AEW’s first PPV in the Dynamite era emanated from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore (Nov. 9, 2019). Full Gear brought the heat with a crazy hardcore duel, an epic swerve to end a friendship, and Chris Jericho drinking a little bit of the bubbly.
Get caught up with thorough match details from the always excellent live results and play-by-play by Claire Elizabeth.
Let’s run down the Full Gear card from top to bottom.
Lights Out: Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley
The Lights Out main event bout started with a sprint of fisticuffs. Less than two minutes in, Jon Moxley took out a trashcan. Violence ensued. The action spilled to the floor as Kenny Omega hit a sweet running high jump dropkick over the guardrail.
The barb wire bat was unleashed five minutes in. Moxley hit Omega four times in the back then stepped on the bat to rub it into Omega’s skin for the first sighting of blood. Omega would later get payback with his barb wire broom. He clocked Moxley with the broom on a suicide dive attempt.
Things got even more extreme with a suplex onto a board of mousetraps, a sidewalk slam onto a pile of gold anchor chain, a screwdriver stabbing, the use of a bag of broken glass for a spinebuster, Omega shoving shards of glass in Moxley’s mouth then hitting a V-Trigger, and a suplex off the stage onto a barb wire spiderweb bedspring.
For the finish, Moxley cut away the ring canvas and removed the padding. The two fought with reversals and slams on the exposed pine ring boards. Omega missed a Phoenix splash. Moxley capitalized with a double underhook DDT to win.
That match was insane. 40 minutes of chaos. Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega are lunatics. The drama was riveting with little touches like Omega’s bag of glass being from the table he was slammed through last month. However, I’ll pass on the exaggerated violence in the middle stanza. Mousetraps and barb wire spiderwebs are a bit too far for my taste.
Good to see Moxley victorious. I’d be weary if I were Jericho. Moxley will have nowhere to go but after the AEW World Championship. It will be interesting to see which direction Omega heads. He lost another big match in AEW, but he does have the AAA Megacampeonato to rest his head on at night.
AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs Cody
Cody Rhodes entered the AEW World Championship bout with MJF in his corner. Le Champion Chris Jericho had Jake Hager by his side. The judges were Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson, and the Great Muta. Pfft. Those choices of judge won’t be biased against Jericho at all. What a sham.
This contest went about 30 minutes. It began with slower grappling until Cody hit a suicide dive. He later attempted a suicide dive on the entrance ramp, but he ate sh*t face first when Jericho dodged. Cody smashed his head and began bleeding profusely.
Hager would make his presence felt by clobbering Cody so Jericho could escape a figure-four. Referee Aubrey Edwards ejected the big man a short while later. MJF got in Hager’s face to gloat. Hager treated him to a fist sandwich.
About 24 minutes in, I was sucked in with the ultimate near fall. Jericho was in complete control. He attempted the Judas Effect elbow strike, but Cody countered into the Cross Rhodes. Jericho kicked out at two.
In the end, Cody’s best friend played a role. It wasn’t what you are thinking. Jericho had Cody trapped in a deep cranked Walls of Jericho. There was no escape. MJF realized this and threw in the towel to save his friend. Jericho was victorious.
After the match, MJF did do what you would have expected. He was crying about throwing in the towel. As Cody picked him up for forgiveness, MJF kicked Cody in the nuggets. Heel turn!
The first half of the title match was a bit of a snoozer. The action and drama really picked up in the second half. I had no clue who would win and each potential finish had me on the edge of my seat.
That MJF heel turn was masterfully played. I truly believe he threw in the towel out of concern. In the aftermath, he may have changed his mind when Cody hesitated for so long to understand MJF’s actions. I actually thought AEW was going to swerve us with MJF as a face and Cody becoming the heel. Nope. I laughed so hard when MJF kicked Cody. They got me hook, line, and sinker.
I was rooting for Jericho, so I’m glad he retained the title. I think Jericho as champ will prove to be a more interesting situation for AEW than strapping Cody in an emotional moment. Cody will find motivation in a feud with MJF, while Jericho will work with new feuds and challengers.
One last thought about this bout. Jericho and the Inner Circle should petition for sanctions against referee Aubrey Edwards. She overstepped her bounds as an unbiased official. Edwards was clearly favoring Cody and ejected Hager without actually seeing him commit an offense.
AEW Women’s World Championship: Riho (c) vs Emi Sakura
This bout was student versus teacher. My favorite move of the contest was a vicious flying stomp by Riho crushing Emi Sakura onto the apron. Brutal.
There was also a cool rolling surfboard submission from Sakura..@Riho_gtmv isn't holding back any punches. Or in this case, double foot stomps to her teacher!#AEWFullGear broadcasts LIVE from Baltimore TONIGHT and is available on all major providers, @FiteTV @ITVWrestling @brlive pic.twitter.com/nsd4IpcEWd
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) November 10, 2019
In the end, they called back to the mat rolling pin sequence from Wednesday’s Dynamite when Sakura beat Riho. This time, Riho escaped and whirled Sakura into a stacking pin..@EmiSakura_gtmv with the Romero Special onto your #AEW Women's Champion Riho!#AEWFullGear broadcasts LIVE from Baltimore TONIGHT and is available on all major providers, @FiteTV @ITVWrestling @brlive pic.twitter.com/JqpzeaXucx
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) November 10, 2019
Riho is so easy to root for as a gutsy girl who never gives up.
