Thursday, February 29, 2024

AEW Revolution 2024 Preview & Predictions: Sting's Last Match

It's that time, folks.  The final wrestling match of the legendary Sting!  

That's right, after five best-selling albums with The Police and a slew of Grammy-winning solo records, Gordon Sumner is finally hanging up his wrestling boots, and.....

Wait, what?  It's....he's not the's a different Sting?  Oh....uhh......alright.....

That's right, after nearly forty years, numerous historic world championship reigns and iconic moments and matches, Steve Borden is finally hanging up his wrestling boots, and it's happening in an AEW ring!  Sting for me was always one of those wrestlers I was never that into as a kid, but the older I get and the more like wine he's aged, the more respect I've developed for him.  By all accounts he's a true gentleman behind the makeup, gracious and humble, and over the years he's gone to great lengths to reinvent himself and stay fresh.  At just shy of 65 years old he moves like a man 10-15 years his junior, and takes absolutely insane risks to prove he still belongs in there with the young fellas.  And this Sunday it all culminates in the same building where Sting put himself on the map 36 years earlier, the Greensboro Coliseum, site of the first NWA Clash of the Champions show.  The atmosphere alone, amid a crowd of 16,000+, should be very special. 

And the card itself is pretty damn solid too.  This show is one of the more difficult ones to predict for me.  Let's get into it....

All-Star Scramble: Wardlow vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Chris Jericho vs. Brian Cage vs. Dante Martin vs. Magnus vs. Hook vs. Lance Archer

This was thrown together last-minute as a substitute for the intended Meat Madness (obviously intended to be a buncha huge guys beating the shit out of each other), but some of the slated participants were unavailable.  So it's a...Fatal 8-Way, I guess?  Anyway the winner gets a title shot.  So unless it's to be just a throwaway match on free TV you can rule out Lance, Magnus, Dante, and probably Cage.  Hook just had a match with Joe so it's probably too soon to go back to that well.  That leaves Jericho, Hobbs and Wardlow.  And of those three, Wardlow is the only one talking about going after the champ, so we'll go with him to win.  Hard to say what to do with Wardlow right now, as it all depends on when Adam Cole and MJF are coming back.  Cole said he wanted Wardlow to win the title and give it to him, and Wardlow and MJF still have unfinished business.  You could have MJF appeal to Wardlow as a real friend this time and turn him against Cole.  "Adam is using you the same way I was, trust me, it takes a scumbag to know a scumbag."  That sorta thing.  But ol' Wardlow needs to have his spark reignited.  

Pick: Wardlow

TNT Championship: Christian Cage vs. Daniel Garcia

This is a weird one, is Adam Copeland not available on Sunday?  It felt like they were heading for another Cope-Cage rematch but now it's Garcia in this spot.  I'm not complaining, the match should be very good.  But does Copeland interfere to cost Cage the match so Garcia can move on with the title and Cope vs. Cage can just be a grudge match?  Maybe Copeland doesn't want a title?  Or does Matt Menard turn on Garcia, allowing Cage to win again, and Copeland challenges him one more time?  Tough one here.  I guess if Copeland is around Sunday it doesn't make sense for him not to be on the card, so maybe it's the latter?

Pick: Cage retains

International Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Roderick Strong

Should be another really good midcard bout.  Cassidy is always great, Strong overdelivers every time.  I have to think Strong brings more gold to the Undisputed Kingdom.

Pick: Strong

FTR vs. Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli

I'm surprised there isn't some kind of stip here; we saw this match last week on Dynamite and it went to a time limit draw.  So you'd think there would either be a gimmick or a longer time limit or something.  Doesn't matter, it'll still be a great tag match.  I think the BCC probably takes the duke here.

Pick: Mox & Claudio

AEW Women's Championship: Toni Storm vs. Deonna Purrazzo

This one should be really good since these two know each other so well.  Deonna's matches thus far in AEW have been hit or miss; her style is all about grappling and she's struggled a bit with the stuff outside that wheelhouse.  But Toni is one of the best dance partners one could ask for, and as real-life friends they'll want to blow the roof off the place.  Hopefully they'll be given enough time to make this match count.  I think Toni is retaining, given who'$ about to $how up for the fir$t time in a couple week$ in her hometown of Bo$$ton.....

Pick: Toni retains

Will Ospreay vs. Konosuke Takeshita

This will likely steal the show, though it certainly has competition in that arena.  But never bet against a Will Ospreay match to be the bout of the night, especially given it's his first as a full-time AEW guy.  This should be insanely awesome.  Ospreay is clearly turning against the Callis Family at some point, whether on this show or later.  Make this man a mega-babyface star.  And make Takeshita a mega-heel star.

Pick: Ospreay

AEW Continental Championship: Eddie Kingston vs. Bryan Danielson

Another one that could take Match of the Night honors, these two are always great together and this match should be stiff as hell.  I think Eddie probably retains since he's only had this title two months, but man would I love to see Danielson get a run with a championship.  Imagine the open challenges...  Anyway, Bryan choked Eddie out on Dynamite so I think Eddie is getting revenge on Sunday.

Pick: Eddie retains

AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland

That Hangman is a lying bastard!  Fakes an ankle injury last week so he could come out this week and say he wouldn't be in the match on Sunday, just so Swerve would come out and lower his guard, just so Hangman could attack him with a crutch.  That sonofaBITCH!  Anyway, another good step toward the double turn.  Swerve needs to become the AEW Champion in 2024 but I'm not sure he's doing it here.  Seems like Swerve and Page need one more big singles match first, where Page wins.  Then when Swerve wins the title Page has claim to a title shot.  Anyway this should be great.

Pick: Joe retains

AEW Tag Team Championship: Sting & Darby Allin vs. The Young Bucks

I can't imagine this match doesn't close the show, as it's clearly a huge reason for the massive ticket sales.  Sting handpicked Matt and Nick to be his final opponents and I'd bet real money he wants to job to them too.  But how do you end a show like this with the asshole heels winning the titles, without them hugging and bowing to Sting at the end (which of course would undermine their asshole heel characters)?  Seems like either Sting and Darby need to retain and Sting relinquishes the title, or the Bucks cheat to win and then something else big happens to set up a future match with Darby and a new partner to end the show on a high note.  But it's all up to Sting what he wants to do.

Pick: I think everyone convinces Mr. Borden to give the crowd the feelgood moment

So yeah, helluva strong lineup for this Sunday.  Not the on-paper best AEW PPV but then there are some big names on the shelf right now.  But the addition of Will Ospreay and the big-match feel of Sting's last hurrah will certainly make this one memorable.       

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