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Write Forever: Sting goes out on top (and through glass) at AEW Revolution

Write Forever: Sting goes out on top (and through glass) at AEW Revolution

With one of AEW's biggest crowds of the year (maybe the biggest? I don't know, I refuse to search it), we say goodbye to Sting. I was skeptical of Sting being brought into AEW. His WWE run was pure trash (not his fault), and I had already been burned so many times by TNA bringing in old guy after old guy and making them the top name in the company.

With AEW still being relatively young at the time Sting came in, I was nervous we were going to have another TNA on our hands. Thankfully, I was wrong!

I didn't grow up a Little Stinger since I didn't have access to the NWA or WCW on TV, but god damn has this run of Sting's been one of the best runs of any retiring wrestler in history. He now has a chance to go out on top as a Tag Team Champion alongside Darby Allin – unless The Young B(l)ucks have something to say about it.

The Bad

As usual, the wrestling is rarely the issue with AEW – sometimes it just feels like the wrong people win.

Good Matches, Bad Endings

While obviously subjective, my opinions are always correct so everybody should agree with me anyway.

It felt like the wrong move to have Daniel Garcia lose to Christian Cage. We had a great story in the Continental Classic of Garcia building his confidence back up to a win over Brody King. From there, Garcia stayed in the public eye and continued to rack up wins.

Eventually raising the ire of Christian Cage and The Patriarchy, Garcia fought his way to a TNT Title match through a no-contest with Adam Copeland. The Copeland/Cage feud can continue on without a title involved. With their history, their story doesn't need the TNT Title as the cherry on top.

This was the moment to move the TNT Title to a fresher competitor on the men's roster who has yet to hold a title in AEW, while planting some doubt in Christian's mind in time for Copeland to come back to challenge him to one final singles match.

But, here we are – Christian retains with Copeland nowhere in sight. A good, fun match but a bummer ending to start the show.

The highly-anticipated (by me) rematch between FTR/BCC didn't quite live up to expectations (by me). The first half of three quarters of the match was fine, but it wasn't living up to the time limit draw on Dynamite.

Once Dax was busted open though and things started going batshit crazy, the crowd woke up and so did everybody else. In short order, the final portion of the match made up for the rest of it. Still, the wrong team won.

I'm not ready to say I'm sick of the BCC or anything, but they are wearing somewhat thin on me at this point. Putting FTR over here would have reestablished FTR as a threat in the tag division after dropping the titles to Absolutely Big. I suppose they're trying to establish Mox and Claudio as a new tag team to look out for, though?

If this leads to Mox/Claudio as tag champs, I think my interest in the tag titles may hit an all-time low. I can't really explain why. Their matches are generally very good, but I may simply be hitting an over-saturation point with them.

My feelings on Toni Storm haven't been a secret and her shtick has also fallen into the over-saturation category for me. While Revolution brought out the best of Toni Storm (the wrestling), it was still a disappointing outcome in my opinion.

Deonna Purrazzo came in with a good amount of fanfare and looked primed to not only take the belt but usher in a different era for the women's division in an AEW that is, in 2024, all about "restoring the feeling". Deonna came up short here and will likely fade into the background of the women's division which seems like a commonplace occurrence once someone loses a title match.

Perhaps the belt is being kept warm for Mercedes Moné, which I feel would be a mistake as well unless they can establish her as a contender first by having her rack up wins and move up the rankings. I'm never a fan of the "debut, challenge, win in the first match" – but then again, Tony Khan hasn't implemented that much if at all so maybe I'm just hand-wringing over nothing.

The In-Between

AEW PPVs rarely disappoint. I can think of probably only one that I was completely lukewarm on. So, when a match is a little crunchy it falls below the unbelievably high standard AEW has set for itself.

The "exactly what you'd expect" All Star Scramble

We all know what to expect when you put together a match like an 8-person scramble. It's going to be fun to watch while, at times, terrifying, sloppy, and uncoordinated. This one had it all!

One thing is entirely clear – the AEW fan base has been completely meatpilled. They want meat, they want big dudes slapping meat, and they won't settle for anything less. The crowd truly came alive when the meaty boys were smashing off, but maybe less so when the four other guys in the match were spotlit.

Despite the wheels falling off a time or two, the closing moments came together nicely. The right man won with Mister Wardlow heading into March with a World Heavyweight Title shot tucked away. Since I'm writing this as I watch the show, my assumption is that Joe retains tonight by picking up the victory over Hangman in the three-way leaving Mister Wardlow available for a side quest feud before Swerve finally becomes AEW World Heavyweight Champion.

