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R-Evolution III - 3/6/2022


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I had a really good feeling about Kingston-Jericho going in, but still this one exceeded.  Jericho is infinitely better as a heel, and infinitely better working King's Road rather than the New York territory style.  Eddie Kingston is clearly one of the best workers in the world.  

A lot of exceptional hard work out there from beginning to end.  The video component of this show was a near 10.  The audio was draining.  This commentary team grated on me all night.  (CoachTK, you're doing a great job signing all the best in ring talent, and producers, now get the best commentator when he becomes available - his name is Tom Hannifan.)  During the last 3 matches I had the audio so low I could only faintly hear things, and it helped soothe the experience.  I can't wait till the day when commentary is optional.  Until then I plead with AEW to mix the crowd higher.  Please!  Even this seemingly half dead crowd would've sounded so much better than those 3 chatterboxes droning on and on. 

I also plead with this company to consider the effect 4 plus hours has on their audience.  As much as I enjoyed the pre-show Rampage, limiting this whole live experience to just under 3 hours would make for a far better atmosphere.  The bigger arenas for PPV are inevitably going to mean more casual attendees.  It's challenging enough for the core to sustain their level of interest let alone an audience of that size.  And really, why not save that pre-show six man for a Dynamite main event?  So to the Cargill bout.  So to the Sting six man.  So to that contrived ladder bullshit (those career shortening bumps are not worth that).  Clearly, TK wants to put as much stuff on the most prestigious show, but it clearly has consequences to your latter bouts.  The sentiment is nice and understandable, but there's no way with this running time not to burn out.  All that said, god bless this company for striving to provide such an incredible show.  And kudos to the talent for delivering big on the build to this.

Edited by HarryArchieGus
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Just now, Jiji said:

MJF's selling was fantastic the entire match. 

I don't have to write this thing up until Wednesday thankfully, but I think it's sort of a tale of two matches. MJF's selling in the key cinematic moments was exactly what you'd want it to be. He sold the hand when he was supposed to sell the hand. He sold horror or fear or whatever else when he was supposed to. Him selling the ring punch, of course. Where I found him lacking was when Punk was moving him around the outside of the ring or just bridging between two spots. He didn't have that sort of "full body exhaustion" selling down in the way I would have hoped, that sort of writhing gingerly motion that shows you've been through a war. The connective tissue. I imagine for most people, it's ok that he just hit the big notes, but I love getting into the bridging bits.

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Eddie Kingston reminds me of Mick Foley so much, in that Foley was a tippy toppy guy from 1998 to 2001 yet he was so good at presenting himself as an underdog that you didn’t view him as a top guy and you wanted him to break through.

Eddie Kingston has main evented a PPV, had a show closing run in to another PPV, faced Punk and Jericho on PPV and had a tag run with the second or third biggest star in the company. He’s so good at being like the 5th highest guy in the pecking order yet believably presenting himself like he’s the 15th. Just an awesome talent.

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I managed to avoid spoilers. Glad I was able to. Not too often that five hours fly by like that. Enjoyed the hell out of that show! AEW keeps knocking it out of the park. They exceed my very high expectations.

Jericho and Kingston going full 90s All Japan was probably my MOTN, which is really saying something considering Mox vs Dragon and MJF vs Punk both exceeded what I was hoping for.

Regal slapping some sense into Moxley and Danielson was my mark-out moment of the night. Also really saying something considering that Sting spot, Punk's entrance, Punk and Mox's crimson masks...

So much variety on this show. So many different kinds of great and/or exciting pro wrestling.

A nice birthday treat for our boy Paul!

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Regal was literally the only thing I was spoiled on as it was trending and I caught the name despite myself.

I'm leaning towards Mox/Danielson > Kingston/Jericho btw, but I have to watch them both back. I love how giving (really out of necessity but that hasn't stopped top stars before) Jericho was in that match, most especially in the eye focus. Kingston could hit harder so Jericho needed a wedge.

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9 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Five hours later and I'm spent. I had fun watching this in a theatre with about a dozen other people. I would definitely recommend the theatre experience for anyone that doesn't want to spend $50 on a ppv. I'm absolutely going to choose the theatre route for future ppv's. 

None of the theaters in Austin were showing it, I would have gladly saved some money! The nearby Regal has Batman on at least half their screens, with showings starting every half hour.

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The main event was everything I hated about the Cole-Gargano matches. I guess I now know who specifically to blame.

 

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3 hours ago, Casey said:

But she shouldn’t wear an outfit like that again probably (even if it was badass as fuck) - I’m sure some Reddit subs are gonna have a field day with it

What disgusting subs would those be? Errr... So I know to avoid them, you understand.

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I enjoyed FOTR despite not generally being a fan of multi-man ladder matches. Much better than last year’s. Thought it had a good pace and they kept multiple guys involved in the action most of the time. Probably strong Christian influence.

