AEW delivers with largely strong ‘Full Gear’ pay-per-view
You’d normally look at a rundown of a wrestling pay-per-view that didn’t have a single title change hands and say, wow, must have been a Saudi supercard.
AEW was in Baltimore Saturday night, and though none of its titles changed hands at “Full Gear,” it wasn’t because it wasn’t a solid show.
AEW world champ Chris Jericho retained against Cody, who suffered a nasty cut above his right eye early in the match that didn’t seem planned, and seemed like it may lead to an early stoppage.
Credit to the training staff for keeping Cody in the mix for what turned into a solid world title-style match, which featured a nice back-and-forth of near-falls and submissions, ahead of a controversial storyline ending in which Cody’s cornerman, MJF, threw in the towel, before turning on Cody to set up what promises to be an interesting feud between the two.
Tag champs SCU also retained in a three-way with the Lucha Brothers and Private Party that tore the house down without any gimmicks, which, nice, save those for later.
Santana and Ortiz upset The Young Bucks in a hot opening match that gave us a couple of nice moments with the Rock ‘n Roll Express.
Riho, who always seem to put on four-star matches, had a successful defense against her mentor, Emi Sakura.
“Hangman” Adam Page pulled a mini-upset of PAC, getting a much-needed win after a recent rough spell.
We could have probably done without the Shawn Spears-Joey Janela match, which wasn’t bad, but just felt like filler.
The main event was, as rumored, the lights-out match pitting Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega.
One of the better weapons matches you’ll ever see, right up there with Tomasso Ciampa-Johnny Gargano from NXT a little bit ago, this one involving, among many other things, a table gigged with mousetraps, a barbed-wire spider web, and Moxley trying to crawl his way out of a sharpshooter through several feet of broken glass.
The best part: nothing silly or downright stupid, not even from Janela, whose match was just boring, not overly booked.
No librarians, no Dark Order or Best Friends.
The roster for “Full Gear” was the best AEW can offer, by and large.
Good move opening with the Bucks match. (Send Anthem a few bucks to buy the rights to the LAX name already, please, thanks.)
Following that up with Page-PAC for the second match was also a good move.
Move Spears-Janela to the pre-show, and we’d have had the main show just over three hours, which would have been about right.
The focus now turns to Wednesday for “Dynamite,” for the fallout from the expected (maybe not this soon, but expected) MJF heel turn, who emerges as the next challenger for Jericho, and then, breaking the fourth wall, the matter of AEW’s recent ratings decline, and whispers that the product may have hit an early peak.
Review by Chris Graham
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