did more harm than good.

    Moxley and Omega had the match this needed to be already and anything that failed to live up to the impossibly high bar set that night in Baltimore was going to be a disappointment.

    There will be those that fiercely defend the match and try to explain why it was a layered masterpiece deserving of ninety-hundred stars (ninety-one hundred if it took place in the Tokyo Dome). That's fine. It's their opinion and a reflection of their tastes in wrestling.

    It is a shame that this was not quite as impactful as it should have been because Kingston coming to the aid of Moxley, proving his love and friendship of the man that ended his championship dreams is still there, was a great bit of dramatic storytelling that Tony Khan and Co. should absolutely exploit Wednesday night on Dynamite.

    That, above everything, should be the takeaway from the Revolution main event.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.