Tensions are Mounting for AEW Revolution

Kenta Kobayashi became the most recent NJPW wrestler to debut with AEW (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons via CC BY-SA 2.0)

With February half over, AEW’s Revolution is just around the corner. Team Taz continues to make a mockery of Darby Allin, The Inner Circle is in shambles and the AEW Women’s Tournament to determine the number one contender is in full swing. 

We don’t know much about the rest of the card, but MJF and Jericho will take on Matt and Nick Jackson for the Tag Team Championships. The pay per view will also feature the much anticipated in-ring return of Sting.. He’s teaming up with the TNT Champion Darby Allin to take on Team Taz members Ricky Starks and Brian Cage in a street fight. This week’s show focused heavily on developing the narrative and excitement around the March 7 event. 

Allin started off the Feb. 10 show with a TNT title defense against “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela. While these two have great chemistry in the ring together, this booking left many confused. AEW has boasted that wins and losses count very much from the start. They have stayed true to that for the most part. However, this opener match was an exception. Janela isn’t even ranked this year. He hasn’t wrestled a single match on their flagship show. So the confusion surrounding Janela as the challenger is very justified.

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With that said, these two have wrestled each other many times. Their most notable meeting came at AEW’s second pay-per-view, ‘All Out’ in 2019 in a Cracker Barrel Hardcore match. While Janela wasn’t ranked prior to this match, the contrast between the two is very interesting. Darby has ascended the ranks, while Janela has been noticeably absent. Tension was high in the match as “The Bad Boy” had something to prove. And while he gave Allin a run for his money, he was no match for the Coffin Drop finisher, succumbing to the 1-2-3. 

The Sammy Guevara and MJF feud finally came to a headway this week. Freidman attempted to record Sammy saying things out of context that sounded like he was bashing Le Champion, Chris Jericho. Thankfully Guevara noticed, ripped the phone out of his hand and threw it against the wall, smashing it to pieces. He followed this up with a fierce punch to the gut that left MJF on the ground. We would see this play out in a big way at the end of the tag team match pitting Jericho and Jacob Freidman against The Acclaimed.

Cody Rhodes’ on-screen role has diminished so much from what it was at the start of the company. Yes, Brandi is pregnant and he’s focusing on his operation role high up within the company. But Cody is such a treat to watch, and his talents are missed dearly. His brother Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall have switched gears and become a coach and mentor to young talent like Cody’s tag team partner Lee Johnson. Johnson is a very young up and comer who caught the eye of the Rhodes family. That’s not something to take lightly.

Lee proved he could hang with the boys during the match as they took on Pretty Peter Avalon and Cesar Bononi. Arn Anderson’s son Rock Anderson was even at ringside to see his dad work as he is trying to get into the business. Cody took Avalon lightly last time they met, and it nearly cost him a loss on his record. So this time around he took it to him and Bononi. Lee did his job as a tag team partner supporting Rhodes, and even got to showcase his skills at points in the match. His efforts were enough to score his first-ever AEW victory, and Cody’s first tag team victory of the year also. 

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Much to my surprise, I have actually really enjoyed the Hangman and Matt Hardy story, in which Hardy has been trying his damndest to sign Page and take 30% of his earnings. To all of us, this sounds absurd, but Mattitude had a plan. Knowing Adam Page’s love for drinking, he rented an entire bar out for just the two of them. With Page heavily inebriated, Hardy presented a contract to the lonely cowboy, who eagerly signed. Matt Hardy is an evil genius, and when Hangman sobers up next week, he sure won’t be happy about being swindled.

Since coming back to AEW about a month ago, PAC has been on an absolute rampage in his quest for Omega. This week he had the guilty pleasure of taking on newcomer “Hollywood Hunk” Ryan Nemeth. While Nemeth showed some skill, this was child’s play for The Bastard. He hit his patented Black Arrow finisher with finesse, and put the rookie in his devastating Brutalizer finisher for a quick tap to end the bout. This only slightly satiated the crazed man’s appetite for blood, leaving many wondering what he’ll do next.

As mentioned earlier, the Jericho and MJF tag team match had an explosive ending. While The Acclaimed have demonstrated that they are capable of challenging for the tag titles, the Inner Circle storyline dominated the night. As expected, they cheated to win, which is a shame. I sure would like to see them win clean, even just once.

The entire faction gathered in the ring after the match. Suddenly, they were interrupted by “Le Sex God” Sammy Guevara’s music. He came to the ring and Jericho questioned him for the “beat down” he inflicted on MJF. Le Champion clearly hadn’t seen the footage of the phone incident and demanded answers. Guevara said “I told you that if one more thing happened with him, that I’m out.” When Jericho asked what he meant, Sammy said he quit The Inner Circle. He dropped the microphone and walked off. 

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When confronted shortly after by broadcaster Alex Marvez, the young Latino star said “I just need some time away from this place”. Does this mean that he’s completely done, or does he just need to reflect? Hopefully next week we get some answers. 

To lift the spirits of those attending and the many at home watching, AEW gave us the first match on the United States side of the AEW Women’s Tournament. The victor will face Hikaru Shida for the Women’s Championship at Revolution. The very first match had the submission monster Layla Hirsch going against the rapidly rising star Thunder Rosa. AEW must have very big plans for Rosa. Between her feud with Britt Baker and now entering into the tournament, she is gaining momentum every week. Hirsch was prepared for Thunder Rosa, and even gave me some young Kurt Angle vibes. She even did the moonsault twice during the match, but only hit one of them successfully. Thunder had a few things to teach the young rookie out of Pennsylvania. Thunder ultimately won, but that match was hard fought on both ends.

The much-talked about “Forbidden Door” was blown wide open, with Kenta Kobayashi teaming up with former rival Kenny Omega to take on Lance Archer and Jon Moxley. This was no ordinary match. It was unsanctioned, meaning there were no disqualifications, no count outs. Anything goes. The dynamic was interesting here as Archer did also feud briefly with Moxley. Kobayashi’s the top contender for Moxley’s IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, so there’s no love lost between those two.

To top this off, Omega just hit 70 days of his reign as AEW Champion so far. He is also undefeated across 10 matches spanning three different promotions across the globe. The guy is an absolute sensation. Lance Archer has really shown us his skillset over the past few months. He looks set to a big part of the promotion’s future. With more than 20 years under his belt, he sure does deserve the recognition.

Kenta also became the newest NJPW wrestler to appear on the program. He came out with a lot of heat and his hatred for Jon Moxley was all too apparent. To the surprise of no one, The Good Brothers invaded yet again giving their ‘Magic Killer’ finisher to Archer which allowed Omega to hit a V-Trigger. Gallows and Anderson helped the champion hoist Lance Archer up for a ‘One-Winged-Angel’ finisher to perfection to steal another painful victory. Kenta continued his beat down on Moxley outside the ring. With this plus other recent events, many hope they get the dish best served cold at Revolution. 

For those wondering how you can watch AEW Revolution March 7, it will be available for purchase on BleacherReport and through your regular cable provider. See you there.

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