The John Report: AEW Full Gear 2023 Review

aew full gear 2023 review tjrwrestling

It’s AEW Full Gear with MJF defending the World Title against Jay White, plus several more title matches.

This is the fifth AEW Full Gear pay-per-view. Prior to this year, it was the last AEW PPV on the calendar, but they will also be doing the Worlds End PPV on December 30th as well. I ordered it on FITE TV as usual here in Canada and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve reviewed every AEW PPV there has ever been and paid for them all. Most AEW PPVs are four hours long, which means a lot of writing for me and I don’t watch the Pre-Show matches.

Here are the ZERO HOUR pre-show results.

* Eddie Kingston defeated Jay Lethal by pinfall to retain the ROH Championship.

* Claudio Castagnoli defeated Buddy Matthews by submission.

* MJF & Samoa Joe defeated The Gunns to retain the ROH Tag Team Championships. Adam Cole’s music hit, The Gunns were distracted, Cole emerged with crutches and his left ankle in a boot. Joe caught Colten Gunn in a Coquina Clutch for the submission win. After the match, The Gunns attacked MJF’s left knee with a steel chair. Cole watched on from ringside unable to do anything. The medical team checked on MJF, who was taken away in an ambulance.

That was the end of the ZERO HOUR pre-show.

AEW Full Gear
Saturday, November 18, 2023
From the KIA Forum in Los Angeles, California

There was a video package highlighting the big matches coming up on the show. Some AEW PPVs don’t have that. I like a quick video like that.

It’s Saturday and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show with Nigel McGuinness and Tony Schiavone.

They showed the pre-show attack that saw The Gunns destroy MJF’s left knee with a steel chair. MJF was taken away in an ambulance while telling Adam Cole not to let them take away his championship.

There was a children’s choir on the stage that sang part of Christian Cage’s theme song. Christian Cage made his entrance as the TNT Champion joined by Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne. They showed actor Ken Jeong at ringside with a thumbs down gesture for Christian’s team.

Ric Flair made his AEW PPV debut entrance to support his pal Sting. Adam Copeland, Sting & Darby Allin all had baseball bats with them while entering to Adam’s theme song. Adam had the right side of his face painted, Allin the left side and Sting his whole face of course. Steve O from Jackass was there. The fans did a nice job of singing Copeland’s song.

Sting, Adam Copeland & Darby Allin (w/Ric Flair) vs. Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Nick Wayne

It was 12 minutes into the show when the bell rang. Allin was in control of Wayne with an armbar early on. Allin hit an armdrag on Wayne. The 64-year-old Sting tagged in against the 18-year-old Wayne and they left the ring where Sting sent Wayne into the barricade. Christian tagged in, Sting brought in Adam and Christian brought Luchasaurus into the match. Luchasaurus nailed Adam with a running clothesline. Adam hit a legsweep followed by a neckbreaker. Allin tagged in, Luchasaurus overpowered him and hit an uppercut. Christian did a necksnap to Allin. Luchasaurus picked up Allin and gave him a Chokeslam onto the ring apron. That was wild. Christian tagged in leading to some punches and stomping. Wayne was back in with a kick to the back of the shoulder along with a backbreaker. Luchasaurus worked over Allin with chops, Wayne was back in and he hit a senton splash on Allin for two. Allin tried to fight out of the heel corner and he hit an impressive Code Red to Wayne off the middle turnbuckle. Christian pulled Adam off the apron and threw Adam into the ring post. Luchasaurus also clotheslined Sting on the floor. Chrisitan worked over Allin with chops along with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Christian and Allin did a collision spot to knock each other down.

Adam tagged in, Luchasaurus made the tag and Christian bailed. Adam hit an Impaler DDT on Luchasaurus along with a shoulder tackle knocking Luchasaurus off the apron. Adam tossed Wayne over the top onto Luchasaurus and Allin hit a dive onto the two guys on the floor. Sting did a clothesline on the two opponents on the floor. Adam charged, Luchasaurus caught him, Sting into the ring illegally and the faces each punched Luchasaurus. Sting and Adam did a Scorpion Death Drop/elbow drop on Luchasaurus. The faces did a triple team attack to knock down Wayne too. Luchasaurus was back up to toss Allin into the turnbuckle and clothesline Adam in the back of the head. Flair got into an argument with Christian on the floor. They exchanged punches, Christian did an eye poke and Christian did a low blow uppercut punch. The referee checked on Flair, so Christian tried to hit Adam with the TNT Title. Adam moved, so Christian hit Luchasaurus with the title instead. Christian left through the crowd. Adam hit a Spear on Luchasaurus and Allin hit a Coffin Drop off the top onto Luchasaurus. Adam covered Luchasaurus for the pinfall win at 15:10.

Winners by pinfall: Sting, Adam Copeland & Darby Allin

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with an obvious result since the heels were going to lose this match, but I have to admit I thought Wayne would get pinned instead of Luchasaurus. It doesn’t really matter that much. It was a traditional tag team match where the face in peril mattered and built up to the hot tag very well. The story was all about Chrisitan Cage running away from Adam Copeland throughout the match with Christian avoiding any physical contact with Adam. They can build up to that in the future, I’m sure. Sting really didn’t do much in the match, but that’s probably the smart thing considering his age.

