By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Full Gear
Aired live November 18, 2023 on pay-per-view and B/R Live
Los Angeles, California at the Kia Forum
AEW Full Gear Zero Hour Pre-Show results: Eddie Kingston defeated Jay Lethal in 10:55 to retain the ROH Championship, Claudio Castagnoli defeated Buddy Matthews in 10:30, and MJF and Samoa Joe defeated Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn in 9:25 to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles…
The pay-per-view opened with a video package… Pyro shot off on the stage and then the broadcast team of Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Nigel McGuinness checked in at ringside. Excalibur recapped the pre-show angle that saw Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn bash MJF’s left leg with a chair, followed by MJF being stretchered out while begging Adam Cole not to let them take his title away…
After the broadcast team ran through the pay-per-view lineup, a small choir performed on the stage as part of Christian Cage’s entrance with Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne. Comedian Dr. Ken Jeong was shown in the crowd while giving Cage the thumbs down. Ric Flair made his entrance. The babyface team entered to Adam Copeland’s theme and played to both(!) sides of the stage. Darby Allin greeted Steve O from Jackass at ringside. The crowd continued to sing Copeland’s entrance theme after it stopped playing. Copeland applauded the crowd…
1. Sting, Darby Allin, and Adam Copeland (w/Ric Flair) vs. Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Nick Wayne. Copeland wore face paint and the babyface trio wore black and white gear. Cage had a fatherly moment with Wayne in the heel corner. Allin got the better of Wayne to start and then tagged in Sting, who sent Wayne to the floor and followed. Sting ran Wayne into the barricade and then tossed him back inside the ring.
Wayne quickly tagged Cage into the match. Sting pointed at Copeland and then tagged him in. Copeland and Cage stared across the ring from one another and a “holy shit” chant broke out, but then Cage tagged in Luchasaurus to avoid facing Copeland. Allin ended up tagging back into the match.
Luchasaurus got the better of Allin and then picked him up and chokeslammed him aggressively over the top rope and onto the edge of the apron. Damn. Allin was isolated by the heel trio. Wayne tagged in and mocked Flair by looking at him while strutting. Allin showed signs of life by knocking Cage and Luchasaurus off the apron, but Wayne cut him off. Allin bit Wayne’s hand and then hit him with a sunset bomb.
Allin crawled toward his corner. Cage pulled Copeland off the apron and ran him into the barricade. Sting went after Cage, but Luchasaurus took Sting out. Cage tagged in and mocked Allin once he made it to his corner and his partners were down. Copeland got back on the apron and Allin finally tagged him. Copeland ran across the ring, but Cage tagged out and exited the ring before Copeland could get to him.
Copeland sent Luchasaurus to ringside and then threw Wayne at him. Allin performed a suicide dive onto Luchasaurus and Wayne. Sting dove over Flair and onto both heels on the floor. Copeland set up for a spear once Luchasaurus was back inside the ring, but Luchasurus grabbed him by the throat. Sting and Copeland teamed up for a double team move that resulted in a Scorpion Death Drop.
Sting and Copeland held up Wayne in suplex position and then Allin dove from the top rope onto Wayne. Luchasaurus recovered and tossed Allin into the corner and then clotheslined the back of Copeland’s neck. Cage jawed at Flair on the floor. Flair removed his jacket. Flair hit Cage with a couple of punches and chops. Cage poked Flair’s eye and then low-blowed him.
Cage brought the TNT Title belt into the ring while Luchasurus held Copeland. Cage tried to hit Copeland with the belt, but he broke free and Cage hit Luchasaurus instead. Copeland went after Cage, who exited the ring, hopped the barricade, and ran away from the ringside area. Sting hit Luchasaurus with a Stinger Splash. Copeland speared Luchasaurus and then Allin hit the Coffin Drop. Legal man Copeland covered Luchasaurus and scored the pin…
Sting, Darby Allin, and Adam Copeland defeated Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Nick Wayne in 15:10.
All four babyfaces celebrated afterward. Sting went to ringside and hugged his son. Allin took the mic and pumped up the crowd to make noise for Sting’s last match in Los Angeles. Sting was left alone in the ring while the fans cheered for him and chanted, “Thank you, Sting”…
Powell’s POV: I really liked this match and felt it was a good choice for the opening spot on the show. Cage escaping before Copeland could get his hands on him was a nice tough. I hope what we saw tonight is the extent of Flair’s physicality in AEW. Sting’s post match moment with the crowd was really nice.
