AEW Full Gear Zero Hour pre-show results: Eddie Kingston vs. Jun Akiyama, Ricky Starks vs. Brian Cage in an AEW Eliminator Tournament semifinal match, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, Rocky Romero, and Danhausen vs. QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Lee Johnson, Cole Karter, and Nick Comoroto

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Full Gear Zero Hour Pre-Show
Aired live November 19, 2022 on AEW social media platforms
Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center

Excalibur welcomed viewers to the pre-show and was joined on commentary by Tony Schiavone and Taz. They set up a video package on the Jon Moxley vs. MJF match for the AEW World Championship… The broadcast team ran through the card… Justin Roberts was the ring announcer and introductions took place for the opening match…

1. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, Rocky Romero, and Danhausen vs. “The Factory” QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Lee Johnson, Cole Karter, and Nick Comoroto. Danhausen didn’t come out with his team, so they started the match shorthanded. Late in the match, Marshall set up for a piledriver on Cassidy, but he stopped in his tracks when Danhausen made his entrance. Excalibur said this was the evil part of Danhausen that people haven’t seen.

Cassidy hit Comoroto with the Orange Punch. Danhausen grabbed his jar of teeth and poured them into Comoroto’s mouth. Danhausen followed up with a big boot to the head of Comoroto and then pinned him…

Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, Rocky Romero, and Danhausen defeated QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Lee Johnson, Cole Karter, and Nick Comoroto in 11:55.

After the match, Danhausen hit Marshall with a spike. Excalibur said it was the evil side of Danhausen emerging. Danhausen stood in the center of the ring while the others gave him a group hug…

Powell’s POV: The live crowd enjoyed the opening comedy match. Cassidy was the star of the match in terms of the live crowd’s reactions, and Danhausen was also very well received.

New AEW signee Konosuke Takeshita was interviewed in the backstage area by Renee Paquette. She congratulated him on his AEW Rampage tag team win and for signing with AEW. Takeshita thanked Tony Khan and the fans. He said his dream was to wrestle in America and his dreams have come true, and now he will fight for his life in AEW…

2. Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana) vs. Ricky Starks in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament semifinal match. Ethan Page sat in on commentary and will face the winner of the match in the tournament finals on Wednesday’s Dynamite. Cage attacked Starks to start the match. Starks had his shoulder and ribs wrapped and wore a t-shirt to start.

Starks eventually rallied and struck his pose to a pop from the crowd. Starks went up top and went for a crossbody block, but Cage caught him and put him down with a backbreaker that led to a two count. Starks came back with a DDT for a near fall and continued to sell his ribs. A “Let’s go, Ricky” chant broke out.

Cage stuffed Starks’ going for his finisher. Cage set up for a move, but Starks countered into a pin for a near fall. Starks ducked a discus lariat and then speared Cage, which led to another near fall. Cage powerbombed Starks and then followed up with a buckle bomb. Cage hit the discus lariat and covered Starks for a two count.

Cage went to the top rope and went for an elbow drop, but Starks rolled out of the way. Starks sent for his finisher, but Cage stuffed it. Cage went for a move, which Starks countered into a Canadian Destroyer. Starks followed up with the Roshambo and scored the pin…

Ricky Starks defeated Brian Cage in 10:00 to advance to the finals of the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament.

After the match, Page stood on the stage and had a long distance staredown with Starks while the broadcast team hyped their meeting in the tournament finals for Wednesday’s Dynamite…

Powell’s POV: An enjoyable match. They told a simple and effective story of Starks gutting his way through an injury and beating the bigger Cage. Starks would seem to be the favorite to win if only because Tony Khan pushed back his tournament matches due to a legit injury. The finals were originally scheduled for tonight’s pay-per-view.

A trailer aired for AEW’s Fight Forever video game… A video package aired on Saraya vs. Britt Baker…

Eddie Kingston was interviewed by Renee Paquette in the backstage area. He said he was 18 when he saw Jun Akiyama fight and he decided that was the style he wanted to use. Kingston said he was having a hard time focussing…

3. Eddie Kingston vs. Jun Akiyama. Akiyama received a mild reaction from the crowd when he made his entrance, but they camera found one fan who was ridiculously excited to see him. Kingston and Akiyma traded chops and other strikes in the middle of the ring. Akiyama went to the middle rope. Kingston hit Akiyama, who then tumbled to ringside.

Kingston brought Akiyama to the apron and set up for a suplex, but Akiyama kicked his way free. Akiyama performed a DDT on the apron and then dropped a knee on the back of Kingston’s head. Akiyama performed a piledriver on Kingston and covered him for a two count.

Kingston and Akiyama traded chops a short time later. Kingston performed a half and half suplex. Akiyama responded with an exploder suplex. Kingston came right back with one of his own. Akiyma performed a running knee to the head of Kingston and then both men stayed down and received a nice round of applause. Akiyama covered Kingston for a two count.

Akiyama lowered his kneepad and hit Kingston with a running knee that led to a two count. Kingston performed a Northern Lights Bomb. Kingston let Akiyama get back to his feet, which Excalibur said might be a mistake made due to Kingston’s respect for Akiyama. Once Akiyama stood up, Kingston hit him with a spinning back fist and pinned him.

Eddie Kingston defeated Jun Akiyama in 10:30.

Kingston cried after the match. He knelt and bowed to Akiyama, who returned the sign of respect. Kingston cried more. They shook hands and hugged while they were on their knees and the crowd cheered. Once they got to their feet, Kingston raised Akiyama’s arm. Akiyama left the ring. Kingston thanked the crowd and cried when he fell to his knees. Kingston had Ortiz join him inside the ring and hugged him.

Kingston got the mic and asked how much time was left. He said he only had two minutes because they had to “hype up.” Kingston told Excalibur he was sorry. “We only need 30 seconds,” one of the broadcast team member said. Kingston thanked Akiyama and said rest in peace to a number of Japanese legends. “I hope I made you proud tonight,” Kingston said.

Kingston listed the time and told the fans to order the pay-per-view. He also mentioned Jon Moxley kicking the ass of MJF, which drew boos. Kingston said the fans may cheer MJF, but he’s still a piece of shit. Kingston listed other matches and then said he was told that he had to go…

Powell’s POV: The live crowd was into the match even though I didn’t get the sense that most of the fans had much familiarity with Akiyama. The match clearly meant the world to Kingston and it was impossible not to feel happy for him. I also love the story that Akiyama heard that he was Kingston’s dream opponent and stepped up to make it happen. Kingston’s post match promo was heartfelt and then comical, and I don’t think anyone was laughing harder than the broadcast team.

The broadcast team ran through the pay-per-view lineup. Excalibur noted that the steel cage match would open the pay-per-view. The cage was lowered from the rafters and then a video package aired on Jungle Boy vs. Luchasaurus. Jim Ross made his entrance to close out the pre-show…

Join me for my live review of the AEW Full Gear main card via the main page.

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