Darby Allin did a promo saying this was Sting’s “last f**king time wrestling in California so let’s hear some f**king noise.” Sting was hugging his son in the crowd. Sting went into the ring and the fans cheered for him. Sting did some “WOO” shouting to the fans. There were some “Thank You Sting” chants too.

There was a Draftkings contest plug from Lexy Nair and RJ City talking about the prizes available.

AEW World Title Announcement

Tony Schiavone was at the top of the stage with AEW referee Bryce Remsburg. They brought out Jay White with the AEW World Title that belonged to MJF. Tony told Jay to settle down. Tony said that he hates to say this, but unfortunately, MJF is injured and he will not be able to defend the title here tonight. The fans booed. Tony said the match between MJF and Jay White has been canceled. Tony said that by default, the new AEW World Champion is Jay…but here comes Adam Cole.

Adam Cole was on the stage with crutches and his left foot in a boot since he broke his ankle. Cole said there is no way that White is leaving with the championship. Cole said that if MJF can’t defend the championship then Cole will do it for him. Cole said one leg or not, the main event for the AEW World Championship is Jay White against Adam Cole. White was happy about that. White bragged about taking out Cole before and he’ll take him out for good. White took the AEW World Title with him.

Analysis: It’s an interesting storyline to see if the babyface AEW World Champion MJF will come back to defend his title or if they go with something else. I like it. AEW needs more stories surrounding their big matches, so I have no problem with it and I’m interested to see how it plays out.

Taz joined commentary with Excalibur and Nigel McGuinness.

A video package aired to set up the AEW International Title match between Orange Cassidy and Jon Moxley, who beat Orange at All Out in September.

Orange Cassidy was up first as the International Champion with FTW Champion Hook with him. Jon Moxley entered from the back part of the arena with Wheeler Yuta joining him. Moxley had a bandage on his head.

AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy (w/Hook) vs. Jon Moxley (w/Wheeler Yuta)

Moxley worked over Orange with forearms followed by Moxley tossing Orange out of the ring. Moxley worked over Orange a bit on the floor and in the front row. They went into the ring. Orange got some kicks, but Moxley hit a Bossman Slam for two. Moxley set up Orange on the top rope followed by the dreaded back rake along with some face biting. Strange. Orange did his own back rake and face biting. Moxley with headbutts that were into his own hand, but Orange sold it well. Orange did repeated headbutts (into his hand) and Moxley’s bandage came off, so Moxley was bleeding from the forehead as usual. Orange hit a superplex followed by a diving DDT off the top. Orange hit a spinning DDT for just one. Orange delivered kicks to the chest, Moxley missed an attack and Orange hit a running suicide dive to knock Moxley onto the commentary table. Orange hit another suicide dive to knock Moxley back toward the table. The fans chanted “one more time” so Orange punched Moxley and hit a third suicide dive this time with a forearm. Moxley was bleeding heavily. Orange countered a Moxley move with Stundog Millionaire, which Moxley didn’t sell because Moxley worked over Orange with elbow smashes. Moxley delivered repeated forearms while Orange was blocking them. Orange countered Moxley choke attempt. They countered eachother and Orange delivered a kick. Orange applied the Red Rum that Hook uses, but Moxley got to the ropes. Moxley pulled the top turnbuckle pad off to expose the steel buckle. Moxley hit a Cutter on Orange followed by a Cradle Piledriver for two. Moxley mocked Orange with the weak kicks, then Orange put his hands in his pockets and Moxley charged right into the steel buckle. Orange dropkicked Moxley into the turnbuckle. Moxley sold it like he was dazed. Orange hit the Orange Punch three times and a rollup with Orange sitting on top for two. Orange hit another Orange Punch and a fifth Orange Punch. Orange hit a sixth Orange Punch followed by Beach Break for the one…two…and three. Orange Cassidy gets the clean win at 12:04.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very physical match with Moxley bleeding as usual. It took Orange Cassidy hitting Moxley with the Orange Punch six times to finally put Moxley away. There aren’t a lot of guys that have beaten Moxley clean, so that win really puts over Orange in a big way. Moxley no sold some of Orange’s offense in the match, but then at the end Moxley did sell and that meant a lot because it showed that Orange was wearing him down. I thought that Moxley might beat Orange again, but I don’t mind this result because Orange does a good job of holding this championship.

Post match, the BCC guys checked on Moxley while Best Friends and Hook checked on Hook. Wheeler Yuta bumped into Hook, so that should lead to a match between them.

A graphic was shown saying that Adam Cole was defending the AEW World Championship against Jay White.

It was announced that Mark Briscoe was the next man that’s in the Continental Classic tournament.

