Young Bucks vs Proud N’ Powerful
This was a good match to open Full Gear with. Pn’P are looking to knock off the top team in their first match in the promotion. The Young Bucks are looking to avenge their idols, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, whom Proud & Powerful attacked a few weeks back.
Nick misses a kick and hits his foot off the ring post. YB still manage to hit stereo superkicks off Santana’s moonsault. Nick can’t springboard off the rope during an attempt at a Meltzer Driver due to his injured leg. The crowd is hot for this one as Nick, fighting through the pain, hits a flurry of kicks. It’s not enough as Santana and Ortiz hit the StreetSweeper finisher for the win.
Winner: Proud N’ Powerful by pinfall
Reaction: Good match, good win for Proud & Powerful for their first match. Rock ‘N’ Roll Express get involved and help the Young Bucks clean house after the match. Ricky Morton with a flip over pile driver and a suicide dive and the Rock n Roll express have still got it.
Hangman vs PAC
This has been building since the first AEW rally back in January. Both men sit at one win apiece as they move into the rubber match of this rivalry. Page dominates the early going, including hitting a suicida dive to the outside on PAC. PAC regains control and holds it throughout the middle portion of the bout but then the bruising Englishman lets his focus wane, allowing Hangman to slam him on the ring apron. He then hits a beautiful Moonsault from the top rope.
PAC would go on to administer a Brain Buster on a chair on the outside of the ring, leaving Hangman to just barely answer the referee’s 10 count. Page hits a pop-up powerbomb and goes for the deadeye, but PAC counters into the Brutalizer. Hangman was going out but was saved by a last-second rope break. PAC to the top rope and misses the Falcon Arrow, attempts a low blow but Hangman blocks it and hits the Deadeye for the 1,2,3 and gets the win at Full Gear.
Winner: Hangman Adam Page
Reaction: If you’re a fan of straight up wrestling then you really enjoyed this match. It was a good way to seemingly close out this rivalry. However, it looks like these two will have one more go at each other. A return match is reportedly set for this Wednesday on TNT.
Sean Spears vs Joey Janella
These two had a good rivalry building over the past few weeks. Janella with some early offense but the self proclaimed ‘Chairman of AEW’ Sean Spears regained control slowing the match down. After some back and forth between the ‘Chairman’ and the ‘Bad Boy’ Tully Blanchard made his presence felt.
Some back and forth between the ‘Bad Boy’ and the ‘Chairman’ ensues, but Tully Blanchard made his presence felt, distracting senior referee Earl Hebner and allowing Spears to expose a turnbuckle. With the ref distracted, Spears and Blanchard deliver a piledriver on Janella. A C-4 finisher and Spears gets the win.
Winner: Sean Spears by Pinfall
Reaction: Spears hasn’t seemed to get going in AEW yet. He is a tremendous talent but he relies on Blanchard to help him win far too often. He needs to enter a program with a top talent to help get him over. Perhaps Rey Fenix or Kenny Omega?
AWE Tag Team Title Match: SCU(c) vPrivate Party v Lucha Bros
Private Party, the upstarts in AEW and weighing in at ‘24 oz of Vodka Cranberry’, proving early on that they can hang with their veteran counterparts in the Lucha Bros and SCU. The Brothers from Mexico made their case for why they are the best in the world with their highflying attack, including Fenix’s rope walk.
SCU let us know that they are the reigning, defending champs with moves like the over-the-rope cutter into a dragon sleeper. Mark Quinn of Private Party hits a picture perfect 450 splash but gets caught just before they can hit their signature finisher “Gin & Juice.” An ‘S C U-later’ and SCU regains their titles.
Reaction: This match didn’t have the “spot city” element I was looking for and the crowd should have been hotter. I like the inclusion of Private Party even though they were obviously there to take the pinfall. All three teams looked strong. Post-match the lights go out to reveal a 2nd Pentagon Jr who ends up being Christopher Daniels in his original Fallen Angel gimmick. The crowd responds with chants of “Fallen Angel”. It looks like they might let Pentagon Jr and Rey Fenix explore some singles bouts, with Penta seemingly about to enter a program with Daniels which I am all for
AEW Women’s Championship Match: Riho(c) vs Emi Sakura
Teacher vs Student square off in the 2nd of three title bouts at Full Gear. Emi Sakura controlled the action early until Riho hit a few high-flying attacks including a perfectly executed double knee to the back. The match would go back and forth until Riho, having gained the upper hand, hit a 619 through the ropes on her mentor. Riho is faster than her opponent and it is showing but Sakura is stronger. It’s not enough as a series of roll ups by Riho finally allows her to catch Sakura for the pin
Reaction: Fast paced back and forth action but the lack of story hurt this match. Riho and Sakura made their names in Japan and aren’t yet as familiar to American fans. So the mentor/student angle doesn’t play as strongly here. Sakura’s Freddy Mercury cosplay is a little confusing as well without context. Hoping that a strong challenger will emerge for Riho to try and overcome next
AEW Championship: Chris Jericho(c) vs Cody
On his 49th birthday, the youngest World Champion in AEW history Chris Jericho looks determined as he’s flanked by his bodyguard Jake Hager. MJF stands in Cody’s corner and these two square off at Full Gear. The match is a slow build to start off but really picks up with Cody hitting a Suicida a to the outside. Cody controls the pace until a diving header to the ramp misses its mark, busting him open, and Jericho takes advantage to work over his increasingly-bloodied opponent.