Tony Schiavone stood on the stage and spoke with referee Bryce Remsburg. Schiavone called for Bullet Club Gold to come out. Jay White came out holding the AEW World Championship belt and claimed to be the champion. “Settle the hell down,” Schiavone said. “Jesus, I’ve got work to do here.” White told Schiavone to “tell them.”
Schiavone announced that MJF was injured and would not be able to defend the title. He said the match was cancelled and was about to declare White the new champion, but he was interrupted by Adam Cole’s entrance music.
Adam Cole came out on crutches with his left foot in a cast. Cole told White that there was not a shot in hell that White was leaving the Forum with MJF’s title. Cole said that if MJF couldn’t defend the championship, then he would defend the belt for him. Cole said one leg or not, the new main event would be White vs. Cole.
White laughed and said Cole must have hit his head or something. White recalled causing Cole’s head injury and said he would take him out for good while taking the AEW World Championship…
A video package spotlighted the AEW International Championship match and then entrances for the match took place. Orange Cassidy came out first, and then Jon Moxley made his usual entrance through the crowd and was accompanied by Wheeler Yuta…
2. Orange Cassidy (w/Hook) vs. Jon Moxley (w/Wheeler Yuta) for the AEW International Championship. Taz joined the broadcast team. Cassidy threw a forearm at Moxley, who absorbed it and then knocked Cassidy down with a forearm strike of his own. Moxley took Cassidy to ringside and tossed him onto the broadcast table before hitting him with right hands. Moxley picked up Cassidy and dumped him abdomen first on the barricade.
Moxley pulled Cassidy back to ringside and brought him back inside the ring. Moxley put the boots to Cassidy and then stood on him in the corner. Moxley had Cassidy on the ropes and hit him with headbutts. Cassidy came back with a series of headbutts. Moxley bled from the forehead and was superplexed by Cassidy, who followed up with a diving DDT from the ropes. Cassidy performed another DDT and went for the cover, but Moxley kicked out immediately.
Cassidy threw kicks at Moxley, who no-sold them. Moxley got back to his feet. Cassidy flipped him off. Moxley ended up at ringside and was hit by a suicide dive that left him lying on the broadcast table. The crowd chanted “one more time.” Cassidy punched Moxley, returned to the ring, and hit Moxley with another suicide dive.
Back inside the ring, Moxley took a Stundog Millionaire and then threw a series of punches at Cassidy. Moments later, Cassidy caught Moxley with Hook’s Redrum finisher. Moxley escaped the hold and the top turnbuckle pad was removed. Moxley came back with a big piledriver for a near fall. There were dueling chants of “Let’s Go Moxley” and “Freshly Squeezed.”
Moxley taunted Cassidy by throwing light kicks at him. Cassidy put his hands in his pockets. Moxley charged Cassidy, who moved, causing Moxley to slam his head on the exposed turnbuckle. Cassidy dropkicked Moxley to send him into the exposed turnbuckle again.
Moxley got to his feet and stumbled. Cassidy hit Moxley with three Orange Punches and the third one took him off his feet for a second. Cassidy rolled Moxley into a pin for a two count. Cassidy hit Moxley with three more Orange Punches and followed up with Beach Break and got the clean pin…
Orange Cassidy defeated Jon Moxley in 12:05 to retain the AEW International Championship.
After the match, Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli checked on Moxley. Trent Beretta joined Hook in congratulating Cassidy. Yuta intentionally bumped into Hook while the production crew turned to a fan painting of Cassidy.
Powell’s POV: A good match, but not nearly as epic as their previous encounter. I’m happy they kept the belt on Cassidy rather than continue the game of hot potato that was caused by Moxley being concussed during a match with Rey Fenix.
Excalibur announced that Tony Khan(!) just confirmed that the main event will be Adam Cole vs. Jay White due to MJF’s injury…
A video package aired to announce Mark Briscoe as an entrant in the Continental Classic tournament, which starts Wednesday on AEW Dynamite…
Dasha took over ring announcing duties and introduced Toni Storm, who was accompanied to the ring by Luther. Hikaru Shida’s entrance followed…
3. Hikaru Shida vs. Toni Storm (w/Luther) for the AEW Women’s Championship. Luther had a butler’s tray with various objects under the ropes in Storm’s corner. Storm pulled out a script, but then tore it in half. Mariah May was shown watching on a backstage monitor. Shida and Storm traded forearm strikes to start the match. Storm’s chest was red from her Rampage match with Emi Sakura. Shida went to work on Storm’s chest with chops. Storm eventually fired back with chops of her own.
