Hooked On Roundtable: AEW Revolution 2021

The HOW team pick their winners and try to predict the surprise appearances at AEW Revolution 2021.

AEW Revolution Logo

Pro wrestling is back on PPV when All Elite Wrestling presents its first big show offering of the year, Revolution.

A stacked card of steadily-built matches will be followed by a very polarising main event, as Kenny Omega grants Jon Moxley his rematch for the AEW World title in an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch.

What do the Hooked On team think will happen? Check out their picks below.

Why not make your own picks by entering our free Revolution predictions contest. You can enter by clicking here and the winner will receive a tee of their choice from Wrestle Merch Central.

AEW World title, Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch: Kenny Omega (c) vs Jon Moxley

Jon Moxley Kenny Omega
Credit: AEW

Paul Benson: Look I’ll be honest. This match is not my cup of tea. At all. I honestly wonder how a company with global aspirations finds themselves in a position where they are relying on a gimmick that is (was?) popular with a niche within a niche of the wrestling fanbase. It is a gimmick that few fans in the wider fanbase know and even fewer care to see and I’m afraid it betrays the worst parts of AEW in which they feel like a promotion being run for an audience of one, more interested with recreating the moments he enjoyed as a super hardcore fan in the 90s than presenting a product that compels their core audience whilst also growing it.

Unfortunately, these instincts run rampant through AEW and it is already holding back the promotion and putting an artificial ceiling on their own success that they should be more than capable of sailing through.
Who will win? Omega. But this match will illicit the Pavlovian ‘This is awesome’ response rather than true emotional resonance. 

Liam Happe: Omega and Moxley as a feud has just not worked for me, since day one. And that is literally day one, with Mox attacking Omega at Double Or Nothing 2019 and the very first episode of Dynamite. Both attacks made no character sense and had nothing to do with their subsequent interactions leading up to an overly long and self-indulgent non-sanctioned weapons match at Full Gear.

Their regular match, where Omega dethroned Mox and turned heel, was better and finally gave the on-off rivalry focus. A big blow-off in the rubber match with clarity in their roles seemed great, unless it went the way of their Full Gear melee. Unfortunately, an excessively violent FMW tribute looks a dead cert to do exactly that. There’s no way Omega loses the title here, by the way.

Chris Hatch: I’m sure many are excited for this type of match, but it’s not my cup of tea at all and just extends Mox’s run of hardcore gimmick matches. I rate him as a wrestler, but enough of this now. Whatever level he’s been at in AEW, I don’t see this as a possible way of him getting the belt back, and imagine Omega retains – but if I’m watching it’ll be through squinted eyes. 

Gary Tait: Outside of significant levels of violence, I don’t know what to expect from this match. I don’t see him doing it without outside interference, but Omega retains in a brutal way and Mox will take some well deserved time off in the aftermath.

AEW Women’s title: Hikaru Shida (c) vs Ryo Mizunami

Shida and Ryo
Credit: AEW

Paul: I genuinely am looking forward to this PPV immensely but you wouldn’t know that based on my write ups for the first two matches! I’m sure this match will be fun to watch as Shida is a real talent and I assume Mizunami is also. I won’t pretend to know much about her. But I am a fan that needs more than an exhibition to get excited. I don’t know much about either competitor and therefore, I don’t really care who wins, but I’ll go with Shida. I am much more interested in the women’s tag match on The Buy In.

Liam: The eliminator tournament has done a great job in remedying the underlying issue of the AEW women’s scene. It has provided the image that the division has depth, and the ability to churn out a good volume of great matches. The title match reward for the tournament winner should be another of those, but the Shida reign continues to feel like it’s there until Britt Baker gets the belt.

Chris: I’m sure both are credible competitors and the match will be excellent. I watched a lot of the quarter finals of the tournament and found them very enjoyable, but it was hard to enjoy so much with going back to the no-crowd experience. Either way, a fun match but Shida retains given Mizunami’s limited mainstream AEW exposure. 

