AEW Revolution 2021
March 7, 2021
Watch: PPV & FITE (Non-US)
Instant Reaction LIVE: patreon.com/voicesofwrestling
Meet our previewers
Abraham Delgado: Abraham Delgado has been writing book reviews and NJPW tournament show reviews here on Voices of Wrestling. He joined the team to preview AEW Revolution 2021, a show which I feel very excited about. He’s all in for the street fight, the exploding barbed wire deathmatch, and interested in the results of the multimen matches and all of the surprises in store for us. Paul Wight promised a hall of fame talent, so we’ll see how AEW delivers on that promise. Maybe John Cena is coming, or CM Punk, or hell, Brock Lesnar! Who knows!
Lee Malone: Lee is hyped for Revolution 2021 and four words in particular. EXPLODING. BARBED WIRE. DEATHMATCH. Get into it! @WCWThunderPod on the twittah where you find Lee talking all things WCW and occasionally live-tweeting during shows
Sean Sedor: Sean has become a regular on Voices Of Wrestling’s AEW PPV coverage, and he’s back again to preview (as well as review) AEW’s first PPV of 2021. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his YouTube channel for some F1 video game content.
Riho & Thunder Rosa vs. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. & Rebel
Abraham: This will be a fun opener where I hope that we see more of Baker than Rebel in the ring. Thunder Rosa and Riho are always fun to watch, Rosa being a personal favorite of mine, so I think that both of them mixing it up with the D.M.D. will bring a good time to the pre-show. This will probably be like 10 minutes, full of fun spots, and will give a win to the last two women that lost in the tournament. Prediction: Riho & Thunder Rosa
Lee: Riho & Rosa teaming is an interesting choice considering the very good match they had a couple of weeks ago. These two obviously have a tonne of chemistry. Throw in Rosa’s longtime nemesis Britt Baker leading the opposition and this should be a hot tag opener to get the crowd livened up and ready for the main show. Britt and Rebel aren’t shy of taking a shortcut and I see some communication issues arising between Riho & Rosa leading to a flash pinfall for the Doc. Prediction: Britt Baker & Rebel
Sean: This was a late addition to the card, but I’m glad that Thunder Rosa and Riho wound up on this card in some form or fashion. They both had a number of strong matches in the recent Women’s Elimination Tournament, but on this night, they’re teaming together as we see the continuation of the Britt Baker/Thunder Rosa feud. Now when this match was announced, it was said that Rebel might not make the match, so we’ll see if that impacts things or not. If Rebel is in this bout, it’s pretty obvious that she’s there to take the fall. It doesn’t matter too much whether Riho or Rosa scores the fall, but the face side will win, and the Baker/Rosa feud will continue beyond this show, if I had to guess. Prediction: Riho & Thunder Rosa
Team Taz vs. Darby Allin & Sting
Abraham: I am very excited about this match. At first I admit that the thought of Sting wrestling again did not excite me. I was thinking that maybe he could not do it, that maybe it would be a cinematic match, but these last few weeks have proved that Sting can still give and take a beating. I loved that my initial assumptions were wrong. When Darby came down rappelling from the ceiling on Dynamite, I did my own fist bump. When all the participants of the match started beating each other up on the go home show, I did another fist bump to myself.
And what else can you say about Team Taz other than they are easily one the highlights of the week? Taz has done an amazing job promoting this match and Cage and Starks are going to come out of this looking even better.
Darby and Sting are taking the win here and what I’m assuming will be an amazing spectacle. Darby will get another accolade and win. Yeah, I’m excited. Prediction: Darby Allin and Sting
Lee: When I was 7 years old I would watch WCW Worldwide and I was a huge fan of Sting. My son turned 8 just a couple of months ago and he is a huge fan of Darby Allin. This team very much feels like the generations are uniting and it is a chance for sons & fathers, mothers & daughters, maybe even grandparents & grandkids to unite and give their total support to the duo of Sting and Darby.
