Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of the third All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view called Full Gear. It’s the first PPV since AEW started their Dynamite TV show in early October, so we’re familiar with more of the roster and the build to some of the matches has been excellent. I ordered it on B/R Live for $49.99 because I want to support the company any way I can. I’m a wrestling fan. It’s what I do. Let’s see what they have to offer in their last PPV of this year.
There was one match on the Buy-In Pre-Show that saw Dr. Britt Baker beat Bea Priestley as expected. Yes AEW, we know Britt is a dentist. Also of note, Taz was one of the guest announcers on the pre-show.
AEW Full Gear
November 9, 2019
Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland
The opening video package showed clips of the AEW superstars talking about performing under pressure.
The pyro went off in the arena and there was a unique set for the show with some gear-like figures because it’s called Full Gear. There was also a ramp that connected to the side of the ring. We were welcomed to the show by the announce team of Excalibur and Jim Ross. No Tony Schiavone because he’s working a Georgia Bulldogs football game.
The Young Bucks made their entrance first to a huge pop. Being the first match on the show is a great place to be if you’re not in the main event. Santana and Ortiz entered as the opponents with the name “Proud & Powerful” being used as their official name. The Young Bucks hugged the Rock N Roll Express tag team at ringside. There’s green smiley shirt guy dead center at this show just like he is at many WWE shows along with a few other front row regulars. Loud “AEW” chants before the match began.
Analysis: Santana and Ortiz attacked the Rock N Roll Express a few weeks ago on Dynamite, so that’s why RNR are there.
The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) vs. Proud & Powerful (Santana and Ortiz)
The match started as a slug fest, Matt made a blind tag and hit a Spear on Santana. The P&P boys went to the floor, so the Bucks jumped over the top with splashes on them. Nick tossed Ortiz over the barricade into the crowd. Matt jumped off the top rope and did a double foot stomp to the arm of Santana. Ortiz tried to tag out, Santana tagged the foot and the referee stopped the tag. Nick jumped off the top with a jump onto the left arm of Ortiz followed by Nick grounding Ortiz. Santana went back in the ring, kicked the leg of Nick, Ortiz put on a Boston Crab on Nick while Santana had Matt on his back for a double team submission move. That looked unique. Nick got the bottom rope to break the submission. Santana jumped onto the leg of Nick and Santana hit a suplex for a two count. Ortiz with a headbutt to the chest for two. Ortiz with the dreaded back rake leading to Santana grabbing Nick with a tight headlock. Nick broke free to tag in Matt against Santana. Matt with a double clothesline on the P&P boys. Matt with a body slam and then he jumped off the top onto Ortiz on the floor. Matt went up top with an elbow drop on Santana for a two count. Nick tagged back in with a kick to the face and a double foot stomp on Santana. Nick with a running knee on Santana. Nick went for a kick on Ortiz, but Ortiz moved and Nick kicked the steel ring post. Ortiz said he was a genius as he clotheslined the foot of Nick to knock him down. Ortiz tossed Nick over the barricade. Santana grabbed Matt and tossed Matt into the Rock N Roll Express at ringside. That drew loud boos from the crowd as well as “Rock N Roll” chants from the fans. All four guys were out of the ring for a long time, but it’s not like the referee counts people out. Santana worked over Nick’s knee with a dropkick to the knee. Nick fought out of the heel corner, he jumped off the top, Nick kicked Santana and Ortiz, but then P&P kicked Nick in the legs to knock him down. Ortiz with a dragon screw leg whip for two. Nick fought out of the corner with punches, an elbow to the chest and then Nick hit a superkick to knock Ortiz down with a funny face first flop. Matt got the tag leading to his three Northern Lights Suplexes spot on Santana and then he hit a double Northern Lights Suplex on Santana and Ortiz at the same time. That was five of them for Matt, which led to “AEW” chants. Matt with the Powerbomb into the kick into the back from Nick. Tag for Nick, who slowly went up top and the Bucks hit a moonsault/top rope splash combo with Nick selling the right foot injury. Matt tagged back in, so Ortiz took down Nick on the apron. Ortiz rolled Santana across the ring with Santana hitting a Cutter, then a double team flapjack and Santana got a standing moonsault for two. Ortiz also took out Nick on the floor with a suicide dive. It was announced that they were 15 minutes into the match with a 30 minute time limit.
