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AEW Revolution 2022 recap & reactions: Hangman is the better Adam

The AEW Revolution PPV (Mar. 6, 2022) emanated from the Addition Financial Arena in Orlando, FL. The show featured Hangman Page defending the world title against Adam Cole, CM Punk tied to MJF through a dog collar chain, and Sting stealing the show.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Let’s run it down from top to bottom.

AEW World Championship: Hangman Page retained against Adam Cole. The lengthy main event style was in full force. When Cole was in serious trouble with Hangman poised for a buckshot lariat, reDRagon ran down. Hangman lost focus, and Cole made him pay with a Panama Sunrise on the floor. A short while later, reDRagon distracted the referee for a low blow from Cole to the cowboy’s beans and frank. Cole followed with a Panama Sunrise and lowered the boom for a running knee strike. Hangman kicked out on the cover.

Huge thumbs up to commentary for that sequence. They pointed out that Cole usually lowers his knee pad for his finisher. In this instance, he rushed into the move and didn’t lower his pad. That cushion may have saved Hangman. That is an excellent stroke in attention to detail.

Hangman was the recipient of superkicks galore. When Cole went for the boom again, Hangman collapsed to the mat preventing contact. reDRagon pulled up a table for curb side service at the apron. Cole intended on a Panama Sunrise, but Hangman countered for a deadeye piledriver through the wood. That was the game-changer right there.

Dark Order came out, and a brawl ensued with reDRagon to clear the area. We were back to one-on-one action to determine the better Adam. Hangman hit the buckshot lariat. 1, 2, Cole slowly placed his hand barely touching the rope for the break.

Hangman used his belt to tie Cole to the ropes for a superkick party. Three superkicks later, Hangman charged forth into a superkick from Cole. The challenger freed himself, but the champion was ready to blast another superkick. Hangman lowered the boom on Cole then closed with the buckshot lariat to remain world champion.

The closing sequence was 100% badass. That was a very satisfying ass-kicking from Hangman. What a great way to close the PPV. The feud coming in wasn’t as hot as I was expecting, but all the right notes came out for the actual match. Little digs built up for an explosion of cowboy shit.

AEW has added several hot names, but I’m fully convinced that Hangman Page is the top star. His matches blend physicality into storytelling. The way he grits through pain makes him easy to root for. It’s more than a simple cheer. Hangman’s desire to be the best is contagious and makes the ride all the more satisfying to watch. His emotion shines through the screen to form a deep connection.

Hangman proved to be the better Adam in more ways than one. After winning, he shook Cole’s limp hand out of respect. Even as enemies, the bond of past friendship is deep in Hangman’s heart.

Sting, Darby Allin, & Sammy Guevara defeated Andrade, Matt Hardy, & Isiah Kassidy. I don’t know what Allin’s entrance video was about, but it included a car crash and a Sting with a flamethrower. It was pretty cool.

Tornado tag rules in effect. That apparently also meant no DQ with use of trashcans, chairs, tables, and extra AHFO members. The match was an awesome sprint of action. Top spots would be Sammy Guevara with a Spanish Fly to Isiah Kassidy off a structure through tables and Sting with a flying splash off the upper level onto Andrade through a pyramid of tables.

In the end, Allin countered a Twist of Fate from Hardy into a Scorpion Death Drop onto a chair. The Coffin Drop earned victory.

This was an excellent choice to put before the main event. AEW PPVs are long. Energy fades in and out by this point as a viewer. This bout was a perfect pick-me-up. The non-stop pace of action was a jolt of enthusiasm. Sting doing daredevil feats is so awesome to watch. I don’t want him to hurt himself. So long as he’s safe, I’ll grin ear to ear every time he does something insane to steal the show.

Jon Moxley defeated Bryan Danielson. A furious hockey fight on the floor opened up Moxley leaking blood from the forehead. He said he can’t team with someone until he bleeds with them. Step one accomplished. The bout continued with nifty submission transitions back and forth. Both men kicked each other’s head in. Moxley scored a bulldog choke. Danielson escaped with a suplex then crushed a running knee strike. That wasn’t enough to keep Moxley down. Danielson cinched tight the triangle sleeper with a bicep flex. Moxley strategically rolled it over pinning Danielson’s shoulders to the mat. The referee counted three, and Danielson was in disbelief. Moxley and Danielson still had the urge to fight, so that they did.

William Regal! Upon sight of the majestic lord, Moxley and Danielson ceased fisticuffs. Moxley was still ornery, so Regal slapped him across the face. Danielson smiled at that, so Regal slapped him too. Regal demanded they shake each other’s hand. Moxley and Danielson obeyed, and we were left wondering if an official partnership was born.

That match built nicely toward the finish. The action escalated to a fever pitch with all the head stomping. It was an ironic touch for such a vicious fight to end with an astute wrestling counter. I was wondering how AEW would resolve this match and still keep both men as alphas of the group. A definitive loss would have put one of them in the back seat of leadership creating tension. This finish was questionable enough to believe it would be an even 50/50 if they wrestled 100 times.

