REVIEW: AEW Full Gear (2021)

A Pay-Per-View Event by All Elite Wrestling

It has been almost a month since this aired, and I somehow managed to forget that I never did a write-up! Oopsie! While not as momentous in terms of build up and buzz as their last PPV, AEW All Out 2021 (CM Punk and Bryan Danielson), AEW Full Gear 2021 was set to ride the momentum and finish up some storylines in order to kick off a new era. I’m still a bit salty that I was not able to see this live, as it was originally announced for St. Louis, Missouri then moved up North due to UFC schedules and Covid. There will be another day, I was just hoping to scream my head off live. Watching from the comfort and safety of my own couch, these are my thoughts on the show.

For anyone wanting to watch this, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far. I signed up for the monthly membership to keep up with ROH and some indy feds on there, so far I love it!

The Card:

  • 1P Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa defeated Jamie Hayter and Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero) by pinfall Tag team match 12:32
  • 2 MJF defeated Darby Allin by pinfall Singles match 22:06
  • 3 The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fénix) (c) (with Alex Abrahantes) defeated FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) (with Tully Blanchard) by pinfall Tag team match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship 18:36
  • 4 Bryan Danielson defeated Miro by technical submission AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Final Winner receives a future AEW World Championship match. 20:06
  • 5 Christian Cage and Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) defeated The Superkliq (Adam Cole and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) (with Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa) by pinfall Falls Count Anywhere match 22:35
  • 6 Cody Rhodes and Pac (with Arn Anderson) defeated Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo (with Jose the Assistant) by pinfall Tag team match 16:52
  • 7 Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (c) (with Rebel and Jamie Hayter) defeated Tay Conti by pinfall Singles match for the AEW Women’s World Championship 15:24
  • 8 CM Punk defeated Eddie Kingston by pinfall Singles match 11:00
  • 9 The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz) defeated Men of the Year (Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky) and American Top Team (Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, and Dan Lambert) by pinfall Minneapolis Street Fight 19:52
  • 10 “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Kenny Omega (c) (with Don Callis) by pinfall Singles match for the AEW World Championship 25:35

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

Redemption of Adam Page

Full Gear was set to be the culmination of a long-term storyline AEW have been working on for the better part of two years. While other companies routinely have stories about how people may or may not be kneeling at each other, or movie tie-ins involving golden eggs, AEW has built up Hangman Adam Page as “the guy” for a while not when most of us had no idea that was going to happen. I honestly was not sold on him at first, but as this storyline has gone, I’m a huge fan.

Basically, Page was given the very first AEW title shot against Chris Jericho and lost. He started drinking, had some Tag Team success with Kenny Omega, then started drinking even more. Eventually they lost those titles due to Page’s sloppiness and perceived drinking. He lost some opportunities and friends due to scheming around trying to regain his spot and hit rock-bottom. He aligned with a band of misfits that had just tragically lost their leader due to a freak illness, and they built each other up. He came close to getting his shot at Omega a few times, and lost it, but he didn’t give up. He kept trying and finally is holding the big gold belt! It’s impressive AEW let it go so long, and many fans loved it.

What a Bloodbath

The lead in to CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston was awesome television. In one fell swoop, Punk went from being the big babyface that every fan was screaming for, to a 50/50 divided crowd simply because of Eddie Kingston’s incredible promo skills. Speaking of how he was treated unfairly in the past by Punk and his friends, Eddie talked about how he was harassed like they were high school bullies. His words seeped into the fact that most fans know Punk has a less than stellar reputation regarding his real-life friends and family, and put some cracks in his “good guy” veneer. Eddie made some of the fans turn on Punk, which is no easy feat. The match itself was awesome, and perhaps Kingston’s biggest AEW match to date. Aside from the main event this was the highlight of the night for me.

Escaping the sinking ship

With the news of the imminent shuttering of Ring of Honor in its current form, it’s no surprise that the wrestlers released from their contracts (literally all of them) would start popping up in other places. Little did I know that one such transition was going to happen so soon. If anyone were the “Face of ROH” in the last because it would be Jay Lethal. I’m amazed he wasn’t retained due to being given a management role or something, but it’s all crazy over there in Sinclair Land at the moment. Lethal didn’t do much other than talk to Tony and cut a quick promo, but it was cool to see him and it was also cool to hear his Macho Man inspired theme song.

Jungle Boy Finally does it!

While I wasn’t as enamored with this match as Dave Meltzer was (who gave it five stars), it was perhaps one of the more fun moments of the whole Pay-Per-View. Seeing the mini-storyline play out where Jungle Boy didn’t want to be brutal in any way shift to him actually using a chair to end the match was cool. Sky’s the limit for that guy, can’t wait for him to eventually carry a title.

Lucha Brothers are always great!

(FTR Too!)

Nah seriously, I was kind of sad that, at least for a while, the Penta and Fenix we saw in AEW were mere shadows of their former Lucha Underground selves, but these last two big shows have proven that is NOT the case. While not as good as the cage match against The Young Bucks, this match was awesome, and full of cool spots. The end of the match was kind of sloppy, but apparently they called an audible because one of the members of FTR was hurt, so what we got made sense and was pretty in line with something FTR would try to do.

Conclusion:

While this show did not seem as BIG or Earth-shattering as the previous show by All Elite Wrestling, it continued their tradition of solid quality shows that make the “other guys from Connecticut” look incompetent by comparison. This show is worth watching simply due to the culmination of the Hangman Page storyline. I can’t wait to see what sort of challenges they have lined up for him, but the sky is the limit. To me, Page is easily the “DDP of AEW”. a working man’s hero rather than your typical larger than life wrestling characters. It was the perfect cap to a great show with very little “fluff”, and I absolutely loved it! Next up in Revolution in a few months, I can’t wait!

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