Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #94: AEW Revolution 2023 Review Edition

Revolution's build was admittedly weaker than it could've been but these special events tend to be rather awesome regardless of whatever is happening and the promise of quality here from this stacked card seemed too fair to ignore High praise from a close friend solidified this. As a result, I'm actually going to be watching the full event despite not having the time to really do so because I must hate myself as much as I love pro-wrestling.

Up first, Jericho and Starks put in for a great one. Jericho looked exactly like the vet he is because it really is the small things, folks, that make a big difference and it helped Ricky keep some of that buzz he was getting. Hard work from both provided for a dramatic contest that kicked us off on a strong note and overdelivered on the build that preceded it. 

Sammy trying to break the rule, Action jumping out of nowhere and brawling with the douche from Texas, and a shot to the ribs by Jericho with his bat led to an exchange between the two participants that closed moments later with a victory from the young rising star. I look forward to seeing his next program.

A casket match, labeled The Final Burial, saw Christian and Perry hopefully close their rivalry. It's ran a bit long at this point, though I am thankful for the quality the matches have had. Jack is in a bit of a flux still and it feels like he's stuck on a plateau while Cage has been so damn good at what he's done while with AEW; I've truly enjoyed seeing his run and he's been an especially fun dick heel. Despite Jungle Boy coming out to his jam, they leaned into the angle with a nice intensity level. They'd brawl around the arena, beating the shit out of each other along the way, until Captain Charisma eventually was put down. The conchairto, however you spell that, was especially sick and I am thankful for the work Christian put in here and the efforts of Jungle.

Yes, I was too lazy to look up how to spell it...

Two Canadian vets just worked pillar in two quality matches to kick this one off and it's something that deserved a call out. I'm pretty sure Cage pissed himself on that finish, though.

I have a Chase CM Punk figure that will be put up as a reward for a lucky reader at some point in the near future.

Jungle looked disturbed after.

The No Build Dream Match between House of Black and The Elite (seriously, Kenny and crew, no effort at all?) was next. House of Black's entrance was amazing. I love the work Hart has been doing with the team but I'm pretty sure she could barely see during that shit. The Elite's entrance was a perfect dynamic. It's funny but this division feels far more important than the tag division right now.

Want a seed? I'm hearing Kenny was told he'd get a major deal with WWE that'd include a huge role with the NXT brand.

I got tastes of several of the singles matches that I want and wave after wave of badass heats. I mean, this sincerely kicked ass. King was a beast, Black a presence, and Buddy looked like his old self. Kenny was ace and the Bucks did Buck shit. The result was a damn MOTYC. One of the best six-man matches since old All Japan stuff.

If this is all they can do for Black and crew right now, getting them something for fucks sake, I'll take it but old End should be in the main event picture right now. Oh, and Hart ate a V-Trigger in a spot that hopefully sets up more intergender stuff in the future. Mixed, even.

JR would head back after this one to be replaced by Tony.

What's next for K,k,k,Kenny and the Buckssssssss?

Saraya, Ruby, and Hayter did it for the women's strap. Rebel is apparently too hateable to stick around with the faces. A good pace here and this landed right about where I expected it would overall. Team player Baker felt like a cheerleader here. Flash pin safety fin. Storm attacked Hater hot after. Saraya joined. Britt tried to save. Got fucked. Ruby watched on. Eventually proved face. Sided with Homegrown or whatever they're calling themselves.

Then turned heel to side with Stormy Knight. nWo shit and I actually am sold on this shit. I love turning Soho here. Blood and Guts on the way, by the way.

Texas Death! A brutal battle built off the back of one of my favorite recent programs and delivering nicely on my expectations along the way, this one was a legit classic showcasing Jon's AEW Pillar status and Page's continued evolution as a legit star. I support the idea that Jon, Adam, Omega, and MJF are the real pillars. Fuck, that leaves Jericho out.

Anyway, Jon used a damn fork in one of the sickest damn spots that we'll see all year (even in Big Japan and FREEDOMS) and there was barbed wire boards and shit on a ppv for a major US promotion. It's hard not to have enjoyed the shit out of this. I did, in fact, enjoy the shit out of this for those keeping record. It was a damn car crash and you could feel a decent bit of the audience growing uncomfortable which I liked more than I probably should have. If you haven't seen it, go and fix that massive mistake right now. A damn piece of gore art and a legit classic! I'll be watching this one back often.

What's next for both of these sick fucks?

6 on the Muta?

Did you know that Trips wants Hangman?

Moving on.

The TNT defense was a hoss fight with a slow pace that kind of worked. It wasn't must-see, Wardlow has cooled a lot, Joe continues to be very uneven, and this TV strap remains a fucking steaming spud. Good for the most part but I care very little.

The tag division is weird as fuck right now despite how stacked it is. The nep-holes are champs, Jarrett is in the picture with Triple-J, and a brand new team is involved in a giant clusterfuck. I had low expectations but consider the match to actually have been better than expected. Think of it like you would a shitty action flick. Turn your brain off and have fun. Still, it wasn't must-see so you can skip it.

FTR are honoring their deals and returned in post.

Main event time.

The show has been fantastic up to this point. Even the weak links were good and the peaks were towering.

A familiar chant kicked this off and damn, they're right on com, MJF looks sculpted. A nice tech-focused showcase started the action side of things with Dragon, of course, taking the lead and twisting the champ into abstracts. Heel work of course flowed with cheap taunts, like cocky jumping jacks, tossed in alongside. MJF kept up nicely with Danielson clearly making a statement.

A hot moment saw MJF toss a drink in a kid's fucking face. I'm not sure how the hell that chick had tequila but the hobbit got a bunch of merch and stuff on damage control and has a sweet story that will get him over at school so...meh...

The 5 thing from Bryan made a return because this was the TRUE return of The American Dragon.

Meltzer got mocked during this one which I'm sure many will enjoy. The dude is a friendly acquaintance that I respect but I do disagree with him often and have found his work of late especially in opposition.

The pacing was respectable and the clock management stuff from Max was cherry. I'd actually love to see White and him as a tag team but that shit will never happen. Oh, don't be surprised if you see Jay helping out someone familiar soon in the tower place.

Back to the pace, this approach was top shelf and allowed for embers to grow into a blaze, making the entire thing feel cinematic in nature. Commentary being on point (FIRE), the excellent ref work, and a hot crowd added nicely to things and even the production work was fine. I do wish they'd take a more minimalistic approach to the way they run things. It'd work far better for the product.

Cuts need not be pornographic.

The entire package, topped with a dramatic extra time section that really nailed things home, added nicely together to make for the second all-time great contest of the evening. Perfect. Truly perfect.

The NJPW x AEW supershow from last year set a bar that this perhaps surpassed, overdelivering by miles on the build and turning out to be one of the best special events of all time. This will be one I go back to more than once.

NJPW, NOAH, AJPW, DDT SUPERSET Edition of the Pro-Wrestling Digest COMING SOON with Cutting Edge Battle!! and We are STARDOM!! focused installments to follow!


Jericho vs Starks ***3/4

Final Burial ****

Trios Title Defense ****1/2

Women's Title Triple Threat ***1/2

Texas Death *****

TNT Hoss Fight ***

Tag Team Clusterfuck ***

World Championship Iron man *****

Overall Rating: 100/100%

there was a random word I had italicized when I had this as a draft but somehow I messed up when transferring the words over here. If you spot something that feels as if it would make sense to have been formatted like that, let me know. It's going to bug me and I can't figure out which it was.

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