By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Full Gear
Aired live November 13, 2021 on pay-per-view
Minneapolis, Minnesota at Target Center
Excalibur was alone on commentary at first. He threw to Tony Shiavone in the ring, who introduced Dante Martin to a solid hometown reaction. Tony brought up Lio Rush being absent due to the loss of his Grandmother, and the attempt to recruit him by Team Taz. They were shown in a luxury box watching Dante. Before Martin could answer, The Acclaimed made their entrance and mocked Team Taz as being the only team on TV less than them, and said Martin was the only good thing to come from the depressing ass town of Minneapolis.
Bowens said that he’s got a lot of choices, but he thinks he should join the Acclaimed. He made it clear that he was either with them or against them. He demanded an answer now, or they would break his legs and send him home crying like his brother. Martin toyed with an answer, but punched Bowens, and then dove on both Caster and Bowens at ringside.They scrambled away and Dante stood tall. Excalibur ran down the card for Full Gear. During the recap, we got a video package to recap the feud between Darby Allin and MJF. The Pre-Show match is up next…
Nyla Rose made her ring entrance first, accompanied by Vicki Guererro. She was followed by Jamie Hayter, Hikaru Shida, and last but not least Thunder Rosa.
1. Jamie Hayter and Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa: Rose began the match with Thunder Rosa. There was an Eddie chant early on as Nyla Rose landed a shoulder block. Rosa attempted a couple of roll ups, but Rose kicked out quickly. She landed a low dropkick, and then tagged in Shida. Rosa and Shida landed some double team strikes on Rose. Shida landed a running knee in the corner, and then some mounted punches on the turnbuckle.
Rosa tagged back in and landed body shots. Shida tagged in and they tried a double team suplex on Nyla, but it was reversed. Rose made a tag out to Hayter, and they started isolating Thunder Rosa in the heel corner. Hayter chopped down Rosa in the corner. She was able to make a tag to Shida after ducking a corner lariat. Shida entered and knocked Rose off the apron. She then landed a roundhouse kick on Hayter, but Nyla low bridged her out to the floor when she hit the ropes.
The heels took some cheap shots on the floor. Serena Deeb was shown at ringside. Rose applied a neck crank on Shida in the ring. Hayter tagged in and traded shots with Shida. She pulled her down by her hair and covered for a two count. Hayter applied a reverse chin lock, but Shida scrambled to reach the ropes. Hayter distracted the referee so Rose could take a bit out of Shida in the heel corner.
Rose tagged back in and landed a suplex. She baited Rosa and attracted the ref, which allowed her to choke Shida while he was clearing Rosa from the ring. Hayter tagged in and landed a chokeslam backbreaker. Rosa had to break it up to avoid a pinfall. Shida landed some strikes in Hayter, who replied with a German Suplex to prevent a hot tag. Both women were down, and both made tags.
Rosa landed knee shots in the corner on Rose, and then took down Hayter with a dropkick. She landed a dropkick on a seated Rose in the corner. Hayter broke up the cover. Shida tagged back in and both women kicked one of the opponents to the floor. Rosa dove on Hayter on the floor, and Shida took out Rose.
Shida was distracted by Serena Deeb, which allowed Vickie Guerrero to hit her with a kendo stick. Back in the ring, Rose hit a splash on Shida from the top, but Rosa broke up the pinfall. Rosa took Hayter to the floor. Rose went for a beast bomb on Shida, but she reversed out with a head scissors and stacked her up with a roll up for the win.
Thunder Rosa and Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose and Jamie Hayter at 12:32
After the match, Excalibur threw to a backstage interview with Best Friends. Orange Cassidy was asked about his loss to Matt Hardy last week. Schiavone said the Blade knocked him out, along with the rest of Best Friends on Rampage, so Tony Khan had booked a match between Cassidy and a mystery partner versus The Blade and Matt Hardy for Dynamite. Cassidy said he would give his friends the night off, and since they just joined Chaos, he would bring in one of his dogs.
In the arena, JR made his entrance. The announce team of Excalibur, Schiavone, and Ross made the final sales pitch for Full Gear.
My Take: Solid pre-show match. It was a little clumsy at times, but the effort was strong and the crowd was into things. I have to assume Tomohiro Ishii will be Cassidy’s partner on Wednesday Night.
[Full Gear Main PPV Card]
The announce team of Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Jim Ross ran down the PPV card to start the show. The opening match of the night will be Darby Allin and MJF.
MJF made his ring entrance to start the show. He forced Justin Roberts to say that he could defeat Darby Allin with a headlock takeover. A video aired that showed Darby driving an old car with “loser” painted on it. He picked up a guy wearing a paper MJF mask, and then rolled the car. Darby then got out of the car as a bloody mess and torched it with a molotov cocktail. He then made his ring entrance with Sting.
