AEW Full Gear Zero Hour pre-show results: MJF and Samoa Joe vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn for the ROH Tag Titles, Eddie Kingston vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH Title, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Buddy Matthews

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Full Gear Zero Hour Pre-Show
Aired live November 18, 2023 on AEW social media platforms
Los Angeles, California at the Kia Forum

Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary and turned things over to ring announcer Bobby Cruise for the introductions of the opening match…

1. Eddie Kingston vs. Jay Lethal (w/Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, Satnam Singh, Sonjay Dutt) for the ROH Championship. Stokely Hathaway sat in on commentary and said Kingston makes him sick. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor handshake. Kingston clotheslined Lethal over the top rope to the floor. Jeff and Dutt dared Kingston to come to ringside.

Kingston turned around and then Lethal rushed back to the ring to blindside him, but Kingston saw him coming. Both men traded chops. Kingston got the better of it and then Lethal went back to the floor. Lethal pulled Kingston to ringside and ran him into the ring post. Lethal returned to the ring and did the strut while Jeff and Dutt did it on the apron.

Once Kingston was back in the ring, Lethal distracted the referee and then Dutt snuck in a cheap shot. Lethal suplexed Kingston into the corner and then covered him for a two count. Lethal threw chops at Kingston, who came back with an exploder suplex. Kingston hit Lethal with a series of chops in the corner and then hit him with a running boot to the face before covering him for a two count.

Lethal came back briefly and went for the Lethal Injection. Kingston stuffed it and performed a Saito suplex and a uranage slam. Dutt climbed onto the apron. Kingston knocked Dutt off the apron and onto Jedd on the floor. Lethal took advantage of the distraction and put Kingston down.

Karen climbed onto the apron and distracted the referee. Meanwhile, Kingston and Lethal crawled to reach a guitar that was left on the other side of the ring. Ortiz appeared at ringside and slammed the guitar over Dutt’s head. Kingston stuffed another Lethal Injection and countered into a half and half suplex. Kingston followed up with a spinning back fist and scored the pin…

Eddie Kingston defeated Jay Lethal in 10:55 to retain the ROH Championship.

After the match, Kingston and Ortiz joined Renee Paquette and RJ City on the entrance ramp. Kingston called Hathaway a baldheaded bitch and thanked the LA crowd. After Kingston and Ortiz, Hathaway stood by Paquette and City while they ran through the pay-per-view lineup…

Powell’s POV: A decent opener. I was hoping we’d get the old Lethal for one night since he was going for the ROH Championship, but it was what’s become the norm with all the distractions and interference from his sidekicks.

A video package aired on the Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley match for the AEW International Championship…

Dasha took over as the ring announcer for the second match…

2. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Buddy Matthews. Both men walked toward one another once the bell rang. Matthews removed his jacket and teased turning back to his corner, but he threw the jacket at Castagnoli and attacked him. Castagnoli recovered and set up for the giant swing, but Matthews avoided it and darted to ringside. Castagnoli followed Matthews to the floor where they took turns running each other into the barricade. Castagnoli caught Matthews with an uppercut and then tossed Matthews back inside the ring.

A short time later, Castagnoli caught Matthews with a big boot. Castagnoli set up for the swing again, but Matthews kicked him. Castagnoli tried again, but Matthews rolled him into a pin for a two count. Castagnoli came right back with an uppercut and got a two count of his own. Catagnoli eventually executed the giant swing.

Matthews battled back and performed a Jackhammer style move for a near fall before hooking in a crossface. Castagnoli, who had a small cut on his head, powered up Matthews and hit him with a TKO. Castagnoli followed up with a running uppercut and got a two count. He followed up with another uppercut and a big powerbomb before applying the Sharpshooter. Matthews nearly reached the ropes, but Castagnoli dragged him back to the middle of the ring and forced him to submit…

Claudio Castagnoli defeated Buddy Matthews in 10:30.

After the match, Castagnoli celebrated his win. Matthews recovered and approached him. Castagnoli extended his hand, but Matthews blew him off and bumped his shoulder into Castagnoli while exiting the ring. Castagnoli brushed off his shoulder and then did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture while Matthews headed to the back…

Powell’s POV: A good match. They worked hard, but they didn’t try to steal the show, which I consider to be the right approach for a pre-show match. Dot Net’s John Moore is attending the show tonight and said people yelling “Adam” is like the AEW fan version of LA Knight’s “yeah” chants.

A video package aired on the feud between Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Nick Wayne with Adam Copeland, Sting, and Darby Allin…

Justin Roberts took over the ring announcing duties for the ROH Tag Team Title match…

3. MJF and Samoa Joe vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn for the ROH Tag Team Titles. MJF wore a “He’s Out Scumbag” t-shirt and gear in LA Lakers colors. MJF got the better of both Gunns and then told Joe that he didn’t need his help. Joe tagged himself in. MJF wasn’t happy. MJF and Joe punched the Gunns off the apron and then Joe hit them both with a suicide dive, which got a big pop from the crowd.

Joe worked over the Gunns inside the ring and then made a friendly tag. Colten clotheslined MJF and brought him to the Gunns’ corner. Austin tagged in and acted annoyed by “Ass Boys” chants. The Gunns isolated MJF for a stretch. MJF sent both Gunns to ringside and crawled toward his corner. The Gunns returned, but MJF eluded them and tagged out. Joe powerslammed Austin and covered him for a two count.

Joe placed Austin on the top turnbuckle. MJF tagged himself in and asked the crowd who wanted the Muscle Buster. MJF went for the move, but Colten ran in and dropkicked him. The Gunns wanted to hit their finisher, but MJF caught them with a double DDT. MJF teased the Kangaroo Kick, but Joe tagged himself in. Joe and MJF spoke for a moment and then nodded. They both went for Muscle Busters, but the Gunns slipped away and shoved MJF and Joe into one another.

The Gunns hit the 3:10 to Yuma on Joe. Colten went for the pin and the ref counted even though his legs were under the ropes, but MJF pulled Colten to ringside to break the pin. The Gunns roughed up MJF on the floor and sent him face first onto the ring post. The Gunns set up for their finisher.

Adam Cole’s entrance music played and he came out using crutches with his left foot in a cast. Joe put a distracted Austin in the Koquina Clutch and got the submission win.

MJF and Samoa Joe defeated Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn in 9:25 to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles.

After the match, MJF went to ringside and hugged Cole. MJF returned to the ring and went face to face with Joe, who spoke to him and then shook his hand before exiting the ring. MJF played to the crowd and the knelt down and shook hands with Cole, who was at ringside. The Gunns attacked MJF.

Austin grabbed a chair from underneath the ring. Colten held MJF’s leg while Austin slammed a chair over it twice. They wrapped MJF’s leg in a chair and then Austin leapt from the middle rope onto it while a helpless Cole watched from ringside. The referee motioned for help. The trainers checked on MJF and then a stretcher was brought out. MJF was wheeled to the back and into an ambulance where he begged Cole not to let them take his championship. Cole promised that he wouldn’t let it happen…

Powell’s POV: A fun match with a nice surprise appearance by Cole. The angle at the end of the show was effective in terms of planting some seeds of doubt regarding MJF’s health heading into the main event of the pay-per-view.

Join me for my live review of the AEW Full Gear pay-per-view in a separate report available via the main page.


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