Wednesday, November 24, 2021

AEW Full Gear 2021

Well, this past Sunday was the WWE Survivor Series PPV, where a bunch of guys and gals in red shirts fight a bunch of guys and gals in blue shirts for brand supremacy or whatever. Therefore, let's spend today's PPV musings talking about the previous Sunday's AEW Full Gear PPV, instead.

MJF defeated Darby Allin via HEADLOCK, which was a talking point in their promos and such. Really good opener with Darby scaling back on the usual crazy stuff and sticking with a more traditional style... only for MJF to wallop poor Darby with his Dynamite Diamond Ring and pin him with said headlock. MJF would move on to a feud with CM Punk, while Darby was stuck with BILLY GUNN of all people.

AEW Tag-Team Champions The Lucha Bros defeated Fuck The Revival to retain the titles when one of the Fuck The Revival guys who isn't legal slipped on a mask, tried a roll-up, and got pinned instead. It comes off better than it actually sounds, but other than that, it was a pretty good match between two great teams.

Bryan Danielson defeated Miro in the tournament finals to be crowned No. 1 Contender to the AEW World Championship. People were chanting for Miro to win this because he was the last-minute replacement for Jon Moxley (who went into rehab for stuff), but Danielson ultimately took this one in a pretty intense battle. It is no longer possible to be amazed by Bryan Danielson at this point unless he somehow manages a shit wrestling match, which he has yet to do. Hopefully, Miro will bounce back soon so he can be with his hot wife or something.

Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, Jungle Jack Scurffy Beard And Jeans Bot Perry defeated Adam Cole and the Young Bucks in a streetfight via Scruffy Beard Conchaitro on one of the Bucks. Fun little street fight brawl thing and a nice big win for Jungle Kid. Everyone got their moment to shine in this one.

Malakai Black and Andrade defeated Cody Rhodes and that poor bastard PAC who had to be saddled with Cody's fantasy-booking disaster to trying to be the beloved babyface despite the crowd not wanting anything to do with him. This was the usual WWE bullshit " Tag Team Partners who Don't get along have to work together" formula that WWE likes to pull out of their ass whenever they're out of ideas. Of all the things for AEW to replicate, this is one of the last things I need to go for. Cody's quest to become the next McSon-In-Law continues to be a sour point on these AEW shows and part of me is happy that the crowd isn't buying into this shit.

AEW Women's World Champion Dr. Britt Baker DMD defeated Tay Conti to retain the title. I've heard people rail on this not being any good, but I thought it was a perfectly acceptable wrestling match. Sure, the ending was never in doubt, but it was a fun ride.

CM Punk defeated Eddie Kingston in a brawl that only lasted eleven minutes and I'm amazed AEW remembers they can do short-enough matches. Dig Punk's tribute to John Cena's FIVE MOVES OF DOOM and Eddie Guerrero's THREE AMIGOS moves, but the brawl was also pretty fun.

The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager) defeated America's Top Team (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, that Dan Lambert fellow, and the two MMA guys whose names I don't recall) in a Street Fight. Highlight of the match was Ethan Page eating an Iron Claw from FUCKING BARON VON RASCHKE sitting in the front row... and yeah, it looked silly, but fuck it, I'm sure Page was digging the hell out of that. The rest of the match... hey, I like a good street fight as much as the next guy, but I'm over this American Top Team or whatever they're called... and I'm certainly over Sammy doing stupid ladder tricks for no reason. Jericho killing Lambert with a frog splash as a tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero - who passed away that day in 2005 - was a nice touch.

Former Ring Of Honor champion Jay Lethal is now All Elite, coming out to his All In Pomp And Circumstance theme that he used for his Macho Man gimmick and challenged Sammy for a shot at his TNT title on Dynamite. He would lose said title match, but hey, good showing regardless.

Hangman Adam Page defeated AEW World Champion Kenny Omega to win the title, which pretty much culminates Hangman's 2+ year quest to become the champion. It was a long road getting to this point and there were some bumps in the road that almost seemed as though things were going nowhere, but when the moment came to pull the trigger, they did and the end result was a satisfying ending as well as a much-deserved win of a homegrown AEW main eventer. The match itself was great - you didn't get Page kicking out of the One-Winged Angel - which I'm glad they didn't do because that would've been overkill. I did enjoy Page doing one himself and Kenny kicking out because it's Kenny's move. And the moment where the Bucks would come and basically let Hangman finish Omega off to win the title was a nice little moment, the celebration with the Dark Order, Hangman tossing the celebratory brewski in favor of a hug with his friends because holy shit, a babyface celebrating with his buddies... what a fucking concept.

And there were arguments about maybe having Kenny retain here to try and build more heat for a win down the road. You're welcome to that opinion, but I'd disagree with it wholeheartedly. This was two years in the making, for those who followed the story, for those who have stuck around since day one, this was the culmination of one of AEW's enduring storyarcs. It was definitely the right time, especially since All Out was when this was was originally supposed to happen and didn't due to circumstances. So Hangman losing his shot then and being put out of commission was more than enough heat, as was the contract signing on the go-home Dynamite. Delaying this win any longer would've been disastrous and they didn't.

Now how Hangman's title reign will turn out... well, it's an overused cliche to explain away nonsensical storytelling in other wrestling promotions, but the only way to tell is to let it play out and see where it goes. There's no way to tell whether it'll be successful or not unless you give it a fair shake and I've felt that way whenever you have a new one-time World champion in the midsts. If it turns out well, then that's a good thing. And if it shits the bed, then you could always have Danielson win it when that match eventually happens... the only way to know for sure is to give it a fair shake and see what fruit it bares.

On a whole, I'd say Full Gear was a pretty great show, though I'd say that All Out was still the better show because it had better matches and there were some bigger moments.

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