1. Darby Allin vs MJF: Darby wore his usual black pants. MJF wore lavender knee pads and trunks. They circled each other, and MJF grabbed a headlock takeover. It did not result in a victory. They traded a few reversals, and MJF knocked down Darby with a shoulder block. MJF attempted a hip toss, but Darby blocked it. MJF cartwheeled out of a hip toss attempt. Darby was able to land an acrobatic arm drag.
They traded some mat wrestling holds and both displayed excellent strength with bridges. They traded arm drags, and kipped up. The crowd chanted for AEW. JR called them two of the four pillows, in a comedic flub on commentary. MJF used a referee separation to take a cheap shot on Darby. He then tossed him outside and landed a lariat on the floor.
MJF tossed Darby into the ring and jawed with the crowd. That allowed Darby to answer with a suicide dive. He then tossed MJF into the ring steps. Darby landed blows across the throat of MJF on the apron. He then stepped on his neck. Darby set up for a Coffin Drop, but crashed and burned on the apron when MJF moved out of the way.
He capitalized and tossed Darby back in the ring. He dropped an elbow on his back, and then applied a hold to stretch out his back. MJF then landed a backbreaker and covered for a near fall. MJF pressed the advantage and focused on the lower back of MJF. Darby reversed an irish whip and sent MJF chest first into the turnbuckle. He followed up with a Coffin Splash, but MJF caught him and landed a backbreaker. He then landed a gutwrench slam for a two count.
MJF went for another backbreaker, but immediately sold his knee. MJF placed Darby on the top turnbuckle for a superplex, but Darby bit him to escape temporarily. MJF pivoted into position for a piledriver, but Darby shifted into a stunner from the second rope. Darby sold his back and both men were down. Both men got to their feet and traded blows. Darby landed a headbutt, and then climbed to the top. MJF rolled away from the corner to avoid the coffin drop, and then grabbed Darby with a side headlock takeover.
Darby hit the ropes, and MJF took him out of the air and landed a powerbomb into a backbreaker for a near fall. MJF landed some punches to a seated Darby, but he kept rising up. MJF bit his hand, and put a thumb in his eye to shut him down. Darby fired back with a low dropkick. He then went for a Code Red, but MJF pulled him into a funky powerbomb for another near fall. He then applied a Sharpshooter, and pulled Darby into the center of the ring.
After a moment, Darby escaped by attacking MJF’s injured knee. He then bought himself some breathing room with a chop block to the bad knee. MJF recovered and attacked Darby’s arm, but he quickly landed another chop block and applied a figure four. MJF attempted to turn over the figure four, and succeeded, but Darby was quickly able to grab the ropes to break it up.
Both men now on the apron, they traded blows. Darby went for a suplex, but MJF avoided it and landed a Tombstone Piledriver on the apron and both men spilled to the floor. MJF screamed in pain from his bad knee. MJF got back in the ring first. Darby stirred and barely got back in the ring to continue the match.
Darby surprised MJF with a rollup for a near fall. They hooked up and rolled around the ring, with neither men getting a 3 count. We got even more pinning attempts and reversals. MJF picked up Darby over his head, but he carried over into a Code Red for a very close near fall. Darby climbed up top again for another Coffin Drop, but MJF rolled out to the floor. Darby pivoted and landed a coffin drop on the floor.
In the ring, Darby went for another Coffin Drop, but landed on MJF’s bad knee. Both men were down. Wardlow and Spears tried to run in, but Sting cut them down with a bat. MJF tried to roll up Darby with the tights, but only got a two count. He then went to ringside and grabbed Darby’s skateboard. He set it down and rolled it at Darby, and tried to bait him into disqualifying himself. Darby got to his feet and stared at the skateboard.
He gave it to the referee, which gave MJF enough space to punch him with the Dynamite Diamond. He then took him down with a side headlock takeover and got the win.
MJF defeated Darby Allin at 22:06
After the match, MJF escaped up the ramp. The announce team replayed some highlights from the match. Team Taz was shown up in the skybox.
My Take: A very good opener. The camera work on the interference was poorly done, and I’m not sure why. MJF and Darby both worked very hard. They are well on their way to main eventing PPVs. In a perfect world, I think I would have trimmed a few minutes from this, because a lot of the false finishes and reversals lost some of their shine as they were repeated.
Justin Roberts announced the next match would be for the AEW Tag Team Championship. FTR was out first with Tully Blanchard, followed by a Veterans Day themed entrance for the Lucha Brothers.
2. “The Lucha Brothers” Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (/Tully Blanchard) for the AEW Tag Titles: Chaos reigned to start the match. Cash Wheeler got dumped to the floor and Penta and Dax Harwood were the legal men in the ring. They traded punches and then all four men had a faceoff. Cash and Fenix tagged into the match and started trading punches. Fenix landed an extremely acrobatic arm drag, and then landed an elbow strike on Wheeler in the corner. Harwood pulled him to the floor so they could regroup.