Ortiz was back in the ring, he lifted up Matt and Santana went for a top rope attack, but Matt countered to take Santana down. Matt with an inside cradle on Ortiz for two as JR wondered who was legal. Matt with a superkick on Ortiz, who bit the ropes. Nick tagged back in, so the Bucks hit a double superkick on Ortiz while he was chewing the ropes. Santana went for a moonsault, but was stopped by a double superkick. The Bucks sent Ortiz to the top leading to a reverse neckbreaker/Powerbomb combo for a two count. The Bucks went for the Meltzer Driver, but when Nick jumped to the top, his right foot was hurting too much, so Nick crumbled to the mat. Matt put Nick onto the top rope, Santana got the tag, superkick on Matt and Nick tagged in. Santana got in Nick’s face, so Nick spit his gun at him and Santana started chewing the gum, which grossed out the crowd. Santana spit the gum back at Nick, who came back with a spin kicks on both guys and a jumping kick to Santana’s face. Nick with a rising knee strike to the face. Ortiz gave Nick a Powerbomb, Santana with a knee to the face of Nick and Matt shoved Ortiz onto the pile to break up the pinfall. Matt charged, Santana moved and Matt hit the turnbuckle. Ortiz held up Nick in a Powerbomb position, Santana jumped off the top with a Blockbuster into an assisted Powerbomb that they call the Street Sweeper and Ortiz pinned Nick for the pinfall win at 21:03.
Winners by pinfall: Proud & Powerful (Santana and Ortiz)
Analysis: **** Great opener that put over Santana and Ortiz in a big way. I liked the action, there was a story with Nick’s leg injury and the aggressiveness of Santana/Ortiz showed what they’re all about. I like the result of the match a lot. The Bucks have done the job for Private Party in the past as well. A criticism of some Young Bucks matches in the past was that they don’t have psychology sometimes, they don’t sell stuff for a long time and things like that, but Nick was terrific in selling the foot injury the whole match. Matt had a lot of awesome moments as well including the Northern Lights Suplex spot that he does. The last few minutes were excellent and put over P&P as a crafty, intelligent heel team.
Post match, Santana and Ortiz continued the attack as their Inner Circle buddy Sammy Guevara walked down to ringside with his phone for his vlog. Ortiz had a sock full of baseballs to attack. Rock N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) went on the apron to help the Young Bucks. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson sent Ortiz and Santana out of the ring. Gibson punched Santana and Matt punched away on Santana as well. Morton was on the apron, he jumped over the top and hit a Canadian Destroyer on Santana, who stood on his feet after the move and then staggered around before bumping to the mat. Morton hit a suicide dive on Ortiz and Guevara. That drew a HUGE pop from the crowd as well as a “Rock N Roll” chant.
Analysis: That was a fun way to end things on a happy note after the babyface Young Bucks failed to win. Using the Rock N Roll Express in that spot was clever. That Canadian Destroyer was impressive by Ricky Morton. That move may be overdone in wrestling now, but an older guy like Morton going for it is cool to me.
The announce team of Jim Ross and Excalibur went over the card for the rest of the night.
Pac made his entrance with an angry look on his face because he’s a heel that knows what his character is. I like true heels like him. Good pop for “Hangman” Adam Page, who is a babyface on the rise.
“Hangman” Adam Page vs. “The Bastard” Pac
Page was aggressive early by sending Pac out of the ring and he whipped Pac into the barricade three times. The fans chanted “Cowboy Shit” in support of Page. Back in the ring, Page with a fallaway slam, but then Pac got the knees up to block a standing SSP. Page punched Pac out of the ring followed by Page hitting a suicide dive that sent Pac into the barricade. When they got back in the ring, Page hit a clothesline. Page with a bridging slam into a pin for a two count. Pac got in some cheap kicks while they were by the ropes, so Pac took control. Pac drove the rope into the face of Page. Pac put his boot into the eye of Page followed by a dropkick to the back of the head. Pac worked over Page with a choke on the ropes followed by a kick to the head. Pac with a dropkick followed by a chinlock to ground Page. Pac went for the Phoenix Splash off the middle ropes, he jumped off and Page moved, so Pac hit the mat hard. Page with a clothesline, then a back elbow and another clothesline. Pac with a pump kick and Page blocked a move into a spinebuster for two. Page with a slam onto the side of the ring apron. Page went up top and hit a perfect moonsault onto Pac on the floor with Page landing on his feet. Back in the ring, Page with a running kick to the face for two. Pac bailed to the floor, Page went after him and Pac hit a brainbuster onto a chair. That looked brutal, but Pac also protected Page perfectly. They went back into the ring with Pac hitting a missile dropkick for two.
Pac was in full control with hard kicks to the chest while Page was on his knees. Page sent Pac to the apron with Pac hitting a rising knee with the announcer letting us know they were at the 15-minute mark. Pac went up top, but Page tripped him up on the turnbuckle. Page hit a fallaway slam off the top rope with Pac bumping all the way across the ring. Pac blocked a move with a superkick followed by snap German Suplex. Page came back with a Popup Powerbomb. Page set up for the Deadeye finisher, but Pac countered it into the Brutalizer submission move, which JR called “grappling magic” and Page was down to one knee until Page stumbled into the ropes to break the hold. Pac went up top, he jumped off with the Black Arrow, Page moved and Pac avoided the lariat. Pac went for a low blow, Page blocked it, Page with a forearm and a spinning clothesline. Page hit the Deadeye finisher for the pinfall win at 18:30.