Gary: I think it’s safe to say, this one can go either way. Shida has had the title for a long time but the title reign (no fault of Shida) has been underwhelming. I see a title change happening to get some eyes on the division and to just shake it up a little bit.

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AEW World tag titles: The Young Bucks (c) vs Chris Jericho & MJF

Young Bucks MJF Chris Jericho
Credit: AEW

Paul: Now this is more like it! While I will never be a fan of the Bucks, they are always at their best when a personal issue is at stake. Jericho and MJF certainly ensured that was the case when the dastardly duo took the fight to poor Papa Buck! I love the heels on this and the dynamic they have going on. They’re easy to hate and admire at the same time and I look forward to seeing more of them as a pairing and eventually opponents. This should be a great match and a winning team is hard to predict, but I’ll go Bucks.

Liam: I can’t stand the Young Bucks as babyfaces. That said, they’re pretty tedious heels, too. Thankfully, their actual wrestling matches are almost always fantastic and you’d expect a grudge match with Jericho and MJF to continue that trend. The whole rivalry feels thrown together to cover the fact that these two teams are stopgapping until their actual storylines elsewhere kick into high gear after the PPV, and the titles will stay on Nick and Matt as a result.

Chris: I really want Jericho and MJF to win this. I mean I really, REALLY want Jericho and MJF to win this. The Young Bucks don’t do it for me, and I’ve always been a fan of characters which both Jericho and MJF are, along with their in-ring ability. Even though the Bucks reign hasn’t been particularly long it feels like the right time to let ‘The Demo God’ and Friedman have some fun with the titles, and get Jericho working with some new upcoming guys in the tag division. 

Gary: This match will be full of heel type shenanigans and there will be some blood. I do enjoy Jericho and MJF being a tag team but it’s not one meant to last. I also don’t see The Bucks dropping the title at this time.

Face Of The Revolution ladder match: Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Penta El Zero M vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. TBD

Face Of The Revolution Ladder Match
Credit: AEW

Paul: I do love how AEW brand their gimmick matches to make them feel more like events and brands into themselves rather than just matches. It is really impressive and this ‘Face Of The Revolution’ ladder match is a big part of that. Who will win? Cody Rhodes I think. I believe he is heading into a storyline around the reformation of The Four Horsemen (As a friend or foe. Maybe both) and winning this match will play into that nicely. As far as the mystery entrant goes, let’s say Nick Aldis.

Liam: These things are usually entertaining, but I’ve no idea what to expect or who the mystery entrant will be. It was laughable watching the company try to retcon an explanation for the inconsistent qualification process (or lack thereof) on social media. I’ll piggyback Paul’s shout of a Cody win that plays into Arn Anderson’s involvement in the Tully/FTR/Spears deal on Dynamite.

Chris: In a match like this, I think Scorpio Sky’s longevity in the business will get missed a lot. The fact it’s for a shot at the TNT Championship, I’d love to see him get the nod. But it feels like Omega will be going a completely different way with the main belt, so Archer would be a great holder of the TNT gold. He would also be the sort of challenger to give you sympathy for Darby Allin. 

Gary: It’s nice to see the TNT Championship getting some light on this PPV, even if it is just a title opportunity at stake rather than the belt itself. I see this match being a massive contender for match of the night and I am really looking forward to seeing Penta being the breakout star from it. With that said, I am going for the mystery star to get the win here.

Street Fight: Sting & Darby Allin vs Team Taz

Sting Darby Allin Ricky Starks Brian Cage
Credit: AEW

Paul: I love this match. Two nasty outright heels against a huge returning star and a young guy on the rise who would pair naturally with the established name and will benefit from the rub. Great booking and a fun moment in the offering. I will go with Allin and Sting for the obvious feelgood win.

Liam: It’s been fun watching AEW really try to drag this program out to the PPV, but to their credit they’ve managed it. This should be fun, and even though he is now in his sixties, Sting always worked best as a stand-up ass-kicker so a tag team street fight will be fine. I can see Ricky Starks getting the fall on Allin here to earn a TNT Television title match, and Team Taz do kinda need a big win.