A short time later, Storm got a shoe from Luther and held it up. As she approached Shida, referee Aubrey Edwards took the shoe away. As Edwards was clearing the shoe from the ring, Storm pulled out another one and hit Shida with it, which led to a two count. Shida came back and hit Storm with her own Storm Zero move, but she was too weary to make the cover.
Shida hit a falcon arrow a short time later for a near fall. Shida went up top and went for a meteora. Shida rolled through when Storm avoided her. Shida came up selling a leg injury. Storm put Shida in an ankle lock. Shida reached the ropes. Storm removed Shida’s shoe and tried to hit her with it, but Shida stuffed it. Shida hit Storm and Shida’s shoe went flying into the crowd.
Storm ended up at ringside. Shida grabbed her kendo stick and was going to hit Storm, but Luther stopped her. Shida beat the hell out of Luther with the kendo stick. Back in the ring, Shida went for a Katana, but Storm blocked it and rolled her into a pin, but Shida reversed it for a near fall.
Storm blocked a knee strike. Storm executed a deadlift suplex. Storm placed a plate from the butler’s tray in her tights and then hit Shida with a hip attack in the corner. Storm covered Shida and got the three count…
Toni Storm defeated Hikaru Shida in 10:25 to win the AEW Women’s Championship.
After the match, the screen turned black and white. Mariah May came out with flowers and presented them to Storm, who celebrated her victory…
Powell’s POV: The Storm character is the hottest thing going in the AEW women’s division. I don’t know that she needs the title, but I’m also not complaining that she won it for the third time.
Renee Paquette interviewed Eddie Kingston on the backstage interview set and asked him what was next. Kingston said she knew what was next and mentioned the tournament. Kingston said he would put the ROH Championship and the New Japan Strong Openweight Championship on the line in every match he has in the tournament. He said the tournament winner would become a Triple Crown champion because they would also be the Continental Champion…
Powell’s POV: Wait, so they are introducing another title belt? I’m excited about the tournament, but the last thing this company needs is another hour of weekly television. And the second to last thing this company needs is another title belt.
Entrances for the ladder match took place. Rush and Dralistico came out with Rush’s son, Preston Vance, and Jose…
4. Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs. Rush and Dralistico (w/Preston Vance, Jose) vs. Malakai Black and Brody King vs. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler in a four-way ladder match for the AEW Tag Team Titles. There was an early suplex spot from the ring onto a pile of wrestlers on the floor. Harwood did the obligatory Terry Funk tribute spot by putting his head in the middle of a ladder and then bashing his opponents with it.
Dralistico made a play for the belts that were hanging above the ring, but Wheeler stopped him by turning the ladder over. Rush mauled Wheeler and did the spot where he teases hitting his finisher only to stop short before striking his tranquilo pose. Wheeler came back with a powerslam on Rush. Wheeler made a play for the belts, but Black cut him off.
Wheeler got the better of Black momentarily. Black pulled the ropes to send a ladder that had been leaning against the ropes into the face of Wheeler. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Moments later, Wheeler caught Black with a low blow while Black was on the ropes. There were boos. Wheeler smirked and then piledrove Black onto a ladder that was leaning on the bottom turnbuckle. The boos turned to “holy shit” chants.
King went for a suicide dive, but Bill held up a ladder that King crashed into. In the ring, Starks hit Dralistico and then Rush with spears. Starks did his rope walking bit while holding onto the arm of Wheeler and then dove at Harwood. Wheeler took a swing at Starks, who ducked it and suplexed him. King was shown lying against the barricade with blood covering his face paint.
Black caught Starks with an elbow and then charged at him, but Starks backdropped him onto a ladder that was set up in the corner. King returned to the ring and sent Starks onto the ladder, then backdropped Harwood onto it. King performed a cannonball onto Harwood, who was leaning on the ladder. King overshot Harwood for the most part, but Harwood immediately reached for his face and rolled to the floor.