A “Disaster kick” gets Cody back into the match briefly but it’s not enough as Jericho quickly regains the offense. Cody’s mom slaps Jericho from her seat in the front row, distracting ‘Le Champion’ just long enough for a Spear from the challenger. Cody would regain control of the match until Hager interferes, causing him to be ejected but not before taking out MJF.
Back in the ring and with the ref distracted, Jericho would used the World Championship belt as a weapon to blindside Cody over the head, but can only score a 2 count. However, a battling Cody would then counter the Judas Effect into Cross Rhodes and a 2 count of his own. The crowd is really into it now with chants of “This Is Awesome”. Cody channels his father with some stiff rights but can’t put the champ away.
Jericho blocks a hurricanrana and counters it into the ‘ Liontamer’. In a shock ending, MJF then throws in the towel ending the match in favor ‘Le Champion. But was it necessary?
Winner: Chris Jericho
Reaction: Post match, as Jericho and the Inner Circle celebrate with a little bit of the bubbly, MJF offers up a faux apology but then low blows Cody and walks off as smug as can be. It was the right move at the right time, if not albeit predictable. The MJF character clearly was never gonna fit alongside the Elite and he is better as a solo heel, letting everyone know that he is better than them, and they know it!
Lights Out Match: Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley
Moxley promised beautiful, glorious, wrestling violence in this match which has been building since Mox arrived in May. The lights go out at Full Gear and come back on, signifying that this match is un-sanctioned by AEW. It starts’ off like a standard wrestling match but quickly enters the world of hardcore as Mox introduces a garbage can from under the ring. Kenny gets Moxley to the outside, delivers a running drop kick over the guard rail and this match spills out into the Full Gear crowd at the Royal Farms Arena.
Omega footstomps a real garbage can onto Moxley. Not long after the action finds its way back to the ringside area, Moxley discovers his barbwire bat and cracks it over Omega’s back more than a couple of times.
The Cleaner counters with some more garbage can-related offense and then finds his own signature weapon, the barbwire broom, which he catches Mox with over the head. What goes around comes around, as he sweeps Moxley’s back with the fortified broom to the delight of the crowd. Moxley is now bleeding from the head and body, especially after Omega lands a “Kintaro Crusher” onto the broom. Omega then gets inventive, pulling out a board with set mouse traps glued to it; someone’s surely not going to enjoy that. Omega and Moxley fight it out for the honors, which unfortunately go to Kenny as he is thrown onto the board by a bloodied Jon Moxley. he two men then go back and forth with various weapons; Kenny does a good job of incorporating his signature moves into this hardcore match, including a series of snapdragon suplexes onto a pile of heavy steel chains.
Rise of the Terminator catches Moxley driving him through a table. Omega finds his hidden secret, a bag of broken glass from the table Moxley drove him through on the debut episode of AEW Dynamite. The Cleaner delivers a spine buster onto the glass and almost gets a pinfall. Continuing the offense, Omega puts Moxley in a scorpion deadlock forcing him to crawl through broken glass to get a rope break. “This is Awesome” echos from the Baltimore crowd. Omega with a screwdriver in hand now stalking Moxley on the ramp. Dragging the business end across his head. Omega calling for the Young Bucks who try to reason with Kenny but they reluctantly go and retrieve a barbwire spiderweb contraption. Moxley blocks a V-Trigger and delivers a suplex sending both men onto the mass of barbwire. The staff work try to free both men and the crowd is on fire loving this.
Once out Omega hits a V-Trigger sending himself and Moxley crashing through a set piece. Back in the ring Mox hits a ‘ paradigm shift’ on the pile of glass but can only get a 2 count. Moxley, unable to put Omega away and growing frustrated, starts undoing the canvas on the ring exposing the hardwood planks underneath. Omega almost wins using Moxleys own finisher the ‘paradigm shift’ on exposed part of the ring. Omega misses a Phoenix Splash again on the hardwood. Still Moxley can only get a 2 count. Moxley hits one last Paradigm Shift and finally can get the pin fall.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Reaction: This match was everything I didn’t know I wanted. Hardcore matches can be fun but gimmicky. This match was fun but far from gimmicky. These two vets know how to weave a story through a match and this time they were able to do it with weapon. A hardcore match with two guys the caliber of Moxley and Omega needed to stand out. I could never have imagined Omega having this type of match in Japan or the WWE. To see him out of his element and able to pull it off was a treat. I can honestly say in all my years of watching wrestling I’ve never seen the wood floor under a ring used in a match. These two will cross paths again down the line. But this one was worthy of the build up and a great way to close out the show.
Full Gear was an entertaining show if not a predictable one. If I’m going to hold WWE accountable for their predictability then I have to do the same for AEW. It doesn’t hurt the upstart promotion as they are still establishing themselves and their storylines. With three new title holders all winning their belts in the past month no one should have expected any title changes at Full Gear. The MJF heel turn everyone saw coming base on his character but it will set the stage for some expert level heel work. The wrestling was good however and not indicative of the Baltimore crowd who at times felt flat. Being from Pittsburgh I have my own opinions on Baltimore fans not knowing good anything if it bite them on the you know what. There’s more to life than crab cakes folks.
Hot takes Winners and Loses
Winners: Omega and Moxley
Tore up the house (and the ring) and delivered a stunning match. Omega looked good out of his element too.
Losers: Sammy Guevara, Jimmy Havoc, Darby Allin, Jurassic Express and the other mainstays who didn’t make it onto the show.
Winner: the Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels
The legendary gimmick is back!
Losers: Sean Spears
He has yet to make a major impact outside of the chair shot heard round the world.
Sit back and enjoy some expert smug heel work from the ‘Fastest rising star in professional wrestling today’
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