The Women’s Title match was next with “Timeless” Toni Storm up first with a black & white entrance. Storm was joined by Luther. Storm is a two-time AEW Women’s Champion. Hikaru Shida was up next as the AEW Women’s Champion with the fans cheering her.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida vs. Toni Storm (w/Luther)

There isn’t much of a story here other than Toni is one of the few women in AEW with a gimmick, so she’s in a title match. Shida sent Storm into the turnbuckle followed by a jumping knee smash. Storm came back with some chops of her own with the fans cheering her. Storm hit a running bulldog. Storm did a wind up leading to an elbow strike. They showed newcomer Mariah May watching on a TV backstage. They did the forearm exchange spot, then Shida ran the ropes and hit a jumping knee smash. Shida delivered very weak looking strikes while against the turnbuckle. Shida hit a missile dropkick for two. Shida went to the ropes for nothing and Storm slammed her down. Luther put a shoe in Storm’s trunks. Storm had another shoe in her hand, the referee took that away and Storm hit Shida with a shoe for a two count. Good nearfall. Shida countered a Storm move with a Strong Zero move where she sat on Storm’s chest onto the mat. Shida delivered some strikes, then a kick to the head and a Falcon Arrow slam for two. Storm trapped Shida in an Ankle Lock with the announcers putting over how Storm normally didn’t use that move. Storm took off Shida’s left shoe, then Shida hit Storm with a forearm and Storm threw the shoe into the crowd. Shida teased using a kendo stick, Luther grabbed her and Shida hit Luther repeatedly. Storm had some metal tray that she put in her tights. The referee should be able to see it, but did not apparently. Shida countered a move into a pin attempt for two. Storm hit a German Suplex. Storm hit the running hip attack with the metal object and Storm covered Shida for the pinfall win. The referee couldn’t see the metal object even though it was hanging out of Storm’s wardrobe…apparently. Sure. Anyway, that was it. It went 10:25.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW AEW Women’s Champion: Toni Storm

Analysis: **3/4 A cheap win for a heel character that is cheered by the fans because of how unique Storm is. I give Toni Storm credit for being an entertaining character and pulling it off well. Shida really didn’t need to have a very long title reign anyway and I figured this was going to be a title change. With that said, the referee somehow not being able to see a metal object hanging out of Storm’s tights is a faulty finish. It’s just a bit sloppy and illogical to me.

The win means that “Timeless” Toni Storm is the three-time AEW Women’s World Champion. Mariah May walked out with flowers that she presented to Storm. As Storm celebrated, it was still the black & white screen. Storm still had the metal object in her tights.

Eddie Kingston was interviewed by Renee Paquette. Eddie said that he was looking forward to the Continental Classic tournament. Eddie said that he’s going to put the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship and ROH World Championship on the line in his Classic tournament matches. Kingston said that the winner gets a Continental Championship too. The tournament starts this Wednesday on AEW Dynamite.

Analysis: That’s cool by Eddie Kingston as a fighting champion who is willing to put his titles on the line in the tournament matches.

The Ladder Match was next with the AEW Tag Team Titles hanging above the ring. Malakai Black & Brody King were up first as the Kings of the Black Throne. La Facción Ingobernable (LFI) was next with Rush and Dralisitico joined by Preston Vance and Jose The Assistant. Rush’s son was with them. The FTR duo of Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler were next. The championship team of Ricky Starks & Big Bill were up last.

AEW Tag Team Championships Ladder Match: Ricky Starks & Big Bill vs. La Facción Ingobernable (Rush & Dralístico) vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. Kings of the Black Throne (Malakai Black & Brody King)

There were ladders surrounding the ringside area. Bill and King faced off early, but then the other guys got involved. Dax and Black were exchanging chops in the ring while Wheeler knocked King down on the floor. Dax used a ladder to send Starks into the barricade while Black used the ladder to swing it into Dax’s face. Rush and Cash exchanged strikes. Rush headbutted Wheeler into the ropes and Cash avoided a running dropkick. Cash ran the ropes, Dralisitico did a leapfrog and Cash hit a dive onto a bunch of guys on the floor. Dralistico hit a somersault dive over the top onto three guys on the floor. Black hit a moonsault off the middle rope onto two guys on the floor. Dax gave Starks a superplex onto a pile of guys on the floor, so everybody was laying down on the floor to sell it. Bill and King each put ladders into the ring. Bill and King had a staredown in the ring as they did the exchange strikes routine. There were “MEAT” chants as the guys each hit forearms to the back. Rush & Dax went into the ring with ladders leading to some ladder smashing into the big guys. Dax tossed a ladder onto Rush. Dax used the ladder as a weapon to knock some guys down until Dralistico jumped off the top with a missile dropkick. Dralistico hit a spinning kick on Cash to knock Wheeler down. Dralistico set up a ladder under the titles, but Cash shoved the ladder away. Rush worked over Cash with kicks followed by a pose, which drew cheers from the fans. Cash caught a charging Rush and hit a powerslam. Black stopped Cash during a climb attempt. Cash sent Black into a vertical ladder. Black sling-shotted the ladder into Cash’s face. Black punched Cash onto the ladder that was bridged against the ropes. King blasted Dax with repeated chops and threw Dax down. Cash knocked King off the apron to the floor. Cash hit a low blow on Black to prevent a move off the turnbuckle. Cash hit a piledriver on Black on the ladder drive. The fans chanted “holy shit” for the move.

