AEW’s Revolution out-Manias WWE’s WrestleMania
AEW has been such loopy enjoyable and so ridiculous that it just about makes me a hypocrite on a weekly foundation. I’ve mentioned, on multiple event, that attempting to match AEW and WWE is pointless and a bit too cynical. They’re two various things, even when they’re in the identical normal business. And but you possibly can’t assist it, as a result of if WWE was every little thing that it may very well be, there wouldn’t be an AEW in any case. Regardless of how onerous I strive, I find yourself again right here.
Second, after their final PPV, Full Gear, I frightened that AEW was overstuffing issues on their quarterly huge exhibits and questioned the place it will go from there. Properly, after final night time’s PPV, Revolution, which was so many issues — together with overstuffed — I don’t care. Fuck it. Tony Khan ought to put as a lot as he can in these. Put as a lot as he can’t in these, who cares? As a result of in the event that they’re going to be this entertaining, this good, this memorable, then nobody loses.
And once more, it’s onerous to disregard the juxtaposition that in some methods, that is AEW’s ultimate salvo earlier than WWE places on its greatest present, and nonetheless the business’s greatest week, WrestleMania. Whereas Khan and the remainder of the AEW crew would by no means admit to WWE having something to do with how AEW goes about their enterprise, you couldn’t watch Revolution final night time and never sense that that is what Mania ought to appear like, whether or not that feeling was intentional or unintentional.
Maybe it’s too purist of a view, which might get you into numerous hassle when observing WWE, however Mania must be the fruits and celebration of every little thing that’s wrestling. Enormous title matches which may entice the informal eye, huge surprises, ridiculous bombast and panache to the purpose of camp, a calling again to historical past of the business, and moments that may reside on without end, nonetheless they arrive. It’s alleged to be all of that in a single night time (and Mania now being two nights is a part of the issue).
Properly, Revolution nailed all of that. If something, the title matches most likely had been the low factors (it’s all relative) of the night time, and so they had been just about bangers themselves. Hangman Web page and Adam Cole, on the finish of the night time when the gang had each proper to only be charred husks, introduced the home down with a textbook title match to cap off the present. Jade Cargill appeared each bit the long run star of your complete business, if not world, in her TBS championship protection. The three-way tag match was bonkers. Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker appeared to be the one one which left individuals a bit of flat, however following CM-Punk and MJF was at all times a troublesome task. And it was hardly unhealthy.
Past that, the conclusions or continuations of tales beneath or separate from the titles had been expertly executed. Whether or not that is the conclusion or simply one other chapter of the Punk-MJF allegory, there may be nonetheless nothing higher on TV now. It referred to as again to historical past, not simply the earlier match between the 2 or the beats within the story that led to it, however again to CM Punk’s Ring Of Honor days along with his entrance and his gear. MJF had referenced them within the go-home present final Wednesday. The match hit varied beats.
Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson was a genius show of how you can put clashing kinds collectively to inform a narrative, with Danielson’s technical excellence versus Mox’s keep-moving-forward brawling. And to signal it off with the doorway of William Regal, which hadn’t even been whispered, and calling again to his tutelage of each was one other reference to historical past to maneuver an organization ahead. Additionally, that is simply wonderful, relatable comedy:
There was the signing of Swerve Strickland to function one other shock gem. Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston kicked the exhibit as a referendum on Kingston’s total profession and the best way it differs from Jericho’s, and his desperation to cross that bridge fueled the story of the match and his disbelief at first that he’d received.
(Tright here was additionally the tease of a number of tombstone piledrivers getting used throughout a number of matches, so who or what precisely is displaying up quickly? I hear dropping cash…)
And in order for you panache and elegance, might I current Thunder Rosa and Jade Cargill:
Now, examine that with what WWE is serving up in a month’s time. There’s the mega-huge-galactic match of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, which has years of plotline into it. However one in all them is a part-timer After which what?
There’s two movie star matches — Johnny Knoxville and Logan Paul — which mainly have been thrown collectively. There’s yet one more part-timer, Ronda Rousey, going through Charlotte Aptitude, and so they’ve solely had one earlier singles match and one Mania match beforehand, the place the principle story was Becky Lynch. Once more, this isn’t constructed on a lot.
And it solely will get worse. There isn’t a match for both tag title arrange. There’s a ham-fisted Drew McIntyre-Comfortable Corbin factor that’s shakily constructed on an unbeaten streak of Corbin’s that nobody knew something about. The historic callback is to… haul Steve Austin out of retirement and hope his knees and neck don’t audibly flip to graham crackers three minutes in?
Pat McAfee is getting a match precisely nobody requested for. Sasha Banks was given a tag match final week with Naomi towards two wrestlers who’re nowhere near their degree. We’re getting Edge and AJ Kinds, which must be nice, besides there doesn’t look like far more purpose why aside from they occur to each be round and upright in the meanwhile.
The one match with two full-time performers with an precise construct and story over time is Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair, and even that’s nonetheless plagued a bit of by Lynch’s wonky and pointless heel standing nowadays.
The purpose of Mania is that it’s overstuffed and bombastic. Wrestling as an entire is, in fact. However that is overstuffed merely for the sake of it. It’s simply placing undercooked and ill-fitting issues into it simply so it attains the correct dimension and scale and calling it large.
In the meantime, AEW let this cake bake naturally and appropriately, and despite the fact that it ended up with a lot, none of it felt misplaced on a PPV. Even the popcorn, six man twister tag that acted as a settle down proper earlier than the principle occasion contained Sting hurling himself off a concourse entrance by 12 tables or no matter. If it was an excessive amount of, it was an excessive amount of of a superb factor. Tales concluded, or took on a brand new course, or started one thing new.
Conversely, we just about know each match at Mania might be run once more a month later on the newest, leaving every little thing within the mud the place it began.
Once more, the combat between the 2 firms, and actually the hardcore followers of the 2, is exhausting. Nevertheless it’s almost inconceivable to outline the 2 firms with out together with what they aren’t, particularly when what they aren’t is on such clear show within the different one.
AEW might not have meant to reveal what Mania used to and may nonetheless be. However come April 2 and third, it’ll be inconceivable to disregard.