Penta attempted to follow, but got shoved into the ring barricade. Fenix followed and was thrown into his brother. FTR slowed things down and isolated Fenix in the heel corner. He was able to break free after Wheeler missed a dropkick and went upside down against the ropes. FTR went for a double suplex on Penta, but Fenix made the save. He then placed Wheeler in the Tree of Woe, and Dax was on the ground underneath him. Fenix kicked them both with a dropkick, and then landed a head kick to Harwood a second time for a two count.
Penta stomped on the knees of Harwood. Both Penta and Fenix applied submissions to Harwood and Wheeler simultaneously. Fenix attempted mounted punches on the turnbuckle on Harwood, but got dropped into a hot shot on the top rope. Harwood baited Fenix on the apron, and while the ref was distracted Wheeler tied Dax’s mask to the bottom rope. The ref had to untie him while Harwood rained in free shots.
FTR continued to place pressure on Penta and isolated him in their corner. Fenix distracted Hardwood, which allowed Penta to land a lariat and get some breathing room. Another ref distraction prevented the tag, and Penta had to fight both members of FTR off. He landed a double DDT and scrambled to make the hot tag.
Fenix entered and landed knees and kicks on Harwood and Wheeler. He then landed a double rolling cutter and covered Harwood for a near fall. Fenix walked the ropes and kicked Harwood in the head. He then covered again for a near fall. Wheeler and Harwood used the AAA belt to smash Fenix over the head. Harwood then landed his sheer drop brainbuster for a close near fall.
Wheeler tagged in and Fenix kicked him in the head. Harwood and Wheeler regrouped and landed an assisted backdrop suplex for a near fall. Penta made a blind tag and interrupted an attempt at the big rig. He then stared down Tully Blanchard, which prompted him to grab Penta’s leg. The ref scolded Tully, but Harwood landed a hard right hand. He started the three amigos suplexes, but Penta blocked the second one. He landed three of his own, and tagged Fenix for a huge frog splash and a close near fall.
Penta and Fenix went for a spike Fear Factor, but Wheeler broke it up. Wheeler and Harwood then landed a stuffed piledriver on Fenix for a close near fall. They attempted an assisted brainbuster, but Penta broke it up. Fenix rolled up Harwood for a near fall. Penta tagged back into the match and set up for another fear factor. Fenix bounced off Harwood and took out Wheeler. Penta and Fenix pinned both members of FTR, but Penta was the legal man and got a near fall.
Tully handed Wheeler a mask from Los Super Ranas, and he entered the ring as the illegal man. He tried to steal the win with a pin using the ropes, but the ref caught him. Penta and Fenix then landed an assisted fear factor and covered for the win.
The Lucha Brothers defeated FTR at 18:36 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, Penta and Fenix celebrated with Alex Abrahantes. Miro and Danielson are up next. We got a video recap of their feud.
My Take: A good match, but not as strong as the opener. The finish was not good. I’m guessing the non-legal man getting pinned will result in the feud continuing, but I’m not sure I want it to.
Miro made his entrance first. He was then followed by Bryan Danielson.
3. Miro vs. Bryan Danielson in the eliminator tournament final: Miro refused a handshake to start the match. He also had his left quad taped up. They tied up, and Miro shoved Bryan down with his power advantage. Bryan landed a leg kick, but got thrown down when he tried a second. He then tossed Danielson across the ring and fired up the crowd. Danielson landed an european uppercut and a series of chops. He then grabbed a side headlock and landed some knees.
He continued with leg kicks and chops in the corne. Miro landed a knee to the gut and sent Bryan to the floor. It seemed to knock the wind out of him because he pulled his knees to this chest. Miro did not follow, and waited for Bryan to get back in the ring. Bryan had a black eye to start the match, but it was swelling more as the match went on.
Bryan landed kicks and strikes in the corner, but it didn’t seem to have much of an effect. Miro landed a kick and some strikes to slow Bryan down. After a moment, Bryan hit the ropes for a running lariat. Bryan sent Miro to the floor with a kick. He tried to follow up with a dive, but Miro intercepted him. He then suplexed him on the floor. Miro then threw Bryan into the steps. After a slow 10 count, Bryan got back in the ring.
Miro continued the assaults with knee strikes and a suplex. He then applied a chin lock. Bryan got back to his feet, but Miro overwhelmed him with strikes in the corner. Miro played to the crowd after tossing Bryan across the ring into the turnbuckles. Danielson landed kicks in the corner, and then a couple of running dropkicks. Miro shut down the third with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Miro tossed Bryan through the ropes and into the ring post. He spilled out onto the floor. Miro followed and picked up Bryan, but he reversed out and shoved Miro into the ring post.