Winner by pinfall: “Hangman” Adam Page
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a competitive, intense match with Page getting the much-needed win after he already lost to Pac earlier this year. I liked the aggressiveness from both guys as soon as the bell rang. This was Pac’s first pinfall loss in AEW, so it’s a big win for Page as well. I think maybe they went too long, which hurt the match a bit. There were some dull parts in the middle. If this was five minutes shorter it would have been a better match. The last few minutes had some great moments leading to Page hitting his finisher for the win. I liked that this was an even match going into it in terms of not knowing who would win and then it was an even match the whole way. They work well together.
There was a video that aired from the pre-show with Awesome Kong beating up Bea Priestley with Brandi Rhodes there to support Kong. That led to Kong and Rhodes cutting part of Priestley’s hair as if it was a trophy.
Shawn Spears made his entrance along with a chair since he’s the “Chairman of AEW” now and he had heel manager Tully Blanchard with him. Joey Janela entered as the babyface opponent.
Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. Joey Janela
Janela was aggressive as he went after Spears to start the match. When Spears was on the apron, Janela knocked him down with a forearm. Janela with a headscissors, then a kick while on the apron. Janela charged and Spears dropped him with a powerslam on the floor. Spears was aggressive with forearms to the back of Janela. There were chops from Janela, but then Spears came back with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Spears gave Janela a belly to back suplex onto the ring apron. Spears with a backbreaker for two. Janela charged and Spears tossed him over the top to the floor. Spears grabbed the hair of Janela and tied it to the tag team rope that was by the turnbuckle. Janela with a kick, then his hair was tied to the rope and he broke free. Janela went for a dropkick off the middle ropes, but Spears moved and slapped on the Sharpshooter submission. Janela got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Janela came back up with a superkick. Janela stomped away followed by a running knee strike. Janela went up top, he jumped off and hit a somersault senton onto Spears on the floor. Janela went up top, but Spears stopped him with a belly to belly suplex off the top. Janela got an inside cradle for two. Janela with a suicide dive that sent Spears into the barricade. Janela with a clothesline to the back followed by a suplex. Janela stomped on the head of Spears, so Blanchard went to the apron. Spears tripped up Janela on the top rope. Spears grabbed Janela on the top rope and gave him a backbreaker onto the turnbuckle. Blanchard distracted Hebner, so Spears took a turnbuckle pad off. Hebner put the turnbuckle back on, so that led to a spike piledriver on the floor with Blanchard doing the spiking while Spears did the move. Back in the ring, Spears hit a C4 Death Valley Driver for the pinfall win at 11:45.
Winner by pinfall: Shawn Spears
Analysis: **3/4 The match was fine, but it just felt average to me. They never got to that next gear where you can call it a great match. The style of Janela doesn’t do it for me in a regular match. He’s better when he can use weapons. I like the win for Spears because he needed it. I wrote in the preview that if Blanchard is going to be at ringside then he should be used to help Spears win and that’s exactly what happened. The spike piledriver spot was a big deal.
There was an interview with Kip Sabian backstage where he was interviewed by Goldenboy. Sabian said when he joined the company, he thought he would go down the middle, but what he found is alliances here and there. Sabian said he found two guys like The Hybrid 2 as two guys that he can trust and rely on. Sabian asked why be bad when you can be Superbad? Sabian’s girlfriend Penelope Ford walked into the screen and kissed Sabian on the cheek. Ford said why be bad when you can be Superbad? They left.
Analysis: Good character development for Sabian, who hasn’t done much on Dynamite yet. I think he’ll do well as the cocky guy with the hot girlfriend.
They showed highlights of the tag team tournament that ended with SCU beating Lucha Bros to win the AEW Tag Team Titles.
The entrances took place for the triple threat Tag Team Title match. Private Party was out first, Lucha Dragons were next and SCU were last with the titles. The fans cheered all of them. There really aren’t heels in this match.
AEW Tag Team Championships: So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs. Lucha Brothers (Fenix and Pentagon) vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy)
The rules for this is that two guys are legal while the other four men are on the apron. The first fall wins this match.
