Iron Man Match Cements MJF as AEW’s Top Star


Maxwell J. Friedman took down Bryan Danielson in an epic Iron Man match that lasted over an hour.

Sixty minutes was not enough.

Maxwell J. Friedman and Bryan Danielson wrestled for a full hour at the Revolution pay-per-view, then the bout continued in sudden-death overtime. The match ended when Danielson applied the Lebell Lock, with MJF using Danielson’s signature against him.

It wasn’t entirely clean, as the finish happened shortly after MJF drilled Danielson in the head with an oxygen tank, but it served its purpose: showing that MJF could outlast Danielson in an Iron Man match.

Danielson did (again) what CM Punk was supposed to do. In this case, that was elevating MJF to the next level.

Here are the results:

  • Ricky Starks defeated Chris Jericho
  • Jungle Boy Jack Perry defeated Christian Cage in a cassette match
  • The House of Black defeated The Elite to win the trio’s titles
  • AEW women’s champion Jamie Hayter defeated Ruby Soho and Saraya in a triple threat match
  • Hangman Adam Page defeated Jon Moxley in a deathmatch in Texas
  • Wardlow defeated Samoa Joe to win the TNT championship
  • The Guns defended the tag team titles in a four-way match against The Acclaimed, Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal, and Orange Cassidy and Danhausen
  • The AEW champion MJF defeated Bryan Danielson in a 60 minute Iron Man match

The pay-per-view offered games that ranged from solid to spectacular. Some finishes were predictable – Samoa Joe spending his time in Ring of Honor, making the TNT title change to Wardlow inevitable – but that didn’t mean the finishes weren’t the right calls. Ricky Starks needed the win against Chris Jericho, and he got it – just like the Jungle Boy needed to defeat Christian Cage.

In the opener, Starks defeated Jericho cleanly. This was exactly what it needed to be, with Starks winning in decisive fashion. Credit to Jericho for making sure Starks would shine. Jericho is a legend whose status is unaffected by a win or a loss, but Starks desperately needed this win. It lifts him back into the title picture, where he should be chasing MJF again.

Unfortunately the Jungle Boy/Christian Cage storyline was interrupted when Christian needed time off after an injury. But the conclusion finally happened at Revolution in a cassette game (a condition that feels hollow without The Undertaker). This win was much needed for Jungle Boy. As a heel, Christian can work with almost anyone on the roster, but it will be very interesting to see where Jungle Boy goes from here – some gold would be good for him, but which title?

The new trio’s champions were crowned when The House of Black defeated The Elite. This was great, and up to the main event, the match of the night. Due to the minority dropping the trio’s titles, there is a possibility for AEW. Kenny Omega must be back in the mix for the world title. The Young Bucks have left a void from the tag division. With FTR now back, Bucks-FTR needs to be booked again before FTR contracts are up in April. My only concern is how the trio’s titles will be treated. The House of Black is unlike any other entity in pro wrestling, and this could be a great run if they are put in the right position to succeed.

The women’s singles match on the card featured an expected finish, as Jamie Hayter (rightfully so) retained his title in a triple threat match against Saraya and Ruby Soho. The story progressed, with Soho meeting Hayter and Dr. Britt Baker after the match, forming an alliance with Saraya and Storm. Even though Saraya is the biggest star, I still have trouble seeing Storm playing a secondary role in this faction. Also, would it be better for Hayter if she instead wrestled Baker as a heel rather than working with her as a babyface? Hayter is, by far, the most popular wrestler in the women’s division, so AEW should be fully-fledged in his reign.

This card offered a bit of everything, including unrelenting violence. That came in the form of a Texas Deathmatch pitting Jon Moxley against “Hangman” Adam Page, which was gory and bloody (and even included Moxley hitting a curb stomp on a brick). Beneath all the blood and guts, this program was designed to reestablish Page in the main event, a place he hadn’t been since falling to CM Punk last spring. Moxley made Page look like an unstoppable force, and the submission victory is what Page needed.

The low moment on the card happened after the Texas Deathmatch. Perhaps this was inevitable, as a match like that should normally headline a show. Wardlow and Samoa Joe took on the responsibility of bringing life to this point, but it felt fair – and the match wasn’t helped by the fact that Joe will be spending his time in Ring of Honor, meaning that title change coming. Wardlow was victorious, and regained the TNT title – creating an opportunity to rewrite the error of his unsuccessful last title run. Wardlow is extremely talented, and it’s worth watching to see what he does the second time around, starting next week Dynamite against Powerhouse Hobbs in a match that could (should?) have been built into a pay-per-view.

Watching The Gunns retain the tag team titles was a real surprise. This happened in a four-way match, which at first seemed strange because it muddied the waters of The Acclaimed regaining the belts. But it made a lot more sense when the Gunns pinned Danhausen for the win. I don’t know who wants to see Guns extend its run, especially with The Acclaimed being so popular. After the match, FTR made a surprise return and laid out the Guns, announcing their intention to win back their titles.

The main event made perfect sense. Danielson had a chance to bleed in ways he couldn’t even dream of in WWE, and MJF played his role as a villain in an epic way. The finishes were creative, too. After Danielson hit Busaiku’s knee kick to win the first fall, MJF got himself disqualified with a low blow – then made consecutive successful pinfalls.

This went down to the wire attached by three drops. In the final two minutes, MJF hit a Tombstone piledriver off the second rope, but came up short in the pinfall. Danielson had a submission locked in as time expired, but MJF didn’t tap. That led to overtime, where a combination of rule breaking and outstanding wrestling ability – again, this match made sense – sent MJF to victory.

Revolution which was extremely entertaining pay-per-view. It sets the table for the future of AEW, with Wardlow, Jamie Hayter and FTR playing key roles. The window reopens for Ricky Starks to pursue a world title, and if The Elite is no longer challenging for the three-man titles, then that allows for a whole new slate of possibilities for Kenny Omega and the Bucks. The card finally achieved its purpose, which was cementing MJF as the best player in AEW.

Justin Barrasso can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Justin Barrasso.

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