King made a play for the belts, but Bill tipped his ladder over, which sent King crashing onto the ladder in the corner. Dralistico got the better of Bill momentarily, but Bill cut him off and chokeslammed him. Rush ran a ladder into Bill in the corner and then wedged it between the ropes in front of him. Rush played to the crowd and hit the Bull’s Horns, which drove the ladder into Bill.
Rush set up a ladder and went for the belts. Starks raced up the other side of the ladder and traded blows with Rush. Harwood set up a bigger ladder next to the main ladder, and then Wheeler set up another ladder on the other side of the main ladder. Nobody remained on the ladders for long. King picked up Dralistico and stood on a ladder bridged over the ring and the barricade and gave him a Gonzo Bomb on the ladder. Damn.
With King on the ladder bridge, Wheeler went up top and wobbled a bit before regaining his balance and then splashing King on the ladder. Harwood made a play for the belts, but Starks climbed up the other side of his ladder and they traded blows. Harwood slammed Starks’ head on top of the ladder. Black and Wheeler got involved. Starks and Wheeler ended up on top of the ladder. Starks slammed one of the hanging title belts onto the head of Wheeler. Starks pulled a belt down and tossed it to Bill below him, then pulled the other belt down to win the match…
Ricky Starks and Big Bill defeated “LFI” Rush and Dralistico, “Kings of the Black Throne” Malakai Black and Brody King, and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler in 20:35 in a four-way ladder match for the AEW Tag Team Titles.
Powell’s POV: Chaos and carnage. Most of these guys are going to be feeling it in the morning. It was the insanity that one would expect from these teams in a ladder match. The crowd loved it. Here’s hoping the wrestlers all come out of this in one piece.
A video aired for the AEW Worlds End pay-per-view that will be held on Saturday, December 30. Excalibur said they will crown the Modern American Triple Crown Champion…
Entrances for the TBS Title match took place. Julia Hart came out first. Skye Blue came out and took off her baseball hat and put on a blue crown. Excalibur asked if this was a sign of the full metamorphosis due to the stupid mist. Kris Statlander’s entrance followed and she did some sign language once she was in the ring…
5. Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart vs. Skye Blue in a three-way for the TBS Championship. Excalibur pointed out the red hart over Hart’s left eye and said it was mimicking the paint that Statlander wears over her eye. Hart and Blue worked together early on. Statlander suplexed both challengers on the floor. Back in the ring, Hart and Blue hit simultaneous superkicks on Statlander.
With Statlander down, Hart and Blue met in the middle of the ring and shook hands. Hart hit Blue to end the alliance. Blue put Hart down with a kick and covered her for a two count. Statlander returned and worked over both opponents. Statlander had Blue pinned, but Hart broke it up with a senton.
A short time later, Statlander hoisted up Blue and slammed her face first to the mat. Statlander went up top for her finisher, but Hart shoved her off the ropes to the floor. Hart went to the ropes and kicked Blue away. Hart hit Blue with a top rope moonsault and had her beat, but Statlander pulled Hart off of Blue from the floor.
Hart charged Statlander, who powerslammed her on the floor. Blue caught Statlander with a kick to the face. In the ring, Blue went for a running crossbody block, but Statlander caught her. Blue escaped a Saturday Night Fever attempt and rolled Statlander into a pin for a two count. Blue came right back with a great looking Code Blue for a good near fall.
Blue went for her finisher again, but Hart returned and broke it up. Hart put Blue in the Hartless Lock. Statlander pulled Hart off and gave her a deadlift German suplex. Statlander performed the same move on Blue, then repeated the move on both wrestlers. Statlander hit Saturday Night Fever on Blue and went for the pin, but Hart knocked Statlander off of Blue and then stole the pin.
Julia Hart defeated Kris Statlander and Skye Blue in a three-way in 11:20 to win the TBS Championship.
Powell’s POV: They really put these three in a tough position by having them follow that crazy ladder match. The crowd was engaged, yet quiet during the first half of the bout. To the credit of the wrestlers, the fans were livelier during the second half of the match. Hart has come a long way and I’m pleased to see her rewarded with a title win. I’m also happy that the finish did not involve the ridiculous mind altering mist.
Tony Schiavone stood in the ring to unveil the newest addition to the AEW roster. Will Ospreay made his entrance to a big pop. He stopped and pointed at a fan sign that read “Ospreay Is All Elite” before joining Schiavone inside the ring. Schiavone presented Ospreay with a contract, which he signed.