 

BTW on a related note, I love that, after all these years, people still buy into the gimmick that ladder matches are inherently career shortening when the Hardy’s, Edge, Christian, and even Bubba Dudley are still wrestling after 20 years of being in more ladder matches than anybody in history.

Edited by EVA
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2 hours ago, AxB said:

I was watching on headphones and it sounded great all night. The ring mic was perfect, and the crowd was loud and enthusiastic throughout (although a few times on TV, it's sounded like a dead crowd, but people who were there live insist it was noisy all night).

Did Kawada ever win a match by submission with the Stretch Plum? I did like that, having run through Kobashi, Akiyama, Tsuruta and Tenryu moves, Eddie had to turn to Kawada to get the big underdog win. Because using a Misawa move to win as an underdog makes no sense. Has to be Kawada.

Also, we got the return of Surprise Rising Keith Lee.

Keith Lee GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I knew he did this spot before but couldn't remember when!! Thank you!!  

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4 minutes ago, EVA said:

BTW on a related note, I love that, after all these years, people still buy into the gimmick that ladder matches are inherently career shortening when the Hardy’s, Edge, Christian, and even Bubba Dudley are still wrestling after 20 years of being in more ladder matches than anybody in history.

Dude Christian lost almost ten years of his life and have you seen Matt Hardy move lately? I generally enjoy his matches more than most people these days because he's got such a great mind for wrestling but I also enjoy them on 1.5x speed.

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I thought the concussions that finally put Christian out weren’t from ladder matches. Could be wrong about that!

Also, that was clearly WWE’s decision, and Christian certainly seems to have disagreed with the notion that he was done.

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1 hour ago, Jiji said:

I don't know what to think about the dog collar match other than it didn't live up to my expectations and went long. MJF didn't bleed much and while that normally wouldn't bother me it did in such a big match where blood was going to be an obvious key element to the violence. Punk bled for two though. Some of the execution didn't work as has already been mentioned. The finish did, thankfully. In general it needed more crowd buy in to be as effective as they wanted. 

I agree that MJF didn't bleed nearly enough, which makes me feel ghoulish but it's also part of that particular match set up. Take some baby aspirin, Max,

I didn't love the thumbtacks and I can agree they were unnecessary in the context of this match. But there was also a point where it looked like one side of Punk's trunks was thumbtacked to his leg and that was a cool visual. Punk also was bleeding from the tacks on his arm by the end.

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I thought the show was underwhelming in the whole, certainly a big step down from the last two PPVs in terms of quality and consistency. Don't get me wrong, it was fine, good even, and I don't regret buying it, but I'm not seeing this as a classic show by any means. Quick thoughts, trying not to nitpick too much:

Buy-In was fine. Did a good job setting the table for the main show.

Eddie/Jericho was one of the best matches of the night, good stuff from both, but I didn't like the stretch plum as the finish. I think it would have been a more impactful moment if Eddie had knocked him out and pinned him.

Triple threat tag was okay I guess, but I'm not a fan of the tag titles being used as a background prop for a feud between two other teams. Feels like when they only have four ppvs a year, they should be able to build up a hot number one contender for the belts.

I thought the ladder match was an absolute disaster. Very little looked good, guys looked lost a lot of the time, it seemed there were a lot of botches/planned spots going wrong (I'm not convinced that was how the finish was supposed to go), Wardlow clearing the ring and then going out to weakly brawl with everyone else made him look stupid, and I don't know how you don't put Keith Lee over. It's not like Wardlow needs the win anyway. Orange skinning the cat up the ladder was dope as fuck though.

Cargill/Conti was okay. No problems with this.

Punk/MJF was kind of a microcosm for the whole card for me, in that I felt it was too long, kinda underdelivered despite being enjoyable for the most part, crowd kinda sucked and things just didn't seem to work the way they wanted them to. The tacks added zero to the match, and probably actually detracted from it. I was legit worried that Punk was going to pass out from blood loss and had to keep telling myself that there are guys in Mexico a decade older than Punk bleeding out like that five nights a week. I didn't like Wardlow playing a role in the finish, and thought Max took too much of the match in general (and didn't bleed nearly enough). 

All the interference in the women's match was so fucking stupid. It's as bad as all the interference we used to get in Elite matches. Like, aren't there any girls in the back sick of this shit who would want to come out and even the odds? Isn't Mercedes Martinez Rosa's running buddy now? I just found this annoying.

Mox/Bryan was my MOTN. They did just enough without going too far, didn't try to get too cutesy or reinvent the wheel. Just pretty much went out and beat the piss out of each other. Finish was a bit meh, but post-match was killer. Regal coming in was def the highlight of the night, and how fucking badass did he look?