Bryan then launched himself off the apron and landed a knee to the chest of Miro. Danielson went up top and dove onto Miro with a shotgun dropkick. He then kipped up and played to the crowd. Bryan landed hard kicks to the chest and back of Miro. He went for a head kick, but Miro blocked it. Bryan transitioned into a pinfall attempt, and then a knee bar. Miro sold tapping out, but eventually used his power to stand up and pull Bryan into a gutwrench suplex.
After both men got to their feet, Miro tossed Bryan with a release German Suplex. He attempted a second one, but Bryan reversed and landed a head kick for a near fall. Bryan pressed the offense with knee strikes to the head and ribs, and then stomped on the side of his head. Bryan fired up the crowd and sized up Miro for a running knee strike.
He attempted the knee, but Miro countered into a powerbomb for a close near fall. Miro pleaded towards the sky for help, and then called for the end of the match. He stomped on Bryan’s back, and then attempted to apply the Game Over. He eventually was able to apply the hold, but Bryan was able to crawl to the ropes and break it. Miro sold frustration and went to apply the hold a second time. He stomped on Bryan’s back repeatedly, and then attempted the hold.
Bryan rolled through and applied the Lebell Lock. Miro used his power to escape and landed some hard right hands from a mounted position. Bryan intercepted a strike and turned it into a triangle choke. Miro gouged at the face of Bryan to break the hold. After a reset, both men got to their feet and traded strikes. Miro got the better of it and demanded Bryan kick him. He obliged, and it had no effect. He cut down Bryan with one kick. This process repeated itself.
Miro picked up Bryan and set him on the top rope. They traded strikes on top, and Miro reversed into a DDT off the top. He then applied a Guillotine Choke, and Miro passed out.
Bryan Danielson defeated Miro at 20:06 to win the eliminator tournament.
Bryan walked up the ramp and celebrated up the ramp. Adam Cole and The Young Bucks will face Jurassic Express and Christian is up next.
My Take: A less than stellar finish to a great match. The DDT didn’t land like I assume the expected, and so it looked odd for Miro to pass out that quickly. Otherwise, they really told a very engaging story in the ring that felt very different than the first two matches.
The Young Bucks made their entrance first, followed by Adam Cole. Christian Cage made his entrance next, followed by Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.
4. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage vs. “Superkliq” Adam Cole and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson (w/Brandon Cutler, Michael Nakazawa) in a Falls Count Anywhere match: This is a tornado match because of the stipulation, so everybody is brawling to start. Luchasaurus took out The Bucks with a dive on the outside. Christian and Adam Cole brawled for a minute. Christian landed a few strikes on Cole, but then got taked out by a superkick. Jungle Boy sent Cole to the outside, but he was quickly overwhelmed by the Bucks and a double superkick. Luchasaurus took down The Bucks with a double clothesline, but Cole took him out with a chair.
Jungle Boy grabbed the chair and tossed it into the face of Adam Cole. He then set it up in the ring to slam Cole onto it, but was stopped by the Young Bucks. He landed a double arm drag on the Bucks, but Cole lowered the boom on him as he sat in the chair. Christian slammed Cole onto the chair and covered, but the Bucks broke it up. They sent Christian to the outside, and then Luchasaurus German Suplexed them both simultaneously.
Cole entered the ring with a trash can, but Jungle Boy knocked it away from him. He then sent Cole to the floor and dove on him twice. He attempted a third, but the Bucks took him out with the trash can. There was chaos on the outside, and Luchasaurus kicked the trash can into Nick Jackson’s face and covered for a two count. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus double up on Adam Cole. Luchasaurus superkicked him, and then Jungle Boy sent him face first into a chair.
The babyface trio set up a table at ringside and tossed some chairs into the ring. Jungle Boy set up for a conchairto on Cole in the ring, but it was broken up because he spent an eternity contemplating whether or not to do it. Christian and Nick Jackson brawled to the back. Cole was bleeding from the forehead. Luchasaurus set up to powerbomb Cole through the table on the floor, but was interrupted by Matt Jackson.
Jungle Boy sent Cole through the table anyway with a head scissors. Matt Jackson put Luchasaurus through a second table with a flying elbow from the top rope. Christian and Nick Jackson brawled elsewhere. Cutler tried to spray Christian, but got Nick instead. Christian climbed up to a skybox area and dove on Cutler, Nick Jackson, and Michael Nakazawa down below. Christian then dragged Nick to the ring and tossed him over the barricade.
Matt Jackson sent Christian into the ring steps as he got into the ringside area. Cole then slammed Jungle Boy into the apron. Cole grabbed some thumb tacks from underneath the ring, and Matt Jackson poured them out. They put some tacks in Jungle Boy’s mouth and ran the ropes to kiss Cole on the cheek, followed by a double superkick to Jungle Boy. Cole covered, but Christian broke up the pin.