Team Taz however aren’t just making up the numbers. Taz is rejuvenated in AEW and is deservedly winning awards for his incredible promo work. His two leading stars right now, Brian Cage and Ricky Starks are a formidable duo in their own right. Starks oozes star quality, is dripping with charisma and he delivers in the big spot when called upon. Brian Cage is a freak in the best possible way. He looks unreal and can match any junior heavyweight move for move.
This being a Street Fight with Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook also possibly getting involved and Darby’s willingness to endanger his life at all times means there should be enough moving pieces and distractions to cover for any shortcomings Sting may have at this advanced point of his career. It could be a mess, it could be magnificent but it will not be dull. One thing I know for sure is on Monday evening when I watch the show with my son, we will be united in our support, shouting, cringing and ultimately hoping against all hope that our heroes somehow overcome the odds and prevail against the evildoers. Prediction: Sting & Darby Allin
Sean: It took awhile for us to finally get to this point, but here we are! The long-awaited match between Team Taz and the duo of Darby Allin and Sting is finally happening. While the feud definitely lost some steam several weeks ago, it gained it all right back with two strong angles on the last two episodes of Dynamite. I’m very excited to see this one, but I’m also intrigued to see what this ends up looking like. We know that one of the reasons why Sting came to AEW was because he would have the opportunity to work cinematic matches (a workaround of sorts since he hadn’t wrestled since suffering his injuries in WWE back in 2015), but the last two or three weeks have revealed that Sting can indeed get physical. My hope is that this just turns into your traditional pro-wrestling Street Fight, but if we do get any cinematic elements, I hope that it’s along the lines of Best Friends vs. Proud ‘n’ Powerful, or Butcher & Blade vs. The Young Bucks. As far as the winner goes, the only way I see Team Taz winning is if either Brian Cage or Ricky Starks are getting a shot at Darby’s TNT Title. If not, then it’s pretty much a lock that Sting and Darby get the win here. I’m sure this will turn out to be an extremely entertaining Street Fight. Prediction: Darby Allin & Sting
AEW Women’s World Championship
Hikaru Shida © vs. Ryo Mizunami
Abraham: I was sweating that we were getting another Rose/Shida match, but I always assumed that Mizunami was going to take it in the end. I mean, I did not think they were flying her just to lose to Rose.
Mizunami did not impress me that much in the Japanese bracket of the Women’s Eliminator Tournament, but after her match with Rose in the finals of the tournament and her hitting Shida after said match, she has my attention again. I think Shida will be the champ at the end of an exciting match up and Mizunami will keep running around AEW bringing her talent to a division that is slowly recovering and in need of more veteran talent. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Lee: I am not a keen follower of modern-day Joshi but I was impressed by what I saw of Ryo throughout the tournament. Maki Itoh, Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki and Nyla Rose is a varied and impressive list of competitors to have overcome on her way to earning this title match. From what I have read Ryo will be a regular on Dynamite going forward so a title change here wouldn’t be a total shock.
However, I expect Hikaru Shida will retain and extend what has been a very enjoyable run through some difficult days as AEW Women’s Champion. Less Abadons and more Ryos as challengers should suit Shida much more. The elbow exchange on Dynamite was a nice little teaser of what we can expect to see and I can’t wait to see what these two can produce on a big show. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Sean: I was REALLY nervous while watching the Women’s Eliminator Tournament Final this past Wednesday on Dynamite. Nothing against Nyla Rose, but I just couldn’t see any reason why they would have Nyla Rose wrestle Hikaru Shida for the third time in four PPVs. In the end, Ryo Mizunami pulled through, and we now have a pretty fresh AEW Women’s Title match set for this PPV. I fully expect this to be a very solid back and forth title bout. I fully expect Shida to be back on form after some shaky outings over the last few months. As for Mizunami, even though she wasn’t the standout from the Japanese side of the bracket, all of her matches were good, and I’m sure she’ll work well with Shida. I wouldn’t totally rule out the possibility of an upset win for Mizunami (especially after coming off a big win over a former AEW Women’s Champion). However, the smart money should be on Shida to retain, which will further extend what is currently the longest title reign in the young history of AEW. Prediction: Hikaru Shida
Big Money Match
Hangman Page vs. Matt Hardy
Abraham: I have no desire to watch Matt Hardy wrestle anymore. I just don’t care, and due to that, I don’t really care about this match. I mean, does somebody really care about the money stipulation? I like the inclusion of Dark Order and them being Page’s friends, and I can handle Hardy as a manager to Private Party, but not him wrestling. I would have preferred Hardy “hiring” someone to take his spot or something like that.
