AEW Revolution is home to another all-time classic
The lead-up to Revolution 2023 was subject to plenty of criticism. Having the longest build for any AEW PPVs, as well as the show-warping presence of a 60-minute Ironman match, Revolution had to sell you on a smaller card, involving the fewest wrestlers, for the longest amount of time.
I’m certainly not exempt from criticizing this PPV, in general. I’ve had it pegged as AEW’s least prominent PPV, with the caveat that some of their all-time best product took place at or ahead of this event. And that very trend continues with Revolution 2023.
(5) Ruby Soho finally makes a decision
Might as well call this “Ruby Soho finally grows a spine.”
Soho had 2 months to think about it. In that time, she made it clear she wants nothing to do with these Originals/Outsiders labels. Toni Storm and Saraya were not “her girls” any more than Team D.M.D. were. That’s sensible enough, except that having her entire personality be about what she’s not taking part of was incredibly hard to root for.
If Soho really wanted to represent the outcasts or the middle ground of this whole situation, she would have continued to team with Willow Nightingale. But that “Runaway” knew exactly where her loyalties were.
(4) Jungle Boy finds his killer instinct
Christian Cage won the first bout against Jungle Boy. That match may as well have never happened.
Such is the power of a decisive win at the end of a hard-fought battle. For Jungle Boy, that battle wasn’t just the minutes and the dirt of this match. It traces back to Full Gear 2021, when he hesitated to go for the kill in a Falls Count Anywhere match, where he teamed with Cage. It traces back to the title challenges Cage accepted on behalf of tag champion Jungle Boy, as part of Jurassic Express. Every time Cage talked down on Jungle Boy’s family is vindicated by this victory via Conchairto for “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry, who finds his edge at Cage’s expense.
(3) House of Black capture World Trios Championship
In a marquee match given about 90 combined seconds of build-up, the House of Black captured the World Trios Championship from the Elite. This fast-paced bout was a festival of strikes and punchy sequences, in order to score the all-important pinfall. The urgency was felt all the way to the commentary desk, with Don Callis openly admitting how concerned he was with the result of this match. And after a beautiful struggle, HOB found the opening to hit a double finisher to finally win gold in AEW.
However, there is an overall feeling that this match, and the implications of this rivalry, aren’t it yet.
(2) Texas Deathmatch
This was old school, brutal, and dirty. One man revels in the aesthetic of violence, the other is unapologetically repelled by it. But for one night, they spoke the same language.
Adam Page and Jon Moxley infused unique elements into what Renee Paquette characterized in video packages as their violent therapy session. The use of bricks, for one, conveyed something bigger than “No Holds Barred” or “Street Fight.” For the duration of the match, every staple move in each man’s arsenal seemed linked to a staple pro wrestling weapon, giving it multiple layers of escalation and hatred.
This had strong Heart and Soul versus Ace energy. And true to Paquette’s word, it was a bloody cathartic fight between two opposing faces of the Texas Deathmatch.
(1) 60-Minute Ironman match
Props to both MJF and Bryan Danielson. This was a difficult match to pull off, let alone exceed all expectations with.
Both men paced themselves (especially in the opening minutes) like the risks were not worth it. Excalibur set the stage on commentary about how Danielson has been a proven ironman many times over, but has never won a title in AEW. And how the World Champion MJF’s longest career match prior to this was 20 minutes shy of a full hour. But the action would pick up, pinfalls were grabbed strategically, blood spilled slowly, and the stakes really unfolded before us all.
For fans who wondered about this Revolution card getting capped by this Ironman match; well, this was the main event you came looking for. And the sudden death overtime was the dessert on top of a delectable experience. Instant classic.
- FTR returns to confront World Tag Team Champions, The Gunns
- Adam Page’s Texas Deathmatch entrance
- Orange Cassidy and Danhausen’s matching attires
- Zero Hour cuts the fat of bonus matches in favor of interviews