Chris: However much I’m looking forward to the formal return of ‘The Icon’, the fact this will still seemingly be a cinematic match takes the gloss off it for me. Sting and Allin win with some quirky finish they can use given the circumstances. Same result if it’s actually in the arena, but would be much more enjoyable. And this coming from a (general) fan of cinematic matches! 

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Gary: I have enjoyed this feud for the most part. I was a bit uneasy seeing Sting taking bumps personally but it’s also great to have him back in the ring. I see Darby taking most of the punishment in this match (and no doubt some crazy spots). I don’t see Sting taking a loss on his first match back and for that reason, that is why I go with Sting and Allin to pick up the win.

Big Money Match: Matt Hardy vs Adam Page

Hangman Page Matt Hardy
Credit: AEW

Paul: I am a sucker for old school, simple storytelling and this feud has nailed that in spades. An arrogant blowhard heel who thought he was manipulating the situation perfectly, only to have the rug pulled from under him by the cool babyface who was in control the whole time. It really is simple, fun stuff and the logical conclusion to that is the Hangman Page win. The only wrinkle to that would be if Hardy is secretly taking over The Dark Order. I don’t see that though.

Liam: This has been a fun midcard feud, but the key to the win here for me is that Matt Hardy at this stage is a midcard starmaker while Page is going places. Big win for the Hangman and while Dark Order continue their awkward friendship with Adam by feuding with Private Party and TH2, bigger things await the man who almost became the first AEW champ.

Chris: Really like what they’re doing with these two – Page has bags of ability, and Hardy can do an amazing job of helping to elevate him especially in a ‘high stakes’ match. My concern would be Hangman losing the match along with his first quarter earnings, and them running another “down on his luck” storyline. So I’m hoping this is another positive step for Page to the main event scene. 

Gary: Matt Hardy has again reinvented himself as this big money guy, using others to make money for him. On the line here is both wrestler’s Q1 earnings. Hangman pre-COVID was becoming the hottest babyface on the AEW roster and I believe he is the one that goes on to challenge for the AEW world title shortly. He needs a big win and defeating Hardy is just the stepping stone Page needs.

Miro and Kip Sabian vs Orange Cassidy and Chuck

Miro Kip Sabian Orange Cassidy Chuck Taylor
Credit: AEW

Paul: Remember on Raw a year or so ago when Rusev and Bobby Lashley were embroiled in a silly angle based on Rusev’s real life wife Lana running off with Bobby Lashley? Remember how we all wished it would end so Rusev could do something less silly and fulfil his potential finally? Remember how we all rejoiced when he went to AEW so he could presumably finally soar. Did anyone catch that white hot Bobby Lashley winning the WWE Championship on Monday night? Sigh….. Babyface win.

Liam: “Miro is being wasted! He’s not being shoehorned into a main event slot so that we can bitch at AEW for shoving WWE rejects down our throats!”

This has been a fun feud and the errant punch by Sabian during the post-wedding melee was a hint at what is to come. Enjoy Miro’s great promos and the fact that he’s crafting his own persona that isn’t out of a 1980s monster heel textbook, because his time as a singles star is coming. A win for the Best Friends may well help towards that when Cassidy pins Kip.

Chris: Completely split loyalties here, and not for the people most would go for. I’m a huge fan of Cassidy (as can be seen by him being one of my go-to characters on the HOW Sunday Night Quiz), but I have so much love for Kip Sabian being out there and on a pay-per-view. End of the day this is about how long they want (or need) to keep this exact storyline going, and I think there are some more legs to it before Trent is back, so I’ll go for Miro and Kip. 

Gary: It’s difficult to predict this one. On the one hand,  we have Orange Cassidy, the stand out star of this feud for me. On the other, we have Miro. Miro has been talked about being a breakout star for some time now, and a defeat here won’t help him at all. For that that reason, I have to go with Miro and Kip getting the win.