Anyway, the match is still happening and their earnings are involved. I’m thinking that Page will lose due to a thousand interferences by Private Party and The Hybrid 2. This will make Page lose his income, he will half join Dark Order, and then slowly he will be built up to take his revenge on Hardy’s enterprise and eventually a world title match later in the year. Maybe he will dethrone Kenny, who knows. I just don’t want to see Matt Hardy wrestle. Prediction: Matt Hardy
Lee: Hangman feels like he is currently stuck in limbo as the Omega and Moxley story continues to play out and we aren’t quite ready for the Omega & Page story to pick back up. Personally a match with Matt Hardy is not the route I’d have taken but it’s the one we got and at the end of the day a pinfall victory over Matt Hardy will look good on paper. I don’t really care about the money aspect of the feud and just hope Page can move on from here and let Hardy and his cronies slide into a feud with the Dark Order. Prediction: Hangman Adam Page
Sean: We’ve seen many different versions of Matt Hardy since his debut in AEW almost a year ago, but I think we’ve finally found a version that (I guess you can say) fits most in AEW. Even though I’m generally indifferent on Matt Hardy as a wrestler right now (I don’t think he’s horrible by any means, but I never get excited to see him either), I’m really enjoying this sleazy rich heel that he’s portraying at the moment. He’s taking on Adam Page here, with a lot of money on the line. To be honest, I’ve enjoyed what we’ve seen from this feud over the last several weeks. Do I turn on Dynamite every week excited to see what’s next in this particular story? No, but as an undercard story? I think it works in a weird way.
The one aspect about it that does suck is that you really get the sense that Adam Page has been in a state of flux since the Full Gear PPV in November. There’s part of me that very much believes that this Adam Page/Dark Order story would’ve led to a big showdown between Page and Brodie Lee, but of course, the possibility of that happening completely went out the window with the tragic passing of Brodie Lee. As this bout is concerned, I fully expect Page to get the win here (there’s zero reason why Matt Hardy should be beating Page in this spot), and perhaps this is where he finally embraces The Dark Order. Prediction: Adam Page
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. TBA
Abraham: AEW’s last multiman ladder match was really fun. You had Brian Cage debuting and killing Darby Allin, which started the feud they will probably finish at this show. Here we have Penta who is always awesome in these, and the addition of Lance Archer destroying everyone will be a sight to my eyes. There is still the famous TBA, which will be either Brock Lesnar (my source there being my own imagination), or one of the new signings. This would be a good spot for one of their latest signings like Nick Comoroto. I don’t have a feeling about who is winning this match, so I will pick Penta since a match against Allin would be something I would be into. Prediction: Penta
Lee: Multiman Ladder Match. On PPV. Winner gets a shot at the TNT Championship. It feels slightly tropey but these are matches that the majority of fans will always enjoy. Six guys are going to do a bunch of absolutely ridiculous spots and damn near kill themselves all for our enjoyment. What’s not to like?