Schiavone asked Ospreay how it felt. Ospreay said it felt good. He said he was happy to be part of the team. He said he had to get some bad news out of the way. He said he wasn’t coming in just yet. He said he was part of New Japan Pro Wrestling at age 22. He said he’s 30 now and begged the fans to let him finish up.
Ospreay said he will be on the road to Revolution “and then I’ll be all yours.” Ospreay looked into the camera and told Tony Khan to line up the best he has, especially for Wembley Stadium. Ospreay said he was about to show what elite really looks like…
Powell’s POV: Ospreay was one of the popular candidates to be the new signing. I’m not sure why they decided to announce it now as opposed to waiting until we get closer to when his NJPW contract concludes. More than anything, I’m happy the reveal lived up to the hype.
A video package set up the Texas Death Match… Swerve Strickland made his entrance with Prince Nana and there were dancers who did Nana’s dance to Swerve’s entrance theme. Hangman Page ran out without entrance music and attacked Swerve to start the match.
6. Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) in a Texas Death Match. Page hit a Buckshot Lariat in the first minute of the match. Excalibur reminded viewers that there were no pinfalls. A short time later, Page threw a chair at the face of Strickland (gross if he didn’t get his hands up). Page wrapped tape around the wrists of Swerve and then used a staple fun on his chest twice. Page grabbed a piece of paper and stapled it to Swerve’s arm, and then stapled his arm again.
Page ran a chair into the side of Swerve’s head and then played to the crowd. Swerve bled heavily from the forehead. Page stapled a piece of his son’s finger painting to Swerve’s face. Page laid underneath Swerve and let his blood fall into his mouth. As disgusting as it was, the crowd popped huge for this. Page went to ringside and grabbed a chair wrapped in barbed wire from underneath the ring. Page tried to use the chair, but Swerve kicked him below the belt. Nana cut the tape from Swerve’s wrists.
Page used the staple gun two more times, but Swerve just stared at him. Swerve used the staple gun on Page’s face. Swerve picked up the staple gun and smiled while stapling his own chest a few times. Swerve wedged the barbed wire chair in a corner of the ring and then ran Page’s head into it. Swerve pulled a cinderblock out from underneath the ring. The block ended up on the apron while Page and Swerve fought. Swerve pulled Page onto the apron with him. Swerve bit Page’s bloody head and then gave him a Death Valley Driver onto the cinder block. Page beat the referee’s count.
Swerve brought Page onto the top of the ringside barricade and then piledrove him on top of it. Swerve drank from a water bottle and then poured some over his absurdly bloody face. Page got back to his feet and was pulled back inside the ring by Swerve. Page rallied with a fallaway slam. Excalibur noted that Page typically kips up after performing the move, but he stayed down. Swerve grabbed a piece of barbed wire, but Page grabbed him and gave him another fallaway slam.
Page pressed the barbed wire on Swerve’s head and then used it to tie Swerve’s arm to his side. Page performed another fallaway slam. Swerve rolled to the floor. Page grabbed the barbed wire chair from the corner and then went up top and held it in front of him while performing a moonsault onto Swerve on the floor. Swerve beat the ref’s count and was thrown back inside the ring by Page. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Page had to kick Nana away before going for a Buckshot Lariat that Swerve avoided. Page picked up the chair. Swerve booted the chair at Page’s face. Swerve picked up Page in tombstone position, but Page reversed it and tombstoned Swerve onto the barbed wire chair. The referee counted with both men down. Page got to his feet first. Swerve got to his feet at nine, which drew a big round of applause from the crowd. Page slammed the barbed wire chair over Swerve’s back.
Page placed Swerve in a seated position on the top turnbuckle and then stood on the middle rope and threw punches at him. Page set up for a Deadeye, but Swerve slipped under him. Swerve slammed the barbed wire chair over Page’s back. Swerve followed up by powerbombing Page onto the barbed wire chair. Swerve went up top and double stomped Page, who was still lying on the barbed wire chair. A replay showed that when Swerve hit Page with the chair, a piece of the barbed wire hooked around Page’s face.
Swerve went to ringside and pulled a black bag out from underneath the ring. Swerve dumped glass from the bag onto the back of Page. Serve performed a top rope move onto Page’s glass covered black. Swerve followed up with his finisher. Page got back to his feet at nine. Swerve clotheslined Page over the top rope and both men tumbled to the floor.