Kazarian started with Quen with some mat wrestling where neither man had the advantage. Fenix tagged Quen to become one of the legal men. Kazarian got a rollup on Fenix for two. Fenix came back with a hard kick to the head and a superkick that knocked Sky off the apron. All six guys went into the ring and Lucha Bros hit superkicks on Private Party at the same time. Fenix with a suplex on Kazarian. Pentagon tagged in, Fenix with a headscissors into a double foot attack by Pentagon on Kazarian for a two count. Pentagon kicked Kazarian in the back of the leg. Pentagon with a kick to the ribs, Kazarian came back with a forearm and they did a double clothesline. Fenix kicked Sky off the apron, JR said the referee didn’t see it even though the referee was right there. Kassidy tagged in, Fenix just went in illegally and Kassidy hit a springboard facebuster followed by a bulldog/leg drop by Kassidy that got a two count. Quen tagged in, they did some teamwork leading to a double foot stomp that got a two count on Pentagon. Pentagon fought out of the corner, kick to the back of Quen’s leg and Fenix hit a missile dropkick on Quen while he was on Pentagon’s shoulders. Fenix with a superkick on Kassidy. Fenix with a monkey flip on Pentagon onto Quen in the corner. Pentagon tagged in, backstabber to Quen and that got a two count because Kazarian made the save. Kazarian tossed Kassidy over the top onto the ramp. Quen countered a move with an elevated dropkick. Sky got the tag from Quen leading to Sky hitting a dropkick on Fenix. Sky with kicks on Fenix and a double foot stomp to the back (a very popular move on this show). Sky with a leaping attack into a Cutter on Fenix, Kaz with a Cutter on Kassidy and Pentagon went into the ring with kicks to break that up. Kazarian with a leg drop to the back of Pentagon. Kazarian over the top with a hurricanrana on Pentagon on the floor. Quen charged leading to a twisting dive onto Kazarian and Pentagon on the floor. Sky ran the ropes, but Fenix stopped him with a jumping kick to the face. Kassidy with a twisting dive over the top onto a bunch of wrestlers on the floor. Fenix got his turn as he went up top and hit a springboard twisting splash onto everybody on the floor. That was incredible. Fenix is an incredible athlete and makes it all look so easy.
They went back in the ring, Fenix went out onto the ramp and hit a springboard cross body block on Sky for a two count. Sky put Fenix on the top, Kazarian tagged in and hit an assisted leaping DDT for two. Pentagon kicked Kazarian in the face to break up the pin. Quen tagged Fenix to become legal and Quen connected with kicks on Kazarian and Sky. Kassidy with a flipping neckbreaker on Kazarian. Quen went up top and hit a perfect Shooting Star Press on Kazarian for a two count. Private Party went for their double team finisher, Kazarian blocked it, Sky put Kassidy on the shoulders and Kazarian hit the knee to the face called the SCU Later double team finisher and Kazarian pinned Kassidy to win the match. It went 13:02.
Winners by pinfall: So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky)
Analysis: ***1/4 It was fun, but I expected it to be better. It wasn’t what I would call some classic tag team match. It’s tough doing a triple threat match in a tag team setting no matter how good you are. I was impressed the most by Fenix, who makes everything look easy. Sky had some cool moments. The finish was a bit weak because the crowd didn’t realize that was the end and the reaction was flat because of it. It sounded like the crowd wanted Lucha Brothers to win or even Private Party. I know SCU are faces too, but they aren't as popular as Lucha Brothers are.
Post match, Lucha Brothers attacked SCU from behind with kicks. Pentagon teased a move onto the chair, but then the lights went out. The lights came back on and there was a guy dressed like Pentagon in the ring. The second Pentagon put down Pentagon with a move and then he hit Angel’s Wings on Fenix. The masked man took off the mask to reveal it was Christopher Daniels of SCU. Daniels swung the chair, but Pentagon left. The fans chanted “Fallen Angel” for Daniels and he celebrated with his SCU buddies.
Analysis: Welcome back to Daniels, who has been out with an injury for a few weeks. I enjoy the SCU trio.
A video package aired to set up Riho’s AEW Women’s Title defense against Emi Sakura. Sakura has 24 years of experience, she’s 43 years old and Sakura is just 22 years old with Sakura as the one that trained her. Riho started wrestling at 9 years old and they showed clips of them in Japan.
Emi Sakura made her entrance with a mustache and microphone stand for her Freddie Mercury tribute. Riho entered as the AEW Women’s Champion with the fans cheering her.
