All Elite Wrestling
AEW Full Gear 2020
November 7, 2020
Meet our reviewers:
Sean Sedor: After a very mixed (to put it lightly) All Out PPV, Sean is back to help review the final AEW PPV of 2020. He’s hoping the show delivers, as it has a pretty strong lineup on paper. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his YouTube channel for some F1 video game content.
Jeremy Sexton: Don’t look now, but Jeremy’s back! Blame the siren song of Eddie Kingston promos. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @jeremysexton, but you probably shouldn’t. He’s only going to disappoint you.
NWA World Women’s Title
Serena Deeb (c) def. Allysin Kay
Sean: Thankfully the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship race wrapped up right before this match got started (congrats to Austin Cindric). Deeb ultimately retained her title via the Serenity Lock in what was a pretty solid women’s contest. The intensity picked up a bit down the stretch, and the action throughout was good. Deeb has been such a great addition to the women’s division. You can always count on her to have a good match. As for Allysin Kay, I thought she looked ok. With the AEW women’s division always looking for fresh talent (they need some at this point), she would be a decent addition to the roster if they pick her up. Thunder Rosa came out after the match to confront Deeb, so it looks like we’ll be getting a rematch between those two at some point. ***1/4
Jeremy: This was pretty good! Deeb is just so clearly the best all-around woman on the roster and Kay can keep up a bit on occasion. Excalibur gave away the finish early by mentioning that Kay had just left the NWA (why would they put the title on someone who just left the company?) but this wasn’t really about that. This was a good match to get the show going and warm the crowd up. Kay was a little awkward, maybe some nerves, but it was ok in the end. All in all, it did what it was supposed to. The Thunder Rosa appearance was very exciting. Oddly enough, the NWA title picture is way more exciting than the AEW one. ***1/4
AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament – Final
Kenny Omega vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Sean: So not only did this match open up the PPV, but AEW brought in Don Callis from Impact to do commentary! Also, it was awesome to hear Excalibur give a shout out to Larry Sweeney at the top of the show. The result ended up being what most of us predicted (Kenny Omega winning), but this was an absolutely awesome opening match!! This was action-packed right from the opening bell, and they just never let up at any point. Whenever you get Kenny Omega in a big match (especially on PPV), it’s almost a lock that the match is going to be great. As for Adam Page, he more than held up his half of the bout, and had some incredible moments throughout. Some close near falls towards the end, before Omega put Page away with the One Winged Angel. One aspect of the finish that I loved was that Page did everything he could to fight off the One Winged Angel, but he just couldn’t do it. Amazing way to kick off the PPV. ****1/2
Jeremy: Before we get to the match here, just gotta say, how great was that promo video to kick off the show? I haven’t looked forward to a US wrestling PPV this much in who knows how long.
What a way to kick off the show. This was absolutely incredible. The story was exactly what you’d expect, with the former tag partners knowing each other’s counters and even attempting some move stealing. It was helped by a red hot crowd. Ultimately, you put Kenny Omega and Adam Page out there and let them go and you’re going to get greatness. This was great. I didn’t even mention Don Callis! His commentary added to the match greatly, giving all sorts of insight and backstory. This was just excellent pro wrestling. ****1/2
Orange Cassidy def. John Silver
Sean: Mentioned this in the preview of this show, but it says a lot about what they think about John Silver that this match got bumped up from the Buy In to the PPV proper. We got some weird spots early as Silver got so mad at Orange Cassidy putting his hands in his pockets that he literally ripped off the pockets and stuffed them in his mouth (yes, that actually happened). Once they got through the early comedy, this turned out to be a really good match! Of course, we all know what Orange Cassidy is capable of at this stage, but this was also a very strong showcase for John Silver, as he got to show off some of his power and explosive offense. Cassidy eventually emerged victorious after hitting the Beach Break. Another predictable result, but it didn’t hurt the match quality at all. A nice bounce-back win for Cassidy after some high-profile losses on TV, while we got the chance to see what Silver can do in a singles environment. ***3/4
Jeremy: The wife immediately called BS on Silver’s billed weight of 170 pounds. (Also added that she would wear an Orange Cassidy shirt. I kinda would too, honestly.) I popped for the pocket spot. Look, you didn’t expect this to be just like the last match and it wasn’t, but it played its role perfectly. The work here was really good, with Silver looking impressive in a rare singles outing for him. His power work really stands out, almost gives me shades of Taz with his size, shape, and bruiser style. A little comedy, some good wrestling, a hot finish. This was solid! ***1/2
AEW TNT Title
Darby Allin def. Cody Rhodes (c)
Sean: Darby Allin made his entrance riding the painted up car that was shown in his video from Dynamite this past week, while Cody came out with the entire Nightmare Family (which now included The Gunn Club and Lee Johnson). We then got the official return of Cody’s last name during the ring introductions. This had a big fight feel for sure, and ultimately, it delivered in spades. After the initial exchanges, Darby looked to gain the edge, but Cody then took control after tossing Darby onto the stage while he was in a hammerlock. This damaged the arm, and Cody immediately went to work on it.