Nana pulled a barbed wire board out from underneath the ring and slid it inside the ring. Swerve placed the board over two chairs. Swerve went to the ropes and pulled Page up in front of him. Page fired elbows at Swerve, who was seated on the top rope.
Page bit Swerve’s forehead and they both went to the top rope. Page performed a fallaway slam moonsault onto the barbed wire board. Page shot right up and powerbombed Swerve onto the board. Page got up again and hit the Deadeye on to the barbed wire board. A “fight forever” chant broke out. Page wrapped a piece of barbed wire around Swerve’s head. Page hit a Buckshot Lariat. Nana pulled Swerve to the floor and into a standing position so that Swerve could beat the referee’s count.
Brian Cage ran in and attacked Page. Cage put Page down with his Drill Claw finisher. Cage pulled a table out from underneath the ring and set it up on the floor. Cage set up for a powerbomb, but Page used barbed wire to stop him. Page wrapped the barbed wire around his hand and hit Cage with it and then hit him with a lariat. Nana entered the ring and slammed a chair over the back of Page, who no-sold it. Nana tried to run, but Page caught him on the apron. Nana tried to humor Page by doing his dance. Page grabbed Nana and gave him a Deadeye off the apron and through a table on the floor.
Swerve ran over and slammed a cinderblock over Page’s back that caused the block to turn to near dust. Swerve smiled as he sat on the floor. The referee counted. Page got to his knees. Swerve grabbed a chain and wrapped it around the neck of Page and then tossed the other end over the top turnbuckle. Swerve pulled on the chain to choke Page, who fell to the mat once Swerve released it. The referee counted Page down to end the match.
Swerve Strickland defeated Hangman Page in 29:55 in a Texas Death Match.
After the match, a weary Swerve had his arm raised by the referee. Swerve backed up the ramp while Cage checked on Nana, who was still selling the Deadeye through the table. Trainers removed the chain from around the neck of Page…
Powell’s POV: An awesome bloody brawl aside from the disappointing interference from Brian Cage. Nana saving Swerve was enough of an out from Page in my book. Nevertheless, they created the need for a violent brawl due to the nature of the storyline between the two and both men overdelivered. That match easily could have closed the show, particularly if it didn’t have the Cage interference. The only thing that worries me is that with Swerve winning, they may actually try to top this gore fest.
The broadcast team played up the new main event and questioned how Adam Cole could wrestle despite his ankle injury… A video package set up the Golden Jets vs. Young Bucks match and then entrances for the match took place. Per the match stipulations, the Omega and Jericho will gain the AEW Tag Team Title match the Bucks previously won if they are victorious, but they won’t be able to team together again if the Bucks win…
7. “The Golden Jets” Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson. Don Callis sat in on commentary. Omega performed an early flip dive onto Matt. Nick took out Omega with a knee strike. Jericho hit Nick with a springboard dropkick. Moments later, Nick put Jericho’s arm behind the ring steps and kicked the steps twice. The broadcast team said the Bucks were trying to take out Jericho’s Judas Effect arm, which had some blood on it.
Jericho hit the Bucks with a double clothesline and then sold his bad arm. Matt pulled Jericho’s arm into the ring post and continued to target it. The Bucks played to the crowd and were booed by the majority of the fans. Taz said it was wild to hear the Bucks booed in Los Angeles. Omega fought the Bucks for a stretch and had some success. Jericho got involved again and the Bucks continued to target his arm.
Matt tried to put Jericho in his own Walls of Jericho finisher, but Jericho countered into a pin. Jericho came back with the Walls of Jericho. Nick set up to springboard onto Jericho, but Omega stopped him. Jericho’s bad arm gave out, allowing Matt to slip out of the hold. Matt kicked Jericho’s bad arm several times. Excalibur played up Matt’s history of back injuries. Matt and Jericho traded strikes in the ring. Matt elbowed Jericho’s bad arm. Jericho caught Matt with a big boot.
Jericho went up top and jumped at Matt. Omega ran in and then Matt grabbed him and executed a double northern lights suplex. Nick suplexed Omega on the apron. Jericho spiked Matt’s face on the mat. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Nick stopped him. Matt held Jericho over the middle rope and then Nick performed a flip from the ropes into senton onto Jericho. Matt covered Jericho for a two count.