As interesting as the finish was, the aftermath was even more riveting. I popped hard when Moxley and Danielson still wanted to fight. I popped even harder at the Regal surprise. I don’t know how much Regal can improve either star’s presentation, but he should definitely be gold on the recruitment trail for their potential stable. This is the story I’m most excited to see play out next.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Dr. Britt Baker DMD retained against Thunder Rosa. Baker debuted a brand new title belt.

Reba played a pivotal role in the match. Baker was in deep trouble twice, and Reba distracted the referee both times. First was a pilediver and second was a chokehold, where Baker tapped out. Thunder had enough and speared Reba through the ropes. As Thunder re-entered the ring, Baker pounced for a curb stomp to win.

My reaction in the moment is that the finish was trash. The execution looked cool, but the story was a turd sandwich. The constant reliance on Baker’s goons to win has long been tiresome. In a bygone era when it was still real to me, damn it, I would have likely fell hook, line, and sinker into hating Baker, Reba, and Jamie Hayter. It’s a different world now. I shake my head and lament with demoralizing frustration. I think so many cheating finishes are part of why Baker’s title run has lost steam. The funny part is that I was very impressed with Baker taking it to Thunder throughout much of the match. That could have been a defining win for the dentist. Instead, it was the routine cheap garbage. If it leads to a cage match, then I’ll swallow this complaint as part of the storytelling process.

Dog Collar Match: CM Punk defeated MJF. Maxwell entered first with a tease of Punk’s signature theme. Punk arrived with a special smokeshow entrance wearing his indie gear of basketball shorts and classic ROH tune.

Punk was first to squirt blood, and a gusher it was. Drama intensified when MJF brought in a sack of thumbtacks. There was a lengthy tease over who would take the plunge. MJF got the upper hand for a superplex onto the tacks. MJF had to crawl over the tacks for the pin. He despised that pain, so he called for Wardlow to assist. The man servant entered the scene. Upon request for the Dynamite Diamond Ring, Wardlow couldn’t find it. That delay allowed Punk time to recover and hit a GTS onto the tacks. Wardlow then conveniently fund the ring, place it on the apron, and exited.

Punk’s smile grew wide. He placed the foreign object on his finger and punched MJF in the face for the win.

This was a grueling war of attrition. The chain whips sounded brutal and left immediate bruises. The day-after pictures are going to be a sight. The first half of the match was mean, old-school violence. I was going to write that it was refreshing to see throwback savagery in an age of thumbtacks and light tubes. Then, MJF brought out the tacks. C’est la vie. Applause to those two for putting their bodies through pain for our enjoyment.

I have mixed feelings about the finish. It was amusing for Wardlow to finally turn on MJF. It fit within past context of the story. The theatrics with Punk’s smile were excellent. My issue is that it didn’t mesh with Punk’s go-home promo about becoming a monster to fight a monster. He was basically handed the win.

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill retained against Tay Conti. The champ received the live music treatment from Christone “Kingfish” Ingram on guitar.

The action was hectic and never let up. Conti jumped onto Mark Sterling for a flipping cannonball down to the floor. Jade turned around and blasted an unsuspecting Anna Jay with a pump kick. Anna got payback later with a cheap shot chairshot. Jade survived that illegal tactic, a hammerlock DDT, and a piledriver to continue the fight. For the finish, Jade shoved Conti on the turnbuckles. Conti hit her head on the ring post camera. That left easy pickings for the Jaded finisher.

The bout was a hoot. Conti did all she could to make me think a new champ was in the cards. She poured on the offense, but Jade was too tough. Jade showed her mettle in victory. That was championship shit right there. Jade also showed some new moves, such as the frog splash. She pumped in the air like it was an ab crunch sit-up. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but it fits her powerhouse persona as a muscle goddess. The move of the match was the blindside kick to Anna. That came so unexpectedly that it was hilarious.

Swerve contract signing. Shane “Killshot” Strickland is All Elite. He popped the crowd quickly then left. That is a quality addition to the roster. The big question will be if Swerve gets the opportunity to stand out.

Face of the Revolution ladder match: Wardlow defeated Christian Cage, Will Hobbs, Ricky Starks, Keith Lee, and Orange Cassidy. Danhausen had a cameo to curse Starks. Wardlow took control in the end by hurling Cassidy out of the ring down to the floor, bull rushing Hobbs and Lee to knock them off the stage crashing through a table, and powerbombing Christian on the mat. Starks had his hand on the literal brass ring, but Wardlow leaped up the ladder to powerbomb Starks down onto another ladder. With everyone else incapacitated, Wardlow grabbed the ring to win. He earned a TNT title shot, assuming MJF doesn’t take it for himself.

Ladder match goodness was spread all around. The shine was pretty even throughout with no one star stealing the match. If I had to choose, my pick would be Lee with a double leapfrog and swinging Cassidy around as a weapon. I can also see the case to pick Cassidy if you enjoy his comedy antics. He blended those well for very smart strategic purposes.

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express retained against Young Bucks and reDRagon. As expected, the Elite tag teams did not get along. That didn’t factor in the finish though. Jungle Boy rallied, Luchasaurus took out a pile of men with a flying attack, then Jurassic Express clobbered Matt Jackson with the Thoracic Express teamwork powerbomb for victory.