A very clever move to get Cody on the PPV, in a featured bout and he can still hide in the crowd to protect his injury where necessary. There is no clear favourite of the names announced which leads me to believe the much-feared and always respected TBA will stun his opponents and seize his opportunity and grasp the brass ring. I won’t speculate on just who TBA is but AEW having a Sunday PPV, on the Lords Day isn’t very Christian. Prediction: TBA
Sean: Apparently the object hanging above the ring in this Ladder Match is going to be a literal brass ring, which I guess is quite the dig at Vince McMahon. With this being only the third Ladder Match in AEW’s history, it’s good to see they’re not overdoing it with gimmick matches like this (unlike another promotion we all know very well). The lineup for this particular Ladder Match is fascinating to me, in the sense that you really don’t have any super athletic high flyers that are normally the guys who do the craziest spots. Now do you have guys like Penta and Scorpio Sky involved here, and I’m sure those two are going to be the wrestlers doing the wildest spots, but you don’t have a high flyer at the level of Fenix, for example (though that’s not a bad thing necessarily, as Fenix would probably find a way to kill himself). Anyway, I don’t think this will be a super great match, but I’m sure all six guys involved will be busting their asses here.
In terms of the winner, I really believe you could make reasonable arguments for everyone involved in this match, aside from Max Caster (and Cody to a lesser extent). The result also depends A LOT on who the mystery person ends up being. If it’s Ethan Page, for example, then I could totally see him winning if the idea is to rekindle his feud with Darby Allin from EVOLVE a few years ago. I’m going to go with the TBA here, but it would not shock me if Archer, Penta, or Scorpio Sky win here. It’ll also depend on whether this is a one-and-done title shot, or if it’ll kickstart a longer feud with Darby Allin. We’ll see what happens come Sunday. Prediction: TBA
Miro & Kip Sabian vs. Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor
Abraham: Depending on how you feel about this feud, is how you’ll feel about the match. I like Best Friends, and even though I have been disappointed in Miro since I expected a monster from the very beginning, it has not been offensive. The Kip/Ford wedding, butler feud that started with a broken arcade has been more fun than expected. This match will give a win to Best Friends to end their revenge against Miro and Sabian and both teams will go on to their next challengers. It will be a fun middle of the card match and Miro will bring the monster heel out that I have been waiting to see. Hopefully, it continues that way down the road. Prediction: Best Friends
Lee: I enjoy Orange Cassidy. His antics never fail to raise a smile except for that awful Mimosa match last year. Best Friends however do nothing for me in AEW. Kip Sabin does nothing for me. Miro has all the potential in the world to be a main event player but twitch guy, Best Man Miro does nothing for me. This feud does nothing for me. Depending on card placement this could be when I go to get a fresh cup of coffee and use the bathroom. Let’s just hope this is quick. Prediction: Miro & Kip Sabian
Sean: This has to be the longest build for a match in a lower card feud that we’ve seen in quite some time. It’s still crazy to me that we got all that buildup for a wedding that culminated in Orange Cassidy hitting his finisher on Kip Sabian (I didn’t hate the wedding with a passion, but the payoff was incredibly underwhelming). If they’re doing a Miro/Orange Cassidy singles bout at some point, I can see this as being a continuation of the feud. I honestly don’t care that much either way. I could get as upset about it as some other people, but at the end of the day, it’s the least important match on this show, so I don’t see a point in getting overly angry. I guess I’ll go with Best Friends to take this, with Kip being on the receiving end of a Beach Break or an Awful Waffle. Prediction: Best Friends
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Casino Tag Team Royale
Abraham: In my opinion, AEW has the best-booked best battle royales in wrestling since its aftereffects continue in subsequent weeks on Dynamite, and most importantly, they are really fun and don’t feel meandering. This will not be the exception, and it has great teams to play off each other and we’ll see how they do with the tag team version of the Casino Royale rules.