The Bucks set up a ladder in the ring. Christian and Nick Jackson slammed onto it in an awkward way. Luchasaurus rejoined the match. Cole attempted Panama Sunrise on him, but he pancaked him on the ladder instead. The Young Bucks both had chairs, and the Young Bucks froze in time while he disarmed them. He then chokeslammed Nick Jackson on the ladder, and covered him. Matt Jackson broke up the pinfall with a trash can.
Luchasaurus hulked up after a Superkick. Matt Jackson ran away up the ramp. Jungle Boy intercepted him on the top of the ramp and applied the snare trap. Adam Cole quickly broke up the submission as a referee showed up. Christian set up the killswitch on Matt Jackson, but Nick Jackson superkicked him. Luchasaurus tried to chokeslam both Young Bucks off the stage, but got a low blow by Adam Cole.
Christian tried to catapult Nick Jackson into a support beam on the stage, but he grabbed on and avoided it. Nick Jackson crashed and took Christian off the stage with him. Adam Cole landed a Panama Sunrise using the stage structure, but Luchasaurus prevented the pin on Jungle Boy. A triple dose of superkicks was given to both Luchasaurus and Christian. Adam Cole produced a thumbtack knee pad for all three of them out of a trash bag.
They setup for a three way BTE Trigger on Luchasaurus, and landed it. They covered, but Jungle Boy broke up the pin. All three men stared down Jungle Boy, who brawled with all three of them. He gabe Nick Jackson a German Suplex on the ramp. Christian speared Matt Jackson. Adam Cole was chokeslammed off the stage onto Nick Jackson and Brandon Cutler on the floor. He then landed a shooting star press of the stage. Jungle Boy looked amazed at what he saw.
Christian emerged from backstage with two chairs. Jungle Boy performed a conchairto on Nick Jackson, and covered for the win.
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian defeated The Superkliq at 22:35
After the match, we got some highlights. Team Tax was shown scouting in the luxury box. Cody and Pac vs. Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo is next. We got a video package of the feud.
My Take: This match tried to do way too much. I think it was successful in the sense that Jungle Boy looked really good throughout. But I think this could have been a 12 or 15 minute brawl and had the exact same effect.
Andrade El Idolo made his entrance first, followed by Malakai Black. Pac was out first for his time, and then Cody Rhodes. Cody’s entrance was as understated as usual.
5. Cody Rhodes and Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black: Pac and Andrade started the match. Cody tagged himself in and got some boos. Pac tagged back in and he and Andrade got to work. Pac landed a quick kick to the gut and an arm drag. He followed with a headlock takeover. They fought to their feet and both Cody and Black tagged in. Black got the better of Cody in a strike battle, and tagged Andrade back in. He landed some chops and both men ended up on the apron after and awkward ring exit by Andrade.
The assistant Jose grabbed Cody’s leg, which prompted Cody to dove on him at ringside a moment later. Pac aggressively tagged himself back into the match, and Andrade tagged out to Black. Malakai landed some hard kicks, and both Andrade and Black worked over Pac in their corner. Black and Andrade started to have some conflict in their own corner as well. Cody made another blind tag, and landed a springboard cutter on Black.
Pac tagged himself in again, just as Black landed a spinning roundhouse kick on Cody. Pac sent both Black and Andrade to the floor, and then landed an Asai moonsault from a springboard. Jose and Arn Anderson got into it on the floor, and Arn put him down with a series of punches. Black and Andrade recovered, and dumped Pac to the floor and dropped him onto the floor. Andrade jumped on him with a tornillo over the top to the floor.
Black and Pac were the legal men. Malakai gave Pac a one sided beatdown with kicks and elbow strikes. Cody was seen waiting for his spot on the outside, which wasn’t a great look. Andrade tagged in and landed a split legged moonsault. Pac broke the pin by grabbing the bottom rope. Cody was visible on the hard camera for an eternity recovering. Pac tried to tag out, but Cody called for the doctor. Andrade landed a pendulum DDT onto Pac on the apron.
Malakai tagged in and Pac knocked him down with a kick. Suddenly, Cody was full of energy on the apron. Pac made a tag out to Cody, who entered the match along with Andrade. Cody landed a nice reverse suplex off the top rope. Andrade recovered and went for a figure four, but Cody blocked it and applied one of his own. The crowd booed Cody throughout all of this. Pac tagged himself into the match and went up top. He landed a 450, but Andrade grabbed the bottom rope to break the cover.
Andrade scrambled and made a tag while Cody bickered with Pac. Black was quickly sent to the floor. He pulled Cody into a diving Pac on the floor. Black and Pac brawled, and Andrade took out Pac on the floor. Black and Cody brawled into the crowd, which allowed Pac to take control and put Andrade away with a Black Arrow.
Cody and Pac defeated Malakai Black and Andrade at 16:52
After the match, FTR ran down and attacked Pac and Cody, but were quickly pulled off. We then got a video package for Tay Conti and Britt Baker.