I had fun with the 6-man. Felt like just what was needed after a lot of more epic stuff. I thought the Spanish Fly through the table was a real holy shit moment, and then fucking Sting came along and said hold my fucking beer. What an amazing moment. I also just wanna say that Andrade is a fucking star and should be higher up the card.

Main was interminable. Cole is such a fucking terrible wrestler. Him being as over as he is everywhere he goes is honestly maybe the most baffling thing to me as a wrestling fan. I just. Don't. Get it. And yea, fuck the crowd for turning on Hangman after the journey we've just been on with him, even if it was a 'home' crowd for Cole.

Overall, crowd were wank, show was too long, lots of good wrestling, some not so good, and we got Regal out of it. If Claudio had come out at the end and bloodied up Hangman it would have made the whole show for me.

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Really fun show overall.

 

I don't mind a 4-5 hour show but start the ppv at 7pm instead of 8pm EST.  If you have the Buy in at 6pm EST and end the PPV at 11pm it's not nearly as bad.

Wonder how many tired kids will be in school today because of the late wrestling show.

 

Wasn't a fan of the Layla Hirsch-Statlander match. I saw quite a few botches and the chemistry just wasn't there.

The 6 man tag was fun. Do they keep Redbeard around this time? Not a huge fan of the  I do my spot, you come do yours in a 6 man tag. It's easy to see what's going to happen next.

The tag title match was just there for me. So many great teams in AEW but this was just flat. Jurrasic Express as champs when you have Bucks, FTR, Red Dragon, Acclaimed, is a questionable move too.

Punk-MJF was fun but when Punk gave multiple promo's expressing how badly he would beat up MJF and then he left in worse shape than MJF it made little sense. Once he had the ring he should have punched him repeatedly. Ground and pound until the ref stops it and awards Punk the win.

Moxley vs Danielson was a good match and Regal was a great surprise. He will be a great learning tree for the whole AEW roster

Swerve Strickland.  Meh. He is good but where do you put him?  ROH maybe?

Tay-Jade  I actually thought Tay had a shot to win this. Glad she didn't as Jade has been improving match after match. Professor vs Jade?  Yes please!!

Thunder-Britt   eh?  Not as good as their previous stuff and way,way overbooked with run ins. Guessing Rosa wins it in Texas and defends against Brit 4/20 in Pittsburgh

STING!!!!!  Not upset about no Jeff Hardy. 

 

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3 minutes ago, paintedbynumbers said:

Really fun show overall.

 

I don't mind a 4-5 hour show but start the ppv at 7pm instead of 8pm EST.  If you have the Buy in at 6pm EST and end the PPV at 11pm it's not nearly as bad.

Wonder how many tired kids will be in school today because of the late wrestling show.

 

 

I just hope non-Monday holiday Sunday PPVs become a thing of the past very soon. I get why this was a Sunday with UFC in Vegas, but even WWE moving into Saturdays are good territory gives me hope. The only time of the year where you really hurt for me in that category will be during college football season.

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3 minutes ago, paintedbynumbers said:

Punk-MJF was fun but when Punk gave multiple promo's expressing how badly he would beat up MJF and then he left in worse shape than MJF it made little sense. Once he had the ring he should have punched him repeatedly. Ground and pound until the ref stops it and awards Punk the win.

Maybe the most important moment in the whole match was when MJF had his first real advantage early and he sat on the top rope and shouted at everyone for cheering for Punk after he abandoned them, and how that allowed Punk to come back. That's when it felt obvious that deep down, despite all that had happened, despite how far the feud had gone, despite the win in Chicago, at the end of the day, Max was afraid to look down because if he did, he'd realize there was nothing beneath him. So when they made it all the way through the war and when Punk realized that Wardlow had made his decision and that Max, moving forward, is about to reap what he sowed in a way bigger and larger and more poetic than anything Punk himself could do, it was time to throw the punch and pin the poor schlub and move on with his life.

Re: the thumbtacks. I didn't like the Pepsi Plunge being used for the first time in over a decade and not leading to a win last time but I imagine tonight was to set up a spot somewhere down the line where Punk hits it onto thumbtacks and wins with it against someone. AEW is always moving forward and always setting things up and if you set up something in a blowoff match, it'll mean all the more when it finally gets paid off, but obviously there's a big risk to that since you never want a blow off to feel underwhelming.

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Can't believe no one has brought up the most important moment of the night: William Regal having a lil' dot of blood right on the tip of his nose after he went face-to-face with Moxley.

Good show overall for my first AEW PPV, but too long, and I even skipped the pre-show.  I know AEW's philosophy is "more is more" but they really could have cut an hour out of there with no problem.

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I'm hoping that this is it for the diamond ring. It's fine as an award, but pretty dumb as a weapon. It reminds me of that 2 year period in WCW where the deadliest weapon in the promotion was a high heeled shoe. Nobody should be getting knocked out by it. Now that MJF has had it used against him, I feel like it should be dropped.

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