Another PPV is in the books for All Elite Wrestling and it was yet another unbelievable event at Revolution 2022. While it didn’t have the historical significance of All In, as far as entertainment value and sheer quality it was just as good, if not better than what I considered one of the best wrestling PPVs in the past decade.
Revolution was a microcosm of what AEW is, providing something for everyone in the ring along with some surprises along the way. I think an argument can be made for six different matches being considered match of the night, it was that great, in my eyes.
The only criticism that I can see having merit is the total length of the show, which clocked in at around five hours, including the buy-in pre-show. While I’m not one of them, I do understand those that think it was simply too long. The reason I don’t see the length as a negative, personally, is that it was so good and AEW only does four PPVs per year. It would be much different if AEW did these shows every month. Starting off with the Buy-In, I felt like it was the best use of that pre-show concept AEW has used yet. The Buy-In is something AEW especially struggled with on their early PPVs but we got a nice mix of terrific in-ring action and video packages highlighting what you would see on the PPV itself. I’m going to rate each match from the show using the tried and true star rating system but the way I’m going to do it is going to be simple. Anything below two stars I consider to be a bad match. Anything below one star (a negative rating) is awful. Between two and three stars is an okay to solid match, while three stars and above is a good match. Four stars and above is an excellent match and five stars is a match of the year candidate.
Kris Statlander and Leyla Hirsch have been feuding for a few months, primarily on AEW Dark, culminating in their match in the Buy-In with Hirsch taking the win in a solid opening bout. The two women worked well together – both are power wrestlers but also extremely athletic – and while neither of them have the promo aspect of the game down pat, this feud continuing could lead to even better action from the two. I’m really high on both of them, so it was good to see them get some time to have a good match. **1/2
HOOK has been one of the biggest surprises of the last year going from what was virtually just an internet meme to being a true potential breakout star for AEW. He’s been protected for months and his match with QT Marshall was still a squash match but Marshall got a bit more offense than others HOOK has faced. We will truly get to see what HOOK is made of when he’s finally put in there with bigger competition in the coming months. **
The trios match that capped off the Buy-In between the Death Triangle and Erick Redbead (what an awful name) against the House of Black was probably the biggest surprise of the night. It was one of the best trios matches in AEW history and definitely the best match they’ve ever aired on the Buy-In. Redbeard held his own here and the other five guys in the match were out of this world. The mind-blowing thing is that when Fenix is healthy the trios matches these two sides can have is going to be truly special. ****
The main show opened up with the best match in Chris Jericho’s AEW career and I truly believe that. The wildest thing about the match was this was Jericho having an Eddie Kingston-style match, almost as if it had been ripped out of 1990s All Japan Pro Wrestling. The suplexes, strikes and just sheer aggression displayed both men was stellar. This feud went from one that I was lukewarm on to being something I want to see much, much more of. ****
Following up such a slugfest of a match was a hard act to follow, but AEW did so putting the Young Bucks, Jurassic Express and reDRagon out there to absolutely blow the roof off the building with one of the wildest three-ways we’ve seen in awhile. Some of the sequences that were pulled off in this match – especially by Jungle Boy – have to be seen to be believed. The Shooting Star Press/Death Sentence combo that Jurassic Express did was simply unreal. This match isn’t going to be some people’s cup of tea simply because the tag rules were thrown out the window and it was a lucha-style match of pure chaos but I loved every second of it. ****1/2
Following up that wild three-way match with the Ladder Match was probably a mistake considering you went from one chaotic match to the next. Still, all of those involved busted their asses and the bump Ricky Starks took to end the match was brutal. While Keith Lee winning was something a lot of people wanted – myself included – the Wardlow win was probably the right move, especially considering what happened later. ***
Jade Cargill faced her stiffest competition to date and her improvement in the ring has never been on display more. She has been protected in much the same way that HOOK is currently being protected but her training with Bryan Danielson has added so many new wrinkles to her game that her one weakness – how green she was in the ring – is disappearing before our eyes. I’m really looking forward to what she can do in the months ahead. ***
The CM Punk-MJF rivalry has been easily the most engaging feud of the last several years and the promise of pure brutality in this match did not let down. Everything about the match was as close to as perfect as it could come in my mind, and this is coming from someone who has never truly liked the Dog Collar gimmick. Everything from the entrances – with MJF doing the fake out with Punk’s music to Punk breaking out his old ROH theme and gear – to the physicality of the match all the way to Wardlow’s final turn was everything that I love about wrestling. The reaction and pop that Wardlow got for simply sitting the diamond ring on the mat says everything about the way they’ve told that story. Additionally, CM Punk’s return to wrestling – and his falling back in love with wrestling – may be the best return story since Shawn Michaels’ comeback in 2002. *****
The first surprise , while not really much of a secret, was Shane “Swerve” Strickland officially being announced as signing with AEW. He cut a short promo and the crowd was completely into him. Out of all of the recent AEW signings, Strickland is right up there with Keith Lee as the guys I’m most excited about seeing where they go. Strickland was a standout in Lucha Underground and MLW before he signed with the Evil Empire.
Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa was really the one misstep I felt like AEW had last night, and that’s not to say that the match was bad. They not only had a tough act to follow on the card but they also had to follow their own classic from last year and failed to do so. Part of the problem was the incessant interference in Baker matches – to the point they’re using it as a crutch to not have her beating every female into dust during this title run – but also that they went from having a bloody Lights Out Match on TV to having a simple, average wrestling match on PPV. My only hope here is that all of the interference is ultimately going to lead to a Steel Cage Match where Rosa will finally wrestle the title away from Baker. **
As Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson came to the ring it seemed like the crowd was close to burning out but the physicality of their match and how great the two worked together pulled them back into it and then when William Regal made his entrance the fans were completely back into the show again. The match was yet another banger on Danielson’s resume since coming to AEW but the potential of what they could do as a pairing – or in a group – led by Regal as their manager is exciting. ****
I honestly don’t think there is much more I can say about Sting’s AEW run that I haven’t already said but it is flat out inspiring to see how hard he works every time he gets in the ring. I don’t want to see Sting get hurt, I truly don’t as I grew up idolizing the Stinger, but to say I didn’t have a gigantic grin on my face as he soared through the air off a damn balcony would be a lie. The tornado trios match was sheer chaos, exactly what you would expect, and it cannot be downplayed how unbelievable Sting is at 61 years old. ***1/2
I came into the Main Event convinced AEW was going to make the change to put the belt on Adam Cole but was pleasantly surprised when they gave Adam Page another big successful defense instead. I also believe it was the right decision. The match itself was terrific even when it seemed like a portion of the crowd might be starting to turn on Hangman – before ultimately popping for the finish – and I think this is a match we will see again down the line. I’m not sure where AEW goes from here but could see MJF moving into the challenger role, while Adam Cole moves into continuing the Bullet Club/Elite drama, especially with Kenny Omega’s return on the horizon. ****
All in all, Revolution was one of AEW’s best PPVs and continues a string of terrific big events from the promotion. I feel like no matter what style of wrestling you like, there was something here for you. From technical wrestling to brawling to Japanese style matches to high flying wrestling to hardcore matches and everything in between, there was something for you. Whether it’s buying the DVD down the road or catching the replay, I highly recommend giving this event a chance even if you haven’t enjoyed AEW in the past.