Black went for a suicide dive on Bill, but Bill had a ladder in his hands and King went crashing into that title. Starks was cleaning house on the other guys in the match with Starks hitting a Spear on both LFI guys. Starks hit a DDT on Cash. Starks worked over both FTR guys including a backdrop driver. Black hit Starks with a back elbow, but Starks came back with a back body drop onto the ladder. King sent Starks and Dax into the ladder against the ropes. King was bleeding from the head. King hit a cannonball on Dax on the ladder. King tried a climb, but Bill pushed the ladder over to send King onto a ladder. Dralisitico hit a couple of kicks to Bill along with the double knee attack. Bill caught Dralistico and spiked him with a Chokeslam. Rush used a ladder as a weapon on Bill. Rush hit the Bull’s Horns dropkick into the ladder on Bill. Starks was back in to fight Rush on the floor. Starks had blood around his chest due to all the chops. There were three ladders set up in the ring under the titles, so six guys did the climb. King shoved the ladders over to stop that for Bill and Dax. Black got Dralistico off a ladder, but Dralistico hit a reverse rana. King got a hold of Dralistico and hit him with a Ganso Bomb onto a ladder bridge. Cash put King on a ladder bridge and Cash jumped off the top with a Superfly Splash on Bill on the ladder bridge. Black pulled Dax off the ladder and Black hit him with a spin kick. Cash knocked Black out of the ring. Cash climbed against Starks and Starks punched Cash to knock him down. That was an anticlimactic ending with Starks pulling down the titles to win. It went 20:35.

Winners by retrieving the titles: Ricky Starks & Big Bill

Analysis: **** It was a great match with a lot of weapon usage throughout the match. There really wasn’t a lot of climbing, so that hurts a bit because that’s the point of the match. It’s like having a 20-minute match without a lot of pin attempts. They need to show they are trying to win instead of just doing spots. That finish was very anticlimactic since it was just Starks punching Cash to knock him down. I thought it could have been more creative. With all that said, all eight guys had moments to shine, they did very well in terms of creativity and a lot of big bumps. Nice job by the wrestlers, but I still think they could have tried to reach for the titles more.

A commercial aired for the AEW Worlds End PPV on Saturday, December 30th. It’s in Long Island, New York where MJF is from.

TBS Championship: Kris Statlander vs. Skye Blue vs. Julia Hart

Kris has been the champion for about six months. I missed the first few minutes in the match. Hart and Blue each hit hurricanrana’s on Kris on the floor. After Kris got back into the ring, the challengers hit superkicks on Kris to knock her out of the ring. Blue and Hart are both young and have face painting designs. Blue and Hart shook hands, but then Hart attacked Blue with punches. Blue turned it around with punches along with a running kick. Kris hit an uppercut on Hart and a knee to Blue. The three women all did spots in the ring with Blue hitting a neckbreaker and Hart hit a back elbow on Blue. All three women were down selling. They were back up with Blue hitting a superkick while Hart was against the turnbuckle. Kris was back up with a lariat along with a sitout Michinoku Driver for two. That looked like a three count, but I guess Hart kicked out. Kris caught a leaping Blue and Kris slammed Blue hard into the mat. Hart went up top and hit a moonsault on Blue for two because Kris broke it up. It was obvious that spot was coming. Kris gave Hart a powerslam on the floor. Blue hit a running kick on Kris followed by a spinning kick. Kris caught Blue leading to a move attempt, but Blue avoided a move. Blue bounced off the ropes leading to a Code Blue for the two count. Hart was back in with a kick for Blue and a running clothesline to Kris. Hart applied the Hartless submission move on Blue, but Kris broke it up with a deadlift German Suplex on Hart. Kris hit four German Suplexes in a row – two each for both women. Blue didn’t sell much and nearly got a nearfall. Kris hit the Saturday Night Fever piledriver on Blue. Hart clotheslined Kris and Hart covered Blue for the win. It went 10:25.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW TBS Champion: Julia Hart

Analysis: *** A triple threat match is a way to do a title change without having the champion lose. As soon as this was announced, I figured Hart was winning by beating Blue. That’s what the finish was with Hart capitalizing on Statlander hitting her finisher, but Hart was there to clothesline Kris and then Hart stole the pin to win. It felt like the right time for a title change since Kris was the champion for six months and Hart has never been a champion before. They worked hard and had an entertaining match.

Julia Hart celebrated with her TBS Title while Kris Statlander was frustrated about losing without getting beat.

AEW Contract Signing Announcement

Tony Schiavone was in the ring while a fan behind him held a “Fire Tony Schiavone” sign. That’s not nice. Tony introduced the newest member of All Elite Wrestling…it’s Will Ospreay.

Will Ospreay made his entrance wearing a black jacket along with a white shirt. The fans popped for Ospreay as he got into the ring. Ospreay took the pen that Tony had and Ospreay signed the contract. Ospreay did a promo:

“It feels great! Listen up. I’m happy to be a part of the team, but I am not going to come in just yet. When I was 22 years old, I was part of New Japan Pro Wrestling. I’m 30 years old now, so I’m begging all of you, let me finish up, and then I’ll be on the road to Revolution. And then I’ll be all yours, but more importantly, I am All Elite, bruv! Mr. Tony Khan, do us a favor. Line up the best that you got, especially for Wembley Stadium, because I’m going to show ‘em all what elite really looks like, bruv!”

