Monday, November 18, 2019

AEW Full Gear Review

Matches:
0.Baker vs Bae ***
1.Young Bucks vs Proud N' Powerful ***3/4
2.PAC vs Page ***1/2
3.Janela vs Spears **1/2
4.AEW Tag Titles: SCU(c) vs Lucha Bros vs Private Party ***1/4
5.AEW Women's Title: Riho(c) vs Emi ***1/2
6.AEW World Title: Jericho(c) vs Cody ****
7.Lights Out: Mox vs Omega ****1/2

Thoughts:
The Buy In was entertaining, doing well to promote the card and making everything come off as important. You can also tell that they've learned a lot since the Summer already. I love that Taz worked commentary again.

Baker had the flu and decided to pull an MJ here. Good contest with the right winner. Brandi and Kong attacked after, cutting a piece of Bae's hair off and keeping it as a prize.

The first match of the show-proper was great yet different than expected, with a nice combo of modern and classic fundamentals. I also appreciate it being called down the line more and for a more structured tag match they still put on a good show. The aftermatch stuff was a nice bonus.

PAC and Page had a borderline great match of their own next. Hard work and a nice addition to their story.

Janela and Spears had just enough involved to keep my interest and I liked seeing Tully get that little moment at the end, but this just was lacking.

Ford is apparently with Kip now, who spoke backstage about his alliance with TH2.

The three-way tag match took a while to get going, but was fairly enjoyable when it finally did. It's worth noting that the show has been good and entertaining so far, but admittedly a touch below expectations. While still better than basically any non-TakeOver WWE event, that's such a low bar and AEW and their roster in general can do better than this. Again, this hasn't been bad, but a touch under what it should be. I'm surprised Fenix didn't take better advantage of the ramp, by the way.

Joshi time! Very good stuff, with Riho continuing to be fun in her spot.

Cody and Jericho is up next. Cody lawn-darting himself was pretty fucked. Was this overbooked a tad? Yea. Very WCW/Attitude Era WWF style main event which is a bit fitting since AEW is a modernized version of that in a few ways (I type down while wearing a WCW Nitro hat). This worked well for the vision Cody has and for both performers and I loved the drama and storytelling on display. In all, a fantastic title defense. The finish and after-match content was amazing, too. The turn was always going to happen, though I am surprised it came here. Well done stuff. Hopefully MJF, who has all the right tools, can do what Spears failed to do and capitalize on this heat properly. The fan tossing a drink at him to end the segment was a nice touch, even if it got him booted.

The show closed with basically an "unsanctioned" death match. The recent Dark match between Janela and Omega was Kenny's prep match for this one. It was also a test to see if the AEW crowd would be willing to watch that style of contest. They lost some of the crowd there, and at home, with this polarizing battle but those who know me well enough (or read this blog often enough) know where I fall here. Seeing a fan wearing a Mox shirt squirm and wince at a more subdued spot was funny. Not only was this a superb clash, but I appreciate AEW, Kenny, and Mox for further showcasing the death style in front of such a large audience. That's how you help mainstream it further which I think is important. Janela and Kenny hit near MOTYC levels with their, at the time, random match. Here, Mox and Kenny surpassed that one. Did Cornette shit his pants watching this one? Actually, who fucking cares? Just know that this was truly fantastic stuff and well worth checking out. It won't win my MOTY, but it was a contender nonetheless and a spectacle deserving of your time. I wish Janela wasn't such a childish character because stuff like this shows how good he can be when matched up properly.

In all, Full Gear was actually a very enjoyable show. I was a bit underwhelmed with the undercard, mainly with the Buy In, Spears/Janela, and the tag title match, but that was likely due to high expectations. When looking at this one as a whole, it actually lived up to them for the most part and the last two matches ensured this was a special worth seeing. If you somehow missed out, consider checking out Full Gear now.

My report on AEW for this past week should be up soon, by the way.

Overall Rating: 80/100%

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