I think that the winners will be PAC and Fenix and they will have a hell of a Dynamite main event against the Bucks. The Dark Order combo of Evil Uno and Stu Grayson and Top Flight are the other two teams that will go far in the match. So far they have knocked it out of the park with these gimmick battle royales, so I think this will follow suit. Prediction: PAC and Fenix
Lee: I love these AEW Battle Royales. They all serve a purpose and as Abraham said above the after-effects are felt for weeks and feuds are built off the back of these matches. The tag division is absolutely stacked with teams of all levels from jobber teams all the way up main event players. I expect some main event players to emerge victorious here, doing what the Young Bucks failed to do just a couple of weeks ago and winning a tag team battle royale. Anderson & Gallows will be the surprise entrants and go on to win this and begin the build to the Bucks vs Gallows & Anderson match at Double or Nothing. Prediction: Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
Sean: When it comes to booking battle royals, AEW’s track record has been pretty good. That being said, I am curious to see how this particular battle royal plays out. Since it’s labeled as a Casino Battle Royal, I presume it’s going to work under the same rules (with groups of entrants every few minutes) as the previous Casino Battle Royals. It’s going to be a chaotic match no matter what, and there are a couple of different choices for potential winners. Of the announced teams, Fenix & PAC are the obvious standouts, and if the current lineup doesn’t change, I think they’re a near lock to win. There’s also SCU who (as far as I know) are still abiding by that stipulation where they split up the next time they lose. Does a battle royal like this count? I have no idea. You also have the potential for unannounced participants to pull out the win. It wouldn’t shock me if Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows win this, for example. Ultimately, I think I’ll pick SCU, just to be different from Abraham and Lee. If they don’t win, I’ll be very curious to see if they’ve completely dropped that storyline they were doing, or if a Battle Royal like this simply doesn’t count towards that story. Prediction: SCU
AEW World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks © vs. MJF & Chris Jericho
Abraham: This is a feud that’s happening to keep both teams busy for a while until the Bucks go back to the Omega story and MJF keeps destroying the Inner Circle from within. It was a smart move to go back again to one of the first AEW feuds, when the Elite was fighting it out against the Inner Circle. And even better, Inner Circle are back to being violent assholes with a big mouth.
I stopped trusting Jericho on having a good performance, but since the Bucks are involved, I think this match will work perfectly. MJF will also bring a lot to the match and will keep adding tension to his story with Jericho when they eventually lose this match. I’m thinking Guevara is interfering and MJF will do something like hitting Jericho with a weapon by mistake and this will make Jericho eat the pin. I like the Buck’s intensity on the go-home Dynamite, so I hope they start the match up without their entrance. Hell, IC beat up Papa Buck, they should not wait until they play their song, that’s all I’m saying. They have done a good job of building up this match in a relatively short time and there is heat here. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Lee: This match is serving three purposes. Firstly, it is getting all four of these top guys onto the show in one match. Secondly, it is giving The Bucks some distance from Omega for now before moving back in that direction post Revolution. Thirdly, it is a damn clever way for Jericho to eat a pinfall on a major show to a pushed, hot act and in the process continue the Inner Circle breakup.
I don’t care that Papa Buck was busted up and I hope we don’t have to see any more of him anytime soon on tv. Just give me The Young Bucks, the best tag team in the world taking on the veteran Chris Jericho and his protégé MJF. I have great faith in The Young Bucks in-ring capabilities, I have less faith in MJFs and even less again in Jericho’s capabilities in 2021 in what should be a fairly straightforward wrestling match. On a packed card, this match doesn’t need to steal the show, give me a sub 20 minute, old-school tag match and I will be happy. Some Inner Circle fuckery will go wrong and Jericho will eat the pin leading to the breakup/mutiny of Inner Circle on Dynamite next week. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Sean: I thought it was very clever how they were teasing doing The Young Bucks vs. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, only to go in a different direction, and have Chris Jericho and MJF emerge as the challengers. The angles over the past two weeks definitely added a level of intensity to this match that didn’t exist prior to those angles. The beatdown of Papa Buck was tremendous, and the press conference on Wednesday was a great go-home segment. I don’t know if this match will be super spectacular, but I have full confidence that it will deliver as a PPV opener. It’ll likely be the best match that Chris Jericho and MJF ever have as a team. In terms of the result, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Inner Circle due winning the titles here (likely by nefarious means), but it just seems a little too early to take the titles off The Young Bucks. Could Jericho and MJF have a short reign to prolong the Inner Circle story before the eventual Jericho/MJF split? Sure, but still….it feels like The Young Bucks are in for a long reign, so my pick sees them retaining their titles. Prediction: The Young Bucks
Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch – AEW World Championship
Kenny Omega © vs. Jon Moxley
Abraham: To me, everything that Moxley has done since “escaping prison” in 2019 has been gold. Omega is finally at the top and in a multi-company feud. Moxley and Omega has been one of AEW’s premier rivalries and every time they get into the ring, it’s intense and violent. I love that they took the criticism of their 2019 “Lights Out” match of being too violent and decided to go into an exploding barbed wire deathmatch. Love it.