Will celebrated as the fans cheered.

Analysis: It wasn’t exactly a surprise since it was leaked a few days ago. Ospreay is an outstanding performer that is in the prime of his career and he can have an awesome match with just about anybody at this point. Will is probably going to lose some NJPW matches before he starts in AEW when his deal is up in February and that’s fine. I think fans can be patient a bit. Will is awesome. I’m happy for him.

The video package aired for the Adam Page-Swerve Strickland match.

Texas Death Match: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland

This match has been built up very well. I’m looking forward to it. I missed the beginning of it and joined when Page tossed a chair at Swerve’s head. Page used duct tape to tape up Swerve’s hands. Page used a stale gun to put some staples into Swerve’s chest. Page continued to put staples into Swerve’s upper body. Page delivered a safe chair shot to the head where his hand was at the end of the chair so it was really Page’s hand hitting Swerve. That led to Swerve bleeding while hands were taped. Page stapled one of his son’s finger painting papers onto Swerve’s head. Page went underneath Swerve’s head, opened up his mouth and Swerve’s blood went into Page’s mouth. Gross. The fans were freaking out chanting “holy shit” for that. Page went for an attack with the barbed wire steel cage, but Swerve kicked Page in the groin for a low blow. Prince Nana got scissors to cut the tape to free Swerve’s hands. Page more staples onto Swerve, who got a hold of the stapler and stapled Page’s head. Swerve used the staple gun to put some on his own chest while he fans were in awe of that. Swerve wedged the barbed wire steel chair against the turnbuckle. Swerve sent Page headfirst into the barbed wire chair. Swerve used some barbed wire to grind into Page’s head. Swerve grabbed a cinderblock and brought it into the ring. Swerve was on the apron while Page punched him repeatedly. Swerve pulled Page over the top to the apron. Page with punches, Swerve bit the forehead and Swerve gave Page a Death Valley Driver onto the cinderblock that was on the apron. Ouch. Referee Paul Turner was counting Page down on the floor, but Page was back up before the ten count. Swerve was a bloody mess with his whole head bleeding. They went to the barricade by the fans and Swerve delivered a piledriver on the barricade. They zoomed in on Swerve’s face and he was bleeding so much.

They went back into the ring as both guys sold fatigue while also exchanging punches. Swerve hit a boot to the head but Page came back with a fallaway slam. Page wasn’t able to do a kip up after that like he usually does. Swerve tried an attack, but Page caught him leading to another fallaway slam. Page used the barbed wire against the head of Swerve. Page put the barbed wire around Swerve’s waist leading to another fallaway slam. They got a great shocked fan reaction face. Swerve was on the floor, so Page went up to the middle turnbuckle with the barbed wire chair and Page jumped onto Swerve with the chair attack. Ouch. That also looked amazing. The fans chanted “this is awesome” and I agree with them. Page tried a Buckshot Lariat, Nana held his foot for a moment, Page kicked Nana away and that allowed Swerve to avoid the Buckshot Lariat. Swerve kicked a chair into Page’s face. They fought over a barbed wire steel chair with Page hitting a Tombstone Piledriver on the steel chair while Page’s knees hit the chair. Swerve managed to get back up with an assist to Nana. Page hit Swerve with the barbed wire chair to the back. They fought by the turnbuckle, Swerve got out of a move that Page was trying and Swerve hit Page in the back with the barbed wire chair. Swerve hit a Powerbomb on the barbed wire chair! Swerve hit the Swerve Stomp off the top onto Hangman on the barbed wire chair! That was wild. At one point when Swerve hit Page with the chair, the barbed wire was in Page’s hair. Page got back up and then fell back down. Swerve with another barbed wire chair shot to the back.

Swerve grabbed the infamous black bag from under the ring. Swerve poured a bag of glass onto Page’s back. Swerve hit a 450 Splash onto Page’s back onto the glass! Swerve hit the JML Driver so that Page’s back went crashing onto the glass on the mat. The referee counted Page down and Page got back up using the ropes. Taz: “What the hell is going on here?” It continued. Swerve clotheslined Page over the top to the floor. Swerve brought a barbed wire board into the ring while also using two chairs to make a barbed wire board bridge. Swerve lifted up Page by the turnbuckle, Page fought back with elbows and Page bit Swerve again. Page went up top and drove Swerve through the barbed wire board with a fallaway slam to the mat. Page hit a Powerbomb onto the barbed wire and the Deadeye onto the barbed wire, which is really just Page’s knees hitting the barbed wire. Page put some barbed wire in his hands and put it around Swerve’s head/face area. Page did a Buckshot Lariat while Swerve had the barbed around his head. Referee Paul Turner admitted the count, he got up to 7, 8 and Nana pulled Swerve out of the ring so Swerve was on his feet on the floor to stop the count. Brian Cage went into the ring and attacked Page with a Powerbomb. Cage gave Page a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle and another slam. Cage set up a table on the floor. Cage picked up Page, but Page used the barbed wire that he had on his hand to break free. Page hit Cage with forearms and a clothesline. Prince Nana went into the ring and hit Page with a chair. Nana tried to leave, Page picked him up and Page hit a Deadeye off the apron through the table on the floor. Once again that is Page taking the bump, but it’s the sell that counts. Swerve was back up and used the cinderblock to hit Page in the back of the head. The referee checked on Page, who sold it on the floor while Swerve was laughing about it. Swerve used a huge chain that he wrapped around Page’s throat and pulled against the ring post. Swerve choked Page out with the chain. Page down face first on the floor. Page tried to get back up, but he couldn’t do it as the referee counted to 7, 8, 9 and 10. Swerve gets the win. It went 29:57.