AEW Women’s Championship: Riho vs. Emi Sakura
There were comments from Excalibur where he mentioned these two women have wrestled dozens of times. Sakura was in control as the heel in the match with a hair toss across the ring. Riho charged, Sakura slammed her down, Riho dropkick and Sakura with a dropkick of her own. Riho sent Sakura to the apron, Sakura with a shoulder tackle, Riho was on the apron and Sakura hit a running cross body block that knocked Riho to the floor. They battled by the turnbuckle, Riho tripped her up and Riho hit a double foot stomp. Riho remained in control with a single leg crab submission. Sakura fought out of that followed by a swinging flatliner. Sakura tried to get fans to clap “we will rock you” with her as Sakura hit a running cross body block against the turnbuckle. Sakura with the surfboard submission working on the back of Riho. The fans chanted for Riho as Sakura kicked her down. Sakura with a back elbow, Riho with a drop toe hold followed by the 619 across the face of Sakura and Riho went up top with a cross body block for two. Sakura sent Riho into the turnbuckle, Riho charged at her and Sakura hit a backbreaker. Sakura with another backbreaker. Sakura with a stomp off the middle ropes followed by a splash into an elbow drop for two. Sakura with a sitout Powerbomb, but Riho came back with another double foot stomp. JR had trouble saying “Emi” and kept saying Amy or something close to that. They were both down for about an eight count, which led to forearms by both women. Riho went on a flurry with punches, Sakura with a slap and kick. Riho got a rollup into another double foot stomp. Riho hit a Northern Lights suplex with a bridge for a two count. Riho charged, Sakura moved and Riho with another double foot stomp off the ropes. Riho went up top and hit another double foot stomp for a two count. It’s fair to say Riho LOVES the double foot stomp. Sakura came back with a slam after she put Riho on the shoulders and slammed her stomach first onto the mat. Riho with a double knee strike, Sakura countered a charge into a pin, Sakura kept going for pins, but Riho got out and a knee to the head. Riho with a sunset flip into a pin for the victory at 13:20.
Winner by pinfall: Riho
Analysis: ***1/4 A solid match between two women who know eachother very well. I liked the finishing sequence with all of the pin attempts, the counters and then Riho got the victory with a sunset flip leading into a pinfall where she used her body to keep Sakura down. As for Riho’s insistence on doing the same move over and over, I hope you find yourself somebody you love as much as Riho loves the double foot stomp. She does it too much. I get that she likes it, but when you see it five or six times in the same match it loses its appeal. Riho will need a heel rival soon.
After the match, Sakura raised Riho’s hand as a sign of respect. It’s not like Sakura was much of a heel anyway.
There was a video package for the excellent Chris Jericho vs. Cody rivalry for the AEW World Title. Awesome video.
The three judges for the AEW World Title match (if it goes 60 minutes) are Dean Malenko (works for AEW), Arn Anderson and the Great Muta. They got a nice ovation from the crowd.
Cody made his entrance along with his buddy MJF by his side. Cody’s mom Michelle was shown at ringside with JR noting he has known her for over 30 years. Cody hugged his mom at ringside with JR putting her over for being a tough Cuban lady. The response for Cody from the crowd was very strong.
Chris Jericho entered with the AEW World Championship, a ridiculous jacket, a silver scarf and he had Jake Hager with him.
Analysis: There will be fans complaining about the AEW World Title match not going on last. I understand it, but the point of the Lights Out match is that it is unsanctioned, so they want it to go last. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal because Omega vs. Moxley is the main event for a lot of fans. Jericho vs. Cody is a big match too.
Jericho and Cody stood in the ring as Justin Roberts gave them the special championship introductions. Roberts does a great job especially for all of the title matches.
AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (w/Jake Hager) vs. Cody (w/Maxwell Jacob Friedman)
It was noted by the announcers that it is Jericho’s 49th birthday, so fans chanted “happy birthday” and Jericho didn’t want that from the fans. Jericho was wearing a weight belt like Cody does with Jericho’s saying “Le Champion” while Cody’s says “Cody vs. Jericho” on his. There was a lot of stalling in the first few minutes. Jericho slapped Cody and then walked out of the ring. Jericho back in with chops, Cody with a rising right hand like his brother and Jericho bailed to the floor again. Jericho went over to old rival Malenko at ringside. Back in the ring, they battled over a wristlock, Cody sent Jericho to the floor and Cody hit a suicide dive that sent Jericho into the barricade. They went back into the ring with Cody hitting a missile dropkick off the top rope. Cody wrenched on the arm of Jericho. Cody stomped on the arm of Jericho. A charge by Jericho led to a powerslam from Cody for two. Cody with a clothesline that sent Jericho over the top onto the ramp. Cody charged, he jumped over the top rope and Cody went face first into the ramp. Cody was bleeding from above the right eye. The ringside doctor checked on Cody by trying to slow down the blood and the referee checked on Cody as well. Cody went back into the ring while JR noted that Cody’s mom has seen the Rhodes family bleed before. Hager gave Jericho a chair, which Chris sat in. Jericho stomped on Cody. They replayed the spot where Cody’s head was cut open.
