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2023 AEW Revolution Reviews

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Rob's Reviews

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks (Jericho Appreciation Society banned from ringside)

The night started hot for the crowd with Chris Jericho’s Judas entrance and beloved babyface Ricky Starks. This was a slower match without a lot of spots to talk about. The Jericho Appreciation Society still ended up coming out to help, so the stipulation was functionally pointless but it made sense with the group’s nature. Starks got the win, and it felt like the big win he has needed coming off the losing end of great feuds with Powerhouse Hobbs and MJF.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Jack Perry vs. Christian Cage (Final Burial Match)

The heat from this feud had cooled off quite a bit from All Out and Full Gear. Whatever happened to Luchasaurus anyway? This match was still necessary closure from the intense Christian Cage and Jack Perry feud from last year, highlighted by the finishing con-chair-to by Perry to his former mentor. This was another smart but slow match led by a former WWE guy who had been wrestling since the 90s orchestrated entirely to get a young AEW guy over. Hopefully, Perry can move on to bigger and better things now.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

The Elite vs. House of Black (AEW Trios Championships)

To this point, this was the clear match of the night from an in-ring perspective. The Elite’s reign has worked to build credibility for a blossoming Trios division, and there are still so many more teams that could be featured. Everyone in the House of Black looked better after this match. I was pleasantly surprised that they picked up this much-needed win for their credibility, and the group can hopefully succeed in being featured moving forward.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho vs. Saraya (AEW Women’s Championship)

In my opinion, AEW has the weakest women’s division of any major wrestling promotion, but this match proved yet again it is not the fault of the talented women. Jamie Hayter got one of the biggest pops of the night to this point, and the women showed off unique technical wrestling. The feud and match played into the story of Ruby Soho picking a side. Hayter got the win by rollup setting up a post-match brawl where Soho finally decided to stand up to heels Toni Storm and Saraya. Before immediately betraying Hayter and Britt Baker and siding with Storm and Saraya. Admittedly, the ending didn’t make any sense besides trying to swerve the crowd, but I do think long-term it makes the most sense for Soho to team with other former AEW “Outsiders”. Now, Baker and Hayter will need to find a new ally to even the odds as this feud continues.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page (Texas Death Match)

I’m not a death match guy, but I love that AEW doesn’t shy away from death matches that make me want to look away from the TV. We knew Jon Moxley was willing to do insane things for our entertainment, but I’d be surprised if Adam Page didn’t win most hardcore wrestling fans’ adoration by the end of the night with his toughness too. These two put forth brutal spots with barbed wire, forks, and bricks that have to be seen for yourself. In the end, Page hung Moxley with a chain outside the ring which got Moxley to tap out, something I don’t believe we’ve seen in AEW in line with Moxley’s character. This was a worthy payoff to a blood feud and a comeback moment for Page.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow (TNT Championship)

I was admittedly unexcited for the feud at this point, but these guys brought intensity to the ring. Getting Samoa Joe to pass out is a big moment for Wardlow, who at this time last year was one of AEW’s hottest rising stars. Still, my excitement for this moment was quelled by the 50/50 booking, hot potatoing the championship between Wardlow-Joe-Darby Allin-Joe-Wardlow. The TNT Championship is easily AEW’s weakest championship right now, and they have to take a serious look to decide what went wrong that I wasn’t excited to see these two giants with a pre-existing feud face off.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

The Gunns vs. Jarrett and Lethal vs. the Acclaimed vs. Orange Cassidy and Danhausen (AEW Tag Team Championships)

Even though I think the four-way stipulation took away from the stories of the tag team division, it made this match so much more dynamic in-ring. Danhausen looked the best he has in the ring despite being the one who ultimately ate the pin. Orange Cassidy and Danhausen are so beloved that the Best Friends faction needs to win the tag team or trios championships at some point. My favorite spot was when Danhausen and Billy Gunn ultimately took down Satnam Singh. In the end, a shuffle ended in the Gunns winning the match, and even though I was disappointed, I have to admit it was a good showing for the Gunns to be still AEW Tag Team Champions. In the post-match, they called themselves the greatest tag team, baiting FTR to return. Inevitably, it seems the Gunns winning was all a setup for FTR to win the championships from heels and set up what will surely be insane rematches with the Acclaimed, the Young Bucks, and more of AEW’s tag division.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

MJF vs. Bryan Danielson (AEW World Championship, 60-Minute Ironman Match)

I’m not even sure where to start with this match. Like the story earlier where Adam Page proved he could hang in a death match with Jon Moxley, MJF proved throughout the match that he could hang technically with Bryan Danielson. Their technical sequences were enough to get me clapping on my couch at home. Still, MJF needed assistance throughout the match. He took more than a few water breaks, including one that included dumping water on a kid in the crowd and taunting Dave Meltzer in the camera asking if this would cost him a star.

