Following AEW Revolution, the talk coming out of the show was not Christian Cage debuting with the company or the fact that Sting had his first match since his time with WWE. Unfortunately for AEW, the talk after the pay-per-view was all about the main event match and the pyro malfunction at the end of the show. At the end of the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match which saw Kenny Omega defeat Jon Moxley, Moxley laid in the ring where an explosion was set to go off. Moxley’s longtime friend Eddie Kingston came to his rescue to save him from a massive explosion, which never went off.
On the latest episode of the Grilling JR podcast, AEW commentator Jim Ross spoke about the company’s botched ending, saying they had practiced the explosion before the botch had happened. Ross said outside of the pyro malfunction at the end, the show was one of AEW’s strongest ever.
“It bombed, it was a malfunction of the pyro,” Ross said. “The irony of that was they had all the Fire Marshals and safety precautions and so forth, they had run through that several times, the explosions. They worked great! Then when it comes show time, you never know when you’re doing live television. McMahon always said ‘Nothing can go wrong when you’re doing live T.V.’ Well, there’s an exception or two. I really loved the pay-per-view itself, from your mind as a viewer, if you can get off that hill of just talking about one issue which was the malfunctioning pyro, then I think most of you will say it was a pretty damn good show.
“I thought the show was strong except for that miss on the pyro at the end. If 30 seconds at the end is going to be your only criteria of whether you liked the show or not, whether it was a good show or not, you might be over analyzing just a little bit. All of the stuff leading up to that I thought was strong. I enjoyed the pay per view, I think it did record business.”
It was reported thag AEW World Champion Kenny Omega was furious backstage about the ending of the match. Ross said both Moxley and Omega were upset backstage because they worked their asses off to put on a great show, only for the ending to ruin the work they put in.
“I know the talents were, because I talked to them, very frustrated,” Ross said. “They worked their ass off to get pricked with barbed wire from head to toe and so now all we’re talking about was not their work, not their effort, not what they put their bodies through. The malfunctioning pyro becomes the story. To me, that pay-per-view was much more than just the gimmick at the end.
“I’m biased, I work for AEW, Tony Khan takes care of me and I’m happy to be there but somewhere along the way we have to be objective. It was a pyro failure, I don’t believe it was a wrestling failure whatsoever, not even close. Other than the pyro situation, I thought it was the best pay-per-view we had.”
The event also saw the debut of Christian Cage in AEW as teased by another major signing in Paul Wight, fka The Big Show, just a few weeks before on AEW Dynamite. As recently as this past Wednesday, Christian Cage teased a feud with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega symbolizing that his in-ring debut is going to happen very soon. Ross talked about AEW adding these former WWE stars to the company saying they add more than just in-ring wrestling to the company.
“What we’ve brought in the locker room is two veterans that should be able to help our young roster,” Ross said. “A lot of people don’t understand that as well as they should. I don’t know how many matches Tony Khan plans on using Paul Wight for, I have no clue, but he’s got himself in pretty good shape, he’s lost a lot of weight. I think what we’re looking for with those guys, there’s name identity there, there’s a ‘toon in’ factor there. I do believe and I’ve always believed in this, we needed freshness in the locker room from positive examples from people.
“I can tell you that from the minute Christian got in our compound, he was talking to talent and he was coaching up and giving guys great pointers. The additions of those guys are positive, it’s not the old ‘Well, they’re just WWE cast-offs.’ That’s a defiant, easy way to put it, but I just don’t believe it to be true with these two guys. They’re both mature guys that want to contribute and know that if they can develop that other skill set in the locker room, that’s where their great value will come in over the long haul. Short term, Christian he’s ready to go, he can illustrate his teaching and his philosophy so much better if the talents watching him work. I’m so happy we got both those guys on board and maybe not for the exact reasons that many of the fans are thinking. I’ve seen with my eyes that they can help the talents with their experience and maturity.”
On the show, JR found himself losing his voice. Ross talked about the issues he had doing commentary during the show, stating that it was sudden and happened due to the conditions in and around the arena that night.
“I had no issues until we went on the air,” Ross said. “I didn’t have a sore throat. I know it was disconcerting to a lot of people, I apologize for that. Here’s the deal, next door to Dally’s place is Jags stadium, they were having Monster Trucks all weekend. The air was dirty, dusty, the yellow pollen which I’m definitely allergic to. Between the pollen and the dust and the cool weather, it got me. I wasn’t in any pain, it was a pain to your ears probably. So once that started coming on, I drank a lot of hot tea. Within a few minutes, by the time that show was over, I was okay.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.