Jericho came back and stood over Matt on the ropes and then pulled him off with a huracanrana. While the referee was checking on Matt for no reason, Nick kicked Jericho in the balls. Omega protested. When he turned around, Matt kicked him in the balls. The fans booed. Matt hit Jericho with a Judas Effect and had him pinned, but Omega broke it up. Matt performed a springboard flip dive onto Omega on the floor. The Bucks hit Jericho with the BTE Trigger. Matt covered Jericho while Nick stopped Omega from returning, but Jericho kicked out.
The Bucks set up for a double team move, but Omega held onto Nick while Jericho rolled up Matt for a two count. Jericho hit Nick in the balls and then tagged out. Omega entered the ring and looked at Jericho leaning against the ropes on one side of the ring and Nick against the ropes on the other. Omega played up which wrestler he would target and eventually hit Nick with a V-Trigger.
Nick ended up hitting Omega with a Poison Rana. Matt performed a One Winged Angel on Omega and then Nick covered him for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. The Bucks set up for a Meltzer Driver on Omega, but Jericho broke it up. Omega executed a German suplex on Matt for a near fall. Matt set up for a V-Trigger, but Nick cut it off with a superkick. The Bucks threw superkicks at both opponents. Omega hit a ripcord knee strike on Matt and then hit him with the One Winged Angel and pinned him…
“The Golden Jets” Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho beat “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson in 20:50 to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles.
After the match, Nick threw a fit and tossed a chair at ringside. Nick pulled the top piece off the broadcast table. Omega tried to offer the Bucks a handshake, but they wanted nothing to do with it. Matt took his shoe off and threw it in the direction of the broadcast table. Matt left the ring and slammed a chair against the ring post repeatedly. Nick tossed his shoes into the crowd. Jericho and Omega held up their arms in the ring while the Bucks continued to throw a tantrum at ringside.
Powell’s POV: The crowd seemed exhausted coming out of the previous match. The work of both teams won them over and the fans seemed fully invested by the time the finish took place. It’s probably a product of the long show, but there were a couple of times when I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the kickouts later in the match. The Bucks throwing tantrums is comical. I hope they were paying attention to the way Zack Sabre Jr. had meltdowns after losses in NJPW.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside. McGuinness said Jay White had an ironclad contract for a title match at Full Gear, and if he didn’t get the title match, then he would be awarded the championship…
Justin Roberts stood in the ring to deliver introductions for the main event. Adam Cole came out wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and his ROH Tag Team Title belt. Cole used crutches to get to the ring and had a walking boot on his left foot. Jay White made his entrance and was joined on the stage by Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn. The trio mocked Cole by limping as they walked down the ramp. Roberts delivered in-ring introductions.
Before the referee could call for the bell, an ambulance siren could be heard. MJF was shown on the big screen driving an ambulance. The broadcast team assumed that MJF stole the ambulance. White and Cole both looked surprised. MJF limped onto the stage and a group of AEW officials who apparently don’t mind Cole wrestling on a bad wheel tried to stop MJF from doing the same. MJF had his left calf heavily wrapped. MJF and Cole hugged, and it appeared that Cole did his dagger to the back hand gesture while doing so…
8. MJF (w/Adam Cole) vs. Jay White (w/Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn) for the AEW World Championship. MJF threw a punch and fell over while the broadcast team explained that he had nothing behind the punch due to his leg injury. White tossed MJF to the floor and then distracted the referee while the Gunns put the boots to him. White covered MJF once he was back inside the ring and got a two count.
White tossed MJF back to the floor. The Gunns went after him. MJF fought back, but he was victim to the numbers advantage. The Gunns threw MJF back inside the ring where White covered him for another two count. White sent MJF back to ringside again. The Gunns set up to hit his bad leg with a chair, but they stopped when the referee spotted them. The referee ejected the Gunns from ringside.
White taunted Cole at ringside. Once he was back in the ring, White removed MJF’s t-shirt and threw it at Cole. White threw punches at MJF, who called him a piece of shit. White kicked MJF’s leg out from under him. MJF caught White with an elbow and a clothesline and then bodyslammed him. MJF mounted White in the corner and threw punches at him and then bit his forehead.
MJF signaled for the Kangaroo Kick and then winced. MJF performed the Kangaroo Kick to clear White from the ring, which drew a big pop from the crowd. McGuinness pointed out that Cole encouraged MJF to do a dive and asked if Cole was out of his mind. MJF ran the ropes for the dive, but White returned to the ring and kicked his bad leg again.