The action was wild with flippy goodness. Add in Luchasaurus running wild with power moves for an exciting change of pace. All three teams were slick with their teamwork maneuvers. I wasn’t a fan of the dynamic of the Bucks arguing with reDRagon when breaking up pinfalls. Both teams were clearly in it to win it for themselves, so that was unnecessary drama for the sake of it.

After the way Jurassic Express retained, I don’t know who is going to beat them any time soon. Straight up competition with either pair of these challengers might have been a different story, but it is going to take time for the Bucks and reDRagon to build back up toward another title shot. For now, Jurassic Express is firmly in the seat as best tag team in the world. They’ve earned it too.

Eddie Kingston defeated Chris Jericho. It was a grizzly fight with biting and eye pokes. Both me took a beating. Jericho hit several German suplexes. Kingston answered with several half-and-half suplexes. The finish came down to Kingston dodging a Judas Effect then blasting Jericho with back-to-back spinning back fists. Kingston applied a wrenching shoulder submission to force the win.

Kingston was ecstatic in victory. He sauntered over to Jericho for his post-match handshake of success. Jericho drew out tension if he would follow through. Kingston said he respects Jericho. That didn’t sway Le Champion. He exited leaving Kingston high and dry.

This was a very enjoyable match. The ruggedness fit the tone of the feud. Both men rose to the occasion to show heart. The action led to good tension in determining the winner. Jericho’s slimmed down abs paid off when hitting a smooth Lionsault and a flexible Walls of Jericho. Le Champion rocked hard and had me rooting for one more run at the top.

I didn’t like the handshake drama. It made everyone look bad to leave a poor taste as the last memory of a very fine match. Without Jericho’s stamp of approval, it muddies the water for the story of Kingston rising. It made Kingston look bad unintentionally. He reacted the same way after losing to Punk to ditch the handshake. Now that Kingston won, he expected Jericho to shake his hand. He wanted to do it to embarrass Jericho, so he came off as a poor winner. That’s not to say Jericho didn’t deserve it with his boisterous proclamations, but it didn’t serve well for the story of Kingston’s personal growth. Jericho looked bad going back on his word like a crybaby.

The Revolution pre-show set the mood right with three matches of its own and a surprise return.

Malakai Black, Brody King, & Buddy Matthews defeated PAC, Penta Oscuro, & Erick Redbeard. This bout was equal parts intense fisticuffs and amazing athleticism. The match broke down into chaos for the finish. Penta hit a package piledriver to Black on the apron, but Black was not the legal man to pin. Matthews ran in for a curb stomp to Penta. PAC broke the cover. Black hit a head kick to PAC. Redbeard muscled up for destruction, but Black spit black mist in his face on a chokeslam goozle. Matthews didn’t miss a beat for a rising knee strike to the big man. King followed with a piledriver. Black took the winning pin on Redbeard.

That bout was tons of fun. Peak enjoyment for me was the hoss fight between Redbeard and King. It was like two moose charging into each other over and over and over and over again. King showed impressive strength when picking up Redbeard for a DVD and a piledriver. I definitely want that singles match in the near future. Black won with black mist, so it feels like we’re still at a standstill with the story. Nothing was resolved. That’s okay in this particular scenario, because there needs to be a trios rematch when Fenix is healthy.

Hook defeated QT Marshall. Hook clowned QT with brutal slams and suplexes. Taz’s son is so smooth in movement. QT resorted to tricky tactics to stay afloat, but Hook was well-prepared. Hook shed off a cutter. QT was in the corner and leaped into the air expecting Hook to follow. That didn’t happen. Hook stood there waiting to cinch in the Redrum submission for victory.

The funny business from QT didn’t affect Hook much. He was all business to deliver a beatdown in the biggest challenge of his career to date. After Hook manhandled QT with such ease, it is time for a step up in competition for the young man. Hook mowing through the Dark Order could be interesting.

Dan Callis! Surprise return using Kenny Omega’s music. Callis blamed Omega’s injuries on the fans’ desire for five-star matches. They ran him ragged. The loudmouth proclaimed the Young Bucks and Adam Cole will be new champions. Cole will be a great transitional titleholder keeping it warm until Omega returns.

Count me in the court that enjoys Callis’ promos. He mixes comedy, delusion, and valid points in a nice cocktail of amusement. In this case, Callis planted seeds for future tensions between Omega and Cole.

Leyla Hirsch defeated Kris Statlander. Hirsch used a hidden metal turnbuckle from under the ring to wallop the alien’s head. Hirsch finished with a moonsault to win.

Good physicality from both ladies to get the juices flowing for the evening. Hirsch controlled the pace keeping Statlander often on the defensive. Hirsch showed a vicious side by dropkicking the ring steps into the alien’s arm. Legit also impressed with hefty suplexes on her larger opponent. Perhaps this can be a turning point for Hirsch to move onward and upward.

Grade: A

The action was A all the way. I have some issues with a few things but nothing too much to dampen the overall enjoyment of Revolution. AEW continued their trend of offering a banging value and satisfying viewing experience.

Share your thoughts about Revolution. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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