Jericho took control with punches to the head of Cody near where the cut was. Jericho sent Cody to the floor, MJF told the referee to turn around and Hager sent Cody into the barricade. Cody got back in with some momentum with punches, but Jericho hit Cody with a knee to the ribs for a two count. Jericho with shoulder tackles to the ribs of Cody, but Cody came back with a boot to the face. Cody went up top for a moonsault, Jericho moved and Cody hit the mat hard. Jericho with a knee to the ribs followed by the abdominal stretch and heel MJF hit the mat repeatedly to get the crowd to support Cody. A hip toss by Cody allowed him to break free. Jericho with a dropkick for a two count. Cody tried a dropkick, Jericho held onto the ropes, Jericho with a Lionsault, Cody got the knees up and Cody hit a springboard Diamond Cutter for a two count. Cody with a running clothesline, a bicycle kick and ten punches to the head. Cody with the springboard Disaster Kick that knocked Jericho off the apron to the floor. They battled on the floor with Jericho taking control by ramming the back of Cody into the ring post. Jericho went over to Cody’s mom, so Cody’s mom slapped her. Cody hit a Spear on Jericho by the guard rail. Cody hugged his mom again. The match is over 20 minutes now.
They went back into the ring with Cody hitting an Alabama Slam for a two count. Cody let out a “Woo” leading to the Figure Four Leglock in the middle of the ring. Jericho turned it to put the pressure on Cody, which is what pro wrestling has taught us for dozens of years. Cody made it to the ropes and Hager shoved Cody in the head. Hager was on the apron, Cody sent Jericho into Hager. Jericho sent Cody into the ropes and Hager punched Cody in the face. The referee Aubrey Edwards saw it, so she ejected Hager from ringside. MJF went up to Hager, so Hager beat him by sending him into the barricade. The referee Edwards made Hager go to the back, so Jericho got the AEW World Title and hit Cody in the head with it. Jericho acted as if he was tired, but then he crawled over for a two count. Jericho went for the Judas Effect, Cody blocked it and hit Cross Rhodes for just a two count. It’s 25 minutes into the match now. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. They got into a slugfest with Cody doing a punch combo followed by the Dusty Rhodes-like bionic elbow for a two count. That was a cool moment. Cody went for a springboard attack, but Jericho blocked it with a Codebreaker for two. Great counter there with another awesome nearfall in this match. There were “AEW” chants. Jericho worked over Cody with a knee to the ribs and he choked him across the middle rope. Jericho took off the weight belt and whipped Cody in the back five times until referee Edwards took the belt away. Jericho sat on the top rope, so Cody hit him with a superkick. Cody followed up with a hurricanrana attempt, but Jericho blocked it and applied the Liontamer (Walls of Jericho) submission. The fans reacted to it in a big way because they know that move very well. Cody was in pain, he nearly tapped out and then he found a way to get his hand on the bottom rope. Jericho followed up with more punches to the head. Edwards got in Jericho’s face, Jericho shoved her, Edwards shoved back and Cody with an inside cradle for two. Jericho slapped on a more vicious version of a Liontamer submission. MJF was holding a white towel at ringside while Jericho bent Cody’s back and MJF threw the towel in. That led to the referee calling for the bell, so MJF’s decision meant Cody has given up. The match went 29:35.
Winner by submission: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ****1/4 It was a great match that lived up to the hype of being a championship match. I like how Cody was beat up early, he was bleeding, Jericho was aggressive in his attacks and the finish was set up well. Cody can say he never gave up, yet he still lost the match. They had a lot of nearfalls while Jericho beat up Cody throughout the match because you could see scars all over Cody’s body. I thought Cody's selling was excellent. Jericho's use of the Liontamer at the end was also great because it looked more painful than when he usually does it, which only added to the finishing story with MJF throwing in the towel. It was an awesome performance from both guys. The finish was controversial because it was MJF that gave up for Cody and that means Cody doesn’t get another World Title shot. That’s something that can definitely change in the future, but that’s the story for now.
After the match was over, Jericho walked to the back where he was joined by his Inner Circle buddies Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara. They popped some of the bubbly to celebrate.
Back in the ring, Cody got back to his knees while selling the attack and commented that he didn’t quit. MJF said he was sorry about what happened and he looked sad about what he did. Cody slowly walked around the ring, shook his head and some fans chanted “fuck him up, Cody” at him. Cody picked up MJF, put his hand on the shoulder and MJF kicked Cody in the nuts. JR: “What the hell, you little bastard? Why did you do that for?” MJF walked away. When MJF was on the stage, some fan threw some drinks on him as well. MJF just walked to the back.
Analysis: There’s the heel turn that most of us have been predicting from the moment AEW started and MJF was an ally with Cody. Since MJF is a dirtbag heel, it was expected and I think the timing for it was great although they could have built it up more too. MJF caused Cody to lose by throwing in the towel, so Cody will want revenge for that. This is a long term feud that’s going to lead to several big matches between them. This should be the kickoff point of AEW really getting behind MJF as a future main event player and one of the biggest heels in the company. MJF has a very bright future.
A video aired promoting AEW Dynamite on Wednesday nights on TNT. I review it every week and I enjoy it.
Up next is Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega in a Lights Out Match. There was a video package showing the rivalry.
Kenny Omega made his entrance first and he got a huge ovation from the crowd. Jon Moxley entered by walking in through the crowd and they loved him as well. It was noted by Jim Ross that this match will not count towards their win/loss record. This is the main event.