The Good

No surprises here – Eddie Kingston, Bryan Danielson, Konosuke Takeshita, and Will Ospreay helped elevate this show to another level. It's frankly bonkers that this quality level of wrestling is available to us in the US after being stricken with WWE being the only major promotion in this country for 20-some-odd years.

God bless wrestling nerds with billionaire fathers.

Respect for the King of the Bums

Bryan Danielson suffered yet another loss at the hands of Eddie Kingston, this time with the Continental Crown on the line. A beautiful story told in the build-up to the match with Eddie trying to force Bryan to finally respect him and a beautiful story told in the ring with Danielson's plans going awry whenever he strayed from his own game plan of wrestling Eddie Kingston.

Grappling and submission wrestling kept Danielson on top, but when that couldn't put Eddie away Danielson fell back to strikes. With pain and frustration etched on the face of Eddie while locked in holds, the expression changed to fiery determination whenever Danielson began laying in strikes. It was the strikes against Eddie which brought him back from the brink.

With it looking like Danielson had it in the bag with a second Busaiku knee on the way, Eddie relied on his still-good left arm to lariat Danielson to the mat before planting him with the stuff powerbomb the victory.

Post-match, Danielson teased not shaking hands with Eddie but eventually succumbed – with the added wrinkle of Eddie continuing to sell his damaged right arm when Danielson tried raising it in victory.

A solid match with the right man picking up the victory. There's still much to be done with Eddie as the Continental Crown Champion, and while Danielson is arguably the greatest of all time he doesn't necessarily need the belts to tell his story and cement his place in AEW.

A new direction for the International Championship

I love Orange Cassidy. He's the best.

But, his second run as International Champion always felt like a weird placeholder. His first run was legendary and it felt like he should have been able to move on from that belt once he dropped it to Mox.

Whether it was just the spat of injuries throwing the belt into turmoil or not, OC's second reign never quite had the same spark as the first. The first reign was meant for him to prove himself as one of the best wrestlers in AEW, which he did handily.

While Roderick Strong spent a lot of time being a twerpy little goofball as sideshow to the Adam Cole/MJF saga, he quickly reminded everybody that he, too, was one of the best wrestlers in AEW once he was doing more in the ring and less in pre-taped segments.

Putting the belt on Roddy is the absolute correct move here. Letting a heel have a run with the belt could introduce some fun new match-ups and stories, but it also frees Orange and Best Friends up for doing anything else.

A Trios Titles run with Best Friends & OC might be a lot of fun, before OC gets elevated to the main event. A feud with Swerve Strickland for the World Heavyweight Title would be a nice stop for OC, though I don't think it's in the cards for him to become World Champion this year. Let's start laying that groundwork, though.

Bonus – Kyle O'Reilly is back, and we have the same Bull Nakano shirt! Glad to see the little gremlin back, and I hope the thing he whispered to Roderick Strong was "please let me play your belt like a guitar."

In news that will shock nobody, Konosuke Takeshita vs Will Ospreay was incredible

I don't know that words can do this match justice. While I expected this to be the match of the night and deliver on all levels, I don't think I was prepared for just how insane it would actually be.

Will Ospreay, for all of his faults as a human being, is an actual magician in the wrestling ring.

Konosuke Takeshita is a perfect professional wrestling being.

At times throughout the show, the crowd felt a little low. A little sleepy. A little quiet here and there. There was no sleepiness during this match, the crowd on their feet and shouting at the top of their lungs from bell to bell.

I had no pick for this match. I assumed Ospreay would win, but I would have been happy with either guy walking out the victor.

If I were the kind of person who did star ratings, this would get about an 11 out of 5. And if this is what Don Callis Promotions gets us, maybe just let Don Callis book Collision every week.

The double turn we've all been waiting for

Hangman Page and Swerve Strickland have been walking a fine line for a few months at this point – Hangman beginning to lean more heel and Strickland leaning more babyface. Tonight, they each made big moves to get off of the fence and step into what may be new permanent territory for each man.

On two occasions, the completely cracked (HE HAS ABSOLUTELY LOST IT) Hangman Page assaulted referees to keep Swerve from pinning Samoa Joe to become the new AEW World Heavyweight champion. And these weren't just little ref bumps! He beat the hell out of Bryce Remsburg! BRYCE!

