AEW Full Gear Review

AEW PPV Presents: Full Gear 11/10/19
Live From The State Farm Arena in Baltimore, Maryland
Report Filed by: Dennis D.

At the very cusp of what makes independent wrestling great is what made last nights AEW Full Gear main event great. It is the idea of taking everything that Vince McMahon has done with a pro wrestling event and eliminated the cookie cutter paint by numbers dance routine that every show inevitably becomes.

The Jon Moxley/Kenny Omega match was something the mainstream american wrestling fan probably has never seen before. The Elite did exactly what they said they were going to do. They brought us a bigger version of the independent wrestling scene for thirty-eight straight violent minutes.

You could have put hardcore mainstay Nick Gage or the ever rising EFFY into this match and it would have felt, aesthetically, the same. And that is why there is a line of contention written in the sand.

To many wrestling fans look at indy wrestling as “back yard” fare. When done right, you have a little bit of everything for the fan - you have comedy, you have inter-gender, you have catch wrestling, you have hard core, it cannot be cookie cutter anymore or fans will tune out.

Last night’s match quenched the thirst of hardcore, of old school booking mentalities, of tag team lovers. New stars and aging veterans shared the stage as if age doesn’t matter under the bright lights of wrestling gods. The Mox/Omega match was a battle of attrition, of depravity, of hatred, of jealousy. It was a story that has been written hundreds of times in this business - Two alphas, finding their footing the only way they know how.

I’m not going to sit here and review the whole show - there are other sites that will do that, and overlook some of the most basic concepts from the show. I’ll leave you with what I felt, because this medium, the pro wrestling medium, is meant to make you feel.

Was I annoyed? Yes. Britt Baker and Bea Priestley deserves more than a fucking dark match before a PPV. Priestley is one of the top 20 women wrestlers in the world, and has been given very little stage for which to ply her trade here in America. And Baker will never be given a fair shake by the American audience if she’s relegated to these “buy-in’s”. 

I loved seeing the past represented, but not forced down our throats. The Rock - N - Roll Express are, to some, the epitome of Babe Ruth to tag team wrestling. And this gesture of booking is a tip of the cap to the past, and I can appreciate that. And fuck man, Ricky Morton can still wrestle better than half of NXT’s roster … (yeah, that was a little dig at that atrocious women’s match last week). 

Hangman Page winning, pushes him back up the ladder. He’s got the look guys, he really does. He just feels different from the rest of the roster, and I cannot explain why. All I know, is the first time I ever saw a Hangman match, I knew one day he’d be a world champion. I love the slow, quiet build of his story-line. While everyone else is screaming for the spotlight, he’s just out there doing Cowboy Shit. 

I think Joey Janela is slowly starting to win over the mainstream - he’s clearly putting the work in, but not losing what made him such an indy star in the first place; while Spears seems in a state of blah. It was great seeing Tully Blanchard get into the act  a little tonight. He’s been pretty quiet himself, lately. 

The fans booing of referee Richard Knox was interesting. Before AEW officially started, they went to great lengths to announce their signings - that included their refs. I’d never seen refs get so much attention before. You don’t usually see an outpouring of adoration for the striped ring generals. And the fans seemed to think AEW was putting together a fantastic roster of refs. The story however has been that of ref botches on almost every show. Aubrey Edwards miscounted at All Out, Bryce Remsberg had a botch this past Wednesday, and for some reason, fans were not happy with Knox tonight. I don’t know if this is something AEW is trying to get over or if the botches have all been legit. Regardless, an interesting side story to watch.

The AEW women’s title match, had you not known the history of the combatants, would have left you maybe a little lost, perhaps uninterested. That’s where I was, while watching the show. Didn’t hate the match by any means, but I also wasn’t all that into it either.

Cody Rhodes is the man. You cannot change my mind. The dude understand what the fans want, and gives it to them every time. His promos are amazing, the angles he’s in move in such a way that it usually, by the end, makes sense - and he’s charismatic in such a fashion that you really don’t know if he’s good or evil, and I like that.

Fans have been clamoring for MJF to betray thy friend. And they could have stretched this out, played around with it - but Rhodes knows the wrestling fan mentality these days and knows that you probably should strike while the gettin’s good. And when it did, it made total sense in the grand scheme of things.

And the Mox/Omega match, I’ve already talked about. But I’ll leave you with this:

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