Winner: Swerve Strickland

Analysis: ***** That was an absolutely outstanding match. I was so impressed by them. It’s five stars to me. I didn’t love the interference from Brian Cage, but it fit Swerve having a stable and having allies that helped him get the win. I could see somebody not going five stars because of the Cage interference and I get it, but I think it’s still a five star match. I went into this match expecting it was going to be a bloody, wild brawl and it exceeded the expectations I had for it. I thought that Page was going to get the win because Swerve won the last match, so I felt like Page would pick up the victory. Nope. That’s okay because it elevates Swerve to win a match like this. It was the biggest victory of Swerve’s career and the best match of his career as well. I thought a lot of the weapons they used made a lot of sense considering the kind of rivalry they had where it was very personal between them. This was one of the best AEW matches of the year. It was also different than some of the better matches because of how violent it was and how many weapons they used. They got plenty of time and they certainly made the most of it. Incredible performances from Swerve and Hangman. These guys are awesome.

Swerve Strickland went up the ramp celebrating the win while Page was getting checked on by medical personnel at ringside.

There was a recap of the MJF story from earlier in the night. They said MJF was still at the hospital.

A video aired recapping the Young Bucks match against Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho aka The Golden Jets.

Chris Jericho was up first with the fans singing “Judas” as usual. Kenny Omega was up next as Jericho’s partner. The Golden Jets name is because they are both from Winnipeg where the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets are and Omega is in The Golden Lovers team with Kota Ibushi as well. The Young Bucks were out last. Don Callis was on commentary joining Excalibur, Taz & Nigel McGuinness for this match.

The Golden Jets – Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega vs. The Young Bucks – Matt & Nick Jackson

If The Young Bucks win then Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega can’t team together again. If Jericho & Omega win then they get the Tag Team Title shot that The Young Bucks earned. The Young Bucks were close to home since they are from California.

Omega knocked down Nick with a shoulder tackle. Nick hit an impressive armdrag off the top rope and Omega avoided a combo move that Nick was trying. Matt tagged in against Jericho leading to an armdrag. Jericho worked over Matt with chops against the turnbuckle, then Omega tagged and told Jericho to stop. Omega sent both Bucks out of the ring. Jericho got the tag, Omega ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive onto Matt on the floor. Nick kicked Omega and Jericho hit a springboard dropkick that he has been doing for 30 years. Jericho hit a running dropkick knocking Nick down on the floor. Matt sent Jericho into the steel steps. Nick kicked the steel steps into the right arm of Jericho two times. Matt tagged back in with a double axhandle to Jericho’s right arm. Nick was back in with a stomp onto Jericho’s right arm. Jericho hit a running double clothesline, but then Nick dropkicked Jericho off the apron to the floor. Matt pulled Jericho’s right arm into the ring apron. Jericho’s right arm was bleeding after hitting the steps. The Young Bucks were getting booed as they celebrated. Jericho broke free with a dropkick and Omega got the tag. Omega hit a jumping enziguri kick on Nick and a Snapdragon Suplex on Matt. Omega did a rolling senton on Matt leading to a backstabber on Nick. Omega hit a moonsault off the middle turnbuckle onto Matt on the floor. Omega jumped off the top with a cross body block on Nick, who floated over and got a two count. Omega hit a knee to Nick’s face. Jericho tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Matt and Jericho knocked Nick down, so Jericho hit a Lionsault on both Bucks. Matt kicked Jericho’s bloody right arm and then Nick pulled on the right arm against the ropes. Matt with a single arm takedown. Jericho countered Matt doing a submission attempt. Nick and Omega were illegally in the ring doing moves. Matt got a rollup on Jericho for two. Jericho caught Matt leading to a Walls of Jericho submission. Omega grabbed Nick on the apron leading to Omega whipping Nick into the barricade. Jericho held Matt in the Walls of Jericho, but Matt slipped out of it and used the heel of his boot to kick Jericho’s right arm and break free.