My Take: That match never really got out of second gear for me. I wanted to like it, but they didn’t really tell a satisfying story despite some solid ring work and really talented competitors.
Tay Conti made her ring entrance draped in a Brazilian/American combo flag, and Brazilian colors on the LED screens. Britt Baker’s music was played by Rich Ward from Fozzy. Nobody cared.
6. Britt Baker (w/Rebel, Jamie Hayter) vs. Tay Conti for the AEW Women’s Championship: Conti attempted a quick rollup for a two count. Baker did some awkward mat work into a crucifix pin for a two count of her own. They worked some back and forth reversals where Tay went for the DDTay and Baker went for the Lockjaw, both were unsuccessful. Conti caught Baker with a boot in the corner, and then went for a cross armbreaker over the rope. Baker prevented it and pulled her back into the ring with a suplex for a two count. She then attempted another crucifix pin after some strikes for a near fall.
The action moved slowly as Baker worked methodically. She landed a fisherman’s neckbreaker and covered for a near fall. Britt went for Lockjaw again, but Conti repeatedly slammed it on the mat to break free. Tay landed a running knee strike, but failed to make a cover. Conti landed a series of running kicks in the corner, and then a crossbody from the top for a near fall.
Conti landed a release German Suplex and covered for a two count. She went up top again, but took too much time, and Britt kicked her legs out from under her. She followed up with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Baker tried for another Fisherman’s Neckbreaker, but Conti avoided it. Baker was able to connect with a stomp for a near fall. Britt applied her glove, but walked into a Cutter from Conti for a near fall.
Baker landed an air raid crash on the apron. Conti spilled to the floor. Baker tossed her back in and tried to apply the Lockjaw, but Conti avoided it. There was some clumsy mat wrestling into a backslide, and both women bridged up to their feet. Conti managed to slide out of it and landed the TayKO and covered for a close near fall.
Both women traded kicks, and Conti pulled Baker into a Gotch Piledriver for a near fall. Baker rolled up Conti for a near fall of her own. Rebel and Jamie Hayter got involved, and Hayter sent Conti into the ring steps. Baker then stomped Conti on the steps and threw her into the ring. Baker then landed another stomp in the ring. She went for the lockjaw again, but Conti escaped.
Conti landed a pump kick that sent Baker to the outside. She then climbed up top and dove on all three women on the floor. Baker avoided contact, and neither woman really caught Conti. They brawled a bit on the floor, and Conti tossed Baker back in the ring, She landed the DDTay, and covered for a close near fall. Britt went for Lockjaw one more time. Both women rolled around into pinfall attempts, and Baker got the last laugh with the three count.
Britt Baker defeated Tay Conti to retain the AEW Women’s Championship at 15:24
After the match, Baker celebrated with Hayter and Rebel. CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston is up next. We then got a pre-match video package.
My Take: A strong effort from both women, but it had a lot of clumsy transitions and weak looking strikes that took away from my enjoyment to a degree. I also think this match went a bit too long and could have done with some editing. It appeared both women were pretty gassed at the end, and may have been asked to do a little too much.
Eddie Kingston made his entrance first, followed by CM Punk. Both men looked intense. Punk got in the ring quickly and immediately jawed with Kingston. After being kept apart by Bryce Remsburg, Kingston landed a spinning backfist and dropped Punk before the bell. Punk flipped him the bird as the bell rang.
7. CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston: They spilled to the floor immediately as Eddie had no interest in a pinfall and brawled. Punk escaped back into the ring and landed a series of knee strikes. Kingston responded with an exploder suplex. Punk fired back and rained down blows on a fallen Kingston and got booed in the process. Punk landed kicks to Eddie’s chest, but got an Eye Poke for his trouble.
Kingston attempted an exploder on the apron, but Punk punched and kicked himself free. He then landed a diving knee strike that took both men to the floor. The crowd has woken up for this match in a big way, with loud chants for both men. Punk bladed and was opened up after some brawling on the floor. Eddie wiped Punk’s blood on his face and tried to give him a piledriver on the floor. Punk reversed into a back body drop, and climbed on the apron.
Punk dove off the apron for a flying clothesline, and tossed Eddie back in the ring. Punk got on the crowd’s nerves by doing some of John Cena’s Five Moves of Doom. Both men gave each other the finger. Punk then did the three amigos suplexes, and went up to the top rope. Eddie climbed to his feet and slapped Punk across the face. He then rained down punches on Punk on the top rope, and pulled him down with a superplex.
Both men got to their feet and had a hockey fight in the middle of the ring. Kingston got the better of it and landed a kick, and both men were down again. Kingston called for a GTS, and walked right into one from Punk. He wasn’t able to capitalize with a cover. The referee checked on Kingston, but was waved off. Kingston went for a spinning backfist, but missed widely. Punk landed some rapid fire strikes and soaked in boos from the crowd. He then picked up Kingston again and landed another GTS. He covered for the win.
