Winners, card predictions for Revolution 2023
The first PPV of 2023 is shaping up quite steadily. With a potential 60-minute Ironman headliner, untouchable champions, and, oh, those sweet matches that could go either way: AEW Revolution seems to have the main bases covered.
And six whole weeks away is just in time for early predictions — way too early, in fact.
MJF (c) v Bryan Danielson (60-Minute Ironman, AEW World Championship)
Per MJF’s conditions, Bryan Danielson must win every match he’s in from January 4th until February 8th. Only then would the World Champion allow Danielson to challenge him at Revolution. But should Danielson win those matches, they will have a 60-Minute Ironman match. Given the challenger’s credentials, it is 100% a safe bet that he accomplishes this.
The Ironman stipulation is meant to expose MJF as someone who doesn’t wrestle often not because he’s some special attraction, but because he’s really not that good a wrestler. At the same time, Danielson hasn’t won a single PPV bout since defeating Miro at Full Gear 2021.
The numbers are on MJF’s side, who also likely has a “plan” prepared, especially this early into his reign.
The Acclaimed (c) v The Gunns (AEW World Tag Team Championship)
The Acclaimed have beaten the Gunns in a big way, putting them away in a Dumpster match in 2022. A year later, the young teams renew their iconic rivalry, this time for the tag belts. And this time around, with the Gunns holding a win over (then-AAA and IWGP tag champions) FTR.
“Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn is caught in the middle of all this, and it’s starting to show. He’s like the giant, walking symbol of how this bout could go either way. But overall, the Gunn brothers don’t seem to have championship-level momentum in the ring as of late.
Jamie Hayter (c) v Toni Storm v Hikaru Shida (AEW Women’s World Championship)
Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida are the most prominently featured women in the division. No one else has stood out as a PPV-worthy challenger to Jamie Hayter — and neither seem a more obvious candidate than the other.
Barring some tag match involving Saraya, the Women’s World title may be defended in a three-way. Storm and Shida each had late 2022 MOTY contenders against Hayter. Putting all 3 together, with an “originals v new crop” narrative forming, we might just have to sit back and watch the world explode. (Though I will admit, this does make more sense thematically for Double or Nothing.)
Good luck either way; Hayter’s just getting started.
Swerve Strickland v Keith Lee
In the likely event that Keith Lee returns sooner rather than later, he is absolutely gunning for former tag partner Swerve Strickland. Will Lee need back-up, now that Strickland has some goons with him? Probably. But Lee will only be thinking about the nasty cinderblock stomp. And at the end of the day, this is a man-to-man deal — at least, in Lee’s mind.
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
The Face of the Revolution Ladder match winner gets a TNT title shot not long after the PPV. (Yes, the open challenge belt.) For this reason, we could speculate the participation of former champions Wardlow and Samoa Joe, who have each been off TV since dropping the title. We’re also likely to have Death Triangle, LFI, BCC, and JAS representation.
Less likely is the involvement of Powerhouse Hobbs, who seems dead-set on “sending a message” over title aspirations for now. Adam Cole maybe isn’t touching a Ladder match this soon after a return from concussions. The current TNT champion doesn’t have a clear spot on the card, which seems unlikely for Tony Khan, so this match itself may be for the title.
But the real prediction here is who’s winning. In terms of momentum and who’s sustained it the longest, Jungle Boy is a safer bet than most.
WINNER: JUNGLE BOY
Rest of the Card
The Elite (c) v Jon Moxley, Top Flight (AEW World Trios Championship)
Top Flight has been (sigh) on the rise since reuniting just before 2023. They’ve gone on to beat The Kingdom; to winning a trios battle royal after last eliminating current ROH World Champion, Claudio Castagnoli; to scoring their biggest tag team win against World Trios titleholders, the Young Bucks. That last feat alone, of defeating the current champions, is case enough to earn them a Trios title match.
Which brings us to their third. While AR Fox is the man they won the battle royal with, the trio have lacked any association afterwards. Blackpool Combat Club have been the ones with/opposite Top Flight since December 2022. The energy in every match has been a joy, especially seeing Darius Martin finding his groove and confidence against the veterans. For having stepped up successfully, an official BCC invite may be coming their way.
With Jon Moxley the only BCC member outside of a title picture, he and Top Flight may be the combination to prepare for. (If it does happen, that’s Jon Moxley-Kenny Omega revisited after 2 years.)
Jericho Appreciation Society v Ricky Starks, Action Andretti, Adam Cole*
Chris Jericho isn’t dropping a grudge in a month. He averages at about 6 or 7. While the big PPV payoff could still be a Chris Jericho-Ricky Starks rematch, it’s more likely that the significant involvement of other J.A.S. members, and “the jobber” Action Andretti, is leading to a multiman.
There’s been no hint of a third potential partner for the J.A.S. opposition. But Adam Cole is a worthy stab in the dark. Cole and Jericho is an interaction that has to happen at some point. The returning star could just as easily have a singles bout at the PPV, but he seems a different man lately. He just might feel like extending a hand outside his usual circle. (Or maybe this is the TNT Champion’s spot on the card.)
WINNER: (NOT J.A.S.)
The one-hour Ironman is guaranteeing a smaller match count for the PPV. For that reason, I see Eddie Kingston v Ortiz on the Zero Hour (unless we’re getting another ‘third man’ story and they’re fighting House of Black again). Elsewhere on the pre-show, probably a women’s tag in place of a TBS title defense, barring something big happening soon with Jade Cargill. And probably something from Best Friends, Hook, Will Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita, and the Sonjay Dutt crew. This Ironman match is really warping the whole show. Let’s find out how the weeks play out.