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Reviewing the Elite (2/26/20): Ready for Revolution



Man, it sure is nice watching a wrestling show that doesn’t piss all over its younger talent.

If you’re mad over The Fiend losing his luster against Goldberg or Ricochet being left for dead after getting squashed by Brock Lesnar on WWE Super ShowDown, may I suggest this fairly explosive stick of AEW Dynamite?

This was the go-home show before AEW Revolution and they sold it hard with this episode. While last week had more variety, this week still had plenty of highlights that will have fans on the edge of their seats, whether it was the opening ironman match between Kenny Omega and PAC or the dramatic sit-down interview Jim Ross conducted with Omega, Hangman Page, and The Young Bucks. Everything else ranged from solid to watchable, which is never a bad thing.

I guarantee that everything in this episode and the upcoming Revolution will be better than all of Saudi Showdown.

Fuck The Elite

        

I might sound like a biased Hangman Page fanboy right now but how can anyone honestly root for The Young Bucks after this interview?

The Bucks make it clear that they want the AEW World Tag Team Championships that Omega and Page possess, which is fine. All of the AEW tag teams should want a shot at winning those belts. But the Jackson brothers quickly become condescending jerks when they brought up how “they’ll always be The Elite” no matter what happens in Revolution.

What makes all of this more annoying is how Kenny Omega just seems to agree with everything The Bucks and Ross have to say. Jim says The Bucks are the best tag team in the world and Kenny agrees, even though he and Hangman literally have championship belts that say otherwise. Kenny even says that he and Hangman were just “at the right place at the right time,” undermining every tag team accomplishment the two have had together.

Hangman eventually has enough and talks about how he already left The Elite, or has at least tried to, and The Bucks start becoming manipulative assholes. Matt brings up how they brought him into Bullet Club and BTE, which “made him a star,” while Nick has the audacity to say Hangman “was just a jobber in Ring of Honor.” These people are supposed to be his friends.

Did I mention how Kenny didn’t do a damn thing while his opponents for the pay-per-view were running down his tag team partner? What a great partner. Fuck The Elite. Look, Hangman’s no saint; the guy shouldn’t be upset about having to defend those titles against his friends. But having those so-called “friends” say they’re the reason you’ve become successful is toxic as hell.

Iron Men

       


There's a part of me wants to hate Kenny’s win over PAC, mostly because he didn’t stand up for Hangman during the interview I mentioned earlier, but I can’t. This was a fantastic match that managed to use the ironman stipulation well and I give Creative credit for having this open the show.

This ironman match was notable for a number of reasons. Aside from being the company’s first ironman match, we also got the first ever disqualification in AEW history when PAC hit Omega with a chair. Funnily enough, this version of the ironman match took some cues from the one on WWE Bragging Rights 2009 by adding a 30-second interval after each decision. Thankfully, this wasn’t overused since there were only three falls by the end.

Okay, little tidbits aside, this is a serious Match of the Year candidate. Seeing PAC and Omega put on a pay-per-view quality performance before Revolution might be an odd booking decision but it made for some immensely entertaining television. These two went all out and every little thing PAC and Omega did added to the match, from the aforementioned intentional DQ to the insane top-rope brainbuster, and the painful-looking falcon arrow from the ring apron to the floor. Nasty.

By the end of the 30 minutes, PAC had Omega in the Brutalizer submission so he looked dominant before the sudden death stipulation was announced. Omega won briefly after that, similar to the end of that legendary ironman match between Shawn Michael and Bret Hart, but that didn’t hurt the quality of this match nor did it make PAC look bad.

Fuck Kenny Omega (the character) but watch this match.

Final Grade: While not as strong as previous weeks, everything in this week’s AEW was pretty damn fun. The iron man match between PAC and Kenny Omega is one for the ages so if you need any kind of motivator to check out AEW Dynamite, let it be that match. B+

AEW Revolution Match Card:

  • Chris Jericho (c) vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship
  • Cody vs. MJF
  • Kenny Omega and Hangman Page (c) vs. The Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championship
  • Nyla Rose (c) vs. Kris Statlander for the AEW Women’s World Championship
  • PAC vs. Orange Cassidy
  • Dustin Rhodes vs. Jake Hager
  • Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara
  • The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) vs. SCU (Scorpio Sky and Franky Kazarian)

Elite Thoughts

  • I didn’t think much of the weigh-in between Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley. Some fun character moments here and there, while that headbutt Moxley gave Jericho was stiff AF but not much else. At the least, Jericho standing over a bloodied Moxley made for a pretty cool visual.
  • While they were protected to a certain degree, I don’t think The Inner Circle (Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) should have lost to Jurassic Express. I know Darby cost them the match but these heels need some wins and fast. Santana and Ortiz have lost some of their luster while Guevara needed a win to look good before his Revolution match.
  • The four-way women’s match could have been better. I’m glad Hikaru Shida won, and I enjoyed seeing the crowd react to Yuka Sakazaki. Big Swole is still a bit green but the crowd does like her while Shana is pretty solid in the ring but doesn’t get much of a reaction.
  • Chuck Taylor saying that Orange Cassidy will actually try in his match with PAC is great and seeing Trent downplay that statement was the cherry on top. By the way, The Best Friends beat Butcher and Blade in an okay match.
Images from All Elite Wrestling

Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.

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