Tag Team Casino Battle Royale

Casino Battle Royal
Credit: AEW

Paul: Wow, some teams in here that I don’t think I’ve heard of! Bear Country? To me, logic dictates Ortiz and Santana are winning this, leading in some form to a feud with MJF and Chris Jericho maybe?

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Liam: You know what would be a popular win on the night and a cool little TV title defence for the Bucks (plus a result that’d make some wonder if the Inner Circle are winning the belts later on in the PPV)? Alex Reynolds and JONNEE HUNGEE! pulling it off in the battle royale.

Chris: Let them fly, stay safe and stay out the way. Santana and Ortiz get the nod. 

Gary: The winner of this gets a title tag team match. The number of teams is possibly a bit on the overkill side but AEW have done some stellar work with their tag team division and I firmly believe this match will highlight an already strong division. Due to who I believe wins the tag team title match, I am going with PAC and Ray Fenix winning this one.

Buy-In pre-show match: Thunder Rosa & Riho vs Dr. Britt Baker & Rebel

Thunder Rosa Rhio Britt Baker Rebel
Credit: AEW

Paul: If the AEW Women’s division to improve, and it seems like it will, the majority of the women in this match will be a big part of that. I adore Thunder Rosa and I care about the personalities in this bout which will lead to a fun match that I’m invested in. Can’t wait! Thunder Rosa and Rhio to win.

Liam: This should be decent, but like most pre-show matches will be a first-gear tune-up, perhaps with a rematch to come on a future Wednesday night. Rosa will get the pin on Reba… sorry, Rebel, but left frustrated as the dated waiting room magazine specialist escapes her wrath once more.

Chris: Since this is the first glimpse of wrestling of what will no doubt be a long night, I’m hoping this won’t be all about the Baker/Rebel dynamic. Unfortunately I think it will be, and that’s a shame given what all these women are capable of. So it’s a Double R victory for, and hopefully they get enough wrestling in to the match. 

Gary: This has been one of the bubbling feuds in AEW for a little while now,and the work between Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker has been well done. Both of these stars seem to be lined up as the faces of the division. With that in mind, I expect the team of Rosa and Riho to get the win here and Rosa moves on to the AEW Women’s Championship picture.

Who will be the ‘Hall Of Fame’ level debut at the PPV?

Paul: Put simply, Tony Khan has allowed himself to develop a reputation of hugely over-promising when he plugs these big announcements. It is OK to not get too excited because that will mean you won’t be let down but you might be pleasantly surprised. My guess is Mick Foley. He ticks all the boxes and he is the sort of guy you could imagine Khan being a huge fan of. He could fulfil a number of roles such as on-screen authority or commentator. Also, remind me what type of match the main event again…

Liam: I really don’t know who this will be, and to be honest I’ve kind of numbed myself to these sort of announcements. Tony Khan has proven himself to be massively tone-deaf over the magnitude of this kind of thing, and Paul Wight – the man who broke this news on Dynamite – is himself a great example of how these big moves should be handled. Away from the creative product, via a press release on a non-event day, and not on a show people have paid money for to see wrestling and feuds paid off.

I feel peer pressured into having a guess by the other two, though, so let’s go with CM Punk. He said it wasn’t him, but this is professional wrestling. Since when do people tell the truth in wrestling? Honestly, as long as it isn’t something TNAish like Tito Ortiz, I’ll live.

Chris: I’ve read far too much about this in a short space of time. There are plenty of people ruling themselves out (although that could easily be a ploy), and the fact it’s a “huge, huge” star makes it difficult to tell. I think the mention of them being Hall Of Fame WORTHY is the key point. Reading a lot of the reports, the fact Christian is now a WWE Alumni rather than on the roster, that makes it about as shocking as you could get given his recent TV time. Then again, Vacant is listed on the active WWE roster, and AEW have hyped these kind of appearances before, so anything could happen. 

You can check out all the information you need for AEW Revolution by clicking on our handy explainer guide to the event.

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