Once Darby started his comeback, the pace really picked up, and we saw some great action mixed in with some very strong storytelling. Cody was excellent in the role as the guy who, while not a bad guy, was extremely overconfident. He beat the crap out of Darby throughout this match (including an INSANE Cross Rhodes from the top rope), but Darby (an awesome underdog as always) just didn’t stay down. He survived everything that Cody threw at him, and in the end, he caught Cody for the three count during a pin exchange. The biggest moment of Darby Allin’s career, without question, and what an awesome bout this was. Incredible in-ring action, and both men played their roles to perfection. This was followed up by a post-match attack from Team Taz, who destroyed both Darby and Cody before Will Hobbs ran them off. ****1/2
Jeremy: There’s a subset of wrestling fans that I’ve encountered online that believe that “matches aren’t storytelling”. I would like to submit this match as a crystal clear example of how wrong that mentality is. From the very beginning, the entrances painted the contrast between the two men. Darby comes out in a dilapidated car with his junkie friend. Cody (Rhodes!) comes out with an expensive intro surrounded by powerful friends and his bombshell wife.
Everything from the match on continued to tell the David vs Goliath story. Only not just big guy vs little guy athletically, but a man with all of the privilege, all of the gifts, everything in his favor against a guy with none of it. During the match, Cody has one of the greatest of all time coaching him, Darby has nothing to help him and suffers an injury in the match. Despite all those advantages, Cody still resorts to cheap tactics!
The commentary is telling you that the holder of the TNT title is the face of TNT. And Darby fights and fights to prove that he’s worthy of that honor and in the end, against all odds, he triumphs. Afterwards, he gets jumped and ultimately ends up knocked out next to spray paint on his car that reads, “The Face of TNT”. It’s not a complicated story, but it’s an effective one. Pro wrestling! From a work standpoint, I didn’t think it was amazing, but it was more than good enough and told a solid story. I’m not gonna complain. ***3/4
AEW Women’s World Title
Hikaru Shida (c) def. Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero)
Sean: These two had a great No DQ Match back at Double Or Nothing, when Hikaru Shida won the title from Nyla Rose. Of course, different circumstances this time around (just a straight wrestling match and Vickie Guerrero in Nyla’s corner), but I came into this expecting a really solid women’s match. While this didn’t equal that aforementioned Double Or Nothing bout, I still thought it was a pretty good match. I loved the first part of this one. Shida pretty much dominated the opening minutes, but Nyla took control after Vickie Guerrero hit Shida in the leg with a kendo stick. From there, Nyla did a great job working over Shida’s leg. Shida eventually made her comeback, and there was some fun action down the stretch. However, the last third of the match was a little shaky, with Vickie Guerrero blowing a trip spot. I wouldn’t say it fell apart from there (that wouldn’t be true), but it definitely lost a bit of energy after that. Shida ultimately retained after a number of running knees. We then got a post-match bit where Vickie got really mad with Nyla Rosa. I hope this was the breakup, because Nyla really doesn’t need a manager, to be honest. ***1/2
Jeremy: Going in, I thought there was no way they’d have a great match here without gimmicks. They used as many gimmicks as they could in a regular match and it still didn’t matter. This stunk. The work was sloppy on top of everything looking light as a feather. Vickie was awful to the point where she screwed up grabbing Shida’s foot. The line “She just brushed her leg and it stopped her momentum” was uttered on commentary. This was a mess and a chore to sit through. **1/4
AEW World Tag Team Titles
The Young Bucks def. FTR (c)
Sean: The match placement says a lot about the build to this on TV. If the build was better, it could’ve easily headlined the show. Instead, it’s fourth from the top. Also like how we’ve basically got Lakers vs. Celtics here, in terms of the colors of their respective ring attires. FTR started the match by immediately going after the injured leg of Matt Jackson. While those initial efforts didn’t succeed, they eventually gained the edge after targeting the leg. Unfortunately, Dax Harwood injured his hand in the opening minutes as well, so both teams were working with one wounded member each.