CM Punk defeated Eddie Kingston at 11:00
After the match, both men sold the effects of the brawl. Punk smiled with his face bloodied in the corner. He tried to stand up but immediately fell down. He eventually got back to his feet and extended a hand to Kingston, who struggled to his feet. Kingston walked away and refused.
My Take: This one woke the show back up. Kingston and Punk both played their roles excellently.
We got a video package for Inner Circle vs. American Top Team and Men of the Year. Baron Von Raschke was shown on camera and given an introduction for the crowd. First out was Dan Lambert, Junior Dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, Ethan Page, and Scorpio Sky. They were followed by the Inner Circle. Santana and Ortis had on some face paint.
8. Dan Lambert, Andrei Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos, Ethan Page, and Scorpio Sky vs. “The Inner Circle” Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager in a Minneapolis Street Fight: Guevara and Sky started the match. This match apparently has tags, because everyone else is on the apron. Guevara got the early advantage and tagged in Ortiz. He and Santana continued to work over Sky, landing a double team suplex. Santana stared down the opposing team and landed a chop on Sky. He then picked up Sky, and tagged in Hager, and handed off Sky to Hager to complete a vertical suplex.
Arlovski tagged in, and he and Hager traded punches. Arlovski landed a Samoan drop and landed more hands on the ground. JDS tagged in and tried a body slam, but Hager slipped out and tagged in Jericho. They traded hands, which Jericho comically got the best of. JDS replied with a powerslam, and then a vertical suplex. He posed for the crowd, and landed a standing moonsault for a near fall.
Lambert tagged into the match and slapped Jericho. Things broke down and suddenly everyone was in the ring. The Inner Circle dumped everyone but Lambert to the outside. He took off running, and Jericho chased. Ethan Page hit Jericho with a hockey stick on the outside. There was a series of dives from Santana, Ortiz, and Guevara to the floor. Hager even went up top and dove on everybody on the floor.
They dumped a bunch of weapons out of a trash can, which were apparently items that were all invented in Minnesota. Jericho had what looked like Prince’s “The Artist” symbol made out of sheet metal, and blasted Lambert across the back with it. Santana was tossed back into the ring. Ethan Page wrapped a chair around Ortiz’s head and tossed him into the ring post. Page and Sky beat down Santana in the ring.
Santana and Ortiz recovered and put a trash can over Ethan Page’s head. They then beat the trash can with a bunch of weapons. They then applied a complicated stereo submission on both Sky and Page. Sammy threw a football and beaned Sky in the ribs. Sky and Santana spilled to the outside. Page got some help from Arlovski and took down Ortiz with an assisted spinebuster.
Hager rejoined the match with a toaster, but Sky and Page regrouped and took him down. Jericho entered the match with a waterski and took out both Page and Sky. Lambert pulled Jericho to the floor when he hit the ropes. Jericho then took a break for some reason. Guevara landed a double cutter on Page and Sky. He then landed a Swanton from the top on Sky for a near fall.
There were multiple brawls taking place around the ring. Dan Lambert was running away from all of them. Hager was beating people up with a Bundt Cake pan. Dos Santos was on the top rope with Santana and Ortiz. They pulled him into the ring with a superplex. A ladder got set up for Sammy Guevara to climb. Scorpio Sky was set up on a table, and Sammy plunged through him with another Swanton.
Ethan Page gave Ortiz an Ego’s Edge on the floor in front of Baron Von Raschke, and The Baron put the Iron Claw on him. Santana then sent Page over the barricade. He used a security guard as a step stool to dive on him in the crowd. Lambert found himself alone in the ring with Jericho. He chopped down Lambert and went for a Lionsault, but JDS landed a terrible punch that knocked him back into the ring. Lambert covered for a near fall.
Lambert tried for the Walls of Jericho, but Jericho found and hit him with a Kendo Stick. He then wore out both Lambert and JDS with the kendo stick. He then hit Lambert in the balls with a stapler. Jericho signaled Eddie Guererro in the Sky. Jericho then hit a frog splash and got the win.
The Inner Circle defeated Men of the Year and American Top Team at 19:52 in a Minneapolis Street Fight
After the match, Inner Circle celebrated and Jericho saluted Eddie Guerrero at the end of the match. As expected Tomohiro Ishii will join Orange Cassidy as his partner on Wednesday. Tony Shiavone was shown on stage to introduce a special guest. Jay Lethal was introduced to the PPV audience. He was asked what he was doing in AEW. Lethal said he heard there was an open door and an open challenge for the TNT Title. He challenged him to a match on Wednesday. Sammy walked out and told him that he accepted.