I love that the match played out super logically, as it took almost a half-hour for Bryan Danielson to get a clean fall on MJF. Danielson did look a little like the dumb babyface, as he took his time to get back to MJF despite the no recovery time rule. In contrast, MJF exploited this by taking a DQ for a low blow to Danielson and getting two quick pins in succession. It was maybe the best I’ve ever seen a heel exploit the rules.

Later in the match, the two started targeting each other’s body parts. MJF hurt his knee on a moonsault to the outside that Danielson targeted with a barrage of submissions. Danielson hurt his shoulder diving into the barricade, and MJF also targeted his historically injured head and neck with piledrivers. The commentary did a great job pointing out around the 40-minute mark that MJF had reached the longest match of his career. In contrast, this wasn’t even in Bryan Danielson’s top 5 longest yet. Danielson hit a flying headbutt that made MJF bleed more than Moxley or Page did earlier in the night.

Tied with five minutes left, the two traded blows in a sequence that confirmed what we suspected all night: Danielson was in better shape to go the distance than MJF. Danielson got MJF in a brutal half-Boston crab with a minute left, and astoundingly, MJF hung on the whole time, only tapping out after time expired. The guys were tended to while the crowd booed and eventually word came from Tony Khan that this was going to sudden death rules with the next fall winning. MJF almost got himself disqualified and tapped out again after getting a rope break for Danielson. He ended up using an oxygen tank to hit Danielson out of the ref’s view and used the Labelle Lock to tap out Danielson. By hook or by crook, MJF is still your AEW Champion. For the second time in the night, a member of the Blackpool Combat Club tapped out to an AEW original. I could complain about moments of the match that were slower or MJF’s tendencies for dirty finishes, but I can’t even pretend to weigh that against the excellence that was this match.

Final Grade: 10/10 Perfect

Reverse Hipster's Reviews

Ricky Starks vs. Jericho 7.6/10 C

This match was pretty average throughout. They exchanged slaps and holds, and Jericho worked the injured ribs of Starks. Sammy came out to interfere, and Action Andretti stopped him, and Jericho very obviously tapped Ricky Starks to get him off so that Jericho could hit Starks with the bat. The saving grace of this match is the ending when Ricky kicks out and reverses the Judist effect to win with his finisher.

Christian vs. Jungle Boy Casket Match 8.1/10 B

Christian Cage tested Jungle Boy. He slammed him against the stairs, hitting him with a chair and a killswitch. Cage busted Jungle Boy's head against the casket over and over again. In the end, Jungle boy choked Cage with a shovel, put Christians's head on a chair, and slammed another chair into the back of Christians Cage's skull. It was maybe the most brutal example of that chair shot that I have ever seen. However, Christian cornered Jungle Boy and forced him to go to that length. Anything less than that would have gotten Jungle Boy beaten. Jungle has flipped the switch and finally put the nail in Christian's coffin.

The Elite vs. House of Black Trios Titles Match 9.5/10 A

This match didn't just justify the existence of the trio's titles. This match put out the message that you are missing out if your wrestling company doesn't have trios titles. This match was simply fantastic from bell to bell, from the chills of the atmosphere when Omega and Black were in the ring together( that match has got to happen), to the crazy reversals and ridiculous trios offense. It's hard to pick a spot of the match in a match like this, but for me, it's Buddy Mathews. The Bucks went for their Meltzer driver, and when Matt jumped off the ropes, Buddy hit him with the sickest knee to the face, and then the House of Black seized control and won the match. The House of Black has one of its first Titles, and what a win it was. They are the only ones that could have taken the titles off the Elite.

Jaime Hayter vs. Ruby vs. Saraya AEW Women's Championship 8.3/10 B

This match was above average. The action was good, but not great throughout. However, everybody got a chance to shine. Ruby was flying around, taking everyone out. Saraya is hitting page-turners and one of the nastiest Rampages I have ever seen where she dumped Hayter on top of her head. Hayter beat up Ruby and Saraya by herself. She close-lined them both, Slammed them both, and nearly pinned them both. However, the ending is what takes this match down from its potential. Hayter rolls up Ruby, and that's how the match ends, which was pretty lame. However, what saves it a bit is the fact that Ruby turned heel after the match by pretending to so side with Hayter and Britt before turning on them.

Adam Page vs. Moxley Texas Death Match 8.6/10 B

Moxley pushed Page in this match. Moxley busted Page open with a fork and stabbed him in his head repeatedly. Moxley smashed his hand with a brick and threw Page into a bed of Barbwire, tombstoned him into a barbwire chair before hitting with it. Moxley hit Page with a future shock DDT and stomped his head on a brick.

