AEW Full Gear Review: a SOLID event with a surprising finish

AEW Full Gear had a good start, a good ending and a pretty strong middle. Overall, AEW once again shows why they are the best wrestling promotion in North America and possibly the best in the world. If you want to avoid the results, I say check it out. It’s worth the $ 49.99.

MJF defeats Darby Allin

It was my game of the evening.

MJF is a great healer and Darby Allin is definitely a fan favorite. Before the match, MJF declared himself the best of the 4 pillars of local AEW talent, the other 3 being Darby Allin, Jungle Boy and Sammy Guevera. The other big story was that MJF was claiming to be the best pure wrestling… which led to what made the game great. The only unnecessary but constant presence was interference prevented by the man called Sting.

This match was a fantastic wrestling match, just like real wrestling in the ring. Both men put on their A-game and went strong. Highlights included some of the early chain struggles, a place where MJF challenged Allin to hit him with his skateboard and – with the help of the Dynamite Diamond Ring – a victory with a side header takedown.

Note: A

The Lucha brothers defeated FTR

The Lucha brothers are a big fan favorite and run a fantastic store in Los Angeles, Republic of Lucha. FTR recently beat the Lucha Bros. for AAA titles and headed for AEW titles. It certainly wasn’t Lucha Bros.’s best game. or FTR, but it was fun with a lot of action only marred by a few weird points. No higher level for either team, but still strong.

Note: A

Bryan Danielson beat Miro

These two men are amazing in the ring and on the mic, and both have reinvented themselves since leaving WWE. Miro has grown into something much bigger than the man I sang for at Wrestlemania (Rusev Day!). Bryan Danielson was apparently born in a wrestling ring.

However, surrounded by some of the most spectacular fights from the first 2 games, it felt a bit… slow and lacking. It’s not always a bad thing to have a slow, serious game. This, however, just needed a little something extra. The finish with a DDT tornado on Miro’s injured neck was great. I was looking forward to other matches between these 2 living legends.

Note: A

Jurassic Express and Christian defeated Superkliq

This match was a nice train wreck wrapped in old Hart Foundation material. Seriously, Superkliq couldn’t be pink and black anymore. And it was amazing to see such painfully colorful equipment. It looked like the ’80s were transported into a street fight today.

All in all, a lot of good deeds. Jungle Boy was playing with the over-the-top babyface who refused to use weapons, even for a “con-chair-to” with Christian. The highlight was Christian doing a high risk dive. The bedbugs in Jungle Boy’s mouth and the bedbug knee pads looked too silly, but hey, it was a match with a dinosaur man and pink tights.

Category B

Cody Rhodes and Pac defeated Malachi Black and Andrade el Idolo

This game was the worst game of the evening. It wasn’t that great, but it was just a little boring and we were all desperately waiting for Cody to turn around. Seriously. Halfway through the game, I yelled at Cody to do the classic heel move and let Pac get beaten up. Everyone expects it and everyone wants it.

Instead, we mostly got bored with 4 great performers embarrassed by a storyline and situation that didn’t give anyone a moment to shine. The arrival saw Pac hitting the black arrow on Andrade instead of, you know, Cody turning on his heel. It was what it was. If it hadn’t been for the incredible talent in the ring, I would give this game a lower rating. If this was an average WWE match, it would be a D.

Rating: C

Dr. Britt Baker, DMD defeated Tay Conti

Dr Britt Baker to retain the AEW Women’s Championship is not a shocking moment. What was shocking was that this game was another back-to-back less-than-stellar game for AEW. Considering how talented this match and the previous match, we should have seen 2 A or B ratings. There were some weird moments and weak spots, especially from Tay Conti. I don’t know what happened, but I felt like they didn’t know what to do for part of this game. It’s a shame because the two women are wonderful.

Rating: C

CM Punk defeats Eddie Kingston

If you’ve been expecting a classic on the mat, you’ve got the wrong game. If you expected a great story, here it is.

The construction of the match was excellent and it was all about respect, but in the best way. Punk is the legend. Kingston is the guy who sabotages himself and keeps himself from being a legend. The two clearly had fun and there was a little nod to John Cena and WWE. It was a good short game.

Category B

Inner Circle beat America’s Best Team and Men of the Year

This match was what it was. A match full of gun shots that have never been extreme. It was infinitely more tame than Jericho versus Nick Gage. There was some fun stuff and good deed, but above all it was a break that could have been filled with a better game with a better reason to exist. Thankfully, the skills and athleticism of the men involved elevated him slightly, even ignoring the comedy stuff that just seemed out of place in a hardcore match.

It’s a game where Chris Jericho staples a man in the trash, so take him for what it is and move on.

Rating: C

Jay Lethal is all the elite

Full speed AEW

Black Machismo himself, Jay Lethal, showed up to announce that he was All Elite and was challenging Sammy Guevera for the AEW TNT Championship next week on Dynamite. Jay Letha is a fun artist and had a great run at Impact. Hopefully he can do a little more than being the parody guy in AEW because he’s got the talent.

Adam Page defeats Kenny Omega

I didn’t call it that.

I expected the rematch between Adam Page and Kenny Omega to be a great game – and it mostly was – but I thought for sure that Kenny Omega would hold onto one way or another.

Highlights include Omega doing a Liger Bomb Springboard, Adam Page slapping the One-Wing Angel, and a brutal-looking Deadeye. Seriously, this Liger Bomb springboard was gorgeous. Both men are the best wrestlers in the world. It’s hard to argue after a game like this. The only problem is the same with most games that tell a story on the next show and the next pay-per-view: unnecessary interference and outside actions. If these 2 men had just gotten into a fight and everything else, other than maybe the Young Bucks moment, had been left out, this would have been an A grade from me.

Photo: PENDANT PAGE

Still a fun match and, as I texted friends earlier, it’s only in wrestling that I can say: I just saw a cowboy defeat a villainous anime weeb then shoot his friends evil cult which is actually a cool cult. It makes me look forward to Bryan Danielson and Adam Page next. But what to do with Kenny Omega?

Overall, the show was a strong B. If you watch only part of it, watch the first and last games. Skip the women’s title match and Cody Rhodes’ nonsense. Or just watch the highlights of these, like Pac’s insane athleticism.

Category B

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