FTR worked over Matt for a number of minutes, and every time Matt managed to fight back and go for the hot tag, he got cut off. Matt finally managed to make the tag, and Nick Jackson ran wild on FTR. After a section of the bout that saw both teams bust out tag team finishers from a number of famous teams (including The Hart Foundation, The Steiners, The Dudleys, The Hardys, and yes….even DIY), each team nearly had the match won on a number of occasions. Ultimately, with all the moves that The Young Bucks have in their arsenal, it was the superkick that finally won them the AEW World Tag Team Titles. This match absolutely delivered. Awesome action from start to finish, tense moments throughout (definitely as a result of the stipulation), and some good storytelling elements as well. The Young Bucks delivered, as they always do, and FTR redeemed themselves from the previous PPV. Excellent work from all four guys here, as the Dream Match we waited years for lived up to the hype. ****1/2
Jeremy: WHAT A STORY THIS MATCH TOLD! Yes, the Bucks and FTR did the moves of teams that came before them, but which moves each team did was what was important. FTR pulled out the moves from the teams that influenced them: Hart Foundation, Steiners, etc. (Not to mention their best rivals, DIY.) Young Bucks did the moves of the teams that influenced them: Dudleys, Hardys, etc.
This wasn’t just two teams battling each other, this was a clash of styles. This was two lineages of tag team wrestling colliding. They even reflected it in their gear, with the Bucks wearing the colors of the Lakers and FTR wearing Celtic green. During the height of that rivalry, the Lakers were known for their “Showtime” style and the Celtics were known for being rough and tumble. What cost FTR the match? A springboard 450 attempt that they missed. They lost because “No flips, just fists” went away from what served them so well.
That doesn’t even mention the story of Matt’s leg that was obviously going to be told.
In short, this match was absolutely brilliant. All the build that was missing from the match on the way in managed to take place during the match. No, that’s not great for promotional purposes, but it made for a hell of a match. ****3/4
Elite Deletion Match
Matt Hardy def. Sammy Guevara
Sean: So this starts with Sammy driving a golf cart up to the Hardy Compound, but Matt Hardy ends up destroying the golf card with a freaking Monster Truck (guess that Khan money can afford pretty much anything). The two of them then brawled in Matt’s front yard until they got to a ring, where it essentially turned into a six-man tag, with Proud ‘n’ Powerful and Private Party getting involved. It then became an eight-man tag of sorts when, of all people…..Hurricane Helms and Gangel got involved.