Jericho and Matt exchanged strikes. Jericho kicked Matt into the ropes, Matt sent Jericho to the apron and Jericho jumped onto Matt, who caught Chris. Matt hit North Lights Suplexes on Jericho & Omega at the same time. Nick hit a German Suplex on Omega on the apron. Jericho with a bulldog on Matt. Nick stopped a Jericho move and illegal man Nick hit a Senton Bomb on Jericho for two. Typical Young Bucks tag team offense where the illegal man is involved too often. Matt Jackson went up top, but Jericho tripped him up. Jericho worked over Matt with left handed punches to sell the right arm injury. Jericho hit a hurricanrana off the top on Matt. The referee was looking at Matt, so Nick kicked Jericho in the groin with the low blow. Omega was mad about it, Nick distracted the referee and Matt did a low blow kick to Omega. It looked like Matt had a bloody nose. Nick hit a Judas Effect elbow on Jericho, but Omega pushed Nick off to break it up. Nick hit a somersault dive off the top onto Omega on the floor. The Bucks hit the BTE Trigger double knee on Jericho, Matt covered Jericho and Jericho got his left shoulder up to kick out. It’s rare for somebody to kick out of the BTE Trigger. Omega stopped Nick from doing a double team move and Jericho got a rollup. Jericho hit superkicks on both Bucks. Nick superkicked Jericho in the arm. Jericho pushed the referee Aubrey Edwards out of the way and Jericho did a low blow punch to Nick. Omega realized that Jericho did a low blow and he didn’t like it Omega teased attacking Jericho, but then Omega hit a V-Trigger knee on Nick. Omega hit two Snapdragon Suplexes on Matt. Nick did a Reverse Rana to Omega to spike him. Matt Jackson hit the One Winged Angel (Kenny’s finisher) on Omega and Nick covered Omega for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Jericho went into the ring illegally to hit a Codebreaker on Nick. Omega hit a bridging German Suplex on Matt for a two count. Nick was illegally in the ring with superkicks for both opponents. Jericho did a left arm Judas Effect. Matt hit two superkicks on Jericho. Omega with a ripcord knee on Matt. Omega hit the One Winged Angel on Matt for the pinfall win because it’s rare to have somebody kick out of that. It went 20:45.

Winners by pinfall: The Golden Jets – Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega

The win means that The Golden Jets will receive a Tag Team Title match that used to belong to The Young Bucks.

Analysis: **** This was an excellent tag team match. It was tough to follow the match before it, but the fans really got into it in the second half. The start of it was a bit slow and that’s okay because then the action really picked up. My issues with the match involve all the actions by the illegal guys where people randomly go into the ring and do moves. It’s not supposed to happen in tag team matches, yet in Young Bucks matches it happens far too often. Jericho sold the arm injury very well throughout the match. Omega was terrific throughout the match and stood out the most. I thought the right team won since the stipulation was that if Jericho/Omega lost then they couldn’t team together again, so seeing them win was the logical result of this match.

After the match, Nick Jackson was angry about the loss. Nick was messing up the ringside area. Matt Jackson was furious about it too. Nick Jackson smacked the camera with his hand. Matt Jackson threw his shoes. Matt threw a temper tantrum using a steel chair against the ring post. Nick threw his shoes into the crowd.

Analysis: The Young Bucks are better as heels. I have said it for years. I hope they become full-blown jerks again. If this loss leads to them fully going into the heel role again then I would like to see that.

It was main event time. It was supposed to be MJF defending the AEW World Title against Jay White, but MJF has a storyline knee injury.

Adam Cole made his entrance on crutches and a huge boot around his left foot. Cole had major ankle surgery recently while the announcers questioned how they could do this match with Cole in this injured state. Jay White made his entrance with the AEW World Title that he stole from MJF. The Gunns were with White.

Adam Cole was announced as the man who was representing the AEW World Champion MJF. Cole had the ROH Tag Team Title with him. Jay White held up the AEW World Title while he was introduced even though he was not really the champion.

The referee was about to ring the bell, but instead, it was Maxwell Jacob Friedman driving the ambulance into the ring. MJF had white tape around his thigh while he limped toward the entrance area selling the knee injury. MJF made his entrance while there were AEW Officials, referees and others trying to stop MJF from going to the ring. MJF hugged Cole and Cole left the ring.

AEW World Championship: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Jay White (w/Austin & Colten Gunn)

White went after the left leg right away with White wrenching the leg into the mat and then White stomped on the left leg. White continued to attack the left leg. White sent MJF out of the ring as The Gunns attacked MJF on the floor. White stomped on MJF’s left leg again. White sent MJF out of the ring again and The Gunns beat up MJF again although MJF did try to fight back. White sent MJF out of the ring, The Gunns wanted to do a chair attack to Max, but the referee stopped that. Referee Bryce Remsburg ejected The Gunns from ringside and the fans popped huge for that. White took MJF’s tank top off and threw it at Cole. MJF tried to fight back, but White kicked MJF in the left knee. MJF hit a back elbow along with a body slam. MJF worked over White with ten corner punches along with some face biting by MJF to White. MJF managed to hit his kangaroo kick and MJF did a kip up to get back up. MJF ran the ropes, but White was back in with a dropkick to the left knee followed by a DDT for two. White delivered a few hard chops to knock MJF down. White tried to send MJF across the ring, but MJF collapsed. MJF lifted a charging White and MJF hit a superkick of his own. MJF jumped off the middle turnbuckle, White moved and MJF was selling the leg injury. White hit a uranage slam for two. White lifted up MJF backwards over the top to the floor. White met MJF on the floor leading to White hitting a hard chop. MJF hit a DDT on the floor. MJF cleared off the commentary table, then he put White near the table and the table broke. That was comical, but the announcers said it was because it took a lot of punishment all night. MJF went up top, jumped off and hit an elbow drop on White, who was laying on the floor. I assume that was supposed to be through the table, but the table broke, so MJF improvised. It looked good enough. My feed messed up a bit and I need to rest. I came back with MJF getting a suplex causing White to land hard on his head/neck area. MJF hit a double foot stomp onto the left arm. White avoided a Heatseeker by the champion. White was standing on the apron, MJF charged, jumped over the top rope and MJF gave White a Cutter all the way to the floor! Wow. That was really impressive. MJF brought White back in the ring for a two count even though MJF could have perhaps won by countout.