Page would not stay down no matter what. He busted Moxley open with barbwire. Page put the Barbwire around himself and jumped onto Moxley, sacrificing himself to inflict pain. In the end, Page hit Moxley with a Buckshot Lariat and choked Moxley with a chain until he tapped out. My knock against this match is Moxley should have won. Page got his head stumped into a brick. He definitely should have been done there. Also, if Moxley was going to lose, why have him tap instead of being knocked into unconsciousness?

Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow TNT Title 8/10 B-

The action was on the high end of decent for most of the match. Wardlow pulled some high-flying moves, and Joe stuck to power moves. However, things took a turn at the end when Samoa Joe tried a powerbomb symphony and instead got choked out with his own move. Wardlow choking Joe out saves this match and makes it noteworthy. Also, such a strong finish goes a long way in restoring Wardlow's aura.

The Acclaimed vs. The Gunns vs. Jarret & Lethal vs. Danhausen & Orange Cassidy AEW Tag Championship Match 8.3/10

The action was fun, and the Gunns were the right winners. The crowd went silent when the Gunns won, but they were the right ones. If the Gunns had used a weapon and beaten Bowens, then they would have gotten a bigger reaction. Pinning Danhausen was the most predictable thing they could have done. The two biggest complaints about this match are that the spot between all the managers was my spot of the match. However, when the managers steal the show, the match needs to do more. Also, Tony Schiavone very clearly said this match was no disqualification, and yet Aubrey stopped Caster from using the Gutair that Jeff was about to use. It makes zero sense, like the ref waiving off Seth in a Hell in Cell match.

MJF vs. Bryan Danielson AEW World Title 10/10 A+

MJF and Bryan surpassed Brett and Shawn's WrestleMania Iron Man match. While watching the match, I wondered how the hour-long limit was helping to elevate the match. However, at about 20 minutes, it became clear. All the work wasn't meant to be done throughout the match. Instead, it was meant to build and build and set up the last 10-15 minutes. There were so many incredible moments in this match. MJF Tombstoned Bryan through a table and off the top rope. Bryan had all three limbs locked in submission, and he fought to the rope WITH ONE FRICKEN LEG.

Ultimately, this match could not be contained and went into overtime. The pace was frantic MJF tried to cheat several times, but it didn't work. Bryan hit his signature flying knee and had the whole crowd chanting yes, but MJF kicked out somehow. Later, MJF used an oxygen tank to hit Bryan and knock him out. Then he applied the Yes Lock. Bryan heroically almost powered out with his last bit of strength in his reserve before tapping out.

This match had me jumping out of my seat at home. It was so much more than just spots. This was a war of wills between two men trying to justify their existence in AEW. MJF cheated a lot, but he still went the distance with Bryan Danielson, and he just had the best match of his career and arguably his biggest win. Bryan Danielson reached a new peak in AEW. He was 2014, Bryan. He had the whole crowd chanting yes. I'll admit it I got sucked in too. I knew it was early in MJF's reign, so he probably shouldn't lose, but I was like, logic be damned, Bryan has to win! Look at all that he has done! Hats off to AEW because they kept Bryan strong even in a tap-out. This was a match for the ages.

Rob's Final Thoughts

AEW Revolution was a card that will be remembered by a perfect, nearly 75-minute main event. However, the rest of the card was pretty good too. Many online were saying this match will be remembered for being the launching point for AEW’s younger stars, and I tend to agree looking at the results. Ricky Starks, Jack Perry, House of Black, Jamie Hayter, Adam Page, Wardlow, the Gunns, and MJF were all the big winners of the night. Page made Moxley tap out, Wardlow choked out Samoa Joe, and MJF made Bryan Danielson tap out. My only complaint in that regard is that AEW needs to put someone on duty to make sure the matches are distinct enough from each other: the first two matches were slower, three matches ended in a surprising tap out, and the Women’s Match ended in a rollup/non-decisive finish again (this feels like a trend for AEW). Overall, it is tough to complain when you get a night of good-to-perfect wrestling and an early favorite for the match of the year.

Overall Grade: 7.5/10 Good-Great

Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.5/10 B

Last year I thought AEW Revolution was way too long. This year AEW cut down a match and had a way better pace. This PPV never felt like a drawl. The pacing was so much better this year. Also, the matches were way better this year. The top matches on this card were 5 to 10 points higher than the ones from last year. Also, the lowest-rated match was still higher rated than last year.

This PPV delivered on the big money matches and pushed forward stories in a compelling way. AEW is clearly getting better with PPV's which were a bit of a weakness last year.

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