My Take: I was just happy when that match ended. The feud sucked and the match was vaguely entertaining for a couple of minutes, but vastly overstayed its welcome. Jay Lethal is an interesting hire for AEW. I hope they fully vetted the misconduct allegations against him.
A video aired for the Main Event. Hangman Page was shown riding a horse outside the Target Center in a pre-taped segment. The crowd chanted Cowboy Shit. Hangman Page then made his ring entrance. Kenny Omega then made his entrance for the main event. He was accompanied by Don Callis. Justin Roberts made ring announcements.
9. Kenny Omega (w/Don Callis) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page for the AEW World Championship: They stared each other down and circled to start the match. They then traded chops across the ring and into the corner. Hangman tossed Omega across the ring and landed a running lariat. Don Callis grabbed Page’s leg as he hit the ropes, and that gave Kenny an opening. Page replied by sending Omega to the apron, and landing a springboard clothesline. He then dove on Kenny over the top and out to the floor.
Callis got involved again and distracted Hangman temporarily, and Omega recovered to send Omega into the ring barricade and the apron. Hangman fired back with a snap suplex on the floor, and then broke the count. He then threw Omega back in the ring, and landed a flying clothesline from the top for a two count.
Omega fired back with a bulldog, and then made a disrespectful cover for a one count. He then dumped Hangman to the floor, and distracted the ref so Callis could put the boots to Page. Omega followed and slammed Page into the ring steps. He then tossed Page back in the ring and set up for a springboard, but thought better of it. Hangman fired up and fired back with some strikes. Omega sent him to the floor again, and dove on him with his terminator dive.
Back in the ring, Omega landed a forward roll slam. He went for a moonsault, but Hangman got the knees up. He followed up with a big boot and then landed a series of chops. He sent Omega to the floor, and then dove on him with an elbow. He followed up with a moonsault, and sent Omega back into the ring. Hangman then landed a sheer drop brainbuster for a near fall.
Both men ended up on the top rope, and Omega slipped out and left Page stranded on the turnbuckle. He then performed a springboard and pulled Page into the ring with a powerbomb for a near fall. Omega then followed up with a snapdragon suplex. Page rolled to the apron to recover, but Omega followed him and landed another suplex on the apron.
Omega landed a V-Trigger in the ring, and pulled up Page for a One Winged Angel. Page forward rolled into a pin for a near fall. Page then landed a release German Suplex. Omega replied with a Tiger Driver ‘98 for a near fall. He then bit Hangman on the forehead. Omega went up top, but Page crotched him on the top rope. He then bit Omega in return, and then performed what looked like a backflip into a suplex. Omega rolled to the outside to recover.
Page took the camera off the corner ring post, and used it to dive on Omega and put him through the announce table on the outside. Hangman then setup for a Buckshot Lariat, but Omega collapsed in the ring. Page landed a knee strike and a pop up powerbomb. He then went for a Buckshot Lariat, but Omega pulled the referee in the way of the strike. Callis grabbed the AEW title and came into the ring.
Callis tried to hit Page, but he saw it coming and punched him. Omega grabbed the belt, but Page picked him up and landed Deadeye. Aubrey Edwards ran down and counted a 2.9 near fall. Both men traded punches in the ring. Kenny flipped Omega the bird, and Omega replied with a V-Trigger. Hangman intercepted a second V-Trigger, and landed big strikes in response. They continued to trade heavy strikes. Omega attempted a piledriver, but couldn’t pick him up.
Omega landed Kawada kicks, and Page fired up and landed a huge lariat. The Young Bucks walked down to ringside. Omega landed a backdrop driver. Page replied with one of his own. Hangman tried for a Buckshot Lariat, but Omega intercepted it with a V-Trigger. Omega went for a One Winged Angel, but Hangman replied with one of his own. He covered for a two count.
Page finally landed a Buckshot Lariat to the back of Omega. He set up for one from the front, and Matt Jackson nodded at Hangman. He landed a second Buckshot Lariat and got the win.
Hangman Page defeated Kenny Omega at 25:35 to win the AEW World Championship
After the match, Hangman celebrated with the AEW World Championship. The Bucks stood at ringside. The Dark Order walked out onto the stage and applauded. He invited them into the ring, and they offered him a beer. He tossed it aside and they shared a group hug. They picked him up on their shoulders to close the show.
My Take: A really good match. I don’t know if it needed the ref bump, but I think that was the method to fake out the audience into believing Omega was going to cheat his way into another win. I’m really glad they pulled the trigger on Hangman here. It was the right way to move forward. The Bucks choosing not to interfere on behalf of Omega is the new story for The Elite going forward, after they took a series of tough losses tonight. With Omega losing the title, and presumably Kevin Steen coming in over the next few months, I think we can look forward to some much needed changes for The Elite faction. Hangman vs. Bryan Danielson should be an excellent match. I’m curious if they book that for January on TBS.