AEW World Tag Team Championship: SCU (c) vs Lucha Bros vs Private Party
Fenix was the star of this three-way title tilt with a rope-bouncing springboard corkscrew rotating flip dive.
In the end, SCU retained the tag titles by pinning Private Party after a Gory Special.
The biggest moment came after the bell. Pentagon and Fenix attacked SCU. Pentagon was setting up a package piledriver onto a chair when the lights went out. Lights on and we saw a second Pentagon. It turned out to be Christopher Daniels. He cleaned house and saved his buds.
SCU winning was the right move. Their story is just getting started. It would have been too soon to swap the belts. It will be interesting to see what happens to the tag title aspirations of the Lucha Bros. They have now lost twice to SCU. Time for them to get to the back of the line. In the meantime, the Lucha Bros can feud in trios action with SCU. Pentagon and Fenix will need a third, so I hope they bring in the bull, Taurus.
Side note: Is there any particular reason why three-way tag team bouts are only one vs one instead of three competitors in the ring at the same time? I never understood that rule.
Joey Janela vs Shawn Spears
Shawn Spears entered wearing a “No more garbage wrestling” t-shirt. He was accompanied by Tully Blanchard. Blanchard would have a hand in the finish on a teamwork spike piledriver on the floor. Blanchard jumped off the ring steps for added oomph.
Spears rolled Joey Janela back into the ring then hit a Death Valley driver to win.
This was a nice showcase for Spears and his new vicious streak. There was a spot where Spears tied Janela’s hair to the corner rope. I wonder if this feud will progress to hair vs hair. Janela has quite the luscious mane. Spears doesn’t have much on top, but it is fashioned as a mohawk. That would be good enough to trim if he lost.
Hangman Page vs PAC
These two had a very physical bout. Top highlight was PAC playing possum on the floor then destroying Hangman Page with a suplex onto an open chair.
Page barely beat the ten count. He got back into the ring at 9.7 seconds.
There was also a nifty super fallaway slam from Hangman. I love fallaway slams, especially the super version.
In the end, Hangman won with a string of moves finishing with the Deadeye.
This is where I’m curious how the top 5 rankings will come into play. Page won the 2 vs 3 matchup and should become the number one contender after Cody’s loss. The problem is that Page already lost to Jericho at All Out in August.
Young Bucks vs Santana & Ortiz
This bout had moves aplenty. The story for the finish was Nick Jackson injuring his leg after kicking the ring post midway through the bout. He had trouble climbing the turnbuckles for flying teamwork maneuvers. Nick even fell off the ropes while attempting a springboard for the Meltzer driver.
Nick gave it his all with a flurry of forearms and spinning kicks, but a healthy Santana and Ortiz proved to be too much as they hit the Street Sweeper to win.
In the aftermath, Sammy Guevara came down to hand a sock full of baseballs to Santana and Ortiz to batter the already defeated Bucks. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express made the save as Ricky Morton hit a Canadian Destroyer and a suicide dive.
This was a popping opener to set the mood. The appearance of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express was a nice touch to make the crowd hot. As an Inner Circle fan, I was pleased that Santana and Ortiz got the win. It was important for their future momentum.
Pre-show: Britt Baker vs Bea Priestley
Britt Baker brought the intensity, while Bea Priestley used a strategy to slow it down. Priestley targeted Baker’s back, neck, and head. Baker fought through the adversity to win via Lockjaw submission.
Baker getting the win was feel-good, and Priestley raised her profile due to the damage doled out. The match had a good story, but the action was a little sloppy at times. Several moves weren’t tight and crisp.
The bigger moment coming from the pre-show was Brandi Rhodes and Awesome Kong coming to the ring after the match. Priestley was licking her wounds when the duo approached. Spinning backfist and a double underhook front slam from Kong. Kong then took out a knife to cut a swath of hair from Priestley’s head to hang on her belt as a trophy.
The theatrics of Brandi and King with the knife was so cool. I’m all in to see them wreak havoc in the women’s division.
During the PPV, there was an amusing promo from Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. Their smarminess was top notch.
Grade: A- in entertainment
Full Gear was a PPV win. The top two matches were dynamite, while the rest of the card were top quality for Dynamite. The PPV portion ran almost four hours, so consumers got their money’s worth of wrestling. There were lots of close matches where the winner was never obvious.
One minor detail I found curious were the time limits. The pre-show bout had a 30-minute time limit when only 23 minutes remained until show time. All of the title matches had 60-minute time limits. That means the show could have theoretically been around six hours long. Thinking about it makes me chuckle.
I’ll leave you with an American Dream boogie woogie butt wiggle to enjoy.
What did you think of AEW’s Full Gear? Which match stole the show? Which wrestler was most impressive?