On the other side, Prince Nana offered Swerve his crown to use as a weapon to put things away. Swerve considered it but then threw the crown back to Nana, telling him that he didn't need it to win the match. This got a pretty sizable pop from the crowd which was simply endearing.

These three guys had a hell of a match to follow with Ospreay/Takeshita and they did it. This match wasn't the same type of insanity as the previous match, but it was great in a different way.

There were some incredibly nice small touches from the Hangman side of things – as he grabbed Swerve from the back of the tights, he anticipated Swerve's back leg escape and broke his grip long enough to avoid the leg and then grab Swerve again.

In the corner, Hangman charged Joe but was able to counter his Ura Nage with an armdrag. Fun stuff showing that while Hangman is going fully out of his mind that he still took everything he's learned from both men to try and avoid defeat.

With the final moments of the match, Swerve appeared to have things won with the JML Driver on Hangman. Joe came from behind with a suplex dropping Swerve on his head before locking Hangman in the Coquina Clutch.

Hangman tapped out, but was it a tap to avoid going to sleep or was it a tap to keep Swerve from potentially becoming champion?

Sting goes out on top

Sting's entire AEW run has been mind boggling. Going from the miserable excuse for a send-off they gave him in WWE, including eating a loss to fucking Triple H at WrestleMania for some god forsaken reason (pettiness, bitterness, stupidness). When it looked like Sting's career was finally over after his injury in WWE, it was a sad way to say goodbye but honestly not surprising.

WWE tends to handle things poorly, and so it felt right at home that they would somehow fuck up Sting's only run there only to have everything come to a screeching halt due to an injury.

So when Sting showed up in AEW, I wasn't sure what to expect. The rumors that he was coming in swirled for a while and I was trepidatious bordering on indifferent. I didn't want AEW to become what TNA became, bringing in every old guy and ex-WWE guy to push to the top of the card.

But, honestly, when he finally did debut I felt like a kid watching wrestling again. The debut, the entrance, the interactions with Cody and Darby – all of it just hit right. It felt good and it felt exciting.

At the time, I probably assumed that if we were going to be getting Sting matches we'd only be getting pre-taped matches which had become something of a rage thanks to Matt Hardy. We did get that with Sting & Darby vs Team Taz (which ruled), but we also got so much more.

In no timeline could I have foreseen just how far Sting was willing to go in the final three years of his career. 60+ years old and leaping off of balconies multiple times a year, going through tables, and otherwise having some of the most enjoyable matches on AEW cards on a regular basis.

When Sting finally announced Revolution would be his final match, the countdown began in earnest. Again, I didn't expect that we would end up with Sting and Darby going into the match as Tag Team Champions.

The new heel Young Bucks were the perfect foil for Sting and Darby, and the match reportedly came at the request of Sting when asked who he wanted to wrestle in his final match. With the titles on the line, it was up in the air as to how things would turn out – would the Bucks, revived with new gimmicks, carry the belts into the future or would Sting remain undefeated and retire as champion?

Well, we happily found out the answer to that question was the latter.

Through panes of glass, chairs, and tables Sting and Darby Allin retained the Tag Team Titles with Ric Flair (ugh), Ricky Steamboat, and Sting's Large Adult Sons helping along the way.

The match itself was chaotic. Similar to Joe/Swerve/Hangman, it was mind-blowing in a completely different way than Ospreay/Takeshita. I'm sure we all expected Sting to go hard in his final match, but I doubt any of us thought he'd be pulling panes of glass out from under the ring minutes into the contest.

Darby Allin took one of the sickest bumps I've probably ever seen in a mainstream wrestling company, diving off of a ladder and meeting only glass and steel chairs below him. His back immediately began to drip red, a million tiny cuts from shards of glass coloring his back, arms, and chest.

Darby sat out most of the rest of the match, assisting Sting via a Coffin Drop to Matthew Jackson after shoving Nicholas off of the top rope and through a table on the floor. From there, Sting locked in the Scorpion Deathlock eliciting a submission from Matthew.

Sting retires on top as one half of the AEW Tag Team Champions. The way AEW has been able to resuscitate the career of Sting is itself nothing short of legendary, and likely shows other legends that they, too, can retire with dignity in a company which obviously cares about the history of professional wrestling and professional wrestlers. It's a beautiful thing to see after thinking it all had to be the way WWE made it be for 20+ years.

I'm getting cues, hang on...