The result is obvious since Omega’s time at the top is not going to be short. This match is all about the spectacle, and what an amazing one it will be. Both men are nuts and will make sure to honor the stipulation. Seeing Onita explaining the match on TV made me even more excited.
If the words “exploding barbed wire” alongside Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley does not excite you, check your pulse. This will probably be the match of the night and will probably have a closing angle. Prediction: Kenny Omega
Lee: Sabu vs Terry Funk 8/9/97 ECW Born to be Wired. It’s not the greatest match of all time. It’s not the sickest match of all time. It’s not the most violent match of all time. But it is great, sick, violent in its own way and I absolutely love it. That is the last time I can think of a major WHC being decided in a match that risky. Moxley vs Omega Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch will surpass what Sabu and Funk did on that night in 1997.
Everyone was shocked when Omega made the announcement on Dynamite that he and Mox would have this type of match. Yet if you have been paying attention they have been building to this match throughout their entire feud. They have used barbed wire on multiple occasions. Whether it was Kenny and his barbed-wire broom, Mox and his barbed wire baseball bat or that incredible bed of barbed wire they both felt at Full Gear 2019. Don Callis and The Good Brothers have been added along the way but barbed wire has been a constant presence in their story.
At the conclusion of the Funk Sabu match both men were a bloody mess, Sabu’s arm was ripped to the muscle and both men were entangled together with so much barbed wire that they had to improvise a pinfall to end the match and rescue both guys. Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega will go to great lengths to have an all-time great match. You better believe that they want to have the greatest Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch in history. I expect this match will be great, it will be sick, it will be violent and I will absolutely love it. Moxley and Omega trapped in barbed wire, surrounded by mines, risking it all for the AEW Title. This will be special. Prediction: Kenny Omega
Sean: Imagine traveling back in time to that initial press conference in January of 2019, and telling one of the fans there that in two years, this company would headline a PPV with an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. It still blows my mind that they’re actually doing this stipulation on PPV. The one aspect of the build that I really enjoyed was the video package they featured on Dynamite from last Wednesday (not this past Wednesday) that highlighted the various run-ins that Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega have had with each other….dating all the way back to Moxley’s debut at Double Or Nothing in 2019. While they’ve split off at various points, they’ve always come back to Moxley and Omega at one point or another. This really feels like the ultimate blowoff of what you could say was AEW’s first major feud.
Of course, I’m very curious to see how this Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match is going to come off. There’s a chance it could be incredible, but there’s also a chance it could come off as either lame or goofy….or a combination of both. A video package from the most recent Dynamite showed off the setup a little bit, and we found out that instead of replacing the ropes with barbed wire, they’re just wrapping the ropes in barbed wire. That’s definitely less exciting, but I guess it gives them more freedom to move around the ring and do some actual wrestling in between the explosions and the other dangerous spots. I’m sure both guys are going to work their asses off to make it the best match possible, so I’m not worried when it comes to effort. If there is a downside, it’s that the result really isn’t in question. Omega’s title reign just started, and it would seem a bit silly to put it right back on Moxley. Another reason why an Omega win works so well in this type of match is that it’s the perfect opportunity for Moxley to take some time off (presumably in preparation for his wife giving birth). The result won’t be in question, but these two are going to absolutely kill each other, if their Lights Out Match from Full Gear 2019 is any indication. Prediction: Kenny Omega