Lights Out Match: Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega
A Lights Out Match means that there are no rules and anything goes. Moxley with a sidewalk slam. When the camera was on Moxley outside the ring, he said a swear word. Moxley tossed a trash can into the ring, he hit Omega with the trash can lid and Omega tackled Moxley out of the ring. Omega sent Moxley over the barricade, Omega ran, jumped the barricade and hit a dropkick to knock Moxley. That was impressive. They went brawling into the crowd with Omega smashing a beer in Moxley’s face. Omega whipped Moxley into a trash can. Omega jumped off a railing with a double foot stomp onto the trash can that was on Moxley. Omega grabbed a fan’s beer and hit Moxley in the back with it. They went to ringside, Omega tried a move, but Moxley shoved Omega off the barricade. They went back to ringside with Moxley hitting a suplex on the floor. Moxley found a barbed wire bat under the ring. Omega hit Moxley in the ribs, but then Moxley hit Omega in the spine with the barbed wire bad. Moxley hit Omega three times with the barbed wire bad. There were cuts on Omega’s back. Moxley hit Omega in the back again. Moxley stepped on the barbed wire bat om Omega’s back and then stomped on it. There were more cuts on Omega’s back. Omega raked Moxley’s eyes, Omega ducked to avoid another barb wire attack, so Moxley hit Omega in the arm with the bat. Omega hit Moxley in the head with a trash can. Omega with a pulling piledriver onto the trash can although it was obvious that Omega protected him. Omega grabbed a table from under the ring. Omega grabbed his barbed wire broom since he’s known as The Cleaner. Moxley came back with a trash can to the face. When Moxley charged, Omega hit him in the head with the barb wire broom to the head! Ouch. Omega hit Moxley in the back with the barb wire broom. Omega put the barb wire broom on the back and then stomped on the broom. Moxley was bleeding by the back of the head. They showed a shocked woman in the crowd. Omega took the barb wire broom and put it against the head of Moxley. Omega with a drop toe hold into the barb wire broom and then Omega hit the leg drop to the back of the head into the barb wire broom.
Omega brought another trash can into the ring and he put it onto a ring post. Omega picked up Moxley, rolling senton and Omega did a moonsault while holding the trash can onto Moxley for a two count. Omega brought out a table from under the ring that had mouse traps on the entire table. They got back to a standing position where they exchanged chops, Omega with a rising knee and Moxley decked Omega with a huge clothesline. Moxley picked up Omega suplex style and slammed him onto the mouse trap table. Omega was writhing in pain while moving around the table as fans chanted “AEW” for that. Crazy spot that looks great. JR noted that was the first time he has seen that. Moxley grabbed a box from under the table that was full of long gold chains for what Excalibuer called a pile of steel. Moxley gave Omega a sidewalk slam onto the steel chains for a two count. Moxley with a neckbreaker onto the steel chains with both guys hitting the chains. Moxley put one of the chains into Omega’s mouth and pulled back on it. Omega with a trash can to the head broke that up and Moxley tried to choke Omega out. Omega hit Moxley in the head with the top of the trash can. Moxley with a uranage slam. Moxley grabbed a screwdriver from under the ring, Omega fought back, Moxley’s hand drove the ice pick into the turnbuckle and Moxley hit a belly to back slam on Omega. Moxley put the chain around the neck of Omega, but Omega hit a Snapdragon suplex followed by a second one. Moxley came back with a bite to the face and Omega hit another Snapdragon Suplex. Omega with a chain around the neck, then he hung Moxley off the top rope and Moxley looked like he was about to pass out. The referee checked on him and then Omega let go of the chain. Excalibur tried to explain that Omega’s hand slipped due to the blood. Omega ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive over the top to put Moxley through the table. The match was at about 23 minutes at this point.
Omega went searching under the ring for another weapon. Omega found a black bag that he brought into the ring. Omega grabbed a piece of broken glass with Excalibur saying it was from the table from Dynamite several weeks ago. Omega grabbed the broken glass and grinded it against the left hand of Moxley. Omega stomped on the glass and then sprayed it around the ring. Omega gave Moxley a sitout spinebuster onto the broken glass with Moxley getting his left shoulder up at the two count. Omega dragged Moxley over the broken glass. Omega slapped on the Sharpshooter and Moxley crawled through the broken glass to get to the ropes. Moxley used the ropes to pull himself upright because there’s no rope broke. Moxley’s back was bleeding as fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Omega charged, Moxley with a German Suplex into the glass and Omega hit two V-Trigger knees to send Moxley out of the ring. Moxley was on the ramp. Omega grabbed the screwdriver that was on the turnbuckle. Omega went up the ramp after Moxley. Omega had the screwdriver and pressed it against the head of Moxley. Omega called for the Young Bucks and Adam Page to bring something for him, but they said no. Matt reluctantly said they would do it and they walked away. That led to a barbed wire structure being brought out by the side of the stage. It was called a barbed wire spider web by Exaclibur. Omega picked up Moxley, but Moxley fought out of it and Moxley gave Omega suplex onto the barbed wire spider web platform. JR was freaking out, the fans were chanting “holy shit” for it and I would say that chant was well deserved.