Outside of the hologram at the beginning, and a couple of spots with Hurricane Helms and the Lake of Reincarnation, this was pretty much just a walk-n-brawl in Matt Hardy’s yard. It was much closer to the Stadium Stampede in terms of its presentation. I’m not going to pretend this was good, but this was far from the worst cinematic match we’ve seen this year (WWE’s done far worse). A fine bit that hopefully puts the feud between Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara to bed for good. I’m going to echo Jeremy’s thoughts on this. If you’re looking for a rating, it’s a Gentleman’s Three, but it’s totally reasonable to not even rate this at all. ***
Jeremy: Look, either this is going to be your thing or it isn’t. Personally, I don’t mind one match like this on a show. It was dumb, it was silly, it was overly long, but it was fine. When TK teased surprises, I did not consider Gangrel and Hurricane Helms. On the whole, I enjoyed it. Again, it definitely was too long. I’m not even sure I should rate it as a match, but if I’m going to, it gets a Gentleman’s Three. ***
MJF def. Chris Jericho
Sean: In a very cool moment, we got a tease of Chris Jericho’s light up jacket, but it was actually MJF with a light-up rope. After an opening exchange that saw both men go right after each other, MJF gained control for a brief period and targeted the arm. A few minutes later, Jericho went on an offensive flurry of his own after a well-timed thumb to the eye. As it became a more back-and-forth affair, MJF would keep trying to go back to the arm at points, though Jericho was able to survive the Salt Of The Earth armbar.
The finish featured shenanigans, as both men tried to out-cheat the other. Wardlow gave MJF his Dynamite Diamond ring and distracted the referee. Jericho then got his baseball bat and tried to use it, but MJF pulled an Eddie Guerrero and played dead. As the referee took away the bat, MJF popped back up and scored the win via a rollup with a handful of tights. We shouldn’t have been too surprised by the finish, as they pretty much teased it at the end of the town hall, when MJF said he would do whatever it took to win. It should be interesting to see what happens with the Inner Circle from here now that MJF and Wardlow are in, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last time these two wrestle each other. The match itself was pretty good, but far from a show stealer. ***1/2
Jeremy: This didn’t need to be as long as it went. However! It was pretty good. It wasn’t great, but it was pretty good. MJF showed the edge Jericho asked for and also out-tricked him. I really just question the decision to go as long as they did, though. It didn’t need 25 minutes to tell this story, but that’s what they did. Why? I have no idea. I know that Chris Jericho is a giant star, but that’s not a good reason to have his matches go long. Especially if it’s at the detriment of the match as it was here. If they had packed this into half the time, it might’ve added a full star. ***1/4
AEW World Title – I Quit Match
Jon Moxley (c) def. Eddie Kingston
Sean: Eddie Kingston came out with fancy new green and grey gear. Definitely seems like a tribute to Misawa. Anyway, this had a big fight feel, and the fight started straight away. To the shock of absolutely nobody, this spilled out to the floor pretty quickly, and turned into a hardcore brawl. Chairs became involved, a barbed wire bat was brought out by Moxley, Kingston introduced thumbtacks, and both men were bleeding. I didn’t think this was an awesome match (certainly not the best match on the show), but it was really, really good for what it was. The brutality and violence fit the story perfectly. Both men were willing to put their bodies through hell in order to get the other one to quit, but in the end, Moxley was the one who survived. He finally got Kingston to say I Quit after locking a barbed-wire assisted Bulldog Choke. The visual at the end with Kingston crying as he knew there was no way out was pretty incredible. Another plus to this was that it wasn’t like the majority of I Quit matches you see in WWE, where a guy is getting a mic shoved in his face after every move, or is asked by the referee if they quit after every move. Again, this was far from my match of the night, but a very strong match to close out the show for sure. ****
Jeremy: This was brutal and violent from the beginning to the end. Over and over Kingston showed that he was willing to do damage to himself as long as it hurt Moxley more. He went out the way he came in, sacrificing everything. Of course Mox was going to win, but they hit all the right notes along the way. My only quibble would be with the setup to the finish, as it didn’t quite feel like it peaked yet. It needed a little more build to Mox finally going for it with the barbed wire bulldog choke. The finish itself, though, was great and that and the rest of the match showed creativity, along with the viciousness the story demanded. They also managed to avoid all the missteps that I Quit matches normally fall into, leaving me again feeling rewarded for putting trust in AEW.
If the visual of Eddie Kingston crying not just from physical pain, but from the emotional pain of knowing that he’s going to fall short and not get that prize he sacrificed so much for doesn’t do something for ya. Buddy, I don’t know what to tell ya. ****