MJF pulled down the sleeve and the pad on his knee to expose his knee. MJF tried to lift up White for something, but then MJF collapsed to the mat. MJF tried another move and MJF collapsed to the mat again. Referee Remsburg called for Dr. Sampson to check the knee and MJF gave the doctor the middle finger salute and said no. White did a knee wrenching two times in a row. White applied the Figure Four Leglock submission. Cole had MJF’s tank top in hand and MJF yelled at him not to throw it in. MJF pulled White toward the ropes and nearly broke it. MJF sold the move again and nearly tapped out, but MJF fought it. MJF turned the Figure Four Leglock over to put the pressure on White’s legs. White made it to the ropes. Cole had his ROH Tag Team Title, he tried to hit White, White took the title from Cole and White hit MJF with the title! The referee never saw it. White covered for one…two…and no because MJF got his shoulder up. Awesome nearfall. White was grabbing MJF’s left leg, then MJF managed to kick White and White bumped into the referee to knock him down. Adam Cole put the Dynamite Diamond Ring in the ring, but White took down MJF to stop him from using it. White got the Dynamite Diamond Ring on his hand. MJF hit White with a low blow to stop a Diamond Ring punch. MJF got the Dynamite Diamond Ring and the Gunns went down to ringside. MJF punched both Gunns to knock them out of the ring. White grabbed MJF going for a Bladerunner, but MJF avoided it and MJF punched White with the Dynamite Diamond Ring. The referee slowly woke up from his nap and counted the pinfall win at 29:43.

Winner by pinfall: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF)

Analysis: ***3/4 This was heavy on storyline with MJF working 30 minutes while selling the left knee injury very well for the whole match. There were times when MJF went away from selling a bit, but for the most part MJF sold it properly throughout the match. White worked very well as the heel that targeted the injury throughout the match although perhaps he could have been even more vicious in attacking the left leg injury. I think what hurt the match a bit is that I didn’t believe there was any chance that White was going to win. They did a lot of things to make it look like Cole had a White and that’s great, but it just felt like it was rather obvious that MJF would retain. Having MJF retain with the Dynamite Diamond Ring is a very cheap win for a babyface champion finding a way to get the win. However, MJF is still a cheap heel at heart, so it works for him.

MJF was handed the AEW World Title that Jay White had stolen from him. Cole slid into the ring and hugged MJF. They celebrated with the AEW World Title. That win also means MJF has gone one year as the AEW World Champion since he won it at Full Gear last year.

MJF was at the top of the ramp where the referee Bryce Remsburg raised MJF’s arm with the AEW World Title. MJF hugged his buddy Cole. There was no angle or anything to end the show. It ended there.

AEW Full Gear had a runtime of 3:57:56 on pay-per-view.


Five Stars of the Show

  1. Swerve Strickland & “Hangman” Adam Page
  2. MJF
  3. Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega
  4. The Young Bucks & Jay White
  5. The eight guys in the Ladder Match


Final Thoughts

It gets an 8.5 out of 10 from me.

I thought it was an excellent show and based on my ratings that you can see below, I rated it the second-best AEW PPV this year. The last three matches really stood out in terms of the match quality and I’d throw the Ladder Match in there as well. The Swerve/Hangman match was the best match on the show as well as one of the best AEW matches of all time. I really enjoyed that bloodbath immensely.

That Jericho/Omega and Young Bucks tag was fun because I like the Bucks more when they are heelish. Kenny was terrific while Jericho sold the right arm very well. MJF was fantastic in the main event selling the left knee injury. It was yet another cheap win for MJF using the Dynamite Diamond Ring to beat Jay White, who couldn’t beat a guy with an injury. The Ladder Match was very chaotic and had a lot of great moments. I just think the finish was a bit flat.

Everything else was okay. There wasn’t anything that bad. The two women’s titles changed hands, which was cool with me. Kris Statlander didn’t get beat since Julia Hart pinned Skye Blue and I did like that finish. The Toni Storm/Hikaru Shida finish was silly because this woman has a metal object hanging out of her gear yet we are to assume a referee can’t see it for two minutes. Anyway, Toni is a unique character, so I’m happy for her to be champion again. Lastly, the Sting-Copeland-Allin win to open was a smart choice for an opener. I like how Christian Cage kept running away from Copeland too. Save it for another show. Overall, I really liked Full Gear this year. Nice job, AEW.


My AEW PPV reviews for 2023:

WrestleDream (October 1) – 9

Full Gear (November 18) – 8.5

Revolution (March 5) – 8.25

All In London (August 27) – 8

AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door (June 25) – 8

All Out (September 3) – 8

Double or Nothing (May 29) – 7.5


Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.


Twitter: @johnreport