White dominated MJF for a stretch. MJF fought back at ringside and dropped White with a DDT. MJF cleared the broadcast table. When he placed White on top of the table, it collapsed. MJF opted to go up top and drop an elbow on White, who was on the floor. Damn.
The referee checked on both men and then returned to the ring and started to count. MJF threw White back inside the ring. Excalibur said MJF didn’t want to win on a technicality. When MJF tried to return to the ring, White hit him with a dragon screw leg whip. White put MJF in the tree of woe and took shots at him. White went up top above MJF and pulled back his kneepad, but MJF sat up and suplexed White into the ring.
MJF pounded on the mat and then pulled himself up to the top turnbuckle. White hit MJF from behind. White went up top and performed a uranage, then covered MJF for a near fall. White threw chops at MJF, who got to his feet. White chopped MJF again, but MJF barked at him and called for more. White gouged the eyes of MJF, who returned the favor.
White came back with a Flatliner and a release German suplex. White set up MJF for his finisher, but MJF avoided it and rolled up White, who rolled him over, and then MJF rolled him over again for a two count. MJF put White down with a tombstone piledriver. Cole shouted encouragement to MJF as both men got to their feet.
Moments later, MJF went for a Heat Seeker, but White shoved him off. With White on the apron, MJF ran across the ring and jumped over the top rope and pulled White from the apron while executing a cutter when both men landed on the floor. An “MJF” chant broke out. Cole encouraged MJF again. MJF rolled White inside the ring and covered him for a two count.
MJF pulled the wrap from his calf and then lowered his kneepad and banged on his knee. MJF tried to pick up White from the mat, but he released him and sold knee pain. MJF tried and failed again. The referee had the trainer check on MJF, who flipped him off and told him no. Apparently, that’s all it takes, as the trainer shrugged his shoulders and moved on.
White executed a dragon screw leg whip. White spat at Cole and then applied a Figure Four. White threw punches at MJF’s bad knee. Cole clutched MJF’s t-shirt and pondered whether to throw it in. MJF told Cole not to do it while he was still locked in the hold. MJF nearly reached the ropes, but White pulled him back to the middle of the ring. MJF ended up on his back and sat up at the referee’s two count.
MJF fought and eventually rolled over the Figure Four. White eventually reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Cole grabbed his ROH Tag Team Title belt. He tried to hit White with it, but White took it away and hit MJF with it instead. It wasn’t clear how, but the referee somehow missed this. White covered MJF for a great near fall. Another “MJF” chant broke out.
White tried to pull MJF to the middle of the ring, but MJF held onto the bottom rope. White lost his grip and collided with the referee. REF BUMP!!! Cole tried to give MJF the Dynamite Diamond Ring, but White stopped MJF from getting it. White took the ring and put it on and tried to hit MJF with it, but MJF hit him with a low blow.
Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn ran out. MJF hit both of them with Dynamite Diamond Ring shots. White went for his finisher, but MJF avoided it and hit White with the ring and covered him. The referee came to and counted the pin…
MJF defeated Jay White in 29:45 to retain the AEW World Championship.
After the match, MJF celebrated with his title belt and Cole. Excalibur said MJF will make it to a year as champion. A security guard helped MJF up the ramp while Cole followed on his crutches. “All Elite Wrestling is real professional wrestling and I am the All Elite Wrestling World Champion. I f—ing love you sickos.” Unfortunately, Excalibur wouldn’t shut the hell up while MJF was talking into the camera. MJF got to his feet and had a moment with Cole while Excalibur continued to ramble on about Dynamite to close the show…
Powell’s POV: You had to turn your brain off when it came to the logic of Adam Cole being allowed to wrestle, yet security trying to stop MJF from doing the same. And there were some times when MJF’s offense was unrealistic considering the injury he was playing up. But this worked. The live crowd ate it up. MJF put in a terrific performance watching him retain his title made for a satisfying conclusion to the show.
Overall, another strong AEW pay-per-view. The weekly television shows are hit and miss, but the company continues to deliver strong pay-per-view events. I will have a lot more to say when Jake Barnett and I will team up shortly for our same night audio review of Full Gear for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let us know what you thought of the show by voting for the best match and grading the overall event below.