That led to the Young Bucks, the ring crew and the staff having to help Moxley and Omega off the barbed wire platform. The fans were chanting “AEW” as Omega and Moxley were helped off the barbed wire structure. Moxley punched security guys down. Omega hit Moxley twice with a lighting structure. Omega charged with a V-Trigger knee that sent Moxley crashing through a lighting structure that as part of the set. The referee checked on both guys and he told Matt Jackson this was enough. Moxley managed to emerge from the wreckage first. The replay showed that Omega had a rough landing with his head going through part of the structure. They went back down to ringside looking fine, they went into the ring and Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift DDT on Omega on the broken glass just for a two count. Only two from that? Crazy. Moxley grabbed some cutting mechanism and Moxley cut away the ties on the ring apron to loosen the ties around the ring.
Moxley pulled up the ring apron, pulled off the two inches of padding and exposed the wood that was on top of the ring. Moxley teased a piledriver, but Omega countered with a back body drop that sent Moxley back first into the wood. Omega with a knee to the back. Omega managed to hit the double arm DDT that Moxley uses and he connected with it on the wood for a two count for Omega. Omega went up top, he jumped off with a Phoenix Splash, but Moxley moved and Kenny went face first into the wood. Moxley covered for just two because Omega got the right shoulder up. Moxley picked up Omeg with an elevated Paradigm Shift and drove Omega head first into the wood for the pinfall win at 38:46.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ****1/2 That was a brutal and violent match as expected. I thought it was excellent. The broken glass as a weapon isn’t something I have seen in wrestling matches very often. I admittedly don’t watch death matches, though. They pushed the limits around the ring, then they went through the barbed wire board and it picked up from there. Omega and Moxley each kicked out of big moves throughout the match. The story was that Omega’s Phoenix Splash was a high risk move that didn’t work and Moxley followed that up with the elevated Paradigm Shift for the win. That was a finish you don’t see often. I remember seeing the exposed wood finish in WWE a couple of times (for Lesnar and Ciampa), but it’s rare. It’s hard to summarize everything they did. I thought it lived up to the hype as a brutal match that was full violence and that’s what they were going for, so they succeeded in that regard. Why not five stars? I think it was a bit too long and maybe too over the top with the violence. I feel like if Moxley wrestled Omega in a 20-minute one fall match with no stipulations they could do better.
After the match, Moxley celebrated the win and put a middle finger up the air as well. The Young Bucks went to ringside to check on their buddy Omega, who was down in the ring. They showed replays of the high spots in the match.
The camera was on Moxley by the turnbuckles and Moxley kissed the barbed wire bat. Moxley spoke into the camera: “Be careful what you wish for, motherf**kers.” He said it. It’s almost midnight on a PPV, so I guess it’s okay. JR put over the show being a great showing by AEW and thanked us for watching.
Analysis: I don’t think the swear words into the camera are going to be liked by the bosses. I realize that it’s TV-14 and they want AEW to have an edge to it, but it’s probably not the best thing to do.
This event had a run time of 3:40:41 on B/R Live. That’s just the PPV. Add another hour for the Buy In pre-show as well. I watched the majority of the show live and had no problems streaming on B/R Live. It's a good service.
Five Stars of the Show
- Jon Moxley
- Kenny Omega
- Chris Jericho
- Santana/Ortiz and Young Bucks
I picked more than five people. It happens sometimes.
It gets an 8.75 out of 10 from me.
This was an outstanding wrestling pay-per-view. I really enjoyed it. I think it was the best AEW PPV of the year.
When you watch a major PPV like this you want the big matches to deliver and that’s what we got here. There were incredible performances by Moxley and Omega in a unique match that was as violent as any wrestling main event I have seen in a long time. The Jericho/Cody match had an interesting story with Cody not giving up, but MJF cost him the match and then turned on him. When the big matches live up to expectations, that means you are telling the audience they are getting their money’s worth.
As for the results, there was nothing that surprising to me. What I found interesting is that the Executive VPs in the company (Cody, Kenny Omega and Young Bucks) all lost. They all put over others, which shows that Tony Khan has the final say in all AEW decisions, but also when your "leaders" in the company are doing the job, it sends the message to the rest of the roster that they're willing to put people over as much as anybody. It's a good message to send to the locker room too. I think this show was booked very well from top to bottom. It also didn't feel too long like some of their past shows. Learn and grow. That's the way to be.